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Thursday, Jul 30th

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US to pay millions for Agent Orange claims

Agent Orange paymentsEnding years of wait, the government agreed Thursday to provide millions of dollars in disability benefits to as many as 2,100 Air Force reservists and active-duty forces exposed to Agent Orange residue on airplanes used in the Vietnam War.

The new federal rule, approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget, takes effect Friday. It adds to an Agent Orange-related caseload that already makes up one out of six disability checks issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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New anti-malaria drug developed at Dundee University

anti0-malaria compoundResearchers at Dundee University have discovered a new compound which could treat malaria while protecting people from the disease and preventing its spread, all in a single dose.

The compound, DDD107498, was developed by the university's Drug Discovery Unit and the Medicines for Malaria Venture.

Scientists said the "exciting" new drug could work well against parasites resistant to current treatments.  Details of the discovery have been published in the journal Nature.

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DDT Exposure During Pregnancy Linked To Breast Cancer

DDT exposure linked to breast cancerWomen who had been exposed to higher levels of the pesticide DDT while in utero face increased risk of breast cancer later in life than those who were exposed to lower levels, according to new research.

Researchers evaluated 54 years of data from women starting from the time they were in utero. Out of 9,300 women who had been tracked from even before birth, the study authors identified 118 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Women whose mothers had been exposed to significant levels of DDT during pregnancy were four times as likely to have had breast cancer as their counterparts who had been exposed to a small quantity of the pesticide, according to the findings.

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Arizona doctors won't have to say abortions can be reversed

abortion instruction in ArizonaArizona's attorney general won't enforce a disputed section of a new law requiring abortion providers to tell women they can reverse drug-induced abortions until the matter can be sorted in court.

The decision made public Tuesday comes as the state prepares to defend itself in a lawsuit filed by abortion providers.

Critics have said there's no science that shows drug-induced abortions can be reversed, and abortion providers argue it's unconstitutional to require doctors to say something that goes against their medical judgment.

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FDA moves to ban trans fat from U.S. food supply

TransfatsThe Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday finalized a plan to rid the nation’s food supply of artery-clogging trans fats, a move the agency estimates could reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of heart attack deaths a year.

Companies will have three years to remove partially hydrogenated oils from their products.

“Today’s action is an important step forward for public health, and it’s an action that FDA is taking based upon the strength of the science that we have,” said Susan Mayne, director of the agency’s center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

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Oregon women to get a year's supply of birth control at once

birth control pillsIt's like a ritual for women across the nation: frequent treks to the pharmacist to refill birth control prescriptions.

It's a hassle for busy students, a headache for rural women with long drives and a cause for panic for travelers on the road when their packs run out.

Soon, however, women in Oregon will be able to avoid such problems. The state has enacted a first-of-its-kind insurance law that will allow them to obtain a year's worth of birth control at a time, instead of the 30- or 90- day supply available now.

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Whistleblower: Indiana health system endangered babies for profit

Indiana hospital discriminationAt 2 years old, Denise Koger can mutter sounds and gurgle noises, but she can't speak or stand on her own. The toddler – with a few dozen mini blond braids woven around her head – gets around in a wheelchair or stroller and receives food through a tube.

During birth, she ingested fecal matter and was deprived of oxygen, according to her mother, Nancy Koger. The 31-year-old blames her daughter’s disability on the hospital where she gave birth.

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