3 brands of frozen corn recalled in 15 states because of Listeria

A Pennsylvania company is recalling three brands of its frozen corn that were distributed to 15 states because a package sampled from a retail store tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

Cambridge Farms LLC of Lancaster, PA, has ceased the production and distribution of the frozen corn and is working with the Food and Drug Administration to find out what caused the problem, according to the recall notice posted early this evening.

recalled Cambridge Farms Laura Lynn cornThree brands — Laura Lynn, Key Food and Better Valu — are included in the recall. There is concern that consumers may have the product in their home freezers because of its long shelf life, which reaches well into 2018.

The recalled corn can be identified by specific information on the back of retail packages.

Laura Lynn frozen cut corn in 16-ounce plastic bags with the UPC number 8685401734 and any of the following codes:

  • SWFF/R10312, Best by 4/11/18
  • SWFFR/10452, Best by 5/09/18
  • SWFF/R10609, Best by 6/6/18

recalled Cambridge Farms frozen cornLaura Lynn frozen cut corn in 32-ounce plastic bags with the UPC number 8685401717 and code SWFF/R 10482, Best by 5/10/18

Key Food frozen cut corn in 16-ounce plastic bags with the UPC number 7329607091 and either of the following codes:

  • SWFF/R10320, Best by 4/11/18
  • SWFF/R10405, Best by 5/2/18

Better Valu frozen cut corn in 14-ounce plastic bags with the UPC number 7980124561 and code SWFF/R10308, Best by 4/11/18

The recalled corn was distributed to 15 states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland and Florida.

Cambridge Farms initiated the recall after receiving results from a routine sampling program by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture that  revealed that the finished product they sampled from a retail store contained the bacteria.

“Consumers who have purchased any of the above items are urged to not consume it and to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund,” according to the recall notice. “Consumers with questions may contact the company at 717-945-5178.”

Listeria monocytogenes is a microscopic organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Egg safety is out of mind until the next outbreak

Think of it this way: There is a bathtub and it’s always filled with two inches of water. One day, however, there suddenly are four inches of water in the bathtub.

That example was used in 2010 by one of the experts at the Food and Drug Administration or the Centers for Disease Control to explain to this thick skull how they knew there was a huge outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) occurring in the country, sickening thousands.

That outbreak, meaning the difference between two and four inches in our imaginary bathtub, was traced back to two giant Iowa egg farms owned by Austin “Jack” DeCoster’s Quality Egg LLC and run by its chief operating officer, his son Peter DeCoster. The two QE farms would end up recalling more than half-a-billion shell eggs.

eggsovereasy_406x250By allowing those adulterated eggs reach the market, Jack and Peter DeCoster were, for a time, responsible for doubling the incidence of SE in the country. Salmonella-contaminated eggs do reach the market every day, and if you are one who likes your eggs over easy or soft-boiled, you risk becoming sick and becoming part of that first two inches of background SE.

Now, especially if you do like over-easy and barely boiled eggs, the best thing you can do is to buy pasteurized eggs for use in your home kitchen and seek out restaurants that only serve pasteurized eggs. Be careful to make sure that all eggs they use in menu items such as Caesar salad are pasteurized.

Among the 231 million cases, or 83 billion individual eggs, produced in the U.S. last year, two-thirds went to retailers and restaurants. About 30 percent went to manufacturers for further processing, and the rest were exported.

Egg-associated salmonellosis remains a public health problem. The SE bacterium can be inside perfectly normal-appearing eggs, and if the eggs are eaten raw or undercooked, the bacterium can cause illness.

Those SE illnesses come with abdominal cramps, along with fever and diarrhea, within 12 to 72 hours after exposure via the contaminated food. SE illness usually last four to seven days and most people recover without antibiotic treatment, but the diarrhea can linger.

Estimates show that one egg in 50 might be a danger to human health. That may not sound like much until it’s translated into something like 830,000 contaminated eggs reaching the market every year. We can hope these are among the eggs that are hard-boiled or pasteurized, or that we are making progress with the improved egg safety rules.

Jack and Peter DeCoster pleaded guilty over the half-a-billion shell eggs they allowed to enter the market because some were contaminated. They and Quality Egg LLC paid $7 million in fines. They’ve withdrawn from the egg industry, and each might still have to go to jail for three months.

