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2005

News
  1. -01-18-05 U.N.: World Can End Poverty by 2025 (MSNBC News)
      "Global poverty can be cut in half by 2015 and eliminated by 2025 if the world’s richest countries including the United States, Japan and Germany more than double aid to the poorest countries, hundreds of development experts concluded in a report Monday."

      "At stake is life or death for tens of millions of impoverished people, it said." 1-05

  2. -02-03-05 NIH Workers Angered by Ethics Rules (MSNBC News)
      "National Institutes of Health Director Elias A. Zerhouni stood before hundreds of NIH employees yesterday to explain why it had become necessary for him to impose, in his words, 'drastic' restrictions on stock ownership and other forms of outside income, which take effect today for all agency employees."

      "The goal, as Zerhouni repeatedly explained, was to save the venerable agency's reputation, which had become badly sullied after 14 months of embarrassing revelations about conflicts of interest among NIH scientists."

      "One after another, scientists, doctors and other agency staffers stepped up to the microphones and raged against the new rules, made public Tuesday. By the time it was over, 90 minutes later, nary a positive word had been uttered about the new policy and there was more vented spleen around than a busy medical center like the NIH might normally see in a year."

      "Several attendees wanted to know why, if the goal is to restore public trust in the federal scientific enterprise, the rules are to be applied solely to NIH."

      " 'Does this apply to the Department of Energy? To the Department of Agriculture? To the Defense Department?' asked Elaine Jaffe, a pathologist who is chief of blood diseases at the National Cancer Institute, to cheers and applause."

      " 'If we really want to reassure the public," Emanuel added, 'why don't we apply these to everyone who gets an NIH grant?' "

      "Another attendee noted that NIH employees are subject to periodic outside evaluations and reviews by nongovernmental scientists who are not subject to the same ethics restrictions -- a bizarre situation, the employee said, in which people with real conflicts of interest will be sitting in judgment of those with none." 2-05

  3. -05-26-05 Great-Grandmother Gives Birth (ABC News)
      "Rosie Swain wasn't trying to break any records when, at 57, she became the oldest American woman to give birth to twins. All Swain and her husband, Jay, wanted was to give their son Jimmy, 6½, another sibling, even though with six other children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, the Swains had already given their son several playmates." 5-05

  4. -07-15-05 Group Recommends Warning Labels on Soft Drinks (CBS News)
      "Soft drinks that are packed with sugar could get warning labels just like cigarettes and alcohol if an advocacy group gets its way." 7-05

  5. -07-23-05 Huge Bills for Long-Term Elderly Care (ABC News)
      "Currently, roughly 9 million elderly Americans require some kind of long-term care. By 2020, that number will have jumped to 12 million."

      "It's a subject a lot of people don't like to think about. A recent study found four in 10 Americans don't know what steps to take to prepare for their own long-term care, which can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars." 7-05

  6. -07-25-05 Study: Cats Probably Can't Taste Sweets (Fox News)
      "Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center (search) in Philadelphia and their collaborators said Sunday they found a dysfunctional feline gene that probably prevents cats from tasting sweets, a sensation nearly every other mammal on the planet experiences to varying degrees." 7-05  

  7. -07-26-05 Girl Cannot Speak - But Now Can Sing (ABC News)
      "A touchpad on Pyszka's wheelchair, which sits next to her head, is connected to her computer. Using her head, Pyszka clicks on words and phrases. The technology allowed the teenager who loves to compose music to actually perform it." 7-05

  8. -07-27-05 Scientists Find Bacteria That Fight Bad Breath (CBS News)
      "Scientists have found bacteria that fight bad breath and smelly feet." 7-05

  9. -08-02-05 Russia Bans ABC Over Interview (CBS News)
      "Russia's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it will not renew permission for ABC-TV to operate in the country after the network broadcast an interview with a notorious Chechen warlord." 8-05

  10. -08-03-05 Starvation Disaster in Niger (CNN News)
      Doctors Without Borders "has complained that the international community until recently ignored warnings of a prolonged drought and locust infestation in Niger, leaving more than a million people near starvation."

