Health & Wellness
Fri, 04 Jan 2008 16:13 CST
New TAU research links depression to loss of the sense of smell, suggesting that the blues may have biological roots.
Can't smell the roses? Maybe you're depressed. Smell too much like a rose yourself? Maybe you've got the same problem. Scientists from Tel Aviv University recently linked depression to a biological mechanism that affects the olfactory glands. It might explain why some women, without realizing it, wear too much perfume.
Placebos are a surprisingly common prescription, according to a US study in which nearly half of the doctors surveyed said they had doled out a dummy pill at some point.
Researchers at the University of Chicago said yesterday that the study raises ethical questions and suggests a need for greater recognition and understanding of placebo use.
"It illustrates that doctors believe expectation and belief have therapeutic potential," said Rachel Sherman, a medical student at the University of Chicago, whose study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Many people pay silly money to wear a particular logo or a designer brand. Of course, a designer outfit doesn't keep you any warmer or dryer than an unbranded one, but functionality is only part of the story. Designer products say something about you - you are a trendy, sexy or sophisticated person. Brands help us to express who we think we are and who we want to be.
Big name brands are an integral part of our lives, says Davide Ravasi, associate professor in the Institute of Strategic Management of Bocconi University, Italy. Whether its Levi jeans, BMW cars or Nokia phones, we know the brands we like. These are more than products; they are symbols, or in other words, they are objects carrying meaning.
In a recent ESF Exploratory Workshop convened by Ravasi, scholars of various disciplines within the social sciences discussed how symbolic attributes of products affect their adoption and evolution.
The Dream Robbers
What happens when a rat stops dreaming? In 2004, researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison decided to find out. Their method was simple, if a bit devilish. Step 1: Strand a rat in a tub of water. In the center of this tiny sea, allot the creature its own little desert island in the form of an inverted flowerpot. The rat can swim around as much as it pleases, but come nightfall, if it wants any sleep, it has to clamber up and stretch itself across the flowerpot, its belly sagging over the drainage hole.
In this uncomfortable position, the rat is able to rest and eventually fall asleep. But as soon as the animal hits REM sleep, the muscular paralysis that accompanies this stage of vivid dreaming causes its body to slacken. The rat slips through the hole and gets dunked in the water. The surprised rat is then free to crawl back onto the pot, lick the drops off its paws, and go back to sleep - but it won't get any REM sleep.
The growth in relative materialism over the past 20 years is taking a heavy toll on the wellbeing of English-speaking nations
By far the most significant consequence of "selfish capitalism" (Thatch/Blatcherism) has been a startling increase in the incidence of mental illness in both children and adults since the 1970s. As I report in my book, The Selfish Capitalist - Origins of Affluenza, World Health Organisation and nationally representative studies in the United States, Britain and Australia, reveal that it almost doubled between the early 80s and the turn of the century. These increases are very unlikely to be due to greater preparedness to acknowledge distress - the psychobabbling therapy culture was already established.
Add to this the astonishing fact that citizens of Selfish Capitalist, English-speaking nations (which tend to be one and the same) are twice as likely to suffer mental illness as those from mainland western Europe, which is largely Unselfish Capitalist in its political economy. An average 23% of Americans, Britons, Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians suffered in the last 12 months, but only 11.5% of Germans, Italians, French, Belgians, Spaniards and Dutch. The message could not be clearer. Selfish Capitalism, much more than genes, is extremely bad for your mental health. But why is it so toxic?
Fri, 04 Jan 2008 00:40 CST
|An undated scanning electron micrograph of Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Treating severe pneumonia in children at home with oral antibiotics works just as well as treating them with intravenous drugs at a hospital as advised by the World Health Organization, scientists said on Thursday.
|Gloria, the first calf born to a cloned cow, Vitoria (L), is seen on a government farm outside Brasilia in this October 4, 2004 file photo.
The U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is expected to declare as early as next week that meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring is safe to eat, the Wall Street Journal
reported on Thursday.
The biotech companies score another win with the FDA. Surprise, surprise.
And why, you may ask, should we take the FDA's approval rating for cloned cow to be factual? Good question! The FDA also stated that genetically modified foods are just fine to eat, too. And there are studies that show that this is not, in fact, the truth.
The REAL Reasons You Want to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods
goes into these studies. And if the FDA is pulling one over on us here, what is to say that they are not doing the same with cloned cow?
One should always ask, "who benefits", even in instances like this. And the big winners, as mentioned above are the biotech businesses. This is all for them, and like always, the little people who make up the majority of this planet of people are not considered in the least, except to beguile into buying the stuff. And the FDA tells us, "It's okay, trust us."
Thu, 03 Jan 2008 16:34 CST
Australia is suffering through its worst dry spell in a millennium. The outback has turned into a dust bowl, crops are dying off at fantastic rates, cities are rationing water, coral reefs are dying, and the agricultural base is evaporating.
But what really intrigues Glenn Albrecht - a philosopher by training - is how his fellow Australians are reacting.
They're getting sad.
Thu, 03 Jan 2008 20:50 CST
|Norovirus causes sudden vomiting and diarrhoea.
People struck down by a stomach bug sweeping the UK have been urged not to go back to work.
Doctors estimate more than 100,000 people a week are catching norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting.
"Some recent studies suggest that over-consumption of fluoride can raise the risks of disorders affecting teeth, bones, the brain and the thyroid gland," reports Scientific American editors (January 2008). "Scientific attitudes toward fluoridation may be starting to shift," writes author Dan Fagin.
"Fluoride, the most consumed drug in the USA, is deliberately added to 2/3 of public water supplies theoretically to reduce tooth decay, but with no scientifically-valid evidence proving safety or effectiveness," says lawyer Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation.
Fagin, award-wining environmental reporter and Director of New York
University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program, writes,
"There is no universally accepted optimal level for daily intake of fluoride."
Some researchers even wonder whether the 1 mg/L added into drinking water is too much, reports Fagin.