Health & WellnessS

Evil Rays

Nearly all US doctors have links with drug companies: study

WASHINGTON - With the US healthcare industry under increasing scrutiny over dangerous conflicts of interest, a new study released Wednesday concludes that almost all doctors have some relationship with drug makers.


FDA use poisoned pets to spark xenophobic fears.

A month after the the probe into the poisoning of pet food began, government officials announced this week that a second contaminant had been found in protein additives that have sickened or killed hundreds of dogs and cats. The announcement came on the heels of another devastating discovery: that batches of rice protein concentrate used in pet food were also laced with the first known culprit, melamine, a nitrogen-based compound used in commercial and industrial plastics. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the chemicals may have been deliberately added to the gluten in an attempt to artificially inflate the protein levels in the products.

"We have found cyanuric acid, which is somewhat related to melamine," said Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. Both compounds have high levels of nitrogen, which are a measure of protein in a food product. Wheat, rice and corn gluten are forms of vegetable protein that are used as binders in soft (or wet) pet food. They can also be added to dry food to enhance the protein content, says Dave Griffin, owner of the independent pet store Westwood Pet Center, in Bethesda, Md. Griffin, who has worked in the pet industry for 35 years, adds that because of lax labeling requirements, pet food manufacturers are not required to specify the source of protein - whether it's from meat or meal.

Magic Wand

Moving Your Eyes Improves Memory, Study Suggests

If you're looking for a quick memory fix, move your eyes from side-to-side for 30 seconds, researchers say.

Horizontal eye movements are thought to cause the two hemispheres of the brain to interact more with one another, and communication between brain hemispheres is important for retrieving certain types of memories.

Previous studies have suggested that horizontal eye movements improve how well people recall specific words they have just seen. But Andrew Parker and his colleagues at Manchester Metropolitan University in England wanted to know whether such eye movements might also help people recognize words they have just seen.

Recognition memory differs from recall memory in that people trying to recognize words tend to make false memory errors called source monitoring errors. This occurs when they recognize words but attribute their familiarity to the wrong source - they might think they just read the words, when they had actually heard them in a conversation earlier that day, for example.


Lye in a Massachhusetts City Water Blamed for Burns

SPENCER, Mass. - Several residents were taken to hospitals Wednesday with burns and rashes after the town's water supply was accidentally treated with too much corrosive lye, police said.


Help Save Chocolate!

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering redefining 'chocolate' to allow substitution with less expensive and lower quality ingredients.

Magic Wand

Conscious suffering? Migraines May Boost Memory

There may be a silver lining to the dark cloud of migraines: improved memory.

U.S. researchers have found that women with a history of migraines had less cognitive decline as they aged than women who didn't have the debilitating headaches.

"This was a complete surprise," noted study author Amanda Kalaydjian, a research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health. "We found that people with migraines, specifically people with migraines with aura -- which is even more counterintuitive -- didn't even decline over time at all."

Kalaydjian's team published its finding in the April 24 issue ofNeurology. Her research was conducted while a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Other experts were similarly surprised by the finding.


Friendly drug reps sway doctors' choices

CHICAGO - As much as doctors would like to deny it, subtle attention from friendly drug sales representatives can have a big impact on what drugs they prescribe, according to two U.S. studies published on Monday.


Is the Wi-Fi revolution a health time bomb?

So far only a few, faint warnings have been raised, mainly by people who are so sensitised to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobiles, their masts and Wi-Fi that they become ill in its presence. The World Health Organisation
estimates that up to three out of every hundred people are " electrosensitive" to some extent. But scientists and doctors - and some European governments - are adding their voices to the alarm as it becomes clear that the almost universal use of mobile phones may be storing up medical catastrophe for the future.

Magic Wand

Sounds too good to be true! Daily pill to beat genetic diseases

A pill that can correct a wide range of faulty genes which cause crippling illnesses should be available within three years, promising a revolution in the treatment of thousands of conditions.


Flashback Parents of autistic children 'feel guilty' over MMR

Parents of autistic children have reported feelings of anxiety and guilt over whether they should give their children the MMR vaccine, a new study has found.

They have told researchers they felt they had "let their children down" by deciding to give their children the triple vaccine to ward against measles, mumps and rubella, despite assurances from scientists and doctors that it is safe.