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U.S. swimming pools ban long breath-holding after deaths
29 May 2015 at 5:39am
By Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy SEAL hopeful and his friend, an off-duty lifeguard, were barreling through underwater drills in a pool just 3.5 feet (1 meter) deep. This summer, nearly four years after those deaths in a Staten Island pool raised alarms about a little known hazard called shallow-water blackout or hypoxic blackout, New York City is putting up warning signs at all public pools prohibiting prolonged breath holding. It is part of a movement to raise awareness of the peril that has killed accomplished swimmers and to stop it by banning lengthy breath holding in the nation's estimated 300,000 public pools.
China's first confirmed MERS case arrived from Korea via Hong Kong
29 May 2015 at 4:38am
By Sui-Lee Wee and Nicole LI BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - China said on Friday a 44-year-old South Korean man had tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), China's first confirmed case, but that it had not found any symptoms in 38 people who had been in close contact with him. Health authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong said it was likely the disease would spread as the patient had taken a bus, crossed a busy border checkpoint from Hong Kong and stayed in a hotel before being taken to hospital. "As we have said before, the possibility of MERS transferring into Guangdong is very high," He Jianfeng, director for the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control, told reporters.
S. Korea confirms 10 MERS cases
29 May 2015 at 4:27am
South Korea confirmed three more MERS cases Friday, bringing the total number of patients infected with the potentially deadly virus to 10, including a man who defied a quarantine protocol and travelled to China, health officials said. The infections were all traced to the original case of a 68-year-old man diagnosed on May 20 after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is considered a deadlier but less infectious cousin of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus that appeared in Asia in 2003 and killed hundreds of people, mostly in China.
How Hawaii Became One Of The Healthiest States In The Nation
29 May 2015 at 4:00am
Hawaii isn't just a nice state for a vacation. It may also be the healthiest state in which to live, at least according to one metric: Only 19 percent of Hawaiian residents suffer from obesity. That's the lowest of any state, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released this week. Hawaii was also one of five states that reduced...
Indian city offers way to beat the heat as 1,786 killed in heat wave
29 May 2015 at 3:15am
By Nita Bhalla NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Hundreds of deaths caused by an extreme heat wave in India could have been prevented if authorities followed the example set by Ahmedabad which introduced measures such as cooling spaces to protect citizens from the rising mercury, climate experts said. Officials say 1,786 people have died in northern and southern India over the past week, with temperatures over 46 Celsius (114 Fahrenheit) baking states such as Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as the capital New Delhi.
MERS infects 10 in South Korea but no virus mutation: WHO
29 May 2015 at 2:38am
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Ten people in South Korea are confirmed as having the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, transmitted by a traveler, but there has been no sustained human-to-human spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. The United Nations health agency said it was not recommending screening of passengers or that travel or trade restrictions be imposed on South Korea due to the outbreak. All 10 people in South Korea are in hospital or self-quarantine, he said, including the traveler, who infected relatives and health care workers.
Radioactive leak at India's Delhi airport, no risk to passengers
29 May 2015 at 1:57am
Radioactive material leaked from a medical shipment on Friday at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, Indian government and airport officials said, adding that the incident had been contained and there was no risk to passengers. The leak was found at the airport's cargo-handling complex in a consignment of sodium iodide 131 - a radioactive liquid used in so-called nuclear medicine - that had been on board an inbound Turkish Airlines passenger flight. "This area is far away from any of the passenger terminals and there is absolutely no risk of exposure to any passengers," Delhi International Airport Ltd, the airport's operator, said in a statement.
Scientists restore lost memory in mice, shedding light on amnesia
29 May 2015 at 1:01am
Researchers have gained new understanding on the workings of amnesia through research that used light to revive lost memories in mice, a study reported. Amnesia remains a controversial subject in the field of neuroscience, with some researchers arguing that it occurs when cells are damaged and memory cannot be stored, while others believe that the memories are simply blocked and cannot be recalled. "The majority of researchers have favored the storage theory, but we have shown in this paper that this majority theory is probably wrong," researcher Susumu Tonegawa of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said.
Radioactive leak in Delhi was sodium iodide - regulator
29 May 2015 at 12:54am
The leak of radioactive material on Friday at Delhi's international airport was of sodium iodide 131, an official at India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) told Reuters. "It's a localized leak," AERB Vice-Chairman R. Bhattacharya told Reuters by telephone. Sodium iodide 131 is used in so-called nuclear medicine, and is used for treatment of hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancers.
Anthrax shipments came from military site in Utah desert
29 May 2015 at 12:45am
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) ? The U.S. Army's mistaken shipment of live anthrax samples to government and commercial laboratories occurred at a military post in a desolate stretch of the Utah desert that has been testing chemical weapons since it opened in 1942.
Ugandan woman's agony as granddaughter 'sold' to Americans
29 May 2015 at 12:40am
By Katy Migiro and Tom Esslemont KAMPALA/LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The first time Jaja, a Ugandan woman, saw her one-year-old granddaughter, she was in the arms of an American man who she was told had "bought" the child. The toddler was sitting with the man and his wife, eating biscuits and drinking juice, as they sought legal guardianship over her in Uganda's High Court. In Uganda, foreigners can secure legal guardianship in a matter of weeks, sometimes before the child's birth parents realise what has happened.
Fight against Boko Haram requires regional might: UN
29 May 2015 at 12:08am
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari's promised campaign to defeat Boko Haram could drive more militants over the country's borders, raising the need for cooperation between governments across the region, senior U.N. officials said on Thursday. Speaking on the eve of the former army general's inauguration, they voiced hope that the new Abuja government would crush the Islamist militants accused of using women and children as sexual slaves and suicide bombers "There is this concern that success inside northeast Nigeria spells trouble for Niger, Cameroon, and even potentially Chad. Thousands have been killed in Boko Haram's six-year-old insurgency in Africa's biggest oil producer.
Assisted suicide bill advances in California legislature
29 May 2015 at 12:03am
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California lawmakers on Thursday revived a bill that would allow physician-assisted suicide in the most populous U.S. state, after a renewal of debate on end-of-life issues prompted by the death of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard last year. It was approved by the state Senate appropriations committee days after the powerful California Medical Association dropped its opposition. Another co-author, Democratic state Senator Bill Monning, said the bill was inspired by the death of Maynard, who moved to Oregon from California so that she could commit suicide under that state's aid-in-dying law.
AstraZeneca and Lilly to test new cancer drug combination
28 May 2015 at 11:41pm
AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly are to combine two of their cancer drugs in a new clinical trial against solid tumors in the latest sign that such cocktails may be the way forward in fighting the disease. AstraZeneca?s experimental anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy drug MEDI4736 will be tested alongside Lilly's approved medicine Cyramza, or ramucirumab, the two companies said on Friday. The early-stage Phase I trial will be run by Lilly but additional details of the collaboration, including tumor types to be studied and financial terms, were not disclosed.
Scientists restore lost memories in mice, shedding light on amnesia
28 May 2015 at 9:34pm
Researchers have gained new understanding on the workings of amnesia through research that used light to revive lost memories in mice, a study published Thursday reported. Amnesia remains a controversial subject in the field of neuroscience, with some researchers arguing that it occurs when cells are damaged and memory cannot be stored, while others believe that the memories are simply blocked and cannot be recalled. "The majority of researchers have favored the storage theory, but we have shown in this paper that this majority theory is probably wrong," researcher Susumu Tonegawa of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said.