Tag Archives: genomics

From Other Blogs: Drinking water, safe summer meals, productive aging and work & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Our Drinking Water and Forest Service Research

Behind every drop of water from the tap is an entire forest ecosystem. And while it’s easy to take drinking water for granted, you might be surprised to learn that the nation’s largest single source of water is the National Forest System, the network of national forests stewarded by the USDA Forest Service. Many of these national forest lands overlay the source areas for important rivers and aquifer systems, and more than 60 million Americans rely on them for drinking water.

Scientists from Forest Service Research and Development, or R&D, investigate the quality and quantity of water from forests and conduct research that informs water stewardship and reduces costs. For example, one R&D study showed that nearly 21 million people in the South receive their drinking water from national forest lands – roughly equivalent to the population of Florida! — From the US Department of Agriculture blog

FNS Provides Tools to Support Safe Summer Meals

As the school year ends across the country and summer approaches, summer meals are critical in the lives of millions of our nation’s youth, whose risk for food insecurity increases during the summer months when they no longer have access to the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs (NSLP).

Summer meal programs, including the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option within the NSLP, present the opportunity to help alleviate summertime food insecurity and positively impact children’s growth and development by offering nutritious meals and encouraging children to develop healthy habits at a young age. — From the USDA blog

A Framework for Productive Aging and Work

The aging of the U.S. population has led to a number of changes in the workforce, particularly a movement of the worker distribution toward older ages2, 4. By 2022, about one-third (31.9%) of Americans aged 65 to 74 years will still be working (Toosi 2013). The impact of a longer working life can be significant in both positive and negative ways. On the positive side, work is the main means of income for consumption and savings, serves an anchoring function in society, and can be a source of dignity, social connectedness, and purpose. Negative consequences of working longer may include increased morbidity and mortality from injuries, longer recovery times, burnout, job lock (needing to stay employed to retain health insurance and benefits), age discrimination, job insecurity, periods of unwanted unemployment, and less non-work time (Schulte et al. 2018). — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) NIOSH Science blog

Consumer Genetic Testing Is Booming: But What are the Benefits and Harms to Individuals and Populations?

The first genetic tests directly available to consumers for health were offered in 1996. The concept, then, was both audacious and bold: the idea that individuals could explore their own human genome without the aid of a health care provider to order the test or interpret the results.

Some consumer advocates praised the development as empowering, while many medical and public health experts advised caution, given the lack of evidence that results were clinically useful and that the risk for potential harms was unknown. Meanwhile, the direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic health test industry grew relatively slowly during the first two decades of its existence. During that time, personal genomics for any purpose was often perceived as a mere curiosity purchased by only a few wealthy individuals. — From the CDC’s Genomics and Health Impact blog

From Other Blogs: Health care workers and flu, child nutrition, radon & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Healthcare Personnel Working with Flu-like Illness

Most of the United States is experiencing widespread and intense influenza activity. Indicators used to track influenza-like-activity are higher than what was seen during the peak of the 2014-2015 season, the most recent season characterized as being of “high” severity. A NIOSH study recently published in the American Journal of Infection Control found that more than 40 percent of health care personnel with influenza-like-illness (ie, fever and cough or sore throat) continued to work while sick during the 2014-2015 influenza season. — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) NOSH Science Blog

Child Nutrition Goes Digital: Food and Nutrition Service Launches First Food Buying Guide Mobile App

The start of a new year is a perfect opportunity to assess your normal ways of doing business and adopt resolutions that will help you save time, money, or even frustration. Child nutrition program operators can now resolve to do just that with the launch of Food and Nutrition Services’ first mobile application, the Food Buying Guide (FBG) Mobile App.

The FBG Mobile App represents a major step forward in the agency’s commitment to customer service, providing key information at the fingertips of child nutrition program operators so they can serve wholesome, nutritious, and tasty meals to our nation’s children. — From the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog

Radon: We Track That!

CDC’s Tracking Network connects people with vital information on a variety of health and environmental topics. You can use data and information collected about radon to help determine individual and community risk for radon and inform community interventions.  — From the CDC’s Your Health — Your Environment Blog

Progress in Public Health Genomics Depends on Measuring Population Level Outcomes

Public health genomics is a relatively young field concerned with the effective and responsible translation of genomic science into population health benefits. In the past few years, the field has witnessed the emergence of several state public health genomics programs beyond the traditional domain of newborn screening. The field has focused on preventing disease and death from three tier 1 autosomal dominant conditions, collectively affecting more than 2 million people in the United States (Lynch syndrome, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and familial hypercholesterolemia). — From the CDC’s Genomics and Health Impact blog