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El Salvador Urging Against Pregnancies Due to Spread of Zika Virus

On Thursday, El Salvador urged women leaving in the Central American country to avoid becoming pregnant until 2018 in order to avoid their babies from developing birth defects due to the Zika mosquito borne virus that has rampaged across the Americas. The Zika virus is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that is known to also carry the yellow fever, Chikungunya and dengue viruses. Health officials are not sure why this virus, which was detected first in 1947 in Africa but not known to the Americas until 2015, is spreading in such a rapid fashion... 
 

Raw Cashew Pieces Recalled by Trader Joe’s for Risk of Salmonella

Lovers of cashews might need to read this one. Trader Joe’s has issued a recall that went out on January 15 for the product known as Raw Cashew Pieces, due to a possibility of salmonella poisoning. The company sent an alert out to the supplier that one of its lots of products might have been contaminated by the bacteria. The products that were affected are those, which have labels reading – BEST BEFORE 07/17/2016F4. The raw cashew pieces have been distributed to 31 states including Georgia, Kentucky, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and... 
 

Cancer and Sugar: Tumor Growth Risk Increased with Western Diet

Large amounts of dietary sugar, more commonly found in a Western diet, might increase the risk of developing cancer, University of Texas researchers studied mice that were genetically predisposed to cancer of the breast and found those who were fed more sugar had larger tumors in comparison to those receiving less sugar or just starch. The authors of the study conducted four separate studies in which mice were randomized into diet groups and fed one of four different diets. The authors of the study said they had been careful to expose the mice to... 
 

Rare Diseases Start to Show Their Face Again

Diseases that have been considered rare, nearly wiped out or eradicated, especially across developed nations, are making a surprise and deadly comeback according to a just published study in London. Referred to by many as Victorian diseases, since they appeared normally during that period, the diseases include scarlet fever, measles, whopping cough and tuberculosis. The NHS in Britain found that these types’ diseases have been significantly increasing over the past five years. For instance, Public Health England confirmed that scarlet fever cases... 
 

FDA Overturns Ban of 30 Years on Gay Men Donating Blood

The government of the U.S. overturned on Monday its ban of 30 years on gay men donating blood saying they are now allowed to donate 12 months after having their last sexual contact with another male. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that its decision to reverse its policy that is based upon examination of the latest science that shows an indefinite ban is not needed to prevent HIV transmission. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. This move brings in line the U.S. with other countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand,... 
 

Merck Does Not Gain Backing from FDA Panel for Vytorin

Merck & Co should not be given the ok to claim Vytorin, its drug for lowering cholesterol, reduces the risk of strokes or heart attack in patients that have coronary heart disease, said an advisory committee on Monday to the United States Food and Drug Administration. The advisory panel evaluated the data from a trial of 18,000 patients whose results showed the combination treatment of Vytorin, which comprises Zetia as well as simvastatin an older drug that lowers cholesterol reduced rates of stroke, heart attack and death compared to using... 
 

Chemo with Suicide Gene Therapy Kills Cancer Cells in Prostate

The results of a clinical trial show that combining a treatment referred to as suicide gene therapy with chemotherapy successfully and safely kills tumor cells in the prostate. The suicide gene therapy involves a technique of genetically modifying cancer cells in the prostate so they will trigger the immune system of the body to attack them. In this study, which was published this past week, researchers at Houston Methodist Hospital manipulated cancer cells in the prostate through using a mix of viruses as well as adenovirus, which is the virus... 
 

No More Dental Fillings, No Drill Dentistry Stopping Decay

Researchers in Australia found a way to prevent and stop tooth decay without the need to use the drill and the fill technique. A study of seven years showed preventive dental care is able to reduce the necessity for any dental fillings by up to 50%. The study’s lead author Wendell Evans an Associate Professor with University of Sydney said that fillings are not necessary because many decay in teeth do not require it. The findings have shown that a preventative dental program has more benefits compared with the current technique. The drill and... 
 

