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Nikolay Suslov/Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers at Harvard Medical School said that as many as ten percent of adults over the age of 65 may have a gene mutation linked to the development of blood cancers.

According to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers looked at two groups including a total of 29,000 patients. Patients with that particular set of gene abnormalities had a significantly increased likelihood of cancer -- an increase of 11 to 13 percent.

Researchers say it is too early to test for the mutations on a large scale, as there is no perfect treatment for those with the mutation. The mutations are tougher to identify in younger individuals, researchers say.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


luiscar/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A preliminary study conducted at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center determined that a potential Ebola vaccine researchers have been working on has significant promise.

Researchers published the data from the preliminary study in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday. The study contained 20 participants who were given the vaccine and tested about four weeks later for the presence of Ebola-specific antibodies.

According to researchers, the participants were split into two groups, each given different dosages of the vaccine. Four weeks after vaccination, 90 percent of those given the smaller dose and 100 percent of those given the higher dose showed the presence of anitbodies against the Zaire strain of Ebola induced by the vaccine. Even when looking at the strain for which the vaccine was least effective, at least 70 percent of participants showed vaccine-induced antibodies.

None of the participants showed significant side effects, though two of 20 did develop a fever.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says smoking rates are down again.

For the first time, the number of American adults who smoke has dipped below 18 percent, or about 42 million people.

For years, the nation's smoking rate had stalled at around 20 percent.

Smoking is still the United States' leading cause of preventable illness.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The kitchen is where the holiday meal magic happens, but it can also be a danger zone, especially on Thanksgiving.

Steven McGill, the battalion chief of Engine Company 9 in Jersey City, New Jersey, said Thanksgiving is typically the most dangerous day of the year.

“Everybody’s cooking in the kitchen and it’s one of the few days where almost everyone is preparing a meal,” he said. “The house is more congested than normal. … So you have to control the flow in your kitchen to make sure there’s no accidents.”

More fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home. And on Thanksgiving, in particular, there are three times as many house fires than any other day of the year, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“We’ve had fires where people took the turkey right out of the freezer, put it right in the oven, forgot to take the plastic off and next thing you know, you have an oven fire,” McGill said.

McGill and his five firefighters feasted on Thanksgiving eve, a tradition for his crew, because Thursday is expected to be one of their busiest days.

They shared some safety tips for the holiday:

1. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing around open flames.

2. Don’t leave your food unattended on the stove or in the oven. McGill said to make sure a person is always in the kitchen watching the food that’s cooking.

“You should have a zone, around anything around the stove, within like a 3-feet range for children,” he said.

3. If deep-frying turkey, do it outside.

4. Never put water on a grease fire.

5. Store fire extinguishers in plain sight and near an exit — not under the sink, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Because fires can double every five to 10 seconds — and can consume a room in just one minute — call 911 first.


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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Tanya Constantine/Blend Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s only natural for adults to slip back into their childhood personas when they get together with family, said Dr. Joe Shrand, a psychiatrist and medical director of the CASTLE treatment center in Brockton, Massachusetts.

"You develop patterns of behavior within the family hierarchy that are a way of jockeying for attention without directly competing in the same way," he said. "These patterns don’t just go away when you grow up and move away from home."

Whether you're the CEO of a large company or a famous actor, Shrand said, that means you might be traveling back in time as you return home for Thanksgiving. Your first relationships are with your family and, presumably, you had at least 16 years to practice within the family dynamic before leaving home, he said.

Surrounded by childhood family and friends, you might revert to your childhood identity as the funny one, the instigator or the victim because the behavior is familiar and ingrained.

Likewise, family members tend to view you the same way they have all your life, even if you've changed, Shrand said.

Jeff Brown, a Harvard psychologist, said he considers playing the part of your childhood self at family get-togethers a form of regression.

"We go back to a time in life when we were forming our first memories," he said.

Lapsing back into behaviors based on good memories and temporarily assuming your place in the family pyramid isn't necessarily a bad thing, Brown said. As long as you enjoy the inside jokes and reliving past antics only your siblings, parents and cousins can dredge up, there’s no harm. But if your role is based on unhappy recollections and negative stereotypes, it can be damaging.

"If it’s embarrassing to be treated a certain way, you have to remind yourself that you can’t control others but you can control how you react," he said.

Brown advised not rising to the bait if you’re not fond of the way relatives treat you or how you tend to act when you're around them. If the dynamic is unpleasant or even unhealthy, consider skipping family gatherings altogether.

But, Shrand said, whenever possible, it's best to see the humor in your situation.

"Don't take it too seriously," he said. "It's really funny when an older sibling talks over you at the dinner table because he knows more than you do -- or thinks he does."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio





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