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Bird Flu Research Rattles Bioterrorism Field

At a recent conference, a Dutch scientist said he'd made bird flu virus highly contagious between ferrets — the animal model used to study human flu infection. Just five mutations did the trick. Security experts fear publishing the work could spur development of new weapons.

Feds Want To Make Farming Safer For Kids

The Labor Department has proposed changes that would outlaw farm kids under the age of 16 from driving tractors, branding cattle and handling pesticides. Family farmers are angry about the proposal and accuse the government of encroaching on a sacred part of country life. But statics show kids who work on farms are six times more likely to be killed than children working in other industries. Peggy Lowe of Harvest Public Media reports.

Bird Flu Experiment Rattles Bioterrorism Experts

Scientists are worried about the deadly bird flu called H5N1 which sometimes infects people. It's never acquired the ability to transmit easily between humans, but researchers would like to know if that could happen. Recently, they've essentially been altering the genes of H5N1 to make the virus spread more easily between lab animals — raising concerns about biosafety and how this research is regulated.

Why Brain Injuries Are More Common In Preemies

Each year more than 60,000 babies are born weighing less than 3.3 pounds. As scientists learn more about how brain injuries occur among these very premature infants, it could point the way to possible prevention and repair strategies.

Emergency Room Closures Hit Minorities, Poor Hardest

When a California hospital closes its emergency room, many residents may feel the effect. And according to a new report, hospitals whose patients tend to be black or on Medicaid are more likely to shut down their ERs than others.

Geckos Threatened By Booming Demand For Traditional Medicines

A surge in demand for Tokay Geckos is leading to the "rapacious collection" of the animals in Southeast Asia," says a wildlife-protection group. Unsubstantiated claims of miracle cures from traditional medicines are helping fuel the demand.