EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
Kate's Feed
Dec 16, 2013

Scientists query study saying ear acupuncture aids weight loss

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.

Dec 12, 2013

Cancer deaths rise to 8.2 million, breast cancer sharply up

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
Cancer (IARC).

Dec 10, 2013

New H7N9 bird flu resists drugs without losing ability to spread

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.

Dec 6, 2013

Study casts doubt on whether extra vitamin D prevents disease

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.

Dec 5, 2013

Dementia epidemic looms with 135 million sufferers seen by 2050

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.

Dec 3, 2013

Health disparities ‘could be eliminated in a generation’: study

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.

Dec 2, 2013

MERS virus infects family in UAE, kills two in Qatar: WHO

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.

Nov 28, 2013

Journal withdraws controversial French Monsanto GM study

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.

Nov 28, 2013

MERS virus found in camels in Qatar, linked to human spread

DOHA/LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Scientists have found cases
of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in camels in Qatar,
health officials said on Thursday, fuelling speculation that
camels might be the animal reservoir that allowed the virus to
infect and kill humans.

The SARS-like coronavirus, which emerged in the Middle East
last year and has killed almost 40 percent of the around 170
people so far infected, was found in three camels in a herd in a
barn also linked to two human cases of MERS infection.

Nov 27, 2013

Opioid over-regulation can leave cancer patients in intolerable pain

LONDON (Reuters) – A “pandemic of over-regulation” of opioid-based painkillers such as morphine and fentanyl means billions of cancer patients around the world suffer intolerable pain, researchers said on Thursday.

Describing what they said was a “scandal of global proportions”, researchers from the Global Opioid Policy Initiative (GOPI) said governments that over-regulate should consider the unintended consequences of restricting access to medicines and change their approach.

    • 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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