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Health Headlines - March 17

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:25pm
Some Herbs May Help Ease Children's Ills

Certain herbal supplements show promise for treating children's colds, skin allergies and sleep problems, according to a new research review.

Obesity Threatens to Cut U.S. Life Expectancy

For the first time in generations, Americans' average life expectancy could shrink because of an obesity epidemic sweeping the United States, researchers said on Wednesday.

Indonesia Reports Bird Flu Outbreak in Chickens

Bird flu has re-emerged in Indonesia's main island of Java and South Sulawesi province since the start of the year, prompting the government to slaughter affected fowl, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday.

New Method Could Halve Flu Vaccine Time

Using new methods to make influenza vaccines instead of the current egg-based approach could cut production time in half in case of an outbreak of deadly avian flu, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

Mercury Pollution, Autism Link Found

Mercury released primarily from coal-fired power plants may be contributing to an increase in the number of cases of autism, a Texas researcher said on Wednesday.

Senate Republican Moderates Oppose Medicaid Budget

A brewing Senate rebellion against President Bush's proposed savings in the Medicaid health program for the poor gained strength on Wednesday and some senators said they think they have enough votes to restore the spending.

FDA, Biogen Warn Over Multiple Sclerosis Drug

Biogen Idec's multiple sclerosis drug Avonex can cause severe liver damage, U.S. regulatory officials and the company warned on Wednesday, the latest in a series of blows to MS patients.

X Chromosome Shows Why Women Differ from Men

Scientists have cracked the genetic code of the female X chromosome which is linked to more than 300 human diseases and may help to explain why women are so different from men.

House Backs Federal Court Role in Schiavo Case

The U.S. House late on Wednesday approved a bill that would give federal courts the power to hear the case of a brain-damaged Florida woman whose feeding tube is scheduled to be removed on Friday.

FDA Approves Amylin Diabetes Drug Symlin

Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. won U.S. approval to market its diabetes drug Symlin, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Drug Cos. Intensify Cancer Treatment Push

The war on cancer has some fortified soldiers. Some of the nation's biggest drug companies are investing an increasing amount of resources toward finding treatments for the disease.

Large Doses of Vitamin E Could Be Risky

Large doses of vitamin E — widely touted as an elixir of youth — do not protect against heart attacks and cancer and might actually raise the risk of heart failure in people with diabetes or clogged arteries, a study found.

AIDS Panel Gets Money From Agency in Probe

Six of the nine scientists serving on an expert medical panel investigating a U.S.-funded AIDS study are receiving grant money from the agency at the center of the probe, according to documents and interviews.

Brazil Warns of Breaking AIDS Drug Patents

In its latest bid to reduce the cost of HIV and AIDS drugs, Brazil's government has threatened to break the patents of American pharmaceutical firms unless they share their technology with local drug makers.

Survey: Conn. Top State With Healthy Kids

Child magazine has ranked Connecticut the best state in the country when it comes to healthy children.

AIDS Harming Police Force in Mozambique

About 150 police officers are dying every year of AIDS-related illnesses in this impoverished southern African country, police commander Miguel dos Santos said Wednesday.

Three Die From Mystery Illness in Angola

Three people died from an unidentified illness Wednesday at a hospital in northeastern Angola, bringing the death toll from a mystery ailment there to 64 in the past three months, officials said.

American Youngsters Yawning Through Class

Many American fifth graders suffer jet lag-like symptoms and are too tired to learn because they're not getting enough sleep, new research concludes.

New Clues to Cause of Iron Disorder

Researchers say they have identified a protein they believe is key to the iron disorder hemochromatosis.

Drug Therapy Combats Some Cancers in HIV Patients

Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may prevent excess risk of Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancers in people with HIV.

Immune System May Help Fuel 'Meth' Binges

One hallmark of the current surge in crystal meth (methamphetamine) use across the United States is that users often go on extended, drug-fueled binges.

Compound Could Lessen Damage of Fast Food

Researchers report that a form of soluble cellulose, when added to fast foods famous for their high-fat content, slows down absorption of fat molecules, at least in animals.

Journal Commentary Labels FDA 'Timid and Toothless'

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to sweat under the spotlight as a commentary in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine accuses the agency of seeming "timid and toothless."

'Inert' Female Chromosome May Be Active

Something is stirring in the supposedly inactive female chromosome that plays a major role in genetic differences between men and women, researchers report.

Oysters May Be an Aphrodisiac After All

Throughout the ages, foods such as asparagus, almonds, avocado, bananas, basil, chocolate, eggs, figs, foie gras and, of course, raw oysters have been touted as aphrodisiacs.

Bird flu would be nightmare in North Korea, experts say

Health experts are hoping that reports of a bird flu outbreak in North Korea prove unfounded, saying the disease would prove a nightmare to combat inside the isolated Stalinist state.

Vietnam plans reserve of one million doses of bird flu vaccine

Vietnam, which has reported the most human deaths from bird flu, wants to reserve one million doses of a vaccine against the disease once tests are complete and production begins, a top research scientist said.

Indonesia orders isolation of two provinces over bird flu outbreaks

Indonesia's agriculture minister said that trade in chicken from two provinces had been banned to prevent the spread of bird flu which had killed thousands of chickens there.

Australian researchers test Chinese herbs to treat dementia

Researchers at an Australian hospital have begun human trials to test whether Chinese herbs can slow the progress of dementia, the scientists said.

Figure-conscious Singapore sets up fat-measuring machines

Singapore has installed fat-measuring machines at petrol stations and supermarkets as part of the government's efforts to combat obesity in the city-state, health officials said.
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