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Monday, Mar 02nd

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Justices reject Arizona bid over abortion drugs

Planned parenthoodThe Supreme Court is refusing to allow Arizona to enforce stringent restrictions on medical abortions while a challenge to those rules plays out in lower courts.

The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that blocked rules that regulate where and how women can take drugs that induce abortion. The rules also would prohibit the use of the abortion medications after the seventh week of pregnancy instead of the ninth.

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Oregon GMO labeling proponents concede defeat

Oregon defeats GO labelingProponents of an Oregon ballot measure requiring labels on genetically modified foods conceded defeat Thursday after a judge ruled against them and an automatic recount appeared unlikely to sway the outcome.

The Yes on 92 campaign said there are no legal options remaining that could lead them to victory.

"The labeling movement will continue to grow," the campaign said in a statement. "We draw strength from the fact that we came so achingly close to winning this vote, despite being outspent by more than $12 million."

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That Takeout Coffee Cup May Be Messing With Your Hormones

BPA free plastic also toxicMost people know that some plastics additives, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may be harmful to their health. But an upcoming study in the journal Environmental Health finds that entire classes of plastics—including the type commonly referred to as styrofoam and a type used in many baby products—may wreak havoc on your hormones regardless of what additives are in them.

The study's authors tested 14 different BPA-free plastic resins, the raw materials used to make plastic products, and found that four of them released chemicals that mimic the female hormone estrogen. That's not surprising.

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In GMO labeling fight, all eyes on Vermont as suit could set precedent

gmo labelingFood activists and the industry are looking to a court case between Vermont and a major food distribution association as a bellwether for the future of genetically modified foods.

In May, the state legislature voted to require food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled as such. If the law goes into effect in 2016, Vermont will become the first state to require such labeling. But first it will have to stand up in federal court: the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which is funded by a coalition of companies including Coca-Cola, Unilever, Starbucks and Monsanto, along with three other industry groups, sued the state shortly after the law passed.

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Study: Early air pollution exposure linked to autism

autism and pollutionIn a new study, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found children with autism were more likely to have been exposed to certain air toxics during their mother's pregnancy and during the their first two years of life.

The paper's preliminary results have been accepted for review by the the American Association for Aerosol Research; it's one of the first times researchers have found a correlation between air pollution and autism rates.

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Texas Ebola Patient Thomas Eric Duncan Has Died

eric duncanThomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died Wednesday morning, the Dallas hospital where he was being treated said.

Duncan, 42, was given the experimental Ebola drug brincidofovir, but his family said he was doing poorly and the hospital had downgraded his condition from serious to critical. When the family visited Tuesday with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, they declined to view him via video link because the last time had been too upsetting.

"What we saw was very painful. It didn't look good," said Duncan's nephew Josephus Weeks.

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Turmeric may ward off dementia, heal the brain

TurmericA new study by scientists in Germany has found a that a main ingredient in curry powder, the spice turmeric, can help the brain regenerate neurons and repair itself.

When researchers coated neural stem cells, isolate in petri dishes, in a chemical extracted from turmeric, the cells grew more prolifically into neurons than did control cells untouched by any foreign substances. The same turmeric-derived chemical compound had similar effects when injected into the brains of live rats.

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