Cosmetic surgery check-list for patients
The Royal College of Surgeons is offering patients seeking cosmetic surgery practical advice about how to pick the right hospital and doctor. Its website now has a checklist to help patients recognise and avoid rogue companies offering dodgy deals. Questions to ask include whether the surgeon who will be carrying out the operation is certified and insured and what to expect in terms of recovery. Patients should also consider if their own expectations are realistic.Urine test for CJD 'a possibility'
Urine could potentially be used for a quick and simple way to test for CJD or "human mad cow disease", say scientists in the journal JAMA Neurology. The Medical Research Council team say their prototype test still needs honing before it could be used routinely. Currently there is no easy test available for this rare but fatal brain condition. Instead, doctors have to take a sample of spinal fluid or brain tissue, or wait for a post-mortem after death. What they look for is tell-tale deposits...Medicine Nobel for cell recycling work
The 2016 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine goes to Yoshinori Ohsumi of Japan for discoveries about autophagy - how the body breaks down and recycles cellular components. Ohsumi's work is important because it helps explain what goes wrong in a range of diseases, from cancer to Parkinson's. He located the genes that regulate this "self eating" process. Errors in these genes can cause disease. Last year's prize was shared by three scientists who developed treatments for malaria and ot...Animal TB threatens human health say vets and doctors
Animal tuberculosis, which is spread through contaminated food, is a greater threat to human health than previously realised, leading doctors and vets have warned. The disease can be more serious and harder to treat than conventional, human tuberculosis. The world has committed to being free of tuberculosis by 2035. But bodies including the World Health Organization (WHO) say animal TB has been neglected for decades. Raw or unpasteurised milk is one of the most common sources of the infectio...Gene editing: Ethical issues 'should be discussed'
Ethical questions around a new gene editing technology need to be considered now - even though its use may be some way off, experts say. The Nuffield Council for Bioethics was looking into CRISPR - a biological system for altering DNA. Scientists believe CRISPR could have radical effects on areas as diverse as disease prevention and food security. The Nuffield Council said discussing ethical issues now would aid public understanding of the new technology. John Dupre, professor of philosophy ...One in 10 children has 'Aids defence'
A 10th of children have a "monkey-like" immune system that stops them developing Aids, a study suggests. The study, in Science Translational Medicine, found the children's immune systems were "keeping calm", which prevented them being wiped out. An untreated HIV infection will kill 60% of children within two and a half years, but the equivalent infection in monkeys is not fatal. The findings could lead to new immune-based therapies for HIV infection. The virus eventually wipes out the i...First 'three person baby' born using new method
The world's first baby has been born using a new "three person" fertility technique, New Scientist reveals. The five-month-old boy has the usual DNA from his mum and dad, plus a tiny bit of genetic code from a donor. US doctors took the unprecedented step to ensure the baby boy would be free of a genetic condition that his Jordanian mother carries in her genes. Experts say the move heralds a new era in medicine and could help other families with rare genetic conditions. But they warn that ri...Dilute honey 'may fight urine infections'
Honey and water might be a useful weapon against urine infections in hospital patients, say UK researchers. Patients often have a catheter fitted, either to drain urine stuck in the bladder or to monitor urine output. But these flexible tubes can harbour nasty bugs and cause infection. Scientists at University of Southampton have shown in the lab that diluted honey stops some common bacteria from forming sticky, hard-to-remove layers on surfaces such as plastic. In theory, a honey solution m...Body fat link to bacteria in faeces
The make-up of the bacteria found in human faeces may influence levels of dangerous fat in our bodies, say researchers from King's College London. Their analysis of stool samples in a study of more than 3,600 twins found evidence that some of this bacteria is inherited. What is contained in faeces bacteria could therefore partly explain why obesity passes down through families. The study is published in Genome Biology. The research team extracted information from study participants about the...Poor food 'risks health of half the world'
Poor diets are undermining the health of one in three of the world's people, an independent panel of food and agriculture experts has warned.The report says under-nourishment is stunting the growth of nearly a quarter of children under five.And by 2030 a third of the population could be overweight or obese.The report by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition is being presented to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.The panel - which is led by the former President o...Period pain affects 'most women workers'
Most women workers have experienced period pain that affects their ability to work, a survey suggests. A YouGov survey of 1,000 women for BBC Radio 5 live's Emma Barnett programme found 52% had, but only 27% had told their boss period pain was responsible. Of the 52%, nearly a third had taken at least a day's sick leave as a result. And one doctor has suggested employers should offer "menstrual leave". Nine out of 10 of the women reported having period pain at some point.Button batteries pose 'deadly' risk to toddlers
Surgeons are warning of the potentially deadly risk posed to young children by button batteries. If accidentally swallowed, the small, round batteries can get lodged in the oesophagus and burn a hole through its lining. London's Great Ormond Street Hospital has seen a big increase in cases in the past year. Surgeon Kate Cross said: "Button batteries should be treated like poison and kept out of reach of children." Three-year-old Valeria, from Northern Ireland, has been left with permanent da...Global pledge to stamp out drug-resistant infections
The 193 countries of the United Nations are to sign a landmark declaration to rid the world of drug-resistant infections or "superbugs". Six years in the making, the international commitment could prevent 700,000 deaths a year, say experts. It is the fourth time a UN declaration has been reached on a health issue - following HIV in 2001, non-communicable diseases in 2011 and Ebola in 2013. The signatories now have two years to report back with an action plan. Experts say treatment-resistant ...Glass of beer 'makes people more sociable'
Researchers from Switzerland have confirmed what most of us already know - drinking a single glass of beer can make people more sociable. The team from University Hospital in Basel tested 60 healthy people, with an equal number of men and women drinking alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer. They took part in a range of tasks, including a face recognition test, empathy test and sexual arousal test. The lead researcher said there had been little previous research in this area. Prof Matthias Liecht...
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