Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:26:51 -0400

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2013 file photo, an oyster cultivator holds oyster seed before spreading it into the waters of Duxbury Bay in Duxbury, Mass. A Thursday, April 17, 2014 report from the Centers of Disease Control says there was in increase in infections from vibrio bacteria found in raw shellfish. In 2013, cases were up 32 percent from the previous three years and 75 percent from about five years ago. But the numbers remain very small - only 242 of the 20,000 foodborne illnesses recorded in 10 states. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)NEW YORK (AP) — The government's latest report card on food poisoning shows a dip in salmonella cases but an increase in illnesses from bacteria in raw shellfish. The report counts cases in only 10 states for some of the most common causes of foodborne illness, but is believed to be a good indicator of national food poisoning trends. Highlights from Thursday's report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 03:45:19 -0400

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The president spoke about health care overhaul and the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:22:41 -0400

The Mount Tabor number 1 reservoir in Portland, Ore., is seen in a June 20, 2011 photo. Portland officials said Wednesday, April 16, 2014 that they are flushing away millions of gallons of treated water for the second time in less than three years because someone urinated into a city reservoir. In June 2011, the city drained a 7.5 million-gallon reservoir at Mount Tabor in southeast Portland. This time, 38 million gallons from a different reservoir at the same location will be discarded after a 19-year-old was videotaped in the act (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Benjamin Brink)PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The mix of 38 million gallons of treated water and one teen's urine has proven unacceptable to Portland officials who plan to flush away the whole lot — the second time in less than three years the city has gone to such lengths to keep its water pure.


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:13:41 -0400

Michelle Decker, left, an employee of Connect For Health Colorado, the state's health care exchange, explains options and procedures to Virginia and Jose Sotelo, who signed up for insurance on the last day before fines are imposed, in Denver, Monday, March. 31, 2014. Colorado has already exceeded baseline federal goals for enrollment. As of last week, 106,000 Coloradans had signed up for private insurance since the exchange opened in October. Another 151,000 had enrolled in Medicaid. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)CHICAGO (AP) — For the more than 30 states that defaulted to the federal government under President Barack Obama's health care law, time may be running out to decide whether to create their own state-run insurance exchanges.


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:08:26 -0400
The Scott family started a website to find out what's wrong with baby Wyatt.
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:04:24 -0400

The company's name is displayed on a billboard near the headquarters of Biogen Idec Inc. in CambridgeBiogen Idec Inc is pricing its newly-approved long-acting hemophilia drug to cost U.S. patients, and insurers, about the same per year as older, less convenient therapies whose price can reach about $300,000 annually. The move could pressure rivals such as Pfizer Inc to lower prices for existing hemophilia treatments, which provide patients with life-saving infusions of a blood clotting agent, according to doctors and industry analysts. Biogen last month won U.S. and Canadian approval for Alprolix to treat hemophilia B, the more rare form of the condition that affects about 4,000 people in the United States and about 25,000 worldwide. The company is awaiting a decision on another drug to treat hemophilia A, a more common form of the disease, expected to come in the next few months.


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:17:18 -0400
Stevens Institute of Technology reports eight cases despite students having been fully vaccinated.
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:06:15 -0400

Cigars ready to put in boxes are pictured at the H. Upmann factory in HavanaBy Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Young people are smoking fewer cigarettes these days, but their cigar use is rising, which may partly be due to the popularity of flavored cigars, according to a new study. "The cigar market is the most heavily flavored of all tobacco products," said Cristine D. Delnevo, who led the research. "For decades, tobacco industry internal documents have highlighted that flavors appeal to youth and young people." Delnevo, who directs the Center for Tobacco Surveillance & Evaluation Research at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, and colleagues from the National Institutes of Health investigated recent market and survey data on flavored cigar use among young people. Delnevo and her coauthors analyzed an annual survey of drug and alcohol use among Americans ages 12 and up.


