Archive for February, 2009

Gallbladder removed through the vagina

Friday, February 27th, 2009

So, it’s Friday.  You’re tired and don’t want to plough through a post on some complicated issue.  Perfect time to revive my neglected Weird medical stories series then. And here’s today’s bizarre case study: surgeons at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago have successfully removed a woman’s gallbladder through her vagina. Heather Lamb, a junior high […]

Got breast cancer? Get to your greengrocers!

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Fresh fruit and vegetables can inhibit the growth of breast cancer tumors and reduce the risk of death in women who already have breast cancer, say two new studies. The first study is one of several on the effects of fresh apple extracts in rats.  Whole apple extracts have strong antiproliferative and antioxidant activities, thought […]

Financial altruism leads to depression

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Do you give cash to people who aren’t your direct family or close friends, including people on the street begging for money? A new study in PLoS One suggests that such charitable behaviour will eventually lead to major depression. Author Takeo Fujiwara found that financial altruism towards someone other than a family member or close […]

When NOT to screen for cancer

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Annual screening for prostate cancer may not be required in many elderly men, whereas routine screening for breast cancer should probably never have been implemented, say two separate studies published this week. These studies raise questions as to whether regular screening for common cancers is really necessary and, if so, in which groups. In the […]

Improving communication of medication risks and benefits in direct-to-consumer ads

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

A new study published in Annals of Internal Medicine has shown that adding a simple fact box to adverts for prescription drugs considerably improves consumer awareness of the risks and benefits of the medication.  In this study, people who examined an advert with a drug fact box were more likely to choose the most efficacious […]

Researchers identify new prostate cancer marker detectable in urine

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Researchers in the US have found a new marker of the aggressiveness of prostate cancer that is detectable in the urine of men with the malignancy.  Sreekumar et al. discovered that levels of sarcosine, a common amino acid found in many biological tissues, are higher in invasive prostate cancers than in benign cancers and are […]

Make it a DIET coke break, for the sake of your kidneys

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

New research published in PLoS One has shown that drinking two or more fizzy drinks a day can double a woman’s chance of developing signs of kidney disease – but only if she drinks full-sugar sodas. David A Shoham and colleagues studied data from more than 9,000 individuals in the population-based National Health and Nutrition […]

Nature Clinical Practice journals relaunch as Nature Reviews

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

The eight specialty-based Nature Clinical Practice journals, which form part of the medical publishing arm of Nature Publishing Group, are to relaunch in April 2009 as Nature Reviews. As well as joining the hugely successful Nature Reviews portfolio, which will increase in size from seven to fifteen titles in one fell swoop, the Nature Clinical […]