Vaginal bacteria can trigger recurrent UTIs, study shows

About half of all women will experience urinary tract infections in their lifetimes, and despite treatment, about a quarter will develop recurrent infections within six months of initial infection. A new study at the School of Medicine has uncovered a trigger of recurrent UTI infections: a type of vaginal bacteria that moves into the urinary tract.

Proliferation of marijuana ads alarms addiction researchers

As more states have legalized marijuana, advertising for the drug has become more common. In a new study, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report that more than half of young pot users they surveyed have seen marijuana ads — either online or in more traditional forms of advertising such as billboards and print media.

Genetic errors associated with heart health may guide drug development

Natural genetic changes can put some people at high risk of certain conditions, such as breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease or high blood pressure. But in rare cases, genetic errors also can have the opposite effect, protecting individuals with these helpful genetic mistakes from developing common diseases. A new study of such “beneficial” genetic mutations, led by the School of Medicine, may provide guidance on the design of new therapies intended to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Insurance coverage for IVF increases chance of having baby

Women who pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF) to become pregnant are more likely to give birth if they have health insurance that covers the procedure, according to new research at the School of Medicine. The key reason is financial rather than medical: The high cost for one procedure prohibits many women from seeking a second if the first attempt fails.

Scientists get closer look at living nerve synapses

The brain hosts an extraordinarily complex network of interconnected nerve cells that are constantly exchanging electrical and chemical signals at speeds difficult to comprehend. Now, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report they have been able to achieve — with a custom-built microscope — the closest view yet of living nerve synapses.