Lazard Working with Sanofi on Deal for Animal Health Segment

Lazard the investment bank is working with management at Sanofi to prepare a sale or a listing of animal health unit Merial. That could value its business at as much as $12 billion euros or $12.7 billion, said source close to the matter. Lazard will likely win the role for the dual-track process as it is called, having helped management of Sanofi with its ongoing review, said sources speaking on the condition of anonymity. If this is successful the deal would play a big role in getting the most valuable company in France back on the right track... 
 

Panel for FDA Votes in Favor of Gout Drug from AstraZeneca

A panel of medical advisers that is independent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted on Friday 10 to 4 in favor of approval for a gout drug from AstraZeneca. All of the 10 who supported the drug, known as lesinurad, qualified the vote by urging the U.S. regulatory agency to ask the pharmaceutical company for studies following the launch of the drug to gauge safety and long term effectiveness. Gout is a type of arthritis that is caused by an excess of uric acid, which forms crystals in different joints as well as some tissues, causing extremely... 
 

Brains Tested of Former Players in the NFL Continue Trend of CTE

Researchers who are researching a degenerative form of disease in ex-NFL athletes say that 11 of the 12 brains of dead former players that were tested during the last year had showed signs of the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which continues a trend they have tracked. A story on lne Friday said that out of 91 brains examined of former players in the NFL 87 of the had CTE in some stage of development. According to the report, many of the brains of players had been donated for this research had suspected they were suffering... 
 

Compound in Red Wine Helps Slow Progress of Alzheimer’s

A small study found that the compound in red wine called resveratrol, which is also found in dark chocolate and red grapes, might help to slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers from Georgetown University saw that it affects the biomarker of Alzheimer’s but have cautioned that additional studies were needed prior to resveratrol being recommended for people who have the disease, which to date has no cure. In the study, 120 people who have Alzheimer’s disease took resveratrol in medication form or received a placebo each day... 
 

Brain Stimulation Could Ease Motion Sickness Symptoms

A team from Imperial College London said that early trials using 20 people suggested the method of using electricity stimulation of the brain could ease motion sickness symptoms similar to the effect that drugs have but without any drowsiness. The electrical current is able to interfere with messages arriving from part of the ear that controls a person’s balance. Other scientists have urged a healthy skepticism of the study until a larger trial can back the findings. Whether traveling by car, boat or plane motion sickness results from mixed messages... 
 

Boy Born Without Ears Receives New Pair in Surgery

For most of the kids, the first day of school is to show off their new clothes and explain to their friends what they did during the summer. However, for Eli Bell an 8-year old, it was about showing of a new pair of ears. Aaron his father said all his son had before his surgery was pieces of cartilage. He said his son had been born without any ears, which is a condition known as Bilateral Microtia. Bell said that he and his wife had no idea their son would be born with the condition. They both knew that reconstructive surgery was needed by were... 
 

Diabetes Affects Brain Function and Thinking Skills

A study that has just been published in the online journal Neurology indicates that people suffering from type 2 diabetes also demonstrate a drop in cognitive skills as well as the ability to regulate their blood flow to their brain. This is due partly to inflammation, which is one of type 2 diabetes’ common components. Normally, blood is distributed by the brain as needed to areas where there is increased neural activity, In people that suffer from diabetes however, that process can become impaired. For the recently published study, researchers... 
 

Skinny Jeans Not Just Uncomfortable But Also Dangerous

Skinny jeans have made the headlines recently and not only for good things. A woman in Australia who is 35 apparently was stuck inside her skinny jeans and was forced to be admitted to the hospital according to a magazine. Someone found her lying on the ground and rushed her to a nearby hospital, Apparently the skinny jeans she had one while helping a person move from one apartment to another and the repeated overall movement and squatting caused her muscles to swell in her legs. The woman began to feel numbness in her feet and fell to the ground... 
 

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut Eliminating Artificial Ingredients

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut announced that they are eliminating the artificial flavors and colors, which makes them just the most recent big company in the fast food industry to put a distance between themselves and ingredients consumers might not find too appetizing. Instead of Taco Bell using ingredients that give a product “black pepper flavoring,” it will be using real black pepper for its beef, says the chains food officer. The chain that features Mexican-style food also announced that Yellow # 6 an artificial dye will no longer be used in... 
 

