Beginning in infancy, people who have autism spectrum disorder observe and interpret images and social cues differently than others do. Researchers now have new insight into just how this occurs, which eventually may help doctors diagnose, and more effectively treat, the various forms of the disorder.
For some people, waking up every day means the start of persistent pain that affects their mood, thinking and relationships. This experience is more difficult when the pain doesn’t seem to have a cause; at least not a visible one.
The mice in the enriched environment, where they exercised more, lived anywhere from 16 to 22 percent longer than those in a deprived environment, depending on the level of gene expression.
A good night’s sleep is a crucial aspect to overall health and well-being, yet so many Americans are lacking in that department. A 2013 Gallup poll found that 40% of American adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep.
Scientists have warned for decades that the overuse of antibiotics leads to the development of drug-resistant bacteria, making it harder to fight infectious disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drug resistant bacteria cause 23,000 deaths and two million illnesses each year.
The food and drink young children are consuming could be putting their health at risk. In a new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, we report that toddlers are consuming too much protein and too many calories for their age, putting them at risk of obesity in later life. We also found that
"The idea that increased glucose uptake is a metabolic hallmark of cancer cells is deeply embedded in our thinking. It's the basis for how we diagnose cancer and manage its treatment in the clinic," says Gary Patti. Above: HeLa cells in culture.
One British title chose to focus on a rather different story. “Walnuts prevent heart disease,” declared the Daily Express in a huge, front-page headline. It might have had retirees rushing to buy them by the sackful.
The researchers believe depression, metabolic symptoms, and the risk of developing diabetes interact in a number of ways. In some cases, a vicious cycle may emerge with depression and metabolic risk factors aggravating one another.
"It looks like acetaminophen makes it harder to recognize an error, which may have implications for cognitive control in daily life," says Dan Randles.
Can Long Lost Data Put Heart Healthy Oils To Rest?Randomized controlled trials—considered the gold standard for medical research—have never shown that linoleic acid-based dietary interventions reduce the risk of heart attacks or deaths.
"This is a global issue rather than one that's simply isolated in China; multidrug resistance is just a plane ride away," says James Tiedje.
"If an overweight person is able to maintain an initial weight loss—in this case for a year—the body will eventually 'accept' this new weight and thus not fight against it, as is otherwise normally the case when you are in a calorie-deficit state," says Signe Sørensen Torekov.
Just because a person is afraid to take on a complicated new diet or unable to stick to a daily exercise regime, it doesn’t mean that she is inherently disorganized or lacking in self-discipline. It means that something is getting in the way.
Lynch syndrome is a common, inherited condition that affects thousands of Australians and greatly increases the risk of developing cancer. Yet 95% of those who have it don’t know about it.
Serious illness is a great calamity. It is unwelcome, violent, frightening and painful. If it is life threatening, it requires the ill person and their loved ones to confront death. Illness causes pain, anxiety, incapacitation; it limits what the ill person can do. It can cut a life short, stop plans in their tracks, and detach people from life,
Restless leg syndrome is a common affliction characterised by uncomfortable feelings in the legs accompanied by an irresistible urge to move the legs to relieve the sensations. People with restless leg syndrome often keep their legs moving by pacing or constantly moving their legs while sitting. The sensations commonly occur at
People in developed countries turn on the tap and safe drinking water flows, a dramatic health benefit they tend to take for granted. That complacency was dramatically disrupted last year when children in Flint, Michigan, started testing positive for lead poisoning and the source was traced to tap water.
Our study is the first to connect an insertion allele with vegetarian diets, and the deletion allele with a marine diet,. A genetic variation has evolved in populations that have eaten a plant-based diet over hundreds of generations, such as in India, Africa, and parts of East Asia.
For decades, medicine has recognised the powerful way grief can influence the heart. It’s been called Broken Heart syndrome or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and evidence that severely stressful life events increase the risk of acute cardiovascular incidence, like a heart attack,
A large portion of the seafood consumed in North America is farmed. But the food those fish eat increasingly includes more crop-based ingredients, like corn, soy, and wheat.
A new TV show would have us believe a powerful hypnotist can make us do whatever he says while we are powerless to resist or even realise. Channel Nine’s new game show You’re Back in the Room debuted to high ratings on Sunday night.
As a young child I recall my grandmother giving me the largest spoonfuls of cod liver oil, coaxing me with the promise of an equally large spoonful of golden syrup. It was probably a throwback to her own childhood when the post-war government sought to provide infants with a cod liver oil supplement.
