Health

Why ‘Fetal Personhood’ Is Roiling the Right
Health

Why ‘Fetal Personhood’ Is Roiling the Right

As I.V.F. grew in popularity, so did the concerns of its opponents. Standard practice involves creating multiple embryos, which are screened for genetic abnormalities, and the ones that appear healthiest can be transferred. Extra embryos are often frozen; by one count, there are a million and a half frozen embryos in the United States. After a designated time period, they may be donated to science or destroyed, just as the Catholic Church feared.The anti-abortion movement won a partial victory for protecting life at conception in 2001, when President George W. Bush banned the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research, but President Barack Obama reversed the policy eight years later.Starting in the late 2000s, voters rejected ballot initiatives to enshrine fetal personhood in at...
‘All in Her Head’: A Doctor Reckons With Sexism in Women’s Health Care
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‘All in Her Head’: A Doctor Reckons With Sexism in Women’s Health Care

Six years ago, Dr. Elizabeth Comen, a breast cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan, held the hand of a patient who was hours from death.As Dr. Comen leaned in for a final goodbye, she pressed her cheek to her patient’s damp face. “Then she said it,” Dr. Comen recalled.“‘I’m so sorry for sweating on you.’”In her two decades as a physician, Dr. Comen has found that women are constantly apologizing to her: for sweating, for asking follow-up questions, for failing to detect their own cancers sooner.“Women apologize for being sick or seeking care or advocating for themselves,” she said during an interview in her office: “‘I’m so sorry, but I’m in pain. I’m so sorry, this looks disgusting.’”These experiences in the exam room are part of what drove Dr. Comen to write...
Vaccines Didn’t Turn Back Mpox, Study Finds. People Did.
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Vaccines Didn’t Turn Back Mpox, Study Finds. People Did.

Why It Matters: Vaccines often arrive too late to stamp out outbreaks.Public health response to outbreaks often relies heavily on vaccines and treatments, but that underestimates the importance of other measures, said Miguel Paredes, lead author of the new study and an epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle.Although the Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine for mpox in 2019, getting enough doses produced and into arms proved challenging for many months after the outbreak began. Vaccines for new pathogens are likely to take even longer.The new analysis suggests an alternative. Alerting high-risk communities allowed individuals to alter their behavior, such as reducing the number of partners, and led to a sharp decrease in transmission, Mr. Paredes said. In ...
A Doctor’s Lifelong Quest to Solve One of Pediatric Medicine’s Greatest Mysteries
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A Doctor’s Lifelong Quest to Solve One of Pediatric Medicine’s Greatest Mysteries

At the Kawasaki Disease Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, led by Dr. Burns, caring for children affected by Kawasaki disease is always linked to the search for the cause.On a recent Wednesday morning, Dr. Kirsten Dummer, a pediatric cardiologist, was examining the heart scans of a 2-year-old who showed signs of a large aneurysm on the right side of the heart.“The biggest question from parents is: How did this happen? How did my child get this? In every patient room, that’s what they fundamentally want to know,” she said. “Year after year after year, they come back and ask us, ‘Do you guys know more yet?’”Dr. Burns, who has continued to see patients herself, said those inquiries motivated her.“If we were all Ph.D.s in the laboratory working on the etiology of Kawasaki disease,” ...
Drug Drastically Reduces Children’s Reactions to Traces of Food Allergens
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Drug Drastically Reduces Children’s Reactions to Traces of Food Allergens

A drug that has been used for decades to treat allergic asthma and hives significantly reduced the risk of life-threatening reactions in children with severe food allergies who were exposed to trace amounts of peanuts, cashews, milk and eggs, researchers reported on Sunday.The drug, Xolair, has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for adults and children over age 1 with food allergies. It is the first treatment that drastically cuts the risk of serious reactions — like anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that causes the body to go into shock — after accidental exposures to various food allergens.The results of the researchers’ study on children and adolescents, presented at the annual conference of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in...
Severe Frostbite Gets a Treatment That May Prevent Amputation
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Severe Frostbite Gets a Treatment That May Prevent Amputation

