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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:13 am 
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Doctor sorry for boy's death

An emergency department doctor has apologised to the mother of a toddler who died after he was discharged from Princess Margaret Hospital for the second time in four days.

Michael Lovegrove yesterday told an inquest into the death of Christopher Tao he would like to say how sorry he was for the two-year-old's death. "I don't expect forgiveness," he said.

Two-year-old Christopher died of myocarditis, an infection to the heart, after two visits to the emergency room and two trips to his GP in September 2010.

Dr Lovegrove examined Christopher during his second visit to PMH after his colleague raised concerns the toddler may have had the rare Kawasaki disease.

He noticed Christopher had a big lymph node on his neck, mild conjunctivitis and a fever but formed the view he had a viral illness and could go home.

Christopher's mother Claudia Ling responded to Dr Lovegrove's apology from across the court, asking him what he expected her to say in return.

She insisted he did not tell her to bring Christopher back to hospital if his condition worsened.

"My husband said you were very arrogant that day," Mrs Ling said.

Dr Lovegrove said from the time he started medicine, he had been telling parents to bring their children back to hospital if their condition deteriorated.

Christopher's parents found him unconscious in his bed two days after he left PMH for the second time. He had been sick for almost a week and had had very little to eat or drink.

At the end of the inquest, counsel assisting Kate Ellson said Mrs Ling and her husband Ran Tao felt that under the circumstances, their son should have been admitted to hospital.

"Even if he could not have been saved, they feel he should not have had to die at home so miserable and so sick," she said.

"It was an unbearable thing for them to witness."

Deputy State Coroner Evelyn Vicker considered whether Christopher had been appropriately assessed at the hospital and by his GP.

She told the court she believed Christopher's heart infection was caused by Kawasaki disease.

Ms Vicker said there was no doubt Christopher had the symptoms of the disease when he was taken to hospital for the second time.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/257 ... oys-death/


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:53 pm 
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There’s more than one reason why tanning beds are bad for you

IT’S summertime, and the temptation to tan is stronger than ever.

In Australia, commercial solariums will be banned from December 31 2014 in South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. But if you’re annoyed at that decision, you might not be once you’ve been made aware of all the freaky things that can happen to you from using a solarium.

Skin cancer is the most predominant consequence of indoor tanning. According to Craig Sinclair, Cancer Council Australia’s public health committee chairman, “up to 280 malignant melanomas a year are attributable to sunbed use, and one in every six melanomas in young people are from sunbed use.

“So there is no question that there is a direct link between regular use of sunbeds and malignant melanoma,” he told the ABC.

Equally as alarming is research from earlier this year, which found that more skin cancer cases can be attributed to indoor tanning than lung cancer cases can be attributed to smoking (as a percentage of total cases) in the Western world. This revelation, published in the journal JAMA Dermatology, was discovered after 88 studies and data from 490,000 people from the United States, Europe and Australia were analysed.

But while it’s easy to numb yourself to the long-term dangers of solariums, you might not be aware that there are also more immediate consequences to this kind of tanning that can land you in the emergency room.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention found that hospitals treat about 3,234 indoor tanning-related injuries per year. The most common injuries were skin burns, passing out and eye injuries.

Lead researcher Gery P. Guy Jr says that spending time in tanning beds can also lead to allergic reactions, rashes, itching and dry skin.

“If the tanning bed isn’t clean, you can also get a serious skin infection with symptoms like genital warts, skin rashes, skin warts, and flaky, discoloured patches on your skin, UV exposure from indoor tanning accelerates skin ageing,” he told The Huffington Post through a spokeswoman.

“The gradual loss of the skin’s elasticity results in wrinkles, skin sagging, and dry, coarse skin.”

He also noted that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning is much more intense than anything that could come from the sun. Additionally, sensitive areas of the skin — that wouldn’t usually be exposed in outdoor tanning — are often left unprotected during indoor sessions.

In January, a review published in the journal JAMA Dermatology noted that more than one-third of adults in 16 Western countries have tanned indoors once or more. It also stated that more than half of college students and one in five teens in Western countries has tanned indoors.

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/beauty ... 7160800721


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:40 am 
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Does the type of fat we eat matter in the absorption of vitamins?

We know that dietary fat can help us absorb vitamins, but is this the case for all vitamins and does the kind of fat matter?

Firstly, it depends on the vitamin. There are fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and water-soluble ones (C and the Bs).

