EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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Oct 9, 2015

Science won’t stop until it beats AIDS, says HIV pioneer

PARIS, Oct 9 (Reuters) – More than 30 years after she identified one of the most pernicious viruses to infect humankind, Francoise Barre Sinoussi, who shared a Nobel prize for discovering HIV, is hanging up her lab coat and retiring.

She’s disappointed not to have been able to claim ultimate victory in the battle against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes the killer disease AIDS, but also proud that in three decades, the virus has been beaten into check.

Oct 7, 2015

Scientists call for urgent trials to judge flu drugs for pandemics

By Kate Kelland

LONDON,(Reuters) – Scientists still don’t know if two commonly-used flu drugs — Roche’s Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline’s Relenza — really work in seasonal or pandemic flu outbreaks and say robust clinical trials are urgently needed to find out.

While such medicines are stockpiled by governments around the world and were widely used in the 2009/2010 H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic, no randomized trials were conducted then, so evidence is scant on how effective that approach was.

Oct 7, 2015

Brain scans could predict patients at risk of major depression

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists studying people with depression say brain scans could be used to predict who is most likely to relapse, an approach that could help doctors make better decisions about who should stay on antidepressants and who should stop.

In a small study of 64 patients, the researchers found that significant differences showed up in brain scans of those who later went on to have a recurrence of their depression.

Oct 5, 2015

Nature thrives in Chernobyl, site of worst nuclear disaster

LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) – – Some 30 years after the world’s worst nuclear accident blasted radiation across Chernobyl, the site has evolved from a disaster zone into a nature reserve, teeming with elk, deer and wolves, scientists said on Monday.

The remarkable turnaround in the area, which was declared a permanent no-go zone for people after the accident in 1986, suggests radiation contamination is not hindering wildlife from breeding and thriving, but underscores the negative impact humans have on populations of wild mammals.

Sep 30, 2015

Scientists find genes that protect African children from malaria

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Scientists have identified
specific genetic variations that protect some African children
from developing severe malaria and say their discovery will
boost the fight against a disease that kills around half a
million children a year.

In the largest study of its kind, the researchers said
identifying the variations in DNA at a specific location, or
locus, on the genome helps explain why some children develop
severe malaria and others don’t in communities where people are
constantly exposed to the mosquito-borne disease.

Sep 28, 2015

UK scientists start stem cell trial of potential blindness cure

LONDON (Reuters) – The first patient has been treated in Britain in a pioneering trial of a new treatment co-developed by Pfizer and derived from embryonic stem cells designed for patients with a condition that can cause blindness.

Specialists at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital said the operation, described as “successful”, was the first of 10 planned for participants in a trial of the treatment for a disease called ‘wet’ age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Sep 28, 2015

Pregnant cancer patients shouldn’t terminate or delay treatment: study

LONDON (Reuters) – Pregnant women diagnosed with cancer do not need a termination and can start treatment immediately without worrying unduly about the effects of drugs or radiation on their unborn babies, cancer specialists said on Monday.

A study of 129 children aged 1 to 3 who had prenatal exposure to cancer treatment showed their mental processes and heart function developed normally compared with children from the general population.

Sep 24, 2015

UK halts use of Silimed breast implants amid contamination fears

LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Britain’s health regulator has
suspended sales of silicone implants made by Brazil’s Silimed
due to contamination, and recommends none of the devices –
including breast, penile and testicular implants – be used until
further notice.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
(MHRA) said it and other European regulators are testing
Silimed’s products after contamination was detected during an
audit of the company’s manufacturing practices.

Sep 23, 2015

Scientists say car emissions rigging raises health concerns

LONDON, (Reuters) – Volkswagen’s admission that it rigged car emission tests has prompted environmental and health experts to ask whether such deception could have hampered progress in reducing death and disease from air pollution.

Volkswagen’s Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday over the falsification of test data from diesel cars in the United States, the latest twist in a scandal that has rocked the global car industry and raised concerns about what it may mean for the environment and public health.

Sep 23, 2015

Car emissions rigging may have added to dirty air death toll

LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Volkswagen’s admission that it rigged car emission tests has prompted environmental and health experts to ask whether such deception is to blame for a lack of progress in reducing death and disease from air pollution.

Air choked with tiny particles, ozone and other pollutants kills some 3.7 million people a year, the World Health Organization (WHO) says — a toll predicted to double by 2050 if big polluters do not clean up their act.

    • 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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