Many Probiotics that are Labeled “Gluten Free” Contain Gluten

A number of probiotic supplements have small quantities of gluten. However, whether those traces can be harmful for those who cannot eat gluten remains unknown, said a recently released study. Researchers tested a total of 22 probiotics supplements of which most had on the label – “gluten free.” Over half of the products tested or 55% had levels of gluten that were detectable, said researchers. Probiotics are pills that contain what is called good bacteria, and have been touted as helping maintain a digestive system that is healthy. One of... 
 

Scientists Warn Over Chemical in Carpets, Cookware and Coats

In 1961, a toxicologist at DuPont warned his colleagues that the exposure to the company’s popular Teflon chemicals enlarged livers in rabbits and rats. Studies over the decades that followed found no level of exposure that was safe in animals and has determined that humans as well got sick after being exposed to the chemicals. Nonstick it turns out, sticks around. Before the end of 2015, some of the perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroaklyl substances or the PFASs will be phased out fully for use across the U.S. However, emerging to take their place,... 
 

IBM Launches New Health Initiative (NYSE:IBM)

IBM is partnering with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic to adapt its Watson artificial-intelligence technology for health care. IBM plans to use the Watson technology to create a cloud-based service can collect vast stores of health data and deliver insights to hospitals, physicians, insurers, and researchers tailored to individual patients. The implementation of the plan, dubbed Watson Health, would enable the company to personalize health care on a grand scale. The creation of the Watson Health unit is IBM’s latest effort to apply... 
 

Bristol-Myers Announces Investment in UniQure

Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to invest in UniQure NV a Dutch company to collaborate on gene therapies used for cardiovascular disease. Due to the investment, Bristol-Myers will have an exclusive access to the company’s proprietary program of gene therapy related to congestive heart failure. Both companies will be collaborating on a total of 10 targets and might work on other projects in the future related to other diseases. Bristol-Myers is paying close to $100 million for this investment, which includes one upfront payment of approximately... 
 

CDC: Superbugs Will Be Beaten

With a painstaking effort, a set of hospitals in Chicago has managed to lower by half the amount of infections caused by a deadly form of superbug. Health officials in the U.S. now want that campaign to spread nationwide. On Friday, the White House told the United States Center for Disease Control to slash the numbers of infections from bacteria that is antibiotic-resistant by 2020 as part of its plan to prevent deaths of patients and to curb the overuse of antibiotics prescribed to humans as well as animals. The CDC has pointed to the success enjoyed... 
 

Inexpensive Wine Might Have More Arsenic Than You Think

A box of White Zinfandel and a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck might contain a higher quantity of arsenic than what has become widely considers to be safe, according to a court document from a lawsuit. It is unknown if dozens of other inexpensive and popular labels from California actually could pose a risk to someone’s health. The lawsuit was officially filed on Thursday at the Los Angeles Superior Court and listed 83 different wins that had levels of arsenic that was much higher than what has been considered safe to consume, at least when it comes... 
 

Oxytocin Spray Could Be Used for Treatment of Obesity

In nasal spray form, the hormone oxytocin might be used to help treat obesity. The spray lowered the caloric intake in men who were healthy, in particular the consumption of fatty acids following just one dose, says the results of a new study. Oxytocin spray reportedly lowered the amount of calories men ate at breakfast following taking the oxytocin whether they had been overweight or normal weight. The results, said the lead investigator of the study, are very exciting but further study is needed. However, the thought is that oxytocin is promising... 
 

Deaths from Heroin Overdoses Close to Quadruple

In a frightening trend, deaths attributed to overdose of heroin in the U.S. have increased more dramatically recently than over the past decade, according to a newly released report. The results indicate the rate of heroin overdose deaths close to quadrupled from 0.7 deaths for every 100,000 in 2000 to 2.6 deaths for every 100,000 during 2013. However, the steepest increase took place from 2010 to 2013 when the death rate from overdoses of heroin increased by 37%, in comparison with only increasing by 6% in the 10 years previous to that period,... 
 

