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Thu, 28 May 2020
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Health

Man With Drug-Resistant TB Locked Up

PHOENIX - Behind the county hospital's tall cinderblock walls, a 27-year-old tuberculosis patient sits in a jail cell equipped with a ventilation system that keeps germs from escaping. Robert Daniels has been locked up indefinitely, perhaps for the rest of his life, since last July. But he has not been charged with a crime. Instead, he suffers from an extensively drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis, or XDR-TB. It is considered virtually untreatable.

Heart

Blood groups 'can be converted'

Scientists have developed a way of converting one blood group into another.

The technique potentially enables blood from groups A, B and AB to be converted into group O negative, which can be safely transplanted into any patient.

Vader

Study Reveals Widespread Office Bully Problem

The office bully has an array of weapons at his disposal, ranging from the subtle silent treatment to not-so-subtle verbal ridicule, the effects of which can ripple through the workplace.

A new study finds that while nearly 30 percent of U.S. workers have endured a punishing boss or co-worker, many individuals would not label themselves as bully targets. For those who do, it's not just the bully victim who feels the heat. Witnesses in nearby cubicles are affected and show an increase in stress and overall dissatisfaction with their jobs.

The prevalence of bullying in the American workplace tops the rates found in Scandinavian countries and is on par with those in Great Britain, the scientists found.

Light Saber

Getting dirty may lift your mood

Bacteria found in the soil activated a group of neurons that produce the brain chemical serotonin.

Treatment of mice with a 'friendly' bacteria, normally found in the soil, altered their behavior in a way similar to that produced by antidepressant drugs, reports research published in the latest issue of Neuroscience.

These findings, identified by researchers at the University of Bristol and colleagues at University College London, aid the understanding of why an imbalance in the immune system leaves some individuals vulnerable to mood disorders like depression.

Dr Chris Lowry, lead author on the paper from Bristol University, said: "These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health. They also leave us wondering if we shouldn't all be spending more time playing in the dirt."

Health

Experts say more needs to be done for brain-injured Iraq Vets

WASHINGTON - Retired Army Sgt. Edward Wade has adjusted to his prosthetic right arm, his nagging foot pain and most of the other ailments caused by a roadside bomb in Iraq three years ago.

What he hasn't been able to get used to is the lingering fogginess in his mind from the brain injury he sustained in that blast.

Health

Lethal type of dengue fever hits Mexico

MEXICO CITY - The deadly hemorrhagic form of dengue fever is increasing dramatically in Mexico, and experts predict a surge throughout Latin America fueled by climate change, migration and faltering mosquito-eradication efforts.

Overall dengue cases have increased by more than 600 percent in Mexico since 2001, and worried officials are sending special teams to tourist resorts to spray pesticides and remove garbage and standing water where mosquitoes breed ahead of the peak Easter week vacation season.

Health

Technique to convert blood types could end shortages

Scientists have developed a simple method of converting blood from one group to another.


Clock

Researchers Figure Out What Makes A Simple Biological Clock Tick

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Vanderbilt University has analyzed the simplest known biological clock and figured out what makes it tick. The results of their analysis are published in the March 27 issue of the journal Public Library of Science Biology.

Biological clocks are microscopic pacemakers. They are found in everything from pond scum to human beings and appear to help organize a dizzying array of biochemical processes. A traveler experiences jet lag when his or her internal clock becomes out of synch with the environment. Seasonal Affective Disorder, some types of depression, sleep disorders and problems adjusting to changes in work cycles all can occur when an individual's biological clock acts up. Recent studies have even found links between these molecular timepieces and cancer.

In 2005, a group of Japanese researchers surprised the scientific community by showing that the three proteins which make up the biological clock in blue green algae will establish a 24-hour cycle on their own when placed in a test tube with adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the chemical that powers biological reactions.

Magic Wand

New study in SLEEP finds that sleep disturbance increases spontaneous pain in women

Sleep continuity disturbance impairs endogenous pain-inhibitory function and increases spontaneous pain in women. This supports a possible pathophysiologic role of sleep disturbance in chronic pain, according to a study published in the April 1st issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, conducted by Michael T. Smith, PhD, and colleagues at John's Hopkins University, focused on 32 healthy females, who were studied polysomnographically for seven nights. On the first two nights, the subjects slept undisturbed for eight hours. Then, the women were assigned to one of three groups: "Control", "Forced Awakening" (FA) and "Restricted Sleep Opportunity" (RSO). From nights three-to-five, the "Control" group continued to sleep undisturbed, while the "Forced Awakening" group underwent eight forced awakenings, one per hour, and the "Restricted Sleep Opportunity" group received partial sleep deprivation by delayed bedtime. On night six, both the FA and RSO groups underwent 36 hours of total sleep deprivation, followed by 11-hour recovery sleep.

In an assessment of the subjects' completion of twice-daily psychophysical assessments of mechanical pain thresholds and pain inhibition, it was discovered that the FA group demonstrated an increase in spontaneous pain, while neither the "Control" nor the RSO group showed changes in pain inhibition or spontaneous pain during partial sleep deprivation.

Health

Dengue Surging in Mexico, Latin America - 600 pct increase

MEXICO CITY - The deadly hemorrhagic form of dengue fever is increasing dramatically in Mexico, and experts predict a surge throughout Latin America fueled by climate change, migration and faltering mosquito eradication efforts.