But their incident involved only enough eggs to keep McDonald’s going for three months. Who among the retailers and restaurants that buy two-thirds of those 83 million eggs has stepped forward as a leader in egg safety?

I’ve come to the sad conclusion that food safety is not really something the corporate marketing guys want the CEO talking about.

Another example of that came this past week when Fortune magazine did a long, long article on the McDonald’s CEO deciding to make egg purchases only from “cage-free” egg producers at some point in the future, with nary a mention about egg safety. And writer Beth Kowitt reports that science was not the “deciding factor,” but “consumer sentiment.”

We cannot even say if housing types are an important factor from an egg safety perspective. It’s been troubling to see Salmonella outbreaks involving some of these fancy backyard henhouses, often to the dismay of their well-intentioned, but reality-challenged, owners.

We do think it’s time for USDA and FDA to move from the sidelines to the center of the housing debate with scientifically drawn criteria. The cost — estimated by Fortune at $7 billion — of building “cage-free” hen housing should also be weighed against egg safety improvements, including more pasteurization capacity.

And CEOs who do not put egg safety first should be prepared to trade places with Jack and Peter DeCoster..

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 for laptops break the mobile mold

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Nvidia’s 10-series GPUs will enable performance in sub-4lbs. laptops

Gaming laptops may never be the same again. On Monday night, Nvidia unveiled three mobile GPUs with performance almost identical to that of their desktop counterparts.

The new GeForce GTX 1080, GeForce GTX 1070, and GeForce GTX 1060 are built on the company’s new Pascal architecture and offer significant performance increases over the previous 9-series GPUs.

Nvidia said the mobile 10-series will power new 120Hz G-sync panels, which are also launching, and enable higher overclocking potential and even better battery life.

nvidia geforce gtx 1080Brad Chacos
Think of this GPU inside of your laptop.

Why this matters: Laptops have historically lagged well behind the performance curve of desktops. But this launch, coming so soon after the desktops launches, is breaking with tradition. Performance of the new GPUs is pretty astounding, the company said, with up to a 76-percent performance improvement over a comparable laptop with a GeForce GTX 980m.

What’s inside the mobile GPUs

The top-end GeForce GTX 1080 will get 8GB of GDDR5x RAM, a whopping 2,560 CUDA cores, and a boost clock speed of 1,733MHz.b\ The GTX 1070 gets 8GB of RAM, too, but in the more vanilla GDDR5 flavor, with 2,048 cores and a boost clock of 1,645MHz. The GeForce GTX 1060 gets 1,280 CUDA cores, 6GB of GDDR5, and a boost clock speed of 1,670MHz. SLI is supported on the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070.

record

The new 10-series GPUs can enable 120Hz gaming as well as 4K panels.

The performance of the three GPUs, officials said, should be within 10 percent of a desktop GPU’s, whether a little slower or even a little faster. Nvidia attributed the variability to the power and thermal constraints of laptops, depending on the device’s physical design. That’s not a reflection on the 16nm chip’s efficiency, though: Nvidia said the new chips will offer up to 30 percent more battery life compared to an otherwise identical 9-series GPU.

Overclocking improves as well. Nvidia said margins could reach over 300MHz compared to previous generations, which topped out just over 100MHz.

The overclocking potential of the new GPUs, in fact, will allow laptop vendors to ship factory-overclocked laptops for the first time.

specs

Nvidia’s new 10-series laptop GPUs offer unheard of graphics performance.

Superthin and superfast?

While the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 GPUs will go predictably into the larger laptops, the GeForce GTX 1060 has the potential to drastically change portable gaming.

Nvidia officials said GTX 1060 GPUs will enable a level of performance unseen in lighter laptops (less than four pounds). Typically these models would have a GeForce GTX 970m or GeForce GTX 960m. Nvidia officials said with the GeForce GTX 1060, we’ll now see GeForce GTX 980 desktop-class performance in such devices.

These laptops will be as easy on your budget as they are on your back, Nvidia officials added. The company said to expect GeForce GTX 1060-equipped laptops in designs that cost less than $1,300.

rzrblade14 06 1471051858

Nvidia’s new 10-series means you can get GTX 980 performance in a thin laptop.

