Detecting Accounting Frauds in Asia (Part 2) (Bamboo Innovator Insight)

The following article is extracted from the Bamboo Innovator Insight weekly column blog related to the context and thought leadership behind the stock idea generation process of Asian wide-moat businesses that are featured in the upcoming monthly entitled Moat Report Asia. Fellow value investors get to go behind the scene to learn thought-provoking timely insights on key macro and industry trends in Asia as well as benefit from the occasional discussion of potential red flags, misgovernance or fraud-detection trails ahead of time to enhance the critical-thinking skill about the myriad pitfalls of investing in Asia at the microstructure- and firm-level.

Detecting Accounting Frauds in Asia Part 2

Less Tapering Becomes Tightening Credit No Matter What Fed Says

Less Tapering Becomes Tightening Credit No Matter What Fed Says

By just talking about adding stimulus at a slower pace, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke sent bond yields a percentage point higher. The rout serves as a warning to monetary policy makers that their exit from record accommodation won’t be easy to control. The jump in yields has pushed up the cost of mortgages for millions of Americans, curbed demand for homes and prompted thousands of job cuts at Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., all at a time when the Fed’s policies are aimed at creating jobs and supporting housing. Read more of this post

Eiji Toyoda, Creator of Toyota Export Giant, Dies at 100

Eiji Toyoda, Creator of Toyota Export Giant, Dies at 100

toyoda-roger-smith

GM’s Roger Smith and Eiji Toyoda created their joint venture NUMMI

Eiji Toyoda, who spearheaded Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s expansion in the U.S. as the automaker’s longest-serving president, has died. He was 100. Toyoda died at 4:32 a.m. today because of heart failure at the Toyota Memorial Hospital in Toyota City, Japan, Toyota Motor said in a statement. Funeral services will be held for close family members only, it said. During his 57-year career, the younger cousin of Toyota Motor’s founder helped reshape a maker of Chevrolet knockoffs into an automaker whose manufacturing efficiency became the envy of General Motors Corp. (GM) and Ford Motor Co. By the time he stepped down in 1994, the company was assembling Corollas in the U.S., had started the Lexus luxury brand and had initiated a project that would develop the world’s most successful gas-electric vehicle, the Prius. “He played an important role in leading Toyota’s expansion into North America, and in developing the carmaker into a global company,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, said at a press conference in Tokyo. “He was someone who was indispensable to the nation’s entire industry.” Toyoda was a cousin of Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of the company that bears a slightly altered version of the family’s name. He was one of six presidents to come from the family. Read more of this post

Aging Boomers Befuddle Marketers Eying $15 Trillion Prize

Aging Boomers Befuddle Marketers Eying $15 Trillion Prize

Six years ago, the University of Cincinnati unveiled what it called an “unusual consortium” between its students, faculty and corporations, including Procter & Gamble Co., the consumer-product giant headquartered nearby. The group’s goal: to research and develop product ideas for consumers age 50 and over. “The world has never before seen such a powerful market,” with about $3 trillion to spend in the U.S. alone, the school said then. The segment’s needs were “underserved,” requiring a shake-up of models to find the “sweet spot” between those needs and what was feasible to produce. They’re still searching. Read more of this post

Lantern master’s passion burns bright even after 50 years; “They know it’s not lucrative. My selling price often cannot cover the time and effort used to create the lanterns. But to me, money is secondary. This is my passion, and I hope to do it until i die.”

