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August 20, 2013 | By Karin Klein
What if ticks were an endangered species? Would we preserve critical habitat for them? Fund a captive-tick breeding program? It would be hard for me, as a hiker and dog owner, to summon any sympathy for these disgusting little pests. If they were gone, would the greater environment miss them in any way? Just a fantasy. Ticks are, of course, thriving and a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control finds that they are, in fact, responsible for 10 times more Lyme disease than previously thought - 300,000 cases a year nationwide.
August 19, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
New research finds that copper in amounts readily found in our drinking water, the foods we eat and the vitamin supplements we take likely plays a key role in initiating and fueling the abnormal protein build-up and brain inflammation that are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. While the mineral is important to healthy nerve conduction, hormone secretion and the growth of bones and connective tissue, a team of researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center suggested that too much of it may be a bad thing, and they set about to explore copper's dark side.
August 13, 2013 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected. See below for details.
If you're a middle-aged guy who watches sports, news or late-night talk shows, you've seen the ads: Your flagging energy levels, mood, sports prowess and libido ... could they be caused by low T? After you figure out that T stands for "testosterone" -- a magically powerful male hormone the shortage of which you would never want to admit to -- you say to yourself, "Oh my God, maybe it is low T!" And if you then go to the website mentioned in the ads and take a quiz, you'll quickly learn that there is a treatment for low T, one that you can ask your doctor about.
August 12, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Florida State freshman Jameis Winston says he's a lot like Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. That could be good or bad news for Seminoles fans, depending on how they look at it. Who wouldn't want the guy who could very well end up being their starting quarterback this season to emulate last year's Heisman Trophy winner on the field? But would those same fans really want their potential new quarterback to imitate Manziel's off-field antics? Not that "Johnny Football" has gotten into any trouble with the law, but his controversial tweets, supposed hard-partying ways and possible NCAA violations have kept him in the headlines most of the off-season.
August 12, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
Too often when veteran artists revisit career-defining hits late in life it's more of a marketing move than an artistic exploration. Not in this case. Since revealing two years ago that he's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the singer-guitarist and former TV show host released his well-received "Ghost on the Canvas" album and went on the road one last time for a farewell tour. Recently his family revealed that his disease has progressed to the point where he can no longer perform.
August 10, 2013
Re "Poor memory? Forget it," Opinion, Aug. 8 I appreciate that a younger person like Max Perry can relate to the fears of us oldsters that any little memory lapse might mean the onset of Alzheimer's disease. But he should also be taking this issue seriously, as it could well impact his future in ways that will be no joke. Without a cure, Alzheimer's will gobble up resources at an alarming rate in the next 30 years. We lack capacity in caregiving, medical and social services to care for all those affected now. What will happen when this disease affects three times as many people?
August 5, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
California citrus growers have imported a tiny wasp from Pakistan to help control a pest that helps spread a citrus-killing disease.  Los Angeles Times Assistant Business Editor Nancy Rivera Brooks chats with reporter Ricardo Lopez about his story on efforts to beat back the Asian citrus psyllid, the agent that helps spread the disease  huanglongbing , or citrus greening.  UC Riverside researchers are releasing thousands of Tamarixia radiata...
August 5, 2013 | By Travis Kidner
As a surgical oncologist, I'm usually the one delivering the bad news. But this time I was the recipient. Nine days earlier, my dermatologist had taken a biopsy from a small pink dot on my back, and now the results were available. It was, he told me, malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. I envisioned the irony of my obituary: "Melanoma surgeon dies of melanoma. " Specializing in the care of melanoma patients makes me all too aware of the facts. I know that melanoma is one of only a few cancers whose incidence is increasing.
July 27, 2013 | By Maria L. La Ganga
MARTINEZ, Calif. - It would be hard to equal John Muir's love for the giant sequoia, a majestic California native that can live 3,000 years and soar 250 feet high. "The King tree & me have sworn eternal love," he wrote to a friend in the fall of 1870, "sworn it without swearing and Ive taken the sacrament with Douglass Squirrels drank Sequoia wine, Sequoia blood, & with its rosy purple drips I am writing this woody gospel letter. " A decade or so later, the besotted conservationist returned from a Sierra Nevada jaunt with a seedling wrapped in a damp handkerchief.
July 22, 2013 | Anna Gorman
California's community health centers -- a key resource for people without medical insurance -- vary widely in their ability to control their patients' chronic diseases, including diabetes and high blood pressure, according to federal data. Clinic directors and observers say the variation is due in part to how much time the centers have invested in quality improvement and whether they use electronic medical records to measure patient progress. The federal government has been tracking quality indicators on the centers since 2008.
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