Health & WellnessS


Milan bans ultra-skinny models from catwalk

MILAN - The Italian fashion capital Milan has formally barred ultra-skinny and under-age models ahead of its February catwalk shows, as the fashion world comes under pressure to promote a healthier image.

The agreement signed on Monday between the city and its powerful fashion industry bans models under 16 and those with a body mass index of less than 18.5 from Milan's shows.

The accord also includes courses on healthy eating and exercise and calls for a variety of clothing sizes in shows.

Monkey Wrench

Microbots To Swim Through Human Arteries

An international team of scientists is developing what they say will be the world's first microrobot -- as wide as two human hairs -- that can swim through the arteries and digestive system.

The scientists are designing the 250-micron device to transmit images and deliver microscopic payloads to parts of the body outside the reach of existing catheter technology.

It will also perform minimally invasive microsurgeries, said James Friend of the Micro/Nanophysics Research Laboratory at Australia's Monash University, who leads the team. The researchers hope the device will reduce the risks normally associated with delicate surgical procedures.


Daydreamers: Scientists Find Our Bored Baseline

Bored out of your skull is a reality. A new study of mind wandering shows that the mundane moments of life allow brains to shift into a default resting state that invites daydreaming.

Some psychologists had suggested that mind wandering could be the brain's baseline, a place of flitting thoughts from which a person must wrench away for challenging work.

The new study agrees and looks deeply into the neural mechanics behind this common and sometimes happy affliction.

Bizarro Earth

Chinese man finds cure for tumor: 4 spoonfuls of sand per day

Nanchang - A sixty-year-old man in east China's Jiangxi Province claims that he has gradually recovered from liposarcoma - malignant tumors found in the tissue of fat cells - and stomach ulcers after eating sand for 18 years.

Sheng Shoudong, a cleaner at a food market in Shaxi town, Shangrao City, began to eat about four spoonfuls of sand a day from 1988 after he read a newspaper article in a local newspaper about a man who had recovered from cancer after eating sand.


Your Boss Really is Clueless

Your boss and other people in power often really have no idea what you and others feel and think, new experiments suggest.

Power is often defined as the capacity to get what you want or the ability to influence others.

"The powerful have a profound effect on others, and you would naturally hope they would be sensitive to other points of view," said Adam Galinsky, a social psychologist at Northwestern University.

Comment: What about "P" for psychopathy?


Sex-changing chemicals found in Potomac River - But For God's Sake! Don't Smoke!

Washington - Chemicals known to change the sexual characteristics of fish and other animals have been found in West Virginia tributaries of the Potomac River, which runs through Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Wednesday.

An investigation into fish that had both male and female characteristics turned up a range of chemicals including pesticides, flame retardants, and personal-care products, the USGS said.

Comment: It's always interesting to read about the thousands of health destroying environmental pollutants being pumped into our bodies, but instead of addressing these issues with restrictions on the big corporations making billions and trillions off of our suffering, instead they go after tobacco - and blame everything on that! Because, of course, stopping smoking is laid on the consumer, while no stopping of anything is laid on the industries.

A bit unequal, don't you think?


The science of sex

Brain scans of women reaching orgasm have cast new light on how the mind and nervous system work.


Nations starting to Ban Aspartame

Both Indonesia and South Africa are leading the world in firmly moving towards prohibiting this chemical for medical reasons: aspartame is an excitotoxin and causes brain damage. The sugar substitute breaks down in the body producing 3 toxic substances: methanol (wood alcohol which can cause blindness), formaldhehyde, and diketopiperazine, which causes brain tumors. Jakarta Indy repost.


Renewed evidence suggests statin/Parkinson's link

Washington - New research showing a strong link between Parkinson's disease and low levels of "bad" cholesterol are so worrying that U.S. researchers are launching a study to look into it.

The team at the University of North Carolina is planning clinical trials involving thousands of people to see whether statin drugs, which lower low density lipoprotein, or LDL, might actually cause Parkinson's in some people.

Bizarro Earth

Anti-cancer chicken eggs produced (nothing could go wrong with this plan)

The Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, says it has produced five generations of birds that can produce useful levels of life-saving proteins in egg whites.

Comment: A number of GM animals are now being used as drug factories - see this article for more: The first medicine produced from a genetically modified animal has been recommended for use in Europe.