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Feb 01, 2015 05:15AM

Feb 01, 2015 05:15AM

In pursuit of next-generation Ebola stockpile vaccines

A research assistant works on a vaccine for Ebola at The Jenner Institute in OxfordBy Kate Kelland and Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - As West Africa's devastating Ebola outbreak begins to dwindle, scientists are looking beyond the endgame at the kind of next-generation vaccines needed for a vital stockpile to hit another epidemic hard and fast. "We need a stockpile because there will be other outbreaks," said Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI global immunisation alliance, which helps bulk-buy vaccines for poor countries. The experimental vaccines now moving into large clinical trials in West Africa target the current Ebola Zaire virus strain, but the next outbreak may be different. "We need to work with the pharmaceutical industry to create second-generation vaccines that would cover not just Ebola Zaire but also Ebola Sudan and perhaps Marburg, perhaps Lassa.

Feb 01, 2015 04:44AM

Greece promises to boost minimum wage as debt talks loom

A man holding an umbrella makes his way in front of the Greek parliament during rainfall in AthensBy Angeliki Koutantou ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's leftist government outlined plans to lift the minimum wage on Sunday, continuing a roll-back of the austerity terms of its international bailout and underlining the balancing act it faces to persuade a skeptical Europe to agree a new debt accord. After a turbulent first week in office, the new government has made clear it wants no extension of the current arrangement with the European Union and International Monetary Fund "troika" when a deadline for the support program expires on Feb. 28. Instead, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is seeking to persuade European partners to grant Athens some breathing space while a new agreement that would reduce Greece's unmanageable public debt burden of more than 175 percent of its economic output is worked out. On Sunday, new Labor Minister Panos Skourletis said the government would move ahead with its plans to restore collective bargaining and raise the minimum wage, which was cut from 751 euros a month to 586 euros under the 2012 bailout agreement.

Feb 01, 2015 04:08AM

China to tackle food safety as policy priority: Xinhua

A sales assistant helps a customer to select Dumex milk powders at a supermarket in HefeiChina has promised to address food safety issues and modernize its agriculture as policy priorities this year, state news agency Xinhua quoted the nation's 2015 agenda for rural matters as saying on Sunday. The 'number one document', issued every January by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, sets the country's policy priorities for the year, and has focused on rural matters every year since 2003.

Jan 31, 2015 09:29PM

Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2009 file photo, Carl Djerassi talks to Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, not seen, at the federal chancellery in Vienna, Austria. Djerassi, the chemist widely considered the father of the birth control pill, has died of complications of cancer in his San Francisco home, Stanford University spokesman Dan Stober said. He was 91. Djerassi, a professor emeritus of chemistry at Stanford, was most famous for leading a research team in Mexico City that in 1951 developed norethindrone, a synthetic molecule that became a key component of the first birth control pill. "The pill" as it came to be known radically transformed sexual practices and women's lives. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Carl Djerassi, the chemist widely considered the father of the birth control pill, has died.

Jan 31, 2015 03:21PM

Soccer-Huddersfield player stable after airlift drama

(Adds player staying in hospital overnight) LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Tommy Smith, a footballer for second-tier English club Huddersfield Town, had to be taken to hospital by helicopter after suffering a head injury in their game against Leeds United on Saturday. "We are pleased to report Tommy has been sitting up and talking to members of Huddersfield Town's staff who have visited him on Saturday evening," the website reported. Straight after the game, officials were still so concerned about his condition that they organised an air ambulance helicopter to land on Huddersfield's John Smith's Stadium pitch to fly Smith to hospital in nearby Leeds.

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Jan 30, 2015 05:51AM

'Butchered:' Ireland's gruesome era of symphysiotomy

Rita McCann still remembers the day when her joy at the prospect of giving birth to her first child turned into sheer terror.

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