Scientists find way to "disarm" AIDS virus

LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have found a way to prevent HIV from damaging the immune system and say their discovery may offer a new approach to developing a vaccine against AIDS. Researchers from the United States and Europe working in laboratories on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) found it is unable to damage the immune system if cholesterol is removed from the virus's membrane.

Child abuse climbed with recession: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the U.S. economy began to tank, the number of abused children landing in the hospital with severe brain injuries spiked, according to a study. Anecdotes linking child abuse to the recession had surfaced before, but the current study -- based on hospital data from four U.S. states and published in Pediatrics -- is one of the first to provide hard data to back the connection.

U.N. assembly backs steps to fight chronic disease

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - World leaders risk economic damage if they do not tackle killers like cancer and diabetes in concert with the industries that affect public health, a high-level U.N. meeting on chronic disease heard. The General Assembly session on noncommunicable diseases on Monday and Tuesday is only the second such meeting in United Nations history to focus on global health, after nations came together to address the AIDS epidemic 10 years ago.

Hospitals, drugmakers lash out at Obama deficit plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. hospital and drug industries lashed out at provisions of President Barack Obama's deficit reduction plan that would saddle them with more than $200 billion in federal healthcare spending cuts. Lobbyists vowed to fight proposals for Medicare, which covers the elderly, that are aimed at saving $135 billion on prescriptions by requiring drugmakers to provide steeper rebates similar to those for Medicaid, which covers the poor.

Scientists appeal on embryonic stem cell funding

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two scientists on Monday appealed a ruling that permitted federal funding of human embryonic stem research to go forward, an effort by the U.S. government to try to find cures for deadly diseases. Dr. James Sherley, a biological engineer at Boston Biomedical Research Institute, and Theresa Deisher, of Washington-based AVM Biotechnology, opposed such research and had sued to block funding.

Study looks at pedestrians hospitalized after bicycle crashes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - About 1,000 pedestrians are hospitalized each year in New York state after being hit by bicyclists, with more than half those collisions occurring in New York City, according to a study released on Monday. The actual number could be even higher, as the study used numbers from hospitals and did not include injured pedestrians who visited doctors or did not seek treatment, said authors William Milczarski and Peter Tuckel, professors at New York's Hunter College.

Giving flu vaccine to US tots cuts ER visits

(Reuters) - Recommending that all preschoolers get a flu shot cut visits to the emergency department for flu-like illness by more than a third, U.S. and Canadian researchers said on Monday in a study that showed the direct impact of vaccination policy changes on flu transmission. The researchers used real-time data from hospital emergency departments in Boston and Montreal to study the impact of a 2006 change in the United States to recommend flu vaccinations among children aged 2 to 4.

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