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On the Brain: Finding good and bad people
May 11th, 2011
05:22 PM ET

On the Brain: Finding good and bad people

You probably have your own idea about what makes someone a "good person" or a "bad person," but the latest research in psychology suggests you might want to be a little more flexible in such categories.

A new book called "Out of Character," scientists David DeSteno and Piercarlo Valdelsolo say that the a person's so-called "character" is constantly in flux, as they tell Scientific American. How we behave isn't only a matter of willpower, nor is it based on some abstract "core" of good and evil inside you. They argue that environmental cues are crucial in shaping behavior, often in ways you're not even aware of.

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Study shows differences in pancreatic cancer treatments
May 11th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Study shows differences in pancreatic cancer treatments

Researchers comparing pancreatic cancer treatments found notable differences in patient survival rates and quality of life.

French investigators from a private company known as BioMed randomly selected 342 patients with pancreatic cancer. Part of the group was given gemcitabine, the most favored treatment according to oncologists.  The other patients were given a combination of four chemotherapy drugs, (oxaliplatin, irinotecan, fluorouracil and leucovorin) known as FOLFIRINOX. The treatments lasted for six months. The purpose of the study was to record the overall survival rates of each group.

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Jenny Craig ranks as top diet by Consumer Reports
May 11th, 2011
02:19 PM ET

Jenny Craig ranks as top diet by Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports rates Jenny Craig as the top diet compared to five other commercial diets.

Consumer Reports compared the six diets – Atkins, Jenny Craig, Ornish, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, and the Zone - using what it could find in scientific literature.  It did not use direct research participants.  Researchers looked at long and short term weight loss results, dropout rates and the nutritional qualities of the diets.   Consumer Reports is the magazine for Consumer Union, which is an independent, nonprofit consumer organization.

Here’s why the folks at Consumer Reports gave Jenny Craig top marks: A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that 92% of the participants stuck with Jenny Craig for two years.  By the end of that period, the participants weighed on average of 8% less.  This study was funded by Jenny Craig. FULL POST


May 11th, 2011
11:30 AM ET

How long does a broken hip take to heal?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Asked by Faye from Farmville, North Carolina

How long does it take to completely recover from hip fracture? I fell on December 8, then had surgery December 10 and came home from the hospital December 11. I'm doing well - walking with a cane but still limping.

Expert answer

Dear Faye:

A broken hip is one of the most common orthopedic injuries in people over the age of 65. It usually occurs as a result of a fall. It is often associated with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is often referred to as having brittle bones due to a loss of calcium.
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Seeking Serenity: When lawyers go zen
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer started meditation "because it’s good for my health."
May 11th, 2011
11:15 AM ET

Seeking Serenity: When lawyers go zen

Editor's note: Beginning today, CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme  of "Seeking Serenity: The quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times."

“Does scratching my eyes out count as a stress reliever?” asks Pamela, an attorney with whom I am discussing ways in which lawyers attempt to alleviate anxiety.

“Well, no,” I say. “It’s quite the opposite, really.”

“That’s all I know,” shrugs Pamela, done with the topic. “And don’t use my last name cause of, you know, the law firm mafia.”

I had been searching for meditating lawyers - yes, I mean meditation, not mediation - since a few days earlier when I happened to meet one in a parking lot. The woman - Barbara, a managing partner at a hedge fund - was in the throes of a merger when I met her. And yet she was like no attorney I have ever known.
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Dr. Drew: Pointed questions on 'wet houses'
Men drink outside of St Anthony Residence, a wet house in St. Paul, Minnesota.
May 11th, 2011
11:07 AM ET

Dr. Drew: Pointed questions on 'wet houses'

Editor's note: “Dr. Drew” dives into the debate around “wet houses,” where chronic alcoholics are allowed to drink, 9 p.m. ET Wednesday on HLN.

I have no problem, in principle, with wet houses - essentially, places where alcoholics can drink until they die. I have no problem with them for some people. I wouldn’t want anyone I love to live in one. But I don’t want to take away someone’s right to a dignified death even if it’s because of a treatable condition like alcoholism.

Let’s face it. There are some cases that just can’t be treated: those with such severe brain damage, there’s no chance of meaningful life, and those with irreversible liver damage who do not meet criteria for transplantation

Still, I have some questions and you should too before a “wet house” becomes an option, or last resort.
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Opinion: Housing chronic alcoholics makes moral, budget sense
Nick Lott looks out the window at St. Anthony Residence.
May 11th, 2011
11:05 AM ET

Opinion: Housing chronic alcoholics makes moral, budget sense

Editor's note: Bill Hockenberger is program manager for Catholic Charities St. Anthony Residence. He has worked at St. Anthony Residence for 16 years. Founded in 1869, Catholic Charities annually serves 37,000 people regardless of faith and is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation. Catholic Charities is a member of Catholic Charities USA and was honored by the Charities Review Council. More information about Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis can be found at cctwincities.org.

At St. Anthony Residence, we never give up hope.

The 60 men who live at St. Anthony, a housing program run by Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, are used to all of us giving up on them, of thinking they aren’t worthy of our time and energy, of looking at them as if they should be thrown away.
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May 11th, 2011
10:42 AM ET

Human Factor: Mucho Macho Man's trainer

In the Human Factor, we profile inspiring figures who've confronted a challenge, tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed. This week Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaks with heart transplant patient Kathy Ritvo, who trained a horse to a third-place Kentucky Derby finish.

Read the full CNN.com story on Ritvo and her horse, Mucho Macho Man here.


Filed under: Human Factor

Great-grandma's fertility may hold clues to how long you will live
May 11th, 2011
08:59 AM ET

Great-grandma's fertility may hold clues to how long you will live

The secret to longevity may be found deep in the branches of your family tree. An intriguing new study completed at the University of Utah finds that pioneer women who had twins lived longer than their counterparts who gave birth to only one baby at a time. And that, experts say, could help us understand aging today.

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Filed under: Longevity • Women's Health

Parents' marital strife affects toddlers' sleep
May 11th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Parents' marital strife affects toddlers' sleep

Infants exposed to their parents' marital discord may be more likely to experience sleep issues during toddlerhood. That's the conclusion to a new study published in the journal Child Development. Specifically, the study found that marital instability when an infant was 9 months old predicted whether the child would have issues falling asleep and staying asleep at 18 months of age.

"It's important to be aware of how the quality of the marital relationship might influence a child's functioning," says Anne M. Mannering, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and an instructor at Oregon State University.

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About this blog

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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