- -01-11-06 Obesity Drug Based on Genetic Research (ABC News)
"In the coming year, the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis plans to release what many believe could be one of the first truly effective anti-obesity drugs. Preliminary data from large trials have suggested that weight loss is much greater than with any current drugs on the market."
"The drug, rimonabant, targets receptors of cannabinoid 1, which stimulates appetite and other cravings (including nicotine) in the brain. By blocking cannabinoid 1's receptors, rimonabant helps people beat their cravings and lose weight." 01-06
- -01-11-06 Survey: Attitudes More OK With Overweight People (CBS News)
"A survey finds America's attitudes toward overweight people are shifting from rejection toward acceptance. Over a 20-year period, the percentage of Americans who said they find overweight people less attractive steadily dropped from 55 percent to 24 percent, the market research firm NPD Group found." 01-06
- -01-14-06 CDC: Two Flu Drugs Effective, Two Ineffective (BBC News)
"With flu season reaching its peak, two drugs typically prescribed to fight the virus will be ineffective this season and should not be prescribed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Saturday."
"The CDC found in tests that the antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine were ineffective 91 percent of the time against H3N2 influenza, the dominant strain this season."
"However, two other antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza are still effective, said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. Amantadine and rimantadine are older, less-expensive and less commonly prescribed drugs." 01-06
- -01-26-06 Effective New Treatments for Breast Cancer (ABC News)
"Four years after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, Peggy Matson is now free of the disease."
"She had surgery and took a new drug called Herceptin, one of the first medications to attack breast cancer cells specifically."
"One of the most promising is a pill called Lapatinib, potentially more effective than Herceptin because it inhibits the growth of two proteins in certain cancer cells, while Herceptin affects only one." 01-06
- -01-27-06 New Cancer Drug Approved (CBS News)
"A new drug that combats both a rare stomach cancer and advanced kidney cancer won speedy federal approval Thursday."
"Sunitinib, to be marketed by Pfizer Inc. as Sutent, is the first cancer drug to simultaneously win Food and Drug Administration approval for two conditions, the agency said." 01-06
- -01-27-06 Passive Smoke Linked to Breast Cancer (USA Today)
"California regulators ruled Thursday that secondhand smoke causes breast cancer in younger women, an unprecedented finding that could lead to tougher anti-smoking measures." 01-06
- -01-31-06 Stem Cell Research and State Laws (Christian Science Monitor)
"Washington has effectively put a lid on federal efforts to advance embryonic stem-cell research. But pressure from scientists eager to expand their knowledge, special interest groups searching for new cures for diseases, and those who see a lucrative new biomedical industry has found a relief valve: the nation's 50 statehouses." 01-06
- -02-08-06 Study: Low-Fat Diet Results Disappointing (CBS News)
"After an average of roughly eight years, there was little difference in rates of breast cancer, colorectal cancer and heart disease in women who reduced their fat consumption than among nearly 30,000 study participants who didn't. "
" 'Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater,' stressed The Early Show medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay Wednesday. 'It would be a shame if women read this and thought, "I can throw all my lifestyle interventions away. They don't matter.' They probably do, but maybe not exactly as they should, in this trial."
" 'We have to eat healthy. We have to exercise. We have to maintain a healthy weight. We have to not smoke. These things, in many other trials, have been shown over and over again to reduce the risk of all these diseases.' " 02-06
- -02-15-06 What Has Many Germs? (ABC News)
"To find out how to make our offices less germ-friendly, we called on Allison Janse, who was Gerba's co-author for the book, 'The Germ Freak's Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu.' "
- -02-17-06 Greenies Could Endanger Your Dog (ABC News)
"One veterinarian told us preliminary national figures he'd compiled indicated that Greenies were the No. 3 cause of blockages in the esophagus behind bones and fish hooks."
" 'There have been eight complaints about Greenies,' said Joe Roetheli, the manufacturer's chief executive officer. 'That's over eight years and 700 million sold.' " 02-06
- -02-17-06 Hand Holding May Affect Your Brain (ABC News)
"As brain images have become more advanced, there have been a flood of studies claiming to illustrate the physiological effects of everything from meditation to political partisanship to love."
