July 18th, 2012
06:09 PM ET

Three birthdays, one day of conception

For Joyce Mallon, the births of her three children are "a miracle." Conceived on October, 26, 2007, in a lab by in vitro fertilization, the embryos were implanted into her uterus at two-year intervals, giving her and her husband three children conceived on the same day but born years apart.

"They are my Tripblings!! Triplets via conception, siblings by actual birth," she wrote in an e-mail sent to CNN.  "I believe our story to be an exciting and intriguing one, that NO ONE in the U.S. (to my knowledge), has any claim to."

Fertility experts say while the Mallon births are exciting, they're not a first. With better freezing techniques, many babies have been born by doing what the Mallons did: creating a group of embryos, using some to start one pregnancy, and then freezing the rest for future pregnancies.  Three babies born this way aren't triplets, but rather three genetically unique siblings conceived on the same day and born years apart.

Food allergy treatment shows promise
July 18th, 2012
06:00 PM ET

Food allergy treatment shows promise

With food allergies still on the rise and no clear answer about their causes, parents of allergic children anxiously await the development of an effective treatment to prevent life-threatening reactions.

Researchers are making progress with a method for helping children with food allergies develop a tolerance for foods they otherwise couldn't eat.  The technique is called immunotherapy.  The basic idea is to give an allergic child extremely small quantities of the allergen and increase the dosage over time.

A new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is particularly exciting because it followed children with an egg allergy for one year after they stopped receiving immunotherapy treatment and found some success in that group.  But more than half of the children did not show this immunity and doctors still don't know why.


CrossFit: It's anybody's game
July 18th, 2012
03:40 PM ET

CrossFit: It's anybody's game

As I stood in the Home Depot Center Stadium and looked around, I realized that in just two short years I have witnessed a true evolution in CrossFit.

Here in Carson, California, before a sold-out crowd, athletes from around the globe have come to challenge themselves like nothing you have ever witnessed before, in the hopes of being crowned fittest one earth.

Brutal workouts of burpees, pullups, running, Olympic lifting and gymnastics will force them to take their bodies to their limit. What was once a grassroots organization with garage gyms, and what some believe is a crazy approach to fitness, is now a televised event on ESPN with full sponsorship from Reebok. Million-dollar campaigns are now seen on primetime networks, as Reebok shows the world its specialized gear, specifically designed and inspired by CrossFit. There's even a growing celebrity segment that has my mom finally believing that what I do is OK. That’s right if “Bob” says it’s OK... then mom says it’s OK. That “Bob" would be Bob Harper of NBC’s Biggest Loser, who was an avid spectator for the three-day event.


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Filed under: Diet and Fitness

July 18th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Healing process more than skin deep for burn survivors

Editor's note: 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.  Lesia Cartelli's childhood tragedy motivated her to found a retreat for young women who have scars just like hers.

It happened again.  We witnessed more miracles of strength and courage in just seven days.  We just completed our ninth retreat at Angel Faces.

After every retreat I think…can this get any better? Are there more girls out there in the world with so much pain, yet desire to heal from their serious burn injuries?  The next year rolls around, another retreat gets underway where we witness more adolescent girls flocking to us with a hunger to overcome their fears of being accepted, a desire to embrace who they are, and an urge to get excited about a new life.

The girls arrive at the front gate with scars molding and weaving various shapes over what once was fresh, virgin skin. Often the depth of their scars is not even close to the depth of heart pain that came with those scars. 

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.

July 2012
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