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Headlines: July 6, 2011

by Tony Kikendall


Except for Mississippi, colon cancer deaths declined in America from 2003 to 2007. In Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, the deaths fell by 5 to 6 percent. Delaware, Kentucky, and West Virginia, three out of the four states with the highest number of colon cancer deaths, also fell. Mississippi, which had the lowest screening rate, was the only state which had no statistical decline. 49,000 Americans are estimated to die of colon cancer this year.

European authorities now believe that the fenugreek seeds, which led to the European E. coli outbreak, were distributed quite widely. The European Food Safety Authority released a report stating that it believed that the seeds, which came from Egypt, were distributed to 12 or more European countries. The Authority expects to spend the next several weeks searching for the source and distribution of the seeds.

A newly released study says that environmental factors, as well as genetic factors, may be responsible for causing autism. Scientists used to think that environmental factors caused autism, but that thinking has shifted towards a sole genetic explanation in the past decades. The study was done using pairs of twins and seeing which ones developed autism and how severe the autism was on the autism spectrum. The study suggested that environmental factors may be postnatal or prental, suggesting that certain drugs which the mother could take could increase chances of autism. It is now estimated that 1% of people in the developed world are autistic.

Another new study has reported that angioplasties are overused. Around 1 in 8 of angiolplasties are either inappropriate or of uncertain utility, the study says. The procedure costs $20,000. The report comes at a time in which there is widespread concern about rising medical costs.

Tony Kikendall is a rising second year law student at Boston University. Please feel free to email hm with any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns.


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