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Showing posts from January 13, 2016

Scientists Make Gains on 'Universal' Ebola Medicine

Scientists have created a single treatment that may fight the two deadliest strains of the Ebola virus. The current Ebola medicine now being tested in humans, called ZMapp, is only aimed at the Zaire Ebola strain, which is responsible for the most recent and deadliest outbreak. Sudan ebolavirus and the Zaire strain, called Zaire ebolavirus, together have been responsible for about 95 percent of Ebola deaths since the virus was first identified in 1976, according to CDC data.


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Whooping Cough Outbreak: How Effective Is the Vaccine?

An outbreak of whooping cough, or pertussis, at a Florida preschool in which nearly all the students had been fully vaccinated against the disease, raises new concerns about the vaccine's effectiveness, a new report suggests. During a 5-month period between September 2013 and January 2014, 26 preschoolers, two staff members and 11 family members of the students or staff at the facility in Leon County came down with whooping cough, according to a report of the outbreak published today (Jan. 13) in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. Only five of 117 students attending the preschool had not received all of the shots required by their age.

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Frozen Poop Is As Good As Fresh Poop for C. Difficile Treatment

For patients with the difficult-to-treat intestinal infection caused by a bacterium called Clostridium difficile, a "poop transplant" that uses frozen poop may be as effective as one that uses fresh poop, a new study suggests. Frozen-poop transplants have a number of advantages over fresh-poop transplants for use in patients with C. difficile, said study author Dr. Christine Lee, an infectious-disease specialist at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. In the study, researchers looked at more than 200 adults who had C. difficile infections that were recurrent or unresponsive to other types of treatment.

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Ancient tools show mysterious humans occupied Indonesian island

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The diminutive prehistoric human species dubbed the "Hobbit" that inhabited the isle of Flores apparently had company on other Indonesian islands long before our species, Homo sapiens, arrived on the scene. Scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of stone tools at least 118,000 years old at a site called Talepu on the island of Sulawesi, indicating a human presence. "We now have direct evidence that when modern humans arrived on Sulawesi, supposedly between 60,000 and 50,000 years ago and aided by watercraft, they must have encountered an archaic group of humans that was already present on the island long before," said archaeologist Gerrit van den Bergh of University of Wollongong in Australia.


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Scientist argues her case for UK license to "edit" human embryos

A scientist set out her argument on Wednesday for being given a British license to conduct controversial experiments which would alter the DNA of human embryos. Critics of the proposed research say it is effectively genetically modifying human embryos and represents a "slippery slope" towards a future of designer babies.

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Scientist argues her case for UK licence to 'edit' human embryos

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - A scientist set out her argument on Wednesday for being given a British licence to conduct controversial experiments which would alter the DNA of human embryos. Critics of the proposed research say it is effectively genetically modifying human embryos and represents a "slippery slope" towards a future of designer babies.

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Global warming could stave off next ice age for 100,000 years

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - Global warming is likely to disrupt a natural cycle of ice ages and contribute to delaying the onset of the next big freeze until about 100,000 years from now, scientists said on Wednesday. In the past million years, the world has had about 10 ice ages before swinging back to warmer conditions like the present. In the last ice age that ended 12,000 years ago, ice sheets blanketed what is now Canada, northern Europe and Siberia.


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Buccaneer Bones: Possible Pirate Skeleton Found Under Scotland Schoolyard

Dead men tell no tales, but scientists can still learn much about them from their bones. Archaeologists recently determined that a skeleton found buried on a primary school's property in Edinburgh, Scotland, dates back to the 16th century and likely was that of a criminal. When human remains unexpectedly turned up during excavation work for the Victoria Primary School's expansion, archaeologists were soon putting together the pieces — quite literally, as the skull was broken during its discovery — to find out how old the remains were and to whom they may have belonged.


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Prize-Winning Photos Capture Magical World of Underwater Creatures

Shimmering against a background of deepest black, an image of a rarely seen larval cusk-eel captured by photographer Jeff Milisen earned the top prize in the Underwater Photography Guide's 2015 Ocean Art Contest.


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Will You Win Powerball? A Vending Machine Death Is More Likely

The winner of this Wednesday's Powerball drawing is poised to collect a staggering $1.3 billion (before taxes). But with the discouraging odds of 1 in 292.2 million, it's extremely unlikely that you'll find yourself with the winning ticket. In fact, you're more likely to die from a vending-machine-related accident than to draw the lucky number. (The odds of dying from a vending-machine-related accident are 1 in 112 million, according to

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EU food safety watchdog hits back at scientists in glyphosate row

By Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The head of Europe's food safety watchdog has written to a group of nearly 100 senior scientists strongly rejecting their criticisms in a row about the safety of weed-killer ingredient glyphosate. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which advises European Union policymakers, issued an opinion in November that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer. The IARC said in March that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans" while environmental groups have been calling for a ban on glyphosate.


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EU food safety watchdog hits back at scientists in glyphosate spat

By Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The head of Europe's food safety watchdog has written to a group of nearly 100 senior scientists strongly rejecting their criticisms in an ongoing row about the safety of weed-killer ingredient glyphosate. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which advises EU policymakers, in November issued an opinion that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer. The IARC said in March that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans".


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