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Studies Question Potential Alzheimer's Treatment

Last year scientists reported that a skin cancer drug appeared to reverse the effects of an Alzheimer's-like disease in mice. But four studies out this week in Science question the original results. Ronald Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, talks about the new findings, and the hunt for Alzheimer's drugs.
NPR

Having a Dog May Mean Having Extra Microbes

North Carolina State University biologist Rob Dunn and colleagues surveyed people's pillow cases, refrigerators, toilet seats, TV screens and other household spots, to learn about the microbes that dwell in our homes. Among the findings, reported in the journal PLoS One, homes with dogs had more diverse bacterial communities, and higher numbers of "dog-associated" bacteria.
NPR

Health Insurance At 'Good Prices' Coming To Calif. Exchange

It's the first disclosure of prices in the nation's most populous state for individual health insurance that complies with the Affordable Care Act. The menu of affordable options surprised some consumer advocates and analysts who had been expecting premiums to be much higher.
NPR

Insurers Picked For California Health Exchange

In a key test of the federal health law's ability to draw competitive bids from health insurance companies, California has unveiled plans and prices that will be available next year to millions of residents shopping for individual coverage on its new insurance marketplace.
NPR

Why You Have To Scratch That Itch

Itch can be a useful warning sign, or a maddening symptom with no cure. But the origins of itch have long been a mystery. Scientists think they've come closer to understanding the origins of itch in a molecule that makes mice scratch like mad.
NPR

The Weight Of A Med Student's Subconscious Bias

A test of third-year medical students in North Carolina revealed biases against the obese. The author of the study says these thoughts, often subconscious, could affect how doctors treat their patients and whether those patients trust them.
NPR

Abortion Opponents Try to Spin Murder Case Into Legislation

Abortion opponents are hoping the recent murder conviction of Pennsylvania abortion provider Kermit Gosnell will lead to more scrutiny of second trimester abortions. They're working on a bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — nationwide.

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