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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

“This Week In Health” offers some highlights from the world of health and wellness that you may have missed this week:

  • Experts say we are at a tipping point with antibiotic-resistant bacteria — so-called “superbugs.” Due to the massive overuse of antibiotic drugs, pathogens are becoming increasingly immune to available treatments, posing a huge potential public health risk. The Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to curb the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock in an effort to mitigate the spread of these unkillable microbes.
  • A link between obesity and Type 2 diabetes has already been quite well established for some time. A new study published in mBio sheds new light on the precise mechanism: Type 2 diabetes is possibly caused by bacteria that become more prevalent in the bodies of people who gain weight. What this means in practice is that doctors may have a way to intercede and affect the course of Type 2 diabetes, by targeting the bacteria.
  • New research suggests that poor sleep in old age may be linked to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. The findings imply that insufficient deep sleep contributes to “a reduced ability to cement memories in the brain over the long term, resulting in greater memory loss,” according to researchers.
  • The tragic loss of 46-year-old Beau Biden to brain cancer has brought renewed attention to brain tumors, an often lethal and not fully understood form of cancer, and to developing new and more effective treatments in the fight to cure them.

Photo: NIAID via Flickr

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)