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Low-Carb May Be Better Than Low-Fat in Diet Debate

Low-Carb May Be Better Than Low-Fat in Diet Debate

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new medical study found that low-carb diets may be more effective for losing weight than low-fat diets.

Researchers at Tulane University, funded by the National Institutes of Health, compared 73 individuals who embarked on a low-fat diet and 75 who took on a low-carbohydrate diet and studied their daily food intake for one year. Each participant also received individual and group diet counseling sessions.

According to the study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, those who cut out the carbs saw significant benefits in weight loss, decrease of fat mass, decrease in waist circumference, lower triglycerides and increase good cholesterol when compared to those on a low-fat diet.

On average, those in the carb-cutting diet lost about eight pounds more.

The study also indicated that a low-carb diet may be linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

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Ancient Cookbook Reveals Hangover Cure from 1,000 Years Ago

Ancient Cookbook Reveals Hangover Cure from 1,000 Years Ago

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When you’re hungover, you’ll do anything to make it stop: anti-inflammatory meds, greasy food, even more alcohol.

Here’s one you probably haven’t tried, though — eating an ancient Iraqi stew.

That’s what Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq claimed as the ultimate hangover cure in his 10th century Baghdadi cookbook, helpfully translated by Iraqi scholar Nawal Nasrallah in her book, Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens.

“There were things you take before, things you take while you are drinking, and of course after when you wake up in the morning,” Nasrallah told ABC News of the advice in the ancient cookbook. “For example, cabbage before drinking will slow down intoxication. They also encouraged having mezze [appetizers] and alternating between having them and drinking. Take a sip and have, for example, roasted nuts.”

Al-Warraq was especially specific in his post-drinking advice.

“You need to know that drinking cold water first thing in the morning is recommended only for people suffering from…hangovers,” he wrote. “However, they should avoid drinking it in one big gulp. Rather, they need to have it in several small doses and breathe deeply between one dose and the other.”

So, start by taking deep breaths and sips of cold water, and then follow it up with kishkiyya, a meat and chickpea stew, which al-Warraq included as the best hangover food, citing an even older poem about the dish as evidence.

“The nourishing dish to have when in the gripes of a hangover one craves some food. …Having eaten it intoxicated one will be all anew and the hangover will itself renew,” the poem stated.

“They used to think it was easy to digest and alleviated the symptoms of the hangover,” Nasrallah explained. “It’s a simple dish. They cook the meat with onions, some vegetables, some spices like coriander and cumin and they let it boil. Then they add kishk [pictured above], which the dish gets its name from, which are clumps of dried yogurt and bulgur.”

To make kishkiyya for your next wild night, click here for the recipe.

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Parents Arrested for Trying to Override Doctor’s Cancer Treatment for Son

Parents Arrested for Trying to Override Doctor’s Cancer Treatment for Son

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A British family’s arrest following a flight to Spain to get their cancer-stricken son an experimental therapy highlights the delicate balance between when parents should advocate for their children and when doctor knows best.

The King family was arrested for taking their 5-year-old son out of the country for proton beam therapy, which they said their hospital refused to offer. Ashya King had already undergone surgery to remove the tumor, but was not on any medication at the time his family removed him, they said.

“The line usually is when there’s a proven treatment that a parent is withholding, the state steps in to protect the child,” said New York University bioethicist Arthur Caplan. “This family is on the other end of spectrum. They’re saying not that they’re trying to withhold anything that works, but that ‘we want to chase something that might work.’”

Ashya was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor located in the cerebellum, a part of the brain that controls motor functions. Ashya had a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of surviving five years, according to a statement from University Hospital Southampton, where Ashya was being treated.

After surgery to remove the tumor, the boy’s father, Brett King, said he wasn’t satisfied with hospital’s treatment plan, which he called “trial and error.” So he researched treatments on the Internet and came up with what he thought was a better approach: proton beam therapy, a type of focused radiation therapy that uses protons rather than X-rays.

