Health & Science

Health & Science
Sunday, September 13th 2015 - 12:23 UTC

Sperm whales are highly communicative but have different 'dialects'

Cantor explained that it is rare to observe two clans of the same species that live so close to one another, but communicate differently (Pic J.Modigliani)

Sperm whales are very social marine animals and they travel in close groups and communicate by using a pattern of clicks, also known as codas. Similar to humans, the whales use varying dialects worldwide. A recent study of two sperm whale clans living in fairly close proximity off the Galápagos Islands sheds light on animal cultures.

Wednesday, August 19th 2015 - 07:30 UTC

US approves a libido-enhancing drug for women, to be marketed as “Addyi”

The pill is designed to assist premenopausal women regain their sex drive by boosting levels of certain brain chemicals, but the drug has been criticized

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a libido-enhancing drug for women that has been dubbed “Female Viagra”. Flibanserin, a drug produced by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, recently passed an FDA advisory committee meeting.

Friday, August 7th 2015 - 05:18 UTC

Scottish lab identifies “super-algae” to make bio-fuels for vehicles and aircraft

Dr. Stephen Slocombe said that in order to produce bio-fuels from micro-algae “we need to know which strains will produce the most oil.”

Researchers at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) have unlocked a treasure chest of ‘super-algae’ that could provide a previously untapped source of oil. Using a newly devised technique, scientists examined micro-algae strains in the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP), an internationally important algal store based at SAMS in Oban, to find out which ocean-based strains had the highest oil content.

Friday, July 24th 2015 - 00:23 UTC

World Health Organization calls for urgent action to curb hepatitis

WHO is alerting people to the risks of contracting hepatitis from unsafe blood, unsafe injections, and sharing drug-injection equipment.

On World Hepatitis Day (28 July) the World Health Organization highlights the urgent need for countries to enhance action to prevent viral hepatitis infection and to ensure that people who have been infected are diagnosed and offered treatment. This year, the Organization is focusing particularly on hepatitis B and C, which together cause approximately 80% of all liver cancer deaths and kill close to 1.4 million people every year.

Wednesday, July 8th 2015 - 01:05 UTC

WHO: Stepped up government tax action needed to curb tobacco epidemic

“Raising taxes on tobacco products is one of the most effective ways to reduce consumption of products that kill”, Dr Margaret Chan said.

Too few governments levy appropriate levels of tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. They therefore miss out on a proven, low-cost measure to curb demand for tobacco, save lives and generate funds for stronger health services, according to the World Health Organization’s Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic-2015.

Wednesday, July 1st 2015 - 20:27 UTC

Lack of sanitation for 2.4 billion people undermining health improvements

“To benefit human health it is vital to further accelerate progress on sanitation, particularly in rural and underserved areas,” according to Dr Neira.

Lack of progress on sanitation threatens to undermine the child survival and health benefits from gains in access to safe drinking water, warn WHO and UNICEF in a report tracking access to drinking water and sanitation against the Millennium Development Goals.

Wednesday, June 24th 2015 - 07:48 UTC

World Medical Association welcomes report on climate change and health

“We physicians, have the opportunity to help the public and decision-makers better understand the health implications of climate change”, said Dr. Xavier Deau

The World Medical Association welcomed the Lancet Commission's latest report on climate change, which it says reiterates the serious concerns of physicians that climate change poses an unacceptably high threat to health.

Sunday, June 21st 2015 - 14:27 UTC

US gives food manufacturers until 2018 to remove artificial 'trans' fats

“FDA’s action on this major source of artificial trans fat shows the agency’s commitment to the heart health of all Americans” said Stephen Ostroff, M.D.

Based on a thorough review of the scientific evidence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized its determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial 'trans' fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS for use in human food. Food manufacturers will have three years to remove PHOs from products, said FDA.

Thursday, June 18th 2015 - 05:10 UTC

Nestle will destroy more than 50m dollars of Maggi noodles in India

The company insists that the noodles are safe and is challenging the ban. Nestle has 80% of India's instant noodles market.

Nestle says it will destroy more than $50m worth of its hugely popular Maggi noodles, following a ban imposed by India's food safety regulator following tests have found the instant noodles “unsafe and hazardous” and has accused Nestle of failing to comply with food safety laws.

Monday, June 15th 2015 - 05:44 UTC

Immunotherapy could replace chemotherapy in a few years

“The evidence suggests we are at the beginning of a whole new era for cancer treatments”, according to Professor Peter Johnson.

Immunotherapy, a new cancer treatment that trains the immune system to attack cancerous cells, is being hailed by experts as the biggest step forward since chemotherapy, which some claim it could replace within five years.

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