Health & Wellness


New Bacteria Discovered In Raw Milk

Raw milk is illegal in many countries as it can be contaminated with potentially harmful microbes. Contamination can also spoil the milk, making it taste bitter and turn thick and sticky. Now scientists have discovered new species of bacteria that can grow at low temperatures, spoiling raw milk even when it is refrigerated.

According to research, the microbial population of raw milk is much more complex than previously thought.

"When we looked at the bacteria living in raw milk, we found that many of them had not been identified before," said Dr Malka Halpern from the University of Haifa, Israel. "We have now identified and described one of these bacteria, Chryseobacterium oranimense, which can grow at cold temperatures and secretes enzymes that have the potential to spoil milk."

Fertility treatments linked to certain birth defects

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that infants born as a result of assisted reproductive technology, or ART -- such as in vitro fertilization and the use of donor eggs -- are two to four times more likely to be born with certain types of birth defects than infants conceived naturally. But, the study's lead author says, the overall risk is still relatively low.

"The most important findings were that for infants conceived using ART, we see an increased risk for certain birth defects," said Jennita Reefhuis, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. She says that children conceived using ART were found to have twice the risk of septal heart defects (a "hole" in the heart), more than twice the risk of cleft lip with or without cleft palate, and four times the risk of two gastrointestinal defects.

Flesh-Eating Bacteria Eats Prisoner's Penis

Taxpayers will pay $300,000 to a man who lost his penis and a testicle after doctors misdiagnosed a case of flesh-eating bacteria while he was being held in a Washington state prison, local news organizations report.

The Seattle Times says Charlie Manning, 61, reached a settlement with the state four years after he fell ill while serving a 13-month sentence for stealing a neighbor's gun and threatening him.

"After he developed an infected hemorrhoid and his symptoms worsened, including a fever, swollen genitals, bleeding from the rectum and a rash on his torso, prison medical staff diagnosed him as having an allergic reaction to cold medicine," the Times reports. "By the time a doctor at Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen found Manning had necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria, and he was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, the bacteria had spread to his pelvic area."

Teen lives 118 days without a heart

Miami girl was kept alive by a blood-pumping device until her transplant

MIAMI - D'Zhana Simmons says she felt like a "fake person" for 118 days when she had no heart beating in her chest.

"But I know that I really was here," the 14-year-old said, "and I did live without a heart."

As she was being released Wednesday from a Miami hospital, the shy teen seemed in awe of what she's endured. Since July, she's had two heart transplants and survived with artificial heart pumps - but no heart - for four months between the transplants.

Tainted meats point to superbug C. diff in food

Study finds gut germ in 40 percent of grocery meats; CDC says not to worry

An Arizona researcher found 40 percent of meat products tested from three national chain stores were contaminated with bacteria normally associated with severe hospital infections. Federal health officials, however, say more study is needed to determine whether C. diff is transmitted through food.

A potentially deadly intestinal germ increasingly found in hospitals is also showing up in a more unsavory setting: grocery store meats.

More than 40 percent of packaged meats sampled from three Arizona chain stores tested positive for Clostridium difficile, a gut bug known as C. diff., according to newly complete analysis of 2006 data collected by a University of Arizona scientist.

Fluoride in Drinking Water may Negatively Affect Health of Fetuses and Infants

Did you know that fluoride in our water supplies is the only chemical added for a specific medical purpose, i.e. to prevent tooth decay? All other chemicals are added for treatment purposes, to improve the quality and safety of tap water. And an expert has voiced his concerns over the potential negative impact of fluoride in drinking water on the health of fetuses and infants.

Dr Vyvyan Howard is a medical pathologist and toxicologist, and also President of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment. In a short video clip put together by the Fluoride Action Network, he expressed his concern over the use of fluoride in our water supplies.

More countries make spreading HIV a crime

HIV criminalization map
© Unknown
Graphic shows countries with laws criminalizing HIV transmission or exposure
An increasing number of countries worldwide are making spreading HIV a crime, according to a new report from the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Health officials fear the trend could undermine gains made in fighting the AIDS pandemic and provoke a surge in cases. Globally, about 33 million people are thought to have HIV and nearly 3 million people are newly infected every year.

"If the law is applied badly, this could set us back and do incredible damage," said Paul de Lay, an AIDS expert at UNAIDS, who was not involved in the report.

Florida, US: Cause Of Hobe Sound Elementary School Virus Unknown

More Than 100 Students Kept Out Of School

More than 100 Hobe Sound Elementary School students were kept out of school for the second day in a row Thursday, sickened by a mysterious stomach virus.

Second grader Joseph MacGillibray spent most of Wednesday night and Thursday vomiting.

"I only ate bananas," he told WPBF News 25's Terri Parker. "I didn't eat much yesterday."

Color perception shifts from right brain to left

Washington - Learning the name of a color changes the part of the brain that handles color perception.

Infants perceive color in the right hemisphere of the brain, researchers report, while adults do the job in the brain's left hemisphere.

Testing toddlers showed that the change occurred when the youngsters learned the names to attach to particular colors, scientists report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A sting a day keeps the allergy away

Beekeepers faced with daily stings in their work are helping researchers understand why some people are prone to occasionally deadly allergic reactions, while others are not.

High doses of bee venom early in the year block a normally potent immune reaction for the remainder of the season, says Mübeccel Akdis, an immunologist at University of Zurich in Switzerland, who led the study.
beekeeper coverd in bees playing a clarinet
© SIPA Press /Rex
Beekeepers' immune systems quickly develop tolerance to bee stings.

The finding could help in treating the roughly 2% to 5% of people who develop severe allergies to bee stings. Akdis' team followed a group of beekeepers for several years to determine how their immune systems managed the feat. None of the keepers donned protective masks or gloves while handling the bees.