Today’s Headlines: Antibiotic Overuse, Transparent Brains, and Obese Teens

CDC Study Shines Light on Nation’s Antibiotic Overuse: According to a government analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine, physicians in the US are “prescribing enough antibiotics to give them to 4 out of 5 Americans every year, an alarming pace that suggests that they are being overused.” Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed and analyzed the national prescription drug database for 2010 and found that “American healthcare providers prescribed 258 million courses of antibiotics in 2010, for a population just shy of 309 million.” Rates of antibiotic prescription are highest in Appalachia and the South, especially in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. (AP)

Scientists Make Mouse Brain Transparent for Study: Scientists at Stanford University reported that “they have made a whole mouse brain, and part of a human brain, transparent so that networks of neurons that receive and send information can be highlighted in stunning color and viewed in three-dimensional complexity without slicing up the organ.” Many experts claim the project, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, can help how we study the brain’s anatomy and see how disease changes it. (New York Times)

Teen Obesity May Decrease With More Sleep: A study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that “adolescent obesity could be decreased if teenagers got more sleep.” After surveying 1,429 ninth graders and gathering data on height, weight, and sleeping habits, researchers found, after controlling for confounding factors, that “each additional hour of sleep was associated with a reduction in body mass index, but the heaviest children – those above the 90th percentile of BMI – had the greatest benefit, an average 0.28 reduction in BMI for every extra hour.” (New York Times)