Recent research has also found that eating fresh vegetables with a little fat, such as oil-based salad dressings or cheese, helps the body absorb valuable nutrients found in vegetables, such as lycopene and and beta-carotene, which have been found to have antioxidant effects and may also protect against cancer.

Now, a study published in September has confirmed the importance of fat for helping the body to absorb vitamin D.

The study, by Tufts University researchers, took 50 healthy adults and assigned them a daily dose of vitamin D3 either a fat-free breakfast consisting of egg whites, fruit, toast and cranberry juice or a breakfast including either a monounsaturated (olive oil) and polyunsaturated (corn oil) fatty acids (MUFA:PUFA), to see if one type of fat has a different effect.

The participants were also provided with lunch and dinner containing a similar ratio of fat/carbohydrate and protein as their breakfast while the researchers took blood samples throughout the day.

The groups who had fat with their breakfast had a 32 per cent higher absorption rate of the vitamin D than the fat-free participants.

"The presence of fat in a meal with which a vitamin D-3 supplement is taken significantly enhances absorption of the supplement, but the MUFA:PUFA of the fat in that meal does not influence its absorption," the authors concluded.

Calcium is not fat-soluble, so it is not aided by the bile stimulated in the small intestine, when we eat fat, which helps to break down the fat and fat-soluble vitamins. Previous studies have shown that calcium is absorbed better with a meal of some description though.

As for how much fat to have with your meal to optimise absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, there is no magic number.

And generally speaking, calcium and vitamin D aside, scientists suggest trying not to get your nutrients for supplements in the first place.

"If you have a varied, nutritious diet, none of this should be a concern, unless you have a medical condition that affects nutrient absorption," advises Berkeley University.

"As for supplements, we generally don't recommend them (with the exception of calcium and vitamin D for many people). Supplements are usually overkill anyway, supplying 100 per cent or more of the RDA of nutrients, so it hardly matters if absorption is reduced."

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-an ... 1z50z.html


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:56 am 
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How To Protect Your Skin While Getting Enough Vitamin D

It’s been more than 30 years since Sid Seagull first urged us to slip, slop and slap while out in the sun. But while we’ve made enormous progress fighting skin cancer, melanomas are still the fourth most common cancer in Australia and one of the most deadly. Add to the the huge burden of non-melanoma skin cancer.

From Cairns to Hobart, Brisbane to Perth and all points between, the UV Index will reach the “extreme” range most days this summer.

So how can you protect your skin while getting enough of the sunshine-derived vitamin D?

Benefits and harms of ultraviolet radiation
While limited dietary sources of vitamin D are available, exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is the most effective source of vitamin D for the majority of the world’s population.

Vitamin D deficiency is unquestionably linked to compromised bone health. While levels of evidence vary, it is also associated with a wide range of other potential health problems.

On the other hand, excess UVR exposure is strongly linked to increasing risk of skin cancer.

To confuse the issue further, a recently published paper suggested sun exposure might help reduce blood pressure and influence heart disease risk. But not through vitamin D. This research is still in its early days, but it may be that some of the benefits previously ascribed to vitamin D occur through other mechanisms related to sun exposure.

How much is enough?
Active debate continues about where cut points for deficiency and sufficiency should be drawn.

Serum levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D (also called 25-OHD) are used to measure vitamin D adequacy. The Institutes of Medicine (IOM) 2011 report recommended deficiency be defined as 25-OHD less than 30 nanomoles per litre nmol/L and adequacy as 50 to 125 nmol/L.

The range of 30 to 50nmol/L is defined as “insufficient”, indicating some health risk to some but not all individuals. The report advises:

Use of higher than appropriate cut-points for serum 25-OHD levels would be expected to artificially increase the estimates of the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency.

The level of UVR exposure necessary to establish and maintain optimum levels of vitamin D varies across the world. It is influenced by geography, season, age, skin type and more. However, in higher UVR locations like ours, minimising UVR exposure during summer, and in particular in high UVR times of the day, remains a health priority.

How many of us struggle to get enough?
This is an age-old question. Of course, the answer depends on the definition of what is enough. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported in April this year on 25 D measures taken from the National Health Survey in 2011/12 that:

Just under one in four (23%), or four million adults, had a vitamin D deficiency, which comprised 17% with a mild deficiency, 6% with a moderate deficiency and less than 1% with a severe deficiency.

The cut points and definitions are crucial. Australian researchers Robyn Lucas and Rachel Neale propose a different presentation of those data:

However these data are analysed, it is clear that about three-quarters of us have perfectly adequate levels of vitamin D.

