Health & Wellness


US: Nebraska Beef Expands Beef Recall after E.coli Outbreak

Petri dish

Nebraska Beef announced last month its decision to recall more than 5 million pounds of beef that the company produced between May 16 and June 26 after a federal investigation reached the conclusion that the products released by Nebraska Beef led to an E. coli outbreak in several states. On Friday the company decided to recall an additional 1.2 million pounds of beef that Nebraska Beef produced on June 17, June 14 and July 8. The products have been linked to illnesses in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illlinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the Associated Press reported.

US: E. coli outbreak forces beef recall in California

A California food company is recalling 153,630 pounds of frozen ground beef after an E. coli outbreak shut down a Boy Scout camp in Virginia last week and sickened at least 22 people, health officials said Thursday.

Culture 'affects face recognition'

©The University of Glasgow

Cultural differences can affect how people recognise faces, scientists have said.

Researchers uncovered differences between how Europeans and East Asians register facial appearances.

Direct or excessive eye contact is considered rude in some East Asian countries, and scientists believe this may be behind the findings.

The University of Glasgow study contradicts previous research, which considered facial recognition to be a natural mechanism among all humans and not affected by external environment.

Canada: Maple Leaf Recalls Deli Meats Amid Listeria Outbreak

Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Canada's largest food processor, said it recalled 23 delicatessen meat products as authorities warned of an outbreak of Listeria bacteria that was responsible for one death in Ontario.

Researchers Question If HPV Vaccine Is Worth the Risk

Gardasil's High Cost and Effectiveness Come Under Fire

Comment: Since Merck developed the cervical cancer vaccine, their first-quarter profits nearly doubled in April 2008.

The New England Journal of Medicine editorial can be read here. Researchers point out that:

[..]the real impact of HPV vaccination on cervical cancer will not be observable for decades. [..]

Although it was licensed for use in the United States in June 2006, the first phase 3 trials of the HPV vaccine with clinically relevant end points - cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades 2 and 3 (CIN 2/3) - were not reported until May 2007, first in the Journal2 and 1 month later in the Lancet.3,4

[..] will the vaccine ultimately prevent not only cervical lesions, but also cervical cancer and death? How long will protection conferred by the vaccine last? Since most HPV infections are easily cleared by the immune system, how will vaccination affect natural immunity against HPV, and with what implications? How will the vaccine affect preadolescent girls, given that the only trials conducted in this cohort have been on the immune response? The studies with clinical end points (i.e., CIN 2/3) involved 16- to 24-year-old women. [..]

In other words, people who are getting the vaccine now are guinea pigs. This applies especially to younger girls.


Sixth 'Taste' Discovered - Calcium

©Michael Tordoff
A section of a rat tongue stained for the calcium-sensing receptor, CaSR, which is in the central, bright green onion-shaped taste bud.

Here's the new taste sensation - your tongue might be able to taste calcium.

The capability to taste calcium has now been discovered in mice. With these rodents and humans sharing many of the same genes, the new finding suggests that people might also have such a taste.

Cel-Sci lets Teva sell cancer drug

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. got the OK to market and distribute Cel-Sci Corp.'s cancer drug Multikine in Israel and Turkey.

Once the drug has been approved, Vienna-based Cel-Sci (AMEX:CVM) will make the product, while the Israel-based generic pharmaceutical giant will be responsible for sales. Revenue will be split evenly between both companies.

UK Drug chief angry at medicine cost

NICE advises on which drugs should be bought by the NHS

The head of a government health advisory body has accused pharmaceutical companies of driving up the price of medicine.

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins says drugs are expensive because of "perverse incentives" in the pharmaceutical industry.

The chairman of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) made his comments to the Observer newspaper.

NICE has recently been criticised for failing to approve kidney cancer drugs.

US Drug reps cut back on doctor freebies

Soon, those drug-branded pens, clipboards and coffee mugs will be a thing of the past in physicians offices.

The nation's largest pharmaceutical trade association now says its members can no longer hand out those trinkets and freebies, and it sharply curtailed when, where and how drug companies can wine and dine physicians.

The new code of conduct, which goes into effect Jan. 1, was designed to squelch, once and for all, any negative perceptions that doctors are influenced by or make prescribing choices as a result of gifts from drug manufacturers.

Silver is key to reducing pneumonia associated with breathing tubes

People have long prized silver as a precious metal. Now, silver-coated endotracheal tubes are giving critically ill patients another reason to value the lustrous metal. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the NASCENT Investigation Group, report that the silver-coated tubes led to a 36 percent reduction of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).