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Peanut butter used to confirm early-stage Alzheimer's disease

Peanut butter detects AlzheimersA bit of peanut butter and a ruler may be an easy way confirm a diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer's disease, U.S. researchers say.

Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student at the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, and colleagues found peanut butter worked well to test for smell sensitivity.

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Mother Dies Amid Abuses in $110 Billion U.S. Stent Assembly Line

Abuses in stent surgeryNajam Azmat snaked a catheter on a guide wire into Judi Gary’s groin as he tried to insert a stent in an artery supplying blood to her pelvis and right leg.

On an X-ray monitor near where Gary lay, nurses saw blood leakages. The wire seemed to be in the wrong place, nurse Evan Gourley told Azmat. Everything was fine, the vascular surgeon replied. It wasn’t.

Azmat tore Gary’s aorta during the December 2005 procedure, according to documents filed with a U.S. Justice Department civil complaint. Nurses asked another surgeon to step in. Gourley left in disgust. Later, he went to administrators at Satilla Regional Medical Center in Waycross, Georgia, with a warning about Azmat.

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Pharmaceutical firms paid to attend meetings of panel that advises FDA

FDAA scientific panel that shaped the federal government’s policy for testing the safety and effectiveness of painkillers was funded by major pharmaceutical companies that paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the chance to affect the thinking of the Food and Drug Administration, according to hundreds of e-mails obtained by a public records request.

The e-mails show that the companies paid as much as $25,000 to attend any given meeting of the panel, which had been set up by two academics to provide advice to the FDA on how to weigh the evidence from clinical trials. A leading FDA official later called the group “an essential collaborative effort.”

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'Tobacco-free' plan for Republic of Ireland

Irish Republic to be tobacco freeDr James Reilly has defined a "tobacco-free Ireland" as a state where less than 5% of the population smoke.

According to the latest figures, 22% of people aged 15 and over regularly smoke cigarettes in the Republic of Ireland.

The plan makes 60 recommendations to significantly reduce smoking over the next 12 years. Tobacco would still be available, but at an increased cost.

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Shutdown keeps 10 children with cancer from clinical trials

US gov't shutdownTen U.S. children with cancer won't be able to begin their clinical trials due to the government shutdown, officials at the National Institutes of Health said.

John Burklow, a spokesman for the NIH, told ABCNews.com more than 1,400 ongoing clinical trials will continue at the NIH Clinical Center, which is the largest research hospital in the world, but it won't be able to add new patients or start any new trials during the shutdown.

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Vietnamese Americans, Exposed to Agent Orange, Suffer in Silence

Agent OrangeAfter his eighth round of chemo, Trai Nguyen is exhausted, his body ravaged. The 60-year-old has a rare and aggressive form of cancer that he believes resulted from his contact with the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

His doctors believe his cancer may now be in remission, but that is little comfort. “My hands shake violently. I can’t do anything,” he says, sitting on a mattress in the two-bedroom apartment he shares with relatives.

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San Diego resumes pot dispensary offensive

Marijuana dispensaryInterim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said he is resuming enforcement of a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries but would like to see the law changed.

The city filed its first civil suit against a dispensary since the retirement last month of Mayor Bob Filner, who had adopted a hands-off approach to the pot shops. San Diego's official policy is that dispensaries are not allowed to operate anywhere under the city's zoning ordinance.

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