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Flesh-eating bacteria scare along Gulf Coast has locals on alert

Flesh eating bacteria on Gulf CoastAt the peak of the summer vacation season, a flesh-eating bacteria has infected the shores of the Gulf Coast.

From Texas to Florida, the water-borne bug – a strain called a Vibrio vulnificus – has spooked locals and tourists in the way shark attacks do: infections are rare, but when they strike, the victim is likely to lose a limb or die.

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New California child vaccination laws ban most exemptions

California vaccination lawsWith California's new vaccination laws now in effect, some parents are opting to home school while others are moving out of the state.

The new laws eliminate most vaccination exemptions for school children in an effort to protect everyone from communicable disease outbreaks, CBS San Francisco Bay Area reported. Other parents trying to avoid the new laws filed exemption paperwork before Jan. 1 to give them the leverage to vaccinate their children at their own pace.

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Scientists: Marijuana Can Help Deteriorate Alzheimer’s

Pot helps deteriorate AlzheimersSalk Institute scientists have found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in marijuana can promote the cellular removal of amyloid beta, a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer's disease.

While these exploratory studies were conducted in neurons grown in the laboratory, they may offer insight into the role of inflammation in Alzheimer's disease and could provide clues to developing novel therapeutics for the disorder.

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Tennessee hospital leads U.S. in doctors taking drug industry money

St. Francis-Bartlett Hospital, TennesseeA small for-profit hospital on the outskirts of Memphis has the highest rate of doctors who took payments from the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, out of more than 2,000 hospitals across the nation.

Federal disclosures show 59 out of 62 doctors at St. Francis Hospital-Bartlett — or 95 percent — received payments for speaking engagements, meals, gifts, travel, consulting or other interactions with the industry in 2014, the most recent year of information available.

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Supreme Court rejects pharmacists' religious rights appeal

Plan B contraceptiveThe U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an appeal from Washington state pharmacists who said they have religious objections to dispensing Plan B or other emergency contraceptives.

The justices' order leaves in place rules first adopted in 2007 following reports that some women had been denied access to emergency contraceptives that are effective when taken within a few days of unprotected sex. Pharmacies must fill lawful prescriptions, but individual pharmacists with moral objections can refer patients to another pharmacist, as long as it's at the same store.

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Millions exposed to dangerous lead levels in US drinking water, report finds

Millilons exposed to dangersMore than 18 million Americans are served drinking water by providers that have violated federal laws concerning lead in water, with only a tiny proportion of offenses resulting in any penalty, a new report has found.

The toxic water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is “not anomalous”, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report states, with widespread violations of national rules designed to protect people from lead, a known neurotoxin that is harmful even in small doses.

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After wave of anti-abortion laws, US sees signs of women taking drastic measures

Abortion laws forcing women to take drastic measures“I came across your instructions on the abortion pill and decided to use it for an at home abortion after finding pills online. I took the pills 2.5 weeks ago and am still cramping and bleeding sometimes mildly sometimes heavily, please I would like some advice on what I can do to help me heal faster.”

Peg Johnston estimates that her abortion clinic receives an email such as this once every month. This one, which arrived 11 May, reads the same as so many of the others. “You can often hear that desperation when you talk to them,” Johnston said. “Women who are pregnant and don’t want to be are desperate. They will do pretty much anything.”

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