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Focus on the right fatty foods

“It may come as a surprise for some that fat is an essential food,” wrote Dr. Sally Robinson in her column. Healthy fat is critical for a child’s growth and brain development.

What is the effect of religion on your health?

Numerous studies show how religious involvement affects our coping skills, improves the quality of life, decreases anxiety and depression symptoms, lowers suicide risk and can even add years to your life, Dr. Samuel Mathis wrote in his column.

Artificial intelligence says it's not after your job

Dr. Cody Dodd, a child psychologist who works in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch, spoke to The Galveston County Daily News about the pros and cons of artificial intelligence. “What we know is if you get good treatment that’s great, but what’s better is getting treatment from somebody that you feel understands you. Until we can get to the point where people can form relationships with AI, this is going to be very tough for AI to take a therapist’s job.”

Residents near the Jones Road Superfund Site call for more testing

Local environmental group THEA has partnered with researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch in the area both inside and outside the EPA's official boundary. “The purpose of whatever we find whether good or bad is for them to be able to utilize that in requesting any additional services from EPA if necessary,” Dr. Lance Hallberg with UTMB previously told Houston Public Media.

A different way to take the vaccine

“Most people would love it if vaccinations didn’t involve needles and the ouch that goes with them,” wrote Drs. Norbert Herzog and David Niesel in Medical Discovery News. “But for respiratory infections, vaccinations given into the nose or mouth may be more effective than intramuscular (IM) inoculations.”

What is non-sleep deep rest and how to practice it?

Non-Sleep Deep Rest, also called Yoga Nidra, is a way to help the body relax and replenish dopamine levels. Dr. Samuel Mathis described how to do a simple exercise and offered his personal results after trying it.

Evolution turns these knobs to make a hummingbird hyperquick and a cavefish sluggishly slow

Muscle is extremely important for regulating whole-body metabolism, said Dr. Tray Wright, who studies animal physiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “In many animals, muscle mass can make up 40 to 50 percent of their body mass, and it is a really metabolically demanding tissue. By tuning that metabolism in the muscle, you really affect a lot of animal fitness.”

Fact check: No evidence vitamin C prevents pregnancy, doctors say

Vitamin C actually makes pregnancy more likely, said Dr. Shannon Clark, a professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch’s department of obstetrics and gynecology. It can increase progesterone levels, which thickens the lining of the uterus, thus potentially making it more receptive to a fertilized egg.

The story of Texas’ first Black medical school graduate

Five years before Brown v. Board of Education desegregated public schools in the south, the first Black student was accepted into a Texas medical school. Dr. Herman Barnett applied to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1949, in direct challenge to the state’s segregation laws at the time. Barnett attended UTMB on the condition that he’d later transfer to a separate medical school for Black students that the university planned to build. But that school was never built, and Barnett ended up making history.

Guest commentary: Post-COVID push on for volunteers at UTMB

Prior to 2020, the medical branch had more than 400 volunteers throughout its campuses. “We now have only about 150 active volunteers,” said Holly Jolin, administrative manager for Volunteer Services at UTMB. “We are looking for caring, compassionate and friendly people with a heart for helping to volunteer.”

Parents should learn to play with children

Play that helps with exercise for babies during the tummy time can be placing yourself or a toy just out of reach of the baby. Dr. Sally Robinson offered more tips for parents in her column.

Why are some people resistant to COVID?

“Recent work may have found why some of us do not appear to get sick from COVID-19,” wrote Drs. Norbery Herzog and David Niesel in Medical Discovery News. “The latest thinking is that some people have a variant gene that doesn’t prevent a ‘super dodger’ from becoming infected but makes it so that they don’t get sick.”

Wildlife bait program protects people from rabies

The Texas Department of State Health Services rabies bait program is in its 28th year, wrote Drs. Megan Berman and Richard Rupp in their Vaccine Smarts column. The program has successfully eliminated the domestic dog-coyote, and the fox rabies virus strains from the state. Rabies bait is a vaccine and is part of an overall strategy to protect us from the lethal disease.

UTMB researcher gets $2.26 M grant to expand HPV-vaccine program in Rio Grande Valley

In February, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas awarded Dr. Ana M. Rodriguez and her research team a $2.26 million grant to help fight human papillomavirus related cancers. Texas has one of the lowest HPV vaccination rates in the country, and in the Rio Grande Valley, young people are at a higher risk of developing HPV-related cancers.

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