      "This week alone, the Maradi camp took in more than 1,100 cases of severely malnourished children. That is the highest it's ever had and it keeps growing." 8-05

  11. -08-09-05 Lung Cancer Deadly for Women (ABC News)
      "As the number of men with lung cancer declines, the American Cancer Society estimates that 73,020 women will die in the U.S. of lung cancer this year, more than those who will die from breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers combined." 08-05

  12. -08-11-05 Possible Lung Cancer Breakthrough (Washington Times)
      "A key reason lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in America is that it is rarely detected early and usually has spread beyond the lungs when diagnosed."

      "But that could change as a result of clinical studies that are trying to determine whether a new X-ray technique known as low-dose spiral CT scanning can detect lung cancer early enough to save lives in those most at risk." 8-05

  13. -08-19-05 Vioxx Maker Found Guilty (BBC News)
      "US drugs giant Merck is to blame for the fatal heart attack suffered by a man taking its painkiller Vioxx, a Texas jury has ruled."

      "It has been estimated that Vioxx could have caused 27,785 heart attacks or deaths since it was approved for use in 1999."

      "More than 3,800 lawsuits have been filed against the firm over the drug." 8-05

  14. -08-24-05 Eastern States to Cut Emissions (CBS News)
      "Nine U.S. states have reached a preliminary agreement on an initiative led by New York Governor George Pataki to freeze power plant emissions at current levels and reduce them by 10 percent by 2020." 8-05

  15. -08-24-05 Study: Fetal Pain Not Present Until Third Trimester (JAMA)
      "Proposed federal legislation would require physicians to inform women seeking abortions at 20 or more weeks after fertilization that the fetus feels pain and to offer anesthesia administered directly to the fetus. This article examines whether a fetus feels pain and if so, whether safe and effective techniques exist for providing direct fetal anesthesia or analgesia in the context of therapeutic procedures or abortion." 8-05

  16. -08-25-05 Study: MP3 Players Dangerous for Ears (CBS News)
      "Since damage to hearing caused by high volume is determined by its duration, continuous listening to an MP3 player, even at a seemingly reasonable level, can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear that transmit sound impulses to the brain."

      "Studies have shown that people exposed to 85 decibels for eight hours tend to develop hearing loss," Brian Fligor, ScD, of Children's Hospital in Boston, tells WebMD. He found that all the CD players he examined produced sound levels well in excess of 85 decibels."

      "Every time you increase a sound level by three decibels, listening for half as long will produce the same amount of hearing loss. The kid who cuts my grass uses an iPod. The lawn mower noise is about 80 to 85 decibels. If he likes listening to his iPod 20 decibels above that, he's in the range of 100-105 decibels. At that sound level he shouldn't listen for more than eight to 15 minutes." 8-05

  17. -08-28-05 Simulation Results: Temperature Rise Caused a Mass Extinction (BBC News) star
      "A computer simulation of the Earth's climate 250 million years ago suggests that global warming triggered the so-called 'great dying'."

      "A dramatic rise in carbon dioxide caused temperatures to soar to 10 to 30 degrees Celsius higher than today, say US researchers."

      "Some 95% of lifeforms in the oceans became extinct, along with about three-quarters of land species." 8-05

  18. -08-28-05 Simulation Results: Temperature Rise Caused a Mass Extinction (BBC News)
      "A computer simulation of the Earth's climate 250 million years ago suggests that global warming triggered the so-called 'great dying'."

      "A dramatic rise in carbon dioxide caused temperatures to soar to 10 to 30 degrees Celsius higher than today, say US researchers."

      "Some 95% of lifeforms in the oceans became extinct, along with about three-quarters of land species." 8-05

  19. -08-31-05 Health Emergency Declared (CNN News)
      "The Bush administration declared a public health emergency for the entire Gulf Coast on Wednesday in an effort to stop the spread of disease in the wake of Hurricane Katrina."

