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Mandy Danforth(NEW YORK) -- A 9-year-old boy whose right side of his body was left nearly paralyzed after surgery for a brain tumor was surprised with a new, custom-made playhouse in his backyard.

Blake Danforth, of Prairie Village, Kansas, saw the playhouse, which also includes a fire pit, for the first time after arriving home from school on Thursday.

“He could not believe it,” Blake’s mom, Mandy Danforth, told ABC News. “It took us everything we had to get him out of it last night. He wanted to sleep in it.”

It was Danforth’s idea to build a playhouse for Blake, who wanted something to play in outside. Danforth asked her father, Sandy Blake, for help building a “Little Rascals”-type clubhouse using scraps of wood.

When Sandy Blake, a devoted Home Depot shopper, approached the manager at his local store for help designing his grandson's playhouse, he was met with more help than he expected.

“We jumped right in,” said Kevin Trembly, the manager of the Home Depot in Olathe, Kansas, who first spoke to Sandy Blake and told him Home Depot would take care of everything.

Trembly led a team of nearly 25 volunteers from Team Depot, described on its website as a "385,000-strong army of associate volunteers." Team Depot volunteers, with help from vendors and local charities, spent the week constructing a dream playhouse for Blake complete with a fire pit, bean bag, sleeping bag and art desk stocked with supplies.

“It was an awesome thing to see his eyes light up,” Trembly said of Thursday’s surprise. “He’s got some real struggles but it was fun to see him just overwhelmed with joy to see he had a playhouse.”

Blake was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 2. Surgery to remove the tumor left Blake's right side nearly paralyzed and his right leg in a brace. Due to the tumor’s location in Blake's brain, doctors could not remove all of it, so he also had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation.

Blake still undergoes annual MRIs to track his tumor’s growth, according to Danforth. He also requires continuing physical and occupational therapy to rebuild strength on the right side of his body.

“We were told he was not going to make it twice, so it’s kind of a miracle that he’s alive and doing so well,” Danforth said. “Yeah he’s got disabilities, but the kid is such a fighter.”

Blake’s new playhouse, which was dubbed “Fort Blake,” includes features like stairs and a step ladder that will be therapeutic in helping him rebuild strength.

The playhouse also includes features that make it easier for Blake to play outside like other kids.

“He wants to be like all the other kids but sometimes he has to have things that are a little easier for him to manage,” Danforth said. “Everything in this playhouse is built for him.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One first-time dad seemed like a pro after he expertly quieted his crying baby instantly.

Author Daniel Eisenman was lying in bed while shooting a Facebook Live video when his 3-week-old daughter, Divina Victoria, began crying.

"So I did my go-to 'om,' which seemed to work pretty effectively," he told ABC News.

In the video, which has now gone viral with more than 29 million people watching, Eisenman's daughter quiets immediately, seemingly going to sleep.

 Eisenman said he had a hunch his trick would work.

"When she was in the womb, I would 'om' to her," he explained. "So when she came out of the womb and she started whining, I figured that might be something that would calm her down and sure enough it works very well."

And although it works for Eisenman, his wife of five years, Diana Eisenman, told ABC News oming doesn't work when she does it to their daughter.

"I've got the food source. That works for me," she quipped.

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moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In recent years, much attention has been paid to how police interact with suspects and the public, especially when that interaction ends in violence recorded on video and shared online. However, one new study has found that despite increased attention, there does not appear to be a rise in people treated for injuries in emergency rooms “owing to” to encounters with law enforcement and that just a fraction of those injuries resulted in deaths.

About 51,000 people are sent to the ER every year with injuries hospitals characterize as “legal intervention injuries” -- and less than 1 percent of these injuries result in death, according to a new study published earlier this month in JAMA Surgery.

Dr. Elinore J. Kaufman, lead author and surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medicine, said researchers' goal was to find out if increased coverage of injuries related to citizen encounters with law enforcement matched an increased number of injuries. "Legal intervention injuries" was defined as “injuries inflicted by the police or other law-enforcing agents, including military on duty, in the course of arresting or attempting to arrest lawbreakers, suppressing disturbances, maintaining order, and other legal action.”

“With any health problem, the first step is to count the numbers. If you haven’t counted it, you’re not going to fix it,” Kaufman said.

