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.

Should women be screened for domestic violence?

Over a third of women attending general practices have experienced physical violence, but doctors and nurses rarely ask about it. Researchers in this week’s BMJ ask:
Should women be screened for domestic violence when they visit their general practitioner?
Is there a high risk group of women for whom screening might be more appropriate?
Is screening acceptable to women?

A sample of women visiting 13 general practices in Hackney, east London were surveyed about different aspects o

Researchers Find 30% Improvement in Overall Casualty Waiting Times If Hospitals Separately Stream Minor Injury Treatment

Researchers at the University of Warwick`s Emergency Medicine Research Group have shown that the introduction of a separate stream for minor injuries in a hospital casualty department can reduce the overall number of trauma patients having to wait over an hour for treatment by around 30%.

Dr Matthew Cooke from the University of Warwick`s Centre for Primary Health Care Studies Emergency Medicine Research Group led a research team which looked at a scheme where the University Hospitals Coventr

Preventing overload in the brain

Brain researchers in Amsterdam have observed a double control system in the hippocampus. This double control system contributes to the memory and ensures that the brain does not `crash`, as is the case during an epileptic seizure.

The neurobiologists from the University of Amsterdam carried out their observations on the hippocampus of rats. The hippocampus probably plays an important role in converting the short-term memory to the long-term memory.

The hippocampus contains two sorts

Clamping down on a cancer-causing protein

Many of today’s medicines were discovered by trial and error: a substance is found which helps alleviate the symptoms of a disease, and it may take years before scientists really understand how it works. Typically they find that a drug has its effects by attaching itself to a particular molecule in a cell and blocking part of its activity, the way you might prevent someone from turning a light on or off by putting a lock over the switch. Scientists now hope to take the opposite approach, and custom-d

Proximity To Landfill Sites Linked To Increased Risk Of Congenital Chromosomal Abnormalities (p 320)

New data from a 1998 study to assess the potential risks of chromosomal abnormalities of residents living near landfill sites is detailed in a research letter in this week’s issue of THE LANCET. The findings suggest that the increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities is of a similar magnitude to the increased risk of non-chromosomal abnormalities previously reported.

Previous findings of the EUROHAZCON study (Lancet 1998; 352: 423–27) showed a 33% increase in the risk of non-chromosomal ano

An HIV Vaccine is within reach

An effective, affordable, and accessible HIV vaccine is 7-10 years away, according to scientists at the Medical Research Council of South Africa, in this week’s BMJ. However, its success depends on a complex interplay of politics, science, and public-private partnerships.

Equitable public-private partnerships between researchers, manufacturers, and distributors and partnerships between rich and poor countries are the best strategy for the development of the vaccine, say the authors. Successf

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