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Doctor use Ipod to Recognize Heart Problem

IPod not only good as entertainment media to play high quality digital music. All doctor nowadays also can use it to train its ability recognize patient heart problem. Its way by listening the record of heart beat sound in the peripheral by repeatedly.

Research which have been done previously show the mean mount accuracy of a doctor to recognize the heart beat that showing problem in heart only about 40 gratuity. But, the ability proven to twofold mount after exercising with iPod. In that research, 149 internist doctor listening five variation of heart beat during 400 times in 90 minute.

" Efficiency of using the stethoscope and ability to recognize abnormal heart beat are the important skill to identify heart disease and minimize the depending of costly equipments," said the chief research Dr. Michael Barrett, doctor and cardiology professor from Temple Doctor and Hospital University . Detection appliance like echocardiogram, he said, unnecessary often weared and use only at attack moment of acute condition.

Barrett so sure by the way to improving the ability is true depended by exercising continuously. Not from the study in class or demonstration in laboratory. With other digital music player, besides iPod, this ability perhaps also can decrease even not yet been proved.

Two last year, radiologist from California University Los Angeles Dr. Osman Ratib and Dr. Antoine Rosset also use the iPod with big capacity to save the scan result image. By Osirix open source software which been developed by him, all radiologist can share the video and image in iPod which incircuit with the desktop computer base on Mac through the teleconfrent. Nowaday all doctor can so easily share the medical information.


Play Video Games Can Improve the Eyesight

New York - Play Video Games like “ Gear Of War,” “ Lost Planet,” “ Halo,” and other game type using fire arm exactly can improve the eyesight. Not kidding?

Based on research result, like the news by Livescience.Com, Friday ( 16/3/2007), type of video games which is not ‘show action’ like “ Tetris” do not show that matter.

According to Daphne Bevelier from University of Rochester, based to the compare between one who play and do not play at video game in 30 hour spanning time, the result show one who play the video game had ability to recognize the object more accurate.

According to the research that publicized in Psychological Science journal, the video game player is able to recognize very small object. Because, the game of video game train the brain speed to catch the object which look in eyesight.

Even believed, by playing the video game will assist to heal the people who have an eyesight problem. The study also show by playing video game, people would protected from stroke attack.


Depression Mostly in Woman

Depression represent the psychological trouble influencing the feeling, mind, physical, and also behavior. Recognizing the symptom in early time and give the precise treatment can overcome the trouble. What symptom is necessary to recognize ?

Somebody is referred depression if experience at least two type from the main symptom, that is depression feeling like sorrowful and gloomy, loss of enthusiasm or desire, and also feel weak languidly. Beside the main symptom, there is also additional symptom like concentration decrease, abundant feel guilty , eat and sleep pattern trouble , and also feel hopelessly. The condition will happen more than two week.

Is depression influenced by the gender? Although diagnostic criterion is equal for all gender, woman in the reality more easy experience by depression. Woman more risk to experience by depression caused by hormonal change and also characteristic difference among woman and man.

Subhash C Bhatia MD, psychiatrist from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine explain, depression criteria is equal for all gender. But ,women more easier to feel guilty feeling, worry, improvement or even degradation of eat desire, sleep trouble , and also eat trouble.

When somebody experience depression, total of chemical liquid in brain is decrease. Its possible to cause the brain cell work slower. Neurotransmitter liquid is called serotonin. If occur imbalance, will cause the depression. Besides serotonin, there is another dissimilar nerve conductor liquid is sharing the cause of depression, like norepineprin, dopamine, histamine, and estrogen.

Estrogen is the woman hormone that responsible as the cause of depression. When total of estrogen is decrease it will cause the symptoms of depression. Despitefully, estrogen also will give the direct influence the incidence of depression itself.

Subhash explain, in woman body there are exist two hormone, there is called estrogen and progesterone. Both work in rotation, for example in a menstruate condition, total of estrogen is decrease while progesterone increase. At menstruate time or pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), in this condition, woman easier to be sorrowful, sensitive, angry, and also easy to weep.


Cannabis Still Prohibited for Medical Purpose

California - Angel Raich who suffering various disease complication, seems, have to be patient. The struggle to get the cannabis use legalization for her disease medication spragged by 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Thereby, Angel Raich threatened to be under arrest when use the cannabis.

According to doctor, Raich suffer assorted of disease, like scoliosis (a kind backbone trouble), brain tumor, and other complication. The doctor even cannot handle it. The only way which can be done to lessen the pain feel is by asking her to consume the cannabis. Whether by eating it directly or smoke it like cigarette.

Because the condition is too bad, woman which live in the Oakland, part of California State, US, have to consume the cannabis every two our. Because wishing to avoid the arrest, Raich raise the cannabis rights legalization to use as drug. , unhappily its step always fail. In 2005, Court of Appeals refuse its request. Raich also appellate and the justice court return to refuse it.

Three judge who lead the justice court have time to different opinion. But, they decide to hold on to the 1970 Federal Regulation which prohibit the cannabis use for the medication. Federal government of US give the statement, cannabis no advantage for the medical purpose. In consequence, those who use or supply the Cannabis have to be punished. But, in 11 US state , include California, deciding that cannabis may be use for the medical purpose with doctor observation.

Because its legal effort have failed, the only one Raich expectation is to lobbying the parliamentarian to alter the 1970 Federal Regulation.


Keep Main Cell for the Future

Bangkok - The parent in Thailand have new way to mark they baby birth, they keep the main cell which is taken from newborn placenta. The the main cell can be use for all kinds of disease medication .

But the facility its only useful for a rich parent. Because the cost reach THB 130.000 (about $4000). While for the stock holding cost, every year the baby parent have to pay for THB 30.000 ($500- $900).