Approximately 356,000 emergency room visits between 2006 and 2012 were attributed to “legal intervention injuries,” reported the researchers from New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medicine. Researchers reviewed statistics from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, a database that includes both discharges and hospital visits. NEDS is a database that contains some 135 million emergency department visits, a sample that is roughly 20 percent of all visits nationwide.

The number of injuries in this category remained steady each year at approximately 51,000 per year. The study did not examine whether the people who were injured were arrested or charged with a crime.

“Although this issue has been getting more attention, this is a longer-term phenomenon,” Kaufman said of the study results.

The vast majority of injuries were minor in severity, with 78 percent of injuries occurring through being struck. Nearly 4 percent of injuries were due to gunshot wounds, approximately 3 percent due to cut or stab wounds and nearly 16 percent were unspecified injuries.

People with alcohol or drug in their system, people with a history of alcohol or substance abuse or dependence, or people with mental illness made up a significant portion of those brought to the ER in this study. Of those injured, 20 percent were reported as having some form of mental illness. Nearly 10 percent were identified as having alcohol intoxication or dependence. Another 6 percent had drug intoxication or dependence.

Kaufman pointed out that understanding who is more likely to be treated in the ER for injuries related to law enforcement can help police departments, medical providers, and local communities work together to diminish the numbers of those injured.

“Mental health issues were very common in our population, something to take into account going forward,” she said of her study group. The “next step is to look at communities to look at where we can improve, where we have strengths and what we can share with each other.”

More injuries occurred in the South and West regions of the U.S. compared to the Northeast and Midwest. More than 85 percent of patients were men, with an average age of 32 years old. Over 80 percent of patients lived in urban areas, with most in areas with household incomes less than the national average.

Kaufman said more study would need to be done in order to account for people who died before they reach the hospital, those who do not show up at the ER for treatment and for people who come back for continuing treatment.

“None of these counts are perfect. As researchers, our job is to use the data the best we can,” she said.

Written by Chris Gu, MD, a radiology resident at the Mayo Clinic and a former resident in the ABC News Medical Unit.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Shannen Doherty is in remission following a two-year battle with breast cancer, she announced Friday on Instagram.

The former 90210 and Charmed actress, 46, posted a photo of herself, writing, "Moments. They happen. Today was and is a moment. What does remission mean? I heard that word and have no idea how to react. Good news? YES. Overwhelming. YES."

But Doherty, who married film producer Kurt Iswarienko in 2011, writes that she's not out of the woods yet. "Now more waiting, she says. "As every single one of my fellow cancer family knows, the next five years is crucial. Reoccurrences happen all the time. Many of you have shared that very story with me. So with a heart that is certainly lighter, I wait."

Next up for Tennessee-born Doherty? "In the meantime, decisions," she writes. "Reconstruction which is several surgeries. Decision on taking a pill for the next five years that comes with its own set of problems and side effects. I am blessed, I know that. But for now.... remission. I'm going to just breathe. #cancerslayer."

 Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2015, and has been chronicling her battle against the disease on her Instagram page.

In February she announced in an Instagram post that she was finished with chemotherapy, writing, "Last day of chemo. Exhausted. Now that I'm done with chemo and radiation, the waiting game is here. Waiting for test. Waiting to see if I'm clear or not."

Fast forward two months, and she is indeed in the clear -- for now.

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Twitter/@GeorgeHWBush(HOUSTON) -- Former President George H.W. Bush has been released from a Texas hospital after receiving treatment for pneumonia.

Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital earlier this month after a persistent cough led to a pneumonia diagnosis, according to his staff.

This is his third hospitalization just this year. In January, the former president was hospitalized for 12 days after contracting pneumonia. He recovered enough to toss the coin at the Super Bowl in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 5. However, Bush was again hospitalized after the event for reasons that were not disclosed at the time.

This week, Bush's physician, Dr. Clint Doerr, a pulmonologist at Houston Methodist Hospital, said the former president was still in the hospital due to "chronic bronchitis."

“While President Bush has recovered from pneumonia, he continues to deal with the effects of chronic bronchitis, which is a condition more prevalent with age. This means his airway has a constant, low-level of inflammation that can aggravate the symptoms of pneumonia," Doerr said in a statement.

Doerr said Bush is expected to continue "aggressive respiratory treatments" to help treat the effects of chronic bronchitis after being discharged.

