Health & Wellness

Evil Rays

Are Cell Phones Causing Tumors?

Ahead of Comprehensive Report, Leaks Suggest Health Risk

The world's most comprehensive study of the health effect of cell phone use, two years overdue, has yet to be published. But some of the studies that contribute to the report are raising old concerns about the long-term safety of using wireless technology, according to the Toronto Star.

Dying man wins £5,000 bet on life

A terminally-ill man has collected £5,000 after placing a bet that he would live past doctors' predictions. Jon Matthews was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer in April 2006 and given just nine months to live.

But the 58-year-old, from Milton Keynes, made a £100 bet at 50-1 that he would beat the survival odds. He said: "I do get bad days obviously but I'm feeling fine today. Everyone's feeling fine if they're going to pick up five grand." It has now been 25 months and a week since mesothelioma was diagnosed.

Childhood Lead Exposure Linked to Adult Crime

Researchers are now reporting that lead exposure in early childhood, even as early as in the womb, can lead to permanent brain damage and may cause criminal behavior. Two separate studies indicate that people with high levels of lead in childhood grew up with not only blocks of missing brain cells, but with a propensity for crime, some violent. As a matter-of-fact, the lead effect is so strong it may account for a large percentage of inner-city area crimes, where old houses are likelier to have lead paint, according to Kim Dietrich of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. Dietrich led one of the studies in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine.

Obesity and depression may be linked

A major review in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice reveals that research indicates people who are obese may be more likely to become depressed, and people who are depressed may be more likely to become obese.

To understand the potential links between obesity and depression, researchers led by Sarah M. Markowitz, M.S., examined the correlational data that suggest a connection between the conditions and found evidence for causal pathways from obesity to depression and depression to obesity.

Expressing feelings after trauma not necessary, research shows

Talking it out has long been considered essential to recovering from a trauma. But new research shows that expressing one's thoughts and feelings after a traumatic event is not necessary for long-term emotional and physical health, a finding that could change the way institutions devote money and resources to mental health services following collective traumas.

The study, led by UC Irvine psychologist Roxane Cohen Silver, looked at the relationship between immediate expression after a traumatic event and mental and physical well-being over time among a nationally representative sample. Study participants were questioned following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

More Americans Fear Losing Their Health Insurance Than Being in a Terrorist Attack

Will a new administration and Congress get universal health care right this time?

If health insurance were cheap, we could all buy it. If universal health care could get 60 votes in the Senate, we'd all have it. But these two imperatives -- the need to control costs and the need to attract the 60 Senate votes required to overcome a filibuster -- point in opposite directions. This is the central paradox of health reform.

Four tonnes of milk products confiscated in Cyprus

Four tonnes of milk produce has been confiscated following the discovery of the cancerous substance aflotoxin M1 in products from three out of 14 dairy companies.

Is tap water safe for expectant mothers?

Drinking water disinfected by chlorine while pregnant may increase the risk of having children with heart problems, cleft palate or major brain defects, according to a study published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health.

This finding, based on an analysis of nearly 400,000 infants in Taiwan, is the first that links by-products of water chlorination to three specific birth defects.

Water chlorination is a widely used and efficient method to disinfect drinking water and reduce the occurrence of waterborne diseases. However, numerous studies have revealed the presence of many chlorination by-products in the water. Recent research suggests that prenatal exposure to these by-products may increase the risk of birth defects.

Medtronic Settles a Civil Lawsuit on Allegations of Medicare Fraud

A unit of Medtronic defrauded Medicare of hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a civil lawsuit that was unsealed Thursday and simultaneously settled with the Justice Department.

Two insiders had said Kyphon, which Medtronic acquired in 2007, improperly persuaded hospitals to keep people overnight for a simple outpatient procedure to repair small fissures of the spine. Medicare then reimbursed the hospitals much more generously than it otherwise would have for the procedure, which was developed as a noninvasive approach that could usually be done in about an hour.
Magic Wand

Neurologist, choir explore music's healing power

New York - Noted neurologist Oliver Sacks has found common ground with the pastor of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church: Both men believe in the healing power of music.

Sacks, the best-selling author of "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," was to share the church stage Saturday with the famed gospel choir as part of the inaugural World Science Festival, a five-day celebration of science taking place in New York this week.