Health News
4/29/2016

GAO: Health care access hard to measure for Native Americans


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Access to health care for American Indians is difficult to gauge because the agency that oversees it does a poor job of tracking patient wait times, a report by a federal watchdog found.

Hawaii looks to allow psychologists to prescribe drugs


HONOLULU (AP) — State lawmakers are poised to make Hawaii one of a handful of states that allow psychologists to prescribe medication in hopes of increasing access to mental health services.

Quest Diagnostics says its Zika virus test gets U.S. approval


The Wider Image: Research in Zika Forest(Reuters) - Quest Diagnostics Inc said it has received emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell the first commercially developed diagnostic test for Zika in the United States, a step that may help expand testing capacity and speed diagnosis of the virus. Previously, the only Zika blood tests that had Emergency Use Authorization, or EUA, were available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and were only to be used in qualified laboratories designated by the CDC. Quest, in its announcement on Thursday, said it plans to make the new test broadly available to doctors for patient testing, including in Puerto Rico, by early next week.



Zika's origin and global spread


(Reuters) - The following timeline charts the origin and spread of the Zika virus from its discovery nearly 70 years ago: 1947: Scientists researching yellow fever in Uganda's Zika Forest identify the virus in a rhesus monkey 1948: Virus recovered from Aedes africanus mosquito in Zika Forest 1952: First human cases detected in Uganda and Tanzania 1954: Virus found in Nigeria 1960s-80s: Zika detected in mosquitoes and monkeys across equatorial Africa 1969–83: Zika found in equatorial Asia, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan 2007: Zika spreads from Africa and Asia, first large ...

Factbox: Why the Zika virus is causing alarm


(Reuters) - Global health officials are racing to better understand the Zika virus behind a major outbreak that began in Brazil last year and has spread to many countries in the Americas. Zika is transmitted to people through the bite of infected female mosquitoes, primarily the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same type that spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said Aedes mosquitoes are found in all countries in the Americas except Canada and continental Chile, and the virus will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found.

In China's tougher drug market, minnows open back door for 'Big Pharma'


Researchers work at a laboratory of WuXi AppTec in ShanghaiArmed with Beijing funds and friends in the right places, Chinese drug minnows are thriving, luring money from 'Big Pharma' majors struggling to restore the strong growth they once enjoyed in the world's second-largest medicine market. Chinese healthcare mergers and acquisitions nearly tripled last year to more than $50 billion, helped by giants like GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Eli Lilly and Co tapping small biotech and research innovators. The targets offer vital regulatory know-how as Beijing builds a domestic drug industry.



Chipotle's E. coli outbreak brings chain down to earth


Chipotle Mexican Grill is seen in uptown WashingtonBy Lisa Baertlein LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In its struggle to win back customers after last year's food safety issues, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc is embracing strategies it once rejected. Executives at the formerly high-flying burrito chain announced plans this week to expand its menu, explore a loyalty program, spend heavily on traditional advertising and potentially put the brakes on some new restaurant deals - moves embraced by its competitors but not previously by Chipotle. Successful brands such as Starbucks Corp and Panera Bread Co used similar strategies after they saw slowdowns in once robust sales.



U.S. teen births hit historic low with plunge in minority rate


A child is held next to people pushing baby prams in San Francisco(Reuters) - The birth rate among teenagers in the United States has fallen to a historic low, with births by black and Hispanic teens down by nearly half over the past decade, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday. Birth rates for all American teenagers are down 40 percent since 2006, thanks in part to prevention programs that address socioeconomic conditions such as unemployment and lower education levels, the CDC said. The birth rate of 24.2 per 1,000 women in this age group is down 9 percent from 2013 and the lowest among 15- to 19-year-olds since 1940, the CDC said.



Colorado clinic gunman thought FBI was tailing him: police


Robert Lewis Dear attends hearing at El Paso County court in Colorado SpringsThe man accused of fatally shooting three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado last year thought, before he opened fire, that the FBI was tracking him, a police detective said in court on Thursday. Robert Lewis Dear, 58, told police he believed 10 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were following him the day of the shooting and that his neighbor and girlfriend worked for U.S. authorities, Colorado Springs Police Detective Jerry Schiffelbein said under questioning by Dear's attorney.



Not all cranberry supplements prevent urinary tract infections


A Belarussian woman holds a bucket with cranberries in a marsh near the village of Borki(Clarifies April 19 story in paragraphs 7 and 8 to say that proanthocyanidins specifically in cranberry are thought to prevent bacterial adhesion, and 36 mg per day is the dose for prevention of UTI) By Madeline Kennedy (Reuters Health) - Taking cranberry supplements has long been recommended to prevent urinary tract infections (UTI), but it’s important to choose the right products, researchers say. “There is a lot of variability in quality and efficacy of cranberry supplements, making it difficult for consumers to know which ones will work for them,” said lead author Dr. Bilal Chughtai, assistant professor of urology at Weil Cornell Medical College in New York. UTIs affect some 8 million people each year in the U.S. Approximately half of all women will experience one at some point, Chughtai and his colleagues write in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.



Forget about saving a life by plunging a pen through the neck


By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Few movie scenes create more drama than a character saving a dying person's life by plunging a pen into his neck to open up his airway, but a new study from Germany suggests viewers shouldn't try that trick at home. Researchers had 10 people try to push ballpoint pens through the necks of fresh cadavers to create a passage to the airway. The results show that people shouldn't try something just because they read it or see it in the media, said Dr. Michael Kamali, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

U.S. military punishes 16 over 2015 Afghan hospital bombing


Hospital beds lay in the Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital in Kunduz, AfghanistanBy Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military will announce on Friday that has it taken disciplinary action against 16 service members over a deadly Oct. 3 air strike in Afghanistan that destroyed a hospital run by the international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, U.S. officials told Reuters. Instead, General John Campbell, who was then head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, described a series of blunders that allowed the American forces to target the hospital, even though it was on a no-strike list. MSF, known as Doctors Without Borders in English, has in the past publicly cast doubt on the idea that the strike could have been a mistake.



