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03/22/2016

In Conservative Indiana, Medicaid Expansion Makes Poorest Pay

Reginald Rogers owes his dentist a debt of gratitude for his new dentures, but no money.  Indiana’s Medicaid program has them covered, a godsend for the almost-toothless former steelworker who hasn’t held a steady job for years and lives in his daughter’s basement.

03/21/2016

Our Healthcare System Abandons Adult Sickle Cell Patients

When Janoi Burgess was a child, he thought doctor appointments were fun.  “I used to love it because they had a section where you could play games,” said Burgess, who was born with sickle cell anemia, an inherited blood disorder. “They were really nice and friendly.”

03/21/2016

C.D.C. Painkiller Guidelines Aim to Reduce Addiction Risk

In an effort to curb what many consider the worst public health drug crisis in decades, the federal government on Tuesday published the first national standards for prescription painkillers, recommending that doctors try pain relievers like ibuprofen before prescribing the highly addictive pills, and that they give most patients only a few days’ supply.

03/18/2016

Health Workers Rush to Contain Fresh Ebola Outbreak in Guinea

Health workers are rushing to the site of a fresh Ebola outbreak in Guinea to bolster efforts to contain the virus and prepare for the likelihood of more cases, aid agencies said on Friday.

03/17/2016

Scientists Grow “Dinosaur Legs” in Chicken Embryos

It’s said that dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, but we technically still have dinosaurs running around Earth today (or at least their descendants). Modern-day birds evolved from certain species of dinosaurs, and now scientists have used birds to bring a little piece of the dinosaurs back. In a study published in Evolution, researchers announced that they had successfully grown “dinosaur legs” in chicken embryos.

03/17/2016

New CDC Guidelines Seek Doctors’ Help In Fighting Opioid Epidemic

In an effort to curb America’s deadly opioid crisis, federal health officials are urging doctors to largely avoid prescribing highly addictive painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin when treating patients for chronic pain.

03/16/2016

‘Difficult’ patients may tend to get worse care, studies find

What happens to medical care when the patient is a jerk?  Dutch researchers asked the question in two new studies, and the answer should make grumps think the better of their bad behavior: “Disruptive” patients may get worse care from physicians.

03/16/2016

Vaccination aversion has fueled measles and whooping cough outbreaks, study finds

A comprehensive new study of measles and pertussis outbreaks in the United States suggests that adults’ reluctance or refusal to vaccinate themselves and their children has played a key role in the resurgence of diseases that had been largely eradicated in this country.

 

03/15/2016

Should All Research Papers Be Free?

Drawing comparisons to Edward Snowden, a graduate student from Kazakhstan named Alexandra Elbakyan is believed to be hiding out in Russia after illegally leaking millions of documents. While she didn’t reveal state secrets, she took a stand for the public’s right to know by providing free online access to just about every scientific paper ever published, on topics ranging from acoustics to zymology.

03/14/2016

When Gene Tests for Breast Cancer Reveal Grim Data but No Guidance

At a time when genetic testing and genetically personalized treatments forcancer are proliferating, buoyed by new resources like President Obama’s $215 million personalized medicine initiative, women with breast cancerare facing a frustrating reality: The genetic data is there, but in many cases, doctors do not know what to do with it.

03/14/2016

Screening for Alzheimer’s Gene Tests the Desire to Know

Marty and Matt Reiswig, two brothers in Denver, knew that Alzheimer’s disease ran in their family, but neither of them understood why. Then a cousin, Gary Reiswig, whom they barely knew, wrote a book about their family, “The Thousand Mile Stare.”

03/11/2016

‘Body Hacking’ Movement Rises Ahead Of Moral Answers

A curious crowd lingered around Amal Graafstra as he carefully unpacked a pair of gloves, a small sterile blanket and a huge needle. A long line of people were waiting to get tiny computer chips implanted into their hands.

03/10/2016

New Procedure Allows Kidney Transplants From Any Donor

In the anguishing wait for a new kidney, tens of thousands of patients on waiting lists may never find a match because their immune systems will reject almost any transplanted organ. Now, in a large national study thatexperts are calling revolutionary, researchers have found a way to get them the desperately needed procedure.

03/09/2016

Should Therapists Analyze Presidential Candidates?

