EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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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.

Aug 5, 2013

First taste of test-tube burger declared ‘close to meat’

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s first laboratory-grown beef burger was flipped out of a petri dish and into a frying pan on Monday, with food tasters declaring it tasted “close to meat”.

Grown in-vitro from cattle stem cells at a cost of 250,000 euros ($332,000), the burger was cooked and eaten in front of television cameras to gain the greatest media coverage for the culmination of a five-year science experiment.

Aug 2, 2013

Scientists to cook world’s first in-vitro beef burger

LONDON, Aug 2 (Reuters) – A corner of west London will see
culinary and scientific history made on Monday when scientists
cook and serve up the world’s first lab-grown beef burger.

The in-vitro burger, cultured from cattle stem cells, the
first example of what its creator says could provide an answer
to global food shortages and help combat climate change, will be
fried in a pan and tasted by two volunteers.

Jul 25, 2013

Deadly Middle East virus unlikely to cause SARS-like epidemic

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) – Despite its high current death
rate, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that emerged
in Saudi Arabia last year is unlikely to cause a SARS-like
epidemic because it is not spreading as easily, scientists said
on Friday.

In the fullest clinical analysis yet of the new virus,
British and Saudi researchers said that while there are many
similarities between MERS and severe acute respiratory syndrome
(SARS) – which emerged in China in 2002 and killed around 800
people worldwide – there are also important differences.

Jul 25, 2013

CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-WHO had asked India to ban toxin that killed children

NEW DELHI/LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – The pesticide that
killed 23 Indian schoolchildren last week is a nerve poison
banned by many countries because of what the World Health
Organisation (WHO) describes as its “high acute toxicity”.

As early as 2009, the United Nations health agency urged
India to consider a ban on the pesticide monocrotophos – the
substance said by a magistrate investigating the deaths to be
the cause of the poisoning.

Jul 24, 2013

Scientists warn of overwhelming costs of mental illness

LONDON (Reuters) – Health systems could be “overwhelmed” by the costs of coping with mental illnesses such as dementia, depression and addiction if nothing is done now to boost investment in research, leading neuroscientists said on Thursday.

Publishing a study that put the estimated costs of brain disorders in Britain alone at more than 112 billion pounds ($172 billion) a year, they said mental illness research needed to attract the same funding levels as illnesses such as cancer and heart diseases to be able to reduce the burden.

Jul 22, 2013

WHO had asked India to ban toxin that killed children

NEW DELHI/LONDON (Reuters) – The pesticide that killed 23 Indian schoolchildren last week is a nerve poison banned by many countries because of what the World Health Organization (WHO) describes as its “high acute toxicity”.

As early as 2009, the United Nations health agency urged India to consider a ban on the pesticide monocrotophos – the substance said by a magistrate investigating the deaths to be the cause of the poisoning.

    • 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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