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Popular music often takes negative view of aging

Music can powerfully influence mood, and for older people, the negative depictions of aging in most popular music can be a downer, researchers say. They analyzed images of aging conveyed in 76 songs whose lyrics invoke the topic. Most images were negative, they found. “We’re aware that the number of people over age 60 will probably double by 2050, and ...

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Environment behind nearly quarter of global deaths: WHO

  GENEVA: One in four deaths worldwide are due to environmental factors like air, water and soil pollution, as well as unsafe roads and workplace stress, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday (Mar 15). An estimated 12.6 million people died in 2012 as a result of living and working in unhealthy environments, 23 per cent of all deaths ...

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Personalised plan key to managing dementia

SINGAPORE: When Ms Nalini’s mother-in-law was first diagnosed with dementia in 2014, her family was at a loss over what to do. The spry 83-year-old, who lived on her own and travelled extensively, was having trouble remembering things and growing increasingly frustrated. “The typical thing when you’re frustrated is it comes out as anger … For an incredibly bright, independent ...

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Asthma costs more to treat in obese, overweight patients: Study

SINGAPORE: A 10-year longitudinal study on the trends and predictors of asthma costs has found that overweight and obese patients incur higher annual treatment expenses. The study, by SingHealth Polyclinics (SHP) and Duke-NUS Medical School, found that average asthma costs per annum for normal-weight patients are S$605, but rise to S$675 and S$795 for overweight and obese patients, respectively. For ...

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Mexico says 11 pregnant women infected with Zika

MEXICO CITY: Mexico has confirmed 11 pregnant women are infected with the Zika virus, out of a total of 121 cases, the government said on Monday. Most of the cases were identified in the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, according to a health ministry report. Eight of the pregnant women are from Chiapas, two are from Oaxaca, and ...

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Kuwait to award $2.9bn hospital projects in 2016

Kuwait’s government is set to award KD881 million ($2.9 billion) worth of hospital projects this year as part of its plan to boost the bed capacity per family in hospitals across the country. The government is working as per a national plan to adopt the World Health Organisation’s proposal of allocating at least 22 hospital beds for every 10,000 people ...

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FDA gives ocrelizumab breakthrough designation for PPMS: Roche

ZURICH: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy designation for ocrelizumab (OCREVUSTM) for treating people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), Swiss drugmaker Roche said on Wednesday. There are no approved treatments now for PPMS, a debilitating form of the disease marked by steadily worsening symptoms. “Roche plans to pursue marketing authorization for both PPMS and relapsing ...

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AstraZeneca wins FDA breakthrough status for key cancer drug

LONDON: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy designation to AstraZeneca’s biggest new drug hope ‍durvalumab as a treatment in bladder cancer, the drugmaker said on Wednesday. The experimental medicine is a so-called PD-L1 therapy that fights cancer by boosting the immune system. Breakthrough therapy designation expedites the development and review of medicines intended to treat serious ...

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WHO issues US$56 million plan to combat Zika virus

GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that US$56 million is needed to combat the Zika virus through June, including fast-tracking vaccines and diagnostics. The funds, including US$25 million for the WHO itself, would also be used to control the mosquito-borne virus that has now spread to 39 countries and has been linked to birth defects in Brazil, ...

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Pfizer unit to pay US$784.6 mln in Medicaid rebate settlement

Pfizer Inc said its Wyeth unit has agreed to pay US$784.6 million to settle cases related to the calculation of Medicaid rebates for a drug between 2001 and 2006. The claims alleged that Wyeth’s calculation of rebates for Protonix violated the Federal Civil False Claims Act and other laws. Pfizer also said it was reissuing its financial results for the ...

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Eating lots of fish in pregnancy linked to obesity risk for kids

Pregnant women who eat more than three servings of fish a week – that is, more than the maximum recommended by U.S. health regulators – may face an increased risk of having babies who grow rapidly and become obese in childhood, a research review suggests. Previous research has linked one pollutant in fish – mercury – to damage of the ...

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3D ‘bioprinter’ produces bone, muscle, and cartilage

Reuters Health – A new method of 3D printing can produce human-sized bone, muscle, and cartilage templates that survive when implanted into animals, researchers report. “It has been challenging to produce human scale tissues with 3D printing because larger tissues require additional nutrition,” Dr. Anthony Atala from Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina told Reuters Health by email. ...

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Genes, bugs and radiation: WHO backs new weapons in Zika fight

LONDON: Countries fighting the Zika virus should consider new ways to fight disease-carrying mosquitoes, including testing the release of genetically modified insects and bacteria that stop their eggs hatching, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. “Given the magnitude of the Zika crisis, WHO encourages affected countries and their partners to boost the use of both old and new approaches ...

