Also: how opt-out organ donation could impact waiting lists, and how a father’s drinking habits affect children at conception

Cooking Food Alters the Microbiome

(Nicholas Weiler, UCSF, 9/30/19)

UC San Francisco and Harvard scientists have demonstrated that eating cooked versus raw foods affects the microbiome of both mice and humans. Mice were fed either raw or cooked meat and sweet potatoes, though surprisingly raw vs. Cooked meat showed no difference to the microbiome. Human subjects were given raw or cooked meals for three days, and stool samples indicated changes to subjects’ microbiome based on their diet.

How opt-out organ donation could affect U.S. waiting lists

(University of Michigan, 10/2/19)

According to a study performed at the University of Michigan, changing the organ donor program in the US from “opt-in” to “opt-out” would have a positive effect on organ wait-lists. Opt-out, or presumed consent, would mean that doctors would assume a patient is an organ donor unless the patient officially declared otherwise. Similar programs have been implemented in other countries with mixed results for patients.

Dads-to-be should stop drinking 6 months before conception, study says

(Sandee LaMotte, CNN, 10/3/19)

According to a meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, men who drink in the three months leading up to conception had children who were 44% more likely to have congenital heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of infants born with congenital heart defects has gone up in recent years.

—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker