Multiple Infant Vaccines Linked To Dramatically Increased Mortality

vaccines_infant_mortalityA new study published in the journal Vaccine has brought to light an extremely disturbing though still virtually unreported dark side to immunization campaigns within low-income countries, namely, the observation that infant mortality sometimes increases when the number of co-administered vaccines increases; a finding diametrically opposed to the widely held belief that vaccination is always Continue reading

Coconut Oil Found Effective in Treating Atopic Dermatitis (Dry, Itchy, Scaly Skin)

cocoA promising new study published in the International Journal of Dermatology[i] has confirmed the natural healing properties of virgin coconut oil in treating atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin condition characterized by scaly and itchy rashes.

Researchers at the Department of Dermatology, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Continue reading

This Springtime Activity Could Bring Your Weight Down

communityYou’ve heard of all the weight loss gimmicks: cut carbs, eat whatever you want, or drink the “magic potion.” Now, there are nuggets of truth to each of them, but there are no gimmicks to losing weight and improving your health. If you want to shed some pounds, you have to eat right and exercise properly.

However, substantial results Continue reading

Simple Vitamin May Be Silver Bullet for Autism

It used to be that “ten fingers and ten toes” was the barometer for whether a baby was born healthy. But the more we learn about autism, the better we understand that babies are often born with difficult, life-altering ailments that are much tougher to see at first glance.

Needless to say, if science could discover a silver bullet for preventing autism, Continue reading

Dementia Protection without the Side Effects

I’d never fault anyone for doing everything they thought necessary to ward off dementia. If you’ve ever watched a loved one struggle with this debilitating condition, you know what a heartbreak it can be.

But, if like me, you believe that the first rule of medicine should still be, “Do no harm,” Continue reading

Communicating With Your Teenager

Improving the channel of communication between yourself and your teenager is essential to a respectable and loving parent-child relationship. Just as a radio channel signal must to be clear in order for listeners to hear and understand the voices communication between a parent and their teenager must be clear. There are some essential communication tools that can improve the quality of Communication With Teenagers;

1. Listen

2. Set boundaries that reflect your values and provide appropriate punishment

3. Ask and value their opinions

4. Give them privacy

5. Develop an interest in their life

6. Let them know you believe in their potential as a human being and that they are of precious value to you and to the world

Listen

Listening is different to hearing. Often people are having a conversation that consists of them sharing their opinion and then while the other person speaks they are thinking about what they are going to respond without listening. Listening is not a natural quality a lot of people posses rather it is cultivated and developed through constant effort. Listening means that when someone else is talking you are listening to their words, focused on their countenance and sensitive to their emotions. When a person truly listens to another they pick up signals the other person is sending out such as body language. Body language is a huge tool to help one understand the feelings of another. By focusing on another person that person will feel important and therefore are more likely to respect your opinion.

With your teenager they might use phrases such as, “you just don’t understand” or “fine, whatever.” These phrases are closed and basically say “you don’t care about my opinion so I’m not going to listen to you.” If you teenager is constantly repeating “you just don’t understand” then ask her to explain what is so important to her and listen. Now just because you listen and focus all you attentions on your teenager doesn’t mean that you need to agree with then. But it will provide them with an opportunity to evaluate their own feelings and values. Teenagers don’t think that their parents were ever teenagers. Sometimes sharing appropriate stories of being a teenager and making decisions can make you more tangible and real to you teenager.

Boundaries

Purely being your teenager’s best friend will do them no favors. Teenagers Need Structure. Without rules and consequences they will never be prepared for the wide world which awaits them. With this said there must be a balance. Too many rules and not enough freedom will only cause your teenager to rebel. Decide what is must important to you, what do you value must about life. Avoid giving them set rules and provide them with principles. A principle is an accepted code of conduct that may apply in many facets of life. Here are some examples:

Don’t yell – Be respectful

Don’t make a mess – Take care of your possessions

You must clean your room – cleanliness of next to Godliness

Use your manners – Acknowledge your blessings through an attitude of gratitude

The only way that your teenagers will integrate these principles into their life is if they see them exemplified through your actions.

