In brief

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 12 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:400

Cholera genome sequenced: The complete Vibrio cholerae bacterium genome was announced in Washington, DC last week (Nature 2000;406:477-84). The genetic blueprint will help direct development of a new vaccine and potential medical cures for the disease.

Threat of doctors' strike in Ireland averted: The Republic of Ireland's 3000 junior doctors, who threatened strike action earlier this year, have voted to accept an £Ir60m (£46m) pay and conditions package.

Record compensation sums paid to patients: Compensation paid to patients in negligence claims against their doctors in the United Kingdom rose to £77m ($115.5m) last year, nearly double the amount paid four years ago. The Medical Defence Union blamed the increase on the rise in the number of claims and larger individual awards.

Public wants lottery money used for NHS: Three out of four people want the government to use more lottery money to fund the NHS, says a poll by the BMA. Two fifths of the 2000 adults surveyed by MORI supported a hypothecated health tax.

Government acts to reduce England's waiting lists: Troubleshooters from the Modernisation Agency, announced in the NHS Plan for England, will be sent to the seven hospitals in England where patients wait more than three months to see a consultant.

Anti-wrinkle creams may accelerate ageing: The European Commission is considering restricting the use of a hydroxy acids in anti-wrinkle creams. Research from the US Food and Drug Administration found these chemicals could cause long term damage.

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