      " 'We are gravely concerned about the potential for cholera, typhoid and dehydrating diseases that could come as a result of the stagnant water and the conditions,' Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said Wednesday after announcing the emergency." 8-05

  20. -08-31-05 Hundreds Killed in Stampede (MSNBC News)
      "Trampled, crushed against barricades or plunging into the Tigris River, more than 700 Shiite pilgrims died Wednesday when a procession across a Baghdad bridge was engulfed in panic over rumors that a suicide bomber was at large."

      "Most of the dead were women and children, Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman said. It was the single biggest confirmed loss of life in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion." 8-05

  21. -08-31-05 Top Health Official Resigns Over Delay (CBS News)
      "A high-ranking Food and Drug Administration official resigned Wednesday in protest of the agency's refusal to allow over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception."

      "Susan Wood, director of FDA's Office of Women's Health, announced her resignation in an e-mail to colleagues at the agency. The e-mail was released by contraception advocates."

      "The FDA on Friday postponed indefinitely its decision on whether to allow the morning-after pill, called Plan B, to sell without a prescription. The agency said it was safe for adults to use without a doctor's guidance, but said young teenagers still needed a prescription and that it couldn't determine how to enforce an age limit, a decision contrary to the advice of its own scientific advisers." 8-05

  22. -09-18-05 Face Transplants Considered (CBS News)
      "This is no extreme TV makeover. It is a medical frontier being explored by a doctor who wants the public to understand what she is trying to do."

      "It is this: to give people horribly disfigured by burns, accidents or other tragedies a chance at a new life. Today's best treatments still leave many of them with freakish, scar-tissue masks that don't look or move like natural skin."

      "These people already have lost the sense of identity that is linked to the face; the transplant is merely 'taking a skin envelope' and slipping their identity inside, Siemionow contends." 9-05

  23. -09-28-05 Dog Flu (ABC News)
      "A newly discovered virus has killed dogs in at least seven states, and veterinarians, kennel operators and pet owners are concerned because researchers say there is no vaccine and dogs do not have immunity to the new flu." 9-05

  24. -09-29-05 Bird Flu Mutant Likely to Cause Pandemic (USA Today)
      "A top U.N. public health expert warned Thursday that a new influenza pandemic could come anytime and claim millions of lives unless officials to take action now to control an epidemic in Asia."

      "Dr. David Nabarro of the World Health Organization called on governments to take immediate steps to address the threat at a news conference following his appointment as the new U.N. coordinator to lead a global drive to counter a human flu pandemic." 9-05

  25. -10-10-05 Glowing Mosquitoes to Fight Malaria (BBC News)
      "A protein that makes the sex glands and sperm of male mosquitoes glow could help reduce malaria infection rates, UK scientists say."

      "They used the protein to tag male mosquito larvae, the genes of which can be manipulated to make them infertile."

      "As malaria is spread only by female mosquitoes, the scientists hope sending such sterile males into the wild could help kill off infective populations." 10-05

  26. -10-15-05 Dog Flu Spreads Rapidly (Washington Times)
      "A new canine influenza, or dog flu, is spreading steadily through the nation's dogs, and experts say there is no vaccine available to curb the virus that has killed young and otherwise healthy animals." 10-05

  27. -11-10-05 CT Scans May Provide Early Detection of Lung Cancer (ABC News)
      "By the time symptoms appear, lung cancer has usually spread beyond the lungs and the five-year survival rate is only 15 percent. Studies have shown traditional chest X-rays do not catch lung cancer early enough to reduce the death rate. That's why some researchers are so enthusiastic about the new, more sensitive CT scans." 11-05.

  28. -11-14-05 Bundling Up and the Common Cold (ABC News)
      "Since the early 1960s, doctors generally doubted the stereotypical mother's advice that bundling up helps avoid a cold — saying the cold virus causes a cold, not going out in the winter without a hat or with wet hair."

      "But now, some doctors say mom's conventional wisdom was right."