By one interpretation, there are similar proportions of us who may have too much (which may contribute to some disease states) as have too little (which undoubtedly contributes to bone health problems).

As for the “vitamin D twilight zone” – levels of between 30 and 49nmol/L – Lucas and Neale question whether there are any adverse health effects at all. “It may be normal in mid to late winter. It may be a concern in late summer,” they say.

In May, 700,000 vitamin D were tests carried out in Australia. More than four million tests were done in the last financial year. This cost $145 million, of which about $98 million (two-thirds) was the cost of the test for women.

As a result of this burgeoning cost, changes were made to the Medicare Benefits Schedule, so only high-risk patients will get a rebate when they get vitamin D levels screened. Eligible patients include those with deeply pigmented skin, osteoporosis or those with chronic lack of sun exposure.

What should we do?
So what does make sense when it comes to sun exposure, skin cancer and vitamin D? The trick is, of course, getting the balance right and avoiding extremes, in one direction or the other.

Adjusting sun exposure according to the time of year and time of day is important. The UV Index will be in the extreme range in the middle of the day through most, if not all, of summer. So avoiding exposure for the few hours in the in the middle of summer days is smart. The World Health Organization recommends sun protection once the UV Index reaches or exceeds three.

Skin type and geography are the other key factors: darker skin, a little more; lighter skin, a little less; further north, less exposure; further south, a little more.

People in special circumstances – who are immobile or infirm, or who routinely cover their skin for cultural or other reasons – should talk to their doctor about vitamin D.

Depending on where you live, five minutes of mid-morning or mid-afternoon sun two to three times a week – and certainly avoiding any sun burning – is a helpful rule. But it’s best to keep the head, face and neck protected as they get lots of sun and are at highest skin cancer risk.

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/12/ho ... vitamin-d/


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:35 pm 
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Way to control internal clocks discovered

Circadian rhythm refers to biological processes that cycle each and every 24 hours. In mammals, the internal clock that maintains circadian rhythm is necessary for normal physiological functions. The rhythms can, however, be disrupted, and dysregulation of circadian rhythm is related with many disorders, like metabolic disease and neuropsychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and sleep issues.

Burris and his colleagues examined compounds that target a protein referred to as REV-ERB, which seems to play a key part in regulating mammals' internal clocks.

"It has been recommended that REV-ERB is a core component of our clock," said Burris. "Mice without having it are arrhythmic. This study demonstrated that when we give mice a synthetic compound that turns REV-ERB on, it altered their circadian rhythm."

The team examined effects of the REV-ERB drug on patterns of sleep and wakefulness and identified that the compound increases wakefulness, reduces REM and slow-wave sleep, and, notably, decreases anxiety.

This is an fascinating getting because it is uncommon. Frequently, drugs that raise arousal (wakefulness) also enhance anxiety (ex. cocaine, amphetamines). And, vice versa: Drugs that reduce anxiety also lower arousal (ex. benzodiazepines and ethanol). An exception to this widespread pattern is nicotine.

The REV-ERB drug, on the other hand, appears to target the clock in a way that is distinct from these prevalent pathways.

Further, the REV-ERB drug seems to be linked with a suppression of reward-in search of behavior.

Drug addiction has a circadian element and mice with mutations in "clock genes" (genes that impact our internal clocks) have altered responsiveness to the reward connected with cocaine, morphine and alcohol. Burris speculates that REV-ERB targeted drug impact on the clock would modulate reward-seeking behavior, and so might be helpful in treating addiction.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

http://www.macroinsider.com/science/way ... h6828.html


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:28 pm 
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Suicide rate steady, self-harm sky rockets for youth

A CHILD dies by their own hand each and every week in Australia.

It is not a crisis, but a problem that bubbles at the back of the minds of children and teenagers, their families and those who try to help, in the biggest and smallest communities of the nation.

And evidence gathered in a year-long examination of the issue by National Children's Commissioner Megan Mitchell shows the isolation, stigma and complex, intimate relationships in regional and rural Australia could be a key factor in a suicide rate that is, in some cases, twice that of capital cities.

"The first time I cut myself was around aged 10. I drank bleach and used a cutter to cut my wrist and arm," one young person told the inquiry.

Another spoke of how, since she was 14 years old, she hid the evidence of self-harm with "long sleeves and/or cosmetics".

"Even though I'm now open about the fact I have a mental illness amongst friends, only my husband and clinicians are aware of my history of self-harm. It's the most shameful part of my experience with mental illness."

