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Health

'Bubble boy' develops leukaemia

One of the boys with no immune system being treated with pioneering gene therapy at Great Ormond Street has developed leukaemia, his doctors say.

©BBC
Without treatment, affected children have to be kept in sterile conditions.

Comment: In this situation, as in so many others, there is no black or white, clear cut choice. Does one bow to authority or exercise their moral choice? The philosphical scenario, Heinz's Dilemma, is becoming a daily occurrence. Learn the difference between paramoralisms and moral reasoning.


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Study suggests some brain injuries reduce the likelihood of post-traumatic stress disorder

A new study of combat-exposed Vietnam War veterans shows that those with injuries to certain parts of the brain were less likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The findings, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Naval Medical Center, suggest that drugs or pacemaker-like devices aimed at dampening activity in these brain regions might be effective treatments for PTSD.

PTSD involves the persistent reliving of a traumatic experience through nightmares and flashbacks that may seem real. Twenty percent to 30 percent of Vietnam vets (more than 1 million) have been diagnosed with PTSD, and a similar rate has been reported among Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans. Public health officials are currently tracking the disorder among soldiers returning from Iraq. Yet, while war and natural disasters tend to call the greatest attention to PTSD, it's estimated that millions of Americans suffer from it as a result of assault, rape, child abuse, car accidents, and other traumatic events.

Previous studies have shown that PTSD is associated with changes in brain activity, but those studies couldn't determine whether the changes were contributing to the disorder or merely occurring because of it.

Health

New bird flu outbreak reported in Poland

A fresh, eighth, outbreak of H5N1 bird flu has been confirmed in the north of the country, where the deadly virus was discovered earlier this month, the chief sanitary official said on Saturday.

Ewa Lech said the virus was confirmed at poultry farms in the village of Sadlowo Parcele, where 190,000 egg-laying hens are found.

Syringe

Italian rush for vaccines after meningitis deaths

Worried residents in northern Italy are flooding vaccination centres after three deaths from bacterial meningitis.

Health authorities in the town of Treviso have already given vaccines to a thousand people and have enough to treat up to 18,000 more.

Info

Losing Your Hearing? Here's How to Restore Your Hearing Naturally



©n/a

If you have trouble hearing, or notice that your hearing is not as good as it used to be, listen up.

Age-related hearing loss may be retrievable, according to Dr. Jonathan Wright, MD, medical director of the Tahoma Clinic in Washington.

By supplementing three patients with the bioidentical hormone aldosterone, all of the men -- who were either losing their hearing or who had lost a lot of their hearing -- were able to regain much of what had been lost.

Health

Surgery without stitches

A thin polymer bio-film that seals surgical wounds could make sutures a relic of medical history.

Measuring just 50 microns thick, the film is placed on a surgical wound and exposed to an infrared laser, which heats the film just enough to meld it and the tissue, thus perfectly sealing the wound.

Newspaper

New Science Study Shows Institutionalized Children Fare Best in Foster Care

Newly published research in the journal Science confirms that institutionalized orphans placed into foster care have much better intellectual development than those who remain behind. The authors say the results have implications for countries "grappling with how best to care for abandoned, orphaned and maltreated young children."

Smiley

Revealed: The seven great "medical myths"



©REUTERS/Yonathan Weitzman
A lone traveller reads a newspaper in Ben-Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv March 21, 2007. Reading in dim light won't damage your eyes and is a well-worn theory among seven "medical myths" exposed in a paper published on Friday in the British Medical Journal, which traditionally carries light-hearted features in its Christmas edition.

Reading in dim light won't damage your eyes, you don't need eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy and shaving your legs won't make the hair grow back faster.

Attention

Beef from Safeway may have had salmonella: USDA

The Agriculture Department said fresh ground beef products contaminated with multi-drug resistant Salmonella may have been ground and later sold at Safeway Inc stores in five states.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the products were sold at supermarket chain Safeway Inc in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico between September 19 and November 5, 2007.

Bulb

Scientists Identify Brain Abnormalities Underlying Key Element of Borderline Personality Disorder

Innovative Brain Imaging Brings Into View Centers Linking Poor Impulse Control with Negative Emotion, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Team Reports

Accompanying AJP Commentary Commends Study's Unique Systematic Approach.


Using new approaches, an interdisciplinary team of scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City has gained a view of activity in key brain areas associated with a core difficulty in patients with borderline personality disorder - shedding new light on this serious psychiatric condition.

"It's early days yet, but the work is pinpointing functional differences in the neurobiology of healthy people versus individuals with the disorder as they attempt to control their behavior in a negative emotional context. Such initial insights can help provide a foundation for better, more targeted therapies down the line," explains lead researcher Dr. David A. Silbersweig, the Stephen P. Tobin and Dr. Arnold M. Cooper Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and attending psychiatrist and neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.