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Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A year after the Zika outbreak hit the U.S., health officials are now concerned about preparing to fight another mosquito-borne illness: yellow fever. On Friday, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that they are taking urgent measures to keep the nation’s supply of yellow fever vaccine from being depleted within a few months.

Only one vaccine called YF-VAX is licensed for use in the U.S. and the CDC reported Friday the vaccine is expected to run out by the middle of this year due to manufacturing problems with the supplier.

Health officials are now working with the supplier Sanofi Pasteur and the FDA to make another yellow fever vaccine available. This vaccine called Stamaril is approved for use in 70 countries but not the U.S. It manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur France will be available at 252 sites in the U.S. This is a vast reduction from the estimated 4,000 sites that normally provide the yellow fever vaccine.

In a statement Sanofi said they had a manufacturing issue after preparing to move to a new manufacturing facility in 2018. While they implemented restriction in 2016 so help stretch supply, they said they anticipate YF-VAX will be unavailable from the middle of 2017 through the middle of 2018.

"Bringing answers to the global threat posed by yellow fever is a key commitment for Sanofi Pasteur. Sanofi Pasteur recognizes the challenge this supply disruption will cause for customers and for patients in need of yellow fever vaccine. We are making every effort to see that yellow fever vaccination continues in the U.S. during this YF-VAX vaccine supply disruption."

Getting travelers to get immunized for protection remains a struggle. Every year approximately 500,000 vaccinations for yellow fever are given to travelers or the military, who are going to areas where the virus is endemic. However, an estimated 8 million U.S. residents traveled to 42 countries with endemic yellow fever virus transmission in 2015, according to the CDC.

“Yellow fever virus can be exported by unimmunized travelers returning to countries where the virus is not endemic,” the CDC authors wrote. “Reports of yellow fever in at least 10 unimmunized returning U.S. and European travelers were recorded during 1970–2013.”

The vaccine shortage comes as multiple yellow fever outbreaks have spread in different areas of the globe. In Brazil an outbreak erupted in December 2016, with 681 confirmed cases and 234 confirmed deaths as of April 20 2017, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Over 800 cases remain under investigation. In 2015 an outbreak that started in Angola spread to other countries and caused 965 cases from 2015 to 2017, according to the CDC.

The disease generally causes flu-like illness with high fevers. Most patients recover after this stage, but about one in five go on to have the most severe form of the fever, known as the “intoxication." It’s marked by bleeding, severe liver dysfunction, kidney failure, and jaundice-- hence the moniker “yellow” fever. The disease is often spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same insect that is the primary cause of the Zika virus infection.

Earlier this month Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, co-wrote an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine to warn of the potential spread of the yellow fever virus.

“It is also conceivable that yellow fever outbreaks may occur in the U.S. territories, just as the recent Zika epidemic reached Puerto Rico, causing a significant outbreak there and leading to thousands of travel-related cases,” Fauci wrote with his co-author.

While it is unlikely for yellow fever to sweep through the U.S., due in part to fewer mosquitoes, there is still a risk that unimmunized travellers could import the disease when they return from endemic regions.

“In an era of frequent international travel, any marked increase in domestic cases in Brazil raises the possibility of travel-related cases and local transmission in regions where yellow fever is not endemic,” wrote Fauci and his co-author wrote.

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Courtesy Abby Breyfogle (ROCHESTER, Minn.) -- A toddler battling cancer confined to her hospital room received a special visit to her window on Thursday.

Kendal Breyfogle was greeted by a window washer dressed as Superman at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, as part of the hospital's "Superhero Day" that took place on April 27.

Kendal's mom, Abby Breyfogle, snapped a photo of the touching moment and shared it on her Facebook page.

"It was the first time she ever saw that so she was apprehensive at first, but started giving them high fives and was mad when they left," Breyfogle of Pierre, South Dakota. "Child life here is great. It's hard for us because a lot of [activities] are in the hallways and we can't go into the hallway, so this was cool that we can be a part of it."

Kendal and her twin sister, Kenedi, will turn 2 years old on May 1, 2015. Both girls were both diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on Aug. 17, 2015.

"Having two, of course it's sad, but we just immediately went to the next step because we need to fight this," Breyfogle told ABC News that year. "The doctor said it's very rare."

