The Woodruff Lab contributes to the Women’s Health Research Institute and Oncofertility Consortium blogs. Read the latest information disseminated from these blogs below:  

Personal Safety Concerns about Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami

As the tragedy of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan continues to make headlines, it is only natural to be concerned about the fallout on our own countries.    You read stories about a run on pharmacies for potassium iodine and hear questions about the drinking water.   Are we overreacting?   The United States government has compiled recommendations from a number of agencies include the FDA and CDC that address the questions many of us have regarding the safety of our water, food and air.  To view these guidelines, click HERE.

Exercise Reduces Intra-abdominal Fat, a Health Risk for Women

Cracking the Genetic Code for Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientists crack code to create neurons whose early death causes memory loss

Northwestern Medicine researchers for the first time have transformed a human embryonic stem cell into a critical type of neuron that dies early in Alzheimer’s disease and is a major cause of memory loss.  This new ability to reprogram stem cells and grow a limitless supply of the human neurons will enable a rapid wave of drug testing for Alzheimer’s disease, allow researchers to study why the neurons die and could potentially lead to transplanting the new neurons into people with Alzheimer’s.  The paper will be published March 4 in the journal Stem Cells.

Tattoos: Be Smart About Body Art

No inks on the market today have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for injection into the skin – and yet one in four Americans age 18 to 50 has a tattoo. On Tuesday, the FDA hosted a webinar about the basics of tattoo regulation and safety. Whether you want to cover yourself with color or just get your eyeliner tattooed on, here are the facts you need to know.

March is Colorectal Cancer Month

Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. If everyone aged 50 years old or older were screened regularly, as many as 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided.   Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer—cancer of the colon or rectum—is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer also is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States.

The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with advancing age. More than 90% of cases occur in people aged 50 or older.

Benlysta Approved for Lupus

First new lupus drug approved in 56 years.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  approved Benlysta (belimumab) to treat patients with active, systemic lupus erythematosus who are receiving standard therapy, including corticosteroids, antimalarials, immunosuppressives, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Prior to Benlysta, FDA last approved drugs to treat lupus, Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) and corticosteroids, in 1955. Aspirin was approved to treat lupus in 1948.

Protein Helps Pregnancy Proceed

Researchers have identified a key step in the establishment of a pregnancy. The discovery may shed light on fertility disorders and diseases of the uterus, including endometrial cancer.

Closing the Corporate Gender Gap

A higher proportion of women on a company’s board leads to greater opportunities at the executive level for women, according to new research.   Despite continued gains in low- to mid-level management positions, women still struggle to break through the corporate glass ceiling and attain coveted top-management positions. Today, women account for nearly half of the nation’s overall workforce, but hold only 6 percent of corporate CEO and high-level executive roles. New research from the Kellogg School at Northwestern finds that one key to women’s career advancement may lie in the gender makeup of a company’s corporate board.