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Health Highlights: June 8, 2012

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

Dramatic Rise in U.S. Troop Suicides

Suicides among U.S. troops have averaged nearly one a day so far this year, the highest rate since the nation went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Pentagon statistics show that the 154 suicides among active-duty troops in the first 155 days of 2012 are about 50 percent more than the number of U.S. troops killed in action in Afghanistan over the same period, the Associated Press reported.

Suicides in the U.S. military leveled off in 2010 and 2011 and the dramatic increase so far this year has surprised some officials. The 154 suicides by active-duty troops as of June 3 is 18 percent higher than during the same period last year.

The suicide toll so far this year is up 25 percent from 2010 and is 16 percent higher than in 2009, which had the highest yearly total of suicides so far, the AP reported.

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Liver Grown from Stem Cells

Friday's announcement that Japanese scientists created a functioning human liver from stem cells raises hopes that it may eventually be possible to create artificial organs for people who need transplants.

The team transplanted induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells - which have the potential to develop into any body tissue -- into mice. The cells grew into a human liver 0.2 inches in size that could generate human proteins and break down drugs, Agence France-Presse reported.

An abstract of the research by Professor Hideki Taniguchi at Yokohama City University was delivered to other scientists ahead of an academic conference next week, AFP reported.

Two separate teams in Japan and the United States discovered iPS cells -- which can be taken from adults -- in 2006.

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Only Person Cured of HIV/AIDS Wants to be Source of Hope to Others

A 46-year-old American man who is the only person in the world to be cured of HIV/AIDS says his case shows that the disease can be conquered.

Timothy Brown was cured as a result of a 2007 transplant of blood stem cells he received to treat leukemia, ABC News reported. The cells came from a donor with a special genetic mutation that made him resistant to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The genetic mutations occurs in less than one percent of whites and far less often in people of other races.

"I feel good," Brown told ABC News. "I haven't had any major illnesses, just occasional colds like normal people."

While he feels guilty about being the only HIV/AIDS patient to be cured, Brown said he hopes his story will inspire others that a cure is possible.

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Salmonella Fears Prompt Recall of Liquid Dietary Supplement

Potential salmonella contamination has led to the recall of a product called Wellesse Digestive 3 in 1 Health liquid dietary supplement, made by Botanical Laboratories Inc.

A supplier of one of the ingredients in the product said the ingredient has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Product lots affected by this recall include: 16 oz. size with "LOT 34441C (followed by a four digit time code) A EXP 03/2014" jet coded on the bottom of the bottle; 33.8 oz. size has "LOT 34552C (followed by a four digit time code) A EXP 03/2014" jet coded on the bottom of the bottle. The products were sold nationwide.

People who bought these product should return them to the place of purchases for a full refund, the FDA said. For more information, consumers can call the company at 1-800-232-4005.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain are among the symptoms experienced by healthy people infected with salmonella.

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Evenflo Convertible High Chairs Recalled

About 35,000 Evenflo convertible high chairs have been recalled because they pose an injury risk to children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

The activity tray on the chair can unexpectedly detach and cause an unrestrained children to fall. Evenflo has received 18 reports of trays that detached, including eight reports of children who fell from the high chair and suffered bumps and bruises.

The recall includes high chairs that convert from a high chair to toddler-size table and chair. The model names and numbers are: Dottie Lime, 29111259; Dottie Rose, 29111271; and Mariana, 29111234.

The chairs were sold at Toys "R" Us and Walmart stores nationwide and online at Walmart.com and Wayfair.com between December 2011 and June 2012 for about $40, the CPSC said.

Consumers with these products should stop using them immediately and contact Evenflo (1-800-233-5921) for a replacement tray with installation and use instructions.

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