“Proton beam is so much better in children with brain cancer,” he said in a YouTube video, holding a nearly motionless Ashya in his arms. “It zones in on the area whereby normal radiation passes right through his head and comes out the other side, destroys everything in his head.”

Though King said he pleaded with his doctors to help him get the therapy for Ashya, they told him Ashya wouldn’t benefit from it because of the kind of tumor he had. But King said his research told him the opposite.

The U.S. National Cancer Institute considers proton beam therapy “under investigation” for tumors like Ashya’s.

King said when he questioned the doctors’ plans, they threatened to take Ashya away from him via a protection order.

“We couldn’t take it anymore, not knowing and not being able to question anything,” King said. “We couldn’t be under that system anymore.”

So on Friday, they took Ashya to Spain, where King intended to sell his property to pay for the proton beam therapy himself. They planned to take Ashya to the Proton Therapy Center in Prague, Czech Republic.

The family stayed in a hotel room as police searched for them.

“We’ve decided to try and sort it out ourselves, but now we’re refugees,” King said. “We’re not neglecting him. He has everything that he had in the hospital.”

He said he bought syringes, intravenous nutrition and other hospital equipment online.

“Call off this ridiculous chase,” he said. “We just want to be left in peace. … I’m not coming back to England if I cannot give him the treatment that I want.”

The video was shot minutes before King and his wife were arrested, their son Naveed said in a follow-up YouTube video. They faced extradition back to England, but British prosecutors withdrew their arrest warrant Tuesday.

Caplan said there isn’t much evidence proton beam therapy would work, but if the family found a legitimate hospital willing to treat Ashya, they have the right to take him there.

“As long as it’s a legitimate place, I think they should be able to do that without being chased all over the globe,” Caplan said.

According to Southampton University Hospital, Ashya “went missing” on Friday, prompting hospital officials to involve police, the hospital’s medical director Dr. Michael Marsh said in a statement.

“We very much regret that the communication and relationship with the King family had broken down in this way and that for whatever reason they have lost confidence in us,” Marsh said, adding the hospital discussed proton beam therapy with the family and concluded there wasn’t evidence to suggest it would work.

But Tuesday, after the Prague center said it would take on Ashya as a patient, Southampton University Hospital said it was “willing to support the family’s transfer” and was “of course open to discussing this.” But now those decisions are up to a judge.

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Action Flicks May Fuel Mindless Munching, Study Finds

Action Flicks May Fuel Mindless Munching, Study Finds

iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) — We’ve all been there before. You hunker down by the TV with a bag of chips, a tub of ice cream or perhaps your very own pizza pie, and before you know it, the credits are rolling, and the food is gone.

Were those pepperoni slices extraordinarily tasty? Or did the title of that Hunger Games movie have a subliminal effect on your appetite? Something made it much easier to eat while you were on that couch, but what exactly?

A new study from the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University asks that very question. What it finds is that it’s not TV itself that makes the cheesy puffs go “poof,” but certain shows or movies may stop you from realizing just how much you’re consuming, until it’s too late.

The study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, was led by Aner Tal, a Ph.D. in consumer behavior at Cornell. Tal hypothesized that distracting, action-packed programming was a key factor.

“If I go to the cinema and I’m really engrossed in the movie, I find myself with an empty bucket of popcorn 10 minutes later,” Tal said. “In a previous study, people would even eat stale popcorn if they weren’t paying attention.”

Accordingly, he chose a 20-minute segment from a film that was bound to capture attention: Michael Bay’s action movie The Island. For a less distracting option, he chose an excerpt from the interview program Charlie Rose.

Tal and his colleagues then recruited three groups of about 30 college students each. One group watched the clip from The Island, while another group watched the same clip without sound. The third group watched the Charlie Rose segment. Meanwhile, these students were supplied with as many M&M’s, cookies, carrots and grapes as they liked.

The results? The students who watched the action movie ate nearly twice as much of all the snacks than those watching the comparison show, which had far fewer camera cuts and fluctuations in sound. Even the students who watched the soundless version of the action movie ate more than the control group.

This, Tal said, was a surprise.