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:36:18 -0400
By Ros Krasny WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In an expected move, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday announced new measures to combat the spread of disease in the U.S. pig population. The agency said it would require reporting of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), which has killed millions of piglets over the past year, and the Swine Delta Coronavirus. USDA will also require tracking movements of pigs, vehicles, other equipment leaving affected premises. "USDA has been working closely with the pork industry and our state and federal partners to solve this problem.
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:35:23 -0400

A volunteer holds a dried cannabis bud at the La Brea Collective medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles(This story from April 15 corrects name of researcher to Breiter, instead of Beiter, throughout story) By Alex Dobuzinskis (Reuters) - Young, casual marijuana smokers experience potentially harmful changes to their brains, with the drug altering regions of the mind related to motivation and emotion, researchers found. The study to be published on Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience differs from many other pot-related research projects that are focused on chronic, heavy users of cannabis. The collaborative effort between Northwestern University's medical school, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed a direct correlation between the number of times users smoked and abnormalities in the brain. "What we're seeing is changes in people who are 18 to 25 in core brain regions that you never, ever want to fool around with," said co-senior study author Dr. Hans Breiter, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University.


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:59:26 -0400

Aquilino Morelle, political advisor of France's President Francois Hollande, arrives at the Elysee Palace in ParisBy Julien Ponthus and Nicholas Vinocur CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (Reuters) - A senior adviser to French President Francois Hollande quit on Friday over accusations of past conflict of interest linked to his work for pharmaceutical firms, adding to pressure on the unpopular Socialist leader weeks before European elections. Aquilino Morelle, Hollande's chief communications adviser, speechwriter and a main political strategist, has denied investigative website Mediapart's report that he had failed to obtain clearance for lobbying work when he was an employee of the public health inspectorate. ...


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:41:59 -0400

Whoopi GoldbergOscar-winning actress, comedienne and talk-show host Whoopi Goldberg sang the praises of marijuana inhaled through a pocket vaporizer on Thursday as she made her debut as an online pot columnist. In fact, her name is Sippy." wrote Goldberg, 58, about her pocket vaporizer on "The Cannabist," a pot-friendly website run by the Denver Post newspaper in Colorado. The Rocky Mountain state was the second in the United States, after Washington in the Pacific Northwest, to legalize marijuana for recreational use. But in a country where, at the federal level, marijuana is classified as an illegal drug on a par with heroin, Goldberg said Sippy's compact proportions helps maintain discretion.


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:59:57 -0400
Experts say that dieters who include apps in their weight-loss efforts score greater success than those who don't. We asked three Health readers to each test a leading digital diet and report back.
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:36:58 -0400

File photo of fire boat response crews battling the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon off LouisianaFour years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, oil is still washing up on the long sandy beaches of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and some islanders are fed up with hearing from BP that the crisis is over. Jules Melancon, the last remaining oyster fisherman on an island dotted with colorful houses on stilts, says he has not found a single oyster alive in his leases in the area since the leak and relies on an onshore oyster nursery to make a living. The British oil major has paid out billions of dollars in compensation under a settlement experts say is unprecedented in its breadth. Some claimants are satisfied, but others are irate that BP is now challenging aspects of the settlement.


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 03:45:03 -0400

File photo of a man and a girl on his shoulders at a protest against a chemical plant project, near the city government building in MaomingBy Chen Aizhu BEIJING (Reuters) - China has launched an intense media campaign to defend the safety of producing a chemical used to make polyester fiber, as public opposition to new petrochemical plants threatens to disrupt expansion plans by state energy giants such as Sinopec Corp. Choking smog and environmental degradation in many parts of China is angering an increasingly educated and affluent urban class and after a series of health scares and accidents there is deepening public skepticism of the safety of industries ranging from food to energy. Illustrating this distrust, hundreds of residents in the southern Chinese city of Maoming demonstrated this month against plans to build a petrochemical plant to produce paraxylene, known as PX, a chemical used in making polyester fiber and plastics. The plant is backed by the local government and China's biggest refiner, state-controlled Sinopec Corp. China is the world's largest producer and consumer of PX and polyester, vital for the country's textile industry, which generated $290 billion of overseas sales, or 13 percent of China's total exports last year, according to customs data.


