Medical Notes: Week of December 1, 2019 (19-48)

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of December 1, 2019, including: A study that finds that artery blockages discovered during stress tests can be managed with medication. Then, a study indicating cigarette smoking has hit an all-time low. Also, having more meatless burgers now could cut your dementia risk later. And finally, if people are more anxious these days, maybe it’s because they’re not getting enough sleep.

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19-26 Segment 2: Genetic and Genomic Testing

When most of us think of genetic testing for health, we imagine tests to detect whether we’ve inherited genes that predispose us for cancer or other serious disease. But another kind of gene testing—genomic testing of tumor cells for their susceptibility to targeted treatments—is giving thousands of people hope of survival they’ve never had before. Experts discuss both genetic and genomic testing.

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19-19 Segment 1: Cancer Suppression: Lessons from Pachyderms

DNA mutations happen all the time in the body, but the immune system usually detects and deals with them. When the system fails, cancer results. Yet some animals, such as elephants, almost never get cancer, and scientists have learned that the elephant DNA repair system is 20 times more powerful than the human system. Experts explain how they hope to tap this knowledge.

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