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Elite athletes should get heart screening, says expert


Olympic athletes should have tailored heart screening to check for life-threatening conditions before they can compete, a leading Italian doctor says. After running extensive tests on 2,354 elite athletes, he discovered six had potentially fatal disorders that disqualified them from taking part. His early findings were presented at a European Society of Cardiology meeting. But […]

May 19th, 2015 | Posted in Health,Society | Read More »

Cystic fibrosis drug offers hope to patients


A “groundbreaking” cystic fibrosis therapy could profoundly improve patients’ quality of life, say doctors. Patients often die before their 40s as mucus clogs and damages their lungs and leaves them prone to infection. A major trial on 1,108 patients, in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed a combination of drugs could bypass the genetic […]

May 19th, 2015 | Posted in Health,Society | Read More »

‘Home-brewed morphine’ made possible


Scientists have figured out h ow to brew morphine using the same kit used to make beer at home. They have genetically modified yeast to perform the complicated chemistry needed to convert sugar to morphine. The findings, published in Nature Chemical Biology, raise promise for medicine but also concerns about “home-brewed” illegal drugs. Experts have […]

May 19th, 2015 | Posted in Health,Society | Read More »

Ebola crisis prompts $100m WHO emergency fund


The World Health Organization is to set up a $100m (£63m) emergency contingency fund following the Ebola outbreak, its director-general has announced. Speaking in Geneva, Margaret Chan said the WHO had been overwhelmed by the epidemic in West Africa. She said the demands were more than 10 times greater than anything else it had experienced. […]

May 19th, 2015 | Posted in Health,Society | Read More »

Seasons affect ‘how genes and immune system work’


The seasons appear to have a profound effect on how human genes work, according to scientists. This may explain why some illnesses are aggravated in the winter, they say in Nature Communications. They found genes involved with immunity – the body’s defence against infection – were more active in cold months. And while this helps […]

May 19th, 2015 | Posted in Health,Society | Read More »

Palm ‘holds secrets of future health’


The chances of having a heart attack, stroke or dying young may be hidden in the palm of the hand, a study suggests. A trial on nearly 140,000 people in 14 countries, published in the Lancet, suggests grip strength is better than blood pressure at predicting risk. The international research team said it would be […]

May 19th, 2015 | Posted in Health,Society | Read More »

The perils of contact lenses


Specialists at Moorfields Eye hospital have noticed a rise in eye infections among contact-lens wearers and are warning users to take extra care. Last year, doctors at the hospital treated 60 new cases of a particularly nasty infection called acanthamoeba keratitis – around two to three times more cases than in recent years. Bacteria, fungi […]

May 19th, 2015 | Posted in Health,Society | Read More »

Why an iron fish can make you stronger


When Canadian science graduate Christopher Charles visited Cambodia six years ago he discovered that anaemia was a huge public health problem. In the villages of Kandal province, instead of bright, bouncing children, Dr Charles found many were small and weak with slow mental development. Women were suffering from tiredness and headaches, and were unable to […]

May 19th, 2015 | Posted in Health,Society | Read More »

Ed Miliband: We’ll tax the rich to heal the poor


Ed Miliband has pledged to pay for 36,000 new jobs in the NHS by raiding the bank accounts of “the very wealthiest in society”. The Labour leader used his speech to the final autumn conference before next year’s general election to outline his plan to create an NHS ‘time to care’ fund. He said a […]

March 19th, 2015 | Posted in Health,Society | Read More »

The Care Act’s dark secret: A nightmare is brewing for old people’s homes


A loophole in the Care Act is threatening to create “catastrophic failures” in old people’s homes, ministers are being warned. The changes could have a far broader impact on the sector than the shocking neglect scandals for people in care raised at prime minister’s questions this week. In a sector worth £7 billion to the […]

March 19th, 2015 | Posted in Health,Society | Read More »