June 22nd, 2010
05:58 PM ET

Personality shows up in brain structure

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN.com Health Writer/Producer

Some people are more outgoing than shy, or worrisome than carefree. Such personality differences are now being explored biologically in the brain.

A new study in the journal Psychological Science finds that several personality traits are associated with definite brain regions. Scientists from the University of Minnesota, University of Toronto, Yale University, and The Mind Research Network in Albuquerque, New Mexico, collaborated on the study.


June 22nd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Coffee may cut risk for some cancers

By Trisha Henry
CNN Medical Producer

Drinking more than four cups of coffee may lower the risk of some head and neck cancers, according to a new study.

Researchers found that regular coffee drinkers – those who drank more than four cups of coffee a day – had a 39 percent decreased risk of two types of head and neck cancer: oral cavity and pharynx cancers. Coffee did not decrease the risk of a third type of oral cancer – laryngeal cancer. They looked at nine existing studies and analyzed how much coffee was consumed by more than 5,000 cancer patients and about 9,000 healthy people.

While these results are encouraging, it doesn't mean we should just go out and start drinking lots of coffee, says Mia Hashibe, lead researcher and an assistant professor in the department of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah.


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Filed under: Cancer • Diabetes • Fertility • Healthy Eating • Smoking

June 22nd, 2010
03:55 PM ET

McDonald's facing lawsuit over toys in meals

By Saundra Young
CNN Senior Medical Producer

McDonald's is being accused of trying to use toys in Happy Meals to lure small children into its restaurants, CNN Money reports.

McDonald's warned: Drop the toys or get sued

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  an estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents between the age of 2 – 19 are obese and at risk for serious health problems not just as young children, but as adults. Overweight and obese children are more likely to be at risk for chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  The CDC says balancing calories with staying active is key to maintaining a healthy weight.

Filed under: Children's Health • Healthy Eating

June 22nd, 2010
12:30 PM ET

Did compassion kill Manute Bol?

By Jennifer Bixler
CNN Medical Executive Producer

The past few weeks  have been a blur of hospitals and doctors for Mathiang Bol. His cousin basketball great Manute Bol died Saturday at the University of Virginia Medical Center at age 47.  Between making funeral arrangements, helping his Sudanese family understand the American health system and dealing with his own grief,  Mathiang, also known by his English name, George, has been going non-stop. "I was with him when he died," Bol told CNN as he drove family members to the airport Monday in Virginia. "They put him on a respirator on Friday. He passed on Saturday morning," says Bol.

George Bol says doctors told the family that a "broad range of complications" led to his cousin's death.  He had liver and kidney damage.  He also had a bad reaction to medicine and developed a rare skin disease, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which causes skin and mucous membranes to become inflamed and blister.


June 22nd, 2010
11:00 AM ET

EPA: Renew 'polluters pay' tax to fund cleanups

By David S. Martin
CNN Medical Senior Producer

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson is asking Congress to reinstate a tax on oil, gas and chemical companies to help fund cleanup costs at some of America’s most polluted places.

The so-called “polluters pay” provision funds cleanup at Superfund sites where those responsible for the pollution either can’t be found, don’t have the money or have gone out of business.


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.