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Is It Time to Do Away with Nap Time?

Is It Time to Do Away with Nap Time?

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(BRISBANE, Australia) -- As the joke goes, kids at nap time are often guilty of resisting a rest. But parents know that naps can be beneficial for youngsters while also giving adults a much-needed break.However, there seems to be some difference of opinion on whether daytime naps are really worthwhile, based on a study from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia.After analyzing 26 studies concerning the sleep habits of children from infancy through age five, lead study author Karen Thorpe and her team contend that naps for kids two and older might not be the best thing for them because daytime nappers tend to have a more difficult time falling asleep at night.Apparently, this has to do with something called homeostatic drive, a pressure that builds during waking hours. As a result, when there’s less homeostatic drive, the urge to sleep at night isn’t as great.Despite these findings, the Australian research team says naps still offer cognitive and physical benefits so they don’t recommend parents try to rouse tired kids who might need to grab a quick 40 winks.Essentially, since every kid is different, parents should decide if and when a child should nap.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Getting Bullied at Work Leads to More Bullying

Getting Bullied at Work Leads to More Bullying

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NORWICH, England) -- People bullied at work often don’t have the wherewithal to bounce back from harassment, which makes them vulnerable to other attacks by bullies.Researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, say that a study of nearly 350 Spanish employees found that those who were bullied often experienced “deteriorated mental health and decreased well-being.”As a result, this left many of them weakened psychologically and turned them into easy targets for even more abuse.Researcher Dr. Ana Sanz Vergel emphasized that in no way was the study trying to blame victims for not being strong enough to stand up to others who harass, offend or isolate them at the office. Rather, according to Dr. Sanz Vergel, “Employers need to have strong policies against workplace bullying."She adds that "training programs to help victims learn coping mechanisms could help to break the vicious cycle."Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Promising New Treatment for Advanced Breast Cancer

Promising New Treatment for Advanced Breast Cancer

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Nearly one in five women with breast cancer will have a form of the disease termed "HER-2 positive," a type associated with more aggressive cancer. Now, a new treatment regimen tested in a phase three trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows promising results, extending the lives of women taking it by 15.7 months compared to those taking the standard treatment. The regimen involves adding a third drug called Pertuzumab to the currently used combo of the cancer drugs Trastuzumab and Docetaxel. Researchers looked at about 800 women with advanced disease for who a prior treatment had already failed. When researchers compared the women taking this three-drug combo to those taking the standard two-drug combo, those taking the additional drug survived 56.5 months on average, compared to 40.8 months for women taking only the two drugs. Moreover, researchers said that side effects and adverse events did not increase or change significantly in the Pertuzumab group.

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Los Angeles Hospital Warns of ‘Superbug’ Exposure

Los Angeles Hospital Warns of ‘Superbug’ Exposure

joeygil/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- More than 160 patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center may have been exposed to deadly bacteria.  Hospital officials confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday the bacteria was spread through contaminated medical scopes used during endoscopic procedures between October 2014 and January 2015. The superbug is known as CRE, and it may have contributed to two patients dying. Fears linger that more confirmed cases of the bacteria could emerge.Federal, state and local health officials are investigating the outbreak in Los Angeles, and warning letters, as well as home testing kits, have been sent to those potentially at risk.

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Undetected Ectopic Pregnancy Leaves Woman in Coma

Undetected Ectopic Pregnancy Leaves Woman in Coma

Courtesy Avila Family(ANAHEIM, Calif.) -- The family of a pregnant woman who has been in a coma since Sunday is blaming the hospital that they say failed to realize she was experiencing a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and bleeding internally. Lisa Avila, 36, of Anaheim, California, was 12 weeks pregnant when she woke up on Valentine's Day with severe pain in her abdomen, her aunt, Jessica Jule, said at a news conference Tuesday.

