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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Friday, June 15, 2007

Today's Globe: birds, Lyme cases, diet pill, teen obesity surgery, stem cell bill

grackle150.bmpThe loss of millions of acres of grasslands and shrubs nationwide to suburban sprawl and agriculture -- along with a warming planet -- has dramatically reduced the numbers of common birds (including the grackle, left) seen across the United States over the past 40 years, according to a National Audubon Society study released yesterday.

The number of Lyme disease cases reported in Massachusetts jumped by about 50 percent from 2004 to 2005, a single-year increase that prompted concerned state health officials to say they were stepping up efforts to educate the public about prevention of the disease.

Eager dieters snapped up all the packages of alli at dozens of Walgreen Co. stores yesterday, providing a sneak peek at how the nation's only federally approved over-the-counter diet pill would be greeted today, the first day of nationwide sales.

Adolescents are less likely to suffer complications from obesity surgery than adults, a reassuring finding because little had been known about the risk facing the small but growing number of teens who opt for it, researchers said yesterday.

As the bill to allow federally funded stem cell research heads to the White House, the question is not whether research on embryonic stem cells will go forward, Ellen Goodman writes on the op-ed page. It is going forward in foreign countries and private companies and states that support it from Massachusetts to California. It's whether it will go forward with federal funding and oversight and accountability.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:24 AM
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