Laptops using the new GPUs should be available immediately from multiple vendors including Sager, Gigabyte, Lenovo, Clevo, EVGA, Alienware, Asus, MSI, HP, Acer, Razer, Origin, and XMG.

HP’s affordable Stream laptops upgraded for fresh fight against Chromebooks

hp stream 14 aquablue frontopen win10
Round two: fight! HP announced a refresh of its Stream notebooks, a budget-priced line of Windows 10 laptops that were originally seen as Microsoftian alternatives to Chromebooks.

The latest Stream refresh includes an updated version of the classic 11.6-inch notebook and its “x360” convertible variant, as well the return of the 14-inch Stream.

For the 2016-2017 lineup, HP is adding dual-antenna 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi for better connectivity. The new Streams also have four color options (in select regions that we assume includes the U.S.), including blue, purple, white, and a black version for the x360 only.

hp stream 11 x360 snowwhite  frontright entertainment win10 copy

The new HP Stream 11 x360.

Select models also include options for high-definition touch displays, and an HD WLED-backlit display that includes an anti-glare screen.

HP did not announce an update to the 13-inch Stream.

Diving deeper

We haven’t seen a 14-inch model since the HP Streambook 14 was announced with the original batch of laptops in 2014. The base model of the new 14-inch Stream includes a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3060 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage, a digital card reader, and Windows 10 Home. The display on the standard version offers 1366-by-768 resolution.

The notebook weighs 3.17 pounds and comes in under an inch thick, at 0.70-inches.

The standard 11-inch model is similarly spec’d, with the same Celeron processor, screen resolution, RAM, and onboard storage as the 14-inch Stream laptop. The smaller device weighs in at 2.57 pounds and is actually just a hair thicker than the 14-inch model, at 0.71-inches versus 0.70-inches.

Finally, we have the Stream x360, which also offers the same basic specs as its counterparts. But the x360 is heavier than the other 11.6-inch model, at 2.98 pounds, and is the thickest of the bunch at 0.78-inches.

The impact on you at home: The new devices aren’t quite available yet. HP tells us that the new HP Stream 11 will be available on HP.com starting August 24 with the base model at $200, as with the previous refresh last October. The HP Stream 14 rolls out next on September 7, again on HP.com, with prices starting at $220. Finally, the x360 rolls out at an unspecified date in September with prices starting at $250, which is $50 lower than the previous generation’s x360 base price of $300. Whether that price reduction carries over to higher-end versions of the x360 is unclear.

HP leaks some details on Intel’s Kaby Lake and Apollo Lake chips

HP Pavilion x360 hybrid
HP may have tried, but it couldn’t hold the secrets of Intel’s unreleased Kaby Lake and Apollo Lake CPU chips close to its chest.

Some details on the new chips were unintentionally shared by HP in the maintenance documents of an unannounced PC, the Pavilion x360 m1.

PCs with Kaby Lake—called 7th Generation Core chips—are expected to ship this quarter. It is a highly anticipated successor to Intel’s Skylake chips, with performance and multimedia improvements.

Asus announced the Transformer 3 tablet PC with Kaby Lake in June but didn’t share specific chip details. Lenovo and Acer will announce new Kaby Lake PCs at the IFA trade show starting at the end of the month.

The Pavilion x360 m1 convertible PC —which means it can be a laptop or tablet—can be configured with the dual-core Core i3-7100U running at 2.40GHz. The chip draws 15 watts of power and has 3MB of cache.

The Core i3-7100U chip details provide basic insight into the capabilities of other Kaby Lake chips. The chip has an HD Graphics 620 processor, which is capable of DirectX 12 gaming, and has high-definition video decoding built in. Intel has already said Kaby Lake chips will be capable of running 4K video.

The Pavilion x360 m1 can also be configured with an upcoming Pentium or Celeron chip code-named Apollo Lake. Both the Apollo Lake chips are surprisingly power-efficient and draw only six watts of power, which means long battery life.

The Apollo Lake chips are based on the Goldmont architecture, which was originally designed for Atom chips.

The Apollo Lake chip options for the Pavilion x360 m1 include Pentium N4200, which runs at 1.1GHz, but can go up to 2.5GHz, or the Celeron N3350, which can go up to 2.4GHz. The chips have 2MB of L2 cache.