Employee Health Data: Shareholder-Worthy?


Can a company say to its employees, "We have to weigh you because our shareholders want to know how overweight you are," or "Let me take your blood pressure; our institutional investors need to know." A working group whose members include Humana, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, PepsiCo, Unilever, and South African insurer Discovery Ltd. Companies...

LPC: Abbott’s $17.2 billion loan backing St. Jude acquisition set to boost M&A volume


A US$17.2bn bridge loan that backs Abbott Laboratories’ US$25bn acquisition of medical device maker St. Jude Medical will boost investment grade loan volume that so far this year has been depressed by volatility in equities and global economic uncertainty. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch-led transaction will hike merger and acquisition-related volume of investment grade deals after issuance dropped to US$28.5bn in the first quarter from US$46.6bn in the fourth quarter of 2015 and US$71.6bn in the third quarter of last year. Abbott’s new loan will bring bridge loan volume to US$24.5bn early in the second quarter of 2016, surpassing the US$15.3bn seen last quarter.

Abbott deal for St. Jude spurs company split talk


When Abbott Laboratories said on Thursday it would buy heart device company St. Jude Medical Inc for $25 billion, it set off a flurry of Wall Street speculation over whether Abbott Chief Executive Miles White is laying groundwork to split the company yet again. Three years ago, White spun off Abbott's fast-growing branded drugs business into a new company, AbbVie, buoyed by top-selling arthritis medicine Humira, which helped AbbVie shares double. Abbott retained medical devices, nutritionals, diagnostics and some generic medicines.

Spike in Cost of Certain Oral Cancer Drugs Puts Squeeze on Patients, Study Finds


Prices have gone up multiple-fold for some drugs, a study found.

AstraZeneca cuts costs and doubles down on cancer drugs


A man walks past a sign at an AstraZeneca site in MacclesfieldBy Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca is to cut costs by $1 billion and increase its focus on cancer treatments after underlying earnings, hit by drug patent expiries, fell 12 percent in the first quarter, broadly in line with analyst expectations. Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said on Friday he would sharpen the prioritization of investments and increase spending in oncology while cutting commercial and manufacturing operations. There will be job losses, reflecting the fact that specialist cancer drugs require smaller sales forces than ones sold to general practitioners.



Reformulated GSK mouthwash endorsed as umbilical cord antiseptic


By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - An antiseptic gel to stop umbilical cord infections in newborn babies was recommended as safe and effective by European regulators on Friday in a boost for GlaxoSmithKline scientists who developed it from a mouthwash. GSK researchers developed the new product by reformulating the chlorhexidine solution found in its popular Corsodyl mouthwash into a gel that can be applied to newly cut umbilical cords. The stump of the umbilical cord can act as an entry point for bacteria, causing life-threatening infections, especially in poorer countries with limited healthcare resources.

Sanofi launches $9.3 billion fight for U.S. cancer firm Medivation


French multinational pharmaceutical company SANOFI logo seen at their headquater in ParisBy Ben Hirschler and Leigh Thomas LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi went public with a $9.3 billion offer to buy Medivation on Thursday, setting up what could be a lengthy takeover battle after the U.S. cancer firm rebuffed its approaches. The decision to target Medivation marks a return to the biotech takeover trail for Sanofi, which is looking to new cancer treatments to bolster its portfolio and help offset declining sales of mainstay diabetes drug Lantus. Sanofi's non-binding proposal is to buy Medivation for $52.50 per share in cash, representing a roughly 36 percent premium over Medivation's stock price one month prior to Thursday's offer.



Hackett says drink not drugs behind mile high meltdown


Olympic swimmer Grant Hackett of Australia speaks at a news conference at an event to unveil the new line of Speedo LZR Racer X swim suits inNew YorkAustralian long distance swimming great Grant Hackett has admitted that binge drinking was behind his altercation with another passenger on a flight earlier this month and said he was seeking help to quit alcohol. The 35-year-old former Olympic champion was spoken to by police after the incident on a flight from the Australian Olympic trials in Adelaide to Melbourne. Hackett has admitted to a dependence on prescription drugs in the past but said on Friday that the incident on the plane had come after he had been drinking in the wake of his failure to secure a spot on the team for this year's Rio Olympics.



Swimming-Hackett says drink not drugs behind mile high meltdown


Australian long distance swimming great Grant Hackett has admitted that binge drinking was behind his altercation with another passenger on a flight earlier this month and said he was seeking help to quit alcohol. The 35-year-old former Olympic champion was spoken to by police after the incident on a flight from the Australian Olympic trials in Adelaide to Melbourne. Hackett has admitted to a dependence on prescription drugs in the past but said on Friday that the incident on the plane had come after he had been drinking in the wake of his failure to secure a spot on the team for this year's Rio Olympics.

Liberian soccer star-turned-politician Weah to run for president


Former soccer star George Weah holds up a certificate of election after being elected senator in MonroviaBy James Harding Giahyue CONGO TOWN, Liberia (Reuters) - Liberian international soccer star-turned-politician George Weah said on Thursday he will make a second bid for the presidency of the impoverished West African nation in an election next year. Chanting "You can have the whole world but give me Weah," thousands of his backers packed onto the grounds of his Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) headquarters in the capital, Congo Town, to listen to the announcement. Liberia has spent more than a decade rebuilding from a long civil war that ended in 2003 and decimated infrastructure in the nation founded in the 19th century by freed American slaves.



FBI paid under $1 million to unlock San Bernardino iPhone: sources


An Apple iPhone 5c is on display at the Apple Retail Store in Manhattan, New YorkBy Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The FBI paid under $1 million for the technique used to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters - a figure smaller than the $1.3 million the agency's chief initially indicated the hack cost, several U.S. government sources said on Thursday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation will be able to use the technique to unlock other iPhone 5C models running iOS 9 - the specifications of the shooter's phone - without additional payment to the contractor who provided it, these people added. FBI Director James Comey last week said the agency paid more to get into the iPhone than he will make in the remaining seven years and four months he has in his job, suggesting the hack cost over $1.3 billion, based on his annual salary.



