Baltimore Sun – Hopkins faces $1B lawsuit over role in government study that gave subjects STDs
Nearly 800 former research subjects and their families filed a billion-dollar lawsuit Wednesday against the Johns Hopkins University, blaming the institution for its role in 1940s government experiments in Guatemala that infected hundreds with syphilis, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The lawsuit seeks to hold Hopkins responsible for the experiments because its doctors held key roles on panels that reviewed and approved federal spending on the experiments. Filed in Baltimore Circuit Court, the suit also names the Rockefeller Foundation and drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb as defendants.

NBC News – Drugged down: Nearly 19 percent of us take drugs daily
Nearly one in five Americans admits to taking some sort of drug every day to help relax — most of them in states that rate low on the income and happiness scales, according to a new survey.
West Virginians are by far the most likely to take a prescription or over-the-counter drug to chill out, with 28 percent of those polled saying they do. Alaska appears to be the most naturally laid-back state, with just 13.5 percent saying they use drugs to calm down.
The rates are probably even higher than that, says Dan Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways well-being index.

NPR – A virus in your mouth helps fight the flu
Hidden inside all of us are likely thousands of viruses — maybe more. They just hang out, harmlessly. We don’t even know they’re there.
But every once in a while, one of these viral inhabitants might help us out.
Young people infected with a type of herpes virus have a better immune response to the flu vaccine than those not infected, scientists at Stanford University report Wednesday. In mice, the virus directly stops influenza itself.
The findings, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, add to growing evidence that some viruses may help calibrate the immune system. They tell immune cells which pathogens to assault and which ones to leave alone.

New York Times Well blog – Exercise beats vitamin D for injury prevention
Exercise and vitamin D supplements may help prevent injurious falls in older adults, a randomized trial found.
Finnish researchers recruited 409 women ages 70 to 80 who were living at home. They randomly assigned them to one of four groups: a placebo without exercise, daily vitamin D supplements without exercise, placebo with exercise, and vitamin D supplements with exercise. The exercises, done regularly over two years, concentrated on balance, weight bearing, strength and agility. The study is online at JAMA Internal Medicine.
Neither vitamin D supplements nor exercise reduced the number of falls. But compared with the placebo without exercise group, those who took vitamin D alone were 16 percent less likely to be injured in a fall; the placebo and exercise group were 54 percent less likely to be injured; and those who exercised and took supplements were 62 percent less likely to be hurt.

The Washington Post – Supreme Court says state Medicaid payments not open to private lawsuits
The Supreme Court narrowly ruled Tuesday that health-care providers cannot sue states in order to bump up Medicaid reimbursement rates they say are unlawfully low.
The justices ruled 5 to 4 that neither the Constitution nor federal law authorizes doctors and other health-care providers to go to court to enforce the law’s directive that the reimbursement rates set by states be “sufficient to enlist enough providers so that care and services are available” to Medicaid recipients just as they are to the general population.
Medicaid, the federal government’s health-insurance program for the poor, works in tandem with state officials. The program serves more than 69 million people n