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DHA receives over one million patients in 2015

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has announced that its hospitals and specialty centres received more than one million patients in 2015. Dr Ahmad Bin Kalban, CEO of Hospital Services Sector at the Dubai Health Authority, said: “In 2015, the four DHA run hospitals and specialty centres received over one million patients. This number includes outpatients, accident and emergency cases, walk-in ...

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Millions die from air pollution, mainly in China, India

WASHINGTON: Air pollution kills more than 5.5 million people around the world each year, with over half of those deaths occurring in fast-growing China and India, researchers said on Friday (Feb 12). And the number of premature deaths will continue to climb in the years ahead unless more aggressive measures against pollution are adopted, scientists warned the American Association for ...

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More options for mid-career professionals looking to join healthcare sector

SINGAPORE: Mid-career professionals keen to join the healthcare sector as a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or radiographer can now do so through heavily-subsidised degree courses under an expansion of the Healthcare Professional Conversion Programme (PCP). This was announced by Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor on Saturday (Feb 13) at a career preview fair at the Singapore Institute of ...

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Guillain-Barre on rise in five Latam countries, no proven link to Zika – WHO

GENEVA: A neurological disorder suspected of links to the mosquito-borne Zika virus is on the rise in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Suriname and Venezuela, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday. The rare Guillain-Barre syndrome, in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system, causes gradual weakness in the legs, arms and upper body and sometimes ...

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Burjeel offers new cataract surgery technique

  Burjeel Hospital, a leading care facility in Abu Dhabi, is offering a new technology in cataract surgery at its Centre of Excellence in the emirate. With the Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery, many steps of the operation which used to be performed by the surgeon will now be performed by the laser machine, therefore in an even more accurate, precise ...

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Mylan to buy Swedish drugmaker Meda in $7.2bn deal

Generic drugmaker Mylan NV said it would acquire Meda AB in a $7.2 billion cash-and-stock deal in its third attempt to buy the Swedish company. The move comes three months after Mylan gave up on its seven-month-long pursuit of smaller rival Perrigo. Mylan’s stock fell about 8 per cent in extended trading, after it announced the 165 Swedish crowns ($19.71) ...

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Hawaii’s Big Island declares emergency over dengue fever infections

REUTERS: The mayor of Hawaii’s Big Island declared a state of emergency on Monday to deal with a growing outbreak of dengue fever, spread by infected mosquitoes, with 250 cases confirmed over the past four months. As a result of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi’s order people on the Big Island will be allowed to resume disposing of old tires ...

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Kenya could pull out of Rio Olympics due to Zika concerns:committee head

ATHENS: Kenya could pull out of this year’s Rio Olympics due to concerns over the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil, the head of Kenya’s Olympics committee said on Tuesday. Kenya boasts some of the best middle and long-distance runners in the world and the East African nation topped the medals table at the 2015 World athletics championships. “Obviously, we are ...

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Why the Zika virus is causing alarm

Global health officials have said that the Zika virus, which has been linked to severe birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil, is rapidly spreading in the Americas and could infect up to 4 million people. The race is on to develop a Zika vaccine. Here are some questions and answers about the virus and the current outbreak. How ...

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WHO calls for further investigation into sexual spread of Zika virus

GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) voiced concern on Wednesday over a report the Zika virus had been sexually transmitted in the United States and called for further investigation into the mosquito-borne virus. The first known case of Zika virus transmission in the United States was reported in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday by local health officials, who said it likely ...

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WHO says time for Europe to prepare Zika defenses

GENEVA: European countries should start preparing now to protect their populations against the Zika virus, which has never been transmitted in Europe but could spread with the onset of spring and summer, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. “Now is the time for countries to prepare themselves to reduce the risk to their populations,” WHO’s Europe chief Zsuzsanna Jakab ...

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Pfizer, J&J, Merck evaluating technologies for Zika vaccine

REUTERS: Pfizer Inc , Johnson and Johnson and Merck & Co Inc said they were evaluating their technologies or existing vaccines for their potential to combat Zika, a rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease linked to birth defects. A number of drug developers and universities are attempting to produce a vaccine for Zika, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an ...

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Zika mosquitoes’ habits may foil US elimination efforts

CHICAGO: Health experts are bracing for Zika virus to spread to the United States by April or May, borne by a mosquito that craves human blood, feeds during the day and lives under beds and inside closets. Until now, the best weapon against disease-carrying mosquitoes in the United States has been outdoor pesticide fog sprayed by truck and airplane. But ...