Other specifications point the Pavilion x360 m1 to being a low-cost PC. It will have an 11.6-inch screen that displays images at 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, and will support DDR4 and DDR3 DRAM, depending on the chipset. It will support hard drives or SSDs. Surprisingly, it’ll include only 802.11n Wi-Fi, not the latest 802.11ac. It will have USB 3.0 and 2.0 slots, not a Type-C port.

AMD’s Zen CPU 10 key things you need to know

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1. It’s all new. Zen is a totally new “clean-sheet” chip design and appears to be 40 percent faster than AMD’s previous CPUs. It features individual cores with SMT, instead of the shared cores with clustered multithreading of today’s AMD CPUs.

2. It’s not a CPU. Technically Summit Ridge isn’t a CPU, but an SoC, which means there’s no chipset needed for most of the functionality. On at least one Summit Ridge demo board, we spied a chip that appeared to handle the SATA and SATA Express ports. But these are engineering boards, so who knows.

3. It’s an octo-core. The consumer chip, code-named Summit Ridge, will feature 8 cores with simultaneous multi-threading (similar to Intel’s Hyper-Threading), for a total of 16 threads.

zenunveiled

Gordon Mah Ung

AMD says Summit Ridge is an SoC and no chipset is needed but, umm, what’s that chip down by the SATA and SATA Express ports?

4. Prepare to buy a new motherboard. Summit Ridge will require a new AM4-based motherboard, but don’t whine—you also get DDR4, native USB 3.1 10Gbps, SATA Express, PCIe 3.0, and NVMe support. That same AM4 board will work with APU versions of the chip, too.

5. Your old cooler may work. It looks like it’ll work with your existing AMD cooling, as we spotted one Zen system running the slick new Wraith cooler.

6. It’s got FinFet. It’s built on a 14nm process with FinFet technology by AMD spinoff Global Foundries. FinFets are similar to what Intel calls tri-gate or 3D transistors.

dsc09886

Gordon Mah Ung

Yup. That’s AMD’s existing Wraith cooler and what looks like a setup for dual-channel DDR4 RAM.

7. It ain’t just claims. In a demo we witnessed, a Summit Ridge appeared to be every bit as fast as Intel’s new Broadwell-E CPUs. So haters, ease on down the road.

8. There’s a 32-core version called Naples. AMD surprised the crowd with the 32-core Naples chip aimed at servers. With SMT support in a dual-processor motherboard, that means 128 threads of computing.

naples

Gordon Mah Ung

AMD’s new Naples SoC can support 2P server designs with up to 128-threads of computing power.

9. No one knows how much Zen will cost.  AMD won’t disclose pricing or a pricing strategy but the introduction of Summit Ridge will probably start a price war like we haven’t seen the likes of in years. So yeah, if you lifted your eyebrows at the $1,723 Broadwell-E, just wait—that may adjust downward soon.

10. You’ll have to wait until 2017 to build one. You won’t be able to snag one on Newegg this year. The chip may make a limited appearance in 2016, but only in prebuilt systems. AMD says Summit Ridge will ship in volume early next year. Naples isn’t expected until the second quarter of the next year.

Even with insurance, less affluent kids miss out on eye care

Middle- and lower-income children don’t visit eye doctors as often as wealthier kids, and as a result, thousands of them may have undiagnosed sight-threatening conditions, U.S. researchers say.

All of the nearly 900,000 children in the study were covered by a national health insurer, but still, there were disparities in their access to eye care, researchers report in Health Affairs.

Experts advise that all children under age 5 be screened for two eye diseases, strabismus and amblyopia. In strabismus, the eyes are not aligned with each other, causing double vision. To get rid of the double vision, the brain will ignore sight from one of the eyes, which can lead to the development of amblyopia, or so-called “lazy eye,” in which vision from that eye is permanently reduced.

“The earlier in life strabismus is detected and properly treated, the less likely the eye will become ‘lazy’ and the more likely any vision loss that may have occurred can be reversed,” said lead author Dr. Joshua Stein of the University of Michigan.

People need to know the importance of testing for these sight-threatening diseases in children, Stein added by email.

To determine the effect of wealth on eye care visits and diagnoses of these two conditions, Stein and his colleagues used healthcare data on 890,090 U.S. children between 2001 and 2014. The children were from families of varying wealth levels, but all had the same type of health insurance.

