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China hospital staff demand better security after deadly brawl
25 Jan 2015 at 11:32pm
Hospital staff have demonstrated in China to demand better protection after a doctor and a patient were killed in a fight, media reported on Monday, the latest incident to highlight problems in a system often overwhelmed with patients. The deaths came on Saturday when a drunk man seeking treatment for an injury started a fight with a doctor and they both then plummeted down an elevator shaft, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Medical pot only OK for sick kids failed by other drugs: MDs
25 Jan 2015 at 10:21pm
CHICAGO (AP) ? With virtually no hard proof that medical marijuana benefits sick children, and evidence that it may harm developing brains, the drug should only be used for severely ill kids who have no other treatment option, the nation's most influential pediatricians group says in a new policy.
Regeneron/Sanofi cholesterol drug gets FDA priority review
25 Jan 2015 at 10:15pm
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on Monday said U.S. health regulators accepted its application to review a potent cholesterol drug on a priority basis, potentially giving it the upper hand in a fierce race with Amgen to bring a new medicine from the promising class to market. Regeneron, which is developing the drug, alirocumab, in partnership with Sanofi, said the target date for a Food and Drug Administration approval decision was July 24, following a six-month review period.
Safety concerns cloud early promise of powerful new cancer drugs
25 Jan 2015 at 10:05pm
By Ransdell Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new wave of experimental cancer drugs that directly recruit the immune system's powerful T cells are proving to be immensely effective weapons against tumors, potentially transforming the $100 billion global market for drugs that fight the disease. In some trials, the two new approaches, known as CAR T cells and bispecific antibodies, have eliminated all traces of blood cancers in 40 percent to 90 percent of patients who had no remaining options. Bispecific antibodies are a twist on conventional antibodies, Y-shaped proteins whose two arms grasp for the same protein target found on cancer cells. With bispecifics, one arm of the antibody typically grasps a cancer cell while the other arm takes hold of T cells, bringing the mortal enemies into contact. The T cell punches holes into the adjacent tumor cell and injects deadly enzymes.
U.S. pediatricians reaffirm opposition to legalized pot
25 Jan 2015 at 9:34pm
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Despite moves by some states to allow recreational and medical use of marijuana, a large group of U.S. pediatricians says in a new statement that the substance should remain ? for the most part ? illegal. In an update to its 2004 position statement on the matter, the American Academy of Pediatrics also calls for decriminalization of marijuana to lessen the lasting effects of criminal charges brought against youths ? especially minorities. Decriminalization of marijuana ?takes this whole issue out of the criminal justice system and puts it into the health system, where it really should be,? said Dr. Seth Ammerman, the statement?s lead author from Stanford University in California. ?What that would look like - we hope ? (is) if you?re found to be in possession of marijuana as a kid, instead of going to jail, juvenile hall or getting some sort of record, you?d be put in some sort of diversion or treatment program,? Ammerman told Reuters Health.
Preemies less lucky in love as young adults, study suggests
25 Jan 2015 at 9:32pm
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Twenty-somethings who were born prematurely are less likely to move in with a lover or have sex than their peers born at full term, Finnish researchers find. These young adults are also less likely to consider themselves sexy. "Previous studies have found that individuals born preterm might be more cautious and less risk-taking than those born at full term, which might also be reflected in our findings of lower likelihood of romantic relations," said lead study author Dr. Tuija Mannisto, a researcher and fellow in clinical chemistry with the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Northern Finland Laboratory Centre Nordlab in Oulu, Finland, in email to Reuters Health. Pregnancy normally lasts about 40 weeks, and babies born after 37 weeks are considered full term.
Breast cancer patients lack knowledge of their tumors
25 Jan 2015 at 9:30pm
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Women with breast cancer often don?t know what kind of tumors they have, a new study found. Not knowing one?s tumor features isn?t necessarily tied to worse outcomes, but better knowledge might help women understand treatment decisions and take medications as directed, said Dr. Rachel Freedman, the study?s lead author from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Also, she said, cancer patients who understand the basis for their treatment are generally more satisfied with that treatment. For the new study, published in the journal Cancer, Freedman and her colleagues asked 500 women from northern California about their breast cancers, which had been diagnosed between 2010 and 2011.
