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Factbox: Why the Zika virus is causing alarm
27 Jul 2016 at 1:02pm
Global health officials are racing to better understand the Zika virus behind a major outbreak that began in Brazil last year and has spread to many countries in the Americas. Zika is transmitted to people through the bite of infected female mosquitoes, primarily the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same type that spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said Aedes mosquitoes are found in all countries in the Americas except Canada and continental Chile, and the virus will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found.
Timeline: Zika's origin and global spread
27 Jul 2016 at 1:02pm
The following timeline charts the origin and spread of the Zika virus from its discovery nearly 70 years ago: 1947: Scientists researching yellow fever in Uganda's Zika Forest identify the virus in a rhesus monkey 1948: Virus recovered from Aedes africanus mosquito in Zika Forest 1952: First human cases detected in Uganda and Tanzania 1954: Virus found in Nigeria 1960s-80s: Zika detected in mosquitoes and monkeys across equatorial Africa 1969?83: Zika found in equatorial Asia, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan 2007: Zika spreads from Africa and Asia, first large outbreak on ...
Smoking raises brain-lining hemorrhage risk more for women
27 Jul 2016 at 12:10pm
By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Smokers, especially female smokers, have a higher risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage - bleeding inside the lining of the brain ? compared with nonsmokers, according to a new study. Based on previous studies, smoking seems to account for at least one third of all cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage, and women suffer bleeding in the brain almost twice as often as men, the authors write in the journal Stroke. ?Our surprising finding was that the elevated risk in women was explained by vulnerability to smoking,? lead author Dr. Joni Valdemar Lindbohm of the Department of Public Health at the University of Helsinki in Finland.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Funding Leads to New Genetic Findings
27 Jul 2016 at 11:50am
Viral fundraiser raised more than $220 million for ALS research.
Incoming Lilly CEO says dealmaking will be a focus
27 Jul 2016 at 11:47am
Eli Lilly & Co will likely step up the pace of making deals with other drugmakers while aggressively developing new drugs on its own, the company's newly appointed chief executive said on Wednesday. Company veteran David Ricks will become CEO on Jan. 1, after John Lechleiter, 62, retires by year-end, the Indianapolis-based drugmaker said. Ricks, 49, has served since 2012 as president of Lilly Bio-Medicines, where he has overseen late-stage drug trials and global marketing.
Anthem to fight for Cigna deal, sees Obamacare losses
27 Jul 2016 at 11:22am
Anthem has argued that its planned $45-billion purchase of Cigna will give it greater leverage to negotiate better prices from healthcare providers and pass on those savings to consumers, including those signing up for "Obamacare" plans on public insurance exchanges. The company said it was "focused on returning to profitability in 2017" in its exchange business. Rivals such as UnitedHealth Group and Humana Inc plan to exit most of their exchange business.
Paraguay reports first two cases of Zika birth defect
27 Jul 2016 at 11:13am
Paraguay reported its first two cases Wednesday of babies born with microcephaly linked to the Zika virus, which is blamed for a surge in the birth defect across Latin America. "The central laboratory confirmed the birth of two babies with microcephaly caused by Zika," health ministry official Agueda Cabello told a press conference. Since Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, was detected in Latin America last year, health authorities have sounded the alarm over a sharp rise in the number of infected mothers giving birth to babies with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads.
Czech cabinet approves investment deal with GE Aviation
27 Jul 2016 at 10:53am
The Czech government approved a deal with GE Aviation on Wednesday for an investment in a new turboprop engine plant that will cost an estimated 350 million euros ($384.76 million). "The Czech government today approved cooperation with GE Aviation," Industry Minister Jan Mladek said on Twitter. GE Aviation announced plans in January to build a new turboprop development, test and engine production headquarters in the Czech Republic, creating more than 500 new jobs, but some details remained to be worked out with the Czech government.
Quest for new antibiotics gets right up your nose
27 Jul 2016 at 10:30am
Biologists on the hunt for new medicines to fight a growing epidemic of drug resistance said Wednesday they found an antibiotic in an unexpected place -- the human nose. The promising compound is produced by a nose-dwelling bacterium, and is able to kill a disease-causing, antibiotic-resistant superbug, they reported. "It was completely unexpected to find a human-associated bacterium to produce a real antibiotic," said study co-author Andreas Peschel of the University of Tubingen in Germany.
Indonesia says will execute 14 drug convicts this weekend
27 Jul 2016 at 10:12am
Indonesia will execute 14 drug convicts including at least four foreigners this weekend, the attorney general said on Wednesday, stepping up a "war on drugs" that has drawn international condemnation. News of the impending executions prompted condemnation from the United Nations and the European Union. The U.N. human rights chief expressed alarm and urged Indonesia to reinstate a moratorium on the death penalty that was suspended in 2013.
Scientists find potential new antibiotic, right under their noses
27 Jul 2016 at 10:08am
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Germany have discovered a bacteria hiding out in peoples' noses that produces an antibiotic compound that can kill several dangerous pathogens, including the superbug MRSA. The early-stage finding, reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday, could one day lead to a whole new class of antibiotic medicines being developed to fight drug-resistant bacterial infections, the researchers said. As well as being a focal point for many viral infections, the nasal cavity is also a rich ecosystem of 50 or so different species of bacteria, lead researcher Andreas Peschel of the University of Tuebingen told reporters in a telephone briefing.
Judge frees President Reagan's would-be killer Hinckley
27 Jul 2016 at 10:03am
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said Hinckley, 61, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a 1982 trial, no longer posed a danger to himself or others. ?Since 1983, when he last attempted suicide, he has displayed no symptoms of active mental illness, exhibited no violent behavior, shown no interest in weapons, and demonstrated no suicidal ideation,? Friedman said of Hinckley in a 103-page opinion.
Lack of FGM ban in domestic violence law fails Liberia's girls, activists say
27 Jul 2016 at 9:47am
By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Women's rights activists condemned Liberia's parliament on Wednesday for removing a ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) from a new domestic violence law in a country where half of women have been cut. The law listed FGM as a criminal offense, along with threats and acts of physical and sexual violence, and emotional abuse, when it was first submitted to lawmakers last September. "It's extremely frustrating that the domestic violence bill was due to include an FGM ban, then a weaker ban and now no ban at all," said Mary Wandia of the rights group Equality Now.
Zimbabwe's Mugabe says will not quit after war veterans' rebuke
27 Jul 2016 at 9:39am
By Cris Chinaka HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on Wednesday dismissed demands by once stalwart war veteran supporters to quit, saying he was in power by popular vote and accusing critics of plotting his ouster with longtime Western opponents. The 92-year-old Mugabe, the only president Zimbabwe has had in 36 years of independence, was addressing thousands of Zimbabweans who rallied to support him, a few days after veterans called him a corrupt dictator. "As long as the party says continue, I continue...If I still have the energy, I still have the life, the blessings of God, I will continue," Mugabe said in a 50-minute address.
Rio drug dealers push Olympic highs
27 Jul 2016 at 9:24am
Rio de Janeiro drug dealers are joining the Olympic party by stamping the iconic logo of the Games on their wares. Rio police said Tuesday they had confiscated 93 packets of cocaine and 28 of crack during a raid in the popular nightlife district of Lapa. Pictures of the clear plastic packets showed labels emblazoned with the official logo of the Rio 2016 organizing committee, even cheekily including the mention "TM" for trademark.