Should we routinely map new baby DNA?

By: Lauran Neergaard

Little Amelia Sloan became a pioneer shortly after her birth. The healthy baby is part of a large research project in Falls Church, Va., that is decoding the DNA of hundreds of infants. New parents in a few other cities soon can start signing up for smaller studies to explore whether what’s called genome sequencing — fully mapping someone’s genes to look for health risks — should ... READ MORE

Ways you can reduce your risk of stroke

By: Harvard Heart Letter

Strokes don’t usually come out of the blue. True, nobody can predict the precise time when a stroke will strike, and more than two dozen factors make it more likely a person will suffer a stroke. But even when family history or an underlying medical condition puts you at risk, you can do more than you think to avoid a fatal or debilitating stroke. “Stroke is potentially one of the ... READ MORE

Zumba madness sweeps Coachella Valley

By: Jorie Parr

“It changed my life,” Zumba zealot Viga Dean of Palm Springs states emphatically. “It resculpted my body. I went down a dress size.”Dean took up the crazy-popular exercise just last June in Portland, Ore., where she summered. She does issue a slight disclaimer about her transformation: “Diet played a part.”Anyway, the retired flight attendant attends... READ MORE

Preservatives: How much is too much?

By: Sharon Palmer, R.D.

“Natural” foods, free of preservatives, continue to trend. But is avoiding preservatives really necessary?If you keep a loaf of homemade bread on the counter for a few days, the telltale signs of spoilage begin: mold, discoloration and an off taste. The same thing will happen if you leave most perishable food products — such as cooked vegetables, meat or eggs — at... READ MORE

New test aids prostate treatment decision

By: Marilynn Marchione

A new genetic test to gauge the aggressiveness of prostate cancer may help tens of thousands of men each year decide whether they need to treat their cancer right away or can safely monitor it.The new test, which went on sale in May, joins another one that came on the market earlier this year. Both analyze multiple genes in a biopsy sample and give a score for aggressiveness, similar to... READ MORE

Brain scans can ‘see’ and measure pain

By: Marilynn Marchione

In a provocative new study, scientists reported that they were able to “see” pain on brain scans and, for the first time, measure its intensity and tell whether a drug was relieving it. Though the research is in its early stages, it opens the door to many possibilities.Scans might be used someday to tell when pain is hurting a baby, someone with dementia, or a paralyzed person... READ MORE