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One College Has Unique Approach to Preventing Sexual Assaults

Wave­break Media/Thinkstock(HAMILTON, N.Y.) — Col­gate Uni­ver­sity is doing its part in the national cam­paign to end sex­ual vio­lence on col­lege campuses.

The idea is one that might catch on else­where because stu­dents who take a sem­i­nar on sex­ual con­sent can use those cred­its toward the school’s Phys Ed requirements.

Dur­ing the class, which meets for six weeks per semes­ter, stu­dents are assigned to read and dis­cuss Jes­sica Valenti’s book, Yes Means Yes!, which means that both peo­ple give con­scious and vol­un­tary con­sent to hav­ing sex. At the com­ple­tion of the course, each stu­dent must expound on an ideal sex­ual cli­mate on campus.

Although the Yes Means Yes sem­i­nar is referred to as an extracur­ric­u­lar pro­gram, its pur­pose is par­tic­u­larly seri­ous.  And for Col­gate stu­dents, a rel­a­tively pain­less way to get out of Phys Ed for one semester.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Walnuts Might Slow Onset of Alzheimer's

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wal­nuts are not everyone’s cup of tea but even those who aren’t fans of the nut can’t ignore some impor­tant find­ings by the New York State Insti­tute for Basic Research in Devel­op­men­tal Disabilities.

After con­duct­ing exper­i­ments with mice prone to Alzheimer’s dis­ease, researchers say that their learn­ing skills, mem­ory and motor skills all improved after con­sum­ing walnuts.

On top of that, the walnut-fed mice, com­pared to those who didn’t get the nuts, also expe­ri­enced less anxiety.

It’s believed that the anti-oxidants found in wal­nuts pro­tect the brain from amy­loid beta, a pro­tein that kills cells which has­tens dementia.

All it took to help the mice ward off Alzheimer’s dis­ease was the human equiv­a­lent of one to one-and-a-half ounces of wal­nuts daily. Of course, more tests are needed to deter­mine if peo­ple can also cap­i­tal­ize on the sur­prise ben­e­fits of walnuts.

One caveat: the study was funded partly by the Cal­i­for­nia Wal­nut Commission.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Careful, Your Dishcloth Might Make You Sick

iStock/Thinkstock(TUCSON, Ariz.) — Who could have a bad word to say about a dis­chcloth, an essen­tial kitchen acces­sory that also cuts down on the expense of buy­ing paper towels?

Unfor­tu­nately, researchers at the Uni­ver­sity of Arizona’s Zuck­er­man Col­lege of Pub­lic Health feel they need to alert the pub­lic about the dan­gers of dishcloths.

If that sounds some­what alarmist, the researchers con­tend that almost nine out of ten dish­cloths, and sponges as well, are con­t­a­m­i­nated with col­iform bac­te­ria, which is present in the diges­tive tracts of humans and ani­mals and found in their waste.

Mean­while, E. coli was also present in one out of four dish­cloths and sponges.

All this would prob­a­bly want to make peo­ple ditch the dish­cloth, con­sid­er­ing the bac­terium can be trans­ferred to plates, uten­sils, kitchen coun­ters or just about any­thing it touches.

The way to keep things as clean as pos­si­ble, accord­ing to the researchers, is through “fre­quent replace­ment or decon­t­a­m­i­na­tion of kitchen tow­els.” And the best way to decon­t­a­m­i­nate them? Soak the cloth in bleach for two minutes.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


The Antidote to College Problems May Be a Therapy Dog

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Ther­apy dogs are not just for the phys­i­cally dis­abled or the elderly any­more. In an effort to relieve the lone­li­ness and other emo­tional prob­lems felt by many stu­dents, three col­leges part­nered to learn if ther­apy dogs could also be of help on campuses.

The results, as reported by Geor­gia State Uni­ver­sity, Idaho State Uni­ver­sity and Savan­nah Col­lege of Art and Design, were that symp­toms of lone­li­ness and anx­i­ety fell by 60 per­cent when stu­dents inter­acted with a ther­apy dog.

Dur­ing the exper­i­ment, stu­dents showed up twice a month at a col­lege coun­sel­ing cen­ter to do what­ever activ­ity they liked with the dog for up to two hours under the super­vi­sion of a licensed men­tal health practitioner.

Ulti­mately, most said their time with the pet was the most sig­nif­i­cant part of the coun­sel­ing session.

Researcher Franco Dis­penza agreed that ther­apy ani­mals can prove invalu­able given the pres­sures and stress of col­lege life these days, which can be exac­er­bated by prob­lems stu­dents may have already had before enter­ing a school.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Why Stretching Is a Waste of Time for Runners

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — After years of nurs­ing a per­pet­ual hip injury, 48-year-old Amanda Loudin finally stopped doing the one thing she always believed would help her the most: Stretch­ing. Once she aban­doned her post-run stretch ses­sion, she said her hip started feel­ing better.

I always assumed stretch­ing was part of the solu­tion for my run­ning injuries,” said Loudin, a Bal­ti­more writer who runs 45 to 60 miles a week. “But after doing my research, I real­ized I was prob­a­bly doing more harm than good.”

