iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Scientists have cracked the code for un-boiling hard-boiled egg whites and it could have huge implications for cancer research.

Egg whites are made of proteins that start out with a certain shape, explained Gregory Weiss, a professor of chemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Irvine, and the experiment’s lead researcher.

“Once you boil them, the proteins stay intact but they change their conformation,” he said.

This is a big deal because even chemists assumed once you hard-boiled an egg it was game over, Weiss explained. But his team has been able to reverse the process so that proteins can be recovered and reused.

In a sort of scientific magic trick, Weiss and his team first peeled the egg whites away from the yolks and soaked them in a chemical called urea to dissolve them. They then placed them in a device called a “vortex fluid machine,” which spins the whites at high speeds to restore them to their original state.

The process is complete in minutes rather than days, Weiss said, and this is good news for those who use similar proteins in cancer research.

Certain proteins are quite useful in the lab but they tend to mis-fold into the wrong format, rendering a large portion of them useless. This new method is a quick and simple way to coax them back into their initial forms and prevent them from clumping up inside lab instruments.

“We are already using it in our cancer research here,” Weiss said, adding that he hoped the technique will be used on a larger scale within the next few years.

However, don’t expect this discovery to revolutionize fine dining. While it’s certainly possible to reverse a hard-boiled yolk, Weiss said they haven’t yet bothered trying. And, he said, it’s also theoretically possible to un-cook a chicken but the process would make it taste awful.

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James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(WASHINGTON) — During the midst of last fall’s panic in the U.S. over Ebola, there was a lot of grumbling about how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seemed to have dropped the ball in its response to the possible spread of the deadly virus.

However, after all is said and done, the CDC still comes on top when 1,500 adults were asked their opinions about various government agencies in a new Pew Research Center poll.

Seventy percent of respondents expressed a favorable view of the CDC, which has come under some recent fire over the relative ineffectiveness of a vaccine used to battle this winter’s flu epidemic. Meanwhile, 23 percent of Americans said they have an unfavorable view of the CDC.

Two federal agencies, NASA and the Defense Department, also received favorable marks of 68 percent and 65 percent respectively.

Of the eight agencies reviewed, only the Internal Revenue Service was reviewed more disfavorably than favorably, 48 percent to 45 percent.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint in the U.S., but a new study indicates that a lack of sleep could be associated with greater risk of high blood pressure.

According to the study, published in the journal Hypertension, researchers analyzing data from over 200 individuals with chronic insomnia and 96 normal sleepers found that the longer it took to fall asleep, the greater the risk of hypertension. Specifically, researchers measured the amount of time it took each group to fall asleep during four “nap episodes.” Blood pressure readings were taken both before the naps and the morning after.

Participants who took more than 14 minutes to fall asleep had a 300-percent higher rate of high blood pressure, researchers found. They thus associated physiological hyperarousal with risk of hypertension.

Still, this study was limited in that it only monitored subjects for one night, and the blood pressure test was not completed directly after the nap. More research is necessary to determine whether there is a causal effect between difficulty sleeping and high blood pressure.

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Andrea Saretti(NEW YORK) — A leading pediatric medicine group has come out against the use of medical marijuana for children in all but the most exceptional circumstances.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said in a statement Monday that it is opposed to the use of marijuana for medical purposes in young people, except for drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There are two FDA approved drugs that contain synthetic compounds similar to the active ingredients in marijuana, which the group said could be used with children with “debilitating or life-limiting diseases.”

Andrea Saretti said she believes her son Sam, who was diagnosed with epilepsy last year, should be one of the exceptions. He starts each morning by putting on a special helmet and medical bracelet to protect him in case he falls to the ground with a seizure.

Sam, 9, has suffered seizures that have not stopped despite multiple medications and even an electronic implant that is designed to prevent seizures by sending mild electrical pulses to the brain through the vagus nerve.

“He misses a lot of school,” Saretti told ABC News. “He had a seizure in the road on the way to the bus stop. …It happens at school and happens at restaurants and happens everywhere.”

The medications Sam is currently on have helped somewhat but they have also led to side effects, including significant weight gain, Saretti said, noting that Sam, who is also autistic, went from 80 pounds to over 120 pounds in just one year of treatment after being prescribed adult doses of medication to try and stop the seizures.

