OSU Study on E-Cigs and Vaping Finds Unsettling Results

At the Ohio State University researchers decided to tackle the hot-button issue of e-cigarette use (commonly known as “vaping”). The rising level of “vaping” among both traditional cigarette smokers as a “safer” alternative and among non-smokers is of concern since the products are fairly unregulated and new users have greatly outpaced the available research data.

Using a technique called bronchoscopy the OSU researchers were looking for inflammation and other smoking related effects. Using basic e-cigarettes (no nicotine and no flavor) researchers found a noticeable increase in inflammation after four weeks of use. Although compared to the control group the measure of inflammation was small this initial data tells us that even short term use is making changes to the body at the cellular level.

The inflammation from smoking is an important factor in lung cancer and other diseases of the respiratory system.

According to researchers any kind of cellular inflammation related to e-cig use is of concern. The reason? The biological and health effects of vaping propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine are currently unknown. While the FDA has stated that these are safe for food and cosmetics heating and inhaling the substances has not been widely studied. Researchers wanted to stress even thought the study was small the noticeable effects should be of concern and very much warrant further research.

The implication of the study is that long-term use compounded with increased use and adding in flavors and nicotine may create additional inflammation. The problem is that vaping is widely considered to be a “safer” alternative to smoking tobacco products and “safer” doesn’t mean “safe.”

How Moms and Dads Influence Their Adult Children’s Health

A new study at OSU found that some adults see their fathers and mothers pretty differently when it comes to how their parents influenced their health.

These researchers found by interviewing 45 married couples that mothers are likely to influence their adult children’s health in a similar way throughout their entire lives; by being involved and available when their children are in a crisis of health.

Dad had a pretty different role when it came to influencing their adult children’s health—they were most helpful by demonstrating to their adult children what not to do when it came to staying healthy.

Because there are few studies of this kind, the researchers decided that in-depth interviews where the best way to determine what topics were of highest concern to adult children when it came to health and their parents influence. They even asked the couples about the influence their in-laws might have on their health.

The majority of participants did not claim or perceive that their parents or in-laws had much impact on their health (either in a positive or negative manner—these folks claimed that they set pretty strict boundaries with in-laws and even their own parents. They mostly claimed that their marital relationship was prioritized when it came to health influence.

However, dependent on the issue, up to a quarter to a bit more than one third of the participants did feel parents or even their in-laws had an impact. The study also suggested that the gender of the participant had no important effects on the way participants perceived the influence of fathers and mothers on their health.

Again, the research suggests that when there was influence mothers had a positive influence by helping their ill adult children and fathers tended to serve as role models of what not to do to maintain good health.

OSU Researchers Find Link Between Partisan Media Consumption and Belief in “Fake News”

OSU researchers—through a recent study—now have a new perspective on why people who consume only partisan media outlets are more likely than their peers to believe a false statement about their side’s political opposites.

One debunked cause of such beliefs is the so-called “media bubble” in which a media consumer is exposed only to things they already believe or things that are false. In fact, the study found the strongest indicator of whether or not a consumer would believe a falsehood about their party’s opponent was the level at which the partisan media outlets they use promote hostility against the other party.

The researchers used data from the most recent 2016 and the previous 2012 presidential elections. The study found that US citizens who consumed a heavy dose of partisan media had stronger negative reactions to their political opponents. This dislike was then linked to a stronger likelihood to believe falsehoods or twisted facts about their political opponents.

While the study did suggest that the link between hostility, belief in falsehoods and partisan media consumption was more prominent among Republicans than Democrats, the researchers were quick to note that this was not the focus of the study and that their data alone wasn’t nearly enough to prove such an association.


Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine Warnings About Fad Diets and Pets

Just as new health and diet fads can be unhealthy or even dangerous for humans, Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine warns the same goes for our pets.

What one reads online or even in magazines about pet diets should be secondary to what our veterinarians recommend. If a pet owner is worried about their pet’s health and diet, they should consult their vet or a veterinary nutritionist.

Below the College of Veterinary Medicine lists some of these “hype” diets and why they probably aren’t a good choice for your pet.

While grain intolerance is a concern with some humans. They claim that food allergies, especially to grain is a very rare problem with pets. The FDA recently found in a study that dilated cardiomyopathy, a canine heart disease, was occurring in breeds who are not prone to it—they came to the conclusion that the cause was grain-free diets.

Another pet diet trend, usually for those who choose the diet for themselves, is vegetarian or vegan. According to the Ohio State vets, pets all need some meat in their diets because they are the best source for amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

Raw and prehistoric diets are another no-no for your pets. Ohio State vets warn that many raw diets are nutritionally deficient and put humans and pets at risk for infectious diseases.
The Ohio State vets final word on the subject was that pet owners should consult their vets before trying out “fad” diets on their pets.

Untangling the Genetic Troubles of the Florida Panther

Researchers have put together the first complete imagery of the Florida panther’s DNA. This work might be the key to protecting this endangered population and others. This is the only known population of puma east of the Mississippi River.

Florida panthers, in the mid 90’s, were experiencing tough times with less than 30 in the wild. The inevitable inbreeding that happened in such a small population caused the expected health troubles when this kind of close genetic mating. For these south eastern pumas this included heart failure, undescended testicles and pathogenic diseases.

The solution? Researchers placed eight female Texan pumas into the population hoping to expand the genetic pool.

Using advanced computing techniques researchers are doing a new study in which they are trying to better understand how the Texan pumas contributed to the genetic diversity of the population. One crucial finding was that genetic diversity tripled.

The previous population had a heart defect in 21% of pumas. This defect is now down to a mere 3 percent amidst the population.

Researchers hope their findings will help those working with endangered populations better understand the risks of small gene pools in endangered populations and how to detect those harmful mutations.