Birth control: Male contraceptive injection 'shows promise'
A hormone injection has been shown to be a safe and effective method of contraception - for men. US researchers say the jab was almost 96% effective in tests on around 270 men who were using it, with four pregnancies among their partners. However, a relatively high number developed side effects, including acne and mood disorders. Researchers have been investigating potential for male hormonal contraceptives for around 20 years. They have all been looking for an effective way of suppressing s...HIV Patient Zero cleared by science
One of the most demonised patients in history - Gaetan Dugas - has been convincingly cleared of claims he spread HIV to the US, say scientists. Mr Dugas, a homosexual flight attendant, gained legendary status in the history of HIV/Aids when he became known as Patient Zero. But a study, in the journal Nature, showed he was just one of thousands of infected people in the 1970s. It also showed New York was a crucial hub for the spread of the virus. Aids only started to be recognised in 198...'Super-parenting' improves children's autism
Giving mums and dads the skills to become "super parents" can dramatically improve their child's autism, a long-term study has shown. In the training, parents watched films of themselves playing with their child while a therapist gave precise tips for helping their child communicate. "What is remarkable is the pay-off," said Louisa Harrison, who has seen a huge improvement in her son Frank. Experts said the results, published in the Lancet, were "hugely cheering". The study focused on c...Baby Lynlee 'born twice' after life-saving tumour surgery
A baby girl from Lewisville, Texas, has been "born" twice after she was taken out of her mother's womb for 20 minutes for life-saving surgery. At 16 weeks pregnant, Margaret Hawkins Boemer discovered her daughter, Lynlee Hope, had a tumour on her spine. The mass, known as a sacrococcygeal teratoma, was diverting blood from the foetus - raising the risk of fatal heart failure. Baby Lynlee weighed just 1lb 3oz (0.53kg) when surgeons opened the womb. Mrs Boemer had originally been expecting twi...Women 'nearing equality with men - in alcohol consumption'
Women have all but caught up with men at knocking back alcohol, a global study of drinking habits shows. The analysis of 4 million people, born between 1891 and 2001, showed that men used to be far more likely to drink and have resulting health problems. But the current generation have pretty much closed the gap, the BMJ Open report says. The changing roles of men and women in society partly explain the move towards drinking parity. The study showed that in people born in the early...Hair straighteners pose child burn risk
Ten-month-old Joshua is one of hundreds of children admitted to hospital each year after being burned by hair straighteners. He was injured by straighteners that fell off a table and on to his arm. They had just been turned off but were still extremely hot. UK burns units say one in 20 of all admissions for children's burns last year involved hair straighteners. They are warning parents to be extra careful. Figures from the international burns injury database show there were 392 child admiss...IBM AI system Watson to diagnose rare diseases in Germany
IBM's artificial intelligence platform Watson will work with doctors in Germany attempting to solve some complex medical cases. It will be based at the Undiagnosed and Rare Diseases Centre at the University Hospital in Marburg. So far, Watson has looked at half a dozen cases, but it is unclear how many it has correctly diagnosed. AI systems are increasingly being used in healthcare, with Google's DeepMind partnering several UK hospitals. The Watson partnership, with private hospital group Rh...Three-person baby 'race' dangerous
The race to make babies from three people is a major worry, duping couples and a dangerous experiment on mums and babies, warn scientists and ethicists. The UK, which pioneered the advanced form of IVF, was the first country to introduce laws to allow the creation of babies from three people. Yet the first baby was born in Mexico. And despite the technique being designed to eliminate disease, it has been used as an unproven fertility booster in Ukraine. Both countries have less fer...Immunotherapy cancer drug hailed as 'game changer'
An immunotherapy drug has been described as a potential "game-changer" in promising results presented at the European Cancer Congress. In a study of head and neck cancer, more patients taking nivolumab survived for longer compared with those who were treated with chemotherapy. In another study, combining nivolumab with another drug shrank tumours in advanced kidney cancer patients. Immunotherapy works by harnessing the immune system to destroy cancer cells. Advanced head and neck cancer has ...Testosterone on NHS 'could help boost women's libido'
Women suffering from a loss of sexual desire should be offered testosterone on the NHS, a doctor has suggested. Nick Panay, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, told a GPs' conference that it could also improve women's energy and mood. But he said there were no licensed testosterone products for women, who need much lower doses then men. Around one in three women is affected by the condition at some stage in their lives. Mr Panay, consultant gynaecologist at Chelsea an...Woman's giant 'Rapunzel syndrome' hairball cut out of stomach
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair" is the famous fairytale cry. But real life moved from Grimm to gruesome for one 38-year-old woman in the US who had a giant 15 cm hairball in her stomach. She is one of only a handful of documented cases of "Rapunzel syndrome", which is caused by people plucking and eating their own hair. Their once glorious locks build up in the digestive system where they can eventually have a devastating effect. The woman, who is anonymous, developed sudden vomitin...Alternative medicine treatment put four-year-old boy in A&E
The plight of a four-year-old boy who nearly died after his parents gave him 12 alternative medicines has prompted doctors to warn against the treatments. Doctors at Newham Hospital in east London said the parents were "devastated" that their good intentions had made him so unwell. The boy took a dozen supplements supposedly to help treat his autism. The National Autistic Society said it was crucial for doctors to talk through the risks of alternative therapies. The boy developed a potential...Sons born with fertility treatment 'inherit problems'
Boys born to fathers who needed help conceiving have poorer sperm quality as adults than peers conceived without help, a study suggests. The study, in Human Reproduction, looked at men conceived using Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The researchers said it confirmed the theory boys would inherit poor fertility from their fathers. But a UK expert said the study was "reassuring" because the sons' results were not exactly like their fathers'. In ICSI, a single, good quality sperm...Taste for high-fat food 'in our genes'
Some people are genetically wired to prefer the taste of fatty foods, putting them at increased risk of obesity, according to UK researchers. The University of Cambridge team offered 54 volunteers unlimited portions of chicken korma, followed by an Eton mess-style dessert. Some of the meals were packed with fat while others were low-fat versions. Those with a gene already linked to obesity showed a preference for the high-fat food and ate more of it. The gene in question is called MC4R. It ...
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