Since the first test-tube baby was born more than three decades ago, in vitro fertilization has evolved into a highly sophisticated lab procedure. Now, scientists are going back to basics and testing a simpler and cheaper method.
In the West, many would-be parents spend thousands of dollars for IVF, which involves pricey incubators and extensive screening. But European and American scientists say a simplified version of the entire procedure aimed at developing countries could be done for about $265 with generic fertility drugs and basic lab equipment that would fit inside a shoebox.
They're called "super agers" - men and women who are in their 80s and 90s, but with brains and memories that seem far younger.
Researchers are looking at this rare group in the hope that they may find ways to help protect others from memory loss. And they've had some tantalizing findings: Imaging tests have found unusually low amounts of age-related plaques along with more brain mass related to attention and memory in these elite seniors.
Workers saw a modest rise in the average cost of employer-sponsored health insurance this year, but they're probably not overwhelmed with relief.
Coverage costs still are climbing faster than wages. That means, in many cases, that a bigger portion of the average paycheck is sliced off for insurance instead of being deposited into employee bank accounts.
Could a scorpion hold the cure for cancer? How about a sunflower? A Seattle oncologist is inviting the public to choose which plants or animals researchers should use to treat the world’s toughest diseases.
Dr. Jim Olson, a pediatric brain cancer specialist at the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, has founded “Project Violet,” a program that allows citizen scientists to invest in the development of new cancer drugs made from organisms ranging from spiders to potatoes.
It's an issue lawmakers may not want to have to explain at town hall meetings back home:
An attempt to fix a problem with the new health care law has created a situation in which members of Congress and their staffers could gain access to abortion coverage, something that currently is denied to federal employees who get health insurance through the government's plan.
Abortion opponents say the Obama administration needs to fix it; abortion rights supporters say the concern is overblown.
Long-term results from a major federal study ease worries about the safety of a hormone-blocking drug that can lower a man's chances of developing prostate cancer.
The drug cut prostate cancer risk by 30 percent without raising the risk of dying of an aggressive form of the disease as earlier results hinted it might.
The new work could prompt a fresh look at using the drug for cancer prevention. Experts say it could prevent tens of thousands of cases each year, saving many men from treatments with seriously unpleasant side effects.
More Washington residents have become ill after eating shellfish this summer compared to past years.
King County health officials report there were 13 suspected cases of the saltwater bacteria vibrio parahaemolyticus in the county during July, compared to an average of four reported in that month in recent years. Since the beginning of August, an additional eight cases have been confirmed, while King County would typically only see six for the entire month.
Across Washington state, more than 40 residents have gotten sick with vibriosis.
Despite a boom in the use of fertility treatments, a new government study shows the percentage of married couples having trouble conceiving has actually dropped slightly in recent years.
About half the people who now buy their own health insurance - and potentially would face higher premiums next year under President Barack Obama's health care law - would qualify for federal tax credits to offset rate shock, according to a new private study.
Many other people, however, earn too much money to be eligible for help, and could end up paying more.
The estimate, released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, tries to answer one of the biggest remaining questions about the impact of Obama's law on American families: Will consumers wince - or even balk - when they see the premiums for the new plans?
Coca-Cola plans to run its first ad defending the safety of artificial sweeteners on Wednesday, a move that comes as the company looks to stem declining sales of diet soda.
The print ad is set to run in USA Today in the Atlanta area, followed by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday and the Chicago Tribune next week. It says that diet drinks can help people manage their weight and stresses the scientific evidence showing the safety of aspartame, which is more commonly known under the NutraSweet brand name.
The biggest study of its kind suggests autism might be linked with inducing and speeding up labor, preliminary findings that need investigating since labor is induced in increasing numbers of U.S. women, the authors and other autism experts say.
It's possible that labor-inducing drugs might increase the risk — or that the problems that lead doctors to start labor explain the results. These include mothers' diabetes and fetal complications, which have previously been linked with autism.
Like most research into autism causes, the study doesn't provide conclusive answers, and the authors say the results shouldn't lead doctors to avoid inducing labor or speeding it up since it can be life-saving for mothers and babies.
At some Walgreen stores, there are health clinics staffed by nurse practitioners, cafes that sell barista-prepared coffee and Eyebrow Bars where trained professionals groom unruly facial hair.
Oh, and pharmacists fill prescriptions, too.
The nation's major drugstore chains are moving beyond simply doling out drugs and Kleenex. They're opening more in-store clinics and offering more health care products in part to serve an aging population that will need more care.
It's also a response to the massive U.S. health care overhaul, which is expected to add about 25 million newly insured people who will need medical care and prescriptions.
Central America is on track to have one of its worst years ever for the painful, sometimes fatal disease of dengue, prompting governments across the region to mobilize against the mosquito-borne virus.
Researchers trying to develop a diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer are hoping dogs' keen sense of smell will lead them down the right path.
An early detection device that combines old-fashioned olfactory skills, chemical analysis and modern technology could lead to better survival rates for the disease, which is particularly deadly because it's often not caught until an advanced stage.
Using blood and tissue samples donated by patients, the University of Pennsylvania's Working Dog Center has started training three canines to sniff out the signature compound that indicates the presence of ovarian cancer.
First it was bars, restaurants and office buildings. Now the front lines of the "No Smoking" battle have moved outdoors. City parks, public beaches, college campuses and other outdoor venues across the country are putting up signs telling smokers they can't light up. Outdoor smoking bans have nearly doubled in the last five years, with the tally now at nearly 2,600 and more are in the works.
But some experts question the main rationale for the bans, saying there's not good medical evidence that cigarette smoke outdoors can harm the health of children and other passers-by.