As the smoking ban marches on here in Charleston, South Carolina, as have similar bans across the country, anti-smoking activists have been able to implement such legislation by claiming they have science on their side. By convincing a significant portion of the population that secondhand smoke is not merely annoying, but a serious health risk, anti-smoking activists have been victorious, while business owners have been forced to bear the cost of lost rights and revenue. This is a shame, because gutting the primary argument of smoking ban proponents from the get-go - the health argument - might have produced an entirely different outcome.
Agribusiness Cargill has teamed up with Coca-Cola to market a new calorie-free natural sweetener made from the South American herb Stevia.
A spokeswoman said she could confirm reports about the existence of the sweetener, but was unable to give further details.
NEW YORK (UPI) - U.S. scientists have, for the first time, identified the existence of taste receptors in the human intestines.
New mom Melissa Christensen runs marathons and eats her vegetables, but during a DNA mapping test she learned she is still a candidate for heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
The healthy 30-year-old said the test gave her a health warning straight from her own DNA.
Comment: What happens when insurance companies get a hold of this DNA information and then opt to cut policies or raise rates based on the information?
A University of Georgia expert says the challenges in ensuring a safe U.S. food supply will continue to grow to unprecedented heights unless solutions are provided quickly.
"Although most foods Americans eat are safe, with odds of greater than 1 in 1 million of becoming hospitalized from a serving of food, the dynamics of the U.S. food system are rapidly changing," said Michael Doyle, director of the UGA Center for Food Safety. "Consumers are much more vulnerable now to large episodes of foodborne illnesses."
Thu, 23 Aug 2007 12:40 UTC
Infectious diseases are emerging more quickly and spreading faster around the globe than ever and becoming increasingly difficult to treat, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
With billions of people moving around the planet every year, the U.N. agency said in its annual World Health Report: "An outbreak or epidemic in one part of the world is only a few hours away from becoming an imminent threat somewhere else."
WHO director-general Margaret Chan said mass travel could facilitate the rapid spread of infectious diseases.
Comment: Here's a chilling scenario...
What if the vaccine developed to prevent the spread of a highly infectious disease were to be tainted and result in the deaths of millions of people? An inoculation program where all citizens are required, by government mandate, to receive the vaccine. Would you be allowed to refuse?
A major function of speech is the communication of intentions. In everyday conversation between adults, intentions are conveyed through multiple channels, including the syntax and semantics of the language, but also through nonverbal vocal cues such as pitch, loudness, and rate of speech.
The same thing occurs when we talk to infants. Regardless of the language we speak, most adults, for example, raise their voices to elicit the infant's attention and talk at a much slower rate to communicate effectively. In the scientific community, this baby talk is termed "infant-directed speech."
There are direct relationships between the way we speak and what we wish to convey. For example, when we see a child reaching for the electrical socket, we do not call out their name as we would during a game of hide-and-go-seek.
A common virus that causes throat and eye infections may also play a role in obesity, according to US scientists. Laboratory tests found the virus triggered changes in human fat tissue that left people with more, and larger, fat cells than people who were not infected.
The scientists acknowledge the virus may be only a contributing factor to growing obesity rates, but they believe that understanding how fat cells respond to infection could lead to vaccines to prevent weight gain and possibly to fat-promoting treatments for people with rare wasting conditions, such as lipidystrophy.
Cancer survival rates in Britain are among the lowest in Europe, according to the most comprehensive analysis of the issue yet produced.
England is on a par with Poland despite the NHS spending three times more on health care.
Mon, 20 Aug 2007 14:13 UTC
Women who force themselves to stay quiet during marital arguments appear to have a higher risk of death, a new study shows. Depression and irritable bowel syndrome are also more common in these women.