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Health Highlights: July 8, 2013

Health Highlights: July 8, 2013

07/08/13

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Teresa Heinz Kerry's Condition Upgraded to Fair

The condition of Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, has been changed from critical to fair.

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital upgraded her condition after 74-year-old Heinz Kerry underwent further evaluation Monday morning, according to Glen Johnson, a spokesman for her husband. He added that Kerry and other family members are with her at the hospital, the Associated Pressreported.

On Sunday, Heinz Kerry was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Nantucket, where she and her husband have a home. Later that day, she was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Heinz Kerry was taken to hospital after she showed symptoms consistent with a seizure, according to a person in close contact with the family, the APreported.

Toddler With Bioengineered Windpipe Dies

A 2-year-old girl who in April became the youngest person ever to receive a bioengineered organ died on the weekend.

Hannah Warren was born without a windpipe (trachea) and underwent the experimental surgery on April 9. The bioengineered windpipe was made with plastic fibers and cells taken from Hannah's bone marrow. It was the sixth surgery of its kind worldwide and the first to be performed in the United States, The New York Timesreported.

The procedure also involved surgery on Hannah's esophagus, which never healed properly. She underwent a second operation a month ago to correct the problem and died from complications of that procedure, according to Dr. Mark J. Holterman, a pediatric surgeon at the Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria.

"The trachea was never a problem. It was her native tissue that was very fragile," said Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, a specialist in the field of regenerative medicine who implanted the bioengineered windpipe, The Timesreported.

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New Gene Sequencing Method Could Boost IVF Success Rate

A new gene sequencing technique to select a viable embryo for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) has led to the birth of a health baby boy, researchers announced Monday.

IVF has a high failure rate, with only about 30 percent of fertilized embryos resulting in pregnancy. Genetic defects are believed to a major reason. This new method -- called next generation sequencing (NGS) -- uses updated technology to sequence the entire genome of an embryo and identify genetic problems, Agence France-Pressereported.

"Many of the embryos produced during infertility treatments have no chance of becoming a baby because they carry lethal genetic abnormalities," Dagan Wells, of the University of Oxford's NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in the U.K., said in a statement. "Next generation sequencing improves our ability to detect these abnormalities and helps us identify the embryos with the best chances of producing a viable pregnancy."

The research was presented Monday at a meeting in London of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, AFPreported.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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