Health & Wellness


How eating chocolate can help improve your maths

© Philip Hollis
Mental arithmetic became easier after volunteers had been given large amounts of compounds found in chocolate in a hot cocoa drink
Eating chocolate could improve the brain's ability to do maths, a new study suggests.

Mental arithmetic became easier after volunteers had been given large amounts of compounds found in chocolate, called flavanols, in a hot cocoa drink.

They were also less likely to feel tired or mentally drained, the findings, presented at the British Psychological Society annual conference in Brighton show.

Prof David Kennedy, director of the brain, performance and nutrition research centre at Northumbria University, and a co-author of the study, said that chocolate could be beneficial for mentally challenging tasks.


Having a sister makes you happier and more optimistic, say psychologists

Having a sister makes you happier and more optimistic, a new study shows, but the same is not true for having a brother.

Growing up with at least one girl in the family also makes people more able to cope with their problems, according to the study.

Daughters tie loved ones closer together and encourage them to communicate their emotions more effectively, the researchers believe.


Killer strains of tuberculosis may 'spiral out of control,' U.N. says

The world is on the cusp of an explosion of drug-resistant tuberculosis cases that could deluge hospitals and leave physicians fighting a nearly untreatable malady with little help from modern drugs, global experts said Wednesday.

"The situation is already alarming, and poised to grow much worse very quickly," said Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization.

With Bill Gates at her side, Chan urged health officials from 27 countries at a three-day forum on drug-resistant TB to recognize the warning signs of what looms ahead, saying that traditional drugs are useless against some strains of tuberculosis and health care costs for treating those strains can be 100 to 200 times more than for regular tuberculosis.


Unhappy teens to be effectively lobotomized: Govt panel wants universal screening for 'depression'

© Unknown
An influential government-appointed medical panel is urging doctors to routinely screen all American teens for depression - a bold step that acknowledges that nearly 2 million teens are affected by this debilitating condition.

Most are undiagnosed and untreated, said the panel, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which sets guidelines for doctors on a host of health issues.

The task force recommendations appear in April's issue of the journal Pediatrics. And they go farther than the American Academy of Pediatrics' own guidance for teen depression screening.

Comment: See also: The Myths of Modern Pharmaceutical Medicine Parallel Greek Mythology


Simple Ways to Stop Acne Naturally

In this video, I explain simple, safe, and effective ways to eliminate acne.


Vaccinate them all: Boys to get cervical cancer jabs?


Next in line
Boys should be vaccinated against the sexual infection which causes cervical cancer because so few girls have had the jab that protects against it, say campaigners.

Even though boys cannot get cervical cancer, they can contract the human papillomavirus which causes 70 per cent of cases - and pass it on to girls.

Ministers want all girls between the ages of 12 and 18 to be given the jab over the next three years.

But latest figures show only 73 per cent of girls aged 12 and 13 had received the first two of the doses of the vaccine by this January.


Light-activated 'Lock' Can Control Blood Clotting, Drug Delivery

Scientists have shed new light -- literally -- on a possible way to starve cancer tumors or prevent side effects from a wide range of drugs.

A lock-like molecule designed by University of Florida chemistry researchers clasps or unclasps based on exposure to light. In laboratory tests, the chemists put the lock on an enzyme involved in blood clotting. They then exposed the enzyme to visible and ultraviolet light. The clasp opened and closed, clotting the blood or letting it flow.

The results suggest that the biological hardware could one day be used to prevent the formation of tiny blood vessels that feed tumors. The little lock could also be placed in drugs, giving doctors the ability to release them only on diseased cells, tissues or organs -- maximizing their efficacy while preventing side effects from damage to healthy tissue.

Endoscopic lights inserted into the patient could unlock the drugs when desired -- or, the drugs could be activated by simply exposing the skin nearest the targets to near-infrared light, which penetrates the skin.

Magic Wand

The Myths of Modern Pharmaceutical Medicine Parallel Greek Mythology

Every culture invents its own mythology to explain the world around it. What's interesting about this, however, is that no culture believes its mythology is actually "myth". Its people believe commonly-held fabrications to be truthful and accurate. It is only later, after that culture or civilization collapses or moves forward that the mythology is revealed as fiction.

Western civilization is currently steeped in a fascinating form of mythology called "medical science." Like any good mythology, it has its stories ("these chemicals balance your brain chemistry") and its story tellers (the medical journals). These stories are carefully placed in the framework of truthful-sounding "scientific" language. But as the recent findings about 21 fabricated studies reveals, these peer-reviewed clinical trial results published in "scientific" journals are really just a modern form of mythological story-telling.


Russian medics say hadron collider can cure cancer

Up to 2,000 cancer patients can be cured annually by a hadron collider-based device developed by Russian researchers, spokesman for a Russian nuclear physics study center has said.

The treatment process involves focusing the flow of protons, accelerated to the speed of light, into a hair-thin ray, and directing it at the tumor, deputy head of the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Russian Sciences Academy, Yevgeny Levichev, told website on Thursday.


Fake company gets approval for risky trial

You would hope that a fake company, proposing to test a risky medical procedure, would be turned down flat. But that's not what happened in an elaborate "sting" operation set up to probe the US system for protecting volunteers in clinical research.

Trials of new drugs or medical devices can only begin if approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Often these are attached to the hospitals or universities where the research will take place. But the task is increasingly being performed for profit by commercial IRBs, prompting fears that some may be rubber-stamping risky trials without proper scrutiny.