From synthetic embryos, to a more inclusive BMI policy, to the possible benefits of vaginal fluids, here are some of this week’s top health stories from Yahoo News partners.
Some doctors are using AI chatbots to help deliver bad news to patients, the report said
According to The New York Times, some doctors are using AI chatbots like ChatGPT to communicate with patients, including helping doctors deliver bad medical news more empathetically or write scripts to speak to patients more compassionately.
“I know doctors are using it,” a Stanford Health Care expert told the New York Times about chatbots. “I’ve heard of residents using it to guide clinical decision making. I don’t think it’s appropriate.”
Microsoft corporate vice president Peter Lee said he anticipated many doctors would use the new technology to eliminate some of the mundane tasks that can take doctors time, such as writing appeals to insurance companies or summarizing patient visits. But Futurism, which reported the New York Times story, said Lee was skeptical of using ChatGPT to deliver bad news.
“As a patient, I personally feel a little weird,” he told the New York Times.
However, other experts have said that ChatGPT could offer real benefits to doctors’ interactions with patients, helping them simplify medical jargon and break down more complex concepts when talking to patients.
Physicians organization adopts new BMI policy, recognizing racist exclusion and historical harm
The American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted a new policy advising physicians to focus less on body mass index (BMI), a frequently used ratio of weight to height to determine if a patient is at a healthy weight, recognizing the problematic history with BMI and that does not account for differences between racial and ethnic groups, gender and age groups, Reuters reported.
Under the newly adopted policy, the AMA recognizes the problems with using the BMI as a measure because of its historical damage, its use for racist exclusion, and because the BMI relies primarily on data collected from generations history of non-Hispanic white populations, the AMA said in a statement Wednesday.
Instead of making diagnoses and recommendations based solely on BMI, the AMA has advised physicians to consider other measures of risk, such as measurements of visceral fat, body adiposity index, body composition, relative fat mass, waist circumference, and factors genetic/metabolic.
Researchers say applying vaginal fluid to babies with C-sections could help restore healthy bacteria
A study published Thursday, June 15 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe found that exposing caesarean-born babies to their mother’s vaginal fluids shortly after birth may help restore some of the good bacteria acquired by vaginally born babies, promoting improved gut health and possible neurodevelopmental benefits, reported AFP.
In the small study of 68 newborns, researchers at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China used a method called vaginal seeding by swabbing each baby’s mouth and body with gauze soaked in the mother’s vaginal fluid or with a control substance. . Six weeks later, after studying the babies’ fecal microbes, the researchers found that babies exposed to their mothers’ vaginal fluid had more mature gut bacteria closer to those of vaginally born babies. Based on questions about developmental milestones, parents of infants exposed to vaginal fluids also reported that their infants had slightly more advanced communication and motor skills at 3 months and 6 months than the control group.
However, experts point out that the sample size is too small to draw firm conclusions about the purported benefits of vaginal seeding and that parents should avoid attempting vaginal seeding outside a clinical setting due to the risk of passing infection to the infant. .
Scientists say they have created the world’s first human synthetic model embryos
Researchers from the US and UK announced on Wednesday that they had created the world’s first synthetic human embryo-like structures from stem cells, without using human eggs or sperm. CNN reported it.
The research hasn’t been published yet, but it was presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Researches in Boston by Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, a professor of biology and biological engineering at CalTech and the University of Cambridge. Zernicka-Goetz stressed that the embryonic structures created by her team are not human embryos. But these models, which mimic some of the characteristics of a natural human embryo in the very early stages of development before a heartbeat is present, could prove invaluable in understanding genetic disorders or the cause of miscarriages in early pregnancy.
Zernicka-Goetz told CNN that the goal of her research is to prevent loss of life, not create it. But she still raises legal and ethical questions for countries, including the United States, that have no laws governing the creation or processing of synthetic embryos, CNN reported.
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