The largest ever genome-wide study has identified two new gene variants that increase the risk of common childhood obesity. "We have definitively identified and characterized a genetic predisposition to common childhood obesity," said lead investigator Struan F.A. Grant, associate director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The analysis included 14 previous studies "encompassing 5,530 cases of childhood obesity and 8,300 control subjects, all of European ancestry," reports research-reporting service Newswise.
With 50 million Americans living in poor or rural areas where there are no dentists to go to — and that number expected to rise by more than 5 million if the Affordable Care Act stands — states and the federal government should be training dental therapists to help solve the problem, argues Louis W. Sullivan, a physician and former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in an op-ed piece in The New York Times.
Sales of hydrocodone (the key ingredient of Vicodin, Norco and Lortab) and oxycodone (the main ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan) skyrocketed in new parts of the country as the problem spread from its Appalachian roots in the last decade, an Associated Press analysis shows. Oxycodone sales in Tennessee, New York and Florida were up by more than 499 percent from 2000 to 2010, the highest increases in the country, the study shows. When it came to hydrocodone, South Dakota had the highest increase, with 300 to 399 percent.
As a bipartisan group of political leaders pushes the General Assembly to pass a bill Thursday that would crack down on "pill mills" that contribute to prescription drug abuse, Eastern Kentucky's Operation UNITE has organized a national summit in Florida. The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit aims to "foster understanding and cooperation among those involved in the battle against the epidemic," reports Laura Ungar for The Courier-Journal.
The key moment in the manhunt for suspects in a murder spree that terrorized African-Americans in Tulsa, Okla., came Saturday morning when a tip was called in to the city's Crime Stoppers hotline, the Tulsa World says.
On this day when a U.N.-brokered cease-fire was supposed to go into effect in Syria, "activists reported military attacks on two towns ... even as the government claimed its military forces have begun pulling out" of some areas, The Associated Press reports.