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Abortion pill legal fight heads toward Supreme Court showdown

By Lawrence Hurley and Laura Jarrett, NBC News

The fight for abortion access is heading back to the Supreme Court. U.S. Federal District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Texas made a ruling last week that suspended the FDA’s approval of the abortion drug mifepristone. Shortly after, a New Orleans appeals court blocked part of this decision, sending the case to the Supreme Court for immediate review.  This drug was approved in 2000 and is one of two drugs used to perform a medicated abortion. 

The appeals court ruled that Judge Kacsmarky could not block access to mifepristone because of how long ago it was approved by the FDA. The drug has been approved for 23 years without challenge. However, the FDA changed some of the terms of mifepristone’s approval in 2016. Those changes include reducing the number of doctor visits needed for a prescription from three to one and allowing the drug to be sent to patients by mail. The appeals court ruled that these revisions will remain blocked until the case can be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

— By Gabrielle Stearns

AI Voice Analysis Could Boost Alzheimer’s Detection

By Lisa O’Mary, WebMD

Screening for Alzheimer’s disease is an important preventative measure that can give patients an opportunity to slow the disease’s progression earlier. But current screenings can take hours and involve brain scans and analysis of cerebral fluid collected from the spine. New AI-powered technology might make this screening process much easier. Researchers from Texas and Georgia showed that a 10-minute AI analysis of people’s speech patterns might be very effective in identifying early Alzheimer’s. The study that compared traditional screening methods with this new AI voice screening performed screenings at Emory University. If AI screening could be implemented large-scale, it could provide an opportunity for earlier diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, which affects 5.8 million people over the age of 65 in the United States. 

By Annika Urban

How to get in the swing of kettlebell training

By Hilary Achauer, NY Times

Look around any gym and there’s most likely someone using a kettlebell. The oddly shaped pieces of metal have become staples in most gyms, however, they were not always used for exercise. Kettlebells were historically used by Russian farmers as a counterweight to measure crops. The farmers quickly noticed strength gains from using them and eventually, kettlebells started being implemented in Soviet military training. Now, people love them for their versatility. Kettlebells can be used to complete any movement down with the common barbell, but require more grip and core strength due to their irregular shape. Common exercises for beginners are deadlifts, swings, and farmer carries. Each is easy to learn and adds a lot more flow to any exercise routine. 

By Andrew Feld

Bird Flu Sample from Chilean Man Showed Some Signs of Adaptation to Mammals

By Emily Anthes, NYTimes

On Friday, the CDC reported the avian influenza sample from a man in Chile had two genetic mutations, showing signs of mammalian adaptation. In both experimental studies and the mutations, the main factor, the PB2 gene, has been identified to help the virus spread within cells in mammals. Although there have been no other additional human cases, the mutations found in the Chilean patient have been undergoing massive study. Scientists are frantically trying to piece together the genetic changes that occurred in the patient over the course of his infection. Furthermore, authorities are continuing to investigate how the Chilean man became infected among the recent detections of this strain in birds and sea lions from his region. This incident is the 11th reported human case of H5N1 since January 2022. 

By Emily Kim

Items contributed by: Gabrielle Stearns, Annika Urban, Andrew Feld, and Emily Kim