Loudin gave up stretch­ing a few years ago but for the major­ity of run­ners, toe touches and quad stretches are still an inte­gral part of their rit­ual. Most were taught in high school that reach­ing into a stretch and hold­ing it for 30 sec­onds or so is a good way to pre­serve the joints and pre­vent injury.

The evi­dence, how­ever, sug­gests otherwise.

Take, for exam­ple, a large analy­sis of mul­ti­ple stud­ies recently per­formed by sci­en­tists at the Cen­ters of Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. It found that run­ners who stretched were just as likely to be plagued with injuries as those who never both­ered. Another study that looked at more than 1,500 seri­ous male marathon­ers found that those who stretched on a reg­u­lar basis — whether before or after a run — actu­ally had 33 per­cent more injuries than those who didn’t, even tak­ing things like age and aver­age weekly mileage into account.

Even worse, some stud­ies sug­gest that stretch­ing may be detri­men­tal to per­for­mance. A 2010 Florida State Uni­ver­sity inves­ti­ga­tion found that trained dis­tance run­ners who did a series of sta­tic stretches before a time trial wasted about 5 per­cent more energy and cov­ered 3 per­cent less dis­tance than run­ners who didn’t stretch.

Your ten­dons don’t need to be that pli­able for run­ning,” said Jason Karp, an exer­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist and run­ning coach based in San Diego. “Most injuries are from the pound­ing of run­ning, some­thing stretch­ing can’t do much about.”

Karp explained that since most com­mon run­ning injuries tend to occur within a muscle’s nor­mal range of motion, attempt­ing to stretch past what a mus­cle can nor­mally do offers no pro­tec­tion. And forc­ing the mus­cle to lengthen to the point of pain will likely cause it to tighten up rather than relax. This in turn can irri­tate the mus­cle fibers, exac­er­bat­ing an injury and pos­si­bly caus­ing it to linger, he speculated.

Karp explained that the very idea that run­ners should be chas­ing flex­i­bil­ity is some­what ques­tion­able anyway.

The only thing stretch­ing might be good for is increas­ing stride length and run­ning flu­id­ity, some­thing that might be help­ful to older run­ners,” he said.

But Jim Whar­ton, a New York-based exer­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist who has worked with Olympians and world record hold­ers, said he thought run­ners do need to focus on flex­i­bil­ity — but in a very spe­cific way.

If you don’t have joint range of motion, you begin to fight against grav­ity and you start to shuf­fle,” Whar­ton said, adding that part of the prob­lem is that most exer­cis­ers stretch the wrong way.

Because mus­cles work in pairs, the best way to get a mus­cle to relax is to first tighten the mus­cle on the oppo­site side of the joint,” Whar­ton explained. “Instead of mov­ing into a stretch and hold­ing it, you gen­tly move through a series of posi­tions, iso­lat­ing one mus­cle group at a time.”

To stretch the ham­strings in the back of the thigh, lift your leg up in front of you 8 to 10 times with­out forc­ing it any higher than com­fort­able, Whar­ton explained. Because kick­ing upward causes the quadri­ceps in the front of the thighs to con­tract, the ham­strings must relax, Whar­ton said. To stretch out the quads, reverse and kick the leg back behind you, he said.

There is lit­tle evi­dence to sup­port this “dynamic stretch­ing” the­ory beyond a few small stud­ies that sug­gested adding movement-oriented flex­i­bil­ity exer­cises either after a warm up or at the end of a work out does not cause injury and may improve over­all run­ning performance.

Whar­ton said that he’s used the method suc­cess­fully with thou­sands of run­ners. Karp also uses a sim­i­lar tech­nique with his clients.

Loudin for one is a believer in dynamic stretch­ing. She now warms up with a series of swings, kicks and lunges to loosen up her mus­cles and get her blood flowing.

It felt strange at first but the voice in back of my head says it’s the right thing to do,” she said. “In run­ning you some­times have to let go of your long-held beliefs.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Virus-Free, Mom Says

Debra Berry(DALLAS) — A Dal­las nurse who con­tracted Ebola from Liber­ian national Thomas Eric Dun­can is virus-free, her mother said in a state­ment obtained by ABC News.

Amber Vin­son became the sec­ond per­son to con­tract Ebola in the United States after she treated Dun­can at Texas Health Pres­by­ter­ian Hos­pi­tal in Dal­las. Dun­can died of the virus on Oct. 8, and Vinson’s fel­low nurse, Nina Pham, 26, tested pos­i­tive for Ebola on Oct. 11.

Vin­son, 29, was diag­nosed on Oct. 15 and trans­ported to the iso­la­tion unit at Emory Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal for treatment.

We are over­joyed to announce that, as of yes­ter­day [Tues­day] evening, offi­cials at Emory Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal and the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol are no longer able to detect virus in her body,” the fam­ily said in the state­ment Wednes­day, adding that Vin­son should be able to leave the iso­la­tion unit.

