HEART REPAIRS Talk about a sign of acceptance. Research-ers studying men who received heart transplants from women discovered male cells growing in the donated female hearts--a surprising upheaval of the conventional wisdom that the heart cannot regenerate tissue the way other organs can. Doctors are now searching for cardiac stem cells that could repair hearts without a transplant.
VITAMIN OVERDOSE Healthy skin, shiny hair...and hip fractures? They're all associated with retinol, a vitamin-A compound found in liver, fish oils and other supplements. Retinol is usually linked to good skin and improved eyesight, but researchers say too much of the stuff can also increase the risk of hip fractures. An 18-year evaluation of more than 72,000 postmenopausal women found that those ingesting about 2,000 mcg or more a day were nearly twice as likely to injure their hips in a fall.
NEEDLE PARK Hundreds of addiction centers in the U.S. and Europe use acupuncture to treat cocaine abuse, but new research suggests that the procedure--at least when used alone--is no more effective than a placebo. Doctors say further study is needed to measure the efficacy of acupuncture when it is administered in conjunction with other treatments, such as counseling or peer support groups.
--By Sora Song
Sources: Good News--New England Journal of Medicine. Bad News--Journal of the American Medical Association (2)