A summary of important health news from the past week.
Many states do not require detailed information on the death certificates of individuals who have died from drug overdoses. Most often, specific drugs are not listed so it's impossible to tell who died from heroin versus prescription drugs. Adding this information is important to develop an appropriate public health response. The CDC is working on reaching out to medical examiners to encourage more details on death certificates.
A report in the journal Science has demonstrated the ability for the gene editing technique known as Crispr to alter RNA, rather than DNA. This opens up the possibility of using Crispr on the many virus' that are comprised of RNA, such as HIV and polio. Researchers are working on getting this to work in human cells.
Fewer U.S. teens are giving birth, CDC finds
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that about 22 in every 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19 gave birth in 2015. This is 8% lower than in 2014 and 54% drop from 2007. This reflects a general trend of rising maternal age in the U.S.
'Major win' in pancreatic cancer fight
Researchers reported a treatment for pancreatic cancer that raises survival rates from 16% to 29%. Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to treat and diagnose. The new intervention, a unique drug combination, is being touted as an "exciting" step ahead for the 340,000 people diagnosed with the disease each year globally.
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