Courtney Tillman

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Plastics, Chemicals Used in Cosmetics Linked to Premature Births

Exposure to phthalates, a type of chemical used in certain plastics and cosmetics, has been linked in a recent study to an elevated risk that pregnant women will deliver their babies prematurely. More from Reuters:<p>Researchers found that women who delivered babies before 37 weeks gestation had …

Spiritual Healers Keep Watch For Plague In Uganda

When medical anthropologist Mary Hayden visits her colleague Yofet, he tells her, "Mary, you don't need to call before you arrive because I already know you're coming."<p>Yoset, you see, is a traditional healer in northern Uganda. "The spirit comes over him and tells him how to treat people," Hayden …

China expecting a modest baby boom under revised one-child policy

BEIJING — At soon as Luo Yuannan heard about the change in China's one-child law, she began to calculate when it would be best for her 2 1/2-year-old son to get a baby sister, because, like many modern Chinese women, Luo is pining for a girl.<p>"I was amazed," said Luo, 31, who lives in the southern …

Trey Radel, Busted On Cocaine Charge, Voted For Drug Testing Food Stamp Recipients

WASHINGTON -- In September, Rep. Trey Radel voted for Republican legislation that would allow states to make food stamp recipients pee in cups to prove they're not on drugs. In October, police busted the Florida Republican on a charge of cocaine possession.<p>“It’s really interesting it came on the …

Mexican cartels abet heroin and meth surge in U.S., DEA study says

MEXICO CITY — The availability of heroin and<p>methamphetaminein the U.S. is on the rise, due in part to the ever-evolving entrepreneurial spirit of the Mexican drug cartels, according to a new study released by the Drug Enforcement Administration.<p>The report, which analyzes illicit drug trends through …

Kim Il-sung ordered doctors to make him live to 120

Outlandish medical treatments that were concocted for the North Korean leader had a limited effect<p>Kim Il-sung, the founder and "Eternal President" of <b>North Korea</b>, ordered his doctors to find a way to make him live to the age of 120, according to his former personal physician.<p>In 1979, Dr Kim So-yeon …

North Korea

Church suspends pastor who performed son's same-sex wedding

A United Methodist minister from Pennsylvania who was convicted under church law of officiating at his son's same-sex wedding ceremony was suspended for 30 days Tuesday and told he will lose his credentials if he violates any of the church's rules in that time.<p>The same jury of fellow pastors that …

Old drugs, new tricks: ADHD medicine could help with binge-eating

The body is a complex and mysterious machine. This is not lost on pharmaceutical firms, which sometimes stumble onto winning drugs when the unanticipated side-effects of a new medicine prove more useful—or lucrative—than its original aim.<p>Today British pharma group Shire announced promising results …

Biotechnology

Hope Seen In Chromosome Therapy For Down Syndrome

Some of the greatest scientific innovations have occurred because someone was clever enough not to reinvent the wheel—and instead to think of new ways to use something that already exists in nature.<p>Jeanne Lawrence is just such a woman. A scientist in pediatrics and developmental biology at the …

FDA approves skull implant that helps treat epileptic seizures

Epilepsy affects 3 million people in the US, making it the third most common neurological disorder in the country. In a move that may offer relief for some patients, the FDA has approved a skull implant that helps reduce the frequency of seizures in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.<p>The device …

Does sugar make children hyperactive?

Dread birthday parties because of the effect cakes and drinks will have on your child? Evidence shows this actually affects parents’ behaviour, not the child’s.<p>Many of us have watched children arrive at a party as reasonable, polite human beings, eat copious amounts of cakes and sweets and then …

Diabetes

Drug addiction: The complex truth

We’re told studies have proven that drugs like heroin and cocaine instantly hook a user. But it isn’t that simple – a set of little-known experiments carried out over 30 years ago tells a very different tale.<p>Drugs are scary. The words “heroin” and “cocaine” make people flinch. It's not just the …

Drug Addiction

Stopping HIV transmission from mothers to children

Preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child could be the first step to an Aids-free generation. Singer Annie Lennox and husband Mitch Besser are leading the fight to stop the disease being passed on.<p>Thirty years after the disease became a health crisis, the prospect of a generation …

Public Health

Tissue engineering: Grow your own smart organs

Robert Langer thinks one day we could grow tissues and organs from our cells, which contain sensors that can alert you when illness is about to strike.<p>The idea behind tissue engineering is that you take plastics, add cells to it, and if you use the right kind of plastics and the right structure and …

Biomedical Engineering

Preventative genetics: The ultimate way to halt disease

Can the information in our genes reveal serious medical issues years in advance? A leading geneticist thinks it’s possible.<p>We’re entering a new era that’s greatly enabled by progress in molecular biology and genetics, says George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. It is not …

Genetics

Will we ever bring the dead back to life?

Understanding the processes governing death is helping experts try to halt and reverse it. It’s also challenging our ideas about the nature of death itself.<p>Zach Conrad died on a lovely Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia. It was 3 June 2012, and the 36-year-old financial analyst had decided to take a …

Medicine

US Methodist church convicts minister for officiating at son's gay wedding

Frank Schaefer could be defrocked after jury convicted him of disobeying the Methodist Book of Discipline<p>A Pennsylvania minister convicted under United Methodist church law of performing his son's same-sex wedding ceremony could learn on Tuesday if he will be defrocked.<p>A jury of his pastoral peers …

Taking 'Obama' out of health care

President Barack Obama and loyal Democrats once embraced the term Obamacare to sell the American people on health care reform.<p>Not anymore.<p>With the president’s approval ratings at record lows, a broken website and Obama under fire for his pledge that people could keep their plans, the “Affordable …

Why Americans and Europeans may soon start dying of infections like it’s 1905 again

Antibiotics aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do anymore. You know, kill infections. Since Alexander Fleming invented penicillin 75 years ago, nearly all bacteria have mutated into strains impervious to antibiotics. Those souped up bacteria now kill hundreds of thousands of people, at a …

Microbiology

Americans are smoking more weed, but testing positive less often

There’s a peculiar thing happening in the world of marijuana users.<p>The percentage of US workers testing positive for marijuana has fallen below 2%, according to an analysis released by American medical testing company Quest Diagnostics. The study, based on a scan of millions of patients tested as …

Cannabis

Pope Francis honors gay teen who developed breakthrough cancer test

“It’s really amazing to be recognized by the Vatican, especially as a gay scientist,” the 16-year-old said<p>Pope Francis this weekend honored the 16-year-old science prodigy who developed a cost-effective method to detect pancreatic cancer.<p>Jack Andraka has received several awards for his breakthrough …

Russian court grants bail to Greenpeace doctor and photographer

Greenpeace doctor and photographer granted bail in Russian court in first sign of leniency in detained activists' case<p>The fate of the 30 Greenpeace activists detained in <b>Russia</b> appeared to be in the balance on Monday as judges jailed one activist for a further three months but bailed another two, in …

Associated Press News

Volcano discovery hints at fire below ice in Antarctica

A volcano may be stirring more than a half-mile beneath a major ice sheet in Antarctica, raising the possibility of faster base melting that could ultimately affect climate.<p>Seismologists working in a mountainous area of Marie Byrd Land in western Antarctica detected a swarm of low-magnitude …