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China investigates former top healthcare official for bribery
27 May 2015 at 1:41am
China is investigating the former head of a healthcare ministry unit responsible for drug trials and leading implementation of healthcare policy for bribery, a prosecutor said on Tuesday. A court in Sichuan province said it was investigating Wang Yu, the former top official at the Bureau of Medical Administration, as part of a crackdown on corruption in the healthcare sector.An official at the health ministry declined to give immediate comment when contacted by telephone while an official at the specific bureau declined to comment. The bureau, part of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, oversees the drafting and implementation of healthcare policy, manages clinical trials and helps supervise the operation of public hospitals.
Novartis digs into health tech with bet on 'robotic pill'
27 May 2015 at 1:03am
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis is raising its bet on smart technology by collaborating with U.S. start-up Rani Therapeutics on a ?robotic pill? for complex biotech drugs that would normally have to be given by injection. Rani said it would run feasibility studies over the next 18-24 months to evaluate how selected Novartis biologic medicines can be delivered into the bloodstream using its unique device. The Rani capsule, which is swallowed like a conventional pill, contains tiny needles made of sugar that are pushed into the wall of the intestine to deliver the drug.
Trial shows virus treatment effective against skin cancer
27 May 2015 at 12:54am
A genetically modified herpes virus was effective in fighting skin cancer by infecting and destroying cancer cells as well as triggering an immune response, according to results of a clinical trial released on Tuesday. It was the first time an advanced-stage trial of this type of drug has shown such positive results, according to scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research in London who published their study in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology. In the study, more than 16 percent of those treated with the drug had a treatment response lasting longer than six months, compared with two percent in the control groups.
Zanzibar police beef up fight against sexual, physical abuse of women
27 May 2015 at 12:22am
RISING WAVE OF ASSAULTS Zanzibar has started to roll out gender and children desks in all police stations in Unguja and Pemba islands as part of a broader government policy to curb the rising wave of sexual assaults against women and children, officials said. At Bububu police station, in Zanzibar's urban west district, the recently launched gender desk is attracting some abuse victims who are now willing to report their experiences, officials said.
Fears of koala cull in crowded Australian colony
27 May 2015 at 12:10am
By Pauline Askin SYDNEY (Reuters) - An overcrowded colony of about 1,000 koalas in Australia is being assessed this week for possible ill health in a survey that could lead to a cull, raising objections from animal welfare lobbyists. "Koalas will be captured and assessed by veterinarians using strict health assessment protocols and anything that is found to be in poor condition or suffering will be humanely euthanized while it's under sedation," said Mandy Watson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Koalas are a protected species in Australia, where they serve as a major tourist attraction and fulfill the odd diplomatic role - world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama were pictured cuddling the docile animals at a G20 summit in Brisbane last year.
California scientists test Ecstasy as anxiety-reducer for gravely ill
26 May 2015 at 9:00pm
By Emmett Berg SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California scientists are testing whether the illegal psychoactive drug commonly known as Ecstasy could help alleviate anxiety for terminally ill patients, the trial's principal funder said on Tuesday. At least a dozen subjects with life-threatening diseases like cancer, and who are expected to live at least 9 months, will participate in the double-blind trial over the next year in Santa Cruz, said Brad Burge, spokesman for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, in Santa Cruz. Each subject will be randomly given either a full dose - 125 milligrams of MDMA, or an "active placebo" dose of 30 milligrams, Burge said.
Seattle to close medical marijuana dispensaries operating without permits
26 May 2015 at 8:46pm
Seattle will close dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries operating without a license, the city's mayor said on Tuesday, part of a statewide effort to reconcile the unregulated system with the voter-approved recreational pot industry. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray outlined a series of regulatory changes in how cannabis operations will do business in the city, saying the rules will improve the marketplace for patients who depend on medical marijuana. "We?re strengthening the recreational marijuana market and creating safer, more consistent access for those who rely on medicinal products,? Murray said at a news conference.
