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Tobacco giants resist harsh public admissions about smoking

Tobacco companies deny dangersNever underestimate the staying power of big tobacco.

In 2006, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the nation's largest cigarette makers to publicly admit that they had lied for decades about the dangers of smoking.

The basis for the punishment: Testimony from 162 witnesses, a nine-month bench trial and thousands of findings by the judge that defendants engaged in what the largest public health organizations in the country have called a massive campaign of fraud.

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2 dead, 179 exposed after 'superbug' outbreak at L.A. hospital

LA hospital superbugContaminated medical instruments are to blame for infecting seven patients, including two who died, with a potentially deadly "superbug" at a Los Angeles hospital, officials said. A total of 179 patients have been exposed to the antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

They were potentially infected with Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, during endoscopic procedures at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center between October and January, said Dale Tate, a University of California, Los Angeles spokeswoman. Tests on a patient uncovered the outbreak.

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New drug shields monkeys from AIDS: study

HIV vaccine a success in monkeysScientists said Wednesday a new drug tested on monkeys provided an astonishingly effective shield against an animal version of the AIDS virus, a major gain in the quest for an HIV vaccine.

Macaque monkeys given the drug were able to fend off high repeated doses of the simian version of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), they reported in the journal Nature.

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Fatal birth defect stalks 3 Central Wash. counties

Fatal birth defects washington stateNearly three years after nurse Sara Barron first sounded the alarm about a spike in rare birth defects in Central Washington, state health officials have begun interviewing area women who lost babies to the devastating condition known as anencephaly.

Since Jan. 1, investigators have talked to 10 mothers who have carried babies with anencephaly, which causes infants to be delivered missing parts of the brain and skull.

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NHTSA: Marijuana use may not significantly increase traffic accidents

Pot and traffic accidentsA new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates marijuana use doesn't increase traffic accident risk as much as previously thought.

The study looked at 9,000 drivers over the course of 20 months. It found drivers who regularly use marijuana are 25 percent more likely to be involved in a traffic accident. However, when the researchers factored in age, gender and level of alcohol consumption among marijuana users, they found those factors were more significant than the use of marijuana. Marijuana use did not noticeably impact crash risk once the other factors were added.

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'Medical mystery' still stumps doctors amid outbreak of poliolike paralysis

EV-D68When 13-year-old Billy Sticklen woke up the morning of Sept. 24, he discovered he couldn't lift his arms above his chest. Within days his paralysis had progressed to the point where he could only move his hands and feet.

Now, with intensive physical therapy, he's been making steady progress, moving from a wheelchair to a walker, and just days ago to walking with a cane.

Researchers once thought they might have an explanation for why this Joplin, Mo., boy and more than 100 other children from across the country have developed this poliolike paralysis since August.

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NY Attorney General calls on retailers to halt store-brand supplements

NY to stop store brand vitaminsNumerous store-brand herbal supplements are not what their labels claim to be, an ongoing investigation of popular supplements subjected to DNA testing has found, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Tuesday.

GNC, Target, Walmart and Walgreen Co. sold supplements that either couldn't be verified to contain a labeled substance or contained ingredients not listed on the label, Schneiderman's office said.

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