“We expected the action movie to get people to eat more than the laid-back talk show,” he said. “What had never been shown before is that even without sound, you could still get higher levels of engagement, which is relevant if you think about contexts where TV is on in the background, like at bars and restaurants.”

The study’s findings also suggested that the flashy film with jarring camerawork had a bigger impact on male subjects than female subjects. Regardless, the students consumed all snacks in increased amounts in the action film group, suggesting that eating was indiscriminate and based on what was close at hand.

Tal clarified, however, that the findings of the study do not necessarily mean that television is inherently harmful.

“It has been associated with increased BMI and sedentary lifestyle, but ‘everything in moderation’ applies to TV as well as food,” he said. “We’re also interested in how online content influences consumption. In theory, it should work the same way.”

More studies might be needed to confirm these findings, however. Dr. Kelly Pritchett, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said this study, while interesting, was not conclusive.

“It’s hard to infer what this means for the general population,” said Pritchett, who was not involved with the study. “It’s just one group. We don’t know how this would apply to middle-aged Americans. We also don’t know anything about these students, about their families or socioeconomic status.”

Doctor’s Take

A growing body of evidence suggests that the factors that lead to obesity and unhealthy eating habits have to do with much more than simply what is on our plates. This study is the latest to demonstrate how distractions in our environment can affect our behavior when it comes to food.

“We’re trying to help people avoid mindless eating traps,” Tal said. “More distracting content is more dangerous.”

So what can you do to counter this tendency? Tal says the solutions are simple.

“If you have to snack, you can pour out a reasonable portion and put the rest in the kitchen,” he said. “Getting up for more would require conscious engagement. If you have to have endless snacks, instead of chips or candy, you can have baby carrots.”

As for those who prefer to settle in for a quiet evening with Charlie Rose, Tal said he did not intend the study to diminish the importance of in-depth talk shows.

“I was constantly thinking about that when I wrote the paper,” he said. “If he found out about it, I would have to say, ‘nothing personal.’”

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Breastfeeding May Influence Kids’ Eating Habits at Age 6

Breastfeeding May Influence Kids’ Eating Habits at Age 6

Polka Dot/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — What you feed your child in his or her first year of life could very well predict their health habits at age 6, according to a new report from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings provide a lens to understanding childhood obesity rates, which have more than doubled in the past 30 years.

The researchers surveyed more than 1,500 mothers and concluded that children who were breastfed for longer periods as infants tended to eat more healthily at age 6 — drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and indulging in fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.

Moreover, the children whose parents introduced them earlier to healthful foods between 6 months and a year of age tended to continue to enjoy a healthier diet later on. For example, when mothers fed their children sugar-sweetened beverages or juice during the first year of life, their children were twice as likely to drink sugar-sweetened beverages at age 6.

The study was published Tuesday in a special supplement of the journal Pediatrics.

“Seeing these relationships between early feeding and later health really emphasizes the importance of following the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics,” said Kelly Scanlon, one of the CDC researchers who authored the study.

These recommendations urge exclusive breastfeeding for six months, followed by continued breastfeeding until the infant is a least 1 year old. They also suggest that parents introduce complimentary foods starting at six months that are healthy and nutrient rich.

The findings underscore a simple fact that is gaining traction in the field of childhood nutrition: preference for flavor in a child begins early. And it can even begin in the womb, some research suggests.

Scanlon said that breast milk, too, exposes infants to a variety of flavors, which studies have shown makes them more accepting than formula-fed infants of various flavors.

Childhood nutrition experts not involved with the study said the findings provide additional weight to the importance of shaping a child’s diet early. Dr. David Katz, editor-in-chief of the journal Childhood Obesity and director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, said the findings serve to underscore the long-established relationship between breastfeeding and health in mothers and children.

“The question we need to be asking is not ‘Why should mothers breastfeed?’ but, ‘Why shouldn’t they?’” Katz said. “For all mammals, our first food is breast milk.”

