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July 30th, 2010
02:49 PM ET

New flu vaccine is on the way

Anyone looking for protection against the seasonal flu may soon find it available at a doctor's office or nearby clinic.  Manufacturers have begun to ship the 2010/2011 seasonal flu shots and sprays.

Glaxo SmithKline, Sanofi-Pasteur, Novartis and MedImmune (maker of the flu spray FluMist) have announced that their flu vaccines are being shipped to distributors.

In the end, 155 million doses of flu shots and sprays should be available for the upcoming flu season, if all goes well with the manufacturing process.  On Friday, Sanofi Pasteur announced that the first of more than 70 million doses of vaccine have been shipped and GSK plans to supply more than 30 million doses of vaccine.  Novartis said Thurday that  it plans to ship about 40 million flu shots and MedImmune began shipping  it's first of 15 million sprays on July 21.
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July 30th, 2010
02:13 PM ET

Landmark embryonic stem cell study to proceed

The first human clinical trial of a therapy involving embryonic stems cells has been approved to proceed, Geron Corporation announced Friday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had originally approved the study in January 2009 and was scheduled to have begun last summer.

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Home births can be 'harmful,' journal says
July 29th, 2010
06:42 PM ET

Home births can be 'harmful,' journal says

Moms have a right to “choose how and where to give birth,” says an editorial from the medical journal Lancet, “but they do not have the right to put their baby at risk.”

A strongly worded editorial in the British publication,  “Home Births –Proceed With Caution” cites other studies that had found that “home birth can, after all, be harmful to newborn babies." FULL POST


July 29th, 2010
04:53 PM ET

Growing joint with stem cells possible, study says

Scientists have successfully regenerated the limb joints of animals with stem cells, giving hope to arthritis patients who need joints replaced.

In a new study in the Lancet, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center, the University of Missouri and Clemson University showed that they had regenerated limb joints of rabbits using the animals' own stem cells.

Here's how it works: Researchers took out the end of the rabbit’s forelimb joint. Using laser scanning, they were able to reconstruct, using a computer, a 3-D image of what the joint looked like. Based on that image, they "printed" a scaffold that is the same shape of the joint, using a machine somewhat akin to a computer printer. The scaffold is made of polymers that have tiny tunnels in them.

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July 29th, 2010
04:53 PM ET

New law pushed for Mossville, other 'hot spots'

A doctor told a House committee Thursday that reducing pollution in “hot spot” communities such as Mossville, Louisiana, was one reason Congress should overhaul the law governing toxic chemicals.

Dr. Mark Mitchell, who has served on the Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, sited Mossville and West Louisville, Kentucky, as communities surrounded by chemical plants, including plastic manufacturers.

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July 29th, 2010
04:36 PM ET

Mayo Clinic starts social media center

Social media tools aren't just about sharing links or chatting with friends; they can also be a valuable tool in health care. Hospitals are starting to harness that potential to better assist patients in making informed choices, and doctors in connecting with patients.

To that end, the Mayo Clinic has created the Center for Social Media, an initiative aimed at both health care professionals and patients.

Some of the services of the center include training for health care employees, consulting and coaching for organizations that want to engage in social media activities, information resources, and conferences and other events.

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July 29th, 2010
01:28 PM ET

BPA found on store receipts, group says

Bisphenol A is back in the headlines this week after a new report found high levels of the endocrine disruptor on 40 percent of receipts from businesses.

Lab results from a study commissioned by the Environmental Working Group found thermal paper used by a number of major U.S. companies including McDonald's, CVS Pharmacy, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Walmart, Safeway, Whole Foods and the U.S. Postal Service had register receipts with 250 to 1,000 times more BPA than products already known to contain the chemical, including  baby bottles and canned foods.

"A typical employee at any large retailer who runs the register could handle hundreds of the contaminated receipts in a single day at work," said Jane Houlihan, EWG senior vice president for research. "While we do not know exactly what this means for people's health, it's just one more path of exposure to this chemical that seems to bombard every single person."

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July 28th, 2010
04:49 PM ET

Contact lenses a top cause of kids' injuries

They're tiny, translucent and for kids, they're a pain in the eye.

Contact lenses are the most common cause of medical-device associated injuries among children over the age of 11, according to research published this week in Pediatrics.  The article reviewing medical records from 100 hospital emergency departments between 2004 and 2005, estimated that nearly 34,000 (or 23 percent) of annual cases were due to contact lens injuries in children and teens.  FULL POST


July 28th, 2010
12:58 PM ET

Report tallies oil disaster's effect on beaches

The Gulf oil disaster has already caused at least 2,239 days of beach closing, advisories, and notices in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, according to a report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

One-fifth of monitored beaches in the Gulf have been subject to closure or advisories because of the spill, the non-profit environmental group reported.

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Women's top 6 sexual problems
July 28th, 2010
12:20 PM ET

Women's top 6 sexual problems

It may sound like a headline from Cosmo, but a survey published in the Journal of the British Association of Urological Surgeons finds that the nearly two-thirds of women report  sexual dysfunction.

The top problem cited among women was lack of desire (47 percent), followed closely by orgasm problems (45 percent). Age, menopausal status and usage of antidepressants were statistically significant risk factors for female sexual dysfunction. FULL POST


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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