EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
Kate's Feed
Dec 2, 2014

No serious side effects in Merck/Newlink Ebola vaccine test

LONDON (Reuters) – The first people vaccinated with an experimental Ebola shot being developed by Merck and NewLink have had no serious side effects so far, but a few experienced mild fever, Swiss researchers said on Tuesday.

The shot, one of several being fast-tracked through clinical trials in the hope they can be approved for use in the Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa, is undergoing initial human safety tests at the University Hospitals of Geneva.

Dec 1, 2014

HIV’s ability to cause AIDS is weakening over time, study finds

LONDON, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Rapid evolution of HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, is slowing its ability to cause AIDS, according to a study of more than 2,000 women in Africa.

Scientists said the research suggests a less virulent HIV could be one of several factors contributing to a turning of the deadly pandemic, eventually leading to the end of AIDS.

Dec 1, 2014

AIDS campaigners say pandemic has finally reached tipping point

LONDON, Dec 1 (Reuters) – The world has finally reached “the
beginning of the end” of the AIDS pandemic that has infected and
killed millions in the past 30 years, according to a leading
campaign group fighting HIV.

The number of people newly infected with HIV over the last
year was lower than the number of HIV-positive people who joined
those getting access to the medicines they need to take for life
to keep AIDS at bay.

Nov 27, 2014

Europe and Central Asia failing to curb spread of HIV: WHO

LONDON (Reuters) – Despite major advances in treating and preventing HIV, Europe and Central Asia have failed to tackle the epidemic, with some 136,000 people becoming newly infected with the incurable AIDS virus last year, health officials said on Thursday.

Figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed 80 percent more new HIV cases in 2013 compared to 2004, meaning a crucial target to reverse the tide of AIDS in the region will be missed.

Nov 26, 2014

Ultra-strong graphene’s weak spot could be key to fuel cells

LONDON (Reuters) – In a discovery that experts say could revolutionize fuel cell technology, scientists in Britain have found that graphene, the world’s thinnest, strongest and most impermeable material, can allow protons to pass through it.

The researchers, led by the Nobel prize winner and discoverer of graphene Andre Geim of Manchester University, said their finding also raised the possibility that, in future, graphene membranes could be used to “sieve” hydrogen gas from the atmosphere to then generate electricity.

Nov 26, 2014

Ebola discoverer Piot sees long, bumpy road to ending epidemic

LONDON (Reuters) – West Africa’s Ebola epidemic could worsen further before abating but new infections should start to decline in all affected countries by the end of this year, a leading specialist on the disease said on Wednesday.

Peter Piot, one of the scientists who first identified the Ebola virus almost 40 years ago, said the outbreak was far from over, but said that “thanks to now massive efforts at all levels” what had been an exponential growth in numbers should soon begin to recede.

Nov 25, 2014

Fat to blame for half a million cancers a year, WHO agency says

LONDON (Reuters) – Some half a million cases of cancer a year are due to people being overweight or obese, and the problem is particularly acute in North America, the World Health Organization’s cancer research agency said on Wednesday.

In a study published in the journal The Lancet Oncology, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said high body mass index (BMI) has now become a major cancer risk factor, responsible for some 3.6 percent, or 481,000, of new cancer cases in 2012.

Nov 21, 2014

Saudi Arabia tackles MERS virus, still hunting source

LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has not yet traced the source of a mysterious camel virus, leaving many questions about a disease that has killed 346 people in the Kingdom.

The lack of scientific evidence about how camels contract the virus, which causes an often fatal illness called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in people, echoes wider concerns about the threat posed to human health by animal-borne pathogens, including the Ebola virus.

Nov 20, 2014

“Back boost” could help future-proof flu vaccines

LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – An international team of
scientists has found it may be possible to make seasonal flu
vaccines more effective by using an idea known as “back boost”
and pre-empting flu virus evolution.

In a study published on Thursday in the journal Science, the
University of Cambridge-led team said their finding should
enable people to be immunised against future likely flu strains
as well as ones currently circulating.

Nov 19, 2014

Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds

LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – A banking culture that implicitly
puts financial gain above all else fuels greed and dishonesty
and makes bankers more likely to cheat, according to the
findings of a scientific study.

Researchers in Switzerland studied bank workers and other
professionals in experiments in which they won more money if
they cheated, and found that bankers were more dishonest when
they were made particularly aware of their professional role.

    • 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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