Health

Frog deformities blamed on farm and ranch runoff
September 24, 2007 07:49 PM - Will Dunham, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Horrific deformities in frogs are the result of a cascade of events that starts when nitrogen and phosphorus from farming and ranching bleed into lakes and ponds, researchers said on Monday.

These nutrients from fertilizers and animal waste create dramatic changes in aquatic ecosystems that help a certain type of parasitic flatworm that inflicts these deformities on North American frogs, researchers said.

"You can get five or six extra limbs. You can get no hind limbs. You can get all kinds of really bizarre, sick and twisted stuff," Pieter Johnson, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder who led the study, said in a telephone interview.

US Arrests 120 In Major Steroids Crackdown
September 24, 2007 05:03 PM - James Vicini, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 120 individuals have been arrested in the United States on federal charges in the largest steroids crackdown ever, the Justice Department said on Monday.

Department officials said the arrests stemmed from "Operation Raw Deal," a nearly two-year international investigation targeting the illegal manufacturing and trafficking of anabolic steroids and the raw materials, mainly from China, used to make the performance-enhancing drugs.

The investigation also targeted the human growth hormone and the insulin growth factor markets, they said. The U.S. operation coincided with enforcement actions in Mexico, Canada, China, Belgium, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Thailand.

Study: Cancer deaths to hit 17 million in 2030
September 24, 2007 04:53 PM - Michael Kahn, Reuters

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Cancer deaths will more than double to 17 million people each year in 2030 with poor countries shouldering the heaviest burden from the disease, the head of the United Nation's cancer agency said on Monday.

An ageing population will bump up cancer rates worldwide in the coming years, especially in developing countries where the number of people who smoke and drink is on the rise, said Peter Boyle, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

And the disease will hit poorer countries harder because of limited health budgets and a lack of treatments such as radiotherapy that can extend people's lives, he told the European Cancer Conference.

 

Lack of sleep may be deadly, research shows
September 24, 2007 11:31 AM - Ben Hirschler, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - People who do not get enough sleep are more than twice as likely to die of heart disease, according to a large British study released on Monday.

Although the reasons are unclear, researchers said lack of sleep appeared to be linked to increased blood pressure, which is known to raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

A 17-year analysis of 10,000 government workers showed those who cut their sleeping from seven hours a night to five or less faced a 1.7-fold increased risk in mortality from all causes and more than double the risk of cardiovascular death.

More than 100 Bangladesh fishermen missing in storm
September 23, 2007 03:00 PM - Reuters

DHAKA (Reuters) - More than 100 Bangladeshi fishermen were missing after at least 15 fishing boats sank in a storm in the Bay of Bengal, witnesses and officials said on Sunday.

The Chittagong port authority issued an international maritime alert advising all ships and fishing boats to remain in shelters until further notice, said Syed Farhad Uddin, the secretary of Chittagong port.

Bangladesh's meteorological department said in a special weather bulletin that the monsoonal deep depression, which hit the Bay of Bengal on Thursday night, was moving north-north-west and had reached India's eastern coastal state of Orissa.

Lawmakers in agreement on kids' health bill
September 21, 2007 05:28 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. congressional leaders on Friday said they reached agreement on legislation to expand a health-care program for children in low-income families, setting up a potential showdown with President George W. Bush who has vowed to veto it.

The bill would add $35 billion over five years to provide health care for as many as 10 million children in need of health insurance coverage. It also would provide coverage for pregnant women and new dental-care benefits.

The children's health insurance program aims to help children in working families who cannot afford private health insurance but who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Cholera outbreak reaches Iraqi capital
September 21, 2007 05:22 PM - Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters

GENEVA, Sept 21 (Reuters) - More than 1,500 people have cholera in Iraq and the outbreak has spread from the north to Baghdad, where conditions are ripe for the disease to thrive, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.

Some 29,000 cases of acute watery diarrhoea have been reported by Iraqi authorities since mid-August, including 1,500 confirmed as cholera, the United Nations health agency said. At least 10 people have died, all in the north.

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said a 25-year-old woman in Baghdad has contracted cholera, the first confirmed case in the Iraqi capital.

Overweight kids show heart risks as teens
September 21, 2007 02:58 PM - Amy Norton, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Overweight children may show a collection of risk factors for heart disease by the time they are teenagers, a new study shows.

Researchers found that overweight and obese 8-year-olds were seven-times more likely than their thinner peers to have multiple heart disease risk factors at the age of 15. These risks included high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels and elevations in blood sugar and insulin, a blood-sugar-regulating hormone.

FTC OK's rBGH-free Milk Ads
September 21, 2007 01:35 PM - A.P.

WASHINGTON - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has refused to take action against dairy companies that advertise their milk products as “free of genetically engineered hormones.” Federal regulators said that ads they reviewed made no misleading claims about recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is injected into cows to boost milk production.

Amid Big Promises, Plans Proceed For First GMO Foodcrop Release In India
September 21, 2007 12:58 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

India - India is about to serve as host to a newly developed GMO eggplant, the first ever GMO foodcrop for India. The plant has been genetically modified to contain a pesticide that promoters hope will make it resistant to the fruit and shoot borer. Researchers admit, many questions about the new GMO food remain unanswered. No human trials have been conducted in the US or India. 

 

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