Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:16:16 -0400
NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials are worried about recent U.S. measles outbreaks that so far have caused more illnesses than at the same point of any year since 1996.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:01:06 -0400
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont could likely be the first state in the country to require labels on genetically modified foods, under a bill approved by both legislative chambers and favored by the governor.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:44:34 -0400

Dr. Thiran Jayasundera, left, looks at Roger Pontz’s left eyeANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:55:59 -0400
By Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Commissioners in an Oregon county have temporarily stopped accepting boxed medical waste from British Columbia over fears they may have been burning fetal tissue at a plant that converts waste to energy, officials said on Thursday. Marion County said it had stopped taking the boxes in response to an article it became aware of late on Wednesday in a Vancouver-based newspaper about the possibility the plant had accepted human tissue from outside sources. "We are outraged and disgusted that this material could be included in medical waste received at the facility," Commissioner Janet Carlson said in a statement at the time. On Thursday, the two-member Marion County Board of Commissioners directed staff to draft an ordinance excluding fetal tissue from medical waste allowed at the waste-to-energy facility, and stopped accepting all such waste until the ordinance can be passed.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:54:49 -0400

A man poses for a photo in front of the Apple store on 5th Avenue in New YorkBy Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple has long been a trend-setter whose hot products attract imitators, and now its recent stock split might help revive a trend from the 1990s that has all but disappeared on Wall Street. Apple Inc's move might inspire others, some believe, but only modestly. "It could become a bit of a trend when you see a name like Apple decide to split the stock," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities. Polcari said Priceline Group Inc, the most expensive single stock on the S&P 500, is a prime candidate.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:52:59 -0400
An avian-borne virus outbreak on a California quail farm has fueled fears that the disease known as bird flu could spread, prompting investigators to continue their probe and five key export markets to bar imports of poultry from the state. A state diagnostic laboratory confirmed on April 18 that a quail flock in Stanislaus County, California, tested positive for low-pathogenic avian influenza virus. On Thursday, Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety announced a ban on the import of all poultry and poultry produced from Stanislaus County. Taiwan, too, has blocked chicken imports from California, while Japan has banned poultry slaughtered and eggs laid in California on or after March 24, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:42:25 -0400
By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - There was little progress in reducing food poisoning rates in the U.S. last year, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although Salmonella infections decreased by 9 percent in 2013, illnesses caused by other foodborne bacteria rose by as much as 32 percent. Each year, the most common foodborne illness - Salmonella - sickens about 1.2 million people in the U.S. and results in 450 deaths, according to the CDC. Recent efforts to lower that number seem to be working, but illnesses caused by contaminated food are still too common, say the report's authors.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:12:25 -0400
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — After months of deliberation over what to do with Oregon's botched online health exchange, an advisory panel on Thursday recommended that the state drop the site for private policies and have Oregonians instead shop for them on the federal online marketplace.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:12:22 -0400

The logo of French power and transport engineering company Alstom is pictured on a wall of the company's plant in Reichshoffen, near HaguenauBy Natalie Huet and Benjamin Mallet PARIS (Reuters) - Shares of Alstom jumped more than 14 percent on Thursday after a report that U.S. conglomerate General Electric was in talks to buy the struggling French turbine and train maker for about $13 billion. If confirmed, a takeover offer from a foreign company would raise concern among politicians and unions in France, where Alstom employs around 18,000 staff, or 20 percent of its global workforce. A deal could hand GE control of Alstom's high-speed TGV trains and rail-signal technology, and has the support of Bouygues , Alstom's biggest shareholder with a 29 percent stake, the report said. However, one person familiar with the industry said GE's ultimate aim might be to buy Alstom's power business rather than its rail arm - a deal that would leave its transport business as a separate publicly listed company in Paris.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:55:01 -0400

