Health

10:29am

Thu January 30, 2014
Shots - Health News

Access To Toilets And Books Improves Life For Kids Across The Globe

Palestinian girls read the Koran at a camp in Gaza City, June 2012. In poor countries, boys are 20 percent more likely than girls to enroll in school, UNICEF says.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

The world is in the midst of a porcelain revolution.

Nearly 2 billion people have gained access to clean toilets, or at least a decent outhouse, since 1990, the nonprofit UNICEF reports Thursday.

That rise in sanitation has led to big health improvements, the agency says, because contaminated drinking water is still a major cause of disease and death for children.

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8:53am

Thu January 30, 2014
Shots - Health News

Popular Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attack

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:06 am

Some men take testosterone hoping to boost energy and libido, or to build strength. But at what risk?
iStockphoto

There's new evidence that widely prescribed testosterone drugs — touted for men with flagging libidos and general listlessness — might increase the risk of heart attacks.

A study of more than 55,000 men found a doubling of heart attack risk among testosterone users older than 65, compared with men who didn't take the drug.

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3:30pm

Wed January 29, 2014
Shots - Health News

Adult Obesity May Have Origins Way Back In Kindergarten

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 1:20 pm

Playing outside can help kids — and their parents — maintain a healthy weight.
iStockphoto

A lot of parents like to think their kids will simply outgrow baby fat. But the risk of becoming a severely overweight adult can actually start as early as kindergarten, research suggests.

"As parents, as a society, as clinicians, we need to think about a healthy weight really early on," says Solveig Cunningham, who led the study. But that doesn't mean putting young children on calorie-restricted diets.

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1:56pm

Wed January 29, 2014
Shots - Health News

Neanderthal Genes Live On In Our Hair And Skin

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:11 am

Neanderthals died out long ago, but their genes live on in us. Scientists studying human chromosomes say they've discovered a surprising amount of Neanderthal DNA in our genes. And these aren't just random fragments; they help shape what we look like today, including our hair and skin.

These genes crept into our DNA tens of thousands of years ago, during occasional sexual encounters between Neanderthals and human ancestors who lived in Europe at the time. They show up today in their descendants, people of European and Asian descent.

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11:19am

Wed January 29, 2014
Shots - Health News

A Little Acid Turns Mouse Blood Into Brain, Heart And Stem Cells

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:24 am

A mouse embryo grows from stem cells made by stressing blood cells with acid. The blood cells are tagged with a protein that creates green light.
Courtesy of Haruko Obokata

Back in 1958, a young biologist at Cornell University made a stunning discovery.

He took a single cell from a carrot and then mixed it with some coconut milk. Days went by and the cell started dividing. Little roots formed. Stems started growing. Eventually, a whole new carrot plant rose up from the single cell.

Imagine if you could perform a similar feat with animal cells, even human cells.

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