The study also points to other benefits of breast feeding. Kids who breast fed for longer in infancy tended to have a lower risk of ear, throat and sinus infections at age 6. The study also noted that mothers may have much to gain — or lose, in this case — as obese mothers who adhered to breastfeeding recommendations retained about 18 pounds less than obese women who did not breastfeed once their children reached the age of 6.

Doctor’s Take

This new study is only the latest in a growing body of research that suggests that there are things that mothers (and fathers) can do when their children are still very young to set them on the right path to healthy behaviors later. For women, this means breastfeeding your child if possible according to AAP guidelines. And for both parents, it means introducing your child early to the nutritious foods that will benefit their health both now and later on in life — while avoiding the ones that are likely to lead to obesity and other health problems.

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School Lunches Don’t Skimp on Fruits and Vegetables

School Lunches Don’t Skimp on Fruits and Vegetables

XiXinXing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — As much as kids resist eating healthy, most can’t say that their schools aren’t giving them the opportunity to do so.A national survey from the School Nutrition Association finds that 63 percent of the 1,110 school dis…

Anticipation Is Half the Fun of Any Experience

Anticipation Is Half the Fun of Any Experience

moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What do you look forward to more: a new tablet hitting the market or an upcoming vacation?

Researchers at Cornell University and the University of California in Berkeley and San Francisco say if you’re like most people, you value the anticipation of an experience rather than something you can touch.

The researchers called their study “Waiting for Merlot,” a clever play on words about the title of a famous play.

Based on a series of experiments built on previous studies, it was found people get a bigger kick out of waiting for an experience, such as a concert, rather than the anticipation of buying something concrete, such as new furniture.

Meanwhile, the researchers discovered that there’s something about waiting in line to make a purchase that also gives people a bit of an adrenaline rush.

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Plants Are Key Ingredients to Better Work Environments

Plants Are Key Ingredients to Better Work Environments

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — That colleague of yours who likes adorning his or her work area with all kinds of plants is on to something.

Marlon Nieuwenhuis from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology in Wales says that a plant-enriched workplace make everybody happier in the short and long run.

And here’s something that should make the boss happier: Nieuwenhuis’ study claims that productivity jumps by 15 percent when plants are added to the office.

Previous studies have demonstrated that green offices appear to enhance workers’ attention spans while lowering stress.

By comparing and contrasting green offices to so-called “lean” workplaces, that is, without plants, Nieuwenhuis and his team concluded that quality of air, level of concentration and workplace satisfaction were better wherever vegetation was prominent.

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Human Trial for Ebola Vaccine to Begin This Week

Human Trial for Ebola Vaccine to Begin This Week

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The first human trial for an investigational Ebola vaccine is set to begin this week.

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa prompted the National Institutes of Health to expedite safety testing for several vaccines already in the works. Since March, the deadly virus has killed 1,552 people, according to the World Health Organization, which predicted last week that the virus could infect 20,000 people in the next six months.

An Ebola vaccine is different from the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp, which two Americans received last month and is designed to treat an existing Ebola infection rather than prevent one.

“There is an urgent need for a protective Ebola vaccine, and it is important to establish that a vaccine is safe and spurs the immune system to react in a way necessary to protect against infection,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said in a statement.

The NIH is developing the vaccine with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. Although Fauci said the vaccine has “performed extremely well” in primate studies, it has not yet been tested in humans.

The phase 1 clinical trial set to begin this week at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, will involve 20 human subjects between the ages of 18 and 50, according to the NIH.

Researchers will use the study to determine whether the vaccine is safe and see whether it prompts an immune response necessary to protect against Ebola. No human subjects will be infected with Ebola.

A $4.7 million grant will also go toward Ebola vaccine trials in September at the University of Oxford in England, as well as centers in Gambia and Mali, according to GlaxoSmithKline. In all, 140 patients will be tested.

Though Ebola was discovered nearly 40 years ago, it was so rare that drug manufacturers weren’t interested in investing in finding a vaccine for it, said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Its rarity also made it impossible for scientists to conduct field studies.

“There’s always the layperson’s query of ‘Why don’t they rush this?’ ‘Why don’t these guys work a little later at night?’” Schaffner told ABC News in July. “It’s a little more complicated than that.”

