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St. Jude Medical, Medtronic announce tech trials; also: Best Buy predictions and kudos for General Mills and Lifetime Fitness

Two medical-device makers made announcements this morning about technologies that seek to treat patients using tiny electrical pulses from implanted devices. St. Jude Medical of Little Canada said two Chicago patients are the first in a clinical study of a deep-brain stimulator aimed at treating severe depression. Fridley-based Medtronic, meanwhile, said it has “promising” preliminary data from a study of an optical-nerve stimulator it hopes will be effective at treating migraine headaches.

Best Buy chief executive Brian Dunn predicts the Richfield-based retailer will meet a goal of doubling sales in the next five years. Dunn made the remark Wednesday at the company’s annual meeting, the Business Journal and Star Tribune report. The store wants to “own the home,” a strategy aimed at selling products for every room of the house, and own the world, it appears. The company expects to open its first European store later this year, with more to follow in China, Mexico and Turkey.

Corporate America couldn’t help but notice: It looks like you’ve put on a few pounds lately. In fact, the world’s population is getting “very heavy very fast,” according to a Credit Suisse report out today called “Obesity and Investment Implications.” The Wall Street Journal reports that if you want to fatten your wallet while the rest of us try slimming our waistlines, the report can recommend several food, athletic and health care companies to invest in, including Twin Cities-based General Mills (“healthier, more convenient foods”) and Life Time Fitness.

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