When deciding an appropriate consequence to bad behavior involves your teenager. Have family discussions and ask them what they think would be an appropriate consequence. This way when they are disobedient they can not moan about the consequence because they helped create it. Also involving your teenager in the discipline process is a manifestation that you care about what they think and that elevates them with a sense of maturity.

Ask

Teenagers are developing their ideas and opinions about the world in which they live and although those with evolve throughout their life they thrive on sharing their present thoughts. Ask you teenager what they think about smoking, teenage pregnancy, sex, underage drinking, higher education, work ethics etc… By asking then the questions they will be thinking about those topics and will be more likely to make logical and smart choices.

Privacy

Everyone enjoys some privacy especially teenagers who’s body is changing with soaring hormones. The emotional rollercoaster that accompanies the teen years often calls for some well need privacy.

Be interested

If your teenager knows you are interested in their life and their hobbies they will feel more comfortable in sharing things with you.

Importance

If you can try to always discipline with love your teenagers will soon learn that you do all you do because you love them. Tell them that they have great potential because of who they are rather than because they were captain of the football team or received an “A” in an exam. This doesn’t that these things are not accomplishments but make sure you are praising your teenagers for the choices they make and person they are becoming.

By: R. Kapoor

Light, Photosynthesis Harmful to Fresh Produce

TEL-AVIV –  A study conducted by Israeli researchers suggests that exposure to light, and possibly photosynthesis, may help disease-causing bacteria to invade fresh produce, making them impervious to washing.

According to background information in a report published in journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, past studies have already shown that salmonella enterica attaches to the surface of fresh produce, and finds its way below the surface of the skin through pores called stomata, where it can hide from and resist washing and food sanitizers.

In the new study, researchers from the Agricultural Research Organization at the Volcani Center in Israel and Tel-Aviv University examined the role that light and photosynthesis might play on the ability of salmonella bacteria to infiltrate lettuce leaves via stomata.

They exposed sterile iceberg lettuce leaves to bacteria either in the light, in the dark, or in the dark after 30 minutes of exposure to light.

Incubation in the light or pre-exposure to light resulted in aggregation of bacteria around open stomata and invasion into the inner leaf tissue.

Incubation in the dark, on the other hand, resulted in a scattered attachment pattern and very little internalization.

According to the researchers, the increased propensity for internalization in the light may be due to several factors.

First, they say, in the absence of light plants enter a period of dormancy, where stomata are closed and no photosynthesis takes place. In the light, the stomata are open.

Additional findings also suggest that the bacteria are attracted to the open stomata by the nutrients produced during photosynthesis, which are not present in the dark.

“The elucidation of the mechanism by which Salmonella invades intact leaves has important implications for both pre- and postharvest handling of lettuce and probably other leafy vegetables. The capacity to inhibit internalization should limit bacterial colonization to the phylloplane and consequently might enhance the effectiveness of surface sanitizers,” say the researchers.

Facebook May Boost your Brain’s Working Memory

LONDON – Some social networking sites, like Facebook, could help improve a person’s working memory, according to an expert.

Dr. Tracy Alloway, a psychologist at Stirling University, says that working memory – the ability to recall things over a short period of time – could be the key to success.

She believes that it may be possible to train the brain’s working memory just like an athlete trains muscles, reports the Independent.

Alloway said that some technological inventions, such as Facebook, might actually improve working memory because they require people to hold a lot of information in their heads.

However, other such websites, like spell-checks and Twitter, which requires only small bite-sized phrases, may work against improving working memory.

Instead, these websites could be contributing to some people’s lack of success, she suggested.

Alloway said that she had devised an on-line game that can improve working memory, which may help the young develop working memory skills as well helping to combat memory loss in the elderly.

Animals Using One Side of their Brains are More Successful

SYDNEY – A new study has determined animals that process information using a preferred hemisphere of the brain fare better those who use both sides of their brain simultaneously.

According to a report by ABC News, the study suggests the brain operates like a dual processor in a computer, with each of the brain’s two sides kicking into action depending on the content or context of the information.

Dr Culum Brown of the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney, and colleague Maria Magat, focused their research on several different types of Australian birds, such as gang-gangs, sulfur-crested cockatoos and Australian king parrots.

