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Building a Better Human With Science? The Public Says, No Thanks

New York Times

Americans aren’t very enthusiastic about using science to enhance the human species. Instead, many find it rather creepy


A New Depression Treatment Shows Promise


A new method known as behavioral activation (BA) is effective and can be cheaper than cognitive behavioral therapy.


The HIV Trap: A Woman’s Lack Of Control


When you’re pregnant, going to the doctors can be exciting. You get to find out if you’re having a boy or a girl. Maybe hear the baby’s heart beat. But in southern Africa, many women find out something else.


Mind over gray matter: new map lays out brain’s cerebral cortex


Neuroscientists acting as cartographers of the human mind have devised the most comprehensive map ever made of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher cognitive functions such as abstract thought, language and memory.


I.V.F. Does Not Raise Breast Cancer Risk, Study Shows

New York Tmes

Women undergoing in vitro fertilization have long worried that the procedure could raise their risk for breast cancer.


Florida is checking possible local case of Zika

Washington Post

The Florida health department said late Tuesday that it is investigating what could be the first case of locally spread Zika virus in the continental United States.


Medicine is failing obese people


Watching a person die from cardiac arrest in an intensive care unit is devastating. It’s especially so when the person is a woman in her 40s who has been smothered to death by her own weight — and we doctors can do nothing to save her.


Zika Data From the Lab, and Right to the Web

New York Times

Of the hundreds of monkeys in the University of Wisconsin’s primate center, a few — including rhesus macaque 827577 — are now famous, at least among scientists tracking the Zika virus. Since February, a team led by David H. O’Connor, the chairman of the center’s global infectious diseases department, has been conducting a unique experiment in scientific transparency. The tactic may presage the evolution of new ways to respond to fast-moving epidemics.


Opioid Bill Reframes Addiction As A Health Problem, Not A Crime


The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.


CDC needs to break silence on gun violence, say African American health officials


As an African-American man, Dr. Georges Benjamin says he feels like “an endangered species,” due to gun violence claiming the lives of men his color disproportionately to their numbers.


Red Tape Leaves Some Low-Income Toddlers Without Health Insurance


Many babies born to mothers who are covered by Medicaid are automatically eligible for that health insurance coverage during their first year of life. In a handful of states, the same is true for babies born to women covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program.


Women Doctors Are Paid $20,000 Less Than Male Doctors


In academic medicine, female full professors earn the same amount as male associate professors.


Juno Halts Cancer Trial Using Gene-Altered Cells After 3 Deaths

New York Times

Three patients in a study testing the use of genetically engineered cells as a treatment for cancer have died from swelling in the brain, dealing a setback to one of the most exciting pursuits in oncology.


President Obama’s 1-million-person health study kicks off with five recruitment centers


President Barack Obama’s ambitious 1-million-person personalized medicine study began to take shape this week with the announcement of four medical centers that will recruit volunteers starting this fall. A fifth center aims to sign up 350,000 participants by blasting the general public with ads coming soon to your web browser or mobile phone.


Seniors with access to medical marijuana use fewer prescription drugs


Physicians wrote significantly fewer prescriptions for painkillers and other medications for elderly and disabled patients who had legal access to medical marijuana, a new study finds.


Few Young Doctors Are Training To Care For U.S. Elderly


At Edgewood Summit retirement community in Charleston, W.Va., 93-year-old Mary Mullens is waxing eloquent about her geriatrician, Dr. Todd Goldberg. “He’s sure got a lot to do,” she says, “and does it so well.” West Virginia has the third oldest population in the nation, right behind Maine and Florida. But Goldberg is one of only 36 geriatricians in the state.


Sex May Spread Zika Virus More Often Than Researchers Suspected

New York Times

An outbreak of the Zika virus in the continental United States could begin any day now. But while there is plenty of discussion about mosquito bites, some researchers are beginning to worry more about the other known transmission route: sex.


Biden threatens funding cuts for researchers who don’t report clinical-trial data

Washington Post

An impatient Vice President Biden threatened Wednesday to cut funding to research facilities that fail to report clinical-trial results quickly enough and took a swipe at drug companies that jack up the prices of cancer drugs.


Doctors less satisfied, more burned out with electronic records


Most doctors who use electronic health records and order entry software tend to be less satisfied with how much time they spend on clerical tasks and are at higher risk of burnout than others, according to a new study.


FDA approves first pill to treat all forms of hepatitis C

CBS News

Federal health officials on Tuesday approved the first pill to treat all major forms of hepatitis C, the latest in a series of drug approvals that have reshaped treatment of the liver-destroying virus.


End-Of-Life Care Better For Patients With Cancer, Dementia: Study Finds

Kaiser Health News

A new study offers surprising findings about end-of-life care — specifically, physicians tend to be more likely to accommodate the advanced-care wishes of patients with cancer or dementia than renal disease, congestive heart failure, pulmonary disease or frailty.


New data shows blood lead levels spiked in children in Flint, Mich.

Washington Post

The ill-fated decision two years ago to switch drinking-water sources in Flint, Mich., resulted in a sudden spike in the number of young children with elevated blood lead levels, according to data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


First CRISPR Human Clinical Trial Gets a Green Light from the U.S.

Scientific American

CRISPR, the genome-editing technology that has taken biomedical science by storm, is finally nearing human trials.


Birth Control via App Finds Footing Under Political Radar

New York Times

A quiet shift is taking place in how women obtain birth control. A growing assortment of new apps and websites now make it possible to get prescription contraceptives without going to the doctor.


Colorado’s Teen Marijuana Usage Dips after Legalization

Scientific American

Marijuana consumption by Colorado high school students has dipped slightly since the state first permitted recreational cannabis use by adults, a new survey showed on Monday, contrary to concerns that legalization would increase pot use by teens.


Even Cheap Meals Influence Doctors’ Drug Prescriptions, Study Suggests

Wall Street Journal

It doesn’t take much to get a doctor to prescribe a brand-name medication, a new study suggests. The study found that U.S. doctors who received a single free meal from a drug company were more likely to prescribe the drug the company was promoting than doctors who received no such meals. Meals paid for by drug companies cost less than $20 on average.


Canada Legalizes Physician-Assisted Dying


After weeks of debate, Canadian lawmakers have passed legislation to legalize physician-assisted death. That makes Canada “one of the few nations where doctors can legally help sick people die,” as Reuters reports.


Orlando Shooting Renews Debate Over Limits on Gay Men Donating Blood

New York Times

In the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., 53 people were alive but wounded, many in desperate need of blood. Blood banks in the area put out a call for donors. Gay men were ready to volunteer. Rumors even went around that blood centers in Orlando had relaxed a ban on donations from sexually active gay men. But the rumors were false. The ban, imposed by the Food and Drug Administration, remains in place, infuriating some gay rights activists.


Hints that antibiotics, C-sections may affect baby gut bugs

Washington Post

Two new studies are offering some of the clearest snapshots yet of how babies build up protective gut bacteria, adding to evidence that antibiotics and birth by C-section may disrupt that development.


WHO sees ‘very low’ risk of further Zika spread due to Olympics


There is a “very low risk” of further international spread of Zika virus as result of the Olympic Games to be held in Brazil, the heart of the current outbreak linked to birth defects, World Health Organization (WHO) experts said on Tuesday.