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April 15, 2013 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
Circumcision is known to reduce a man's risk of HIV infection by at least half, but scientists don't know why. A new study offers support for the theory that removing the foreskin deprives troublesome bacteria of a place to live, leaving the immune system in much better shape to keep the human immunodeficiency virus at bay. Anyone who has ever lifted a rock and watched as the earth beneath it was quickly vacated by legions of bugs and tiny worms...
February 8, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Nine women working to immunize children against polio were killed Friday when gunmen opened fire on them in northern Nigeria, Kano state police said. Women involved in the vaccination drive were targeted in two areas of the northern city of Kano, news reports said. Witnesses told the Associated Press that the death toll appeared to be higher than what police had reported, saying eight were killed in one attack and four were dead in another. One injured woman told Agence France-Presse that two men stormed into a clinic and started shooting, then set a curtain on fire and fled, shutting the door.
January 29, 2013 | By Monte Morin
As Iraq war veteran Brendan Marrocco recovers from an extremely rare double arm transplant, experts in the field of reconstructive transplantation say the surgery's ultimate success depends heavily on a patient's immune system response and nerve tissue regeneration. Marrocco, 26, underwent the 13-hour procedure Dec. 18 and appeared at a news conference Tuesday to answer questions with his surgeon, Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee. The procedure, which involved 16 surgeons, was performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
January 25, 2013 | By Corina Knoll
More than two years after the Bell corruption case erupted, the prosecution called its first witness Friday in an effort to show that the leaders of the small, working-class city became some of the highest-paid city politicians in California by serving on boards that sometimes met just so they could approve further pay hikes. Rebecca Valdez, Bell's city clerk who has been granted immunity in exchange for her testimony, testified that it was her job to take notes at council meetings, including marking the start and end time of the various boards on which council members served, such as the Solid Waste and Recycling Authority.
January 18, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
As waiting rooms in other parts of the U.S. have been clogged with sniffling, feverish hordes, California has seemed to avoid the worst of this year's flu - so far. But that may change, as officials in California said this week that flu activity in the state had reached “a widespread level,” and that the number of visits to doctors and hospitals for the treatment of flu-like illness was higher than usual for mid-January.  (For more on...
September 18, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Parents who indulge in an occasional cocktail around their kids have all been there: You're drinking it and they want to try it. "No, it's a drink for grown-ups," springs to your lips. But then you ask yourself, "When I cast alcohol as the forbidden fruit, doesn't that just make it more alluring?" If you've ever been stuck on the horns of that dilemma, you have company. In a recent survey of "pro-sipping" attitudes among mothers of young children in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, 1 in 4 expressed the belief that allowing a child a sip of an alcoholic drink would likely deter him or her from further drinking because either the taste would discourage it or because alcohol's cachet would decline when it comes with a parent's permission.
July 26, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
The psychedelic image above is a super-close-up view of the skin -- and the brightly colored blobs are immune cells. What's it about? Read on. Evidence is mounting that the bacteria that live on our bodies affect our health, for good or ill. It's a hot area of research , much of it centered on the gut -- and no wonder, for this is the spot where the richest bacterial communities are found. The bugs that dwell there seem to help our immune systems develop along the right lines, among other things.
July 20, 2012 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Decades after writer-director Nelson Lyon released the X-rated sex comedy "The Telephone Book" in 1971, the film was hailed as a neglected masterpiece. By then Lyons was a former "Saturday Night Live" writer long known for a darker connection: He went on a drug-fueled binge with John Belushi during the comedian's final days in 1982. "He was blamed for Belushi's death, and it ruined his career," said Dennis Perrin, author of "Mr. Mike," a 1999 biography of former "Saturday Night Live" head writer Michael O'Donoghue, who had been Lyon's writing partner.
April 25, 2012 | By Paul Pringle, Rong-Gong Lin II and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Invoking his right against self-incrimination, the former finance director of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum declined to testify before a grand jury about alleged corruption at the stadium, then answered questions after a judge granted him limited immunity, transcripts of the proceedings show. Ronald Lederkramer, once the Coliseum's No. 2 executive, left the Coliseum late last year after The Times reported that he used his personal credit card to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars in stadium equipment to pocket valuable reward points.
April 25, 2012 | By Manuel Pastor and Kafi Blumenfield
In 1992, the acquittal of four police officers accused of beating Rodney King was the match that ignited a city, setting off a wave of violence that left 53 dead, thousands injured and hundreds of businesses destroyed. There was a lot of accumulated tinder to burn. Los Angeles was struggling with a faltering and de-industrialized economy that left too many without good jobs, a wave of demographic transition that caused ethnic and generational tensions, and a widening gap between rich and poor that was just beginning to emerge into public view - a bit like the U.S. today.
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