Costa Rican woman Diaz poses near a statua of John Paul II after she speaken to the media about the miracle that set Pope John Paul II onto the road of sainthoodBy Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Floribeth Mora Diaz does not care if people think she is crazy. She is convinced - and so is the Vatican - that she owes her life to a miracle cure because she prayed to the late Pope John Paul. "I have experienced the mercy of God in my own life and I am grateful," she told a news conference at the Vatican on Thursday explaining what Church investigators believe was a miracle attributed to John Paul's intercession with God. Pope Francis will elevate John Paul to sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday at a ceremony expected to draw more than one million people to the Vatican.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:50:49 -0400

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Nasdaq rose modestly in choppy trade on Thursday as Apple's shares rallied a day after the iPad maker's strong results, though tensions in Ukraine held back the broader market. Caterpillar Inc shares jumped nearly 2 percent and helped limit the Dow's loss after the world's largest maker of earth-moving machinery reported earnings that exceeded Wall Street's expectations. The three major U.S. stock indexes had opened sharply higher, with the Nasdaq initially climbing more than 1 percent before turning negative in the first half-hour of trading. Wall Street bounced off session lows with gains again concentrated in the Nasdaq, but stocks remained well off earlier highs.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:40:06 -0400
U.S. lawmakers should back a bill renewing the U.S. Export-Import Bank's charter and stop playing "political games" that will only hurt American exports and jobs, the bank's president said on Thursday. Ex-Im Bank President Fred Hochberg said critics of the export credit agency did not appreciate its role in supporting jobs and exports, and he warned the bank would have to close its doors on October 1 unless lawmakers renewed its charter. The White House had sent a bill to Congress to extend the bank's lending limit by $20 billion to $160 billion and allow it to operate for five more years, he said.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:36:28 -0400
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - International teams of researchers using advanced gene sequencing technology have uncovered a single genetic mutation responsible for a rare brain disorder that may have stricken families in Turkey for some 400 years. The discovery of this genetic disorder, reported in two papers in the journal Cell, demonstrates the growing power of new tools to uncover the causes of diseases that previously stumped doctors. Besides bringing relief to affected families, who can now go through prenatal genetic testing in order to have children without the disorder, the discovery helps lend insight into more common neurodegenerative disorders, such as ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, the researchers said. The reports come from two independent teams of scientists, one led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the other by Yale University, the University of California, San Diego, and the Academic Medical Center in the Netherlands.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:17:50 -0400
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An international team of scientists has deciphered the genetic code of the tsetse fly, the bloodsucking insect that spreads deadly African sleeping sickness, with the hope that its biological secrets can be exploited to eradicate this malady. The findings announced on Thursday were the culmination of a multimillion dollar, decade-long effort involving more than 140 scientists from 78 research institutions in 18 countries. The fly's bite carries a parasitic microorganism that causes sleeping sickness in people in sub-Saharan Africa and a form of the disease in animals that can devastate livestock herds. Sequencing the tsetse fly's genome exposed the molecular underpinnings of its weird biology: it gives live birth to young rather than laying eggs like other insects;
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:46:29 -0400

Marijuana plants are seen in an indoor cultivation in MontevideoUruguayans will be able buy up to 10 grams of pot a week, enough to roll 20 joints, under new rules governing the recently legalized marijuana trade in the country, a government source said on Thursday. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because President Jose Mujica has not yet decreed the new regulations, said the government will auction up to six licenses to produce cannabis legally. Uruguay, the first country to legalize the growing and sale of marijuana, is being closely watched by other countries debating drug liberalization. Uruguay has said it is also considering having marijuana grown on a plot of land controlled by the military to avoid illegal trafficking of the crop.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:41:09 -0400
A Chicago pediatrician was among those killed in an attack on a Kabul hospital funded by the U.S. Christian charity Cure International on Thursday, a clinic where the doctor worked in Chicago said. "For nearly a decade, Dr. Jerry Umanos volunteered in Afghanistan to train medical residents and to see pediatric patients," said Dr. Bruce Rowell, a medical director of clinical quality at Chicago's Lawndale Christian Health Center.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:41:09 -0400

