LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have found that the sleep disorder narcolepsy can sometimes be triggered by a scientific phenomenon known as “molecular mimicry”, offering a possible explanation for its link to a GlaxoSmithKline H1N1 pandemic flu vaccine.
Results from U.S. researchers showed the debilitating disorder, characterized by sudden sleepiness and muscle weakness, can be set off by an immune response to a portion of a protein from the H1N1 virus that is very similar to a region of a protein called hypocretin, which is key to narcolepsy.
LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have proved for the first time that the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus that has killed 71 people can also infect camels, strengthening suspicions the animals may be a source of the human outbreak.
Researchers from the Netherlands and Qatar used gene-sequencing techniques to show that three dromedary, or one-humped camels, on a farm in Qatar where two people had contracted the MERS coronavirus (CoV) were also infected.
LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists derided research published on Tuesday that suggested ear acupuncture may help people lose weight, saying the study’s design was flawed and its conclusions highly implausible.
Responding to the findings of research published online in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine, experts not involved in the work said it was unreliable and probably a waste of money.
LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – The global death toll from cancer
rose to 8.2 million in 2012 with sharp rises in breast cancer as
the disease tightened its grip in developing nations struggling
to treat an illness driven by Western lifestyles.
Cancer deaths were up 8 percent from 7.6 million in a
previous survey in 2008 and breast cancer killed 522,000 women
last year, up 14 percent in the same period, according to the
World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on
LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have found that a mutation in a new strain of bird flu infecting people in China can render it resistant to a key first-line treatment drug without limiting its ability to spread in mammals.
The discovery means that unlike seasonal flu strains, which often become less transmissible when they develop resistance to drugs like Roche’s Tamiflu, the new H7N9 bird flu does not lose any of its spreading potential with drug resistance.
LONDON (Reuters) – Researchers cast doubt on the prevailing wisdom that vitamin D supplements can prevent conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, saying on Friday low vitamin D may be a consequence, not a cause, of ill health.
The findings could have implications for millions of people who take vitamin D pills and other supplements to ward off illness – Americans spend an estimated $600 million a year on them alone.
LONDON (Reuters) – Many governments are woefully unprepared for an epidemic of dementia currently affecting 44 million people worldwide and set to more than treble to 135 million people by 2050, health experts and campaigners said on Thursday.
Fresh estimates from the advocacy group Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) showed a 17 percent increase in the number of people with the incurable mind-robbing condition compared with 2010, and warned that by 2050 more than 70 percent of dementia sufferers will be living in poorer countries.
LONDON (Reuters) – Health disparities between rich and poor nations could be banished in a generation by investment in research, vaccines and drugs to combat diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, global health experts said on Tuesday.
In a report setting out a plan for a “grand convergence” in health, the experts said world leaders needed to press for a concerted increase in research and development (R&D) investment to develop new medicines, vaccines and health technologies.
LONDON (Reuters) – Another three people in the United Arab Emirates are sick with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus and two people infected with it in Qatar have died, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday.
The new cases in UAE were in a family in Abu Dhabi – a mother, father and an 8-year-old boy – the United Nations health agency said in a disease outbreak update. The parents are both in a critical condition in hospital, the boy has mild respiratory symptoms.
LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – The publisher of a controversial
and much-criticised study suggesting genetically modified corn
caused tumours in rats has withdrawn the paper after a yearlong
investigation found it did not meet scientific standards.
Reed Elsevier’s Food and Chemical Toxicology
journal, which published the study by the French researcher
Gilles-Eric Seralini in September 2012, said on Thursday the
retraction was because the study’s small sample size meant no
definitive conclusions could be reached.