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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 11, 2012 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
The California bullet train is promoted as an important environmental investment for the future, but over the next decade the heavy construction project would potentially harm air quality, aquatic life and endangered species across the Central Valley. Eleven endangered species, including the San Joaquin kit fox, would be affected, according to federal biologists. Massive emissions from diesel-powered heavy equipment could foul the already filthy air. Dozens of rivers, canals and wetlands fed from the rugged peaks of the Sierra Nevada would be crossed, creating other knotty issues.
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SCIENCE
May 15, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
The proportion of Americans with asthma increased from 7.3% in 2001 to 8.4% in 2010, marking the highest level ever, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. In 2010, an estimated 18.7 million adults and 7 million children had the disease -- one in every 12 Americans. Overall, about 29.1 million adults have been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their lives, but many of those were misdiagnosed or have apparently recovered, leading to the current figure of 18.7 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2012 | By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from New York -- Anthony Shadid, a journalist who gave voice to those muffled by the turmoil around them — from Iraqi families enveloped in civil war to young Libyans spurred to take up arms against a dictator — died while doing just that: reporting from Syria in defiance of official attempts to limit media coverage of the bloodshed there. Shadid, who died Thursday at 43, was stricken by an apparent asthma attack while preparing to leave Syria with his New York Times colleague, photographer Tyler Hicks.
NEWS
February 17, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid died Thursday after suffering an apparent asthma attack while on assignment in Syria.  He was 43 years old. According to an Associated Press report, New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks, who was traveling with Shadid, said that thePulitzer Prize-winningreporter had also suffered a bout a week earlier. The attack Thursday was more severe: Shadid reportedly lost consciousness and collapsed.  His breathing became “very faint” and “very shallow,” Hicks said, and ceased completely after a few minutes.
NEWS
September 26, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A large number of the world's 300 million people with asthma -- as many as 40% -- don't respond to the inhalers their doctors prescribe to improve lung function.  But doctors don't know how to predict which patients will benefit from glucocorticoid therapy (steroid inhalers) and which ones won't. But researchers at the Harvard Medical School have now located a genetic variation that may some day help physicians figure it out. The team's results, published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, used a genome-wide analysis of 118 trios (consisting of a child and his or her parents)
NEWS
August 17, 2011 | By Sophia Lee, Los Angeles Times
The daily battle ceased at the LaSalle household in Moreno Valley when Kailyn came back from her first camp last summer. Called Camp NoMoWheezin and operated by the California chapter of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, the facility is for children ages 8 to 14 with asthma. When Kailyn first visited, she was 11 and had been struggling with chronic asthma her whole life, as well as with allergies to things such as dust, horses, pollen and grass. The constant stress of Kailyn's condition took a toll.
NEWS
July 28, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Famously overweight New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was hospitalized Thursday morning after having trouble breathing.  When his EKG, blood work and chest X-ray came back normal, doctors at the Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., diagnosed an asthma attack. The rising Republican star has spoken often about his struggles with his weight, even telling CNN talk show host Piers Morgan that he felt "guilty" about it, the Los Angeles Times reported.  He has also talked publicly about living with asthma.  The subject comes up often when he's stumping about healthcare.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the fiscal conservative cites the cost of his asthma medication when expounding on the "generosity of the state health care plan.
NEWS
July 26, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Children who are born at a very low birth weight typically have more chronic health problems than normal birth weight children. While those issues don't appear to get worse as they become teenagers, a study finds, they may be at higher risk for obesity. The study, released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. , focused on 181 extremely low birth weight children (whose weight at birth was less than 2.2 pounds on average) and 115 normal birth weight children born between 1992 and 1995.
NEWS
July 25, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Breastfeeding has a long list of demonstrated benefits, including a lower risk of diarrhea, skin rash, respiratory infections and a type of deadly gastrointestinal disease. Now, new research affirms that warding off asthma symptoms still belongs on that list . Researchers in the Netherlands used questionnaires to assess the breastfeeding history and asthma symptoms in more than 5,000 preschool children. The children who had never been breastfed were more likely to wheeze, cough, have shortness of breath and have persistent mucus than children who were breastfed for six months.
NEWS
July 13, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
The placebo effect is alive and well, at least for patients with acute asthma. That's the finding of a pilot study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine -- part of the National Institutes of Health -- and published in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and colleagues decided to test the placebo effect in asthma patients because it's easy to assess their physical improvement (as measured by lung function tests)
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