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Thu, 22 Oct 2020
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Attention

Are chemicals behind drop in boys' birth rate?

'Gender-bending' chemicals could be to blame for a worrying drop in the proportion of boys born in the U.S. over the past 30 years, scientists have claimed.

Crusader

Autism vaccine claims to get their day in court

Science has spoken when it comes to the theory that some childhood vaccines can cause autism. They don't, the Institute of Medicine concluded three years ago.

Soon, it will be the courts turn to speak.

More than 4,800 claims have been filed against the federal government during the past six years alleging that a child contracted autism as a result of a vaccine. The first test case from among those claims will be the subject of a hearing that was to begin Monday in a little-known "People's Court" - the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. A special master appointed by the court will hear the case.

For the parents filing a claim, there is the potential for vindication, and for financial redress.

The test case addresses the theory that the cause of autism is the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in combination with other vaccines containing the preservative thimerosal. That preservative, which contains a form of mercury, is no longer in routine childhood vaccines. However, it is used in influenza vaccines.

Health

Drugmaker to pay if cancer treatment fails

A British-based drugmaker has made a groundbreaking offer to the National Health Service to cover the cost of a £25,000 cancer drug if a patient using it failed to show adequate progress.

The NHS would only pay for the new drug, Velcade, when patients responded well to it, under a joint proposal from Janssen-Cilag the drugs maker, and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, the body that recommends which treatments the NHS should adopt.

Health

Polish man wakes from coma after 19 years

Jan Grzebski, a 65-year-old Polish railwayman who fell into a coma following an accident regained consciousness 19 years later, Polish media reported on Saturday.

In 1988, Grzebski fell into a coma after sustaining head injuries as he was attaching two train carriages. Doctors also found cancer in his brain and said he would not live. Grzebski's wife Gertruda Grzebska took him home.

Penis Pump

Docs: Many Men Have 'Small-Penis Syndrome'

Eighty-five percent of women are pleased with their partner's penis proportions - yet many normal men suffer "small-penis syndrome," urologists report.

Small-penis syndrome is the anxiety of thinking one's penis is too small - even though it isn't. It's a totally different condition from having a truly tiny tinkler, a condition known by the cold, clinical name of micropenis.

Attention

Behind the Label: Diet Coke

Diet Coke was first introduced in the US in July 1982 and today it is the fourth most commonly consumed carbonated beverage in the world.

Apart from being the beverage of choice for sugar-phobic individuals the world over, Coca-Cola is one of the longest standing 'corporate partners' (since 1974) of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). In 1998 the company signed an unprecedented eight-year agreement to sponsor FIFA events - not just the prestigious World Cup, but also the Women's World Cup, the Confederation Cup, various youth championships and the upcoming World Cup Trophy Trip, a roadshow that will take the FIFA World Cup Trophy on tour to cities throughout the world.

Health

Old memory traces in brain may trigger chronic pain

Why do so many people continue to suffer from life-altering, chronic pain long after their injuries have actually healed"

The definitive answer -- and an effective treatment -- has long eluded scientists. Traditional analgesic drugs, such as aspirin and morphine derivatives, haven't worked very well.

A Northwestern University researcher has found a key source of chronic pain appears to be an old memory trace that essentially gets stuck in the prefrontal cortex, the site of emotion and learning. The brain seems to remember the injury as if it were fresh and can't forget it.

With new understanding of the pain source, Vania Apkarian, professor of physiology, and of anesthesiology, at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, has identified a drug that controls persistent nerve pain by targeting the part of the brain that experiences the emotional suffering of pain. The drug is D-Cycloserine, which has been used to treat phobic behavior over the past decade.

In animal studies, D-Cycloserine appeared to significantly diminish the emotional suffering from pain as well as reduce the sensitivity of the formerly injured site. It also controlled nerve pain resulting from chemotherapy, noted Apkarian, who is a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University.

Attention

Shocking!!! Smokers who won't quit denied surgery

Smokers could be denied routine operations on the NHS unless they quit a month before surgery.

Health managers are considering the move after research showed that smokers take longer to recover from surgery and are more prone to hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA.

Although emergency surgery would not be affected, smokers awaiting routine operations such as hip and knee replacements could be refused treatment until they kick the habit.

The proposals, which have been drawn up by Leicester City West Primary Care Trust, could be extended to other areas.

The Leicester plans would involve smokers being given counselling and nicotine patches to help them stop. But the patients would have to give a blood sample to prove they had quit before being put on the waiting list and admitted for elective non-emergency surgery.

Health

Doctors achieve medical marvel by converting a man's right hand into his left

Spanish doctors have converted a man's right hand into his left, transplanting it onto the left arm and changing the place of the thumb, representatives of the medical team said on Monday in the eastern city of Valencia.

The 63-year-old man had lost his left hand in an accident four decades ago.

Three years ago, he suffered a stroke which made him unable to use the right side of his body.

Bulb

Cognitive lock-in: Why you can't teach an old dog new tricks

The ability to learn from experience is of central importance to human existence. It allows us to acquire many of the skills we need to complete a wide variety of complicated, multi-step tasks in an efficient manner. It also creates habit - a critical, if often overlooked factor in the product and service choices consumers make. An important new study from the Journal of Consumer Research demonstrates how this "cognitive lock-in" can cause us to remain loyal to a product, even if objectively better alternatives exist.

"We find that consumers typically are not aware that this mechanism is a powerful determinant of the choices they make," write Kyle B. Murray (University of Western Ontario) and Gerald Häubl (University of Alberta).

Murray and Häubl examine a theory of cognitive lock-in centered around the notion of skill-based habits of use, that is, how using or purchasing a product becomes easier with repetition. In a series of experiments, they find that people are more influenced by their perceptions of ease-of-use rather than how objectively easy a product is to use.