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U.S. experts urge approval of first AIDS prevention pill

US health advisers urged regulators to approve Truvada, made byGilead Sciences, as the first preventive pill against HIV/AIDS instead of just a treatment for infected people. The favorable vote came after clinical trials showed Truvada could lower the risk of HIV in gay men by 44 to 73 percent, and was hailed by some…

Earliest Mayan calendar shows no hint of ‘world end’

WASHINGTON — The earliest known Mayan calendar has been found in an ancient house in Guatemala and it offers no hint that the world’s end is imminent, researchers said Thursday. Rather, the painted room in the residential complex at Xultun was likely the place where the town scribe kept records,…

U.S. panel gives nod to new obesity drug

WASHINGTON — A panel of independent experts on Thursday urged the US Food and Drug Administration to approve the first new anti-obesity drug in more than a decade — Lorcaserin, made by Arena Pharmaceuticals. The committee voted 18-4 in favor of the drug, which works to control the appetite through…

U.S. debates recommending drug for AIDS prevention

US health advisors are poised to decide Thursday on whether to recommend the drug, Truvada, as the first preventive pill against AIDS instead of just a treatment for infected people. Landmark study results published in 2010 showed that the drug, made by California-based Gilead Sciences, helped ward off HIV in…

Czech president to keynote Heartland conference despite objections to billboard campaign

Václav Klaus, the Czech president and prominent climate sceptic, has condemned a controversial billboard campaign used by a rightwing US thinktank to advertise the forthcoming conference at which he is scheduled to give the keynote speech. However, his spokesman said Klaus will not join other speakers who have pulled out…

Peru says 5,000 birds and nearly 900 dolphins dead, could be due to climate change

The Peruvian government said Wednesday that 5,000 birds, mostly pelicans, and nearly 900 dolphins have died off the country’s northern coast, possibly due to rising temperatures in Pacific waters. The country’s northern beaches were earlier this week declared off-limits as scientists scrambled to pin down what was causing such a…

Colourful birds quicker to evolve, says study

Birds with multiple versions of their colour patterns evolved into new species more quickly than those with uniform plumage, Australian researchers revealed in a significant genetic study published Thursday. The University of Melbourne research, published in “Nature”, found that birds with more than one version of its markings such as…

Europe writes off biggest environment satellite

PARIS — The European Space Agency (ESA) on Wednesday declared the official end of Envisat, the Earth-monitoring satellite that went offline last month after operating for twice its predicted lifespan. Designed to operate for five years, Envisat was launched in March 2002, carrying instruments to monitor the Earth’s oceans, ice,…

FDA committee urges approval of new Pfizer arthritis treatment

An advisory committee to the US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday urged US regulators to approve a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis made by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Tofacitinib, taken orally, could serve as an alternative approach to treating moderate to severe patients who did not respond to one…

Study: Testosterone shots can help older men lose weight

Obese older men with low testosterone levels can lose weight by taking supplements of the male hormone, according to the findings of a study released Wednesday. In a test group of 115 testosterone-deficient men with a mean age of 61, hormone injections over five years yielded an average weight loss…

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