Wall Street sinks on BOJ fears, Icahn comments


Traders work on the floor of the NYSEThe benchmark S&P 500 had its worst day in three weeks, losing 19.34 points, or 0.92 percent, to 2,075.81, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 210.79 points, or 1.17 percent, to 17,830.76 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 57.85 points, or 1.19 percent, to 4,805.29. Wall Street dipped further late in the day, led by a decline in Apple stock. Shares of Apple, already suffering from disappointing earnings, took another hit after billionaire investor Carl Icahn said he no longer has a position.



Iran moderates eye more gains in run-off parliamentary election


Iranian woman holds a girl as she casts her vote during a second round of parliamentary elections, in ShirazBy Parisa Hafezi ANKARA (Reuters) - Iranians voted in a second round of parliamentary elections on Friday, with allies of reformist President Hassan Rouhani seeking to wrest more seats from hardliners. Rouhani's moderate and centrist allies made big gains in elections on Feb. 26 for parliament and a clerical body that will elect the next Supreme Leader, but they failed to win a majority of the 290-member assembly. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, speaking on Iranian state television, said people would vote on 68 undecided seats in constituencies where candidates failed to get 25 percent of votes cast in the first round.



Sanofi, Medivation dig in for big biotech takeover battle


French multinational pharmaceutical company SANOFI logo is seen at the headquarters in ParisBy Matthias Blamont PARIS (Reuters) - Sanofi and its takeover target Medivation dug in for trench warfare on Friday, with the French drugmaker confident of winning over investors and the U.S. cancer firm insisting it was better off staying independent. Sanofi, which has a track record of winning hostile fights in the biotech sector, said it was ready to speak directly to Medivation shareholders about its spurned $9.3 billion offer. "While to date Medivation has chosen not to enter into discussions regarding this value-creating transaction, Sanofi remains committed to the combination," it said.



Google hints at cyborg eye implant in the pipeline


Google is looking into creating an electronic lens implant to fix eyesight problems.Google has filed a patent for a vision-correcting electronic device that would see the human eye's natural lens replaced with an electronic lens implant. Discovery Magazine reports that the cyborg eye implant would potentially have the ability to change its shape and adjust the wearer's vision by using technologies such as liquid crystals, micro mirrors and tiny micro-fluidic pumps.



New implant set to join fight against U.S. painkiller epidemic


Two companies are on the cusp of taking a new treatment for opioid addiction to the U.S. market at a time when lawmakers are seeking ways to arrest an epidemic of heroin and painkiller abuse that kills 78 Americans every day. Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc and privately owned Braeburn Pharmaceuticals have together developed a matchstick-sized implant that analysts expect will be approved next month, despite mixed reviews. Implanted into the arm, the treatment is designed to be less vulnerable to abuse or illicit resale than the oral drugs that are currently used to treat opioid addiction.

Sanofi says committed to Medivation takeover


Sanofi said on Friday it remained committed to acquiring U.S. drug firm Medivation and that it was ready to speak directly to its shareholders. Medivation said earlier that its board rejected an unsolicited $9.3 billion takeover proposal from Sanofi, saying the offer undervalued the company and its pipeline of cancer drugs. "Sanofi is a disciplined acquirer and has a strong acquisition track-record," the French drugmaker said in a statement.

Medivation board rejects Sanofi's $9.3 billion takeover offer


The Sanofi logo is seen at the company's Sanofi Pasteur headquarters in Lyon(Reuters) - Medivation Inc said on Friday its board rejected an unsolicited $9.3 billion takeover proposal from Sanofi SA , saying the offer undervalued the company and its pipeline of oncology drugs. Medivation's shares were trading at $56.41 before market open on Friday. "Our Board strongly believes that Medivation's business plan will deliver value to our stockholders that is far superior to Sanofi's offer and unanimously rejects your proposal," Medivation said in statement.



Biden gets papal blessing for his global war on cancer


Pope Francis meets U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Paul VI hall at the VaticanU.S. Vice President Joe Biden took his crusade against cancer to the Vatican on Friday and heard Pope Francis call for an "economic paradigm shift" where medical research is dictated by need rather than profit. Biden, who lost his 46-year-old son Beau to brain cancer last year, has vowed to pursue a global push to accelerate cancer cures and treatments by marshalling private and public sector resources to combat it as well as rare diseases. Biden, who flew to Italy from an unannounced trip to Iraq, made back-to-back speeches to doctors and researchers from around the world who attended a Vatican conference on regenerative medicine called "Cellular Horizons".



Valeant files annual report, says in compliance with covenants


File photo of the headquarters of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc in Laval(Reuters) - Beleaguered Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc filed its annual report on Friday, which will help it stave of a default on its $30 billion debt.



Japan's corpse hotels upset some of the neighbors


A customer prays to his mother as he stands at her coffin at the "Corpse Hotel" in KawasakiTucked away in a quiet residential street in Kawasaki city in Japan is a refurbished workshop with a plain silver exterior and black draped windows that residents describe as creepy. The business inside, Sousou, is one of Japan's latest so-called corpse hotels, a camouflaged morgue used to store some of Japan's mounting pile of bodies waiting for a spot in one of the nation's overworked crematoriums. “Crematories need to be built, but there isn’t any space to do so and that is creating funeral refugees," said Hisao Takegishi, who opened the business in 2014.



Biogen, AbbVie multiple sclerosis drug wins EU green light


A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeA once-monthly injection for multiple sclerosis from Biogen and AbbVie has been recommended for approval by European regulators, paving the way for its launch in the coming months. The European Medicines Agency said on Friday its experts had endorsed Zinbryta, or daclizumab, for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), adding a new option to a range of modern MS therapies. The positive opinion will now be referred to the European Commission, which normally grants marketing authorizations for medicines recommended by the agency within a couple of months.



