Hong Kong chokes on pollution
December 7, 2007 04:10 AM - Reuters
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong warned people with heart or lung problems to avoid outdoor activities on Friday as the territory experienced one of its most polluted days of the year, with the hills across the harbor almost invisible.
Pollution monitoring stations registered "very high" readings in several spots around the former British colony, and the Environmental Protection Department said the poor air was expected to continue.
Hong Kong's air has become increasingly clogged with pollutants from cars, ships, power plants and a booming manufacturing sector across the border in China's Guangdong province.
China halts batch of U.S. potato chips
December 6, 2007 11:32 PM - Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters) - China halted the import of a batch of Procter & Gamble potato chips from the United States for containing a banned additive, state media reported on Friday.
But a China-based P&G spokesman blamed the Chinese importer and said the shipment had nothing to do with the U.S. consumer goods giant.
China has stepped up quality checks on domestic producers in the wake of a series of global scandals involving substandard food and drug exports in recent months, but has also made a point of naming foreign companies that it says have failed its own quality standards.
U.S. childhood cancer death rate declines sharply
December 6, 2007 02:10 PM - By Will Dunham, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The cancer death rate for children in the United States has declined sharply -- down 20 percent from 1990 to 2004 -- thanks to better treatment of leukemia and other cancers, health officials said on Thursday.
Household chemical may affect breast development
December 6, 2007 08:41 AM - BioMed Central
A chemical found in household fittings has been found to affect the development of the mammary gland in rats and further studies will be required to determine if the presence of this chemical could lead to breast cancer. New research published in the online open access journal BMC Genomics is the first to show that this chemical can affect the breasts' genomic profile.
Donors pledge extra $406 mln in bird flu funds
December 6, 2007 07:19 AM - Reuters
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Foreign donors have pledged $406 million in additional funds for efforts to combat bird flu, but another $800 million is still needed and countries still need to be better prepared for any pandemic, officials said on Thursday.
The funds were pledged on the final day of a three-day summit in New Delhi, India, of experts on avian influenza from across the world, aimed at coordinating strategies to combat the disease.
Experts offers gift tips to 'move' children
December 5, 2007 04:05 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - There are a number of gift ideas to get sedentary children of all age active, says a Purdue University childhood fitness expert.
"The key is to find gifts that also motivate the entire family to move," says Carole DeHaven, a continuing lecturer in the Department of Health and Kinesiology. "Parents are the gatekeepers for healthy living. By providing activities that children enjoy, along with healthy food choices, we can help reverse the number of children who are overweight or obese.
Older brains become less coordinated: U.S. study
December 5, 2007 03:59 PM - By Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Forgot where you put your keys? Or your car?
If you are over 60, it may just be a normal part of aging, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday in a study that suggests brain structures deteriorate with age in otherwise healthy people.
Study: Drug Companies And Medical Students, Unhealthy Influence
December 5, 2007 03:28 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
INDIANAPOLIS -- Although more and more drug advertisements are appearing on television, the bulk of the approximately $21 billion dollars that pharmaceutical companies spend annually to market their products is targeted to physicians, doctors in training (residents) and medical students.
A literature review by researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. published in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics focuses on the interaction between drug companies, medical students and residents and concludes that well-designed seminars, role playing and focused curricula can affect medical student and resident attitudes and behavior toward drug companies.
Many toys in test have dangerous chemicals: report
December 5, 2007 01:45 PM - Reuters
The study also showed that jewelry products were most likely to contain high lead levels, and it uncovered a variety of tainted items, including bedroom slippers, bath toys and card-game cases, according to the Journal.
Broccoli compound may ameliorate skin disease
December 5, 2007 12:22 PM - By Megan Rauscher, Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The natural compound sulforaphane, which is abundant in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may have a role in the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa simplex, according to research presented during the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in Washington, DC.
Epidermolysis bullosa simplex is a genetic condition that causes the skin to become fragile and blister easily from minor injuries or friction, such as rubbing or scratching. The signs and symptoms of the condition vary widely -- blistering may primarily affect the hands and feet and heals, while severe cases involve widespread blistering that can lead to infection, dehydration and may be life-threatening in infants.