Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Cancer studies often downplay chemo side effects: study
2013-01-11T021149Z_1_BRE90A030_RTROPTC_0_US-CANCER.XML () -
U.S. faces shortages of flu vaccine, Tamiflu treatment
2013-01-11T013421Z_11_BRE9080WE_RTROPTC_0_US-USA-FLU.XML () -
Judge won't block New York City circumcision law
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Manhattan federal judge refused to block a New York City regulation requiring people who perform circumcisions and use their mouths to draw away blood from the wound on a baby's penis to first obtain written consent from the parents. U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald on Thursday refused to issue a preliminary injunction against the change to the city's health code, which some members of the city's Orthodox Jewish communities called an unwarranted government intrusion on religious freedom.
Heart attack pattern shifted after Katrina: study 2013-01-11T014908Z_1_BRE90A02H_RTROPTC_0_US-HEARTATTACKS-KATRIN A.XML () -
San Diego mayor orders end to city war on marijuana dispensaries
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - San Diego Mayor Bob Filner declared an end on Thursday to the city's legal war on medical pot with a letter to city authorities ordering civil prosecutors to "stop the crackdown on marijuana dispensaries." Filner, a Democrat who was sworn in December 1, said in the letter sent to the police chief, city attorney and the city's Neighborhood Code Compliance Department that such shops could still be scrutinized for other code violations like any other business.
EU agency sees no new risks with combined contraceptives
LONDON (Reuters) - European drug regulators said on Friday there was no reason for women to stop using combined contraceptives like Bayer's <BAYGn.DE> Meliane or Yasmin pills since there was no new evidence pointing to safety risks. The move comes after French health regulators said last week they were considering limiting use of some birth control pills after a woman sued the German drugmaker over alleged side-effects.
Bioengineer developing needle-free "nanopatch" vaccines
LONDON (Reuters) - When it comes to protecting millions of people from deadly infectious diseases, Mark Kendall thinks a fingertip-sized patch covered in thousands of vaccine-coated microscopic spikes is the future. A biomedical engineer with a fascination for problem solving, he has developed the so-called "nanopatch" to try to transform delivery of life-saving vaccines against potential killers like flu and the HPV virus that causes cervical cancer.
FDA advisory panel backs J&J diabetes drug approval 2013-01-10T224326Z_1_BRE9091BE_RTROPTC_0_US-JOHNSONJOHNSON-DIAB ETES.XML () -
FDA warns on insomnia drugs, suggests lower doses 2013-01-10T164302Z_1_BRE9090WU_RTROPTC_0_US-FDA-WARNING-INSOMNI ADRUGS.XML () -
Screen time not linked to kids' physical activity
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Cutting back kids' time watching TV and playing video games may not encourage them to spend more of the day running around outside, a new study suggests. Just four in 10 U.S. kids met dual national guidelines for getting enough physical activity and for limiting "screen time," researchers found - but the likelihood of kids exercising regularly didn't depend on whether they kept away from screens.