      "A report coming out in this week's Oxford Journal of Family Practice, an international scientific publication from Oxford University, concludes that chilling can bring on common cold symptoms." 11-05

  29. -11-14-05 Oil and Water Diet (ABC News)
      "Seth Roberts says he lost 35 pounds in three months by drinking tablespoons of oil and glasses of sugar water in-between meals to quell the urge to continue to eat."

      "Roberts calls it the Shangri-La Diet, and suggests it works by suppressing a basic 'caveman' instinct from days when access to food was intermittent. The diet tricks the body from thinking it needs to eat every last bit of food before an impending famine." 11-05

  30. -12-01-05 Malawi Poverty and Disease: Half Face Starvation (CNN News)
      "This is one of the world's 10 poorest countries; life expectancy is a mere 37 years; two-thirds of the population live on less than a dollar a day; one in six adults is HIV positive, and nearly half the population of 12 million faces starvation in coming months if help doesn't arrive soon."

      "That's 5 million people, which is half the population of London or New York City."

      "Malawi is in deep trouble after a fourth straight season of failed rains, which made farmlands and fields bone dry. November was supposed to usher in the rainy season -- but the skies were a clear blue and no clouds are in sight."

      "The majority of Malawians are subsistence farmers - and they are crying out for help."

  31. -12-01-05 World AIDS Day (CBS News)
      "World AIDS Day was marked Thursday with marches, memorials and speeches honoring the millions who've died from the disease and highlighting global efforts to combat its spread."

      "The epidemic has killed at least 25 million people, including 3.1 million last year. If they don't get AIDS drugs, 6 million more people will die in the next year or two, notes health information Website WebMD.com." 12-05

  32. -12-02-05 Fatal Bacterial Illness Spreading (CBS News)
      "A deadly bacterial illness commonly seen in people on antibiotics appears to be growing more common — even in patients not taking such drugs, federal health officials warned Thursday."

      "The bacteria are Clostridium difficile, also known as C-diff. The germ is becoming a regular menace in hospitals and nursing homes, and last year it was blamed for 100 deaths over 18 months at a hospital in Quebec, Canada."

      "Recent cases in four states show it is appearing more often in healthy people who have not been admitted to health-care facilities or even taken antibiotics, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." 12-05

  33. -12-11-05 Compound in Some Foods Attack Alzheimer's Agent (Scientific American) star
      " 'Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol occurring in abundance in several plants, including grapes, berries and peanuts,' says author Philippe Marambaud of the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders in Manhasset, N.Y. 'The polyphenol is found in high concentrations in red wines.' "

      "The scientists found that 40 micromoles (a measure of the amount of resveratrol in a liter of solution) cut levels of the Alzheimer's-associated molecules--amyloid-beta peptides--by more than half." 9-03

  34. -12-14-05 Parkinson's Eye Cell Treatment Effective (MSNBC News)
      "People with Parkinson’s disease showed marked improvement after surgeons implanted in their brains chemical-producing cells taken from the eye of a dead donor, researchers said Monday." 12-05

  35. -12-15-05 Study: Fiber Does Not Prevent Cancer (CBS News)
      "Fiber is part of a healthy diet. Guidelines suggest we eat 25 to 30 grams a day. An apple is about 5 grams. A cup of baked beans is 19."

      "But right now the only thing known to prevent colon cancer is that colonoscopy. And that is the problem because only about 40 percent of Americans get a regular colonoscopy."

      "If you're 50 or over, the recommendation is that you have one every few years. So, Kaledin concludes, it seems most people think eating a big bowl of cereal is a lot easier and just as healthy — they would be wrong about that." 12-05

  36. -Millennium Development Goals to Reduce Human Suffering (United Nations)
      The first goal is to "Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day" and to "Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger."

      Editor's Note: The 191 UN member states agreeing to support the goals estimate that between 2000 and 2015 it would cost $40 billion dollars to achieve all of the goals to reduce suffering. Meanwhile, world spending on military was $956 billion last year alone. 5-05

  37. Getting Rid of Cellulite (ABC News)
      "Some 90 percent of women have cellulite. Even thin and physically fit stars like Pamela Anderson, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Nicole Kidman have it."