The researchers found that children in the lowest wealth category had 16 percent fewer visits to any eye care professional than those at the middle wealth level, while children at the highest wealth level had 19 percent more visits than middle-income kids.

A similar trend was seen for visits to ophthalmologists, medical doctors who treat eye diseases like strabismus and amblyopia.

For visits to optometrists, who are more likely to conduct screenings and provide glasses, the middle wealth category had the highest number of visits.

Children from less wealthy families were also older at their first visit to the eye doctor.

Compared to those in the middle wealth category, lower income children were 15 percent less likely to have their first eye doctor visit during the study period, while higher net worth children were 19 percent more likely to have a first visit.

Wealthier children were 64 percent more likely to be diagnosed with strabismus by age 10 than the lowest income group and 55 percent more likely to be diagnosed with amblyopia.

Assuming the wealthiest kids were not being misdiagnosed, the authors calculate that the differences mean a lot of cases of eye disease are being missed in less-wealthy children.

Specifically, they estimate there were nearly 13,000 missed strabismus diagnoses and 5,000 missed amblyopia diagnoses over a 10-year period just in their sample group.

Even for families with health insurance, having a lower income can cause logistical issues in seeking eye care, said Cathy Williams, a senior researcher at the National Institute for Health Research.

Williams, who was not involved in the study, said eye care providers might be located far from low-income housing sites and that lower income families may not understand the need for this type of vision screening.

“It may be more difficult for parents to take time off from work to take their children to an eye care professional, compared with more affluent families,” Stein said, adding that copayments and deductibles might also be an issue for lower-wealth families.

Williams said vision screenings are important to catch other types of sight problems as well. “If having blurred vision in both eyes reduces a child’s ability to learn and engage with their education, as it may, this could lead to lasting reductions in their life chances – all for the want of glasses,” she said by email.

Stein noted that vision screenings sometimes take place at schools or health fairs. “If one’s child has a failed vision screening, it is essential to promptly take him or her to an eye care professional so they can further evaluate the child to check for these serious eye diseases,” he said.

Parents’ at-home genetic screening test leads to son’s rare diagnosis

 

When Rose and her husband welcomed their first child in 2015, they noticed he had an extra pinky on each hand. The new parents, who asked that their last name be withheld, realized that extra fingers did not run on either side of their family and began to worry.

“Our family joke is, you count to make sure you have enough fingers — not if they have extra,” Rose, 34, told FoxNews.com.

While doctors reassured her that her son was otherwise healthy and that the fingers were a cosmetic issue, Rose turned to the internet in search of more information. She found a Wikipedia article that identified five different syndromes in which a symptom could be extra fingers. The information raised a red flag for Rose and her husband— who chose not to disclose his name— but because their son remained asymptomatic, they took the doctor’s word for it.

Less than a year later, the family had a consultation with a hand surgeon, and Rose asked if their son could have a genetic test done to rule out the five syndromes she had read about. The doctor examined her son’s pectoral muscles and a few other points and said he didn’t think it was necessary, but would put in a request to the genetics department. The request was denied.

“They said ‘No, it’s not customary to have genetic testing unless there are signs of a symptom,” but I’m thinking, what if the symptoms aren’t apparent yet, they’re internal, or they come later in life?” Rose said.

She started obsessing over the symptoms, and felt there were a few that could easily be overlooked. Rather than be turned away by another doctor, Rose foundJScreen, an at-home genetic screening kit that tests the parents to determine if they’re carriers for any disorders.

How it works

JScreen was created in association with Emory University School of Medicine by a couple of Jewish heritage in Atlanta, who had a child with a devastating metabolic disorder. Because of the increased risk for certain disorders that Jewish partners face, the couple underwent genetic testing but were not screened for the same amount of mutations, so their child’s diagnosis came as a shock. They created JScreen for couples of all ethnicities and religions that are planning to begin or expand their family.

A JScreen test is conducted at home using a saliva sample from both partners, which is then mailed to a certified laboratory with results returned within four weeks. A genetic counselor from Emory informs the couple of their results, and if they are identified as carriers for any of the 100 genetic diseases that the test can detect, they must participate in a genetic counseling follow-up appointment either via phone or video chat.