Doctors at Anaheim Regional Medical Center's emergency room did an ultrasound, said her baby was fine and sent her away with a prescription for painkillers, Jule said. Afterward, her husband left her in their car while he went into a pharmacy, and when he returned, Avila was unconscious and not breathing, Jule said. Paramedics rushed her back to the same hospital, where they learned Avila had an ectopic pregnancy, meaning the fetus was developing outside the uterus, Jule said. The ectopic pregnancy ruptured, causing her to bleed internally, the aunt said. "She needed emergency surgery to stop the bleeding," Jule said at the news conference outside the hospital. The next day, Avila, who has seven other children, slipped into a coma, Jule said. "Why did they make my niece leave this hospital when obviously there was something wrong?" Jule said. "How could they say the baby was fine if it was an ectopic pregnancy and you did an ultrasound?" Avila's family, including Jule, could not be reached by ABC News for comment. Anaheim Regional Medical Center released the following statement: "Patient safety is Anaheim Regional Medical Center’s foremost priority and we are committed to providing the highest quality care to every patient we serve. The physicians, nurses and staff at Anaheim Regional Medical Center care deeply for the health of this patient and our thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family. Patient privacy laws prevent us from sharing any additional information." Ectopic pregnancies are relatively common and occur in about 1 percent of all pregnancies, said Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, chief of general obstetrics and gynecology at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. As a result, hospitals have experience spotting and treating them, she said. "Some of them are very easy to diagnose, and they get diagnosed every day in the emergency room," she said, explaining that if a woman has a positive pregnancy test, but a doctor can't spot the embryo in the "frame" of her uterus on an ultrasound, that's usually enough to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. But sometimes a doctor can't spot an ectopic pregnancy until he or she operates, said Dr. Keith Eddleman, director of obstetrics at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. "If you have a patient in the first trimester with abdominal pain and bleeding and you can't see the pregnancy inside the uterus -- and you have a positive pregnancy test -- you have to assume it's ectopic until proven otherwise because it is life-threatening," Eddleman said. Although most ectopic pregnancies develop in the fallopian tubes, they can also develop on the ovary or elsewhere in the abdomen, but it's extremely rare, said Dr. Jennifer Ashton ,a senior medical contributor for ABC News and practicing obstetrician-gynecologist. Another rare possibility that would make an ectopic pregnancy harder to diagnose would be something called a heterotopic pregnancy, or when one embryo starts developing in the uterus and another starts developing in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies usually rupture at about five or six weeks, when the fallopian tube can't stretch to hold the developing embryo as it grows, so a 12-week ectopic pregnancy is unusual, Greenfield said. "Ruptured ectopic pregnancy is the number one cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester," Ashton said. "If it ruptures, women can lose liters of blood very quickly." Signs include pelvic pain on one side, dark red vaginal bleeding and a positive pregnancy test, Ashton said. Because they ultimately lead to life-threatening miscarriages, treatment for ectopic pregnancy is usually surgery or medication to end the pregnancy. None of these doctors has treated Avila.

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Paralyzed Teen Walks in New York Fashion Week

Paralyzed Teen Walks in New York Fashion Week

malexeum/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Megan Silcott seems like a typical teenager, one who loves spending time with her family and dreams of a career in fashion.But make no mistake, there is nothing ordinary about this Maryland teen.Life as Silcott knows it today began two years ago.“When I was 16 years old, one night I was out with my friends and I had to come home, I didn’t feel that great,” she said. “I went to bed and I woke up in the morning and I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t walk.”Silcott, once an athlete and aspiring model, was paralyzed overnight from the neck down.An undiagnosed case of mononucleosis (mono) led to acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), a rare neurological disorder that attacked Silcott's brain and spine.“I couldn’t believe it,” Silcott recalled. “I thought, ‘Why did this happen to me? How am I not walking?’”For many teens the inability to walk might have been soul-crushing, but that was not the case for Silcott, who never gave up on her dreams of modeling.“I told myself I was going to heal from this and I was going to be able to pursue everything I wanted to pursue before,” she said.Her mom, Jen Silcott, still remembers what the neurologist told the family about Megan's recovery.“The neurologist said to me that this was not going to be a sprint, it was going to be a marathon,” Jen Silcott recalled.Today, that marathon continues at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, where Megan Silcott has been making great strides.“She started out kind of in the power chair, with not a ton of function in her arms or legs, and she’s progressed to walking with the walker,” said her physical therapist, Lizzie Neighbors.The biggest leap forward for Silcott came this winter when the fashion designer Nina Perdomo called Silcott and asked her to walk in New York Fashion Week wearing one of Perdomo’s designs.“I design for a woman that is strong and knows what she wants from life,” Perdomo said. “And I feel like Megan is the perfect example of that.”"I think just getting out there and showing everyone I can do it," Silcott said when asked what she was most looking forward to in her runway debut. "That I'm confident enough to walk down the runway with a walker."On Monday night, Silcott walked down the prestigious runway, taking center stage at Lincoln Center in New York City."Here I was not able to move, not thinking I would ever be able to walk again," she said. "You know, it just goes to show that anything is possible and if you put your mind to it, it can get done."