According to Kostas Papadopoulus, head operational of Thai Stem Life ( TSL), medical bank that referred as biggest main cell bank in South-East Asia own by Thailand & Malaysia merger company, keep the main cell is equal with invesment of future health. " If the child suffer by leukemia or cancer, the parent unnecessary to wait for main cell donor . Enough to use themselves main cell. with that way, there will be no deduction risk from body," he said.

Latter, the scientist find that main cell could developed to change the part body damage . Research of main cell often trigger the controversy of because the main cell is taken from embryo (foetus). But, the main cell also can be obtained from baby placenta. Its condition, placenta have to be processed as tardy as five minute after exit from mother womb.

To get the mains cell, doctor use the special needle to take the blood from placenta. Afterwards, the blood processed and taken from the mains cell, then freezed and kept in liquid nitrogen tube.

TSL founded di 2005 by about 30 doctor in several Bangkok hospital. They adopt the similar system which applied by Malaysia since five year ago. Up to now there is 12 thousand family are keep the main cell in the bank. One-Third are the family of Europe or America which live in Thailand.


Radiotherapy Lengthen the Life Hope

Cancer Patient from year to year progressively mount. Various effort also conducted to heal this disease, one of them is with the radiotherapy. Especial action which conducted to Continue Level of patient.

Data from International Agency for Research on Cancer ( IARC) estimate that at 2030, cancer number will mount from 11 million becoming 27 million patient. 17 million people among them will end in death. While in this time, about seven million people suffer because of cancer.

This number its true enough to concerned about. Growth population of patient in some country caused by the lack of comprehensive handling. Start from prevention till patient handling. Can be guessed, amount of cancer patient that dying because the effect of action delay are still big enough.

" Although we are all agreing about the cancer prevention become the effective solution, comprehensive handling like diagnosed and treatment become the important requirement, especially radiotherapy," said head of IAEA ( International Atomic Energy Agency) Programme Of Action for of Cancer Therapy (PACT), Massaoud Samiei.

A research confirm that radiotherapy use at patient of breast cancer will make the patient living on can be longer. Patient who getting radition treatment will experience the risk degradation until 50% after observation in ten years become.

" Result of this research suggest clinic and patient to chose the adjuvant radiotherapy to overcome the disease," said Samiei.

Radiotherapy use radiation to kill the cancer cell or hurt the cells so its cannot split or self multiply. Radiotherapy applicable to primary cancer or symptom which is resulted from a extended or metafisis cancer.

If curative is not possible, radiotherapy can be given to control the patient of continue level cancer during some times. The Main target is to make the cancer progressively minimize and discontinue from spreading.

If cannot control the growth of cancer cell, radiation target is to lessen the symptom of cancer cell like painfulness. " Than Expected the quality of patient life can mount after experiencing radiotherapy process. The target of radiation named paliatif," he said.

Others, radiotherapy is conducted after especial treatment to discontinue the growth of cancer cell which possible remained.

He enhance , radiation is avalaible in two source, that is nature and generator. Source from nature ordinary weared by Cobalt 60. As for generator awakened by strong electron. Radiotherapy only effected in area network of radiation treatment.

Radiation do not make painfulness, do not generate smell, or feel the radiation. After experiencing the overall of radiotherapy process, patient will take counsel with the doctor and possibly will be asked to do some test or inspection.

Succeeding Mount from radiotherapy use depended from goals which wish to reached. Radiation target will minimize or eliminate the tumor itself.


Vietnam Will Produce Bird Flu Vaccine

Hanoi - " Vietnam hope to immediately start the production of Bird Flu vaccine in this year," said Le Minh Sat, vice director of Science and Technology Department which is under the Science and Technology Ministry (MoST).

At the meeting in Preventive executor committee of Bird Flu, on Wednesday, Sat say that at this month, MoST hope have earned to finish the evaluation of result project research to Bird Flu vaccine which conducted by Science and Technology Academy and Veterinary Institute.

Vaccine which made in two project will be tested during four till five month become in big scale. If result is positive, the ministry will announce the starting of Bird Flu vaccine production in Vietnam, report of thePress Agency of Vietnam VNA.

During last 15 day there is no case of Bird Flu of its totality Vietnam region, said Bui Ra, a functionary of Agriculture and Rural Regional Development Department.


Sport Reduce Cancer Risk

CHICAGO - Sport with the high movement intensity like swimming, aerobik, and run in the reality can reduce the risk of woman breast cancer. Even not sure how often or heavy sport must be done, study of health body growth conducted to a number of participle prove that heavy motion activity can degrade that risk.

Team from University of Southern California in Los Angeles say, practice or sport possible lessen the cancer risk through change in metabolism and system of antibody by reduce body fat increase.

The study contained in Archives of Internal Medicine entangle 110.599 woman as participle in California which its health history is traced since 1995.

Woman which join in heavy motion activity during more than five our in one week experience 20% risk reduce for the patient of invasive breast cancer and 31% at first level breast cancer, compared to a woman which only do less than 30 minute in one week
Until 2002, there are 2.649 woman diagnosed by invasive breast cancer, and 593 woman with first level breast cancer.

The study is conducted especially to see the cumulative influence from heavy sport or practice compare to risk incured by a breast cancer. Before diagnosed by a breast cancer, the girls who become participle in this study only do a little practice or sport.

"Result of the study accompanied by evidence addition that supporting prevention through heavy physical activity, but fun on a long term, to invasive cancer risk and also first level breast cancer. Influence profit from standart activity still unclear," conclude that research.


Too Vulgar, Youtube Claimed to Delete The Medical Video

Youtube, most popular video site are in problem again. This time, relate to the medical world and famous doctor in English.

Dr.Christ Steele, one of famous doctor in English reported have claimed Youtube to delete some video that displayed method of breast cancer and testicle prevention. Its reason, the video too expose stimulus parts. The Observer report, the video clip present kind of interesting tips around of breast and testicle cancer and also its prevention. Others, the video destined for 18 years old member.