All of the birds participated in two tests designed to test their cerebral lateralisation, meaning how strongly each bird preferentially processes information using either hemisphere of the brain.

The first task was a simple pebble-seed discrimination test, where the birds had to pick seeds out of a background of similar sized pebbles.

The second task was more demanding.

The researchers attached food to the end of a suspended string that the birds had to manipulate with their beaks and feet in order to get the tasty reward.

Birds with a preference for using either of their eyes or either of their legs did better than birds that used both eyes and both legs equally.

This means that the most successful birds have a very strong cerebral lateralisation, which “is influenced by both genes and experience,” according to Brown.

He and Magat found that the pattern of lateralisation, left or right bias, did not predict success as much as the strength of the particular bias did.

Carrying the findings over to humans, this suggests, in part, that a right-handed person isn’t more successful than a left-handed one, and vice-versa.

But people who always favour a certain hand, foot or eye for certain tasks will likely perform better than those who don’t exhibit obvious preferences.

Brown said that there are several reasons why such specialized division of the brain confers benefits to the individual.

“Firstly, it means that a given hemisphere can become increasingly specialized at processing certain types of information,” he said.

According to Brown, assigning particular tasks to each side of the brain avoids conflict between the two hemispheres, and allows “multiple sources of information to be processed simultaneously, that is to say, animals can multitask like a dual processor in a computer.”

Frequent Nasal Irrigation May Increase Infections

NEW YORK – New evidence suggests that daily nasal irrigation may increase the risk of sinus infections.

Nasal irrigation with warm saline has been promoted as way to cleanse the sinuses and help prevent infections. However, using this therapy too often may not be beneficial.

The latest study, presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI) annual meeting, included 68 adults who used nasal irrigation frequently for one year and then stopped therapy for one year. The patients were compared to 24 control patients who did not discontinue nasal irrigation.

The researchers found that number of sinus infections decreased by 62.5 percent after the participants stopped using nasal irrigation. Additionally, after stopping nasal irrigation, they were 50 percent less likely to develop sinus infections than those who continued with daily therapy.

Mucus in the nose contains important immune system molecules that help the body fight against infections. Because nasal irrigation eliminates this mucus, the authors suspect that it may lead to an increased risk of infection.

Egyptian Mummies Had Clogged Arteries

CAIRO – Rich Egyptians living 3,500 years ago may have been walking around with the same clogged arteries that modern Americans now battle, according to a presentation Monday at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting.

A group of scientists said that, on a whim, they performed a computerized tomography (CT) scan on a collection of 22 mummies housed at the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities in Cairo to see if they too suffered from the plaque build-up in arteries that lead to coronary artery disease.

“We didn’t believe it was going to be so intense,” said Adel H. Allam, the lead author of a letter to the editor published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “We thought that we would find it, but maybe very rarely, and we thought that if we did find it, it wouldn’t be so severe.”

The plaque was, of course, long gone. The mummies lived between 1981 B.C. and 364 A.D., and only 16 of the mummies had heart tissue left. However, doctors could see evidence of advanced atherosclerosis (plaque build-up that causes hardening of the arteries) by looking for calcium deposits in a CT scan used to diagnose people today.

Which Diet Makes You Happy?

SYDNEY – In the ongoing debate about which diet is the best, here’s a question you may not have heard before: Which diet is most likely to make you happy?

A new study, surprisingly, indicates that when it comes to elevating your mood, not all diets are created equal.

Grant Brinkworth of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization-Food and Nutritional Sciences in Adelaide, Australia, and colleagues studied 106 overweight and obese subjects. Fifty-five of them were put on low-carb, high-fat diets, and 51 were put on a high-carb, low-fat diets.

After a year, both groups had lost about the same amount of weight–an average of about 30 pounds per person. Both groups also scored about the same on tests that measure general thinking abilities. And both groups reported feeling an improvement in mood after the first eight weeks.

But only those on the low-fat diet continued to feel better after that. The moods of those on the high-fat diet fell back to where they were before their diets, the researchers reported in the Nov. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The findings suggest that something about the low-carb diet negates the positive effects of losing weight on mood. They’re not sure what that might be. They speculate that it’s just too difficult to eat a low-carb diet in a culture full of pasta and bread. But maybe there is something about the effects of protein and fat on brain chemicals such as serotonin.

