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CDC: Up to 86 workers possibly exposed to anthrax

anthraxAs many as 86 Atlanta-based workers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have been unintentionally exposed to anthrax, the agency says. This includes people who have come forward since the announcement Thursday, saying they were in the area during the time of exposure.

The workers are being monitored or provided antibiotics.

"Based on most of the potential exposure scenarios, the risk of infection is very low," the agency said in a statement.

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New York to legalize medical marijuana under new deal

Andrew CuomoNew York is poised to become the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana.

Under the deal Gov. Cuomo and legislative Democrats announced Thursday, patients won’t be able to smoke the drug — instead, they’ll have to ingest it as food or through vaporization, oils or pills.

Cuomo, citing the state’s efforts to combat smoking, would not sign off on a deal unless it contained the ban on puffing.  “Medical marijuana has the capacity to do a lot of good for a lot of people who are in pain and suffering,” Cuomo said.

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Hospice, Inc.: How Dying Became A Multibillion-Dollar Industry

Hospice Inc.In a complaint letter to the Florida attorney general, Dunn alleges the company enrolled his grandmother “for the sake of billing the government for payment for their own financial gain.” The company misled the family about the purpose of hospice — emphasizing benefits such as at-home nursing care and free medications, without explaining that hospices don’t provide curative treatments, according to Dunn.

Once enrolled, Dunn alleges, Vitas gave Maples a powerful cocktail of drugs against the family’s wishes, and repeatedly bumped her up to the most intrusive and expensive levels of care.

The final straw was the apparent confusion over Maples’ “full code” status. It’s a designation rarely seen in hospice, because it means the family wants the kind of life-saving treatment that hospices don’t provide.

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Federal health law helped Minnesota's uninsured rate drop 41 percent

Obamacare MinnesotaThe number of uninsured Minnesotans has fallen by nearly 41 percent since September, largely due to the federal Affordable Care Act, University of Minnesota researchers said Wednesday.

About 180,000 Minnesotans gained health insurance as a result of the law, mainly through enrollments in government-sponsored coverage such as Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare, according to the university's State Health Access Data Assistance Center. The sign-ups dropped the rate of uninsured Minnesotans from 8.2 percent to 4.9 percent.

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Study: Red meat possibly linked to breast cancer

red meatWomen who often indulge their cravings for hamburgers, steaks and other red meat may have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer, a new study suggests.

Doctors have long warned that a diet loaded with red meat is linked to cancers including those of the colon and pancreas, but there has been less evidence for its role in breast cancer.

In the new study, researchers at Harvard University analyzed data from more than 88,000 women aged 26 to 45 who had filled in surveys in 1991. Their red meat intake varied from never or less than once a month, to six or more servings a day.

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Study links pollution to autism, schizophrenia

Pollution linked to autismTiny bits of air pollution may irritate very young brains enough to cause problems, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

When mice younger than 2 weeks old were exposed to very small particles of pollutants, their brains showed damage that is consistent with brain changes in humans with autism and schizophrenia. That's not to say air pollution causes either one, said Deborah Cory-Slechta, professor of environmental medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and lead researcher in the study published Friday.

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DEA targeting doctors linked to medical marijuana groups in Massachusetts

DEA targeting doctorsWhile the Obama administration has sent some signals to states that it won’t interfere with the implementation of medical marijuana laws, the Drug Enforcement Administration in recent weeks has visited doctors who hold administrative positions with companies seeking dispensary licenses in Massachusetts and told them to resign or risk losing their registration to prescribe controlled medications.

The DEA officials have gone so far as to show up at the homes of doctors involved with prospective medical marijuana dispensaries, and at least two, but possibly more, physicians have already resigned their positions with medical marijuana organizations as a result, according to multiple sources.

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