Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
NIH Staffers, Researchers Return to Work After Government
Nearly 14,000 employees of the U.S. National Institutes of
Health returned to work Thursday, following a 16-day slowdown in
vital research because of the federal government shutdown.
ABC News, the NIH retained only 5,000 of its essential
staffers during the shutdown, deemed necessary "for the safety of
human life or the protection of property," an NIH spokeswoman
The shutdown halted research on cancer and other serious
illnesses, causing delays for prospective clinical trial patients
and putting experiments on hold. All scientific meetings at the NIH
had been delayed, as well as the grant review process that enables
scientists to receive funding for their studies.
NIH facilities did retain electricity throughout the shutdown,
so cell cultures, tissues and lab animals remained unaffected,
Air Pollution a Leading Cause of Cancer, UN Agency Says
The United Nation's World Health Organization (WHO) has
classified air pollution as a prime cause of cancer worldwide,
especially in the case of lung cancer.
The WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has
now placed dirty air in the same category of carcinogens as tobacco
smoke, ultraviolet (UV) radiation and plutonium,
According to IARC, about 223,000 lung cancer deaths globally can
be blamed on exposure to air pollution. The majority of these
deaths are occurring in rapidly industrializing Asian nations such
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