News RoundupsAnyone who’s watched more than a few episodes of Law & Order knows how easy it is to unwittingly get a sample of someone’s DNA — a discarded coffee cup, a used Kleenex, a few stray hairs and you’re good to go. In Dick Wolf’s world, such samples are used to catch the bad guys (or exonerate the good guys), but in real life, genetic code can reveal a variety of information, including what diseases may lurk in someone’s future. This type of genetic testing — known as whole genome sequencing — has many useful applications. But a report released today by the presidential bioethics commission reveals that many legal issues surrounding genetic privacy have yet to be addressed.
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News RoundupsTelevision is still the preferred news source for half of Americans, though it may not retain its dominance for long. While about 60 percent of older adults prefer TV news, just 34 percent of 18 to 35-year-olds say it’s their top choice, with 55 percent of this younger cohort preferring Internet news sources. And that’s far from the only generational difference in news preferences and interest. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, the age groups differ not only in their preferred news sources but in the ways they consume and pay attention to news, as well.
News RoundupsA study published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows many prescription drugs could have a longer shelf life than assumed, in some cases much longer. But while the results could have important implications for drug companies, researchers are quick to caution consumers against applying the findings to their own medicine cabinets.
News Roundups | Travel“You get to fall asleep with the rocking of the waves and the wind, and with the Internet, you can home-office from just about anywhere,” says Ian Morton, an American semi-retiree who spends half the year on a houseboat outside Montreal, Canada. Morton, 51, one of several “rambling retirees” profiled by Reuters in a piece on boomers who are bucking the “aging in place” trend. Though exact stats are hard to come by, evidence points to a growing number of grown-ups trading houses and retirement communities for houseboats, RVs and strangers’ sofas.
News Roundups | PoliticsPresident Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney donned their blue and red ties, respectively, and took to the stage Wednesday evening for the first presidential debate of Election 2012. With little more than a month before Election Day, it was interesting to finally see the two men come face to face. In the 90-minute televised debate broadcast from Denver, Obama and Romney covered ample issues of import to older adults, including Medicare, Medicaid, health care reform and Social Security.
News Roundups | Personal HealthAdd this to the approximately 8 billion benefits of omega-3 fatty acids: They could help preserve DNA segments known as telomeres, whose degradation is a key marker of aging. Shorter telomeres are associated with age-related decline, cancer and a higher risk of death (in one study of people over 60, those with shorter telomeres were three times more likely to die from heart disease and eight times more likely to die from an infectious disease). But according to Ohio State University scientists, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements (such as fish oil pills) can help lengthen telomeres in middle-aged and older adults.