Chinese biotech 3SBIO launches up to $712 million HK IPO: term sheet
26 May 2015 at 8:42pm
(Reuters) - Biotech company 3SBIO, which delisted from the Nasdaq two years ago, on Wednesday launched an up to $712 million IPO in Hong Kong to fund acquisitions and recruit staff to help it grab a bigger piece of the booming Chinese drug market. The company, which produces drugs to treat bleeding disorders, hopes to benefit from greater liquidity by listing in Hong Kong alongside other firms which are targeting the Chinese biopharmaceutical market's double-digit growth. 3SBIO and shareholder CITIC Private Equity are offering 606.1 million shares at an indicative price range of HK$8.30 to HK$9.10 each, putting the total deal at up to HK$5.51 billion, the terms showed.
Fear silences human trafficking victims: Mexico prosecutor
26 May 2015 at 6:18pm
By Anastasia Moloney BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Zunduri, enslaved at a dry cleaners shop in Mexico City, was so thirsty at one point she blistered her mouth trying to drink steam from an iron, and was so hungry she chewed the polythene wrapping used to cover garments. The 23-year-old Mexican woman, known only as Zunduri, told state prosecutors of her two-year ordeal after escaping last month, exposing one of the worst cases of slavery to come to light in the Mexican capital. It's one of the worst cases I've ever come across," said veteran prosecutor Juana Camila Bautista, who heads the Mexico City prosecutor's human trafficking office.
California Assembly votes to make pregnancy centers tell women of abortion op...
26 May 2015 at 5:41pm
By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The California State Assembly approved a bill on Tuesday that would require licensed pregnancy centers, which sometimes steer women away from abortion, to inform clients about state programs offering such services, officials said. The Democratic-led Assembly voted 49-26 to approve the bill, which has the support of California's Democratic attorney general, Kamala Harris, and will next go to the state Senate, said Allison Ruff, aide to Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, a Democrat and co-author of the bill. With the vote, lawmakers in liberal-leaning California are moving in the opposite direction of a number of more conservative states, where laws have placed increased obligations on abortion providers.
Family history may not impact breast cancer survival odds
26 May 2015 at 4:44pm
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - In younger women with breast cancer, having a family history of the disease may not worsen their survival odds, a new study suggests. ?They should not be concerned that their family history alone will affect the chance of a successful outcome,? Cutress said. Worldwide, breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women.
Colorado movie gunman wrote of 'obsession to kill' since childhood
26 May 2015 at 4:44pm
By Keith Coffman CENTENNIAL, Colo., (Reuters) - Colorado cinema gunman James Holmes wrote in a notebook he sent to his psychiatrist prior to opening fire in a suburban theater that he had harbored an "obsession to kill" since childhood, a police officer testified at his murder trial on Tuesday. Holmes mailed a package to the psychiatrist that included the notebook a day before he opened fire inside a cinema in the Denver suburb of Aurora during a screening of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises." Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for Holmes if he is convicted of killing 12 moviegoers and wounding 70 others in the July 2012 rampage. Aurora Police Sergeant Matthew Fyles read aloud excerpts from the 29-page notebook, in which Holmes allegedly wrote: "The obsession to kill since I was a kid, with age became more realistic." Fyles said that Holmes wrote in another entry that he had thought about multiple ways to kill, including with nuclear weapons and biological warfare.
U.S. bird flu virus seen under control within a few months
26 May 2015 at 3:42pm
By Sybille de La Hamaide PARIS (Reuters) - An epidemic of bird flu that has devastated U.S. poultry flocks this year is likely to be under control within a few months as the United States steps up measures to contain the virus and the summer weather weakens it, senior officials said on Tuesday. There is, however, a high risk that bird flu strains could spread within the American continent, mainly Mexico, the head of the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said, calling on farmers and authorities to boost biosecurity measures. No new U.S. cases of the disease were confirmed on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a daily notice.
New study backs risk estimate for contraceptive pills
26 May 2015 at 3:36pm
The broadest study of its kind on Wednesday backed estimates that newer kinds of contraceptive pills carry a higher risk of dangerous blood clots. The probe, published in the BMJ, compared oral contraceptives containing a synthetic version of the hormone progestogen with earlier versions of the pill. Compared with women not using oral contraceptives, women using older pills had about two and a half times increased risk of VTE, it found.
Question: Does Cognitive Behavior Therapy Include Insight?
26 May 2015 at 2:32pm
Answer: Insight is always a part of cognitive therapy -- an important part, but not an end in itself. We help patients gain insight into why they have unhelpful or upsetting reactions. Their emotions and behavior make sense once they understand how they perceived a given situation. And the characteristic themes in their perceptions (represented...