"There's debate in the scientific community about how valuable these studies really are. But Davidson who says he's been happily married for 28 years believes his study shows that affection among loving couples may actually change people's brains." 02-06
- -02-18-06 Study: Sick Spouses, a Warning to Be Careful (MSNBC News)
"A husband or wife with a debilitating illness can hasten your own death, a study suggests."
"The researchers blame the stress and the loss of companionship, practical help, income and other support that can occur when a spouse gets sick." 02-06
- -02-19-06 Great-Grandmother Gives Birth (CBS News)
"A 62-year-old great-grandmother has become one of the oldest women in the world to successfully give birth." 02-06
- -02-21-06 Feeling Full (ABC News)
"Scientists are learning more about a hunger hormone called ghrelin. When you're hungry, this hormone is secreted in your stomach and intestines and sends a message to your brain to say it's time to eat."
"Nicole Beland, a senior contributor at Women's Health magazine, says you can suppress ghrelin by eating certain foods, so you will then feel full. Carbohydrates and lean protein have been found to slow the production of ghrelin, while foods that are high in fat do not." 02-06
- -02-21-06 Procedure Calms Erratic Heartbeat (ABC News)
"An atrial fibrillation starts in the veins that feed into the left upper chamber in the heart the left atrium. Abnormal electrical signals from these veins spread throughout the upper chambers causing an irregular heartbeat that leads to troublesome symptoms."
"For some, medications control the problem, but for others, a relatively new procedure called ablation allows doctors to literally get to the heart of the matter and destroy the enemy." 02-06
- -02-27-06 Does Airborne Stave Off Colds? (ABC News)
"Airborne said that a double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted with 'care and professionalism' by a company specializing in clinical trial management, GNG Pharmaceutical Services."
"GNG is actually a two-man operation started up just to do the Airborne study. There was no clinic, no scientists and no doctors. The man who ran things said he had lots of clinical trial experience. He added that he had a degree from Indiana University, but the school says he never graduated." 02-06
- -03-04-06 Hoodia May Suppress Hunger (CBS News)
Hoodia is "very different from diet stimulants like Ephedra and Phenfen that are now banned because of dangerous side effects. Hoodia doesn't stimulate at all. Scientists say it fools the brain by making you think youre full, even if you've eaten just a morsel." 03-06
- -03-14-06 Scientist: 50-50 Chance of Bird Flu Hitting Humans (ABC News)
"Robert G. Webster is one of the few bird flu experts confident enough to answer the key question: Will the avian flu switch from posing a terrible hazard to birds to becoming a real threat to humans?"
"There are 'about even odds at this time for the virus to learn how to transmit human to human,' he told ABC's 'World News Tonight.' Webster, the Rosemary Thomas Chair at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., is credited with being the first scientist to find the link between human flu and bird flu." 03-06
- -03-28-06 Ambien May Cause Eating -- While Asleep (CBS News)
CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone says that "Dr. Mark Mahowald and other sleep researchers have discovered that nocturnal eating may be a side effect of the popular sleep medication, Ambien."
"That comes on the heels of reports that some Ambien users may drive while sleeping." 03-06
- -03-30-06 HIV Rates Drop in India (BBC News)
"HIV infection rates have fallen by a third in the worst hit regions of south India, research suggests." 03-06
- -04-06-06 Eye Fungus Strikes Contact Lens Wearers (ABC News)
"The fungus [fusarium] grows within the eye's cornea. Doctors who prescribe antibiotics for their patients to treat eye symptoms without first culturing the eye to see whether something is there could be putting their patients at risk because the fungal infection could go untreated." 04-06
- -04-06-06 Universal Health Care Proposed in Massachusettes (WTEN.com)
"Members of the Senate and the Assembly have already handed a bill over to Governor Mitt Romney that would require citizens to purchase some kind of health care coverage. Penalties for those who refuse would include stiff penalties, and eventually outright fines."
"Employers will also be held accountable. Any business with eleven employees or more would have to provide health insurance or pay close to $300 a year to uncovered workers." 04-06
- -04-09-06 Fat-Busting Lasers (TimesOnline.co.uk)
"A technique developed by American scientists could lead to fat-related conditions, including arterial heart disease, being melted away by high-intensity beams." 04-06
- -05-06-06 Survival Strategies for a Brutal Allergies Season (ABC News)
"Experts are calling this one of the worst allergy seasons on record, with people who never have had problems before reporting itching, coughing and sneezing."