These are just two of the more than 130 personal stories and expert submissions to Ms Mitchell's inquiry, which reported its findings to parliament in Canberra this October.

Using previously unavailable statistics and crucial data from the Kids Helpline, Ms Mitchell said the inquiry's key finding was that "we know much less than we should" about youth suicide and child self-harm.

It is a situation, she says, that is preventing the nation from providing "the right support to children and young people at the right time" to stop some of the nation's most vulnerable children and teenagers from hurting themselves and ending their lives.

The figures show a largely plateaued suicide rate, Ms Mitchell says, at 324 deaths of young people aged 15 to 24 years old in 2012 - the leading cause of death of young Australians - the ABS reports.

But as the suicides have levelled off in recent times, the rate of self-harm among young Australians has rocketed - with Ms Mitchell citing data showing a 657% rise in self-harm and suicidal behaviour as children grow from being 12-13 years old to 14-15 years old.

"It's definitely trending upwards, and while we know of thousands of cases, there are many, many thousands of cases of self-harm we don't know about," Ms Mitchell said.

Among the factors increasing the risk of self-harm and suicide are known social problems: domestic violence, substance abuse within the family, mental illness, poverty, knowing others who have self-harmed, school, work and social pressures, bullying and body image concerns.

Ms Mitchell said the top "co-presenting concerns" of young people who were self-harming or considering suicide was emotional distress - children who felt "overwhelmed, angry and lonely" - and who did not have the skills to deal with the "intense feelings you have as an adolescent".

While the inquiry was not able to get definitive data on regional and remote child self-harm and suicide, Ms Mitchell went sent numerous submissions highlighting the problem outside the capitals.

"We really need as adults to be aware of how these things can come about.

"The fact we're not making in-roads to the suicide rate and the fact that younger and younger kids are taking their lives or self-harming - it's extremely worrying, the whole of area of self-harm without intending to take life."

Calling for a national research agenda to better understand the problem - before it can be fully addressed, it must be understood - Ms Mitchell has also recommended better recording of child deaths by coroners and police.

Her report also "suggested" staff at first-response places, like hospital emergency departments, be better trained to be able to deal with the rarer cases where children and their parents present with self-harm.

But addressing it, Ms Mitchell says, begins at home and in the schoolyard, saying its "absolutely vital" parents, friends, teachers and coaches are stay connected to the children, "make sure they feel respected" and "let them know they won't be judged".

"Sometimes an adolescent shrug can be just a feature of their age, but other times there might be something more going on," she said.

"We need to see the warning signs, whether they are starting to withdraw or not engaging in conversations, it's just really important to keep checking in."

And as families leave or prepare for the summer holidays, and the structure of life around school dissipates, Ms Mitchell reminds all families how important it is to stay connected at Christmas time.

"It could be a tough time if you've had a death in the family, or the child is in a separated family, and it's stressful anyway - add to that the consumption of alcohol and children are often the ones caught in the middle," she said.

"Holidays are a time when you really need to be attuned to young people - there are less protective factors around, and everyone should be talking to their children even more."If you or someone you know might need help, please call one of the following numbers: Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800; Lifeline on 13 11 14; headspace on 1800 650 890; beyondblue on 1300 22 4636; Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

http://www.echonews.com.au/news/suicide ... h/2495549/


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:23 pm 
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Australians may forgo online mental health help under new metadata laws

Innovative Australian online mental health providers could be deserted by clients under the government's controversial new metadata laws.

One of the developers of a widely used Canberra-based online mental health program said the new policy would affect the site's ability to provide anonymity and freedom from stigma.

But the Attorney-General's Department said the government was limiting metadata access to agencies with a clear operational or investigative need.

The Abbott government has introduced a bill to make it mandatory for telecommunications companies to store customer information for two years.

While it will not track the content of calls or emails, or website addresses, it could be used to track the sender, time and location of electronic communications, such as those from an online mental health site.

"I can't see a way that feeling safe and having privacy on the internet is compatible with knowing data about you is being systematically logged," National Institute for Mental Health Research e-hub group IT manager Anthony Bennett said.

Hundreds of thousands of Australians have been turning to online mental health websites for quick, simple and anonymous psychological assistance.

Mr Bennett said the new policy would be a barrier to people easily and anonymously accessing mental health services online.

"It doesn't actually prevent people from accessing these resources but it becomes another barrier to doing that safely," he said.

"There's a lot of stigma around mental illnesses and being able to seek information and help without necessarily having to disclose what's going on is a great benefit to these programs.

