Read about medical advances and research in Seattle and worldwide. Topics include treatments; surgery; diseases such as Zika; studies of the human brain, heart and cancer; mental health; drugs and vaccinations; and Medicare, the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Institutions include the Hutch, UW Medicine, Harborview, Virginia Mason, Group Health and Swedish.

FDA allows food makers to fortify corn masa to halt birth defects, but few do

Brigham Young University student Renee Phillips holds a sample of powdered folic acid, a supplement proven to prevent birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.

From 2010 to 2016, in Central Washington, cases of anencephaly — in which babies are born missing part of the brain and skull — were detected at a rate far higher than the national average. Folic acid can help prevent the devastating birth defect.

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