In 1989, Cuba conducted over 80% of its trade with Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CEMA, or Comecon), but with the relatively abrupt dissolution of the Soviet Union, Cuba was suddenly in a very tough economic position. Over the next years, the country focused on three key economies: sugar, tourism and biotechnology (Google books preview). While the first two seem logical enough, the story of biotech in Cuba, especially Havana at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), is getting more attention recently with Cuba's possible therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer. [more inside]
There is no minimum safe exposure level for any form of asbestos fibres, according to the World Health Organization.
More Australians have died from asbestos poisoning than died during the First World War so the Australian Government has just announced the creation of the Office of Asbestos Safety following the receipt of the Asbestos Management Review (pdf). Its aim to to complete the removal of all asbestos from Australian buildings by 2030. Asbestos is a global issue, and while Australia is keen to eliminate its use Canada is still mining and exporting the toxic substance which keeps turning up everywhere. [more inside]
Fifty years ago, the Royal College of Physicians released a report titled "Smoking and health (1962)", showing the relation between smoking and lung cancer. In 1962, about 70% of men and 40% of women in the UK smoked, and the BBC spoke to a number of them as seen in this archive footage.
Lung cancer 'different in women' Rates of lung cancer in women have increased significantly in recent decades while those for men have remained stable. Female smokers have a greater chance of developing lung cancer, and a higher risk of developing adenocarcinoma, which is the most common form of the disease. But women also have better survival rates, the researchers said.
The evil weed. Here's a cheery little test for you old folks.
Very bad news for Warren Zevon. AP reports that he has untreatable lung cancer. His quote: "I'm OK with it, but it'll be a drag if I don't make it till the next James Bond movie comes out." Damn. Damn.
Big Tobacco is buying exclusive rights to lung cancer drugs. I can't begin to count the ways that this is just wrong.