• Weight-loss scams top form of fraud: FTC

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Weight-loss scams, foreign lottery offers and buyers clubs were the top ways that scam artists separated 30 million Americans from their money in one year, a U.S. agency said on Monday.

    Blacks and Hispanics were more likely to fall victim to scam artists than whites, the Federal Trade Commission said in a statement discussing its most recent survey on fraud. Twenty percent of blacks and 18 percent of Hispanics reported being defrauded, compared to 12 percent of whites.

    Overall, 13.5 percent of U.S. adults fell victim to fraud, the FTC said.

     

     

     

     

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  • AIDS virus invaded U.S. from Haiti: study

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The AIDS virus invaded the United States in about 1969 from Haiti, carried most likely by a single infected immigrant who set the stage for it to sweep the world in a tragic epidemic, scientists said on Monday.

    Michael Worobey, a University of Arizona evolutionary biologist, said the 1969 U.S. entry date is earlier than some experts had believed.

    The timeline laid out in the study led by Worobey indicates that HIV infections were occurring in the United States for roughly 12 years before AIDS was first recognized by scientists as a disease in 1981. Many people had died by that point.

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  • U.S. consumer group flags more toys with lead

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dishes, toys, jewelry and backpacks that have not yet been recalled all carry "worrisome" levels of lead, the nonprofit Consumers Union said on Monday.

    The group's Consumer Reports magazine staff recommended that people immediately stop using some of the products tested.

    "Our lab tests detected lead at widely varying levels in samples of dishware, jewelry, glue stick caps, vinyl backpacks, children's ceramic tea sets and other toys and items not on any federal recall list," the group wrote in a magazine report.

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  • Pollutants Implicated in Births of More Girls Than Boys

    A recent study found that residents of Canadian communities who were exposed to emissions from polluting industries such as oil refineries, metal smelters, and pulp mills gave birth to more females than males, a reversal of the normal sex ratio. This is likely due to high levels of common air pollutants called dioxins and is not a surprising finding, according to James Argo, a medical geographer with the IntrAmericas Centre for Environment and Health, who conducted the study. “There is a very strong association [in the scientific literature] between chronic exposure to dioxins and an inverted sex ratio,” he said. >> Read the Full Article
  • New study shows smoking increases risk of psoriasis

    Another disease can be added to the list of smoking-related disorders -- psoriasis. Researchers have found that smoking increases the risk of developing psoriasis, heavier smoking increases the risk further, and the risk decreases only slowly after quitting. Investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Harvard School of Public Health, all in Boston, USA, and Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada, have published the results in the November 2007 issue of The American Journal of Medicine. >> Read the Full Article
  • China birth defects soar due to pollution: report

    Birth defects in Chinese infants have soared nearly 40 percent since 2001, a government report said, and officials linked the rise to China's worsening environmental degradation.

    The rate of defects had risen from 104.9 per 10,000 births in 2001, to 145.5 in 2006, affecting nearly one in 10 families, China's National Population and Family Planning Commission said in a report on its Web site (www.chinapop.gov.cn).

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  • Study Claims Smoking not linked to more advanced breast cancer

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a study that is sure to be questioned and criticized, one research group claims that women who develop breast cancer are no more likely to have aggressive or advanced tumors if they are cigarette smokers than if they do not smoke. The study's author, Dr MatthewAbramowitz said the study did not evaluate whether smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to have complications in treatment for breast cancer or die from the disease. However, the National Cancer Institute said cigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths and is responsible for most cancers of the larynx, mouth, esophagus and bladder. The group emphasizes that tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, is the most preventable cause of death in the United States. >> Read the Full Article
  • Discovery may help treat drug addicts

    SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean scientists have made a discovery in the brains of rats that they say may help treat drug addiction and ease the side effects of some medications.

    Researchers at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago say they identified a region of the brain, the insular cortex, that plays an important role in drug craving.

    Tests on amphetamine-addicted laboratory rats showed that when the insular cortex was deactivated by injecting a drug that halted brain cell activity, the rats showed no signs of addiction.

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  • Asians seek out the sun despite cancer threats

    HONG KONG (Reuters) - It's autumn in Hong Kong but the island's beaches are still crowded with sun worshippers desperate to catch the last rays of sunshine before winter.

    "I love the bronze color," says sunbather Richard Tong.

    A growing trend in East Asia to soak up the sun either on beaches or in tanning salons is worrying dermatologists in the region who say they are seeing a rise in skin cancer, which is caused by cumulative over-exposure to the sun.

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  • Edwards unveils plan to control drug advertising

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Sunday unveiled a plan to put controls on drug advertising, which he said were misleading patients and driving up health care costs.

    The former North Carolina senator, who has attacked lobbyists and championed the concerns of the poor in his campaign, proposes delays on consumer advertising of new drugs and tougher Food and Drug Administration oversight over drug marketing.

    "The excessive costs of prescription drugs are straining family budgets and contributing to runaway health care costs," Edwards said at the start of a seven-day campaign tour of the early-voting states of New Hampshire and Iowa.

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