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November 7th, 2011
06:14 PM ET

Medical views: When does human life begin?

Mississippi residents vote Tuesday on a controversial ballot initiative that seeks to define a fertilized human egg as a person with full legal rights.

Anti-abortion advocates crafted Initiative 26, which defines personhood as "every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof."

Amendment would declare fertilized egg a person

If passed, the law could affect a woman's ability to get the morning-after pill or birth control pills that destroy fertilized eggs, and it could make in vitro fertilization treatments more difficult because it could become illegal to dispose of unused fertilized eggs. FULL POST


November 7th, 2011
05:37 PM ET

Teen drug use highest among Native Americans; Asians lowest

White, Hispanic, Native American and mixed-race teenagers have higher rates of substance use and abuse than African American and Asian teens according to a new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry. They also are affected more by substance-related disorders.

"This study is an alert. We would like for people to be aware of the issue and the problem and be ready, hopefully. and willing to look at ways in which we can try to turn this around," said study author Dr. Dan Blazer,  of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center. "These data should suggest to any policy-making individual that we have a real problem and that problem doesn't manifest itself equally across all groups."

FULL POST


Stroke risks also linked to mental decline
November 7th, 2011
04:44 PM ET

Stroke risks also linked to mental decline

If you’re at risk for a stroke, you're more likely to suffer from mental decline, according to a study published Monday in the journal Neurology.

“Our take-home message is identifying and treating high blood pressure is very important in preserving brain health,” said Dr. Frederick. W. Unverzagt, professor of psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Unverzagt and his colleagues found high blood pressure and other risk factors including diabetes, cigarette smoking and prior heart disease were good predictors of those most likely to develop cognitive impairment. Each 10mm increase in systolic blood pressure  (the top number) increased the risk by 4%, the study found.

FULL POST


No, Einstein: Older people innovate, too
Albert Einstein did some of his greatest work at age 26.
November 7th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

No, Einstein: Older people innovate, too

Albert Einstein was a 26-year-old working in patent office when he came up with the idea of special relativity in 1905, which would ultimately change the way we think about the world. Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli and Paul Dirac all made fundamental contributions to the sciences under 30, too.

But that doesn't mean all game-changing achievements in the sciences happen to the young. On the contrary: A new study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that, especially post-1905, great scientific works are produced by people who are older, even beyond age 40.

FULL STORY from CNN Light Years


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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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