" It's so ridiculous," said Steele in Softpedia.Com, Tuesday ( 20/3/2007). In Steele confession, he have seen the breast and testicle cancercous medication process in television before 9 PM. And now Youtube have to conduct the demarcation whom which may access the the cancer video.

" In this time a lot of young girl are interest in breast cancer because famous artist Kylie Minogue have experienced it, and also testicle cancer is attacking lot of young man. But posed at Youtube do not be sensible because continuous show the stimulate parts," say the Steele

Recently, Google which own the Youtube express to free its member to use the Youtube based on member purpose.

To known, pandemic video and medication non just this time available in Youtube. Times before, a woman which is struggling againts cancer decide to spread the life story video in Youtube with an purpose to advise people about the cancer disease. The video get reat feedback, visitor supporting the woman to struggle againts cancer. Visitor also ask she to tell the story around its disease healing.


Zodiac Related to Disease

Ontario. Newest Research find the surprise fact. People with Taurus zodiac mostly risk by broken neck, while Virgo women is the most queasy when pregnan. Other Zodiac?

This Finding is reported by famous statistical expert in Canada, Peter Austin . In ABC, Friday ( 23/2/2007) Peter release the statement from check result of 10 million hospital patient in Ontario, Canada.

Peter analyse the patient data which only contain the date of birth and incoming hospital cause. From 10 million data, Peter divide it become two group. Its result, some zodiac have tendency in certain disease.

Its result, Libra zodiac have risk experience of broken pelvis, Scorpio zodiac frequent suffer the Leukemia, and Taurus more risk to have broken neck bone. Others, also found by frequent that Pisces is often heart attack experience , Virgo often vomit when pregnancy and Gemini tend to alcohol addict experience.

But don't worry be happy, when first group data compared to second group, its result do not similar. From the 12 zodiac, its just only two of its data that still equal. Two zodiac which its conclusion still equal is Leo which tend to experience of intestine bleeding and Sagitarius are have big risk of broken arm.

After return to learning finding, Peter not sure to conclude the existence of relation between disease and zodiac. According to him, than making to worry, this research better shall not to be continued it.


Want to Pregnant? Avoid Snack

Woman usually cannot miss from snack. In movie time, fiddle faddle or other activity, snack is most devoted friend. But something must consider from snack. You are difficult to be pregnant ? Maybe snack is the cause.

Dr.Jorge E. Chavarro therewith its student from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston find that snack food have the close relation with the fertility. Woman which hobbies to eat snack usually is not fertile because in snack there is contained by fat acid that surely influencing fertility.

The fat acid is come from snack, light cake and other meals. Besides make woman unfertile, fat acid also can improve the risk of heart sickness and diabetes.

"Although not everybody immediately want to be pregnan, it's good idea to avoid snack," said Jorge (reuters, Monday 19/2/2007).

The Fat acid can bother the activity of receiver cell in concerned in inflammantation, metabolism of glucose and insulin sensitivity. To check more detail about this problem, all expert analyse the data from 18.555 woman which thirst for the pregnancy.

To every 2% increase of calorie from fat acid , include of carbohydrate, have a risk to bother the fertility till 73%. And this number will be collapsible duplicate when in the food founded other substance of fat.

"It is easy to get 4 gram of fat acid every day. This is a few amount of fat acid but from the research we can say that the fat acid have the significant effect in unfertility," said Jorge.

So, seemingly just a few fat acid can cause bad for your health especially pursue you to immediately have the baby. Better, from now pay attention to snack which you like. Much better, just avoid snack.


Warm Water Can Damage the Sperm

Tired Free by warm water bathing surely very pleasant. But who knows that the trivial activity would making trouble to sex life. Man which often bathe in warm water, proven to have the low quality sperma.

This matter is proved with a study. Five from eleven man have been checked and its result is very surprising. They experience the fertility degradation after often bathe in warm water.

All responder test by warm water bathing in jacuzzi and bath tub with the water temperature above its own body temperature during 30 minute or deeper one week. After about 3 month, degradation of sperm quality will start felt decline.

After 3 till 6 month desist to bathe with the warm water, mean of sperm activity even also mount drasticly. Just imagine, that improvement note the number till 491% from usually.
With the remarkable growth, believed 34% from that sperm able to live longger.

"Have been believed during the decade that warm temperature of water proven bad for the fertility. But unhappily the myth do not have time to be documented. Now we have the strong evidence that this activity have a big risk possibility for the fertility of man," say the study chief, Dr Paul Turek from University of California [n San Francisco (News Sky, Tuesday,6/3/2007)

The Sperm will be more effectively expand when encircled by chill temperature. That explain why testicle reside in the exterior of human being body and equipedly by scrotum. Although this research only entangle by little people, Paul assure that bathing with the warm water it is true have a big effect to the sperm quality.


Mineral Water from Armenia banned in Hongkong

HongKong – The Ban on the sale of the Jermuk bottle drink in the United States by Food and Drug Administration (FDA), blew to Hong Kong.

Yesterday, the government of HongKong published the similar ban to all shop that became the distributor of this product.
Because, the arsenic content in the drink which come from Armenia was high enough.
The USA Health Department said, the poisonous metalloid content in the Jermuk bottle drink was very high.
“Arsenic that was found in the drink bottle 60 fold times exceeded that international standart permitted,” said one of the officials of the USA Health Department. Remembered the number of Jermuk products that circulated in his country, the HongKong government then banned the sale of the mineral water and the carbonated drink with that lable.
The scientists FDA reported, in every 500 ml of the Jermuk mineral water, was found around 250ml-300ml microgram arsenic.
“In our standard, the maximal number of arsenic that was permitted in every litre mineral water it’s only 10 microgram,” said one of the scientists who was involved in this research.


Judd Campaign stop AIDS in India

Mumbai - Campaign AIDS non-stoped to be emboldened. This time, Hollywood artist Ashley Judd also join the campaign in India.

