Obama Seeks Funding to Take Genetic Medicine to Next Level

WASHINGTON (AP) — Holding out the promise of major medical breakthroughs, President Barack Obama on Friday called on Congress to approve spending in medical research that tailors treatment to an individual’s genes. Obama wants $215 million for what he’s calling a precision medicine initiative that moves away from one-size-fits-all treatments. The ambitious goal: Scientists will assemble databases of about a million volunteers to study their genetics — and other factors such as their environments and the microbes that live in …

Common Sleep and Allergy Medications Linked to Dementia, Alzheimer’s

You may want to check your medicine cabinet after reading this. A new study links long-term use of common medications — including over-the-counter drugs for insomnia and hay fever — to a higher risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.  Medications in the study included antihistamines found in Benadryl, sleep aids found in Tylenol PM, and certain antidepressants and treatments for bladder control. >> Hidden Dangers of Common Cold Meds Dementia risk in older adults starts to rise after three years of regular use …

Poll: If Court Rules Against Obamacare Subsidies, Most Want Them Restored

A new poll finds that most people think Congress or states should act to restore health insurance subsidies if the Supreme Court decides later this year they are not permitted in states where the federal government is running the marketplace. The court in March is set to hear King v. Burwell, a lawsuit arguing that the wording of the Affordable Care Act means that financial assistance with premiums is available in only the 13 states that created and are running …

When Noise Is Painful

Even if I’d known that the Broadway production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time would, in Ben Brantley’s words, push all my “emotional and sensory buttons,” I wouldn’t have been prepared for the experience. I was stunned by the brilliance of the production. But I was also stunned by how familiar — and how literally painful — I found the play’s depiction of high-functioning autism, or Asperger’s syndrome. This production may come as close as possible to …

Toilet Paper Is Shrinking. Blame Hand Dryers

No, it’s not just your imagination. Toilet paper squares are surreptitiously shrinking — getting smaller, thinner and/or fewer. The reason it’s hard for you to tell: Companies are increasing the size of the inner cardboard tubes, so the rolls still look the same to consumers. And why are hand dryers to blame? Don’t worry — we’ll get to that. The case of our dwindling toilet paper sheets was explained in an interesting Washington Post column. The old standard size was …

Obamacare Enrollment for 2015 on Track to Surpass Target

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some 9.5 million people have already signed up for 2015 coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law, and the administration is on track to surpass its nationwide enrollment target set last year. The Health and Human Services Department said Tuesday that more than 7.1 million people signed up in 37 states where the federal government is running the insurance markets, and another 2.4 million signed up in states running their own exchanges, through the middle of …