Health & Wellness
Wed, 02 Jan 2008 01:32 CST
A married couple who sailed to America from England around 1630 are the reason why thousands of people in the United States are at higher risk of a hereditary form of colon cancer, researchers said on Wednesday.
Using a genetic fingerprint, a U.S. team traced back a so-called founder genetic mutation to the couple found among two large families currently living in Utah and New York.
Emergency room doctors are prescribing strong narcotics more often to patients who complain of pain, but minorities are less likely to get them than whites, a new study finds. Even for the severe pain of kidney stones, minorities were prescribed narcotics such as oxycodone and morphine less frequently than whites.
A study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute gives new meaning to the expression "thick in the head."
The researchers discovered those who are tone-deaf possess more grey matter in some areas of their brain than those who are able to enjoy music.
"Specifically, we found that tone-deaf individuals had a thicker cortex in particular brain regions known to be involved in auditory and musical processing," said Krista Hyde, a research fellow at the MNI and the lead author of the study.
Armies of invisible creatures are spreading across the planet, infesting local communities and claiming the lives of innocent children in their wake. And the attackers are immune to some of the world's best weaponry.
It sounds more like a sci-fi movie plot than reality, but "superbugs" - deadly microbes that can resist drugs designed to wipe them out - are far from imaginary. Schoolchildren in several states recently have died from infections caused by MRSA bacteria, otherwise known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and medical recordkeeping shows such cases are increasing annually.
MSRA spreads via surface-to-surface contact, developing into a staph infection if conditions are right. The first symptoms can include pimple-like sores on the skin where the bacteria launch their attack, while rarer but more advanced infections can enter the bloodstream, attack organs and lead to death.
Out with stainless steel, in with copper? It might be a new hospital trend - not for looks, but for germ-fighting. Some intensive-care units in New York and South Carolina are about to get copper fittings as part of a project to test if drug-resistant bacteria survive better on hospitals' ubiquitous stainless steel than on copper.
About 1.7 million Americans a year develop infections while hospitalized and almost 100,000 of them die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists have long preached better hygiene to control hospital spread of germs, but increasingly medical manufacturers are looking to anti-germ coatings to help.
Suppression of slow-wave sleep in healthy young adults significantly decreases their ability to regulate blood-sugar levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, report researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center in the "Early Edition" of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, available online as soon as Dec. 31, 2007.
Deep sleep, also called "slow-wave sleep," is thought to be the most restorative sleep stage, but its significance for physical well-being has not been demonstrated. This study found that after only three nights of selective slow-wave sleep suppression, young healthy subjects became less sensitive to insulin. Although they needed more insulin to dispose of the same amount of glucose, their insulin secretion did not increase to compensate for the reduced sensitivity, resulting in reduced tolerance to glucose and increased risk for type 2 diabetes. The decrease in insulin sensitivity was comparable to that caused by gaining 20 to 30 pounds.
Bad dreams in pre-schoolers are less prevalent than thought. However, when they do exist, nightmares are trait-like in nature and associated with personality characteristics measured as early as five months, according to a study published in the January 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.
The study, led by Valérie Simard, under the direction of Tore Nielsen, PhD, of the University of Montreal, sampled 987 children in the Province of Quebec, who were assessed by their parents at the 29-month, 41-month, 50-month, five-year and six-year mark. Parents were asked in a questionnaire about the frequency of their child's bad dreams without requiring that they attempt to judge whether or not awakenings occurred.
Phantom noises, that mimic ringing in the ears associated with tinnitus, can be experienced by people with normal hearing in quiet situations, according to new research published in the January 2008 edition of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.
The Brazilian study, which consisted of 66 people with normal hearing and no tinnitus, found that among subjects placed in a quiet environment where they were asked to focus on their hearing senses, 68 percent experienced phantom ringing noises similar to that of tinnitus. This is compared to only 45.5 percent of participants who heard phantom ringing when asked to focus on visual stimuli and not on their hearing, and 19.7 percent of those asked to focus on a task in a quiet environment.
Britain introduced a ban on advertising junk food to under-16s Tuesday, aimed at promoting healthy eating and countering growing child obesity.
The ban, which extends measures already in place for under-10s, will curb television adverts for food and drink products with high fat, salt and sugar content.
A new survey has found that Chinese university students regard "Internet love" as a means of satisfying their needs.
The survey, conducted by the Northeast China Normal University, found that about 90 percent of Chinese university students regard "Internet love" as an effective way to gratify their emotional needs.