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Stigma hinders efforts to combat leprosy in India
9 Mar 2014 at 11:13am
TAHIRPUR, India (AP) ? At first, Ashok Yadav ignored the patches of pink skin on his arm. But when pale sores erupted on his body and he lost sensation in his fingertips, a doctor issued the devastating diagnosis: Yadav had leprosy.
Doctors hope for cure in a 2nd baby born with HIV
5 Mar 2014 at 3:34pm
A second baby born with the AIDS virus may have had her infection put into remission and possibly cured by very early treatment ? in this instance, four hours after birth.
Court won't hear dispute over 'boobies' bracelets
10 Mar 2014 at 10:53am
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a Pennsylvania school district that tried to ban students from wearing "I (heart) Boobies!" bracelets to promote breast cancer awareness, ending a case that began more than three years ago with the suspension of two middle-school girls who refused a principal's order to take them off.
The dawning of the age of genomic medicine, finally
10 Mar 2014 at 6:20pm
(This March 6 story has been corrected to fix spelling of test to verifi from Verify in paragraph 33) By Julie Steenhuysen LA JOLLA, California (Reuters) - When President Bill Clinton announced in 2000 that Craig Venter and Dr. Francis Collins of the National Human Genome Research Institute had succeeded in mapping the human genome, he solemnly declared that the discovery would "revolutionize" the treatment of virtually all human disease. The expectation was that this single reference map of the 3 billion base pairs of DNA -- the human genetic code -- would quickly unlock the secrets of Alzheimer's, diabetes, cancer and other scourges of human health. As it turns out, Clinton's forecast was not unlike President George Bush's "mission accomplished" speech in the early days of the Iraq war, said Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Translational Science Institute, which is running a meeting On the Future of Genomic Medicine here March 6-7.
U.S. stocks dip after China, Boeing data
10 Mar 2014 at 4:20pm
By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped on Monday, weighed down by soft data out of China and Boeing's latest production setback. Merger and acquisition announcements, however, as well as company-specific news including on Facebook and Alexion Pharma, helped keep the S&P 500 and Nasdaq from bigger losses. China's exports unexpectedly tumbled 18.1 percent in February, against expectations for a 6.8 percent rise, swinging the trade balance into deficit and adding to fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. There's a little bit of profit-taking," said Paul Zemsky, head of asset allocation at ING Investment Management in New York.
Carnival cruise passengers sue seeking $5,000 a month for life
10 Mar 2014 at 4:00pm
By David Quiñones MIAMI (Reuters) - A group of passengers suing Carnival cruise lines for damages after an engine fire left their ship adrift for days are asking the company to pay $5,000 a month for the rest of their lives for medical bills and mental anguish. A lawsuit brought by 33 passengers of the ill-fated 2013 voyage could change how cruise lines insulate themselves from legal actions, according to maritime legal experts. A second pending lawsuit with three-times as many plaintiffs has the potential to further undo the advantageous legal position cruise lines have long enjoyed. Stalled in the Gulf of Mexico for five days, passengers described human waste seeping into hallways, and being forced to sleep on deck under makeshift tarps with no cooked food.
Syria among 'most dangerous places on Earth' for children: UNICEF
10 Mar 2014 at 3:56pm
The number of children affected by the civil war in Syria has more than doubled over the past year, with hundreds of thousands of young Syrians trapped in besieged parts of the country, the United Nations Children's Fund said on Monday. "After three years of conflict and turmoil, Syria is now one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a child," said the UNICEF report. "In their thousands, children have lost lives and limbs, along with virtually every aspect of their childhood." "They have lost classrooms and teachers, brothers and sisters, friends, caregivers, homes and stability," it said. "Instead of learning and playing, many have been forced into the workplace, are being recruited to fight, or subjected to enforced idleness." UNICEF said the child casualty rates were the highest recorded in any recent conflict in the region.
La Jolla Pharma's drug improves kidney function in trial, shares soar
10 Mar 2014 at 3:40pm
La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co said its lead experimental drug to treat chronic kidney disease met the main goal of improving kidney function in a mid-stage study, sending the company's shares up about 40 percent in extended trading. La Jolla said the lower dose also reduced the levels galectin-3, a protein associated with tissue scarring. "There's a biologic feedback at the higher doses that neutralized the effect of the drug," Chief Executive George Tidmarsh said at an investor conference. La Jolla was likely to conduct another mid-stage study to test doses below the higher dose level to determine the drug's response, Moussatos said.
Louisiana insurers to accept funds from federal AIDS program for Obamacare pr...