Afghan policemen stand at the gate of Cure Hospital after three foreigners were killed in KabulThree Americans were killed on Thursday when a security guard opened fire at a Kabul hospital funded by a U.S. Christian charity, the latest in a spate of attacks on foreign civilians in Afghanistan. A fourth American was wounded, the Afghan Health Ministry said. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for similar attacks this year, but made no comment about Thursday's shooting. Those killed included a doctor, and a father and son visiting the hospital, Health Minister Suriya Dalil said.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:55:00 -0400
Researchers have less than two months to finish the robotic exoskeleton.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:47:09 -0400

Electronic cigarettes are pictured on display at The Vapor Spot vapor bar in Los AngelesBy Toni Clarke WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed rules on Thursday that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18, but would not restrict flavored products, online sales or advertising, which public health advocates say attract children. Bonnie Herzog, an analyst at Wells Fargo, said the proposal is "positive for industry." But public health advocates lamented the fact that the proposal does not take aim at e-cigarette advertising or sweetly-flavored products, which they say risk introducing a new generation of young people to conventional cigarettes when little is known about the long-term health impact of the electronic devices. "It's very disappointing because they don't do anything to rein in the wild-west marketing that is targeting kids," said Stanton Glantz, a professor at the Center of Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said at a briefing on Wednesday that the proposal represented the first "foundational" step toward broader restrictions if scientific evidence shows they are needed to protect public health.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:23:17 -0400

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, file photo, Egyptian Muslim pilgrims, some wearing masks as a precaution against the Middle East respiratory syndrome, pray after they cast stones at a pillar, symbolizing the stoning of Satan, in a ritual called "Jamarat," the last rite of the annual hajj, in Mina near the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah sacked the country’s health minister on Monday, April 21, 2014, amid a spike in deaths and infections from the virus known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS. The official Saudi Press Agency carried the royal order that said Abdullah al-Rabiah was relieved of his post as Health Minister, and that Labor Minister Adel Faqih will temporarily take over the health minister’s portfolio until a replacement is named. The statement said al-Rabiah is now adviser to the Royal Court. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — In the past 24 hours, Saudi Arabia has reported four new deaths from a Middle East virus related to SARS and 36 more cases of infection, including a Turkish pilgrim in Mecca.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:36:10 -0400

5 Things You Need to Know About E-CigarettesMillions Have Started to Use the Device as an Alternative for Traditional Cigarettes


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:29:08 -0400
By Allison Bond NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who recently had a minor stroke are more likely to get their cholesterol and blood pressure under control if they see a pharmacist periodically as compared to a nurse, a new study found. Keeping cholesterol and blood pressure in check is important because high levels can boost a patient's risk of having a heart attack, a bigger stroke or even of dying. But these risk factors tend to be poorly controlled. "Our current system of care results in more than three-quarters of patients who've had a minor stroke still having inadequately controlled risk factors six months later," Dr. Finlay McAlister, the study's lead author from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, said.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:22:37 -0400

Toronto Stock Exchange logo is seen in TorontoBy Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose slightly on Thursday, as gains in Potash Corp following better-than-expected results and in some heavyweight banks were offset by declines in gold miners. Potash shares rose 1.3 percent to C$38.85 after the world's biggest fertilizer company beat profit expectations in a tough quarter. But that gain was mitigated by slips in major gold miners Barrick Gold - off 0.7 percent at C$19.45 - and Goldcorp Inc , which was down 0.5 percent at C$27.14. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 24.39 points, or 0. ...


