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Friday, May 22nd

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Brain-reading implant controls arm

brain implant  controls armA man has been able to control a robotic limb with a mind-reading chip implanted in his brain.  It allowed Erik Sorto, from California, to sip a drink unaided for the first time in 10 years.

The details, published in Science, reveal how complex bursts of electrical signals in his brain could be interpreted into commands for the arm.

Experts said the results made brain-controlled robotics closer to being a reality.

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Prostate cancer gene map points way to targeted drugs

prostate cancer rosetta stoneScientists have unveiled a comprehensive genetic map of advanced prostate cancer, hailing it as the disease's "Rosetta Stone".  The study, published in the journal Cell, shows that nearly nine in 10 men had gene mutations that could be targeted with drugs.

The study was led in the UK by scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) London in collaboration with several teams in the United States.

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FDA warned years ago about superbugs in medical scopes

superbugsState and federal health officials privately urged the Food and Drug Administration nearly six years ago to alert hospitals about contamination risks from specialized medical scopes that have been tied to a recent series of deadly superbug outbreaks.

The 2009 appeal came after duodenoscopes were linked to drug-resistant infections in dozens of Florida hospital patients, including 15 who died. In emails and a phone briefing, epidemiologists at the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the infections occurred because hospitals were having trouble cleaning the scopes properly, records obtained by USA TODAY show.

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Federal Court: Notre Dame Can’t Cut Off Birth Control For Its Students

Notre DameA federal appeals court held on Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s decision limiting access to birth control in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby does not permit the University of Notre Dame to shut down their health plans that help the school’s students pay for contraceptive coverage — or, at least, the court held that Notre Dame cannot obtain a court order permitting them to do so right now.

This is the latest of Notre Dame’s multiple trips to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Though the court held in 2014 that Notre Dame must comply with an extraordinarily modest obligation under federal law, the Supreme Court asked the Seventh Circuit to reconsider the case in light of Hobby Lobby. For now, the Seventh Circuit concluded, Hobby Lobby does not entitle Notre Dame to the relief that it seeks.

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Peabody Energy exploited Ebola crisis for corporate gain, say health experts

Peabody exploited ebola crisisPublic health experts involved in the response to the Ebola crisis have condemned what they described as a ludicrous, insulting and opportunistic attempt to exploit the disease for corporate gain by the world’s largest privately-held coal company.

As part of a PR offensive to rebrand coal as a “21st-century fuel” that can help solve global poverty, it has emerged that at the height of Ebola’s impact in Africa, Peabody Energy promoted its product as an answer to Africa’s devastating public health crisis.

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'Groundbreaking' treatment found for cystic fibrosis

cystic fibrosis treatmentCystic fibrosis treatment has generally been focused on easing symptoms, but a combination of drugs used in a recent study prevented many of the pulmonary exacerbations that lead to patients being hospitalized.

Researchers gave patients a combination of Ivacaftor, used primarily for patients with a specific genetic mutation that causes cystic fibrosis, and Lumacaftor, an experimental drug that addresses another mutation which a high percentage of patients have. The success of the study is being considered groundbreaking because it addresses that disease instead of symptoms.

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World Trade body rejects country of origin labels on meat

packaged meat labels The World Trade Organization has ruled against U.S. labels on packaged steaks and other cuts of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Monday that the WTO has rejected a final U.S. appeal, deciding the U.S. "country of origin" labels put Canadian and Mexican livestock at a disadvantage.

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