Health & WellnessS


Placebo effect: Faith-based healing

Take a group of patients recovering from serious operations. They need morphine to dull their pain and some need diazepam to calm their nerves. They will get their medication by intravenous drip, but won't always be told when they will get it - it might just be pumped in automatically.

The Italian researchers who conducted this ingenious study five years ago found that not being told they were receiving morphine cut the effect of the pain relief on the patients in half. And only those who were told they were getting tranquillisers became calmer; those who received diazepam without being told got no relief whatsoever.


"Vast Array" of Drugs in Your Drinking Water

Water bubbles
©Marlon Felippe/Wikimedia Commons

Antibiotics. Anticonvulsants. Antidepressants. Anti-inflammatories.

Drink up. Eight glasses a day. Because that's what's in your tap water, according to an Associated Press investigation.

Evil Rays

Growing concern over safety of cellphones for children

PARIS: The MO1 beginner mobile phone is not as cuddly as a teddy bear, but manufacturers of the curvy, crimson and blue cellphone for 6-year-olds promise a similarly warm and fuzzy relationship. They boast about socialization, emotional health and the comforts of "peace of mind."

But the shiny child-size phones are stirring some parental and government unease, particularly at a time when the mobile telephone industry is reaching deeper into saturated markets to tap customers with chubby hands capable of cradling both dolls and phones.


Colorectal Cancer Gene Identified

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers published a study identifying the hereditary components of colorectal cancer (CRC.) It is the first large linkage study of families with CRC and colon polyps in the country.

Because only five percent of CRC cases are due to known gene defects, this study is designed to identify the remaining CRC-related susceptibility genes. The team built on a previous study which identified a specific region on chromosome 9q that harbors a CRC susceptibility gene. Upon review of a whole genome scan of all chromosome pairs in 194 families, the researchers were able to identify additional CRC gene regions on chromosomes 1p, 15q, and 17p.


Drinking And Aggression Among University Students Often Depends On The Context

* Aggression and violence among university students often involve alcohol consumption.

* A new study has found that both drinking levels and drinking contexts are important.

* Aggression is more likely when students drink at a fraternity, sorority or campus residence, and when a partner is present.

* Attending parties also increases the risk of aggression, especially for women.


Allergic Response Tied To Lipid Molecules In Cell Membrane

A team of Penn State University researchers is the first to demonstrate that lipid molecules in cell membranes participate in mammals' reactions to allergens in a living cell. The finding will help scientists better understand how allergy symptoms are triggered, and could contribute to the creation of improved drugs to treat them. The work will be reported in the 14 March issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.


Blood thinners like aspirin may fight cancer: study

WASHINGTON - Blood-thinning drugs such as aspirin may help fight cancer by denying shelter to wandering tumor cells, U.S. researchers reported on Friday.

Experiments in mice showed that combining aspirin with an experimental anti-clotting drug slowed the growth and spread of breast and melanoma tumors.


More Than 60,000 Iraq, Afghanistan Vets Diagnosed With PTSD

Jonathan Schulze was awarded two Purple Hearts in 2005 after a lengthy tour of duty in Iraq.

But the Marine veteran couldn't escape the war inside his head.

Drugs and alcohol temporarily numbed his pain. Yet the guilt he carried around with him having been one of a handful of soldiers in his unit to survive combat was impossible to run away from.


Deal in an Autism Case Fuels Debate on Vaccine

Washington - Study after study has failed to show any link between vaccines and autism, but many parents of autistic children remain unconvinced. For the skeptics, the case of 9-year-old Hannah Poling shows that they have been right along.

Hannah Polling and her parents
©W.A. Harewood/Associated Press
Hannah Poling and her parents, Terry and Jon Poling, on Thursday at a news conference in Atlanta about her autism.

Comment: Despite the claims of the disease control centers, there is a large number of evidence linking vaccines to autism. Read:

The Age of Autism: 'A pretty big secret'
Vaccines and Autism: Every American Should Read This
New fears over MMR link to autism
Vaccinated Children Two and a Half Times More Likely to Have Neurological Disorders Like ADHD and Autism, New Survey in California and Oregon Finds


The vitamin D miracle: Is it for real?

In the summer of 1974, brothers Frank and Cedric Garland had a heretical brainwave.

The young epidemiologists were watching a presentation on death rates from cancer county by county across the United States. As they sat in a lecture hall at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore looking at the colour-coded cancer maps, they noticed a striking pattern, with the map for colon cancer the most pronounced.

Counties with high death rates were red; those with low rates were blue. Oddly, the nation was almost neatly divided in half, red in the north and blue in the south. Why, they wondered, was the risk of dying from cancer greater in bucolic Maine than in highly polluted Southern California?