Health & WellnessS


Shining a light on fluorescent bulbs

Compact fluorescent light bulbs, long touted by environmentalists as a more efficient and longer-lasting alternative to the incandescent bulbs that have lighted homes for more than a century, are running into resistance from waste industry officials and some environmental scientists, who warn that the bulbs' poisonous innards pose a bigger threat to health and the environment than previously thought.


Hyper girls 'struggle as adults'

Hyperactive young girls are more likely to have "serious" problems in adulthood, research suggests.

A study of more than 800 girls up to the age of 21 found hyperactivity was linked to poor job prospects, abusive relationships and teenage pregnancy.


Hospital confirms first UK case of extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis

TB Nurses
©Gianluigi Guercia/AFP
Nurses wait to treat patients in the Sizwe hospital TB ward in Edenvale on the outskirt of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Doctors have diagnosed the first ever UK case of a virtually untreatable strain of tuberculosis, marking a further step in the disease's fightback against the antibiotics that once kept it in check. A man in his 30s is in isolation at a hospital in Glasgow and is being treated with a cocktail of antibiotics in an effort to control the extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), the Guardian has learnt.


Overdose Death Rate Surges, Legal Drugs Are Mostly to Blame

According to a little noticed January report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drug overdoses killed more than 33,000 people in 2005, the last year for which firm data are available. That makes drug overdose the second leading cause of accidental death, behind only motor vehicle accidents (43,667) and ahead of firearms deaths (30,694).

What's more disturbing is that the 2005 figures are only the latest in such a seemingly inexorable increase in overdose deaths that the eras of the 1970s heroin epidemic and the 1980s crack wave pale in comparison. According to the CDC, some 10,000 died of overdoses in 1990; by 1999, that number had hit 20,000; and in the six years between then and 2005, it increased by more than 60%.


Hispanics With Clogged Arteries At Greatest Risk Of Stroke, Heart Attack, Study Shows

Hispanics who have even a small amount of plaque build-up in the neck artery that supplies blood to the brain are up to four times more likely to suffer or die from a stroke or heart attack than Hispanics who do not have plaque, according to a study published in the March 19, 2008, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.


Child behaving badly? It's the permissive parents' fault

Bad behaviour in schools is being fuelled by "overindulgent" parents who don't know how to say no to their children, according to new research. Teachers are dealing with a "small but significant" number of pupils who throw tantrums in class if they don't get their own way, turn up exhausted because they stay up late and have increasingly "belligerent" parents who take their child's side.


15 hepatitis infections tied to ex-nurse

At least 15 military service members or their relatives are believed to have been infected with hepatitis by a nurse suspected of stealing their painkillers during surgery.


Wal-Mart milk to have no artificial growth hormones

©Jessica Rinaldi/REUTERS
A sign marks Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas June 1, 2007. Wal-Mart Stores said on Thursday that its private-label Great Value milk is now being sourced only from cows that have not been treated with artificial growth hormones, such as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST).

Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Thursday that its private-label Great Value milk is now being sourced only from cows that have not been treated with artificial growth hormones, such as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST).


Philip Morris Experimenting with GMO Tobacco

Scientists have genetically modified tobacco plants to knock out a gene that helps turns nicotine into one of the carcinogens in cured tobacco.

The Philip Morris-funded North Carolina State researchers say the work could lead to less cancer-causing chewing tobacco. In large-scale field trials, they compared the levels of N-nitrosonornicotine, a chemical known as NNN, between GM tobacco plants and a control group. They found a six-fold decrease in NNN and a 50 percent overall drop in a whole class of nasty substances known as tobacco-specific nitrosamines.

Comment: Perhaps Philip Morris should leave the natural product be, to focus attention on the many artificial chemicals added to cigarettes and other tobacco products?


US: Mysterious, Unexplained Illness Strikes Kentucky Classroom

A mysterious illness struck an elementary school classroom in Kentucky on Mar. 19, forcing officials to call out a fleet of ambulances.

More than a dozen students got sick.

What's worse though, is no one knows why.

Three Rivers Hospital officials worked to reassure frightened parents the children were going to be OK.

"My child has breathing problems, I hope he'll be all right," said parent Angel Chaffins.