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:51:38 -0400

President Barack Obama speaks about health care, Thursday, April 17, 2014, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. The president said eight million have signed up for health insurance under Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges and the proportion of younger applicants has increased, President Barack Obama said Thursday. The enrollments exceeded expectations and offered new hope to Democrats who are defending the law ahead of the midterm elections.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:58:00 -0400

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford addresses supporters on the podium during his campaign launch party in TorontoBy Cameron French TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford launched his re-election campaign on Friday, acknowledging the crack-cocaine scandal that has made him a topic of water cooler talk across North America, but also happy to trade on his notoriety. Ford, whose authority was reduced last year by a city council fed up with his antics, took over a massive convention center in Toronto's west end for the event, hawking bobble-head dolls to raise funds ahead of the election on October 27. First elected mayor in 2010 on a cost-cutting platform, Ford has become indisputably the most famous leader in the city's history, and continues to poll relatively strongly in spite of a scandal that prompted staffers to desert him and has cost him nearly all of his allies on city council.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:55:46 -0400

Chimneys and cooling towers of a steel plant are seen through the fog in BeijingBy David Stanway BEIJING (Reuters) - China's capital has ordered more than 50 companies to shut down this year in an effort to cut pollution but pushing factories out could raise objections in surrounding areas reluctant to host Beijing's polluters. Smog-shrouded Beijing and the surrounding province of Hebei have become a front in a "war against pollution" declared by Premier Li Keqiang last month. But experts say efforts to cut coal consumption and industrial output in big cities like Beijing is likely to put pressure on other regions to endure more pollution to keep the economy growing, with overall coal consumption expected to rise by a quarter from 2011 to 2015. "Moving Beijing's plants to Hebei isn't the best way," said Yang Fuqiang, a former government researcher and senior energy and environment adviser with the Natural Resources Defense Council, a U.S.-based think-tank.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:36:53 -0400

FDA Warns Against Hysterectomy Technique That May Spread CancerFDA Highlights Cancer Risk with Surgical Procedure


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:04:54 -0400
The FDA warns common surgical technique could lead to dangerous spread of cancer cells.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:49:05 -0400

Plaintiff Michael Egan attends a news conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, CaliforniaBy Dana Feldman and Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A man who has sued filmmaker Bryan Singer, the director of the upcoming blockbuster action film "X-Men: Days of Future Past," for allegedly raping him as a teenager said on Thursday that his claims of sexual abuse went unheeded by authorities. Michael Egan, 31, who was an aspiring teen actor, said he and his mother told the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI in late 1999 and 2000 that Egan was being abused by an underage sex ring. "What happened was basically it fell on deaf ears," Egan said a news conference seated next to his attorney, Jeff Herman. "We didn't get anywhere and then I basically buried it in me as deep as I possibly could." Herman filed a civil lawsuit on Wednesday in federal court in Hawaii, alleging that Singer, 48, used his influence as a Hollywood insider as well as a range of drugs and alcohol to force anal and oral sex on Egan while promising him film roles.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:00:13 -0400

U.S. President Obama makes a statement to the media at the White House in WashingtonBy Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama mounted a vigorous effort on Thursday to show his signature healthcare law is working and dismissed Republican critics who are using flaws in Obamacare to campaign for ousting Democrats from the U.S. Congress in November. Appearing in the White House briefing room days before leaving the national stage for a week-long trip to Asia, Obama used a news conference to make the case that the Affordable Care Act had mended nicely from its disastrous October rollout. For the healthcare law to succeed, young, healthy people must sign up and pay premiums to offset the healthcare costs for older Americans. Obama's remarks reflected deep concerns at the White House that Republicans may be able to topple Democrats from control of the U.S. Senate in November elections and build on their majority in the House of Representatives.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:20:55 -0400

Traders gather at the booth that trades Abbott Laboratories on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - Earnings season shifts into high gear next week, and with nearly one-third of S&P 500 names set to post results, investors hope the news provides a catalyst to buy stocks and leave the market's recent weakness in the dust. Several behemoths, including Apple, the largest U.S. company by market value, as well as Microsoft, McDonald's and AT&T , are due to report earnings. They'll be accompanied by highfliers like Netflix and Facebook, giving the first real cross-section of the state of corporate America as temperatures rise across the country and investors hope to put the cold weather behind them. Strategists will also be looking for clues on how badly China's slowdown hits U.S. corporate results.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:08:30 -0400

