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Cables reveal American diplomats lobbied aggressively overseas to promote genetically modified (GM) food crops

Review of more than 900 cables reveals campaign to break down resistance to GM products in Europe and other countries American diplomats lobbied aggressively overseas to promote genetically modified (GM) food crops such as soy beans, an analysis of official cable traffic revealed on Tuesday. The review of more than…

Historic carbon levels to become global average by 2016

After seeing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surpass a historic threshold last week, the world should brace for the new peak level to soon become the global annual average, the World Meteorological Organization warned Tuesday. “At the current rate of increase, the global annual average CO2 concentration is set…

New vaccine could save thousands from deadly diarrhea-causing rotavirus

Scientists unveiled Tuesday an affordable vaccine against a deadly diarrhoea-causing virus that kills some 100,000 children in India every year. Rotavirus, which causes dehydration and severe diarrhoea, is globally responsible for some 453,000 deaths annually and is particularly threatening in Africa and Asia, where access to urgent healthcare is often…

Double mastectomy can dramatically reduce genetic cancer risk

Women whose genes put them at a high risk of contracting breast cancer can dramatically reduce the danger by having a double mastectomy — but not eliminate it altogether, experts say. The issue has been thrown into the spotlight with Hollywood star Angelina Jolie’s announcement that she had her breasts…

World’s largest HIV treatment program finally reducing AIDS-related deaths in South Africa

One in ten South Africans is HIV positive but AIDS-related deaths are falling as ramped-up treatment begins to have an impact, the country’s official statistics agency said Tuesday. After years of dragging its heels on the HIV/AIDS crisis, since 2004 South Africa has developed the world’s largest HIV treatment programme.…

SARS-like virus kills 15 and infections still rising in Saudi Arabia

Four more cases of the deadly coronavirus have been detected in Saudi Arabia, the health ministry said, raising the number of people infected from the SARS-like virus in the kingdom to 28, including 15 fatalities. The four cases were registered in Eastern Province, which has been gripped by panic after…

17-year cicada hordes begin to emerge in eastern United States

The hordes are rising. A cicada invasion is imminent in the US, with millions of the large cricket-like insects poised to emerge from the earth after 17 years lying in wait. The first of the bugs that are expected to blanket the US east coast have already been spotted in…

Prosecutor demands jail time for executive who knowingly sold dangerous breast implants

A French prosecutor on Tuesday called for the founder of a firm whose faulty breast implants sparked a global health scare to be given a four-year prison sentence on fraud charges. In closing arguments at the trial in Marseille, prosecutor Jacques Dallest also called for PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas to…

First grey whale spotted south of the Equator

Namibia sighting suggests much-hunted whales are regaining ancient migratory routes, or may be down to climate disruption Astonishing news from Walvis Bay, Namibia, where scientists from the Namibian Dolphin Project on Tuesday confirmed the sighting of a grey whale. Not only has this North Pacific species been extinct in the…

Americans still consuming far too much salt: study

The amount of salt in foods that are processed or sold at fast food restaurants is still high despite calls by medical experts for people to cut sodium for better health, a US study said Monday. Americans on average eat more than twice the recommended daily allowance of salt, and…

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