Health


Mobile phone cancer warning as malignant brain tumours double

3rd May 2018

resh fears have been raised over the role of mobile phones in brain cancer after new evidence revealed rates of a malignant type of tumour have doubled in the last two decades.

Charities and scientists have called on the Government to heed longstanding warnings about the dangers of radiation after a fresh analysis revealed a more “alarming” trend in cancers than previously thought.

However, the new study, published in the Journal of Public Health and Environment, has stoked controversy among scientists, with some experts saying the disease could be caused by other factors.

The research team set out to investigate the rise of an aggressive and often fatal type of brain tumour known as Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).

They analysed 79,241 malignant brain tumours over 21 years, finding that cases of GBM in England have increased from around 1,250 a year in 1995 to just under 3,000.

The study is the first recent effort of its kind to analyse in detail the incidence of different types of malignant tumours.

The scientists at the Physicians’ Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment (PHIRE) say the increase of GBM has till now been masked by the overall fall in incidence of other types of brain tumour.

Last night the group said the increasing rate of tumours in the frontal temporal lobe “raises the suspicion that mobile and cordless phone use may be promoting gliomas”.

Professor Denis Henshaw, scientific director of Children with Cancer UK, which is allied to PHIRE, said: “Our findings illustrate the need to look more carefully at, and to try and explain the mechanisms behind, these cancer trends, instead of brushing the causal factors under the carpet and focusing only on cures.”

 

 

Bayer wins EU approval for $62.5 billion Monsanto buy

2nd April 2018

German conglomerate Bayer won EU antitrust approval on Wednesday for its $62.5 billion buy of U.S. peer Monsanto, the latest in a trio of mega mergers that will reshape the agrochemicals industry.

The tie-up is set to create a company with control of more than a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticides market.

Driven by shifting weather patterns, competition in grain exports and a faltering global farm economy, Dow and Dupont, and ChemChina and Syngenta had earlier led a wave of consolidation in the sector.

Both deals secured EU approval only after the companies offered substantial asset sales to boost rivals.

Environmental and farming groups have opposed all three deals, worried about their power and their advantage in digital farming data, which can tell farmers how and when to till, sow, spray, fertilize and pick crops based on algorithms.

The European Commission said Bayer addressed its concerns with its offer to sell a swathe of assets to boost rival BASF, confirming a Reuters story on Feb. 28.

“Our decision ensures that there will be effective competition and innovation in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture markets also after this merger,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

“In particular, we have made sure that the number of global players actively competing in these markets stays the same.”

Vestager said the Commission, which received more than a million petitions concerning the deal, had been thorough by examining more than 2,000 different product markets and 2.7 million internal documents to produce a 1,285-page ruling.

The U.S. Justice Department, which is also reviewing the merger, said in a statement on its website that it would press on with its review and that the market in the two regions was quite different.

“While genetically modified seeds are largely prohibited in Europe, they are widely used throughout the United States,” the department noted. “The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice continues to examine the effects of the proposed transaction on American farmers and consumers.”

China has given conditional approval to the Bayer and Monsanto deal, which has won a green light in Brazil. It is currently being reviewed by Russian antitrust authorities too.

Australia said on Thursday it would not oppose the deal following the divestment commitment.

Bayer has already reached a deal to sell certain seed and herbicide assets for 5.9 billion euros ($7.2 billion) to BASF and to give it a license to its global digital farming data. It will also divest its vegetable seeds business to BASF.

 

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-monsanto-m-a-bayer-eu/bayer-wins-eu-approval-for-62-5-billion-monsanto-buy-idUSKBN1GX14U

Tooth-mounted sensors track what you eat

28th March 2018

You may soon be able to monitor everything you eat in real-time, digitally through a tooth-mounted sensor.  New miniaturized sensors were developed by researchers at the Tufts University School of Engineering.

The small device, made of three layers, would track everything you consume, including glucose, salt and alcohol.  It would then transmit the data wirelessly to a mobile device.

A study set to be published in the journal Advanced Materials explores how the sensors could work in the future.  Researchers they the devices may eventually be able to detect a wider range of nutrients, chemicals and physiological states.

“In theory we can modify the bioresponsive layer in these sensors to target other chemicals – we are really limited only by our creativity,” said Tufts professor Fiorenzo Omenetto, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study.

 

 

 

source/read more: http://www.fox5ny.com/news/tooth-mounted-sensors-track-what-you-eat

German nurses need self-defence courses against increasing migrant violence in hospitals

20th March 2018

There is nothing wrong with being from a different “race.” The problem is when you allow an influx of a vastly different culture and expect them to have the same values your culture has spent hundreds of years building. –  TMN

 

Hospital personnel in Bielefeld are increasingly being threatened, abused and attacked, the Neue Westfälische reports. Especially younger nurses report of verbal abuse and physical attacks by migrants. The hospital now needs to take special security measures to protect its personnel.

