In Case You Missed It: Solving medical mysteries through our genes and on the web, emotional effects of reading, and more

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far. Thanks for joining us for our roundup of news that you might have missed from this past week.

In Case You Missed It

Our genes: Helping to solve medical mysteries

This week, Baylor College of Medicine researchers published a study focusing on genetic sequencing and found that the answers to some “mystery diseases” were found in participants’ genes. Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Christine M. Eng said in a Washington Post article that this is a direct benefit of the Human Genome Project. “We’re now able to directly benefit patients through more accurate diagnosis,” she said.

Read the full article in the Washington Post to learn more about the study.

Learn about the Human Genome Project.

Consider the question: Should you have your whole genome sequenced?

Turning to the web for medical questions

When you’re feeling sick or experiencing a strange symptom, do you immediately call your doctor? Or do you turn to the web first? A Pew Research Center report shows that one in three Americans have turned to the Internet to diagnose a medical condition. According to an article from The Atlantic, Wikipedia is the sixth-largest website in the world and makes up a lot of the online health information – but since it can be edited by anyone, the quality of information isn’t always up to par.

Some medical professionals and editors have started Wikiproject Medicine, in which they have decided to improve the quality of medical information on the site.

The article quotes Baylor College of Medicine’s Dr. Bryan Vartabedian discussing the debates surrounding autism and vaccines: “…if each one of those 45,000 physicians simply posted once on the Internet somewhere, then we would have ruled the airwaves about that controversy and prevented hundreds of thousands, if not many more people from getting incorrect, unreliable, and inaccurate information on the Internet…” Read the full article on The Atlantic.

Read Dr. Vartabedian’s blog post on a physician’s responsibility to participate in the online conversation.

Emotional effects of literature

Do you enjoy reading? Well, you might be able to understand other people’s emotions better.

A new study demonstrated that reading literary fiction enhances social perception, empathy and emotional intelligence.

The article states: “…literary fiction often leaves more to the imagination, encouraging readers to make inferences about characters and be sensitive to emotional nuance and complexity.”

Read more about the study on NY Times Well Blog.

More reasons to get more sleep

Are you tired but still struggling to make sure you go to bed on time? This Houston Chronicle article names 10 more reasons you should do your best to get those zzz’s.

Are you getting enough sleep? Know the signs.

Looking to get additional sleep? Try avoiding screen time before bed.

-By Jordan Magaziner

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