Breathable caffeine from canisters will get FDA review

Posted Feb. 20, 2012, at 8:58 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Inhalable caffeine that may be used as a “club drug” by teenagers, according to a New York senator, will be reviewed by U.S. regulators after going on sale last month.

The AeroShot Pure Energy caffeine inhaler became available over the counter last month in New York and Boston and delivers 100 milligrams of caffeine, the same amount in a large cup of coffee.

Though the product didn’t require clearance because it’s classified as a dietary supplement, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., requested an FDA review, saying it could pose hazards to teens if taken with alcohol. Doctors say it may carry neurological and cardiovascular risks.

The FDA said it will review the product and respond directly to Schumer.

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IAEA Iran visit may offer end to war talk over nuclear work

VIENNA — United Nations investigators began two days of meetings in Iran on Monday, offering Tehran’s government a chance to stem growing speculation the country’s nuclear program will spark a military conflict.

Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency flew to the Iranian capital on Sunday for their second round of talks in a month. The visit begins a week after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country will boost production of 20 percent enriched uranium at a deep underground facility in Fordo, near the holy city of Qom.

The simmering conflict over Iran’s nuclear work has driven oil prices higher. Israel and the United States have refused to rule out military action against Iranian nuclear sites to prevent the country from acquiring a weapon. Iran, which hid its work for more than a decade before 2003, says it wants nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

Massacre at Mexican prison was part of escape plot

MEXICO CITY — The worst prison riot in Mexico in years was not really a riot. It was mass murder.

Mexican officials said Monday that it appears all of the 44 inmates stabbed and beaten to death at a state prison in northern Mexico on Sunday were members of the same crime syndicate, known as the Gulf Cartel.

They were killed by their arch enemies, members of Los Zetas, a sensationally violent group that appears to have staged the massacre, in part, as a diversion.

About 30 members of the Zeta cartel escaped from the overcrowded Apodaca prison near Monterrey in the hours after the killings. Officials called the escapees “especially dangerous.”

32,000-year-old plant reborn from ancient fruit in Siberian ice

NEW YORK — Researchers have revived a fertile plant from the remains of its 32,000-year-old fruit found deep in the Siberian ice and buried within the fossilized burrows of ancient squirrels.

The resurrected plant, from an era of woolly mammoths and saber-tooth cats, is the oldest viable multicellular living organism, according to the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It is also the first plant returned to life from permafrost conditions, researchers said.

The discovery raises the possibility of reviving other frozen organisms with prehistoric gene pools, researchers said. Using a horticulture technique called micropropagation, researchers grew the plant from fruit tissue in a test tube of nutrients. The ones that grew roots were transferred into pots with soil and light, where they developed flowers and seeds.

Gunmen in Afghan police uniforms kill NATO soldier

KABUL, Afghanistan — Gunmen in Afghan police uniforms opened fire on NATO troops on Monday in southern Afghanistan, killing an Albanian soldier, officials said.

A second Albanian and another international soldier were wounded, they said. Eleven suspected policemen were arrested.

The shooting appears to be the latest in a growing number of turncoat attacks that have raised questions about the vetting of Afghan recruits and threatened the international military commitment to Afghanistan.

Last month, France suspended its training program and threatened to withdraw its forces a year ahead of schedule after an Afghan soldier shot and killed four French soldiers on a base in eastern Afghanistan.

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