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Reading Room

The reading room includes articles and videos of potential interest to consumers and medical professionals. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the NC Medical Board, its members and staff. Note: Some links may require subscriptions.

Why do we procrastinate? Experts explain the science

Medical News Today
October 24, 2022
Many people procrastinate, some of us chronically, but why do we do that? Is there a way to counteract procrastination, and does this habit ever bring benefits? In this Special Feature, we explore the science of procrastination: What happens in the brain, what happens in the mind, and can we change it?

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FDA’s vaccines chief sees possibility of more Covid boosters — sooner than he’d like

October 21, 2022
Peter Marks, who leads the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccines operation, is still losing sleep over Covid. Yes, vaccines for all age groups have been authorized or approved. Yes, an updated vaccine is now available. And, yes, multiple products are in use and hundreds of millions of doses have been given in this country. But Marks said there are other issues that weigh on him.

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Science may finally know why some people get eaten alive by mosquitoes

Mental Floss
October 20, 2022
For some, heading outdoors in warm weather can be stressful. Sitting on a patio and minding their own business, they seem to attract mosquitoes at a rate that far outpaces that of the people sitting next to them. Even insect repellent may not ward off bites for these unfortunates. What turns people into mosquito buffets? Science may finally know. According to a new study by researchers at Rockefeller University in New York and published in the journal Cell, mosquitoes appear to be attracted to humans with high levels of carboxylic acids on their skin.

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Omicron subvariants reflect a ‘viral evolution on steroids’

Yahoo News
October 19, 2022
An omicron subvariant is once again demonstrating immune-dodging abilities, posing a threat to both vaccinated and previously infected individuals.

A report published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the subvariant, called BA.4.6, could drive reinfections.

As of Friday, BA.4.6 accounted for just over 12% of new COVID cases in the U.S. BA.5, meanwhile, has been detected in nearly 68% of new cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Busting 5 common myths about water and hydration

October 13, 2022
Drink eight glasses of water a day. Coffee will make you dehydrated. Drinking extra water can help you lose weight. You’ve probably heard these claims about water and hydration before. But are they true? To set the record straight, Life Kit talks to Tamara Hew-Butler, associate professor of exercise and sports science at Wayne State University; Mindy Millard-Stafford, director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Georgia Tech; and Yuki Oka, a professor of biology at Caltech who specializes in thirst. They explain the science of hydration and bust 5 common myths about water.

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From BQ.1.1 to XBB and beyond: How the splintering of Omicron variants could shape Covid’s next phase

October 6, 2022
The United States is in a (relative) Covid-19 lull, with cases and hospitalizations falling as the wave driven by the BA.5 lineage of the Omicron variant recedes. But as if we needed a portent of an anticipated fall and winter wave, Covid is on the rise in some European countries.

What’s different, at least for now, is that there’s not one variant pushing the wave. Rather, scientists are tracking a bevy of new forms of Omicron, which are jockeying with each other as they compete to become the next dominant strain. Scientists are monitoring more than 300 sublineages of Omicron, World Health Organization officials said this week.

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