Lantern master’s passion burns bright even after 50 years

lantern_np

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 – 06:30

Benson Ang, The New Paper

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, most of the lanterns you see in Singapore are imported. But some Singaporeans are still hanging on to the old skills, making, designing and painting traditional Chinese lanterns. Mr Yeo Hung Teo, 75, has been designing and painting Chinese lanterns for about 50 years. He owns Yeo Swee Huat Paper Agency, operating out of a small unit in Toa Payoh Industrial Park. Lanterns, he says in Mandarin, are symbols of identity and status. “Temples, businesses and individuals want them to be hung outside their homes or premises.” Some lanterns are specially commissioned for occasions like the birthdays of deities, funerals and the Hungry Ghost Festival. Made of paper, bamboo and glue, the lanterns are lit with a candle or light bulb. Mr Yeo imports the skeletons of the lanterns from China. He pastes the “skin” over the skeleton and painstakingly hand-paints the lantern with Chinese calligraphy and motifs. The colour of the characters depends on the lantern’s purpose. Most organisations want red characters as the colour represents good luck and fortune. Martial arts organisations might want black characters as the colour symbolises strength, he says. Blue characters are only for funeral lanterns. Each character is painted over at least six times to ensure there are no uneven areas, even when the lantern is lit. Some lanterns also have a decorative drawing – usually of flowers, trees, animals or fruits. To create these designs, Mr Yeo first draws them on the lantern with a ball point pen. He then uses one brush to colour them and another to create textures and effects. He says: “These effects make the objects look more ‘alive’ and beautiful.” He can complete simple designs in two days. More complex ones can take up to a month. The finished lanterns can fetch up to hundreds of dollars, depending on the complexity of their designs. Mr Yeo learnt how to paint lanterns from his father, who set up the business in the 1960s. After two years under his father’s tutelage, Mr Yeo could paint words and simple designs. He learnt more designs during business trips to China and studying the lanterns in temples there. He also sought out other lantern masters – most of whom are now dead – to hone his craft. “After practising for so long, I think my designs have got better.” Sadly, the sun appears to be setting on this art form. His six children, in their 20s to 50s, are not interested in taking over his business.

“They know it’s not lucrative. My selling price often cannot cover the time and effort used to create the lanterns.

“But to me, money is secondary. This is my passion, and I hope to do it until I die.”

Celltrion CEO is facing sanctions from regulators for allegedly manipulating the stock price. Affiliates received loans back by equity stake in Celltrion and have to pay back loans or provide more collateral should Celltrion’s stock price fall. “That’s why Seo attempted to keep its stock price high.”

2013-09-16 19:08

Celltrion CEO under scrutiny

By Na Jeong-ju

Seo Jung-jin, CEO of the country’s largest bio firm Celltrion, is facing sanctions from regulators for allegedly manipulating the stock price of his company. The fraud case represents a dramatic fall from grace for Seo, once called the living legend of the bio industry. He founded Celltrion in 2002 in the midst of a venture boom, and nurtured it into the biggest firm on the tech-laden KOSDAQ bourse in terms of market capitalization. But he is now on the verge of becoming another venture company CEO who may end up in prison.
According to financial regulators Monday, Seo allegedly engaged in illegal stock trading, along with some friendly investors, early this year, using insider information. “We’ve found evidence showing Seo and some others bought shares just before the firm unveiled favorable measures for stock investors,” an official from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said. “Seo is also suspected of having misused his status to inflate Celltrion’s stock price. He claims it was to defend his firm from short-selling investors, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.” Read more of this post

Baupost’s Klarman Returns Money To Clients Amid “Too Few Opportunities”

Baupost’s Klarman Returns Money To Clients Amid “Too Few Opportunities”

Tyler Durden on 09/16/2013 19:26 -0400

Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group will be returning money to investors at year-end. As II Alpha reports, though the amount has yet to be determined, this would be only the second time the hedge fund has returned money in the firm’s 31-year history. With the world of asset managers, as we recently noted, increasingly become herd-like beta-chasers, it seems Klarman – just as he noted earlier in the year – will return capital unless investment opportunities dramatically increased – and that hasn’t happened. Read more of this post

How China Lost Its Mojo: One Town’s Story; Once Booming Yantian Looks for New Sources of Growth

