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At the start of this year, a controversial feature of President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect.

Under the ACA, medical devices companies will have to pay new tax of 2.3% on gross sales. While medical devices companies have opposed the tax, saying it will hurt research and development activities, proponents of ACA say, of course, that more taxes will be good for them. In progressive economics, companies such as Hologic Inc. and St. Jude Medical Inc. will get more customers due to their higher taxes and that will boost sales of medical devices.  

Two new studies look for ways to improve surgical treatment for a debilitating condition called  neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, which is caused by compressed nerves in the neck and shoulder and causes pain, numbness or tingling in the shoulder, arm or hand.

It is most common in baseball pitchers and other elite athletes. Patients often describe pain and tension in the neck and upper back, numbness and tingling in the fingers, headaches and perceived muscle weakness in the affected limb.

Researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Southampton have brought the science of repairing broken bones into the 21st century, using adult bone stem cells combined with a degradable lightweight plastic  that encourages real bone to re-grow.

Want to feel small? Humans have been included in the most comprehensive tree of life to-date on placental mammals. And placental mammals are the largest branch of the mammalian family tree, with more than 5,100 living species. 

Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona report they can cure diabetes in large animals with a single session of gene therapy. Writing in Diabetes, they said the dogs recovered their health and no longer show symptoms of the disease. In some cases, monitoring continued for over four years, with no recurrence of symptoms.

President Obama, who was going to heal the Earth in his first term, didn't do much of that but he put climate change back on the table in his second inaugural address and a new national poll says public support for regulating greenhouse gas emissions is with him - just not with the ways he tried in his first term.