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(MENAFN - AFP) The world has made progress in curbing infant mortality, stunted growth and other poverty-driven problems, while obesity, alcohol abuse and partner violence has risen, a major review of UN health goals said Wednesday.

"Progress varied widely," said The Lancet medical journal which published the assessment of 188 countries' progress since 1990, measured against ...

(MENAFN - AFP) An Italian government campaign hoping to boost the country's flagging birthrate was on Wednesday condemned as racist just weeks after its original promotional material was panned for being sexist.

Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin ordered changes to the campaign at the start of September after captioned images intended to promote an upcoming Fertility Day were ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Mark Zuckerberg and his wife on Wednesday pledged $3 billion over the next decade to help banish or manage all disease, pouring some of the Facebook founder's fortune into innovative research.

"This is a big goal," Zuckerberg said at a San Francisco event announcing the effort of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative established by the couple.

"But we spent ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The United Nations on Wednesday launched a global effort to fight so-called super-bugs that resist antibiotics, warning of a mounting death toll without more research.

"Some scientists call it a slow-motion tsunami," Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, told a first-of-a-kind UN meeting on the problem.

"The situation is bad ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Egypt's cabinet on Wednesday backed down from tough restrictions on wheat imports that threatened a crisis with Russia, saying it would allow up to 0.05 percent ergot in grain shipments.

Egypt, the world's top importer of wheat, at the end of August toughened its stance against the presence of any trace of ergot, a common fungus that can be dangerous in large ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Doctors crowded around Abdullahi. One squeezed a drip and another prepared a plastic syringe. The young boy didn't move. Only the shallow rise and fall of his chest indicated he was still alive.

Fluid was injected to try to stabilise the two-year-old's blood sugar levels. "He's better than he was 20 minutes ago," said one doctor. "But his condition is still ...

(MENAFN - AFP) People who carry a variant in the so-called obesity gene, FTO, react just as well to diet and exercise as those without it, a research paper said Wednesday.

This means that people with the variant, which appears to be linked to a higher risk for being overweight, are not necessarily doomed to remain so, according to a meta-analysis published in The BMJ medical ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Europe's schoolchildren are drinking and smoking less than their predecessors, but illicit drug use remains at "high levels", a new study published Tuesday shows.

"Smoking and drinking among 15– and 16-year-old school students are showing signs of decline, but there are concerns over challenges posed by new drugs and new addictive behaviours," according to ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Some of France's top chefs on Tuesday denounced the $66-billion takeover of controversial seed firm Monsanto by chemicals giant Bayer as a "danger for our dinner plates".

"Nature, diversity and the quality of our food should not be crushed by the freedom-destroying steamroller of Bayer-Monsanto," they declared in an open letter signed by more than 100 chefs, ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A protein unique to a miniscule creature called a water bear, reputedly the most indestructible animal on Earth, protects human DNA from X-ray damage, stunned researchers reported Tuesday.

Human cells cultivated with the newly-discovered protein, dubbed "Dsup" for "damage suppressor", experienced half as much decay as normal cells when blasted with radiation.

"We ...

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