September 16, 2013, 11:00 p.m. ET

How China Lost Its Mojo: One Town’s Story

Once Booming Yantian Looks for New Sources of Growth

TOM ORLIK

YANTIAN, China—Not long ago, this factory town in southeastern China was an emblem of the country’s massive export boom. Today, it is a symbol of China’s struggle to sustain a growth streak. Low wages, easy access to overseas markets, and a business-savvy leadership helped transform Yantian in the 1990s from a sleepy agricultural hamlet to a manufacturing hub with close to 150,000 people. By 1998, more than 400 foreign firms set up shop, churning out electronics, toys and watches for export. A golf course and high-end hotel sprang up to keep Japanese and Hong Kong factory bosses amused. Read more of this post

JPMorgan Reduces Stake in China Merchant Banks amid Chinese Banks Sell-off; Foreign institutions expressed concerns over surging credit and non-performing loans in Chinese banking industry as well as an economic slowdown

JPMorgan Reduces Stake in China Merchant Banks amid Chinese Banks Sell-off

09-17 12:10 Caijing

Foreign institutions have frequently expressed concerns over surging credit and non-performing loans in Chinese banking industry as well as an economic slowdown.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has lowered its stake in China Merchants Bank in the latest sell-off of Chinese banks amid worries over deteriorating bank assets in a slowing economy. JPMorgan reduced its long position in the H shares of the bank from 8.29 percent to 7.79 percent last week by unloading 23million shares at HK$ 15.06 per share on average, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s disclosure of interests information showed Monday. Read more of this post

There is no real secret about how to win the war on cancer

There is no real secret about how to win the war on cancer

Sep 14th 2013 |From the print edition

The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Biggest Mystery. By George Johnson. Knopf; 304 pages; $27.95. Bodley Head; £18.99. Buy fromAmazon.comAmazon.co.uk

The Truth in Small Doses: Why We’re Losing the War on Cancer—and How to Win It. By Clifton Leaf. Simon & Schuster; 499 pages; $27. Buy fromAmazon.com

NOW that AIDS is treatable, and only poor people die from it, cancer has resumed its role as the health bugaboo of the rich world. The headlines shout daily about what does, or does not cause it, with the same things often appearing in both lists. Magazines are full of tales of celebrities who have had the disease—or rather, “battled” with it. And the science columns discourse learnedly on this or that new drug which might prove (though always five to ten years hence) a crucial breakthrough in the war against it. Read more of this post

Bigmouth strikes again: How Manchester became a model for other British cities

Bigmouth strikes again: How Manchester became a model for other British cities

Sep 14th 2013 | MANCHESTER |From the print edition

MANCHESTER, wrote Benjamin Disraeli in 1844, “is the most wonderful city of modern times”. Mancunians, known for many virtues but not for their modesty, are not shy to repeat it. But they do have a point. Manchester was arguably the first true modern city. Whereas Bristol was built on the slave trade, and Birmingham on the industry of a thousand tiny workshops, Manchester was a city of enormous factories, supplying cotton to the world. Its ruthlessly competitive entrepreneurial culture became the model of Victorian industrial capitalism. Read more of this post

What does Chuseok mean to you?

2013-09-17 15:58

What does Chuseok mean to you?

Jeffrey Miller
This week, Koreans will be celebrating one of their most important and venerated holidays, Chuseok. By the time you are reading this Op-Ed piece, nearly a third of South Korea’s population will either be on their way or getting ready to head to their hometown for ancestral rites and family rituals. However, if you are a foreigner in Korea (and not married to a Korean) the extended holiday has a different meaning in the way that it is celebrated. Indeed, celebrating the holiday has any number of possibilities, from traveling around Korea or overseas (if you were lucky enough to find a ticket) to hunkering down in one’s dwelling and catching up on sleep, movies or work. Fortunately, the country doesn’t “close down” like it used to in the past when you had to stock up on food and videos to get through the holiday. These days there’s always some place open whether it’s a coffee shop or convenience store. Read more of this post

Just as Lee Kuan Yew overcame the Republic’s early challenges by being a “man of action” with an “unwavering and total dedication” to the country, Singaporeans can, and need to, aspire to these qualities

S’poreans need to emulate LKY’s total dedication to country: Heng

SINGAPORE — Just as former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew overcame the Republic’s early challenges by being a “man of action” with an “unwavering and total dedication” to the country, Singaporeans can, and need to, aspire to these qualities as they confront the issues of a “different world” today, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.