"The metadata which will be collected under this legislation doesn't provide for collecting websites . . . but other communications such as emails would fall under this system."

A spokesman for the Attorney-General's Department said the Data Retention Bill did not alter the "existing strong privacy protections for Australians' communications".

"Agencies may only request data where it is reasonably necessary for a prescribed purpose, and they must also consider the privacy impact of accessing such data," he said.

Australian Privacy Foundation vice-chairman David Vaile said the implications of metadata retention for Australians' online privacy were "massive".

He said the government's legislation would have flow-on effects for the use of online mental health services.

"First, it disproves the assumption that metadata is somehow less intrusive or less revealing than so-called content [screening] and, second, it gives you an illustration of what's been called the chilling panopticon effect," Mr Vaile said.

"That means the mere consciousness that you're being spied on and monitored, and who you see and what you do and what you read are being compiled in a secret dossier somewhere [changes how you use the internet]."

Mr Vaile said the evidence for metadata retention assisting in law enforcement was scarce.

"One question that's being asked is 'do these people even understand what they're playing with'? Do they weigh up or know the harm they're potentially causing?" he said.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digi ... 29myt.html


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:23 pm 
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Tanners, smokers affected by changes

Smoking and using tanning beds in Queensland are two unhealthy habits worth giving up on New Year's Day as new restrictions come into play.

More than 30 licensed salons have already disposed of tanning beds since the Queensland government flagged a state-wide ban on solariums. The ban begin from January 1, 2015.

'Queensland already has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world and there is no question there's a direct link between regular sunbed use and the incidence of malignant melanoma,' acting Health Minister Mark McArdle said.

The health department has been arranging for the collection and disposal of unwanted commercial machines.

Smokers also face tougher restrictions from January 1 when it will become illegal to light up within five metres of school and hospital grounds.

Those who break the law will risk on-the-spot fines of at least $227.

The legislation will apply to all public hospitals and healthcare facilities, private hospitals and day hospitals.

On the roads, the state government has already implemented a two-year trial of minimum passing distances between cyclists and vehicles but a number of other changes will affect bike riders.

Cyclists will be allowed to ride across zebra or children's crossings, provided they come to a complete stop before doing so.

They will also have the freedom to shun bike lanes and ride on any part of single-lane roundabouts.

Within the field of education, principals will be handed stronger powers to deal with 'hostile persons'.

They will be able to ban a person from school grounds for 24 hours via an oral rather than written warning.

Year seven will also be defined as part of secondary education from 2015.

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has introduced changes to outline new competency requirements for drilling rig workers under petroleum and gas regulations.

Provisions to enable 34 of Queensland's indigenous communities that own their land communally to convert to ordinary freehold land ownership will also become active.

http://www.skynews.com.au/news/local/br ... anges.html


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:14 pm 
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Can Star Trek Predict Future Heart Attacks?

Austrian researchers believe Star Trek does hold the key to identifying and treating heart attack patients more efficiently, according to new findings reported by the Health Site. The researchers believe that people will be living healthier lives by the twenty-fourth century, stemming from better food choices and smarter diets and resulting in fewer heart attacks. A team of researchers at Medical University of Vienna studied every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager with the goal of identifying the common signs and symptoms of oncoming cardiac arrest. Unlike heart attacks, which result from a blockage of blood flow to the heart, cardiac arrest occurs when the heart unexpectedly malfunctions and stops beating.

Studying all 526 episodes of the combined Star Trek shows, the team identified a 96 cardiac arrests with a total fatality rate of 90 percent. Admittedly, the incidents of cardiac arrests depicted within the Star Trek universe were brought on by severe trauma, such as physical injuries or the shock from blasts from the energy weapons used in the franchise, while most incidents of cardiac arrest in present time are induced by heart rhythm issues or by heart attacks.

The Medical University of Vienna researchers state that, while cardiac arrest will remain a serious epidemic in the future, the advent of new technologies and faster response times will greatly benefit victims of cardiac arrest and heart attacks. Unlike today, the survival rate of a heart attack victim in the future, as depicted by Star Trek, will not depend on where the attack took place. Transporters allow for instantaneous transportation from one location to another, while the medical tricorders used for on-the-spot diagnosis and treatment on Star Trek greatly reduced the need for perilous ambulance rides.

For those that are wondering, the medical tricorder of Star Trek lore may soon be a reality, diagnosing and treating heart attack victims as routinely as thermometers establish the body’s temperature, thanks to the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. The leading competitor is an ER doctor at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Dr. Basil Harris and his team, which consists of two brothers and a sister, are one of only ten finalists worldwide, according to Newsworks.