Days later, Kendal and Kenedi were admitted into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and began receiving chemotherapy.

Today, Kenedi is 19 months in remission but in February, Kendal relapsed at her 17-month remission and was readmitted into the hospital.

On May 4, Kendal will receive a bone marrow transplant from an international donor. Because of her compromised immune system, the active toddler cannot leave her hospital room, Breyfogle said.

"She's just a typical 2-year-old -- she wants to be running and play not attached to tubes. ... We are trying to keep her entertained, but living in a 20-by-20 space is very difficult."

For years, a team of child life specialists at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center have been surprising kids like Kendal with visits from superheroes, the hospital told ABC News. This year, Superman, the Hulk, Batman and Spider-Man rappelled down the side of the children’s hospital and played games outside the windows. Later, they arrived indoors to meet with the patients and their families.

“When the child life team plans events and offers activities, it is a way to normalize the hospital environment, making the hospital experience a bit more manageable,” said Kristi Rodgers, manager of the Child Life Program at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center.

Kendal must recover from the bone marrow transplant for 30 to 45 days before rejoining her twin, big sister Teagan, 4, and mom and dad, Breyfogle said.

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Cole Thomas(ROCHELLE, Ill.) -- Illinois dad Cole Thomas walked out of rehab seven months after a car crash left him paralyzed.

"On my way to work with a fully loaded work truck, I had a deer run out in front of me and I swerved into the ditch. And once I tried to get it back up on the road, I overcorrected and we rolled off the opposite side of the road," Thomas, 34, of Rochelle, told ABC News. "While we were rolling, my seat belt came off. I heard a click and felt a flap in front of my face, and then I got thrown around like a rag doll."

Thomas shattered his L2 vertebra and was told he'd never walk again. But he never lost hope, pleading on Facebook from the ICU for a doctor or rehab center to heal him.

"I am looking for a doctor, for a rehabilitation center, for someone or something that will help me be able to walk again," he said in this heartbreaking video, which amassed 13 million views. "I have the willpower and the strength to keep going and to push as hard as I can to be able to do it. I have two small girls at home -- a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old -- that need their daddy. And I want to be able to dance with them at their wedding day one day."

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago answered his prayers, working with him diligently every day.

"One of my very first therapists came in with a wheelchair and a transfer board, and said, 'You're going to get yourself sat up and get yourself to the edge of this bed and I'm not going to help you at all,' " Thomas said. "I looked at him and said, 'You're crazy.' And he said, 'Yeah, pretty much.' But I tried it.

"Then to find out I can do it is such a confidence booster."

Despite making significant progress much quicker than expected, he said it was often difficult to not fall into a "pity pit."

"You get terribly into this pity pit," he said. "And it's so easy to fall into that too, because it's really, really hard to see any of the positives throughout any of it."

Eventually, he was able to meet the ultimate goal he had set for himself.

"Cole's No. 1 goal in occupational therapy was to be able to pick up his daughter," said his therapist, Sarah Zera. "Being able to really participate with his family and be a good family member was very important to him, and he really did his best to do that, along the entire spectrum of his care."

On April 21, Thomas had a celebration in honor of going home. He walked himself to the car.

"To go from being completely paralyzed from the waist down to being able to stand up from a chair to walk out the door -- on top of the world," he said of that special moment. "It's a whole new start."

"The best way to get me to do something is tell me I can't," he added. "You never know what you're capable of until you try. Until you really dig down deep and you try."

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iStock/Thinkstock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- With summer approaching, Florida health officials are taking steps to prevent another outbreak of the Zika virus. State and local officials have been monitoring for the virus in both humans, who could pick up the virus abroad, and in mosquitoes, which could transmit the illness to humans.

Officials from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Thursday that no Zika virus has been detected in any mosquitoes tested this year. Since last year's outbreak began, they have tested 90,000 individual mosquitoes which represent 6,500 mosquito pools. There is no longer an ongoing outbreak in Florida.

“As we enter into the warmer months, it's especially important that Florida communities are equipped with the knowledge and resources they need for their Zika-related response efforts,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam said in a statement Thursday.

Last year, officials in southern Florida had to combat outbreaks of locally transmitted Zika virus in four areas in or near Miami. In 2016, a total of 1,118 people in Florida were diagnosed with the disease.

