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The Lead

Italy Outraged After Deadly Asbestos Case Thrown Out

November 20, 2014 2:12 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Premier Matteo Renzi added his voice to a chorus of outrage across Italy today after the country's highest court threw out a conviction against a Swiss businessman for some 3,000 asbestos-related deaths blamed on contamination from a construction company. The Court of Cassation has ruled that the statute of limitations expired in the environmental negligence case.

Forty Years Later: Researchers Get Full View of Flu Machine

November 20, 2014 2:00 pm | by European Molecular Biology Laboratory | News | Comments

Research has yielded the first complete structure of one of the flu virus’ key machines. The...

High Generic Drug Costs Prompt Senate Hearings

November 20, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Matthew Perrone | News | Comments

Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are seeing...

Global Obesity Costs $2 T Annually

November 20, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Danica Kirka | News | Comments

A new report by the McKinsey Global Institute, released today, says that the global cost of...

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Nanosilver Can Upset the Gut

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Queen’s Univ. | News | Comments

New research has shown nanosilver, which is often added to water purification units, can upset your gut. The discovery is important as people are being exposed to more and more nanoparticles every day.

Statins May Have Long-term Heart Benefits

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Marilynn Marchione | News | Comments

Research shows that taking a cholesterol-lowering drug for five years in middle age can lower heart and death risks for decades afterward. The benefits seem to grow over time and may last for life.

Paper May Enable More Accessible Healthcare

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Flexible electronic sensors based on paper— an inexpensive material— have the potential to cut the price of a wide range of medical tools, from helpful robots to diagnostic tests. Scientists have now developed a fast, low-cost way of making these sensors by directly printing conductive ink on paper.

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Researchers Develop Injectable Treatment for Wounds

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Texas A&M Univ. | Videos | Comments

Internal bleeding is a leading cause of death on the battlefield, but a new, injectable material developed by a team of researchers could buy wounded soldiers the time they need to survive by preventing blood loss from serious internal injuries.

Sense of Touch Lets Bacterium Infect Anything

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Princeton Univ. | News | Comments

New research has found that one of the world's most prolific bacteria manages to afflict humans, animals and even plants by way of a mechanism not before seen in any infectious microorganism— a sense of touch. This unique ability helps make the bacteria ubiquitous, but it also might leave these antibiotic-resistant organisms vulnerable to a new form of treatment.

CDC Drops Worst-case Ebola Estimate

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Mike Stobbe | News | Comments

The government's worst-case scenario forecast for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa won't happen, a U.S. health official has said. In September, the CDC estimated the number of people sickened by the Ebola virus could explode to as many as 1.4 million by mid-January without more help. But, things have changed.

Gut Microbes Influence Blood-brain Barrier

November 19, 2014 2:21 pm | by Karolinska Institutet | News | Comments

A new study in mice has shown that our natural gut-residing microbes can influence the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from harmful substances in the blood. The find provides experimental evidence that our indigenous microbes contribute to the mechanism that closes the blood-brain barrier before birth.

Technique Could Eliminate Animal Testing

November 19, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Scientists report a new method for establishing whether chemical compounds are safe for human use without in vivo testing, based on so-called "molecular initiating events" at the boundary between chemistry and biology.

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Cleaner Heating Can Prevent Winter Health Problems

November 19, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

With temperatures dipping, homeowners are firing up their heaters. But systems that require heating oil release fine particles outside that could have harmful health effects. Regulations to curb these emissions in New York City could save hundreds of lives, a new study has found.

Parents Say Unvaccinated Kids Should Be Excluded from Daycare

November 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan Health System | Videos | Comments

Seventy-four percent of parents would consider removing their kids from daycare if other children were unvaccinated, while 41 percent of parents say under-vaccinated kids should be excluded from daycare.

Nanoparticles Create Two Sensors in One

November 19, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Anne Trafton | News | Comments

Chemists have developed new nanoparticles that can simultaneously perform magnetic resonance imaging and fluorescent imaging in living animals. Such particles could help scientists to track specific molecules produced in the body, monitor a tumor’s environment or determine whether drugs have successfully reached their targets.

Antibiotics During Pregnancy Up Offspring's Obesity Risk

November 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Columbia Univ.'s Mailman School of Public Health | News | Comments

A study has found that children who were exposed to antibiotics in the second or third trimester of pregnancy had a higher risk of childhood obesity at age seven. The research also showed that, for mothers who delivered their babies by a Caesarean section— whether elective or non-elective— there was a higher risk for obesity in their offspring.

