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Health Updates 13 July 2011

  • Four AIDS drugs to be made by generic manufacturers:  “In the case of Gilead [Sciences], the agreement allows for the production of generic copies of tenofovir, emtricitabine, cobicistat and elvitegravir, as well as a combination of these products in a single HIV pill known as the ‘Quad’.  Significantly, cobicistat, elvitegravir and the Quad are still in clinical development, and their inclusion in the deal should speed the flow of new treatments in poor countries.” (Reuters)
  • Taking plastic off improves food safety: Compounds found in the plastics commonly used to package food have been found to pose possible health risks.  “Reducing exposure to bisphenol A and phthalates may be as simple as eating fresh food that hasn’t been packaged in plastic, researchers suggested.  In a short intervention trial, making the switch to fresh food resulted in a 66% drop in participants’ urinary concentration of bisphenol A” and other compounds regarded as endocrine disruptors with potential risks to human health.  (Michael Smith, MedPage Today)
  • Drink more water?  Doc says ‘just say no’: “The need to drink eight glasses of water a day may be as big a myth as the fountain of youth, according to one UK physician.  Several studies have found no evidence of benefit for recommending such levels of hydration, although bottled water companies would have consumers believe otherwise, argues Margaret McCartney, MD, of Glasgow, Scotland, in a commentary in BMJ.  ‘There are many organizations whose vested interests would like to tell doctors and patients what to do,’ McCartney wrote.  ‘We should just say no’.” (Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today)
  • Stinky sock smell helps fight malaria: “Traps scented with the odor of human feet attracted four times as many mosquitoes as a human volunteer, said Dr. Fredros Okumu, the head of the research project at Tanzania’s Ifakara Health Institute.  Mosquitoes who fly into the trap are then poisoned.” (Associated Press)
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