Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Probiotics help with gastrointestinal illnesses

Question: Are probiotics really good for you, or is that all hype?Answer: We are all colonized by bacteria (and other organisms such as yeast/fungi), called our “normal flora.” These normal flora live on or in us, for example in our gastrointestinal, GI, tract or on our skin, without causing disease …

Local Interest

Bristol County woman who contracted EEE has died

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 26, 2019…..A patient who contracted the eastern equine encephalitis virus died at Tufts Medical Center, the hospital confirmed Monday, in what state officials described as the fourth human case of the mosquito-borne illness identified in Massachusetts this summer.The Department of Public Health announced Sunday that a …

Local Interest

Massachusetts has ‘exact right’ habitat for EEE, veterinarian says

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 22, 2019…..On the heels of what the state’s public health veterinarian called the “most significant” year for West Nile virus ever in Massachusetts last year, officials this month have confirmed the first two human cases of eastern equine encephalitis in the state since 2013.Briefing the state’s …

Local Interest

Over the Counter: Pack nutrition into your kid’s school lunch

Packing a school lunch for a child used to be as easy as one-two-three. One brown paper bag (or superhero-themed lunch box), two slices of white bread spread with peanut butter and jelly, and three additional food items — perhaps an apple, a bag of chips and a brownie — …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Females are under-represented in medical research

Question: Is it true that women are not adequately represented in medical studies?Answer: Genetically, someone with XX sex chromosomes is female and someone with XY sex chromosomes is male. There are people with other variations, such as having an extra sex chromosome (for example XXY in some variants of Klinefelter …

Local Interest

Flexible Fitness: Breathing basics

The respiratory system is a series of parts, the largest one being the lungs. It takes air in from the environment, supplies the body with oxygen and helps to get rid of carbon dioxide. Additional jobs are to provide breath support for speech and our sense of smell. This system …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Gene therapy research offers hope for methylmalonic acidemia patients

Q: Is there a new treatment being developed to cure methylmalonic acidemia?A: Methylmalonic acidemia, also known as MMA, is an inherited autosomal recessive condition — the patient must get a defective gene from each of their parents. MMA patients are unable to break down certain fats and proteins, causing a …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc?: Methylmalonic acidemia treatment being developed

Question: Is there a new treatment being developed to cure methylmalonic acidemia?Answer: Methylmalonic acidemia — MMA, an organic acidemia — is an inherited autosomal recessive condition — the patient must get a defective gene from each of their parents — where the patient is unable to break down certain fats …

Local Interest

The unlikely secret to a happy community? Sidewalks

Molly Bartone considered many factors when she moved into her new home near Buckmaster Pond in Westwood. Her kids were grown but she still liked the idea of a neighborhood with good schools. She wanted to be somewhat in between Boston and her family living in northern Connecticut. But most …

Local Interest

What’s Up Doc? Can earwigs get into your brain?

Q: I found an earwig in my clothing. How big a risk is it that this would have gone into my ear and then into my brain?A: Earwigs are pretty ubiquitous, being found all over the world — although I do not think they thrive in Antarctica as they do …