This year, there have been no outbreaks of locally transmitted Zika, although 33 people have been diagnosed with the disease in Florida after being infected outside the U.S. Zika virus usually causes mild symptoms in adults, but it has been linked to serious birth defects, including microcephaly and other brain defects, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus is spread primarily via the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which been called a "cockroach" mosquito for its ability to live indoors and reproduce even in tiny pools of water. Mosquitoes like the Aedes aegypti are the primary way the Zika virus is spread, although the disease can also be transmitted through sexual contact.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito has also been found to be resistant to pesticide spraying. Last year, after locally transmitted Zika was spread in Miami, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the initial mosquito-control measures were not effective.

"Aggressive mosquito-control measures don't seem to be working as well as we would have liked," now-former CDC Director Tom Frieden told reporters at the time.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said in an interview during the Zika outbreak last year that the Aedes aegypti mosquito is especially hard to combat for multiple reasons.

"There's a history of Aedes being relatively resistant to conventional pesticide," Schaffner told ABC News. "When we say they're resistant that means the mosquito inherently can shrug off the pesticide."

All outbreaks of locally transmitted Zika in Florida were declared over by last December, six months after the first outbreak was reported in July.

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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Coconut water has been consumed by folks in tropical climates for centuries, and today, many people drink it for its taste and claimed benefits.

Often referred to as "Nature’s Sports Drink," coconut water is packed with electrolytes and is good for hydration. And while it's a good substitute for sugary drinks, it does contain a small amount of sugar and salt.

The drink is believed to be good for a number of health related ailments, like lowering blood pressure, weight loss and increased athletic performance. It's also thought to boost energy, lower cholesterol and reduce cellulite.

But to be honest, there’s not enough scientific data to support most of these claims. Bottom line: If you like the taste of coconut water, go for it but don’t expect any health miracles just yet.

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Phoebe Kannisto(CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y.) -- One family in Cheektowaga, New York donated more than 17 feet of hair to an organization that helps kids in need.

Phoebe Kannisto along with her six sons -- 10-year-old Andre, 8-year-old twins Silas and Emerson, and her 5-year-old triplets Herbie, Reed and Dexter -- ventured to a local hair salon, Hizair Hair Salon, to do the big chop.

The family, which also includes Kannisto's husband of nearly 11 years, Eric, and their 2-year-old daughter Marah Taylor, later donated the hair, which totaled approximately 17 feet, to Children with Hair Loss, a non-profit organization that helps children with medically-related hair loss.

Kannisto, who has donated her hair since she was a teenager, decided to get her children involved in 2015.

"Three years ago a friend of mine lost her son to cancer and he was also a twin and very similar in age to my twins," she recalled to ABC News. "So on the first anniversary of his passing my three oldest sons donated their hair in his memory and that’s kind of how it started."

Kannisto said although her younger children "have a simpler grasp on the concept, they understand that they’re helping sick kids who don’t have hair and can’t grow hair."

And because it's a family affair, they're already gearing up for their next donation as Kannisto's youngest child -- 2-year-old Marah Taylor -- wants to donate.

"We promised her we'd all go again so she could do it with us," the mom added with a laugh.

Kannisto said it's imperative for her to donate to kids who are fighting cancer, in particular, since her husband is a cancer research scientist.

"Cancer hits close to home for everybody," she said. "Everybody knows someone who’s affected by cancer."

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HYWARDS/iStock/Thinkstock(HEARTLAND, Tex.) -- A Texas bride received a life-saving kidney transplant just one week before walking down the aisle.

Anu Philip of Heartland, Texas, underwent surgery on March 19 and was married on March 25. The 28-year-old had been discharged from the hospital 24 hours before, she said.

"Everything was planned and we did not expect a kidney at all," Philip told ABC News. "It gave me more life to actually enjoy. Now I can travel, have children, and that was actually my main
concern. I'm happy that my husband doesn't have to experience daily struggles that I was going through in taking care of me."

When she was 9 months old, Philip had renal failure and was diagnosed with minimal change disease -- a disorder that results in abnormal kidney function, according to the Mayo Clinic.

On Dec. 6, 2011, while Philip was studying at Criswell College in Dallas, her kidney failed. She was then placed on a transplant waiting list in 2012, she said.

Three years later, Philip met her now-husband, Jeswin James, through a family member.