BY TEO XUANWEI –

5 HOURS 13 MIN AGO

SINGAPORE — Just as former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew overcame the Republic’s early challenges by being a “man of action” with an “unwavering and total dedication” to the country, Singaporeans can, and need to, aspire to these qualities as they confront the issues of a “different world” today, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday. Making a call for action and unity among Singaporeans at a conference to mark Mr Lee’s 90th birthday, Mr Heng cited these qualities as the “deepest impression” Mr Lee left on him in his time as the founding father’s Principal Private Secretary between 1997 and 2000. Read more of this post

Are Insomnia’s Effects on the Brain as Bad As They Feel? Researchers are intrigued by how insomnia patients perform cognitive tasks despite feeling sleepy and unable to concentrate

September 16, 2013, 6:47 p.m. ET

Are Insomnia’s Effects on the Brain as Bad As They Feel?

Researchers are intrigued by how insomnia patients perform cognitive tasks despite feeling sleepy and unable to concentrate

SUMATHI REDDY

Insomniacs don’t just suffer at night. During the day, they often feel sleepy, have trouble concentrating and report greater difficulty with work or school performance than individuals who get adequate sleep. But researchers are intrigued by an apparent discrepancy: Despite what insomnia patients experience subjectively, they often seem able to perform cognitive tasks as well as people getting adequate sleep. One possibility is that insomnia doesn’t lead to inferior performance after all—maybe it just feels that way. Read more of this post

Nature vs. Nurture: New Science Stirs Debate; How Behavior Is Shaped; Who’s an Orchid, Who’s a Dandelion

September 16, 2013, 6:57 p.m. ET

Nature vs. Nurture: New Science Stirs Debate

How Behavior Is Shaped; Who’s an Orchid, Who’s a Dandelion

Researchers are making big strides understanding how genes work with the environment to shape behavior. Jonathan Rockoff and University of Arizona human development professor Bruce Ellis explain on Lunch Break.

JONATHAN D. ROCKOFF

Researchers are making strides in understanding how genes work with the environment to shape behavior, adding a new twist to the age-old debate over whether nature or nurture is mostly responsible for how people develop. They are finding that sensitivity to the environment resides in the biology of the nervous system. And some people, because of their genetic makeup and life experiences, are more sensitive to outside influences than others. Scientists point to a type they call orchids—people who wilt under poor conditions but flourish in supportive climes. Meanwhile, dandelions aren’t much affected by the world around them, whether supportive or harsh. Read more of this post

There is no secret recipe for landing the corner office, but leadership lessons from the former chiefs of Campbell Soup and Schering-Plough have helped many to the top

September 16, 2013, 11:24 a.m. ET

So You Want to Be CEO. Start Here.

There is no secret recipe for landing the corner office, but leadership lessons from the former chiefs of Campbell Soup Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. have helped many to the top.

JOANN S. LUBLIN

Many executives yearn to run a company someday. Few succeed. Doug Conant and Fred Hassan know how to up the odds. The former chief executives have helped numerous protégés make it to CEO. Five lieutenants from Mr. Conant’s decade atop Campbell Soup Co. CPB +0.33%landed the No. 1 job at a public company. They include Sean Connolly at Hillshire Brands Co. HSH +0.69% and Chris Delaney at Goodman Fielder Ltd.GFF.AU +0.27% The same dream job came true for eight associates of Mr. Hassan, a prior chief of Pharmacia Corp. and Schering-Plough Corp. MRK +0.84% Among them: Stephen P. MacMillan at StrykerCorp. SYK +1.01% and Hugh Grant atMonsanto Co. MON +1.46% (A ninth, Brent Saunders, will take the helm ofForest Laboratories Inc. FRX +1.22% on Oct. 1.) There is no secret recipe for landing the corner office. But there are plenty of ways that a strong CEO candidate can veer off track, leadership specialists say. Some fall short after rationalizing missteps by “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses,” Mr. Conant says. Other unsuccessful aspirants typically “lose their humility,” adds Mr. Hassan, who wrote a leadership book – as did Mr. Conant (though with a co-author). Read more of this post

