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Trump signs bills to help patients stop overpaying for drugs

Trump signs bills to help patients stop overpaying for drugs

Health
Insurers will no longer be able to bar pharmacists from telling consumers when paying cash would be cheaper than using insurance for their prescriptions, as a result of bills signed Wednesday by President Donald Trump. The two bills had broad bipartisan support as a consumer-friendly move to correct "gag rules" that many viewed as an egregious business practice. One bill applies to private health insurance and the other to Medicare. The measures bar health plans or middlemen that manage pharmacy benefits from getting in between pharmacists and their customers. No longer can pharmacists be contractually prohibited from telling consumers when they would actually save money by not using their insurance plans. Such head-scratching situations can arise because of convoluted deals between drug...
Cracks in skin help elephants keep cool

Cracks in skin help elephants keep cool

Science
Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Elephants' skin is marked by a network of tiny crevices. These tiny channels trap water and mud, helping elephants regulate their body temperatures. In a new paper, published this week in the journal Nature Communications, scientists confirmed the channels are fractures of the animal's outer skin layer. Researchers at the University of Geneva, in Switzerland, conducted a detailed analysis of elephants' skin structure. The findings showed the dry, outer layer of an elephant's skin grows in a way that encourages tiny cracking caused by mechanical stress. Elephants don't have sweat glands. As a result, the outer layer of dying skin cells becomes dry and brittle. The cracks that form, however, come in handy. When sweat evaporates, it helps cool the body. To replicate this pro...
Machine learning could help regulators identify environmental violations

Machine learning could help regulators identify environmental violations

Science
Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Regulatory agencies tasked with protecting environmental and public health are regularly understaffed and underfunded, but new research suggests machine learning could help officials more effectively monitor potential violators. The Environmental Protection Agency and partnering state agencies are responsible for monitoring the regulatory compliance of 300,000 facilities. Regulators, however, only have the resources to inspect less than 10 percent of those facilities each year. To help the EPA catch violations, student researchers at Stanford University designed a model to identify facilities most likely to fail an inspection. Scientists trained the machine learning to interpret a variety of risk factors, including the facility's location, industry and inspection history. ...
Alex Smith, Adrian Peterson help Washington Redskins rout Ariona Cardinals

Alex Smith, Adrian Peterson help Washington Redskins rout Ariona Cardinals

Sports
Veteran free agent acquisitions Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson helped the Washington Redskins to a 24-6 season-opening win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Smith passed for 255 yards, and Peterson, playing against his former team, combined with fellow running back Chris Thompson for 294 total yards as the Redskins gave coach Jay Gruden his first Week 1 win in five tries. "You guys kept putting that monkey on me this week," a smiling Gruden said after the win. "As I told our team, we're 1-0. Now, it's time to put back-to-back games together (with a home game against Indianapolis next week)." The Cardinals lost the debut of head coach Steve Wilks' career. Peterson, a late acquisition during the preseason, said about the convincing win: "...
Turning wound cells into skin cells may help doctors heal ulcers

Turning wound cells into skin cells may help doctors heal ulcers

Health
Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Scientists have developed a technique to convert cells in open wounds into skin cells as an alternative to plastic surgery for treatment of large cutaneous ulcers. The method involves reprogramming the cells into a stem-cell-like state for healing skin damage, including severe burns, bedsores or chronic diseases such as diabetes. The researchers at the Salk Institute also see this process as a way to counter the effects of aging and better understanding skin cancer. Their findings were published Wednesday in the journal Nature. "This knowledge might not only be useful for enhancing skin repair but could also serve to guide in vivo regenerative strategies in other human pathological situations, as well as during aging, in which tissue repair is impaired," senior author Dr....