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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.

The cardiologist building digital tools to help colleagues stay on top of new research

STAT Wunderkinds
October 25, 2023
Visit the website of cardiologist Ruey Hu, and you can scroll through his prolific scientific articles neatly arranged into 11 sections by study type, peruse a folder of medical education resources, and browse links to a couple of hand-coded tools. More curiously, there’s also a tab labeled, “Composing.”

There live three sheets of music for works titled “Gauntlet,” “Topsody,” and “Renewal.” The notes dance across the staff, creating sections devoted to different instruments. And in the top right corner, the composer’s name, the same one on all of those scientific papers: Jiun-Ruey Hu (his full name).

Hu, part of the 2023 class of STAT Wunderkinds, is a Renaissance man. He plays four instruments: piano, violin, clarinet and cello. And in his undergraduate years at Princeton, he was part of an East Asian acapella group that performed songs in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. He loves “Hamilton” and “Dear Evan Hansen,” among other musicals. He ice skates and does tae kwon do.

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What should my heart rate be?

Medical News Today
October 24, 2023
The heart rate measures the number of times per minute that the heart contracts or beats. For most adults, a target resting heart rate is between 60–100 beats per minute. A healthy heart supplies the body with just the right amount of blood at the right rate for whatever the body is doing at that time. For example, being frightened or surprised automatically releases adrenaline, a hormone, to make the heart rate faster. This prepares the body to use more oxygen and energy to escape or confront potential danger.

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Stamping out superbugs

National Institutes of Health
October Newsletter
Bacteria are found nearly everywhere. They’re in your food, recreational waters, and even the air. Some bacteria help keep you healthy. But some can make you very sick. If you’re healthy, your body may fight off harmful bacteria on its own. But sometimes you need antibiotics. These are drugs that kill bacteria or stop them from growing. They can be critical for preventing or fighting a life-threatening disease. But over time, bacteria can become resistant to drugs that are misused or overused. That means that the drug will no longer stop them.

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Serotonin levels are depleted in long Covid patients, study says, pointing to a potential cause for ‘brain fog’

October 16, 2023
If you’ve been following the mystery of long Covid since it emerged in 2020, you’ll recall interferons and serotonin have been clues from the start as combatants in the body’s prolonged battles against the virus. Theories about why symptoms persist long after the acute infection has cleared often point to two suspects: viral reservoirs where SARS-CoV-2 lingers and inflammation sparked by the infection that doesn’t subside.

New research published on Monday in Cell implicates both interferons and serotonin in long Covid in a way that brings together those hypotheses and could also explain “brain fog,” or the neurocognitive difficulties people endure.

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The Blood of Exceptionally Long-Lived People Shows Key Differences

Science Alert
October 10, 2023
Centenarians, once considered rare, have become commonplace. Indeed, they are the fastest-growing demographic group of the world’s population, with numbers roughly doubling every ten years since the 1970s. How long humans can live, and what determines a long and healthy life, have been of interest for as long as we know. Plato and Aristotle discussed and wrote about the ageing process over 2,300 years ago. The pursuit of understanding the secrets behind exceptional longevity isn’t easy, however. It involves unravelling the complex interplay of genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors and how they interact throughout a person’s life.

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