Shire earnings rise on strong Vyvanse demand


A sign sits in front of Shire's manufacturing facility in Lexington, MassachusettsLONDON (Reuters) - Strong demand for hyperactivity treatment Vyvanse helped lift first-quarter earnings 12 percent at Shire , the London-listed drugmaker that is buying U.S. rare diseases firm Baxalta for $32 billion. Quarterly non-GAAP earnings per share of $3.19 on revenue up 17 percent to $1.71 billion compared with analysts' consensus forecasts of $3.05 and $1.69 billion, respectively, the company said on Friday. "Shire is off to a strong start in 2016," said CEO Flemming Ornskov. ...



Diabetes drug test results boost Novo Nordisk


Employees stand in the insulin production plant of Danish multinational pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk in Chartres(This April 28 story corrects the fifth paragraph to say that two, not one, other diabetes drugs have positive cardiovascular side-effects) COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk said on Thursday a late-stage trial showed its new once-weekly diabetes drug significantly reduced patients' cardiovascular risks, boosting the company's hopes of maintaining its lead in the fast-growing diabetes market. The trial, dubbed SUSTAIN 6, showed the drug - called semaglutide - delivered a "statistically significant reduction in cardiovascular risk" compared with placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes. Cardiovascular risks are often higher among diabetes patients because they tend to be overweight.



Muslim leader in India under fire from activists for supporting FGM


By Rina Chandran MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The leader of the only South Asian Muslim community known to practice female genital mutilation (FGM) came under criticism on Friday by campaigners who accused him of urging followers to continue the centuries-old custom. Little is known about FGM in India, where it is carried out in great secrecy by the close-knit Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shi'ite Muslim sect thought to number over 1 million that considers the practice to be a religious obligation. An audio clip of Syedna Muffadal Saifuddin's speech at a mosque in Mumbai, has been authenticated by several members of the community.

Kids with more daily stress have more nightly asthma awakenings


By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – - A stressful day may make a child more prone to an asthma attack that night - with worse than usual asthma symptoms the next day as well, a small U.S. study suggests. “Nocturnal asthma is an area that patients often talk about but there’s not a lot of research in child nocturnal asthma,” said lead author Dr. Caroline C. Horner of the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri. For about 12 weeks, 46 children with diagnosed asthma and their caregivers filled out daily diary cards with 42 items addressing nighttime awakening for asthma or other reasons, and measures of parental and child stress.

Biden takes 'Moonshot' cancer campaign to Vatican


Pope Francis (left) shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden during an audience at the Vatican, on April 29, 2016US Vice President Joe Biden won Pope Francis's backing Friday in his battle for research advances in curing cancer to be made available to everyone, as he brought his "Moonshot" campaign to the Vatican. Biden, whose 46-year old son Beau Biden died from brain cancer last year, made an emotional speech at a stem cell summit thanking Francis for his support and for counselling his family during his visit to the United States. Francis told the summit it was unacceptable that patients suffering rarer types of cancer or childhood diseases were sidelined "because investing in them is not expected to produce substantial economic returns".



Fatness and Sickness -- It's Your Fault When...


Fatness and Sickness -- It's Your Fault When...Peruse my writing, and you'll quickly notice I'm not one to point the finger at obese individuals for their excess body fat. As clearly, we're not living in a world with a bunch of lazy, undisciplined, sloths.Most people are making a conscious effort to stay fit, by exercising regularly and eating healthy, but it's the fake health food and...



Sick and dying at 30,000 feet



When HIV was a death sentence


Before Billy Howard had finished the intro to his photo book of HIV/AIDS portraits, 15 of the people in the book had died.

Drawing upon your own life experiments



Meet the dogs that can sniff out cancer better than some lab tests



Thanks to mastodons, we still have this



Pigeons, the next great cancer detector?



Coffee could literally be a lifesaver



Artist bioengineers replica of Van Gogh's ear



What's in your pad or tampon?



Could this test help prevent high school football deaths?



Could wearable 'artificial kidney' change dialysis?



The rare recovery of a child who shot himself in the head



Woman charged with DUI has 'auto-brewery syndrome'



The 'know thyself' weight loss resolution



Will Smith: Movie 'Concussion' touches raw nerve for NFL



Should you be aiming for 10,000 steps a day?



Health effects of red wine: Where do we stand?



Life lessons for 2016 from Sarah Silverman



Experimenting with death to save their lives



These countries hold the secret to long life



Medieval hearts give glimpse into a silent killer



Drunk off kombucha tea?



What you should know about this 'new' STD



The other 'fingerprints' you don't know about



10 deadly diseases you thought were gone



The slow crawl to designer babies



Can this pill end the AIDS epidemic?



Football's dangers, illustrated by one young man's brain


The case of college football player Michael Keck has added more fuel to the fire about whether young children should play football.

No, you haven't read this déjà vu story before


What induces déjà vu -- the funny feeling you've been here or done that before while it's happening for the first time?

New U.S. dietary guidelines limit sugar, rethink fat



Why adult coloring books are good for you



U.S. Army wants you to eat MREs for 21 days straight



Where do we stand now: E-cigarettes



'Resting bitch face' is real, scientists say


Good news, everyone! You can now wear your mildly discontented face with some validation.

The real reason Mary Ingalls went blind


If you watched "Little House on the Prairie," chances are you remember the story of Mary Ingalls.

BPA-free plastic alternatives may not be safe as you think


Your "BPA-free" plastic product may be no safer than the product it replaced, says a new UCLA study that analyzed the impact of a common BPA alternative on zebra fish embryos. The study joins a small but growing group of similar research sounding the alarm about so called "BPA-free" alternatives.

Inside one of the world's largest sperm banks


Laerke Posselt photographed Cryos International, a sperm bank in Denmark that has served more than 80 countries.

Inside Ellis Island's abandoned hospitals


Ellis Island is a major tourist destination, attracting more than 4 million visitors a year. Still, much of the island remains off limits to all but a select few.

