Health

3:48pm

Wed October 10, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Romney's Remarks On Abortion Cause A Stir

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:22 am

Mitt Romney's comments on abortion have surprised those on both sides of the issue.
Evan Vucci AP

Just how many abortion positions does Mitt Romney have? Once again, that answer is unclear.

This time the confusion began Tuesday, during a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register.

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1:40pm

Wed October 10, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How Do Public Data About Heart Attack Treatment Change It?

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:38 am

Too risky to fix?
Clayton Hansen iStockphoto.com

Measurement has long been a cornerstone of quality improvement, whether it's on the factory floor or the hospital ward.

And making the quality scores of doctors and hospitals publicly available is central to the idea that health care can become a service that patients shop for intelligently. The results can also ratchet up professional peer pressure for improvement.

But does public reporting lead doctors and hospitals to game the system by withholding care from the sickest patients?

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1:17am

Wed October 10, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Fun With Physics: How To Make Tiny Medicine Nanoballs

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:20 am

Álvaro Marín

For the past decade, scientists have been toying with the notion of encapsulating medicine in microscopic balls.

These so-called nanospheres could travel inside the body to hard-to-reach places, like the brain or the inside of a tumor. One problem researchers face is how to build these nanospheres, because you'd have to make them out of even smaller nanoparticles.

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12:04pm

Tue October 9, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

England Offering Free HIV Treatment For Visitors

Outsiders might be unfamiliar with the U.K.'s National Health Service, but Brits love it so much that they devoted part of opening ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics to the NHS.
Courtesy of BBC One

We're just catching up with our U.K. reading list, so we're a bit late with this one. But it's worth noting that as of Oct. 1, England's National Health Service is providing treatment for HIV free of charge to visitors from overseas.

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8:59am

Tue October 9, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Debate Heats Up About Contentious Bird Flu Research

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:11 am

When a case of the potentially lethal H5N1 bird flu was found in British poultry in 2007, Dutch farmers were told to keep their poultry away from wild birds by closing off outdoor areas with wire mesh.
Ed Oudenaarden AFP/Getty Images

What was supposed to be a 60-day moratorium on certain experiments involving lab-altered bird flu has now lasted more than eight months. And there's no clear end in sight.

Researchers still disagree on how to best manage the risks posed by mutant forms of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu. The altered viruses are contagious between ferrets, which are the lab stand-in for humans. The fear is that these germs could potentially cause a deadly flu pandemic in people if they ever escaped the lab.

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