While AAP and other pediatric medicine groups recommend caution when prescribing marijuana for children with epilepsy, patients have turned to the remedy as anecdotal reports suggest it can reduce seizures.

Sam’s doctors decided last fall they wanted to try using low-THC cannabis to help Sam, his mom said, referring to the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. The timing seemed perfect as the Florida legislature passed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act in June, allowing doctors to prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients with certain criteria in Florida.

However, while the medical use of the drug became legal as of Jan. 1, Sam and his mother are still waiting to get the medication.

The reason for the delay is that a Florida administrative law judge invalidated the Florida Health Department’s plan to use a lottery system to choose marijuana growers. As a result, no one in the state is currently allowed to grow marijuana.

The Florida Department of Health said it will meet again with potential growers in February to decide how to proceed, according to ABC News affiliate WFTV in Orlando, Florida.

Saretti said she’s hoping something will change in the coming months so that Sam can stay in school rather than be stuck at home, where he can be more easily monitored. It’s unclear if the new AAP statement will have any influence on the process.

“We’re looking at [being] home-bound now for the remaining of the year,” said Saretti. “You look at quality of life — something like [the Compassionate Care Act] can give him back a quality of life.”

The AAP’s statement on Monday reaffirmed the group’s earlier position that more study is needed to determine the effectiveness and dosing of the drugs in young people. They are concerned that the risks outweigh the benefits, the statement said.

“We should not consider marijuana ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ given what we already know about the harms to adolescents,” said Dr. Sharon Levy, chair of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse.

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Andrea Saretti(NEW YORK) — A leading pediatric medicine group has come out against the use of medical marijuana for children in all but the most exceptional circumstances.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said in a statement Monday that it is opposed to the use of marijuana for medical purposes in young people, except for drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There are two FDA approved drugs that contain synthetic compounds similar to the active ingredients in marijuana, which the group said could be used with children with “debilitating or life-limiting diseases.”

Andrea Saretti said she believes her son Sam, who was diagnosed with epilepsy last year, should be one of the exceptions. He starts each morning by putting on a special helmet and medical bracelet to protect him in case he falls to the ground with a seizure.

Sam, 9, has suffered seizures that have not stopped despite multiple medications and even an electronic implant that is designed to prevent seizures by sending mild electrical pulses to the brain through the vagus nerve.

“He misses a lot of school,” Saretti told ABC News. “He had a seizure in the road on the way to the bus stop. …It happens at school and happens at restaurants and happens everywhere.”

The medications Sam is currently on have helped somewhat but they have also led to side effects, including significant weight gain, Saretti said, noting that Sam, who is also autistic, went from 80 pounds to over 120 pounds in just one year of treatment after being prescribed adult doses of medication to try and stop the seizures.

While AAP and other pediatric medicine groups recommend caution when prescribing marijuana for children with epilepsy, patients have turned to the remedy as anecdotal reports suggest it can reduce seizures.

Sam’s doctors decided last fall they wanted to try using low-THC cannabis to help Sam, his mom said, referring to the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. The timing seemed perfect as the Florida legislature passed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act in June, allowing doctors to prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients with certain criteria in Florida.

However, while the medical use of the drug became legal as of Jan. 1, Sam and his mother are still waiting to get the medication.

The reason for the delay is that a Florida administrative law judge invalidated the Florida Health Department’s plan to use a lottery system to choose marijuana growers. As a result, no one in the state is currently allowed to grow marijuana.

The Florida Department of Health said it will meet again with potential growers in February to decide how to proceed, according to ABC News affiliate WFTV in Orlando, Florida.

Saretti said she’s hoping something will change in the coming months so that Sam can stay in school rather than be stuck at home, where he can be more easily monitored. It’s unclear if the new AAP statement will have any influence on the process.

“We’re looking at [being] home-bound now for the remaining of the year,” said Saretti. “You look at quality of life — something like [the Compassionate Care Act] can give him back a quality of life.”

The AAP’s statement on Monday reaffirmed the group’s earlier position that more study is needed to determine the effectiveness and dosing of the drugs in young people. They are concerned that the risks outweigh the benefits, the statement said.

