Resources & Information

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.

Tattoos may increase blood cancer risk by 21%

Medical News Today
May 31, 2024
Tattoos were associated with a 21% increased risk of lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, in an observational study of a Swedish cohort. Researchers from Lund University, Sweden analyzed the Swedish National Cancer Register, and found that the size of the tattoo had little effect on the risk of cancer. The results are published in eClinical Medicine. While researchers were already aware of the potentially carcinogenic properties of some tattoo inks, the authors of this study said the impact they had on cancer risk was not, prompting them to undertake the current research.

Read More…

Clues From Bird Flu’s Ground Zero on Dairy Farms in the Texas Panhandle

Medpage Today
May 25, 2024
In early February, dairy farmers in the Texas Panhandle began to notice sick cattle. The buzz soon reached Darren Turley, executive director of the Texas Association of Dairymen: “They said there is something moving from herd to herd.”

Nearly 60 days passed before veterinarians identified the culprit: a highly pathogenic strain of the bird flu virus, H5N1. Had it been detected sooner, the outbreak might have been swiftly contained. Now it has spread to at least eight other states, and it will be hard to eliminate.

Read More…

What should people know about the new coronavirus variant?

May 23, 2024
There is a new coronavirus variant in town. KP.2, a member of the so-called FliRT variants, nicknamed after their mutations, has become the dominant coronavirus strain in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These FliRT variants have certain mutations in common but are still part of the Omicron family of the coronavirus. For the period from April 28 to May 11, nearly 30% of new cases were caused by KP.2, up from less than 16% in the two-week period before that. What should people know about this new variant? What are the symptoms of infection? Do vaccines still work against the new strain? Is a home test still reliable? How long should people isolate if they contract KP.2? Who should take antiviral treatments if they contract this type of Covid-19? And what is the guidance for immunocompromised individuals — should they start masking again?

Read More…

Your earbuds and you: What all that listening is doing to us

NPR via Body Electric Podcast
May 21, 2024
Thousands of years ago, our ears were attuned to the subtle sounds of our environment: the rustle of leaves from nearby prey, the growl of an approaching predator, the rumble of a distant storm. Listening closely to these sounds helped us survive.

Today, our auditory world has changed drastically — and gotten much louder. Our lives are filled with a barrage of sound from traffic, sirens, construction, noisy restaurants and concerts.

Read More…

Does COVID-19 Persist?

Medpage Today
May 20, 2024
Does COVID-19 persist in the body? With 17 million adults opens in a new tab or window reporting long COVID symptoms like brain fog and fatigue, the idea of viral persistence has gained traction. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we never expected to have these discussions about SARS-CoV-2 persistence,” said Michael Peluso, MD, MHS, of the University of California San Francisco. “It was just not part of our framework for coronaviruses.” Early papers identified SARS-CoV-2 antigens in blood or tissue, but many were small studies evaluating immunocompromised people, Peluso noted. “None addressed the specificity of the assay, and a common criticism was that this could all be a false-positive signal,” he told MedPage Today.

Read More…

Unmasking the ‘Lost’ Mental Health Generation

MedPage Today
May 7, 2024
The term “Lost Generation” was initially used to describe the generation that came of age during World War I, popularized by Ernest Hemingway. It referenced the disillusionment experienced by many, especially intellectuals and creatives, who lived through the war and its aftermath.

Several decades later, the term was applied to another group. The “Woodstock Generation” typically refers to the Baby Boomers, specifically those who were young adults in the 1960s and 1970s during the time of the famous Woodstock Music Festival in 1969. They are sometimes referred to as the “Lost Generation” in a cultural or societal context, as they challenged many conventional norms and values during a time of significant societal upheaval.

Read More…