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Evil Rays

Silence may lead to phantom noises misinterpreted as tinnitus

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.

Stop

Junk food ad ban comes into force in Britain

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.

Network

Chinese university students satisfying their emotional needs through Internet love

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.

Wine

"Swish-and-spit" test screens for cancer

WASHINGTON - A simple mouth rinse may provide a new way to screen for head and neck cancers in people at high risk for these diseases, researchers said on Tuesday.

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore are developing a saliva test -- inexpensive, easy to perform and painless -- that could spot diseases like mouth and throat cancer in heavy smokers, heavy drinkers and others at high risk.

Health

Parasite Theory Stirs a Revolution



©Dominic Chavez/Globe Staff
Joel Weinstock thinks lack of exposure to worms leads to a rise in immunological diseases.

"What if I told you," Joel Weinstock said, "there were countries where the doctors had never seen hay fever?"

It is another piece of evidence, another "aha" moment in the global medical mystery that Weinstock - the chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at Tufts-New England Medical Center - has narrowed down to one chief suspect: the worms.

Health

Egyptian woman dies of bird flu, 2nd in week

A 25-year-old Egyptian woman died of bird flu on Sunday, the second fatality among humans in Egypt in less than one week, the Health Ministry said.

Fatma Fathi Mohamed died in hospital in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, three days after she was admitted to a smaller local hospital with a high temperature and difficulty breathing, it said in a statement carried by the state news agency MENA.

Roses

When a Rose Is Not Red: Simultanagnosia

There's an interesting article in January's Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience about a brain injured patient who has a curious form of simultanagnosia - the inability to perceive more than one object at once.

In this case, he also seemed unable to report more than one attribute, like colour or name, at a time, while looking at the object.

Heart

Have a Heart; Here's How

empathy
A few exercises to help increase your feelings of empathy:

Building empathy for your intimate partner


Envision a characteristic or behavior of yours that you know your partner dislikes. Imagine shifting your consciousness into your partner's perspective, even though you may disagree with that perspective.

Immerse yourself in your partner's perceptions of you. Try to experience them fully. At the same time, hold on to your own views.

Then try to understand your partner's attitudes as a reflection of who he or she is, based on all the influences and choices that have shaped him or her. Don't judge.

Coffee

Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep

A nasal spray of a key brain hormone cures sleepiness in sleep-deprived monkeys. With no apparent side effects, the hormone might be a promising sleep-replacement drug.

In what sounds like a dream for millions of tired coffee drinkers, Darpa-funded scientists might have found a drug that will eliminate sleepiness.

Red Flag

Anthrax Blamed for Deaths of 8 Afghans

KABUL, Afghanistan - Eight Afghans who ate an infected camel as part of a religious celebration died of what health experts suspect is a rare case of naturally occurring anthrax, officials said Saturday.