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DNA surgery on embryos removes disease

DNA surgery on embryos removes disease

Health
Precise "chemical surgery" has been performed on human embryos to remove disease in a world first, Chinese researchers have told the BBC.The team at Sun Yat-sen University used a technique called base editing to correct a single error out of the three billion "letters" of our genetic code. They altered lab-made embryos to remove the disease beta-thalassemia. The embryos were not implanted. The team says the approach may one day treat a range of inherited diseases. Base editing alters the fundamental building blocks of DNA: the four bases adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. They are commonly known by their respective letters, A, C, G and T. All the instructions for building and running the human body are encoded in combinations of those four bases.The potentially life-threatening blood...
Trump unhappy with top health official over travel

Trump unhappy with top health official over travel

Health
President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that he's "not happy" with his top health official, putting Tom Price's job in jeopardy after his costly charter flights triggered a congressional investigation of administration travel. Asked whether he's planning on firing Price, Trump responded: "We'll see." A former GOP congressman from Georgia, Price played a supporting role in the fruitless Republican effort to repeal Barack Obama's health care law, which has been another source of frustration for the president. Price is known as a conservative policy expert, but his penchant for taking private charter aircraft on the taxpayer's dime is creating new headaches for the White House. Late in the day, Price's office said he's heard the criticism and has taken it to heart. There was no indication ...
Patient at center of Utah nurse's high-profile arrest dies

Patient at center of Utah nurse's high-profile arrest dies

Health
A hospital patient who a Utah nurse said she was protecting when she refused to allow police to draw his blood has died. William Gray, a commercial truck driver and reserve police officer, died late Monday of the injuries he suffered when a fiery July 26 crash left him with burns over nearly half his body, University of Utah Health spokeswoman Suzanne Winchester said. Gray was unconscious at the Salt Lake City hospital when police detective Jeff Payne asked to draw his blood hours after the crash. Nurse Alex Wubbels refused because hospital policy required a warrant or patient consent. Payne handcuffed her and dragged her outside. Gray was hauling a load of sand in northern Utah when a pickup truck speeding away from police crossed the center line and hit his truck head-on, causing an exp...
Study: Genetics explain most cases of autism

Study: Genetics explain most cases of autism

Health
TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 -- Heredity contributes to about 83 percent of the risk of autism in children with the disorder, a new study suggests.The estimate, from a re-analysis of a previous study, adds a new wrinkle to the ongoing debate over how much autism is inherited from parents. Essentially, the findings suggest that rare genetic traits combine in parents and explain about eight in 10 cases of the neurodevelopmental disorder in children.However, study author Sven Sandin cautioned that "our results do not give any information about specific genes or other direct causes. It only informs us that genes are important."Sandin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, noted that the findings also don't reflect anything about the re...
We've had no help – epilepsy drug victims

We've had no help – epilepsy drug victims

Health
Families with children who have been harmed by the epilepsy drug sodium valproate are demanding a public inquiry and compensation, saying they have been left with no help. They voiced their anger outside a London hearing that is assessing if warnings for patients are adequate. It is thought thousands of children in the UK have been left with disabilities caused by valproate since the 1970s. Mum Emma Friedmann says she wasn't fully informed of the risks.Her son, Andrew, 18, has severe autism and other problems including hearing and sight problems. Emma was taking the drug when she got pregnant and carried on using it."I wasn't properly told about all the risks," says the 46-year-old from Leicester. "Andrew now needs full-time care, 24/7. Families like me need justice. We want a public inqu...