“We should not consider marijuana ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ given what we already know about the harms to adolescents,” said Dr. Sharon Levy, chair of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse.

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iStock/Thinkstock(DAVIS, Calif.) — Keeping your distance from others could be the best way to prevent spreading the flu, based on how Mexico City handled the swine flu epidemic in April 2009.

At the time, government officials closed schools, cancelled major events and told residents of Mexico City to stay home.

As a result, TV viewing exploded by 20 percent during the first week that the stringent new health policy was enacted. And apparently, it kept the flu from spreading.

Michael Springborn, an economist at the University of California, Davis, says the “spread of the virus was reduced by people’s behavioral response of distancing themselves from each other.”

In the five weeks before things got back to normal, the flu stabilized and then the number of cases dropped off. It was believed that had Mexico City not asked people to limit their social contact, cases of the flu would have quadrupled over the same amount of time.

Meanwhile, it was also noted that TV viewing returned to normal levels by the second week, which suggests people found other things to do when they were cooped up in their homes.

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iStock/Thinkstock(KIEL, Germany) — The government can run all the public service announcements it wants about convincing people to change their eating habits but it all may be a big waste of time.

It has to do with people’s preconceived notions about what tastes good and what doesn’t, according to researchers Robert Mai and Stefan Hoffmann from Kiel University, Germany.

They say that despite an obesity epidemic that has gone global, people continue to overeat namely because people’s main reason for being drawn to food is its taste and the idea that unhealthy food tastes better than meals that are supposed to be healthier choices.

Mai and Hoffmann gave participants in a study different yogurts that varied in sugar and fat content. Invariably, people were more enthusiastic about the tastier selections, that is, with more sugar and fat, even when given useful information about the ingredients.

Invariably, both those who were overweight and even participants who were more health conscious went for the tastier yogurts.

In order to combat this problem, Mail and Hoffman recommended that food makers need to make their healthy food tastier as well as improving the marketing and packaging of the products. In addition, they urged those responsible for health awareness campaigns to change their approach so that consumers believe that eating healthy is both “cool” and prestigious.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — The scent of cinnamon can elicit some powerful feelings…such as making you want to spend money.

That’s what researchers from Temple University and two other institutions discovered when they examined how different smells affected shoppers’ so-called “spatial perceptions.”

In particular, they tested the effect of scents like cinnamon that create warm sensations and lavender, which is interpreted as cool.

Essentially, when the warm scent of cinnamon is released in an area that’s crowded it makes people feel more powerless. As a result, they compensate for this feeling by purchasing more “prestigious items.”

The researchers believe that buying stuff induces pleasure by boosting dopamine levels in the brain. Interestingly, the temperature and a number of people in the room didn’t bring on feelings of powerlessness until the scent of cinnamon was added to the mix.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Fathers-to-be shouldn’t take it personally when a woman howls in pain during childbirth. Or maybe they should.

A new study out of the University of London suggests that women in the delivery room may actually feel more discomfort when their significant other is hanging around to provide moral support.

To get a better idea, researchers first gave 39 women a test to determine how close they were to their male partner. Then, the women were hooked up to a machine that delivered a “tolerable” amount of pain to one of their fingers.

While wearing a brain scan, each woman was asked the degree of discomfort felt when their partner was present as opposed to when they weren’t.

As it happened, women who said in the test that they preferred less closeness to their mate reported more pain in their finger. No difference was noted in the other women.

So are men really making things better when they’re around for the birth of a child? Perhaps they should ask the mother if they really want them there in the first place.

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sarra22/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The American Academy of Pediatrics reiterated its opposition to the legalization of marijuana in an updated statement on Monday.

The group is against legalized marijuana — both for recreational and medicinal purposes — due to the potentially harmful effects on adolescents, such as memory impairment and difficulty concentrating.

The AAP also says that studies have linked marijuana with a lower likelihood of completing high school and receiving a college degree. Those studies, however, did not prove that use of marijuana caused that lower likelihood of high school completion.

According to the statement, the group’s opposition to medicinal marijuana is based in a need for further research to determine correct dosing and true efficacy.

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