Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Malaria Drug Discoverer, 2 Others to Be Honored
The prestigious Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation medical awards
will be presented to two researchers who unraveled how proteins
work within cells and a third scientist who discovered a malaria
drug that has saved millions of lives, according to the
And public service award will be presented to the Clinical
Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The center is
described by the foundation as "a model research hospital,
providing innovative therapy and high-quality patient care,
treating rare and severe diseases and producing outstanding
The foundation will present the $250,000 prizes, which were
announced Monday, on Sept. 23 in New York City.
The clinical research award will go to Tu Youyou, 81, of
Beijing's China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, who discovered
the key to the highly successful malaria drug artemisinin after
poring over ancient documents on folk remedies, the
Dr. Arthur Horwich, of Yale University, will share the award for
basic research with a German researcher, Dr. Franz-Ulrich Hartl, of
the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried. The
foundation said their findings on cells and proteins could
potentially lead to treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's and
Federal Court Throws Out Challenges to Health Law
Saying that the cases lacked legal standing, a federal appellate
court in Richmond, Va., dismissed two lawsuits on Thursday that
challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act,
enacted by the Obama administration in 2010.
Two of the three Democratic judges on the Court of Appeals for
the Fourth Court also said they would have upheld the law if they
could have ruled on the cases' substance,
The New York Times reported. But they threw out the lawsuits
on technicalities, saying that the plaintiffs in each case had no
legal right to sue.
One of the lower courts overturned the law's requirement that
most Americans must purchase health insurance by 2014, a key
provision of the law. The other lower court upheld the insurance
Other cases challenging the landmark health-care reform measure
have been heard in states from Georgia to Ohio, the
Times said. A final decision will likely rest with the U.S.
Water Contamination Threatens Flood-Ravaged Northeast
Many areas of the Northeast, ravaged by flooding from tropical
storms Irene and Lee, now have to wonder if their water is
"We face a public health emergency because sewage treatment plants are underwater and no longer working," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said after torrential rains from Lee saturated the central and eastern portions of the state, the Associated Press reported.
In Vermont, flooded by Irene nearly two weeks ago, 12 towns were
still on boil-water restrictions because sewage and other toxins
may have contaminated drinking water. Other states have similar
restrictions in place.
Besides the threat of sewage runoff, residents in flooded
regions have to fear a toxic cocktail of pesticides, paints and
other contaminants carried from basements, garages and driveways to
Vermont health officials were providing residents with private
water wells with free kits to test for bacteria. Additional tests
would be needed for any wells smelling of gasoline or oil, the
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