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Daily Rounds: Biology Trumps Dermatology; 9/11 Cancer Risk; Human Brain Attuned To Animals; Venus' Sjogren's Syndrome

"Fertility Is a Matter of Age, No Matter How Young a Woman Looks - NYTimes.com Advances in beauty products and dermatology, not to mention manic devotion to yoga, Pilates and other exercise obsessions, are making it possible for large numbers of women to look admirably younger than their years. But doctors fear that they are creating a widening disconnect between what women see in the mirror and what’s happening to their reproductive organs. “Somewhere between 30 and 40 your internal organs are aging but you don’t feel it, and now you don’t even see it,” said Dr. Karyn Grossman, a dermatologist with practices in Manhattan and Santa Monica, Calif. “At least you used to get some visual feedback.” Dr. Grossman (who, it bears repeating, is a dermatologist, not a gynecologist) says she gets so many questions from patients about their biological clocks that she has two fertility specialists on speed dial for referrals." (nytimes.com) Firefighter Cancer Risk Seen From World Trade Center Exposure in Study - Bloomberg "Madeline Wiebicke is convinced the blood cancer that killed her husband Randy in March came from his work as a firefighter at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and during the cleanup after that day’s terrorist attack.A study released in The Lancet, a U.K.-based medical journal, suggests her suspicions may be correct. The report found that firefighters who responded to the disaster were 19 percent more likely to have cancer in the 7 years that followed the attacks than those who weren’t there." (bloomberg.com)

Human Brain Responds To Animals, Cute Or Creepy : NPR "A team led by researchers at Caltech has found individual brain cells that respond when a person sees an animal, but not when that person sees another person, a place, or an object. The cells were found in the amygdala, an almond-shaped part of the brain involved in emotions, including fear. And they responded to any kind of animal, including spiders, dogs and rodents, says Christof Koch, a researcher at Caltech and the lead author of the study, published in Nature Neuroscience." (npr.org)

Will Sjogren’s syndrome end Venus Williams’ tennis career? from Daily Dose "Tennis star Venus Williams dropped out of the US Open yesterday after announcing that she had Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes dry mouth, fatigue and joint pain. “I enjoyed playing my first match here, and wish I could continue but right now I am unable to,” Williams said in a statement released to the media. “I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon.” Williams acknowledged she’d been feeling fatigued for some time, but didn’t know the cause, according to the New York Times. “Looking back, it’s affected my career in a huge way,” Williams said in an interview with the paper today. “I’ve been playing a lot of matches with half a deck.” She added, “It’s mentally destructive going into matches and wondering which balls can I run for and am I going to be able to compete.” (boston.com)

This program aired on September 2, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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