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August 26, 2016

India proposes ban on commercial surrogacy

India proposes ban on commercial surrogacy

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj announced on Wednesday a draft law to ban commercial surrogacy in the country. Commercial surrogacy is where a person or couple pay another woman (the surrogate) to carry a pregnancy for them. The new proposed law will allow only infertile couples who’ve been married five or more years to use a surrogate to conceive, on the condition that the surrogate is a close relative of the couple’s.

File photo of Sushma Swaraj, 2014.
Image: Foreign and Commonwealth Office .

The proposed ban will prevent single women, foreigners, non-resident Indian nationals, and the LGBTI community from accessing surrogacy services.

Minister Swaraj was quoted in the Indian Express newspaper saying, “we do not recognise live-in and homosexual relationships … this is against our ethos,” adding that Indians living overseas would be banned as “divorces are very common in foreign countries”.

The draft bill will now go to parliament for approval. If approved, minister Swaraj said the ban on commercial surrogacy would come into affect 10 months after passing parliament, allowing for women already in commercial surrogacy arrangements to give birth.

Experts in surrogacy have criticized the proposed law, saying that a complete ban on commercial surrogacy will simply force ineligible couples into illegal surrogacy arrangements. India is one of few countries in the world that currently allows commercial surrogacy. In 2012 the United Nations estimated that there are over 3,000 fertility clinics in India, generating approximately $400 million USD a year from commercial surrogacy.



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August 15, 2016

Scientists Develop Natural Nanorobots to Treat Cancer

Filed under: Disputed,Health,Science and technology — admin @ 5:00 am

Scientists Develop Natural Nanorobots to Treat Cancer

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Scientists at Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University have recently developed a natural “nanorobot” to treat colorectal cancer in mice according to a paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The technique involves engineering flagellated bacteria to seek out specific cancer cells. The researchers load them with the chemotherapy drug of choice and the modified bacteria can autonomously seek out the cancer cells by detecting region of low oxygen concentration, a key characteristic of rapidly-growing tumors. The bacteria then deliver the anti-cancer drug precisely to the tumor without significantly affecting the healthy tissue surrounding it.

However, in order to get the bacteria close enough to the tumor to detect it, the researchers exploited a natural sensor within the bacterial cells that allows them to respond to magnetic fields. By exposing them to a magnetic field, they were able to successfully point the drug-carrying bacteria toward the tumor so that the drugs could ultimately be administered.

While this technique has only been tested in mice at this point, the researchers are hopeful that this will be an effective treatment for cancer in humans in the future.



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August 6, 2016

Australian swim team pulled from Rio training pool when water turns \’soupy\’

Australian swim team pulled from Rio training pool when water turns ‘soupy’

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

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Concerns about water quality at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games have expanded to include the inside training pool: top Australian swimming coach Michael Bohl moved his Olympic athletes from the main training pool on Thursday citing fear of infection.

The team had a pre-booked session in the training pool where they would have practiced uninterrupted. However, during the session the water in the pool turned, as Bohl described, “cloudy” and “soupy looking”. Concerned about his athletes’ health, he moved them from the training pool to the busier, but cleaner, main competition pool.

Bohl took his concerns to officials and was told the matter would be looked into.

This comes off the back of other water concerns in Rio, particularly in the Guanabara Bay venue for outdoor water events. An Associated Press-commissioned study found Rio’s Olympic waterways contained as much as 1.7 million times worse viral levels than the emergency threshold in Europe or the US. As a result, athletes were advised to keep their mouths closed and avoid putting their heads underwater or risk falling ill.

Swimming events at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games are to begin today.



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June 5, 2016

Egyptian teen dies in illegal genital mutilation procedure

Egyptian teen dies in illegal genital mutilation procedure

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

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An Egyptian 17-year-old girl has died while under anaesthetics for an illegal female genital mutilation operation at a private hospital in Suez. Egyptian prosecutors are investigating the cause of her death, while waiting to receive the medical examiner’s results from the girl’s autopsy.

The girl, Mayar Mohamed Mousa, died as doctors performed the operation. Egypt, having banned the operation in 2008, is among several countries that have banned female genital mutilation. However, 85 percent of females between the age of 15 and 49 are still having the operation. According to a report published by the United Nations Development Programme, over 90 percent of Egyptian mothers have received the operation, but only 35% approve having it.

Mousa’s death has prompted campaign groups and the United Nations to request a strict response from the Egyptian government to enforce the operation’s ban. Egypt is one of five countries that are actively taking steps against female genital mutilation, with the others being Liberia, Burkina Faso, and Kenya. In a February report published by the United Nations children’s agency, nearly 200 million women worldwide receive the operation, which has been shown to cause several complications, such as bleeding and pain while urinating, discomfort during sexual interaction, as well as fatal complications during childbirth.

