Washington, DC -  Diverse perspectives are essential to advancing science, especially in the global health arena where regional, gender and cultural experiences can be quite different. I applaud NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins on his recent announcement that he is committed to inclusiveness and believes it is time to end the tradition of all-male speaking panels at scientific meetings. I and the Fogarty International Center staff enthusiastically join him in this effort.

Washington, DC - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today released a proposed draft guidance, “Reducing Microbial Food Safety Hazards in the Production of Seed for Sprouting,” intended to make the sprout seed industry (seed growers, conditioners, packers, holders, suppliers, and distributors) aware of the agency’s serious concerns with the continuing outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with the consumption of raw and lightly-cooked sprouts.

Dallas, Texas - A large study of Swedish men found that those who were even mildly overweight around age 18 were more likely develop cardiomyopathy in adulthood — an uncommon heart muscle condition that can cause heart failure, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Washington, DC - Researchers at the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, have developed a novel technique that prevents the obstruction of blood flow, a common fatal complication of transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR). The new method, called LAMPOON, may increase treatment options for high-risk patients previously ineligible for heart valve procedures. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (link is external) published the findings online on May 20.

Dallas, Texas - Veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or depression were more likely to use cardiac rehabilitation services after an episode of ischemic heart disease than those who didn’t have PTSD or depression, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Washington, DC - A study of nearly 300 patients with mild persistent asthma found that inhaled steroids—long considered the gold standard for asthma treatment—were no more effective than placebo in nearly three-fourths of the study patients, all over age 12. Inhaled steroids were better than placebo for a subset of the patients who had high levels of a particular type of inflammatory cells, called eosinophils, in their sputum, but they represented about a fourth of patients enrolled in the trial.