“If we learn that a person is a carrier for a genetic disease, we’re going to explain what that disease is, what that would mean if that person would have a child with that genetic disease,” Karen Grinzaid, a genetic counselor with Emory’s Gene Screen Program and senior director of JScreen, told FoxNews.com. “What we need to remember from this testing is a majority of these diseases are recessive – both parents would have to carry a mutation for these diseases— the majority of the time that does not happen.”

JScreen provides couples with information ahead of conception, Grinzaid noted, which can help them plan accordingly or seek other options including in vitro fertilization or egg or sperm donation. If two partners are both found to be carriers of a genetic mutation, they carry a 25 percent risk of passing it on to their biological child. The genetic counselor provides information on alternative conception options and can help them consult a physician. Grinzaid added that JScreen offers a minimum of 94 percent accuracy in detection rate, but for many mutations it’s 99 percent or higher.

While it’s often believed that only couples who have a family history of genetic disease or disorders should consider testing, in many cases it’s the opposite, like with Rose and her family, Grinzaid said.

“Eighty percent of the time a baby is born with a genetic disease; they’re born to parents that have no family history of that disease. Maybe a person is reassured by their family history, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen,” she said.

A long-awaited answer

Rose and her husband ordered the test and within weeks found out they were both carriers of Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS), a genetic disorder that affects many parts of the body with symptoms varying among affected individuals. Neither had a history of it in their family.

“As soon as we found out we were carriers we thought, ‘OK, our son probably has that,’” Rose said. “We were able to use our results to get him genetically tested.”

Rose and her husband presented the JScreen results to their son’s doctor and asked again to have him tested. It would be another two months before the family would receive a confirmed diagnosis of BBS. Though the two-month waiting period was stressful, Rose’s son likely would have gone undiagnosed for a number of years, as a clinical diagnosis is only made when patients present four of the main symptoms, or three major and two minor symptoms.

The major clinical symptoms include retinal degeneration, obesity, polydactyly-type limb abnormalities, hypogonadism and genital anomalies, cognitive impairment and renal abnormalities. Minor features include speech delay, developmental delay, diabetes, mellitus, dental anomalies, congenital heart disease, brachydactyly/syndactyly, ataxia/poor coordination, deafness and anosmia/hyposmia.

Because their son is so young, he has only presented the extra fingers and kidney issues. The family won’t know if he is affected by obesity until he’s older, and hypogonadism wouldn’t present itself until puberty. Vision loss typically begins affecting patients around age 8.

“We don’t know how horrible things are yet – so right now they did an ultrasound on his kidneys, bladder and liver, and also an echocardiogram on his heart – so far everything is normal except for his kidneys, we’re having further testing done to find out how bad it is,” Rose said.

Rose is hopeful that because they received the diagnosis early, they will be able to get ahead of any other complications their son may face. They plan to remove the extra fingers, practice early intervention for any intellectual disabilities he may develop, tackle obesity with diet and exercise, and take steps to address his kidney issues.

“It varies a lot, there’s people who are completely normal – graduated college and are accountants, and then there’s some who do have speech delays, or learning disabilities, which could just be because of the vision loss, too,” she said.

Dr. Evelyn Karson, an OB-GYN and geneticist and JScreen consultant spoke with Rose and her husband after they received their results. She acknowledged that as an obstetrician she has seen hundreds of children born with an extra pinky and always asks the parents if there is a family history of the condition, because it is not always a tell-tale sign that something may be wrong.

“Most physicians who would treat a child with extra fingers probably would not think about [BBS] unless the child was otherwise sick or had some other physical characteristic of that condition,” Karson told FoxNews.com. “This little guy didn’t have anything else externally and was meeting the milestones, growing, with no abnormalities.”

Karson also added that the accessibility of JScreen offers the technology a chance to reach couples outside of larger cities. The cost of the test is $149 with private insurance, and there is financial assistance available for others, making it more affordable than traditional procedures, the company claims.

While Rose and her husband sought JScreen as a means for answers, Karson said that typically isn’t the norm, but believes the information is imperative to have for any parent-to-be.

“When should you get tested? When you’re thinking about having unprotected sex,” Karson said. “That’s my bottom line.”

