Cheers and Jeers

Cheers to…

Sonar technology specialists at England’s Newcastle University, who have developed an ultrasound scanner that costs under $65 to make. Hospital scanners can cost anywhere from $32,100-$160,600, and smaller, portable devices cost around $4,500. According to the UN, 250,000 women die every year during pregnancy and childbirth, mostly in developing nations. The much cheaper technology could vastly improve prenatal care in these countries. Learn more here.

Lowering percentages of teenagers who drink and drive. According to the CDC, in the past 20 years the number of teens 16 and older who drink before driving dropped by almost 54 percent. The CDC says stricter laws have helped crack down on the problem. Over 800 deaths each year result from teen drinking and driving. Get more details here.


Jeers to…

Indoor tanning, which increases the risk of common skin cancers, particularly in those who start tanning before age 25. The department of dermatology at the University of California San Francisco found that indoor tanners have a 67 percent higher risk for one type of cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, and a 29 percent higher risk for another, basal cell carcinoma. Read more about the dangers of indoor tanning here.

A contaminated steroid injection, which caused an outbreak of meningitis. The disease has killed two and affected 12 others who got the steroid injection in their backs as a part of a normal process to treat back pain. The cases have been in Tennessee and North Carolina. The injections were likely contaminated with fungus and the meningitis will not spread from person to person. Learn more here.


By Laura Jungreis