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Seven US$1 billion-plus drugs seen reaching market in 2016

LONDON: Drug companies are likely to launch seven “blockbuster” drugs in 2016, each with US$1 billion-plus annual sales potential, led by new treatments for liver disease and HIV, according to a Thomson Reuters analysis. The assessment means the pharmaceuticals industry is on track for another productive year, although not as good as 2015, which saw the arrival of 11 new ...

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WHO in emergency session to stop Zika virus

The World Health Organization will hold a special session on Thursday on the Zika virus for quick action against the infection linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil that is spreading through Latin America and the Caribbean. The World Health Organization will hold a special session on Thursday on the Zika virus as the U.N. agency comes under pressure ...

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Obama calls for rapid Zika research

President Barack Obama has called for the rapid development of tests, vaccines and treatments to fight the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects and could spread to the US in warmer months. US health officials are stepping up efforts to study the link between Zika virus infections and birth defects, citing a recent study estimating the ...

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Delayed deaths declining among pediatric cancer survivors

It’s long been known that cancer survivors – people alive five years after diagnosis – face a higher risk of premature death, and doctors have made efforts over the decades to reduce those deaths. A new study of childhood cancer cases suggests that the effort has been successful, at least to some degree. Most people “kind of assume that if ...

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US girls, women at risk of genital mutilation has tripled: study

NEW YORK -More than half a million women and girls in the United States live at risk of female genital mutilation, a threefold increase in recent years due to the rise in immigrants from countries where it is practiced, a government study said on Thursday. The number of U.S. women and girls who have undergone the actual procedures is unknown, ...

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Six people in serious condition after medical trials go wrong in France

PARIS: Six people are in a serious condition after taking part in a medical trial for an unnamed European laboratory to test a new drug, France’s health ministry said on Friday. The ministry did not say what the medicine was intended to be used for, but said the six volunteers, one of whom was in a coma, had been in ...

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New wirelessly-powered implant to help manage chronic pain

  SINGAPORE: Those who suffer from chronic pain will soon get a new device for pain management that does away with the need for battery replacement, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) announced on Wednesday (Jan 13). Developed by A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and local biotech firm Biospark Technologies, the wireless implantable device is expected to be ...

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English doctors strike for first time in 40 years

LONDON: English doctors staged their first strike in 40 years on Tuesday over government plans to reform pay and conditions for working anti-social hours, in a move health chiefs have warned could put patients’ lives at risk. Junior doctors, or doctors in training, who represent just over half of all doctors in the state-funded National Health Service (NHS), said they ...

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Shire to buy Baxalta for US$32 billion, forging rare diseases leader

LONDON: Drugmaker Shire Plc clinched its six-month pursuit of Baxalta International Inc on Monday by agreeing a US$32 billion cash and stock offer that will make it one of the world’s leading rare disease specialists. The London-listed group, which first approached the U.S. firm with an all-stock offer in July, won over the maker of treatments for rare blood conditions, ...

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Iraq bans poultry imports from 24 countries over avian flu threat

BAGHDAD: Iraq has extended a ban on imports of frozen and live poultry products to cover two dozen countries, including China and South Africa, the government said on Sunday. Baghdad last month restricted poultry imports from France, where an outbreak of avian flu has been reported. “The import of poultry and birds of all kinds … as well as both ...

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Sanofi deepens cancer drive with US$1.2 bln of deals, Innate jumps

PARIS: Sanofi boosted its presence in cancer research on Monday by signing two deals with biotech companies worth up to US$1.2 billion, as the French drugmaker plays catch-up with rivals in the hot research field. Shares in French biotech group Innate Pharma, one of the partners, jumped 15 percent on the news. Switzerland’s Novartis also announced a deal with U.S.-based ...

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Suspected case of low risk bird flu found at Scottish farm

LONDON: A suspected case of avian flu has been discovered at a Scottish farm, Scotland’s government said on Monday, adding it was believed to be a low risk form of the virus. A temporary 1 km (0.6 mile) control zone has been put in place around the farm in Fife north of the Scottish capital Edinburgh after a strain of ...

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WHO approves third cholera vaccine producer

GENEVA: A third producer of oral cholera vaccine has been approved that is expected to provide 3 million doses in 2016, the World Health Organization said on Friday, doubling the world’s stockpile against a disease that can kill within hours. EuBiologics, a South Korea-based producer, joins Shantha Biotechnics of Sanofi Pasteur as a pre-qualified supplier, WHO expert Stephen Martin told ...

