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Fist Bumps Could be Good for Our Health

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It all started in the 1970s (we think), when NBA Baltimore Bullets guard Fred Carter balled up his fist and bumped it against a teammate's closed fist. Or maybe it was the Wonder Twins, who kissed fists and shouted “Wonder Twin powers, activate!” Soon, athletes and bros alike adopted the fist bump as the preferred greeting. In 2008, it received new prominence when Barack Obama and his wife fist-bumped as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination. The Washington Post called it “the fist bump heard ’round the world.”

No matter the origin, fist bumps might actually be good for our health. A recent study finds that bumping fists rather than shaking hands in hospitals reduces the spread of bacteria.

Researchers, led by plastic surgeon Tom McClellan, asked people who had washed hands to either shake hands or bump fists. After the contact, the researchers took swabs of the subjects’ hands and cultured the samples to see how much bacteria were thriving on the hands. After 20 handshakes, people had more bacteria populating their hands than those who fist-bumped 20 times. A shake exposed three times as much skin as a bump and lasted 2.7 times longer.

“[Bumping] may lead to decreased transmission of bacteria and improved health and safety of patients and healthcare workers alike," McClellan and his colleagues wrote in their paper in the Journal of Hospital Infection.

People spread germs via handshake because they fail to clean their hands properly. According to a study in The Journal of Environmental Health, only 5 percent of people wash their hands for 15 seconds or longer. But 15 seconds is not enough—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wash their hands for 20 seconds to reduce the spread of illness. This improper handwashing means that 80 percent of people carry germs on their hands. When one improperly cleaned hand grasps another in a welcoming handshake, the two swap germs that can cause everything from a cold to MRSA to pneumonia to E. coli. While McClellan’s study focused solely on bacteria, he plans on investigating how fist bumps can impact the spread of viruses.

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Here's What You Need to Know Before Getting Inked or Pierced, According to Doctors
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Getting inked or pierced is a rite of passage for many teens and young adults. But before getting that belly ring or butterfly on your back, experts want you to be aware of the risks, which are reviewed in a new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). According to NPR, it's the first set of recommendations the professional association has ever released on the practices.

Forthcoming in the October 2017 issue of Pediatrics and available online, the report provides a general assessment of the types and methods used to perform body modifications, along with potential health and social consequences. Here are a few main takeaways:

—It's unclear how often tattoos cause health complications, but they're generally believed to be rare, with the greatest risk being infection. One recent study found that nanoparticles in ink can travel to and linger in lymph nodes for an extended period. That said, you should check with your doctor to make sure all of your immunizations are up to date before getting either a tattoo or piercing, and that you're not taking any immunity-compromising medicines.

—Before shelling out your hard-earned cash on a tattoo, make sure it's something you'll likely still appreciate in five to 10 years, as it costs anywhere from $49 to $300 per square inch to remove a tattoo with lasers. (This might provide all the more incentive to opt for a small design instead of a full sleeve.)

—About half of people 18 to 29 years of age have some kind of piercing or tattoo, according to Dr. Cora Breuner, who is chair of the AAP committee on adolescence. Many individuals don't regret getting one, with some reporting that tattoos make them feel sexier. But while millennials appear to be cool with metal and ink, hiring managers might not be too pleased: In a 2014 survey of 2700 people, 76 percent said they thought a tattoo or piercing had hindered their chances of getting hired, and nearly 40 percent thought tattooed employees reflected poorly on their employers.

—Not all tattoo parlors are created equal, as each state has different regulations. Keep a close eye on whether your artist uses fresh disposable gloves, fresh needles, and unused ink poured into a new container. This helps prevent infection.

—The advice is similar for getting pierced: Make sure the piercer puts on new, disposable gloves and uses new equipment from a sterile container. Tongue piercings can cause tooth chippings, so be careful of that—and remove any piercings before you play contacts sports.

The full report is available online.

[h/t NPR]

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Big Questions
What Is the Difference Between Generic and Name Brand Ibuprofen?
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What is the difference between generic ibuprofen vs. name brands?

Yali Friedman:

I just published a paper that answers this question: Are Generic Drugs Less Safe than their Branded Equivalents?

Here’s the tl;dr version:

Generic drugs are versions of drugs made by companies other than the company which originally developed the drug.

To gain FDA approval, a generic drug must:

  • Contain the same active ingredients as the innovator drug (inactive ingredients may vary)
  • Be identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration
  • Have the same use indications
  • Be bioequivalent
  • Meet the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity, and quality
  • Be manufactured under the same strict standards of FDA's good manufacturing practice regulations required for innovator products

I hope you found this answer useful. Feel free to reach out at www.thinkbiotech.com. For more on generic drugs, you can see our resources and whitepapers at Pharmaceutical strategic guidance and whitepapers

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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