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Myth Debunked: Treadmill Just As Good as Road Running

Myth Debunked: Treadmill Just As Good as Road Running

YanLev/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Frigid temperatures and unrelenting snow mean a lot of exercisers stuck indoors grinding out their miles on a treadmill. Many of them wonder if their run to nowhere is somehow inferior to hitting the pavement, track or trails.Let’s break it down:BiomechanicsTreadmill running has a few negligible variations in biomechanics compared to outdoor running, said exercise physiologist Reed Ferber, who is the director of the running injury clinic at the University of Calgary in Canada.“You have more forward lean from your trunk and more flexion at the hips and knees when you run on a treadmill because you don’t need to generate as much power at the same speed as you do running on level ground outdoors,” he said. “For the average runner, this doesn’t mean much.”Calorie BurnStudies show there are miniscule differences in calorie burn when running at the same speed and incline on a treadmill compared to outdoors. These differences only become meaningful at speeds faster than about 8.5 miles per hour -- which, let’s face it, is way faster than an average runner’s pace, Ferber noted.Ferber said that speedsters can incline their treadmill by 1 or 2 percent to make up the difference.InjuryThere are no studies comparing the injury rate or types of injuries you get on a treadmill versus running outdoors. However, Ferber still cautions runners who spend their winters on the treadmill to cut their mileage in half when they finally get back out on the road.“When you run outdoors, your calf muscles produce about 80 percent of the forward propulsion power but this drops significantly on a treadmill because the ground moves underneath you,” he said. “When you transition from the treadmill to the road, you could be at risk for calf strains, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.”BoredomTreadmill workouts are the exercise equivalent of watching paint dry for many people, Ferber admitted. Some exercisers tend to cut their workouts short out of sheer boredom.But studies have shown distraction techniques like listening to music, watching a movie or taking a treadmill class can help speed up time. Ferber also recommended playing around with any preprogrammed workouts that automatically change speed and incline to help keep the brain engaged.

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The Secret Weapon of CEOs, Basketball Pros to Get in the Zone

The Secret Weapon of CEOs, Basketball Pros to Get in the Zone

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Basketball legend Michael Jordan’s weapon of choice early in his career was his slam dunk, but he also had a secret weapon in his arsenal: meditation.George Mumford was Jordan’s meditation coach, and he said practicing mindfulness helped Jordan and his other clients -- including Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant -- get in the zone."If you really look at the elite athletes, you will find they have this ability to be in a moment and actually slow things down," Mumford told ABC News. "Mindful meditation helps them do that."Meditation is a practice that’s more than 1,000 years old and involves pausing to focus on breathing and relaxation.Off the basketball court, experts say meditation is becoming more common in the corporate board room as well.Bill George, former CEO of medical device company Medtronic, said he used to meditate in secret behind a closed office door. Now a fellow at Harvard Business School, he meditates 20 minutes, twice a day with the door wide open.Meditation "was the best thing that ever happened to me, in terms of staying grounded," he told ABC News. "It has helped me become a much better leader."Leading companies such as Google, Aetna and General Mills have meditation programs for their employees. George teaches a Harvard course on leadership and requires students to do a reflective practice, in which they quiet down and either meditate or answer introspective questions in a journal.“To be a successful leader you need to be authentic, grounded, and you need to be mindful," George said.Meditation helps in the business world by helping people “get out of [their] own way," said Dr. Judson Brewer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School."Suddenly, you are in the zone," he said.When a basketball player is caught thinking about the shot they just missed, they are more likely to miss the shot in the next moment, Brewer said. Meditation techniques help people train their minds to stay in the present without getting caught up thinking about other stressors."Don't believe me, just try it a little bit and see if it is actually helpful for you," Brewer said.

