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November 3, 2017

Weekend reads: Doctors devise clever strategy to remove magnets from boy's nose

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Doctors come up with ingenious way to get magnets out of 11-year-old's nose. Doctors in Cyprus were faced with a difficult challenge when an 11-year-old boy presented at the ED with button magnets up his nose—where they had latched tightly on either side of his septum, according to a case study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Ultimately, the doctors came up with a creative solution: After putting the boy under general anesthesia, they took household magnets and positioned them outside the boy's nose to gently guide the button magnets out. While the boy has fully recovered, Craig Derkay—director of pediatric otolaryngology at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Virginia—said magnets remain a tempting problem for kids. "We fish things out of children's ears, noses, and throats on almost a daily basis," he said.

    This MRI can identify someone who is considering suicide. An MRI could potentially be used to identify whether someone is considering death by suicide, according to a study in Nature Human Behavior. For the study, researchers assessed 34 study participants—17 of whom were experiencing suicidal thoughts—as they processed a series of words while in an MRI. Ten of the words were positive, such as "carefree," "good," and "praise"; 10 were negative, such as "cruelty," "death," and "trouble"; and 10 words were related to suicide, such as "desperate" and "hopeless." Based on patients' reactions to the words, the researchers identified five areas of the brain and six words that could identify someone with suicidal tendencies, then formulated an algorithm to identify similar patterns. According to the study, the algorithm was not only able to correctly identify most patients who experienced suicidal thoughts and those who did not, but it correctly spotted 94% of those who had experienced suicidal thoughts and who had previously attempted death by suicide.

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    Why you keep hearing about "inflammation"—and what it means. "Inflammation" is a health buzzword of sorts, but what does it mean? Writing in the Washington Post, registered dietician Carrie Dennett explains "inflammation happens when your body reacts to something abnormal." While acute inflammation—which is what happens when you have an injury or infection—"is an orderly, healthy process," chronic inflammation isn't and can lead to long term diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Chronic inflammation can stem from several factors, including stress, lack of sleep, environmental pollutants, lack of exercise, and, of course, diet. While there isn't a specific anti-inflammatory diet, Dennett says the Mediterranean diet "is a good model to follow." She advises readers to eat more good fats, fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and whole grains, and less refined grains and fats from red meats and fried dishes.

    Stuffed with restaurants. There's been a boom of Wall Street investment in fast food, casual, and other chain restaurants over the last decade and a half, and now, experts say the market might be saturated. Victor Fernandez, an analyst at TDn2K—a firm that gathers data on the chain restaurant industry—said, "Year over year, we are seeing chain restaurants grow at twice the rate of overall population growth." He added, "We believe now there are probably too many restaurants and too many brands." While sales are up, growth has slowed. If restaurants have to close shop, it "could have a major impact on the labor market," Rachel Abrams and Robert Gebelloff report for the New York Times.

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