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Births of twins up dramatically since 1980
January 5th, 2012
02:51 PM ET

Births of twins up dramatically since 1980

In 1980, one in every 53 babies born in the United States was a twin. By 2009, that number had risen to one in 30, according to a new brief released by the National Center for Health Statistics. Over the three decades, the twin birth rate (number of twins per 1,000 births) rose 76%.

"It's quite remarkable that the rate has increased as much as it has over this time period," says co-author Joyce Martin, an epidemiologist with the CDC who has studied trends in twins and triplets for decades.

Twin birth rates rose by at least 50% in 43 states and the District of Columbia, and by more than 100% in five: Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island. The largest increase occurred among non-Hispanic white mothers.
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January 5th, 2012
02:46 PM ET

Olympian Cullen Jones inspires kids to swim

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week, Cullen Jones, the first African- American male to hold a world record in the sport of swimming shares his story of how he became involved in the sport.

Many people always ask me: How did you get into swimming? The answer is simple, but not one that people are ready to hear. 

At the age of five, I almost drowned. It was an ordinary weekend with my parents. My father, who was 6'4", decided he wanted to get on the biggest ride in the amusement park. Since he was my hero, I followed him and wanted to get on the ride.  My mother protested, but we convinced her that it would be OK. 
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Experimental vaccine helps protect monkeys against AIDS-like infection
January 5th, 2012
10:51 AM ET

Experimental vaccine helps protect monkeys against AIDS-like infection

The road to a vaccine to protect against HIV and AIDS has run into a lot of dead ends, but a new study in monkeys suggests a new path may have been found.  Researchers say two new experimental vaccines partially protected monkeys from an HIV like infection, reducing the likelihood of contracting the disease by 80% to 83%, compared to the placebo.  

Both studies, published online Wednesday in the journal Nature, tested several Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) vaccine regimens on 40 rhesus monkeys each.  Researchers found the vaccines provided some protection to monkeys that were exposed to an extremely virulent, hard to neutralize strain of SIV. Not only did the vaccines reduce the chance of infection, but for monkeys that became infected, it substantially reduced the amount of virus in their blood.

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January 5th, 2012
07:53 AM ET

CNN Tri Challenge: Introducing our 2012 team

The 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge is officially underway!  This year we have selected seven CNN viewers just like you to train for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Each person will be given a road bike and all of its accessories, a wet suit, and a gym membership.  In turn, they will blog, tweet, and share their workouts, from now until race day in mid-September, on Facebook.

We invite you to follow along as the "Lucky 7" train to swim a half mile in the ocean, bike 18 miles, and run four miles in California!  So without further ado, meet our new team:
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Why is the female orgasm so elusive?
January 5th, 2012
07:25 AM ET

Why is the female orgasm so elusive?

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.

Nearly every week I receive an email from at least one woman asking me what she needs to do to have an orgasm during intercourse, or worrying that something may be wrong with her because she can’t. Yet I rarely, if ever, receive the same question from men.

The simple fact is that the male orgasm typically comes easily during sex and female orgasms do not. The late Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, famous for interviewing thousands about their sex lives, declared that 75% of men ejaculate within two minutes of penetration in over half of their sexual encounters.

It should come as no surprise, then, that researchers from the University of Chicago have declared that men reach orgasm during intercourse far more consistently than do women, and that three-fourths of men, but less than a third of women, always have orgasms.
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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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