Obama speaks after touring the Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center in Oakdale, PennsylvaniaBy David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's fiscal 2015 budget request would boost U.S. tax revenue by nearly $1.4 trillion over 10 years if fully enacted, cutting deficits by $1.05 trillion while funding new spending, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday. But the non-partisan agency's analysis was less optimistic than the White House's own projections - showing that cumulative deficits would total $6.6 trillion over 10 years, compared to $4.9 trillion under the Obama plan when it was released in March. A key difference between the two deficit pictures is CBO's projection of slower economic growth, partly resulting in lower revenue collections. The likelihood that Congress will advance Obama's plan in its entirety is virtually nil, but the CBO's latest analysis will feed campaign messaging by Democrats and Republicans ahead of congressional elections in November.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:05:45 -0400

High school student walks towards a group of female students chatting in front of a school in TokyoThe negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying are still evident nearly 40 years later, according to research by British psychiatrists. In the first study of its kind to look at the effects of childhood bullying beyond early adulthood, the researchers said its impact is "persistent and pervasive", with people who were bullied when young more likely to have poorer physical and psychological health and poorer cognitive functioning at age 50. "The effects of bullying are still visible nearly four decades later ... with health, social and economic consequences lasting well into adulthood," said Ryu Takizawa, who led the study at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London. The findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on Friday, come from the British National Child Development Study which includes data on all children born in England, Scotland and Wales during one week in 1958.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:36:20 -0400

patient-specific stem cell linesBy Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scientists have moved a step closer to the goal of creating stem cells perfectly matched to a patient's DNA in order to treat diseases, they announced on Thursday, creating patient-specific cell lines out of the skin cells of two adult men. The advance, described online in the journal Cell Stem Cell, is the first time researchers have achieved "therapeutic cloning" of adults. Technically called somatic-cell nuclear transfer, therapeutic cloning means producing embryonic cells genetically identical to a donor, usually for the purpose of using those cells to treat disease. But nuclear transfer is also the first step in reproductive cloning, or producing a genetic duplicate of someone - a technique that has sparked controversy since the 1997 announcement that it was used to create Dolly, the clone of a ewe.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:39:05 -0400
By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For people recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, eating lots of olive oil, fish and whole grains slows progression of the disease more than restricting fat, according to a new analysis. In a trial that followed participants for more than eight years, those following a so-called Mediterranean diet went significantly longer before needing diabetes medication and more of them had their diabetes go into remission, compared to those on a low-fat diet. "There's been lots of epidemiology suggesting that a Mediterranean diet was beneficial with metabolic syndrome and diabetes," Dr. Leanne Olansky told Reuters Health. "But this was a randomized controlled trial, so we know it really was the diet causing the results," she said.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:20:14 -0400

Plaintiff Michael Egan attends a news conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, CaliforniaBy Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Director Bryan Singer, weeks before the release of his blockbuster "X-Men" action film, "X-Men: Days of Future Past," has been accused of drugging and raping a teenage boy in California and Hawaii in the late 1990s. The lawsuit filed on Wednesday in U.S. Court in Hawaii alleges that Singer, 48, used his influence as a Hollywood insider as well as a range of drugs and alcohol to force anal and oral sex on the boy while promising him roles in his films. Michael Egan seeks unspecified damages and a jury trial after wide-ranging abuses at California and Hawaii house parties beginning in the late 1990s, according to the civil action.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:17:16 -0400
The FDA warns common surgical technique could lead to dangerous spread of cancer cells.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:12:31 -0400
Another liberal group is attacking Republican Rep. Tom Cotton in Arkansas by saying Cotton has experience in the insurance industry and is attempting to undermine Medicare. Cotton's insurance experience is limited to consulting work for a federal agency.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:04:54 -0400
By Yuka Obayashi OKUMA, Japan (Reuters) - The manager of the Fukushima nuclear power plant admits to embarrassment that repeated efforts have failed to bring under control the problem of radioactive water, eight months after Japan's prime minister told the world the matter was resolved. Tokyo Electric Power Co, the plant's operator, has been fighting a daily battle against contaminated water since Fukushima was wrecked by a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government pledged half a billion dollars last year to tackle the issue, but progress has been limited. "It's embarrassing to admit, but there are certain parts of the site where we don't have full control," Akira Ono told reporters touring the plant this week.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:59:08 -0400

