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Sun, 08 Dec 2019
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Family

Sharp sums in the head aim to blunt impact of TV

A daily dose of mental arithmetic has been placed on the curriculum for primary and even nursery schools in France, under a government scheme to sharpen young minds dulled by television.

Gilles de Robien, the Education Minister, has ordered children to carry out between 15 and 20 minutes of calcul mental every day from the age of 5, when they are in the final year of nursery school, as part of a back-to-basics programme.

He also wants five-year-olds to resume the study of multiplication and division, as well as addition and subtraction, for the first time since the 1970s.

Health

Scientists restore gene to shrink tumors in mice

Reactivating a gene that normally suppresses the growth of tumors may be an effective way to treat cancers, scientists said on Wednesday.

The gene called p53 is a leading tumor suppressor which stops damaged cells from dividing. In the majority of human cancers the gene does not work properly.

But teams of scientists in the United States have shown that reactivating, or restoring the function of the gene, can make certain types of tumors in mice shrink or disappear.

Cut

'Altruistic' brain region found

Scientists say they have found the part of the brain that predicts whether a person will be selfish or an altruist.

Altruism - the tendency to help others without obvious benefit to oneself - appears to be linked to an area called the posterior superior temporal sulcus.

Using brain scans, the US investigators found this region related to a person's real-life unselfish behaviour.

Health

Medicare for All: The Only Sound Solution to Our Healthcare Crisis

Contrary to popular conceptions, the average medical bankrupt was a 41-year old woman with children, some college education; over half owned homes and over 80 percent were in the middle or working classes.
Our $2 trillion healthcare industry is not only unhealthy, it is unsustainable. Why universal Medicare is the way to get universal healthcare without collapsing the system.

Health

Study Indicates Antidepressants Double Risk Of Bone Fracture

A Canadian study suggests that people over 50 on a certain type of antidepressant are twice as likely to suffer bone fractures.

Heart

HDL Is The New Frontier For Beating Heart Disease

Most people fixate on the wrong number in the cholesterol equation for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It actually may be more important to know if your good HDL cholesterol is too low (<40 for men, <50 for women) than if your bad LDL cholesterol is too high. This is the current opinion from the field of lipidology, and corroborated by the Framingham coronary prediction algorithm.

The reason LDL has attracted so much attention is because there are more effective drug options for lowering LDL than for raising HDL. Statins are usually the drugs of choice for reducing LDL levels, but are generally not effective in raising HDL more than 6 percent, or higher with some statins, but only in very high doses. And they may create unwanted side effects -- like muscle and joint pains, and depleting CoQ10 from the body, which can actually increase the risk of CVD. Perfectly low LDL levels do not guarantee immunity from strokes and heart attacks.

Health

Chlorinated water exposure may boost cancer risk

Drinking, bathing or swimming in chlorinated water may increase the risk of bladder cancer, a new study shows.

The findings are the first to suggest that these chemicals can be harmful when they are inhaled or absorbed through the skin, as well as when they are ingested, Dr. Cristina M. Villanueva of the Municipal Institute of Medical Research in Barcelona, and colleagues note.

Wolf

Owning A Dog Is Good For Your Health

A UK study reveals that owning a dog is good for your health. And having a pet dog improves your physical and mental wellbeing more than having a cat.

This is the conclusion of a study by a senior lecturer, Dr Deborah Wells, from the Canine Behaviour Centre of Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Dr Wells has published her study in the British Journal of Health Psychology.

Recycle

Study: Microwaves Kill Kitchen Germs

Sponges and kitchen scrub brushes can be loaded with disease-causing viruses and bacteria.

So microwave them, scientists say.

Researchers soaked sponges and scrubbers in a disgusting brew of raw wastewater containing fecal bacteria, viruses, protozoan parasites and bacterial spores, including Bacillus cereus spores - known for being very hard to kill with heat, chemicals and even radiation.

No Entry

A vitamin a day may do more harm than good

If you're banking on a daily vitamin to make up for any deficiencies in your diet, you may be getting a whole lot more - or less - than you bargained for.

Of 21 brands of multivitamins on the market in the United States and Canada selected by ConsumerLab.com and tested by independent laboratories, just 10 met the stated claims on their labels or satisfied other quality standards.

Most worrisome, according to ConsumerLab.com president Dr. Tod Cooperman, is that one product, The Vitamin Shoppe Multivitamins Especially for Women, was contaminated with lead.