Blood test offers hope for better lung cancer treatment

BOSTON (AP) -- Researchers have taken an important step toward better lung cancer treatment by using blood tests to track genetic changes in tumors as they progress from their very earliest stages. With experimental tests that detect bits of DNA that tumors shed into the blood, they were able to detect some recurrences of cancer up to a year before imaging scans could, giving a chance to try new therapy sooner.

At least global warming may get Americans off the couch more

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Global warming's milder winters will likely nudge Americans off the couch more in the future, a rare, small benefit of climate change, a new study finds. With less chilly winters, Americans will be more likely to get outdoors, increasing their physical activity by as much as 2.5 percent by the end of the century, according to a new study in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Human Behaviour .

Researchers to look for CTE evidence in Hernandez's brain

BOSTON (AP) -- Boston University researchers will study Aaron Hernandez's brain to determine if the former NFL star suffered from the same degenerative brain disease as Hall of Famer Junior Seau and former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, who also took their own lives. Hernandez hanged himself in prison early Wednesday, days after winning an acquittal in a 2012 double homicide case. He was already serving a life term in a 2013 killing.

Progress on depression slow in China as stigmas persist

BEIJING (AP) -- Kerry Yang speaks openly to foreigners about the bouts of depression that have haunted her for a decade -- her emotional meltdowns in college, the bruises she inflicted upon her body as a coping mechanism, her initial unsuccessful attempts at treatment. Yet despite such candor, the 30-year-old public relations consultant from Beijing often can't bring herself to discuss her problems with her fellow Chinese, including members of her own family.

Progress on depression slow in China as stigmas persist

BEIJING (AP) -- Kerry Yang speaks openly to foreigners about the bouts of depression that have haunted her for a decade -- her emotional meltdowns in college, the bruises she inflicted upon her body as a coping mechanism, her initial unsuccessful attempts at treatment. Yet despite such candor, the 30-year-old public relations consultant from Beijing often can't bring herself to discuss her problems with her fellow Chinese, including members of her own family.

Town officials fund research on rare cancer cluster

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Huntersville officials have commissioned more research into the town's high rate of a rare form of eye cancer. The Charlotte Observer reports (http://bit.ly/2pesDyp) that 12 people connected to the town have been diagnosed with ocular melanoma. There are typically 2,500 new cases found yearly, usually in male and older populations. In Huntersville, a town of 52,000, nine victims were female and six were under 30. Four have died.

Penn State launches new research effort to help abused kids

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A new research program at Penn State aims to improve the health of neglected and abused children and test an innovative approach to screen kids for head injuries. Penn State said Tuesday it will establish the Center for Healthy Children at its main campus, supported by nearly $8 million from the National Institutes for Health. The university is putting in more than $3 million.

AP-NORC Poll: Most Americans oppose funding border wall

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Most Americans oppose funding President Donald Trump's wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and even many of his supporters reject his proposed budget cuts to scientific and medical research, according to poll released Thursday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The president gets higher marks for efforts to boost defense spending and beef up the border patrol, the poll found. The results come at a crucial time.

FDA approves more drugs, and faster, than Europe, study says

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Contrary to some political claims, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved more drugs, and two to three months faster on average, than European regulators did in recent years, new research shows. "It's an urban myth" that the FDA is slower than other countries to clear promising treatments for patients, said the agency's longtime cancer drugs chief, Dr. Richard Pazdur.

A 'sci-fi' cancer therapy fights brain tumors, study finds

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It sounds like science fiction, but a cap-like device that makes electric fields to fight cancer improved survival for the first time in more than a decade for people with deadly brain tumors, final results of a large study suggest. Many doctors are skeptical of the therapy, called tumor treating fields, and it's not a cure. It's also ultra-expensive -- $21,000 a month.

Trump's top health official gets bipartisan grilling

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's top health official got strong pushback Wednesday from lawmakers of both parties about deep cuts the White House is pressing in medical research, public health and social service programs. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price also dodged repeated attempts by Democrats to flush out the administration's next move on the Obama-era health insurance law.

FDA approves 1st drug for aggressive multiple sclerosis

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- U.S. regulators have approved the first drug for an aggressive kind of multiple sclerosis that steadily reduces coordination and the ability to walk. The Food and Drug Administration approved Ocrevus late Tuesday after a large study found it slowed progression of the neurological disease and reduced symptoms.

White House calls for domestic cuts to finance border wall

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is proposing immediate budget cuts of $18 billion from programs like medical research, infrastructure and community grants so U.S. taxpayers, not Mexico, can cover the down payment on the border wall. The White House documents were submitted to Congress amid negotiations over a catchall spending bill that would avert a partial government shutdown at the end of next month. The package would wrap up $1.