Both the girl’s mother and the doctor who performed the operation have been charged with manslaughter.



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June 4, 2016

Monsanto forced to pay $46 million to victims after PCB lawsuit loss

Monsanto forced to pay $46 million to victims after PCB lawsuit loss

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

International grain company Monsanto has been forced to pay a total $46 million to three plaintiff’s seeking damages in their latest lawsuit surrounding PCB’s. A jury voted 10-2 last week in St. Louis, Missouri, finding Monsanto and three smaller companies negligent in their production of poly-chlorinated biphenyls, or PCB’s. Monsanto was forced to pay an additional $29 million in damages for continuing to sell PCB products after the compound had been banned. The three plaintiff’s claim they developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma from exposure to PCB’s and were each awarded $17.5 million after their win.

Monsanto manufactured PCB’s exclusively from 1935 to 1977 and they weren’t banned until 1979 by the Environmental Protection Agency after the compound was linked to cancer and birth defects in lab animals. According to the lawsuit, Monsanto continued to sell the product even after the government ban, while maintaining to the public that PCB’s were safe.

“We know Aclors [PCB’s] are toxic but the actual limit has not been precisely defined,” cites one document EcoWatch reports as an internal company document within Monsanto, dated 1955 – suggesting they knew about the dangers long before the ban.

“All of us could pretty much agree that Monsanto was negligent,” said juror Nathan Nevius to St. Louis Despatch.

Monsanto issued a statement after the ruling stating they will be immediately disputing the outcome.

“The evidence simply does not support today’s verdict, including the fact that scientists say more than 90 percent of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases have no known cause,” Monsanto said in their statement.



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June 3, 2016

Autopsy report shows Prince died of opioid overdose

Autopsy report shows Prince died of opioid overdose

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Friday, June 3, 2016

The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed on Thursday that Prince, who was found dead in his Minnesota home April 21st, died from an accidental overdose of self-administered opioid, fentanyl.

The news comes after weeks of speculation surrounding the circumstances of the 57 year old’s sudden death. Among this speculation was information relating to the artist’s alleged abuse of prescription drugs. Prince was known for suffering with debilitating hip pain and a concerned friend reportedly reached out to Californian-based doctor, Howard Kornfeld, who specialises in treating opioid addictions, just hours before his death.

The office told CNN they will not be releasing the full autopsy and toxicology reports. The report came in a press release from the office that doesn’t state whether or not the drugs were prescribed. Authorities are yet to discuss how the singer came into possession of the painkiller.

CNN reports that fentanyl is 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. The painkiller drug is blamed for the rise in overdoses in the United States. Online publication Quartz reports that the number of opioid-related deaths in the U.S has nearly quadrupled since 1999.



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Two people killed in apparent murder-suicide at UCLA

Two people killed in apparent murder-suicide at UCLA

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Location of the Engineering IV building on the UCLA campus.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

Two people were killed in an alleged murder-suicide at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on Wednesday. The shooting occurred on the fourth floor of the Engineering IV building. The university’s campus was in lockdown for aout two hours after the shooting from 10:00AM to noon local time.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have identified 39-year-old William S. Klug as the victim in the murder-suicide. He was an associate professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The shooting occurred in his office. According to the Police, the shooter was identified as Mainak Sarkar, a former student of the professor.

According to the Police, Mainak Sarkar had accused William S. Klug of stealing Sarkar’s computer code and turning it over to someone else. According to TheWrap, in March Mainak Sarkar had written in a blog post about William S. Klug, “We had personal differences. He cleverly stole all my code and gave it another student. He made me really sick. Your enemy is your enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust. Stay away from this sick guy”, and included a photo of the professor.

According to the LAPD, a note was found near scene and helped find the home address of the shooter and establish the fact of suicide.

During the lockdown students were asked to stay in a sheltered location, and those who moved around the campus were told to walk with their hands up and were searched by police officers. Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day. Final exams and graduation were to run as scheduled, and most classes were to resume as normal Thursday morning.

William S. Klug had been leading the Klug Research Group which specialised in theoretical and computational biomechanics. He was a father of two, a nine year old son in fourth grade and a seven year old daughter.



