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Health Watch: December 24th

A look at the stories affecting your health.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered a way to directly target tumors in blood vessels.

The new method allows them to stop tumor growth without damaging healthy tissue. Unlike most therapies, the goal is not to destroy the cancer's blood supply. Instead, blood vessels are hijacked so that they no longer nurture tumor growth. The new therapy has the potential to be used on other types of cancer. 

Stanford University scientists have found a possible link between men with high testosterone levels and poor immune response. The study found those men benefit less from the flu vaccine than women, or men with low testosterone. That may be because testosterone has anti-inflammatory properties that are believed to dampen the body's immune response.

A gene known to influence mother-baby bonding may also play a role in your ability to remember faces. Researchers found the Oxytocin receptor gene influences facial recognition. About a third of the population has only the genetic variant that has a negative impact on that ability, which may explain why some people have trouble remembering faces. The study could lead to new ways of treating people with psychiatric disorders. 
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