Gun violence not a mental health issue, experts say


Mental health advocates say federal gun law overlooks those at greater risk for gun violence, and President Obama's new executive orders won't change that.

The centenarian tide is on the rise


The number of Americans 100 years old and older has climbed by 44% since 2000.

Why your brain goes mushy over cute animal videos


Humans are instinctively attracted to beings with large eyes, chubby cheeks, big forehead. And the reason is tied to happiness and our survival.

How your smell reveals if you're sick


Your body odor can reveal how healthy you are: humans around you could smell when your body is fighting an infection.

First gray hair gene found, plucked out of research


The silver lining (pun intended) is that this may aid drug development to prevent or delay hair graying.

Tears and smiles: Angela's beautiful life


Matthew Busch documents a year in the life of Angela Klein, a mother of four who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Facing Zika fears: Raising kids with microcephaly



Why are my hands always cold?


To say my body doesn't do well in the cold is an understatement. When the temperature drops, my fingers freeze, and often turn deep red, followed by white. On especially exciting days, they'll look a little blue. "Cold hands, warm heart," my mom used to tell me.

What does it mean to die of 'natural causes?'


Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and author Harper Lee recently died of natural causes, according to most news reports. But what does that phrase mean? Or, rather, what is "unnatural" about something that happens to everyone? Is it just for the old? Does cancer count as "natural?"

Why Sandy Hook parents are suing a gun-maker


To hear Jackie Barden and David Wheeler describe their lives today is a master class in hope.

How I gave my wife Zika virus


The story of how microbiologist Brian Foy obtained Zika in Africa back in 2008 and passed it to his wife Joy when he returned home reads like a detective novel: frozen blood, false leads, a clever clue from Africa, and finally success—laboratory proof that Foy had given a mosquito-borne virus to his wife during sex.

A glove to block Parkinson's tremors?


There is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease, a degenerative neurological condition that affects around seven million people globally, but a new mechanical glove could

The pee color spectrum: What it means


Did you know that looking into the toilet bowl is like looking into a crystal ball for your health? The color of your pee can change depending on how hydrated you are, what foods you've been eating, and even as a weird side effect to certain medications. Here's what your urine color says about your health — and when it could signal a serious problem.

Husband and wife never expected their Fitbit would tell them this ...


A New York husband was stumped as why his wife's Fitbit was acting funny.

Weed users found to have poorer verbal memory


People who smoked weed regularly as teenagers remembered fewer words as they entered middle age, according to a new study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Study finds new potential treatment for jet lag


Jet lag might be the worst part of long-distance travel, especially when it leaves you feeling tired, cranky and off-kilter for days.

CTE in the NFL: The tragedy of Fred McNeill


The night before Fred McNeill died in November, he was watching "Monday Night Football." The 63-year-old former Minnesota Viking linebacker and UCLA grad had his gold and blue slippers tucked under his bed. "He loved the game," said his youngest son, Gavin. "He was proud of what he did."

Is it time for football to reconsider marijuana?


The NFL and the NFL Players Association have a staunch policy prohibiting marijuana use, but some players are asking them to reconsider it, saying pot can be used for pain relief, and possibly as concussion prevention.

Rare disorder causes constant hunger


Peggy Ickenroth photographed Suzanne, a 12-year-old with Prader-Willi syndrome. The genetic disorder's most prominent symptom is an insatiable appetite -- you never feel full.

'Miracle' cells could cure blindness


It's the most common cause of blindness in the Western world and there is currently no cure.

This is what reading is like if you have dyslexia


One in five people suffer from it and famous figures from Tom Cruise to Richard Branson have spoken at length about how it has affected their lives.

Soccer icon Brandi Chastain donating brain for CTE research


U.S. women's soccer legend Brandi Chastain has promised to donate her brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for research into CTE.

'I'm an abortion travel agent'


Daytime turns to dusk as Natalie St. Clair's phone lights up with text messages. They come from clients across the vast Lone Star State.

6 ways to improve your IQ



Wig-free portraits empower women



The abortion laws you don't hear about



Why 'shelfies,' not selfies, are a better snapshot of who you are



How much caveman DNA do you have?



Postures can increase your success in online dating



Discover a child's medical destiny before they're born


DNA hiding in a mother's bloodstream could reveal all about her baby's health, including genetic conditions such as Down's syndrome, providing a non-invasive alternative to current testing methods.

Scott Kelly answers your questions about life in space, missing to Mars


Astronaut Scott Kelly has been back on Earth for about three weeks since completing his groundbreaking year in space and he's still adjusting to the sensation of having solid ground beneath his feet.

The secret Cold War origins of Sharapova's drug


The origins of meldonium, the banned drug used by Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, are shrouded in Soviet-era secrecy.

Living in shadows: A child's rare disorder


Alex Gentile wants to run with his friends on the playground. But because of a rare disease, the 8-year-old can't play in the sunlight for very long. He is one of 9 people on Earth who have been diagnosed with a condition called XLPDR.

'I'm not the Obamacare kid anymore'


Sometimes it's hard to be what you want to be when people only know you for what you used to be.

Your brain on fantasy sports


Spring training is underway, and for millions of baseball fans that means it's time to start over-analyzing players and stats to fill their not-real, totally-made-up team rosters. Welcome to a new season of fantasy baseball.

Can your address predict your premature death?


When it comes to premature death, it's all about location, location, location.

'Siri, I was raped'



Meldonium: the drug that got Maria Sharapova suspended



Parkinson's patient fights disease with magic and music


For the last decade of my father's life, his hands shook uncontrollably. Normal activities like eating and reading the newspaper were challenging. I don't know whether his tremors were caused by Parkinson's disease. He didn't have any of the other typical symptoms, like difficulty initiating movements or shuffling while walking. His doctors thought he had so-called intentional tremors, which are often less problematic than Parkinsonian tremors.