If something isn’t going fast enough nurses are quickly called “sluts, bitches and incompetent” especially by “Southern” migrants, hospital employees tell the newspaper.

The hospital is now considering security steps like emergency buttons and classes in self-defence. One of the nurses reported an incident in which she needed to resuscitate a dying person and had another patient spit in front of her feet because he was tired of waiting.

Many employees have already quit their jobs due to long working hours, stress and how they are treated by patients. Male colleagues tell similar stories. One even spoke of a threat to his life and that he fears nothing will be done until it is too late.

 

 

source/read more; https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/03/german-nurses-need-self-defence-courses-against-increasing-migrant-violence-in-hospitals/

Should people with ‘addictions’ be euthanased?

Do you believe in Euthanasia? Is it ok for the elderly? The chronically ill? The people in depressive and emotional pain? Recently cases regarding decisions to die have been in the news as the Netherlands passed a law to allow people who are depressed and seemingly cannot recover to end their lives. What do you think of that?

What do you think when it is extended to someone who has an addiction to a substance? Is it the same? –TMN

 

10th March 2018

For all those who don’t think that the “slippery slope” argument is valid, just consider this. In Belgium and the Netherlands, the category of “addiction” is now valid grounds for euthanasia. And tragically, this has already started to occur.

As recently as 2016, a man named Mark Langedijk, who suffered from chronic alcoholism, was granted permission to be euthanased. This is how the heart-breaking scene of his death was described by The Independent:

On the day of his death, he “laughed, drank, smoked, ate ham and cheese sandwiches and soup with meatballs” until his doctor arrived at his parents’ home at 3.15pm.

His doctor explained the procedure, before telling Mr Landedijk to get into bed and to stay calm.

At this point, they all “started crying, my parents, everyone actually, even Mark”.

“We cried, told each other that we loved each other, that it would be all right, that we would care for each other, that we would see each other again, we held each other,” he said. “If it was not so terrible, it would have been nice.

“Mark’s eyes turned away, he sighed deeply. His last. Dr Marijke injected the third syringe. His face changed, lost color. My little brother was dead.”

Wayne Hall, Centre of Youth Substance Abuse Research, UQ, and Malcolm Parker, Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, UQ, have written that cases like these are far from being exceptions. They are instead, part of an international trend in relaxing euthanasia laws. As they explain:

The range of medical conditions for which patients can request euthanasia has expanded over time. It now includes not just terminal or degenerative illnesses but any condition that, in the patient’s view, produces unrelieved, intolerable suffering. The grounds for euthanasia in these countries have been taken recently to include intractable depression, chronic forms of addiction, autism and personality disorders and people who do not claim to have any disorder but are simply ‘tired of living’ and want to die.

For their part, Hall and Parker state that their “aims in considering this case are not to argue for or against euthanasia” but to “prompt discussion of this issue within the field of addiction” and “to identify important issues that need to be considered by physicians”.

Against the popular scholarly consensus, Hall and Parker challenge the “disease model” for understanding addiction. They have to do this because, as they themselves acknowledge, “…we recognise that chronic alcohol and other drug use can produce illnesses that may reduce capacity, such as severe depression or cognitive impairment.” What they suggest is their own ‘Twelve-Step Program’, similar to hugely successful Alcoholics Anonymous. Except, rather than helping people to be free of their addictions, it is a checklist to see if it’s valid to put them out of their misery.

Richard E. Ashcroft—School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK—has published an excellent, and concise, critique to Hall and Parker’s proposal, arguing that we should be extremely slow to “accept addiction as a reason for performing euthanasia”. Ashcroft makes two insightful and important points.

First, Ashcroft argues that, “If we are not willing to do so [to view addictions as a brain disease], we cannot see them readily as objects of treatment and medical care, and thus much of the medical model of care and treatment falls away, along with some of the medical, although not all the social, arguments for harm reduction, heroin (or other drug) prescribing in addiction treatment, and so on.”

 

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.spectator.com.au/2018/03/should-people-with-addictions-be-euthanased/

All Teens Should Be Screened for Depression Yearly

27th Feb 2018

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines to recommend that children 12 years and older get screened annually for depression.

The screening would take the form of teens filling out a self-reported questionnaire via paper or an online device, allowing them to answer questions privately—important given that many young adolescents go to the doctor with their parents in tow and in the examination room.

It’s a huge step in not only de-stigmatizing mental health but also helping address mental illness in its earliest stages, potentially easing later symptoms. “Sometimes teens are acting out or misbehaving,” a co-author of the report told NPR.

“[I]nstead, they’re really suffering from depression.” Research cited by the guidelines indicates that only 50 percent of adolescents with depression are currently diagnosed in their teenage years.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/doctors-all-teens-should-be-screened-for-depression-yearly

‘After, I feel ecstatic and emotional’: could virtual reality replace therapy?

