NIH Approves the 'First Wave' of New Embryonic Stem Cell Lines
The National Institutes of Health has approved the first new batch of embryonic stem cells to be used for federally funded research since the Bush administration issued restrictions on the controversial cells, the Washington Post reports. The agency OK'd the use of 13 new lines yesterday and by tomorrow might approve more than 30, according to the Post . NIH Director Francis Collins called this week's move "the first wave," the Post reports. More than 300 other lines are expected to be considered for approval, according to the Post .
More Clues on How Exercise Can Protect Against Diseases of Aging
Exercise can't stop the years from ticking by, but it certainly appears to protect against some of the diseases of aging, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson writes. The latest evidence: a new study showing that the white blood cells of endurance athletes had longer telomeres, the tiny, protective units of DNA that cap the end of chromosomes like plastic shoestring tips and grow shorter as cells age.
The study, published online by Circulation, may explain how exercise can protect against two big killers: heart disease and cancer. "Younger" white blood cells may be able to more efficiently clear out both abnormal cells that might progress to cancer and the plaques implicated in heart disease, Hobson writes.
The exercise-heart disease connection is commonly known. Fewer people know that exercise appears to prevent at least some kinds of cancer—predominantly a disease of aging. Scientists have their eyes on several mechanisms, including changes to a number of hormones that are essential to the body but also can fuel cancer growth, says Stephen Hursting, chair of the division of nutritional sciences at the University of Texas-Austin. Read more.
How to Get Early-Intervention Autism Therapy for Your Child
A recent study showed that toddlers with autism who were treated using the Early Start Denver model for early intervention showed improved language skills and IQ, compared with children who didn't get the specialized training, which emphasizes social skills and communication. That's the good news. The bad news is that services can be hard to find and expensive, U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute writes.
The intensive therapy, which included 20 hours a week at home with a trained therapist and additional time working with parents, increased the IQ of the children by 18 points, compared with 7 IQ points in children who got more-standard therapy. Researchers and pediatricians have increasingly thought "the earlier, the better" when it comes to autism treatment, but this is the first hard evidence that working intensively with children who are younger than 2½ helps reduce the social and language deficits typical of autism, Shute writes.
This indicates it's even more important that children suspected of having autism spectrum disorders get evaluated and treated as early as possible. If your child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, finding and paying for treatment can be a struggle. Shute details the basic route, which includes finding your state's early-intervention program. It should help you find and pay for treatments. Federal law requires states to provide early-intervention services for children with developmental delays through age 3. Read more.
Other Popular Articles From USNews.com
- Battling Diabetes With Diet and Exercise
- 10 Cities Where Coronary Bypass Surgery Outpaces Angioplasty
- 10 Reasons Not to Skimp on Sleep
- 5 Risks Linked to Diabetes Medications
- 7 Steps Newly Diagnosed Diabetics Should Take
- 6 Ways to Reduce Inflammation Without Taking a Statin
- Need Care? Scan the Rankings: Best Nursing Homes, Best Health Plans, and Best Hospitals.