"About one-third of people with seasonal allergies will aggravate their symptoms if they eat certain foods during the allergy season. These people breathe in the pollen, and then the pollen triggers a cross-reaction with the protein in these foods. Avoid apples, pears, carrots, almonds and hazelnut coffee." 05-06
- -05-12-06 High Tech May Replace Some Caregivers (ABC News)
"Across town, Louise who uses a walker to get around shows us how the system works. Her apartment is rigged with a series of motion detectors that track her movements and then transmit that information over the Internet to her family members." 05-06
- -05-13-06 Tracing Lung Ailments to Ground Zero (New York Times)
"Some of the people working in the cleanup and recovery effort after Sept. 11 wore masks, but the most effective ones were effective for no more than 20 minutes."
"As they push their investigation into the health risks to workers in the recovery and cleanup operations at ground zero, medical detectives are focusing on a group of lung diseases that can lead to long-term disabilities and, in some cases, death."
"The most worrisome to medical experts are granulomatous pulmonary diseases, which show a particular type of swirling marks left on the lungs by foreign matter like dust. Doctors say the severity of the disease is often dictated by a patient's genetic makeup. The diseases include pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis, a sometimes fatal disorder that can be set off when exposure to dust causes the body's immune system to attack itself." 05-06
- -05-23-06 Obesity Rises Faster Among the Poor (MSNBC News)
"Americans in their upper teens who are living in poverty have grown fatter at a higher rate than their peers, according to research that seems to underscore the unequal burden of obesity on the nation's poor." 05-06
- -05-25-06 Revolutionary New Treatment for Asthma (ABC News)
"So researchers are trying a radically different kind of treatment bronchial thermoplasty a procedure that could revolutionize the way those with asthma are treated." 05-06
- -06-08-06 Exercise May Reduce Symptoms of Menopause (MSNBC News)
"Though the research is still thin, many health experts say even moderate exercise can help relieve the problems of menopause in some women, including anxiety, insomnia and night sweats." 06-06
- -06-10-06 New Robotic Arm Directed by Thoughts (BBC News)
"Scientists in the US have created a robotic arm that can be controlled by thought alone." 06-06
- -06-10-06 New Sensor Mimics Sensitivity of Human Touch (BBC News)
"A device which may pave the way for robotic hands that can replicate the human sense of touch has been unveiled." 06-06
- -06-11-06 Food Safety and Spoilage (ABC News)
" 'Not all leftovers are created equal,' Doyle said. "So, my rule of thumb is, if it's a highly perishable type of food, like a cooked meat product, three to four days should be the maximum."
"Perhaps the single best thing you can do to extend the shelf life of your foods is to make sure your refrigerator is set at 40 F or lower." 06-06
- -06-14-06 KFC Sued for Fattening Foods (ABC News)
"The fast food chain KFC is being sued for the fat content in its fried chicken, which Center for Science in the Public Interest says contains "staggering amounts" of trans fat."
"One three-piece Extra Crispy combo meal has 15 grams of trans fat, which is more trans fat than a person should have in one week, says the CSPI." 06-06
- -06-19-06 A Seed Bank to Save the World (Guardian Unlimited)
"The new Svalbard International Seed Vault will serve as a repository for crucial seeds in the event of a global catastrophe, said Norway's agriculture minister, Terje Riis-Johansen." 06-06
- -06-25-06 Healthy Eaters Find Unlikely Ally: Walmart (Guardian Unlimited)
"Now Wal-Mart is bringing premium fruits, vegetables and other produce to parts of America where they simply did not exist earlier. However, that does not necessarily mean Americans are going to make the right choices." 06-06
- -06-29-06 New Test for Colon Cancer (ABC News)
"Lynch syndrome is the leading hereditary cause of colon cancer, accounting for 4 to 5 percent of cases. It's estimated that every one to two people out 1,000 have the syndrome, and it affects all races equally."
