10 Things You Need To Know Today (October 27)

1. Therapy dogs do help cancer patients.

Despite hospitals not allowing dogs, researchers at the American Humane Association have reported that the early results of an ongoing study found therapy dogs are incredibly helpful for children undergoing cancer treatment. The dogs help to reduce stress and anxiety, and stabilize blood pressure and heart rates. (Gizmodo)

2. Whole Foods recalls two types of salads due to possible listeria contamination.

Yikes. Curry Chicken Salad and Deli Pasta Salad have been recalled from stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. (FDA)

3. The USDA will not change its guidelines for meat consumption.

The government has decided not to consider environmental sustainability in their dietary guidelines. The rest of the guidelines will roll out later this year. (The Atlantic)

4. Scientists are one step closer to a cure for congenital blindness.

A Phase III trial for a gene therapy for retinal dystrophies has been completed. It basically swaps a bad copy of a gene for a good one. It's been tested on individuals suffering from congenital blindness and proven safe and effective. Now, the only step left between the therapy and the market is FDA approval. (PRI)

5. Fetal cells may protect a mother from disease long after she gives birth.

The results from a series of studies examining the impact of fetal cells on the health of the mother suggest that fetal cells may act as sentinels, identifying foreign cells (like breast cancer, for example), determining whether they're friendly or harmful, and responding accordingly. (NPR)

6. Exercise will keep your brain young.

At least that's what a recent study from the University of Tsukuba, in Japan, suggests: Fitter men were more likely to use the part of the brain associated with youth (which deals with short-term memory and the meaning of words). (Science Daily)

7. There are 24 states that actively oppose Obama's Clean Power Plan.

Twenty-four states filed lawsuits against Obama's Clean Power Plan over the weekend. They accused the EPA of "going far beyond the authority Congress granted to it” with the plan, which calls for a 32 percent cut in the power sector's carbon emissions by 2030. (The Hill)

8. Doctors recommend raising the minimum legal age to buy tobacco to 21.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new policy urging that the minimum age to buy tobacco products and e-cigarettes be bumped up from 18. They also encourage more taxes and bans on advertising. (TIME)

9. There are fewer black men in medical school today than there were in 1978.

A new report from the Association of American Medical Colleges finds that while every other minority group has increased their numbers in medical school, just 515 black men enrolled in 2014 — compared to 542 in 1978. The researchers note that diversity is crucial to patient health, as people are more likely to follow the advice of doctors they can identify with. (NPR)

10. Obama encourages schools to cut back on testing.

With increasing opposition to over-testing and worries about stressed-out students and parents, the White House called for a limit on exams and said that they shouldn't make up more than 2 percent of classroom time. (NYT)

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