People's genes can affect how they'll respond to blood thinners and cancer drugs. But inaccurate results can lead to bad medical decisions. Regulators are pushing back against a company that has been among the most aggressive in marketing personal genetic testing directly to consumers.
At Thanksgiving, some Americans in Chile get a taste of home — by gathering to be grateful together.
And this final note to dispel some Thanksgiving Day myths: All that tryptophan in turkey, does not make you sleepy.
Aaron Carroll is a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and he says people may be sleepy from the size of the meal, or the wine, or tired from a family argument.
But it's not the turkey's fault.
For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try the "Love Sandwich," inspired by a sandwich Oprah makes for Stedman. Will it be one of our Favorite Things?
Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls guard who missed all of last season after knee surgery, has injured his other knee and will miss the rest of the current NBA season. The Bulls say Rose had "successful surgery" Monday to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee.
Last week's decision by the government was seen as a tilt toward Moscow. Russia, angry at Ukraine's talks with the EU, had banned some Ukrainian products and vowed to erect trade barriers if the association agreement went ahead. Ukrainian protesters rallied for a second day in the capital.
Making your own cheese and yogurt is all the rage these days. Now a scientist has taken the DIY craze to an entirely new level. She and an artist have made cheeses using the microcritters on their own skin, as well as those from famous folks. The curds are on display at a museum.
The president has often spoken about making a pivot to Asia. But he keeps being drawn to the Middle East. The president's legacy on foreign policy will likely be determined by what ultimately happens in this volatile region.
Each broker has his or her own metaphor for how the Affordable Care Act rollout has affected them.
"Imagine if you were a CPA," says Craig Gussin of San Diego, "and the government announced that everybody could get their taxes done for free."
He doesn’t mean that he’s working for free. Just that he’s THAT busy. People see him as a conduit to deep discounts on their health insurance.
California is running its own exchange. It’s going a lot smoother than the one at healthcare.gov. So, Gussin says that once people are done waiting to see him, he’s able to help them see their way through the whole process, to get insurance and, if they qualify, a subsidy.
In other states, agents tell a different story.
Mark Gurda serves customers in 20 states. His business is up. But that’s where the good news ends.
His metaphor: "Imagine if you were a pharmaceutical company who made an antidote for a serious virus," he says. "And as a result of a weaponized virus, your business went way up. You would not be really happy about the reasons your business went up."
He says he is concerned that many of his customers will end up worse off. In large part, he blames the problems with healthcare.gov and politics surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
Finally, here is a metaphor from Mark Brown, who runs an agency in a Chicago suburb:
"Health insurance used to be like playing chess on a three-dimensional board in Spanish," he says. "It’s now like playing chess on a six-dimensional board, in multi-languages."
That is: So difficult that he had a hard time finding affordable coverage for himself and his employees.
Katie Couric is leaving ABC News to become Yahoo’s “global anchor" where she’ll report on breaking international news and interview international figures.
The financial details weren’t disclosed but given Couric’s past multimillion dollar salaries ($15 million at CBS six years ago, likely more at ABC) she is probably going to be just fine financially.
Yahoo, on the other hand, is another question. Sure, it’ll get some star power and gravitas from Couric, we ll as from the other top reporters it’s poached, including New York Times’ David Pogue, Matt Bai, and Megan Liberman. But really, Yahoo is hoping to get something else.
Yahoo is trying to solve a fundamental problem, which is, "'What is Yahoo?'" says Marty Kaplan, Norman Lear Professor of Entertainment, Media and Society at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. “Is it an email address? Is it a news site? Is it just always on the top of the list of most used sites but nobody knows why? They’re looking for a brand identity.”
Specifically, Yahoo wants to be synonymous with original content. Entertainment analyst Robert Galinsky says the company is trying to edge out traditional news, especially TV news. “The old world journalism, the old world news system on television is going away. Yahoo is going to start taking some of that TV news market,” he says. That’s the idea, at least in Yahoo’s ideal world.
But really, as with most things, it’s about money. In July Yahoo overtook Google as the most visited website on the internet. Analysts can't explain this, but revenue from display ads – think banners on websites – was down 7% last quarter, according to Ken Doctor, media analyst with Newsonomics.
“The ad competition is just brutal,” he says. One way to make more money from ads? Sell Video ads. Doctor says they’re worth a lot more. It’s one reason Google was able to cope with falling display ad prices, since much of its growth came from Youtube ads.
“Video advertising is selling out,” says Doctor. “You can still sell those at rates that are six to eight times higher than what you’re getting on display advertising.”
That is, of course, if people watch.
Over the weekend, the United States -- along with Russia, China, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom -- inked a six-month deal with Iran. The country agreed to freeze its nuclear program temporarily in exchange for some relief from international sanctions that have hurt its economy.
The Obama administration and its allies hope this short-term agreement could pave the way for a longer-term deal, and that could present opportunities for U.S. businesses.
“It’s a populous country, it’s a highly educated country, and there are a lot of opportunities,” says Morris DeFeo, a lawyer who heads the Middle East and North Africa practice at Crowell & Moring. He said firms may take a cautious attitude: “With any new market there comes risks, but I mean, this is a pretty risky situation, I think, for most companies.”
According to DeFeo, no deal, no matter how comprehensive, can fix the broken relationship between the U.S. and Iran overnight.
“I think a lot of people are going to sit back and see if these sanctions and this accord will be something more than interim,” he says.
And that’s because that is all they can do. While this deal lifts some sanctions, most companies still won’t be allowed to do business with Iran, a country with 76 million people and a GDP of about $500 billion.
“Once the sanctions are removed, there would be, I think, many opportunities for American, international oil companies,” says Nader Habibi, the Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at Brandeis University. Iran’s oil industry depended on U.S. technologies for decades.
Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Belfer Center, says this short-term agreement does open the door right away to companies in the pharmaceutical and aerospace sectors.
“Iran does have a fleet of Boeing airplanes – very old and aging that need a lot of repair,” he points out.
Sanctions have forced Iranians to buy generic drugs made in India and other countries, Salehi-Isfahani says. “And when you talk to them, they are always complaining that this is not as good as the drugs that we used to buy.”
Over the last two years, sanctions have become much more severe. They have pushed out many European companies. But the U.S. was the first Western country to break trade relations with Iran.
“They have been excluded from the Iranian market for much longer than European and East Asian firms,” Salehi-Isfahani says. That means it would take a lot longer for them to get back in.