Judd seen to motivated when have interaction with all of prostitute women in Kamathipura, India, in Saturday local time. The Beautiful actress is soverigned to become global ambassador for youth AIDS representing one part of from a nonprofit institute, Population Services International ( PSI).

Before campaigning, Judd invaded by a fans to come near her. As a result, such as those which told by a the organizational press secretary, K.Balaji, some event must be delayed for several hours. Security staff of Judd assist her to go out from large crowd and usher it to car.Then, she come again and come in contact with all prostitute women.

Judd will experience played in documenter film with the former miss Universe of India origin which now become the Bollywood actress, Sushimita Sen. Its Plan, the documenter film will displayed in National Geographic channel at 1 December according with the Day of world AIDS.


US War (Iraq-Afghanistan) Veteran Incured Mental Disorder

For a soldier, mental burden felt by a encounter moment daze do not lose along end it fight. Worse more than the war, burden mental faced to be non-stoped to haunt for a lifetime.

More, a soldier can incured more than one type of mental disorder because too heavy burden.
One of four American Soldier which come home from war in Iraq and Afghanistan is adjudged incured mental disorder. At least, that number is found among of all war veteran which during the time experience the medical treatment from government. "If pchycosocial deviation , like domestic violence, input one of the type of mental disorder , natural war veteran amount it go up to become 31 percents," write the health expert of San Fransisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center in report result of survey publicized yesterday.

According to Karen Seal, chief of research team of San Fransisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, total amount of war veteran which incured by mental disorder is much more big than which still be active in job. " When we had a survey last year, all of responder is still active undertake in battlefield, either in Iraq and also Afghanistan. In that time, what is incured by mental disorder not yet as much now," said Seal ike cited by press agency of Prancis- AFP.

Result of research in "Journal of the American Medical Association'S Archives of Internal Medicine" entangle the veteran which just now return from battlefield and member of National Garda . According to she, burden of all new war veteran lighter relative than those who have been long enough returned from battlefield. " Among one of third new war veteran return to country land and experience the adjacent mental program , only 12 percent expressed incured of mental disorder or pchycosocial deviation ," said Seal.

Concerning, continue the Seal, about 56 percent veteran that expressed experience of the mental disorder incured more than one type of pchycosocial deviation."When we discover a veteran incuredp more than one type of mental disorder, we more challenging to check the them. more important, we assure the treatment to they also more challenging," said woman doctor who also sciencetist in San Fransisco. In its research, Seal entangle 103.788 Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran as the responder.

Press secretary the Veterans of Foreign Wars Joe Davis said, pchycosocial deviation that suffered by all war veteran represent the impact of war which is old estimated. According to she, burden which is the responsibility of all soldier in battlefield are very heavy. " Fight to alter everybody. Nowadays everybody should be able to face that fact by themself ways," said Davis.



Princess Michiko Sickness Because of Stress

Become the family member of Japan empire is not easy duty. Not merely putri Masako, wife of Prince Naruhito, natural it.

Princess Michiko, wife of Emperor Akihito, is also informed pain because do not hold up with all pressure and workdload which must be experienced.

Last week, press secretary of Japan empire said, Michiko which nowadays have 72 years age have to cancel all its agenda because pain. Mother of three child, namely Naruhito, Akishino, and Sayako experience of the nosebleed, intestine haemorrahage, and sprue. Its condition is non-stoped downhill since she is incured by flu last month.

" Likely she had experience of the psychological pressure symptom," say the Kanazawa, staff of empire doctor.

Some people assure that Michiko depressed by an effect of foreign news media that telling the condition of family of Japan empire. One of the book is writed by Ben Hills from Australian, entitling " Princess Masako : Prisoner Of the Chrysanthemum Throne". Japan Empire mention that book have affronted to them and they also prohibit the publisher translate that book to Japan languange.

The Book narrate the Japan empire is force the Masako to adapt to the palace life which is the full of order. Even, woman that grad of that Harvard and Oxford is prohibited to travel out country till she can bear a son . Japan Empire as that defensive eldest empire till modern life is true embrace the patriarchal system . Its meaning, only man is rightful claimant continue the empire crown.

Even Japan empire mention the article of Hills manipulated the fact, the public of Japan know that four years ago, Masako, former diplomat with the very bright career, have to withdraw from public fore part because experiencing of mental stress. Even, its husband, Naruhito, saying that Masako do not hold up tightly the protocol which she must experience as member of Japan empire.

Pressure progressively increase because Masako still not give the son for its husband family. Since marriage which is passed off by year 1993, them only bestowed by a daugther, Aiko, that born at 5 December 2001. Latter, stress in palace decreace because princess Kiko, wife of prince Akishino, bearing son called Hisahito at 6 September 2006.

Pain that befalling Michiko cause effect of pressure from outside is not the first time. In the Early 90', woman who's coming from ordinary people before marrying Akihito have also to withdraw from public fore part. The cause, a Japan magazine say that Michiko is a fussy person and rough on housemaid. But, along with the gossip alleviating , condition Michiko gradually get better.



Health Tip: Taking Your Child's Temperature

(HealthDay News) -- If your child appears sick and might be running a fever, it's important to take his temperature properly.

There are different kinds of thermometers, but certain types may be better suited to your child's age range, the American Academy of Family Physicians says. Here are the group's recommendations:

* For children younger than 3 months, a digital thermometer should be used rectally. Electronic ear thermometers are not recommended, as ear canals are typically too small at this age to get an accurate reading.
* For children between 3 and 4 months, a digital thermometer used rectally or an electronic ear thermometer both should provide accurate readings.
* For children aged 4 and older, digital thermometers used orally will suffice. If the child has a cough, stuffy nose or has difficulty with an oral thermometer, an electronic ear thermometer or digital thermometer placed under the arm should work.


Woman awakens after 6 years, slips back

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A woman who went into a vegetative state in November of 2000 awoke this week for three days, spoke with her family and a local television station before slipping back on Wednesday.