Detroit boy loses leg after contracting flesh-eating bacteria

(Fox Detroit)

 

A 12-year-old Michigan boy is battling illness after being infected by flesh-eating bacteria that caused him to lose most of his left leg.

Dakarai Moore, Jr. was an active child until August 11, when he developed a fever and a greenish-colored rash on the bottom of his feet, Fox 2 Detroitreported.

“My son was complaining just saying his legs were hurting,” Charmaine Norman, his mother, told the news channel. “There was a really tight feeling and his knees were kind of puffy.”

Charmaine rushed him to Detroit Children’s Hospital of Michigan, where a team of doctors was assigned to his care. Days later, as they watched the bacteria work its way up to his torso, Dakari was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis— which is rarely found in children.

Most of the soon-to-be seventh grader’s left leg could not be saved.

“That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life today,” his father Dakarai Moore told Fox 2 Detroit, “sign the papers to get his left leg amputated.”

Dakarai’s parents aren’t sure how he got the infection and are sharing his story to spread awareness.

“We had no understanding about it,” Dakarai Sr. told Fox 2. “If you ask all the questions in the world, and 50 doctors can’t tell you anything for more than a week, we need more people to know about this.”

The boy’s battle isn’t over, though his parents said doctors believe they have slowed the infection down and may have stopped it from spreading further. A fund to help support the family’s medical expenses will be set up.

Survey sheds light on sperm donors who connect with recipients online

sperm egg

A new survey of men who use online sperm donation sites sheds light on their motivations, preferences and experiences with donation.

Most are straight and donate for altruistic reasons, and one-third favor anonymous donation, researchers found.

Only 11 percent of donors are gay and nine percent are bisexual, but these men more often desire open-identity donation and would like contact with their offspring, the results showed.

A concern “about online sperm donation is that it is potentially open to anyone to become donors. By comparison, men who wish to donate via a licensed U.K. clinic have to undergo a stringent recruitment process, including medical screening,” said lead author Tabitha Freeman of the Center for Family Research at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.

“A striking finding was the number of men – about one third of this sample – who were using the website to pursue anonymous sperm donation,” Freeman told Reuters Health by email.

On the other hand, she noted, “By enabling direct communication between those wishing to donate and obtain sperm, connection websites enable donors to have greater contact with recipient families than clinics which is a key reason that some men wish to donate in this way.”

In the spring of 2014, the researchers surveyed 383 men registered as sperm donors with Pride Angel, a U.K. based connection website for donors and recipients of sperm.

At that time there were more than 5,000 sperm donors registered on the site, although the site also registers sperm recipients, egg donors, egg recipients and co-parents.

Donors who responded to the survey were an average age of 37. Almost 90 percent of donors whose donation eventually led to the live birth of a child were white, and they were more often employed full-time and had a university degree or higher compared to the overall population of donors on the site.

Eighty percent of donors were heterosexual, 11 percent were gay and 9 percent were bisexual, according to self-report. About half were single and did not have children. Most said they wanted to donate to help others or to pass on their genes, and having family or friends who had experienced infertility was also common.

More than half of the men preferred identity release, co-parenting or another arrangement.

Donor anonymity was removed in the U.K. in 2005 – children conceived using sperm donated after that year can find out the identity of their donor when they turn 18, Freeman said.

Women who conceive using donor sperm “may be interested in knowing more about the donor as a person because of the potential for future contact between their child and this man,” she cautioned.

Half of straight donors said they preferred “natural insemination” compared to 26 percent of gay and bisexual men, as reported in Human Reproduction.

In general, there are many more sperm donors on connection websites than in brick-and-mortar clinics, Freeman said.

“Private donation arrangements without the regulatory protection of a licensed clinic raise a number of personal, medical and legal risks,” she said. “It is therefore necessary that those using these websites seek appropriate legal and medical advice.”

Some women may choose to find a donor on a connection website and carry out the actual insemination through a clinic, she said.

“There is a wide variation in the nature of these websites and the motivations of the men who seek to donate sperm in this way, and it is vital that there is further research in this area,” Freeman said. “Although the findings from this research are reassuring in that the men who donated sperm appear to be well-intentioned and responsible, it must be noted that members of only one website took part in this study and the findings may not be representative of all online sperm donors.”