Health

EU ministers stall new soil protection rules
December 20, 2007 12:38 PM - Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union environment ministers put new rules to protect soil in the bloc on a backburner on Thursday after a coalition led by Britain and Germany blocked the adoption of a draft law. The bill had sought to prevent the soil's deterioration from industrial use and the effects of climate change. It would have obliged the EU's 27 nations to set up public inventories of sites where soil may be contaminated with dangerous substances and lay out ways to clean them up. "There was a blocking minority against the soil directive. Maybe we will return to it in the future, but it is unclear when," an EU diplomat said. The diplomat said advocates of the planned law had failed to muster a qualified majority to adopt it when Britain, Germany France, Austria and the Netherlands voted against.

City of Pasadena Greenlights The Pasadena EcoHouse
December 20, 2007 12:00 PM -

PASADENA, Calif. - The Pasadena EcoHouse is a step closer to reality today, after the City of Pasadena approved the homeowners' hillside building permit at last night's meeting. When completed, The Pasadena EcoHouse will be the first single-family, structural concrete insulated panel (SCIP) home in the nation to earn the coveted Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes Green Building Rating System(TM), as well as the first LEED Platinum home in Pasadena. To earn the Platinum rating, The Pasadena EcoHouse will score points in several categories, including design, location, site impact, water and energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and green building awareness and education.

Researchers update their food guide pyramid for older adults
December 20, 2007 09:35 AM - Tufts University, Health Sciences

Tufts University researchers have updated their Food Guide Pyramid for Older Adults to correspond with the USDA food pyramid, now known as MyPyramid. The Tufts version is specifically designed for older adults and has changed in appearance and content. The Modified MyPyramid for Older Adults continues to emphasize nutrient-dense food choices and the importance of fluid balance, but has added additional guidance about forms of foods that could best meet the unique needs of older adults and about the importance of regular physical activity.

"Virgin" birth stem cells may offer tissue bank
December 20, 2007 08:11 AM - By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Human egg cells can be tweaked to give rise to valued stem cells that match the tissue types of many different groups of people, U.S. and Russian researchers reported on Wednesday. They said the stem cells they have created from unfertilized human eggs look and act like embryonic stem cells. And they have been carefully tissue-matched in the same way as bone marrow donations to prevent the risk of rejection if they are transplanted into people.

House unanimously endorses toy safety crackdown
December 19, 2007 10:37 PM - By Kevin Drawbaugh, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congress moved closer on Wednesday to slashing lead content in toys and devoting more government resources to product safety regulation, but final action was not expected until next year. After a surge of recalls of lead-tainted toys, many of them made in China, the House of Representatives voted 407-0 for a bill that would nearly eliminate lead in toys and boost funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). "This legislation represents a quantum leap forward in strengthening the Consumer Product Safety Commission's watchdog role on behalf of American consumers," said Illinois Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush, a key backer of the House legislation.

Researchers newest tool in fight against spread of HIV
December 19, 2007 01:52 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - A new Web-based software program is the latest tool University of Minnesota researchers are using to help fight the spread of HIV. A multidisciplinary team of researchers, are embarking on a clinical trial this month to test a software program that aims to reduce risk-taking behavior associated with the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Holiday Flowers, Without Pesticides
December 19, 2007 11:46 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Los Angeles - Celebrating the holidays with flowers is inspired and wonderful, but poisoning the people who grow and prepare the flowers is not. No one does it intentionally. But what many consumers don't know is that the floral business often puts the health of the people who grow those flowers at risk.

Hot Flashes: Soy Can Turn Down the Heat
December 19, 2007 11:28 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

ST. LOUIS, - As baby boomer women age into their menopausal years, new research demonstrates that soy isoflavones may offer them dietary relief from hot flashes. Baby boomer women account for approximately 25 percent of the total female population in the United States and as the youngest members of this generation enter their early forties, an unprecedented number of women will experience symptoms of menopause over the next few years.

Displaced By Industry, India Grapples With More People In Need
December 19, 2007 09:25 AM - Jonathan Allen, Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - More than 1.4 million Indians have been moved from their land in four states alone in the last decade to make way for industry and infrastructure, and most of them are unhappy about it, a report said on Wednesday. "If I am going to be displaced from the land of my birth in the name of progress, I have every right to ask to be the first beneficiary of that progress," said Shabana Azmi, an actor and campaigner for ActionAid agency that did the survey. But this is not how things turn out, according to the anti-poverty group's account of its interviews with more than 1,700 displaced people.

Green tea may cut prostate cancer risk: Japan study
December 19, 2007 09:03 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Drinking green tea may reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer, according to a study by researchers at Japan's National Cancer Center. It said men who drank five or more cups a day might halve the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer compared with those who drank less than one cup a day. "This does not mean that people who drink green tea are guaranteed to have reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer," said Norie Kurahashi, a scientist who took part in the study.

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