James proposed on May 5, 2016, and the couple set their wedding date for March 25, 2017. But a week before, Philip got the call that she had matched with a donor at Medical City Hospital in Dallas.

One day later, she received the transplant.

Dr. Matthew Mulloy, surgical director of adult and pediatric abdominal transplants at Medical City Dallas Hospital, said Philip's surgery was successful.

"She's young and otherwise healthy and she got a donor who was also a young, healthy donor," Mulloy told ABC News. "The difficult part was the time constraint for us. What she and I had talked
about was that the challenge would be to get her in and out of the hospital quickly and for her to make it to her wedding. ... In this instant, my recommendation to her was to not pass on this
donation."

Mulloy said the normal recovery time for a transplant patient who does not experience complications is three to seven days.

"We had a week," he added of Philip's procedure. "[I said], 'As long as you're willing to walk down the aisle and not do any dancing afterward, I think you'll be just fine."

Mulloy said Philip's story highlights the essential need for organ donors, especially in April, which is National Donate Life Month, he said.

Jeswin James, also 28, said he is grateful to the donor's family for the gift that was given to his wife.

"Before the wedding, she was on dialysis for the past five years, so every day when she woke up, she very tired, very weak," James told ABC News. "After the transplant, she's energetic. My wife,
she's healthy, she happy, she's full of life."

Philip said she has written a thank you letter to the donor's family and hopes to meet them someday.

"I am thankful or their selfless giving," she added. "Whoever they lost, they gave me life."

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LuckyBusiness/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Doctors have long known that genetics can predispose some people to gain weight despite a healthy lifestyle while others seemingly never gain an ounce no matter how much they eat. A new study sheds light on how people can counteract their genetic makeup, even if it's in their DNA to put on more weight than others.

Researchers from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of Copenhagen and other institutions conducted a meta-analysis examining 60 past genetic studies to see if physical activity could mitigate the effects a genetic predisposition to weight gain.

"Decline in daily physical activity is thought to be a key contributor to the global obesity epidemic," the authors wrote. However, they explained that genetic make-up may also play a role in weight gain for people who are not physically active.

They screened for 2.5 million genetic variants in 200,452 adults and also separated the subjects between those who were physically active -- about 77 percent -- and those who were physically inactive, about 23 percent. The researchers then looked at different markers that would indicate if a person was overweight including their body-mass index, waist circumference and hip-to-waist ratio.

They found those with a genetic variation that predisposed them to gain weight -- called an FTO gene -- had the ability counteract the effects that gene through exercise. By looking at the data they found that those with the FTO gene who were physically active were able to reduce the weight-gain effects associated with the gene by about 30 percent.

Dr. Goutham Rao, chairman of Family Medicine and Community Health at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, said this type of research is key in helping patients better understand their weight and health.

"Despite that sort of bad luck of having a genetic predisposition to obesity if you are physically active ... you're not going to reduce risk of obesity entirely but you reduce it significantly," Rao said.

The mechanism that leads to people with FTO to be predisposed to gain weight is still not fully understood, but Rao said it's key to give people encouragement that taking healthy steps has an effect even if they haven't reached their goal weight.

"The message is to be sympathetic," Rao said. Explaining he tells frustrated patients, "if you weren't doing your best you would weigh a lot more and be much less healthy."

Dr. Kevin Niswender, associate professor of medicine, molecular physiology and biophysics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the study took on the "really interesting question" of if people can counteract their genetics through their lifestyle.

"This study definitively confirms that lifestyle has an impact," he said.

During their research the team also discovered 11 new genetic variants that likely predispose a person to weight gain and they said more may be found through similar studies.

"In future studies, accounting for physical activity and other important lifestyle factors could boost the search for new obesity genes," said Mariaelisa Graff of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the lead author of the study. "To identify more genes whose effects are either dampened or amplified by physical activity, we need to carry out larger studies with more accurate measurement of physical levels."

Niswender said finding new variants that indicate predisposition for weight gain can help give a better understanding of the complex mechanisms behind obesity.

"For a long time we've been searching for this gene, the gene that causes obesity and it's just not like that," Niswender."there are a bunch of genes that cause obesity and the effect of each gene variant is really quite small."

