Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 12:34 pm
For the first time, scientists have edited DNA in human embryos, a highly controversial step long considered off limits.
Junjiu Huang and his colleagues at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, performed a series of experiments involving 86 human embryos to see if they could make changes in a gene known as HBB, which causes the sometimes fatal blood disorder beta-thalassemia.
Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 11:08 am
It's another busy morning at Dr. Anthony Aurigemma's homeopathy practice in Bethesda, Md.
Wendy Resnick, 58, is here because she's suffering from a nasty bout of laryngitis. "I don't feel great," she says. "I don't feel myself."
Resnick, who lives in Millersville, Md., has been seeing Aurigemma for years for a variety of health problems, including ankle and knee injuries and back problems. "I don't know what I would do without him," she says. "The traditional treatments just weren't helping me at all."
A California bill that would allow students to opt out of mandatory school vaccinations only if they have a medical condition that justifies an exemption is one step closer to becoming law, though it still has a long way to go. The bill was introduced in the California Senate in response to a measles outbreak at Disneyland in late December that's now linked to almost 150 infections.
Researchers have discovered the exact structure of the receptor that makes our sensory nerves tingle when we eat sushi garnished with wasabi. And because the "wasabi receptor" is also involved in pain perception, knowing its shape should help pharmaceutical companies develop new drugs to fight pain.
Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 11:53 am
Shorter people are more likely than taller folks to have clogged heart arteries, and a new study says part of the reason lies in the genes.
Doctors have known since the 1950s about the link between short stature and coronary artery disease, "but the reason behind this really hasn't been completely clear," says Nilesh Samani, a cardiologist at the University of Leicester in the U.K.
Before a couple commit time, money and emotion to the process of in vitro fertilization, they want to know one thing: What are our chances of having a baby?
Success rates vary dramatically by age. In 2013, for example, 40 percent of IVF cycles performed in women who were under the age of 35 resulted in live births, compared with 4.5 percent for women older than 42.
Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 10:32 am
It would be nice to think that when you go in for surgery you'd be offered the safest, cheapest alternative, but that's not always the case, a study finds.
Some hospitals are much more likely than others to offer minimally invasive surgery for procedures like colon or lung surgery or appendectomy, according to an analysis published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.
Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 9:58 am
People don't talk about psychiatrists the way they talk about neurologists, dentists or vets. In fact, there are those who call psychiatry voodoo or pseudoscience; and, to be fair, the specialty does have a history of claims and practices that are now considered weird and destructive.
Walk past a patient's hospital room, and the flashing control panels on devices by the bed might make you think you're peering at the cockpit of a 737.
Medical technology can make patient care better and more precise. But the gadgets and computers can cause trouble, too. One big problem is that most of the devices can't communicate with one another.
The ultimate technological goal is what the engineers call interoperability. Let the ventilators, IV pumps, heart monitors and computers holding patient records communicate and update one another automatically.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults, and those who live in rural areas are especially at risk.
For young people between the ages of 10 and 24, the suicide rates in rural areas are nearly double those of urban areas, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. And that disparity is growing.
Technology entrepreneur Jonathan Bush says he was recently watching a patient move from a hospital to a nursing home. The patient's information was in an electronic medical record, or EMR. And getting the patient's records from the hospital to the nursing home, Bush says, wasn't exactly drag and drop.
"These two guys then type — I kid you not — the printout from the brand new EMR into their EMR, so that their fax server can fax it to the bloody nursing home," Bush says.
Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 12:14 pm
Health is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes in surprising ways, factors such as childhood experiences, housing conditions, poor diets and health care access drive who ends up sick — and who does not.
When you ask people what impacts health you'll get a lot of different answers: Access to good health care and preventative services, personal behavior, exposure to germs or pollution and stress. But if you dig a little deeper you'll find a clear dividing line, and it boils down to one word: money.
The Obama administration has blocked health plans without hospital benefits that many large employers argued fulfilled their obligations under the Affordable Care Act.
Companies with millions of workers, mainly in lower-wage industries such as staffing, retailing, restaurants and hotels that hadn't offered health coverage previously, had been flocking toward such insurance for 2015.
Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 4:16 pm
Anne Roberson walks a quarter-mile down the road each day to her mailbox in the farming town of Exeter, deep in California's Central Valley. Her daily walk and housekeeping chores are her only exercise, and her weight has remained stubbornly over 200 pounds for some time now. Roberson is 68 years old, and she says it gets harder to lose weight as you get older: "You get to a certain point in your life and you say, 'What's the use?' "
Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:21 am
Could using a dishwashing machine increase the chances your child will develop allergies? That's what some provocative new research suggests — but don't tear out your machine just yet.
The study involved 1,029 Swedish children (ages 7 or 8) and found that those whose parents said they mostly wash the family's dishes by hand were significantly less likely to develop eczema, and somewhat less likely to develop allergic asthma and hay fever.