EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
Kate's Feed
Aug 21, 2013

China bird flu analysis finds more virus threats lurking

LONDON (Reuters) – A deadly new bird flu virus in China evolved from migratory birds via waterfowl to poultry and into people, and there are other bird flu viruses circulating that could follow the same path, scientists have found.

The study – an analysis of the evolutionary history of the H7N9 bird flu that has so far killed 44 people – identified several other H7 flu viruses circulating in birds that the researchers said “may pose threats beyond the current outbreak”.

Aug 21, 2013

Study links schizophrenia symptoms to faulty “switch” in brain

LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) – The delusions and other psychotic
symptoms experienced by people with schizophrenia may be caused
by a faulty brain “switch” that blurs their ability to
distinguish inner thoughts from objective reality, scientists
said on Wednesday.

In a study published in the journal Neuron, researchers
found the severity of symptoms such as hearing voices and
delusions was due to a disconnection between two key regions of
the brain – the insula and the lateral frontal cortex.

Aug 20, 2013

British tuberculosis rates among highest in Western Europe

LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Rates of tuberculosis (TB) in
Britain are among the highest in western Europe and London is
struggling to shed its status as the “TB capital” of the region,
according to data released on Wednesday.

If trends of infection continue, within two years Britain is
likely to have more new cases of TB each year than the United
States, according a report from the government’s health agency,
Public Health England (PHE).

Aug 15, 2013

Tuberculosis “time bomb” costs Europe billions of euros a year

LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Europe is facing a
multi-billion-euro time bomb of rising costs to control
tuberculosis (TB) as drug-resistant forms of the lung disease
spread, a pioneering study found.

Often thought of as a disease of the past or one restricted
to marginalised communities, TB is already inflicting annual
direct costs of more than 500 million euros on the region and
another 5.3 billion euros in productivity losses.

Aug 14, 2013

Brain “folds” may predict if drugs will help psychosis

LONDON (Reuters) – The extent of “folds” on the outer layer of the brain could give doctors a clue as to how well people suffering problems such as hallucinations or delusions will respond to antipsychotic drugs.

Researchers using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of people with psychosis identified patterns of folds in the brain that could act as markers of whether a patient’s symptoms will be eased by medication.

Aug 14, 2013

Gene study uncovers origins of many common cancers

LONDON (Reuters) – Researchers in Britain have set out the first comprehensive map of mutational processes behind the development of tumors – work that should in future lead to better ways to treat and prevent a wide range of cancers.

In a study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, researchers who analyzed more than 7,000 genomes, or genetic codes, of common forms of cancer uncovered 21 so-called “signatures” of processes that mutate DNA.

Aug 8, 2013

Camels become prime suspects in deadly Saudi virus outbreak

LONDON, Aug 8 (Reuters) – People infected with a deadly
virus that emerged in Saudi Arabia last year may have caught it
from one-humped camels, used in the region for meat, milk,
transport and racing.

In a study into what kind of animal “reservoir” may be
fuelling the outbreak in humans, scientists said they had found
strong evidence it is widespread among dromedary camels in the
Middle East.

Aug 7, 2013

Scientists to make mutant forms of new bird flu to assess risk

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists are to create mutant forms of the H7N9 bird flu virus that has emerged in China so they can gauge the risk of it becoming a lethal human pandemic.

The genetic modification work will to result in highly transmissible and deadly forms of H7N9 being made in several high security laboratories around the world, but it is vital to prepare for the threat, the scientists say.

Aug 6, 2013

First study of human transmission of new bird flu raises worries

LONDON (Reuters) – The first scientific analysis of probable human-to-human transmission of a deadly new strain of bird flu that emerged in China this year gives the strongest evidence yet that the H7N9 virus can pass between people, scientists said on Wednesday.

Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) analyzing a family cluster of cases of H7N9 infection in eastern China found it was very likely the virus “transmitted directly from the index patient (a 60-year-old man) to his daughter.”

Aug 5, 2013

Anorexic girls also have autistic traits, study finds

LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Scientists studying girls with the
eating disorder anorexia have found they show a mild echo of the
characteristics of autism – a finding which could point to new
ways of helping anorexics overcome their illness.

A study by the leading autism expert Simon Baron-Cohen at
Cambridge University’s Autism Research Centre found that
compared to typical girls, those with anorexia have an
above-average number of autistic traits.

    • About Kate

      "I cover health and science news for the region of Europe, Middle East and Africa -- from flu pandemics to the newest planetary discovery to the latest drug and research developments. I joined Reuters in 1993 and worked in London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt before moving to BBC television to work on European politics for Newsnight for 2 years. Since returning to Reuters, I have also worked as a parliamentary correspondent in Westminster and on the main news desk of the London bureau."
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