Monday, 20 February 2012 08:38

Health Highlights: Feb. 20, 2012

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Inhalable Caffeine Product to be Reviewed by FDA

The safety of an inhalable caffeine product called AeroShot will be reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency will also investigate whether the product can be labeled as a dietary supplement.

Aeroshot is sold in lipstick-sized canisters. A person puts one end of the canister in their mouth and inhales a fine powder that dissolves almost instantly. Each container contains 100 milligrams of caffeine powder, about equal to the amount in a large cup of coffee, the Associated Press reported.

New York U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer asked the FDA to review the safety and legality of Aeroshot, which went on sale late last month in New York and Massachusetts. It's also sold in France.

"I am worried about how a product like this impacts kids and teens, who are particularly vulnerable to overusing a product that allows one to take hit after hit after hit, in rapid succession," Schumer said, the AP reported.

AeroShot is safe and does not contain additives used to enhance the caffeine effect in energy drinks, according to inventor David Edwards, a Harvard biomedical engineering professor.


First 'Test Tube' Meat to be Produced This Fall: Scientist

A Dutch scientist says the world's first "test tube" meat will be produced this fall.

The meat will be a hamburger made from cow's stem cells, Mark Post said Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Agence France-Presse reported.

The ingredients for the hamburger are "still in the laboratory phase," but by fall "we have committed ourselves to make a couple of thousand of small tissues, and then assemble them into a hamburger," said Post, chair of physiology at Maastricht University.

His goal is to develop a method of producing skeletal muscle tissue in the laboratory that exactly mimics meat, and use this technology to eventually replace the meat-animal industry, AFP reported.


Big Danger in Tiny Pollution Particles: Scientists

Fine airborne pollution particles called secondary organic aerosols are more dangerous than previously believed, according to a new research.

These compounds' persistence in the atmosphere was under-represented in older scientific models, according to a study scheduled to be released on Tuesday, The New York Times reported.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Irvine and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.

"If the authors' analysis is correct, the public is now facing a false sense of security in knowing whether the air they breathe is indeed safe," said Bill Becker, of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, The Times reported.