"I'm fine," Christa Lilly told her mother on Sunday — her first words in eight months. She has awakened four other times for briefer periods.

"I think it's wonderful. It makes me so happy," Lilly told television station KKTV-TV. She also got to see youngest daughter, Chelcey, now 12 years old, and three grandchildren.

Before her relapse, Lilly told the station her biggest frustration was learning how to talk again.

After years of being fed from a tube, eating was no problem. "I've been eating cake," she said.

Her neurologist, Dr. Randall Bjork, said he couldn't explain how or why she awoke.

"I'm just not able to explain this on the basis of what we know about persistent vegetative states," he said.

A vegetative state is much like a coma except Lilly's eyes remain open. Bjork said that he's never seen a similar quality of awakening.

Bjork said that unlike the much publicized case of Terry Schiavo, Lilly is minimally conscious. He said she could awake again.

After Lilly relapsed her mother and caregiver Minnie Smith said: "The good Lord let me know she's alright, he brings her back to visit every so often and I'm thankful for that."


French doctors in call for legal euthanasia

PARIS (AFP) - Some 2,000 French doctors and nurses issued a joint call for euthanasia to be legalised in the country, arguing that mercy killings are already widely practiced by the French medical profession, in a text to be printed Thursday.

In the manifesto, to appear in the Nouvel Observateur weekly, all claim to have helped patients to "die with dignity" in the past, using drugs to alleviate their suffering and precipitate death.

"Because, without a doubt, illness was defeating therapy, because despite suitable care, physical and psychological suffering were making the patient's life unbearable, because the patient wanted to end his life, we carers, in full conscience, have medically helped patients to die with dignity," they write.

"The majority of those who care regularly for patients up until death, use -- in the circumstances cited above -- chemical substances to precipitate an end that has become too cruel, in full knowledge they are breaking the law."

The manifesto comes days ahead of the trial of a French doctor and nurse, accused of deliberately causing the death of a woman suffering from terminal cancer in 2003.

It calls for charges against the pair to be immediately dropped and for the law criminalising euthanasia to be revised as soon as possible.

French legislation adopted in 2005 made it possible not to artificially prolong the life of a terminally-ill patient who asks to stop treatment, as well as administer pain relief drugs that may accelerate the patient's death.

The text was adopted in response to the high-profile trial of a Frenchwoman who helped her quadriplegic son -- left blind, mute and paralysed by a car crash -- to die in 2003. Both she and her doctor were acquitted in the case.


Orange tomatoes better for you?

Food scientists at Ohio State University in Columbus have grown a special variety of orange tomatoes that may be healthier than garden-variety red tomatoes.

The orange tomatoes contain a type of lycopene that is more readily used by the body than the type found in red tomatoes, they report.

Lycopene — an antioxidant thought to have a number of health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and age-related eye problems — is what gives red tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables their rich color.

Dr. Steven Schwartz and colleagues had 12 adult volunteers eat two spaghetti test meals on separate occasions. One meal was made with sauce from the orange tomatoes and the other with sauce from red tomatoes. For 13 days before the test meals, the volunteers avoided eating tomatoes or food made with them.

Blood samples taken from each subject right before the spaghetti meals and every hour or two up to 10 hours after the meals were analyzed for lycopene content.

Results showed that lycopene absorption from the orange tomato sauce was 2.5 times higher than that absorbed from the red tomato sauce. Blood lycopene levels spiked about 5 hours after the orange tomato sauce meal and at this time the levels were some 200 times higher than those seen after the red tomato sauce meal.

“While red tomatoes contain far more lycopene than orange tomatoes, most of it is in a form that the body doesn’t absorb well,” Schwartz, a professor of food science and technology at Ohio State, explained in a university-issued statement.

“The people in the study actually consumed less lycopene when they ate sauce made from the orange tomatoes, but they absorbed far more lycopene than they would have if it had come from red tomatoes,” he noted.

The orange tomatoes are not readily available at grocery stores; they were grown at an Ohio State-affiliated agricultural research center. Schwartz and colleagues suggest that interested consumers could seek out orange or gold-colored heirloom tomatoes as an alternative — although they haven’t tested how much or what kind of lycopene these varieties contain.


Obese British boy will stay with mom

LONDON - A mother who feared she might lose custody of her obese 8-year-old son unless he lost weight was allowed to keep the boy after striking a deal Tuesday with social workers to safeguard his welfare.

The case has set off a debate over child obesity and raised questions about whether genetics, junk food or bad parenting is to blame.

Connor McCreaddie, of Wallsend in northeastern England, weighs 218 pounds, four times the weight of a healthy child his age.

Connor and his mother, Nicola McKeown, 35, both attended a child protection meeting Tuesday with North Tyneside Council officials.

Before it began, McKeown, a single mother of two, said she hoped she would not lose custody of her son.

“I’m not too good, and I’m very nervous about the meeting. I’m hoping for the best,” she said.

Afterward, the Local Safeguarding Children Board issued a statement saying it “was able to confirm that its hope and ambition is to enable this child to remain with his family. In order to move this matter forward, we have made a formal agreement with the family to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.”

The agency provided no details about what Connor or his mother would have to do to fight his obesity.

The hearing was held under the Children Act, which places a duty on the local authority to conduct an inquiry if it has “reasonable cause to suspect that a child ... in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.”

‘Born hungry’

The boy’s case attracted national attention after his mother allowed an ITV News crew to film his day-to-day life for a month.

When he was 2½, Connor was too heavy for his mother to pick him up, and at 5, he weighed more than 126 pounds, said The Journal, a regional newspaper. Now the boy, who is tall for his age at 5 feet, wears adult clothes and size eight shoes, the newspaper said.

Sky TV showed footage of Connor’s mother serving him meals of french fries, meat and buttered bread.

“He’ll hover around the kitchen for food. He’ll continually go in the fridge,” McKeown said of her son. “I just keep telling him to get out of the fridge, wait until meal times and stuff. But at the end of the day, he was born hungry. He has always been hungry.”

