Health

Embryo-friendly technique produces stem cells
January 10, 2008 12:30 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A company that devised a way to make embryonic stem cells using a technique it said does not harm human embryos reported on Thursday it has grown five batches of cells using this method and urged President George W. Bush to endorse it.

China Bans the Use of Plastic Bags
January 10, 2008 10:34 AM - , Triple Pundit

China announced this week that production and use of plastic bags in supermarkets and retail shops will be banned beginning June 1. This new law could have a considerably positive environmental impact, given that Chinese citizens "use as many as 3 billion plastic bags a day." The law is part of a larger campaign to fight "white pollution" in China, which includes other forms of rampant plastic and styrofoam use as well. This bold and surprising move demonstrates that the Chinese government is starting to take pollution concerns seriously. While a few city governments here in the U.S. have passed (San Francisco) or are considering passing similar legislation (New York), it is refreshing to see a national government as powerful and influential as the China make such a decision.

Prepare for flu pandemic economic hit: U.N.
January 10, 2008 06:30 AM - Reuters

Governments around the world need to do more to prepare for the dramatic economic impact of the next flu pandemic, the United Nations influenza coordinator said on Thursday. David Nabarro said his team had recently collected information from nearly 150 countries to see how prepared they were for a pandemic and the picture was mixed.

Sub-Saharan Africa: The Population Emergency

The report of a demographic study, coordinated by the Centre Population et Développement (CEPED), commissioned by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), was published recently. The work was performed by a joint team involving scientists from the IRD and specialist academics from Belgium, Cameroon, France and the Ivory Coast (2). They examined the recent and projected future population trends in Sub-Saharan Africa and the relationships between these tendencies and the development of the region. This review effectively demolished some generally accepted ideas, in particular the one that Sub-Saharan Africa is underpopulated.

Tropical dengue fever may threaten U.S.: report
January 8, 2008 04:33 PM - Reuters

Cases of the sometimes deadly mosquito-borne disease have been reported in Texas and this may be the beginning of a new trend, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and his senior scientific adviser, Dr. David Morens.

Four health changes can prolong life 14 years
January 8, 2008 08:34 AM -

LONDON (Reuters) - People who drink moderately, exercise, quit smoking and eat five servings of fruit and vegetables each day live on average 14 years longer than people who adopt none of these behaviors, researchers said on Tuesday.

Tuberculosis exposure feared on India-to-U.S. flight
January 7, 2008 08:33 AM - Reuters

U.S. health officials are trying to track down 44 people who sat near a woman infected with a hard-to-treat form of tuberculosis aboard an airliner from India to determine whether they have been infected, authorities said on Friday. The infected woman is 30 years old and is being treated for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, or MDR TB, at a hospital in the San Francisco area, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She had been diagnosed in India with MDR TB but traveled last month anyway, the CDC said.

Scientists discover new key to flu transmission
January 7, 2008 08:25 AM - Reuters

Flu viruses must be able to pick a very specific type of lock before entering human respiratory cells, U.S. researchers said on Sunday, offering a new understanding of how flu viruses work. The discovery may help scientists better monitor changes in the H5N1 bird flu virus that could trigger a deadly pandemic in humans. And it may lead to better ways to fight it, they said.

Heavy rains flood drought-hit Australian farmers
January 7, 2008 01:29 AM - Reuters

Heavy rains and flooding in northeast Australia have been both a blessing and a curse for drought-hit farmers, but more rain is needed to break a seven-year drought. Farm officials say a series of storms have delivered heavy, but sporadic, rain in two of Australia's largest agricultural states, Queensland and New South Wales.

Scientists move toward helping paralysis patients
January 6, 2008 01:13 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists have figured out how mice can regain some ability to walk after spinal cord injuries, and hope this insight can lead to a new approach to restoring function in people paralyzed by similar damage.

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