Are you protected from measles? It may depend on when you were born

(CNN)Nearly two decades after measles was declared eliminated in the United States, the country and the globe have seen an upsurge of cases — including adults who thought they were protected by the vaccine. Now, some are questioning whether they are properly vaccinated and whether they are still at risk for getting measles. Adding to the uncertainty, some adults simply don’t know their vaccination status or have long lost their documentation, Cullen said. The history of the measles vaccine has also prompted questions about how people of different ages have been vaccinated: Not only has the recommended number of doses changed over the years, but so has the vaccine itself. Several years ago, he recalled, a case of measles popped …

More women over 40 are getting pregnant. But is that really about their choices? | Zeynep Gurtin

Mens decisions also affect fertility patterns, says Zeynep Gurtin, lecturer in womens health at UCL The trend for later motherhood is continuing apace. This week, the Office for National Statistics released new data on Institute for Womens Health at University College London, exploring the life stories, feelings and opinions of women who are pregnant in their 40s. While the project is still in its infancy, it has already provided some key insights as to why increasing numbers of women are having children after 40, and how they feel about later motherhood. The ONS report suggests a number of drivers for later motherhood, including womens increased participation in higher education and the workforce, more labour market uncertainty and the growing costs …

Neoliberalism promised freedom instead it delivers stifling control | George Monbiot

Creeping privatisation is rolling back the state to create a new, absolutist bureaucracy that destroys efficiency, says Guardian columnist George Monbiot My life was saved last year by the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, through a skilful procedure to privatise the hospitals cancer scanning. They complained that the scanners the private company was offering were less sensitive than the hospitals own machines. Privatisation, they said, would put patients at risk. In response, neoliberalism was supposed to have allowed autonomy and creativity to flourish. Instead, it has delivered a semi-privatised authoritarianism more oppressive than the system it replaced. Workers find themselves enmeshed in a Bureaucracy, published in 1944, he argued that there could be no accommodation between capitalism and socialism. The creation …

Women raise concerns about breast implant safety

(CNN)Panel members in a two-day public hearing held by the US Food and Drug Administration this week agreed that efforts should be made to better inform patients about the risks and benefits of breast implants. A link between breast implants and systemic disease, including autoimmune disease, has been reported since the 1960s, according to a paper published this month in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Many plastic surgeons in the meeting reported patient satisfaction with breast implants but agreed that patients should have all up-to-date information in order to make a choice when considering them. One surgeon asked the FDA to limit the sale of breast implants to only board-certified plastic surgeons. Some patients in the hearing called for …

Hopes rise for male contraceptive pill breakthrough

Trial of once-daily capsule appeared to reduce sperm count with few side-effects Hopes for a male contraceptive pill have increased after a trial showed a once-daily capsule appeared to work with no significant side-effects. The drug aims to suppress levels of hormones that drive the production of sperm and testosterone in the testes. In the month-long study, doctors found that levels of the hormones required for sperm production fell in men who took the daily capsule, suggesting their sperm counts had been markedly reduced. The next step will be to confirm the fall and determine if it is sufficient. Scientists have been searching for a male contraceptive pill for years, testing numerous injections and Similar side-effects have hampered other experimental …

Opioid crisis: FDA’s own staff demand agency halt approval of new painkillers

Top specialists say agencys dangerously deficient oversight is continuing to fuel an epidemic that claims 150 lives a day The US Food and Drug Administration is facing a demand from some of its own specialists to halt the approval of new narcotic painkillers because they say the agencys dangerously deficient oversight is continuing to fuel the opioid epidemic. Dr Sidney Wolfe, a former member of the FDAs drug safety committee, and Dr Raeford Brown, the present chair of the agencys opioid advisory committee, on Thursday began a formal process to oblige the FDA to suspend opioid approvals or explain why not. The two specialists said the FDA failed to take account of the public health crisis and escalating death toll …

One in five Chinese children is overweight or obese, and the booming economy may be to blame, study reveals

(CNN)One in five Chinese children is overweight or obese, a new study has found, up from just 1 in 20 in 1995. Increasing incomes have allowed households to spend more on food, and urbanization has made it much easier for families to access better health care and education. But, at the same time, it’s much easier for Chinese kids to eat junk food, and kids are less physically active than they used to be, said Bai Li, a research fellow at the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham in the UK, who wasn’t involved in the research. “Children used to use their spare time to play outside; now they are inside in front of computers and …

Dirty lies: how the car industry hid the truth about diesel emissions

The long read: The Dieselgate scandal was suppressed for years while we should have been driving electric cars John German had not been looking to make a splash when he commissioned an examination of pollution from diesel cars back in 2013. The exam compared what came out of their exhaust pipes, during the lab tests that were required by law, with emissions on the road under real driving conditions. German and his colleagues at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in the US just wanted to tie up the last loose ends in a big report, and thought the research would give them something positive to say about diesel. They might even be able to offer tips to Europe …

Women with Allergan breast implants may sue over cancer link

UK women claim they were not told enough about potential risk of rare breast cancer A group of more than 200 women are considering legal action over controversial breast implants that have been linked to a rare form of cancer. The women claim they were not sufficiently informed about the risks of textured Allergan implants, Women who have the implants and capsules removed can make a full recovery, but if left untreated the disease can spread throughout the body and become life-threatening. Last year, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) advised its members to stop using Allergan implants as a precaution, but said the scientific data did not suggest the need to remove or exchange any current implants. …

A nurse is accused of impregnating a woman in a vegetative state who later gave birth

(CNN)A 36-year-old nurse has been arrested on suspicion of impregnating a woman in a vegetative state who unexpectedly gave birth last month at a Phoenix health care facility, police said Wednesday. A court order compelled Sutherland to provide a DNA sample to investigators on Tuesday, and crime lab technicians determined his DNA “matched the baby,” Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said. Sutherland was arrested on Tuesday. A judge set a cash bond at $500,000 and scheduled Sutherland’s next court appearance for January 30. The nurse is being held in the Maricopa County Jail.

DNA pioneer stripped of honors over ‘reprehensible’ race comments

(CNN)A Nobel Prize-winning American scientist who co-discovered DNA has been stripped of his honorary titles at the laboratory he once led after repeating racist comments in a documentary. “The Laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice,” its statement added. CNN has attempted to reach Watson for comment. Watson had previously told Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper in 2007 that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says not really.” The scientist added that while he hoped everyone was equal, “people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true.” Those comments led …

Unethical experiments’ painful contributions to today’s medicine

(CNN)Chinese scientist He Jiankui sent shockwaves around the world last year with his claim that he had modified twin babies’ DNA before their birth. The modification was made with gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9, he said, and made the babies resistant to HIV. Scientists from China and around the world spoke out about the experiment, which many say was unethical and not needed to prevent the virus. The scientist had also been warned by peers not to go down this path. When He made his claim of genetically altering humans, the response from the global medical community was swift and condemning. “It is out of the question that the experiment is unethical,” said Jing Bao Nie, professor of bioethics at the …