Health & WellnessS


Why the female flirt is wasting her time

Some girls merely flutter their eyelashes.

Others snuggle up close and play footsie, while the really forward type might venture a touch on the thigh.

But whatever the method of flirting it just doesn't work with most men, claim researchers.

The male brain, it seems, is hopeless at picking up "come-on" signals, according to a report to be published next month. This leaves men impervious to the seduction techniques of the opposite sex.


Indonesian child tests positive for bird flu

©REUTERS/Crack Palinggi
A chicken to be transported to a local market is seen in Jakarta March 24, 2008. Major efforts have done little to control H5N1 avian influenza in Indonesia and the country needs more help in controlling the virus, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.

An Indonesian child has tested positive for bird flu, pushing the country's total confirmed human cases to 130, a health ministry official said on Monday.

Lily Sulistyowati, the ministry's spokeswoman, said the 22-month-old girl from Sumatra's Bukit Tinggi fell sick on March 19 and the ministry is checking her neighborhood for possible backyard farming.

"Her condition is improving, and she is being treated at a Padang hospital," Sulistyowati told Reuters by telephone.


Sore Wrists And Hands Can Result From Our Work: But Is It Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Do you feel numbness, burning pain or a tingling sensation in your hand or wrist that seems to increase at night; have difficulty holding objects without dropping them; or find it increasingly difficult to perform repetitive movements such as using your computer mouse or keyboard without pain? If so, then you may be one of the estimated 2 million people in the United States affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. About half of all cases are work-related, and in fact, carpal tunnel syndrome accounts for the highest average number of days missed at work, when compared to all other work-related injuries or illnesses.

Hand X-Ray
©American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Hand X-Ray.


Preschool kids do better on tasks when they talk to themselves, research shows

Parents should not worry when their pre-schoolers talk to themselves; in fact, they should encourage it, says Adam Winsler, an associate professor of psychology at George Mason University. His recent study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly showed that 5-year-olds do better on motor tasks when they talk to themselves out loud (either spontaneously or when told to do so by an adult) than when they are silent.

"Young children often talk to themselves as they go about their daily activities, and parents and teachers shouldn't think of this as weird or bad," says Winsler. "On the contrary, they should listen to the private speech of kids. It's a fantastic window into the minds of children."


Mysterious fevers of unknown origin: could surgery be a cure?

A child spikes a high fever, sometimes as high as 104 or 105 degrees, and sometimes causing seizures. She's rushed to the emergency room, the hospital runs test after test, specialists are brought in, but no explanation is found.

Many families - though no one knows how many - go through this cyclical nightmare. The fevers seem to come like clockwork, aren't accompanied by any obvious symptoms and don't respond to antibiotics or fever reducers like Motrin or Tylenol. Instead, they vanish on their own after four to five days, only to return four to six weeks later.


Flashback Happiness: Enough Already

The plural of anecdote is not data, as scientists will tell you, but consider these snapshots of the emerging happiness debate anyway: Lately, Jerome Wakefield's students have been coming up to him after they break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, and not because they want him to recommend a therapist. Wakefield, a professor at New York University, coauthored the 2007 book The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow Into Depressive Disorder, which argues that feeling down after your heart is broken - even so down that you meet the criteria for clinical depression - is normal and even salutary. But students tell him that their parents are pressuring them to seek counseling and other medical intervention - "some Zoloft, dear?" - for their sadness, and the kids want no part of it. "Can you talk to them for me?" they ask Wakefield. Rather than "listening to Prozac," they want to listen to their hearts, not have them chemically silenced.


Ketek: One Drug, Many Tragedies

The well-dressed woman in the waiting room was yellow, recalls John Hanson, MD -- a clear sign of jaundice. That was puzzling: One month earlier, in March 2005, Vivienne Wardley (not her real name), 51, had been in excellent shape except for a cold. A health-conscious woman, Wardley avoided prescription drugs and drank moderately. But tests showed that she needed an emergency liver transplant. And when Dr. Hanson, a gastroenterologist in Charlotte, North Carolina, examined her liver, he was startled. It was only a third of its normal size and showed massive tissue death.


'George Bush is like crusty potato'

James Wannerton, president of the UK Synaesthesia Association, explains how the condition which "mixes the senses" affects his life.

He is speaking at a conference in Edinburgh where scientists and others with the condition are discussing the phenomenon.

Brown and Marmite
James gets a taste of dirt and Marmite when he sees Gordon Brown


The Next Big Autism Bomb: Are 1 in 50 Kids Potentially At Risk?

On Tuesday, March 11, a conference call was held between vaccine safety officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several leading experts in vaccine safety research, and executives from America's Health Insurance Plans, (the HMO trade association) to discuss childhood mitochondrial dysfunction and its potential link to autism and vaccines.


Flashback New Research Challenges Concept Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Low blood levels of vitamin D have long been associated with disease, and the assumption has been made that vitamin D supplements may protect against disease. In the light of new knowledge that hundreds of genes are dependent on vitamin D, this assumption needs to be reconsidered.

In a report published in the current issue of the journal BioEssays(1), Trevor Marshall, Ph.D., professor at Australia's Murdoch University School of Biological Medicine and Biotechnology, explains how increased vitamin D intake affects much more than just nutrition or bone health. The paper explains how the Vitamin D Nuclear Receptor (VDR) acts in the repression or transcription of hundreds of genes, including genes associated with diseases ranging from cancers to multiple sclerosis.

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