“Bacon. Mmmm... That’s my favorite. Um ... chicken , steak, sausage,” the boy told the camera.

Obesity has tripled in England

Obesity is essentially caused by eating more calories than you burn. Obese people are sometimes thought to have lower metabolic rates than normal, meaning they need less food to maintain their weight.

Childhood obesity is of particular concern because it greatly increases the risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, skeletal disorders and strokes. Certain cancers are also associated with obesity, and obese children have a higher chance of premature death.

Several genetic conditions also contribute to obesity, such as Prader-Willis syndrome, a rare disease characterized by excessive appetite, problems in the central nervous system and a low IQ. Another rare genetic disease, Bradet-Biedl syndrome, can lead to problems such as vision loss, obesity and being born with extra fingers and toes.

Levels of obesity have tripled in England since 1980, according to the Food Standards Agency. More than half of women and about two-thirds of men are either overweight or obese, it said. Obesity causes about 18 million sick days and 30,000 deaths a year in England alone, the National Audit Office said.

Assumption of guilt

It remained unclear whether doctors had determined whether diet and lifestyle were the only cause of Connor’s obesity.

Neville Rigby, a director at the International Association for the Study of Obesity in London, declined to discuss Connor’s case. But he said the public often stigmatizes overweight people without knowing their situation and assumes they are guilty of self neglect.

“Obesity and diabetes used to be seen as middle-age problems, but now we’re seeing more and more children with both problems,” Rigby said.

“But remember, in this era of nonstop advertising about low-nutrient, high-calorie foods, many parents find it difficult to tear their children from sweets and persuade them to eat fruit and vegetables.”

He said he hoped social workers would find out what has caused Connor’s obesity.


Ice cream good for fertility, study suggests

A diet rich in ice cream and other high-fat dairy foods may lower the risk of one type of infertility, a study suggests.

It sounds too good to be true and probably is, some doctors say.

But the findings are bound to get attention because they are from the well-known Nurses Health Study at the Harvard School of Public Health and were published Wednesday in the European journal Human Reproduction.

Researchers found that women who ate two or more low-fat dairy products a day were nearly twice as likely to have trouble conceiving because of lack of ovulation than women who ate less than one serving of such foods a week.

Conversely, women who ate at least one fatty dairy food a day were 27 percent less likely to have this problem.

Even the researchers say women should not make too much of these results, which are based on reports of what women said they ate over many years — not a rigorous, scientific experiment where specific dietary factors could be studied in isolation.

“The idea is not to go crazy and start to have ice cream three times a day,” said the lead author, Dr. Jorge Chavarro, a research fellow at Harvard. “But it is certainly possible to have a healthy diet with low saturated fat intake by having one serving of high-fat dairy a day.”

Others urged caution.

Scoop of skepticism

“A good healthy dose of skepticism is good for people,” especially when the results are so hard to swallow, said Dr. Patrick Remington, a University of Wisconsin-Madison epidemiologist.

After all, the Nurses Health Study also found that menopause hormones could ward off heart disease — something doctors believed until a more scientific study disproved it several years ago, he noted.

The new research doesn’t even apply to most cases of female infertility — not ovulating is to blame only one-third of the time.

The study also found no link between infertility and dairy foods in general — something that bothered another statistics expert, David Allison at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Instead, researchers only saw a link when they separated non-ovulating women who ate yogurt and other low-fat dairy products from those eating more high-fat varieties.

When they looked at specific foods — and this is where the numbers really get tricky — they found that women eating ice cream two or more times a week had a 38 percent lower risk of infertility than women consuming ice cream less than once a week.

Researchers adjusted the results to reflect differences in weight, exercise levels and other factors, but many specialists said they suspect weight is still mostly responsible for the results.

Weight extremes — being too thin or too fat — raises the risk of any sort of infertility, said Dr. William Gibbons, who runs a fertility clinic in Baton Rouge, La., and is president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.

Other research shows that women eating lots of low-fat dairy also eat other low-fat foods and try to lose weight, said Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, director of Weill Cornell University and New York Presbyterian’s fertility services.

Diets bad for reproduction

His interpretation of the new study: “It’s not that having high fat is protective. It’s that being on a diet may be bad for reproduction.”

The Harvard study, funded by the university and a long-running federal study, involved 18,555 women, ages 24 to 42, who became pregnant or tried to from 1991-99. Among them, 3,430 reported infertility, including 2,165 who saw a doctor for it. Of those, 438 said an ovulation problem was to blame.

The women filled out questionnaires every two years on what they ate and how often. Those who ate more high-fat dairy foods were more likely to consume alcohol and to already have had a child, and less likely to exercise than those eating low-fat dairy products. Researchers said they adjusted for these factors and still saw the link to ovulation-related infertility.

If women do eat more high-fat dairy foods to try to boost their odds of conceiving, it would be important to cut calories elsewhere to avoid gaining weight, doctors said. They also should switch back to low-fat dairy foods once the baby is born, to limit saturated fats.

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McDonald’s not amused by royal quip

LOS ANGELES - Memo from McDonald’s Corp. to the Prince of Wales: We are not amused. McDonald’s said Wednesday it was disappointed by Prince Charles’
statement that the hamburger chain should be banned, adding that the heir to the British throne was unfamiliar with its recent efforts to introduce healthier fare.

Earlier this week, Prince Charles suggested during a visit to the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Abu Dhabi that McDonald’s, often criticized over its high-fat menu choices, should be banned.

“Have you got anywhere with McDonald’s? Have you tried getting it banned? That’s the key,” the prince said to a nutritionist at the center.

“The comment made by the Prince of Wales appears to be an off-the-cuff remark that, in our opinion, does not reflect either our menu or where we are at as a business,” Nick Hindle, a spokesman for McDonald’s UK business, said in an e-mailed statement.