His battle with ALS empowered her to live


When they married about six years ago, Hope Dezember knew that she and her husband, Steve, wouldn't be able to spend the rest of their lives together. Steve had been recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Can this app change schizophrenia treatment?


People with schizophrenia often say the disease is an isolating one. They can struggle to connect with loved ones or to find people who understand what they're dealing with. But a new app might help them find the support they need to improve their lives.

For pro stair climbers, sky's the limit



Drug baggies of London: 'Addiction made public'



Face transplant patient speaks out five years later



The Endless Table: How recipes keep memories alive



This is your brain on LSD, literally


Scientists have for the first time visualized the effects of LSD on the human brain.

How much sex should you be having?



Did humans kill off Neanderthals?



Why letting teens sleep in could save lives


Ask parents of teenagers what they're worried about, and among the issues they're likely to bring up is their teens not getting enough sleep. So many teens stay up past midnight and get up early, especially when their school starts, in some cases, well before 8:00 a.m.

Moms to Congress: It's time to protect kids in contact sports


Families who lost loved ones to football speak out about the dangers of contact sports for children.

Luke and Jedi fight type 1 diabetes together



Beating heroin is more than 12 steps; it's 18 years and going


There is a scene in the documentary "Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street" that continues to resonate with me, despite the 18 years that have passed since 25-year-old me was featured in the film. I was asking the camera, if I wasn't using drugs, "what would I do with my life?" I was pointing to the camera, showing the soft tissue infections on my skin. I was skeletal, living in a filthy hotel room with my boyfriend. I had left my apartment a few years earlier for a spring break trip to San Francisco and had never returned home.

Violinist cheats death, fulfills destiny


Chills.

Champion pool player turns pain into will to win


At 12 years old, my life changed when I was diagnosed with scoliosis.

The sky's the limit for blind pole vaulter


I take the bus to class like every other student. I walk through the dining courts like another face in the crowd. That's how I like it.

How a cat helps this 6-year-old artist with autism


Wherever 6-year-old Iris Grace Halmshaw goes, 2-year-old Thula is sure to follow.

Cancer took athlete's leg but he stayed in the game


I was a normal 11-year-old in the summer of 2007. I went to lacrosse camp at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia, as I did every summer -- but this time would prove to be very different from the others.

Beyond the mirror: How one woman learned to love herself


Shortly after Christmas in 2012, Siha Collins was looking through pictures to post on Facebook, and she was unhappy with what she saw.

Dishwasher lost 100 pounds by eating on the job


Laying at the bottom of a skateboard pool in 2011, Lucas Weaver had -- quite literally -- reached rock bottom. He fell while working promotions at a skating competition and tore every ligament in his knee.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Women who changed my life



Vietnam, heroin and the lesson of disrupting any addiction



What happens when you go without sugar for 10 days?



Zika virus: Will this baby be OK?


Zulymaris Molina arrives at the high-risk pregnancy clinic in San Juan, Puerto Rico, shortly after dawn, excited to see her baby.

Quiz: What does your favorite music say about you?


You're at a heavy metal concert. An electric guitarist grinds out the final chords of a loud, aggressive solo and smashes the guitar. Are you thinking, "That was epic!"? Or are you just glad the music finally stopped?

When a surgeon should just say 'I'm sorry'


Patient safety advocates are encouraging hospitals and doctors to avoid lawsuits by saying 'I'm sorry' after medical mistakes.

If parents see their kids as overweight, they're more likely to be


One way health programs today are trying to reduce the growing problem of childhood obesity in the United States is by making parents aware that their child is overweight. The thinking is they can take steps to help their child eat more healthily and exercise more.

Do you let your kids make in-app purchases?


My 6-year-old son is completely obsessed with a virtual world app called Tiny Monsters. All his friends are, too. And while his friends' parents feed their kids' iTunes accounts, enabling these tiny monsters to quickly grow into bigger ones, my son is stuck waiting and waiting for them to grow without the added boost of an in-app purchase.

Does parenting style say anything about a presidential candidate?



Parents are gay? The kids are OK



From '80s latchkey kid to today's helicopter parent


It used to be common for parents to leave their young kids home alone after school but not today, at a time when overparenting is more the norm. What changed?

This is what you're doing wrong with produce


Many of my clients assume they should be eating fresh, raw produce to reap the most health perks possible. But the reality is, several studies have debunked conventional wisdom about the best ways to store, prep, and cook fruits and veggies. Check out these science-backed tips for getting the most nutritional bang per bite from seven of your favorites.

Mediterranean diet wins again, helps bones


The Mediterranean diet is well-known for its health benefits on your heart and waistline, but now your bones could benefit too, according to a new study.

Michael Pollan really wants you to cook


Michael Pollan has one request: Can we please get back in the kitchen?

8 everyday activities that boost your health


When it comes to your health, you already know how important it is to eat well and stay active. But other hobbies and lifestyle changes—that have nothing to do with diet or exercise—can also offer a big payoff for your wellbeing. Try incorporating a few of these activities into your routine to benefit from reduced stress levels, lesser risk of certain diseases, lower blood pressure, and much more.

She lost 185 pounds to pursue the 'heart of a warrior'



15-year-old loses 100 pounds to reach bodybuilding dream


At 15, MacKenzie Walker has accomplished more than most people twice her age. She's written a book. She's started a business, training and coaching clients online. She's amassed nearly 60,000 Instagram followers.

How one teen began his 165-pound weight loss journey


Adam Park considers himself lucky.

Wrestler, entertainer Chyna's brain donated to science


Representatives for the wrestler and entertainer Chyna confirmed that her brain will be donated for research into the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE.

Laundry packet poisonings increase in kids


Children continue to eat a dangerously large number of laundry detergent packets, new data show.

90% of Americans have prayed for healing, study finds


When Americans experience health problems, they don't just rely on doctors and medications. A new study found that most Americans have turned to prayer to heal themselves and others.

