Health & Wellness


Baby eyes are taking in the world, applying self-experience to other people

Those wide-eyed babies are taking in and using more information than previously believed. In fact, new research by psychologists at the University of Washington's Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences indicates 12- and 18-month-old babies not only are observing what is going on around them but also are using their own visual self-experience to judge what other people can and cannot see.

China: Farmers blamed for contamination

Chinese babies
©Xinhua Photo
Two babies with kidney stones receive medical treatment at a military hospital in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 11, 2008

Investigators believe dairy farmers added a dangerous chemical to milk that has been linked to kidney stones in infants and one death in China, state media said.

The government vowed "serious punishment" after China's biggest milk powder producer recalled 700 tons of baby formula. The official Xinhua News Agency said the powder was tainted with melamine, a chemical used in plastic.

The producer, Sanlu Group, knew about the contamination on August 6 but refrained from telling the public, according to a report on the Caijing business magazine website. Reports said Sanlu kept silent because some grocers refused to return tainted powder, but did not say why that prevented a public warning.

Australia: 11 cancer cases at school

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has confirmed there have been 11 cancer cases at a school north of Brisbane.

Cancer at school
©Education Queensland:
Staff at the school have been gagged from speaking to the media.

The Government says it will evacuate Deception Bay State High School if investigations confirm there is a cancer cluster on the site.

It is understood that three people have been diagnosed this year, but Ms Bligh says there have been other cases.

Arctic Gull Sets Record For PCB Contamination

Arctic ivory gull

Scientists at the Norwegian Polar Institute reported Thursday that the tiny Arctic ivory gull has the highest known concentrations of PCBs, chemicals long used in the pesticide DDT along with plastics, paints and other products.

The gull has set a new record as the bird most contaminated by the two prohibited toxins, the scientists said.

There are currently about 14,000 ivory gulls, which inhabit areas from Canada to Siberia. The current research was conducted following reports that the number of ivory gulls had plummeted 80 percent in Canada.

South Africa: Nuclear contamination feared

Representatives from Namaqualand communities living near the Vaalputs national nuclear waste facility in the Northern Cape told Parliament's minerals and energy portfolio committee on Tuesday they feared their water supply was being radioactively contaminated.

"We appeal urgently to Parliament to test the water in our area. There is one community at Kamassies who complain that their water has already been contaminated," community leader Tony Coetzee told MPs.

Newer Antipsychotics No Better in Kids

Older Drug Works as Well as New Drugs, and Without the Weight Gain, Study Shows

Widely prescribed, newer-generation antipsychotic drugs are no more effective for the treatment of schizophrenia in children and teens than older, cheaper drugs, a government-funded study shows.

New Vaccine Fights Breast Cancer Tumors

An experimental breast cancer vaccine makes mice reject tumors -- even cancers no longer sensitive to Herceptin.
Magic Wand

UK: NHS art therapy for schizophrenia

Government advisers are expected to recommend art therapy on the NHS for people with schizophrenia. The National Institute of Clinical and Health Excellence (NICE) will promote use of programmes offering music, art and dance therapy for the first time.

Activities include playing musical instruments and creating collages. An expert panel found the therapy works particularly well in patients with "negative" symptoms such as withdrawal and poor motivation.

US: L.A. County sees an upward trend in West Nile infections

The year is shaping up to be the worst in Southern California since 2004.

Jack Austin doesn't remember a mosquito biting him. The 72-year-old Duarte resident also doesn't remember the nine days he spent in the hospital in July or much of the 20 days he spent in rehab in August, recovering from West Nile neuroinvasive disease.

British bride dies of mysterious sore throat in India just 10 days after wedding

A bride who moved to India mysteriously died in her husband's arms just 10 days after they wed.

Charlotte Bending, 24, had been treated for a sore throat but collapsed suddenly.

Husband Jeetinder Singh said: "Charlotte had a stomach ache, headache and sore throat so we went to the city to get medicine.

"But when we got back home she said, 'I can't breathe,' and just collapsed."