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Beethoven’s Deafness and Death: DNA Analysis of Hair Samples

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and concert pianist (1770-1827) whose symphonies and other compositions are still among our most-beloved and often-performed classical music. In 1824, when Beethoven was 54, he finished conducting the first performance of his magnificent Ninth Symphony, and he could not understand why there was no applause.

Types of Carbohydrates, Not Amount, Associated with Heart Disease and Diabetes

Eating carbohydrates contained in plants is associated with reduced heart attack and stroke risk, while eating sugar added to prepared foods and drinks is associated with increased heart attack and stroke risk. Researchers evaluated data from 110,497 healthy people who did not have heart disease or diabetes and followed them for 9.4 years. They found that increased total carbohydrate intake was not associated with increased risk for heart disease.

Active Watching of Prostate Cancer is Usually Safe, but Not Always

Prostate cancer usually grows slowly over many years, so a study was designed to find out if it is safe to delay treatment for many years. More than 1,600 men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer (that had not spread beyond the prostate) were randomly assigned to receive surgery, radiation or waiting with active monitoring. Fifteen years later, there was no statistical difference in deaths from prostate cancer between the three groups: 3.1 percent in the active-waiting group, 2.2 percent in the surgery group, and 2.9 percent in the radiation group.

Bobby Caldwell: Death from Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics

Bobby Caldwell was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist of R&B, soul, jazz, and adult contemporary music who was perhaps best known for "What You Won't Do for Love." In 2017, Caldwell was prescribed a quinolone antibiotic and suffered rupture of both Achilles tendons, followed by extensive nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. He continued to perform, even though he had to do it in a wheelchair, with a cane, and with people to help him.

Inflammation Tests More Effective than Cholesterol Tests as Predictors of Heart Attacks

An analysis of three large studies of people taking statins found that a blood test for inflammation levels was better than tests of cholesterol levels for predicting future heart attacks). More than 30,000 participants were given CRP (c-reactive protein test that measures inflammation) and cholesterol tests, and the researchers found that CRP was a stronger predictor for risk of future cardiovascular events and deaths than the cholesterol assessment (LDL).

Gas Stoves May Be Harmful

About 40 percent of U.S. households cook with gas stoves. A recent study reported that “12.7 percent of current childhood asthma in the US is attributable to gas stove use." However, the authors did not show that gas stoves cause asthma. They presented evidence that gas stoves emit gases such as nitrogen dioxide, that can worsen symptoms in people who have asthma. Any air pollutant can cause an asthmatic to cough, wheeze and become short of breath. These authors have not demonstrated cause-and-effect, they only found an association between gas stoves and asthmatic symptoms.

Topol: 3500 Performances as Tevya in Fiddler On The Roof

Chaim Topol was an Israeli actor, singer, and illustrator, who was most famous for playing “Tevya “ more than 3,500 times from 1967 through 2009, in arguably the most popular musical of all time -- Fiddler on the Roof. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Tevya in the 1971 film adaptation. He was the best known of a long line of famous actors who played the role, including Zero Mostel, Theodore Bikel, Herschel Bernardi, Leonard Nimoy and many others.

Concerns About Artificial Sweeteners

A study that followed 2,149 North Americans and 833 Europeans for three years found that having elevated blood levels of artificial sweeteners such as erythritol was associated with increased risk for heart attacks and for death from a heart attack or stroke. Stanley L. Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic found that after taking the commonly-used artificial sweetener, erythritol, healthy people who did not suffer from heart disease had elevated blood levels of erythritol and increased risk for developing clots, a major cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Skipping Breakfast May Harm Immune Response

A new study found that skipping breakfast could damage your immune system. Missing the first meal of the day can suppress the immune cells of the brain to make it more difficult for your body to fight off infection. Mice that received no breakfast had an incredible 90 percent fewer monocytes in their blood four hours after skipping breakfast and even lower levels eight hours later.

Tom Sizemore: Brain Aneurysm

Tom Sizemore was a popular and prolific movie actor and television star who appeared in Saving Private Ryan, which was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Motion Picture Cast. His notable films include Black Hawk Down, Heat, Natural Born Killers, and Twin Peaks. He also was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his role in the television series Witness Protection.