As Education Declines, So Does Civic Culture; A generation of college graduates unable to write or reason bodes ill for liberal democracy

September 16, 2013, 7:14 p.m. ET

As Education Declines, So Does Civic Culture

A generation of college graduates unable to write or reason bodes ill for liberal democracy.

JONATHAN JACOBS

OB-YX815_jacobs_G_20130916133702

Even as the cost of higher education skyrockets, its benefits are increasingly being called into doubt. We’re familiar with laments from graduates who emerge from college burdened with student loans and wondering if their studies have prepared them for jobs and careers. A less familiar but even more troubling problem is that their education did not prepare them for responsible civic life. The decline in education means a decline in the ability of individuals—and ultimately the nation as a whole—to address political, social and moral matters in effective, considered ways. Read more of this post

When a new chief executive moves into the C-suite, the chances are about one in four the chief financial officer will be out the door within a year

September 17, 2013, 12:50 AM ET

New Bosses Often Clean House

MAXWELL MURPHY

Senior Editor

When a new chief executive moves into the C-suite, the chances are about one in four the chief financial officer will be out the door within a year. Within two years of getting a new boss, about a third of CFOs are gone, according toKorn/Ferry International, which looked at 504 CFO departures since 2010 from 1,000 of the largest companies it tracks. Among the firms with recent high-profile CFO exits: truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp.; grocery chain Supervalu; and closeout retailer Tuesday MorningCorp. Some CFOs who have successfully navigated a CEO transition offer three main tips for survival: Communication is key; identify the new boss’s strengths and weaknesses and compensate for the latter; and don’t be sand in the gears of a new strategy. Read more of this post

Get off the pitch for ideas in the boardroom; Leading a business is not like leading a sports team. In fact, it is much harder

September 16, 2013 4:36 pm

Get off the pitch for ideas in the boardroom

By Andrew Hill

Leading a business is not like leading a sports team. In fact, it is much harder

Howard Wilkinson, former manager of Leeds United, knows about pressure: “No offence to captains of industry but even a FTSE 100 chairman can postpone a board meeting. A manager can’t postpone a football match and every match is a shareholder meeting, [sometimes] in front of 88,000 people.” Mr Wilkinson’s comment also underlines what plenty of corporate executives – dazzled by insights imparted by their sporting idols – tend to forget. Leading a business is not like leading a sports team. In fact, it is much harder. Read more of this post

“To finish a piece of work, an artist [has to know how] to marshal the material [in time for an audience] coming through the door.”

September 15, 2013 1:50 pm

The art of managing artists’ egos

By Emma Jacobs

Yoko Ono has a reputation for being beyond bonkers. But not with Jude Kelly. The artistic director of London’s Southbank Centre, which had Ono curate its annual Meltdown music festival this summer, describes her as “wonderful”. Three times in fact. “A wonderful woman . . . totally untemperamental, completely wonderful . . .Totally wonderful, easy to deal with . . lovely.” Ms Kelly believes the “characterisation of creative people as temperamental” is wrong. Divas are few and far between, she says. However, on the rare occasion she does come across a prima donna (she refuses to name one) she does a quick mental calculation: weighing the quality of their output against the amount of effort involved in managing them. “It’s really annoying but if the end-product is extremely amazing, you deal with it.” Read more of this post

Can Building Great Products Help You Build Great Teams?

