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Premature births cost health plans $6 billion annually

September 21, 2017

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 […]


Black, white or multicultural: Constructing race in two countries

September 18, 2017

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 […]


Boosting a lipid fuel makes mice less sensitive to the cold

September 11, 2017

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, […]


Hormonal IUDs have no effect on lactation or breastfeeding

September 5, 2017

Having a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) implanted immediately after birth does not affect a woman’s ability to lactate and breastfeed, according to new research by investigators at University of Utah Health and University of New Mexico School of Medicine. The results of this study are available online Aug. 21 in the American Journal of Obstetrics […]


Given the choice, zebrafish willingly dose themselves with opioids

September 1, 2017

As the opioid crisis escalates, the science behind addiction remains poorly understood. To address this need, researchers at University of Utah Health devised a system that allowed zebrafish, a small tropical fish, to self-administer doses of hydrocodone, an opioid commonly prescribed to people for pain. After one-week, the fish had increased their drug-seeking behavior, even […]


Catheter ablation better than traditional drug therapies for treating atrial fibrillation

August 31, 2017

Every year, millions of people around the world are diagnosed with heart failure, a chronic, progressive condition where the heart is unable to pump enough oxygenated blood throughout the body. Researchers at the University of Utah Health and Klinikum Coburg, Germany, co-led a clinical trial that showed radiofrequency catheter ablation lowered hospitalization and mortality rates […]


A magic formula to predict attraction is more elusive than ever

August 30, 2017

Dating websites often claim attraction between two people can be predicted from the right combination of traits and preferences, but a new study casts doubt on that assertion. The study, which used speed dating data, found a computer could predict who is desirable and how much someone would desire others — who’s hot and who’s […]


Manipulating a Single Gene Defines a New Pathway to Anxiety

August 24, 2017

Removing a single gene from the brains of mice and zebrafish causes these animals to become more anxious than normal. Researchers from University of Utah Health show that eliminating the gene encoding Lef1 disrupts the development of certain nerve cells in the hypothalamus that affect stress and anxiety. These results are the first implication that […]


Two Studies Support Intensive Blood Pressure Control for Long-term Health, Quality of Life

August 24, 2017

Two studies provide additional support for lowering systolic blood pressure to an intensive goal of 120 mmHg – far below the standard guidelines of 140 mmHg – to reduce the risk of heart disease in high-risk patients with hypertension. The new research shows that intensive blood pressure control is well-tolerated by patients and is cost-effective […]


Evolutionary arms ‘chase’

August 23, 2017

In nature, plants engage in a never-ending battle to avoid being eaten. Unable to run away, plant species have evolved defenses to deter herbivores; they have spines, produce nasty chemicals, or grow tough leaves that are difficult to chew. For years, scientists have assumed that herbivores and plants are locked into evolutionary competition in which […]