Donated blood saves 4.5 million American lives each year, but has a short shelf life, low portability and must be available for all blood types. Researchers have sought safe and effective blood substitutes for 60 years, and a few viable alternatives are in animal testing.
DNA mutations happen all the time in the body, but the immune system usually detects and deals with them. When the system fails, cancer results. Yet some animals, such as elephants, almost never get cancer, and scientists have learned that the elephant DNA repair system is 20 times more powerful than the human system.
The proportion of severely obese teenagers continues to rise. Doctors increasingly understand that only weight loss surgery is likely to help them lose weight and avoid health consequences of obesity. But teens are often held back until they’re so heavy that even bariatric surgery isn’t enough to return them to normal weight.
Doctors can cure cancer in children better than ever, but decades later, many survivors suffer from serious, chronic disease as a result of powerful cancer treatments. Often those survivors don’t get screening and treatment for late effects. Experts and survivors discuss how treatments influence life decades later, how survivors can get treatment they need, and new ways of treatment can lessen late effects.
Millions of Americans believe they are allergic to penicillin. However, most of them are wrong. Experts discuss how these misdiagnoses happen and what results when so many of us avoid the most effective, yet cheapest antibiotic.
Workers are currently protected from having to take genetic tests for employers. However, a bill under consideration in the US House—HR1313—would allow corporate wellness plans to ask workers for a test, and penalize them through markedly higher health insurance premiums if they refuse. The bill also provides no protections against how or to whom the information is distributed.