Health News

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.


Stem cell therapy could offer new hope for oral and facial injuries

Stem cell therapy could offer new hope for oral and facial injuries Washington, July 31: Using stem cells to re-grow craniofacial tissues-mainly bone-proved quicker, more effective and less invasive than traditional bone regeneration treatments, researchers have found in the first human study of its kind.

Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research partnered with Ann Arbor-based Aastrom Biosciences Inc. in the clinical trial, which involved 24 patients who required jawbone reconstruction after tooth removal.


Smiling could help us recover from stress

Smiling could help us recover from stress Washington, July 31: The age old saying `just grin and bear it' when facing a tough situation has been scientifically proved.

Scientists say smiling can actually make us feel better.

Psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman of the University of Kansas investigated the potential benefits of smiling by looking at how different types of smiling, and the awareness of smiling, affects individuals' ability to recover from episodes of stress.


Parents could be role models for their kids to stay active

Parents could be role models for their kids to stay active Washington, July 31: Parents can play a crucial role in changing their children's slothful lifestyle by increasing their own activity, according to a new research.

Kristen Holm, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health, and her colleagues found that, when parents increase their daily activity, as measured by a pedometer, their children increase theirs as well.


Lucid dreamers help locate seat of meta-consciousness in brain

Lucid dreamers help locate seat of meta-consciousness in brainWashington, July 28 : Studies employing magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) have now been able to demonstrate that a specific cortical network consisting of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the frontopolar regions and the precuneus, is activated when lucid consciousness during dreaming is attained.

Which areas of the brain help us to perceive our world in a self-reflective manner is difficult to measure.

During wakefulness, we are always conscious of ourselves. In sleep, however, we are not. But there are people, known as lucid dreamers, who can become aware of dreaming during sleep.


Boys’ impulsiveness `may result in better math ability`

Boys’ impulsiveness `may result in better math ability`Washington, July 28 : Boys show more preference for solving arithmetic problems by reciting an answer from memory, whereas girls are more likely to compute the answer by counting, scientists say.

In a University of Missouri study, girls and boys started grade school with different approaches to solving arithmetic problems, with girls favouring a slow and accurate approach and boys a faster but more error prone approach.

Girls' approach gave them an early advantage, but by the end of sixth grade boys had surpassed the girls.


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