Health Headlines: A Female Condom that Dissolves in the Body
Plus: A blood test for autism, and more health news.
There is a new female condom that does double-duty, and it’s the first of its kind. The condoms prevent pregnancy and¬†STDs by dissolving inside the body and¬†releasing¬†preventative drugs after¬†use. They are¬†made from a nanofabric fiber, and created through a process called electrospinning, which creates fibers from the liquid inside of an electric field. It could be placed onto existing contraceptives or directly inserted into the body, like a vaginal ring. Last month, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the researchers almost $1 million to pursue the technology. Yes, this is happening. [University of Washington]
Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital developed a new blood test for autism according to a new study they published this week. The test could help diagnose the disorder when children are very young. The study is part of an¬†effort to identify biological hallmarks of autism, a disorder that causes social problems and developmental delays and is now diagnosed in an estimated 1 in 88 children. [Globe]
One in four women suffers from¬†depression, anxiety, or another mental health issue, according to a new¬†report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Researchers interviewed¬†65,000 Americans ages 12 and up and found that about 23 percent of women experienced a mental illness last year, compared to 15.9 percent of men. [Women’s Health]
The flu season started early this year, and it’s bad. Just in¬†case you haven’t noticed¬†all the¬†coughing¬†and sniffling in your office, or all the empty cubes from people taking sick days, the CDC says that the past two weeks have indicated an early and strong flu¬†season¬†is ahead of us. If you¬†haven’t¬†got your flu shot, we wouldn’t chance it this year. [CDC]
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/blog/2012/12/07/health-female-condom/