amana images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Mothers of children with developmental disabilities may be able to reduce their increased stress, anxiety and depression by learning to meditate.

According a study published in the journal Pediatrics, mothers of children with autism or other neuro-developmental conditions who received “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction,” a program that included breathing, meditation and movement techniques, saw greater improvement in depression, anxiety, sleep and life satisfaction.

Researchers selected 243 mothers of children with developmental disabilities and assigned half of them to receive the stress reduction regimen, and the other half to receive “Positive Adult Development.” The latter plan involved training with peer mentors to develop coping strategies.

While both programs were linked to reduced stress, researchers say the program that included breathing and meditation lessons was more effective. The study highlights the effectiveness of “mindfulness” in coping with stress, but also notes that peer mentoring can improve the lives of parents as well.

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Where the eyes wander is the best way of knowing whether a person feels love or lust.

That’s the upshot of a study out of the University of Geneva, although its conclusion doesn’t seem all that startling.

Lead author Stephanie Cacioppo and her husband, John Cacioppo from the University of Chicago, examined how male and female students looked at one another, and their finding was that when the eyes focus on the face, it’s more indicative of romantic love.

However, if the eyes target other parts of the human anatomy, it’s a surer sign that they’re more interested in sex.

So why is this important? As Stephanie Cacioppo explains, “By identifying eye patterns that are specific to love-related stimuli, the study may contribute to the development of a biomarker that differentiates feelings of romantic love versus sexual desire.”

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Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Red meat to lower your blood pressure? That’s what Penn State researchers say, provided that it’s lean beef you’re eating.

The other important factor is that this protein source is part of the larger DASH-diet plan, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

Researcher Penny M. Kris-Etherton says DASH features plenty of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, and with the inclusion of lean beef, it becomes the BOLD+diet (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet Plus additional protein).

In order to maintain a heart-healthy diet to lower blood pressure, Kris-Etherton recommends the BOLD+diet, which includes 5.4 ounces of lean beef daily. This proved most effective compared to other diets that had a smaller daily portion of meat.

A good rule of thumb to find lean or extra lean beef is shopping for meat that has round, chuck or loin in its name.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Education officials in Georgia want to give schools more opportunities to sell baked goods and other foods that don’t meet national guidelines championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The Georgia state Board of Education, which calls new federal nutrition standards an “overreach,” wants to give schools 30 days per school year to sell sweets or fast food during fundraisers.

Even though schools have begun serving lunches with more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, some Georgia school officials are saying they depend on selling items like candy bars and baked goods to raise money for clubs, sports, and other programs.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Education officials in Georgia want to give schools more opportunities to sell baked goods and other foods that don’t meet federal guidelines championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The Georgia state Board of Education, which calls new federal nutrition standards an “overreach,” wants to give schools 30 days per school year to sell sweets or fast food during fundraisers.

Even though schools have begun serving lunches with more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, some Georgia school officials are saying they depend on selling items like candy bars and baked goods to raise money for clubs, sports, and other programs.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New research suggests that the busier the emergency room, the better your chances of survival.

While it may seem like chaos at a large, busy hospital would increase the risk of error, a University of Michigan study found that practice makes perfect, and that death rates at the nation’s busiest emergency rooms are 10% lower than in the calmest.

And the numbers aren’t just lower for gunshot and stab wounds– researchers say death rates were 26% lower for sepsis patients and 22% lower for lung failure patients.

Overall, the study finds that if all emergency room patients were treated at the busiest hospitals, 24,000 fewer people would die every year.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New research suggests that the busier the emergency room, the better your chances of survival.

While it may seem like chaos at a large, busy hospital would increase the risk of error, a University of Michigan study found that practice makes perfect, and that death rates at the nation’s busiest emergency rooms are 10% lower than in the calmest.

And the numbers aren’t just lower for gunshot and stab wounds– researchers say death rates were 26% lower for sepsis patients and 22% lower for lung failure patients.

