China to step up countermeasures as virus outbreak grows

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will step up efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays as a rise in confirmed cases fanned fears the virus could spread to other countries.

Tourist line-up in a health control at the arrival section at Suvarnabhumi international airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Januaruy 19, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

The National Health Commission said on Sunday departments should work together to carry out preventative measures.

New coronavirus outbreak in Chinese city of Wuhan

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) say a new strain of coronavirus is behind the outbreak of pneumonia in the central city of Wuhan, which has erupted just ahead of the Lunar New Year, the country’s biggest festival.

Some experts say the strain may not be as deadly as some other strains of coronavirus such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed nearly 800 people worldwide during a 2002/03 outbreak that also originated from China. But little is known about the new virus, including its origin and how easily it can be transmitted between humans.

Medi-Cal’s Very Big Decade

Medi-Cal had a big decade.

The number of Californians enrolled in the state’s health insurance program for low-income residents swelled by 5.5 million from 2010 to 2019. It now covers 1 in 3 Californians and 40% of children.

The program’s annual budget — a combination of state and federal money — tops $100 billion, more than the entire state budget of Florida.

“Medi-Cal is the largest Medicaid program among all of the states,” said Dr. Andrew Bindman, a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco who helped implement the Affordable Care Act as part of the Obama administration.

Supreme Court to hear Trump appeal in Obamacare contraception fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday took up an appeal by President Donald Trump’s administration seeking to enforce new federal rules allowing employers to obtain religious exemptions from an Obamacare requirement that health insurance that they provide to employees pays for women’s birth control.

FILE PHOTO: The building of the U.S. Supreme Court is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo

China reports new virus cases, raising concern globally before key holiday

BEIJING (Reuters) – China reported four more cases of pneumonia believed to be caused by a new coronavirus strain, causing rising concern globally that a disease health officials do not yet fully understand could spread during a key holiday period.

The new virus, which was discovered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, belongs in the same large family of coronaviruses that includes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China.

Researchers visualize molecular organization of TNFα receptor molecules

Whether a sick cell dies, divides, or travels through the body is regulated by a sophisticat-ed interplay of signal molecules and receptors on the cell membrane. One of the most im-portant molecular cues in the immune system is Tumour Necrosis Factor α (TNFα).

Now, for the first time, researchers from Goethe University have visualised the molecular organization of individual TNFα receptor molecules and the binding of TNFα to the cell mem-brane in cells using optical microscopy.

Before TNFα can bind to a membrane receptor, the TNFR receptor must first be activated. By doing so, the key will only fit the lock under certain circumstances and prevents, among other things, that a healthy cell dies from programmed cell death.

Employers’ Dream Of Controlling Health Costs Turns To Workers’ Sleep

Charlie Blakey had a sense he was sleeping poorly since he often would wake up tired and hear from his wife how loudly he breathed during the night.

So he jumped at the chance when his employer, Southern Co., an Atlanta-based electric utility, offered to test him in 2018 for sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which people repeatedly stop breathing while asleep.

Judge slashes $8 billion Risperdal award against Johnson & Johnson to $6.8 million

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Johnson & Johnson is displayed on a screen to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company’s listing at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – A Pennsylvania judge on Friday slashed to $6.8 million from $8 billion a punitive damages award against Johnson & Johnson for allegedly failing to warn men that they could grow breasts by using its antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

The decision by Judge Kenneth Powell of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to reduce punitive damages for the plaintiff Nicholas Murray followed a jury’s imposition of the original award last Oct. 8.

U.S. to screen passengers for new China coronavirus at three airports

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia September 30, 2014. TO MATCH SPECIAL REPORT USA-UNCOUNTED/SURVEILLANCE REUTERS/Tami Chappell

(Reuters) – The United States will begin screening at three major airports people coming from central Chinese city of Wuhan for the newly-identified coronavirus that has killed one person and infected at least 40 more in China, public health officials said on Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the screening at San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles airports will begin later on Friday and focus on travelers to the United States via direct or connecting flights from Wuhan.

Scientists urge further caution on use of Viagra for fetal therapy

University of Manchester scientists investigating a possible treatment for fetal growth restriction (FGR), a condition in which babies grow poorly in the womb, have urged further caution on the use of Viagra.

The drug, commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction, as it enhances blood flow – has been undergoing trials as a potential treatment for FGR. However, in a recent study in mice, Viagra showed no improvement in fetal growth but did result in high blood pressure in the pups as they reached maturity.