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Benefits of 'Good' Cholesterol Questioned

A new study finds that "good" cholesterol might not boost your heart health as doctors once thought. The study looked at the genes of about 170,000 individuals, looking for variations in DNA that earlier research shows naturally raise HDL levels in those who possess them. After looking for these 15 genetic variations, the researchers discovered that none of these variations actually reduced the risks for having a heart attack.

In other biomedical news, by sequencing more people more thoroughly than ever before, researchers have affirmed that rare genetic variants--those carried by fewer than five people in a thousand--are widespread and likely to have an important role in human health.

By combining high doses of two new drugs against advanced melanoma, scientists were able to delay for months the cancer's ability to evade the therapy aimed at a tumor's molecular weak spot.

An FDA panel on Tuesday recommended approval of the first rapid, over-the-counter HIV test. It could gain final approval later this year.

In a clinical trial, people who are genetically guaranteed to suffer from Alzheimer's disease years from now--but who do not yet have any symptoms--will for the first time be given a drug intended to stop them from developing it, federal officials announced.

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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays

CREAM Inflating

Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.

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