Health News

New unmanned moon mission may unlock planet’s mysteries

Washington, Dec 17: NASA and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have announced a mission to map the moon’s internal structure, gravity and reconstruct its thermal history, also helping to unlock secrets of evolution of the inner planets in our solar system.

Known as the Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, it will be led by MIT professor Maria Zuber and will be launched in 2011.

It will put two separate satellites into orbit around the moon to precisely map variations in the moon's gravitational pull. These changes will reveal differences in density of the moon's crust and mantle, and can be used to answer fundamental questions about the moon's internal structure and its history of collisions with asteroids.

Soon, the moon will have traffic jams just like earth!

London, Dec 17: Standing long hours because of traffic light signals on ‘earth’ are now passé, because it might be time to consider traffic lights on the moon.

In the past week, Isle of Man’s governments, space agencies, and even a company have announced plans to land on the moon.

On Dec 17, marking the 35th anniversary of the Apollo programme's last outing, NASA announced that its next crewed lunar mission was on track for 2020.

Meanwhile, China opened up its lunar programme planning a lander for 2012 and a crewed mission within 15 years.

And Russia proclaimed that it would begin a series of uncrewed landings in 2012, after a 30-year break from exploring the moon, reports New Scientist.

Toxic shampoo and soap may be seeping into your drinking water

London, Dec 17: They may leave you feeling clean and refreshed, but it seems that all that chemicals in body wash, shampoo and soap you use may be seeping into your drinking water.

The caution has come after a report revealed that chemicals from consumer products such as shampoos, perfumes and drugs could be breaking down and recombining into a harmful cocktail in water supplies.

The report by the UK's Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) revealed that synthetic chemicals from these consumer products and other healthcare products that are washed down the drain are sneaking through the filters at water purification plants.

Scientists warn Arctic might be ice-free by 2013

Washington, Dec 17 : A new research has led scientists to warn that the Arctic sea might not have any ice left by 2013.

The hypothesis emerged after the research analyzed the drastic shrinking of ice in the Arctic sea this summer, which is on a record low.

Apart from global warming being a major cause for this loss, wind currents have also played a key role by blowing sea ice south into the Atlantic Ocean, where the ice then melted.

This phenomenon has led scientists to envision a grim future for the Arctic's so-called perennial sea ice, which is the ice that survives through the summer.

New device brings artificial crystals and quantum computers closer to reality

Washington, Dec 17 : Physicists have created a device that can generate and trap huge numbers of elusive-yet-valuable ultra cold polar molecules, which would help to create exotic artificial crystals and stable quantum computers.

Called the Thin WIre electroStatic Trap, or TWIST, this device has been made from combining an atom-chiller with a molecule trap.

"The neat thing about this technology is that it's a very simple, but highly efficient method," said Jan Kleinert, a doctoral physics student at the University of Rochester and designer of the new device. "It lets us produce huge quantities of these ultracold polar molecules, which opens so many doors for us," she added.

Genes that ‘triple’ bowel cancer risk identified

London, Dec 17: Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research have identified two genetic mutations that could triple a person’s risk of developing bowel cancer.

A previous study found the first section of the human genome linked to bowel cancer.

Now, researchers have found another two mutations within that which could raise the overall risk two to three-fold.

The team said that they could cause a third of all cases - about 12,000 per year.

Previously, researchers found a part of the genome, which is responsible for causing Hereditary Mixed Polyposis Syndrome (HMPS) - a condition that significantly increases bowel cancer risk in Jews of Ashkenazi descent.

Lack of sleep raises obesity risk in patients with chronic medical problems

Washington, Dec 17 : A new study has revealed that short sleep times in patients with chronic medical diagnoses increases the risk of obesity.

Researchers surveyed 200 patients attending internal medicine clinics to determine their sleep habits, lifestyle characteristics, and medical diagnoses.

It was found that people with a sleep time of less than seven hours had a significantly increased possibility of obesity defined by a body mass index greater than 30 kg/meters2 when compared to the reference group of eight to nine hours.

There was a U-shaped relationship between obesity and sleep time in women suggesting that women who had both short and long sleep times were more likely to be obese.

Psychological support is vital for metastatic breast cancer patients: Study

Washington, Dec 17 (ANI): Women suffering from advanced or metastatic breast cancer (MBC) need as much psychological support as they do information regarding disease and treatment, reveals a new survey.

The survey was conducted by Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization and involved a round 367 women with advanced breast cancer.

It also highlighted the increasing importance of the Internet as a source of information for the patients. It was disclosed that patients with MBC feel that healthcare professionals and patient advocates can effectively use the Internet.

Protein behind immunity to ovarian cancer treatment identified

London, Dec 17 (ANI): People suffering from ovarian cancer who have lower levels of protein called TGFBI, are less likely to respond to the treatment for cancer, says a study.

Transforming growth factor, beta-induced, 68kDa, also known as TGFBI, is a human gene.

The finding was based on a study, led by Dr James Brenton, a Cambridge University researcher, which found that patients lacking the protein tend to be immune to Paclitaxel, a drug that shrinks ovarian tumours.

Paclitaxel is part of a family of drugs called taxanes, originally derived from yew trees.

In the study, the researchers examined ovarian cancer cells and data from 20 patients.

