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05/26/2015

Berkeley Robot Learns Through Trial and Error (Like Humans)

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a robot capable of learning new skills through trial and error.

05/26/2015

Pizza Hut, Taco Bell to remove artificial colors, flavors from foods

Taco Bell said on Tuesday it planned to replace all artificial flavors and colors and some additives such as trans-fats in its foods with natural alternatives by the end of this year.

05/22/2015

Doctors may not fully explain risks of common heart procedure

Patients mulling whether to get a common procedure to unclog blocked arteries may not get enough information from their doctors to make the best choice, a small study suggests.

05/21/2015

California Medical Association drops opposition to doctor-assisted suicide

The California Medical Association on Wednesday dropped its three-decade opposition to physician-assisted suicide, possibly paving the way for already-introduced legislation that would make the practice legal for terminally ill patients in the state.

05/21/2015

Sanderson sees no alternatives to antibiotic use in chicken production

Other major poultry producers, including market leader Tyson Foods Inc, have announced plans to eradicate antibiotics, which are also crucial in human healthcare, from their flocks but have not ruled out their use on sick birds.

05/20/2015

To fight superbugs, FDA seeks detailed data on animal antimicrobials

The U.S Food and Drug Administration said it is asking drugmakers for data on antimicrobials sold for use in each food animal, such as cows and chickens, as part of efforts to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

05/20/2015

U.S. science leaders to tackle ethics of gene-editing technology

The leading U.S. scientific organization, responding to concerns expressed by scientists and ethicists, has launched an ambitious initiative to recommend guidelines for new genetic technology that has the potential to create “designer babies.”

05/19/2015

National academies will meet to guide ‘gene editing’ research

The debate over human “gene editing” has moved onto the national stage with a prestigious institute announcing it will hold an international summit this fall to create voluntary standards to guide the use of the controversial technology, first conceived by UC Berkeley molecular biologist Jennifer Doudna.

05/19/2015

Fetal stem cells and the sports heroes they revitalized

Their recoveries sparked a debate: The families say the stem cell treatments had a major impact, while skeptics say the therapies are unproven and that Brodie and Howe could have improved through natural healing, as stroke patients often do.

05/18/2015

Cystic fibrosis drug offers hope to patients

Patients often die before their 40s as mucus clogs and damages their lungs and leaves them prone to infection.

05/18/2015

How Doctors Deliver Bad News

http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-doctors-deliver-bad-news-1431970796

The doctor in the grainy video is standing up, shifting uncomfortably as he spouts medical jargon that members of his patient’s family don’t understand.

05/15/2015

California prison inspection uncovers unsanitary conditions

An inspection of a controversial California prison revealed unsanitary conditions, from a lack of hot water and incorrect storage of raw food to rodent droppings, a state report shows.

05/14/2015

U.S. says insurers must cover FDA-approved birth control methods

The U.S. government said health insurers must cover all FDA-approved methods of birth control without co-pays or charges to the patient, as it issued a paper on Monday looking to clarify coverage guidelines under the Affordable Care Act.

05/13/2015

Inhaler ban boosts costs for people with asthma

A 2008 ban on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has ended up being particularly costly for people with asthma.  The inhaler switch “had minimal or no environmental benefits, but great benefits to pharmaceutical companies,” Redberg told Reuters Health by phone.

05/12/2015

Seasons May Tweak Genes That Trigger Some Chronic Diseases

The seasons appear to influence when certain genes are active, with those associated with inflammation being more active in the winter, according to new research released Tuesday.

05/11/2015

Food ads during children’s TV don’t meet proposed guidelines

On network and cable TV, during shows aimed at kids under age 12, the vast majority of commercials are for products with too much added sugar, saturated fat or sodium, according to a new study.

05/08/2015

Healthy diet tied to lower risk of cognitive decline

Older people who eat healthy, with more fruits and vegetables, nuts and fish in their diets, may be less likely to experience declines in thinking and memory over time, according to a new international study.

05/07/2015

Court rules NSA program illegal

A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that the telephone metadata collection program, under which the National Security Agency gathers up millions of phone records on an ongoing daily basis, is illegal under the Patriot Act.

05/07/2015

Talking to the Doctor About Treatment Harms

Whether preparing to undergo sensitive surgery or facing the prospect of spending a night in the hospital, patients often lack a critical piece of information to make an informed medical decision.

05/06/2015

Stanford panel: Big issues will loom when everyone has their genomic sequence on a thumb drive

When I was a biology grad student in the early 1980s, we used to joke about people who were getting their PhDs by spending six long years sequencing a single gene. They worked around the clock seven days a week – and seven nights, too, sleeping on their lab benches when they slept at all. – See more at: http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2015/05/06/stanford-panel-big-issues-will-loom-when-everyone-has-their-genomic-sequence-on-a-thumb-drive/#sthash.xNXqlUTK.dpuf

05/04/2015

Myriad Genetics Fights Off Threats From Rivals

Myriad Genetics Inc. used a patent-protected monopoly to become one of the most successful and controversial DNA testing companies in the world. Now, nearly two years after the Supreme Court struck down its gene patents, Myriad is fighting to sustain its business model amid growing threats from rivals.

05/01/2015

How Private DNA Data Linked an Innocent Man to a 20-year-old Murder Case

The New Orleans Advocate recently published a shocking story that details the very real threats to privacy and civil liberties posed by law enforcement access to private genetic databases and familial DNA searching.

04/30/2015

Statement on NIH funding of research using gene-editing technologies in human embryos

Genomic editing is an area of research seeking to modify genes of living organisms to improve our understanding of gene function and advance potential therapeutic applications to correct genetic abnormalities. Researchers in China have recently described their experiments in a nonviable human embryo to modify the gene responsible for a potentially fatal blood disorder using a gene-editing technology called CRISPR/Cas9.

04/30/2015

Withholding results from clinical trials is unethical, says WHO

The movement to ensure that clinical trial results don’t end up in drawers has found an important global ally. Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a call to make results from every clinical study publicly available within a year. Not doing so can harm patients and research subjects, waste time and money, and hold back medical science, WHO says.

04/29/2015

California governor orders aggressive greenhouse gas cuts by 2030

California Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order on Wednesday to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, a move he said was necessary to combat the growing threat of climate change.

04/29/2015

Medical marijuana farm blooms in conservative Chile

Latin America’s first medical marijuana farm has taken root in a dusty yard at a secret location in Chile’s capital, with the blessing of a prominent right-wing official and high hopes the idea could sprout elsewhere in the socially conservative nation.

04/28/2015

Tension between gay, religious rights plays out at top U.S. court

If the U.S. Constitution covers a right to same-sex marriage, conservative Supreme Court justices asked on Tuesday, would clergy be exempted from performing such marriages or religious colleges spared from offering housing to gay couples?

04/28/2015

Tyson Foods plans to cut human antibiotics in U.S. chicken flocks by 2017

Tyson Foods Inc, the largest U.S. poultry producer, plans to eliminate the use of human antibiotics in its chicken flocks by September 2017 – one of the most aggressive timelines yet set by an American poultry company.

04/27/2015

Genome study reveals lonely end for the world’s woolly mammoths

The most complete genetic information assembled on woolly mammoths is providing insight into their demise, revealing they suffered two population crashes before a final, severely inbred group succumbed on an Arctic Ocean island.

04/27/2015

Decline in U.S. science spending threatens economy, security: MIT

Warning of an “innovation deficit,” scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say declining government spending on basic research is holding back potentially life-saving advances in 15 fields, from robotics and fusion energy to Alzheimer’s disease and agriculture.