Can Building Great Products Help You Build Great Teams?

by Deep Nishar  |   11:00 AM September 16, 2013

Silicon Valley was built on amazing products, not on stellar leadership skills. In fact, veterans of some of the world’s most successful tech companies often look with skepticism, even disdain, on efforts to build strong management skills. The premise is that all energy should be focused solely on turning fabulous ideas into hyper growth. It’s true that if a start-up fails — or is sold — the need for enduring leadership may never arise. And in the earliest stages of a company, the need to organize, motivate and inspire large groups of people to accomplish shared goals may not be obvious. Read more of this post

Panda poop power: Microbes in pandas’ guts can help in biofuel production

Panda poop power: Microbes in pandas’ guts can help in biofuel production

Sep 14th 2013 |From the print edition

GIANT PANDAS are well known for being rather different from other bears. Having a diet composed almost entirely of bamboo is one of the things that sets them apart. It is also what attracted the interest of Ashli Brown of Mississippi State University, in a search for more efficient ways to make biofuel. Most of the nutrients found in bamboo are locked away in tough substances known as cellulose and lignin. Liberating those nutrients is an energy-intensive process that involves high temperatures and extreme pressures when carried out in a laboratory or by an industrial process. Indeed, it is the cost of doing so that makes producing biofuel out of cellulose- and lignin-rich materials, like discarded corn (maize) cobs and husks, less financially viable than generating biofuel directly from more readily digestible corn kernels. The kernels, however, can be used to feed people whereas the cobs and husks cannot. So a process that is able efficiently to turn what is a waste product into fuel could have great potential. Read more of this post

‘Everyday Sadists’ Among Us; Those who enjoying inflicting pain without provocation are not that uncommon, and not complete monsters, suggests a study trying to identify the distinct traits of such “everyday sadism.”

SEPTEMBER 16, 2013, 4:50 PM

‘Everyday Sadists’ Among Us

By JAN HOFFMAN

Try this quick word association: Sadist. And you respond… Hannibal Lecter? The Marquis de Sade? Actually, you didn’t need to come up with representatives of extreme criminal behavior or sexual torture. You might just as well have considered the colleague two cubicles over. The one who spends lunch hour splattering the brains of video game characters. Those who enjoy inflicting at least moderate pain on others, directly or vicariously, mingle with us daily. Think mean girls, taunting a classmate to commit suicide. Or the professor who grills a squirming, clueless student, lips curled in a small, savage smile. Delroy L. Paulhus, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, calls such people “everyday sadists.” Read more of this post

When a curry puff works – but a croissant doesn’t: When Han Keen Juan acquired Old Chang Kee in 1986, blending the old and the new worked wonders. The company grew rapidly.

When a curry puff works – but a croissant doesn’t

hankj_oldchangkee2

Monday, September 16, 2013 – 15:06

The Business Times

When Han Keen Juan acquired Old Chang Kee in 1986, blending the old and the new worked wonders. The company grew rapidly. So, next, he tried blending cultures, and introduced croissants. They were tantalisingly displayed together with the curry puffs, but did not take off. That was when the company realised that while it was the norm to hold a curry puff and eat it on the go, people preferred to enjoy their French pastry sitting down. Read more of this post

Defense is no longer the best offense; ITV Shows Boring Is No Longer Beautiful

September 15, 2013, 3:21 p.m. ET

ITV Shows Boring Is No Longer Beautiful

It’s Tough to See the Picture Getting Much Brighter for the U.K.’s ITV

JOHN JANNARONE

Defense is no longer the best offense—at least that is what many investors have decided. The stock market’s surprise standouts earlier this year were some of its dullest, most defensive companies. Risk-averse investors chased stocks with dependable cash flows and stable dividend yields like Unilever UN +0.96% and Clorox CLX +0.68% . That resulted in a significant outperformance: In the year through April 22, global defensive stocks beat cyclical stocks by nine percentage points, says Philip Isherwood of Absolute Strategy Research. But since April 22, the outperformance has been almost completely reversed: Cyclical stocks have beaten defensive stocks by 10 percentage points. Why the change of heart? A likely reason is that shareholders are betting a broad-based earnings recovery will soon give companies the confidence to start investing in their businesses. Read more of this post

How Asia’s messaging apps will blossom as mobile platforms

How Asia’s messaging apps will blossom as mobile platforms

September 17, 2013

by Joshua Kevin

Joshua Kevin is a former blogger at Tech in Asia and former community manager at KakaoTalk Indonesia. Now, he’s working on his own startup which he hopes to have fully launched early next year. You can follow him on Twitter, @jshkvn. The views expressed are his own and are not related to KakaoTalk in any way.