Florida Reports Three Cases of Leprosy

In Florida, health authorities have reported that three new cases of leprosy have been found over the last five months in Volusia County. Doctors suspect two of the three patients might have been infected with the disease through armadillos, which in 2011 were reported in that area and probable carriers of the bacteria. Leprosy, which is actually Hansen’s disease, is extremely rare and caused by the bacteria mycobacterium lepra. This disease has been known since ancient times, but has not yet been eradicated in the U.S. A resurgence of the disease... 
 

CDC Investigating Link of Deadly Bacteria to Doctor’s Offices

The U.S. Center for Disease Control has raised another red flag about a bacteria that is potentially deadly that might be lurking inside your doctor’s office. This bacteria, C. difficle, is found typically inside hospitals, but a new study released on Wednesday shows that a significant number of people who had not been to the hospital had nevertheless contracted the bug, but had recently visited either a dentist or doctor. The bacteria can cause diarrhea that can be deadly, with the number of infections increasing. The report shows close to half... 
 

Gene-Altered Apples Given FDA Approval

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday gave approval for the commercial planting of apples that are genetically engineered and resistant to becoming brown after being bruised or sliced. Okanagan Specialty Fruits, the developer of the apples, said it believes the feature of non-browning will become popular with both food service businesses and the consumer because it makes the sliced apples remain more appealing to the eye. This feature could reduce the amount of apples thrown out as well due to bruising. However, many executives with the apply... 
 

Low Rates of Vaccinations in Colorado Results in Illnesses

A low vaccination rate in Colorado resulted in more preventable illnesses during childhood and extra costs for the state’s hospitals during 2013, according to one local study just released. There were over 538 cases reported during 2013 of diseases that were vaccine-preventable that led to hospitalization of people as old as 19, which resulted in hospital charges of $29.2 million, according to the report. There were three cases reported in 2013 of adverse events cause by vaccines leading to one hospitalization of a person 19 years of age or younger... 
 

Anthem Hack Exposes Data Of 80 Million Consumers (NYSE:ANTM)

Roughly 80 million people have has their personal information exposed through a hack on Anthem’s computer systems. Anthem admitted that its systems were breached through a sophisticated cyberattack in letters to customers sent out this week. The information exposed included names, birthdays, addresses, employer information, email addresses, Social Security numbers and medical identification. Anthem has contacted the FBI and a leading cybersecurity firm to investigate the attack and provide recommendations to improve its security features for the... 
 

Half of People in the UK Will Develop Cancer

In a prepared statement, Cancer Research UK has said that one out of every two people will develop cancer at some point during their lives. The estimate, which the group said uses a new method of calculation, replaced a prior forecast of over one in every three people developing cancer. However, the good news was that survival figures from cancer are also on the rise. The somewhat sudden jump in the number of estimated diagnoses is due to researchers having developed a more accurate and sophisticated method of analyzing the risk of developing cancer. However,... 
 

Fecal Transplant Cures Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerated colitis or Crohn’s disease are extremely painful and could cause colorectal cancer. Researchers have now effectively cured those conditions in mice, which is offering hope for those humans who suffer from IBDs Waste material taken from healthy people in loaded with bacteria that are helpful. When that is transferred to digestive tracts of individuals who are sick, in whom an overgrowth of bad bacteria exists, the fecal matter can help restore a healthy flora. Doctors, using innovative methods have used... 
 

Vitamin D Tied to Lower Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Researchers said they now could show that vitamin D has the ability to protect people from developing colorectal cancer, known more commonly as bowel cancer. A recent study has found that vitamin D increases the defenses of the immune system against tumor cells. People with levels that are high of vitamin D in their bloodstream have a risk that is overall lower of developing colorectal cancer. Researchers said that laboratory research has suggested that vitamin D increases the body’s immune system function through activating T cells that recognize... 
 

