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Mubarak's sons released from Egypt prison - prison officials
26 Jan 2015 at 5:01am
The sons of deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak were released from prison on Monday, prison officials said, a day after the violent anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled the autocrat. An Egyptian court last week ordered the release of Alaa and Gamal Mubarak pending their retrial in a corruption case. Their release could further fuel tensions in Egypt. Mubarak is still in detention in a military hospital, but judicial sources said he could soon walk free as he currently has no convictions against him.
Egypt court convicts doctor of female genital mutilation
26 Jan 2015 at 5:00am
CAIRO (AP) ? An Egyptian appeals court on Monday convicted a doctor of manslaughter and performing female genital mutilation that led to the death of a 13-year-old girl, sentencing him to two years and three months in prison in the country's first case that came to trial over the widespread practice, defense lawyers said.
Samsung developing wearable headset that detects strokes
26 Jan 2015 at 4:48am
Samsung says its product is not only much faster than hospital equipment but that its sensors are able to pick up more detail thanks to an ultra-conductive material the team discovered that resembles rubber. The new material also makes it possible to wear the sensors in barrettes, eyeglasses or any piece of headgear instead of the rather medical headset that serves as the creators' prototype.
After Ebola, WHO to set up contingency fund, develop "surge capacity"
26 Jan 2015 at 4:00am
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.
India honors Bill Gates with civilian award
26 Jan 2015 at 3:52am
India conferred one of its highest civilian awards on billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda for their work to improve health in developing countries. The announcement was made by the Indian government on Monday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted U.S. President Barack Obama for a Republic Day parade, a day after they held talks to deepen ties between the world's two largest democracies. Every year the Padma Bhushan award is presented to Indians and some foreigners for service in various areas. U.S. citizen Bill Gates, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has poured billions of dollars into medical research in developing countries, has partnered with the Indian government, aid groups and the private sector to curtail the spread of HIV in the country.
Deadly Japanese encephalitis surges in northeast India
26 Jan 2015 at 3:01am
By Amarjyoti Borah GUWAHATI, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Cases of deadly mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis have risen nearly five-fold in five years in India's northeast Assam state as a result of warming weather and changing rainfall, health experts say. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of annual cases rose from 154 to 744, with deaths rising from 41 to 160, according to data from the Assam health department. Japanese encephalitis is characterized by inflammation of the brain and high fever. "Now the temperature ... which is ideal for breeding of the Culex mosquito is present almost until October or so, and as a result of this the cases of the disease are increasing," said Rabindra Nath Talukdar, a senior official of the Assam health department.
Health insurers watch profits soar as they dump small business customers
26 Jan 2015 at 2:00am
Commentary: profits soar while they dump small business customers.
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.