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Are You Using Your Brain’s Full Capacity?

Are You Using Your Brain’s Full Capacity?

janulla/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A myth persists in popular culture that humans only use 10 percent of their brain. People have even gone so far as to explore the idea that tapping in to the unused parts of our brains would give us supernatural powers, as seen in the 2014 film Lucy.Dr. Ashley Winter, urologist in residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital, explains:“We love the idea that we only use 10 percent of our brain, it gives us this feeling of untapped potential that if only we could use more of our brain we would be able to move objects with thought or see into the future. But in reality, this isn’t true.”There are two types of cells in the brain -- neurons, the thinking cells, and glial cells, which perform maintenance functions.“And while you’re using all of these cells, they’re not all doing the thinking,” says Winter.So no, you can’t achieve special powers or telekinesis by using 100 percent of your brain -- in fact, you’re already using 100 percent.

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College Student Tries Out New Meal Plan with ’30 Days of Bugs’

College Student Tries Out New Meal Plan with ’30 Days of Bugs’

Camren Brantley-Rios(AUBURN, Ala.) -- Forget ramen and Doritos -- one college student is spending 30 days supplementing his usual college diet with an unusual ingredient: bugs.As he notes on his blog, “30 Days of Bugs," Camren Brantley-Rios, a senior at Auburn University in Alabama, experiments with turning creepy-crawly ingredients into delicious dishes.Brantley-Rios, 21, said he has been so successful he even got his mom on board."My mom had some chocolate-covered crickets and stuff like that," he added. "She’s been great about it."Brantley-Rios said the results of his cooking experiments have been mainly positive, although he admits he had to overcome his own "ick" factor when he tried his first bug-filled meal."I had a little bit of trouble with the mealworms; they were still squirming around," he said of preparing his first dish of a mealworm omelet.But after properly cooking and seasoning the worms, Brantley-Rios was surprised by the results."It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was nutty, a little buttery and kind of reminded me of popcorn," he said.While waxworm sushi and mealworm omelets earned rave reviews, not every dish was a winner. A dinner made of silkworm pupae, or “caterpillars transitioning into silk moths,” left a “bad aftertaste," Brantley-Rios said.But Brantley-Rios’ goal is to show people that anyone, even a broke college student, can incorporate insects into their diet.“There are also over a thousand edible insects with unique flavors and an infinite number of ways to prepare them,” he writes on his website. “Why not try something new?”He also pointed out that insects can be produced more efficiently and in an environmentally-friendly manner, compared with other meats.Experts say that eating creepy-crawly insects is nothing new and they're common ingredient in certain cultures, where they provide key protein and vitamins.“Much of the rest of the world, Asia, Africa, South America and Australia certainly… it’s an important part of their diet,” said Audrey Maretzki, a Pennsylvania State University emeritus professor of food science and nutrition. “They’re high in protein and high in calories. They’ve got other trace minerals. It makes them a desirable part of the diet.”Jason Dombroskie, collection manager at the Cornell University Insect Selection and the coordinator for their insect diagnostic lab, said he hopes projects like “30 Days of Bugs” will encourage people to be more adventurous in their dining.“I hope it’s a shift. I’m seeing it's more and more acceptable for people to try it,” Dombroksie said of eating insects.With ten days left on this "30 day" challenge, Brantley-Rios is ramping up on the exotic ingredients for his final bug-filled meals."I just ordered some tarantulas today and cockroaches just came in the mail, and scorpions are a little bit expensive," he said, though noting he might treat himself to the venomous arthropods for his final meal.

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Do Selfies Boost Self-Esteem?

Do Selfies Boost Self-Esteem?

