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Some Body 'Clocks' Age Faster Than Others

Tue Jul 23, 2002

By Merritt McKinney

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The aging process can take a toll on the body's internal rhythms, and now new research suggests that some body parts age faster than others--at least when it comes to telling time.

In a study of old and young rats, internal "clocks" in certain tissues became less reliable with age, but others "kept time" as well as they did in younger animals.

Docs: Thousands of UK Stroke Victims Die Needlessly

Wed Jul 24, 2002

By Richard Woodman

LONDON (Reuters Health) - Thousands of stroke patients are dying in Britain because hospitals lack the resources to provide specialist care, the Royal College of Physicians said on Wednesday.

"Twenty-seven thousand people a year are ending up either dead or more disabled than they otherwise would be," said Dr. Tony Rudd, who led a college audit examining the way hospitals care for stroke patients.

Wyoming Official to Head USDA Food Safety Agency

Wed Jul 24, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The US Department of Agriculture, which is investigating the second-largest ground beef recall in US history, on Tuesday named the director of Wyoming's state health department to head the USDA's food safety agency.

Garry McKee, director of the Wyoming Department of Health for the past three years, will run the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

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EU Ups Family Planning Cash to Fill Gap Left by US

Wed Jul 24, 2002

LONDON (Reuters Health) - The European Commission on Wednesday said EU member states had approved a 32 million euro reproductive health program for developing countries in partnership with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

The Commission said it was stepping in to fill a "decency gap" left by the US decision to scrap its planned payment to UNFPA of about the same amount.

US Alzheimer's Cases to Triple by 2050

Wed Jul 24, 2002

STOCKHOLM (Reuters Health) - Recent US census figures suggest that by 2050, the number of people with Alzheimer's disease will triple, researchers reported here at the 8th International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders.

Currently, there are about 4.6 million people with Alzheimer's disease living in the US, according to Dr. Denis Evans of the Rush Institute in Chicago, Illinois, and colleagues there and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

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European Office Bars Human Cloning in Patent

Wed Jul 24, 2002

BERLIN (Reuters Health) - The European Patent Office said on Wednesday it had added restrictions to a controversial patent granted in 1999 to ensure it was not used to clone humans.

After objections from 14 parties, the Munich-based office said it had revised the stem cell patent it granted to Edinburgh University in December 1999.

"The much-discussed 'Edinburgh' patent will be upheld in a changed form, no longer covering human or animal embryonic stem cells," the European Patent Office (EPO) said in a statement after three days of hearings.

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Studied for Alzheimer's

Wed Jul 24, 2002

By Peggy Peck

STOCKHOLM (Reuters Health) - Alzheimer's disease researchers think that cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may possibly provide protection to the aging brain, and may ward off the memory-robbing illness.

For example, a team of Boston University epidemiologists is reporting that a small study of Alzheimer's patients and their family members suggests that taking statins is associated with a 39% reduction in risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

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Strong Identical Twin Breast Cancer Link Identified

Wed Jul 24, 2002

LONDON (Reuters) - Women who have an identical twin with breast cancer have four times the normal chance of developing the disease themselves, American scientists said on Tuesday.

The risk is higher than researchers had previously thought and highlights the role of genetics in the development of the disease, which kills more than 370,000 women worldwide each year.

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New Technology May Speed Alzheimer's Treatments

Wed Jul 24, 2002

By Peggy Peck

STOCKHOLM (Reuters Health) - Alzheimer's researchers have finally discovered how to get a good look inside the brain of Alzheimer's patients, and this "look" is likely to move Alzheimer's treatments into the fast track.

While the discovery isn't a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, it does provide the first opportunity for scientists to accurately test and quantify the effect of new and existing treatments.

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Japan Cracks Down on China Diet Pills, More Ill

Wed Jul 24, 2002

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan launched a crackdown on Chinese-made slimming products on Wednesday as the number of people made ill rose to nearly 300 in a health scandal that has already left four dead.

Tokyo's city government ordered the recall of two brands of pills, while a woman was arrested in rural Japan for selling another, marking the most urgent action taken by the authorities to date.