Health Highlights: Dec. 6, 2013

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Health Highlights: Dec. 6, 2013
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Health Highlights: Dec. 6, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Nelson Mandela Dies at 95

Nelson Mandela, who endured 27 years in prison until he was released and eventually became South Africa's first black president, has died at the age of 95.

"Our nation has lost its greatest son," South Africa's current president, Jacob Zuma, said in a televised address to the country Thursday night, the New York Times reported. "His humility, his compassion and his humanity earned him our love."

Mandela became a symbol of the struggle against a government-sanctioned system of racial segregation and discrimination known as apartheid. Freed from prison in 1990, he became president of South Africa in 1994 and served until 1999. Throughout his imprisonment and the long anti-apartheid struggle, Mandela's insistence on peaceful, non-violent protest galvanized supporters within and outside South Africa.

Mandela largely withdrew from public life in 2004 and had not been seen in public since 2010, when the World Cup was held in South Africa, the Times reported. He had also been hospitalized several times over the past year.

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Health Info No Longer Offered with 23andMe Gene Tests

A U.S. genetic testing company has agreed to stop providing consumers with health information while its test is reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.

The decision by 23andMe was in response to an FDA warning letter sent two weeks ago saying that the genetic test was a medical device that requires government approval, The New York Times reported.

The company said it will continue to take orders for genetic tests and will provide consumers with ancestry information and raw data, but no interpretations of the possible health implications of the results.

If the test receives FDA approval, the company might resume providing health data.

"We remain firmly committed to fulfilling our long-term mission to help people everywhere have access to their own genetic data and have the ability to use that information to improve their lives," Anne Wojcicki, the chief executive of 23andMe, said in a statement, The Times reported.


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