Source of Deadly Outbreak of Listeria Found

Strains of the bacteria listeria found inside a California processing plant for apples are thought to have been the same ones that were associated with a listeria outbreak that killed seven people as well as sickened dozens more last year, said federal officials. Two separate strains of the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria had been confirmed in the apple processing plant owned by Bidart Bros, close the Bakersfield, California said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The same strains were found in the Bidart Bros apples that were collected from... 
 

Sanofi and Regeneron Drug For Cholesterol Effective

An experimental drug by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi SA was found effective in reducing the levels of “bad” cholesterol even at times when administered once each four weeks and not every two weeks. The treatment, alirocumab, is a part of the growing class of injectable treatments that blocks PCSK9 a protein that is naturally occurring that inhibits the body’s liver from expelling the LDL cholesterol. These drugs, known as PCSK9 inhibitors are for patients whose level of cholesterol do not drop a sufficient amount despite using statins... 
 

Little Change in Calories Found in Fast Food

An investigation by researchers into nutrition offered by meals at three major chains of fast food restaurants found little change in salt, saturated fat or calories between 1996 and 2013. A team from the Department of Agriculture in the U.S. looked at the nutrition of the four most popular fast food items on the menu – fries, grilled chicken sandwiches, cheeseburgers and regular Coca Cola. Overall, the team of researchers looked at 27 menu items, including the three different sizes of fries and sodas, a chicken sandwich that was grilled and cheeseburgers... 
 

More than 320,000 Pounds of Meat Recalled

Meat recalls have been carried out by three food processing companies based in Texas. Of the processed meats, 4 products were pulled from a local school district and different supermarkets. Close to 46,000 pounds of beef and chicken meat products that were manufactured by the J&B Sausage Co, have also been recalled for undeclared allergens and misbranding. The products recalled were processed sometime between August 25 and December 15 of this year. They might possibly contain some peanuts without it being printed on their labels. However, to... 
 

Powdered Vaccine for Measles Shows Good Promise

No more pricks in the arm or colorful bandages for children getting their vaccination for measles could be in the future. A new experimental vaccine for the virus has made headway in early trials and it comes powdered, taken not via injections but inhalation. A University of Colorado professor said that delivering vaccines the conventional way, with a needle injection, poses serious challenges, especially in regions of the world that are poor in resources. The newly tested powdered vaccine has to be proved safe for use in humans in clinical trials.... 
 

Arsenic Levels in Rice Should Be Important to Consumers

Tests made on consumer products have recently discovered that many different types of rice products contain different amounts of arsenic. Researchers tested sushi rice, jasmine and basmati for artificial arsenic that can be a more dangerous chemical than the natural one, which is found naturally in the environment. Basmati and Pakistan rice, from California and India has the lowest tested levels of arsenic out of all the products. Even though it is rich with nutrients, it was confirmed that it contains a larger amount of arsenic than normal white... 
 

Sanofi’s MS Drug Lemtrada Receives Approval of FDA

Sanofi won approval in the U.S. for Lemtrada a treatment for multiple sclerosis helping ease the potential revenue loss by the company from Lantus its top selling drug for diabetes that will face new competition in 2015. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for those patients that have multiple sclerosis that is defined by relapse and remission periods, which is the most common form of the disorder. The FDA initially denied the request by Sanofi to sell Lemtrada last December and said the clinical trials for the drug... 
 

Skin Cancer Named the Most Expensive Cancer

Apart from being a deadly disease if not treated, skin cancer also has high costs for treatment. As per new research, amongst all forms of cancer, treating skin cancer is estimated as being the most expensive. A new study just published online carried out by the Center for Disease Control determined what cancer was the most expensive to treat. The treatment expenses for skin cancer have been steadily increasing and between 2002 and 2012 have more than doubled for U.S. patients. In comparison with the cost of treating other forms of cancer, it is... 
 

Inhaled Insulin: What Patients Need to Know

This summer, the FDA approved a diabetes treatment that could end insulin injections for good. Patients would inhale the drug, called Afrezza, before meals, and it might be released to market by the end of 2014. Although patients with chronic lung disease, such as COPD or asthma, shouldn’t take inhaled insulin, the treatment does show promise for patients, especially when combined with oral anti-diabetic medication. Controlling blood sugar could help diabetic patients reduce their risk for serious complications including kidney damage, blindness,... 
 

