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Thu, 30 Mar 2023
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Vietnam finds bird flu near border with China

Bird flu has spread to ducks and chickens near Vietnam's border with China, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.

The outbreak in mountainous Cao Bang province took to 16 provinces and two cities the number of areas struck by the H5N1 bird flu virus since it re-emerged in Vietnam in early May.


Increased alcohol intake associated with decreased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis

New data presented today at EULAR 2007, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Barcelona, Spain, suggests that alcohol may protect against rheumatoid arthritis, with three units a week exhibiting protective effects and ten units a week being more protective still. An alcohol consumption of three units per week or more also reduced the risk by smoking or by a genetic predisposition to RA.

An increased alcohol (ethanol) consumption of three or more units per week was associated with a decreased risk of developing RA (odds ratio 0.5, 95%; confidence interval 0.4 - 0.7). The findings could improve understanding of the effects of lifestyle on the risk of developing RA and pave the way for new potential treatment approaches based on the apparently beneficial effects of alcohol.

Henrik Källberg at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, who is a PhD student said, "Several previous studies have indicated a suppression of the immune system by alcohol and a recent study showed that it prevented development of destructive arthritis. However, until now, epidemiological investigations on the effects of alcohol on RA were scarce and inconsistent. These data now show not only that alcohol can protect against RA and reduce the risk conferred by smoking or susceptible genes, but also gives an idea of the relevant alcohol doses necessary."

Magic Wand

The perks and pitfalls of pride

proud toddler boxer child
© Lambert/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Pride has perplexed philosophers and theologians for centuries, and it is an especially paradoxical emotion in American culture. We applaud rugged individualism, self-reliance and personal excellence, but too much pride can easily tip the balance toward vanity, haughtiness and self-love. Scientists have also been perplexed by this complex emotion, because it is so unlike primary emotions like fear and disgust.

University of British Columbia psychologist, Jessica Tracy, and Richard Robins of the University of California, Davis, have been exploring the origins and purpose of pride, both in the laboratory and in the field. They wanted to know if pride is as universal as, say, joy or anger.

In the June issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Tracy and Robins review several recent studies on the nature and function of pride.


Runners: Let Thirst Be Your Guide

Many people are drinking too much water, including sports drinks, when exercising, a practice that could put some individuals engaging in prolonged types of endurance exercise at risk of potentially lethal water intoxication, say international experts who study disorders of water metabolism. Such exercise includes marathons, triathlons, and long distance cycling.

This serious condition, known as exercise-induced hyponatremia (EAH), could be prevented if only people would respect their personal thirst "meter," or would undertake a "sweat test" to determine how much water they actually need to drink in order to replace just the body fluids lost during exercising, the researchers say.

A group of experts in this condition has issued a number of papers and recommendations, including an international consensus statement on this disorder published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine in 2005. Joseph Verbalis, M.D., Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and a member of this group, recently updated the scientific community on the causes of this disorder in the May issue of Sports Medicine.


Endurance Athletes Risk Deadly 'Water Intoxication'

Health experts cautioned yesterday that some endurance athletes drink too much water during exercise and are at risk of deadly "water intoxication." Marathon runners, triathletes and cyclists are familiar with dehydration, caused by not drinking enough. But fewer are aware that too much water can kill.

Magic Wand

6 myths about work

Each generation revolutionizes something. Today's younger generation is revolutionizing work. The goals people have, their values and opportunities have all changed drastically in the last 10 years. The new workplace demands new rules for success, yet people continue to get outdated advice based on persistent workplace myths.

These myths about today's workplace are adapted from my new book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success.

#1. Job hopping ruins your resume.
Job hopping is one of the best ways to sustain passion and personal growth in your career. It also helps you build a network quickly and allows you to build your skill set faster than if you worked in the same job year after year. The learning curve is always highest at the beginning.

And here's some good news for hoppers: Most people will have eight jobs between ages 18 and 32. This means most young workers are job hopping. So hiring managers have no choice but to hire job hoppers. Ride this wave and try a lot of jobs out yourself.


Disturbing! Drugging Kids: Backlash on bipolar diagnoses in children

No one has done more to convince Americans that even small children can suffer the dangerous mood swings of bipolar disorder than Dr. Joseph Biederman of Massachusetts General Hospital.

From his perch as one of the world's most influential child psychiatrists, Biederman has spread far and wide his conviction that the emotional roller coaster of bipolar disorder can start "from the moment the child opened his eyes" at birth. Psychiatrists used to regard bipolar disorder as a disease that begins in young adulthood, but now some diagnose it in children scarcely out of diapers, treating them with powerful antipsychotic medications based on Biederman's work.

"We need to treat these children. They are in a desperate state," Biederman said in an interview, producing a video clip of a tearful mother describing the way her preschool daughter assaulted her before the child began treatment for bipolar disorder. The chief of pediatric psychopharmacology at Mass. General, he compares his work to scientific break throughs of the past such as the first vaccinations against disease.


U.S. polygamist community faces rare genetic disorder

In a dusty neighbourhood under sheer sandstone cliffs studded with juniper on the Arizona-Utah border, a rare genetic disorder is spreading through polygamous families on a wave of inbreeding.

The twin border communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, have the world's highest known prevalence of fumarase deficiency, an enzyme irregularity that causes severe mental retardation brought on by cousin marriage, doctors say.

"Arizona has about half the world's population of known fumarase deficiency patients," said Dr. Theodore Tarby, a paediatric neurologist who has treated many of the children at Arizona clinics under contracts with the state.

Arrow Down

Pureed food 'isn't natural for babies'

Feeding babies on pureed food is unnatural and unnecessary, according to one of Unicef's leading child care experts, who says they should be fed exclusively with breast milk and formula milk for the first six months, then weaned immediately on to solids.


Why Is the Pet Food Industry Killing Our Pets?

Many were shocked by the thousands of pet deaths that prompted the recent pet food recall, but the truth is that the pet food industry has a long history causing the deaths of many more.