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Allergies may boost chances of anxiety or depression symptoms

  Kids who have allergies at an early age are more likely than others to also have problems with anxiety and depression, according to a new study. As the number of allergies increase, so do internalizing behavior scores, the researchers found. Internalizing behaviors include disorders, like anxiety or depression, that develop when people keep their problems to themselves, or “internalize” ...

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Fire at Saudi hospital kills 25, injures 107

A fire at a hospital in Saudi Arabia killed 25 people and injured more than 100 others as it ripped through the intensive care unit and the maternity ward before dawn, the Saudi civil defence agency said. Details of the fire and its victims were scant, but photographs published on Twitter by the agency showed smoke and an intense blaze ...

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Gum disease linked to breast cancer risk in older women

Middle-aged and older women with gum disease are slightly more likely than those without gum problems to develop breast cancer, suggests a new study. The risk increase was most pronounced for women with gum disease who smoked cigarettes or had quit within the past 20 years, although the authors caution that the reasons for the links are still not known. ...

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Tobacco products to be taken off shop displays from 2017

  SINGAPORE: From 2017, retailers of tobacco products will not be allowed to display them in their shops, the Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday (Dec 9). The ministry said it will move to ban stores from displaying such products after amendments to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act are tabled in Parliament. Retailers may choose to use ...

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Diabetic vision loss medication may promote return to driving

  After a year of treatment with the drug ranibizumab (Lucentis), some people with vision loss due to diabetes regain their confidence to drive and have vision good enough to do so, according to a new study. Seeing well enough to drive confidently is an important measure of independence, the authors write. Up to 45 percent of people in the ...

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Men may eat more when women are watching

If women are prone to “eat like a bird” when men are watching, men may be similarly programmed to “eat like a horse” when women are around, suggests a small U.S. study by behavioral scientists. Researchers observed diners at an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet and found men who dined with at least one woman at the table ate 93 percent more ...

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Smokeless tobacco users exposed to more nicotine, cancer-causing chemical

  Compared to cigarette smokers, users of smokeless tobacco are exposed to equal or higher levels of nicotine and NNK, a cancer-causing chemical in tobacco products, according to a study from the U.S. government. More research is needed on the toxic components of smokeless tobacco products and the health of people who use them, write the researchers from the Food ...

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Global health experts accuse WHO of ‘egregious failure’ on Ebola

LONDON,: The World Health Organization’s failure to sound the alarm until months into West Africa’s Ebola outbreak was an “egregious failure” which added to the enormous suffering and death toll, global health experts said on Monday. A specialist panel convened by Harvard’s Global Health Institute (HGHI) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) said while the epidemic ...

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Liberia monitors over 150 Ebola contacts as virus re-emerges

MONROVIA: Liberia has placed 153 people under surveillance as it seeks to control a new Ebola outbreak in the capital more than two months after the country was declared free of the virus, health officials said. Three Ebola cases emerged in Liberia on Friday. The first of the new patients was a 15-year-old boy called Nathan Gbotoe from Paynesville, a ...

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New case of Ebola found in Liberia: UN official

ACCRA: A new case of Ebola has been found in Liberia, a country declared free of the disease on Sept. 3, a senior United Nations official said on Friday. The patient is a 10-year-old boy who lived in the Paynesville, a suburb east of the capital Monrovia, said the official, who declined to be named. The case represents a setback ...

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China two-child policy to add 3 million babies a year: Officials

BEIJING: Around three million extra babies will be born each year after Beijing abolished its hugely controversial “one child” policy to allow all couples to have two offspring, officials said Tuesday (Nov 10). Decades of strict, sometimes brutal enforcement left the world’s largest population – 1.37 billion people – ageing rapidly and with a shrinking workforce that has heightened the ...

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Roche sees launches, data on 8 new drugs by 2018

ZURICH: Roche is planning launches or pivotal data for up to eight new medicines in the next three years as it seeks to fend off competition from copycat versions of its older drugs. The Swiss drugmaker expects up to seven major results from clinical trials on new drugs or extensions for existing medicines through 2017. That would add to seven ...

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Sanofi, Hanmi sign diabetes treatment license agreement

PARIS: France’s Sanofi said on Thursday that it had signed a license agreement with Korea-based Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. to develop a portfolio of experimental, long-acting diabetes treatments. Hanmi will receive an upfront payment of 400 million euros (US$434 million) and is eligible for up to 3.5 billion euros in development, registration and sales milestones, Sanofi said in a statement. ...

