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AstraZeneca first-in-class ovarian cancer drug wins EU approval
17 Dec 2014 at 11:46pm
LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca's all-important cancer drug business received a fillip on Thursday as a new medicine against ovarian cancer was approved in Europe, making it the first of its kind to reach the market. AstraZeneca has flagged Lynparza, or olaparib, as a potential $2-billion-a-year seller. The formal approval from the European Commission had been expected after the European Medicines Agency gave the drug a green light in October but the news is still significant given earlier uncertainties. ...
In South Korea, IKEA opens biggest store to lure tiny households
17 Dec 2014 at 11:31pm
SEOUL (Reuters) - Iconic Swedish furniture retailer IKEA built its biggest store in the world to serve South Korea's shrinking households, targeting millions of people living alone with Korea-only items like super-sized single beds and in-store kimchi rice.
Ebola toll nears 7,000; rate of spread slows in Sierra Leone - WHO
17 Dec 2014 at 11:29pm
GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll in the Ebola epidemic has risen to 6,915 out of 18,603 cases as of Dec. 14, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. There are signs that the increase in incidence in Sierra Leone has slowed, although 327 new cases were confirmed there in the past week, including 125 in the capital Freetown, the WHO said in its latest update. "A major operation has been implemented to curb the spread of disease in the west of the country," it said.
Donors and WHO responded too slowly to West Africa Ebola outbreak - report
17 Dec 2014 at 11:22pm
By Misha Hussain DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the nations that fund it failed to respond quickly and effectively to the deadly West Africa Ebola outbreak despite repeated warnings by aid agencies, a UK parliamentary committee said on Thursday. Ebola cases are rising dramatically in Sierra Leone, and the House of Commons International Development Committee said the international response was still "being outpaced on all fronts" by the spread of the Ebola virus in the former British colony. ...
Book Talk: War on Afghan frontline, by a female soldier
17 Dec 2014 at 11:12pm
By Jessica Donati KABUL (Reuters) - Chantelle Taylor is a former combat medic who fought in one of Britain's bloodiest battles in Afghanistan and wrote about her experience as a rare woman on the front line. Written in a neutral tone, "Battleworn" reads like an ordinary soldier's diary and documents hardship and bravery at a small outpost in Helmand province, where two-thirds of the company was wounded in battle. Publishers told Taylor no one would want to read a war story written by a woman and asked her to sex it up with romance. ...
Ebola centres overflow as Sierra Leone steps up fight
17 Dec 2014 at 11:09pm
By Emma Farge DEVIL HOLE, Sierra Leone (Reuters) - Ebola centres in Sierra Leone overflowed on Wednesday as health workers combed the streets of the capital Freetown for patients, after the government launched a major operation to contain the epidemic in West Africa's worst-hit country. President Ernest Bai Koroma said on national television that travel between all parts of the country had been restricted as part of "Operation Western Area Surge", and public gatherings would be strictly controlled in the run-up to Christmas. ...
U.S. doctor who recovered from Ebola will return to Liberia
17 Dec 2014 at 11:07pm
(Reuters) - A doctor from Massachusetts who came down with Ebola while volunteering in Liberia will return to West Africa in January to resume medical work, the missionary group he works with said on Wednesday. Rick Sacra, 52, recovered from Ebola under treatment in September at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He was one of three American health workers for Christian missionary groups who came down with Ebola in Liberia and were flown to the United States for treatment. ...
Federal judge rebuffs NCAA concussion settlement
17 Dec 2014 at 9:37pm
(Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday rebuffed a $75-million NCAA settlement that aimed to end a massive class-action lawsuit over head injuries suffered by student athletes, court records show. U.S. District Judge John Lee wrote in a 21-page opinion that while the proposed agreement was a step in the right direction, the $70 million devoted to fund concussion testing and diagnosis for players might not cover potential costs, among other issues. "Although these concerns may prove surmountable, the Court cannot grant preliminary approval of the settlement as currently proposed," Lee wrote. ...
Autism risk linked to particulate air pollution
17 Dec 2014 at 9:11pm
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Children whose mothers were exposed to high levels of fine particulate pollution in late pregnancy have up to twice the risk of developing autism as children of mothers breathing cleaner air, scientists at Harvard School of Public Health reported on Thursday. The greater the exposure to fine particulates emitted by fires, vehicles, and industrial smokestacks the greater the risk, found the study, published online in Environmental Health Perspectives. ...
Fight against malaria unites old foes in Myanmar
17 Dec 2014 at 9:05pm
By Astrid Zweynert TA GAY LAUNG, Myanmar (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In the middle of a bustling village hall in Myanmar's Kayin state, a government health worker pricks the finger of a child to extract a tiny drop of blood for a malaria test. A scene unthinkable just a few years ago, it is now commonplace in an area that used to be blighted by armed conflict between the government and soldiers from ethnic groups fighting for greater autonomy. ...
Here Are The Amazing Things Your Body Will Do In The Minute You Spend Reading...
17 Dec 2014 at 9:00pm
300: that?s how many words the average human reads per minute. But in the minute or two it?ll take you to get through this roughly 600-word article, your body will be doing a lot more -- spawning millions of blood cells, shootings trillions of chemical signals, and basically, you know, keeping you alive. We teamed up with CVS/Minute Clinic...
Women live with incontinence, but it can be treated
17 Dec 2014 at 7:11pm
By Ronnie Cohen (Reuters Health) - Older women often silently suffer from treatable urinary incontinence, researchers say. When doctors asked about urinary incontinence and offered to treat it, women were two to three times more likely to have a reduction in symptoms than when doctors ignored the condition until patients complained, they found. ?It?s very sad because most women don?t ask for help because they think there is no help for them,? lead researcher Dr. Els Visser told Reuters Health. ?What we proved with this study is that there is help for them,? she said. ...
South Korea increases efforts to contain foot-and-mouth outbreak
17 Dec 2014 at 6:38pm
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea is intensifying efforts to contain an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease by inoculating all hogs in affected areas, the agriculture ministry said in a statement on Thursday. South Korea earlier this month confirmed a fresh case of foot-and-mouth disease at a hog farm, five months after an outbreak elsewhere added to fears about food safety. So far nine cases have been confirmed at Chungcheong province, about 100 kms (61 miles) southeast of the capital, Seoul, the ministry statement said. ...
NY unlikely to face lawsuits over fracking ban, experts say
17 Dec 2014 at 5:49pm
By Daniel Wiessner ALBANY, N.Y. (Reuters) - When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on fracking in New York on Wednesday, he predicted "a ton of lawsuits" against the state. But that is unlikely as the end of a drilling boom has left the industry in no mood for a fight, industry experts and lawyers said. "I think most of the companies in the industry are disinterested in fighting," said Brad Gill, the executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, a trade group. ...
Pharnext drug shows promise in neurological disease with no treatment
17 Dec 2014 at 5:00pm
By Natalie Grover (Reuters) - Using technology gleaned from the mapping of the human genome, privately held French drug developer Pharnext SAS is a step closer to providing a treatment for a rare neurological disorder called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, for which no pharmaceutical therapy exists. The company on Wednesday said its three-drug combination, currently known as PXT-3003, led to a 14.4 percent improvement compared with placebo on a scale used to evaluate disability of the upper and lower limbs in an 80-patient mid-stage study. ...