Chemo, ‘targeted’ therapy combo shrinks metastatic brain tumours

Washington, Dec 17: According to a report, a combination of a ‘targeted’ therapy and chemotherapy reduces metastatic brain tumours by at least 50 percent in patients with aggressive HER2-positive breast cancer.

The study, led by Nancy Lin, MD, of Dana-Farber's Breast Oncology Centre and Eric Winer, MD, director of the Dana-Farber Breast Oncology Centre, found that combination of Lapatinib (Tykerb) and capecitabine (Xeloda) shrank brain metastases significantly in the patients.

Lapatinib is an oral small-molecule drug from GlaxoSmithKline that is approved along with capecitabine for treating patients with advanced or metastatic breast cancer whose tumours are driven by the abnormal growth signal, HER-2. Lapatinib blocks the HER-2 signal.

Scots Are More Prone To Die From Heart Disease – Study

ScotsYes, the English people living in Scotland are much less prone to die from heart disease than those born here. According to a new study by a group of researchers from the University of Edinburgh, the people born in other parts of the UK, who move to Scotland, are 20% less likely to die from heart problems.

However, the study could not pinpoint the precise reason for the difference, but scientists suspect that it is because many who move are well-off professionals.

According to Dr Colin Fischbacher, the lead author of the study, this would make them less likely to develop bad habits associated with heart disease.

“Genes Make You Generous,” Says Study

GenesLondon: Generosity is in the genes, according to a new research.

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel found some people are genetically destined to have a generous personality.

A gene called AVPRI enables the arginine vasopressin hormone to act on brain cells. Vasopressin has been implicated in social bonding.

Dr Ariel Knafo from the Psychology Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said, “The experiment provided the first evidence, to my knowledge, for a relationship between DNA variability and real human altruism.”

Mammograms’ Accuracy Varies Widely: Study

MammogramChicago: A team of U.S. researchers on Tuesday revealed that mammograms’ accuracy varies widely. According to the researchers conducting a study on the subject, the women with lumps in their breasts rely on their radiologists to accurately read their mammograms, but the accuracy of those readings varies widely.

Diana Miglioretti, the lead researcher at the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, told that the variation in the quality of screening mammograms have also been revealed by earlier studies, but the recent study found inconsistencies even when a lump was present, leaving some women open to false positive results or even missed diagnoses.

Glaxo’s Avandia Raises Heart Risk – Study

Washington: It’s been already established that certain diabetes drugs can Glaxo’s Avandiacause heart attacks and death. A recent study has again revealed that several diabetes drugs, particularly GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia can do the same, but Glaxo does not agree with findings.

According to the Canadian scientists, the drugs, such as thiazolidinediones, TZDs or glitazones have a significantly higher rate of death, heart attack and congestive heart failure and death.

Stay Fit To Live Longer: Study

Fit_WomanWashington: According to the U.S. researchers, fitness is more important than losing fat to live longer.

In the study, it was found that men and women who were fit but were fatty or obese with age 60 and older, as measured by treadmill exercise testing had a lower mortality risk than those of normal weight but low fitness levels.

Fitness is found to be a strong predictor of longevity.

Lower level of fitness is related to higher risk of death from all causes.

U.S. Docs Losing Ethics, Most Don’t Report Incompetent Colleagues – A Survey

Dr_David_BlumenthalA survey on the United States docs released on Monday revealed that there’s a wide gap between what doctors say they believe about practicing medicine ethically and what they actually do to fulfill them. The survey also disclosed that while the overwhelming majority thinks incompetent colleagues should be reported, less than half actually do so.

India Will Cost $237 Bn For Chronic Diseases

WHONew Delhi: Due to chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs), India is expected to lose $237 billion in national income over the next 10 years, World Health Organization (WHO) said.

China will lose $558 billion, and Russia - $303 billion in the same period.

CNCDs include cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), chronic respiratory diseases, some cancers and Type-2 diabetes.

Experts said that CNCDs cause 60 percent of worldwide deaths - with 80 percent occurring in low and middle income countries.

Maternity Scheme By Supreme Court

Supreme CourtNew Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed the Centre and all State governments to provide Rs. 500 as cash assistance under the National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS) to pregnant women below the poverty line 8-12 weeks prior to delivery irrespective of their age and the number of children they have.

A Bench consisting of Justices Arijit Pasayat and S.H. Kapdia gave this direction on an application filed by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties seeking proper guidelines for implementation of the scheme.

Pedometers Help Weight Loss

PedometerAccording to a study, people on walking program who use pedometers, which clip to a waistband and counts the steps, tend to walk an extra kilometers. These people burn more calories, and can lower the blood pressure.

Study lead author, Dr. Dena M. Bravata, a senior research scientists at Stanford University, said, “People who use pedometers increase their physical activity by about 2,100 steps a day, about a mile. They also seem to lower their blood pressure more and lose more weight.”

Medicos On Fast Unto Death Protesting Against 1 Year Extension Of MBBS Course

Docs ProtestChennai: When government had not given any favorable response to medicos’ four days of protest, they have decided to go ‘fast unto death’ from Friday.

Since Monday, medicos have been protesting against the Union Health Ministry’s move to make a year’s service in rural areas compulsory for an MBBS degree.

Two second year MBBS students of Government Vellore Medical College (GVMC) were admitted to GVMC hospital after they fainted on the third day of fast.

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