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Thu, 22 Oct 2020
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Health

Study suggests cancer risk from depleted uranium

Depleted uranium, which is used in armour-piercing ammunition, causes widespread damage to DNA which could lead to lung cancer, according to a study of the metal's effects on human lung cells. The study adds to growing evidence that DU causes health problems on battlefields long after hostilities have ceased.

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Help Wanted: Human Guinea Pigs

If you've ever wondered why we so rarely hear of drug trials going awry in the United States, Sonia Shah, author of The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World's Poorest Patients (The New Press, 2006), has the unattractive answer: we "offshore" the drug trials to developing nations and to those who simply can't afford to say "anywhere but here."

Bulb

Meditation Sharpens the Mind

Three months of intense training in a form of meditation known as "insight" in Sanskrit can sharpen a person's brain enough to help them notice details they might otherwise miss.

Vader

Toxic World Trade Center dust linked to lung disease in rescue workers

Rescue workers and firefighters in New York City contracted a serious lung-scarring disease called sarcoidosis at a much higher rate after the Sept. 11 attacks than before, said a study that is the first to link the disease to exposure to toxic dust at Ground Zero.

The study, published by nine doctors including the medical officer monitoring city firefighters, Dr. David Prezant, found that firefighters and rescue workers contracted sarcoidosis in the year after Sept. 11, 2001, at a rate more than five times higher than the years before the attacks.

Health

New fears over additives in children's food

Potential link to behaviour problems prompts advice to parents over diet
Food safety experts have advised parents to eliminate a series of additives from their children's diet while they await the publication of a new study that is understood to link these ingredients to behaviour problems in youngsters.

Attention

Stress of deployment increases risk of child abuse, neglect in military families, UNC study shows

Rates of abuse and neglect of young children in military families in Texas has doubled since October 2002, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study shows, raising concerns about the impact of deployment on military personnel and their families across the country.

The study, published in the May 15, 2007 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, was designed by UNC School of Public Health researchers to measure the impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on military and non-military families. The researchers chose to study Texas because of the large military population there and the availability of data.

Researchers found that prior to October 2002, rate of abuse and neglect - called maltreatment - was slightly higher among non-military families compared to military families. However, after the U.S. started sending larger numbers of troops to Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003, rates of abuse and neglect in military families far outpaced the rates among non-military families. Military files indicate more troops were deployed and fewer returned home in 2003.

In addition, the rate of occurrence of substantiated maltreatment in military families was twice as high in the period after October 2002 compared with the period prior to that date. During the same period, the rate of substantiated child abuse and neglect was relatively stable for non-military families, said Danielle Rentz, Ph.D., lead author of the study, which was part of her doctoral dissertation at the UNC School of Public Health.

Light Sabers

Fine motor skills, social acceptance lower in children with 'lazy eye'

A recent study evaluating the fine motor skills and perceived self esteem of children with amblyopia (or "lazy eye") compared with age-matched children will be presented during the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2007 Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The presentation will be made on Wednesday, May 9 from 3:00 to 4:45 p.m., in Hall B/C of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

The study, led by Ann Louise Webber of the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, utilized Visual-Motor Control and Upper Limb Speed and Dexterity subtests of the Brunicks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency to measure fine motor skills, and perceived self esteem was assessed using the Harter Self Perception Profile for Children. Results shows that fine motor skills were significantly worse and perception of social acceptance was lower in amblyopic children. Performance on the fine motor skill tasks could not predicted by level of stereoposis or inter-ocular visual acuity difference in the amblyopic group.

Attention

Rare Nipah virus outbreak kills 5 in eastern India

The rare, animal-borne Nipah virus has killed five people in an eastern Indian state, prompting authorities to declare a state of alert, officials said Tuesday.

A health official and four members of a family have died from the illness since early April, said Mohan Basu, a doctor in West Bengal state's Nadia district.

The Nipah virus is usually spread by fruit bats or pigs. There have been no known cases of human-to-human infection, according to the World Health Organization.

The last major Nipah outbreak occurred in Malaysia, where 265 people were infected in 1998-99. The virus was then blamed for 105 human deaths.

Nearly a million pigs, believed to have spread the disease, were slaughtered before the Malaysian outbreak was controlled.

Health

Farmed fish fed contaminated material

Farmed fish have been fed meal spiked with the same chemical that has been linked to the pet food recall, but the contamination was probably too low to harm anyone who ate the fish, federal officials said Tuesday.

Health

Parents claim diet helps autism, doctors debunk

TORONTO - Tina Szenasi's quest to cure her two autistic sons began with soy milk.

Ms. Szenasi switched to the milk substitute after reading testimonials from other parents who said their autistic children's symptoms had improved - even disappeared - when dairy and wheat were eliminated from their diet.