Daily Rounds: BPA And Your Ovaries; Lab Chemist Mess-Up; Sex Superbugs; The VA Tackles Trauma; Diet And Dementia

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BPA From Cans Messes With Your Ovaries (Mother Jones) — "What is this constant exposure to BPA doing to us? That's the legitimate question the WSU/UC-Davis team was examining when they spiked the diets of gestating female rhesus monkeys—a species with a reproductive system very similar to humans'—with levels of BPA equivalent to what most Americans get through their diets. And what they found is disturbing: "New evidence that the plastic additive BPA can disrupt women's reproductive systems, causing chromosome damage, miscarriages and birth defects," as the Washington State University web site put it in a summary. What's more, the changes they identified affected not only the mother, but also the female offspring's own ovaries—meaning that BPA exposure can cause trouble across generations."

Chemist In Lab Scandal Told Investigators: "I Messed Up Bad" (The Boston Globe) — "The former state chemist at the heart of the state drug lab scandal admitted to investigators that she improperly removed evidence from storage, forged colleagues’ signatures, and didn’t perform proper tests on drugs for “two or three years,” according to a copy of a State Police report obtained by the Globe. Annie Dookhan, whose misconduct may have jeopardized evidence in about 34,000 drug cases, also admitted that she recorded drug tests as positive when they were negative “a few times” and sometimes tested only a small sample of the drug batch that she was supposed to analyze. “I messed up. I messed up bad. It’s my fault,” she told the state troopers who visited her Franklin home on Aug. 28, insisting that she acted alone. “I don’t want the lab to get in trouble.”

Sex And The Superbug (The New Yorker) — "Now, public-health experts view the Kyoto case as something far more alarming: the emergence of a strain of gonorrhea that is resistant to the last drug available against it, and the harbinger of a sexually transmitted global epidemic."

For Veterans, A Surge Of New Treatment Options For Trauma (The New York Times) — "The V.A. is trying to integrate mental health care into primary health care; soldiers are now routinely screened for issues like PTSD, depression or substance abuse. A public awareness campaign called AboutFace features dozens of vets talking about their PTSD and how they got better — the point is: they are people just like you. A new program called Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness builds in resilience training for all soldiers at every phase — pre-deployment, in theater, upon return. It seeks to make regular mental health exercises as routine for soldiers as physical training."

Is Alzheimer's Type 3 Diabetes? (The New York Times) — "What’s new is the thought that while diabetes doesn’t “cause” Alzheimer’s, they have the same root: an over consumption of those “foods” that mess with insulin’s many roles. (Genetics have an effect on susceptibility, as they appear to with all environmental diseases.) “Sugar is clearly implicated,” says Dr. de la Monte, “but there could be other factors as well, including nitrates in food.” If the rate of Alzheimer’s rises in lockstep with Type 2 diabetes, which has nearly tripled in the United States in the last 40 years, we will shortly see a devastatingly high percentage of our population with not only failing bodies but brains. Even for the lucky ones this is terrible news, because 5.4 million Americans (nearly 2 percent, for those keeping score at home) have the disease, the care for which — along with other dementias — will cost around $200 billion this year."

This program aired on September 27, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.