ALSO NOTED: USDA releases some news about that mad cow; Scrushy takes a vacation; and much more...

> After a long silence, agriculture officials said they had traced a case of Mad Cow disease to a Texas herd. Story

> Unhappy with the handling of the case, health groups, including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, have petitioned to join the government's lawsuit against big tobacco. Story (Wall Street Journal sub. req.)

> Nichols Diagnostics said it is temporarily suspending shipments of all its products, which include medical tests for dialysis patients, thyroid disorders and anemia. Nichols is a small subsidiary of lab giant Quest Diagnostics. Story

> GM and the unions are still struggling to get a deal done on healthcare. Story

> The FDA warned Endo Pharmaceuticals on marketing materials for Lidoderm, its "pain patch." Story

> In Georgia, some worry that PeachCare cuts may put kids at risk. Story 

> Contradicting a recent EPA opinion, an independent panel says PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, a chemical found in Teflon and Gore-Tex, is "a likely carcinogen." Story

> Penn State Hershey said it is implementing Cerner's EMR system. Release

> The Economist examines the implications of the announcement that Bill Gates will give $407 million to cutting-edge health research. Story (sub. req.)

And Finally... No longer barred from traveling, exonerated ex-HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy says he is planning a vacation. Story