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New drug shrinks many advanced skin cancers: study

WASHINGTON — An experimental therapy that targets the protein that feeds certain types of advanced skin cancer has successfully shrunk tumors in up to 80 percent of test patients, a study has indicated. The orally-administered medication, called PLX4032, “shuts off” tumors by neutralizing a mutated gene called “BRAF” that feeds…

Scientists claim to have identified stem cells that spread cancer

Hong Kong scientists say they have identified the cancer stem cells responsible for the spread of colorectal cancer to other organs and believe the find will revolutionize treatment. Current treatments regard all cancer cells as alike, but the Hong Kong University researchers discovered that cancers contain a small number of…

Oil spill clean-up boats recalled after crews fall ill

Update at bottom: 7 in hospital receiving treatment for contact with dispersant NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – All 125 commercial fishing boats helping oil recovery efforts off Louisiana’s Breton Sound area have been recalled after four workers reported health problems, officials said. The crew members aboard three separate vessels “reported…

CIA inspector general was ‘bothered’ by ‘excessive’ waterboarding

Last August, in response to an ACLU lawsuit, the Obama administration released a partially declassified 2004 report from the CIA’s Inspector General on that agency’s detention and interrogation programs. The report’s descriptions of the treatment of detainees were sufficiently shocking to prompt Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a prosecutor…

British court acknowledges CIA tortured terror suspect if held under British law

Update at bottom: US: British disclosure may affect intelligence sharing A former Guantanamo Bay inmate was effectively tortured by US authorities while in CIA custody in Pakistan, according to intelligence notes released Wednesday by a British court. The court forced the UK government to release 2002 US intelligence notes conveyed…

Parents of five-year old sue health insurance company

A health insurance provider is under fire for refusing to pay for a treatment that might save a young boy’s life. Five-year-old Kyler VanNocker of Pennsylvania is ailing from a lethal childhood cancer known as neuroblastoma, and his insurer HealthAmerica is refusing to pay for the only known treatment that…

Freeze on HIV spending sparks concern in Africa

KAMPALA — A US decision to freeze spending on treatment for HIV in several African countries has prompted concern that some of the gains made against the AIDS epidemic since 2003 could be reversed. President George W. Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), launched in 2003, focused largely on…

British warn drug users of Anthrax-laced heroin

British authorities today warned drug users that heroin in London was highly likely to be contaminated with anthrax, after a first confirmed case there and following nine deaths in Scotland. “While public health investigations are ongoing, it must be assumed that all heroin in London carries the risk of anthrax…

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