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Scientists Demonstrate Animal Mind-Melds

A single neuron can’t do much on its own, but link billions of them together into a network and you’ve got a brain.


Healthier meals do cost families more

Shopping for healthier groceries, like whole wheat bread instead of white bread and lean meat instead of fattier cuts, would cost a family of four about $1,500 more a year at their regular stores, according to a new U.S. study.


California assisted suicide bill stalls before committee

A contentious physician-assisted suicide bill that would allow some terminally ill patients in California to legally obtain medication to end their lives has stalled, state lawmakers said on Tuesday, amid staunch opposition from religious leaders.


Increase taxes on tobacco products to curb demand: WHO

Even as India made progress in increasing taxes on cigarettes between 2012-14, it has little effect as the “modest hikes” were compensated by relatively higher income growth, a WHO report today said, urging nations across the globe to raise taxes on tobacco products to reduce its consumption.


What remains unsaid about assisted suicide

Sick patients sometimes ask for help in hastening their deaths, and some doctors will hint, vaguely, how to do it.


A Scientific Ethical Divide Between China and West

China is spending hundreds of billions of dollars annually in an effort to become a leader in biomedical research, building scores of laboratories and training thousands of scientists.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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…


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.