A spokesman for Prince Charles said “he was keen to emphasise the need for children to enjoy the widest variety of food and not to eat any particular sort of food to excess.”

Prince Charles has long been an advocate of organic food, running an organic farm on his home estate. Late last year, he published a cookbook in which he aimed to rebel against what he called the “soulless, mass-produced food that had come to dominate the modern diet.”

But McDonald’s said the future king was “clearly unaware of some of the moves we have made over time to improve choice and variety on our menu ... including the introduction of fruit, carrot sticks, salads and organic milk.”

The hamburger chain added that it has “made great progress in support of sustainable agriculture.”


Is it time to give up on eradicating polio?

LONDON - Nearly 20 years ago, the World Health Organization and its partners launched an ambitious program to eradicate polio by the end of the millennium.

That deadline passed and another was missed in 2005 — and polio still strikes about 2,000 people a year, mostly children.

At a WHO meeting this week, some leading experts asked a grim question: Is it time to abandon the goal of eradication and focus instead on containing the disease?

The answer, for many, was no — even though many had doubts.

"Many people wonder why we are spending all this time and effort on polio when there are much bigger problems," said Dr. Donald A. Henderson, who headed WHO's smallpox eradication program in the 1970s. Smallpox is the only disease ever to have been eradicated.

There is no question the polio eradication program has reaped rewards: Since it began in 1988, the incidence of the disease has dropped by more than 99 percent. But with the number of polio cases at a virtual standstill for the last five years, some experts worry that the campaign by WHO and its partners — the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rotary International and UNICEF — is running aground.

"Even if things quiet down in the countries where we have problems, there will be another area that bursts into flames," said Dr. Ellie Ehrenfeld, who sits on the WHO Advisory Committee for Polio Eradication.

"We are living in a different world where I'm not sure what eradication means anymore," said Ehrenfeld, who was not invited to Wednesday's meeting.

Critics of the eradication program note smallpox was wiped out in a decade, while the polio campaign is entering its 19th year. WHO is seeking a $575 million budget for polio eradication for 2007-2008.

In a speech to participants, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan urged participants not to give up.

'Last chance to eradicate polio'

"We are facing our best and perhaps our last chance to eradicate polio," she said, adding that leaving the job unfinished would squander the more than $5 billion invested so far because it would open the way for a resurgence of the disease.

The four polio-endemic countries _ Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan — are also intent on ridding the world of the virus.

"We will spare no effort in eradicating polio," said Naresh Dayal of India's Ministry of Health and Welfare. This year, India will spend $286 million to fight the polio virus.

"While eradication is possible, we shouldn't even consider moving to a control strategy," said Dayal.

Others are not convinced.

‘There is a limit’

"We cannot continue forever," said Dr. Isao Arita, another WHO smallpox veteran. "Everyone wishes WHO to accomplish the task but there is a limit."

For WHO, giving up on eradication would a crushing blow.

"There's an almost religious conviction that they must see this through," said Dr. Samuel Katz, an infectious diseases specialist at Duke University and co-inventor of the measles vaccine.

"But there are other things we could do that would be as beneficial to child health rather than spending another billion dollars in frustration," he said.

In the countries where polio occurs, there are many competing health priorities, including respiratory and diarrheal diseases, malaria and AIDS.

Some experts say that a polio containment policy wouldn't necessarily be radically different from an eradication policy, except that it would free up money for other health problems.

Tighter regulation in countries where polio occurs could help trap the virus, and international officials might adopt measures such as requiring proof of vaccination for travelers coming from polio-endemic countries.

WHO and its partners insist it is possible to eradicate polio, and that the only challenges are logistical.

Border-hopping virus

Different problems plague the four endemic countries: In Nigeria, the weak health system coupled with a vaccine boycott in some areas gets the blame; in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the virus moves back and forth across the border where the official focus is on the war on terror; in India, children are often infected with other viruses, making the polio vaccine less effective.

Some experts think a different vaccine could help. The eradication campaign uses the oral vaccine because it protects entire communities. But while the oral vaccine is cheap and easy to administer, there is a downside: For approximately every 2.5 million doses, it causes one case of polio.

WHO is looking into the more expensive injectable polio vaccine, which uses an inactivated virus that cannot trigger polio. Results from the studies won't be available until next year.

WHO insists it is considering all options — except giving up on eradication.

"Any program would be negligent if it didn't check all the possibilities," said Dr. David Heymann, WHO's top polio official, "but our partners didn't want to hear about a control strategy."


Bird flu victim dies in Laos

HANOI (AFP) - A 42-year-old Laos woman believed to have contracted the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus died in hospital in the capital Vientiane on Sunday, the World Health Organisation said.

"The patient passed away at approximately 14:30 today," the WHO said in statement issued jointly with the Laos health ministry.

Tests had shown the woman had H5 bird flu, but the authorities were still waiting for further results to determine whether it was the H5N1 strain.

"It is very likely it is H5N1," WHO spokeswoman Dida Connor told AFP earlier in the day.

On Tuesday, Laos confirmed its first human case of the deadly strain in a 15-year-old girl from a different suburban district of Vientiane, where an outbreak of H5N1 in poultry was confirmed on February 7.

The girl is being treated in a Thai hospital.

"There is no direct link (between the two cases)," Connor added.

The 42-year-old victim was hospitalised Wednesday with severe pneumonia and investigations are continuing into how the woman caught the disease.

Her family members and hospital staff are being monitored closely, but none has yet shown any sign of infection, authorities said.

Laos first reported bird flu on its poultry in January 2004 on farms around Vientiane and in the southern Savannakhet and Champassak provinces bordering Vietnam. The country slaughtered more than 150,000 chickens.

In July 2006, bird flu recurred in Vientiane's Xaythany district but was contained with the culling of some 20,000 poultry.

Health experts have warned that the H5N1 virus could lead to a global pandemic if it mutates into a form easily transmitted between humans.