GlaxoSmithKline became involved in the Ebola vaccine because it bought Swiss vaccine company Okairos AG in 2013. Okairos, originally a Merck spinoff, had been working on the vaccine with the NIH since 2011, a GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman told ABC News.

Although Fauci said in July that it would take until late 2015 for a vaccine — if successful — to be administered to a limited number of health workers, GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement that the grant will also enable it to manufacture 10,000 doses of the vaccine while the trials are ongoing. If the vaccine trials are successful, it will be able to make stocks available immediately to the World Health Organization.

The NIH said it should have initial data from the trial in late 2014.

The trial for different vaccine is set to begin at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. This vaccine was a collaboration between the federal Department of Defense and Iowa pharmaceutical company NewLink Genetics Corp.

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‘Ebola Is Real’ on Streets of Monrovia

‘Ebola Is Real’ on Streets of Monrovia

Dr. Richard Besser/ABC News(MONROVIA, Liberia) — REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK by ABC News’ Dr. Richard Besser

The rain-soaked roads of Monrovia tell an ominous truth: Ebola is real.

The message is spray-painted on walls in the capital of Liberia, the country hardest hit by the worst-ever Ebola outbreak. Nearly 700 people have died here, but denial and government mistrust continue to fuel the virus’s spread.

A group of young adults wearing colorful paper hats stood out on the earth-toned streets. “Ebola can kill,” one hat read. “Tell someone about Ebola,” read another. I asked the group what they were doing and they called over their leader. “We should be in school but this is more important,” he told me. “We are going door to door to people’s homes in our community telling them about Ebola. Telling them it is real. Telling them how to prevent it.”

Some people do not believe that Ebola exists. They believe it’s all a government hoax. Just two weeks ago, an angry mob stormed an treatment center in West Point, a slum that has since been quarantined. The mob told patients they had malaria, not Ebola, and encouraged them to flee. When government mistrust runs this high, communities need to spread public health messages.

“What are you telling people to do? How do you prevent Ebola?” I asked the men and women wearing paper hats. “Don’t touch anyone,” one young man replied — advice the group itself was heeding. No arms were linked, no hands were held. “Don’t go to funerals,” the man added. “Don’t take care of sick people.”

How hard those warnings must be to sell. What community doesn’t want to gather to remember lost loved ones? Who doesn’t want to care for the sick? To hold the hand of someone who is dying?

As simple as this group seems, its actions will make inroads at a time when governments and aid organizations can only reach so far. Ordinary people educating their own communities.

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Ebola Virus Arrives in Fifth Country During Worst-Ever Outbreak

Ebola Virus Arrives in Fifth Country During Worst-Ever Outbreak

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Ebola virus arrived in a fifth country this week, after health officials reported that a man with Ebola symptoms showed up at a hospital in Senegal. The man was a student from Guinea, where the virus has affected 648 and killed 430.

Across West Africa, the virus has already killed more than 1,552 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization.

While doctors and government officials have spent months trying to stop the outbreak, the infections continue to rise: More than 40% of the total cases in this outbreak have occurred within the past 23 days.

Here are things you should know about the outbreaks as fears continue to mount in Africa and beyond.

Congo Reports Possible Ebola Cases, Deaths

The Democratic Republic of Congo may be 800 miles from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but the Central African country has reported 24 suspected cases, including 13 deaths. None of the patients or their close contacts had traveled to West Africa, according to WHO.

“At this time, it is believed that the outbreak in [the Democratic Republic of Congo] is unrelated to the ongoing outbreak in West Africa,” the agency said in a statement, adding that samples from the Congo cases are being tested for the virus.

The first known case in Congo occurred in a pregnant woman who became ill after butchering a “bush animal” that her husband killed, according to WHO. She died on Aug. 11. Health care workers who tended to her, including a doctor, two nurses and a ward boy developed similar symptoms and died, the agency said.

Ebola was first discovered in the Congo in 1976 and is named for the Ebola River.

