Cross Sections


Undark’s home for editorials, opinions, and curated news from around the Web.

More Mumps News: Epidemic Spreading

First it was Iowa with 400+ cases so far, now it’s in nine midwestern states, the CDC is getting busy, and nobody is quite sure how far the first mumps epidemic in 20 years in the US will spread. Today’s stories: Washington Post Rob Stein , who has a national rundown; Chicago Sun-Times Lori Rackl

Plenty Ink: Estrogen and Breast Cancer News in JAMA

JAMA has two, somewhat related reports on estrogen and breast cancer that get attention today. First, results from the long-running Women’s Health Initiative study indicate little or no danger from estrogen-only treatment for hot flashes or other menopause discomforts. The same study has previously concluded that some risk of increased breast cancer, heart attack, and

NYTimes: DNA Tests Turning Up Lots of Ancestry, and Lots of Often Strange Issues over Whose Issue is Whose

Genomic technology is having interesting societal impacts. Here’s one case: A 20-year-old girl marked “Asian” on her college application because a DNA test — on her sister — said their ancestry is 2 percent Asian, 98 percent European. The NYTimes’s Amy Harmon, as part of the newspaper’s DNA Age series, runs through a long list

Ariz. Republic on Medicine in the Desert: Valley fever cure moves step closer; scorpion antivenin progress

Two regional medical stories here: Valley fever, a serious, fungal lung disease, is up in Arizona with thousands of residents affected. The Arizona Republic’s Kerry Fehr-Snyder reports that the FDA has granted orphan drug disease status to a drug being developed by the University of Arizona, which should make it easier to get a pharmaceutical


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