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- A group that ought to know a thing or two about people's preoccupation with their looks sees nothing unhealthy about youth culture's fascination with taking selfies.Transform Cosmetic Surgery, a leading cosmetic surgery group in Britain, argues that selfies are actually a good thing, in that they seem to boost confidence and self-esteem among the young."It is interesting, but not surprising, to see that looks and image are very important to young people," says Steven Taylor of Transform Cosmetic Surgery.Taylor admits he doesn't know whether this fascination with self-image has always existed, or if it's more "heavily influenced by the onset and proliferation of social media profiles and platforms."Whatever the case, a Transform Cosmetic Surgery poll of 2,000 people ages 18-24 revealed that in a photo, the eyes stand out most for people, although the smile is deemed the most attractive feature.Separately, the poll finds people ages 25-34 seem most in love with their bodies and are most confident about them at age 29. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The One Simple Diet Change to Shed Pounds

The One Simple Diet Change to Shed Pounds

Shaiith/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Diet plans can be a complex formula, but it turns out that one simple step may be all many people need to lose a moderate amount of weight.A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine recommends eating 30 grams of fiber per day. Researchers compared the American Heart Association diet with the fiber diet in around 240 participants with metabolic syndrome. At the end of the year, although the AHA group lost a bit more weight, the high fiber group did quite well and had near similar results to the AHA group. The high fiber group lost on average about four and a half pounds, while the AHA group lost a bit less than six pounds. Other measurements of health, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, were only slightly different between the groups at 12 months, with the AHA diet having a slightly greater improvement in these levels.

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Your Heart Attack Risk May Be Lower Than You Think

Your Heart Attack Risk May Be Lower Than You Think

BrianAJackson/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Your risk of heart attack might not be what your doctor tells you it is. Currently, doctors assess your risk for heart attack and stroke based on a variety of factors, such as smoking, cholesterol, blood pressure, and family history. Your doctor will then evaluate these factors with a risk assessment, or “calculator,” to determine your risk for a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. However, new research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reveals these estimates may be missing the mark. After following nearly 7,000 patients for 10 years, researchers have found risk assessments or “calculators” used by doctors are overestimating patients’ risk for heart attack and heart disease by 30 to 150 percent.

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Shopping While Hungry Hazardous for Your Wallet

Shopping While Hungry Hazardous for Your Wallet

Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The advice to avoid shopping while hungry may not just apply to the grocery store.In a new study published in the journal PNAS, researchers studied 379 people and found that when they reported feeling hungry, they spent more money on non-food purchases than people who were not feeling hungry.The study’s authors believe that hunger is related to the concept of acquisition, which can then spill over in the non-food domain.

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Dentist Visit Tips Family Off to Daughter’s Grapefruit-Sized Tumor

Dentist Visit Tips Family Off to Daughter’s Grapefruit-Sized Tumor

Courtesy Woodward Family(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- A trip to the dentist saved an 11-year-old's life, tipping her doctors and mother off to a grapefruit-sized tumor that could have killed her. At a routine dental cleaning on Jan. 28, the hygienist told Journee Woodard's mother that the whites of Journee's eyes looked yellow, and suggested taking her to a doctor -- just in case. "I took her outside where there was more sunlight, and her eyes definitely looked yellow," Anna Woodard told ABC News. So she scheduled an appointment for the following Monday. Three days and several medical tests later, Woodard picked Journee up from school to take her to the doctor for an MRI, trying to keep her calm and informed at the same time. Doctors had found a mass, and though they didn't say it at the time, Woodard said they later told her they were expecting cancer. When the Woodards arrived at the Children's Hospital at the University of Oklahoma, Journee was admitted as a patient. "I could tell Journee was getting nervous, especially when we checked into the hospital Thursday night," Woodard said. "We assured her we weren't going to leave her side. And we stayed with her every night at the hospital from the time she was admitted until the time she was released." On Friday, Feb. 6, Journee underwent a 10-hour "Whipple" surgery to remove the tumor. It wasn't cancerous, but Woodard said doctors told her the tumor would have ruptured had they not caught it. Had this happened while Journee was sleeping, she could have gone septic and never woken up, Woodard said. And it could have happened while Journee, who plays basketball, was on the court. "It was one slide down the basketball court from rupturing," Woodard said. "We were that close." Doctors originally thought the surgery would be three hours, but they wound up needing to remove part of Journee's liver, pancreas, small intestine and stomach, Woodard said. They also had to remove her entire gallbladder. Then, they "rerouted everything," Woodard said. The Whipple procedure is necessary because the pancreas is so "integrated" with other organs, according to the Mayo Clinic. After spending a week recovering in the hospital, Journee got to return to her family's Edmond, Oklahoma, home on Thursday, but she's still hooked up to drains and intravenous lines, her mother said. She has IV nutrition and is unable to eat anything by mouth while her body recovers. And while she's lost the tumor and pieces of several organs, she hasn't lost her sense of humor. "I can still smell it!" she shouts at her family as they hover in the kitchen eating breakfast where she can't see. And though Journee couldn't play basketball on Saturday, she arrived to cheer on her team. The Children's Hospital confirmed that Journee was a patient from Feb. 5 through Feb. 12, and that she underwent a Whipple procedure.

