Parents drill certain warnings into their children: don't drink, don't smoke and don't do drugs. But those conversations have gotten tougher now that two states, Colorado and Washington, have decriminalized some recreational marijuana use.
Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 4:01 pm
Opportunists who market street drugs may be undermining the global struggle against AIDS.
In South Africa, two mainstay HIV drugs have found their way into recreational use. That may help explain why some HIV patients are resistant to these front-line medicines even if they've never been in treatment before.
Beginning next year, young women in France between the ages of 15 and 18 will have access to birth control free of charge, and without parental notification. The French government says the new measure is intended to reduce pregnancies in this age group that result from a mixture of ignorance, taboo and lack of access to contraception.
One place where information is available on birth control, abortion and sexual abuse is a family planning clinic in a gritty neighborhood in the east of Paris.
On Tuesday, the National Institutes of Health in Maryland is holding a second day of talks about whether and how to continue funding some controversial scientific experiments.
Back in January, virologists agreed to temporarily stop research that was creating new forms of bird flu because critics argued that the work was too dangerous. NIH officials are now seeking input from scientists and the public about how to proceed.
An old complaint about the safety of childhood vaccines is finding new life at the United Nations.
The U.N. Environment Program is considering a ban on thimerosal, a vaccine preservative that is widely used in developing countries. The program expects to make a decision sometime after a final meeting on the issue in January.
Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 9:33 am
Many of us following the news out of Newtown, Conn., do not have a personal relationship with those murdered Friday. Some of us may not have children whom we need to guide as they see images from the scene.
Yet even without these connections, many people are looking for ways to process their grief and mourn the victims.
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 4:48 pm
Few people expected that the Obama administration would be running health exchanges in more than 30 states when the federal health law was signed two years ago.
But with the deadline for states to decide just hours away, only 18 states and the District of Columbia have proposed operating their own insurance marketplaces. The exchanges are a key tool under the law to expand health coverage to an estimated 23 million people over the next four years.
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:50 pm
Here's an experiment you can try. But please be the scientist and not the test subject.
Watch people cross the street and note whether they're yakking on the phone, texting or bopping to tunes while they do it. If you're really ambitious, time how long it takes them to cross.
This past summer researchers from the University of Washington did it. They watched more than 1,100 pedestrians at the 20 intersections in Seattle that racked up the most pedestrian injuries over the last three years.
Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 4:21 pm
Nobody likes to see a baby in pain. But it's been surprisingly hard for doctors to figure out how to make shots and other medical procedures hurt less.
The solution might be as simple as giving a baby a bit of sugar water before the shot. Or it might not be so simple at all.
How do we know when a baby's hurting? A parent might be able to tell the difference between a cry of pain, the wet diaper cry, and the boy I'm tired cry. Doctors and nurses lack that intimate knowledge.
When Christine Rowan gave birth prematurely in August, her new baby was having problems breathing. So Rowan brought her daughter, Zoe, to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for genetic testing.
"It's funny because when we first had the testing done, we didn't even really think about the fact the testing was going to lay out all of her DNA," says Rowan, 32, who lives in Northern Virginia.
But while Rowan and her husband were waiting for the results, questions started popping into their heads.
In 1974, Phillip Kunz and his family got a record number of Christmas cards. In the weeks before Christmas they came daily, sometimes by the dozen. Kunz still has them in his home, collected in an old photo album.
"Dear Phil, Joyce and family," a typical card reads, "we received your holiday greeting with much joy and enthusiasm ... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's. Love Lou, Bev and the children."
Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:30 pm
If you haven't heard, yesterday was World Toilet Day, and its sponsors, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the World Toilet Organization, suggest you take a moment to consider the profound luxury of good sanitation. A mind-boggling 2.6 billion people on Earth don't have toilets, and WSSCC and WTO are among the parties set on bringing that number down.