Health

South Africa Warns Nations Of Active Nuke Smugglers
September 11, 2007 11:38 AM - Karin Strohecker, Reuters

VIENNA (Reuters) - Parts of a global nuclear smuggling ring initiated by the disgraced father of Pakistan's atom bomb may remain active and nations must do more to crack down on the network, South Africa said on Tuesday. The plea followed last week's conviction by a South African court of a German engineer for his part in the network run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, who admitted giving proliferation-prone nuclear technology to nations under international embargo. The network apparently operated in more than 30 countries, senior South African envoy Abdul Minty told a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors. Some of those entities may remain active, he told reporters afterwards.

Diesel exhaust kills throat cells
September 11, 2007 10:57 AM - Research Australia

Researchers at Deakin University have found that diesel exhaust is far more damaging to our health than exhaust from biodiesel, the plant-based fuel. Associate Professor Leigh Ackland, Associate Head of Deakin’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences, led a team of researchers who compared the effects of diesel exhaust and biodiesel exhaust on human airway cells. They found that diesel exhaust damaged and killed the cells, while biodiesel exhaust had little effect. “Australia's escalating need for fuel is posing a major health problem,” Associate Professor Ackland said.

Study: Lutein, Zeaxanthin, In Spinach & Eggs, Protects Against Blindness
September 11, 2007 10:35 AM - Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Two nutrients found in eggs, spinach and other leafy green vegetables offer some protection against the most common cause of blindness among the elderly, researchers said on Monday. Age-related macular degeneration affects 1.2 million Americans, mostly after age 65, and the irreversible condition gets gradually worse, robbing victims of the center of their vision. Many people may be susceptible due to genetic factors, while smoking is known to heighten the risk.

U.S. not ready for bird flu, other disasters: reports
September 11, 2007 07:26 AM - Maggie Fox -Reuters

An incident in which a tuberculosis-infected man walked past U.S. border controls in May shows how poorly the country is defended against importing infectious diseases, according to a report released on Monday. The report from the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security is one of three published on Monday that fault U.S. government preparations against pandemics and other potential disasters.

Study: Vitamin C Has Cancer-Fighting Properties
September 10, 2007 05:06 PM - Will Dunham, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vitamin C can impede the growth of some types of tumors although not in the way some scientists had suspected, researchers reported on Monday. The new research, published in the journal Cancer Cell, supported the general notion that vitamin C and other so-called antioxidants can slow tumor growth, but pointed to a mechanism different from the one many experts had suspected. The researchers generated encouraging results when giving vitamin C to mice that had been implanted with human cancer cells -- either the blood cancer lymphoma or prostate cancer. Another antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine, also limited tumor growth in the mice, the researchers said.

Human & Animal Chip Implants Linked to Tumors
September 10, 2007 03:32 PM - Todd Lewan, Associated Press

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors scan the tiny transponders to access patients' medical records almost instantly. The FDA found "reasonable assurance" the device was safe, and a sub-agency even called it one of 2005's top "innovative technologies." Although the government approved the use of microchips in humans in 2005, the Associated Press reports that studies dating back to the mid-1990s showed they "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.

Crop Yields Expand, but Nutrition Is Left Behind
September 10, 2007 02:44 PM - , Worldwatch Institute

Farmers today can grow two to three times as much grain, fruit, and vegetables on a plot of land as they could 50 years ago, but the nutritional quality of many crops has declined, according to a new report from The Organic Center, a group based in Boulder, Colorado. “To get our recommended daily allowance of nutrients, we have to eat many more slices of bread today than people had to eat in the past,”

Enforce Fertilizer Runoff Laws: Report
September 10, 2007 01:50 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. farmers should be required to control soil erosion and fertilizer runoff from all land eligible for crop subsidies -- which would be a major expansion of "conservation compliance" rules now in place, an environmental group said on Monday. In the report, the Environmental Working Group also advocated stricter enforcement of conservation compliance. Created in 1985, the rule requires farmers to control erosion on highly erodible land in exchange for crop supports and other federal farm benefits.

Health Insurer Pays $20 Million For Claims Hassles
September 10, 2007 10:32 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - UnitedHealth Group Inc., one of the largest providers of health insurance in the United States, has paid $20 million to 37 states in order to settle claims processing problems, according to the New York State Department of Insurance.

Major Study Links Hyperactivity and Food Additives
September 10, 2007 10:09 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Southampton, UK - A new study at the University of Southampton shows evidence of increased levels of hyperactivity in young children eating mixtures of some artificial food colors and the preservative sodium benzoate. The possibility of food colors and preservatives affecting children’s behavior has long been an unresolved question for parents. This significant new research by a team from the University of Southampton’s Schools of Psychology and Medicine provides a clear demonstration that changes in behavior can be detected in three-year-old and eight-year-old children.

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