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China Orders Dairy Firms to Renew Permits

China has ordered dairy firms to apply for new production licenses this year in a move designed to improve product quality and safety in the scandal-hit industry, state media said Thursday.

The move comes in the wake of a deadly 2008 health scare sparked by the discovery that the industrial chemical melamine had been widely and illegally added to milk products to give it the appearance of a higher protein content.

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U.S. Study: Fifth of Cardiac Implants Harmful

One out of five patients who receive a well-known cardiac implant don't need it and are at greater risk of dying of heart attacks because of the device, a U.S. study said.

The survey of more than 100,000 patients who had received implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) "found that about 20 percent did not meet evidence-based guidelines for receipt of an ICD," researchers said.

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Taiwan Researchers say TB Patients have High Lung Cancer Risk

Tuberculosis patients are 11 times more likely than the average to develop lung cancer, according to a new study published by a group of Taiwanese scientists.

The researchers followed more than 700,000 randomly selected individuals over a period of six years, including 4,480 diagnosed with tuberculosis, they said in a statement Wednesday.

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Malaysia Delays GM Mosquito Trial After Protests

Malaysia has delayed a landmark field trial to release genetically modified mosquitoes designed to combat dengue fever, an official said Tuesday, following protests from environmentalists.

In the first experiment of its kind in Asia, 4,000-6,000 male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were originally scheduled to be released by last month in a bid to fight dengue, which killed at least 134 people last year in Malaysia alone.

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Blood Test to Spot Cancer Gets Big Boost from J&J

A blood test so sensitive that it can spot a single cancer cell lurking among a billion healthy ones is moving one step closer to being available at your doctor's office.

Boston scientists who invented the test and health care giant Johnson & Johnson will announce Monday that they are joining forces to bring it to market. Four big cancer centers also will start studies using the experimental test this year.

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S.Korea Reports First Bird Flu Outbreak Since 2008

South Korea on Friday confirmed its first outbreak of bird flu for more than two years, with more than 100,000 birds slaughtered as authorities bid to contain the lethal virus.

Two poultry farms, one in the central city of Cheonan and the other in the southwestern city of Iksan, were confirmed to have been contaminated by the H5N1 virus, the agricultural ministry said.

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Rice Noodles Cause China Food Scare

Large amounts of rice noodles made with rotten grain and potentially carcinogenic additives are being sold in south China, state press said Friday, in the country's latest food safety scare.

Up to 50 factories in south China's Dongguan city near Hong Kong are producing about 500,000 kilograms (1.1 million pounds) of tainted rice noodles a day using stale and moldy grain, the Beijing Youth Daily said.

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Stem Cell Research Breaks New Ground in 2010

Two U.S. companies this year broke new ground by winning regulatory approval to start the first experiments using embryonic stem cells on humans suffering from spinal cord injury and blindness.

The potent but hotly debated cells can transform into nearly any cell in the human body, opening a path toward eliminating such ills as Parkinson's disease, paralysis, diabetes, heart disease, and maybe even the ravages of aging.

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Saudi King Abdullah Leaves NY Hospital

Saudi King Abdullah has left a New York hospital to convalesce, one month after he checked in for back surgery, the royal court announced on Wednesday.

King Abdullah left the hospital on Tuesday evening "for his New York residence for a period of convalescence and physiotherapy," the court said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

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Bill Clinton: Third of Americans Will Be Diabetic

Diabetes is costing the United States up to 160 billion dollars per year and might affect one-third of Americans by the middle of the century, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said in Dubai.

"By the middle of this century, the diabetes rate in the United States could be as high as one-third of our whole population," Clinton said on the sidelines of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Diabetes Leadership Forum held in Dubai.

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