EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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Mar 18, 2014

Europe failing to tackle drug-resistant tuberculosis

LONDON (Reuters) – Cases of tuberculosis are falling in Europe but a failure to properly diagnose and treat dangerous drug-resistant strains of the contagious disease means it is far from under control, health experts said on Tuesday.

Every day, almost 1,000 people across the 53 countries of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) European region fall sick with TB, and multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB pose a serious risk to the goal of eliminating it by 2050, the experts said.

Mar 17, 2014

Archaeologists discover earliest example of human with cancer

LONDON (Reuters) – British archaeologists have found what they say is the world’s oldest complete example of a human being with metastatic cancer and hope it will offer new clues about the now common and often fatal disease.

Researchers from Durham University and the British Museum discovered the evidence of tumors that had developed and spread throughout the body in a 3,000-year-old skeleton found in a tomb in modern Sudan in 2013.

Mar 14, 2014

Scientists urge change to Europe’s GMO regulation

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) – Europe’s stringent regulation
of genetically modified crops has no rational basis and should
be revamped to allow countries who want to opt out and grow GM
foods to do so, British scientific advisers said on Friday.

In an advisory report requested by the government, the
scientists said legislation on use within the European Union
(EU) of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in crops should be
decided on a national level, as it is with pharmaceuticals.

Mar 13, 2014

Blood test offers swifter, safer diagnosis of sport brain injury

LONDON (Reuters) – Swedish researchers say they have devised a blood test that could better diagnose sports-related brain injuries and prevent American football, rugby and ice hockey players returning to the field in danger.

In findings from a study of ice hockey players, the researchers said their method can show just an hour after a head injury how severe the concussion is, whether there is a risk of long-term symptoms, and when the player can return to the sport.

Mar 13, 2014

‘Love hormone’ oxytocin may help anorexics fight food fixation

LONDON (Reuters) – Oxytocin, a brain chemical known as the “love hormone”, is showing promise as a potential treatment for people with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, according to research by British and Korean scientists.

In studies of anorexic patients, researchers found oxytocin altered their tendencies to become fixated on images of fattening foods and large body shapes – suggesting it could be developed as a treatment to help them overcome unhealthy obsessions with diet.

Mar 10, 2014

Scientist urges withdrawal of his own ‘breakthrough’ stem cell research

TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) – A Japanese scientist called on Monday for his own headline-grabbing study on stem cells to be withdrawn from publication, saying its findings had now been thrown into too much doubt.

The research – hailed when it came out in January as a breakthrough that could herald a new era of medical biology – was covered widely in Japan and across the world after it was published in the highly reputable science journal Nature.

Mar 7, 2014

Despite progress, tuberculosis persists in West European cities

LONDON (Reuters) – Tuberculosis is becoming concentrated among immigrants, drug addicts, and the poor and homeless in Western Europe’s big cities despite progress in reducing national rates of the disease, experts said on Friday.

The contagious lung infection, once known as the “white plague” for its ability to render its victims pale, skinny and feverish, is being well tackled at national levels, they said, but is persisting in high-risk, marginalized groups.

Mar 6, 2014

Climate change could mean more malaria in Africa, South America

LONDON (Reuters) – Future global warming could lead to a significant increase in malaria cases in densely populated regions of Africa and South America unless disease monitoring and control efforts are increased, researchers said on Thursday.

In a study of the mosquito-borne disease that infects around 220 million people a year, researchers from Britain and the United States found what they describe as the first hard evidence that malaria creeps to higher elevations during warmer years and back down to lower altitudes when temperatures cool.

Mar 5, 2014

WHO halves sugar intake advice to 5 percent of daily intake

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) – Adults should eat less than the
equivalent of 6 teaspoons of sugar a day if they are to avoid
health risks such as weight gain and tooth decay linked to
sugary diets, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.

Issuing draft guidelines calling for a new sugar limit of
less than 5.0 percent of daily energy intake, the United Nations
health agency said its recommendations were based on “the
totality of evidence regarding the relationship between free
sugars intake and body weight and dental caries”.

Mar 5, 2014

Passive smoking causes irreversible damage to kids’ arteries

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) – Exposure to second-hand smoke in
childhood causes irreversible damage to children’s arteries -
increasing their risk of heart attacks or strokes when they grow
up, according to a large international study published on

The research, which lends weight to campaigns for smoking to
be banned in private cars and homes, found passive smoking leads
to a thickening of children’s artery walls, adding some 3.3
years to the age of blood vessels by adulthood.

    • 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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