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Thu, 02 Dec 2021
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Red Flag

Painkillers in Short Supply in Poor Countries



©Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
Doing Without: A hospital in Sierra Leone, where painkillers often are not available.

A survey of specialists in Africa, Asia and Latin America has produced a disturbing portrait of the difficulties in offering pain relief to the dying in poor countries. Many suffer routine shortages of painkillers, and the majority of specialists got no training in pain relief or opioid use during their medical education.

Info

Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus



©Viktor Koen

In 1988, the surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, proclaimed ice cream to a be public-health menace right up there with cigarettes. Alluding to his office's famous 1964 report on the perils of smoking, Dr. Koop announced that the American diet was a problem of "comparable" magnitude, chiefly because of the high-fat foods that were causing coronary heart disease and other deadly ailments.

He introduced his report with these words: "The depth of the science base underlying its findings is even more impressive than that for tobacco and health in 1964."

Comment: We suspect that there's much more that the medical community agrees on, and we came to believe and live by, due to "informational cascade". Which, one must bare in mind, it starts from those in power and then "cascades" to reach each household.


Health

Donated blood quickly loses important gas

Donated blood quickly loses some of its life-saving properties as an important gas dissipates, U.S. researchers said on Monday, in a finding that explains why many patients fare poorly after blood transfusions.

©REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea
Bags of donated blood in cold storage at the National Blood Transfusion Center in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh on April 27, 2002

Heart

Studies tout treating mini-strokes fast

Treating patients quickly for mini-strokes could dramatically cut the risk of a major stroke later, report two studies that could change standard treatment and potentially save millions of people from stroke's damaging effects.

In research published Tuesday, British and French doctors found that patients treated within 24 hours of having a mini-stroke cut their chances by 80 percent of having a more serious stroke in the next three months.

Document

Rethink on human hybrid experiments

A radical Government re-think on the law governing hybrid embryos will allow scientists to carry out virtually any work they like - if it is approved by regulators.

The move opens the door to experiments involving every known kind of human-animal hybrid. These could include both "cytoplasmic" embryos, which are 99.9% human, and "true hybrids" carrying both human and animal genes.

Evil Rays

Mobile phone cancer risk 'higher for children'

Children should not be given mobile phones because using them for more than 10 years increases the risk of brain cancer, a leading scientist has said.

Health

Snooze or Lose

Overstimulated, overscheduled kids are getting at least an hour's less sleep than they need, a deficiency that, new research reveals, has the power to set their cognitive abilities back years.

Health

How to Get Kids to Sleep More

Asking sleep experts for advice on how to put children to bed often feels like an exercise in futility. The standard tips are banal and predictable: avoid caffeine; remove the TV from their bedroom; don't sleep on a full stomach; put up dark blinds. You have the feeling the experts are holding out on us - there has to be something more. And there is. Here's the stuff they'd love to tell you, if they weren't afraid of overwhelming you with science.

- Ever wonder why most people sleep better when their bedrooms are cool? It's because the circadian rhythm system that helps regulate sleep cycles is not just light sensitive, it's temperature sensitive. Anything above a neutral air temperature both slows the body's initiation of sleep and changes sleep patterns - a hotter room means an increase in non-REM sleep.

Black Cat

Taser stun guns are safe - And pigs can fly!

Taser stun guns issued to police forces across the country have been declared broadly safe, following the largest independent study of injuries inflicted by the weapons.

Syringe

Indonesia woman dies of bird flu, toll up to 87

A 44-year-old Indonesian woman has died of bird flu, taking the country's total death total from the disease to 87, a health ministry official said on Monday.

The woman, from Pekan Baru city on Sumatra island, fell sick after she bought chicken in a market last month, Azizman Saad, head of bird flu management at the hospital where she was treated, told Reuters.