Health & WellnessS


Ketek: One Drug, Many Tragedies

The well-dressed woman in the waiting room was yellow, recalls John Hanson, MD -- a clear sign of jaundice. That was puzzling: One month earlier, in March 2005, Vivienne Wardley (not her real name), 51, had been in excellent shape except for a cold. A health-conscious woman, Wardley avoided prescription drugs and drank moderately. But tests showed that she needed an emergency liver transplant. And when Dr. Hanson, a gastroenterologist in Charlotte, North Carolina, examined her liver, he was startled. It was only a third of its normal size and showed massive tissue death.


'George Bush is like crusty potato'

James Wannerton, president of the UK Synaesthesia Association, explains how the condition which "mixes the senses" affects his life.

He is speaking at a conference in Edinburgh where scientists and others with the condition are discussing the phenomenon.

Brown and Marmite
James gets a taste of dirt and Marmite when he sees Gordon Brown


The Next Big Autism Bomb: Are 1 in 50 Kids Potentially At Risk?

On Tuesday, March 11, a conference call was held between vaccine safety officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several leading experts in vaccine safety research, and executives from America's Health Insurance Plans, (the HMO trade association) to discuss childhood mitochondrial dysfunction and its potential link to autism and vaccines.


Flashback New Research Challenges Concept Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Low blood levels of vitamin D have long been associated with disease, and the assumption has been made that vitamin D supplements may protect against disease. In the light of new knowledge that hundreds of genes are dependent on vitamin D, this assumption needs to be reconsidered.

In a report published in the current issue of the journal BioEssays(1), Trevor Marshall, Ph.D., professor at Australia's Murdoch University School of Biological Medicine and Biotechnology, explains how increased vitamin D intake affects much more than just nutrition or bone health. The paper explains how the Vitamin D Nuclear Receptor (VDR) acts in the repression or transcription of hundreds of genes, including genes associated with diseases ranging from cancers to multiple sclerosis.

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Are you what you eat? New study of body weight change says maybe not

If identical twins eat and exercise equally, must they have the same body weight? By analyzing the fundamental equations of body weight change, NIH investigators Carson Chow and Kevin Hall find that identical twins with identical lifestyles can have different body weights and different amounts of body fat.

The study, published March 28th in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology, uses a branch of mathematics called dynamical systems theory to demonstrate that a class of model equations has an infinite number of body weight solutions, even if the food intake and energy expenditure rates are identical. However, the work also shows that another class of models directly refutes this, predicting that food intake and energy expenditure rates uniquely determine body weight. Existing data are insufficient to tell which is closer to reality, since both models can make the same predictions for a given alteration of food intake or energy expenditure.


Yale study shows weight bias is as prevalent as racial discrimination

Discrimination against overweight people - particularly women - is as common as racial discrimination, according to a study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University.

"These results show the need to treat weight discrimination as a legitimate form of prejudice, comparable to other characteristics like race or gender that already receive legal protection," said Rebecca Puhl, research scientist and lead author.

The study documented the prevalence of self-reported weight discrimination and compared it to experiences of discrimination based on race and gender among a nationally representative sample of adults aged 25- to 74-years-old. The data was obtained from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States.


French woman denied euthanasia died of overdose on barbiturates

Chantal Sebire, a tumor-stricken French teacher whose request for euthanasia had been denied, died of an overdose of barbiturates, a French prosecutor said Thursday.

Sebire, 52, was terminally-ill and severely disfigured with an incurable form of tumor which also caused her to lose her eyesight and her senses of smell and taste.

She asked for euthanasia but was denied it by a court on March 17.


Being born bottom first is inherited

A baby is twice as likely to be born bottom first if either or both the parents were themselves breech deliveries, according to a study published ahead of print on The results suggest genes are a contributing factor.

The vast majority of babies are delivered head first. Fewer than one in twenty are delivered the other way round - what is known as a breech delivery. Such deliveries carry significantly greater risks for the baby: they are more likely to die or suffer from health problems.

Factors such as premature delivery and low birth weight are also known risk factors associated with a breech delivery but these only account for up to one in seven of all such breech births. Until now knowledge of whether genes could also be a factor has been lacking.


Cooperative classrooms lead to better friendships, higher achievement in young adolescents

Students competing for resources in the classroom while discounting each others' success are less likely to earn top grades than students who work together toward goals and share their success, according to an analysis of 80 years of research.

Competitive environments can disrupt children's ability to form social relationships, which in turn may hurt their academic potential, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Cary J. Roseth, PhD, David W. Johnson, PhD, and Roger T. Johnson, PhD, reviewed the last eight decades of research on how social relationships affect individual behavior and achievement. Their findings are published in the current issue of Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association.

The researchers examined 148 studies that compared the effects of cooperative, competitive and individualistic goals on early achievement and peer relationships among 12- to 15-year-olds. The studies included more than 17,000 adolescents from 11 countries and used four multinational samples. No one was excluded from the analysis because of gender, nationality, or academic or physical ability.


UW study finds surprising genetic causes of schizophrenia

Errors in DNA don't seem to follow pattern