According to WHO figures, 275 human cases of avian influenza have been confirmed worldwide, with 167 deaths.


Drink a Little, Live a Little Longer?

(HealthDay News) -- Having just under a glass of wine a day cuts men's risk of dying from cardiovascular problems and all other causes and may help them live years longer, Dutch researchers report.

"Consumers who already drink should do so lightly, 1 to 2 glasses per day, and preferably drink wine," advises study co-author Marga Ocke, a researcher at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, The Netherlands.

Ocke and her colleagues presented the research at the
American Heart Association's Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in Orlando, Fla..

Many other studies have shown that light to moderate alcohol intake is linked with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease in men and women, but whether one type of alcoholic beverage is better than another has been debated.

Ocke's team evaluated 1,373 men, all part of the Zutphen Study, who were born between 1900 and 1920 and surveyed in detail about alcohol consumption seven times over 40 years. Zutphen is the industrial town in the eastern Netherlands where the men all lived.

The participants were followed until they died or until their final interview, taken in mid-2000. They were asked about their drinking habits, dietary habits, their body mass index (BMI), smoking habits, and whether they had suffered heart attack, stroke, diabetes or cancer.

Alcohol consumption statistics were adjusted to account for other risk factors.

Compared to no drinking, light alcohol intake was linked with a 36 percent lower risk of death from all causes and a 34 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease in particular. "Light" drinking was defined as less than or equal to 20 grams a day of alcohol (one glass of alcoholic beverage contains 10 grams of alcohol).

The reduced risk associated with wine drinking was greater than that associated with other alcoholic beverages. Those who drank about 1.5 ounces of wine -- about half a glass -- long term, had a 40 percent lower rate of death from all causes and a 48 percent lower incidence of death from cardiovascular disease, compared to non-wine drinkers.

Wine drinkers in the study had a life expectancy that was nearly four years longer compared to the abstainers. And wine drinkers lived, on average, more than two years longer than drinkers of either beer or hard liquor. Overall, men who drank a little alcohol of any type over the long term (less than or equal to 20 grams daily) lived 1.6 years longer than teetotalers, the Dutch team found.

It was difficult to tell whether the type of wine -- red or white -- made a difference. "In the present study, we didn't divide wine drinkers into red or white, but 70 percent of all wine consumed was red wine," Ocke said.

Ocke conceded that studies such as this have gone back and forth about which beverage is best, but she believes her study may have extra credibility. Most studies, she said, assume that drinking patterns are relatively constant. But in real life, patterns change.

In their study, Ocke's team found that the number of alcohol users nearly doubled from 45 percent in 1960 to 85 percent in the 2000 survey. Consumption patterns varied, too, which her study took into account.

Even so, Ocke said that more studies are needed to verify the results.

The researchers stressed that they only uncovered an association between light drinking and healthier, longer lives -- it does not prove that the drinking was the cause of that boost in health. Still, they speculate that the alcohol might increase so-called "good" cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or it might help reduce blood clotting linked to stroke.

The new study is "more comprehensive" than previous research, said Matt Kaeberlein, assistant professor of pathology at the University of Washington, Seattle, School of Medicine. The group studied was large, he added, which also lends credibility. "It gives you confidence in the statistics," he said.

Another study presented at the same conference had good news for nonsmoking coffee drinkers.

The study, by a team from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, Calif., evaluated more than 127,00 people who came in for exams from 1978 to 1985. Nearly 59,000 had never smoked. Researchers then looked at the more than 8,300 people hospitalized for coronary artery disease.

They found a higher cardiovascular risk for heavy coffee drinkers who smoked or used to smoke. Former and current smokers who were heavy coffee drinkers -- six cups a day or more -- had almost a 50 percent higher risk of coronary artery disease, they noted.

Coffee drinking was not associated with a risk of coronary artery disease in nonsmokers, the researchers said.


Millions of US Women Infected with HPV

Infections with human papillomavirus, or HPV, are more common among US women than previously suspected, according to new estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Nearly 25 million women ages 14-59 are likely infected with some form of HPV, the agency reports. Of those, more than 3 million are thought to have one of the 4 strains known to cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. These are the same strains targeted by the recently approved vaccine Gardasil.

Gardasil was approved in June 2006. Federal vaccine officials recommended it be given routinely to girls at age 11 or 12, and said it could be given to girls as young as age 9 under certain circumstances. The American Cancer Society recently issued similar recommendations.

Vaccinating girls at this young age will help make sure they are protected against this very common sexually transmitted virus before they become sexually active, say health officials. The vaccine isn't likely to be as effective in people who have already been infected with one of the strains it targets.

The new estimates of HPV infections give researchers a baseline to measure just how effective the vaccine and the vaccination strategy are, the CDC researchers say. Infections Decline With Age

The numbers were pulled from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004, a yearly study of US health conducted through interviews and medical exams. More than 2,000 women and girls who were taking part provided a vaginal swab, which was tested for HPV. The researchers used infections in the participants to estimate how many women in the general US population are infected.

HPV infection was most common among 20-24-year-olds; nearly 45% had some strain of the virus (the researchers tested for about 43 strains that can be found in the genital region). About 25% of girls 14-19 were infected. Those figures included some who said they were not sexually active. When the researchers looked only at women who said they were sexually active, nearly 50% of 20-24-year olds and 40% of 14-19-year-olds had some type of HPV infection.

Estimates of infection in those 2 age groups were higher than ones from previous surveys and studies, the researchers say. HPV infections became less common as women aged; fewer than 20% of women in their 50s were infected.

Most of the women had types of HPV that are not considered high-risk -- that is, they are not known to cause cervical cancer. Overall, about 2% of women were infected with HPV types 16 or 18 -- the types most strongly linked to cancer.

Not every woman who has one of these HPV types will develop cancer, however. In most cases, the body is able to clear the infection before it ever causes any problems. Screening with Pap tests is the best way to catch dangerous changes in the cervix before they become cancer.

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