• Brain scans of obese show hunger hormone at work

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Giving the body's natural appetite suppressant to morbidly obese volunteers de-activated their brain's response to tasty food -- and the new brain activity lasted for as long as the hormone was delivered, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

    They said their imaging tests show some of the brain circuits activated by leptin, a hormone that helps control appetite, and may lead to new and better treatments for obesity, the researchers wrote in their report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    "While they were off leptin they got really hungry when they saw pictures of high-calorie food, and that was associated with high activation in a part of the brain that is related to food craving," said Edythe London of the University of California Los Angeles, who led the study.

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  • UV light may offer "double whammy" for cancer

    LONDON (Reuters) - Using ultraviolet light may one day offer a "double whammy" to kill cancer cells by better focusing antibody-based drugs and triggering the body's own defenses to eliminate tumors, researchers said on Tuesday.

    In two studies with mice, a British team cloaked antibodies -- the immune system proteins that tag germs and cancer cells for elimination -- with an organic oil that blocked them from reacting until illuminated with ultraviolet light.

    The researchers used engineered immune system proteins called monoclonal antibodies. They are made to home in on proteins known to be overactive in tumor cells.

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  • Honduras finds radioactive material in container

    TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras authorities have found strong traces of radioactive material in a Hong Kong-bound shipping container carrying steel debris from an Atlantic coast port, officials said on Monday.

    During a security scan on Sunday, officials detected high readings of radioactivity emanating from the container at the Puerto Cortes port, 115 miles north of Honduras' capital, Tegucigalpa.

    "We immediately declared an alert and have seized the container for inspection," Edwin Araque, the manager of Honduras' port authority, said on Monday.

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  • 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