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Friday, February 21, 2014

2/21/14 Health News: US is Failing to Protect Children - Test for Toxic Genes - Measles Deaths Plunge 78% - Mercury Pollution Closes Part of Maine Coast to Lobster Fishing

Contamination closes part of Maine coast to lobster fishing
PORTLAND ME – State officials were briefed about high levels of mercury contamination in lobsters caught around the mouth of the Penobscot River more than three years before the Department of Marine Resources shut the area down for fishing this week, according to a group of scientists involved in studying the contamination. Continue Reading
West Virginians: We don't drink the water
Health officials say the tap water near Charleston, West Virginia, is alright to drink. But many residents aren't buying it.When he runs the hot water, Joe Merchant said, "within a couple of minutes, I'll have a headache from the steam." Continue Reading

Report: U.S. Failing to Protect Kids From HPV

The US is failing to protect children from preventable cancers that afflict 22,000 Americans a year by not vaccinating enough of them against HPV, a new report says. Although a safe and effective HPV vaccine has been available for eight years, only one-third of girls have been fully immunized with all three recommended doses, according to a report from the President's Cancer Panel, which has advised the White House on cancer since 1971. HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a family of viruses that causes cancer throughout the body, including cancers that predominantly affect men, such as a type of throat cancer. Only 7% of boys are fully vaccinated, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended the shots for them since 2011. Raising vaccination rates to at least 80% of teen girls could prevent 53,000 future cases of cervical cancer in girls alive today, according to the CDC.Continue Reading
A Digital Test for Toxic Genes

Allon Wagner, Uri Gophna, and Eytan Ruppin of Tel Aviv University's Blavatnik School of Computer Science and Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, along with researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, have developed a computer algorithm that predicts which metabolic genes are lethal to cells when overexpressed. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help guide metabolic engineering to produce new chemicals in more cost-effective ways..Continue Reading
Measles Deaths Plunge 78% Since 2000 as Elimination Target Nears

Deaths from measles have dropped 78 percent since 2000 as global vaccination campaigns curb outbreaks of the pneumonia-causing disease, the World Health Organization said.  About 122,000 people died globally from measles in 2012, down from 562,000 in 2000, the Geneva-based WHO said in a statement today. Reported cases fell by a similar proportion. The decline is a result of a program supported by the WHO, the American Red Cross, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to cut deaths from the illness by 95 percent by 2015 and eliminate it from three of the WHO’s six regions by 2020.Continue Reading

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