Amber and our fam­ily are ecsta­tic to receive this lat­est report on her con­di­tion,” Vinson’s mother, Debra Berry, said in a state­ment. “We all know that fur­ther treat­ment will be nec­es­sary as Amber con­tin­ues to regain strength, but these lat­est devel­op­ments have truly answered prayers and bring our fam­ily one step closer to reunit­ing with her at home.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Boy Battling Inoperable Brain Cancer Gets His Own Superhero Theme Song

iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — When Chad Carr fell and broke his nose, the four-year-old boy’s par­ents took him to a hos­pi­tal. Med­ical staffers saw him and sent him home, but the inci­dent had his mother think­ing about all the other times her son had fallen.

I just said I think we have to take him back to the ER, I don’t think something’s right.…,” Tammi Carr, of Ann Arbor, Michi­gan, told ABC News.

While Carr and her hus­band, Jason, waited on the results of an MRI that was to have taken two hours but which took over three hours instead, Carr said she knew some­thing was wrong.

When the anes­the­si­ol­o­gist came out I just knew some­thing was really bad because she lit­er­ally couldn’t look at us and she’d been crying…so it was — she just said they found some­thing, and then a doc­tor came in later and told us what it was,” Carr said.

The Carrs were told that their son -– the youngest of their three young boys –- had dif­fuse intrin­sic pon­tine glioma (DIPG), an aggres­sive, inop­er­a­ble tumor in his brain stem.

He was soon started on radi­a­tion and put into a clin­i­cal drug trial at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan. Asked about his prog­no­sis, Carr said doc­tors said it was “not good,” but she added that her son has been improving.

One bright spot came in the form of a text from a friend, who wrote that his fam­ily had been inspired by Chad’s chal­lenge and was writ­ing a song about him. He sent them lyrics, and Carr said the song was “totally catchy and adorable.”

It became Chad’s own super­hero theme, with rous­ing music and lyrics that extol the virtues of a boy who’s “stronger than the dark­est night, faster than the speed of light,” with a chant in the back­ground: “We need Chad tough.” The video fea­tures appear­ances by Chad, his two broth­ers, his cousins, his father, and the bas­ket­ball team of the Uni­ver­sity of Michigan.

The video, first posted to YouTube on Mon­day, now has over 6,000 views.

Carr said, “It’s a great song. It’s some­thing I’m going to cher­ish forever.”

Pro­ceeds from the sale of the song will go for Chad’s care and treat­ment. A sep­a­rate GoFundMe page for Chad had raised more than $9,000 of the stated $50,000 goal. That fund was started fif­teen days ago.

Carr hopes the fam­ily won’t have to use the funds.

It’s our goal that we don’t have to use that and we can do some­thing great with it for research but if our son needs it then we’re going to do what­ever we can, so it’s great to have that started. It’s a peace of mind for sure because there’s a lot com­ing our way. We don’t exactly know yet what it is but none of it is expen­sive,” she said.

Carr said Chad is being kept out of preschool while he under­goes treatment.

We want to make sure we’re spend­ing time with him as much as we can and, you know, God will­ing, he’s able to go back to school next year and, you know, get ready for kinder­garten the next year,” she said.

Carr said her fam­ily also has a fund started at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan for brain can­cer research.

I worked in rais­ing money for 11 years to build the hos­pi­tal that we’re get­ting treated in now,” she said, adding that the build­ing that houses the unit where her son is treated bears her father-in-law’s name. “It’s just crazy.”

Carr is pleased that the video has caught on, not only because it’s spread­ing her son’s story, but also because it’s giv­ing her the oppor­tu­nity to spread the mes­sage about the impor­tance for greater fund­ing for child­hood can­cer research.

Accord­ing to the National Can­cer Insti­tute, child­hood can­cer is the top cause of disease-related deaths among chil­dren and ado­les­cents up to age 19 in the United States. DIPG affects between 200 and 300 chil­dren every year, and the out­look for patients is gen­er­ally poor, accord­ing to infor­ma­tion from the National Insti­tutes of Health.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


CDC to Monitor All Travelers Coming from Ebola-Affected Countries

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — All peo­ple return­ing to the United States from Ebola-affected coun­tries will undergo 21-day mon­i­tor­ing, Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion announced on Wednesday.

Trav­el­ers arriv­ing from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where Ebola has killed more than 4,000 peo­ple since the worst out­break of the virus in his­tory began in March, will be given a home kit with a ther­mome­ter and Ebola infor­ma­tion so that they can self-monitor and report to the CDC, accord­ing to the agency.

If they do not report, offi­cials will track them down, the CDC said.

Trav­el­ers will need to take their tem­per­a­ture twice daily and answer sev­eral ques­tions about their symp­toms, accord­ing to the CDC.

The pro­gram will focus on the six states that see about 70 per­cent of the traf­fic from these regions: Geor­gia, Mary­land, New Jer­sey, New York, Penn­syl­va­nia and Virginia.

Some states may mon­i­tor these trav­el­ers in person.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio