Archive for May, 2011
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco will kill nearly 6 million people this year — including 600,000 non-smokers — due to the lack of governmental intervention in preventing both smoking and second-hand smoke exposure. The report goes on to theorize that by 2030, the total number of tobacco-related deaths will rise to a staggering 8 million. The United Nations has urged governments worldwide to sign up to and implement its tobacco control treaty in an attempt to curb tobacco use worldwide.
Every one of us knows what it’s like to be plagued by an unpleasant or unwanted thought. It could be a nagging self-doubt, a disturbing story from the evening news or the humiliation of being recently rejected by a potential love interest. Try as you might to block it out, the image or feeling pops up over and over again. It makes you miserable and leaves you feeling very much a virtual prisoner of your own cruel mind.
Three years ago, Chinese baby formula tainted with Melamine caused the death of six infants and over 300,000 serious injuries. After initially suppressing the information, the Chinese government made a grand gesture of eradicating the problem. The company was shut down. Some executives were even put to death. The epidemic, however, was not. The scandal reared its head earlier this year, when the product line was placed back into circulation in China.
Downgraded from a tropical storm, former Typhoon Songda is en route to bring strong winds and torrential rainfall to the Fukushima area. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the plant, has openly apologized for not being prepared to face the storm. Due to lack of progress in preparing the crippled plant for the onslaught of the typhoon, radioactive material may be carried into the air. Depending on the reach of the storm, this could mean some serious health consequences for surrounding areas.
While recent studies have shown long-term exposure to estrogen can be a danger to women – overturning physicians’ long-held beliefs that the hormone was good for their patients’ hearts – the process by which estrogen induces high blood pressure was unclear. In a new study, Michigan State University researchers found long-term estrogen exposure generates excessive levels of the compound superoxide, which causes stress in the body.
Recalling painful memories while under the influence of the drug metyrapone reduces the brain’s ability to re-record the negative emotions associated with them, according to a study published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The study by a team of University of Montreal researchers at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress of Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital challenges the theory that memories cannot be modified once they are stored in the brain.
The number-one reason people give for why they aren’t more self-compassionate is the fear that they will be too easy on themselves. Without constant self-criticism to spur myself on, people worry, won’t I just skip work, eat three tubs of ice cream and watch Oprah reruns all day? In others words, isn’t self-compassion really the same thing as self-indulgence? Before answering that question, it’s first worth considering whether self-criticism is really the great motivator it’s cracked up to be.
A new study of sportfish along the California coast shows mercury and PCBs in several popular species, some above state health thresholds but none high enough to trigger changes in fish-eating guidelines for Southern California. The study, part of a multi-year effort to examine fish in the ocean as well as inland waters, found mercury and PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenals, cancer-causing chemicals often used in electrical transformers before they were banned in 1979.
Honey has been considered an alternative allergy treatment for many years, with many allergy sufferers swearing by its anti-allergenic properties. Until recently, however, there had not been much research into whether or not local honey truly played a role in diminishing allergy symptoms, or perhaps even halting allergies altogether. A recent study found that the use of local honey resulted in a 60 percent reduction in symptoms for birch pollen allergy sufferers.
Arizona officials are taking the state’s own medical marijuana law to court. Attorney General Tom Horne late Friday sued the U.S. Justice Department and other defendants on behalf of the state and Gov. Jan Brewer. The suit asks a federal judge to rule on whether strict compliance with the Arizona law provides protection from federal prosecution or whether the Arizona measure is pre-empted by federal law.