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Nuke Crisis Reignites Debate on Protective Pills

The Japanese nuclear crisis has reignited a debate in the U.S. over the government's role in distributing a cheap anti-cancer drug to people living around nuclear power plants.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission currently makes the drug, potassium iodide, available to states for distribution within a 10-mile radius of nuclear power plants. Some House members from both parties want that expanded to 20 miles. And the American Thyroid Association, whose mission is to promote thyroid health, wants to go further — urging that potassium iodide be made available within 200 miles of a nuclear plant.

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Docs Urged to Discuss Facebook With Kids, Parents

The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday urged doctors to ask parents about their kids' use of social media, texting and the Internet, including Facebook.

"Pediatricians are in a unique position to educate families," said the AAP which pointed to high rates of Internet use among children and teenagers, with research showing 22 percent of youths go online more than 10 times a day.

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Eskimo Study Suggests Fish Oils Curb Diseases

A study of Alaska's Yup'ik Eskimos, who consume 20 times more omega-3 fats from fish than most Americans, suggests these oils can prevent obesity-related illness such as diabetes and heart disease, researchers said Friday.

The researchers analyzed data from 330 people living in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta region of southwest Alaska.

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Clay Shakes and Colon Flushes at Thai Detox Resort

A Thailand trip normally means cold cocktails on the beach and spicy pad thai noodles, but for growing numbers of "detox" tourists, the menu calls for clay shakes and shots of wheatgrass.

At a "wellness center" on Koh Phangan island in the Gulf of Thailand, travelers pay hundreds of dollars to abstain from food, coffee and alcohol and receive daily colonic flushes.

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Tokyo Water Unsafe for Babies, Farm Food Blocked

Tokyo on Wednesday warned that radioactive iodine over twice the safe level for infants had been detected in its tap water due to the disaster at a quake-hit nuclear plant northeast of Japan's capital.

The revelation came after a U.S. bar on imports of dairy and other produce from areas near the crippled Fukushima power station following the natural disaster, which Japan's government said could cost more than $300 billion.

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Sex Can be Heart Attack Trigger for Couch Potatoes

Sex and exercise can trigger heart attacks in older people who don't get much of either, a new analysis finds. The risk is low, but it's a good reminder that slackers should change their exercise habits gradually, especially in middle age.

People who exercise regularly have a much smaller risk of having a heart attack immediately after sexual or physical activity, said lead author Dr. Issa Dahabreh of Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

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Texas Man Gets First Full Face Transplant in US

A Texas construction worker horribly disfigured in a power line accident has undergone the nation's first full face transplant in hopes of smiling again and feeling kisses from his 3-year-old daughter.

Dallas Wiens, 25, received a new nose, lips, skin, muscle and nerves from an unidentified dead person in an operation paid for by the U.S. military, which wants to use what is learned to help soldiers with severe facial wounds.

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Taiwan Finds Radiation on Fava Beans From Japan

Authorities in Taiwan checking food imports for radiation on Sunday found a shipment of fava beans from southern Japan had been very slightly contaminated, an official said.

The radiation, which was within Taiwan's legal safety limits, was found on 14 kilograms (30.8 pounds) of fava beans from Kagoshima, said Tsai Shu-chen, an official with the Food and Drug Administration.

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Japan Cites Radiation in Milk, Spinach Near Plant

Japan said radiation levels in spinach and milk from farms near its tsunami-crippled nuclear complex exceeded government safety limits, as emergency teams scrambled Saturday to restore power to the plant so it could cool dangerously overheated fuel.

Firefighters also pumped tons of water directly from the ocean into one of the most troubled areas of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, the cooling pool for used fuel rods at the plant's Unit 3, which are at risk of burning up and sending a broad release of radioactive material into the environment.

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One Dead as Swine Flu Returns to Venezuela

At least one person has died from a resurgence of swine flu in Venezuela that infected 12 other people, Health Minister Eugenia Sader said Thursday.

"We have an outbreak of H1N1 in the state of Merida," she said, adding that 12 people have tested positive for the disease and a 32-year-old has died.

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