Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Oversleepers may die early

’Sleeping your life away’ could be more than a saying.

Excessive sleeping may increase your risk of an early death by up to 15%. So hints a new analysis of data collected on one million people by the American Cancer Society. The figures cast doubt on the reputed benefits of eight hours’ sleep a night.

People with the longest lives get only seven hours of sleep each night, find psychiatrists at the University of California, San Diego 1 . Why seven is the magi

New anti-malaria drug

Monkey tests hint compound could paralyse malaria parasite in humans.

A new-found chemical can root out malaria parasites hiding in red blood cells and stop them reproducing. It may become a much-needed new weapon in the war against one of the world’s biggest killers.

The compound clears monkeys of infection with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum at doses far lower than existing antimalarial drugs. But testing in humans is a few years away at least, say

Breast cancer patients talk about their experiences on website

Patients who have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer now have access to the experiences of other people living with the disease via the multi-media website DIPEx (Database of Individual Patient Experiences), a resource of patient interviews in written form, audio and video clips. From today [13 Feburary 2002] the DIPEx website includes a new module on breast cancer, in addition to hypertension and prostate cancer.
The aim of the new module is to prepare those diagnosed with breast cancer fo

Study refines breast cancer risks

Large scale study spells out links with pregnancy and miscarriage.

Childless women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, confirms one of the largest studies on reproductive factors and the disease, but those who suffer miscarriages are not. Researchers are pinning down key risk factors in the hope of working out exactly how they increase susceptibility.

How pregnancy and abortion alter women’s chance of developing breast cancer has been the subject of conflictin

Women’s dissatisfaction with body image greater in more affluent neighbourhoods

The more affluent the area in which she lives, the more dissatisfied a woman is likely to be with her body image, indicates research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The researchers carried out a random telephone survey of 895 women aged 25 to 56. The women lived in 52 neighbourhoods in the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec in Canada. The survey was designed to cover differing social and income brackets. National census data were then used to track the overall af

"Suicide gene" injection shrinks cancer growth

Injectable “suicide gene” therapy may be a highly effective way of preventing colon cancer from spreading (metastasising), finds research in Gut. Human colon cancer carries a high risk of death because it is often not found in the early stages and readily spreads to the liver, but also the lungs and throughout the abdominal cavity (peritoneum).

And the suicide gene treatment seems to be just as effective when injected beneath the skin as it is when introduced directly into the tumour site, t

Next-generation biomaterials to help body heal itself

The next generation of biomaterials will help the body heal itself by prompting cells to repair their own tissues, scientists report today.

Writing in a review in the journal Science, Professors Larry Hench and Julia Polak of Imperial College, London, highlight the potential of `third generation` biomaterials that activate specific cells and genes of the individual they are implanted into.

Pioneering work by the two authors recently led to the discovery of a family of bone f

Glue Ear Could Be Caused By Gastric Juices

Glue ear — a frequent cause of deafness in children — could be a result of gastric reflux, which results in stomach proteins accumulating in the middle ear via the Eustachian tube, suggest authors of a research letter in this week’s issue of THE LANCET.

Glue ear is common among children after middle-ear infections (otitis media); effusion, produced by mucus cells, occurs in the middle ear and cannot be cleared. It is a particular problem for young children because of the angle and imm

Switch makes Salmonella stick or twist

Drug leads in protein that sends gut bacteria packing

A protein enables harmful Salmonella bacteria to switch from clinging to our gut lining to swimming off. This get-up-and-go is so crucial to Salmonella’s survival that the protein could prove to be a good target for drugs.

The Salmonella variant Typhimurium causes around 1.4 million cases of food poisoning in the United States each year, and about 1,000 deaths – mainly among infants and the elderly. The bug grips the gut

Genes are of little importance in rheumatoid arthritis

Genes are of little importance in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, finds a study in this week’s BMJ.

Researchers in Denmark surveyed over 37,000 twins about rheumatic diseases. Twin studies are one of the simplest ways to unravel the relative importance of genetic and environmental effects of a disease. Twins who reported that they had rheumatoid arthritis were invited to have a clinical examination.

Rheumatoid arthritis was verified in 13 identical and 36 non-identic

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