Overall, the study finds that if all emergency room patients were treated at the busiest hospitals, 24,000 fewer people would die every year.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — A North Carolina company is recalling about 200 pounds of grilled chicken entrees because they were not properly labeled.

B Robert’s Foods, based in Charlotte, says the packages contain milk, but that was not declared on the label.

The top label of the 10-ounce packages reads “All Natural Grilled Chicken Strips,” and the bottom label says “Grilled Chicken Breast with Lemon Spaghettini.”

The product was distributed in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers to avoid powdered pure caffeine products which they say can cause accidental overdose.

The FDA says it is aware of “at least one death of a teenager who used these products.” The products are nearly 100 percent caffeine, a single teaspoon of which is about the same amount in 25 cups of coffee.

Some of the side effects of caffeine overdose include erratic heartbeat, seizures and death. The FDA also urges parents to be aware that young people may be interested in these products without realizing the danger of ingesting them.

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BananaStock/Thinkstock(MELBOURNE, Australia) — The day after Malaysia Flight MH 17 was shot down in Ukraine, members of the tight knit HIV/AIDS community are mourning the loss of roughly 100 HIV/AIDS researchers, who were killed en route to the International Aids Society conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Despite the immense toll, IAS conference officials said in a statement the conference would continue, “in recognition of our colleagues’ dedication to the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

Although the IAS did not confirm the number of attendees on the plane, President Obama told reporters Friday that nearly 100 AIDS/HIV researchers and scientists were on board MH 17 when it was shot down.

While the conference will continue, attendees will have “opportunities to reflect and remember those we have lost,” officials said.

Nobel laureate Dr. Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, co-discoverer of the AIDS virus and president of the International AIDS Society, told reporters the conference would continue out of respect for those who were killed.

“We know that it’s really what they would like us to do,” Barre-Sinoussi told reporters.

Among the passengers aboard MH 17 was Dr. Joep Lange, a former president of the IAS from the Netherlands, who has been a leading expert in the field of HIV/AIDS since the 1980s.

Chris Beyrer, IAS president-elect, told reporters Thursday if Lange perished on the flight “then the HIV/AIDS movement has truly lost a giant.”

“In this incredible sad and sensitive time, the IAS stands with its international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost in this tragedy,” Beyrer told reporters in Melbourne, Australia.

Lange’s partner, HIV/AIDS researcher Jacqueline van Tongeren, was also on board the downed plane.

Lange’s longtime friend and colleague, Dr. Michael Merson, said the Dutch scientist was one of the first to use antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV/AIDS and became an expert in the treatment.

“He really was very special and if you were to come up with the leaders in AIDS [since] the pandemic began in 1981,” said Merson, who is the director of the Duke Global Health Institute. “You’d put him among the top five leaders.”

Merson said in the 22 years he knew Lange, the scientist had started numerous initiatives to combat the HIV/AIDS in Europe and Africa. After drugs to control HIV started to gain traction in the mid 1990s, Lange focused his efforts on global health initiatives to get the medication to anyone who needed it.

“His second home was Africa, he worked in east Africa and Asia and Latin America,” said Merson. “He would stay it like it is. He was an outstanding scientists and fierce advocate.”

Merson said he has no doubt that Lange’s work will continue.

“There’s no questions there will be loss and there will be some things that slow down,” said Merson. “But he has great colleagues and dedicated scientists and researchers that are in his institute in Amsterdam. He knows that they want him to continue.”

World Health Organization spokesperson Glenn Thomas was also en route to the conference on MH 17.

“His twin sister says he died doing what he loved,” WHO said in a statement. “Glenn will be remembered for his ready laugh and his passion for public health.”

Not all of the researchers on board have been named, but the tight-knit HIV/AIDS research community around the world is mourning the loss. The Thomas Street Health Center in Houston, Texas, observed a moment of silence for the fallen researchers. And Peter Staley, a long time AIDS/HIV activist, wrote on twitter that the missile had “ripped a hole through the heart of the international AIDS community.”

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