'We have a deal': insurance may unlock India-U.S. atomic trade
25 Jan 2015 at 8:40pm
By Frank Jack Daniel and Douglas Busvine NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a plan centered on insurance on Sunday that they hope will convince U.S. companies to build nuclear power stations in India, but stopped short of demands to soften a liability law. With the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy still fresh in India's mind, parliament five years ago passed a law that makes equipment suppliers ultimately responsible for an accident, a deviation from international norms that the companies found hard to swallow. India's top diplomat, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, said the new plan was "squarely within our law". "The India nuclear insurance pool is a risk transfer mechanism which is being formed by GIC Re and four other public sector undertakings in the general insurance business in India," foreign ministry joint secretary Amandeep Singh said.
Japanese rice: the new, safe luxury food in China
25 Jan 2015 at 8:11pm
Now Chinese consumers are adding Japanese rice to the list of everyday foods they will bring in from abroad at luxury-good prices because they fear the local alternatives aren't safe. "Chinese rice farmers use pesticides," said a seller identified as Ying Ying, who started offering Japanese rice on the Taobao online marketplace last August. "Japanese rice isn't polluted by heavy metals." Pollution from industrialization has exacted a heavy toll on China's soil and water. In May 2013, officials in Guangdong province in southern China said 44 percent of rice samples contained excessive levels of the metal cadmium.
Four tobacco makers accused by French anti-smoking of collusion
25 Jan 2015 at 3:28pm
A French anti-smoking association said Sunday it had filed a case accusing makers of Marlboro, Camel, Lucky Strike and Gauloise cigarettes of colluding to limit prices so smokers won't cut their consumption. "The four big international tobacco industrials work as a cartel, (and) do all they can so that prices rise in a moderate manner to ensure consumption doesn't fall," Martinet told AFP.
WHO pledges reforms as it admits Ebola mistakes
25 Jan 2015 at 3:27pm
The World Health Organization's chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola and pledged reforms to avoid similar mistakes in future. Despite turning a corner in the fight against Ebola, there was no room for complacency, WHO head Margaret Chan told a rare emergency session of the agency. "The world, including WHO, was too slow to see what was unfolding before us," she told delegates at only the third emergency session in the history of the WHO.
After Ebola, WHO to set up contingency fund, develop 'surge capacity'
25 Jan 2015 at 1:03pm
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday it will create a contingency fund and an emergency workforce to respond quickly to crises after strong criticism of the agency's delay in confronting the Ebola epidemic. Director-general Dr. Margaret Chan said at an emergency meeting called to discuss the agency's Ebola response that the outbreak showed the need to strengthen WHO's crisis management and to streamline procedures for recruiting frontline workers. "Member states truly understand that the world does need a collective defence mechanism for global health security." In the past year, 21,724 Ebola cases have been reported in nine countries and 8,641 people have died, according to the WHO, which says West Africa's outbreak is ebbing. "The WHO we have is not the WHO we need, not the WHO we needed to respond to health emergencies of the magnitude of Ebola," Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), told the talks.
WHO adopts reforms to repair reputation after bungling Ebola
25 Jan 2015 at 12:15pm
GENEVA (AP) ? The World Health Organization has proposed reforms that could overhaul its structure after botching the response to the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak, a sluggish performance that experts say cost thousands of lives.
Factbox: Obama and Modi unveil India nuclear trade breakthrough
25 Jan 2015 at 8:30am
(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a deal aimed at unlocking billions of dollars in nuclear trade and deepening defense ties, steps both sides hope will help establish an enduring strategic partnership. Following are some key agreements and points of discussion during Obama's visit: CIVIL NUCLEAR India and the United States struck a deal that could open the door for U.S. companies to build nuclear reactors in India by promising insurance cover to U.S. companies that had shied away from an Indian law placing liability on suppliers in case of an accident. It remains to be seen whether the new pact will satisfy companies such as GE and Toshiba-owned Westinghouse, who had stayed away since a landmark 2008 agreement that ended India's nuclear isolation. STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE India's size, location, fast-growing economy and potential as a democratic counterbalance to China makes the South Asian nation an increasingly important element of U.S. military and commercial strategy.
Imperial Tobacco launches caffeinated mouth strips
25 Jan 2015 at 5:19am
By Martinne Geller LONDON (Reuters) - Imperial Tobacco Group, the world's third largest cigarette maker, is moving into caffeine as more people kick the deadly smoking habit, launching a melt-in-your-mouth strip designed to give an energy boost in seconds. The product, called Reon, comes in flavors such as "grapefruit & zing" and "black currant & fresh". For now it is only sold in the English city of Manchester and online. Developed by Imperial's Fontem Ventures subsidiary, Reon comes in packs of eight strips, each with 20 mg of caffeine, or less than a third of the amount in a shot of Starbucks espresso.