African Patients Who Got ZMapp to Leave Hospital

There’s no cure for Ebola, but at least six people have received the experimental drug ZMapp: American health workers Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, a Spanish priest, two African doctors, and one African nurse. Brantly and Writebol survived but the Spanish priest and one of the African doctors did not.

The remaining African ZMapp recipients were expected to be discharged from the hospital this week.

Still, experts say it’s unclear whether ZMapp — a cocktail of three antibodies that attack the virus — actually helped those who received it. Before Brantly received his dose, the drug had only been tested in monkeys.

“Frankly we do not know if it helped them, made any difference, or even delayed their recovery,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of Emory University Hospital’s infectious disease unit, where Brantly and Writebol were treated.

Officials Warn of ‘Shadow Zones,’ ‘Invisible’ Cases

The Ebola outbreak is already the deadliest on record, and WHO officials say the impact may be far worse than reported.

The number of known infections — currently 2,615 — is underestimated because of those who hide the infected and bury the dead in secret, WHO said in a statement Aug. 22. The number also excludes so-called “shadow zones,” which are rumored to have Ebola cases that go unconfirmed because of community resistance and a lack of medical staff, the agency said.

Health officials also suspect an “invisible caseload” in Liberia because new treatment facilities are filling with previously unidentified Ebola patients as soon as they open.

One in Four Americans Fears Ebola Outbreak, Poll Shows

About a quarter of Americans fear that they or someone in their family will come down with Ebola in the next year, according to a Harvard School of Public Health poll.

Harvard and SSRS, an independent research company, conducted the poll of 1,025 adults last week and found that 39 percent of respondents feared a large Ebola outbreak in the United States.

According to the poll, 68% of Americans thought the disease could spread “easily” and 33% said they thought there was an available treatment for it, both highlighting a lack of understanding about Ebola in this country.

In reality, the virus is only transmitted through contact with bodily fluids like blood and urine, and there is no cure. It’s unclear whether ZMapp, the unofficial drug given to the American Ebola patients, helped or hindered their recovery, experts say.

Officials Request Exit Screenings at Airports, Seaports

The World Health Organization has requested exit screenings at international airports, seaports and land crossings in all countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.

“Any person with an illness consistent with [Ebola virus disease] should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation,” WHO said in a statement. “There should be no international travel of Ebola contacts or cases, unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.”

Ebola symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain and sore throat, before they progress to vomiting, diarrhea and rash. Some people may also experience bleeding.

The WHO Ebola Emergency Committee advised against international travel or trade restrictions at this time.

Governments Are Reviving the ‘Cordon Sanitaire’

Officials from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have implemented a “cordon sanitaire” or sanitary barrier — a cross-border isolation zone designed to contain people with the highest infection risk.

The tactic, used to prevent the spread of plague in medieval times, literally blocks off an area thought to contain 70% of the epidemic. But some experts say there’s little proof that isolation zones can prevent the spread of disease.

“It may not be sufficiently structured so it can prevent people from leaving,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

FDA Warns Against Fake Ebola Treatments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people to avoid fake Ebola treatments and vaccines being sold online. The agency said products claiming to protect people from the infection began popping up online after the outbreak began in March.

“There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat Ebola,” the agency said in a statement. “Although there are experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments under development, these investigational products are in the early stages of product development, have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, and the supply is very limited.

“There are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products specifically for Ebola available for purchase on the Internet,” the FDA added. “By law, dietary supplements cannot claim to prevent or cure disease.”

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Kraft Recalls 8,000 Cases of American Singles Cheese Slices

Kraft Recalls 8,000 Cases of American Singles Cheese Slices

Kraft News Center(NEW YORK) — Kraft is voluntarily recalling 8,000 cases of its American Singles cheese slices.

The company says a supplier did not store an ingredient according to the company’s temperature standards which could lead to premature spoilage and food borne illness. The packages have “Best When Used By” dates of February 20, 2015 and February 21, 2015.

There have been no reports of illness.

Consumers who return the recalled Kraft cheese slices will receive full refunds.

