Health News

Artificial butter flavouring ingredient `behind key Alzheimer’s process`

Artificial butter flavouring ingredient `behind key Alzheimer’s process` Washington, August 2 : A new study including Indian-origin researchers have raised concern about chronic exposure of workers in industry to a food flavouring ingredient used to produce the distinctive buttery flavour and aroma of microwave popcorn, margarines, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods and other products.

They found evidence that the ingredient, diacetyl (DA), intensifies the damaging effects of an abnormal brain protein linked to Alzheimer's disease.

Slower and longer sperm most likely to meet eggs

Slower and longer sperm most likely to meet eggs Washington, August 2 : A new study has turned down a conventional wisdom, which holds that the fastest swimming sperm are most likely to succeed in their quest to fertilize eggs.

The study of sperm competition in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) found that slower and/or longer sperm outcompete their faster rivals in sexual reproduction.

A team of scientists led by corresponding author Stefan Lupold, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences used fruit flies that were genetically altered so that the heads of their sperm glow fluorescent green or red under the microscope.

Even fish can get skin cancer

Even fish can get skin cancer Washington, August 2 : Wild marine fish populations in Great Barrier Reef, which exists directly beneath the world''s largest ozone hole, have been inflicted with widespread skin cancer, a new report has revealed.

This is the very first incidence of melanoma being diagnosed in the coral trout.

According to Dr Michael Sweet, who is heading the collaborative study between Newcastle University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the appearance of the melanoma is almost identical to that found in humans.

Drinking coffee may help ease Parkinson’s symptoms

Drinking coffee may help ease Parkinson’s symptomsWashington, August 2 : Researchers suggest caffeine, which is widely consumed around the world in coffee, tea and soft drinks, may help control movement in people suffering from Parkinson's.

The finding of a study conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) opens the door to new treatment options for Parkinson's disease that affects approximately 100 000 Canadians.

Brain imaging can tell how intelligent you are

Brain imaging can tell how intelligent you areWashington, August 2 : Scientists may have found factors that distinguish the brains of the exceptionally smart persons from those of average individuals.

As science has long suspected, overall brain size matters somewhat, accounting for about 6.7 percent of individual variation in intelligence.

More recent research pinpointed the brain's lateral prefrontal cortex, a region just behind the temple, as a critical hub for high-level mental processing, with activity levels there predicting another 5 percent of variation in individual intelligence.

West Nile virus kills four in US

West Nile virus kills four in USWashington, Aug 2 - Four people have died in the US after being infected with the West Nile virus, Xinhua reported.

The deaths were among 241 cases of West Nile virus infection detected in 42 states so far this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday.

Almost 80 percent of the cases were reported from Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

The West Nile virus is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. In the US, most people are infected from June-September. West Nile cases usually peaks in mid-August.

Why we forget to remember

Why we forget to rememberWashington, August 1 : Sometimes even skilled professionals forget to perform a simple task they have executed without difficulty thousands of times before, leading to disastrous consequences.

These kinds of oversights occur in professions as diverse as aviation and computer programming, but research from psychological science reveals that these lapses may not reflect carelessness or lack of skill but failures of prospective memory.

Childhood obesity may disrupt puberty timing and affect reproductive capacity

Childhood obesity may disrupt puberty timing and affect reproductive capacity Washington, August 1 : In addition to a host of other physical and psycho-social concerns, childhood obesity could be related to growing problems with infertility, say researchers.

In a recent review, scientists suggested that childhood obesity could be disrupting the timing of puberty and ultimately lead to a diminished ability to reproduce, especially in females.

Human bodies may be scrambling to adjust to a problem that is fairly new. For thousands of years of evolution, poor nutrition or starvation, were a greater concern, rather than an overabundance of food.

Wonder why doctors leave scissors in gut?

Wonder why doctors leave scissors in gut?Washington, Aug 1 : Ever wonder why extremely capable surgeons leave scissors in the patient's gut, after successfully concluding a difficult operation? It's not carelessness but failure of prospective memory, according to a US study.

R. Key Dismukes, scientist at the NASA Ames Research Centre, highlights various ways in which the nitty-gritty of daily tasks interacts with the normal cognitive processes, to produce memory failures that sometimes have disastrous consequences, the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science reports.

Asian ginseng and green tea can provide sun protection

Asian ginseng and green tea can provide sun protection Washington, August 1 : Some herbal agents, taken orally or applied topically, can prevent sunburn and limit the damage caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, according to a recent research.

The study specifically identifies golden serpent fern (Phlebodium aureum or Polypodium leucatomos) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) as herbal products that, when taken orally, may reduce the local and systemic negative effects of UV light exposure, including photoaging, increased risk of skin cancer, and harm done to immune system function.

Asthma found most common disease among Olympic athletes

Asthma found most common disease among Olympic athletes Washington, August 1 : Asthma and airway hyper-responsiveness are the most common chronic conditions among Olympic athletes, and could be related to intense training, according to a study by the University of Western Australia.

The results were based on data from the last five Olympic games.

In summer and winter sports there is widespread suffering from asthma and airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) among athletes who take part in endurance sports. Its relatively late onset in many older athletes suggests to the experts that the years of intense training could be one of the causes.

Vaccination may turn malaria parasites more virulent

Vaccination may turn malaria parasites more virulent Washington, August 1 : It is possible that more-virulent strains of malaria might evolve if a malaria vaccine goes into widespread use, researchers at Penn State University say.

They found that malaria parasites evolving in vaccinated laboratory mice become more virulent.

The mice were injected with a critical component of several candidate human malaria vaccines that now are being evaluated in clinical trials.

Poor mental health may shorten lifespan

Poor mental health may shorten lifespan Washington, August 1 : People with symptoms of mental health problems have higher risk of death from several major causes, including heart disease, according to a large-scale population based study.

The findings may prompt further research into the way doctors treat patients with even mild psychological problems.

A team of researchers from UCL (University College London) and the University of Edinburgh analysed data from over 68,000 adults aged 35 years and over who took part in the Health Survey for England from 1994 to 2004.

Parents find terms ‘obese’ and ‘overweight’ offensive

Parents find terms ‘obese’ and ‘overweight’ offensiveWashington, July 31 : Doctors should avoid using terms like ‘obese’ or ‘overweight’ if they want to have a positive rapport with parents of children with excess weight.

Instead, it would be best if physicians use less offensive terms like “large” or “gaining too much weight,” according to medical researchers at the University of Alberta.

'Brain wired differently in autobiographical memory'

'Brain wired differently in autobiographical memory'Washington, July 31 : US scientists have discovered intriguing differences in the brains of an extraordinary group of people who can effortlessly recall every moment of their lives from 10 years onwards.

The phenomenon of highly superior 'autobiographical' memory has been profiled on CBS's "60 Minutes" and in hundreds of other media outlets. It was first documented in 2006 by University of California - Irvine (UCI) neurobiologist James McGaugh, who also co-authored the current study, and colleagues.

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