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Thu, 09 Jul 2020
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Heart

Thin people may be fat inside

If it really is what's on the inside that counts, then a lot of thin people might be in trouble. Some doctors now think that the internal fat surrounding vital organs like the heart, liver or pancreas - invisible to the naked eye - could be as dangerous as the more obvious external fat that bulges underneath the skin.

"Being thin doesn't automatically mean you're not fat," said Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College, London. Since 1994, Bell and his team have scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines to create "fat maps" showing where people store fat.

According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. "The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined," said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain's Medical Research Council.

Health

Genetically Engineered Crops May Produce Herbicide Inside Our Intestines

Pioneer Hi-Bred's website boasts that their genetically modified (GM) Liberty Link corn survives doses of Liberty herbicide, which would normally kill corn. The reason, they say, is that the herbicide becomes "inactive in the corn plant." They fail to reveal, however, that after you eat the GM corn, some inactive herbicide may become reactivated inside your gut and cause a toxic reaction. In addition, a gene that was inserted into the corn might transfer into the DNA of your gut bacteria, producing long-term effects. These are just a couple of the many potential side-effects of GM crops that critics say put the public at risk.

Attention

iPods 'mess with pacemakers'

iPods have joined late-opening restaurants and children playing on old people's lawns on the list of things that can make pacemakers go haywire.

A new study, presented today to a meeting of heart specialists by a 17-year-old high school student, suggests that the music-playing device can interfere with the electromagnetic equipment in implanted pacemakers.

Reuters reports 100 pacemaker patients (with a mean age of 77) were examined in the study.

Holding the iPod just two inches away from their chests for 5 to 10 seconds was enough to cause electrical interference half the time. In some cases, iShenanigans could be detected as far as 18 inches away. The interference usually just caused the equipment to misread the heart's pacing, but one case caused the pacemaker to stop working entirely.

Heart

Docs Change the Way They Think About Death

Consider someone who has just died of a heart attack. His organs are intact, he hasn't lost blood. All that's happened is his heart has stopped beating - the definition of "clinical death" - and his brain has shut down to conserve oxygen. But what has actually died?

Health

Study casts new doubts on HPV vaccine

New data on the controversial HPV vaccine designed to prevent cervical cancer have raised serious questions about its efficacy, researchers reported today, potentially undercutting the efforts in many states to make vaccination mandatory.

Health

Study suggests cancer risk from depleted uranium

Depleted uranium, which is used in armour-piercing ammunition, causes widespread damage to DNA which could lead to lung cancer, according to a study of the metal's effects on human lung cells. The study adds to growing evidence that DU causes health problems on battlefields long after hostilities have ceased.

X

Help Wanted: Human Guinea Pigs

If you've ever wondered why we so rarely hear of drug trials going awry in the United States, Sonia Shah, author of The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World's Poorest Patients (The New Press, 2006), has the unattractive answer: we "offshore" the drug trials to developing nations and to those who simply can't afford to say "anywhere but here."

Bulb

Meditation Sharpens the Mind

Three months of intense training in a form of meditation known as "insight" in Sanskrit can sharpen a person's brain enough to help them notice details they might otherwise miss.

Vader

Toxic World Trade Center dust linked to lung disease in rescue workers

Rescue workers and firefighters in New York City contracted a serious lung-scarring disease called sarcoidosis at a much higher rate after the Sept. 11 attacks than before, said a study that is the first to link the disease to exposure to toxic dust at Ground Zero.

The study, published by nine doctors including the medical officer monitoring city firefighters, Dr. David Prezant, found that firefighters and rescue workers contracted sarcoidosis in the year after Sept. 11, 2001, at a rate more than five times higher than the years before the attacks.

Health

New fears over additives in children's food

Potential link to behaviour problems prompts advice to parents over diet
Food safety experts have advised parents to eliminate a series of additives from their children's diet while they await the publication of a new study that is understood to link these ingredients to behaviour problems in youngsters.