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Yahoo - Health
May 06, 2015 01:01PM

May 06, 2015 01:01PM

Europe's obesity crisis expands to 'enormous proportions'

Obesity has more than doubled since 1980, with up to 600 million adults affected in 2014, according to WHOEurope faces an obesity crisis of "enormous proportions" as unhealthy diets and physical inactivity inflate waistlines and health costs, the World Health Organization claimed Wednesday. Nearly all adults in Ireland -- one of Europe's fattest nations -- will be overweight by 2030, the European Congress on Obesity in Prague was told. "Even in countries with a traditionally lower prevalence of obesity such as Sweden, obesity rates are predicted to rise sharply," said a statement issued by congress organisers. The ballooning burden of overweight and obesity, a preventable condition mainly caused by lifestyle factors, is a growing cause of disease and disability around the world.

May 06, 2015 01:01PM

Rich Synageva M&A premium epitomizes appetite for orphan drugs

The hefty premium Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc has agreed to pay to acquire Synageva BioPharma Corp highlights how the popularity of so-called orphan drug makers is leading to valuations many investors now deem frothy. Alexion shares fell as much as 10 percent on Wednesday on investor concerns the $8.4 billion cash and stock deal overvalued Synageva, whose drug for a rare and potentially fatal condition that causes a build-up of fat in the blood and liver awaits regulatory approval. Alexion offered Synageva nearly a 140 percent premium, versus an average takeover premium of 41 percent for biotechnology companies so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters data. Other recent big deals involving orphan drug makers that focus on rare diseases include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd's $3.5 billion purchase of Auspex Pharmaceuticals announced in March and Shire Plc's acquisition of NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion in January.

May 06, 2015 12:47PM

Brain technology patents soar as companies get inside people's heads

A man demonstrates how he uses a keyboard without typing by wearing a skull-cap with sensors, at conference on brain technology in Tel AvivBy Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - From ways to eavesdrop on brains and learn what advertisements excite consumers, to devices that alleviate depression, the number of U.S. patents awarded for "neurotechnology" has soared since 2010, according to an analysis released on Wednesday. Most surprising, concluded market-research firm SharpBrains, is that patents have been awarded to inventors well beyond those at medical companies. The leader in neurotechnology patents, according to the report, is consumer-research behemoth Nielsen. Patents for neurotechnology bumped along at 300 to 400 a year in the 2000s, then soared to 800 in 2010 and 1,600 last year, SharpBrains reported.

May 06, 2015 12:47PM

Factbox - Leaders in U.S. neurotechnology patents

(Reuters) - Leaders in neurotechnology, which ranges from noninvasive systems that use magnetic stimulation to treat depression to devices that let gamers control avatars with only their thoughts, include some expected medical-device companies but also several surprises, according to an analysis by market-research firm SharpBrains. Its "IP Strength Index" reflects the number of patents as well as their breadth and influence: Patents holderIP Strength Index 1. The Nielsen Company100 2. Advance Neuromodulation Systems 99 (St. Jude Medical Inc.) 3. Medtronic PLC 98 4. Microsoft Corp. 89 5. ...

May 06, 2015 12:33PM

Life Alert accused of sexual harassment in ex-worker's lawsuit

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - The maker of Life Alert, known for its television ad slogan "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up," has been sued by a former sales manager who claims he was fired because of his age and cancer diagnosis, and his complaints about "rampant" sexual harassment in the company's Manhattan office. In a $7 million lawsuit filed on Wednesday in the New York state court in Manhattan, Leon Hayblum claimed that Life Alert Emergency Response Inc illegally terminated him without warning last Nov. 10, when he was 71, after a dozen years on the job. Hayblum said this was done in retaliation for his "years" of complaints about the alleged harassment and Life Alert's alleged misclassification of sales staff as independent contractors, and because he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Life Alert is based in Encino, California, and sells wearable devices intended to help elderly or disabled people call for assistance in the event of medical or other emergencies.

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May 06, 2015 01:04PM

May 06, 2015 01:04PM

The good memory diet

We've all heard the age old adage, "You are what you eat." But could what we eat also affect how we think? New research sheds additional light supporting the long standing notion that eating a healthy diet could potentially be linked to a lower risk of memory and thinking decline, researchers say.

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