Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Brain Specimens Sought for Autism Research
A U.S.-wide network has been created to collect brain specimens
for autism research.
Organizers said the more brain specimens they get, the better
their chances of finding new ways to treat the developmental
disorder. The network needs brains from people with and without
autism. So far, more than 6,000 people have signed up to be donors
after they die, the
The network currently has four sites: McLean Hospital near
Boston, Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City, the University
of California, Davis, and the University of Texas Southwestern in
Last year, dozens of brain samples at Harvard-affiliated McLean
Hospital were lost when a freezer malfunctioned. The new network
was planned before that incident, according to neuroscientist
Robert Ring of the advocacy group Autism Speaks, the
Obama 'Comfortable' With Lower Age Limit for 'Morning-After
President Barack Obama is "comfortable" with the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration's decision to allow girls as young as 15 years
old to have access to morning-after contraceptive pills without a
The previous minimum age was 17.
"It's not my decision to make," Obama said at a news conference
Thursday during a three-day visit to Latin America. He emphasized
that it was up to the FDA to make decisions based on science, but
said the decision was something "I'm comfortable with,"
The New York Timesreported.
Obama also said he believes that girls should have broad access
to birth control.
"I think it's very important that women have control over their
health- care choices," he said. "We want to make sure that they
have access to contraception."
In related news, the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday
appealed a federal judge's ruling giving girls and women of all
ages access to morning-after pills,
High Levels of TV Violence Concern Group
The continuing high levels of violence on television shows are
cause for concern, a parents' group says.
The Parents Television Council looked at 392 prime-time scripted
programs shown on broadcast networks between Jan. 11 and Feb. 11
and found that 193 had some incident of violence, the
Along with an increase in gore from other studies it has
conducted over 18 years, the group said the new study found greater
specificity and darkness to the violence.
"There has been no accountability, in my opinion, in terms of
the degree and amount of violence," Tim Winter, the group's
president, told the
"I think it is only going to get worse," said Dr. Victor
Strasburger, a pediatrics professor at the University of New Mexico
School of Medicine and an expert on violence in the media. He told
APthat media executives are "not willing to own up to their
public health responsibilities."