Health & WellnessS


Study: School Culture Affects Student Violence

Along with personality and peer relationships, a school's culture also influences whether a child resolves an issue peacefully or goes off the deep end and resorts to violence, a new study finds.

The results, reported in the March issue of the journal Youth & Society, come as attention is focused on the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, an extreme example of student aggression at its most lethal.

Though it's no magic solution , the research could help ensure and direct intervention in middle schools where students need it most, the scientists say.

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Gene explains why people are night owls

A genetic mutation called the "after-hours gene" may explain why some people are night owls, it is revealed in Science journal today.

It could also hold clues for pharmacologists working to develop drugs to help people adjust to shift work or jet lag. There are further implications for the study of causes of some psychiatric disorders.

The altered gene, named "after hours" or Afh, is a variant of a gene called Fbxl3, which had not been linked to the body clock that keeps our metabolism, digestion and sleep patterns in tune with the rising and setting of the sun.

The discovery involved scientists from the Medical Research Council Mammalian Genetics Unit, Oxfordshire, the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology, Cambridge, and colleagues based at New York University.


Report on Hogs That Ate Tainted Food

WASHINGTON - Several hundred of the 6,000 hogs that may have eaten contaminated pet food are believed to have entered the food supply for humans, the government said Thursday.


Chocolate linked to low blood pressure

Eating dark chocolate may be almost as effective at lowering blood pressure as taking the most common anti-hypertensive drugs, a review of studies has found. Tea, on the other hand, appears to be ineffective.

Evil Rays

Nearly all US doctors have links with drug companies: study

WASHINGTON - With the US healthcare industry under increasing scrutiny over dangerous conflicts of interest, a new study released Wednesday concludes that almost all doctors have some relationship with drug makers.


FDA use poisoned pets to spark xenophobic fears.

A month after the the probe into the poisoning of pet food began, government officials announced this week that a second contaminant had been found in protein additives that have sickened or killed hundreds of dogs and cats. The announcement came on the heels of another devastating discovery: that batches of rice protein concentrate used in pet food were also laced with the first known culprit, melamine, a nitrogen-based compound used in commercial and industrial plastics. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the chemicals may have been deliberately added to the gluten in an attempt to artificially inflate the protein levels in the products.

"We have found cyanuric acid, which is somewhat related to melamine," said Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. Both compounds have high levels of nitrogen, which are a measure of protein in a food product. Wheat, rice and corn gluten are forms of vegetable protein that are used as binders in soft (or wet) pet food. They can also be added to dry food to enhance the protein content, says Dave Griffin, owner of the independent pet store Westwood Pet Center, in Bethesda, Md. Griffin, who has worked in the pet industry for 35 years, adds that because of lax labeling requirements, pet food manufacturers are not required to specify the source of protein - whether it's from meat or meal.

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Moving Your Eyes Improves Memory, Study Suggests

If you're looking for a quick memory fix, move your eyes from side-to-side for 30 seconds, researchers say.

Horizontal eye movements are thought to cause the two hemispheres of the brain to interact more with one another, and communication between brain hemispheres is important for retrieving certain types of memories.

Previous studies have suggested that horizontal eye movements improve how well people recall specific words they have just seen. But Andrew Parker and his colleagues at Manchester Metropolitan University in England wanted to know whether such eye movements might also help people recognize words they have just seen.

Recognition memory differs from recall memory in that people trying to recognize words tend to make false memory errors called source monitoring errors. This occurs when they recognize words but attribute their familiarity to the wrong source - they might think they just read the words, when they had actually heard them in a conversation earlier that day, for example.


Lye in a Massachhusetts City Water Blamed for Burns

SPENCER, Mass. - Several residents were taken to hospitals Wednesday with burns and rashes after the town's water supply was accidentally treated with too much corrosive lye, police said.


Help Save Chocolate!

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering redefining 'chocolate' to allow substitution with less expensive and lower quality ingredients.

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Conscious suffering? Migraines May Boost Memory

There may be a silver lining to the dark cloud of migraines: improved memory.

U.S. researchers have found that women with a history of migraines had less cognitive decline as they aged than women who didn't have the debilitating headaches.

"This was a complete surprise," noted study author Amanda Kalaydjian, a research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health. "We found that people with migraines, specifically people with migraines with aura -- which is even more counterintuitive -- didn't even decline over time at all."

Kalaydjian's team published its finding in the April 24 issue ofNeurology. Her research was conducted while a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Other experts were similarly surprised by the finding.