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Dominatrix Whips Gym-Goers Into Shape for “Fifty-Shades”-Themed Class

Dominatrix Whips Gym-Goers Into Shape for “Fifty-Shades”-Themed Class

Courtesy Crunch(NEW YORK) -- A fitness instructor shouting instructions at her class doesn't sound so unusual, but when she's decked out as a dominatrix and has a crop in her hand, you get a Fifty Shades of Grey-themed workout that will whip you into shape -- and maybe make you blush. Crunch gyms in Miami, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco hosted special dominatrix-led workout classes called "Whipped: 50 Shades of Fitness," and they were a hit, said Donna Cyrus, senior vice president of programming at Crunch. The classes were packed, and some participants wore costumes to get into character. "Every now and then, I like to try something more fun and out of the box," Cyrus said, adding that the class blends traditional interval training with theatrics. "[The instructor] would say things like, 'If you don’t do these 20 push-ups, you're going to get whipped.'" Cyrus, who also founded one of the first cardio striptease classes after the 1996 movie Striptease came out, said she came up with the idea for "Whipped" three or four years ago and discovered that one of her New York yoga instructors, Melody Hardy, used to be a dominatrix in her "other life." So when it came time to revive the class for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie premiere, Cyrus said she knew she had the perfect person. "We all have two sides," Hardy said. The yoga instructor said her dominatrix name was Lady Absinthe, and she taught the "Whipped" class decked out in a leather outfit. "Being a fitness instructor and being a dominatrix are very similar," Hardy said with a laugh, "because I tell you what to do and I cause you pain and you pay money." Every instructor had their own take on the class, Cyrus said, adding that some instructors incorporated blindfolds into the workout and others instructed participants to crawl on their bellies to the other side of the room with a hint of sexual innuendo. "They don't even realize how hard they're working," Cyrus said of the participants. When she taught the class, Hardy said she walked around the room threatening to hit participants with her riding crop and, at one point, she made everyone start over because one man kept slacking. She stood behind another man, shouting "Get it up!" until he did his plank right, holding himself up with his abdominal muscles. Although there are no plans to make "Whipped" a more regular class, Miami Crunch is pushing for it, Cyrus said. Crunch wasn't the only gym to have a Fifty Shades of Grey-themed workout, but it may have been the only one to include a dominatrix instructor. Self magazine wrote of a "50 Shades of Glutes" workout, and British Olympian Louise Hazel taught a one-time-only Fifty Shades of Grey workout in London that involved ropes.

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What Aborted Fetuses Have to Do With Vaccines