Unlike the tricorder first used in the original Star Trek series by Dr. McCoy, the requirements for the winning tricorder design in the competition are much more comprehensive, requiring the winning model to diagnose and suggest possible courses of treatment. The idea is to create a stand alone device that will eliminate the doctor from the equation.

“It’s a huge responsibility,” Harris said. “And that is why we’ve done a validation study on our algorithms based on real medical data from actual patients with these conditions to understand: are these algorithms robust enough?”

How we treat heart attacks will drastically change by the twenty-fourth century, partly in thanks to contests like the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, which will choose a winner next summer, when finalists will be required to present their prototypes for testing on patients suffering from such ailments as sleep apnea, stroke, and tuberculosis.

Looking to the future, the Inquisitr recently reported that the new Star Trek film moves forward with director Justin Lin.

http://www.inquisitr.com/1720975/can-st ... t-attacks/


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:07 am 
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Man with terminal illness told to look for work

John Grayson doesn't want to waste the last two years of his life filling out forms at Centrelink.

The 33-year-old's worst fears were confirmed on Christmas Eve when he received news that he had a rare stage 3 malignant brain tumour.

Prior to his initial diagnosis in November, finding a full-time engineering job had been at the top of his priority list.

His priorities have changed dramatically since, but it seems as far as federal government bureaucrats are concerned he still needs to look for work if he wants to receive the Newstart allowance.

"As I am trying to come to terms with all of this, one thing is driving me incredibly crazy – the strict requirements of the Disability Support Pension," Mr Grayson said.

"[Newstart appointments] are very time costly, which I have so little of. I'd much rather be visiting friends and relatives before I die," he said.

"The idea of a terminally ill person having to go out and look for a job feels like a kick in the groin."

In addition to documenting his search for work, he is required to visit employment agencies at Newcastle and Charlestown each week.

Because he is still relatively physically healthy and hasn't begun radiotherapy treatment, he is not classified as disabled and is ineligible for the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

He was told last week the type of cancer he has (an extremely rare malignant ganglioglioma tumour) means he doesn't qualify to be fast-tracked onto the pension via an amendment designed for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Although still capable of working, his mental health has deteriorated considerably.

Ironically he now stands a better chance of qualifying for the disability support pension if he is diagnosed with depression rather than cancer.

"I was at Centrelink with my mother and they said because you are [physically] healthy you don't qualify for the DSP via cancer, you are going to have to look at mental health.

Mr Grayson said he was supportive of the government's attempts to prioritise welfare payments to those most in need, however, he believes unemployed people with terminal illnesses deserve special consideration.

"I hope Scott Morrison in his new capacity [as social services minister] can perhaps rework some empathy into the DSP requirements for the terminally ill," Mr Grayson said.

The federal government did not respond to the Newcastle Herald's questions about Mr Grayson's case.

Cancer Council Hunter regional manager Shayne Connell said the organisation was lobbying to have the Disability Support Pension eligibility requirements changed.

"It a crazy situation; there is a desperate need to build in some flexibility for people with terminal illnesses," Mr Connell said.

"The last thing someone with a terminal needs to be doing is running around looking for a job."

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/man-with-term ... 2hisn.html


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:28 am 
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Gwyneth Paltrow’s detox or the Red Carpet diet: can celebrities make you fitter?

As it’s January, I have been considering a detox diet. Which one should I go on?

All media, all western countries

Ahh, don’t you love January? The dead Christmas trees rolling in the street, the black nights that start at 4pm, and all the newspapers, magazines and lifestyle websites bellowing about how you need to TOTALLY CHANGE YOURSELVES ENTIRELY BECAUSE IT’S JANUARY SO YEAH THANK YOU FOR YOUR CUSTOM!

Attention has been drawn to something describing itself as “The Red Carpet Detox Diet”, which is being heavily plugged by a certain national newspaper supplement. “But wait!” you cry. “Didn’t this column end last year criticising this same supplement magazine for promoting crackpot faddy diets coined by people with no dietetic training?” To which the answer is, yes, yes it did. But what can I say, I’m a maverick who sticks their thumb in the eye of the “New Year? New You!” maxim advocated by the rest of the media. Also, there is more to say on this trying subject.

