Lifestyle

Experimental malaria vaccine works in babies
October 17, 2007 01:14 PM - Ben Hirschler

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A study involving nearly 3,500 women in several countries suggests that Chinese herbs might be more effective in relieving menstrual cramps than drugs, acupuncture or heat compression.

Australia-based researchers said herbs not only relieved pain, but reduced the recurrence of the condition over three months, according to the Cochrane Library journal.

"All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), OCPs (oral contraceptive pill), acupuncture and heat compression," said lead author Xiaoshu Zhu from the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney.

Few Americans see quick housing market rebound
October 17, 2007 12:54 PM - Emily Kaiser, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two out of three Americans expect home prices to stay the same or drop in the next year, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday that suggests the battered housing market has further to fall.

However, the economic mood was somewhat more upbeat than it had been a month earlier, possibly reflecting recent record highs on Wall Street and the Federal Reserve's decision on September 18 to lower its benchmark interest rate.

Thirty-one percent of those polled in the monthly survey expect a U.S. recession in the next year, a tad less pessimistic than the prior month's reading of 33 percent.

Do food miles make a difference to global warming?
October 17, 2007 09:41 AM - Deborah Zabarenko -Reuters

The U.S. local food movement -- which used to be elite, expensive and mostly coastal -- has gone mainstream, with a boost from environmentalists who reckon that eating what grows nearby cuts down on global warming.

But do food miles -- the distance edibles travel from farm to plate -- give an accurate gauge of environmental impact, especially where greenhouse gas emissions are concerned?

No evidence that insoles prevent general back pain
October 17, 2007 09:36 AM - John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

There is strong evidence that using insoles does not prevent people from getting non-specific back pain, and there is insufficient evidence to say whether or not they help solve existing low-back pain, a Cochrane Systematic Review has found.

Bush hosts Dalai Lama amid Chinese outrage
October 16, 2007 07:07 PM - Matt Spetalnick and Paul Eckert, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush hosted the Dalai Lama on Tuesday despite China's warning that U.S. plans to honor the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader could damage relations between Beijing and Washington.

The White House talks were held on the eve of a congressional award ceremony for the Dalai Lama, but the Bush administration took pains to keep the encounter with the president low-key in a bid to placate China.

New Book: Communication System At Tipping Point
October 16, 2007 06:22 PM -

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Our communication system is rapidly transforming before our eyes. But we don’t have to just watch, University of Illinois professor Bob McChesney says in a new book. In fact, we shouldn’t.

“Media policy is becoming everybody’s business,” and its direction is at a “critical juncture” – possibly short-lived – when significant change is possible, according to McChesney, a professor of speech communication, media historian, and media reform activist.

In “Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media,” being published this month by The New Press, McChesney argues from his study of history that such junctures in communication are few and far between. Most of our major media institutions are the result of such times, when policies could have – and often should have, he believes – gone in different directions.

Forget the Glass Ceiling, Women Still Have A Long Way To Go
October 16, 2007 03:46 PM -

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The glass ceiling -- the once ubiquitous metaphor referring to a subtle barrier built upon biases that block women from the highest positions of leadership -- doesn't apply today, according to a new book co-written by Alice Eagly, professor and chair of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.

“Through the Labyrinth: the Truth about How Women Become Leaders” (Harvard Business School Press, October 2007) draws upon a broad range of research from economics, political science, psychology and anthropology to offer a rich picture of how far women have come in recent decades and how far they have to go to achieve equality. The book outlines conditions that differ considerably from those of glass-ceiling days and obstacles women face today in becoming effective leaders. The book also provides guidance for overcoming challenges that keep women from rising at the same rate as men.      

New Book: How Shyness Became a Mental Illness
October 16, 2007 03:30 PM -

EVANSTON, Ill. --- What's wrong with being shy, and just when and how did bashfulness and other ordinary human behaviors in children and adults become psychiatric disorders treatable with powerful, potentially dangerous drugs, asks a Northwestern University scholar in a new book that already is creating waves in the mental health community.
In “Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness” (Yale University Press, October 2007), Northwestern's Christopher Lane chronicles the “highly unscientific and often arbitrary way” in which widespread revisions were made to “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM), a publication known as the bible of psychiatry that is consulted daily by insurance companies, courts, prisons and schools as well as by physicians and mental health workers.

 

Study: Big Tobacco's War On Linking Secondhand Smoke And Heart Disease
October 16, 2007 12:46 PM -

San Francisco, California - After combing through nearly 50 million pages of previously secret, internal tobacco-industry documents, UC Davis and UC San Francisco researchers say they have documented for the first time how the industry funded and used scientific studies to undermine evidence linking secondhand smoke to cardiovascular disease.

In a special report published in the Oct. 16 issue of the journal Circulation, authors Elisa K. Tong and Stanton A. Glantz say that the tobacco-related documents they reviewed show how the industry initially worked to question scientific evidence about the harmful effects of secondhand smoke as a way to fight smoke-free regulations. More recently, they suggest, tobacco-company-funded studies have been conducted to support the development of so-called "reduced-harm" cigarettes.

Wyeth Jury Awards $99 Million: HRT Drugs Blamed For Cancers
October 15, 2007 11:11 PM -

RENO, Nevada (Reuters) - A Nevada jury on Monday awarded $99 million in punitive damages to three women who blamed their breast cancer on Wyeth hormone replacement drugs.

Judge Robert Perry, presiding over the case in the Washoe County District Court, slashed the compensatory damages to $35 million from $134.5 million on Friday, after the jury said the original sum included some punitive damages.

The new total is about the same as the original figure.

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