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Breast Cancer Gene Patents Reach U.S. High Court

The U.S. Supreme Court heard the most high-profile genetics case in history on Monday, as justices considered whether private firms should be allowed to patent human genes linked to breast cancer.

The court's decision could have broad implications for research, patient health and the pharmaceutical industry, with nearly 20 percent of the approximately 24,000 human genes currently under patent, some linked to cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

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Survey: Australians Getting Fatter, More Anxious

Australians are smoking and drinking less than they were five years ago but are fatter and more anxious, according to a new survey profiling the nation's health launched Tuesday.

The Wellness Index, compiled by polling firm Roy Morgan Research and an initiative of health company Alere, has surveyed the well-being of 50,000 Australians since 2007 to paint a picture of lifestyle and disease.

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Joy as Hospital Offers Help to Baby with Swollen Head

The parents of an 18-month girl in India whose head has swollen to more than double its normal size reacted with joy on Monday after a top private hospital offered to fly her to New Delhi for tests.

Roona Begum, who suffers from hydrocephalus, a rare but treatable disorder that causes fluid to build up on the brain, was discovered last week living with her parents who are too poor to pay for treatment.

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In Lab, 'Bio-Kidney' Offers Hope for Renal Patients

Researchers in the United States on Sunday said they had bio-engineered a kidney and transplanted it into rats, marking a step forward in a quest to help patients suffering from kidney failure.

The prototype proves that a "bio-kidney" can work, emulating breakthroughs elsewhere to build replacement structures for livers, hearts and lungs, they said.

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Hundreds Expected for French Breast Implants Mega-Trial

France will launch one its biggest-ever trials on Wednesday as five managers from company PIP face charges of selling faulty breast implants that sparked a global health scare.

More than 5,000 women have registered as plaintiffs in the case, which sees the defendants including 73-year-old PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas charged with aggravated fraud for using industrial-grade silicone in implants.

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China Media Urge Eating Poultry Despite Bird Flu

China's poultry industry lost 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in the week after the H7N9 bird flu virus began infecting humans, state-run media said Monday as they sought to discourage panic.

Altogether 60 people have been confirmed as infected and 13 have died in the two weeks since Chinese authorities said they found the strain in humans for the first time.

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China H7N9 Bird Flu Spreads to New Province

China's H7N9 bird flu virus spread to a new province on Sunday, with state media reporting two human cases in central Henan just west of the the area where the disease has been centered.

Until Saturday, when one case was reported in the capital of Beijing, all other instances had occurred in the eastern city of Shanghai and nearby Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces hundreds of miles (kilometers) away.

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Philippines Warns Against E-Cigarette Use

The Philippine health department warned the public on Friday against electronic cigarettes, saying the tobacco substitute could turn children into smokers.

E-cigarettes have been gaining favor among Filipinos as higher tobacco taxes make smoking more expensive.

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Turkish Woman With Womb Transplant Trying for Baby

A hospital says a Turkish woman who became the first person to successfully receive the uterus of a dead donor may now be pregnant.

Derya Sert, 22, was born without a womb and had one transplanted in August 2011.

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Official: First Human H7N9 Bird Flu Case in Beijing

A seven-year-old girl is Beijing's first human case of H7N9 bird flu, local authorities said on Saturday as China's outbreak of the disease spread to the capital.

The girl, whose parents are poultry traders, was in a stable condition in hospital, the Beijing health bureau said. Her mother and father had been quarantined for observation but had shown no symptoms so far, it added.

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