Gene Therapy Raises Hope for the Color Blind

SEATTLE – Researchers in the US have made a breakthrough discovery which could bring a cure for colour blindness and other diseases that can lead to a total loss of sight.

Using gene therapy, the boffins successfully treated a pair of squirrel monkeys that could not differentiate between red and green.

The development could bring new treatments for a variety of different diseases that are triggered by faulty cone cells at the back of the eye. The problem can lead to diseases such as macular degeneration, which often causes complete blindness.

The research, which was led by Jay Neitz, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Washington, has been published in the scientific journal Nature, reports The Daily Express.

Professor Neitz said: “People who are colour blind often feel that they are missing out. If we could find a way to do this with complete safety in human eyes, as we did with monkeys, I think there would be a lot of people who would want it.

“Beyond that, we hope this technology will be useful in correcting lots of different vision disorders.”

Trouble Thinking? Better See the Dentist

NEW YORK – A new study hints that good oral care – regular brushing and flossing and trips to the dentist — may help aging adults keep their thinking skills intact.

In a study, researchers found that adults aged 60 and older with the highest versus the lowest levels of the gum disease-causing pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis were three times more likely to have trouble recalling a three-word sequence after a period of time.

Dr. James M. Noble of Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and colleagues also found that adults with the highest levels of this pathogen were two times more likely to fail three-digit reverse subtraction tests.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry this month, are based on more than 2300 men and women who were tested for periodontitis and completed numerous thinking skills tests as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III conducted between 1991 and 1994.

Overall 5.7 percent of the adults had trouble completing certain memory tasks and 6.5 percent failed reverse subtraction tests. Participants with the highest (greater than 119 units) versus the lowest (57 units or lower) pathogen levels were most likely to do poorly in these tests.

Research has already established a strong association between poor oral health and heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Gum disease could influence brain function through several mechanisms, the researchers note; for example, gum disease can cause inflammation throughout the body, a risk factor for loss of mental function.

In a related commentary, Dr. Robert Stewart, of King’s College in London, United Kingdom, says this study adds to a “quietly accumulating” body of evidence tying oral and dental health with brain function.

SOURCE: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, November 2009

Male and Female Chromosomes do Communicate with Each Other

LONDON – Scientists in the University of Leicester’s Department of Genetics have for the first time revealed that the male and female do truly communicate -at least at the fundamental genetic level.

The research counters scientific theory that the X and Y chromosomes – that define the sexes – do not communicate at all.

In the study, Dr. Zoe Rosser and colleagues have shown that exchange of DNA does actually occur between the X and Y in the regions previously thought to be completely isolated.

“Recently it was shown that the Y chromosome can talk to itself – swapping bits of DNA from one region to another, and potentially giving it a way to fix mutations that might affect male fertility. In this new research we’ve now shown that it actually maintains a genetic conversation with the X chromosome, potentially giving it a way to fix other kinds of mutations, too. So, maybe it’s not quite the dysfunctional loner we have always imagined it to be,” said Professor Mark Jobling, who led the study.

It is the Y chromosome in men that determines maleness by triggering development of testes rather than ovaries in the early embryo.

“These days the X and Y are a very odd couple, but long ago, before mammals evolved, they were an ordinary pair of identical chromosomes, exchanging DNA in a companionable way through the process of genetic recombination. However, once the Y chromosome took on the job of determining maleness, they stopped talking to each other. The X remained much the same, but the Y set out on a path of degeneration that saw it lose many of its genes and shrink to about one third the size of the X. Some scientists have predicted that it will eventually vanish altogether,” said Jobling.

“These new findings from the Department of Genetics of the University of Leicester now challenge this interpretation of the Y chromosome’s fate,” he added.

The researchers discovered that the conversation between the X and Y chromosome goes both ways, and it is also clear that mutations arising on a decaying Y chromosome can perhaps be passed to the X – the Y chromosome’s revenge.

In future, the researchers will assess how widespread X-Y exchanges have been during evolution, and what the likely functional effects might be.

 

The study has been published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.