Poor sleep can make us feel down, worried and stressed. So it’s no surprise that how well we sleep has a direct impact on our physical and mental health. Sleep problems such as insomnia are a common symptom of many mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
If you ask someone to name famous people (fictional or non-fictional) who are known for having autism or being “on the spectrum”, Rain Man is often the top favourite, possibly followed by Sherlock Holmes (especially in his recent incarnation by Benedict Cumberbatch). Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory is another.
Nutritional guidelines and recommendations are constantly changing in the light of new research. It can be difficult to keep up with which foods are healthy and which aren’t. Here we look at five foods that have gone through the cycle of being the villains of nutritional science but are now, based on some old and some new science, apparently okay to eat again.
So much for the decades in which fats and oils were public enemy number one on our dinner plates. There is more and more evidence that sugar – or more precisely, carbohydrate – is behind our increasing rates of obesity and heart disease.
Cyclists are facing tougher penalties in New South Wales as part of new rules introduced in March 2016. While there are many changes, some of the more vague are increased fines for riding a bicycle “furiously, recklessly,
The Dutch famine of 1944 was a terrible time for many in the Netherlands – with around 4.5m people affected and reliant on soup kitchens after food supplies were stopped from getting into the area by German blockades. As many as 22,000 people were thought to have died, and those who survived would find...
More cities than previously assumed could soon be grappling with Zika virus if two species of mosquitos are found to be equally effective carriers of the disease. A new interactive map shows the relative risk for 100 cities worldwide, including many US locations.
The main aim of the UK’s new tax on sugary soft drinks is to reduce obesity in children. But, apart from causing child – and adult – obesity, too much sugar also increases the risk of many serious diseases, from cancer to heart disease. And sugar’s calories provide only part of the explanation.
To squeeze or not to squeeze? I’ll admit that I’m no skin saint. I have stood in front of the mirror on a number of occasions as a teenager with a big pimple staring right back at me. And yes, despite being advised not to, I have squeezed, picked and popped.
Last month, the UK health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, called childhood obesity “a national emergency”, but the government has once again delayed publishing its strategy aimed at combating it. Obesity is much more common in people with less money and education and this socioeconomic gap is getting larger.
Good news. Taking a break from your diet every so often will help you lose weight in the long term.How many times have you attempted to lose weight only to fall short and fail? For many people it is extremely challenging to stick to a strict dietary and exercise program for more than a few weeks.
Are you a short man or an overweight woman? If so, you may have a slight disadvantage in life compared with taller men and thinner women. Our latest study has found evidence that men who are shorter due to their genes have lower incomes, lower levels of education, and lowlier occupations than their taller counterparts.
The industrial chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) is an ingredient in dozens of everyday products – baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental filling sealants, CDs and DVDs, household electronics, eyeglass lenses, foundry castings and the lining of water pipes. Manufacturers worldwide use at least 3.6 billion kilograms (8
Most people know sleep is important. But few know a lack of it can put us at greater risk of heart disease and obesity. Many of us don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. It might be due to a sleep disorder, busy social life, new baby, long working hours, shift work or just staying up too late binge-watching Netflix.
It is well known that babies born naturally – read that as vaginally – are exposed to lots of beneficial bacteria known as microbiota when they travel down the birth canal. Included in the mix are bacteria which help babies digest their first meal.
"PET scanning is a great technology and very effective, but using it in this way doesn't seem to make any difference for these cancers that have a relatively poor prognosis," says Mark Healey
Suppose you discovered that some past prescription a GP gave you was actually a placebo. The treatment made you feel better, but now you know that the perceived benefit was really a placebo effect. Would you be upset at the deception, or pleased the doctor had found a way to help you?
If you’ve eaten a fabulous meal recently, the experience was pleasant, comfortable and pain-free because your stomach and intestinal system worked seamlessly to move the food along and eventually absorb it.
The debate about whether or not talcum powder causes ovarian cancer has rumbled on for decades. However, it recently reached fever pitch after a US court awarded damages to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer, allegedly as a result of having used talc as a feminine hygiene product for many years. Does that mean women should avoid using talcum powder?
A 2011 British survey found 12% of women would give up two to ten years of their lives just to be their ideal weight, while 29% of men think about their appearance at least five times a day. So what makes an ideal body, and why do we want one so badly?
Food craving is an intense desire to consume a particular food that is difficult to resist. This is different from hunger, as consumption of any number of foods satisfies hunger. Food craving is an intense desire to consume a particular food that is difficult to resist. This is different from hunger, as consumption of any number of foods satisfies hunger.
Many types of red meat and red meat products are available, from farmers' markets, to supermarkets, to restaurants. The impacts of their production and consumption on human health, animal welfare and the environment are complex.
Obesity is a major breast cancer risk factor in postmenopausal women, and scientists believe increased inflammation is an important underlying cause.
