February 24, 2017

Weekend reads: Your heart is in your hands—literally

Daily Briefing

    The Daily Briefing editorial team highlights several interesting health care stories and studies that didn't quite make this week's Briefing. What are you reading this weekend? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    Are you an early bird or a night owl? In a new paper, psychologists have helped explain what it really means to be a morning or evening person. For the study, researchers looked at how "morningness" (being a morning person) and "eveningness" (being an evening person) were linked with the "big five" personality traits: Conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and extraversion. The researchers said while the links between the big five personality traits and morningness or eveningness were relatively "weak to modest," the strongest correlation was found between morningness and conscientiousness, while eveningness was a touch more correlated with extraversion and openness.

    Help for dad: Fathers are becoming increasingly involved with their families, but many dads face difficulty finding resources to help them parent with confidence, Juli Fraga reports for NPR's "Shots." Fathers' family involvement has increased more than twofold since 1965, but at the same time, recent research shows that about half of dads don't feel prepared for fatherhood. But things might be changing: Dads now have access to "'daddy blogs' ... written by dads for dads," and fathers have anecdotally shared their increasing reliance on fellow dads in their local communities for guidance.

    Sam Bernstein's reads

    Your heart is in your hands—literally: After a heart transplant surgery, most hospitals properly dispose of the removed organ after running the usual slate of tests. But in 2014, William Roberts, a cardiac pathologist and executive director of the Heart and Vascular Institute at Baylor University Medical Center, decided that the excised organs had a bit more to offer patients: He started letting select heart transplant patients actually see and hold their own hearts, all in an effort to teach them about the various causes of heart failure. Now entering its third year, Baylor's "Heart-to-Heart" program has enabled more than 70 transplant patients to see and hold their old hearts—and provided Baylor with a supply of safely stored organs for further study.

    We don't allow dancing in this town. If you haven't seen "Footloose," it's a seemingly absurd movie about an "upbeat Chicago teen"—Kevin Bacon—who moves to a small town that doesn't allow dancing. Well guess what? He loves dancing and soon everybody was kicking off their Sunday shoes. But the plot isn't quite as unrealistic as you may think. The city council in Henryetta, Oklahoma recently repealed an ordinance that had banned dancing within 500 feet of a church (No Kevin Bacon required).  

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