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Toxic algae blooming in warm water from California to Alaska
4 Aug 2015 at 8:22pm
SEATTLE (AP) ? A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is denser, more widespread and deeper than scientists feared even weeks ago, according to surveyors aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel.
China July services activity quickens to 11-month high: survey
4 Aug 2015 at 7:16pm
Activity in China's services sector expanded at its fastest pace in 11 months in July, thanks to stronger new business, a private survey showed on Wednesday, a welcome development at a time factories in the world's second largest economy are struggling. The Caixin PMI report did not specify if there was an impact on the services sector from the crash in the country's stock markets from mid-June. A sharp rally early in the year had boosted performance for banks and brokerages, and gave a much needed lift to the cooling economy.
Simple coordination to slash 'superbug' infections
4 Aug 2015 at 7:02pm
Simple coordination between hospitals, nursing homes and health authorities could slash the number of drug-resistant "superbug" infections and save thousands of US lives, experts said. Hospitals and nursing homes strive to control infections but rarely report to one another when a patient being transferred is carrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria, greatly increasing the risk of spreading infections, said a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. "Antibiotic-resistant infections in health care settings are a growing threat in the United States, killing thousands and thousands of people each year," said CDC Director Tom Frieden.
U.S. health regulator issues new cleaning guide for superbug-prone device
4 Aug 2015 at 6:23pm
Health care facilities that use duodenoscopes should meticulously follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions, the Food and Drug Administration said in a safety update. Duodenoscopes are flexible, lighted tubes inserted down the throat during a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) used to drain fluids from blocked pancreatic and biliary ducts. Seven patients at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center were exposed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria from such devices between October and January.
Chile's lawmakers take key step toward decriminalizing abortion
4 Aug 2015 at 5:42pm
Chile took a step toward easing its strict abortion ban on Tuesday after legislators in the nation's lower chamber voted to advance a bill that would overturn the prohibition. Amid applause from the gallery, the Health Commission of Chile's Chamber of Deputies voted eight to five to move forward on President Michelle Bachelet's landmark proposal to allow pregnancy terminations in certain circumstances. To become law, the bill will still need to win simple majorities in both the Chamber and the Senate, which could be difficult as the project faces significant opposition in both houses.
Thousands of womb cancers prevented by the pill: study
4 Aug 2015 at 4:42pm
The contraceptive pill has prevented some 200,000 cases of womb cancer over the last decade in rich nations alone, according to research published Wednesday. A study in the medical journal The Lancet Oncology found that taking "the pill" over an extended period provided protection against endometrial cancer, which affects the womb. The researchers estimated that in total, over the past 50 years, some 400,000 endometrial cancers were avoided in high-income countries.
New York City's new drug threat: 'weaponized marijuana'
4 Aug 2015 at 4:11pm
It gives users super human strength, makes them impervious to pain and can be bought for as little as $2 across New York. Illegal synthetic marijuana, or "weaponized" marijuana as police are calling it, is spreading across New York, particularly the city's homeless population in search of a cheap high but who often wind up hospitalized or dead. "The synthetic marijuana issue has been one of great and growing concern here in New York," said NYPD Commissioner William Bratton at a press conference on Tuesday in which he also released monthly crime statistics.
Contrary to popular myth, 'the pill' prevents womb cancer, study finds
4 Aug 2015 at 4:08pm
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Using an oral contraceptive, often referred to as "the pill", gives long-term protection against womb cancer and the longer it is used the greater the reduction in risk, scientists said on Wednesday. In an analysis of all available evidence, the researchers said an estimated 400,000 womb cancer cases had been prevented by use of the pill in wealthy countries the past 50 years, including some 200,000 in the last decade. "The strong protective effect of oral contraceptives against endometrial cancer ? which persists for decades after stopping the pill ? means that women who use it when they are in their 20s or even younger continue to benefit into their 50s and older, when cancer becomes more common," said Valerie Beral, a professor at Britain's Oxford University who co-led the study.
More than 380 in US sickened by cilantro-linked infection
4 Aug 2015 at 3:43pm
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) ? More than 380 people in 26 U.S. states have been diagnosed with a stomach illness tied to Mexican cilantro contaminated by human waste, two federal agencies said Tuesday.
Add spice for a longer life?
4 Aug 2015 at 3:36pm
Eating spicy food, especially fresh chilli, has been linked to a lower risk of death in a Chinese study, researchers said Tuesday. "Compared with participants who ate spicy foods less than once a week, those who consumed spicy foods one or two days a week were at a 10 percent reduced risk of death," said a statement from The BMJ. Fresh and dried chilli peppers were the most commonly used spices -- and the association was higher with the fresh variety, according to the team led by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
Pfizer wins EU approval for $15 billion Hospira buy
4 Aug 2015 at 2:46pm
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer gained European Union antitrust approval on Tuesday for its proposed $15 billion acquisition of U.S. rival Hospira after pledging to sell some drugs to allay competition concerns. "The approval is conditional on Pfizer divesting certain sterile injectable drugs, as well as its infliximab biosimilar drug, which is currently under development," the European Commission said. The deal will boost Pfizer's portfolio of generic injectable drugs and copies of biotech medicines.
37,000 U.S. infection-related deaths preventable over five years: CDC
4 Aug 2015 at 2:35pm
Closer coordination between healthcare facilities and public health departments could save 37,000 U.S. lives over five years by preventing infections from antibiotic-resistant germs and from a nasty intestinal bug called C. difficile, according to a government report released on Tuesday. Germs that no longer respond to antibiotics cause more than 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Spores from C. difficile bacteria, which spread readily in hospitals and nursing homes and cause severe diarrhea, account for almost another 500,000 illnesses and 15,000 deaths annually.
3 Strategies for Breaking Your Stressful Commuting Habits
4 Aug 2015 at 2:29pm
By Megan Jones, Psy. D and Chief Science Officer of LanternYou probably dread your frustrating nightmare of a commute. Whether you're inching your car along in heavy traffic or packed into a train, it doesn't take long for stress levels to rise. Research shows just how unpleasant and stressful people find commuting. In a 2004 study, over 900...
Girl with Terminal Cancer Gets Birthday Party, Prom, Wedding Rolled Into One ...
4 Aug 2015 at 2:26pm
Lila May Schow, 5, has battled cancer for three years.
Tax filing problems could jeopardize health law aid for 1.8M
4 Aug 2015 at 2:23pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? About 1.8 million households that got financial help for health insurance under President Barack Obama's law now have issues with their tax returns that could jeopardize their subsidies next year. Administration officials say those taxpayers will have to act quickly.