Food allergies challenge children, parents in unexpected ways

Food allergies are on the rise, and experts are not sure why. But Columbia families like the McFetterses and the Popes are well aware of their impact on daily life.

FROM READERS: Hometown Homecare to offer free open house, cancer screenings

The organization has been providing non-profit care for 46 years. Ellis Fischel Cancer Center will be at Hometown Homecare, in Fayette,on September 2 from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. to perform mammograms on site

Health department provides free vaccinations

Free vaccines will be administered on Saturday morning at the health department clinic at 1005 W. Worley St.

Virus drugmaker fights pediatricians' new advice

It's the second time in two years that the influential group has recommended narrowing use of the drug, sold by MedImmune under the brand name Synagis. MedImmune is fighting back with full-page newspaper ads that say the updated policy threatens "our most vulnerable babies."

Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says

The familiar knocking of knuckles spreads only one-twentieth the amount of bacteria that a handshake does, researchers report. That's better than a high-five, which still passes along less than half the amount as a handshake.

Construction begins on new Boone Hospital Center campus

The $20 million, 125,000 square foot medical plaza will be completed in 2015 at the intersection of Nifong and Forum boulevards. A memorial to Columbia Police Officer Molly Bowden, formerly located at the intersection, will be moved and expanded because of the construction.

Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia

More than 100 researchers from around the world collaborated in the biggest-ever genomic mapping of schizophrenia, for which scientists had previously uncovered only about a couple of dozen risk-related genes.

HIV diagnosis rate fell by third in U.S. over decade

The reasons for the drop aren't clear. It might mean fewer new infections are occurring. Or that most infected people already have been diagnosed so more testing won't necessarily find many more cases.

Democrats seek gains with women in birth control loss

Republicans blocked a bill that was designed to override a Supreme Court ruling and ensure access to contraception for women who get their health insurance from companies with religious objections. The vote was 56-43 to move ahead on the legislation four short of the 60 necessary to proceed.

UPDATE: Studies see new risks for cholesterol drug niacin

New details from two studies reveal more side effects from niacin, a drug that many Americans take for cholesterol problems and general heart health. Some doctors say the drug now seems too risky for routine use.

Federal agency toughens protections for pregnant workers

The government has updated 30-year-old guidelines, citing "the persistence of overt pregnancy discrimination, as well as the emergence of more subtle discriminatory practices."

UPDATE: Meningitis vaccine to be required at Missouri's public colleges

The vaccine requirement — already in place on all University of Missouri System campuses — takes effect next summer.

Advisory boards oppose marijuana growing proposal

Two city advisory boards voted Thursday to stop pushing proposed amendments for growing marijuana forward.

No practicing on patients: New docs get boot camp

Brand-new doctors often launch right into patient care within weeks of graduating from medical school. To make sure their skills are up to snuff, many medical schools and hospitals run crash courses in the basics for these new interns.

Unapproved device buys time for new pair of lungs

NIH-funded researchers are working to develop wearable "respiratory assist devices" that could do the lungs' two jobs — supplying oxygen and getting rid of carbon dioxide — without tethering patients to a bulky bedside machine.

Measles outbreak complicates two big Amish events

The outbreak, with more than 360 cases, started after Amish travelers to the Philippines contracted measles there and returned home. Health officials believe the outbreak in Ohio is slowing.

Tourniquets make comeback with American police

After the Army had success with tourniquets on the battlefield, they are becoming more common in police departments across the country.

Guideline: Most healthy women can skip pelvic exam

The American College of Physicians said Monday that routine pelvic exams don't benefit healthy women and can cause more harm than good. They recommended that doctors stop using them as a screening tool.

For smokers, can e-cigarettes save money?

Some smokers have saved money by switching to e-cigarettes. But the cost savings might not last as some states are looking into taxing e-cigarettes.

MU Health Care, 4 other systems create Health Network of Missouri

Although the five-system network will allow for group purchases and shared health care registries, each system will remain independent.