Popular: Radical Islam in America | Graham Opposes Republican Leader | Guns in America


Everything you need to know about Zika



Have a 'drink'? There's no universal definition of what that is


No standard definition for what makes a "drink" among 75 countries.

Fast food serves up phthalates, too, study suggests


A new study finds that those fast food drive-thru hamburgers and take-out pizzas could increase your exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals called phthalates.


The 'Dirty Dozen' produce with the most pesticides


Pesticide residue can stay on produce even after you wash it. Here are the top 12 most contaminated.

How to reduce your caloric intake by 30%


Crunch, chomp, munch, slurp. It might not be polite to chew loudly while you eat, but science says those noises might help you avoid overeating. Hearing your own crunching could eat help you eat fewer calories, according to a new Brigham Young University and Colorado State University study. Here's why you might eat less if you listen to yourself chew — and how to avoid noisy scenarios that might overpower your sense of hearing.

Low cholesterol may not be good for you





Don't like some superfoods? Try these healthy alternatives


Can't stomach kale, or quinoa? Don't worry, you're not alone. Many of my clients aren't fans of the latest trendy superfoods. Fortunately for anyone with an aversion to chia seeds and goji berries, there are equally good-for-you alternatives. Each of the replacements below contains similar nutrients but differs in texture or flavor—so you can get the same super-healthy perks and please your palate too.

The hidden danger of grilling out


Last winter, a team of doctors at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware treated a 16-year-old girl who had a sharp pain in one spot of her abdomen. Although the doctors suspected she had swallowed something, they were surprised when they pulled out a wire bristle from a grill brush during surgery.

Vegganism: Why some vegans eat eggs


For Kristin Deiss, it's always been about the animals. She embraced a vegetarian diet after spending time with chickens at her grad school professor's house. She became a vegan after driving by a truck transporting chickens on a California highway. "They were just jammed one on top of the other. My heart broke and I started crying."


Skiing + man's best friend = skijoring, with love


Few sports start with picking the right life partner. But skijoring -- cross-country skiing aided by an additional conveyance, often a dog -- is one.

Zika test gets emergency approval by FDA, available next to week to doctors


The first commercial test for Zika virus has received emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.

Spate of shootings by children leaves kids, mother dead


The .40-caliber gun stashed under the driver's seat slipped backward on the car floor, right into the reach of Patrice Price's 2-year-old son.

District changes bathroom policy after student fights back


A South Carolina school district is updating its policy to allow transgender students to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity.


Transgender policies across the country


A flurry of policies affecting transgender people has swept the country in recent weeks, leading to widespread protests, economic losses and a growing debate about equality and privacy.

Alabama city: Use bathrooms that match biological sex or face 6 months in jail


Transgender people in Oxford, Alabama, could now face six months in jail for using restrooms labeled for the gender they identify with.

Girl, 12, accidentally runs half-marathon


If the idea of running a half marathon -- 13.1 miles -- makes you want to run and hide, good news. It may not be as hard as it seems.

Recent podcasts: Sanders Demands Clinton Apologize | Guns in America | Radical Islam in America


NASA maps Zika's potential spread in the U.S.


NASA scientists have created a map to better target future search-and-destroy missions for the Zika-spreading female Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Mumps outbreak sickens 40 people at Harvard University


Please stop infecting each other.

Pilgrim's Pride recalls 4.5 million pounds of chicken


Pilgrim's Pride is recalling over 4.5 million pounds of fully cooked chicken products.


China gets into the genetic breakthrough business


From stem cells taken from urine to pet micro-pigs, genetic engineering is a hot research area in China.

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles' lessons from Mom


If you don't know the name Simone Biles, you most likely will once the 2016 Summer Olympics get underway in Rio de Janeiro just 100 days from now.


The home DNA test that can predict your future


Professor Chris Toumazou left school with few qualifications but has designed a self DNA test that can reveal predispositions to a variety of diseases.

'Resting bitch face' is real, scientists say


Good news, everyone! You can now wear your mildly discontented face with some validation.

When you 'come out' about infertility


I am one in eight. One in every eight couples struggles to conceive or to maintain a pregnancy. I did not realize the magnitude of that statistic, the amount of women I would meet who also are one in eight. I did not know the journey into heartbreak, heartache, sisterhood and loss that I would experience.

Recent podcasts: Bernie gets the Axe | Blindsided: How ISIS Shook The World | Graham Opposes GOP Leader


Why don't we know yet what killed Prince?


We might not know what killed pop superstar Prince for weeks or even months. And while forensic science-themed TV shows make it look quick and easy, and the technology has improved, modern death investigations take time.

Mediterranean diet tied to lower risk of heart attack, stroke


The list of Mediterranean diet benefits is getting even longer. A new study found that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, fish and unrefined foods is linked to a lower risk of heart attack and stroke in people who have heart disease.

Arsenic, rice and your baby's diet


Ask any mom or dad to name their baby's first food. The likely answer? Rice cereal. What's a common go-to "healthy" snack for toddlers and kiddos? Rice cakes.


How often should you pee?


Do you get up to pee twice as often as your co-workers? Or maybe you're the type of person who can go hours without a bathroom break, no matter how much water you down. Pee patterns seem to run the gamut from high frequency to hardly ever—which made us wonder, What's a normal number of times to go in a day? (You can laugh now, but you'll thank us later!) We tapped ob-gyn Neil Grafstein, MD, an assistant professor of urology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, to answer that question, plus a few more.

Bedbugs are drawn to certain colors, study finds


The next time you're packing for a trip, you might want to reach for your brightest-colored luggage. It could help keep bedbugs away.

From the darkness of disaster, a ray of hope in Nepal


On April 25, 2015, the Nepal earthquake changed the life of 10-year-old Maya Gurung. A few days later, a second quake altered her life's trajectory again. This time, in a way no one could have imagined.

Podcast favorites: Bernie gets the Axe | Radical Islam in America | Graham Opposes GOP Leader


Opioids and overdoses: 4 things to know


Deaths linked to opioids are skyrocketing, and so is the number of Americans abusing the drugs, experts say.


