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U.S. Panel Wants Diabetes Drug Restrictions Eased

Independent experts urged U.S. regulators Thursday to reduce restrictions on GlaxoSmithKline's controversial diabetes drug Avandia, banned in Europe over heart attack risk concerns.

Thirteen members of the 26-member independent advisory panel convened by the Food and Drug Administration said strict U.S. restrictions imposed in 2010 should be eased.

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Scientists See Achilles Heel for Childhood Malaria

European researchers on Wednesday said they had identified how the malaria parasite sticks to blood vessels, a finding that opens up new targets for drugs to protect children who are the biggest victims of the disease.

Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malaria parasite, grows in red blood cells.

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Experimental Therapy Shows Hope for Treating MS

An experimental therapy has shown promise in treating multiple sclerosis without weakening the immune system and could help target other autoimmune and allergic diseases, researchers said Wednesday.

Multiple sclerosis causes the immune system to misfire and attack myelin, the insulating layer that forms around nerves in the spinal cord, brain and optic nerve.

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Mexico Finds Breast-Feeding Woes as Rate Drops

Despite the well-known advantages to breast milk and vigorous campaigns around the world championing breast as best, Mexican mothers say the bottle is better.

In a dramatic decline over the past six years, today only one in seven mothers in Mexico breast-feeds exclusively in the first six months, the standard recommended by the World Health Organization. That leaves Mexico with nearly the lowest level of breast-feeding in Latin America.

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Argentina to Offer IVF for Same-Sex, Straight Couples

Argentina on Wednesday approved in-vitro fertilization for same-sex and heterosexual couples in the national health care system, in theory ending problems many had with affording the procedures.

The move comes as barriers to gay marriage and adoption have fallen in a number of countries across mostly Catholic Latin America. Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage in 2010.

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Frozen Berry Mix Linked to Hepatitis A Recalled

An Oregon company is recalling a frozen berry mix sold to Costco and Harris Teeter stores after the product has been linked to at least 49 hepatitis A illnesses in seven states.

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore., is recalling its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, packaged under the Townsend Farms label at Costco and under the Harris Teeter brand at those stores.

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U.N: Tackle Junk Food to Boost World Economy

The UN's food agency on Tuesday said obesity and poor nutrition weigh heavily on the global economy and told governments that investing in food health would bring big economic as well as social returns.

Lost productivity and spiralling health care bills linked to obesity cost the world economy around $1.4 trillion a year (1.1 trillion euros), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.

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SARS-Like Tests in Italy Were False Positives

Eight people initially thought to have contracted a SARS-like virus in Italy tested negative on Tuesday after a second round of controls, according to Italy's Superior Health Institute (ISS).

An infectious diseases clinic in Florence on Monday said around 10 people had tested positive for the virus, but added that the results would have to be double checked at the Health Institute.

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Study: More Proof Needed for Weight-Loss Surgery

A gastric bypass or other type of weight-loss surgery can help diabetics who are moderately obese but more proof is needed before promoting them on a wider scale, a study said Tuesday.

"Bariatric surgery for diabetic people who are not severely obese has shown promising results in controlling glucose," said Melinda Maggard-Gibbons, the study's lead author and a surgeon at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Sunscreen Slows Skin Aging, if Used Often Enough

New research from sunny Australia provides some of the strongest evidence to date that near-daily sunscreen use can slow the aging of skin.

Ultraviolet rays that spur wrinkles and other signs of aging can quietly build up damage pretty much anytime a person is in the sun — a lunchtime stroll, school recess, walking the dog — and they even penetrate car windows.

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