Health & WellnessS


Canada records worst year for West Nile

New numbers show Canada is experiencing its worst year for West Nile virus, and as strange as it sounds, one reason could be the lack of a certain type of mosquito.

So far this summer, 1,790 people are known to have become infected with West Nile, compared with the previous record of 1,481 cases in 2003.

A wet spring and hot summer in the Prairies provided the perfect breeding ground for the type of mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus to humans.


Soldier faces threats from military after refusing anthrax vaccine

A soldier serving in Iraq who is stationed in Baghdad says he has faced "threats" and "intimidation" from his Army superiors - including the possibility of forced inoculations - after he refused to take the military's controversial anthrax vaccine.


"Experts" Debate Giving Cervical Cancer Vaccine to Choir Boys

Amid the controversy around mandated vaccination of young girls against the human papillomavirus (HPV), some experts are beginning to wonder whether the shot should also be given to boys.

Comment: The lengths the vaccine industry will got to push this absurdity is truly breathtaking. Not only is the HPV virus not contagious like measles, it's already been shown that simply taking Vitamin D supplements and getting enough sun exposure can ward off most cancers and prevent the flu.

Red Flag

Vaccine Tied to 'Superbug' Ear Infection

CHICAGO - A vaccine that has dramatically curbed pneumonia and other serious illnesses in children is also having an unfortunate effect: promoting new superbugs that cause ear infections.

Bizarro Earth

China finds suspected H5N1 outbreak among ducks

China has discovered a suspected outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus among ducks in an outlying district of the southern metropolis of Guangzhou, the Agriculture Ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said on its Web site that by Thursday, 9,830 ducks had died of the outbreak in Guangzhou's Panyu District.


UK: End for traditional doctor's coat

The traditional doctor's white coat is to be changed as part of government plans to tackle hospital infections.

The new style clothing will have short sleeves under guidance to come into effect at the start of next year.

Doctors would also not be allowed to wear long-sleeve shirts, jewellery, or watches as part of the measures.

The Department of Health says cuffs are likely to be "very contaminated", and that other forms of protection such as plastic aprons would be introduced.

Arrow Down

Women more depressed and men more impulsive with reduced serotonin functioning

Women and men appear to respond differently to the same biochemical manipulation. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most common mental disorders, and it is also one of the most studied. It is already known that reduced serotonin transmission contributes to the pathophysiology, or functional changes, associated with MDD and most of today's most popular antidepressants block the serotonin "uptake site", also known as the transporter, in the brain. It is also known that people with MDD are frequently found to have impaired impulse control. A new study being published in the September 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry now reports on important sex and genetic differences in the way that men and women react to reductions in serotonin function, specifically in terms of their mood and impulsivity.


Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to stomach virus

Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with chronic enterovirus infection of the stomach.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME (myalgic encephalitis), is linked to a stomach virus, suggests research published ahead of print in Journal of Clinical Pathology.

The researchers base their findings on 165 patients with ME, all of whom were subjected to endoscopy because of longstanding gut complaints.

Endoscopy involves the threading of a long tube with a camera on the tip through the gullet into the stomach.

Specimens of stomach tissue were also taken to search for viral proteins and compared with specimens taken from healthy people and patients with other gut diseases none of whom had been diagnosed with ME.

Magic Wand

Gene determines whether male body odor smells pleasant

Largest study of its kind reveals that an ingredient in male body odor can smell like urine or take on a vanilla scent depending on single odorant receptor gene.

To many, urine smells like urine and vanilla smells like vanilla. But androstenone, a derivative of testosterone that is a potent ingredient in male body odor, can smell like either - depending on your genes. While many people perceive a foul odor from androstenone, usually that of stale urine or strong sweat, others find the scent sweet and pleasant. Still others cannot smell it at all.

New research from Rockefeller University, performed in collaboration with scientists at Duke University in North Carolina, reveals for the first time that this extreme variability in people's perception of androstenone is due in large part to genetic variations in a single odorant receptor called OR7D4. The research is reported September 16 as an advance online publication of the journal Nature.

Bizarro Earth

Infectious skin disease leishmaniasis found in Texas

Texas doctors have identified nine cases of the skin disease leishmaniasis in patients who have not traveled to endemic areas.

The infectious disease, sometimes called the Baghdad boil, is common in South America, Mexico and the Middle East, but the North Texas patients identified by doctors at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center had not traveled to any of those areas.