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Jan 17, 2010

Beaches trapping some oil from Exxon Valdez spill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A lack of oxygen and nutrients below the surface of beaches in Alaska’s Prince William Sound is slowing the dissipation of oil remaining from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, U.S. researchers said on Sunday.

The team conducted field studies over the past three summers using geologic information and hydraulics to try to determine why patches of oil linger on the beaches 20 years after the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Jan 15, 2010

U.S. taking closer look at bisphenol A in plastics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will launch broad new research into the potential health effects of plastics chemical bisphenol A used in baby bottles and other products, health officials said on Friday.

Bisphenol A has been used for decades to harden plastics and turns up in many food and beverage containers including some baby bottles and the linings of food containers. Studies by British scientists have linked BPA to heart disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities.

Jan 15, 2010

U.S. regulators pressed to speed up BPA decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should immediately ban the use of the chemical bisphenol A in food and beverage containers, a U.S. environmental health advocacy group urged on Thursday.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group renewed a call for regulators to curb the use of bisphenol A, or BPA, citing a new study suggesting the widely used chemical poses a health risk.

Jan 13, 2010

Chronic sleep loss hampers performance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – One night of good sleep is not enough to recover from chronic sleep deficit, which over time hinders a person’s ability to stay alert and attentive, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

Many nights of too little sleep when the body’s rhythm says it is time to snooze have cumulative detrimental effects on how a person performs and could be a safety risk, the researchers wrote in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Jan 12, 2010

U.S. makes progress in tobacco control, group says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government took major steps toward curbing tobacco use in 2009 but still needs to do more to fight tobacco-related illnesses that kill hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, the American Lung Association said on Tuesday.

The federal government earned a grade of “A” for giving the Food and Drug Administration power to regulate tobacco, including how companies market, manufacture and sell tobacco products, the advocacy group said in its annual report card on tobacco control.

Jan 11, 2010

Too much sitting in front of TV may cut life short

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sitting in front of a television set for hour after hour day after day may raise the risk of death from heart disease and other causes – even in people who do not weigh too much, Australian researchers say.

Compared with adults who watched less than two hours of TV a day, those who watched more than four hours had a 46 percent higher risk of death from all causes and an 80 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death during the six-year study period.

Jan 8, 2010

No U.S. decision on H1N1 vaccine orders – official

WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The United States has made no
decision on whether to cancel or sell any of its orders for the
H1N1 vaccine, unlike some European countries with a vast
oversupply of shots, a federal health official said on
Thursday.

Dr. Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention said demand remains steady and the government’s
focus is on getting as many people vaccinated as possible.

Jan 7, 2010

Cellphones may protect brain from Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A study in mice suggests using cellphones may help prevent some of the brain-wasting effects of Alzheimer’s disease, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

After long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves such as those used in cell phones, mice genetically altered to develop Alzheimer’s performed as well on memory and thinking skill tests as healthy mice, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Jan 5, 2010

Pomegranate compounds may ease breast cancer risk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Enzyme-blocking chemicals in pomegranates may reduce the risk of estrogen-fueled breast cancers, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

An acid found in pomegranates appears to block aromatase, an enzyme that converts androgen to estrogen, a hormone that plays a role in the development of breast cancer, the researchers wrote in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

Jan 5, 2010

Report shows U.S. healthcare spending growth slows

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. healthcare spending rose at the lowest rate on record in 2008 due to the recession, but still reached $2.3 trillion and devoured 16.2 percent of the U.S. economy, government analysts said in a report on Tuesday.

The report, issued by the government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), illustrated anew the huge burden that healthcare costs place on the United States, which spends more on such care than any other country in the world.

    • About JoAnne

      "Night desk reporter in the Washington Bureau. Holds a Masters degree in Interactive Journalism and currently working on merging new media skills with old media experience. Prior to joining Reuters, worked in broadcasting at two other international wire services (which I won't name here). A perpetual piano student, and not very good, which is perfect for my secret ambition -- lounge piano player."
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