Honey eases nighttime cough
December 3, 2007 05:52 PM - By Anne Harding, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A spoonful of honey can quiet children's nighttime cough and help them -- and their parents -- sleep better, a new study shows.

When compared to the cough syrup ingredient dextromethorphan or no treatment, honey came out on top.

"The results were so strong that we were able to say clearly that honey was better than no treatment and dextromethorphan was not," Dr. Ian M. Paul of Pennsylvania State University in Hershey, one of the study's authors, told Reuters Health.

Over 40 mln in U.S. can't afford health care: report
December 3, 2007 03:29 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 40 million people in the United States say they cannot afford adequate heath care and go without drugs, eyeglasses or dental treatment, according to a federal report released on Monday.

The latest look at the state of U.S. health care also shows that while death rates from cancer and heart disease have dropped in recent years, just as many Americans are dying in car crashes.

Half of U.S. doctors mum about incompetence: survey
December 3, 2007 02:07 PM - By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly half of all U.S. doctors fail to report incompetent or unethical colleagues, even though they agree that such mistakes should be reported, researchers said on Monday.

They found that 46 percent of physicians surveyed admitted they knew of a serious medical error that had been made but did not tell authorities about it.

"There is a measurable disconnect between what physicians say they think is the right thing to do and what they actually do," said Eric Campbell of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, who led the survey.

Study: More Than 20% of Staph Infections Linked to Animal Agriculture
December 3, 2007 01:14 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

WASHINGTON, - A new study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases links a new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), once found only in pigs, to more than 20 percent of all human MRSA infections in the Netherlands.

Glucosamine not likely to raise "good" cholesterol
December 3, 2007 01:08 PM - By Megan Rauscher, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Glucosamine at commonly taken doses does not increase HDL ("good") cholesterol in people with diabetes, researchers have found.

"Many people take glucosamine for arthritis-like symptoms and, from previous research, we thought glucosamine may also have a beneficial effect on HDL cholesterol," Dr. Stewart G. Albert noted in comments to Reuters Health.

Sens. Kerry, Boxer and Feinstein call on FDA to Establish Maximum Level for Lead in Lipstick
December 3, 2007 11:02 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

WASHINGTON - Senators John Kerry, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are urging the Food and Drug Administration to test a wide range of lipstick brands for the presence of lead, to publicly report their results, and to limit lead in lipstick and other cosmetics products to "the lowest detectable levels found in laboratory tests."  The action by three U.S. Senators comes on the heels of a report last month by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which found lead in 61 percent of 33 lipsticks tested. Levels ranged from 0.02 to 0.65 parts per million.

Exercise may boost brain's natural antidepressant
December 3, 2007 10:41 AM - Amy Norton, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Exercise seems to increase the production of naturally occurring brain chemical with antidepressant effects in mice, researchers reported Sunday.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, point to potential new ways to treat depression in people.

Studies have found that exercise can help ease depression symptoms, but the reasons for the benefit have not been clear. For the new study, scientists used a tool called a microarray to examine how exercise changed gene activity in the brains of mice.

Weigh Roche cancer drug toxicity, say FDA staff
December 3, 2007 10:10 AM - Kim Dixon, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The benefits of Roche Holding AG's cancer drug Avastin in breast cancer should be weighed against some toxic side effects including the potential for death, U.S. regulatory staffers said in documents released on Monday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff review comes ahead of a Wednesday advisory panel on a bid by Roche and U.S. partner Genentech Inc to extend use of Avastin, already approved to treat lung and colon cancer, to patients with breast cancer.

The expert panel will give advice to the FDA on broadening use of the drug as a first-line treatment for patients with breast cancer whose disease has spread.

Natural compound in broccoli could treat devastating genetic skin disorder
December 3, 2007 09:03 AM - American Society for Cell Biology

Washington, D.C. -- The compound sulforaphane whose natural precursors are found at high levels in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables has been hailed for its chemopreventive powers against cancer. Now sulforaphane has demonstrated new skills in treating a genetic skin blistering disorder called epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), Pierre Coulombe and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore report at the American Society for Cell Biology 47th Annual Meeting.

"Naughty" nations in a coal lot of trouble in Bali
December 3, 2007 07:35 AM - Reuters

BALI, Indonesia (Reuters) - It's not easy being green. Particularly if you are big polluters Saudi Arabia, the United States and Canada. All three earned the first "Fossil of the Day Awards" at U.N.-led climate change talks in Bali on Monday, with each receiving a little sack of coal adorned with their national flags at a mock award ceremony filled with boos and laughter.

The awards, a daily feature of annual Kyoto Protocol gatherings, are presented by youth delegations from around the world to heap scorn on nations accused of having less-than-green views.

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