Health

USDA Approves Chip Implants that Cause Cancer Tumors
October 19, 2007 06:47 PM -

Over the past couple of years, the OCA has reported on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a set of controversial, mandatory regulations the U.S. federal government claims to have abandoned to the states, but in fact is still pushing, specifically, in the 2007 Farm Bill. NAIS would require that all farmers and farm animal owners implant their animals with a computer chip, even those who just own a single cow, horse, chicken or other farm animal.

New strain of strep emerges as major U.S. infection
October 19, 2007 10:11 AM - Maggie Fox -Reuters

A new strain of bacteria is emerging as a major cause of childhood infections but even drug-resistant versions of the bug can be killed off with the right antibiotics, doctors said on Thursday. Doctors and parents should be aware of it, however, and switch antibiotics for children with severe infections who do not respond quickly to standard therapy.

Doctors warn of harm from kids' cough, cold drugs
October 18, 2007 12:25 PM - Lisa Richwine, Reuters

SILVER SPRING, Maryland (Reuters) - Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines can be dangerous for young children and there is no evidence they work, doctors told a U.S. advisory panel on Thursday.

A week ago, major makers voluntarily pulled cough and cold drugs for children up to age 2. But physicians are pushing the government to restrict marketing for use up to age 6.

"Cough and cold products pose genuine risks when given to children under the age of 6 with no associated benefit," Dr. Michael Shannon, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, told a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel.

Experimental malaria vaccine works in babies
October 17, 2007 01:14 PM - Ben Hirschler

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A study involving nearly 3,500 women in several countries suggests that Chinese herbs might be more effective in relieving menstrual cramps than drugs, acupuncture or heat compression.

Australia-based researchers said herbs not only relieved pain, but reduced the recurrence of the condition over three months, according to the Cochrane Library journal.

"All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), OCPs (oral contraceptive pill), acupuncture and heat compression," said lead author Xiaoshu Zhu from the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney.

Israel's Mediterranean: a "septic tank"
October 17, 2007 09:44 AM - Tova Cohen, Reuters

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - The Mediterranean is often called the world's most polluted sea and the waters around Tel Aviv offer a reason why.

Heavy metals and pesticides are discharged into the sea under government licenses, environmentalists say, and the company responsible for the sewage of the area's 2.5 million people is the biggest polluter in the eastern Mediterranean.

"The state of Israel's coastal waters is appalling," the environmental group Zalul said in its State of the Sea Report for 2007.

Chinese herbal medicine may help relieve painful menstrual cramps
October 17, 2007 09:35 AM - John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Women with menstrual cramps are often offered either non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or oral contraceptives. Many women, however, find that this treatment does not work or they can not take the drugs, and more women would prefer a non-drug alternative.

Insulin's brain impact links drugs and diabetes
October 17, 2007 09:27 AM - Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Insulin, long known as an important regulator of blood glucose levels, now has a newly appreciated role in the brain.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers, working with colleagues in Texas, have found that insulin levels affect the brain’s dopamine systems, which are involved in drug addiction and many neuropsychiatric conditions.

Government urged to clean Mississippi River
October 16, 2007 07:15 PM - Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Mississippi River, storied in American culture and commerce, needs more federal government action if it is once again to be clean enough for fishing and swimming, scientists said on Tuesday.

In a report issued by the National Research Council, the scientists called on the Environmental Protection Agency to take a more aggressive role in enforcing the Clean Water Act, which aims to make U.S. waters "fishable and swimmable."

Team Of 100 Scientists Unlock Secrets Of Amazing Green Algae
October 16, 2007 03:02 PM - Stuart Wolpert

Los Angeles - Culminating a three-year research project, 115 scientists from around the world report in the Oct. 12 issue of the journal Science a "gold mine" of data on a tiny green alga called Chlamydomonas, with implications for human diseases.

The single-celled Chlamydomonas, a slimy organism that grows in soil and ponds, has approximately 15,000 genes, and scientists now know 95 percent of the sequence of its genome. Several years ago, they knew less than 2 percent.

Study: Big Tobacco's War On Linking Secondhand Smoke And Heart Disease
October 16, 2007 12:46 PM -

San Francisco, California - After combing through nearly 50 million pages of previously secret, internal tobacco-industry documents, UC Davis and UC San Francisco researchers say they have documented for the first time how the industry funded and used scientific studies to undermine evidence linking secondhand smoke to cardiovascular disease.

In a special report published in the Oct. 16 issue of the journal Circulation, authors Elisa K. Tong and Stanton A. Glantz say that the tobacco-related documents they reviewed show how the industry initially worked to question scientific evidence about the harmful effects of secondhand smoke as a way to fight smoke-free regulations. More recently, they suggest, tobacco-company-funded studies have been conducted to support the development of so-called "reduced-harm" cigarettes.

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