• iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Animals across the country may react strangely on Monday as the first total solar eclipse to traverse the sky above the continental United States in decades takes place, experts say."In total solar eclipses, there are observations of animals going to sleep," Rick Schwartz, an animal behavior expert with the San Diego Zoo, told ABC News. "The animals take the visual cues of the light dimming, and the temperature cues.""You hear the increase of bird calls and insects that you usually associate with nightfall," Schwartz added. "Farmers have said that the cows lay down on the field or the chickens go back into the coop."Schwartz emphasized that reports of animals going berserk during solar eclipses is "anecdotal.""The reality is that because of the infrequency of solar eclipses, and because when it does happen, it is usually not in the same place, it is very hard to have actual scientific findings," Schwartz said of animal behavior during solar eclipses. "There have been observations at other zoos that animals didn’t react, which is also something to be noted."NASA has released a list of zoos across the country that are within the eclipse's path of totality and hosting special events on Aug. 21."Our animals are (we believe) completely unaware of the impending astronomical event," zookeepers at the Nashville Zoo in Tennesee wrote in a blogpost. "We are very curious to see how our animal collection will react to a false dusk, night and dawn taking place over the course of a few hours in the middle of the day."The Nashville Zoo is inviting visitors to record their observations of animal behavior during the eclipse and is giving out free protective glasses to the first 5,000 guests on the day of the eclipse.Schwartz told ABC News that as for house pets, their behavior is not likely to change, as "domestic animals that live with humans, their cues come from our behavior."Meanwhile, in an attempt to gain more insight into animal behavior during an eclipse, the California Academy of Sciences has launched a nationwide citizen scientist project, calling on participants to closely monitor the behavior of an individual organism during the upcoming eclipse and record their observations using an app.Schwartz said that the technology available to Americans now versus when the last total solar eclipse passed over the country may result in new findings."That is exciting to see what will come up, we might end up with a lot more data than we’ve had before," Schwartz said.He also encouraged eclipse watchers to take a moment to observe the behavior of animals for themselves on Monday."I would say if you are going to be out looking at the eclipse, as exciting and interesting as it is to watch, take a second or two to look away from the eclipse and listen for the wild birds and wild animals, and see what it is like when the planet goes dark," he said. "What do you observe?"
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  • Sonya Deklyen Nelson(WYOMING, Mich.) -- Carrie Deklyen is currently 21 weeks pregnant and on a ventilator and feeding tube. Her family says she chose to delay her own treatments for a life-threatening tumor to save her unborn baby. Now, they wait.Deklyen, 37, started having headaches in April. After the Wyoming, Michigan, mom woke up vomiting one morning and made a trip to the emergency room, doctors discovered a brain tumor.She was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive brain tumor. According to the American Brain Tumor Association, the "highly malignant" tumor spread quickly.Deklyen had brain surgery to try to remove the tumor. A few weeks later, her sister-in-law Sonya Nelson said that she found out she was pregnant.Though Deklyen had been planning to participate in a clinical trial at the University of Michigan, her family said, she was told she would need to terminate the pregnancy in order to do so."I asked her what she wanted to do. She said, 'We are keeping it,'" Carrie's husband Nick Deklyen told ABC News. "That always was my choice too, but I wanted her to decide because it was her life we were talking about."Deklyen then had three additional brain surgeries at Michigan Medicine, part of the University Michigan, the family said. Though the tumor was removed twice, it grew back.On July 27, Nelson drove Carrie Deklyen to the emergency room because she was having severe headaches."We thought she would have some fluid removed from her brain and we would head home, but instead she suffered a stroke," Sonya Nelson told ABC News."It has been almost three weeks since that day and Carrie has still not woken up," Nelson continued. "Some days we are hopeful that she will wake up because she will wiggle her toes or squeeze our hand. We want her to wake up."Nelson said the family was told the prognosis is not good, but the baby could survive."We are just hoping she can hold on long enough to deliver the baby," she said.Nick Deklyen said it's been difficult for their other children. The Michigan couple already has five kids -- Elijah, 18, Isaiah, 16, Nevaeh, 11, Lelia, 4, and Jez, 2."The older ones obviously understand everything so it is very hard on them," Nick Deklyn said. "They love their mother and know what they are losing. We talk about good times and laugh and then sometimes we just cry because we hurt so much. The younger two do not really understand what is happening. They know they sleep at Aunt Sonya's all the time and do not see Mommy anymore. We tell them that Mommy is really sick."The hospital told ABC News that she is "on a good path to get through the pregnancy.""Carrie’s condition is slowly improving, but she’s still critically ill," a spokesperson for the University of Michigan hospital told ABC News. "She is opening her eyes and following commands, like squeezing her hands and wiggling her toes. Our maternal fetal medicine specialists and neurosurgical teams continue to support the DeKlyen family in optimizing care for Carrie and her baby during this difficult situation. We will continue to do everything we can to support them."Nick Deklyen told ABC News that Carrie is "kind and loving to everyone she meets." He said she would cook meals for neighbors, took her kids on picnics and tucked them in every night."I want the world to know that Carrie is truly one of a kind," he said. "She is the most selfless person I have ever met. Her love for Jesus shined through in everything she did. I will miss her so much, but I know we will meet again in heaven when time is done."The couple picked a name for their unborn daughter -- Life -- and Nick Deklyen said he plans to tell her all about Carrie."I will tell her how amazing her mother was," he said. "I will tell her of the great sacrifice that her mom made for her. My kids have been so lucky to call her Mom."
