It seems like every day there’s another study that says pregnant women should do [insert-whatever-here] to have the best/strongest/most powerful baby. Well here’s one that requires minimal effort from expecting moms who already sleep on their side. A British study of over 1,000 women found that sleeping on one’s side is 2.3x less risky than sleeping on one’s back. But don’t stress if you wake up in the middle of the night on your back after having fallen asleep on your side. The study authors literally say, “What I don’t want is for women to wake up flat on their back and think ‘oh my goodness I’ve done something awful to my baby’.” Just turn over, you may be able to breathe better that way anyway.
Apparently, pharma companies, CROs, and universities will have new EU privacy rules to contend with in about eight months. Great. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to all types of data, but it will have a special impact on clinical trials. According to Debra Diener, an attorney and Certified Information Privacy Professional. “Sensitive data now includes, under this regulation, genetic data, biometric data, that is a broader set of data than is covered by HIPAA.” InsightCity has to ask, if you’re a US-based pharma company or CRO, why conduct trials in Europe, why risk it? That said, the informed consent process definitely needs an overhaul. The GDPR indicates the IC must be unambiguous, with affirmative action by the individual. Hard to argue with that. So, sharpen your regulatory pencils and get ready.
The Nuffield Trust, an independent health charity, says that if the Brexit does not occur then “it would risk a chaotic disruption to supplies of medical products, and a rise in prices that would push hospitals deeper into deficit.” (Editorial note, the discussions in the previous hyperlink are well-structured and provide a summary of many of the issues Brexit will or won’t cause. Worth a read.) The Nuffield Trust goes on to talk about the issues that could arise from cross-border research collaborations, regulatory approval of new medicines, and healthcare for British citizens when they travel in Continental Europe. In a word “messy.” For a good laugh, see the 25 funniest Tweets on the day when Article 50 was signed.
Cristin Kearns, assistant professor at the UCSF School of Dentistry, stumbled across a decades-old research paper that shows a link between high-sugar diets and both high triglyceride levels and cancer in rats. But she had to stumble across the study because it was never published in a scientific journal. Oh, I almost forgot…the study was sponsored by the sugar industry. The implication, of course, is that the organization, now called The Sugar Association, buried the findings to avoid likely negative commercial implications. In response, The Sugar Association has stated that the study was never published, in part, because it was significantly delayed and over budget. In other words, they probably wouldn’t have published the study even if a high-sugar diet showed health benefits. As King George once said, “If you buy that I’ll throw the Golden Gate in free.”
Millions of Americans flocked home this week to pretend they like their families just long enough to get some of Mama’s cookin’ and get in a good nap before sprinting off to engage in the true worldwide holiday of Black Friday. Well it turns out we should throw turkeys another pardon for believing they’re the cause of the excessive sleepiness experienced after the feast. Sure, tryptophan is present in turkey meat, and that does convert into melatonin, but it can’t happen without a little help. The true culprit? All those carbs from the mashed potatoes, cornbread, rolls, and mac & cheese you know you splurged on. These basically put tryptophan in the fast lane for conversion into melatonin. Europeans, sorry if you understood none of the last paragraph.