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Babies, rats share walking ancestry
November 17th, 2011
04:15 PM ET

Babies, rats share walking ancestry

Children typically start walking independently when they are about 1 year old. But scientists say that even healthy newborns have the capacity to start stepping and have a pattern of neural activity similar to that of other animals.

Research published in the journal Science suggests that baby humans, rats, cats, macaque and guinea fowl all share similar neural mechanisms for locomotion. Human adults, on the other hand, have a distinct pattern of signals, which is derived from the basics seen in babies.

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Smucker's recalls chunky peanut butter over Salmonella fears
November 17th, 2011
03:06 PM ET

Smucker's recalls chunky peanut butter over Salmonella fears

The J.M. Smucker Company announced Thursday that it is  voluntarily recalling certain 16-ounce jars of peanut butter over concerns about salmonella contamination.

"No illnesses related to this issue have been reported and the product is being recalled out of an abundance of caution for consumer safety," according to a company press release.

They go on to say that the "recall was initiated as the result of a routine sampling program by the company, which revealed that these finished products may contain the bacteria."

Smucker's is specifically recalling 16-ounce jars of "Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter Chunky," sold between November 8 and 17.  None of the company's other products are being recalled at this time.

The peanut butter was distributed in District of Columbia and the following 24 states: Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin.

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Wanted: Partner for a stem cell pioneer
A researcher holds up a container with stem cells at the University of Connecticut's Stem Cell Institute in 2010.
November 17th, 2011
01:38 PM ET

Wanted: Partner for a stem cell pioneer

It appears that the economy, not controversy, is shutting down the first clinical trial to use cells derived from human embryonic stem cells in humans. Due to the "current environment of capital scarcity and uncertain economic conditions," Geron CEO Dr. John Scarlett said his company will be focusing on developing cancer treatments instead.

In January 2009, after many years of research, Geron became the first company to get FDA approval for human trials using cells grown from human embryonic stem cells.  The the FDA asked for more research, which led to final approval in July of last year.  Three months later, a 21-year-old nursing student from Alabama became the first human to be injected with these cells.

The purpose of this trial was to determine safety.  Embryonic stem cells have the ability to turn into any type of cell. Cells that had been coaxed into becoming nerves cells were injected into patients who had  just suffered a spinal cord injury that paralyzed them from the chest on down. Patients had to receive these injections within two weeks of being paralyzed.

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November 17th, 2011
11:42 AM ET

Lucy Lawless goes to TEDMED

You may know her as Xena from "Xena: Warrior Princess" and, more recently, Lucretia from "Spartacus," but you may not expect that Lucy Lawless would fly all the way from New Zealand to California for TEDMED, a conference about great ideas in health care.

"It's like a beauty pageant for brilliant people, where you sit in the audience and all these geniuses comes out and like, parade their incredible brilliance in front of you," said the New Zealand-born actress in Coronado, California, in October.

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November 17th, 2011
11:24 AM ET

How to keep your child safe from sexual predators

The Empowered Patient is a regular feature from CNN Senior Medical News Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.

As disturbing allegations of child sexual abuse by Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky continue to dominate the headlines, many parents have to be wondering about their own children and how to keep them safe when Mom and Dad are not present.

Here are 10 steps from experts.

1. Recognize that sexual abuse could happen to your child. It’s estimated that one out of every four girls and one out of six boys will experience sexual abuse, according to the American Psychological Association.

2. Recognize that the predator will most likely be someone you know.
Chances are, it won’t be a stranger offering your child candy on the playground: More than 90% of the time, the child knows the predator in some way, according to the organization Childhelp. The predator could be a family member, a teacher, a coach or a trusted friend.

Don’t let your guard down just because someone is charming or nice. In fact, those are reasons to put your guard up. Predators "are very good at ingratiating themselves with children,” said Dr. Judith Cohen, medical director for the Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

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Is pregnancy putting your sex life on pause?
November 17th, 2011
07:13 AM ET

Is pregnancy putting your sex life on pause?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

If you and your partner are expecting, congratulations! All that conception sex I talked about last week has finally paid off. And after months - or more - of timing your sexual rendezvous to an ovulation schedule, it may seem like there’s no better time to take a timeout in the bedroom.

After all, you’ll likely be preoccupied with all sorts of pre-baby activities, from registering for strollers, to choosing a name, to painting the nursery. Factor in the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy, and sex may be the last thing on both of your minds.

But you don’t need to put your sex life on hold for the next nine months. In fact, conception and pregnancy can increase your sexual intimacy with your partner, and you may never feel closer.
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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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