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Health roundup: Gun deaths on the rise, vaccine linked to menstrual cycle changes, and more

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Gun deaths continue rising trend in America's cities

A temporary falloff in the number of Americans who kill themselves and others with guns is over, newly released U.S. government data show.

It noted that guns were involved in 75% of all homicides and 91% of homicides involving youths between 2018 and 2019 -- a rate basically unchanged from 2016.

But those new numbers represent a significant and troubling uptick from a decade before, said Kegler, from the CDC's Division of Injury Prevention.

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COVID-19 vaccination linked to small changes in menstrual cycle length

COVID-19 vaccination is associated with a small change in menstrual cycle length, but not in menses length, according to a study published online Jan. 5 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Alison Edelman, M.D., M.P.H., from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues prospectively tracked menstrual cycle data among U.S. residents aged 18 to 45 years with normal cycle lengths (24 to 38 days) for three consecutive cycles before the first vaccine dose and three additional cycles following the first dose (including the vaccination cycle), or for six cycles over a similar time period among unvaccinated individuals. The mean within-individual change in cycle and menses length was calculated among 3,959 individuals (2,403 vaccinated and 1,556 unvaccinated).

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Zoo study finds animal DNA floating in the air

Sampling the air from local zoos, two teams of researchers collected enough DNA to identify the animals nearby. They say their study could potentially become a valuable, noninvasive tool to track biodiversity.

“Capturing airborne environmental DNA from vertebrates makes it possible for us to detect even animals that we cannot see are there,” said researcher Kristine Bohmann, head of the team at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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Children's behavior is reportedly worse at home during remote learning

Parents report that their children's health at home is worse during remote learning than with in-person learning, according to a research letter published online Jan. 10 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Emily C. Hanno, Ph.D., from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and colleagues administered online surveys four times to 405 parents of children in Massachusetts from Jan. 4 to May 23, 2021.

Parents indicated their child's current learning format in each wave and then reported their child's behavioral health on three measures: general behavioral health in the last month; number of maladaptive behavioral changes in the previous month; and frequency of dysregulated behaviors. Overall, 348 parents reported on 356 children's behaviors in at least one of the surveys.

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Exercise can save your brain, scientists say

Exercise helps you stay fit, hale and hearty, and researchers say it may also help you stave off dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Now they have a better understanding of the hidden benefits that aid the brain.

Older folks who are more physically active have higher levels of a protein that promotes better communication between the brain's synapses, a new study reports.

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Watch Now: Five ways to help you stay focused, and more videos to improve your life

Here are five tips to help you stay more focused, how to defeat the winter blues, and more videos to improve your life.

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Here are some top tips to help you stay focused.

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Early sunsets, the end of the holidays, erratic temperatures, and lets not forget COVID, odds of catching the winter blues are up there, so ho…

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If you think you’re losing some dollars and cents over your WiFi signal, PennyGem’s Justin Kircher has some ways to save.

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If you are resolved to cook from home, these tips from experts should help. Buzz60’s Keri Lumm reports.

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We’ve got the goss on the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to your skin and exercise. Buzz60’s Chloe Hurst has the story!

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Settling credit card debt as quickly as possible not only saves money on interest, but it can also help you improve your credit score.

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PennyGem’s Elizabeth Keatinge tells us how to budget for three paycheck months.

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As many now focus on new health resolutions for 2022, experts say it's important to remember that being skinny and being healthy aren't mutual…

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Does your dog often look at you like you’re crazy? Buzz60’s Tony Spitz has the details.

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After a December filled with presents, family and festive spirit, January can be a challenging time for many. Here are three ways to combat th…

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New York has expanded legal protections for people seeking and providing abortions in the state. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation Monday in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court potentially overruling its 1973 Roe v. Wade’s decision, which established a constitutional right to abortion. The new laws follow the Democratic governor’s plans to give abortion providers $35 million to expand services and boost security in anticipation of an influx of out-of-state people seeking abortions in New York if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Tens of thousands of suburban swing voters who helped fuel the Democratic Party’s gains of recent years are suddenly becoming Republicans. Overall, more than 1 million voters across 43 states have switched to the Republican Party over the last year. That's according to voter registration data analyzed by The Associated Press. They include both former Democrats and those previously unaffiliated with either major party. The phenomenon is playing out in virtually every region of the country — red states, blue states, in cities and in small towns — in the months since President Joe Biden replaced former President Donald Trump.

Advisers to the U.S. government are recommending that COVID-19 booster shots used this fall be modified to better match more recent variants of the coronavirus. A final decision from the Food and Drug Administration is expected within days, and it will have to set the exact recipe for the change. Pfizer and Moderna tested shots updated against the omicron mutant that surged last winter. But those shots are already somewhat outdated, with relatives of omicron now the main threat. Advisers said they have no crystal ball for what might spread this fall.

Summer travel is underway across the globe, but a full recovery from two years of coronavirus could last as long as the pandemic itself. Interviews by The Associated Press in 11 countries this month show that the most passionate travelers are thronging to locales like the French Riviera, Amsterdam and the American Midwest. But even as safety restrictions fall, places like Israel, India and Rome are reporting only fractions of the record-setting tourism of 2019. For them, a full recovery isn't forecast until at least 2024. China, once the world's biggest source of tourists, remains closed per its “zero-COVID” policy. That's holding down the rebound in many countries.

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion. The June 24 ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. In anticipation of the decision, several states led by Democrats have taken steps to protect abortion access. The decision also sets up the potential for legal fights between the states over whether providers and those who help women obtain abortions can be sued or prosecuted.

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