What is naloxone, the 'save shot'?


The drug naloxone is sometimes called a "save shot" or a "rescue shot" because of its ability to bring someone back from an overdose. Brand names for naloxone are Narcan and Evzio. It has long been used in hospitals and by emergency medical technicians, but there is now a movement to expand access to it and get it into the hands of first responders as well as drug users and their family members.

Little miracles, big decisions after infertility


From celebrating the everyday joys of being a new parent, to preparing to adopt another child, to contemplating future pregnancies, four couples who have struggled with infertility are moving forward.

Boot camp for the Internet-addicted


Photographer Lorenzo Maccotta spent about a week at one of the military-style boot camps where young Chinese people are quarantined from their compulsive use of technology.

Podcast favorites: Blindsided: How ISIS Shook The World | Bernie gets the Axe | Guns in America


After life-changing shooting, teen's spirit shines through


Abigail Kopf winces, nuzzling the side of her head into her Batman pillow. She needs relief.

Punished after reporting rape at Brigham Young University


The horror of rape or sexual assault is traumatizing enough for any victim. But for multiple young women at Brigham Young University, they claim they received backlash, instead of support, after reporting sexual violence to the school.


Sexual assault accusers: BYU isn't protecting us


Several women say BYU informed them that they may have violated the school's honor code as a result of investigations into their sexual assaults. CNN's Ana Cabrera reports.

Song helps autistic boy, mom cope with medical mystery


One day in 2013, young Bryn Thomas suddenly became very sick. He was pale, anxious, shaking and pacing. For almost two years, his doctors and parents couldn't figure out what was happening to him. And even worse, Bryn was unable to tell them.

The art of teaching teachers how to teach reading


A lifelong educator and advocate for children, Principal Diane Daprocida of P.S. 94, an elementary school in the Bronx, says she has been waiting for one thing since she started running the school 10 years ago.

Popular: Guns in America | Sanders Demands Clinton Apologize | Blindsided: How ISIS Shook The World


Doctor with spina bifida defies expectations


When people introduce me and say I have overcome so much to be where I am, to do what I do ... I am still surprised. Particularly at these moments, it strikes me that I am exceedingly fortunate and very lucky to have been given extraordinary opportunities.

How workouts give your brain a boost


Have you ever felt like pounding the pavement or doing a couple of sun salutations seems to instantly melt your worries away? It's not your imagination — but it is your brain.

VIDEO: Should we eat more fish?


Across Asia people eat more fish than anywhere else in the world, but there is a potential danger as mercury and other chemicals are found in fish.

VIDEO: 'I'd think twice': BBC tests new food label


The BBC has been asking shoppers what they think of the idea of being given food labels with exercise advice.

VIDEO: Mother hears dead son's heart after transplant


A mother in Nebraska in the US has heard the heartbeat of a man who received her son's heart in a transplant.

'This is what it's like to pee after female genital mutilation'


'This is what it's like to pee after female genital mutilation'

How Frozen helped a little girl with albinism


How the Disney film helped a family deal with their daughter's albinism.

'I was born without a womb, cervix and vagina'


'I was born without a womb, cervix and vagina'

Could cures for cancer lie hidden in the cloud?


How pooling patient data could help combat cancer

No country for cancer patients


The country whose only cancer treatment machine is broken

Why are Northern Ireland's abortion laws different?


Why is abortion essentially illegal in Northern Ireland?

Obesity 'explosion' in Chinese youth


Levels of obesity in China's rural youth have rapidly increased, a study warns, because of socioeconomic changes.

'Secret of youth' in ginger gene


Scientists say they have made a leap in knowing why some people retain their youthful looks while others age badly.

Bed bugs repulsed by certain colours


Bed bugs appear to have a strong preference for particular colours - a quirk that could be used against the troublesome pests, say scientists.

'Dentist of horror' jailed in France


A Dutchman dubbed the "dentist of horror" is sentenced to eight years in France for mutilating the mouths of some 120 patients.

Fear over eating disorder care in Japan


Most people suffering with eating disorders in Japan are not receiving any medical or psychological support, according to doctors.

Hospitals 'coped with all-out strike'


Hospitals in England have coped well with the all-out strike by junior doctors - the first in the history of the NHS - health bosses are reporting.

Final piece of diabetes puzzle solved


A complete picture of what the immune system attacks to cause type 1 diabetes is revealed by scientists.

US suicide rate highest in 30 years


The suicide rate in the US has surged to its highest level almost three decades, according to a new report.

Virus 'can cause brain damage in babies'


An investigation into an outbreak of a new virus in Australia has uncovered cases of developmental delays and brain damage in children.

Poor sleep due to 'first-night effect'


People sleep less well in an unfamiliar place as the brain's left side stays alert for danger, a study suggests.

Surgery ban for obese patients 'wrong'


Surgeons say they are worried overweight patients and smokers in England and Wales are having surgery delayed or denied to save money.

NHS should welcome 'citizen whistleblowers'


Why the NHS should listen to people who see something amiss

'Cancer made me want mashed potato'


The strange effects of cancer on appetite

VIDEO: How a new vaccine could eradicate polio


More than 150 countries are switching to a different vaccine to target polio.

VIDEO: Trapped in an institution for seven years


Debbie Evans talks about her son who has learning disabilities and has lived in a medical institution for seven years

VIDEO: Surgery live-streamed in virtual reality


The operation of a patient undergoing surgery for colon cancer is streamed-live using virtual reality video.

VIDEO: Should children learn about infertility?


Victoria Derbyshire speaks to a panel of guests about a project to teach teenagers about the issue of infertility.

VIDEO: 'No doubt' Zika causes birth defects


Health officials in the United States have confirmed that the Zika virus in pregnant women causes babies to be born with unusually small heads and severe brain abnormalities.

Gene therapy reverses sight loss


A genetic therapy improves the vision of some patients who would otherwise have gone blind.

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