Shots - Health Blog
4:34 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Stem-Cell Research Funding

Human embryonic stem cells like these have stirred quite a legal controversy.
Nissim Benvenisty PLoS/Wikimedia Commons

It was almost exactly a year ago that Chief Judge Royce Lamberth for the U.S. District Court in Washington shocked scientists by temporarily shutting down funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

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Research News
3:51 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

Parkinson's Treatment Could Work For OCD, Too

The letters O-C-D have become a punch line to describe people who make lists or wash their hands a lot. But for some people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, the intrusive thoughts and rituals are severely disabling and don't respond to drugs or behavioral therapies.

So doctors have been trying a new treatment for OCD: deep brain stimulation.

Deep brain stimulation is best known as a way to reduce the tremors of Parkinson's disease. A surgeon places wires deep in the brain that carry electrical impulses from an implanted device a bit like a pacemaker.

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

Democratic Whip: There 'May Be No Democrats' Voting For GOP Plan

The Democratic Whip in the House says it's likely that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will not get any votes from Democrats for the debt plan he presented earlier this week and is planning on putting up for a vote tomorrow.

"What Boehner is offering is a short term, interim solution, which will continue to keep us in this position," said Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) in an interview with All Things Considered's Robert Siegel.

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Asia
3:42 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

In Japan, Holding Onto Political Reins Proves Elusive

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan speaks during a news conference in Tokyo in May. The beleaguered leader is expected to step down in coming weeks.
Koji Sasahara AP

In recent years, Japan's leaders haven't seemed able to hang onto power for more than a year, and the current prime minister, Naoto Kan, is poised to be the latest casualty.

For months, critics have been hurling insults at the country's much-unloved leader and calling for his resignation.

The frailty of Japan's leadership reflects the fact that, more than 60 years after World War II, Japan has yet to enjoy a full-fledged democratic political system.

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Media
3:00 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

In 'Muzzled,' Williams Tells His Side Of The Story

In his new book, Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate, the journalist Juan Williams argues that his contract was terminated by NPR as part of a larger pattern of the suppression of unwelcome opinions.

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Asia
2:15 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

China Fears U.S. Debt Default, But Has Few Options

As the U.S. teeters closer to the brink of debt default, the political stalemate is being watched closely by its biggest foreign creditor, China. At last count, Beijing owned almost $1.2 trillion of U.S. Treasury debt.

Chinese officials have been quietly expressing their concern, but Beijing's options are limited.

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met senior Chinese official Dai Bingguo in Shenzhen on Monday, the mood was friendly. But behind the scenes, anxiety in China is rising as the minutes tick closer toward that Aug. 2 deadline.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

Goldfish Survive New Zealand Earthquake And 134 Days Without Food

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Here's an incredible story of survival from New Zealand: Two goldfish, named Shaggy and Daphne after characters from Scoby Doo, survived the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand in February and then after authorities declared the area off limits, they were trapped in their office tank for 134 days without food or a working tank filter.

The AP reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
1:24 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

McDonald's Courts Mom Bloggers When Changing The Menu

McDonald's Facebook page on July 27.
Courtesy of McDonald's via Facebook

When McDonald's announced plans Tuesday to overhaul the Happy Meal — downsizing French fries and adding apples to to every kids' meal — the company's top brass used every communication trick they know to get the message out: Twitter, Facebook, and more. And they didn't just invite journalists to their webcast announcing the overhaul; they also invited select bloggers — namely, mom bloggers.

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Africa
1:00 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

Famine Affects Millions In Horn Of Africa

A Somali refugee mother and child sit in their makeshift hut on the edge of the Hagadera refugee camp on July 24. The camp makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:36 am

The famine in Somalia is the first official famine declared by the United Nations since 1984, when nearly a million people died in Ethiopia and neighboring Sudan. Now, more than 10 million people in the Horn of Africa are desperately short on food, and the international community has pledged to respond.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

Connecticut Mountain Lion Likely Came From The Black Hills

A mountain lion hit and killed by a car in Milford, Conn., last month was a long way from home, most likely the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Biologists used DNA sampling and other physical evidence to link the 140-pound male cat to a journey of nearly 2,000 miles. The AP reports:

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