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September 16th, 2010
07:34 PM ET

Stem cell debate returns to Capitol Hill

Thirteen years after Congress held its first hearing on human embryonic stem cell research, Dr. Francis Collins testified on Capitol Hill Thursday, explaining the importance of continuing the research and how the court order to stop funding this research has dramatically affected scientists.

"Many researchers across the country have considered modifying their research plans to turn away from an area of research that, while promising, is now fraught with uncertainty," said Collins, a geneticist renowned for mapping the human genome, and now Director of the National Institutes of Health.

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September 16th, 2010
01:50 PM ET

Allergic baseball fans get peanut-free zone

No word on changing the song lyric "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack," but baseball teams are getting more sensitive to  people with peanut allergies.

The Cleveland Indians is having its first ever Peanut Aware Zone at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Royals, reports CNN affiliate WOIO.

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September 16th, 2010
12:40 PM ET

CDC: Vaccination rates in toddlers remains high

Vaccination rates in young children remain high, according to a CDC report released Thursday.

"Nearly all parents are choosing to have their children protected against dangerous childhood diseases through vaccination," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the National Center for Immunication and Respiratory Diseases at CDC.

FULL POST


New York City tries to ban outdoor smoking
September 16th, 2010
11:50 AM ET

New York City tries to ban outdoor smoking

New York City could be inching closer to banning outdoor smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday plans to expand smoking bans outdoors because of the effects of secondhand smoke.

“The science is clear: prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke – whether you’re indoors or out – hurts your health.  Today, we’re doing something about it,” the mayor said in a news release. FULL POST


September 16th, 2010
10:57 AM ET

Fake pill improved sex drive in women

"Faking it" has long been associated with bad sex for some women, but a new study provides a pleasant twist on that phrase. According to a paper released today in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the placebo effect may increase sex drive for women suffering from sexual dysfunction.

"It may be that their behavior changed as part of getting treatment, even if the treatment itself was an inert tablet," said Andrea Bradford, lead study author.

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September 16th, 2010
09:43 AM ET

FDA honors one of its own

You may not know her name and her face may not be familiar, but Dr. Frances Kelsey is a rock star to those at the Food Drug Administration where she worked some 50 years ago. Wednesday, she was honored by the Agency for her commitment and her courage.

In 1960 Kelsey’s first assignment was to review an application for a little known sedative being given to pregnant women in Europe for morning sickness. The drug, thalidomide, had already been approved in 20 other countries.

Despite pressure from the manufacturer, who even threatened a lawsuit, Kelsey refused to approve the thalidomide application, insisting they provide evidence of safety before the drug was approved here in the United States. FULL POST


September 16th, 2010
09:34 AM ET

What makes a good doctor? Can we measure it?

Everybody wants quality health care. Who can argue with that? But it’s not so easy to measure “quality’ in medicine in an accurate and meaningful way.

Physician report cards are a big part of the quality movement, and they have generated a lot of controversy. As a primary care doctor, I receive a regular report card on my patients with diabetes. The problem is, these reports usually measure only what is easy to measure—small details taken in isolation that don’t capture the totality of complex medical care. Yet this is what we are graded on.

When I wrote a recent essay in the New England Journal of Medicine about how dispiriting these report cards are, I was besieged with negative blogosphere commentary about how doctors are afraid to be rated like everyone else. Many of these commentators, interestingly, were doctors who were not practicing clinicians. 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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