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By Malcolm Ritter The Associated Press

’Zombie cells’ buildup in your body may play role in aging

NEW YORK — Call them zombie cells they refuse to die.

As they build up in your body, studies suggest, they promote aging and the conditions that come with it like osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers are studying drugs that can kill zombie cells and possibly treat the problems they bring.

Cold, dry climate shifts linked to Neanderthal disappearance

NEW YORK — Ancient periods of cold and dry climate helped our species replace Neanderthals in Europe, a study suggests.

Researchers found that such cold periods coincided with an apparent disappearance of our evolutionary cousins in different parts of the continent, followed by the appearance of our species, Homo sapiens.

Parenting of the future: Many embryos, each with DNA profile

NEW YORK — So you want to have a baby.

Would you like a dark-haired girl with a high risk of someday getting colon cancer, but a good chance of above-average music ability?

Or would you prefer a girl with a good prospect for high SAT scores and a good shot at being athletic, but who also is likely to run an above-average risk of bipolar disorder and lupus as an adult?

Studies link legal marijuana with fewer opioid prescriptions

:NEW YORK — Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may.

Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to opioids. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid use, and so might make the epidemic worse.