"Thankfully, new research from Scotland has provided an easier method for identifying patients at risk." 06-06
- -07-03-06 Man "Rewires" Own Brain: A First (USA Today)
"Doctors have their first proof that a man who was barely conscious for nearly 20 years regained speech and movement because his brain spontaneously rewired itself by growing tiny new nerve connections to replace the ones sheared apart in a car crash." 07-06
- -07-10-06 Hints for Combating Sleep Disorders (WebMD.com)
"There are many simple steps you can take to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep." 07-06
- -07-14-06 Man Moves Objects With Thoughts (BBC News)
"A sensor implanted in a paralysed man's brain has enabled him to control objects by using his thoughts alone." 07-06
- -07-26-06 Glaxo Reports Breakthrough on Bird Flu (BBC News)
"UK drugs firm GlaxoSmithKline believes it has developed a vaccine for the H5N1 deadly strain of avian flu that may be capable of being mass produced by 2007." 07-06
- -08-16-06 Bacterial Infections of the Skin not Bites (ABC News)
"Their infections were caused by a bacterium called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Once confined mostly to hospitals and prisons, MRSA has branched out into the general population. It often infects people without warning, and is commonly mistaken as a spider bite."
"A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine shows just how widespread the bug has become. Researchers took hundreds of skin samples from patients who'd visited 11 emergency rooms in the United States with skin or tissue infections. Laboratory analysis showed that 59 percent of the time the culprit was MRSA, meaning the bug has reached broadly into the general community and that's bad news in the fight against antibiotic resistance. " 08-06
- -08-21-06 AIDS Mystery Solved (CBS News)
"The cells are turned off by HIV, which disarms them by flicking off a molecular switch in the cells. But in the laboratory, researchers were able to block that switch and restore T-cell function."
"The findings raise the possibility that one day, doctors could switch a chronically ill patient's immune system back 'on' so that it could resume its fight against HIV, cancer or even Hepatitis C." 08-06
- -08-23-06 Stem Cell Research Breakthrough Announced (MSNBC News)
"The new stem cell production method takes a cell extracted during PGD and allows it to divide. One of the two resulting cells is genetically tested as in normal PGD; the other is cultured to encourage the development of stem cells." 08-06
- -09-01-06 Cells Engineered to Fight Cancer (ABC News)
"Researchers took immune system cells from the blood of 17 advanced melanoma patients who, like Origer, had not been helped by conventional treatments. Origer had only three months to four months left to live when the experimental treatment began."
"These ordinary blood cells, called T cells, were genetically engineered to become cancer-fighting cells that could recognize and attack the life-threatening melanoma." 09-06
- -09-15-06 FDA: Throw Away Packaged Spinach to Prevent E. Coli (ABC News)
"It doesn't matter what brand of spinach. It doesn't matter how long it's been sitting in the refrigerator. If it comes in bag, the Food and Drug Administration is strongly encouraging consumers, from coast to coast, to throw it out." 09-06
- -09-18-06 Acid Reflux Disease May Cause Esophageal Pre-Cancer Conditions (ABC News)
"More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month and more than 15 million experience it daily. While occasional heartburn is normal, chronic heartburn is not and can lead to cancer when not properly treated."
"But many people ignore serious acid reflux because instead of heartburn they have other, sometimes confusing symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing, a choking sensation, chronic cough, and sore throat." 09-06
- -09-19-06 Mercury Now Polluting Our Food Chain - Pollution Is Reversable (ABC News)
"Mercury contamination is making its way into nearly every habitat in the United States, not just oceans, according to a report that the National Wildlife Federation will release Tuesday."
"[Felicia] Stadler[of the National Wildlife Federation] said she believes the key is for this country and the whole world for that matter to realize just how big a threat mercury pollution is to our ecosystems."
" 'We need to be as drastic at cutting mercury as we have been in cutting lead,' she said." 09-06
- -09-25-06 Study: Multiple Sclerosis Drug Successful (Bloomberg.com)
"Shares of Acorda Therapeutics Inc. rose almost fourfold after the company said its experimental Fampridine drug helped people with multiple sclerosis walk faster." 09-25-06
- -10-05-06 Macular Degeneration Treatment Effective (CBS News)
"In patients with age-related macular degeneration - or AMD - the center of the retina responsible for vision deteriorates over time. In the wet form, blood vessels grow abnormally, causing a blind spot, distortion of lines, and other problems."