We all know exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and most will agree kids should be doing more of it. However, a recent study found while parents are positive about their children engaging in aerobic activities (running, playing sports), they have much more negative views when it comes to strength exercises.
Everyone loves a study that turns one of our favourite vices into a health benefit. This week, the news headlines tell us “eating chocolate improves brain function” and that it “could help protect against normal age-related decline”.
My heavily pregnant wife went to see her GP last week for a routine check-up. During her appointment, the doctor measured her blood pressure and got a high reading. My wife was surprised by this and insisted that she felt fine, so he took a second reading. But that was high, too. The doctor was concerned enough to book her a follow-up
The list of over-the-counter dietary and weight loss supplements is exhaustive, with the majority based on scant supporting evidence from studies conducted in humans to support their claims. Weight-loss products make up one of the largest growing markets in the world.
Billy Connolly picked up a special recognition award at the recent National Television Awards for 50 years in the entertainment industry – but it was the effects of the comedian’s illness that shaped the headlines.
Marital resemblance is the degree to which we marry people who resemble us in some characteristic or another.Is it true that like attracts like? When it comes to mental health, it seems the answer is yes.
There are many reasons why some people live long healthy lives while others don’t, but one of them is undoubtedly genes. That doesn’t mean we should be negative about our chances of ageing in good health. Although our genes are handed down from our parents, the hand that we are dealt seems to be influenced by our lifestyle, too. Food,
Researchers at CSIRO and University of Queensland have developed an app called Harlie that is designed to chat with humans. Unlike Siri and Google Now – which are designed to answer specific questions – Harlie is designed for small talk.
Who doesn’t like a ready meal once in a while? People in the UK certainly do: consumption of ready meals and convenience meat products has increased five-fold over the last 40 years, according to the latest National Food Survey on UK food-buying habits. High levels of calories and fat in some of these products can
"If you weigh 200 pounds, you will be doing yourself a favor if you can lose 10 pounds and keep it off," Samuel Klein says. "You don't have to lose 50 pounds to get important health benefits."
Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia, with one in three adults using it at some point in their life. It’s legal in some places around the world, and offered medicinally in others. But what does smoking pot do to your mental health?
Over time, excessive drinking can lead to several chronic conditions, such as fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. But there’s new evidence that aerobic exercise may protect the liver.
The story of how psychology framed women for their own assaults began, as so many of psychology’s stories do, with some trapped animals. In the late 1960s, psychologist Martin Seligman conducted a series of behavioural experiments with dogs. He electrically shocked them at random and observed their responses.
One of the great and enduring mysteries of autism is what causes the brain to develop so differently. The behavioural differences of many individuals with autism are so apparent that it seems intuitive that the causes would also be obvious.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has become a byword for unbiased, evidence-based healthcare advice. Its recommendations strongly influence which treatments are made available on the NHS. We wouldn’t expect NICE to make recommendations that are unsupported by evidence or, worse, contain contradictory evidence.
In 2100, I will be 117 years old, and my younger sisters will be 112 and 107. According to the Cambridge academic, Peter Laslett, we can now live to such ages, but those of us who do will be experiencing the fourth age, “an era of final dependence, decrepitude and death”. Not quite the dream
In the film The Martian, Matt Damon’s character, Mark Watney, is stranded on the red planet with nothing to eat but spuds. Now, a 36-year-old Australian is following the same diet, voluntarily. In an attempt to lose weight and improve his relationship with food, Andrew Taylor has decided to eat nothing but potatoes for a year.
Last night’s Four Corners focused on party drugs and the policies Australia is implementing to combat their use. Not only is what we’re doing not working, we’re falling behind the rest of the world and what evidence says is best to ensure we have fewer deaths from illicit drugs.
Every year in the United States, about 226,000 people are hospitalized because of the flu, and 23,000 die. And about 80-90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in people over 65 years old.
Passing on our genes to the next generation is the key process in evolution that happens through natural selection. So why do women suddenly stop having periods when they have at least a third of their lives left
In the middle of the last century, popular nutrition author Adelle Davis advised people to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. Her advice stuck. Recent examination of the merits of adults eating breakfast has raised the question of whether we should indeed eat like kings at breakfast or just skip it all together.
We all know that cola and lemonade aren’t great for our waistline or our dental health, but our new study on rats has shed light on just how much damage sugary drinks can also do to our brain. The changes we observed to the region of the brain that controls emotional behaviour and cognitive function were more extensive than those
"The brain is incredibly complex, so it's reasonable to expect that introducing changes from a different evolutionary path might have negative consequences," says Corinne Simonti.
