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Scientists have discovered what may be an important new risk factor for heart disease. And here's the surprising twist: The troublesome substance seems to be a waste product left behind by bacteria in our guts as they help us digest lecithin — a substance plentiful in red meat, eggs, liver and certain other foods.

Doctors say the research further illustrates the complicated relationship we have with the microbes living inside us, and could lead to new ways to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The Da Vinci surgical robot is now a part of the Texas Health Denton team -- helping remove patients' gallbladders through a small incision right below the navel. There are thousands of da Vinci systems world-wide, and they aren't cheap. The machines cost over one million each, with an additional cost for annual maintenance. Still, the machines give surgeons an enhanced range of motion and ultimately leave the patient with minimal scarring.

Breast Cancer In Young Women Rising

Feb 27, 2013
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Young women are much less likely than older women to be diagnosed with breast cancer -- but research showing a tripling of advanced breast cancer cases in women under forty is for some doctors, a disturbing trend. 

Cracking The Code To Create Special Blood-Forming Cells

Feb 24, 2013
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In the near future, scientists may be able to reproduce blood-forming stem cells in a laboratory. That could save the lives of thousands of people suffering from diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. The Dallas doctor who's brought us closer to this reality published the breakthrough in stem cell research in the national science journal Nature.

Hospitals across the country are turning to the neighborhood pharmacy to keep patients well after they return home from the hospital. The federal government began penalizing hospitals with high readmission rates in October, and although Texas hospitals are doing slightly better than the nation overall at preventing readmissions, some are looking to partner with pharmacies such as Walgreens to provide support for patients and follow-up care after hospital stays. Scott & White Healthcare, based in central Texas, recently announced its partnership with Walgreens.

Ash Wednesday, To-Go

Feb 13, 2013
JoAnne Pounds / Oak Lawn United Methodist Church

Like some ashes with your train ticket? How about with your hot chocolate? “Ashes To Go” is one way to participate in Ash Wednesday without even entering a church. Members of Oak Lawn United Methodist in Dallas decided to leave the confines of the church for the start of Lent -- the forty day period before Easter -- and give folks the telltale Ash Wednesday forehead treatment in some untraditional locations. 

4 Good Ways To Get Rid Of Unused Medication

Jan 7, 2013
Thirteen Of Clubs / Flickr.com

Disposing of unused prescription drugs the wrong way can have serious consequences. Jeena Connor, Director of Pharmacy Services at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, explains in this segment of Vital Signs.

North Texas has been more worried about West Nile virus lately -- with at least 35 deaths this year and hundreds of people sickened. But the granddaddy of mosquito-borne illnesses is still malaria, and NPR's Adam Cole explores how it spreads and how doctors have responded in this fun animated video. (Gin and tonic, anyone?)

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has declared a state of emergency because of escalating West Nile virus cases and deaths.

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