The Health News USA March 21 2018

  • Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has just signed into law a bill that prevents women from getting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. His state, effective immediately, now holds the distinction of having the earliest abortion ban in the nation. Also known as the Gestational Age Act, Mississippi’s new law makes exceptions only for medical emergencies or cases in which there’s a “severe fetal abnormality.” There are no exceptions for incidents of rape or incest.
  • This spring, the National Institutes of Health will start recruiting participants for one of the most ambitious medical projects ever envisioned. The goal is to find 1 million people in the United States, from all walks of life and all racial and ethnic groups, who are willing to have their genomes sequenced, and to provide their medical records and regular blood samples. the project, called the All of Us Research Program, should provide new insights into who gets sick and why, and how to prevent and treat chronic diseases. In 2017 alone, the budget for All of Us was $230 million, of which $40 million came from the 21st Century Cures Act. Congress has authorized an astounding $1.455 billion over 10 years for the project.
    The couple had been together for more than 5 years, and had discussed freezing Gary’s sperm in late 2014, due to his age and fear of early death.
  • The latest effort to come up with a male birth control pill has found a formulation that appears to be safe. But the experimental pill has at least one of the same problems that plague female birth control pills: it caused the men to gain weight. It’s also not yet clear how well it works. The pill that was tested is called dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU) and it‘s tweaked version of previous failed efforts to develop a male pill. It is being developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21st of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/19/health/mississippi-abortion-ban-15-weeks/index.html

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has just signed into law a bill that prevents women from getting abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy. His state, effective immediately, now holds the distinction of having the earliest abortion ban in the nation.
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Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves echoed that sentiment Monday, tweeting “It’s a great day in Mississippi” along with a picture of the signing. Also known as the Gestational Age Act, Mississippi’s new law makes exceptions only for medical emergencies or cases in which there’s a “severe fetal abnormality.” There are no exceptions for incidents of rape or incest. The law also puts physicians on notice. Doctors who perform abortions after fifteen weeks will be required to submit reports detailing the circumstances. If they knowingly violate the law, their medical licenses will be suspended or revoked in Mississippi. If they falsify records, they will face civil penalties or be forced to pay fines of up to five hundred dollars.
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Felicia Brown-Williams, Mississippi state director for Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates said in a statement: “This ban is not only unconstitutional — it endangers women’s health care across our state. If legislators truly cared about women’s health, they would be focused on ways to improve access to healthcare for women, not restrict it.” Access to abortions in Mississippi was already highly restrictive. It is among a small handful of states that has one remaining clinic: in this case, Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Although Mississippi is among the states with a twenty-week ban, up until the enactment of this latest bill, the cutoff time for abortions at the Jackson clinic was sixteen weeks.

Health plans under the Affordable Care Act, insurance policies for public employees and public funding for abortions can be applied only in cases of rape, incest, fetal impairment or when a life is endangered, according to the Guttmacher Institute. About two thousand women a year in Mississippi receive abortions.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/health/nih-biobank-genes.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&action=click&contentCollection=health&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

This spring, the National Institutes of Health will start recruiting participants for one of the most ambitious medical projects ever envisioned. The goal is to find one million people in the United States, from all walks of life and all racial and ethnic groups, who are willing to have their genomes sequenced, and to provide their medical records and regular blood samples.

They may choose to wear devices that continuously monitor physical activity, perhaps even devices not yet developed that will track heart rate and blood pressure. They will fill out surveys about what they eat and how much. If all goes well, experts say, the result will be a trove of health information like nothing the world has seen. The project, called the All of Us Research Program, should provide new insights into who gets sick and why, and how to prevent and treat chronic diseases.
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In two thousand seventeen alone, the budget for All of Us was two hundred thirty million dollars, of which forty million dollars came from the twenty first Century Cures Act. Congress has authorized an astounding one point four hundred fifty five billion dollars over ten years for the project.
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In the three years since the All of Us program was announced, not a single person’s DNA has been sequenced. Instead, project leaders have signed up more than seventeen thousand volunteers as “beta testers” in a pilot phase of the program. They supplied blood and urine samples, had measurements taken, and filled out surveys. Doctor George D. Yancopoulos, the president and chief scientific officer of the biotech company Regeneron, said the N.I.H. did not have much to show for three years of planning. Regeneron has been deeply involved in similar public and private efforts, sequencing the DNA of more than three hundred thousand participants. The beta testers constitute just one point seven percent of the program’s target, Doctor Yancopoulos noted, and the investigators have collected only the simplest data, not genetic sequences.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/new-male-birth-control-pill-safe-does-it-work-n858076

The latest effort to come up with a male birth control pill has found a formulation that appears to be safe. But the experimental pill has at least one of the same problems that plague female birth control pills: it caused the men to gain weight. It’s also not yet clear how well it works.

Even though the researchers said they were “very excited” by the results, they haven’t been testing it long enough to show whether it decreases sperm production, and they haven’t shown whether it stops couples from conceiving. Nonetheless, it may be the best hope yet for a non-permanent male contraceptive, said Stephanie Page of the University of Washington School of Medicine.
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The pill Page’s team tested is called dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU) and it‘s tweaked version of previous failed efforts to develop a male pill. It is being developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health. Page said that the last big hope for a male birth control pill fell apart in two thousand sixteen when the drug was shown to damage the liver. It also required two doses a day. It’s hard enough to remember to take a pill once a day.  Her team tested one hundred male volunteers and came up with good results from eighty two of them. Some got sugar pills and the rest got varying doses of DMAU.
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More importantly, there were no major side-effects. Page said: “Despite testosterone levels that were very low, the men had no symptoms. “No hot flashes — the men had normal moods.”

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