Health & Wellness
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.
Thu, 13 Nov 2008 21:39 CET
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."
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.
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.
© 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.
Frankfurt - Merck KGaA, the drugmaker that markets Genentech's psoriasis drug Raptiva in Europe, said it is working with European Union regulators after a second Raptiva patient died of a rare brain infection in the United States.
"We are aware of both cases. We are working with the European Medicines Agency and with other authorities to update the product information and are seeking to determine if further action is needed," Phyllis Carter, a spokeswoman for Germany's Merck said.
Comment: When health becomes business it often leads to human deaths, as the greedy business makers care more about profits than creating drugs that truly assist in treating conditions and diseases. And if pharmaceutical companies are not to be trusted, then it is up to us to study and find out as much as possible on alternative ways to keep us healthy.
© Nuure Weheliye/IRIN
Dozens of people have died in a diarrhoea outbreak in and around the town of Abudwaaq, in Galgadud
Nairobi - At least 100 people have died in the past four weeks
after an outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) in and around the town of Abudwaaq, in Galgadud region of central Somalia, medical sources said on 18 November.
"Since 3 October, 100 people have died in Abudwaaq town; there are some people who have died in the villages around it but we don't have numbers for them," said Mohamed Jama, the only doctor in the area. "This is the highest mortality rate I have witnessed in my career."
Jama said that so far 500 cases of AWD had been registered in the hospital, where a treatment centre was set up. "These are the ones who made it here. We are getting reports of people dying in the outlying villages, but unfortunately we cannot reach them."
Tue, 18 Nov 2008 16:35 CET
Ardmore, Okla. -- Flu season is just around the corner, but officials in Oklahoma are already seeing cases pop up in Carter County. Local business leaders met Tuesday to talk about the possibility of a massive flu outbreak in the area and how that would affect the local economy.
There hasn't been a massive pandemic in the United States since 1918, but the odds of one happening here are better than you might think.
It seems a bit strange for business leaders to meet and discuss "the possibility of a flu outbreak" in their community, don't you think? It seems that the fear mongering over a flu epidemic
that is going on in the US has created a climate of hysteria. Note also how the flu shot is suggested for prevention, when even an expert warned
There is little clinical evidence that the vaccines have an effect on things like hospital stay, time off work, death in healthy adults or even those with conditions like asthma and cystic fibrosis.
Mention the phrase "diverse ecosystem," and it conjures images of tropical rainforests and endangered coral reefs. It also describes the human colon.
A new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine reveals in greater detail than ever before the full extent of the bacterial community inhabiting the human bowel - 10 times more diverse than previous research had suggested. The technology that yielded this result offers the potential for much more accurate assessments of people's complex internal ecosystems, as well as more-sophisticated monitoring of the degree to which they are affected by, for example, antibiotics.
All of us have experienced being in a new place and feeling certain that we have been there before. This mysterious feeling, commonly known as déjà vu, occurs when we feel that a new situation is familiar, even if there is evidence that the situation could not have occurred previously. For a long time, this eerie sensation has been attributed to everything from paranormal disturbances to neurological disorders.
However, in recent years, as more scientists began studying this phenomenon, a number of theories about déjà vu have emerged, suggesting that it is not merely a glitch in our brain's memory system. A new report by Colorado State University psychologist Anne M. Cleary, published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, describes recent findings about déjà vu, including the many similarities that exist between déjà vu and our understanding of human recognition memory.
Drugs like Avastin that are used to treat some cancers are supposed to work by blocking a vessel growth-promoting protein called vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF. With VEGF held in check, researchers have assumed tumors wouldn't generate blood vessels and that should keep malignancies from growing. In a sense, the cancerous growths would be "starved". But new research just published in the journal Nature shows this isn't true. Instead of weakening blood vessels so they won't "feed" malignant tumors, these cancer treatments, known as anti-angiogenesis drugs, actually normalize and strengthen blood vessels -- and that means they can spur tumors to grow larger.