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Researchers Say New Heart Failure Drug Could Save Lives

Researchers Say New Heart Failure Drug Could Save Lives

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers say a new heart failure drug could save lives by lowering the mortality rate of heart failure.

According to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the new drug, called LCZ696, showed improved results. The drug combines valsartan, which has long been used in heart failure treatment, with sacubitril, an investigative treatment for cardiovascular conditions.

Those who received the LCZ696 had 20 percent better year-to-year survival rates than those who took a medicine that is part of standard heart failure care. Those same patients also experienced improved symptoms.

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WHO Releases Ebola Roadmap, Update on Outbreak

WHO Releases Ebola Roadmap, Update on Outbreak

Dr. Richard Besser/ABC News(MONROVIA, Liberia) — The World Health Organization on Friday issued a Roadmap Situation Report on the ongoing Ebola outbreak that contained data on the spread thus far and the international response.

Thus far, the WHO says, the total number of confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola in West Africa number 3,052, with 1,546 deaths. The report details the cases found in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, though isolated cases have been noted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal.

Last week, the WHO says, saw the highest weekly increase in Ebola cases in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. That figure “highlights the urgent need to reinforce control measures and increase capacity for case management.”

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Ebola Outbreak Spreads: Senegal Reports Its First Case

Ebola Outbreak Spreads: Senegal Reports Its First Case

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Senegalese Health Ministry has reported its first Ebola case, a Guinean student who had been in contact with sick people in Guinea and was later hospitalized in Senegal.

Earlier this week, the Democratic Republic of Congo — 800 miles from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa — reported 24 suspected Ebola cases, including 13 deaths. None of the patients or their close contacts had traveled to West Africa, according to the World Health Organization.

“At this time, it is believed that the outbreak in [the Democratic Republic of Congo] is unrelated to the ongoing outbreak in West Africa,” the agency said in a statement, adding that samples from the Congo cases are currently being tested for the virus.

The first known case in Congo occurred in a pregnant woman who became ill after butchering a “bush animal” that her husband killed, according to the WHO. She died on Aug. 11. Health care workers who tended to her, including a doctor, two nurses and a ward boy, developed similar symptoms and died, the agency said.

Ebola was first discovered in the Congo in 1976 and is named for the Ebola River.

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Utah Woman Injured After Drinking Sweet Tea Laced with Lye Speaks, Calls for Change

Utah Woman Injured After Drinking Sweet Tea Laced with Lye Speaks, Calls for Change

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) — The Utah woman who was poisoned after being served tea lace with lye said on Friday that dangerous chemicals should have colors or markers that ensure they can’t be mistaken for food ingredients.

Jan Harding spoke at a Friday news conference. “It’s not my nature to be made at people, it’s not my nature to be vengeful,” she said, adding that she holds no ill will against the restaurant worker who poured the lye into her beverage.

She may have been saved by the fact that she was drinking through a straw, meaning only a small amount of the drink — and the lye — went down her throat before she felt the effects.

Lye is used as a heavy-duty cleaner. Police believe an employee accidentally mixed the cleaner into the tea.

Harding was immediately rushed to a hospital with severe burns to her mouth and throat. She was the only individual injured, employees dumped the vat of iced tea after her injury.

“I asked God if I wasn’t going to make it through this…if he would send an angel to help me with…because it was just so hard,” Harding said Friday.

She hopes that the restaurant industry will take action in response to her accident.

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Experimental Ebola Drug Shows Positive Signs in Animal Study

Experimental Ebola Drug Shows Positive Signs in Animal Study

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study tested the efficacy of the experimental drug ZMapp on treating Ebola-infected monkeys, with potentially promising results.

According to the study, published in the journal Nature, a small group of monkeys, infected with the Ebola virus, were given either the ZMapp antibody cocktail or another antibody combination. Of the six monkeys given the ZMapp cocktail, all six were cured.

Researchers note that the study is just the very beginning, as the study involved a small sample size and animal subjects. The Ebola strain the monkeys were infected with was also a different strain than the current outbreak in West Africa.

