EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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Sep 3, 2015

Extra screen time drags down teenagers’ exam grades, study finds

LONDON (Reuters) – Teenagers who spend an extra hour a day surfing the internet, watching TV or playing computer games risk performing two grades worse in exams than their peers who don’t, according to research by British scientists.

In a study of more than 800 students aged 14 and 15, researchers from Cambridge University also found that physical activity had no effect on academic performance.

Sep 1, 2015

Medical specialists urge more debate on gene-editing technology

LONDON (Reuters) – Medical researchers called on Wednesday for detailed, thoughtful debate on future use of new genetic technology that has the potential to create “designer babies”.

The technology, called CRISPR-Cas9, allows scientists to edit virtually any gene they target, including in human embryos, enabling them to find and change or replace genetic defects.

Aug 26, 2015

Global life expectancy rises, but people live sicker for longer

LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) – People around the world are
living longer, but many are also living sicker lives for longer,
according to a study of all major diseases and injuries in 188

General health has improved worldwide, thanks to significant
progress against infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and
malaria in the past decade and gains in fighting maternal and
child illnesses.

Aug 14, 2015

Scientists researching brain disorders create super-clever mice

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have genetically modified mice to be super-intelligent and found they are also less anxious, a discovery that may help the search for treatments for disorders such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researchers from Britain and Canada found that altering a single gene to block the phosphodiesterase-4B (PDE4B) enzyme, which is found in many organs including the brain, made mice cleverer and at the same time less fearful.

Aug 13, 2015

Severe ‘food shocks’ more likely due to extreme weather, experts warn

LONDON (Reuters) – Extreme weather such as intense storms, droughts and heatwaves will cause more frequent and severe food shortages as the global climate and food supply systems change, British and American experts warned on Friday.

The pressure on the world’s food supplies is so great, and the increase in extreme weather events so rapid, they said, that food shortages on a scale likely to occur once a century under past conditions, may in future hit as often as once every 30 years.

Aug 12, 2015

Music boosts recovery from surgery, reduces pain

LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Listening to music before, during
and after surgery reduces patients’ pain, eases anxiety and
lessens the need for painkillers, British scientists said on

After reviewing evidence from around 7,000 patients, the
scientists said people going for surgery should be allowed to
choose the music they’d like to hear to maximise the benefit.

Aug 7, 2015

Thousands of Ebola survivors face severe pain, possible blindness

LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Thousands of West Africans who
were infected with the Ebola virus but survived it are suffering
chronic conditions such as serious joint pain and eye
inflammation that can lead to blindness, global health experts
said on Friday.

Ebola survivors who fought off the most severe bouts of
infection are the most likely to suffer ongoing medical
problems, World Health Organization experts said, and their
health is becoming “an emergency within an emergency”.

Aug 4, 2015

Contrary to popular myth, “the pill” prevents womb cancer, study finds

LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Using an oral contraceptive, often
referred to as “the pill”, gives long-term protection against
womb cancer and the longer it is used the greater the reduction
in risk, scientists said on Wednesday.

In an analysis of all available evidence, the researchers
said an estimated 400,000 womb cancer cases had been prevented
by use of the pill in wealthy countries the past 50 years,
including some 200,000 in the last decade.

Jul 31, 2015

Vaccine success holds hope for end to deadly scourge of Ebola

LONDON (Reuters) – The world is for the first time on the verge of being able to protect humans against Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as data from a trial in Guinea showed a vaccine was 100 percent effective.

    Initial results from the trial, which tested Merck (MRK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and NewLink Genetics’ (NLNK.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) VSV-ZEBOV vaccine on some 4,000 people who had been in close contact with a confirmed Ebola case, showed 100 percent protection after 10 days.

Jul 31, 2015

Merck’s Ebola vaccine proves fully effective in Guinea trial

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – An Ebola vaccine developed in
record time has proved highly effective against the deadly virus
in a large trial in Guinea and could now be used to help end a
vast outbreak in West Africa, researchers said on Friday.

Results of the trial, which tested Merck and NewLink
Genetics’ VSV-ZEBOV vaccine on more than 4,000 people
who had been in close contact with a confirmed Ebola case,
showed it gave 100 percent protection after 10 days in those

    • 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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