Health

Revealed: The seven great "medical myths"
December 21, 2007 05:26 AM - Peter Griffiths, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Reading in dim light won't damage your eyes, you don't need eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy and shaving your legs won't make the hair grow back faster. These well-worn theories are among seven "medical myths" exposed in a paper published on Friday in the British Medical Journal, which traditionally carries light-hearted features in its Christmas edition. Two U.S. researchers took seven common beliefs and searched the archives for evidence to support them.

Economists: extreme cold weather costly, deadly
December 20, 2007 06:44 PM - UC Berkeley Newswire

BERKELEY -- Fatalities in the continental United States tend to climb for several weeks after severe cold spells, ultimately numbering 360 per chilly day and 14,380 per year, according to a new study co-authored by a University of California, Berkeley, economist. Deaths linked to extreme cold account for 0.8 percent of the nation's annual death rate and outnumber those attributed to leukemia, murder and chronic liver disease combined, the study reports. Cold-related deaths also reduce the average life expectancy of Americans by at least a decade, it says.

Some temper tantrums can be red flags: study
December 20, 2007 05:25 PM - Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Children who have long, frequent or aggressive temper tantrums may be at risk of depression or disruptive disorders, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. They said tantrums were often the sign of a sick, hungry or overstimulated child. For most parents, they were a normal part of development and should be viewed as a teaching opportunity. But parents of children who hurt themselves or others and those who cannot calm themselves without help should seek medical help, they found. Healthy children tended to have less aggressive, and generally shorter tantrums.

California to sue U.S. for denying emissions waiver
December 20, 2007 04:39 PM - Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Thursday that he would sue the U.S. government for not granting a waiver that would allow his state to enforce new standards on motor vehicle emissions. California needs the waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement a state law requiring automakers to cut tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent on 2009 model cars. Sixteen other states either have adopted or are considering rules similar to California's standard. "I am extremely disappointed by EPA's decision to block the will of millions of people in California and 16 other states who want us to take tough action against global warming," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

Tobacco and poverty drive cancer in developing world
December 20, 2007 04:17 PM - By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rising tobacco use and poverty will fuel cancer across the developing world, more than doubling the number of new cases to 27 million by 2050, experts predicted on Thursday. Cancer is already the No. 2 cause of death globally, after heart disease and ahead of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other causes. And as people live longer and adopt bad habits such as smoking, cancer cases will rise, said Dr. Nancy Davidson of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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.

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