There has been a lot of debate about how messaging apps, especially those from Asia. LineKakaoTalk, and WeChat are going to rule the world, starting from their own region or country, then expanding. While it’s still early days for these apps, I want to talk about something that’s often mis-interpreted: stickers. Yes, those huge, animated stickers/emoticons were started by KakaoTalk and Line, then WeChat followed, and then even western companies such as Path and Facebook followed the trend. This has made tech blogs and the media, in general, go crazy about how stickers are going to set the social media world on fire and make tons of money for these companies. Yes, they’ll bring in some cash, but they won’t be the main source of income. Read more of this post

Steps to Better Foot Health; Foot pain can signal big and small problems. Even how you get out of bed matters.

September 16, 2013, 7:04 p.m. ET

Steps to Better Foot Health

Foot pain can signal big and small problems. Even how you get out of bed matters.

ANGELA CHEN

PJ-BQ514_FEET_G_20130916172239

Are your feet healthy? Even people who try to cover all the bases—avoiding fattening foods, hitting the gym and wearing sunscreen—may not be able to answer yes. Doctors say people often ignore persistent but minor foot complaints, which can later develop into bigger problems, like lower back pain. Some common foot problems can mask underlying issues that are correctable if addressed early. Tender feet might be a sign of a pinched nerve, for example, or bunions might stem from weak arches. Other foot ailments, such as sores that don’t heal, can point to a more serious condition, such as diabetes. Read more of this post

Patients Share DNA for Cures

September 16, 2013, 9:45 p.m. ET

Patients Share DNA for Cures

RON WINSLOW

Patients with rare and deadly diseases are getting a powerful new boost. Cancer foundations and other nonprofit patient groups are investing tens of millions of dollars to build genetic databases in an effort to speed drug development and jumpstart clinical trials. The databases are designed to collect DNA and other information from patients with hard-to-treat diseases. The material can be analyzed for certain genetic mutations and made available to scholars and pharmaceutical companies. The databases could also help patients familiar with their own genetic mutations to find information about clinical trials. Read more of this post

Drugs for Inherited Cancers Get Fresh Push

September 15, 2013, 9:37 p.m. ET

Drugs for Inherited Cancers Get Fresh Push

After Earlier Disappointments, Treatments Are Seen Helping Patients With Breast-Gene Mutation

JOSEPH WALKER

OB-YX587_DRUGS0_G_20130915220303

Drug makers are rallying to a class of drugs that, if they succeed, could be the first treatments to target breast and ovarian cancers tied to the genetic mutations known as BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. Two years ago, the drugs were all but written off after a string of clinical study failures in broader cancer-patient populations. But later research and a closer examination of existing data showed the drugs, known as PARP inhibitors, had a pronounced effect in BRCA patients. Read more of this post

Antibiotics Losing Battle Against Bugs; More than two million people in the U.S. develop infections every year that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 of them die as a result

Updated September 16, 2013, 7:32 p.m. ET

Antibiotics Losing Battle Against Bugs: Report

BETSY MCKAY

NA-BY086_ANTIBI_G_20130916151206

More than two million people in the U.S. develop infections every year that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 of them die as a result, according to a government report Monday that called for aggressive steps to counter a worsening public health problem. Another 250,000 people annually develop a bacterial infection, clostridium difficile, and about 14,000 of those cases prove fatal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its first report to give an overview of the threat and toll of antibiotic-resistant bugs that cause most infections. Read more of this post

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