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WHO: Bird flu data still on hold
February 17th, 2012
06:27 PM ET

WHO: Bird flu data still on hold

Two studies about a genetically altered strain of H5N1 influenza, a deadly avian flu, should be published in their full form, but not yet, experts at a meeting organized by the World Health Organization concluded Friday.

There has been concern the research on bird flu could be used for terroristic purposes. WHO said in a statement that "understanding of this research through communications and the review of biosafety and biosecurity" issues that the research raises is crucial, but did not say specifically how or when this review will happen.

WHO also said that it would extend the temporary moratorium on research with the laboratory-modified viruses, but research on the avian influenza found in nature must continue for public health protection.

The naturally occuring H5N1 bird flu virus has a high death rate associated with it; 60% of all humans who have been infected have died, said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general of health security and environment for the World Health Organization.

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Vicious cycle of sleep apnea and obesity in kids
February 17th, 2012
03:20 PM ET

Vicious cycle of sleep apnea and obesity in kids

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs regularly on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

The classic pediatric sleep apnea patient is a skinny 6-year-old with chronic congestion and dark circles under his eyes.

We still see many kids in the sleep center who match this profile, but over the past 10 years, a new clinical picture has emerged. Coinciding with the dramatic rise in childhood obesity, there is a clear change in our younger patients.

We now see many overweight children in the sleep clinic who have obstructive sleep apnea that resembles the adult version.

The thin child with OSA does not usually act sleepy in the daytime. On the contrary, they often act hyperactive or inattentive. In fact, their symptoms can mimic attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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Surrogates can be sexual healers
Helen Hunt and John Hawkes star as a surrogate partner and her client in "The Surrogate."
February 17th, 2012
11:40 AM ET

Surrogates can be sexual healers

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

A provocative movie premiered recently at  the Sundance Film Festival that caught the attention of audiences and critics as well as sexuality professionals such as myself.

The Surrogate” chronicles the true story of a relationship between a surrogate partner (played by Helen Hunt) and her client (John Hawkes), a poet who is stricken with polio and seeks to lose his virginity before he dies.

When we hear the term “surrogate,” most of us probably think of a surrogate mother, who carries and delivers a baby for another couple or person who cannot. Yet surrogate partners (sometimes called sexual surrogates) have been around for years, providing a potentially valuable, though oft-debated, service to clients who wish to increase their sexual, physical and emotional experiences.
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Filed under: Relationships • Sex

Brain scans in infants shed light on autism onset
February 17th, 2012
08:58 AM ET

Brain scans in infants shed light on autism onset

New research provides evidence that wiring in the brains of children with autism differs from typically developing children as early as six months of age, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on Friday.

"This is the earliest study of brain development using neuro-imaging," says Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D. "By six months of age, even before the symptoms [of autism] emerge, the brain networks that connect different brain regions do not develop correctly."

Dawson is not only one of the study authors, she's also the Chief Science Officer of the advocacy group Autism Speaks, which, along with the National Institutes of Health and the Simons Foundation, funded the research. 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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