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Fri, 22 May 2015 05:26:32 -0400 
Using a brain-controlled robotic arm to help himself to a drink, Erik Sorto says, "This study has been very meaningful to me.A new kind of brain implant senses a patient's intent to move a robotic arm, offering new promise to people who are paralyzed or have lost limbs, researchers said Thursday. Erik Sorto, 34, is "the first person in the world to have a neural prosthetic device implanted in a region of the brain where intentions are made," said the study in the journal Science. Sorto, who was paralyzed from the neck down at age 21 after a gunshot wound, can now make a hand-shaking gesture, grab a cup to drink from and even play "rock, paper, scissors" with his robotic arm. . . more
Lufthansa Chief Executive Spohr delivers his speech at the annual shareholders meeting in HamburgRandom checks of pilots' psychological fitness could help reduce risks in the aviation sector, Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said in his first newspaper interview since the crash of a Germanwings plane in March. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Friday cited Spohr as saying surprise checks were a possible way to reduce uncertainty over whether pilots suffer from any mental health issues. Voice and data recordings from the Germanwings flight on March 24 show co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit and set the plane on course to crash into the French Alps, killing all 150 on board. . . more
By Emma Batha CASABLANCA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Every day hundreds of Moroccan women and girls put their lives at risk by seeking backstreet abortions or trying to end unwanted pregnancies themselves with needles and poison. Others who give birth in secret discard their babies in rubbish bins or dump them in forests, says Professor Chafik Chraibi, a senior gynaecologist who has led efforts to get abortion legalised in the North African country. At least 600 girls and women in Morocco have illegal terminations every day, Chraibi says. . . more
By P.J. Huffstutter and Bill Berkrot CHICAGO and NEW YORK (Reuters) - As a virulent avian influenza outbreak continues to spread across the Midwestern United States, some egg-dependent companies are contemplating drastic steps: importing eggs from overseas or looking to egg alternatives. A spokeswoman for grain giant Archer Daniels Midland Co said that, as egg supplies have tightened and prices risen, the company has received numerous inquiries from manufacturers about the plant-based egg substitutes it makes. "The U.S. has never imported any significant amount of eggs, because we've always been a very low-cost producer," said Tom Elam of FarmEcon, an agricultural consulting company. . . more
Thu, 21 May 2015 23:29:02 -0400 
Sodium Reduction Saves States Health Care Costs"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" takes on a whole new meaning when you consider reducing sodium in the food supply -- a public health measure already well recognized as likely to prevent tens of thousands of deaths each year from cardiovascular disease alone in the United States. Now, a new analysis by the Center for Science in... . . more
LOS ANGELES (AP) A salmonella outbreak likely linked to raw tuna has sickened 53 people in nine states, health officials said Thursday. . . more
By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former supervising guard at New York City's Rikers Island, convicted of refusing to help a dying inmate at the troubled jail complex, convinced a judge to postpone sentencing on Thursday when he claimed at the last minute that his lawyer had not represented him properly. Terrence Pendergrass, 51, was found guilty in December in New York of a federal civil rights crime for failing to summon medical assistance for Jason Echevarria, a mentally ill prisoner who died hours after swallowing a toxic "soap ball" used to clean cells. Pendergrass, who faces up to 10 years in prison, was perhaps seconds away from hearing U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams impose his sentence when he claimed his lawyer, Sam Braverman, had not done a good job. . . more
New York's Westchester County will spend roughly $12 million to settle a federal government lawsuit alleging that its failure to properly treat drinking water exposed thousands of residents to greater risk of severe gastrointestinal illness. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on Thursday said that under a consent decree, the county will spend about $10 million on capital improvements in Water District No. 1, which serves about 175,000 residents of Yonkers, White Plains, Mount Vernon, Scarsdale and North Castle, all suburbs north of New York City. Westchester will also pay a $1.11 million fine, a record civil penalty against a public water system operator under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and spend $691,000 on other environmental projects, Bharara said. . . more