Graff said more study should need to be done to get more accurate measurements of the participants' physical activity. The researchers classified those as having a sedentary job, commute and leisure time as "inactive" while everyone else was declared physically active. Additionally, the study was done primarily in people of European descent, so the findings may not be be easily extrapolated to other groups.

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Monkey Business Images Ltd/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Amid a brewing debate on the future of America’s health care, a little known program sustaining a pipeline of doctors to underserved communities is set to expire on April 28th.

The program, known as the Conrad 30 Waiver Program, offers individual states the opportunity to exempt up to 30 foreign doctors per year from their visa requirements, in exchange for practicing for
a minimum of three years in areas with a dire need of health providers.

From 2013 to 2015, more than half of U.S. states used at least 20-30 of their allotted waivers to remedy critical lapses in health care access, according to the Texas Primary Care Office.

“Rural communities in Minnesota and across the country are short on doctors, and they rely on the Conrad 30 program to fill the gaps. Over the last 15 years, the Conrad 30 program has brought more
than 15,000 physicians to underserved areas," said Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who is spearheading the effort to extend the Conrad 30 program, in a statement released earlier this month.

Many physicians from around the world, known as international medical graduates, use J-1 visas to complete medical training in the United States. After their training finishes, they are expected to
return to their home countries for two years until they can apply for legal residency in the U.S.

The Conrad 30 allows foreign physicians to bypass that requirement through the provision of a J-1 waiver, letting them remain in the U.S. while working in communities desperately in need of
doctors.

The program is designed to counter the shortage of physicians in America. By 2025 the American Medical Association estimates the country will be short of between 60,000 and almost 95,000 physicians
-- a deficit that will hit rural and low-income communities especially hard.

Along with Sen. Klobuchar, Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) introduced the The Conrad State 30 & Physician Access Act earlier this month to renew the program until 2021.
Since its introduction in 1994, the program has been periodically reauthorized.

"We must provide opportunities for American-trained and educated physicians to remain in the country and practice where there is an identified need for quality care," said Senator Collins in a
statement. "This legislation would allow for expanded access to health care in our rural or underserved communities, and in turn, would promote healthier lives."

If the program fails to be reauthorized, the next generation J-1 waiver physicians will not qualify to apply for the waiver until the program is reinstated, potentially interrupting a crucial flow
of doctors on which Americans depend.

Dr. Sameer Alefrai, a Jordanian physician applying for a J-1 waiver this year, called the program a "win-win."

"You get to stay here and continue working for a limited time until you satisfy your J-1 waiver, stay with your friends, colleagues, and keep progressing your career. And they get a physician in an
underserved area," Alefrai told ABC News.

The Conrad 30 program was instituted by Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota in 1994, looking to address growing shortages of physicians in America, especially in rural communities. By 2006, it had
grown tremendously, with the number of waivers from states rising from 89 in 1995 to more than 1,000 per year, leading the U.S. Government Accountability Office to describe it as, "a major means of
placing physicians in underserved areas of the United States."

The impact of the program is vast as these doctors may see hundreds to thousands of patients. A study in the Annals of Family medicine estimated an average primary care physician in the U.S. may
see as many as 2,500 patients a year.

In the past, the Conrad 30 program has enjoyed bipartisan support. However, under the new administration, the future of the program is unclear.

"It’ll be a trial balloon, it certainly will test the waters if physician immigration continues to have the support of both sides of Congress as it has had in the past," Connie Berry, former
manager of the Texas Primary Care Office told ABC News.

The current legislation also seeks to reform the program, offering clarifications to existing rules, employment protections for physicians to prevent mistreatment and giving spouses work
privileges.

The bill also seeks to expand access to doctors, increasing the cap on waivers for individual states.

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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

The nut business is booming. No doubt you’ve seen those commercials for pistachios, for example. And these bite-sized snacks can pack a powerful nutritional punch — they’re loaded with healthy fats, proteins and minerals.  

But not all nuts are created equally. So which ones are best for your diet and which should you avoid? Peanuts, which are high in folate, are thought to be good for brain power. They’re also a great source of protein.  

In terms of low calorie content, cashews, almonds and pistachios are a good way to go. Macadamia nuts and pecans, however, are higher in calories.

When it comes to heart health, go for walnuts with their mono-unsaturated fats.

As with most things, moderation is key, so when you’re reaching for nuts,  have a handful, not the whole bag.

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