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Sat, 08 Aug 2020
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Attention

Rare Nipah virus outbreak kills 5 in eastern India

The rare, animal-borne Nipah virus has killed five people in an eastern Indian state, prompting authorities to declare a state of alert, officials said Tuesday.

A health official and four members of a family have died from the illness since early April, said Mohan Basu, a doctor in West Bengal state's Nadia district.

The Nipah virus is usually spread by fruit bats or pigs. There have been no known cases of human-to-human infection, according to the World Health Organization.

The last major Nipah outbreak occurred in Malaysia, where 265 people were infected in 1998-99. The virus was then blamed for 105 human deaths.

Nearly a million pigs, believed to have spread the disease, were slaughtered before the Malaysian outbreak was controlled.

Health

Farmed fish fed contaminated material

Farmed fish have been fed meal spiked with the same chemical that has been linked to the pet food recall, but the contamination was probably too low to harm anyone who ate the fish, federal officials said Tuesday.

Health

Parents claim diet helps autism, doctors debunk

TORONTO - Tina Szenasi's quest to cure her two autistic sons began with soy milk.

Ms. Szenasi switched to the milk substitute after reading testimonials from other parents who said their autistic children's symptoms had improved - even disappeared - when dairy and wheat were eliminated from their diet.

Health

Long wait for coeliac diagnosis

People with coeliac disease are waiting an average of 13 years to be diagnosed, a poll has revealed.

The gut disorder is caused by gluten intolerance, and can lead to bone problems, infertility or bowel cancer.

The charity Coeliac UK says some of the 800 patients surveyed reported seeing their GP almost 30 times before being diagnosed.

But it says the condition can be easily detected by GPs using a quick and simple blood test.

People with coeliac disease can experience a range of symptoms, including as bloating, diarrhoea, chronic fatigue, breathlessness, depression and weight gain.

Attention

Spread of "disease of destruction" tied to US combat deployments

WASHINGTON -- A parasitic disease rarely seen in United States but common in the Middle East has infected an estimated 2,500 US troops in the last four years because of massive deployments to remote combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, military officials said.

Wine

Alcohol Consumption More Detrimental To Women

Alcohol consumption more severely affects women than men, according to a new study by researchers at RTI International, Pavlov Medical University, Leningrad Regional Center of Addictions, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The study, published in the May issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, found that women become alcohol dependent more quickly than men and that alcohol more severely impairs women's cognitive functioning including perceptual and visual planning and processing, working memory and motor control.

"Our studied showed that female alcoholics experience a greater decrement in cognitive and motor functions and sustain an accelerated decline in processing speed than males," said Barbara Flannery, Ph.D., research psychologist at RTI. "Our findings confirm and extend prior research that alcohol exerts more profound adverse effect more quickly on women compared to men."

Vader

Psychopaths are counting on it: Traumas -- such as being close to twin towers on 9-11 -- could make people's brains more reactive to fear, Cornell study shows

According to a new brain study, even people who seemed resilient but were close to the World Trade Center when the twin towers toppled on Sept. 11, 2001, have brains that are more reactive to emotional stimuli than those who were more than 200 miles away.

That is the finding of a new Cornell study that excluded people who did not have such mental disorders as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression. One of the first studies to look at the effects of trauma on the brains of healthy people, it is published in the May issue of the journal Emotion.

Attention

Premature births may be linked to seasonal levels of pesticides and nitrates in surface water

The growing premature birth rate in the United States appears to be strongly associated with increased use of pesticides and nitrates, according to work conducted by Paul Winchester, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He reports his findings May 7 at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting, a combined gathering of the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Ambulatory Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Winchester and colleagues found that preterm birth rates peaked when pesticides and nitrates measurements in surface water were highest (April-July) and were lowest when nitrates and pesticides were lowest (Aug.-Sept.).

More than 27 million U.S. live births were studied from 1996-2002. Preterm birth varied from a high of 12.03% in June to a low of 10.44% in September. The highest rate of prematurity occurred in May-June (11.91%) and the lowest for Aug-Sept (10.79%) regardless of maternal age, race, education, marital status, alcohol or cigarette use, or whether the mother was an urban, suburban or rural resident. Pesticide and nitrate levels in surface water were also highest in May-June and lowest in August - September, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Evil Rays

Chinese suppliers substitute a poison used in antifreeze for a common sweetener

Regulators in the U.S. are warning drugmakers, suppliers and health professionals to be on the alert for counterfeit medicine additives that substitute a poison used in antifreeze for a common sweetener.

Magic Wand

Human Brain Breaks Down Events Into Smaller Units

In order to comprehend the continuous stream of cacophonies and visual stimulation that battle for our attention, humans will breakdown activities into smaller, more digestible chunks, a phenomenon that psychologists describe as "event structure perception."

Event structure perception was originally believed to be confined to our visual system, but new research shows that a similar process occurs when reading about everyday events as well.

Nicole Speer and her colleagues at Washington University examined event structure perception by having subjects read narratives about everyday activities while undergoing functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to measure neural activity. The subjects were then invited back a few days later to reread these same narratives, this time without the fMRI scan. Instead, they were asked to divide the narrative where they believed one segment of narrative activity ended and another segment began.