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Sunday, Nov 23rd

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Japan to provide experimental Ebola drug

Japan offer ebola drugJapan is ready to provide an unapproved, anti-influenza drug to help treat the deadly Ebola virus, the Japanese government announced on Monday, a day after the Democratic Republic of Congo declared an Ebola outbreak in its northern Equateur province on Sunday caused by a strain different from the West Africa one, according to the health ministry.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Japan could offer the drug any time at the request of the World Health Organization (WHO) and was willing to make an international contribution to help control the epidemic that has claimed at least 1,427 lives — mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and neighboring Guinea. There have been six outbreaks of Ebola in DRC since the disease was discovered there in 1976, with a total of more than 760 deaths.

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CDC admits improperly sending dangerous pathogens five times in last decade

Thomas Frieden of the CDCThe laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, are one of only a few places in the world allowed to handle dangerous pathogens like anthrax and smallpox, and one would think they'd take that responsibility very seriously.

But in a new report outlining protocol breaches, the CDC admitted to having improperly sent dangerous bacterium, viruses or other microorganisms five times over the last decade. That's one potentially deadly mistake every two years.

"These events should never have happened," CDC Director Tom Frieden told reporters this week.

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Monsanto's Herbicide Linked to Fatal Kidney Disease Epidemic

RoudupMonsanto's herbicide Roundup has been linked to a mysterious fatal kidney disease epidemic that has appeared in Central America, Sri Lanka and India.
For years, scientists have been trying to unravel the mystery of a chronic kidney disease epidemic that has hit Central America, India and Sri Lanka.

The disease occurs in poor peasant farmers who do hard physical work in hot climes. In each instance, the farmers have been exposed to herbicides and to heavy metals. The disease is known as CKDu, for Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology. The "u" differentiates this illness from other chronic kidney diseases where the cause is known. Very few Western medical practitioners are even aware of CKDu, despite the terrible toll it has taken on poor farmers from El Salvador to South Asia.

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'Bleak picture' for mentally ill: 80% are jobless

Mentally ill joblessEighty percent of people with mental illness are unemployed, a statistic that says more about the lack of support for this group of people than it does about the economy, according to a new study.

As in so many other areas of mental health, solutions to this problem exist, but simply aren't utilized, says Mary Giliberti, executive director of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

"These statistics paint a pretty bleak picture," she says. "We think we can do a lot better."

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What’s Killing the Children in Jadugora, India?

India child deaths from uranium poisoningSanjay and Rakesh live near Jadugora, a town of 19,500 people about 850 road miles (1,370 kilometers) from New Delhi in east India’s Jharkhand state. Once ringed by lush tribal forests, Jadugora is today a troubling portrait of modern India, its outskirts a postcard of pastel-painted mud houses scattered amid tidy rice fields, its center the hub of India’s uranium mining industry that is fueling an unprecedented nuclear power boom.

It’s here that state-run Uranium Corp. of India Ltd. is licensed by the Indian government to gouge hundreds of thousands of tons of uranium ore out of the ground each year, while just over a hill, an easy walk from the village, 193 acres of ponds holding mildly radioactive waste stand largely unguarded save for no-trespassing signs.
Mystery Disease

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Ebola cannot be cured but west Africa's epidemic may have been preventable

ebolaThe role of the international community in current crises in the Central African Republic and northern Nigeria may be mired in confusion, but it can do something about the Ebola epidemic in west Africa.

The outbreak of the virus, which started in Guinea and has spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone, is the deadliest in recorded history, with Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring the situation out of control.

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Hobby Lobby verdict overlooks the science on pregnancy, experts say

Plan BA Supreme Court ruling in favor of allowing companies to opt out of providing female employees some forms of birth control — such as the morning-after pill and certain IUDs — has allowed religious employers to “redefine” pregnancy in a way that flies in the face of the established science of conception, reproductive health experts say.

The company that brought the suit, Hobby Lobby, argued that using these types of contraceptives is tantamount to having an abortion, and, citing religious beliefs against terminations, wanted to opt out of the provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires companies to cover preventive services like contraceptives.

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