Health Highlights: Jan. 22, 2019
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Chinese Researcher Who Edited Babies' Genes Acted on His Own: Officials
A Chinese scientist who said he edited the genes of twins to protect them against HIV acted on his own and could face punishment, according to investigators in the southern province of Guangdong.
They said Dr. He Jiankui coordinated funding for the experiment without outside assistance in violation of national guidelines, state news agency Xinhua said, the Associated Press reported.
He also edited the genes of another embryo yet to be born. That baby and the two twins will be kept under medical observation through regular visits overseen by health officials, according to Xinhua.
The news agency didn't specify which laws He may have broken, but said he faked an ethical review by others, the AP reported.
"This behavior seriously violates ethics and the integrity of scientific research, is in serious violation of relevant national regulations and creates a pernicious influence at home and abroad," according to Xinhua.
After He announced his research last year, Chinese officials put an immediate stop to his experiments, the AP reported.
FDA Chief Threatens to Halt E-Cigarette Sales
Sales of electronic-cigarettes could be halted if companies don't stop marketing the devices to youth, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned.
He's said he's horrified at the recent rise in teen use of the e-cigarettes and that FDA efforts to get companies to voluntarily eliminate candy-flavored products and aggressive marketing have had little effect, NBC News reported.
"I'll tell you this. If the youth use continues to rise, and we see significant increases in use in 2019, on top of the dramatic rise in 2018, the entire category will face an existential threat," he said Friday.
"It will be game over for these products until they can successfully traverse the regulatory process," Gottlieb warned.
The FDA has the authority to block e-cigarette sales and force makers to go through the formal FDA approval process, but has not done so to this point.
There has been a 78 percent increase in e-cigarette use by U.S. high school students, and 3.6 million high school and middle school students now use e-cigarettes, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released late last year, NBC News reported.
Two Doctors Leave Care Facility Where Incapacitated Patient Gave Birth
Two doctors who provided care for an incapacitated woman who had a baby after being sexually assaulted are no longer looking after patients at the long-term care center in Phoenix.
One resigned and the other has been suspended, Hacienda HealthCare said Sunday, the Associated Press reported.
The patient, who is in her 20s, gave birth Dec. 29. She had been at the facility since suffering a near-drowning at age 3.
The case sparked an investigation by police, who have collected DNA from men who worked there, and reviews by regulators. Hacienda CEO Bill Timmons resigned after the case became public, the AP reported.
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