The Red Carpet Detox Diet adheres so closely to all the usual detox cliches that I’m tempted to suspect it was invented by a robot: it advocates excluding entire food groups; it name-drops all manner of random celebrities; it pretends it’s about more than losing weight while simultaneously elevating weight loss to a moral achievement. The journalist describes those who ascribe to this eating plan as “tribes of self-possessed twentysomething women who know how to do non-wobbly eyeliner as well as what they want for lunch and why. ‘I know, they’re amazing, aren’t they?’ says [the creator of the diet.]”

Women who know how to order food and put on makeup? And these creatures move among us, you say? Oh blessed, blessed times in which we live! But perhaps it’s not such a surprise that a coiner of another detox should have such low expectations of women, considering these diets are predicated on the belief that women are so daft they’ll follow the frankly loopy guidance of a person who has never had any professional training, just because they drop some celebrities’ names.

Or maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way round: maybe it’s the creators of the detoxes who are lacking in mental faculties because what they are actually detoxing is their own brain cells. This would explain the nutritional suggestions advocated by Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow, as is her wont, has published yet another January detox diet on her website goop.com, which has yet to be proven to be anything other than a delightful Chris Morris satire on celebrity narcissism in the modern era. This year, Gwynnie excitedly assures her faithful readers that it is “possible during our annual cleanse to not only drop some accumulated weight, but to get rid of some of the heavy metals, fire retardants, and pesticides in our systems, too”. How proud the science department at Spence – the private school in Manhattan where she was at least nominally educated – must be to have produced the American Gillian McKeith, one who frets about “the heavy metals and fire retardants” in her bowels.

Most of us know that these kinds of detoxes are more full of crap than your plumbing will be after a yummy breakfast of wheatbran and fibre steeped in almond milk. But the reason I keep returning to this subject is because it is downright enraging that national newspapers promote these kinds of irresponsible, pointless and quite possibly dangerous diets, thought up by people without a smidgeon of medical or nutritional qualification.

Eating is more than a physical necessity – it’s a life skill and quite a few of us do it pretty poorly, myself very much included. Sometimes it’s because we’re short of time, money, choice or energy, and sometimes it’s for more complicated reasons. These latter issues, although as varied in motivation as they are in manifestation, often stem from two specific factors: ignorance of nutrition and how our bodies actually work, and a conflicted relationship with our bodies and food due to all too obvious social factors.

It is remarkable how obsessed the western media is with food, and how much it fetishises both the eating of it (endless coverage of recipes, restaurants, etc) and the avoidance of it (diets, detoxes, diets and more detoxes). It’s not original to point out the correlation of the near blanket coverage of food in the media and the rising rates of obesity and eating disorders in the west, but it is, nonetheless, pertinent. How you eat, according to these stupid articles, now defines you as a person, whether you know what the new hot hipster restaurant is or if you subsist on avocado on brown rice cakes. Detoxes, above all, are fashionable, which is why they are covered so extensively in the fashion press. Eating is not just eating any more – it’s a statement of one’s lifestyle. No wonder people get confused about how, exactly, to eat, and no wonder so many people express their emotions through food.

Most people, thank heavens, will never suffer from an eating disorder, but plenty will go though at least a period of disordered eating, which encompasses everything from obsessive calorie counting, emotional overeating to starving and bingeing. These kinds of detox diets are similarly disordered: they do not teach healthy eating – they advocate obsessive and unrealistic eating and therefore contribute to the problem. They combine nutritional ignorance with weight obsession and are therefore morally repellant. Any diet that suggests cutting out food groups or components of food – such as gluten or actual solids – for the purpose of losing weight is, unless prescribed by an actual doctor, absolute nonsense. It does no one any favours other than food manufacturers who happily charge more for gluten-free products. Eat healthily, by all means, but you know what would make everyone feel a lot better? If detoxes were detoxed from our world.

http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2015 ... you-fitter


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:10 pm 
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Stillness group providing relief from busy lives

IT WAS after chronic stress started to affect Liz Hansen's health that she discovered the benefits of 'sitting in stillness'.

"I've always loved yoga but it was about six years ago that my health was suffering from chronic stress. I had an asthma cough and allergies," the Emu Park woman said.

http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/new ... s/2503157/


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:53 am 
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Smokers do notice health warnings: study

SMOKERS are almost twice as likely to notice health warnings on tobacco products that have packaging free of advertising.

A BRITISH Heart Foundation study of almost 3,000 smokers and ex-smokers in Australia and the UK found that the number of those in Australia who took notice of health warnings almost doubled after tobacco packets were stripped of branding in December 2012.

