Health & Wellness


Study links autism and wet weather

Children in California, Oregon and Washington are more likely to develop autism if they lived in counties with higher levels of annual rainfall, suggesting that something about wet weather might trigger the disorder, according to a study released Monday.
Heart - Black

Medical Student Burnout and the Challenge to Patient Care

Not too long ago, I read a paper titled "Burnout and Suicidal Ideation Among U.S. Medical Students" in The Annals of Internal Medicine. It brought back a flood of memories.

Study Links Sex In Shows To Teen Pregnancy

Girls Who Avidly Watch Racy Programs Have Higher Pregnancy Rates, Research Claims

Groundbreaking research suggests that pregnancy rates are much higher among teens who watch a lot of TV with sexual dialogue and behavior than among those who have tamer viewing tastes.

Behavior problems seen in kids of U.S. combat troops

Washington - The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been hard not only on U.S. troops sent to fight them but on the young children they have left behind, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

Children aged 3 to 5 with a parent deployed to one of the two war zones exhibit more behavioral problems such as aggressiveness than similar children in military families without a parent deployed, according to the study.

More than 2 million U.S. children have had parents deployed to fight in Iraq since 2003 or in Afghanistan since 2001.
Light Saber

Vasco, India residents up in arms against coal dust pollution

Pollution caused by coal dust is again fuelling protests in the port town of Vasco, with residents alleging that the pollution control measures suggested by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) are not being honoured by Mormugao Port Trust.

Residents alleged that illegal overloading of coal-transporting trucks was compounding the problem. The allegations follow two recent accidents of coal-laden trucks overturning at Chicalim slope. Though the six-wheeler trucks are expected to carry only 9.5 tonnes, they were allegedly overloaded.

Australia: Harmful dust particles found near Narangba Estate

Scientific air monitoring around the controversial Narangba Industrial Estate has found elevated levels of dust linked to serious health problems.

But despite warning about the dangers such tiny particles pose, the Environmental Protection Agency insists the heightened levels of so-called PM10 particles it measured in the air during testing at Narangba were unlikely to prove harmful to nearby residents or workers on the estate.

Environmental authorities around Australia regularly monitor emissions of PM10 particles because the material can enter the human respiratory system and penetrate deeply into the lungs, causing adverse effects.

The particles, measuring less than a hundredth of a millimetre in diameter and found in diesel exhausts and industrial emissions, are also thought to aggravate existing lung or heart problems.

Heavy metals can taint wine

The cardiac benefits of wine have been touted for years, but heavy metal contamination found in some European red and white wines could turn a health benefit into a hazard, British researchers report.
Red Flag

Male, interrupted: phthalates cause birth defects in boys

As more genital birth defects are seen in boys, attention turns to phthalates, chemicals found in a variety of consumer products.

At Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, surgeon Howard Snyder says he and his colleagues repair the genitalia of roughly 300 baby boys every year - about double what they did when he started his practice 30 years ago.

He's not the only doctor who's noticed an increase in this kind of birth defect.

Religion Not the Only Path to Altruism

Religion and its promotion of empathy get undue credit for our unselfish acts. Instead, it's our less-than-virtuous psychological perception that a moral authority is watching us that promotes altruism, a new review essay suggests.

The essay is based on two psychologists' re-examination of dozens of studies that have dealt with the relationship between religious participation and so-called prosocial behavior, a term that includes charity, cooperation, volunteerism, honesty, trust and various forms of personal sacrifice. The Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan is a classic example.

Comment: Dr. Lobaczweski identified this evolutionary feature as a "normal instinctive substratum" which is operative in approximately 95% of humanity. It is the result of millions of years of living in mutually dependent groups. However there is another smaller group for which such behaviour is anything but natural. They learn to mimic the altruism of those with normal personality structures, but will subvert them when given the opportunity. These are the "sociopaths next door". Ponerology is the guide to understanding them.


China is becoming the biggest producer of pharmaceutical ingredients in the world

In the belly of an industrial district south of Lyon, France, just past a sulfurous oil refinery and a synthetic vanilla plant, sits a run-down, eight-story factory that makes aspirin, the first pharmaceutical blockbuster. The Lyon factory is the last of its kind. No other major facility in Europe or the United States makes generic aspirin anymore. The market has been taken over by low-cost Chinese producers. Even Bayer, the German company that created aspirin in the 1890s and has fought for more than a century to distinguish its product as the most trustworthy one, now has backup supplies from China.