From RT, new hope for people like Ted Kennedy and our own mother who died of brain cancer:
Cannabis combined with radiotherapy can make brain cancer ‘disappear,’ study claims
Two cannabis components can have a significant effect on the size of cancerous tumors in the brain, especially when combined with radiotherapy, according to new research. The study says the growths can virtually “disappear.”
The research was carried out by specialists at St Georges, University of London and published in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal.
There are some 85 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but the two that had a demonstrably positive effect were tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Combining their use alongside radiotherapy shows a drastic effect, the study claims.
And a possible source of the medication from the Guardian:
Can Zambia save its environment with marijuana?
- Green party’s presidential candidate Peter Sinkamba is promising voters to cut country’s dependency on mining – by growing and exporting marijuana
For decades, Zambia has staked its economic fortunes on copper mining. But when voters in this southern African nation go to the polls in January to select a new president, at least one candidate will be looking to send that tradition up in smoke.
On Friday, Peter Sinkamba will announce his candidacy on the Green party ticket to replace the late President Michael Sata, who died on 29 October from an undisclosed illness. Sinkamba, regarded as Zambia’s leading environmentalist for his battles against the country’s big copper mines, is running on an unlikely platform, especially in this socially conservative nation: legalising marijuana.
His plan, first announced in April, calls for cannabis’ legalisation for medicinal use in Zambia, which would be a first in Africa. The surplus crop would be exported abroad, earning Zambia what Sinkamba claims could be billions of dollars.
A serious cause for concern from BBC News:
Warning over plastics used in treating premature babies
US researchers have warned that premature babies are being exposed to high levels of a potentially dangerous chemical in plastics.
A study suggested babies may be exposed to high levels of a phthalate called DEHP in medical equipment. Some US healthcare providers have banned the use of DEHP, and other products were available, the researchers said.
The UK is currently re-evaluating its position on phthalate use in devices. Evidence on the safety of phthalates in humans has been inconclusive, but European regulators have classified DEHP as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Tragedy on the Subcontinent from the New York Times:
India Sterilization Deaths Linked to Pills Tainted With Rat Poison, Officials Say
The women who died after sterilization surgery in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh might have been given antibiotic pills contaminated with rat poison, a senior official said on Friday.
Sonmoni Borah, the divisional commissioner in the district of Bilaspur, in Chhattisgarh, said that tablets of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin that were seized in police raids of Mahawar Pharma, a small company supplying medicines to the state government, were found to contain the chemical zinc phosphide.
“If you do a quick Google search, you will find it is rat poison, and the women were displaying symptoms similar to poisoning,” Mr. Borah said in a telephone interview. State officials issued an urgent warning on Friday to practitioners across the state, telling them to stop distributing or using ciprofloxacin “with immediate effect,” he said.
Another outbreak threatens, from MercoPress:
Fears of a new Chikungunya viral strain in Brazil with the coming of summer
The Chikungunya outbreak which continues to affect thousands of Caribbean residents since it first appeared in St. Martin last year has been relatively self-limiting in the United States, due to the fact that the current strain only spreads through the Aedes egypti mosquito vector, which is uncommon on the US Eastern seaboard.
But recent diagnoses of a new viral strain in Brazil may turn the current hemispheric spread of the crippling disease on its head. The strain – which is prevalent in some African states and which has been the cause of several outbreaks in South-east Asian countries – readily infects the Aedes albopictus mosquito, a hardier species which is common along the US East Coast, and which is adapted to colder climates.
Brazil has recorded over 200 cases of Chikungunya – predominantly in the country’s east-coast Bahia state – but according to Kansas State University virologist Stephen Higgs, the African strain in Brazil has not yet developed the type of dangerous mutations observed in South-east Asia.
Such mutations could make the strain up to 100 times more infectious to mosquitoes, says Higgs, allowing the vectors to become more easily infected and pass the virus on to humans. The virus itself has been shown to develop rapid adaptive mutations, underscoring fears of eventual epidemic circulations of the new strain.
From Reuters, and closer to the U.S.:
Mexico detects first case of mosquito-borne chikungunya virus
Mexico has detected its first domestic case of the painful mosquito-borne viral disease chikungunya in the southwest of the country, the state government of Chiapas said on Saturday.