"But Daniel is lucky. Doctors have a new drug called Lucentis, approved by the FDA this June. It's injected directly into the eye once a month. After three shots, Daniel has noticed dramatic results." 10-06
- -10-30-06 KFC to Reduce Use of Trans Fats (MSNBC News)
"KFC said Monday it is phasing out trans fats in cooking its Original Recipe and Extra Crispy fried chicken, Potato Wedges and other menu items, but hasnt found a good alternative yet for its biscuits." 10-06
- -10-30-06 Study: Lonely Older Adults Wake Up With More Stress (ABC News)
"Adults who reported feeling lonely at night were more likely to have higher cortisol levels the next morning, meaning that a few hours' rest did not wash away any stress." 10-06
- -10-31-06 Study: Genetic Link to SIDS Deaths Suspected (DailyNewsCentral.com)
"The difficulty seems to center on the chemical serotonin and the brain's ability to use and reuse it. In addition to being a mood regulator, seratonin is involved in the regulation of breathing." 10-06
- -11-09-06 Recall of Pain Reliever Acetaminophen Pills (MSNBC News)
"Check your medicine cabinet: Millions of bottles of the widely used pain reliever acetaminophen some sold as long as three years ago are being recalled because they may contain metal fragments." 11-06
- -04-11-06 New Study on Estrogen (USA Today)
"Up to seven years of postmenopausal estrogen therapy does not raise breast cancer risk in women without a uterus, says a report out Wednesday from a government-sponsored study."
"The breast cancer finding for estrogen therapy is quite different than that of a parallel study of estrogen plus progestin, a second hormone given to protect the uterine lining against estrogen's cancer-causing effects. In that study, women's breast cancer risk rose over five years of hormone therapy." 04-06
- -Editorial: Federal Government Voiding State Laws on Consumer Protection (Precaution.org)
"The federal government has the power -- and now the will -- to wipe away all progressive state and local programs, including those implementing the precautionary principle and environmental justice, plus all other policies intended to protect human health and the environment." 07-06
- Diabetes Can Be Prevented With Diet and Moderate Exercise (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
Suggests how to keep healthy. 05-06
- Editorial: Why Doctors So Often Get It Wrong (New York Times)
"Studies of autopsies have shown that doctors seriously misdiagnose fatal illnesses about 20 percent of the time. So millions of patients are being treated for the wrong disease."
"As shocking as that is, the more astonishing fact may be that the rate has not really changed since the 1930's."
"A BIG part of the answer is that all of the other medical progress we have made has distracted us from the misdiagnosis crisis." 02-06
- Girls Arriving at Puberty at Younger Ages (ABC News)
"Nearly half of African-American girls start showing signs of puberty by 8 years old, and some American girls are developing as young as 5, even 4 years old, experts say." 10-06
- New Treatments for Broken Bones (WashingtonTimes.com)
"Once almost a childhood rite of passage, plaster or fiberglass casts were the method of choice for fixing broken bones. But now, doctors around the world are increasingly shunning cumbersome casts in favor of more cutting-edge options for both children and adults: splints, special boots, metal plates, rods and screws." 04-06
- Study: Milk "Essential" During Pregnancy (TimesOnline.co.uk)
"Women who dont drink enough milk during pregnancy perhaps to limit weight gain or because of concerns about allergies may stunt their babies growth in the womb, research suggests." 9-05
- Surgery for Back Pain (Journal of the American Medical Association)
"Patients in both the surgery and the nonoperative treatment groups improved substantially over a 2-year period." 11-06
- Toxic Cottonseed Becomes Food (Christian Science Monitor)
"Dr. Rathore and his colleagues have figured out how to make poisonous cottonseeds fit for human consumption. The new, nontoxic seeds could give 500 million people an additional source of high-quality protein, the team estimates, if the genetically engineered plant is approved for cultivation." 11-06
- Want to Make It to 85? (MSNBC News)
"One of the largest, longest studies of aging found one more reason to stay trim and active: It could greatly raise your odds of living to at least age 85." 11-06
- Wish: Anything But Obese (ABC News)
"A disturbing new study out of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that nearly half 46 percent of 4,283 participants would rather give up a year of their life than be obese. Fifteen percent were willing to give up 10 years." 05-06