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04/22/2015

Death in Secret: California’s Underground World of Assisted Suicide

Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in California. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Sick patients sometimes ask for help in hastening their deaths, and some doctors will explain, vaguely, how to do it.

04/21/2015

New Genetic Tests for Breast Cancer Hold Promise

A Silicon Valley start-up with some big-name backers is threatening to upend genetic screening for breast and ovarian cancer by offering a test on a sample of saliva that is so inexpensive that most women could get it.

04/21/2015

BRCA gene datashare will help detect cancer risk

A first-of-its-kind genetic datashare program is being launched to zero in on patients with unclear BRCA test results — and save more women from the devastation of breast and ovarian cancer.

04/20/2015

Regulators may recommend testing food for glyphosate residues

U.S. regulators may start testing food products for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide, the Environmental Protection Agency told Reuters on Friday, as public concern rises over possible links to disease.

04/20/2015

Type, frequency of e-cigarette use linked to quitting smoking

Two new studies looking at whether electronic cigarettes help smokers to quit their deadly habit have found that while some of them can, it depends on the type and how often it is used.

04/17/2015

ReNeuron stem cell therapy shows long-term promise for stroke

A pioneering stem cell treatment for patients disabled by stroke has continued to show long-term promise in a clinical trial, the British biotech company behind the project said on Friday.

04/17/2015

Georgia governor signs law legalizing medical marijuana

People with seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses will be allowed to use a non-smoking form of medical marijuana in Georgia after the state’s Republican governor signed a measure legalizing the drug on Thursday.

04/16/2015

Congress approves formula fixing Medicare doctors pay

Congress on Tuesday approved a bill to repair the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians, marking a rare bipartisan achievement just in time to head off a 21 percent cut in the doctors’ pay.

04/16/2015

Meet the cancer patient in Room 52: His name is Joseph, but call him Joe

Lisa Mox and her husband, Joseph, who is now cancer-free after bouts of esophageal and colon cancer, are participating in a pilot program at Johns Hopkins Hospital to reduce “preventable harm” in the surgical intensive care unit. The program expands the definition of harm beyond medical complications to include loss of dignity and respect.

04/15/2015

U.S. study calls into question tests that sequence tumor genes

New cancer tests that sequence only a patient’s tumor and not normal tissue could result in a significant number of false positive results, potentially leading doctors to prescribe treatments that might not work, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

04/15/2015

Is the placebo effect in some people’s genes?

Some people may be genetically programmed to feel better after taking placebo pills, while others may only heal with real drugs, suggests a new review of existing research.

04/14/2015

Academics rate women job applicants higher than identical men: study

When hundreds of U.S. college faculty members rated junior scientists based on scholarly record, job interview performance and other information with an eye toward which should be hired, they preferred women over identically qualified men two-to-one, scientists reported on Monday.

04/14/2015

Health data breaches on the rise

Large-scale health data breaches reported by doctors and health plans have been rising steadily, a new report shows.

04/13/2015

‘Open Humans’ Network Launched to Share DNA and Other Data

People eager to share personal information beyond what’s on their Facebook profile have another outlet: an online platform launching on Tuesday will let them give scientists information about their genomes, gut bacteria and other biological data.

04/13/2015

Where does my personality fit in?

Where does my personality fit in?

New research maps the personality of 380 places in Great Britain. Where do you fit in?

04/10/2015

U.S. meat industry buying more human antibiotics: FDA

Sales of medically important antibiotics in the United States for use in livestock jumped by 20 percent between 2009 and 2013, federal regulators reported on Friday, data that is sure to feed the national debate about the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.

04/10/2015

Fears over Roundup herbicide residues prompt private testing

U.S. consumer groups, scientists and food companies are testing substances ranging from breakfast cereal to breast milk for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide on rising concerns over its possible links to disease.

04/09/2015

When surgeons say ‘we can fix it,’ patients may misunderstand risks

When surgeons prepare patients for an operation by describing how it can fix a problem, patients may agree to procedures without fully understanding the risks, a small study suggests.

04/09/2015

California bill banning child vaccine exemptions moves ahead

California lawmakers on Wednesday pushed forward a bill that would ban parents from citing their personal beliefs as a reason to let their school-going children remain unvaccinated.

04/08/2015

South Carolina Shooting Increases Calls for Police Body Cameras

A bystander’s video showing a white South Carolina police officer shooting a fleeing black man to death has added momentum to calls to require all police officers to wear body cameras.

04/08/2015

Higher purpose in life tied to better brain health

People with a high sense of purpose in life have a lower risk of stroke, according to new research.

04/07/2015

For ex-Marine Roman Baca, ballet promotes healing

The years Roman Baca spent perfecting his pliés and arabesques wasn’t exactly a topic of conversation while he was serving as a Marine machine-gunner and fire-team leader in Fallujah, Iraq, as part of Operation Phantom Fury.

04/07/2015

My three daughters are autistic. I despise Autism Awareness Month.

The campaign implies autism is a party, rather than a crisis. For families living with autism, reality is far more sober, and their needs extend far beyond “awareness.”

04/06/2015

DNA of ‘an entire nation’ assessed

The reports, published in the journal Nature Genetics, used the data to make a suite of discoveries including the age of the last common ancestor of men.

04/06/2015

Ancestry.com uses spit to find your long-lost relatives

Would you spit in a tube and spend $99 to find out you were related to a famous 18th-century revolutionary or a notorious 19th-century bank robber?

04/03/2015

Stanford faculty lend voices to call for “genome editing” guidelines

Stanford law professor Hank Greely, JD, and biochemist Paul Berg, PhD, are two of 20 scientists who have signed a letter in today’s issue of Science Express discussing the need to develop guidelines to regulate genome editing tools like the recently discovered Crispr/Cas9.

04/03/2015

New gene-altering technique worries scientists

A revolutionary technique developed at UC Berkeley to alter the DNA in human cells could pose such unknown risks if it is misused that a group of eminent biologists is calling for an international slow-down in its application.

04/02/2015

DNA Blood Test Accurately Identifies Down Syndrome in Fetus

A DNA-based blood test may be more effective in detecting possible Down syndrome in unborn children compared to other screening methods, according to findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

04/02/2015

On World Autism Awareness Day, Thoughts On Parenting A Son With Autism

Difference is inevitable in nature and in life. Difference is not just inevitable — it’s also good. It makes our ecosystems evolve, it makes our societies grow and change and it makes us, as individuals, adapt and become stronger.

04/01/2015

A year later, no reefer madness in Colorado

More than a year after Colorado legalized marijuana sales, there’s a pot shop just a few steps away from the Prada, Ralph Lauren, Sotheby’s and Burberry stores in this toniest of tony ski towns.