Health & WellnessS


Doctor who exposed MMR-autism link defends himself at General Medical Council

Outside the General Medical Council's London HQ it was clear something significant was happening.

Scores of campaigners, watched by police, had gathered from early morning waving placards in support of Dr Andrew Wakefield.

Wakefield Supporters
Campaigners were at the GMC to show their support for Dr Wakefield


You can't blame teachers for quitting when entire families are hostile to education

The problem is "spoilt little princes and princesses," who are influenced by a "materialistic society" and a "culture of immediacy", says the National Association of Schoolmasters, Union Of Women Teachers (NASUWT).

The problem is "incidents increasingly concentrated in a handful of schools serving disadvantaged areas," suggests the National Union of Teachers (NUT). The problem is pupils with "deep-seated problems" who are being "failed by social workers," argues the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL). The main teaching unions, at their Easter conferences, may have expressed their worries in slightly different ways.


Study: Beautiful Women Want It All

A new study out of the University of Texas argues that beautiful women want it all when it comes to picking a mate.

In fact, the more beautiful a woman is, the higher her standards.

But, perhaps surprisingly, the study did not find that to be the case when it comes to men. It takes more than being a hunk for a man to want everything. He must also have status and the potential to be a good provider before he is likely to demand the best.


Watchdog investigates Miss Bimbo website

A website criticised for encouraging young girls to embrace plastic surgery and dieting is being investigated by a communications watchdog over claims that it has breached rules about targeting children with premium rate phone lines. PhonepayPlus is examining claims that the Miss Bimbo game exploits children's naivety and contains content that parents would feel unsuitable for children.

Light Saber

Cosmetic surgeons fear laser rule change is risk to patients' health

Government plans to drop the regulation of lasers used by beauty salons for cosmetic treatments, such as the removal of wrinkles, hair and tattoos, would pose a serious risk to patients' health, doctors said yesterday.

Leading cosmetic surgeons said that the proposals, set out by the Department of Health, would allow anyone without qualifications to start using lasers and other light techniques.

Red Flag

Big Belly Boosts Risk of Later Dementia

NEW YORK - Having a big belly in your 40s can boost your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease or other dementia decades later, a new study suggests.

It's not just about your weight. While previous research has found evidence that obesity in middle age raises the chances of developing dementia later, the new work found a separate risk from storing a lot of fat in the abdomen. Even people who weren't overweight were susceptible.


Children who bully also have problems with other relationships

Students who bully others tend to have difficulties with other relationships, such as those with friends and parents. Targeting those relationships, as well as the problems children who bully have with aggression and morality, may offer ideas for intervention and prevention.

Those are the findings of a new study that was conducted by scientists at York University and Queens University. It appears in the March/April 2008 issue of the journal Child Development.

The researchers looked at 871 students (466 girls and 405 boys) for seven years from ages 10 to 18. Each year, they asked the children questions about their involvement in bullying or victimizing behavior, their relationships, and other positive and negative behaviors.


Mounting evidence shows red wine antioxidant kills cancer

Rochester researchers showed for the first time that a natural antioxidant found in grape skins and red wine can help destroy pancreatic cancer cells by reaching to the cell's core energy source, or mitochondria, and crippling its function. The study is published in the March edition of the journal, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology.

The study also showed that when the pancreatic cancer cells were doubly assaulted -- pre-treated with the antioxidant, resveratrol, and irradiated -- the combination induced a type of cell death called apoptosis, an important goal of cancer therapy.

The research has many implications for patients, said lead author Paul Okunieff, M.D., chief of Radiation Oncology at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center.


The Conflict of Reward in Depression

In Love and Death, Woody Allen wrote: "To love is to suffer...To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer." The paradoxical merging of happiness and suffering can be a feature of depression. Biological Psychiatry, on April 1st, is publishing a new study of regional brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging, which may help further our understanding of how happiness and suffering are related in depression.

Eye 1

Seeing may be believing -- but is it the same as looking?

If you see something, it's because you're looking at it, right? A recently published study examined this question and established that while people do tend to notice objects within their gaze, it is the assumptions they make about their environment that affects their perceptions. This study gives insight into how the brain and the eye work together to interpret everyday observations.

The study "If I saw it, it probably wasn't far from where I was looking," reflects the work of a group of researchers led by E.M. Brenner, PhD of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The article recently appeared in the Journal of Vision, published by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.