22nd Feb 2018

Leslie Channell admits he’s not a typical case for treatment. Channell, known to everybody as Chann, is a registered pilot who served 24 years in the army working on Apache helicopters. Chann also happens to be scared of heights. He doesn’t mind flying planes or sitting on the side of the Apache with the door open; he’s just terrified of going up two or three floors of a building or driving over a bridge.

Chann is nervous; his speech is fast. He says he’s sweating. We meet at a trendy startup in Oxford, where he is about to undergo virtual-reality therapy for his phobia (although the term “virtual-reality” therapy is controversial: some say the VR is just a tool for the therapy; others argue that the virtual reality is the therapy itself). Psychologists are now trialling VR for all kinds of conditions, from phobias to pain management to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There are two other people in the room. Cognitive-behavioural therapist Polly Haselton sits behind a curved computer screen watching Chann, occasionally asking questions. Daniel Freeman, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford and one of the world’s pioneers in this field, watches Chann’s every movement. Freeman explains there are three common fears of heights: that you will fall; that what you are standing on will give way; or that you will jump, which is known as “the call of the void”. Chann’s fear is of falling.

He straps on his virtual-reality headset (also known as a head-mounted display, or HMD). Inside the headset, he will find himself fully immersed in a three-dimensional world. Today, he is going to level four of a 10-storey building in New York to rescue a kitten stranded on a branch of an indoor tree.

Chann has to use a lever to push himself on to a small platform towards the cat. He is a stocky, tough-looking man in his late 50s. But he’s not looking tough any more. His voice is rising, and he’s shaking. He edges forward along the virtual branch. In real life, his feet also move gingerly – then come to a sudden stop. His breathing becomes louder and more staccato.

“You’re doing really well,” Haselton says.

“You don’t know how difficult this is,” Chann pants. “Come here, cat.” Then he stops. “Nah, can’t get it. Aaaagh. No! Gotta come back.”

He starts again, cautiously edging forward. “Yes. Yes. Yes! No, stop Chann. Yes! Yes!” His yeses are urgent, desperate. He makes a grab for the kitten, and returns it to virtual safety.

Task complete. He takes his headset off, talking even faster. “My anxiety levels were way high. Super high.”

“We’re talking nine out of 10, 10 out of 10?” Freeman asks calmly.

“Yeah. I really didn’t want to be there. I had to think I was in a room in Oxford. ‘You’re not here, it’s all OK, do it.’”

Chann is one of a dozen people currently testing this software. (Next month, the trial is being extended to 100 people.) Already, he says, it has made a difference to his life. “Yesterday, I went on a rollercoaster with my daughter. I had never gone on one before. Not the big ones, the smaller ones, but still…” He’s spent only around 20 minutes in the virtual world today, but he is exhausted. “I was worried about coming here, and I’ve done it, and I’m buzzing. Elated.” He pauses, trying to catch his breath. “But I know in my heart of hearts, if there was a real cat on level four, I would not be going out and getting it. Polly asked me, what if it was a little baby? That would change the dynamics.”

 

 

source/read more: http://snip.ly/gk2we#https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/07/virtual-reality-acrophobia-paranoia-fear-of-flying-ptsd-depression-mental-health

CDC: U.S. Fertility Rate Below Replacement for 9th Straight Year

17th Feb 2018

The total fertility rate of the United States fell below the replacement level for the ninth straight year in 2016, according to the final birth data report for that year published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The last time it was above the replacement level was 2007, according to CDC historical data published in the final birth report for 2015.

At the same time, the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook ranks the total fertility rate of the United States at 143rd in the world. That places this country behind the United Kingdom, which ranks 142nd, and Sweden, which ranks 141st.

According to the CDC’s historical data, the U.S. total fertility rate (TFR) has now been below the replacement level in 43 of the last 45 years. The only two years during which it reached slightly above the replacement level were 2006 and 2007.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.infowars.com/cdc-u-s-fertility-rate-below-replacement-for-9th-straight-year/

Cellphone Radiation Linked To Tumors In Male Rats, Government Study Says

3rd Feb 2018

High exposure to radiofrequency radiation — the radiation known as RFR and emitted from your cell phone — causes a rare cancer in male rats, according to draft conclusions released by the National Institutes of Health on Friday.

The two technical reports, one on mice and the other on rats, released by the NIH’s National Toxicology Program (NTP) show the exposure to the high levels of radiation resulted in tumors in the tissues surrounding nerves in the heart of male rats.

Both male and female rats that were exposed to high levels of RFR showed increased patterns of damage to their heart tissue, according to the researchers.

“The levels and duration of exposure to RFR were much greater than what people experience with even the highest level of cell phone use, and exposed the rodents’ whole bodies. So, these findings should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage,” said NTP senior scientist Dr. John Bucher in a written statement. “We note, however, that the tumors we saw in these studies are similar to tumors previously reported in some studies of frequent cell phone users.”

Bucher said these studies “provide the most comprehensive assessment, to date, of health effects in rats and mice from exposure to RFR.”

 

 

source/read more: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/02/02/cell-phone-radiation-linked-tumorsrats-government-study/