Health

8:59am

Tue October 2, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How Some Parents Could Learn Adult Daughters' Birth Control Habits

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 7:53 am

An insurer's note could tip parents to their adult daughter's use of the pill.
iStockphoto.com

The 2010 health law removes one of the big barriers to contraception for many young women: cost. But if they don't feel confident that the care they will receive is confidential, these women may not take advantage of it.

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1:31am

Tue October 2, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Will Low-Cost Genome Sequencing Open 'Pandora's Box'?

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 8:54 am

The Proton Semiconductor Sequencer from Ion Torrent Systems Inc. is a new DNA sequencing machine designed to sequence the entire human genome in about eight hours for $1,000.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Beau Gunderson's fascinated by what he might learn from his DNA.

"I'm curious about what makes me tick, essentially," says Gunderson, 29, who writes code for a Silicon Valley startup.

So Gunderson has signed up for every genetic test he's been able to afford. And he can't wait for the price of getting his entire genetic code — his genome — to drop to about $1,000, as many are predicting is imminent.

"Yeah, if the price does drop — to a thousand bucks for example — I might pay that. That's a good personal price point for me," Gunderson said.

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3:51pm

Mon October 1, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Researchers Say Kids Are Exposed To 'Startling' Amounts Of Background TV

It might be time to pull the plug, even if she doesn't seem to be watching.
iStockphoto.com

Parents, if nobody is watching the TV, please turn it off.

Researchers who conducted a national survey of kids' exposure to TVs droning on in the background say, "The amount of exposure for the average child is startling."

How much is it, exactly? Try just under four hours a day for the typical kid.

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2:03pm

Mon October 1, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Misdeeds, Not Mistakes, Behind Most Scientific Retractions

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:10 pm

A study shows less than a quarter of retractions were the result of honest errors.
The Lancet

When there's something really wrong with a published study, the journal can retract it, much like a carmaker recalling a flawed automobile.

But are the errors that lead to retractions honest mistakes or something more problematic?

A newly published analysis finds that more than two-thirds of biomedical papers retracted over the past four decades were the result of misconduct, not error. That's much higher than previous studies of retractions had found.

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11:11am

Mon October 1, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Medicare Rolls Out Carrots And Sticks For Hospital Quality

Medicare to hospitals: Take your pick of carrot or stick.
iStockphoto.com

Starting today, America's hospitals will find that their checks from Medicare are a little bit lighter.

As part of the government's biggest effort yet at paying for performance, Medicare is withholding 1 percent of its regular hospital payments and putting that money into a fund to reward hospitals that score well on 20 different quality measures.

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