Papers
  1. "Superspreaders" a Key for Spread of Disease (Scientific American)
      "James Lloyd-Smith, a biophysicist at the University of California at Berkeley and colleagues studied the statistics of eight diseases ranging from measles to monkeypox, and were surprised to find that there was no meaningful 'average' number of people who could be infected by a contagious individual. 'A lot of people don’t infect anyone,' Lloyd-Smith says. Rather, a tiny number of superspreaders are responsible for an epidemic. The researchers developed a mathematical model to predict disease dynamics arising from superspreaders, which showed that depending on circumstances, a viral outbreak can either fizzle out or explode."

      " 'There is a great need for rapid action once a disease is identified, to identify the people you should target for control,' Lloyd-Smith says." 12-05

  2. -06-22-05 Missing Utah Boy, Brennan Hawkins, Found (CBS News)
      The 11-year-old boy lost for four days in the Utah mountains had deliberately hid from searchers, thinking they were strangers who might kidnap him, his mother said Wednesday." 6-05

  3. Hospital Infections Fourth-Leading Cause of Death (ABC News)
      "It turns out hospital infections are the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States."

      "Pennsylvania is one of only six states that has passed a law requiring the reporting of infections. Experts say public disclosure forces hospitals to reduce infection rates. Dr. Rick Shannon, chief of medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, looked at the data on patients in the hospital's intensive care units. He was stunned."

      " 'Fifty-one percent of everyone who got these infections died. Half the people who got one died,' he said. Dr. Shannon wasted no time. He gave an order to the ICU staff. Reduce hospital infections to zero — in just 90 days." 10-05

  4. Study: Overweight Children a Neighborhood Problem (ABC News)
      "When a Philadelphia school district recently slimmed down its lunch offerings and banned sodas from vending machines, educators hoped the moves would help stem the tide of childhood obesity."

      "But as school officials continued to see an overweight student body, they began to suspect that the real culprit behind the children's weight problems was lurking beyond school walls."

      "Sure enough, the school with the highest percentage of overweight children — nearly half of the student body — was surrounded by twice as many food opportunities as the school with the lowest percentage of overweight kids." 7-05

  5. Treated Wood Decks May Pose Danger to Children (CBS News)
      "It's wood that was treated with a powerful pesticide called CCA that includes arsenic. Under pressure, suppliers have agreed to stop making it."

      "But, as CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, already 50 million American families, like Horseman's, share a potential health worry. Their wooden deck, fence and picnic table were all built with this wood."

      "Most adults don't notice immediate symptoms, but they're not the most at-risk group. Small children are. They touch the wood as they play on it or eat on it and then put their hands in their mouth along with any arsenic that seeped through and the potential health impact is startling." 6-04

  6. UN: Greatest Catastrophe in World's History (Guardian Unlimited)
      "The HIV/Aids pandemic is the worst catastrophe in history and is blighting childhood across the developing world, especially sub-Saharan Africa, the United Nations said yesterday. Advances in children's survival, health and education are being reversed by a "triple whammy" of Aids, conflict and poverty, according to the UN children's agency, Unicef. The disease is driving the destruction of basic services for 1bn children and violating their right to grow and develop, said Carol Bellamy, the organisation's executive director. "We believe Aids is the worst catastrophe ever to hit the world," she told the Guardian. "It is just ripping up systems, be it health or education. Our children's childhood is being robbed from them." " "The report said the world had the capacity to reduce poverty, conflict and HIV/Aids and improve the plight of the world's children. It said Millennium Development Goals, which aim to improve the world through human development by 2015 and were agreed to by the UN's 191 member states in 2000, could be achieved at an annual cost of $40bn (£20.8bn) - $70bn (£36.4bn). World spending on military last year was $956bn (£497.4bn)." 12-04

   
   


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