MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Study: Cell phone radiation augments brain activity. Though it’s not known whether the changes have any effect on health, scientists found that brain metabolism in the region closest to a cell phone’s antenna (orbitofrontal cortex and temporal pole) is significantly higher during cell phone usage. The National Institutes of Health researchers published their research in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
Free in-home STD test kits allow young to avoid embarrassment. Public health officials say they’ve found a method that seems to address the major hurdles for STD testing (cost and embarrassment): a website that supplies free in-home testing kits for three of the most commonly reported STDs, reports The Baltimore Sun.
SCOTUS rules in favor of vaccine makers in parents’ suit. The Supreme Court ruled 6 to 2 that going before a special tribunal set up by Congress is the only way parents can be compensated for the negative side effects that in rare instances accompany vaccinations, writes The Washington Post.
HHS fines health insurance company $4.3 million for HIPAA violation. The Dept. of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights issued a Notice of Final Determination finding that Prince George’s County, Md.-based Cignet Health violated the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HHS imposed a civil money penalty of $4.3 million for the violations, which represents the first such penalty it issued for a covered entity’s violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, the department said.
Rep. Gibson votes for defunding healthcare reform, but not government salaries. The House voted seven times last week on amendments that would bar the use of FY 2011 funds to pay the salaries of government workers who are implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Each time, freshman Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) opposed it, and he was the lone Republican dissenter twice, reports The Hill.