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Health

Study shows skin creams cause tumours on mice

Certain commonly available skin creams may cause skin tumours, at least in mice, and experts should be checking to see if they might cause growths in people as well, researchers reported on Thursday.

They found several creams caused skin cancer in the specially bred mice, which had been pre-treated with ultraviolet radiation.

The cancers are not melanomas, they stressed in their report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, but another type called squamous cell carcinoma. Such tumours are slow growing and highly treatable and only fatal if patients fail to have them removed.

Stop

Toxoplasmosis found more severe in Brazil compared to Europe

Newborns in Brazil are more susceptible to toxoplasmosis than those in Europe, according to a recent study. Researchers based in Austria, Brazil, Denmark, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom studied the disease's ocular effects in children from birth to four years of age. Details are published August 13th in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Toxoplasmosis, caused by Toxoplasma gondii, is the most common parasitic disease found in humans around the world. Infection can cause inflammatory lesions at the back of the eye that sometimes affect vision. Previous studies have suggested more severe complications when people acquire the disease in Brazil than in Europe or North America but have not compared patients directly.

Health

Asthma in boys may be just a phase, but for girls it may be there to stay

Boys may be more apt than girls to have childhood asthma, but, when compared to girls, they are also more likely to grow out of it in adolescence and have a decreased incidence of asthma in the post-pubertal years. This indicates that there may be a buried mechanism in asthma development, according to a prospective study that analyzed airway responsiveness (AR) in more than 1,000 children with mild to moderate asthma over a period of about nine years.

"We wanted to investigate what was behind the observed sex differences in asthma rates and AR," says lead researcher, Kelan G. Tantisira, M.D., M.P.H., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "This is the first study to prospectively examine the natural history of sex differences in asthma in this manner."

Heart

A pattern of giving

For the last five years, the Ritzy Thimble Quilting Guild has offered a unique kind of support to the guests of the Hospitality Houses. The guild has provided handmade lap quilts for each patient staying at the houses.

As one quilter said, they are created to keep patients warm inside and out. Edgar commented that patients receiving chemotherapy are often cold and will take their quilts with them everywhere. While the fabric keeps bodies warm, the detail and thought that goes into each Ritzy Thimble quilt keep spirits up.


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Ritzy Thimble quilters, MMC Foundation board members, staff and volunteers take time to admire the 27 quilts donated to the Hospitality Houses this year.

Syringe

Up to 1-in-50 Troops Seriously Injured... By Vaccines?

US Department of Defense: 1-2% of individuals may experience severe vaccine effects that "could result in disability or death."

American Academy of Pediatrics: 2+ % of children have "defects" that cause vaccine "risks"


On August 5th, the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Renee Jenkins, made a rather puzzling comment on Good Morning America, during a segment on vaccine safety and the risk of autism.

Dr. Jenkins spoke about 2-plus percent of children with "defects" putting them at risk for vaccine injury. Is that the same 1-2 percent risk found by the military? I have no idea.

Health

Bankers Use Secret Clinics to Treat Breakdowns

On a private island 20 minutes by helicopter from central London, a hovercraft sits on the lawn of a turreted Edwardian manor house as swallows swoop around. Trees and wildflowers line a lane that leads to a cluster of buildings that house a pool table, a 12-seat movie theater and an art studio. A yacht is moored nearby.

The island isn't a country hideaway. It's the Causeway Retreat, a mental health and addiction center that charges as much as 10,000 pounds ($20,000) a week for treatment away from the prying eyes of colleagues and the media. There is a waiting list for the facility's 15 rooms.

''We get lots of CEOs of companies, traders, high-end business guys,'' says Managing Director Brendan Quinn. ''They want treatment, but they want it to be discreet.''

Info

Infant Sensitivity To Negative Emotional Expressions Develops At Around 6 Months

Scientists working in the Academy-funded Research Programme on Neuroscience (NEURO) have discovered important changes in the way that infants react to another person's face at age 5 - 7 months.

Infants aged 5 months react very differently to a fearful face than those aged 7 months. "At the age of 7 months babies will watch a fearful face for longer than a happy face, and their attentiveness level as measured by EEG is higher after seeing a fearful than a happy face. By contrast, infants aged 5 months watch both faces, when they are shown side by side, for just as long, and there is no difference in the intensity of attention in favour of the fearful face," said Mikko Peltola, researcher at the University of Tampere, at the Academy's Science Breakfast this week.

It seems that at age 6 months, important developmental changes take place in the way that infants process significant emotional expressions. A fearful face attracts intense attention by the age of 7 months. In addition, it takes longer for infants to shift their attention away from fearful than from happy and neutral faces.

"Our interpretation of this is to suggest that the brain mechanisms that specialise in emotional response and especially in processing threatening stimuli regulate and intensify the processing of facial expressions by age 7 months," Peltola said.

Info

Sleep Selectively Preserves Emotional Memories

As poets, songwriters and authors have described, our memories range from misty water-colored recollections to vividly detailed images of the times of our lives.

Now, a study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Boston College offers new insights into the specific components of emotional memories, suggesting that sleep plays a key role in determining what we remember - and what we forget.

Reported in the August 2008 issue of the journal Psychological Science, the findings show that a period of slumber helps the brain to selectively preserve and enhance those aspects of a memory that are of greatest emotional resonance, while at the same time diminishing the memory's neutral background details.

"This tells us that sleep's role in emotional memory preservation is more than just mechanistic," says the study's first author Jessica Payne, PhD, a Harvard University research fellow in the Division of Psychiatry at BIDMC. "In order to preserve what it deems most important, the brain makes a tradeoff, strengthening the memory's emotional core and obscuring its neutral background."

Cow

Test To Protect Food Chain From Human Form Of Mad Cow Disease

Scientists are reporting development of the first test for instantly detecting beef that has been contaminated with tissue from a cow's brain or spinal cord during slaughter - an advance in protecting against possible spread of the human form of Mad Cow Disease.

Beer

National Guard and Reserve Vets turning to alcohol

Chicago - National Guard and Reserve combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are more likely to develop drinking problems than active-duty soldiers, a new military study suggests. The authors speculate that inadequate preparation for the stress of combat and reduced access to support services at home may be to blame.

The study, appearing in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, is the first to compare Iraq and Afghanistan veterans' alcohol problems before and after deployment.