The first US clinical trial to use human embryonic stem cells has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It will look into treatments for paralysis caused by damage to the spinal cord. Until now, research into stem cells has not been federally funded in the United States, with the former president George Bush and his supporters arguing that the technology was not ethical (www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13014104).
Campylobacter infections in humans continue to rise in Europe, says a report that looked at the transmission rates of infectious disease from animals to humans. Mainly transmitted in fresh poultry meat, this organism can cause diarrhoea, fever, and headaches in patients. It affected 200 000 people throughout the continent in 2007. The biggest increases from 2006 were in Germany (number of cases up by 27%) and the United Kingdom (11%). In contrast, the report found the number of cases of salmonella has fallen for