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Study confirms groundbreaking advance in stem cells

PARIS — The first use of embryonic stem cells in humans eased a degenerative form of blindness in two volunteers and showed no signs of any adverse effects, according to a study published by The Lancet on Monday. Publication in the peer-reviewed journal marks an important step for embryonic stem…

Magic mushroom trips point to long-acting antidepressant drugs

LONDON (Reuters) – The brains of people tripping on magic mushrooms have given the best picture yet of how psychedelic drugs work and British scientists say the findings suggest such drugs could be used to treat depression. Two separate studies into the effects of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic…

Consumers demand insurers cover experimental drugs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When your health insurance provider denies an experimental treatment or a high-cost drug, how much are you willing to pay for the care you believe you need? Barby Ingle, a former cheerleading and dance coach at Washington University who now lives in a Phoenix suburb, has…

Anxiety, other disorders more common in autism

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Autism tends to go hand in hand with a variety of other mental andbehavioral conditions in kids, suggests a new study that highlights the fuzzy nature of autism diagnoses themselves. Researchers said that other disorders that often go along with autism — such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or…

Stranded baby seals worry Dutch rescuers

A month ago, a young seal named Marco washed up on a beach on the northern Dutch Frisian island of Ameland, one of a growing number of recently stranded pups that has left his rescuers worried. Cold, hungry and riddled with parasites, Marco was taken to the Zeehondencreche (seal nursery),…

Tall? That may be good news for your heart, study says

(Reuters) – Tall men appear less likely than shorter ones to develop heart failure, according to a study covering thousands of U.S. doctors. Researchers in Boston said that while there is no proof that a few extra centimeters protect the heart, it was possible that short and tall people are…

Bird flu researchers suspend study of deadlier mutations

(Reuters) – Researchers studying a potentially deadlier, airborne version of the bird flu virus have voluntarily suspended their studies for 60 days because of concerns it could be used as a devastating form of bioterrorism, according to a letter published in the journals Nature and Science on Friday. Ron Fouchier…

U.S., Russia to conduct joint Antarctica inspection

The United States and Russia will jointly inspect foreign facilities in Antarctica to make sure environmental and other responsibilities under the 1959 Antarctica Treaty are being met, the State Department said Saturday. A US-Russian team will travel to Antarctica January 23-28 to check foreign stations, installations and equipment, it said.…

U.S. appeals ruling against dolphin-safe tuna labels

WASHINGTON — The United States on Friday appealed a World Trade Organization decision that accuses Washington of imposing overly stringent rules on dolphin-safe tuna from Mexico. “Our dolphin-safe labeling measures for tuna products provide information for American consumers as they make food purchasing decisions for their families,” Andrea Mead, a…

Scientists claim major breakthrough in seaweed biofuel

Energy experts believe that seaweed holds enormous potential as a biofuel alternative to coal and oil, and US-based scientists say they have unlocked the secret of turning its sugar into energy. A newly engineered microbe can do the work by metabolizing all of the major sugars in brown seaweed, potentially making…

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