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Ryan Vlastelica NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks ended a holiday-shortened week with mostly modest gains on Thursday, though the S&P 500 notched its biggest weekly advance since July as Morgan Stanley and General Electric rallied after strong results. The two were the latest to post earnings that topped expectations, helping to lift the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to their fourth straight daily advance. Tech bellwethers Google and IBM fell on disappointing figures and limited the broader market's gain. IBM's slide pushed the Dow into slightly negative territory at the close.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:52:37 -0400
By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Dermatologists tend to prescribe more expensive medications when they also give their patients drug samples, according to a new U.S. study. "If you're a patient who receives a sample, you may perceive that doctor is giving you better care because they gave you a gift," Dr. Alfred Lane told Reuters Health. "But that doctor may have increased your medical costs by giving you that sample." Lane is the study's senior author, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California. Addressing fellow dermatologists, he added, "You have to realize that these samples are making you write more expensive prescriptions." In an editorial accompanying the new study in JAMA Dermatology, Dr. Kenneth Katz and colleagues from Kaiser Permanente Northern California note that the drug industry in 2011 distributed $6.3 billion of samples.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:37:20 -0400

A view shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) logo at its headquarters in Silver Spring(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that a common surgical procedure used to remove uterine fibroids could spread undetected uterine cancer. Data showed that the procedure, laparoscopic power morcellation, could significantly worsen a patient's chance of long-term survival, the regulator said. Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that usually pose no risk. However, certain women suffer from symptoms that include heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, pelvic pressure and frequent urination, which could warrant medical or surgical intervention.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:16:23 -0400

An Herbalife logo is shown on a poster at a clinic in the Mission District in San FranciscoBy Svea Herbst-Bayliss BOSTON (Reuters) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office said on Thursday it is investigating Herbalife Ltd, joining other state and federal probes of allegations that the weight loss and nutrition company is running a pyramid scheme. Madigan's office was urged to look into the company months ago by civil rights groups, which claimed it was a pyramid scheme targeting minorities. Hedge fund manager William Ackman was the first to call Herbalife a fraud and placed a $1 billion bet against the company in 2012. The company denies the allegations, and high-profile investors such as Carl Icahn, George Soros and Daniel Loeb have supported the company in the past by taking stakes.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:16:10 -0400

Group Grieving May Help Families Through South Korea Ferry DisasterGrieving in Groups Beats Grieving Alone, Experts Say


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:58:47 -0400

A view shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) logo at its headquarters in Silver Spring(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Merck & Co's pollen allergy drug Ragwitek. The tablet, which is administered by placing it under the tongue, is to treat the short ragweed pollen induced allergic rhinitis. Merck's Grastek will compete with Stallergenes SA's immunotherapy treatment for five types of grass pollen, which was approved by the FDA earlier this month.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:17:23 -0400

A view of the sign outside the Lowes store in WestminsterBy Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lowe's Home Centers, the No. 2 U.S. home improvement retail chain, has agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty for violating federal rules governing lead paint exposure, U.S. authorities said on Thursday. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice said Lowe's had also agreed to implement a new compliance program at more than 1,700 stores nationwide. Lead exposure can cause a range of health problems, from behavioral disorders and learning disabilities to seizures and death. Lead-based paint was banned in the United States in 1978 but remains in many older homes and apartments.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:15:43 -0400
By Anne Harding NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older people are willing and able to get themselves off medications like sleeping pills once they're informed of the potential harms, according to a new Canadian study. "Even among patients who have been taking sleeping pills for 30 years, many of them in their 80s and 90s were able to get off the sleeping pills once they realized that these pills could cause falls, memory problems and car accidents," lead author Dr. Cara Tannenbaum of the University of Montreal told Reuters Health. While Valium, Xanax and similar medications, known as benzodiazepines, are not recommended for older adults given such risks, up to one-third of older adults still take them, usually to treat insomnia or anxiety, according to Tannenbaum and her colleagues. Doctors know about the dangers these drugs pose to their patients, the investigators write in JAMA Internal Medicine, but nearly half say they renew benzodiazepine prescriptions for their older patients anyhow, "citing patient dependence and benefit as justifications." Tannenbaum's team wanted to see whether educating older patients taking benzodiazepines about the risks would be an effective way to encourage some to stop using the drugs.
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