Not long ago, a journalist asked me what I thought, as a psychiatrist, of Donald J. Trump.  Many psychologists have been quick to offer diagnoses, calling him and other presidential candidates “narcissists,” and even providing thoughts about possible treatments.

03/08/2016

No Paid Sick Leave Means Workers Skip Medical Care

U.S. workers without paid sick leave are more likely to keep going to work when they’re sick and to forgo medical care for themselves and their families, compared to workers who do get paid for sick days, according to a new study.

03/07/2016

Living With the Parents I’m Losing to Alzheimer’s

My parents called me one day in March and started singing “Happy Birthday.” It was unsettling. My birthday is in May.  My uncle called, too. He and my father had owned an upholstery shop in Philadelphia for 50 years, and it was really bothering him that my dad couldn’t do simple math anymore.

03/04/2016

Zika Kills Cells Key to Fetal Brain Development, Study Says

The Zika virus destroys cells that give rise to the brain cortex in the developing fetus, scientists reported on Friday. The finding, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, may help explain how the virus might cause microcephaly, or unusually small heads, in infants whose mothers are infected during pregnancy.

03/03/2016

NY Attorney General to Investigate Insurers Over Hepatitis C Drugs

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has asked 16 health insurers for documentation on patients who have been denied coverage of drugs used to cure hepatitis C, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

03/02/2016

First Uterus Transplant in the US Gives 26-year-old Woman Chance at Pregnancy

Surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic have performed the nation’s first uterus transplant, offering a 26-year-old infertile woman a chance at getting pregnant.

03/01/2016

All Surrogacy is Exploitation – The World Should Follow Sweden’s Ban

That something is not quite right about surrogacy has been evident for some time. Ever since the commercial surrogacy industry kicked off in the late 1970s, it has been awash with scandals, exploitation and abuse. From the infamous “Baby M” case – in which the mother changed her mind and was forced, in tears, to hand over her baby – to the Japanese billionaire who ordered 16 children from different Thai clinics. There has been a total commodification of human life: click; choose race and eye colour; pay, then have your child delivered.

02/29/2016

520-million-year-old fossilized nervous system is most detailed example yet found

Researchers have found one of the oldest and most detailed fossils of the central nervous system yet identified, from a crustacean-like animal that lived more than 500 million years ago. The fossil, from southern China, has been so well preserved that individual nerves are visible, the first time this level of detail has been observed in a fossil of this age.

02/26/2016

Benzodiazepine prescriptions, overdose deaths on the rise in U.S.

Even as opiate abuse has become a growing problem in the U.S., overdose deaths involving sedatives and antiseizure medications in the benzodiazepine category have also risen steeply, according to a recent study.

02/25/2016

Were dodos as dumb as they looked? New research suggests otherwise.

Dodos, best known for being dead and, well, dumb, may not have been total doofuses. A study published Tuesday in Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society suggests that the birds had brains of about the same relative size as a modern pigeon’s.

02/23/2016

Doing Global Science: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise

02/22/2016

China research highlights country’s excess use of antibiotics

Children in China’s eastern Jiangsu province are being widely exposed to antibiotics from tainted food and drinking water, potentially harming long-term health, local media reported on Monday, citing research from Shanghai’s Fudan University.

02/19/2016

Study: Smoking pot doesn’t make you anxious or depressed

New research published today in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that using marijuana as an adult is not associated with a variety of mood and anxiety disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder.

02/18/2016

Pope suggests women threatened by Zika virus could use contraception

Abortion “is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil at its root, no? It’s a human evil,” he said. “On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one (Zika), such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear.”

02/17/2016

Hospital hack reveals digital risk in medical world

A Southern California hospital fell victim to hackers last week — offering a glimpse at one of many digital threats facing health care.

02/16/2016

How a bite of pizza led to an arrest in the Grim Sleeper serial killer case

For several years before the arrest, a group of detectives worked exclusively on identifying the Grim Sleeper killer, chasing lead after lead down dead ends. In 2010, they got a break: LAPD officials learned that a “familial search” of the DNA database by the California Department of Justice had come up with a convicted felon whose genetic blueprint indicated he was a close relative of the suspect.

02/15/2016

In Embryo Research We Need Laws First, Then Science

The U.K. Human Fertilization & Embryology Authority (HFEA) decision to approve a study in which researchers will use CRISPR gene-editing technology to alter the genes of human embryos has created such a stir because it is the first such project approved for use in potentially viable human embryos.