Terminal Patient Ends Her Life in Oregon

Brittany Maynard who was 29-years old ended her life according to someone close to her. Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and had become the face for the death with dignity movement. She took a lethal dose of medication prescribed through a doctor and died on Saturday, peacefully and as intended with her loved ones, said a statement that was released by the organization Compassion & Choices. The group works to expand choices and improve the care of people who are near the end of their lives. Maynard had been suffering from more... 
 

Cocoa Flavanols Linked to Improved Senior Memory

Decline in memory is seen almost as a typical aging characteristic. However, in a recent study published online it suggests that it might not have to be; researchers at Columbia University in New York say that flavanols that occur naturally in cocoa reversed memory decline related to age in older adults. According to the Columbia University research team, which included Dr. Scott Small the senior author, memory decline begins in early adulthood but does not become noticeable until people start reaching their 50s and 60s, when it begins to be referred... 
 

Chicken Products from Bell and Evans Recalled

Close to 32,000 pounds of chicken products that were breaded and gluten-free have been recalled by the United States Department of Agriculture from Murry’s Inc due to having a risk of staphylococcus contamination. The products recalled included Bell & Evan Gluten-Free 12-ounce boxes of Chicken Breast Nuggets , as well as Gluten-Free Breaded Chicken Breast in 10.5 ounces. The best before date on the boxes are as August 9, 2015 and the boxes were shipped across the nation. The entire shipment is included in the recall. The products that are... 
 

Stock Market Believes AbbVie Shire Deal has Died

If one used the stock market as an indicator, then investors already are of the belief that the $54 billion AbbVie takeover of Shire has died. Shares of Shire tumbled nearly 25% Wednesday in midday trading in London, wiping away nearly £10 billion from the market value of the Britain-based drug maker. The stock’s plunge came following announcement by it suitor  AbbVie that it was not sure about its planned purchased of Shire, because of the new rules set forth by the U.S. Treasury that would make it a less attractive deal tax wise. The hesitation... 
 

Gilead New Medication More Expensive than Sovaldi

On Friday, Gilead Sciences won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a follow up drug to Sovaldi its hepatitis C drug that has become very controversial. The new treatment is actually more expensive that the $1,000 per day price for Sovaldi. Harvoni, the newest medication, is used for patients who are afflicted with Genotype 1 Hepatitis C. It is considered to be the most difficult Hepatitis to treat and in the U.S., it is the most common. Harvoni is a combination of Sovaldi and Ledipasvir. It has proved to be effective in between... 
 

Cancer Drug From Roche Shows Promise For Increasing Lifespan

A cancer drug developed by Swiss drug maker Roche has shown promise in significantly extending the lifespan of the patients treated with it in clinical trials. The cancer drug, named Perjeta, is used to treat cases of advanced metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic cancers are cancers that have spread to other parts of the body. The results showed that the patients treated with Perjeta had a median survival time of around 16 months more than the patients in the control group. The results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the European... 
 

Turmeric Could Help Brain Growth

The spice that is typically used in the different curries could help the ability of the brain to heal itself, said new research in Germany out of the Institute of Medicine and Neuroscience. The findings of the new research, which were published this week in the Stem Cell Research journal, suggest a compound that is found in turmeric could help stimulate growth of certain nerve cells, which previously discovered as part of the internal repair kit of the brain. Scientists said the new research in which the lab rats were given turmeric, could lead... 
 

Angelina Jolie Effect Has Doubled the Number of Cancer Tests

The surprise announcement by Angelina Jolie last year that she underwent a double mastectomy as a preventive measure has been influential in doubling the referrals for genetic breast cancer exams. The actress made her decision following an exam in which she tested positive for the a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, which increases greatly the risk of developing breast cancer. A recently published study shows that during June and July of 2013 the amount of referrals for the DNA tests and genetic counseling for breast cancer gene mutations across the UK... 
 
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