The drugs are a common class of treatments called anthracyclines, including doxorubicin, epirubicin, and mitoxantrone. Since their introduction in the 1980s anthracyclines have replaced older chemotherapy drugs in the combination therapies given to women. Administered in the months after surgery and radiation, the chemotherapy is intended to reduce the chances of a life-threatening recurrence of cancer, especially in women at high risk for relapse.

The operation was the culmination of the 1st West African Workshop on the Surgical Treatment of Movement Disorders hosted by West African Academy of Neurosurgeons and the Ghana Center for Advanced Brain Surgery, a specialized department of the NGO, neuroGHANA. Since its inception in 1996, neuroGHANA has promoted and pioneered the utilization of modern techniques in brain surgery. These techniques have included computer-assisted brain surgery, key-hole video surgery and Gamma Knife or no incision surgery.

Drawing on 935 individual samples from the French databank, a Stanford University team found deep traces of long-ago population movements, all originating from a “ground zero” in Ethiopia, Kenya or Tanzania. For example, the Pygmies of the Congo forest were found to be quite close to the Bushmen of Namibia — but both were very different from most other sub-Saharan groups. The fierce and proud Bedouin nomads of the Middle East actually have a lot of European and South Asian blood. The Asian-looking Hazara of Afghanistan are correct in claiming ancestry in Mongolia, but the Han, the dominant ethnic group in China, may be disappointed to discover they’re actually two peoples, one north, the other south. Native Americans have at least one closely related group in Asia — the Yakuts of eastern Siberia, who themselves are related to other hunter-gatherer Siberian tribes, some of whom build wooden teepees.

The marauding Mongols left not just a huge cultural and historical impression in central Asia, but also a genetic one. For instance, the Hazara people of central Afghanistan share genetic ties with East Asia. Silk Route traders left their own mark. The Uighur, a Muslim minority in northwest China, share genes with people in Europe and west Asia.

Africa has harbored a number of high-profile Western medical miscreants who have intentionally administered deadly agents under the guise of providing health care or conducting research. In March 2000, Werner Bezwoda, a cancer researcher at South Africa's Witwatersrand University, was fired after conducting medical experiments involving very high doses of chemotherapy on black breast-cancer patients, possibly without their knowledge or consent. In Zimbabwe, in 1995, Richard McGown, a Scottish anesthesiologist, was accused of five murders and convicted in the deaths of two infant patients whom he injected with lethal doses of morphine. And Dr. Michael Swango, ultimately convicted of murder after pleading guilty to killing three American patients with lethal injections of potassium, is suspected of causing the deaths of 60 other people, many of them in Zimbabwe and Zambia during the 1980s and '90s. (Dr. Swango was never tried on the African charges.)

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