Because of the nature of the study, it cannot provide insight into whether Americans Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly were aided by having been given the ZMapp cocktail.

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Apps Aim to Prevent Sexual Assault, Rape on Campus

Apps Aim to Prevent Sexual Assault, Rape on Campus

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A slew of new apps aim to prevent assault and rape on college campuses, under the assumption that students are never too far from their smartphones.

Two are in development at the Integrated Innovation Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. One, SPOT a Problem, is actually a party-planning app that lets students upload guest lists, photos and a playlist, while also keeping tabs on suspicious activity.

It works with a flexible, smart wristband that the party host wears, and that bracelet lights up when someone at the party sends an alert. The message can be about a neighbor complaint, a police officer who showed up or a potential sexual assault.

“We’ve all been at an event or at a party and seen something that didn’t quite sit right with us, but we didn’t have the tool to be able to respond to that,” said Kosa Goucher-Lambert, a Ph.D .student in engineering who worked on the app. “That’s the gap we wanted to address.”

Students can ping the host to point out a problem, and the data all disappears when the party is over.

Another app in the works is called NightOwl, which also aims to get bystanders who see potential sexual assaults involved. That one works by alerting friends of a partygoer who might be in danger, so they know to check on that person.

Donna Sturgess, the Integrated Innovation Institute’s executive in residence, worked on the app concepts with the students, and says she hopes they’ll be built and available for the public to download within the next year.

As many as 1 in 5 female college students are assaulted, the White House has said, but many organizations say the figure is higher.

“This is not a social problem that we’re going to sit around and wait for other people to fix,” Sturgess said.

But many apps that aim to reduce sexual assault are already available to students. Some colleges have partnerships with one called LiveSafe, which lets students send photos or text messages to the nearest police station if they see something shady. It also gives students an easy way to tell friends where they are, using location data, and tracks crimes on campus.

Loyola University in Chicago released the app I’m Here For You last fall. It provides students information about on-campus resources as well as city services to report dating violence, stalking and assault.

And the app Circle of 6, which emerged from a White House challenge, is also popular among schools. It uses GPS to pin down users’ location and alerts a user’s inner circle if there’s trouble. With just a couple of taps, users can send a text message like, “Come and get me. I need help getting home safely” to a friend, along with their location data.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Gamblers and Pigeons Don’t Know When to Fold Them

Gamblers and Pigeons Don’t Know When to Fold Them

iStock/Thinkstock(COVENTRY, England) — One of the slang meanings of “pigeon” is someone who can be easily duped.

Perhaps then it’s no surprise that British researchers have determined that people who like to gamble exhibit the same tendencies as pigeons when it comes to decisions that involve risk.

Psychology expert Dr. Elliot Ludvig of the University of Warwick asserts that “Both humans and pigeons were shown to be less risk averse for high rewards then they were for low rewards and this is linked to our past memories and experiences of making risky decisions.”

Never mind that human have brains that are so much more advanced than any other species. According to Ludvig, the same mental processes drive gamblers and pigeons when they’re faced with risk.

So why does this happen?  Ludvig says it may have to do with “shared common ancestry or similar evolutionary pressures.”

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Parents and Babies Should Live Life on the Babble

Parents and Babies Should Live Life on the Babble

iStock/Thinkstock(IOWA CITY, Iowa) — Before babies learn to speak, they babble, which is actually a form of baby-speak.

Although parents think babbling is cute, it’s also an opportunity for mom and dad to communicate with their infants and consequently, accelerate their vocalization.

A new study out of the University of Iowa and Indiana University says that it’s all about how a parent responds to baby that holds the key to facilitating their language and communication.

Researcher Julie Gros-Louis says 12 mothers and their eight-month-old children were observed interacting over a period of six months and the chief finding was that moms who actively try to understand what their babies say and respond in kind will boost developmentally advanced vocalizations.

Furthermore, babies with interested moms also directed more of their babbling to them.

On the other hand, mothers who weren’t as engaged and tried to divert their infants’ attention away from babbling did not improve their babies’ language and communications skills as quickly.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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