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NIH launches project to crowdsource pregnancy health information

  • Published in Health

The National Institutes of Health has launched a project to improve the understanding of pregnancy through crowdsourcing information gathered through surveys.

Known as PregSource, the project presents data collected through surveys as an informational resource for doctors, researchers, and women experiencing pregnancy.

“PregSource benefits everyone – the participants, their healthcare providers, and the research community," said Dr. Diana W. Bianchi, director of NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which leads the project. “The project also will generate much-needed data to help researchers address long-held questions about maternal and fetal health.”

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NIH discovers drainage system in brain

  • Published in Health

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have confirmed the existence of a drainage system in the human brain.

“We literally watched people’s brains drain fluid into these vessels,” said Dr. Daniel S. Reich a researcher at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the senior author of the study. “We hope that our results provide new insights to a variety of neurological disorders.”

Reich explained that his research team discovered the brain had vessels that are part of the body’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is designed to drain waste and fight infections by distributing white blood cells to various parts of the body.

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NIH study shows HIV prevention drug safe for teen males

  • Published in Health

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have concluded that an HIV prevention drug commonly used by adults appears to be safe for adolescent males aged 15 to 17.

The study examined the safety and effectiveness of Truvada, a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis drug designed to preventively reduce the risk of an HIV infection.

"This is the first study on the safety and implementation of PrEP among adolescent men who have sex with men," said Dr. Bill Kapogiannis, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "It demonstrates that adolescents who are at risk for HIV and are thus likely to benefit from PrEP can be successful at participating in biomedical HIV prevention research," he added.

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Study shows binge drinking is up among Americans

  • Published in News

Binge DrinkingBinge drinking rates have increased across the country, according to a new study from the National Institutes of Health.

"This important study reveals that a large number of people in the United States drink at very high levels and underscores the dangers associated with such ‘extreme' binge drinking," said George F. Koob, Ph.D., director of NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

"The motivation was to better understand just how much people in the U.S. actually drink," said Aaron White, Ph.D., a researcher at NIH who co-authored the study. "A percentage of that [drinking] population goes to great extremes at least once a year," he added.

Using previously compiled data, the study found that binge drinking increased overall since 2001.

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NIH faces massive cuts under Trump budget

  • Published in News

BETHESDA -- Under President Trump’s recent budget proposal, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is set to receive a major cut to its annual budget.

The proposal reduces the $31.7 billion NIH budget by approximately 18 percent. It also calls for the reorganization and streamlining of the various institutes to reduce overhead costs and the elimination of the Fogarty International Center.

“It’s definitely a distressing proposal, these are devastating cuts and a blow to the country," said Jamie Raskin (D), who represents Maryland's 8th Congressional District, which includes NIH as well as other federal research agencies including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Science is an overall social project, and when you knock out the basic pillars, it devastates the entire enterprise,” he added.

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NIH studies cancer in African Americans

  • Published in News

BETHESDA – The National Institutes of Health has launched a study to examine incidence rates among African-American cancer survivors.

“What we saw was that African-Americans were experiencing higher cancer incidents than any other racial/ethnic group,” said Dr. Joanne Elena, a program director overseeing the study at NIH’s National Cancer Institute.

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NIH begins trials on blanket vaccine for mosquito-borne diseases

  • Published in News

BETHESDA -- Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have begun human trials to test a vaccine that is designed to protect against mosquito-borne diseases.

“A single vaccine capable of protecting against the scourge of mosquito-borne diseases is a novel concept that, if proven successful, would be a monumental public health advance,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

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Educators, industry leaders and parents talk science

  • Published in Local

SILVER SPRING – Montgomery County’s educators, industry leaders, and parents gathered Sunday to discuss expanding science engagement in and outside the public education system.

“People who are involved in their companies, we created an opportunity to meet one another, I think that was the prime motivator for most people who would be here today,” said County Council member Hans Riemer (D-At-Large) who was the organizer of the event.

The first ever Montgomery County STEM Summit took place at the Silver Spring Civic Center. Speakers included representatives from Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, the Universities at Shady Grove, Montgomery County Public Libraries, and numerous locally-based science or tech industry businesses and non-profits.

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NIH finds adults suffer hearing loss

  • Published in News

BETHESDA -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) have found that approximately a quarter of adults within a certain age range suffer from noise-induced hearing loss.

Results indicate that 24 percent of adults aged 20 to 69 experience hearing loss at high frequencies, in what the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIDCD) terms as a noise notch.

“Of the 24 percent of adults with an audiometric notch suggestive of noise-induced hearing loss, 6 percent had a notch in both ears, and 18 percent had a notch in only one ear,” said Howard Hoffman, a coauthor on the study and director of the NIDCD’s Epidemiology and Statistics Program.

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Study shows obese couples have lower fertility rates

  • Published in News

BETHESDA – A study at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that obese couples may take longer to achieve pregnancy.

“Obesity is a growing epidemic in United States and other countries. While it is common sense that it takes two to get pregnant, recent research has indicated that the male’s contribution has been overlooked,” Rajeshwari Sundaram, a senior investigator at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, wrote in an email.

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