Reuse of Antibacterial Wipes May Spread Germs
Using antibacterial wipes more than one time may spread germs, a new study reports. Researchers tested antimicrobial-containing wipes—often used in hospitals to decontaminate hard surfaces—and found that while they removed bacteria, they didn't kill the germs they captured. That means if the wipes are reused, that bacteria could end up on another surface. The findings were presented yesterday at the American Society for Microbiology's annual meeting in Boston.
Chemotherapy, Radiation Relatively New Additions to Cancer Arsenal
Using chemotherapy as a frontline treatment along with surgery and radiation is a relatively recent development in the treatment of brain cancer—which Sen. Ted Kennedy had surgery for earlier this week, Bernadine Healy reports. The Massachusetts Democrat underwent surgery for a malignant glioma tumor at Duke University Medical Center. His doctors say that he will undergo radiation and chemotherapy—a treatment combination that can delay tumor recurrence and prolong life.
Recognizing the power of chemotherapy in fighting gliomas has been long in coming. The first new chemo agent for brain tumors in 20 years, Temodar (temozolamide), appeared on the scene in late 1999. Only in the past three years has Temodar earned its way up to frontline therapy; it is now part of routine care.
Earlier, Healy explained why the diagnosis of a malignant glioma may not be so grim. Healy once had a seizure that led to the detection of the same type of tumor. She discussed her own battle with brain cancer in U.S. News and her book Living Time.
Vitamin D Deficiency Common in Babies
A study published yesterday in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that babies who were breast-fed without getting a vitamin D liquid supplement were 10 times more likely to have vitamin D deficiency than those who were formula fed, Deborah Kotz reports. (Formula, like cow's milk, is fortified with vitamin D.) But even bottle-fed infants and milk-drinking toddlers had unacceptably low levels of the vitamin. That could be detrimental not just for their bones but also to protect against "asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, depression, and schizophrenia," writes James Taylor, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, in an editorial that accompanied the study. He concludes that vitamin D deficiency may be a more serious issue for children than adults.
Exploring the Science of Breakfast
Is eating breakfast really necessary? Katherine Hobson reports on an article on the science of breakfast in New York Magazine that takes a thorough look at the claims made about a regular morning meal. Supposedly, breakfast stokes your metabolism, cuts the risk of obesity and diabetes, and helps concentration. The article didn't find convincing evidence that the very act of eating breakfast is necessary for every adult. But kids should still start their days with a morning meal.
—January W. Payne