Breakfast of Champions: Turmeric

November 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Monash Univ. | News | Comments

Adding just one gram of turmeric to breakfast could help improve the memory of people who are in the very early stages of diabetes and at risk of cognitive impairment. The finding has particular significance given the world’s aging population.

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Dental Drugs Linked to Heart Risks

November 19, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Marilynn Marchione | News | Comments

Curbing the routine use of preventive antibiotics before dental work may have contributed to a rise in heart valve infections in England, a new study suggests. In the U.S., the highest-risk patients still get these drugs and no similar trend has been seen.

Scientists Find Weak Spots in Ebola’s Defenses

November 18, 2014 7:00 am | by The Scripps Research Institute | News | Comments

Scientists have identified weak spots on the surface of the Ebola virus that are targeted by the antibodies in ZMapp, the experimental drug cocktail administered to several patients during the recent Ebola outbreak. The study provides a revealing 3-D picture of how the ZMapp antibodies bind to Ebola.

Antimicrobial Causes Liver Fibrosis, Cancer in Mice

November 18, 2014 7:00 am | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

Triclosan is an antimicrobial commonly found in soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and many other household items. Despite its widespread use, researchers are reporting potentially serious consequences of long-term exposure to the chemical. Their study shows that triclosan causes liver fibrosis and cancer in laboratory mice through molecular mechanisms that are also relevant in humans.

Surgeon with Ebola Dies in Nebraska Hospital

November 17, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Nelson Lampe | News | Comments

A surgeon who contracted Ebola in his native Sierra Leone died today while being treated in a biocontainment unit at a Nebraska hospital, where two other Ebola patients have been successfully treated, the facility said. He was given the experimental drug ZMapp and received a plasma transfusion from an Ebola survivor— a treatment that is believed to provide antibodies to fight the virus.

Recipe for Long-life in Lizards: Live Slow, Die Old

November 17, 2014 2:00 pm | by Tel Aviv Univ. | News | Comments

Doctors tell us that the frenzied pace of the modern 24-hour lifestyle— in which we struggle to juggle work commitments with the demands of family and daily life— is damaging to our health. But while life in the slow lane may be better, will it be any longer? Yes, if you’re a reptile.

Menthol Combines with Nicotine to Desensitize Airways

November 17, 2014 2:00 pm | by Georgetown Univ. Medical Center | News | Comments

Menthol acts in combination with nicotine to desensitize receptors in lungs' airways that are responsible for nicotine's irritation, say neuroscientists. Their study supports the notion that menthol is not just a flavoring, but has a pharmacologic effect.

Governments Kill Poultry to Stem Bird Flu

November 17, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Gregory Katz | News | Comments

Chickens were being killed in the Netherlands, and Britain is preparing to kill ducks, after two cases of bird flu were discovered in Europe. But, officials insisted Monday that the risk to public health was very low.

Calculator Adds Up Heart Risks

November 17, 2014 8:46 am | by Harvard School of Public Health | News | Comments

A simple lifestyle quiz, Health Heart Score, gives individuals an easy way to estimate their 20-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease based on simple lifestyle habits. The free Web-based survey also gives users practical tips for improving their scores by incorporating heart-healthy habits into their daily lives.

Hand Transplant Research Sheds Light on Touch

November 17, 2014 8:37 am | by Associated Press, Lauran Neergaard | News | Comments

Recovery of feeling can gradually improve for years after a hand transplant, suggests a small study that points to changes in the brain, not just the new hand, as a reason. New research sheds light on how the brain processes the sense of touch, and adapts when it goes awry. The work could offer clues to rehabilitation after stroke, brain injury and, maybe one day, even spinal cord injury.

Air Pollution Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

November 17, 2014 7:00 am | by American Society of Nephrology | News | Comments

Investigators found a link between the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the county level of particulate matter, even after taking into account patient risk factors for CKD including age, diabetes and hypertension.

Weight Loss Can Raise Hip Fracture Risks in Seniors

November 17, 2014 7:00 am | by International Osteoporosis Foundation | News | Comments

While a low body mass index has been shown to be an independent risk factor for hip fractures, far less is known about the relationship of body weight changes on hip fracture risk. The findings of a new study show that among middle-aged to elderly Singapore Chinese, weight loss of 10 percent or more was associated with a 56 percent higher hip fracture risk.

Artificial Muscle Can 'Remember' Movements

November 14, 2014 3:02 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Researchers from the Univ. of Cambridge have developed artificial muscles that can learn and recall specific movements, the first time that motion control and memory have been combined in a synthetic material. The "muscles," made from smooth plastic, could eventually be used in a wide range of applications where mimicking the movement of natural muscle would be an advantage.

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