What Aborted Fetuses Have to Do With Vaccines

Monkey Business/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A small but growing number of parents who object to vaccinating their children on religious grounds say they do so because many common vaccines are the product of cells that once belonged to aborted fetuses. There is a grain of truth to this statement. But even religious leaders, including a future pope, have said that shouldn't deter parents from vaccinating their children. Vaccine and Cell Line Science Some childhood vaccines, including the one against rubella -- which is part of the MMR vaccine given to millions of children worldwide for measles, mumps and rubella -- is cultured in "WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts," according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's fact sheet on the vaccine's ingredients. Merck, the vaccine's manufacturer, acknowledged that those cells were originally obtained from an electively aborted fetus. They were used to start a cell line, which is a cell multiplied over and over again to produce cells that are of a consistent genetic makeup. The WI-38 cell line is used as a culture to grow live viruses that are used in vaccines.Vaccines Developed Using Human Cell Strains "Merck, as well as other vaccine manufacturers, uses two well-established human cell lines to grow the virus for selected vaccines," Merck said in a statement to ABC News. "The FDA has approved the use of these cell lines for the production of these Merck vaccines." Other common vaccines, including those for chicken pox, hepatitis and rabies, are also propagated in cells originating from legally aborted human fetuses, according to the FDA. "These abortions, which occurred decades ago, were not undertaken with the intent of producing vaccines," said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers Disease Control and Prevention. The original cells were obtained more than 50 years ago and have been maintained under strict federal guidelines by the American Type Culture Collection, according to Merck. "These cell lines are now more than three generations removed from their origin, and we have not used any new tissue to produce these vaccines," the company added in its statement. To say that the vaccines contain a significant amount of human fetal tissue, as some objectors to the vaccines claim, is misleading, stressed Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the vaccine education center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "There are perhaps nanograms of DNA fragments still found in the vaccine, perhaps billionths of a gram," he said. "You would find as much if you analyzed the fruits and vegetables you eat." And to remove human fibroblast cells entirely from vaccines is out of the question, Offit explained, noting they are necessary because human viruses don't grow well in animal cells. "They have also been tested for safety and the fetal cells can go through many more divisions than most other cells before dying," he said. Ethical Considerations Religious organizations have sided in favor of vaccines as well, even those generally opposed to abortion. "We should always ask our physician whether the product he proposes for our use has an historical association with abortion," the National Catholic Bioethics Center states on its website, but then goes on to say "one is morally free to use the vaccine regardless of its historical association with abortion." "The reason is that the risk to public health, if one chooses not to vaccinate, outweighs the legitimate concern about the origins of the vaccine," the center's position statement continued. "This is especially important for parents, who have a moral obligation to protect the life and health of their children and those around them." Offit said he was glad the Catholic Church supports vaccination. He noted it is particularly ironic to object to the rubella vaccine using fetal cells because Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, commented on the subject in 2003, saying: "Universal vaccination has resulted in a considerable fall in the incidence of congenital rubella, with a general incidence reduced to less than 5 cases per 100,000 livebirths." In other words, Offit explained, the rubella virus increases the risk of spontaneous abortion. In the U.S., vaccination prevents up to 5,000 miscarriages each year in the U.S. alone, he said.

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Measles Continue to Spread, Reaching 141 Cases in 17 States

Measles Continue to Spread, Reaching 141 Cases in 17 States

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The measles outbreak isn't showing signs of waning yet, with 20 new cases in the last week, and there are now two separate outbreaks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reported on Monday that it had confirmed 141 cases of the measles since Jan. 1 as part of two separate outbreaks plus several additional cases not linked to those two outbreaks. As of Feb. 13, an outbreak linked to a group of unvaccinated people who visited Disneyland in December had 113 cases, another 10 cases were linked to a second outbreak, and 18 more cases weren't linked to a specific outbreak. The measles cases are heating up vaccine discussions nationwide, with daycare chain KinderCare changing its staff policies after several infants in one Illinois location were infected with the virus. Of the first 34 people with measles for whom the California Department of Public Health had vaccination records, only five had received both doses of the measles vaccine, as generally recommended, according to the agency. One received just the first dose. Nationally, officials are seeing the same trend, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, who directs the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Some of those 34 cases tracked by California may not be included in the 121 tally by the CDC because they were reported before Jan. 1. "This is not a problem with the measles vaccine not working," she said during a news conference Thursday. "This is a problem of the measles vaccine not being used." The CDC is seeing more adult cases of measles than usual during this outbreak, Schuchat said, adding that children are getting the virus, too. Cases have now been reported in 17 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington, according to the CDC. The agency issued a health advisory on Jan. 23, at which point the virus had only spread to six states beyond California and Mexico. The United States last year reported its highest number of measles cases in two decades, with 644 cases as part of 20 separate outbreaks, according to the CDC. Health officials attribute the spike to a measles outbreak in the Philippines and overseas travelers. The measles virus is contagious long before symptoms appear and it is airborne, which is what makes it so contagious, according to the CDC. One infected person with the measles can spread it to an average of 18 other people, and it can linger in the air and live on surfaces to spread after an infected person has left a room. Complications include hearing loss, pneumonia and swelling of the brain, according to the CDC. About one or two people out of every 1,000 people infected with the measles die of the virus.

