EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
Kate's Feed
Apr 4, 2013

Deadly new bird flu vindicates controversial research

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists in the Dutch city of Rotterdam know precisely what it takes for a bird flu to mutate into a potential human pandemic strain – because they’ve created just such mutant viruses in the laboratory.

So as they watch with some trepidation the emergence in China of a strain of bird flu previously unknown in humans, they also argue it vindicates their controversial decision to conduct these risky experiments despite fierce opposition.

Apr 4, 2013

Analysis – Deadly new bird flu vindicates controversial research

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists in the Dutch city of Rotterdam know precisely what it takes for a bird flu to mutate into a potential human pandemic strain – because they’ve created just such mutant viruses in the laboratory.

So as they watch with some trepidation the emergence in China of a strain of bird flu previously unknown in humans, they also argue it vindicates their controversial decision to conduct these risky experiments despite fierce opposition.

Apr 3, 2013

Chinese toll from new bird flu rises to nine cases, three dead

BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) – China has found two more cases of a new strain of bird flu and one of the victims has died, state media said on Wednesday, bringing to nine the number of confirmed human infections from the previously unknown flu type.

A 38-year-old cook fell ill early last month while working in the province of Jiangsu, where five of the other cases were found. He died in hospital in Hangzhou city on March 27, the Xinhua news agency reported. Samples tested positive on Wednesday for the new bird flu strain, H7N9.

Apr 3, 2013

Chinese toll from new bird flu rises to 9 cases, 3 dead

BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) – China has found two more cases of a new strain of bird flu and one of the victims has died, state media said on Wednesday, bringing to nine the number of confirmed human infections from the previously unknown flu type.

A 38-year-old cook fell ill early last month while working in the province of Jiangsu, where five of the other cases were found. He died in hospital in Hangzhou city on March 27, the Xinhua news agency reported. Samples tested positive on Wednesday for the new bird flu strain, H7N9.

Apr 3, 2013

Scientists race to gauge pandemic risk of new bird flu

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) – Genetic sequence data on a
deadly strain of bird flu previously unknown in people show the
virus has already acquired some mutations that might make it
more likely to cause a human pandemic, scientists say.

But there is no evidence so far that the H7N9 flu – now
known to have infected nine people in China, killing three – is
spreading from person to person, and there is still a chance it
might peter out and never fully mutate into a human form of flu.

Mar 21, 2013

How vaccine scares cast shadows over science

HELSINKI (Reuters) – At a Finnish medical convention in January 2011, a colleague approached neurologist Markku Partinen, laid a hand his shoulder and said: “Markku, it’s going to be a bad year for you.”

In the following months, other scientists ridiculed him, questioned his methods and motives, and raised doubts about his mental stability. Colleagues began crossing the street to avoid him, he says.

Mar 21, 2013

Special Report: How vaccine scares cast shadows over science

HELSINKI (Reuters) – At a Finnish medical convention in January 2011, a colleague approached neurologist Markku Partinen, laid a hand his shoulder and said: “Markku, it’s going to be a bad year for you.”

In the following months, other scientists ridiculed him, questioned his methods and motives, and raised doubts about his mental stability. Colleagues began crossing the street to avoid him, he says.

Mar 21, 2013

Should science on brain injury inspire a ban?

LONDON (Reuters) – When Ireland’s Katie Taylor was taking hits and striking blows for boxing’s Olympic debut in an east London ring last year, John Hardy did not want to look.

To this leading neuroscientist and molecular biologist, a boxing bout is little more than a session of mutual brain injury. He was horrified to see women boxing at Olympic level for the first time at the London 2012 Games.

Mar 21, 2013

Boxing-Should science on brain injury inspire a ban?

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – When Ireland’s Katie Taylor was taking hits and striking blows for boxing’s Olympic debut in an east London ring last year, John Hardy did not want to look.

To this leading neuroscientist and molecular biologist, a boxing bout is little more than a session of mutual brain injury. He was horrified to see women boxing at Olympic level for the first time at the London 2012 Games.

Mar 20, 2013

Protection offered by GSK malaria vaccine fades over time

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The effectiveness of an experimental malaria vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline wanes over time, with the shot protecting only 16.8 percent of children over four years, according to trial data.

The disappointing results for RTS,S – the world’s first potential malaria vaccine – raise further questions about whether it can make a difference in the fight against the disease, a major cause of illness and death among children in sub-Saharan Africa.

    • 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."
    • Follow Kate