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Sun, 08 Dec 2019
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Puberty Hitting Girls as Young as 4 Years Old

Experts Say Environment, Genetics May Be Factor

Most parents would agree that their kids always seem to grow up too quickly, but now, puberty is hitting young girls earlier than ever.

Nearly half of African-American girls start showing signs of puberty by 8 years old, and some American girls are developing as young as 5, even 4 years old, experts say.

Skyla Jones is an energetic 5-year-old from Georgia who loves to play.

Last year, her mother, Melissa Jones, noticed Skyla was tired all the time, had a body odor, and had blood in her urine.

Syringe

Expert casts doubt on flu vaccine

Flu vaccines may not be as effective as people think, an expert has warned.

There is little clinical evidence that the vaccines have an effect on things like hospital stay, time off work, death in healthy adults or even those with conditions like asthma and cystic fibrosis, he said.

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Why does eating feel so good? It's all in the head

Washington - Why does eating feel so good? The secret may lie in the head, not in the stomach, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

Tests on rats show that the appetite hormone ghrelin acts on pleasure receptors in the brain.

Attention

Diet products "boost appetite"

Diet products make people eat more, says nutritional toxicologist Peter Dingle.

He said some sweeteners in diet products were linked with stimulating appetite.

"Aspartame, commonly known as the sweetener NutraSweet, is a neuro-stimulant linked with stimulating appetite, so it can make you hungry," Prof Dingle, associate professor in health and the environment at Murdoch University, said.

Health

Mediterranean Diet May Cut Alzheimer's Risk

People who eat a "Mediterranean" diet rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, cereals and fish have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer';s disease, U.S. researchers report.

"We have confirmed the association of a Mediterranean diet with Alzheimer's disease," said lead researcher Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, an assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

This benefit does not appear to be due to the diet's effect on blood vessels, Scarmeas added. "The diet could be helping avoid Alzheimer's disease by protection from oxidative stress or by reducing inflammation in the brain," he said.

Health

Food may be like a drug for some, study shows

Washington - The same brain circuits are involved when obese people fill their stomachs as when drug addicts think about drugs, a finding that suggests overeating and addiction may be linked, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

The finding may help in creating better treatments for obesity -- a growing problem in the United States and elsewhere.

Laptop

Uncovering the hazards in our electronic gadgets

Have you ever wondered what your computer is made of? You may not want to know. An analysis by Greenpeace of the chemicals contained in the components of five types of laptop computer revealed toxic flame-retardants and other harmful chemicals in some of them. In one of the computers, Greenpeace says it found harmful chemicals that the maker has publicly claimed to have eliminated from its products.

Arrow Up

AIDS no longer killing all patients, study finds

Washington - More than a quarter of New Yorkers infected with the AIDS virus are now dying of other causes, researchers said on Monday.

An analysis of 68,669 New York City residents infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, found that of those who died between 1999 and 2004, 26.3 percent died of something other than HIV. That is a 32 percent increase from 1999, when just under 20 percent of HIV patients died of other causes.

Attention

Ultrasound sends neurons down wrong path

The type of ultrasound used to scan babies in the womb disturbs brain cells in mouse fetuses, say researchers. The finding fuels a debate about the safety of the technique for unborn babies.

Babies in the womb are routinely scanned using high-frequency sound waves. The scans allow doctors to check on growth rates and spot developmental abnormalities.

Health

Drug 'treats depression in hours'

An anaesthetic can treat depression within hours, US research suggests. The study involving 17 patients found ketamine - used as an anaesthetic but also taken as a recreational drug - relieved symptoms of depression.

Most existing treatments for depression take weeks or even months to relieve people's symptoms.

But the team, writing in Archives of General Psychiatry, said ketamine would need to be altered so it lost its existing hallucinatory side-effects.