Latest stories
Lower IQ Seen after Exposure to Plastic Chemicals

Pregnant women who were exposed to high levels of common household chemicals found in plastics, cosmetics and air fresheners had children whose intelligence suffered years later, a U.S. study said Wednesday.

Kids whose moms had elevated traces of di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP) had an average IQ that was around six points below their peers whose mothers had lower levels of chemical exposure.

W140 Full Story
As War Rages, Syrian Women Look to Keep up Appearances

The echoes of government air strikes and incoming rebel mortar fire rattle buildings in the distance, but inside a beauty exhibition in Damascus the shoppers try not to notice.

Surrounded by Syria's raging civil war, some women in the bubble of regime-held Damascus are determined to keep up appearances, intent on maintaining their beauty regimes despite the ugliness of the conflict.

W140 Full Story
China Mulling Cigarette Tax Increase to Curb Smoking

China's government is likely to raise cigarette taxes in order to boost prices and deter smoking, an official said Wednesday, amid a push by the nation of 300 million smokers to crack down on the habit.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission is joining with other government agencies to lobby for an increase in tobacco taxes, commission spokesman Yao Hongwen was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency. Reforms to China's tax and fiscal controls provide a "rare chance to take advantage to raise tobacco taxes and prices for tobacco control," Yao said.

W140 Full Story
U.N.: Ebola Still 'Flaming' in Parts of Sierra Leone, Guinea

The UN's Ebola czar on Tuesday hailed widespread progress in the fight against the deadly virus, but warned the outbreak was still surging in western Sierra Leone and northern Guinea.

"We know the outbreak is still flaming strongly in western Sierra Leone and some parts of the interior of Guinea," David Nabarro, the UN coordinator on Ebola, told reporters in Geneva.

W140 Full Story
British Ebola Survivor Calls Band Aid 'Cringeworthy'

The lyrics of the Band Aid 30 single to raise money for anti-Ebola charities are embarrassing and ignorant, the British nurse who survived the disease said on Tuesday.

William Pooley traveled back to work in Sierra Leone to treat sufferers in an isolation unit, after surviving the disease himself.

W140 Full Story
N.Z. Dairy Giant Fonterra Slammed over Botulism Scare Response

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra bungled its response to a food contamination scare because it was more concerned with market share than public safety, an official inquiry found Tuesday.

The botulism scare in August last year saw baby formula containing potentially toxic whey powder yanked off shelves from China to Saudi Arabia, damaging New Zealand's "clean, green" reputation.

W140 Full Story
WHO: Malaria Deaths Halved since 2000, Ebola Risks Gains

The number of people dying from malaria has almost halved since 2000, although progress in west Africa risks being reversed by the Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

The UN agency also warned of continuing gaps in access to mosquito nets and anti-malaria treatments, as well as worrying signs of resistance to insecticides and drugs.

W140 Full Story
E-Cigarette Tech Takes off as Regulation Looms

Just a few years ago, early adopters of e-cigarettes got their fix by clumsily screwing together a small battery and a plastic cartridge containing cotton soaked with nicotine.

Now, the battery-powered contraptions have computer chips to regulate puffs and temperature, track usage, talk to other electronic devices and even blink when "vapers" are near each other.

W140 Full Story
U.S. Doctor Gives First Interview Since Surviving Ebola

A U.S. doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and survived after weeks of intensive treatment in Atlanta is speaking out for the first time in an interview published Sunday.

Ian Crozier -- who until now has remained anonymous in news accounts of his treatment, at his request -- said he cannot remember the first three weeks he spent in an isolation ward at Emory Hospital, where he was near death from the hemorrhagic virus.

W140 Full Story
New Sight Hope for Six Left Blind by India Cataract Surgery

Doctors may be able to restore the vision of at least six of the 20 people blinded by botched free cataract surgery in northern India, a government official said on Saturday.

Authorities have suggested poor surgical hygiene may be to blame for the loss of sight after what are normally considered low-risk operations, in the latest scandal to highlight poor medical care in parts of India.

W140 Full Story