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Tuesday, Sep 30th

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Artificial sweeteners may lead to diabetes

artificial sweetenersReaching for artificial sweeteners to avoid sugar may be trading one evil for another, a new study suggests.

For some people, artificial sweeteners may lead to type 2 diabetes as directly as eating sugar does, according to the research, published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The benefits and risks of artificial sweeteners have been debated for decades. Some studies show no link to diabetes and others suggest there is one. The new research, from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, finds that differences in gut microbes may explain why some people can handle artificial sweeteners just fine while in an unknown percentage of others the sweeteners lead to diabetes.

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GlaxoSmithKline to pay £297m fine over China bribery network

GlaxoSmithKlineGlaxoSmithKline has been found guilty of bribery by a Chinese court and has agreed to pay a fine of 3bn yuan (£297m) to the government in Beijing.

At the same time, the former head of its China division, Mark Reilly, and other GSK executives are facing two- to four-year jail terms, according to the state news agency, Xinhua. Reilly was accused of running a "massive bribery network".

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Ebola health workers killed in Guinea

Ebola health workers killedA team of health care workers in Guinea were murdered as they tried to raise awareness about the deadly Ebola virus.

Although the motive is unconfirmed, the BBC reported that some villagers believe that healthcare workers are spreading the Ebola virus while others still doubt the disease's existence.

The attack occurred Tuesday when the delegation arrived in the village of Wome, with villagers responding violently to their presence. Delegation members, including doctors and journalists, were assaulted with machetes and clubs.

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Crest agrees to stop putting plastic microbeads in your toothpaste

microbeadsToothpaste is supposed to help clean your teeth and get rid of leftover food. But for some Crest toothpaste users, that leftover food is just being replaced with tiny microbeads -- making smiles look spotty and gums speckled, not sparkling white and debris-free.

Crest says that won't be the case for long, however, as the maker of Crest toothpastes, Procter & Gamble, announced today that it will cease including the microbeads in their products and that all toothpastes containing the tiny polyethylene plastic balls will be off the shelves within six months.

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USDA approves new modified corn, soybean seeds

genetically modified soybeanThe Agriculture Department has approved the use of genetically modified corn and soybean seeds that are resistant to a popular weed killer.

However, farmers won't be able to take full advantage of the seeds until the Environmental Protection Agency issues a second ruling allowing the use of Enlist, a new version of the 2,4-D weed killer that's been around since the 1940s. The EPA has said it will rule this fall on Dow AgroSciences' application to market the chemical.

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Are Routine Scans Causing Cancer?

ct scans. A recent article in the Journal of American Medical Association noted that “a sizeable proportion of patients with advanced cancer continue to undergo cancer screening tests that do not have a meaningful likelihood of providing benefit.” Another published in the September 28, 2010 issue of Health Imaging noted that “as many as 30 percent of diagnostic imaging procedures are inappropriate or contribute no useful information.”

Elsewhere, statistics cited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) estimate that “60 million CT scans and 20 million nuclear medicine scans annually in the US might cause up to 40,000 fatal cancers.”

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Philip Morris Sues Uruguay Over Graphic Cigarette Packaging

Philip Morris sues UruguayShopping for cigarettes in Uruguay isn't a pleasant experience. Photos of decaying teeth, premature babies and gruesome hospital scenes wrap around every pack. In fact, the country requires manufacturers to cover at least 80 percent of the packaging with medical warnings and graphic images.

Cigarette giant Philip Morris International sees this requirement as a violation of a treaty law. So it's suing the country of Uruguay for $25 million.

The lawsuit is based on a 1991 trade agreement between Uruguay and Switzerland, where the company is located. The cigarette manufacturer says Uruguay is violating its promise to respect intellectual property rights.

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