Friday, April 26, 2024 – KFF Health News

Longer Looks: Interesting reads you may have missed

Every week, KFF Health News finds longer stories to enjoy. This week’s picks include stories about vision, postpartum care, nutrition labels, mosquito nets, and more.

The Washington Post: Sight restoration is now possible with optogenetics

Several companies are experimenting with optogenetics to create a bionic eye that can restore sight to the visually impaired. (Zaleski, 4/23)

North Carolina Health News: The Rise of Megahospitals

When it comes to growth, hospitals just can’t seem to get enough. Across the country, a wave of hospital mergers and acquisitions in recent years has created multibillion-dollar hospital giants that serve large swathes of the population. (Squatting, 4/22)

The Washington Post: Dentist finds ancient human jaw embedded in his parents’ tile floor

A dentist was visiting his parents’ newly renovated home in Europe when he noticed something strange: one of the floor tiles in a hallway leading to a terrace contained what appeared to be a human jaw, cut at an angle, including a cross section of a few teeth. Not knowing exactly what steps to take, the dentist posted a photo of the discovery on Reddit. The Internet erupted with enthusiasm, interest, and evil. (Johnson, 4/23)

The New York Times: For postpartum and pregnancy care, a brand becomes a porn star

Mother and baby care brand Frida is working with Asa Akira, a well-known porn actress, to create educational videos about its products. (Gupta, 4/16)

The Wall Street Journal: The father of nutrition labels doesn’t count calories and loves ice cream

Peter Barton Hutt doesn’t care what food you buy, as long as you know what’s in it. It introduced America to the nutrition label, the fine print on foods and beverages that reveals, say, the number of calories in that pint of vanilla ice cream or how much fruit juice is actually in that juice drink. He also decreed the size of the label type: no less than 1/16 inch. Historically, the Hutt has left a mark equaled by few mortals. The labels have appeared on hundreds of millions of consumer products in the five decades since he wrote the rules for the Food and Drug Administration. (Why, 4/25)

The New York Times: Losing a foot never held her back until she tried to join the military

Hanna Cvancaras’ dream is to become a nurse in the military, and she’s been trying to achieve that dream for more than a decade. But every time she applies, she is rejected. Not that the 28-year-old couldn’t handle the job. She now works as an emergency department nurse at a Level II civilian trauma hospital in Spokane, Washington, caring for traffic accident victims with bleeding, drug users with withdrawal attacks, children with seizures, and any other whatever passes through the doors. (Philips, 25/4)

The New York Times: Belgian Man’s Drunk Driving Defense: His Body Made the Alcohol

A man has been charged with drunken driving after he crashed his truck and spilled 11,000 salmon on an Oregon highway. Another was secretly recorded by his wife, who was convinced he was a closet alcoholic. And in Belgium, a brewery worker was recently arrested and given a breathalyzer test, which said his blood alcohol level was more than four times the legal limit for drivers. The problem? None of those men had been drinking. Instead, they were all diagnosed with a rare condition known as autobrewery syndrome, in which a person ferments carbohydrates into ethanol, effectively making alcohol inside the body. (Watkins, 4/23)

Statistics: Next generation mosquito nets saved 25,000 lives in pilot studies

The fight against malaria is a test of human intelligence against mosquitoes and so far, our tiny winged enemy is winning. But new results shared this week show substantial improvements in one of the most important tools we have to prevent life-threatening disease: mosquitoes. (Merelli, 17/4)

The New York Times: Introduced Ozempic to the world. Now it has to be done again

Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen has a problem: too many people want what he’s selling. Mr. Jorgensen is the CEO of Novo Nordisk, the Danish drug maker. Even if the company is not a well-known name, the TV is ringing for its best-selling drug Oh-oh-ohhh, Ozempic! it may ring in your ears. In the United States, Novo Nordisks diabetes and weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy have soared to celebrity status and helped make the company Europe’s most valuable public company . Can’t get enough of drugs. (Nelson, 4/20)

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