A woman looks at her sick child laying under a mosquito net in a hospital on April 24, 2015 in AbidjanCountries have agreed to rid the world of malaria almost completely over the next 15 years, the World Health Organization said Thursday. Diplomats gathered in Geneva for the UN health body's annual decision-making assembly agreed late Wednesday to a plan to cut malaria cases by 40 percent by 2020 and by 90 percent by 2030, WHO said. The plan also calls for completely eliminating malaria in at least 35 new countries over the next 15 years. . . more
Thu, 21 May 2015 18:11:51 -0400 
Every seven seconds. That's how often men supposedly think about sex, according to conventional wisdom. And women, you ask? Well, if you believe that same conventional wisdom, not nearly as much. In fact, one sensational claim out there in the media right now takes that a step further by arguing that women, in fact, have no sex drive at all.... . . more
FILE - In this April 24, 2015 file photo, a sign on a window at a Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams states that the store is closed, in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. A government investigation of Ohio-based Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams says there was inadequate testing and cleaning in its Columbus plant before listeria was found in some of its ice cream pints. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)WASHINGTON (AP) A government investigation of Ohio-based Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams found inadequate testing and cleaning in its Columbus plant that had become contaminated with listeria. . . more
Sweden said Thursday it wants to give single women access to assisted reproductive technologies, following in the footsteps of several other Western nationsSweden said Thursday it wants to give single women access to assisted reproductive technologies, following in the footsteps of several other Western nations. "We want to lift the ban on single women from our current law on medically assisted reproduction," Health Minister Gabriel Wikstrom told reporters. "Current legislation is based on an outdated view (of families), which says you need two people to raise a child," Justice Minister Morgan Johansson said. . . more
Is Your AC Making You Sick? 5 Things You Need to KnowThere are times when I am extremely thankful for air conditioning -- usually after I have had a long workout on a hot summer's day and am still sweating after a cold shower. The cold, dry air is invigorating and refreshing. But usually, after about 30 minutes, I find myself shivering and needing to go back outside. Indeed, I have found that... . . more
Rembrandt Enterprises, one of the top U.S. egg producers, said on Thursday it would temporarily cut 39 full-time employees, after the company's poultry facilities in Renville, Minnesota, tested positive for the fast-spreading avian influenza virus. Rembrandt's Renville plant has been quarantined by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, the company said in a statement. All birds at the facility are expected to be culled, and the company said it expects the layoffs to happen on June 1. . . more
A sign warning of a Biosecure Area at a chicken farm in HarrisBy Tom Polansek and P.J. Huffstutter IRETON, IOWA/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Measures to control the worst bird flu outbreak in U.S. history are not being enforced at several farms at its epicenter in northwestern Iowa, potentially increasing the risks that the disease could spread further, spot checks by Reuters show. In visits to six affected sites in Iowa last week, a Reuters reporter found procedures at three in Sioux County did not comply with USDA or state protocols for restricting access to infected sites, providing protective gear to workers and cleaning the wheels of vehicles leaving the sites. Burke Healey, the USDA's national incident commander coordinating response to the bird flu, said he was concerned about the findings of lax biosecurity in Iowa after hearing about them from Reuters. . . more
(Reuters) - Otonomy Inc said its experimental drug did not meet the main goal of reducing the incidence of vertigo in a mid-stage trial in patients suffering from Mnire's disease. The company's shares, listed on the Nasdaq in August last year, fell 16 percent to $26.00 in extended trading on Thursday. Mnire's disease is a disorder of the inner ear causing progressive deafness, vertigo and ringing in the ears. . . more
Boy Scout Casey Chambers carries a rainbow flag during the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival in CaliforniaBy Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates said on Thursday the group's ban on adult gay leaders needs to end, taking a step toward dismantling a policy that has caused deep rifts in the 105-year-old organization. Gates said at the group's national meeting in Atlanta he does not plan to revoke the charters of Boy Scout councils that allow gay leaders, according to a text of the speech, which could significantly weaken enforcement of the ban. The status quo in our movements membership standards cannot be sustained," said Gates, who as U.S. secretary of defense helped end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that barred openly gay individuals from serving in the military. . . more


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