Chikungunya is spread by two mosquito species, and is typically not fatal. But it can cause debilitating symptoms including fever, headache and severe joint pain lasting months.
The government of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, said an 8 year old girl became the first person to contract the disease in Mexico, and that she was treated in hospital in the town of Arriaga. The girl has since been released.
Polio-vaccine-pressured Pakistan, from the Express Tribune:
Travel restricted for Pakistanis without polio certificate, says IHC
In a meeting held by the International Health Committee, restrictions have been placed on Pakistani’s travelling abroad without a polio certificate, Express News reported Saturday.
The committee had declared Pakistan to be a nation responsible for spreading the polio virus across the globe.
Between July and now, three cases of polio have arisen in Afghanistan, for which the committee attributes blame to Pakistan.
In attempts to eradicate polio in six months, the International Health Committee have come down hard on Pakistan and ordered that no Pakistani could travel abroad without a polio certificate.
Infectious sausage, via BBC News:
One in 10 sausages ‘carries risk of hepatitis E virus’
One in 10 sausages and processed pork meat products in England and Wales could cause hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection if undercooked, experts warn.
There has been an “abrupt rise” in the number of cases in England and Wales as people do not realise the risk, scientists advising the government say. Sausages should be cooked for 20 minutes at 70C to kill the virus, they said.
Although serious cases are rare, HEV can cause liver damage or be fatal.
Wikidemiology, via the Los Angeles Times:
Scientists use Wikipedia search data to forecast spread of flu
Can public health experts tell that an infectious disease outbreak is imminent simply by looking at what people are searching for on Wikipedia? Yes, at least in some cases.
Researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory were able to make extremely accurate forecasts about the spread of dengue fever in Brazil and flu in the U.S., Japan, Poland and Thailand by examining three years’ worth of Wikipedia search data. They also came up with moderately success predictions of tuberculosis outbreaks in Thailand and China, and of dengue fever’s spread in Thailand.
However, their efforts to anticipate cases of cholera, Ebola, HIV and plague by extrapolating from search data left much to be desired, according to a report published Thursday in the journal PLOS Computational Biology. But the researchers believe their general approach could still work if they use more sophisticated statistics and a more inclusive data set.
Keystone pipelined, from BBC News:
Keystone XL pipeline approval passes House
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The legislation will now be put to a vote in the Senate next week, where its prospects are unclear.
The 875-mile (1,408km) pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the US state of Nebraska where it joins pipes running to Texas.
President Barack Obama is said to take a “dim view” of the legislation, but has not directly threatened a veto.
More from the Toronto Globe and Mail:
Keystone pipeline good for Canada, not U.S., Obama says
As a pro-Keystone XL effort gathered bipartisan steam in Congress, President Barack Obama suggested that the controversial pipeline may be good for Canada but doesn’t offer much to Americans.
The Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed – by a 252-161 vote – a pro-Keystone XL bill intended to force Mr. Obama to approve the Canadian oil export project.
It was the ninth time the House of Representatives has passed a pro-Keystone XL measure. The Senate is expected to take up a similar bill next week.
More from the Christian Science Monitor:
Keystone XL pipeline: Obama says he ‘won’t budge’
A Keystone bill swept to easy approval in the House Friday, with 31 Democrats joining the Republican majority, and a parallel bill is scheduled for Senate action next week.
Mr. Obama saying he’ll act on immigration reform because Congress has failed to, while Congress is acting on Keystone to try to end what many lawmakers view as presidential obstructionism.
And now Obama is squaring off formally against fellow Democrats, as well as Republicans.
A Keystone bill swept to easy approval in the House Friday, with 31 Democrats joining the Republican majority, and a parallel bill is scheduled for Senate action next week, with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) of Louisiana as a lead sponsor. (Until now Senate majority leader Harry Reid has kept the issue off the Senate floor, in a bid to protect Democrats from a divisive vote.)
After jump, heads in sand in G20 climate protest as Obama shines a spotlight on Abbott and lobbyists battle over the Great Barrier Reef, one of climate change’s more striking effects, a legal battle over the humanity of chimps, then it’s on to Fukushimapocalypse Now!, starting with new questions over health risks, more radiation spikes, the new governor takes the tour, and a waste site decision delayed again, China mulls adding more new nuclear power plants, and an appetite for an Iranian nuclear deal. . . Continue reading