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Hollywood and the downwinders still grapple with nuclear fallout

John WayneThe photograph shows John Wayne with his two sons during a break in filming on the set of The Conqueror, a big budget blockbuster about Genghis Khan shot in the Utah desert in 1954. It was one of Hollywood’s most famous mis-castings. The duke could do many things but playing a 13th century Mongol warlord was not one of them. Film geeks consider it one of the great turkeys of Hollywood’s golden age.

There is another, darker reason it endures in film lore. The photograph hints at it. Wayne clutches a black metal box while another man appears to adjust the controls. Wayne’s two teenage sons, Patrick and Michael, gaze at it, clearly intrigued, perhaps a bit anxious. The actor himself appears relaxed, leaning on Patrick, his hat at a jaunty angle. The box, which rests on a patch of scrub, looks unremarkable. It is in fact a Geiger counter.


Florida House Rejects Plan To Expand Health Care For Hundreds Of Thousands

Rick ScottThe Florida House of Representatives voted Friday to reject a state Senate bill that would have expanded Medicaid for thousands, marking a victory for Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Following a heated six-hour debate, the Republican-controlled House voted 72-41 against the measure, which passed in the state Senate earlier this week. The proposal would have used $18 billion in federal funds over a decade to help low-income workers purchase health care plans from private providers. The program would have expanded Medicaid for hundreds of thousands of Floridians.


Reprogramming bacteria DNA may reverse antibiotic resistance

Bacteria DNAA new two-pronged approach to treating antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections developed at Tel Aviv University has been shown in lab tests to kill off strains unaffected by antibiotics while making others more susceptible to the drugs.

Using bacterial viruses called phages, researchers delivered edited DNA to the resistant strains, which kills them off, and eliminates the transfer of resistant genes between strains, resensitizing bacteria to antibiotics.


Stephen Hawking would consider assisted suicide

Stephen HawkingPhysicist and overall science superstar Stephen Hawking said he would consider ending his life through assisted suicide, but only if he had "nothing more to contribute."

"To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity," Hawking told Dara O'Briain during an interview that will air on the BBC, The Guardian reported.

Hawking said he would only consider ending his life if he were becoming a burden on those around him. He added that he doesn't think that day is coming anytime soon.


Study shows many US canned goods still contain cancer-linked BPA

BPA in canned goodsThe world’s largest food companies and brands continue to coat their metal food cans with bisphenol A-based epoxy (BPA) – a chemical known to have links to breast cancer, reproductive problems, heart disease and other illnesses – a study has found.

The study, published on Wednesday, is the first of its kind to conduct in depth research into food companies and their products for consumers.


Tobacco firms get partial win over claims on smoking effects

Tobacco adAmerica's largest tobacco companies must inform consumers that cigarettes were designed to increase addiction, but not that they lied to the public about the dangers of smoking, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.

The ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a partial win for cigarette makers in the long-running legal fight that began in the Clinton administration in 1999. In this latest round, the companies objected to running court-ordered advertisements that would have branded themselves as liars.


Peabody Energy exploited Ebola crisis for corporate gain, say health experts

Peabody exploited ebola crisisPublic health experts involved in the response to the Ebola crisis have condemned what they described as a ludicrous, insulting and opportunistic attempt to exploit the disease for corporate gain by the world’s largest privately-held coal company.

As part of a PR offensive to rebrand coal as a “21st-century fuel” that can help solve global poverty, it has emerged that at the height of Ebola’s impact in Africa, Peabody Energy promoted its product as an answer to Africa’s devastating public health crisis.


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