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Sat, 29 Jan 2022
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Are There Rearrangement Hotspots In The Human Genome?

One of the surprises that's come out of recent genome studies has been the significance of variations that affect large chunks of the genome, instead of single bases. At the base level, humans are well over 99 percent identical. But, when the genome structure is looked at, changes in the copy number - extra or missing copies of a section of the chromosome - cause a significant amount of variation between individuals. In some cases, these copy number variations (CNVs) may be associated with diseases.


Gossip is All About Friends, Physicists Say

The extent and speed that gossip spreads largely depends on how many friends the subject of the gossip has, according to recent work by a group of physicists.

The group, which includes scientists from institutions in Germany, Brazil, and Switzerland, developed a model for the spread of gossip among students at an American school.

The model uses survey data from more than 90,000 students in 84 schools who were asked about other students they had personal contact with, such as eating lunch or studying. It introduces concrete quantities that define how widely and quickly gossip can spread among students, a segment of the population in which gossip is particularly prevalent.


Genetics Has A Role In Determining Sexual Orientation In Men

Is sexual orientation something people are born with - like the colour of their skin and eyes - or a matter of choice?

Canadian scientists have uncovered new evidence which shows genetics has a role to play in determining whether an individual is homosexual or heterosexual.

The research was conducted by Dr. Sandra Witelson, a neuroscientist in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, and colleagues at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto who studied the brains of healthy, right-handed, 18- to 35-year-old homosexual and heterosexual men using structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

About 10 years ago, Witelson and Dr. Cheryl McCormick, then a student of Witelson's, demonstrated there is a higher proportion of left-handers in the homosexual population than in the general population -- a result replicated in subsequent studies which is now accepted as fact.


Fluoride use is debated

According to city resident Robert Stewart, the people of Rolla are slowly being poisoned by fluoride through its drinking water.

Stewart, a retired assistant personnel officer of the U.S. Geological Survey, told City Council members that fluoride is "poisoning our children."

Stewart, of 1308 Hillview Drive, presented City Council members data he collected.

"According to The Lancet, a leading English medical journal, sodium fluoride inhibits or destroys the crucial neurotransmitter acelylcholine, which is imperative for the process of learning and memory," Stewart said, reading from a stack of documents.

Comment: It is interesting to see that in this "debate," Stewart is citing numerous scientific studies and hard evidence to prove that fluoride is poison while all Bourne has are the words of government agencies and his rhetorical manipulation.

See the following article for a summary of the harmful effects of fluoride and the history of fluoridation:

Fluorine Compounds Make you Stupid.


Blood-sucking leeches removed from patient's ear in United Arab Emirates

Doctors have removed seven leeches from the ear of a farm worker in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, reported the Dubai newspaper Gulf News on Friday.

The newspaper quoted one of the doctors involved in the operation as saying that the patient, a 40-year-old Egyptian, had been complaining of a headache and an "unpleasant sensation in his head." A subsequent X-ray revealed that seven leeches were enthusiastically sucking blood from around his eardrum.


About 80,000 Russians die of drugs annually

About 80,000 drug-related deaths are registered annually in Russia, Alexander Yanevsky of the Federal Drugs Control Service said on Friday.

"Some 70,000 Russians die of drug-related diseases and another 10,000 from overdoses," he said.


Merck Agrees to $4.85B Vioxx Settlement

TRENTON, N.J. - Merck & Co. will pay $4.85 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits in one of the largest civil cases ever, the company said Friday.

Merck faced about 26,600 lawsuits representing 47,000 plaintiffs, plus about 265 potential class action cases, filed by people or family members who claimed the drug proved fatal or injured its users. The agreement is to cover cases filed in federal and state courts.


Cervical cancer risk seen higher when on pill

Women who take oral contraceptives run a higher risk of developing cervical cancer, but this risk is transient and reverts to normal about 10 years after they stop, British researchers said on Thursday.

Other studies have found a link between taking the pill and cervical cancer, but this is the first to show how long this risk persists, according to the study in the journal Lancet.

Magic Wand

Caveman diet found to be the best choice to control diabetes

If you watch television, you're a modern homo sapiens, with at least one sedentary habit. Despite its unhealthy drawbacks, T.V. can be very informative, especially when keeping abreast of pop-culture. The phrase, "It's so simple a caveman can do it," is one such example. If you pay attention to this advertisement, you'll also know how the caveman feels about being labeled a simpleton. Now, in the first controlled study of a Paleolithic (stone age) diet in humans, Lund University, Sweden, heralds the simple diet of the caveman as the "best choice to control diabetes 2".

This caveman or hunter-gather diet, as it is often called, is nothing new. One of the first suggestions that following a diet similar to that of the late Paleolithic period would improve a person's health was made in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1985 by S. Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konner.

Comment: We suggest reading more about the Paleolithic Diet at cassiopedia.org


Sunbathing Cuts Breast Cancer Risk in Half

Exposure to sunlight may reduce your risk of advanced breast cancer, according to new research from Stanford University.

The study followed 4,000 women between the ages of 35 and 79, and evaluated the effects of long-term sun exposure. Women with a light skin color who had high sun exposure had half the risk of developing advanced breast cancer (cancer that has spread beyond the breast) as women with low sun exposure.

Comment: It seems that sunlight may be better for us than we have been led to believe.