The foundation's report said just a third (34 per cent) of smokers and ex-smokers noticed the health warnings before any other information in 2010, compared with two thirds (66 per cent) after the legislation was implemented.

In the UK, where branded packaging still exists, just 24 per cent of people noticed the health warnings before other messages such as advertising.

The report also found 82 per cent of Australians did not like the look of tobacco products after standardised packaging was introduced.

The BHF said support for the new legislation in Australia among smokers and ex-smokers had almost doubled from 28 per cent in 2010 to 51 per cent in 2013.

The BHF is urging the British government to ensure standardised packaging is introduced before the general election.

According to the report, smoking rates in Australia dropped to a new low between 2010 and 2013, with 12.8 per cent of those aged over 14 smoking daily.

In the UK, 19 per cent of adults aged 18 or over smoke, figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show.

http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-n ... 7179299736


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:59 am 
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Beauty queen Catherine Cando dies having liposuction

A TEENAGE beauty queen has died while undergoing liposuction that she received as a prize in a pageant.

Catherine Cando, a part time glamour model from Ecuador, won her local ‘Queen of Duran’ beauty competition after entering in October last year.

Included along with the winning title was a new car, a smart tablet, and a free course of cosmetic surgery treatment.

The 19-year-old initially put off having the treatment because she felt she did not need it, but eventually caved shortly after winning the title.

As reigning Queen of Duran she told local media she had shunned having surgery when she realised she was too fat, and had exercised to lose weight instead.

Her brother Daniel Zavala, 24, told local media: “Before having the surgery, she received a lot of calls from the surgeon trying to persuade her to do it, but she kept saying no.

“She was thinking about letting someone else have it as a freebie but eventually she agreed to have it just get him off her back.”

The surgeon who carried out the botched procedure has reportedly been arrested on charges of negligence after Ms Cando died on the operating table while having liposuction.

Lawyer Carlos Reyes Izquierdo said: “I was told she had died of a brain edema, but the clinic staff told her relatives that she had died of a cardiac arrest.

“I have ordered cytological and pathological examinations to find out what exactly happened.

“However, it can be presumed as negligence because there has been no support from doctors who have failed to explain anything about the case.”

The tragic death follows that of Brazilian model Pamela Nascimento, 27, who also died during liposuction surgery in 2011.

The cause of her death was registered as hypovolemic shock, where severe blood loss makes the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body.

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/beauty ... 7184304326


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:01 pm 
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How Cold Weather Can Help You Lose Weight Without Exercising

Turning down the thermostat may not only help you save on your heating bill, it also could be the secret to losing weight.

Research published last year in the journal Cell Metabolism compared the calorie burn in subjects as they exercised in a 65 degree lab and then lay down on a bed chilled to 53 degrees until they started shivering.

In both tests, the subjects produced a hormone called irisin that converted sluggish white fat cells designed to store body fat into metabolically active brown fat cells designed to rev up calorie burn. Shivering muscles released another hormone, FGF21, that further boosted calorie burn.

Around 50 grams of brown fat burned an additional 300 calories daily, the study found. That’s about the same as a 30-minute jog, according the Compendium of Physical Activity.

“This is most likely not a permanent change but it can produce some weight loss,” said Ajay Chawla, a brown fat researcher with the University of California, San Francisco who was not involved with the study.

Babies are born with vast amounts of brown fat distributed over their bodies that melts away as they grow, Chawla said. In response to cold, adults may make another kind of brown fat, known as “beige brown fat,” that has been shown to reverse obesity in mice.

“Most of us are not under much thermal stress, which means brown fat production has basically been turned off in our bodies,” he said.

Using the cold to lose weight without exercise is theoretically possible by ratcheting down the thermostat to the point where you feel chilly all the time, Chawla said.

A Japanese study published last year showed subjects who donned hospital gowns and spent several hours a day in a 61-degree room lost about a pound in six weeks. Keep up this routine over the course of the year and you would expect to drop about 15 pounds without setting foot in the gym, Chawla said.

However, as Chawla pointed out, most people have little tolerance for such discomfort. They’d prefer to stay toasty warm.

“Enduring a few moments of cold each day in the winter isn’t enough to stimulate brown fat production,” Chawla said. “People may actually gain weight in colder months because they tend to move less and eat more.”

The solution, Chawla said, may eventually come in the form of a pill.

“Pharmacologically, we may be able to develop something that stimulates brown fat cells without the exposure to cold,” he said.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/cold-weath ... d=28194574


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