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Why GM chickens don’t get flu … and other health stories

By Charlotte Barnes

Our roundup of health news headlines on Friday 14 January

The big story of the day, reported in The Guardian, is certainly set to spark discussion, particularly among new parents. British scientists are set to ‘rewrite the rulebook' regarding breast feeding.

They say in the British Medical Journal today ‘six months of breastmilk alone is too long and could harm babies'. According to doctors from several leading child health institutes, ‘failing to start weaning babies on to solids before six months could be harmful'. It could lead to a ‘greater chance' of a baby developing anaemia, they say.

Splashed across the front page of The Daily Mail this morning is the story of the doctor who has accused ministers of denying children the flu jab ‘for the sake of £6'. Dr Zana Ameen's six-year-old daughter died ‘just hours after falling ill with swine flu'.

He writes in the Daily Mail today appealing to ministers ‘to look at the heartbreaking photograph of his beloved daughter just hours from death and ask whether it is right to deny other children a vaccine'.

Genetically modified chickens designed to curb the spread of avian flu, are the dish of the day in The Independent. The chickens have an extra piece of DNA ‘inserted into their genomes' which produces a 'decoy' molecule that blocks the replication of the influenza virus. Researchers believe this could lead to ‘the creation of genetically modified poultry, pigs and other livestock that are fully resistant to a range of infectious diseases'.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know, and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest - 14 January 2011