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An international group of scientists has identified three genetic regions that predispose Asian women who have never smoked to lung cancer. The finding provides further evidence that risk of lung cancer among never-smokers, especially Asian women, may be associated with certain unique inherited genetic characteristics that distinguishes it from lung cancer in smokers.

Learn about American Indian Populations, Tribes and Languages:

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month goes back to 1916. Learn about populations, tribes and languages.

Many members of the military with student loans are spending way too much to pay off those loans. They are not accessing the student loan repayment protections and forgiveness benefits that have been granted to them under federal rules.

Unfortunately, those rules are extremely complex, and not all loan servicers are properly handling the loans or advising their clients. A report by the Consumer Financal Protection Bureau (PDF) shows that many servicemembers are paying thousands too much over the life of their loans.

The Action Guide for Servicemembers with Student Loans (PDF) shows you step-by-step how to take advantage of the repayment protections mandated by Congress. Read the rest of this entry »

This is one of the eight tentacled snakes born at the National Zoo last month. The birth of the snakes was a surprise to zookeepers because the parents have not given birth to viable offspring in the last four years, despite past breeding attempts.

This species of snake is aquatic and gets its name from the tentacles on its nose that the reptiles use to sense fish in the water around them.

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The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, announces that Kenneth Kendler, M.D. will deliver the 17th Annual Mark Keller Honorary Lecture. Kendler is a world-renowned expert on the genetics of psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. His presentation is called “The Genetic Epidemiology of Alcohol Use Disorders: A Current Perspective.”

Admission to National Parks is Free this Weekend:

You can visit any national park this weekend for free. Find a national park near you.

When planning ahead in these uncertain financial times, it’s important to think about long-term care for yourself and your loved ones. Long-term care (LTC) is a range of services and supports you may need to meet your health or personal needs over a long period of time. These services might include emergency response systems, senior centers, assisted living, nursing homes, transportation services, and many more.

Most long-term care assists people with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing and using the bathroom. Other common long-term care services include helping with housework, cooking, shopping, or even managing money.

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A Ruby-throated Hummingbird photographed at the Quabbin Reservoir near South Athol, MA.

Photo by Bill Thompson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Image description: A full moon rises over Mt. Everts in Yellowstone National Park.

Photo by the Yellowstone National Park Service.

Researchers will study pre-symptomatic lung disease in infants and young children with cystic fibrosis (CF), under a new grant program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Results could reveal how CF develops, which in turn could lead to interventions that delay or prevent disease progression. The studies also could provide critical information to help resolve competing theories on the origin and progression of CF-associated abnormalities.

Most people prepare for job interviews and plan before going on a trip or taking an exam. But how many people actually get ready before going to the doctor’s office?

Preparing for a doctor’s appointment will help you make better decisions about your health, especially if your diagnosis requires medicines or surgery. The following tips will help you get ready for your next appointment and take a more active role in improving your health.

Write down your symptoms/questions: Be honest and accurate when describing your symptoms, especially if your symptoms vary in frequency and intensity. Write them down in detail on a piece of paper and take it with you to your next appointment. You can also write down any questions you want to ask the doctor. Writing everything down will help you avoid forgetting things.

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National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers have discovered a significant new mechanism of action for a class of chemotherapy drugs known as poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors, or PARP inhibitors. They have also identified differences in the toxic capabilities of three drugs in this class which are currently being tested in clinical trials. The study, by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of NIH, and their colleagues, appeared in Cancer Research, Nov 1, 2012.

Don’t Forget about Ballot Measures on Election Day:

Use this map to find your state’s election website and learn about ballot measures in your area.

Image description: A cloud forms as an F/A-18 Hornet aircraft accelerates up to supersonic speed. Aircraft flying this fast push air up to the very limits of its speed, forming what’s called a bow shock in front of them. Similar bow shocks are also found in a variety of forms in space, and new research suggests they may contribute to heating of the material around them. Learn more about plasma waves from NASA.

Photo by Ensign John Gay, U.S. Navy.

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Researchers have found 71 new human genes associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) that affect the small and large (colon) intestines of nearly 2.5 million people worldwide. This study brings the total number of known genes associated with IBD to 163.

People have increasing opportunities to participate in genetic testing that can indicate their range of risk for developing a disease. Receiving these results does not appreciably drive up or diminish test recipients’ demand for potentially costly follow-up health services, according to a study performed by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and colleagues at other institutions.

Older adults who drank coffee — caffeinated or decaffeinated — had a lower risk of death overall than others who did not drink coffee, according a study by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and AARP.

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