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Wed, 31 May 2023
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Health & Wellness


Sex differences in the brain's serotonin system

A new thesis from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows that the brain's serotonin system differs between men and women. The scientists who conducted the study think that they have found one of the reasons why depression and chronic anxiety are more common in women than in men.

Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that is critical to the development and treatment of depression and chronic anxiety, conditions that, for reasons still unknown, are much more common in women than in men. A research group at Karolinska Institutet has now shown using a PET scanner that women and men differ in terms of the number of binding sites for serotonin in certain parts of the brain.


University of Illinois study: exercise to avoid gallstones!

A new University of Illinois study shows that exercise-trained mice get far fewer gallstones than sedentary mice and identifies potential mechanisms to explain why this occurs.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, can be viewed online here.

"For the first time, we have direct evidence that physical activity reduces gallstone formation, adding to the ever-increasing number of reasons that people should get more exercise," said Kenneth Wilund, a faculty member in the University of Illinois Division of Nutritional Sciences and an Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and Community Health.


Male births are more likely to reduce quality of life and increase severe post-natal depression

Giving birth to a boy can lead to higher levels of severe post-natal depression (PND) and reduced quality of life than having a girl, according to research published in the February issue of Journal of Clinical Nursing.

A team of researchers led by Professor Claude de Tychey, from Universite Nancy 2, France, found that just under a third of the 181 women they studied four to eight weeks after delivery had PND.

Nine per cent of the women in the study - carried out in a French community where they didn't face cultural pressures over the sex of their baby - had severe PND and just over three-quarters of those had given birth to boys.


Congo-Kinshasa: Cholera Outbreak Spreads in Katanga

A cholera outbreak in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) province of Katanga has spread, despite efforts to bring the epidemic under control.

The disease has claimed the lives of 97 people and 4,029 have been infected since the first cases of the gastro-intestinal illness were reported in Katanga in September 2007, according to François Dumont, spokesman for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF-Belgium). The disease has spread quickly since the end of December.


Inside a pharmacy where a fatal error occurred

Jacksonville - It was a busy summer night in 2001 at a Walgreens (WAG) store here when pharmacy technician Tomario Lewis went to a computer and typed in the new prescription that would cost Terry Paul Smith his life.

Lewis, then 22, a part-timer hired two years earlier, had been at the Merrill Road store for just a few months, working the evening shift. She had hoped to get a 50-cent hourly raise Walgreens offered for passing a national certification exam. But she'd failed the test.


Could women grow their own sperm?

The day when babies can be made from stray flakes of skin may not be far away. But the ethical implications are enormous, says Roger Highfield

When the Prime Minister walks out of the press conference, he leaves a single flake of skin on the lectern. A woman quietly picks it up, takes it to a lab and, nine months later, gives birth to his child.

sperm and egg
"A woman could simply pick up a bit of bodily detritus, take it to a laboratory, and give birth to the genetic child of Sir Richard Branson."


GPs have got Britain 'hooked on painkillers'

Doctors are unwittingly fuelling the growing number of Britons hooked on prescription drugs by giving patients dangerously high doses of medicines that can prove highly addictive, a parliamentary inquiry has concluded.

MPs say that 'mis-prescribing' of drugs such as painkillers, sleeping tablets and anti-anxiety pills by some doctors is 'leading to addiction and dependence'.

Penis Pump

Greece: Stress plagues men calling sex helpline

Eight in 10 men who called a sex helpline in Thessaloniki did so because they were anxious about their performance in bed, according to figures made public yesterday.


Children who have an active father figure have fewer psychological and behavioral problems

Active father figures have a key role to play in reducing behaviour problems in boys and psychological problems in young women, according to a review published in the February issue of Acta Paediatrica.

Swedish researchers also found that regular positive contact reduces criminal behaviour among children in low-income families and enhances cognitive skills like intelligence, reasoning and language development.

Children who lived with both a mother and father figure also had less behavioural problems than those who just lived with their mother.

The researchers are urging healthcare professionals to increase fathers' involvement in their children's healthcare and calling on policy makers to ensure that fathers have the chance to play an active role in their upbringing.


Chameleons and copycats: How mimicry affects interpersonal persuasion

Social scientists have long been intrigued by the human tendency to mimic the behavior of others. Now, a new study from the April issue of the Journal of Consumer Research expands the field, exploring the potential for mimicry to influence product consumption. The researchers find that watching someone else eat a certain food - in this case, either goldfish crackers or animal crackers - will cause the viewer to be inclined to eat the same thing. Additionally, in another experiment, participants who had their posture and speech mimicked by a salesperson rated the product higher and consumed more of it.