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Saturday, Dec 10th

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Abortion without the clinic on offer with revolutionary new US program

Abortion without the clinicA groundbreaking new experiment is launching in four states that could make abortion dramatically more accessible by allowing women to obtain abortion-inducing drugs through the mail.

The program, which will be run as a pilot study out of four clinics in New York, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington state, is a first in the US – and one that its architects urgently hope to expand as the country’s abortion clinics close down at historic rates.

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Drug company hikes price for end-of-life drug Seconal

Seconal price hikedThe 80-year-old drug Seconal, a once widely used sleeping pill now often prescribed as an end-of-life treatment, has doubled in price as laws go into effect in several states this year permitting terminally ill patients to take their own lives.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which is among companies being investigated by Congress for price gouging, doubled the price of Seconal last year from $1,500 to $3,000 after acquiring the rights to it.

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HIV exposure warning expanded to hospitals in four states

HIV exposire warning in four statesHealth officials in Arizona, California, Colorado and Washington have warned thousands of patients they were possibly infected with HIV, and hepatitis B and C after a surgical tech allegedly swapped syringes used in surgery.

At least six hospitals are warning some 5,000 patients to get testing for the disease, but said the chances of contracting the illnesses were low. The announcement comes after Rocky Allen, 28, was indicted on charges of tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by deceit. He was accused of swapping syringes containing a powerful painkiller with other syringes.

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Scientists: Memories lost to Alzheimer's may be recoverable

Memories lost to AlzheimersIn experiments with mice that have early-stage Alzheimer's disease, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found memories are still stored in the brain but the condition prevents them from being accessed.

The scientists used a optogenetics, a technique that involves activating brain cells with light, in a proof-of-concept study showing missing memories may still exist in Alzheimer's patients' brains -- but scientists need a method to unlock them.

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Mosquitoes' rapid spread poses threat beyond Zika

mosquito dangers increasingAs the world focuses on Zika's rapid advance in the Americas, experts warn the virus that originated in Africa is just one of a growing number of continent-jumping diseases carried by mosquitoes threatening swathes of humanity.

The battle against the insects on the streets of Brazil is the latest in an ancient war between humankind and the Culicidae, or mosquito, family which the pests frequently win.

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Study links Splenda to higher risk of leukemia

Splenda link to leukemiaAlthough Splenda has been promoted as a healthier alternative to refined white sugar, a recent study conducted in Italy linked the artificial sweetener to higher risk for leukemia.

Scientists found Splenda significantly increased the risk for leukemia, as well as other cancers, research that is in line with other studies in recent years.

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The cancer cluster of Piketon, Ohio

cancer cluster piketonA patch of land in the hills of rural Pike County, Ohio, hardly looks as if it played a key role in the Cold War. But as politicians dueled on the world stage, workers at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant south of Piketon toiled away producing weapons-grade uranium for the United States’ military.

The plant went online in 1954, lasted through the Cold War and is now in the process of winding down. Presciently, a group of Amish settlers who once plowed the land pulled up stakes when construction on the plant began in 1952. They were worried about the environmental impact, and the traditional pacifists were uncomfortable with the militaristic aspects of the complex.

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