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:52:34 -0400
The agency's proposed regulations include warning labels and a ban on sales to minors.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:45:37 -0400
Brazil is investigating a potential case of atypical mad cow disease, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday, just over a year after several countries banned Brazilian beef imports when a similar case of the disease was confirmed. Laboratory tests are under way and atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, has not yet been confirmed, the e-mail said. In late 2012 tests showed that a cow that died two years earlier in Parana state had developed the protein that causes mad cow disease, though the animal never developed the disease and died of natural causes. Classical cases of mad cow are caused when cattle are fed brain or spinal tissue of other ruminants, which is now forbidden in nearly all beef producing countries including Brazil.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:25:46 -0400
The mind-controlled exoskeleton will be used to make the ceremonial opening kick at the World Cup.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 08:22:16 -0400
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca announced faster-than-expected progress of its experimental cancer drugs and plans to spin off billions of dollars of non-core assets as it staked a claim for independence following reports of bid interest from Pfizer. The British firm declined to comment on Thursday about a weekend newspaper report it had spurned a 60 billion pound $101 billion (60 billion pounds) bid approach from Pfizer earlier this year. Instead, Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said he remained focused on sharpening AstraZeneca's portfolio, and as part of that unveiled plans to sell or partner infection and neuroscience units with combined sales of $3.5 billion in 2013. The drugs sector is in the grip of a wave of deal-making as firms strive to build up their best businesses and exit weaker ones, as highlighted by a multibillion-dollar asset swap between Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 07:54:39 -0400
(Reuters) - Medical device maker Zimmer Holdings Inc said it would buy orthopedic products company Biomet Inc in a deal valued at about $13.35 billion to broaden its portfolio of products that treat bone and joint-related disorders. Zimmer will pay $10.35 billion in cash and issue $3 billion in shares to Biomet shareholders. Biomet was taken private for $11.4 billion in 2007 by a private equity consortium including affiliates of Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and TPG. Biomet was advised by BofA Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 07:08:21 -0400

Prozac medicine is seen at a pharmacy in Los Angeles(Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday, hurt by disappointing sales of its cancer and diabetes drugs, and trimmed its 2014 profit forecast. Lilly said it earned $728 million, or 68 cents per share, in the first quarter. It had profit of $1.55 billion, or $1.42 per share, a year earlier, when Lilly posted special gains from transferring rights to a diabetes drug. Excluding special items, Lilly earned 70 cents per share, matching the average estimate of analysts, as compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue fell 16 percent to ...


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 06:46:41 -0400

A receptionist works in front of the logo of Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp in TokyoBy James Topham and Niu Shuping TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) - Three employees at one of Marubeni Corp's grain trading unit in China have been detained, Chinese customs said on Thursday, a move prompted by allegations of tax evasion on soybean imports. The three local staff worked at a Chinese unit of Marubeni's Columbia Grain, Inc, the Japanese trading house and Chinese customs in the port city of Qingdao said. The detentions could add to recent pressure on soybean prices after a wave of soybean cargo defaults in China, where a combination of poor crushing margins and difficulty getting credit has led to a spike in rejected cargoes. U.S. soybean futures hit their lowest since April 14 on Thursday, on concerns about defaults by top buyer China, which buys more than 60 percent of global imports.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 06:30:35 -0400
The agency proposes to regulate the fast-growing industry as tobacco products.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 05:33:54 -0400
(Reuters) - Mississippi will ban abortions after more than 20 weeks of pregnancy from July, joining other conservative U.S. states that have placed restrictions on the procedure. A handful of states have in recent years enacted laws that place restrictions on the procedure, especially on late-term abortions, citing hotly debated medical research that a fetus feels pain at 20 weeks of gestation, halfway through a full-term pregnancy. "Today is an important day for protecting the unborn and the health and safety of women in Mississippi," Governor Phil Bryant said in a statement after signing the bill, which becomes law on July 1. In Mississippi, abortions would be legal after 20 weeks if a woman's life was in danger or if the fetus suffers "from fetal abnormalities so great that life outside the womb is not viable," said Bryant, a Republican.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 05:12:05 -0400