10 Mar 2014 at 3:19pm
Three Louisiana insurers agreed on Monday to continue to accept payments from a federal program for low-income people with HIV/AIDS to cover their Obamacare insurance premiums, the carriers said during a hearing in U.S. District Court. Earlier this year BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana, the state's largest carrier, said it would begin rejecting checks from a federal program called the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program that for decades had helped low-income people with HIV and AIDS pay for both AIDS drugs and insurance premiums. Louisiana Health Cooperative and Vantage Health Plan, the two other insurers selling Obamacare policies throughout the state, said they would be forced to follow the same strategy.
Ted Turner says 'recuperating well' from surgery in Argentina
10 Mar 2014 at 3:18pm
(Reuters) - Ted Turner, the founder of cable TV network CNN, said on Monday he was heading back to the United States from Argentina after "a minor surgical procedure due to appendicitis." The 75-year-old was rushed to a hospital in Argentina's Patagonia region on Friday with acute abdominal pain before flying to the capital, Buenos Aires, where he underwent surgery. "The doctors and medical staff at both hospitals in Bariloche and Buenos Aires were amazing and took really good care of me." Turner owns vast tracts of ranch land near the lakeside city of Bariloche along the Andes. After launching Turner Broadcasting System in the 1970s, Turner created CNN in 1980 as the world's first 24-hour cable news channel.
US administration pulls back on Medicare drug benefit proposals
10 Mar 2014 at 3:17pm
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration, in an abrupt about-face, said on Monday it would drop proposed changes to Medicare drug coverage that met wide opposition on grounds they would harm health benefits for the elderly and disabled. Late last week, more than 370 organizations representing insurers, drug makers, pharmacies, health providers and patients urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to withdraw changes it had proposed for Medicare Part D. One of the federal government's most successful and cost-effective healthcare programs, Part D provides drug benefits for the elderly and disabled through private insurers to 36 million enrollees. Critics said the changes, if adopted in coming months, could not only undermine Part D benefits but impact drug benefits available through Medicare Advantage, a program that allows Medicare beneficiaries to obtain their major medical coverage through private insurers. We will engage in further stakeholder input before advancing some or all of the changes in these areas in future years," CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner advised in a letter sent on Monday to members of the Senate and House of Representatives.
Drunken groom fights with bride on jet, forces emergency landing
10 Mar 2014 at 1:54pm
By Peter Polack GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (Reuters) - A groom on his honeymoon got into a drunken argument with his bride aboard a flight form Atlanta to Costa Rica, forcing the Delta Air Lines aircraft to make an emergency landing on Grand Cayman island on Sunday night, authorities said. The U.S. citizen was escorted from the flight after it landed by Cayman Islands police and was being held in custody on a charge of drunk and disorderly conduct, according to Royal Cayman Islands Chief Inspector Raymond Christian. He did not name the bride or the groom involved in the incident other than to say the groom was a U.S. citizen. Delta spokeswoman Lindsay McDuff confirmed on Monday that a "disruptive customer" prompted the crew of flight 901 to divert to Grand Cayman.
Exclusive: Germany OKs Northwest Bio brain cancer drug, shares soar
10 Mar 2014 at 1:36pm
Germany has granted Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc special permission to sell its experimental brain cancer drug in the country, the company said, and its stock jumped as much as 36 percent. The tiny U.S. biotech received a special "hospital exemption" in Germany, allowing Northwest to sell the injectable drug for five years even though it has not completed its late-stage trial of the immunotherapy, Chief Executive Officer Linda Powers said in an interview. She said the company, which would also have the right to seek renewal of the exemption after five years, has not yet requested or received formal marketing approval for its product. Even before Monday's announcement, Northwest Biotherapeutics shares had surged 60 percent in 2014.
FactChecking Sarah Palin at CPAC
10 Mar 2014 at 1:25pm
Sarah Palin told her fellow conservatives at CPAC that "there are more uninsured today than when Obama began all of this," referring to the Affordable Care Act. But there is no evidence of that.
ER visits for low blood sugar common among insulin users
10 Mar 2014 at 1:12pm
By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Almost 100,000 people in the U.S. are sent to emergency rooms every year for low blood sugar or errors related to a common diabetes drug, according to a new government study. "This is important because many of these emergency department visits for insulin-related hypoglycemia are preventable," Dr. Andrew Geller, the study's lead author, said. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can occur when people with diabetes inject themselves with the hormone insulin, which allows the body to turn sugar in the blood into energy. People with diabetes don't produce enough insulin on their own or their bodies have become resistant to it.