Health & Medicine

Virginia Tech

A new strain of bird flu has been identified in China. Scientists at Virginia Tech are helping quickly analyze data to identify risk factors, limiting potential spread of the deadly virus.

The new strain of flu, H7N9 has been seen only in China.  So far, around one hundred and thirty cases have been confirmed. Some have proved fatal.  The virus appears to be affecting only people who handle live birds infected with the strain. 

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled companies cannot patent human genes, it may be cheaper to have a genetic test that identifies women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer, but the test is not appropriate for most women and might provide a false sense of security. 

Preventing Blindess

Jun 17, 2013

More than 25 million Americans have diabetes, putting them at risk for eye damage that can lead to blindness. 

Often, problems occur before the disease is diagnosed, but doctors at the University of Virginia have made an exciting discovery that could protect or even restore vision.

Dr. Paul Yates is frustrated.  As a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Virginia, he often sees people with diabetes who are going blind.  They didn’t come to him early enough to prevent problems, because sight is lost at the periphery, and central vision remains.

Several organizations are still advocating for Virginia lawmakers to expand Medicaid within the Commonwealth. Opponents have argued that it is already too costly, is the largest single item in the state budget, and is in need of many reforms. But as Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, the Department of Medical Assistance Services says it is addressing one major expense-by simplifying the process for providing care to those who receive both Medicaid and Medicare. . .

The Roanoke Times to Present Medicaid Series

Jun 13, 2013

The Roanoke Times will tackle the major parts of the Affordable Care Act over the next several months.  The first installment of the series will run in Sunday's edition.  Beverly Amsler talked with Laurence Hammack, who's one of the writers of the series.