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Pfizer partners with South Africa to produce pneumococcal vaccine

CAPE TOWN: Global pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, has partnered with South Africa’s Biovac Institute to produce a potentially life-saving pneumonia vaccine for infants, a cabinet minister said on Tuesday. According to the World Health Organisation, pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of death among children worldwide, accounting for 15 percent of all deaths for children under the age of 5 years. ...

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GSK aims to file up to 20 new drugs for approval by 2020

LONDON: GlaxoSmithKline said on Tuesday it had the potential to file up to 20 new drugs for approval before 2020 as it seeks to revitalize a portfolio hit by falling sales of best-selling inhaled lung treatment Advair. Britain’s biggest drugmaker is trying to boost low investor expectations for its product pipeline by hosting its first research and development day in ...

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MERS, Ebola, bird flu: Science’s big missed opportunities

LONDON,: Anyone who goes down with flu in Europe this winter could be asked to enroll in a randomized clinical trial in which they will either be given a drug, which may or may not work, or standard advice to take bed rest and paracetamol. Those who agree could be helping the world prepare for the next potentially deadly disease ...

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Processed meat can cause cancer, red meat probably can – WHO

  PARIS: Eating processed meat can cause bowel cancer in humans while red meat is a likely cause of the disease, World Health Organization (WHO) experts said on Monday in findings that could sharpen debate over the merits of a meat-based diet. The France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, put processed meat like hot ...

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Mediclinic to buy UAE’s Al Noor Hospitals for $2.2bn

South Africa’s Mediclinic Intl has agreed to buy UAE’s Al Noor Hospitals Group for around £1.4 billion ($2.2 billion), gaining the upper hand on rival NMC Health in a tussle for expansion in the fast growing Gulf region. The deal will double the South African group’s presence in the UAE, further diversifying out of its slow growing home market after ...

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Health Care Costs Highlight MLC Risk

The Japan P&I Club recently issued a notice to shipowners giving an analysis of why U.S. health care is so expensive. The high cost of U.S. healthcare is not new, but with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) now coming into its third year there could now be an elephant in the room making it more pertinent than ever before. The ...

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Weight loss, exercise may boost fertility odds for women with PCOS

  Women who suffer from a leading cause of infertility may increase their odds of conception if they exercise and lose weight, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers compared pregnancy outcomes for 150 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that occurs when the female body makes higher than normal amounts of testosterone and androgens, sex hormones associated with male ...

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Type of weight loss surgery matters for diabetes remission

  Diabetics considering weight-loss surgery to help send their disease into remission should opt for the most popular procedure, a gastric bypass, researchers suggest. In their study of different types of so-called bariatric surgeries, the biggest impact on diabetes remission was seen with gastric bypass, which can reduce the size of the stomach from about three pints to roughly the ...

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DNA scientists win 2015 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

STOCKHOLM: Sweden’s Tomas Lindahl, American Paul Modrich and Turkish-born Aziz Sancar won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on mapping how cells repair damaged DNA, giving insight into cancer treatments, the award-giving body said on Wednesday. “Their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new ...

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India delays implementation of bigger tobacco pack warnings

India has decided to delay implementation of bigger health warnings on tobacco packaging by a year until April 2016, as pressure mounts on New Delhi to take urgent steps to reduce tobacco consumption which kills up to 900,000 people a year.   NEW DELHI: India has decided to delay implementation of bigger health warnings on tobacco packaging by a year ...

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UK scientists start stem cell trial of potential blindness cure

LONDON: The first patient has been treated in Britain in a pioneering trial of a new treatment co-developed by Pfizer and derived from embryonic stem cells designed for patients with a condition that can cause blindness. Specialists at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital said the operation, described as “successful”, was the first of 10 planned for participants in a trial of ...

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Novo shares jump ahead of its largest ever drug launch

COPENHAGEN: Shares in Novo Nordisk rose as much as 5 percent on Monday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the diabetes drug Tresiba, allowing the Danish drugmaker to prepare its largest ever drug launch. The FDA’s decision late on Friday came two years after it had rejected the long-acting form of insulin. The world’s largest insulin maker ...

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New global drive to step up healthcare delivery

A new global partnership to be launched in New York today (September 26) will support low- and middle-income countries to strengthen monitoring, tracking and sharing of key performance indicators for primary health care. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank Group and World Health Organization today are launching the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative (PHCPI), o support countries in ...

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FDA approves Bayer’s electronic autoinjector for MS therapy

REUTERS: The first electronic automatic injector to deliver a drug for the most common form of multiple sclerosis received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday. The injection delivers Betaseron, a disease-modifying drug approved 22 years ago by the FDA for relapsing forms of the incurable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. The new device, ...

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