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, file photo, Egyptian Muslim pilgrims, some wearing masks as a precaution against the Middle East respiratory syndrome, pray after they cast stones at a pillar, symbolizing the stoning of Satan, in a ritual called "Jamarat," the last rite of the annual hajj, in Mina near the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah sacked the country’s health minister on Monday, April 21, 2014, amid a spike in deaths and infections from the virus known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS. The official Saudi Press Agency carried the royal order that said Abdullah al-Rabiah was relieved of his post as Health Minister, and that Labor Minister Adel Faqih will temporarily take over the health minister’s portfolio until a replacement is named. The statement said al-Rabiah is now adviser to the Royal Court. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's health ministry says two more patients who became infected with a Middle East virus related to SARS have died, and that 13 others have contracted the virus.


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 03:19:42 -0400
Managers mishandled a radiation leak at a New Mexico nuclear waste dump in which 21 workers were exposed to airborne radioactive particles due in part to substandard equipment and safety systems, a U.S. investigator said on Wednesday. But the contamination from the underground salt mine in the Chihuahuan Desert - where radioactive waste from U.S. nuclear labs and weapons facilities is deposited - was unlikely to have harmed the workers' health, inspectors said. Ted Wyka, chairman of a federal accident review board, said improperly placed or inoperative air monitors, a substandard ventilation system and mismanagement contributed to the February 14 leak of radioisotopes including plutonium. The preliminary findings by Wyka and other officials assembled by the U.S. Energy Department, which oversees the plant, came during a public meeting in Carlsbad, New Mexico on Wednesday.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 02:33:01 -0400
What would you do if you were diagnosed with cancer in your teens or twenties?
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 02:25:43 -0400
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — After weeks of deliberation, a committee is poised to make a final recommendation Thursday on what to do with Oregon's botched health insurance exchange portal.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 01:46:42 -0400

A logo of Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp on headquarters in TokyoBy James Topham and Niu Shuping TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) - Three employees at one of Marubeni Corp's grain trading units in China have been detained by authorities, the Japanese trading house said on Thursday, a move industry sources said was prompted by allegations of tax evasion on soy bean imports. The employees worked at a Chinese unit of Marubeni's Columbia Grain, Inc, a spokesman at Marubeni said, adding he did not know why they had been detained. Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said none of the detained staff at the unit were Japanese citizens. The detentions come amid a wave of soybean defaults in China, where a combination of poor crushing margins and difficulty getting credit has led to a spike in rejected cargoes.


Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:07:42 -0400

A Herbalife logo is shown on a poster at a clinic in the Mission District in San FranciscoHerbalife, a weight loss and nutrition company being investigated for allegations of running a pyramid scheme, disciplined hundreds of distributors last year for making unsubstantiated medical claims about its products, ABC News reported on Wednesday. The network said the company disclosed the internal figures after an ABC News investigation found what it called "numerous examples of distributors boasting to potential customers that the company's products helped treat maladies ranging from diabetes to heart disease." In one case, an ABC reporter posing as a customer caught a Staten Island, New York, distributor on a hidden camera saying a woman overcame a brain tumor after using Herbalife products, the network said. Asked by ABC in a televised report if Herbalife cured brain tumors, Herbalife President Des Walsh said: "Absolutely not. ABC said that since the interview, Herbalife had told the network it disciplined almost 600 distributors last year for making such claims and stripped 12 of their distributorships.


Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:01:27 -0400
By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - The Oklahoma Supreme Court lifted a stay of execution on Wednesday for two murderers, put in place due to concerns over secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs, clearing the way for them to be put to death next week. The court said their records indicate that the inmates have been provided with the identity and dosages of the drugs for the lethal injections and there were no pending secrecy concerns that would merit a further stay. The decision came a few hours after a member of the House of Representatives said he would start proceedings that could have led to impeachment proceedings in the state's legislature for court members. The two inmates, Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, had been scheduled to be executed in March but had the death sentences put on hold after lower courts ruled that the state needed to provide more information on the drugs.
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