Health

St. Marys River, Tannery BayCleaned Of Mercury, Chromium
September 20, 2007 03:25 PM -

CHICAGO - The Great Lakes Legacy Act cleanup of Tannery Bay on St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., is complete. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Phelps Dodge and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality have finished dredging 44,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the bay. St. Marys River is the connecting channel between lakes Superior and Huron.

 

Report: 89.6 Million Americans Uninsured During 2006-2007
September 20, 2007 03:08 PM -

WASHINGTON - Approximately 89.6 million Americans -- more than one out of three people (34.7 percent) under 65 years of age -- were uninsured at some point of time during 2006-2007, according to a report released today by the health consumer organization Families USA.

The report, based mainly on Census Bureau data, showed that most of these uninsured individuals lacked coverage for lengthy periods of time: nearly two- thirds (63.9 percent) were uninsured for six months or more; and over half (50.2 percent) were uninsured for nine months or more.

 

Natural Cosmetic Sales Approaching US $7 Billion Worldwide
September 20, 2007 02:52 PM - , Organic Consumers Association

London – Global sales of natural & organic cosmetics are soaring with revenues projected to approach US $7 billion this year. New research finds that North America and Europe are the two engines of growth, comprising the bulk of the US $1 billion sales increase this year. 

The major drivers of market growth are the mainstreaming of natural & organic cosmetics, inward investment and growing consumer demand for green products. Distribution of natural and organic cosmetics is increasing in supermarkets, drugstores, and pharmacies across North America and Western Europe. Investment is coming in from large cosmetic manufacturers, retailers, private and financial investors.

 

Exercise As Good As Drugs For Relieving Depression
September 20, 2007 12:13 PM - Amy Norton, reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Regular exercise may work as well as medication in improving symptoms of major depression, researchers have found.

In a study of 202 depressed adults, investigators found that those who went through group-based exercise therapy did as well as those treated with an antidepressant drug. A third group that performed home-based exercise also improved, though to a lesser degree.

Importantly, the researchers found, all three groups did better than a fourth group given a placebo -- an inactive pill identical to the antidepressant.

Drinking linked to endometrial cancer risk
September 20, 2007 12:11 PM - Amy Norton, reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older women who drink two or more alcoholic beverages a day may have an elevated risk of endometrial cancer, a new study suggests.

Endometrial cancer begins in the lining of the uterus, and certain factors that raise a woman's lifetime exposure to estrogen are thought to contribute to the disease. Obesity, late menopause and early menarche (the beginning of menstruation) have been linked to a heightened risk of endometrial cancer.

Study: Cells that make sperm make stem cells, too
September 20, 2007 12:09 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Stem cells that normally make sperm can be taught to make other tissues as well, perhaps offering men a medical repair kit, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

They found a way to easily pick the cells out from other tissue in the testicles and to grow them into batches big enough to use medically.

This provides a new source of stem cells, the body's master cells, which experts hope can be used to treat injuries, replace diseased tissue and perhaps even regenerate organs.

The $3,850 Per Second War And Its Victims
September 20, 2007 11:52 AM - Bernd Debusmann, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Assuming you read at average speed, by the time you get to the bottom of this column, the war in Iraq will have cost the United States another $760,000. More than $4 million of U.S. taxpayers' money ebbed away in the 18 minutes it took George W. Bush to explain to his country and the world last week why the war he ordered would last well beyond his presidency.

Lonliness, A Molecule
September 19, 2007 11:34 AM - UCLA News

It is already known that a person's social environment can affect his or her health, with those who are socially isolated - that is, lonely - suffering from higher mortality than people who are not.

Now, in the first study of its kind, published in the current issue of the journal Genome Biology, UCLA researchers have identified a distinct pattern of gene expression in immune cells from people who experience chronically high levels of loneliness. The findings suggest that feelings of social isolation are linked to alterations in the activity of genes that drive inflammation, the first response of the immune system. The study provides a molecular framework for understanding why social factors are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, viral infections and cancer.

HIV prevention could save millions in Africa: study
September 19, 2007 11:27 AM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Using drugs to prevent HIV infection could prevent as many as 3 million new cases in Africa if it was done right, researchers predicted on Tuesday.

A daily pill would not even have to prevent infection all the time to have this effect, if it was given to the right people with the proper counseling, the team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and at Imperial College London said.

"If you do it right, you can prevent lots of infections," Pittsburgh's Dr. John Mellors, who helped direct the study, said in a telephone interview.

The researchers wanted to know if a potential new approach called pre-exposure chemoprophylaxis, or PrEP, would work in a real-world setting.

Food Firms Want Binding Rules For Safe Imports
September 19, 2007 08:08 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON - Top U.S. food companies, worried recent import scares may turn away customers, launched a plan on Tuesday to add teeth to existing safety guidelines and increase funding for bare-bones federal regulators.  The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which includes leading companies like General Mills Inc., Cargill Inc., ConAgra Foods Inc. and Hershey Co., proposed the steps in a bid to ease fears stirred this year by reports of lead-laden toys and chemical-laced seafood and other goods imported into the United States, largely from China.

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