Harvard Medical School

18 Stories

As Doctor's Age Climbs, So Does Patient Death Rate

Researchers say finding is 'clinically important'

(Newser) - Having a more experienced doctor might not be best. That's the message from a Harvard Medical School study published in the British Medical Journal that appears to show patient mortality rate increases with the age of a doctor. The increase is small but significant: In a study of more... More »

Animal Cruelty Found at Harvard Labs

Monkeys, mice, die thanks to inhumane, careless treatment

(Newser) - The USDA has issued an official citation against the Harvard Medical School for repeated incidents of cruelty to its lab animals. Four of the school's monkeys have died in less than two years, including one that was still in its cage when it was put through a mechanical washer,... More »

Mammograms Not Very Effective: Study

They have only a 'modest' impact on reducing breast cancer deaths

(Newser) - Mammograms don’t save as many lives as women may believe, according to a new study. Researchers from Harvard and Norway have concluded mammograms have only a “modest” impact on breast cancer deaths, accounting for about a third of the drop in deaths seen in Norway since the 1980s.... More »

Harvard Probes Poisoning at Med School Lab

Office coffee caused fainting, dizziness, ringing in the ears

(Newser) - Harvard Medical School is investigating after six workers in the pathology department were poisoned by coffee prepared near their lab. The researchers and students were treated and released after suffering dizziness, low blood pressure, and other symptoms during the August incident. "As the investigation continues, we are being prudent... More »

Another Harvard Prof Accuses Police of Racism

(Newser) - Another black member of Harvard's faculty has accused the Cambridge Police Department of racism, the Boston Globe reports. S. Allen Counter, a Harvard Medical School professor, was arrested outside his home in 2006 on assault and battery charges. “I was polite, and yet police lied and said I was... More »

Terminally Ill Patients Avoid Hospice Talk

Doctors, poorly trained in breaking bad news, also procrastinate

(Newser) - Doctors and patients are prone to procrastinate when it comes to tough end-of-life decisions, according to a Harvard study. Researchers found that only about half of the 1,517 terminal lung cancer patients surveyed had discussed hospice with their doctors within four to seven months of their diagnosis. Hospice care... More »

Pharma Infiltrates Harvard's Ivory Tower

Med school is in ethics crisis, say some students and profs

(Newser) - The tentacles of big pharma have made their way into the upper echelons of academia, the New York Times reports: Harvard Medical School is packed with professors with industry ties, and that has students concerned. With 149 profs connected to Pfizer and 130 to Merck, fears that the influence of... More »

Vitamins Lower Risk of Vision Loss: Study

B vitamins, folic acid shown to decrease macular degeneration

(Newser) - Folic acid and two B vitamins lowered the risk of vision loss in middle-age women who took the supplements for several years as part of a study, the Boston Globe reports. The study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that the combination lowered... More »

Boob Tube Linked to Depression

As teen TV time rises, so does adult depression

(Newser) - Teenagers who watch too much television may risk depression as adults, according to a new study. Each additional hour of daily television viewing by adolescents boosted their odds of becoming depressed as young adults by 8%, reports the Los Angeles Times. Watching videos, playing computer games and listening to the... More »

New Drug Promises Better Sleep for the Jet-Lagged

Substance works a lot like today's popular but unregulated melatonin supplements

(Newser) - A new drug promises to put an end to jet lag and enable better sleep for travelers, swing-shift crews, and insomniacs, the Economist reports. Tasimelteon works a lot like today's popular but unregulated melatonin supplements, bonding with brain receptors to stimulate melatonin production and REM sleep. The distinction is significant... More »

Study Backs Virtual Colonoscopy

Computer scan as effective as invasive procedure

(Newser) - A new study has found a virtual colonoscopy to be almost as effective as a conventional invasive procedure in detecting colon cancer, USA Today reports. Virtual colonoscopies, using scans and computer imaging, discovered 90% of the cancers located by regular colonoscopies, in which a scope is physically passed through the... More »

Peer Pressure Helps Snuff Habit

Researchers see group ripple effect for people trying to stop smoking

(Newser) - New research shows people quit smoking not as individuals but in complex social clusters, each strongly influencing the others. Friends, spouses, relatives, and other social contacts all exercise an overwhelming sway over individual decisions to quit. The study covered 58,000 people from 1971 to 2003, the New York Times ... More »

Parkinson's Spreads to Transplanted Cells

Disease found in healthy cells grafted to sufferers' brains

(Newser) - Transplanting healthy cells into the brains of people with Parkinson's alleviates symptoms, but sufferers showed signs of deterioration as the disease spread to the grafted cells, according to two studies in the journal Nature Medicine. Scientists in Sweden and Chicago discovered similar results in patients who received cell transplants up... More »

Cancer Pioneer Folkman Dead

Revolutionized treatment by cutting off blood supply to tumors

(Newser) - Cancer researcher Judah Folkman, whose insights and tenacity spawned a whole new branch of oncology, died Monday at age 74, the Boston Globe reports. Folkman pioneered the notion that cancer tumors could be halted if their blood supply was cut off; he persevered despite decades of skepticism in the field... More »

No Extra Exam Time for Nursing Mom

Judge rejects Harvard med student's suit, tells her to take test later

(Newser) - A Massachusetts court has denied a Harvard med student's suit demanding extra break time during a 9-hour medical licensing exam to pump breast milk for her 4-month-old child. Sophie Currier, 33, sued on grounds that she must nurse her infant daughter or pump milk every 2 to 3 hours or... More »

You Say 'Tomato,' FDA Says 'Not a Cancer Cure-All'

Study shows no link between lycopene and reduced risk of many types of the disease

(Newser) - Tomatoes and lycopene, the pigment that gives them their color, do not prevent cancer, the FDA says, contradicting preliminary research. Researchers analyzed 145 studies of lycopene, tomatoes, and cancer risk and found "no credible evidence" that the vegetable wards off lung, colorectal, breast, cervical or uterine cancers, according to... More »

New Cancer Ideas Compete for $1 Million

A Harvard doctor and two hedge fund managers set up contest for cancer cure

(Newser) - Doctors and hedge fund managers are joining forces to battle cancer with a million-dollar prize for the most imaginative new approach. The Gotham Prize for Cancer Research will be awarded to the most innovative essay—posted to the website—on finding a cure for cancer. Leading medical researchers will judge... More »

New Breast Scan Beats Mammogram

Uses near-infrared rays to illuminate tumors and sort benign from malignant

(Newser) - A new type of breast scan promises to pick up the tumors mammograms often miss and to distinguish between benign and malignant masses—without surgery. The technology relies on harmless near-infrared light to illuminate the masses, which glow when exposed to a particular chemical combination. More »

18 Stories