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  • Goodshot/Thinkstock(PESHTIGO, Wisc.) -- A Wisconsin man is lucky to be alive after a nail pierced his heart during a construction accident.While building a frame for a fireplace seven weeks ago, Doug Bergeson was holding a nail gun and accidentally fired a three-and-a-half inch nail into his chest."It didn’t really hurt. It just felt like it kind of stung me," Bergeson told ABC affiliate WBAY-TV.But his work for the day was definitely over.“When I saw [the nail] moving with my heart, it’s kind of like, 'I’m not going to get anything done today,'" he added.Though the small metal spike was sticking out of his chest, Bergeson didn’t bother to call 911. He drove himself 12 miles to Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette."It seemed like the thing to do," Bergeson said. "I felt fine, other than having a little too much iron in my diet."Hospital staff rushed Bergeson to Aurora BayCare Medical Center where he underwent open-heart surgery."A wrong heartbeat, a wrong position and he would have had a much more complicated problem than he was bargaining for," said Dr. Alexander Roitstein, who performed the surgery.Bergeson did not have any permanent damage to heart, just a scar and an appreciation for the power of nail guns."Accidents, they can happen so quickly, and fortunately this one had a good ending," he said.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wherever you are in the United States on Aug. 21, you may want to look up and watch as the sun goes dark in the moon's shadow.Any astronomer in this country would suggest that you take advantage of this rare opportunity but not to do so without proper eye protection. And sunglasses won't do.Looking directly at the sun with the naked eye is unsafe at any time -- except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse, when the moon entirely covers the sun's beaming face. This phase will happen on Aug. 21 only within the eclipse's narrow path of totality and will last for no longer than two minutes and 40 seconds, according to NASA.The 70-mile-wide path of totality will sweep across portions of 14 U.S. states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. NASA estimates more than 300 million people in the country potentially could directly view the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.Meanwhile, a partial solar eclipse will be visible in every U.S. state on Aug. 21. In fact, everyone in North America, as well as parts of South America, Africa and Europe, will see at least a partial eclipse on that day, according to NASA.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Children who sleep on average one hour less at night have higher risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published Tuesday by the American Academy of Pediatrics.Researchers observed self-reported sleep times, then took body measurements and blood samples in over 4,500 children aged 9 through 10 in Britain. Children who slept on average one hour longer per night had a lower body mass index, lower insulin resistance, and lower fasting glucose than children who slept an hour less.While the study did not follow the participants long enough to see if they actually developed diabetes, the markers that are considered type 2 diabetes risk factors in adults were there.The researchers suggest that increasing sleep duration by even half an hour could be associated with a lower body mass index and a reduction in insulin resistance.The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend 11 to 14 hours of sleep a night for children ages one to two and 10 to 13 hours of sleep for ages three through five. In school-aged children, the groups recommend nine to 12 hours of sleep a night for children up to 12 and eight to ten hours of sleep for teenagers.Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, a pediatric specialist, told ABC News that she often tells her patients that sleep is just as important for health as eating healthy or getting enough exercise.Not enough sleep for children is linked to decreased academic performance, irritability and behavior problems, difficulty concentrating, and now even an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to Bracho-Sanchez.Bracho-Sanchez adds that her number one tip for parents looking to increase the amount of sleep their child gets each night is to remove all electronics from the child's bedroom before they go to sleep, especially their phone.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A Pennsylvania woman has made it her mission to raise awareness for the devastation that breast cancer can cause after 11 women in her family -- including herself -- have been diagnosed with the disease."I felt like the monster was chasing us and now it's close. I'm thinking to myself, 'I may be next,'" Felicia Johnson told ABC News' Robin Roberts of watching the women in her family, who span three generations, be diagnosed with breast cancer. Johnson opened up to Roberts as part of a new digital series on WebMD, "Advanced Breast Cancer: Courage, Comfort and Care With Robin Roberts."Johnson added that she is especially trying to encourage a more open conversation about the disease within the African-American community. Black women in the U.S. were more likely to die of breast cancer than any other race or ethnicity group, according to data released in 2014 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."Our culture as African-American people, we're very, very private," Johnson said. "We keep things hidden, so there was just silence."Johnson said this is what partly what inspired her to speak out so openly about her own experience with the disease that has waged a war on her family.Dr. Lisa Newman, the director of the Breast Cancer Oncology Program at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute, said that Johnson's work is important as an especially deadly form of breast cancer, known as triple-negative, is more common within the African-American community."We know that triple-negative breast cancer is twice as common in African-American women compared to white American women," Newman said, adding that she is researching possible causes for this alarming statistic.Johnson said she feels her advocacy work is important because "without information you suffer.""You want to give yourself the best opportunity that science has to fight your disease," she added.Johnson also says she hopes to use her own story of survival to encourage other woman who may be afflicted with the disease."She needs what you went through so she can see ... that there's hope," Johnson said. "When I told someone that I have stage 4, when I told someone I had triple-negative, and they see that I'm alive ... OK, there's hope."The full episodes for the digital series "Advanced Breast Cancer: Courage, Comfort and Care With Robin Roberts" can be seen on the WebMD website.
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