Gov. Gen. Julie Payette encourages Canadians to ‘get active’ in New Year’s message
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(Canadian Press) — Julie Payette has issued a decidedly informal request to Canadians in her first New Year’s message as governor general — “stay active.”

Gone are the regal trappings that served as a backdrop to end-of-year messages delivered by previous governors general.

Instead, Payette chose to deliver a   …

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Calcium and vitamin D supplements may not protect against bone fractures after all
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(Ariana Eunjung Cha/ Washington Post) — One of the most contentious questions in nutrition science over the past decade has been whether older adults should be taking supplemental vitamin D and calcium. As the world’s population ages and broken bones and fractures become even more of a public health concern, with huge   …

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Cautious optimism as drug successfully targets Huntington’s disease
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(Jon Tattrie, CBC News) — Canadians affected by Huntington’s disease are cautiously celebrating a breakthrough trial of a drug that safely lowers levels of the harmful huntingtin protein.

Bev Heim-Myers, CEO of the Huntington Society of Canada, said trials in B.C., Germany and the U.K. showed the drug IONIS-HTTRx safely  …

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More pregnant women are using pot, study finds
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(Jacqueline Howard/ CNN) — More pregnant women seem to be using pot — sometimes to ease the nausea of morning sickness or heightened anxiety — and a new study suggests that this slight rise in marijuana use is most pronounced among those younger in age.

The prevalence of marijuana use among a sample of moms-to-be in California  …

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‘My restless legs were like bees biting under my skin’
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(Sally Abrahams/ BBC News) — For years, Mary Rose struggled to get off to sleep or to stay asleep, because she felt like she was being attacked by insects.

“Imagine having a swarm of bees buzzing inside the skin of your legs, biting you,” she says, describing the sensation that overwhelmed her.

“It’s really  …

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Woman who can smell Parkinson’s is helping scientists create first-ever diagnostic test
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(Rachel Baxter/ IFL Science)  — Working out what’s wrong with someone can be a complex challenge for doctors. But what if they could diagnose a disease simply from a person’s smell? Well, a woman named Joy Milne has the superpower of sniffing out Parkinson’s disease, and it’s helping researchers develop the first-ever diagnostic  …

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Is your child’s school an obesity risk?
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(Caroline Fitzpatrick/ The Conversation) — Child obesity rates are skyrocketing globally. Young children spend the lion’s share of their time in school, consuming a large portion of their daily calories there and developing lifelong eating habits and food preferences with their peers.

Do the schools attended by children   …

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Stroke: This herbal extract could improve brain function
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(Honor Whiteman/ Medical News Today) — An ancient herbal extract known as ginkgo biloba might benefit cognitive functioning after stroke, a new study suggests, when used in combination with aspirin.

Scientists have discovered that a daily dose of ginkgo biloba extract and aspirin can improve memory and “command and   …

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Enjoy a happier holiday season: remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself
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(Dr. Davidicus Wong/ Vancouver Courier) — Though children greet the holidays with gleeful anticipation, many grownups default to dread and loathing. It can be the unhealthiest and unhappiest time of the year, but it doesn’t have to be.

In this series of columns, I’ll share practical tips to care for ourselves during the  …

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Why the world expert on Asperger’s took 30 years to notice condition in his own son
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Prof Tony Attwood, an internationally renowned clinical psychologist, was blindsided when he realised his son Will had the syndrome

(Melissa Davey/ The Guardian) — Will Attwood has been addicted to drugs for the past two decades, an affliction which has seen the 35-year-old jailed multiple times and reliant on support from   …

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