Health & WellnessS

Red Flag

FDA Probes Merck Drug, Possible Suicides

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it is investigating a possible link between Merck's best-selling Singulair and suicide. FDA said it is reviewing a handful of reports involving mood changes, suicidal behavior and suicide in patients who have taken the popular allergy and asthma drug.


California: Doctor Spots, Treats Mysterious Illness In Child Patient

Experts said Wednesday that research continues toward an illness that resembles common childhood conditions -- but can be deadly if not spotted in time.

Symptoms of the ailment, called Kawasaki Disease, include high fever, rash, swelling of the hands and feet, reddening of the eyes, and swollen lymph nodes, experts said.

According to experts, if treatment isn't started within 10 days, permanent damage to the heart -- or even death -- can occur. Its cause is unknown.


Sri Lanka: Four die of mysterious disease

Four persons have died last week at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital due to an unidentified disease, doctors said.

Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) of the Anuradhapura hospital Dr. Ajith Jayasena told the Daily Mirror that investigations are underway by the hospital authorities to ascertain whether this was an infectious viral disease.


Brain's 'sixth sense' for calories discovered

The brain can sense the calories in food, independent of the taste mechanism, researchers have found in studies with mice. Their finding that the brain's reward system is switched on by this "sixth sense" machinery could have implications for understanding the causes of obesity. For example, the findings suggest why high-fructose corn syrup, widely used as a sweetener in foods, might contribute to obesity.

Ivan de Araujo and colleagues published their findings in the March 27, 2008, issue of the journal Neuron, published by Cell Press.

In their experiments, the researchers genetically altered mice to make them "sweet-blind," lacking a key component of taste receptor cells that enabled them to detect the sweet taste.


Study Shows the Upside of Anger

Here's a maxim from the "duh" department: People typically prefer to feel emotions that are pleasant, like excitement, and avoid those that are unpleasant, like anger.

But a new study appearing in the April issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, says this may not always be the case. Psychologists Maya Tamir and Christopher Mitchell of Boston College, and James Gross of Stanford University tested whether people prefer to experience emotions that are potentially useful, even when they are unpleasant to experience.


Chlorine poisoning lands 25 Russian children in hospital

A criminal investigation has been launched after 25 children were hospitalized with chlorine poisoning at an aquapark in St. Petersburg, a local prosecutor spokesman said Thursday.

The spokesman said the children were admitted to local hospitals after visiting the park, adding their condition was described as "moderate to satisfactory." It is believed that the swimming pools had been over-chlorinated.

The spokesman said a case has been launched for a breach of sanitary regulations leading to mass poisoning cases, and for failure to meet safety standards. The first offence is punishable by a three-year prison term.


Italy urges calm over tainted mozzarella fears

Italian authorities sought to calm consumers on Wednesday after dioxins were found in the buffalo milk used to make Italy's famous mozzarella.

Last week high levels of dioxins, chemical contaminants, were found in samples of buffalo milk in the southern Campania region, so far 25 facilities in southern Italy have been temporarily closed.

The country's health ministry official, Gian Paolo Patta, said most of the products were, "absolutely not affected by the dioxin. We are going to precisely determine which farms provided milk outside cheese dairy standards."


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.