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STEM program connects medical and elementary school students in Galveston

University of Texas Medical Branch students are teaching science, technology, engineering and math to Galveston Independent School District students through a program officials hope will instill confidence in public school participants and inspire careers. Applications to volunteer in the program open up each semester and medical branch students make it known whether they’d like to be a tutor or mentor, Chris Soudah, executive president of the Connect at UTMB, said.

Nobel prize season sweeps the science community

“Scientists everywhere celebrate the Nobels with spirited discussions, banter on the deserving individuals who were overlooked and should have won and of course, admiration for those awarded,” wrote Drs. Norbert Herzog and David Niesel in their Medical Discovery News column. They also discussed other deserving science awards that get overlooked as well.

Mental health and the holidays—not always the most wonderful time of the year

“In my medical practice, I often meet with people who live alone and with little or no social support system,” wrote Dr. Victor S. Sierpina in this column. “They are geographically distanced from their families or estranged from their children or other loved ones. They often do not have a community of faith or participate in other social networks.” If you know anyone like that, send them a note, call them or take them some goodies. “Even a small drop of love and caring can be like a candle shining into the darkened corners of people’s lives. Be that light, even if you need to come out of your own corner to do it.”

More police, enhanced safety messages planned for Lone Star Rally in Galveston

The University of Texas Medical Branch was preparing for an uptick in hospital admissions. “We will typically see an increased number of injuries during the event,” medical branch spokesperson Dizhi Marlow said. “We caution against drunk driving and to prepare for the weather and drive safe.”

A guide to vaccination throughout cancer care

“First, people should talk to their physician who should indicate whether chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiation therapy will weaken their immune system,” wrote Drs. Megan Berman and Richard Rupp in the latest Vaccine Smarts column.

Always be prepared to feed the fish

Feeding fish can be a relaxing and even meditative activity. Plus, it has other health benefits, wrote Dr. Samuel Mathis in his newspaper column.

Breastfeeding reduces CV risk for mothers

“We need to further promote the health benefits of breastfeeding on the health of newborns and their mothers,” wrote Drs. Norbert Herzog and David Niesel in Medical Discovery News. “This a public health issue that would save the lives of women.”

Scent Dogs Detect SARS-CoV-2

The Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch introduced Infectious Science, a podcast about new and emerging diseases and the One Health research to understand and prevent their spread. The first episode explored how dogs can smell SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients.

Merck locates frozen batch of undisclosed Ebola vaccine, will donate for testing in Uganda’s outbreak

The VSV platform used in Merck’s shots was first developed nearly 20 years ago by virologists including Thomas Geisbert, then with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. During West Africa’s Zaire outbreak, which engulfed the capitals of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia in 2014 and sickened tens of thousands of people in a matter of months, including a handful in Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, the United States, and Europe. “It was really frustrating because we had vaccines that were developed back in the early 2000s, and we knew that they would work, but we're just lab guys,” says Geisbert, who now has a lab at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

‘The war changed everything’: Surgeons share lessons learned from Ukraine

Six surgeons directly involved in caring for injured patients during the war in Ukraine shared their experiences Wednesday, Oct. 19, during the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2022 in San Diego. "We're not done improving medical and surgical care and burns until there are no deaths, no scars, and no pain. We're not there yet. We cannot be satisfied with the status quo," said Steven E. Wolf, MD, FACS, professor and chief, division of burn and trauma surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Dementia in adults under 65 comes with higher suicide risk, study reveals

People with a recent diagnosis of dementia – including adults under the age of 65 – may have an increased risk of suicide, according to new research published in the journal JAMA Neurology. “This is the first national study of suicide risk within the first 12 months of dementia diagnosis,” Jeff Temple, PhD, a licensed psychologist at UTMB’s Center for Violence Prevention (who was not involved in the study), told Seasons. “This is important because it overcomes many of the limitations of previous studies that used local samples, which limits generalizability. The large sample also allowed the researchers to examine specific predictors of suicide risk.”

How to Spot Depression in Men

If you’re wondering whether your lack of motivation or anger outbursts could be warning signs of something more serious, you may want to consult a professional sooner rather than later. “Just like any illness, the earlier you do something about it, the better,” according to Dr. Jeff Temple, a licensed psychologist and the director of UTMB’s Center for Violence Prevention. When left unchecked, depression can wreak havoc on your quality of life and relationships. “I wish more men could get out of their own way and understand that it’s OK to not be OK, that being depressed doesn’t mean that you failed as a man or a husband or a father; instead, it means that you’re human and may need a little extra help,” Temple said.

4 Parts of Your Day That May Be Causing Anxiety

Dr. Jeff Temple, a psychologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, explained that we all have things that set us off, whether they’re triggers or micro-triggers. Temple adds that sometimes fearing these transitions can trigger us. “There’s anticipatory anxiety, which is anxiety about being anxious, as opposed to actual things to be anxious about,” he said.

Do you need to worry about shingles if you had chickenpox vaccine?

In the latest Vaccine Smarts column, Drs. Megan Berman and Richard Rupp discussed the odds of getting shingles after having a chickenpox vaccination. “You cannot catch shingles from people with shingles,” they wrote. “Rather, unvaccinated people who have never had chickenpox can develop chickenpox when they come in contact with a shingles rash. Your vaccination should keep you from catching chickenpox.”

Butterflies benefit our habitat, our souls

“If you have some time this week, find some butterflies, or better yet, let them find you,” wrote Dr. Victor S. Sierpina in his column. “Enjoy watching them do their cosmic dance. You will feel lighter yet more centered, knowing that small things can make big differences.”

6 quick home improvements when someone suddenly needs extra care

​To make a main-floor bedroom as comfortable and safe as possible, Elena Volpi, M.D., director of the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, suggests removing area rugs to prevent tripping and adding night-lights for middle-of-the-night bathroom trips. Make sure furniture including side tables, footstools, benches and storage items are removed from the path to the bathroom, for example.​

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