Germany

Storytelling video games may be beneficial

Video GameBerlin: Non-violent video games that capitalise on storytelling have prosocial benefits that could ultimately be helpful to clinical disorders such as autism, a new study suggests.

Daniel Bormann of the University of Freiburg in Germany and his colleague Tobias Greitemeyer wanted to see whether storytelling fosters immersion and changes how players are able to assess the mental states of others
(called "theory of mind").


Sweet nanoparticles to target stroke

Sweet nanoparticlesBerlin: Materials resulting from chemical bonding of a sugar with a kind of nanoparticle may help reduce cell damage and inflammation occurring after stroke, scientists say.

A research team from the Max Planck Institute in Germany has tested these materials on mice, opening the door to potential new drugs for the cerebrovascular accident.


UN tally of Ebola-linked deaths tops 8,000

UN tally of Ebola-linked deaths tops 8,000Berlin : The World Health Organisation says more than 8,000 people are thought to have died last year from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The Geneva-based body says the total number of confirmed, probable and suspected deaths from the disease in the three most affected countries reached 7,989 by December 31.


Diabetes, obesity more common in poor regions: Study

Diabetes, obesity more common in poor regions: StudyBerlin, March 3 : The place where you live can increase the risk of developing diabetes and obesity with the risks being more if you are living in socio-economically deprived regions, claims a new research.

And it holds true in spite of your own individual social status.


Pacemakers for depression patients

Pacemakers for depression patientsBerlin, April 10 : German scientists have implanted pacemakers in the brains of patients suffering from depression, with remarkable results.

Researchers from the Bonn University Hospital implanted pacemaker electrodes into the medial forebrain bundle in the brains of patients suffering from major depression. In six out of seven patients, symptoms improved both considerably and rapidly.


Clogged arteries can precipitate stroke

Clogged arteries can precipitate strokeBerlin, March 1 - Clogged arteries could precipitate a stroke, even if you're considered low risk, says a new study.

A stroke is a condition in which the brain cells suddenly die because of a lack of oxygen, caused by blockage in the blood flow, or the rupture of an artery that feeds the brain.

The patient suddenly loses the ability to speak, or one side of the body can become paralysed.


An electronic nose that sniffs sleep apnea

An electronic nose that sniffs sleep apneaBerlin, Oct 25 - An electronic nose used in detecting molecules in a patient's breath could be tweaked to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea, dangerous pauses in breathing.

The gold standard used to identify sleep apnea is an overnight sleep test, a technically demanding, time-consuming and cost-intensive system.


Friends, strangers govern mode of speech

Friends, strangers govern mode of speechBerlin, Sep 12 - When people talk to close friends or partners, they talk differently than when they address a physician or a stranger. But these differences in speech are quite subtle and hard to pinpoint, say researchers.

Johanna Derix, Tonio Ball and their colleagues from the Bernstein Centre and the University Medical Centre in Freiburg, Germany, report that they were able to tell from brain signals who a person was talking to.


Vitamin C keeps dementia at bay

Vitamin C keeps dementia at bayBerlin, Sep 12 - The levels of antioxidants Vitamin C and beta-carotene in blood are lower in patients with dementia than in people without it, a German study says about the disease which affects millions worldwide.


Kids know when you are faking distress

Kids know when you are faking distressBerlin, Aug 21 - Even three-year-old infants can tell whether your are only whining or genuinely upset, report researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.


New approach could reverse liver failure

New approach could reverse liver failureBerlin, Aug 6 : A new approach being tried by researchers could reverse liver failure, characterised by sudden and massive death of the organ's cells, which could potentially end in fatality, according to a German study.


Bean sprouts possible source for E. coli outbreak

Bean sprouts possible source for E. coli outbreakBerlin, June 6 - German authorities said bean sprouts might be the "most convincing" source for the E. coli outbreak that has led to the death of 22 people and infected over 2,000 in Europe, Xinhua reported.

Gert Lindemann, agriculture minister of the state of Lower Saxony, said restaurants and food outlets where cases of E. coli were reported all had received shipments of particular bean sprouts.


New anti-AIDS drug goes after virus, avoids side-effects

aids-drugs-bgHanover (Germany), Dec 23 : German scientists have discovered a substance known as a peptide that thwarts the AIDS virus and causes far fewer side-effects than existing anti-HIV drugs, they said Wednesday.

The breakthrough was reported in the science journal Science Translational Medicine after it had been tested on 18 AIDS patients.


