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HRW Says Lead-Poisoned Chinese Children Denied Care

Chinese officials in provinces with heavy industrial pollution are restricting access to lead testing or even falsifying test results, and denying children treatment, a U.S. rights group said Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch accused officials in four provinces -- Henan, Yunnan, Shaanxi and Hunan -- of trying to cover up the extent of lead poisoning among local children, including limiting their access to blood tests.

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Could Prenatal DNA Testing Open Pandora's Box?

Imagine being pregnant and taking a simple blood test that lays bare the DNA of your fetus. And suppose that DNA could reveal not only medical conditions such as Down syndrome, but also things like eye color and height. And the risk for developing depression or Alzheimer's disease. And the chances of being homosexual.

So far that remains science fiction. But scientists have been taking some baby steps in that direction. And some ethics experts say it is time to start talking now about what that could mean for parents and society.

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Hajj Hassan: Lebanon Veggies Safe, EU Import Ban to Be Lifted Monday

Lebanon will on Monday lift a ban on the import of vegetables from Europe imposed in the wake of the recent deadly E. coli outbreak, caretaker Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan announced Sunday.

Hajj Hassan reassured consumers about the safety of vegetables in Lebanon, noting that vegetables “are subjected to laboratory tests on a periodic basis.”

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Germany: Sprouts Did Cause Deadly E. Coli Outbreak

German vegetable sprouts caused the E. coli outbreak that has killed 29 people and sickened nearly 3,000, investigators announced Friday after tracking the bacteria from patients in hospital beds to restaurants and then farm fields.

Reinhard Burger, president of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's national disease control center, said the pattern of the outbreak had produced enough evidence to draw that conclusion even though no tests of sprouts from an organic farm in Lower Saxony had come back positive for the E. coli strain behind the outbreak.

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Berlin to Lift Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber Bacteria Warning

Berlin was set to announce on Friday a lifting of its warning on eating raw lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers because of fear of contamination by killer bacteria, an official told Agence France Presse.

But sprouts remain "a hot lead" in the investigation on the origin of the contamination that has left 30 dead and some 3,000 people infected, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

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Study Finds Why Smokers Gain Weight When They Quit

Scientists say they've finally discovered why smokers tend to gain some weight when they kick the habit.

It turns out that nicotine can rev up brain cells that normally signal people to stop eating when they're full, researchers report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

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Studies Show Spontaneous Gene Mutations Cause Autism

Spontaneous and rare gene mutations are likely the cause of autism in families with no previous history of the disorder, a trio of U.S. studies published on Wednesday suggested.

Two studies published in the journal Neuron describe a series of genetic variants that boost the risk of autism, a developmental disorder which appears by age three and affects about one percent of children in the United States.

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Study Shows Parkinson's Patients Show High Melanoma Risk

People who suffer from Parkinson's disease face up to twice the risk of developing deadly skin cancer, an analysis of 12 studies on the topic showed on Monday.

Previous research has shown mixed results, but the meta-analysis by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and published in the journal Neurology showed a significantly higher risk of melanoma in Parkinson's patients.

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Wrinkles Can Predict Woman's Bone Break Risk

Wrinkles on a woman's face may be able to predict how likely she is to suffer from bone fractures, according to a U.S. study released Monday.

That's because the level of proteins in the skin and bones are linked, so if a woman's face and neck are severely wrinkled, she faces a higher risk of bone breakage due to bone density loss, said Yale University researchers.

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Brain Scans for Alzheimer's Could Be Widespread Soon

A brain scan to detect Alzheimer's disease could be available in hospitals worldwide within the next year and could boost efforts to detect the degenerative and fatal condition, experts said on Monday.

The technique, known as a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, can find and analyze a protein known as beta-amyloid, which is linked to Alzheimer's.

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