Health Buzz: Gorilla-Originated Strain of HIV Found and Other Health News

7 ways your siblings may have shaped you; getting enough vitamin D


New Strain of HIV Linked to Gorillas

HIV-1, the main strain of HIV carried by humans, was believed to have come from chimpanzees. But research published in Nature Medicine has uncovered a woman who carries a strain of HIV-1 that traces back to gorillas, Bloomberg reports. Researchers believe the woman, who is from West Africa but lives in Paris, was infected by a person since she had no contact with gorillas or bush meat, according to Bloomberg. BBC news reports that although the virus is a different form of HIV, it could very likely be treated with existing HIV medications.

In July, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz reported on new study findings that showed circumcision of HIV-infected men does not reduce the odds of transmitting the virus to their female partners. Also, read about how a new method aiming to protect women from HIV may lead to drug resistance.

7 Ways Your Siblings May Have Shaped You

Approximately 80 percent of Americans have at least one brother or sister; in fact, kids today are more likely to grow up with a sibling than with a father, experts say. What's more, the sibling relationship is the longest relationship that most people will have in their lives. Yet brothers and sisters have gotten short shrift in the research about what affects who we are and how we behave, experts say. U.S. News's Lindsay Lyon explores 7 ways your siblings may have shaped you.

Research has clocked the rate of sibling squabbles at anywhere between six to 10 disputes per hour for certain childhood age groups, says one expert. While these conflicts can be a headache for parents, they can help kids make developmental strides in a "safe relationship" and provide good training for interacting with peers. Early sibling jealousy, on the other hand, may be a precursor to later romantic jealousy, Lyon writes. Young adults who felt their siblings were favored by parents as kids had lower self-esteem and were more likely to report romantic relationship distress than people who felt they'd had a fair deal, according to one researcher's report.

Learn how to use positive psychology in your relationship and how to put together a family medical history.

How Much Sun Does It Take to Make Vitamin D?

Research newly published in the journal Pediatrics showed that almost 8 million U.S. kids and young adults are deficient in vitamin D, the Washington Post reports. About 50 million children and young adults are not getting enough of the vitamin, according to researchers who examined survey data on 6,000 kids from 2001 to 2004.

The National Institutes of Health recommends 5 to 30 minutes of sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at least twice a week on the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen, but that's clearly an estimate, since it doesn't factor in many variables. In October, U.S. News's Nancy Shute reported how where you live affects your vitamin D levels.

People living north of Chicago can't get enough sun exposure to make vitamin D in their skin from November through February, according to the NIH's Office of Dietary Supplements. That's because much less UV light reaches northern latitudes in the winter. People who live south of Los Angeles (34 degrees north) get enough UVB in sunlight to make D in their skin all year, Shute wrote.

But even in L.A., there's no simple way to figure out how much UV light exposure a person needs to synthesize a given amount of D. Air pollution, cloud cover, a person's skin color, his or her body mass, altitude above sea level, and how much clothing he or she wears all factor in. Read more.

Take a look at 3 ways to make sure kids get their vitamin D, and learn whether autism could be caused by lack of vitamin D. Here are 5 reasons why women should still take Vitamin D.

Megan Johnson

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