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Alarm Clock

Widespread Ghostwriting of Drug Trials Means "Scientific" Credibility of Pharmaceutical Industry is a Sham

The discovery that drug companies have been ghostwriting scientific studies using in-house writers, then paying (bribing) doctors and high-level academics to pretend they were the author of the article is making shockwaves across conventional medicine. This latest revelation of scientific fraud exposes a massive, widespread system of fraud involving not only the drug companies, but also hundreds of different peer-reviewed, "scientific" medical journals that have published these ghostwritten articles. This scam is the latest embarrassment to conventional medicine; a system built on such a foundation of scientific fraud that the admission of dishonesty no longer surprises anyone. The pharmaceutical industry, it seems, is now supported almost entirely by fraudulent science fabricated by marketing personnel.
USA

Life Expectancy Is Declining in Some Pockets of the US

Life expectancy has long been growing steadily for most Americans. But it has not for a significant minority, according to a new study, which finds a growing disparity in mortality depending on race, income and geography.

The study, published Monday in the online journal PLoS, analyzed life expectancy in all 3,141 counties in the United States from 1961 to 1999, the latest year for which complete data have been released by the National Center for Health Statistics. Although life span has generally increased since 1961, the authors reported, it began to level off or even decline in the 1980s for 4 percent of men and 19 percent of women.
Health

Contaminated blood thinner heparin now called a worldwide problem

Federal regulators bar a Chinese-made version of the drug, blamed for as many as 81 deaths. They announce a breakthrough in understanding how it sickened patients.

A contaminated blood thinner from China suspected in dozens of U.S. deaths has become a worldwide public health problem, with 10 other countries detecting the often-toxic ingredient, federal investigators said Monday.
Bulb

Study reveals why cancer cells like sugar

Durham, N.C. -- U.S. medical researchers say they've discovered why cancer cells like sugar so much -- a finding than might lead to better cancer treatments.

Duke University School of Medicine Assistant Professor Jeffrey Rathmell and graduate student Jonathan Coloff found that tumor cells use glucose as a way to avoid programmed cell death.
People

New kind of killer virus discovered in Bolivia

A team of disease hunters has announced the discovery of a deadly new virus, found in a remote village in South America. Experts say the virus - named Chapare - is probably limited to a small swathe of Bolivia, but urbanisation and climate change could expand its range.

"These pathogens will markedly increase the risk of outbreaks with significant loss of human life," says Stefan Kunz, a virologist at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in Lausanne, Switzerland, who was not part of the study.
Black Cat

Was It Rape?

More than half of women who are sexually assaulted do not label the experience as rape, and thus, do not report the crime to the police, according to a James Madison University psychology professor's recent speech.

Dr. Arnold S. Kahn's speech, "Was it Rape or Just a Bad Night? Responses from Victims and Observers," explained his research on the reasons that many women do not acknowledge their sexual assault experience as rape, instead calling it a bad night or blaming themselves.
People

Parents stricter with older kids to set example: game theory study

Parents are more likely to punish their teen's risky behavior when there are younger kids in the family, driven by a desire to set a strict example for these siblings, says new game theory research from the University of Maryland, Duke University and The Johns Hopkins University.

The research team used economic game theory to predict levels of parental discipline. Parental concern for their "reputation" as a disciplinarian with the younger children would be a powerful motivator, they predicted.

Their study, published in the April edition of the Economic Journal, concludes that the exercise of parental control is effective in modifying the risky adolescent behavior.

This is especially true in the case of the older children, who expect stronger penalties because their parents are making an example of them.

But as the younger siblings grow up and the "games" get played out a second or third time, the parent's resolve tends to dwindle, the researchers say.
Black Cat

MU researchers reveal communication tactics used by sexual predators to entrap children

A child's innocence and vulnerability presents a target for a sexual predator's abusive behavior. University of Missouri researchers are beginning to understand the communication process by which predators lure victims into a web of entrapment. This information could better equip parents and community members to prevent, or at least interrupt, the escalation of child sexual abuse.

"Our children are our greatest gift and our greatest responsibility. The fact that they could be abused in any way, shape or form is horrific--both in the moment of the abuse and in the long-term effect," said Loreen Olson, MU associate professor of communication in the College of Arts and Science. "It's a social problem with grave consequences that is prevalent and needs attention. It's incomprehensible, but it's happening. The sexual abuse of children has dramatic negative consequences to their emotional well-being throughout their lives."
Heart

Many African-Americans have a gene that prolongs life after heart failure

About 40 percent of African-Americans have a genetic variant that can protect them after heart failure and prolong their lives, according to research conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and collaborating institutions.

The genetic variant has an effect that resembles that of beta blockers, drugs widely prescribed for heart failure. The new study offers a reason why beta blockers don't appear to benefit some African-Americans.

"For several years a controversy has existed in the cardiovascular field because of conflicting reports about whether beta blockers helped African-American patients," says senior author Gerald W. Dorn II, M.D., professor of medicine, associate chairman for translational research and director of the Center for Pharmacogenomics at Washington University.
Health

Researchers chart how new flu strains travel

Solving a 60-year-old mystery, researchers have concluded that new flu strains emerge in eastern and southeastern Asia, move to Europe and North America six to nine months later, then travel to South America where they disappear forever.

The new findings should help researchers pick the correct flu strains for each year's vaccine, a process that must be carried out a year ahead of time and that is now analogous to making a long-term weather forecast supported by only limited data.
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