Health Highlights: Sept. 11, 2013

Health Highlights: Sept. 11, 2013

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

Ceremonies Mark 9/11 Anniversary

The reading of victims’ names and moments of silence will take place Wednesday in New York City and other locations as people gather to commemorate the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

At the ceremony in New York City, relatives will recite the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died when hijacked passenger jets crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and into a field near Shanksville, Pa., the Associated Press reported.

The names of the victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings will also be read at the ceremony on the city’s 2-year-old memorial plaza. Prior to the ceremony, there will be a tribute motorcycle ride from a Manhattan firehouse to Ground Zero.

Wreath-laying, name-reading and other tributes will also take place at the Pentagon and at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, the AP reported.

Worldwide, thousands of volunteers have pledged to do good deeds Wednesday to honor an anniversary that was designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009.

Extending a decision made last year, no politicians will speak at the New York City ceremony. Victim’s loved ones will continue to be the focus of the ceremony in coming years.

“As things evolve in the future, the focus on the remembrance is going to stay sacrosanct,” Joe Daniels, president of the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum, told the AP.

The museum, which is expected to be open beneath the memorial plaza by next year’s ceremony, will present a wide-ranging overview of 9/11, including the experiences of first responders and survivors.


Bill and Melinda Gates, 5 Scientists Share Lasker Awards

This year’s recipients of the prestigious Lasker Awards for medical research and contributions to public health include Bill and Melinda Gates, three researchers who developed implants that enable deaf people to hear, and two scientists who revealed how brain cells communicate.

The winners of the $250,000 prizes in the different categories were announced Monday by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. The awards will be presented Sept. 20 in New York City, the Associated Press reported.

The clinical medical research award will be shared by Australian researcher Graeme Clark, Austrian Ingeborg Hochmair, and Blake Wilson of Duke University in North Carolina for their roles in developing the modern cochlear implant, which benefits more than 320,000 people around the world with severe hearing loss.

The award for basic medical research will be shared by Richard Scheller of the biotech company Genentech and Dr. Thomas Sudhof of Stanford University. They discovered how brain cells release chemical messengers to communicate with each other, the AP reported.

Their research is helping scientists learn more about serious brain conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, the foundation noted.

Bill and Melinda Gates won the public service award “for leading a historic transformation in the way we view the globe’s most pressing health concerns and improving the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable,” according to the foundation, the AP reported.

The Gateses have donated more than $26 billion to their philanthropic foundation and often team up with agencies that can provide diverse expertise, the foundation said.