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Friday, Apr 18th

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Antibiotic 'smart bomb' can target bad bacteria

smart bombResearchers have developed smart antibiotics that target specific bacteria and sever their DNA, thereby eliminating multi-drug resistant bacteria.

The new approach, published online in the journal mBio, uses the bacterial immune system, called the CRISPR-Cas system. This immune system protects the bacteria by creating strands of RNA called CRISPR RNAs, which match the DNA of the invader and then unleash proteins to cut the invader's DNA.

Researchers devised a way to make these CRISPR RNAs target the DNA sequences of the bacteria, causing bacterial suicide when the Cas proteins begin to attack the bacteria's DNA.

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Ten-minute online test can help estimate Alzheimer's risk

Alzheimer's test on lineMany risk factors for Alzheimer's disease are linked to lifestyle or environment and the risk can be decreased at all ages, researchers in Australia say.

Lead researcher Professor Kaarin Anstey of the Australian National University in Canberra said a free 10-minute online test developed by ANU researchers is helping people assess their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

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Marlboro ad man Eric Lawson dies of chronic lung disease

Marlboro manEric Lawson, who portrayed the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, has died. He was 72.

Lawson died on 10 January at his home in San Luis Obispo of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his wife, Susan Lawson, said on Sunday.

Lawson was an actor with bit parts on such TV shows as Baretta and The Streets of San Francisco when he was hired to appear in print Marlboro ads from 1978 to 1981. His other credits include Charlie's Angels, Dynasty and Baywatch. His wife said injuries sustained on the set of a western film ended his career in 1997.

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300 become ill on Royal Caribbean cruise ship

liner passengers illMore than 300 people on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship have become ill during a voyage, the Centers for Disease Control said on its website.

According to the statement, 281 of the 3,050 passengers and 22 of 1,165 crew members of Explorer of the Seas reported vomiting and diarrhea.

In a statement to CNN, Royal Caribbean International said those who fell sick have responded well to over-the-counter medication being administered on board the ship.

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Good cholesterol 'can turn nasty and clog arteries'

good cholesterolGood cholesterol also has a nasty side that can increase the risk of heart attacks, according to US doctors.

"Good", or HDL, cholesterol normally helps to keep arteries clear and is good for heart health. But the team at the Cleveland Clinic showed it can become abnormal and lead to blocked blood vessels.

They say people should still eat healthily, but that the good cholesterol story is a more complex tale than previously thought.

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Hospital Chain Said to Scheme to Inflate Bills

hospital schemeEvery day the scorecards went up, where they could be seen by all of the hospital’s emergency room doctors.

Physicians hitting the target to admit at least half of the patients over 65 years old who entered the emergency department were color-coded green. The names of doctors who were close were yellow. Failing physicians were red.

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Report finds doctors reluctant to link oil sands with health issues

tar sands health linkA new government inquiry into a wave of sickness in Alberta, Canada, suggests that residents’ conditions may be linked to Canada’s controversial oil sands developments. The inquiry also finds that area doctors may be afraid to speak out when patients suggest that the oil developments could be the cause of their health problems, according to the Edmonton Journal.

The survey of doctors was conducted by Dr. Margaret Sears, a toxicology expert hired by the Alberta Energy Regulator. Sears and other experts were tasked with analyzing the health effects of the oil sands operations in preparation for a 10-day government hearing to address residents’ health complaints around the Peace River oil sands, Canada’s third largest oil sands development.

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