Premature births cost health plans $6 billion annually

A new study estimates employer-sponsored health plans spent at least $6 billion extra on infants born prematurely in 2013 and a substantial portion of that sum was spent on infants with major birth defects.

Birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies and are a leading cause of infant mortality in the United States. More than 5,500 infants die each year because of birth defects. The babies who live with birth defects … Read more

U appoints first Mormon Studies professorship

The University of Utah’s College of Humanities has appointed Paul Reeve, professor of history, as the first Simmons Mormon Studies professor.

“With the appointment of Paul, the U has moved into the front rank of schools engaged in the vibrant, intellectual exploration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its institutions, history and people,” said Bob Goldberg, director of the U’s Tanner Humanities Center, which houses the Mormon studies … Read more

Tanner Humanities Center hosts lecture exploring LDS doctrine on homosexuality

The Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah will present the 2017 Sterling M. McMurrin Lecture on Religion & Culture at Salt Lake City Public Library, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Author and historian Gregory A. Prince, will give a lecture titled, “Science versus Dogma: Biology challenges the LDS Paradigm,” in which he’ll explore doctrine on homosexuality within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Until the late 1960s, … Read more

Black, white or multicultural: Constructing race in two countries

A new study demonstrates the strong influence ancestry plays in Americans’ interpretation of whether someone is black, white or multiracial, highlighting differences in the way race is socially constructed in the U.S. compared to other parts of the world.

The three-phase study, led by Jacqueline M. Chen of the University of Utah and published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, compared how Brazilians and Americans assessed the race of another person. … Read more

Boosting a lipid fuel makes mice less sensitive to the cold

When grandpa nudges the settings on the thermostat, there’s likely a good reason. Humans, like other animals, become more sensitive to cold with age. Now, scientists from University of Utah Health report that delivering a single dose of a nutritional supplement called L-carnitine to older mice restores a youthful ability to adapt to the cold. After treatment, they tolerate chilly conditions that would ordinarily trigger hypothermia.

“We uncovered a well-controlled process for mobilizing … Read more

Nature imagery calms prisoners

Sweeping shots of majestic landscapes. Glaciers, forests and waterfalls.  Research published today shows that these images, shown to people deprived of access to nature, can reduce tension, help defuse anger and make some of the harshest environments, like a solitary confinement cellblock in a maximum-security prison, a little easier to bear.

The study, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, followed inmates in solitary confinement in an Oregon prison for … Read more