In case you missed it: Ghost hearts, drug-resistant antibiotics and more

For those keeping count: there are four shopping days until Christmas. But before you brave the crowds, catch up on news you may have missed with our weekly rundown of news and research.

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Pig hearts and transplants

The Cleveland Plain Dealer delves into regenerative work being done by our Texas Medical Center neighbor the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Medical Center. Researchers are using pig hearts to create a “protein scaffold that is to a heart what a two-by-four framing is to a house.”

The plan: Using blood or bone marrow stem cells for the transplant recipient, researchers hope to grow a human heart to help keep it from being rejected by the recipient’s body.  Read more about the technology.

Healthy holiday pick-me-up

Between decorating, baking, shopping, planning and traveling the holidays can take their toll on your energy level. But before you reach for an energy drink, Roberta Anding, registered dietitian with Baylor College of Medicine, says reach for coffee or tea instead.  Read Anding’s reminders for energy drinks.

The hunt for new antibiotics

For years experts have voiced concern over germs that resist antibiotics and the threat of these bacteria to public health. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at what drug companies, as well as research institutions and medical schools are doing to engineer the antibiotics of the future.

Could Santa have diabetes?

Sugary treats can take their toll around the holidays. With hundreds of millions of children (and just as many cookies) Molly Gee, registered dietitian at the College, says Santa Claus is at risk for type 2 diabetes. Read Gee’s analysis and take the test of real risk factors.

Skip the multivitamin

In the news this week, a series of studies have found that supplementing adult diets with mineral or vitamin supplements provides no health benefits, and could in fact be harmful.

Time magazine’s health blog examines the studies and found many experts have come to similar conclusions: stop wasting money on multivitamins. Read more.

 Year in review

As the days in December dwindle, we’ve been celebrating 2013 the whole month with a look back at some of our events, announcements, awards and research.

Join us as we take a look back at 2013.

Research in focus: Where big data and genomics collide.

Research, awards and more: Looking back at 2013

Be sure to check back each Monday until the end of the year to see what other highlights we have in store. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comment section below or email blogteam@bcm.edu.

 -By Audrey M. Marks

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