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What started as one scientist's hunch turned into a decade of research, which now claims a positive link between an invasive shrub called Japanese barberry and deer ticks.

Debora Cartagena / CDC

The American Cancer Society has blasted Connecticut Democrats’ latest budget proposal, which would raise the state’s tobacco tax, but take away money to help people quit the habit. 

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West Nile Virus is “rapidly expanding” in Connecticut, according to state officials, who said infected mosquitoes have been found in 20 towns.

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Incidents of tick-borne diseases are on the rise throughout Connecticut and other parts of the country, especially in the Northeast. Researchers are also reporting an increase in the overall number of ticks.

The American Cancer Society says Connecticut is one of two states that has not provided funding for tobacco prevention from money received from a 1990s settlement between the tobacco industry and 46 states.

This summer, scientists in California are releasing 20 million mosquitoes in an effort to shrink the population of mosquitoes that can carry diseases.

It sounds counterintuitive. But the plan is to release millions of sterile male mosquitoes, which will then mate with wild female mosquitoes. The eggs the females lay won't hatch, researchers say.

Arizona Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer, the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix says. McCain, 80, underwent surgery for a blood clot on July 14.

The hospital says testing revealed that a tumor "known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot."

"The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation," the hospital statement said.

Experts have predicted a higher than usual number of ticks this year. That could mean increased risk of Lyme disease, but not all ticks carry the infection. If you’ve found a tick recently, the University of Rhode Island has an easy way to identify it, and determine whether it might be dangerous. 

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Bats eat an enormous amount of bugs. It’s the kind of feeding that keeps pests down and agriculture stable.

But a newly updated report from the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality says the cave-dwelling bat population is down, and that’s a reason for concern.

NY State IPM Program at Cornell University / Creative Commons

The tick population in Connecticut is on the rise, and so is the threat of Lyme disease — and other tick-borne illnesses.

This hour, we hear the latest from medical professionals and policy makers about the need for new funding and research to battle a “growing tick problem” in the Northeast.

In 2010, Sonia Vallabh watched her mom, Kamni Vallabh, die in a really horrible way.

First, her mom's memory started to go, then she lost the ability to reason. Sonia says it was like watching someone get unplugged from the world. By the end, it was as if she was stuck between being awake and asleep. She was confused and uncomfortable all the time.

"Even when awake, was she fully or was she really? And when asleep, was she really asleep?" says Sonia.

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A genetic test that helps doctors determine how best to treat breast cancer -- and whether chemotherapy is likely to help -- is significantly more likely to be administered to white women than blacks or Hispanics, a Yale study has found.

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Has the golden age of humanity passed? Can we, as a species, survive the next few centuries? As our climate warms, population grows, resources shrink, and means of self destruction become more deadly, these questions move from the realm of dystopian fiction to real world relevance.

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Officials say Connecticut is experiencing an "extraordinary" season for ticks. Nearly 40 percent of more than 1,000 ticks tested so far were positive for the bacteria causing Lyme disease.

NY State IPM Program at Cornell University / Creative Commons

The tick population in Connecticut is on the rise, and so is the threat of Lyme disease — and other tick-borne illnesses.

This hour, we hear the latest from medical professionals and policy makers about the need for new funding and research to battle a “growing tick problem” in the Northeast.

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