EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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Jan 19, 2015

Peer pressure not propaganda crucial to IS recruitment – experts

LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Peer pressure from radicalised
fighters in Syria and Iraq is more influential in attracting new
recruits from Europe than Islamic State (IS) propaganda,
according to British experts.

The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and
Political Violence (ICSR), in a study to be released next month,
found that peer groups and kinships were crucial in luring young
fighters, rather than IS videos and Internet messages.

Jan 19, 2015

Europe’s tuberculosis hub Britain seeks to wipe out the disease

LONDON (Reuters) – Health authorities launched an 11.5 million pounds ($17.4 million) plan on Monday to tackle Britain’s persistent tuberculosis (TB) problem, seeking to wipe the contagious lung disease out altogether.

Britain has one of the highest TB rates in western Europe and London is known as the continent’s “TB capital”.

Jan 16, 2015

The Beagle has landed: Britain’s missing spacecraft found on Mars

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s infamous “Beagle 2″ spacecraft, once dubbed “a heroic failure” by the nation’s Astronomer Royal, has been found on Mars — 11 years after it went missing searching for extraterrestrial life.

Beagle 2, part of the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission, had been due to land on Mars on Christmas Day 2003, but went missing on December 19, 2003. Until now, nothing had been heard from it since then.

Jan 16, 2015

GSK’s nicotine patches and gum feel the heat from e-cigarettes

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline is
feeling the heat from the rapid growth in electronic cigarettes,
with enthusiasm for the nicotine delivery devices dampening
sales of the British drugmaker’s patches and gum, its chief
executive said.

In an interview with Reuters, Andrew Witty also said he and
his team had spent “a few days” exploring whether the drugmaker
should compete directly by becoming an e-cigarette maker, but
had swiftly decided against it.

Jan 14, 2015

Scientists find key gene mutations behind inherited heart disease

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have identified the crucial genetic mutations that cause a common heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), paving the way for more accurate diagnosis and screening of high-risk patients.

In a study of more than 5,000 people, researchers sequenced the gene encoding the muscle protein “titin”, known to be linked to this leading cause of inherited heart failure, to try to find which variations in it caused problems.

Jan 14, 2015

Cooling brain protein could aid search for Alzheimer’s treatment

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have found a mechanism that kicks in when the body is cooled and prevents the loss of brain cells, and say their find could one day lead to treatments for brain-wasting diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Studying mice, the researchers were able to simulate the effects of body cooling and pick apart the workings of a so-called “cold-shock” protein in the brain, RBM3, which has previously been linked with preventing brain cell death.

Jan 14, 2015

Helping chronic fatigue patients over fears eases symptoms

LONDON (Reuters) – Helping patients with chronic fatigue syndrome to overcome their fears that exercise or activity will make their symptoms worse is one of the most important factors behind therapies that can make them better, scientists said on Wednesday.

Presenting an analysis on a trial showing how cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET) help reduce fatigue and improve physical function in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), the researchers said misguided but understandable fears about being active were key.

Jan 12, 2015

“Extreme measures” needed to see Ebola shot development through

LONDON, (Reuters) – Developing and bringing to market effective Ebola vaccines requires extreme measures and unprecedented international cooperation, global health experts said on Monday.

In an interim report on a roadmap for vaccines against the current and any future outbreaks of the deadly virus, infectious disease specialists Jeremy Farrar and Mike Osterholm said the scope of effort was “too complex for any single government, organization or company”. They called for sustained public-private sector partnership and commitment.

Jan 9, 2015

Tailor-made vaccine set to banish Africa’s meningitis epidemics

LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The website of a global
partnership formed to wipe out deadly meningitis epidemics in
sub-Saharan Africa is closing down with a simple message: “Thank
you and goodbye!”.

Barely five years after the team began rolling out a
tailor-made vaccine in Africa’s “meningitis belt”, the disease
has all but disappeared there and the Meningitis Vaccine Project
(MVP) is closing down after pioneering what may be a model for
tackling infectious diseases in developing countries.

Jan 7, 2015

Scientists find antibiotic that kills bugs without resistance

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Scientists have discovered a new
antibiotic, teixobactin, that can kill serious infections in
mice without encountering any detectable resistance, offering a
potential new way to get ahead of dangerous evolving superbugs.

Researchers said the antibiotic, which has yet to be
trialled in humans, could one day be used to treat
drug-resistant infections caused by the superbug MSRA, as well
as tuberculosis, which normally requires a combination of drugs
that can have adverse side effects.

    • 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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