Health Headlines – Friday, January 15 – The TOP healthcare news for those on the go…

New York Times:
Food and the Single Girl (Jen A. Miller)
On a recent morning, my run took me past our local bagel shop, just early enough that the blooming scent of carby goodness wafted out the front door and chased me down the street. When I got home, I dished out my usual breakfast of plain, full-fat yogurt, topped with fruit (a pear that day) and maple syrup, then typed out the following tweet: “Also pro tip: don’t run past the bagel shop if you don’t plan on stopping for a bagel.”
Searching for Cancer Maps in Free-Floating DNA (Carl Zimmer)
Loose pieces of DNA course through our veins. As cells in our body die, they cast off fragments of genes, some of which end up in the bloodstream, saliva and urine.
Seeking a ‘Happy Gut’ for Better Health (Anahad O’ Conner)
For much of his life, Dr. Vincent Pedre, an internist in New York City, suffered from digestive problems that left him feeling weak and sick to his stomach. As an adult he learned he had irritable bowel syndrome, or I.B.S., a chronic gut disorder that affects up to 10 percent of Americans
Heartburn Drugs Tied to Kidney Problems (Nicholas Bakalar)
Proton pump inhibitors, or P.P.I.s, the commonly used heartburn medicines, may increase the risk for kidney disease. P.P.I.s are sold under several brand names, including Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec, and previous studies have linked their use to bone fracture, pneumonia and Clostridium difficile infection.
Straddling Conventional and Alternative Cancer Treatment (Barron H. Lerner)
When Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez died in July, there was not much notice. He did not get an obituary in The New York Times or in most other major media outlets.

Wall Street Journal:
FDA Rejects New Drug Application for BioMarin’s Duchenne Treatment (Anne Steele)
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. on Thursday said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had rejected its new drug application for a treatment of a fatal form of muscular dystrophy because of questions about the drug’s effectiveness.

Washington Post:
NIH’s big cancer database coming soon (Lenny Bernstein)
Most experts believe that one important element of Vice President Biden’s cancer “moonshot” has to be a major database that researchers and clinicians can access to help them develop new therapies or treat patients.
Are the mentally ill being unfairly targeted by the FBI’s gun list? (Amy Ellis Nutt)
When President Obama recently outlined steps to reduce gun violence, mental-health advocates applauded his proposal to spend $500 million to aid access to care for the mentally ill. Advocates, however, are divided over whether proposals to ease the sharing of information with the FBI’s background-check system breach patient rights.
FDA rejects drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Brady Dennis)
The Food and Drug Administration has rejected a drug that would have become the first treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and ultimately fatal condition that affects about one in every 3,500 boys.

Why A Walgreens Bid For WebMD Makes Some Sense (Bruce Jaspen)
Even though digital health information company WebMD (WBMD) nowsays it’s not “in any negotiations to be acquired,” a potential suitor like Walgreens Boots Alliance r UnitedHealth Group UNH +0.91% would still make some sense if either has the desire to spend the money.
Diets Rich In Fruit Linked To Reduced Risk Of Erectile Dysfunction (Alice G. Walton)
Erectile dysfunction (ED) has long been linked to heart problems–and that’s logical, since both organs require healthy blood flow to function well. When one organ is not receiving appropriate blood flow, the other also probably isn’t. And as is true for cardiovascular health, previous studies have linked a man’s diet to his risk for ED. Last year, a study found, for instance, that coffee, which is known in moderation to be good for the heart, is also good for erectile function.
Legionnaires’ Disease Compounds Flint’s Lead Poisoning Water Crisis (Judy Stone)
A new threat–Legionnaires’ disease–faces Flint, Mich., residents, who still can’t drink their water due to the totally avoidable water danger risk of lead poisoning. There have been 87 cases of Legionnaires’ disease and 10 deaths reported in Genesee County from June 2014 to November 2015, a marked increase from the normal 6-13 cases per year.

Los Angeles Times:
Western diets damage gut microbiota over generations, in ways hard to reverse (Melissa Healy)
It  may take more than a tub of yogurt to reverse the effects that a high-fat, low-fiber diet have wrought in the bellies of men and women in the industrialized world, says new research.

USA Today:
Deadly Ebola outbreak ends in West Africa — for now (John Bacon and Liz Szabo)
More than two years after it began, an Ebola outbreak that claimed 11,315 lives — the deadliest in history — appears to be over, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
New Ebola case confirmed in Sierra Leone (Jane Onyaga-Omara)
A new Ebola case has been confirmed in Sierra Leone, the day after the World Health Organizationsaid the outbreak in West Africa was over.
President to propose incentive to lure more states to expand Medicaid (Jayne O’Donnell)
President Obama plans to propose giving new states that expand Medicaid coverage to the poorest of the poor more time before they have to chip in to cover the new recipients, the White House said in a blog post early Thursday.

The new ‘Just say no to drugs’ (Kelly Wallace)
Sam Motsay, by all accounts, was your typical boy next door: honor roll student, basketball player, band member, devoted big brother. But on May 11, 2014, Mother’s Day, he made a decision — a decision that that took his life and shattered the future for his parents and younger brother.
Flint water crisis: Michigan attorney general to investigate (Jason Hanna)
The water crisis in Flint — the Michigan city grappling with lead contamination in its drinking water following a cost-saving measure — is now getting high-level attention from the state’s top legal official.

Organ donations vetoed by hundreds of bereaved families (Jane Dreaper)
Bereaved families have blocked the donation of organs from 547 UK registered donors since 2010 – about one in seven cases, figures show. NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) says it will no longer seek the consent of families formally, to make such “overrides” more exceptional. Instead, they will be given a leaflet explaining consent – or authorisation in Scotland – rests with the deceased.
Safer Down’s test backed for NHS use (James Gallagher)
Pregnant women in the UK should soon get a safer and more accurate test for Down’s syndrome on the NHS, to reduce the risk of miscarriage. The UK National Screening Committee has backed the test, saying it would reduce anxiety for expectant mothers. The move would prevent thousands of invasive procedures, in which one in every 200 women loses her baby.
Ebola virus: New case emerges in Sierra Leone (N/A)
Sierra Leone officials have confirmed a death from Ebola, hours after the World Health Organization declared the latest West Africa outbreak over. The country was declared free of the virus on 7 November, and the region as a whole was cleared when Liberia was pronounced Ebola-free on Thursday. Tests on a person who died in northern Sierra Leone proved positive, an Ebola test centre spokesman told the BBC.
Pattern of brain chatter ‘clue to anaesthesia response’ (N/A)
Taking readings of brain activity before patients go for surgery could help doctors give a more accurate dose of anaesthetic, researchers suggest. At present, a patient’s body weight is the main factor in deciding the dose. But a University of Cambridge study indicated people with high levels of brain connectivity or “chatter” needed a larger dose to put them under.
‘New research hope’ from pancreatic cancer tissue bank (Jane Dreaper)
Medical researchers hope a new bank storing tissue from patients will give them a clearer insight into pancreatic cancer. This complex illness has the worst 10-year survival rate of any cancer, with most patients being told they may have less than a year to live. The bank will collect samples from six hospitals in England and Wales.

The Telegraph:
Elderly patients refusing to leave hospital because of care costs, NHS bosses fear (Kate McCann)
Elderly patients are refusing to leave hospital because of the potential cost of paying for care homes, NHS bosses fear. Figures published yesterday showed the number of pensioners taking up hospital beds when they should be at home or in a care home has increased by over 15 per cent in the last year.