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Wed, 08 Feb 2023
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Extinguisher

Le Musée du Fumeur (The Museum of Smoking)

Wander through the 11th arrondissement of Paris toward the dead celebrities of Pere Lachaise Cemetery, and there's a decent chance you'll stumble across a small gallery called "Le Musée du Fumeur." Unlike the hallowed halls of the Louvre or the Musée d'Orsay, there is no tyranny of expectation in this tiny, smoking-themed museum. No smiling Mona Lisa or reclining Olympia dictates where the random tourist should focus his attention. Thus left to meander, the drop-in visitor may well overlook the more earnest exhibits here - such as Egyptian sheeshas or Chinese opium pipes - and note the small, red-circle-and-slash signs reminding guests that, in no uncertain terms, smoking is strictly forbidden in the Museum of Smoking.

People

One out of four children involved in a divorce and custody litigation undergoes the so-called Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)

One out of four children involved in a divorce and custody litigation undergoes the so-called Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), consisting of the manipulation of children by the custodial parent, who incessantly tries to turn them against the other parent by arousing in them feelings of hatred and contempt for the target parent, as explained in the book Marital Conflicts, Divorce, and Children's Development (Conflictos matrimoniales, divorcio y desarrollo de los hijos, edited by Pirámide), by professors José Cantón Duarte, Mª Rosario Cortés Arboleda, and Mª Dolores Justicia Díaz, from the Department of Evolutionary and Educational Psychology of the University of Granada.

Magnify

Epidemic superbug strains evolved from one bacterium

The drug-resistant "superbugs" that have cut a swathe through day care centers, schools, locker rooms and prisons across the United States in the last five years stem from one rapidly evolving bacterium, US scientists said Monday.

Scientists studying the genetic make-up of these bugs, which are resistant to almost all antibiotics, say they are nearly identical clones that have emerged from a single bacterial strain, which they have dubbed USA300.

"The USA300 group of strains appears to have extraordinary transmissibility and fitness," said Frank DeLeo, a researcher with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Hamilton, Montana.

©Unknown

Heart

From And For The Heart, My Dear Valentine: Broccoli

Wishing your Valentine good heart health on February 14 -- and throughout 2008?

Then consider the food some people love to hate, and hand over a gift bag of broccoli along with that heart-shaped box of chocolates. Researchers in Connecticut are reporting impressive new evidence that eating broccoli may protect against heart disease.

Researchers have known for years that broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber that may protect against cancer, Dipak K. Das and colleagues note. Other studies also suggest that broccoli may benefit the heart, although scientists do not know how it works.

Coffee

Drinking coffee may lower ovarian cancer risk: study

London - Caffeine appears to lower a woman's chances of developing ovarian cancer, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday, while smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol do not.

The benefit for caffeine drinkers also seemed strongest for women who had never used oral contraceptives or postmenopausal hormones, the researchers wrote in the journal Cancer.

Bad Guys

Burying Clinical Data, Spinning Journal Articles, Selling Bad Drugs

If Hillary and Obama think the press is picking on them, they should look at Big Pharma.

The ink isn't even dry on the massive Vioxx settlement and already Big Pharma's been accused of burying clinical data, spinning journal articles and selling drugs that cause the conditions they're supposed to fix. Sound familiar?

Health

Geneticizing Disease: Implications for Racial Health Disparities

Today it is almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or open a Web browser without finding an article that links a specific gene to a certain medical condition. In fact, a simple Google search of "gene linked" in November last year pulled up hits with genes linked to depression risk, restless leg syndrome, autism, breast cancer, childhood asthma, and type 1 diabetes in children. This is only on the first page of results from a total of 30,600,000 hits.

Increasingly, genes are being linked in the mainstream press, on the Web and also in prestigious medical journals not only to medical conditions but also to behavioral conditions such as narcissism, aggressiveness, and in some instances to voting behavior. Linking disease to specific genes is becoming progressively more common among the American public, too. The increasing perception is that an individual's genes are the main cause of disease.

Monkey Wrench

NHS concern after man pulls tooth

Health managers have promised a better emergency dental service after one man was left in agonising pain and felt forced to pull out a tooth with pliers.

Bulb

"Sunshine Vitamin" Earning New Respect

Inside a laboratory at Stanford University, researchers are confidently pursuing evidence that vitamin D plays an important role in breast and prostate cancer prevention.

At Children's Hospital in Oakland, Calif., a famed nutritionist is convinced that widespread deficiency of vitamin D in the U.S. population leads to poor immune system and brain functioning, among other conditions.

And scientists at University of California-Davis this month were awarded $600,000 by the federal government to study the link between vitamin D and major diseases of the day.

Cow

Disease risk to mozzarella output

The production of one of Italy's best known exports, mozzarella, is under threat from an infection spreading through herds of water buffalo.

The Italian government has set up an emergency commission to try and stop the spread of the disease, which affects milk production.