The first time Dr. Peter Hackett saw a patient with frostbite, the man died from his wounds. It was in Chicago in 1971, and the man had gotten drunk and passed out in the snow, his fingers so frozen that gangrene eventually set in.Dr. Hackett later worked at Mount Everest Basecamp, on Denali, Alaska, and now in Colorado, becoming expert in treating cold-weather injury. The experience was often the same: There was not much to do about frostbite, except rewarm the patient, give aspirin, amputate in severe cases and, more often, wait and accept that six months later the patient’s body might “auto-amputate” by naturally shedding a dead finger or toe.His mentor in Anchorage used to say, “Frostbite January, Amputation July,” remembered Dr. Hackett, clinical professor at the Altitude Research Cen...
Roger Guillemin, 100, Nobel-Winning Scientist Stirred by Rivalries, Dies
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Roger Guillemin, 100, Nobel-Winning Scientist Stirred by Rivalries, Dies

Roger Guillemin, a neuroscientist who was a co-discoverer of the unexpected hormones with which the brain controls many bodily functions, died on Wednesday at a senior living facility in San Diego. He was 100.His death was confirmed by his daughter Chantal.Dr. Guillemin’s career was marked by two spectacular competitions that ruffled the staid world of endocrinological research. The first was a 10-year tussle with his former partner, Andrew V. Schally, which ended in a draw when the two shared half of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1977. (The other half went to the American medical physicist Rosalyn Yalow for unrelated research.)The second competition began shortly afterward when Wylie Vale Jr., Dr. Guillemin’s longtime collaborator and protégé, set up a rival laboratory on t...
Alabama Rules Frozen Embryos Are Children, Raising Questions About Fertility Care
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Alabama Rules Frozen Embryos Are Children, Raising Questions About Fertility Care

An Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that frozen embryos in test tubes should be considered children has sent shock waves through the world of reproductive medicine, casting doubt over fertility care for would-be parents in the state and raising complex legal questions with implications extending far beyond Alabama.On Tuesday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said the ruling would cause “exactly the type of chaos that we expected when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and paved the way for politicians to dictate some of the most personal decisions families can make.”Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as President Biden traveled to California, Ms. Jean-Pierre reiterated the Biden administration’s call for Congress to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into...
How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health
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How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health

It started with mild anxiety.Emily, who asked to be identified only by her first name because she was discussing her mental health, had just moved to New York City after graduate school, to start a marketing job at a big law firm.She knew it was normal to feel a little on edge. But she wasn’t prepared for what came next: chronic insomnia.Operating on only three or four hours of sleep, it didn’t take long for her anxiety to ramp up: At 25, she was “freaking nervous all the time. A wreck.”When a lawyer at her firm yelled at her one day, she experienced the first of many panic attacks. At a doctor’s suggestion, she tried taking a sleeping pill, in the hopes that it might “reset” her sleep cycle and improve her mood. It didn’t work.Americans are chronically sleep deprived: one-third of adults ...
75 Hard Has a Cultish Following. Is It Worth All the Effort?
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75 Hard Has a Cultish Following. Is It Worth All the Effort?

Two 45-minute daily workouts. One gallon of water. 10 pages of a nonfiction book. A diet. No “cheat meals” or alcohol. For 75 days.And if you mess up, you have to start from the beginning.Sound like a lot? It’s supposed to be. The program, called 75 Hard, is meant to build mental toughness. Some say that rigidity is what makes it great, and others say that makes it problematic.Since it was created in 2019, 75 Hard has developed somewhat of a cult following, with practitioners posting daily progress pictures and videos that sometimes rack up millions of views on TikTok and Instagram. One of Reddit’s biggest subreddits, with over 44,000 members, is dedicated to the program.But is it beneficial, and are the changes sustainable? Psychologists say that while the program can have mental-health b...