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Tuesday, October 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Scientists get closer to blood test for Alzheimer’s disease

An experimental blood test was highly accurate at distinguishing people with Alzheimer’s disease from those without it in several studies, boosting hopes there soon might be a simple way to help diagnose this most common form of dementia.

Sanctuaries across U.S. prepare for influx of lab chimpanzees

Sanctuaries around the country are preparing for an influx of retired private lab chimps like Foxie now that the federal government has stopped backing experiments on humankind’s closest relatives. Their challenge will be finding the room and resources to house and rehabilitate the animals.

Koop, who transformed surgeon general post, dies

With his striking beard and starched uniform, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop became one of the most recognizable figures of the Reagan era — and one of the most unexpectedly enduring. His nomination in 1981 met a wall of opposition from women's groups and liberal politicians, who complained President Ronald Reagan selected Koop, a pediatric surgeon and evangelical Christian from Philadelphia, only because of his conservative views, especially his staunch opposition to abortion.

Criminal probe adds to Texas cancer agency woes

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas put up $3 billion in taxpayer money and promised cancer breakthroughs. But a criminal investigation, widespread rebuke from scientists and the resignations of embattled state officials came faster than medical discoveries. The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas launched in 2009, flaunting the second-biggest trough of cancer research dollars in the country. Nobel laureates eagerly took jobs with the agency and celebrity Lance Armstrong lent visible and then-coveted support. It was an unprecedented state-run battle against a worldwide killer.

APNewsBreak: Texas cancer probe draws NCI scrutiny

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The National Cancer Institute confirmed Friday that federal officials are taking a closer look at a troubled $3 billion cancer-fighting effort in Texas that is under a criminal investigation over a lucrative taxpayer-funded grant awarded by the state agency. The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas touts its status as an NCI-approved funding entity — an exclusive group headlined by the nation's most prominent cancer organizations. The list is fewer than two dozen and includes the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and federal entities like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Study: People worldwide living longer, but sicker

LONDON (AP) — Nearly everywhere around the world, people are living longer and fewer children are dying. But increasingly, people are grappling with the diseases and disabilities of modern life, according to the most expansive global look so far at life expectancy and the biggest health threats. The last comprehensive study was in 1990 and the top health problem then was the death of children under 5 — more than 10 million each year. Since then, campaigns to vaccinate kids against diseases like polio and measles have reduced the number of children dying to about 7 million.

Longer tamoxifen use cuts breast cancer deaths

Breast cancer patients taking the drug tamoxifen can cut their chances of having the disease come back or kill them if they stay on the pills for 10 years instead of five years as doctors recommend now, a major study finds. The results could change treatment, especially for younger women. The findings are a surprise because earlier research suggested that taking the hormone-blocking drug for longer than five years didn't help and might even be harmful.

Court to decide if human genes can be patented

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether companies can patent human genes, a decision that could reshape medical research in the United States and the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer. The justices' decision will likely resolve an ongoing battle between scientists who believe that genes carrying the secrets of life should not be exploited for commercial gain and companies that argue that a patent is a reward for years of expensive research that moves science forward.

Study finds mammograms lead to unneeded treatment

Mammograms have done surprisingly little to catch deadly breast cancers before they spread, a big U.S. study finds. At the same time, more than a million women have been treated for cancers that never would have threatened their lives, researchers estimate. Up to one-third of breast cancers, or 50,000 to 70,000 cases a year, don't need treatment, the study suggests.