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June 2, 2016

Two people killed in murder-suicide at UCLA

Two people killed in murder-suicide at UCLA

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Location of the Engineering IV building on the UCLA campus.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

Two people were killed in an alleged murder-suicide at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on Wednesday. The shooting occurred on the fourth floor of the Engineering IV building. The university’s campus was in lockdown for aout two hours after the shooting from 10:00AM to noon local time.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have identified 39-year-old William S. Klug as the victim in the murder-suicide. He was an associate professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The shooting occurred in his office. According to the Police, the shooter was identified as Mainak Sarkar, a former student of the professor.

According to the Police, Mainak Sarkar had accused William S. Klug of stealing Sarkar’s computer code and turning it over to someone else. According to TheWrap, in March Mainak Sarkar had written in a blog post about William S. Klug, “We had personal differences. He cleverly stole all my code and gave it another student. He made me really sick. Your enemy is your enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust. Stay away from this sick guy”, and included a photo of the professor.

According to the LAPD, a note was found near scene and helped find the home address of the shooter and establish the fact of suicide.

During the lockdown students were asked to stay in a sheltered location, and those who moved around the campus were told to walk with their hands up and were searched by police officers. Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day. Final exams and graduation were to run as scheduled, and most classes were to resume as normal Thursday morning.

William S. Klug had been leading the Klug Research Group which specialised in theoretical and computational biomechanics. He was a father of two, a nine year old son in fourth grade and a seven year old daughter.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 29, 2016

WHO rejects concern to postpone Rio Olympics ahead of Zika Virus outbreak

WHO rejects concern to postpone Rio Olympics ahead of Zika Virus outbreak

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Olympic Games remain set to take place in Rio de Janeiro this August ahead of the Zika Virus threat after the World Health Organisation has dismissed concern to relocate or postpone the tournament, despite experts warning otherwise.

In wake of the Zika threat, 150 experts including a former White House science advisor rallied together to produce a signed and open letter to WHO, addressing their mutual concern that the incurable virus could manifest and therefore spread more rapidly in the Brazilian city as an influx of foreign visitors arrive.

Despite their distress, a spokesperson from the UN health body urged that the spread of the Zika Virus would not be prevented by moving or postponing the games in Rio, even after the country recently recorded to have high cases of the mosquito-borne disease.

According to a WHO statement, “Brazil is one of almost 60 countries and territories which to date report continuing transmission of Zika by mosquitoes. People continue to travel between these countries and territories for a variety of reasons. The best way to reduce risk of disease is to follow public health travel advice.” The statement also assured the public that the situation would continue to be monitored and that updates and necessary advice would be issued if circumstances were to change.

In light of the letter to WHO, the main concern of Bournemouth University’s reproductive health professor Edwin Van Teijlingen, who was one of the 150 academics involved, was that countries with poorer health systems would be able to facilitate in spreading the virus as people returned homed from Rio.

Despite having alarm about the letter itself, Van Teijlingen admitted that the main purpose of gaining a high number of supporting academic signatures was not in fact to get the games moved or postponed, but rather to raise awareness of the threat to the public health system that the Zika Virus currently poses.

As Brazil currently stands to be the second most affected city by the Zika Virus, the letter argued that it would be “unethical” and “irresponsible” to otherwise press on with the Rio games, as Australian experts believe that it positions an unimaginable risk.

Even with such heavy concern surrounding the virus and the Olympic event, former Olympic pentathlete Heather Fell told the BBC’s Today program that it was very common in her time for athletes to disregard medical advice from their doctors because of the passion, hard work and training that goes into Olympic level competing. The British star added that for anyone to decide not to travel to Brazil because of the importance placed on the games, a “world-changing” event would have to happen, and the Zika Virus is currently not that to hard working competitors.


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May 26, 2016

Telstra tasked with creating National Australian Cancer Screening Registry

Telstra tasked with creating National Australian Cancer Screening Registry

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

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Today, the Australian Government’s Department of Health awarded Telstra‘s health division a contract to create and manage a national cancer screening register to be called the Australian National Cancer Screening Register (ANCSR). This register would be digitised, with existing registers, such as the national bowel cancer register or various cervical cancer registers, being incorporated into the one.

The new register is expected to be operational around May 2017 and to involve a database which will house users’ personal medical records and do away with hard copy records. Services this registry is to provide include a portal for users to access their information, reminders for users to have screenings or follow-up on screening results via SMS, and general practitioners and medical specialists having access to patient data and records from any area of Australia from their clinical desktops.

Security of information and privacy infringement risks have been addressed by Telstra Health managing Director Shane Solomon who says upon winning the contract Telstra had to comply with strict privacy standards and security provisions. Commonwealth standards also required the medical data of users be stored in Australia.



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