HIV positive man on trial for sex with Thai child prostitutes

HIV positive man on trial for sex with Thai child prostitutesLueneburg (Germany), Dec 7 - An HIV-positive former German musician has been charged with abusing seven children and 23 youths in Thailand.

The 65-year-old former member of 1980s folk music group Godewind is accused of 403 cases of unprotected sex with child prostitutes, despite knowing he was HIV positive.

Due to his HIV status, which he allegedly did not reveal, the man is also accused of attempting to infect his victims.


German drug halts Alzheimer's disease in mice

German drug halts Alzheimer's disease in miceGoettingen (Germany), Nov 6 - Scientists in Germany said they had developed a drug that halts the progress of Alzheimer's disease in mice and hope to begin tests on humans in two years' time.

The treatment, which they described as immunisation, employs a new antibody to stop brain degeneration.


In future, your car will wake you up if you fall asleep

In future, your car will wake you up if you fall asleepBerlin, Oct 25 - Falling asleep behind the wheel of your car will be a thing of the past when built-in sensors sound an alarm the moment they detect your eyelids have closed, according to a team of German scientists.


Mosquitoes themselves may one day become anti-malaria `syringes'

Mosquitoes themselves may one day become anti-malaria `syringes'Berlin, Aug 30 - A team of German scientists may have discovered a "needle-free" malaria vaccine by combining antibiotics with malaria-infected mosquitoes - effectively using mosquitoes themselves as "syringes".


70 percent of all mothers experience postpartum symptoms

70 percent of all mothers experience postpartum symptomsGerman and Canadian researchers have found that as many as 70 percent of all mothers experience symptoms of postpartum depression but most recover quickly.


Particulate air pollution may increase risk of high blood pressure

Particulate air pollution may increase risk of high blood pressureGerman researchers have said that people who live in cities where particulate air pollution is high may have an increased risk of high blood pressure.


Older women with younger husbands have a shorter life expectancy

Older women with younger husbands have a shorter life expectancyA German researcher has said that older women with younger husbands have a shorter life expectancy while older men who marry younger women tend to live longer.

Sven Drefahl, a sociologist at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, said that having a partner seven years younger increases a woman's chances of dying earlier by 20 percent.


Take care with 'energy shot' drinks

Berlin, March 1- Overindulging in "energy shot" drinks can have consequences, warn consumer safety organisations. The shots are more concentrated per litre than standard energy drinks, warns the consumer centre of Saxony-Anhalt in Germany.

That increases the risks of consuming large portions of caffeine in a short time, which can damage the heart and circulatory system.

Combining large quantities of those drinks with alcohol and physical exertion, like sport or long stretches of dancing, could be even more dangerous.


World held its breath as swine flu grew into pandemic

Berlin, Dec 30 - Latin cultures have made physical proximity one of their trademarks: people regularly kiss each other hello and goodbye.

For a time in 2009, however, both kissing and handshakes became taboo. Disinfectant hand gel was everywhere. Some drug stores even ran out.

The World Health Organization (WHO) first reported the outbreak of an "influenza-like illness in the US and Mexico" April 24. It wasn't long before swine flu - what public health officials later called 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) - was dominating headlines around the globe.


Distraction is best response to a child's breath-holding spells

Cologne, Germany  - Children's breath-holding spells are stressful but generally not dangerous, though in rare cases loss of consciousness results, according to the Cologne-based Professional Association of Children's and Young People's Physicians (BVKJ).

Some 2 to 5 per cent of children between the ages of six months and six years have such attacks, which normally cease spontaneously, leaving no damage, before they reach school age.


Far too few people recognize first signs of stroke

Dresden, Germany  - Far too few people recognize the first signs of a stroke, experts from Dresden University Hospital said on the occasion of World Stroke Day. Signs include sudden weakness, deafness or paralysis, vision or speech problems, a dazed feeling and dizziness.

The sooner victims receive treatment, the greater their chances of surviving a cerebrovascular accident without lasting brain damage, the experts said. A person experiencing stroke symptoms should seek immediate medical assistance.


People with emotional problems should seek help

Berlin - Many people hesitate before seeking help from others in times of need, especially during an emotional crisis.

Someone with strong feelings of anxiety or who is constantly depressed, usually will not consult a psychiatrist. Making an appointment with a psychologist first is easier, however, according to Professor Peter Falkai, a spokesman for the Berlin-based German Society of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Neurology (DGPPN).


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