Health & WellnessS


Flu wave lightens up after prolonged season of severe symptoms

Our long influenza nightmare is almost over.

After an unusually intense attack, this winter's nasty flu is easing its stranglehold on Arizona, finally allowing our frantic ERs to take a deep breath.

But it's leaving behind the highest number of confirmed flu cases in Pima County - at least 782 - since we began counting them.


Unconscious decisions in the brain

Long before you decided to read this story, your brain may have already said "click that link".

By scanning the brains of test subjects as they pressed one button or another - though not a computer mouse - researchers pinpointed a signal that divulged the decision about seven seconds before people ever realised their choice. The discovery has implications for mind-reading, and the nature of free will.


Fire crew's cancer mystery

The lone survivor of a cancer cluster at Atherton Fire Station fears the cause will never be uncovered, despite an investigation finding the rate of brain tumours was up to 62 times higher than the state average.

Queensland Health yesterday confirmed a cancer cluster at the Tableland station and announced a statewide probe to examine any link between firefighting and cancer.


When brain death isn't terminal

How did a man declared brain dead by medical professionals end up back in the land of the living? The emergence of Zack Dunlap's story last month made some people wonder if it's possible to be written off prematurely in the trauma ward.


Building Baby From the Genes Up

The two British couples no doubt thought that their appeal for medical help in conceiving a child was entirely reasonable. Over several generations, many female members of their families had died of breast cancer. One or both spouses in each couple had probably inherited the genetic mutations for the disease, and they wanted to use in-vitro fertilization and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to select only the healthy embryos for implantation. Their goal was to eradicate breast cancer from their family lines once and for all.


Speaker says advances in genetics pose new human rights challenges

A torrent of new information on human genetics could pose acute challenges to human rights in the near future, according to an expert in the history of medicine.

Daniel Kevles, a professor at Yale University, warns that dramatic advances in genetic science have "revived some of the old issues" surrounding the eugenics movement that flourished in the United States and Europe during the early part of the 20th century.

Kevles, author of In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity, gave the Second Annual Heinz and Virginia Herrmann Distinguished Lecture on Science and Human Rights at Konover Auditorium April 3.


Embryo Research May Never Produce Cures: Head of UK Stem Cell Network

Lord Patel of Dunkeld, chairman of the UK National Stem Cell Network and chancellor of Dundee University, told the Scotsman earlier this week that research involving stem cells would likely lead to therapies, but that ultimately such treatments could prove too risky for human use.

He also said it could be five to ten years before viable stem cell treatments were available. But even then, he observed, "We have to be cautious. It may not deliver therapy for anything. We may find that stem therapy is quite a risky business."

Cow Skull

Alamosa water cleared to drink after treatment for salmonella

DENVER - Alamosa officials opened the faucet, poured themselves a glass of water and toasted the state health department's declaration Friday that tap water was safe to drink after more than three weeks of restrictions because of salmonella contamination.


Pro-suicide websites 'outnumber' pro-life sites

Suicidal people searching the internet are more likely to find advice on how to end life than sites offering help and support, a new study claims.

Researchers from the universities of Bristol, Oxford and Manchester performed searches likely to be undertaken by a person looking for instructions and information about methods of suicide using the four most popular search engines.

Eye 1

Genetics key to teen violence

Whether a criminal teenager turns into a violent adult or grows out of crime, may be related to how low his ears are set or the types of food he was given as a child. International research shows antisocial behaviour in young adults can be written into their genetic code, and made worse by bad parenting.