19-20 Segment 1: Can IUDs and Other Contraceptives Trigger Autoimmune Disease?

Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus carry a genetic predisposition, but need an environmental trigger to take hold. Triggers are poorly understood, but some women claim their disease is a result of contraceptives, including birth control pills and IUD’s. Experts and one women suffering from autoimmune disease discuss the issue.

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19-20 Segment 2: Preeclampsia and a New Test for It

Preeclampsia, an irregularity in the placenta during pregnancy, is the leading cause of premature delivery worldwide, and causes nearly 20 percent of maternal deaths in the US. Little is known about its cause and how it can be treated, but an inexpensive new test could help flag those suffering from it and lessen complications. The test’s inventor discusses it and the disorder.

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19-19 Segment 1: Cancer Suppression: Lessons from Pachyderms

DNA mutations happen all the time in the body, but the immune system usually detects and deals with them. When the system fails, cancer results. Yet some animals, such as elephants, almost never get cancer, and scientists have learned that the elephant DNA repair system is 20 times more powerful than the human system. Experts explain how they hope to tap this knowledge.

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