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In twist, scientists join tobacco companies to fight cancer

E-cigarettes hire scientistsPhilip Morris International Inc has hired more than 400 scientists and technical staff at its research facility in Neuchatel, Switzerland, including toxicologists, chemists, biologists, biostatisticians and regulatory affairs experts.

Altria Group Inc, makers of Marlboro, has recruited dozens of scientific and healthcare experts, as have independent e-cigarette companies such as NJOY. They bring experience developing inhalation devices and navigating the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, valuable knowledge in the new world of electronic cigarettes.

They say they're trying to improve public health.


Harmful toxin used in baby clothes should be banned, advocates say

antimoney toxicAn advocacy and research organisation, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), is hoping to educate the public about the toxin antimony, push manufacturers to stop using it and ensure that the federal government adheres to its oversight responsibilities.

Antimony is a naturally forming element and metalloid that is found predominantly as sulfide mineral stibnite and has been used by humans for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used it in cosmetics.


Bradenton prosthetics company pleads guilty to health fraud

bradenton prostheticsA Bradenton orthopedic brace and prosthetics company pleaded guilty Friday to bilking from the federal government more than $1.4 million in Medicare and Medicaid claims, authorities said.

Suncoast Brace & Limb, which does business in south Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota and Citrus counties, submitted fraudulent claims for prosthetic devices from July 2009 to March 2012, according to a plea agreement.


Iowa Supreme Court: Ban on telemed abortion unconstitutional

Ban on Telemed abortion overturned in IowaIn a unanimous ruling, the Iowa Supreme Court has ruled a ban on telemedicine abortions by the Iowa Board of Medicine violates the state constitution.

The Iowa Board of Medicine voted in 2013 to require a doctor be present during medication abortions, which in effect banned the telemedicine abortions.


US to pay millions for Agent Orange claims

Agent Orange paymentsEnding years of wait, the government agreed Thursday to provide millions of dollars in disability benefits to as many as 2,100 Air Force reservists and active-duty forces exposed to Agent Orange residue on airplanes used in the Vietnam War.

The new federal rule, approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget, takes effect Friday. It adds to an Agent Orange-related caseload that already makes up one out of six disability checks issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs.


New anti-malaria drug developed at Dundee University

anti0-malaria compoundResearchers at Dundee University have discovered a new compound which could treat malaria while protecting people from the disease and preventing its spread, all in a single dose.

The compound, DDD107498, was developed by the university's Drug Discovery Unit and the Medicines for Malaria Venture.

Scientists said the "exciting" new drug could work well against parasites resistant to current treatments.  Details of the discovery have been published in the journal Nature.


DDT Exposure During Pregnancy Linked To Breast Cancer

DDT exposure linked to breast cancerWomen who had been exposed to higher levels of the pesticide DDT while in utero face increased risk of breast cancer later in life than those who were exposed to lower levels, according to new research.

Researchers evaluated 54 years of data from women starting from the time they were in utero. Out of 9,300 women who had been tracked from even before birth, the study authors identified 118 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Women whose mothers had been exposed to significant levels of DDT during pregnancy were four times as likely to have had breast cancer as their counterparts who had been exposed to a small quantity of the pesticide, according to the findings.


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