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Why Body Builders Are Pounding Down Breast Milk

Why Body Builders Are Pounding Down Breast Milk

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Bodybuilders will try just about anything to build bulging biceps, including apparently, drinking breast milk.“It isn’t common, but I’ve known people who have done this. It’s certainly talked about quite a bit on the bodybuilding forums on the Internet,” said Brett Schoenfeld, a former competitive body builder and now an assistant professor of exercise science at CUNY Lehman College in New York City.But experts say human breast milk will not pump you up.“There is nothing specific in breast milk that will cause adults to gain muscle mass,” said Dr. Jacques Mortiz, the director of the division of gynecology at Mount Sinai Roosevelt in New York.While studies do indicate that breast milk has numerous advantages for newborns and infants, Mortiz said there are virtually no studies looking at what it can do for any adult, let alone bodybuilders. That’s because there is no scientific reason it should help.For example, if the idea is to take in more protein, one cup of breast milk contains 2.5 grams of protein per cup compared to 7.9 grams of protein in cow's milk, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrition Database. It is also significantly higher in sugars and fat.It’s far more expensive than cow’s milk, too. A gallon of milk costs $3.44 cents on average, according to last week’s USDA’s National Retail Report. One ounce of breast milk from an Internet site costs up to $10 an ounce when purchased from a site such as onlythebreast.com or eatsonfeets.com.Because of poor collection, storage and shipping practices, milk from unregulated breast milk Internet sites is also more likely to be contaminated than milk donated to regulated milk banks.One recent study found that 89 percent of breast milk purchased over the Internet arrived above the recommended freezer temperature which potentially upped the risk of contamination. Another study confirmed this worry when it found Internet milk samples harbored high colony counts of the staphylococcus bacteria, known to cause serious infections.But Schoenfeld doesn’t believe the facts will stop a bodybuilder in search of an extra inch around the quads.“Bodybuilders are a strange breed of individuals,” he said. “Even if this type of thing is completely unsupported by research, they’re prone to gym lore and willing to give it a shot if there is any potential effect.”

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See Tearful Reunion Between Dad, Child After Liver Transplant

See Tearful Reunion Between Dad, Child After Liver Transplant

Liver Transplants for our Vietnamese Twin Girls/Facebook(TORONTO) -- A father had a tearful reunion with his daughter days after he acted as a living donor for the 3-year-old girl.Michael Wagner greeted his daughter Phuoc with, "Hey mon belle," or, "Hey, my beauty,” in a video posted to the family’s Facebook page. The reunion occurred just five days after he donated part of his liver to the child.Wagner was brought to tears as he sat down on his adoptive daughter's bed and asked her how she felt in French.Wagner underwent a lengthy surgery on Feb. 10 to donate a portion of his liver to Phouc. Both Phouc and her twin sister, Binh, needed liver transplants after suffering liver damage because of a genetic condition called Alagille syndrome.While Wagner was a match for both girls, he can only undergo the procedure to be a living donor once. Doctors picked Phuoc for the first donation because of her more advanced need.On Tuesday, Wagner's wife, Johanne Wagner, gave an update on Phuoc and her husband, saying both were still recovering.“So hard to believe we are hitting the one week mark: it seems like a blurr,” wrote Johanne Wagner on Facebook. “Michael still in hospital, Phuoc still on morphine, and mommy holding on on coffee. Still a fair amount of discomfort for Michael but he managed to visit his little girl two days in a row.”While Phuoc remains in recovery, the twins’ medical team and the Wagners have continued to search for a liver donor for Binh. The family has started a campaign on social media asking for the public’s help.Last week, doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto said that they have received 400 submissions from people offering to be a living donor for Binh, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.Dr. Gary Levy, the director of the living donor liver program at Toronto General Hospital, said the medical team hoped to find a donor for Binh within the next few days to weeks, and told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation at a news conference that the medical team expects they “will define several individuals who can step forward and be a donor for Binh.”Phuoc and Binh were adopted by the Wagners in 2012 from Vietnam. The couple also has seven other children.

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