Shut Out by Shoe Giants, ‘Mom and Pop’ Stores Feel Pinched

BELFAST, Me. — Colburn Shoe Store, established in 1832, advertises itself as the oldest shoe store in the country. It has occupied the same small storefront on Belfast’s Main Street since 1905. It’s a place where the owner, Colby Horne, and his father, Brian, remember the brand and size their customers like, and those of…

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What’s So Funny About Autism?

My son often asks, “What do you have against jokes?” “Nothing,” I reply. “Well, stop killing them,” he says. He’s 18, autistic, and does standup. He has learned the importance of delivery and timing, skills mastered by the best comics. Despite this, many people believe people with autism are humorless. Tell that to Jerry Seinfeld,…

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Letter of Recommendation: Stick-and-Poke Tattoos

A few years ago, a friend of mine who teaches at a college in upstate New York went to the doctor for a checkup. He’s a big guy, and he removed his blazer and XXL oxford shirt to reveal his torso, which is festooned with homemade tattoos. On his forearm is one I gave him…

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When You’re Told You’re Too Fat to Get Pregnant

The first time a doctor told Gina Balzano that she was too fat to have a baby was in 2013. She was 32, weighed 317 pounds and had been trying to get pregnant since soon after she and her husband, Nick, married in 2010. Balzano — whom I have known since high school — lives…

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I Went for a Run. Then My Heart Stopped.

This past New Year’s Eve, I expressed thanks for getting through another year. I was 50, with a wife and two kids. I ran most days, and my freelance career was going well. Two days later, I was nearly dead. The cause was a cardiac arrest. Blood flow to my heart wasn’t the issue. Instead,…

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Vaccine Injury Claims Are Few and Far Between

At a time when the failure to immunize children is driving the biggest measles outbreak in decades, a little-known database offers one way to gauge the safety of vaccines. Over roughly the past dozen years in the United States, people have received about 126 million doses of vaccines against measles, a disease that once infected…

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By the Numbers: Vaccines Are Safe

Billions of doses of vaccines have been given to Americans in the 30 years of the injury program’s existence. During that time, about 21,000 people filed claims. Of 18,000 claims that have been evaluated so far, roughly two-thirds have been dismissed because the program determined that the evidence showed vaccines were not at fault. About…

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New evidence supports the presence of microbes in the placenta

IMAGE: Dr. Kjersti Aagaard view more  Credit: Baylor College of Medicine Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine previously found evidence that the placenta harbors a sparse but still present community of microorganisms, which they and other researchers speculate may contribute to key functions in pregnancy, including immunity. «There has been some debate about our and others’…

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Size matters: New data reveals cell size sparks genome awakening in embryos

IMAGE: Awakening of the zygote genome over time as decreasing individual cell size triggers early embryo protein transcription. view more  Credit: Matt Good, Penn Medicine; Cell Press PHILADELPHIA — Transitions are a hallmark of life. When dormant plants flower in the spring or when a young adult strikes out on their own, there is a shift…

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Microfluidics device captures circulating cancer cell clusters

IMAGE: About 90% of cancer deaths are due to metastases, when tumors spread to other vital organs, and a research group recently realized that it’s not individual cells but rather distinct… view more  Credit: Shaner et al. WASHINGTON, D.C., June 18, 2019 — Cancer touches nearly everyone in one way or another, and regrettably, it will…

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