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07/01/2015

California Mom Christy O’Donnell Fights to Die on Her Own Terms

A terminally ill single mom who has been given months to live is fighting the state of California for the right to die. Now, a judge has ordered an expedited review of her suit, which will be heard later this month.

06/30/2015

Supreme Court Allows Use of Controversial Sedative for Lethal Injection

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the case of Glossip v. Gross, deciding that it is indeed constitutional to use the controversial execution drug midazolam for death penalty sentences fulfilled by lethal injection — the same drug that was used as a sedative in botched executions over the last two years.

06/29/2015

U.S. Congress Moves to Block Human Embryo Editing

The US House of Representatives is wading into the debate over whether human embryos should be modified to introduce heritable changes. Its fiscal year 2016 spending bill for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would prohibit the agency from spending money to evaluate research or clinical applications for such products.

06/26/2015

U.S. Supreme Court upholds federal health care law

Three years after narrowly surviving a legal challenge, President Obama’s signature health insurance law faced another threat to its survival in much of the nation Thursday before a U.S. Supreme Court led by conservative Republican appointees. The health law prevailed, with something to spare, an apparent signal of its future endurance.

06/25/2015

Ancient American genome rekindles legal row

The genome of a famous 8,500-year-old North American skeleton, known as Kennewick Man, shows that he is closely related to Native American tribes that have for decades been seeking to bury his bones. The finding, reported today in Nature1, seems likely to rekindle a legal dispute between the tribes and the researchers who want to keep studying the skeleton. Yet it comes at a time when many scientists — including those studying Kennewick Man — are trying to move past such controversies by inviting Native Americans to take part in their research.

06/24/2015

DNA links Kennewick Man to Native Americans

The skull in the eroded riverbank belonged to a man with a narrow, projecting face. The archeologist who excavated the bones along the Columbia River near Kennewick, Wash., thought he was looking at the remains of a white man, probably a pioneer. Then further analysis showed the skeleton to be thousands of years old. Confusion reigned. People asked: What was a white man doing in the Pacific Northwest back in the Stone Age?

06/23/2015

California bill gives terminally ill patients Right To Try experimental drugs

Not long after he was diagnosed with ALS, Jim Barber clung to a small dose of hope: The East Bay resident became eligible to enter a 5-year-long clinical trial for a drug that sought to slow the progression of the incurable neurodegenerative, life-sapping disease.

06/22/2015

In old age, current and former smokers face early lung disease

There may be 35 million older Americans with undiagnosed lung disease due to cigarette smoking, a new study suggests.

06/19/2015

The Government Has No Backup Plan If Court Rules Against Obamacare

Millions of Americans could lose their insurance if the U.S. Supreme Court rules against President Barack Obama on his health-care law. And with the decision due in the next two weeks, the government has no backup plan.

06/18/2015

Brain implant trials raise ethical concerns

In 1980, an 11-year-old boy with cerebral palsy had an electrical stimulator implanted into his cerebellum to treat the involuntary muscle contractions that contorted his body. Once the device was switched on, the boy’s erratic movements calmed.

06/17/2015

Trans fats may hurt memory, too

Artificial trans fats in processed foods, which were all but banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week, may interfere with memory, according to a new study.

06/16/2015

Fifteen years after smokers quit, heart failure risk may fall to normal

For most former smokers who quit at least 15 years ago, the risks of heart failure and death are the same as those of someone who never smoked, according to a new U.S. study.

06/15/2015

Cigarettes linked to half of deaths from 12 common cancers

Roughly half of deaths from 12 smoking-related cancers may be linked directly to cigarette use, a U.S. study estimates.

06/11/2015

Bullied kids are more likely to be depressed years later

Being bullied in adolescence may make kids more vulnerable to depression in early adulthood and explain almost a third of depression burden at that age, according to a new study in the U.K.

06/10/2015

Health Woman Bears Child From Ovarian Tissue Frozen When She Was 13

A 27-year-old Belgian woman, who was left infertile after chemotherapy, was able to give birth to a healthy baby boy thanks to a groundbreaking procedure that utilized her ovarian tissue frozen 14 years ago.

06/09/2015

Experts Slam Sports Policies That Ban Women With High Testosterone

The so-called “sex gap” in testosterone — the typical difference between men and women in blood levels of the hormone — shouldn’t be used to determine who is and isn’t a female athlete, according to a commentary published Thursday in the journal Science.

06/08/2015

Testosterone Rules for Women Athletes Are Unfair, Researchers Argue

Elite women athletes are currently barred from competing in top-tier competitions, such as the Olympic Games and World Championships, if their testosterone levels are too high.

06/05/2015

Doubts About Study of Gay Canvassers Rattle the Field

In 2012, as same-sex marriage advocates were working to build support in California, Michael LaCour, a political science researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, asked a critical question…

06/04/2015

Dozens of Genes in Breast Cancer Tests Lack Link to Risk

Genetic tests for breast cancer risk often look for DNA flaws that haven’t been reliably linked to the disease, a new report found, casting doubt on diagnostics that examine dozens of genes to calculate a patient’s susceptibility.

06/03/2015

Peruvian women haunted by forced sterilization seek state apology

Government health workers spent hours going from door to door to coax, cajole and bully women in a farming community in Peru’s highlands to come with them for free medical treatment.

06/02/2015

California Senate votes to raise smoking age to 21 from 18

The California Senate voted on Tuesday to raise the legal smoking age in the most populous U.S. state to 21 from 18, in a move that could make California one of the states with the highest smoking age.

06/01/2015

Western diet may reduce survival odds for prostate cancer

Men with prostate cancer who eat a so-called Western diet heavy in red meat, cheese and sugary treats may be more likely to die of their disease than those who consume mostly plants, whole grains and fish, a U.S. study suggests.

05/29/2015

Idaho abortion restrictions are unconstitutional: appeals court

An Idaho law that prohibits abortions of fetuses 20 or more weeks after fertilization is unconstitutional, a U.S. appeals court ruled.

05/28/2015

U.S. anti-legalization group urges more access to marijuana research

A group opposed to pot legalization is unveiling proposals on Thursday for the U.S. government to ease restrictions on scientific research into marijuana’s potential as medicine, in a first step for an organization of its kind.

05/27/2015

Researchers oppose unvalidated gene panel tests for cancer links

A group of international researchers is making the case that genetic tests that look for multiple hereditary genes suspected of being linked to breast cancer should not be offered until they are proven to be valid and useful in clinical practice.

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.