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Supreme Court saves centerpiece of health care reform law

June 28, 2012 The Supreme Court upheld the health care reform law on Thursday in a ruling in which conservative Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal wing and spelled out ways to keep the highly controversial law within the bounds of the Constitution. The ruling vindicates President Obama’s signature domestic policy ...

Long-awaited bird flu study shows it’s still a threat

June 21, 2012 Researchers published a batch of controversial studies on bird flu on Thursday, demonstrating that H5N1 is still dangerous to humanity and closing a chapter in a still-evolving debate over censoring scientific research. Commentaries questioned the wisdom of an unprecedented U.S. government request to delay the research, while experts debated whether ...

Romney strongly defended individual mandate in Massachusetts, emails show

June 5, 2012 When Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts and getting health reform passed there, emails demonstrate he strongly defended the individual mandate, the Wall Street Journal reports. Republicans now criticize the much-hated requirement that everyone get health insurance and it's the center of some of the strongest challenges to the 2010 ...

SpaceX splashes down

May 31, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The first commercial space vehicle to get to the space station has splashed down in the Pacific Ocean -- a success for the private company that made and launched the SpaceX vehicle and for the Obama administration's new focus on private sector space collaborations. The Dragon capsule splashed down at ...

Tailored weight loss program for veterans disappoints

May 21, 2012 An intensive, one-on-one weight loss program developed by the Veterans Affairs Department failed to attract many comers, and the few who did take part didn’t lose much weight, researchers report. It’s not clear why the program did not work, but it doesn’t bode well for efforts to help the two-thirds ...

New agreement leases drug flops to NIH for further study

May 3, 2012 The federal government said on Thursday that it will team up even more closely with drug companies to test old drugs for new uses. The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences signed a deal with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly and Co. under which the drug ...

One of two nearly censored bird flu papers published

May 2, 2012 One of two now-notorious bird flu studies was published on Wednesday, four months after a panel of U.S. federal advisers asked researchers and scientific journals to hold on, just in case the information in the paper was dangerous. In the paper, flu expert Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin ...

FDA issues draft guidance on nano-food

April 20, 2012 The Food and Drug Administration on Friday issued new draft guidance on how food and cosmetic makers can get approval for products that use nanotechnology. Products such as nano-chocolate dusted on to diet foods, microscopic particles of silver used to keep food smelling fresh, and special nano-formulations of vitamins could ...

Court upholds FDA requirement to put graphic warnings on cigarette packs

March 19, 2012 A federal appeals court upheld a law on Monday that would force tobacco companies to put prominent, graphic warnings on packs of cigarettes, but it also ruled that the companies should be able to use colorful advertising themselves. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati also upheld a law ...

Former FDA chief leads push to reform his old agency

February 14, 2012 The right-leaning Manhattan Institute launched a new initiative on Tuesday to push for reform at the Food and Drug Administration, in part by speeding drug reviews. The think tank, which advocates for free-market policies, named former FDA commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach to chair the project. Eschenbach, also a former ...