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Tue, 26 Sep 2023
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Magic Wand

Meditate...to Concentrate: Penn Researchers Demonstrate Improved Attention With Mindfulness Training

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say that practicing even small doses of daily meditation may improve focus and performance.

Meditation, according to Penn neuroscientist Amishi Jha and Michael Baime, director of Penn's Stress Management Program, is an active and effortful process that literally changes the way the brain works. Their study is the first to examine how meditation may modify the three subcomponents of attention, including the ability to prioritize and manage tasks and goals, the ability to voluntarily focus on specific information and the ability to stay alert to the environment.

In the Penn study, subjects were split into two categories. Those new to meditation, or "mindfulness training," took part in an eight-week course that included up to 30 minutes of daily meditation. The second group was more experienced with meditation and attended an intensive full-time, one-month retreat.


Number of victims in Moscow food poisoning hits 433

The number of foreign workers sickened by food poisoning at the construction of a new terminal at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport has risen to 433, a food safety watchdog spokesperson said Monday.

The mass food poisoning hit the Turkish construction company Enka's summer camp near Moscow last week. Local food safety officials said earlier that all patients, mainly nationals of Georgia, Uzbekistan and other former Soviet states, had been diagnosed with salmonella infection.

"Three hundred and seventeen people are in hospital in [nearby] Solnechnogorsk, and another 116 are being treated at the Morozovka holiday center, where they have been accommodated," Olga Gavrilenko said.

Gavrilenko said all the patients were receiving appropriate treatment and food, and that none of them had been released from hospital yet.


Statistics say Moscow has 30,000 drug addicts

Official statistics say there are some 30,000 registered drug addicts in Moscow, while experts suggest there may be as many as 1.5 million, the director of a Moscow drug research center said Monday.

"In 2006 22,300 Muscovites were receiving regular medical check ups, and another 7,000 were undergoing preventive treatment," Yevgeny Bryun said.

The official said the number of registered drug addicts in the city, which has a population of 11 million, had increased tenfold since 1991.

"The situation is getting worse, and I don't know what the results for 2007 will be," Bryun said.


Egypt reports new human bird flu case

CAIRO, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Egypt Health Ministry on Saturday confirmed that a new bird flu case was detected in the upper Egypt, which became the 37th case of human bird flu in the country.

Red Flag

And Now The Scientific Evidence - Thimerosol and Autism

Last week in hundreds of written news articles, television segments and talk radio shows we heard that all the "scientific evidence" supports the claim that thimerosal does not cause autism. This week that evidence will finally be presented. Now, will anyone from the mainstream media be paying attention?


Prescription drugs cause obesity

Thousands of people who take prescription medicines for everyday conditions are gaining large amounts of weight as an unexpected side effect, scientists have warned.

Researchers, who found that some patients were putting on up to 22lbs in a year, say that the drugs may even be contributing to the nation's rocketing obesity epidemic.


Could gene therapy help alcoholics stay on the wagon?

Struggling to give up the drink? Gene therapy might be the answer. Rats bred to crave alcohol will drink 50 per cent less for more than a month after being injected with viruses engineered to disrupt the gene for a key enzyme involved in alcohol metabolism.

Many people in east Asia react badly to alcohol because of mutations in the gene for aldehyde dehydrogenase. But these mutations also reduce the risk of succumbing to alcoholism by two-thirds or more.


Poland: Trichinellosis epidemic spreading in Szczecin

The trichinellosis epidemic, caused by infected sausage, is spreading in the city of Szczechin, northwestern Poland, said in a provincial deputy veterinarian doctor in Szczecin.

The number of people, afflicted by the disease, has topped 180, with nearly 70 of them are being hospitalised. Medics assess the state of most of them as "moderate to serious".

Light Saber

Campaign to outlaw aspartame in schools

Food Safety campaigners are calling for a ban on diet drinks and other artificially sweetened products in schools after a Wellington woman said she was poisoned by sugar-free chewing gum.

Abigail Cormack, 25, said she began suffering muscle cramps, heart palpitations, anxiety, depression and skin rashes after chewing gum that contained the artificial sweetener aspartame.

Her symptoms disappeared when she stopped her four-pack-a-day habit.


A jab to halt Alzheimer's could be available within a few years

A revolutionary drug that stops Alzheimer's disease in its tracks could be available within a few years.

It could prevent people from reaching the devastating final stages of the illness, in which sufferers lose the ability to walk, talk and even swallow, and end up totally dependent on others.

The jab, which is now being tested on patients, could be in widespread use in as little as six years.

©Daily Mail