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Study questions religion-depression link

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Some research has suggested that religious people may have a buffer against major depression — but new findings cast some doubt on that. Researchers said people who develop depression might be more likely to stop going to services, which could explain why those who regularly…

Clamor for obesity pill may test FDA limits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. drug regulators may have a hard time stopping millions of overweight Americans from taking a new obesity drug that many are likely to view as a miracle pill for slimming waistlines, despite its safety risks. Regulators and doctors are hoping they can limit the pill, called…

Sleeping pills linked with higher death risk

Sleeping pills commonly prescribed in Britain are linked to a more-than fourfold risk of premature death, according to an American study published in the journal BMJ Open. These medications were also associated at higher doses with a 35-percent increased risk of cancer as compared with non-users, but the reason for this is unclear.…

Fossils show huge penguin once roamed New Zealand

Fossilised remains of one of the largest penguins ever, an “elegant” giant standing 1.3 metres (52 inches) tall, have been found in New Zealand, scientists said Tuesday. The penguin lived 27-24 million years ago, when New Zealand was mostly underwater and consisted of isolated, rocky outcrops that offered protection from…

New flu virus found in bats

A new strain of influenza A has been found in fruit bats, indicating for the first time that bats, like birds, can be carriers of the virus, though it is not believed risky to humans, according to US health authorities. “This is the first time an influenza virus has been…

Indian doctors remove giant tumour from patient

NEW DELHI — An Indian woman is in a stable condition in a hospital in the northern state Haryana after doctors removed a tumour larger than the size of a football from her ovary on Monday, a medical officer said. The tumour, weighing 22 kilogrammes (48 pounds), was removed from…

Upper class people more likely to cheat: study

WASHINGTON — People from the wealthy upper classes are more likely than poorer folks to break laws while driving, take candy from children and lie for financial gain, said a US study on Monday. The seven-part study by psychologists at the University of California Berkeley and the University of Toronto…

Climate change threatens South Africa’s rooibos tea

Farm workers swing their sickles through red branches, bundling them up before laying them out in the sunshine to dry. The annual harvest at Groenkol Rooibos tea estate, in South Africa’s Western Cape helps quench the world’s growing thirst for “red bush” tea, but farmers fear that climate change could…

Pediatrician group backs HPV shot for boys

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Boys 11 years and up should get Merck & Co’s Gardasil vaccine to protect them against HPV infections, which can cause genital warts as well as oral, penile and anal cancers, the nation’s largest group of pediatricians said Monday. “What we are hoping will come…

European Neanderthals were nearly extinct before modern humans arrived

An international team of researchers has concluded that most of the Neanderthals in Europe died off about 50,000 years ago — some 10,000 years before the arrival of modern humans. It has generally been assumed that modern humans caused the demise of the Neanderthals, either by killing them directly or…

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