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Tue, 07 Dec 2021
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Will New Food Labels Make Americans Thin

The line between health education and marketing just got blurrier.

2005 was the year of the whole grain. While nutritionists and dietitians had long touted the benefits of whole grains, it was food behemoths like General Mills and Kraft that had the financial capabilities of generating national buzz by transforming their classic products into more nutritional edibles. Nutritional fads are nothing new and neither are the reformulations processed foods undergo to cater to them. For example, Trix, that rainbow-hued confection with a sugar-induced white rabbit for a mascot, could now boast wholesome graininess on the side of its box. And while the cereal technically reduced its sugar content, it maintained the same number of calories (as well as a disturbing 13 grams of sugar per 30-gram portion). It was a superficial makeover designed to ease the consciences (but not the waistlines) of consumers.

Gear

Virtually All U.S. Doctors Accept Money, Freebies from Drug Companies

Based on four different papers, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the PLoS Medicine, and the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the efforts to curb drug companies' courting of your doctors is still ineffective.

In fact, the industry is working harder than ever to influence which medicines you are prescribed, by sending out sales representatives with greater frequency, bringing gifts, meals and offering consulting fees to high prescribers.

Info

Chicken Dies After Drinking Chinese Bottled Water

A member of a Chinese family living on the southern island province of Hainan began vomiting blood after drinking some bottled water, so the family decided to test the rest of the water on a chicken.

The chicken drank the rest of the water from the bottle, and died within a minute, according to the Beijing News. Authorities in the province were investigating the incident.

The bottled-water mishap adds to the growing safety concerns surrounding products made in China. To date, the safety of Chinese-made toys, toothpaste, seafood, and other products have been in question.

Info

Does Tooth Loss Lead to Mental Decline? Or Vice-Versa?

According to researchers in the U.K., older people who have lost all their teeth are more than three times more likely to develop memory problems and dementia than those who still have teeth left.

The study's lead author, Dr. Robert Stewart of Kings College London, admits this study raises more questions than it answers, and that at this point they are not able to say what causes what. However, he states the take-home message is, "Particular attention may need to be paid to the health and nutrition of people with cognitive impairment because they may also have dental problems."

Health

Second Pathway Behind HIV-associated Immune System Dysfunction Identified

Researchers at the Partners AIDS Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (PARC-MGH) may have discovered a second molecular "switch" responsible for turning off the immune system's response against HIV. Last year members of the same team identified a molecule called PD-1 that suppresses the activity of HIV-specific CD8 T cells that should destroy virus-infected cells. Now the researchers describe how a regulatory protein called CTLA-4 inhibits the action of HIV-specific CD4 T cells that control the overall response against the virus.

Health

Fourth human case of West Nile reported in Massachusetts

State health officials reported the fourth human case of West Nile Virus this year.

The latest victim is identified as a 49-year-old Medford man who became ill at the end of last month and remains hospitalized.

Of the four human cases diagnosed in the state this year, three were exposed to the disease in Massachusetts.

People

Deciphering Human Differences

With the help of new high-speed DNA sequencing technology, scientists have uncovered extensive regions in the human genome where chunks of DNA have been deleted, copied, or completely rearranged. Mapping and characterizing these structural variants could be key to understanding human diversity and the origins of many diseases.

Comment: Like the genetic origins of psychopathy perhaps?


Vader

Pollution causing premature deaths

Pollution could be causing up to 25,000 premature deaths in Canada each year and burdening the health care system with up to $9.1-billion annually in extra costs, according to a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta.

Syringe

'Worrying' HIV ignorance in young

Nine in 10 young people rarely or never think about HIV when making decisions over their sex lives, a BBC poll shows.

Bulb

'Discipline' may beat Alzheimer's

Scientists may have discovered a tangible benefit to leading a conscientious life - a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.