EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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Sep 17, 2014

First UK volunteer gets experimental GSK Ebola shot in trial

LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The first volunteer in a
fast-tracked British safety trial of an experimental Ebola
vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline received the injection
on Wednesday, trial organisers said.

The candidate Ebola vaccine, which GSK co-developed with the
United States National Institutes of Health, has also been given
to 10 volunteers taking part in a separate trial in the United
States, and so far there were no signs of any serious adverse
reactions, doctors said.

Sep 16, 2014

Forensics suggest Richard III killed by two blows to bare head

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists in Britain have given blow-by-blow details of King Richard III’s death at the Battle of Bosworth more than 500 years ago and say two of many blows to his bare head could have killed him very swiftly.

Their analysis of the remains of the last English monarch to die in battle suggest he was attacked by one or more people, and that nine of 11 blows, clearly inflicted in battle, were to his skull and another possibly fatal blow was to his pelvis. The findings also support previous opinion that he had no helmet on.

Sep 16, 2014

Urine test for cervical cancer virus offers alternative to smear

LONDON (Reuters) – A simple urine test for the virus that causes cervical cancer could offer a less invasive and more acceptable alternative to the conventional cervical smear test, researchers said on Tuesday.

In a study comparing the accuracy of urine sample testing with smear testing conducted by a doctor, scientists from Britain and Spain found the results were good and said using the urine test to detect human papillomavirus (HPV) could lead to more women agreeing to be screened.

Sep 15, 2014

As Ebola grows out of control, WHO pleads for more health workers

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – The number of new Ebola cases in West Africa is growing faster than authorities can manage them, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, renewing a call for health workers from around the world to go to the region to help.

As the death toll rose to more than 2,400 people out of 4,784 cases, WHO director general Margaret Chan told a news conference in Geneva the vast scale of the outbreak — particularly in the three hardest-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — required a massive emergency response.

Sep 12, 2014

First person in UK trial to get experimental Ebola shot next week

LONDON (Reuters) – The first human volunteer in a fast-tracked British safety trial of an experimental vaccine to fight Ebola is to be injected with the shot next week, organizers of the trial said on Friday.

The candidate Ebola vaccine is being co-developed by the United States National Institutes of Health and the British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Sep 12, 2014

WHO asks for more health workers to fight Ebola as death toll grows

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – The number of new Ebola cases in West Africa is growing faster than authorities can manage them, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, renewing a call for health workers from around the world to go to the region to help.

As the death toll rose to more than 2,400 people out of 4,784 cases, WHO director general Margaret Chan said the vast nature of the outbreak — particularly in the three hardest-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — required a massive emergency response.

Sep 11, 2014

Scientists ‘reset’ stem cells to study start of human development

LONDON (Reuters) – British and Japanese scientists have managed to “reset” human stem cells to their earliest state, opening up a new realm of research into the start of human development and potentially life-saving regenerative medicines.

In work described by one independent expert as “a major step forward”, the scientists said they had successfully rebooted pluripotent stem cells so they were equivalent to those of a 7 to 10-day old embryo, before it implants in the womb.

Sep 11, 2014

Cancer-zapping proton therapy only suitable for rare patients

LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) – A new cancer-zapping therapy for which a British couple took their child to the Czech Republic amid an international police hunt and media storm can be highly effective, experts say, but is only suitable for rare tumors.

The parents of British five-year-old Ashya King, who has a brain tumor, ignored medical advice, removed him from hospital and left the country at the end of August, saying they wanted to take him to a private clinic in Prague for proton beam therapy – a type of radiotherapy not currently available in Britain.

Sep 10, 2014

Gates Foundations pledges $50 mln to fight Ebola epidemic

LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) – The Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation pledged $50 million on Wednesday to support emergency
efforts to contain West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, which has
already killed almost 2,300 people in the worst outbreak of the
virus in history.

The U.S.-based philanthropic foundation said it would
release funds immediately to U.N. agencies and international
organisations to help them buy supplies and scale up the
emergency response in affected countries.

Sep 9, 2014

Daily cannabis smokers risk health, wellbeing and achievement

LONDON (Reuters) – Teenagers who use cannabis daily run a higher risk of becoming drug dependent, committing suicide or trying other drugs and are less likely to succeed at their studies than those who avoid it, researchers said on Wednesday.

In an analysis of studies on cannabis, the scientists said these long-term health and life effects were important since several countries are planning to relax legislation on it.

    • 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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