Another reason to lay off the sweets, constructing wearable LEDs and a promising new strategy to cure a rare childhood cancer.

Sleep Loss Linked to Snacking, Junk Food Cravings, Obesity, Diabetes

(Laboratory Equipment, 6/4/2018, University of Arizona Health Sciences)

It’s a well-known fact that too much sugar is bad for you. But wait. There is another reason to lay off the sweets. According to a study by University of Arizona Health Sciences sleep researchers, nighttime snacking and junk food cravings may contribute to unhealthy eating behaviors and represent a potential link between poor sleep and obesity. The researchers found that junk food cravings were associated with double the increase in the likelihood of nighttime snacking, and that was associated with an increased risk for diabetes. They also found that poor sleep quality seemed to be a major predictor of junk food cravings, and that junk food cravings were associated with a greater likelihood of participants reporting obesity, diabetes and other health problems. About 60 percent of participants reported regular nighttime snacking and two-thirds reported that lack of sleep led them to crave more junk food.

A new 3-D printer builds temporary electronics on your skin

(Science News, 6/6/2018, Maria Temming)

A new 3-D printer draws precise patterns of electrically conductive material directly on a person’s skin, creating temporary, tattoo-like electronic devices. Unlike other 3-D printers designed to layer material on stiff, motionless objects, the new system uses computer vision to compensate for a moving printing surface — say, the back of a fidgety hand, researchers report in the June 6 Advanced Materials. Michael McAlpine, an engineer at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues used this motion-savvy 3-D printer to construct wearable LEDs. The printer first stuck a premade LED light to the wearer’s skin, then drew a circuit around the bulb using a polymer ink laced with silver flakes, which allow the ink to conduct electric current.

Maintenance Chemotherapy Extends Life for Children with a Rare Cancer

(DDD Magazine, 6/6/2018, American Society of Clinical Oncology)

A new chemotherapy strategy improves cure rates for children with rhabdomyosarcoma (a rare cancer of the muscle tissue) who are at high risk for cancer recurrence. In a randomized phase III clinical trial, adding six months of low-dose maintenance chemotherapy after initial treatment increased the 5-year overall survival rate from 73.7% to 86.5%. Children with rhabdomyosarcoma who are alive at five years are considered cured, as tumor recurrence is very rare. This trial enrolled patients 6 months to 21 years of age who were considered at high risk for recurrence due to having large tumors located in a part of the body that is difficult to treat (e.g., the head). After completing the standard initial treatment, 371 patients (79% of whom were 10 years old or younger) were randomly assigned to either stop treatment (the former standard of care) or receive six months of maintenance therapy with low doses of two chemotherapy medicines (intravenous vinorelbine and oral cyclophosphamide).

 

 —Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola