Back pain: probable causes and what to do about them, Part 2

I have just read a fascinating book by a neurologist about psychosomatic illness, (“It’ all in Your Mind” by Suzanne O’Sullivan) where patients present with no obvious symptoms and all tests prove negative. And yet they are having the most scary fits and other signs of illness.  The aim of the book is to point …

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Good news, we hope: a new approach to cancer

From The Guardian: Scientists have opened up a new front in the war against cancer, aimed not so much at curing the disease as disarming it, so that it becomes a “manageable” condition. Just as bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, cancers can mutate to become resistant to the drugs used to treat them, which …

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Obesity

Posted by rhanrott on 18 July 2019, 1:51 am Excess weight causes about 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer than smoking in the UK each year. There are also 1,400 more cases of kidney cancer caused by excess weight than by smoking each year, 460 more ovarian cancers and 180 more cases of liver cancer. …

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Profiteering from migrant kids held in detention camps

The Trump administration has been holding migrant children -whether they came to the U.S. alone or were forcibly separated from their guardians – in a network of makeshift tent camps. An unnamed official at the Department of Health and Human Services told NBCNews that housing costs $775 per child per day.   That’s more than a …

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Plastic waste (no, don’t move on to something else – this important! ) Part 1

Annual global sales of plastic bottles, glass bottles, cans and cartons are expected to reach 1.9 trillion in 2019. Volunteers who took part in 229 clean-up events on beaches and river banks in the UK found 49,000 pieces of packaging litter. Of this, 15.5% were Coca Cola bottles, and 10.3% were produced by Pepsi.  Other …

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The war against antibiotic resistance. No.1: the problem

You have probably heard about the problem of anti- biotic resistance.  This resistance is at last crumbling, but there is another problem – of economics. The issue is that pharma firms must recoup their investment in developing drugs, but antibiotics are the antithesis of a bestseller. They are taken for days or a few weeks, …

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Talking past one another

Prime Minister Teresa May has called the visit  of President Trump to London “a significant week for the special relationship and an opportunity to further strengthen our already close partnership”. She stressed the need to build closer trading ties (she is a out to depart, unmourned). Trump’s US ambassador in the UK, Woody Johnson, has …

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Painkillers and corruption

The billionaire founder of a leading US drug manufacturer has been found guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe a highly addictive painkiller to patients, many of whom did not need it. John Kapoor, of Insys Therapeutics, was convicted of fraud and racketeering, charges stemming from the tactics his firm used to sell Subsys, a spray …

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Does more than 2 hours of screen time really harm children’s brains?

It seems intuitive that children’s schoolwork will suffer if they spend too much time gazing at their phones instead of getting to bed or getting some exercise. And that is broadly what a recent study has found. But should parents be panicked into pulling the plug on their kids’ electronic devices. Jeremy Walsh at the …

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Sleep deprivation a particularly Japanese problem

A survey conducted this year using fitness trackers in 28 countries found that Japanese men and women sleep, on average, only six hours and 35 minutes a night, 45 minutes less than the international average, making them the most deprived sleepers in the world.   92.6% of Japanese over 20 said they were not getting enough …

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UK Health service plan risks more privatisation

From Gabriel Carlyle, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, UK To: New Scientist, 2 Feb 2019 Some health campaigners may have welcomed the launch of the UK government’s 10-year plan for the National Health Service (NHS) in England. But, for example, Youssef El-Gingihy, a doctor in east London and author of “How to Dismantle the NHS in …

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Stay out of other people’s bedrooms and private lives, please!

Family planning clinics that provide abortions or refer patients for abortions will not be eligible for certain federal funds under a new rule finalized by the Trump administration.  Under the rule, women’s health clinics must be “physically and financially” separate from abortion providers to be eligible for Title X Family Planning grants, which fund organizations …

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Some better news – about food

Several new, healthy GM foods are arriving, or about to arrive, offering health benefits, increased flavour and longer shelf-life. This is a list of them: Arctic apples, which went on sale in the US in November 2017, never go brown (Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc) Non-browning apples: Some people dislike eating fruit with discoloured flesh. This …

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