Food stamp program may reduce food insecurity for children

(Reuters Health) – A program that provides nutrition assistance to millions of low-income families may be linked to improved well-being among children, according to a new study.

Researchers found that children in households who participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for six months had substantial improvements in their consistent access to food – or “food security.”

Food insecurity has been linked to a number of health and developmental problems among children, the authors write.

“Stated simply, SNAP works,” James Mabli told Reuters Health.

First patient fitted with Carmat artificial heart dies -hospital

(Reuters) – The first patient fitted with an artificial heart made by the French company Carmat has died, the hospital that had performed the transplant in December said on Monday.

The 76-year-old man died on Sunday, 75 days after the operation, the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris said in a statement, adding that the cause of his death could not be known for sure at this stage.

When he was fitted with the device, the man was suffering from terminal heart failure – when the sick heart can no longer pump enough blood to sustain the body – and probably had only a few weeks, or even days, to live.

Doctors aim to grow ears from fat

By James Gallagher
Health and science reporter, BBC News

Back of child's headNew ears could be the first application of the technique

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London are aiming to reconstruct people’s faces with stem cells taken from their fat.

The team has grown cartilage in the laboratory and believe it could be used to rebuild ears and noses.

They say the technique, published in the journal Nanomedicine, could revolutionise care.

Nightmares may be 'health warning'

By James Gallagher
Health and science reporter, BBC News

Nightmare of a clownDisturbed sleep may be a sign of mental health problems

Regular nightmares in childhood may be an early warning sign of psychotic disorders, researchers in the UK warn.

The study, in the journal Sleep, said most children had nightmares, but persistent ones may be a sign of something more serious.

Having night terrors – screaming and thrashing limbs while asleep – also heightened the risk.

Generic drugmakers ramp up campaign against FDA label proposal

(Reuters) – Generic drugmakers are furiously campaigning against a proposed U.S. rule that would require them to change the prescribing information on their products if they receive new safety information, which they say would open them to product liability lawsuits.

The rule would overturn regulations that have been in place for three decades that prohibit generic drugmakers from updating safety data on their labels without such changes first being made by the company that developed the drug.

Federal program aims to make pet food, livestock feed safer

(Reuters) – A new federal program aims to standardize inspection procedures for pet food and farm animal feed produced in the United States, making them safer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday.

The Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards comprise a series of new voluntary standards for inspections by state and other regulatory programs that oversee the production of pet food and feed for farm animals such as cattle, chickens and pigs.