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Gene editing: Research spurs debate over promise vs. ethics

WASHINGTON (AP) — The hottest tool in biology has scientists using words like “revolutionary” to describe the long-term potential: wiping out certain mosquitoes that carry malaria, treating genetic diseases like sickle-cell, preventing babies from inheriting a life-threatening disorder. It may sound like science fiction, but research into genome editing is booming. So is a debate about […]

Study: Gut bacteria may affect babies’ risk of asthma

By Lauran Neergaard, AP medical writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Gut checks suggest that not having enough of certain “good” intestinal germs early in life may increase babies’ risk of developing asthma, according to a new study of more than 300 children. Wait: What could gut bacteria have to do with a lung disease? We share our […]

Texts could lead to healthier hearts

CHICAGO (AP) — Txt msgs may b gud 4U. That’s the message in a study that suggests just four monthly text messages might spur health improvements for heart patients. The simple, heart-related advice led to substantial changes in blood pressure, cholesterol and physical activity levels, according to the results published in Tuesdays’ Journal of the […]

A new season, a new flu shot

WASHINGTON (AP) — Give flu vaccine another chance: This year’s version got a recipe change that should make it more effective after last winter’s misery from a nasty surprise strain of virus. Don’t let a fear of needles stop you. Beyond the traditional shots, the squeamish for the first time could try a needle-free injection, […]

Surgeon general calls for steps to promote healthy walking

WASHINGTON (AP) — Take a walk: That’s the U.S. surgeon general’s prescription for sedentary Americans — but communities will have to step up, too, and make neighborhoods easier and safer for foot traffic. Only half of adults and just over a quarter of high school students get the amount of physical activity recommended for good […]

CDC wants more vaccine data

NEW YORK (AP) — How many kids are vaccinated at your child’s school? Federal health officials think you should be able to easily find out. Last school year, only 21 states posted vaccination rates for individual schools, school districts, counties or areas of the state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been quietly […]

Scientists find how obesity gene works, a clue to treatment

Scientists have finally figured out how the key gene tied to obesity makes people fat, a major discovery that could open the door to an entirely new approach to the problem beyond diet and exercise. The work solves a big mystery: Since 2007, researchers have known that a gene called FTO was related to obesity, […]

Picky eating? It’s usually harmless … usually

By Lindsay Tanner, AP medical writer Parents of picky eaters take heart: New research suggests the problem is rarely worth fretting over, although in a small portion of kids it may signal emotional troubles that should be checked out. Preschool-aged children who are extremely selective about what they eat and dislike even being near certain […]

Task force urges more research into child autism screening

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government task force says more research is needed to determine if toddlers should be screened for autism even if check-ups or parents haven’t spotted developmental problems — despite guidelines from other health groups that urge such screening. Doctors are supposed to routinely check if youngsters are meeting appropriate milestones or show […]

Study: Women with mild memory problem worsen faster than men

By Lauran Neergaard  WASHINGTON (AP) — Older women with mild memory impairment worsened about twice as fast as men, researchers reported last week, part of an effort to unravel why women are especially hard-hit by Alzheimer’s. Nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women. At age 65, seemingly healthy women have about a 1 in […]

Study: Early clue to reading woes

WASHINGTON (AP) — New research suggests it may be possible to predict which preschoolers will struggle to read — and it has to do with how the brain deciphers speech when it’s noisy. Scientists are looking for ways to tell, as young as possible, when children are at risk for later learning difficulties so they […]

Summer and sunscreen should be a perfect match

By Richard Fleming, MD Summer is now officially here. No one knows for sure how hot it will get this year. But we know for a fact that many people will take advantage of the long days to bake in the sun. Whether in the park or the backyard, at the pool or the beach, […]

Sandwich generation worried about own long-term care

WASHINGTON (AP) — Caught between kids and aging parents, the sandwich generation worries more than most Americans their age about how they’ll afford their own care as they grow older, a new poll shows. But most aren’t doing much to get ready. Nearly 1 in 10 people age 40 and over are “sandwiched” — they’re […]

Study seeks link between swine flu shot, narcolepsy

WASHINGTON (AP) — One vaccine used in Europe during the 2009 swine flu pandemic was linked to rare cases of a baffling side effect — the sleep disorder narcolepsy. Now new research offers a clue to what happened. The vaccine Pandemrix never was used in the United States, and was pulled off the market abroad, […]

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