A common surgery to treat vaginal prolapse using an artificially grafted mesh has more problems than benefits, our Cohrane review has found. Women who underwent the operation had high rates of needing repeat surgery due to mesh exposure, bladder injury and urinary incontinence.
Don’t limit yourself to grapefruit – increasing the amount and variety of fruit and vegetables can help you lose weight. Monday – start diet. Tuesday – break diet! Wednesday – plan to start again next Monday.
Multiple sclerosis affects millions of people worldwide. It’s a neurological disease characterised by inflammatory lesions in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) that cause damage to the myelin sheath – the protective layer around the nerve cells. This causes neurological dysfunction, such as muscle paralysis or loss of sensation.
Do the same rules that govern human attraction also apply to our choices of fruit and vegetables? Plenty of evidence suggests we do look for similar traits in both people and produce, and our perceptions of food are clearly affected by what
A new study has uncovered a strong link between schizophrenia and the likelihood of attempting suicide. The risk is particularly high for women, people with substance abuse issues, and those who were abused when they were children.
Scientists have discovered a way to make a nasal spray flu vaccine safer for those who are at greatest risk of catching the flu, particularly infants under the age of 2.
A new water filter can remove toxic heavy metal ions and radioactive substances in just one pass.
Urinary incontinence is often seen as a degrading condition and women can feel too ashamed to seek help. Urinary incontinence is urine leakage from a loss of bladder control that mainly affects women
What’s the worst thing you could be burdened with this Valentine’s Day? Unrequited love? Unwanted affection? Unpaid invoice from the local florist? How about an itchy dose of pubic lice? Pubic lice, Phthirus pubis, or “crabs” as more commonly...
The ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan has highlighted just how harmful lead contamination is. What you may not realize, however, is that lead exposure is a problem throughout the U.S.
Catastrophe is looming for the banana industry. A new strain has emerged of a soil-borne fungus known as “Panama disease” which can wipe out entire plantations – and it is rapidly spreading around the world. Farmers in Australia, Latin America and across Asia and Africa all fear the worst.
Public health authorities are forever telling us how much we should weigh, but one essential element is missing: shape.
No one says it better than Dick Van Dyke in his new book Keep Moving. The secret to maintaining lasting agility lies in joyful movement. Van Dyke turns a very vibrant 90 years old this year, and he continues to not only hit the gym every day, but to dance every chance he gets -- not for the exercise, but simply because he enjoys it!
We have an absolute moral imperative to alleviate human suffering. Most of all for children. How a society treats its children is a benchmark of humanity. And our success in medical science is astounding.
"For some individuals, this simple nutritional supplement might really help reduce the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder. Any progress on the prevention front would be welcome given the number of people affected," says Zhigang Xie.
What do you know about your endocrine system? Possibly not as much as you should, seeing as how almost every organ and cell in the body is affected by it. This under-appreciated collection of glands selects and removes materials from the blood, processes them and secretes the finished chemical products, or hormones, back into the bloodstream.
The world’s oldest man, Yasutaro Koide recently died at the age of 112. Commentators as usual, focused on his reported “secret to longevity”: not smoking, drinking or overdoing it. No surprises there. But speculation on the basis of one individual is not necessarily the most helpful way of addressing this human quest for the Philosopher’s Stone.
It’s that time of year when we raise a glass to celebrate Christmas, the beginning of holidays, the new year, or simply to join with our friends. Many of us will pay a price, even if it’s “just” in the form of a hangover.
Over the last few decades, medicine has witnessed a sea change in attitudes toward chronic pain, and particularly toward opioids. While these changes were intended to bring relief to many, they have also fed an epidemic of prescription opioid and heroin abuse.
From October 2015 to January 2016, there were almost 4,000 cases of babies born with microcephaly in Brazil. Before then, there were just 150 cases per year.
"The simple step of incorporating weight history clarifies the risks of obesity and shows that they are much higher than appreciated," says Andrew Stokes.
People don’t read diet books just to lose weight. They serve as both “myths and manuals” for a better world, a new analysis of contemporary diet books suggests.
Sleeping in over the weekend is one of life’s great pleasures. Yet some of us are much better at it than others. A teenager is much more likely to emerge from their bed at midday than their middle-aged parents – but even within age groups, individual differences exist.
One in every ten babies in Melbourne develops a food allergy during their first year of life. New research has found children who are born with overly active immune cells are more likely to develop allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat and other common foods. This finding could lead to future treatments for babies to prevent childhood food allergies.
Everything happens for a reason, including health challenges of the mind and body. Although this may be difficult to accept, my view is that we make ourselves sick and miserable looking for love and attention outside ourselves.
The British government’s new guidelines advise reducing alcohol consumption to 14 units a week for both men and women and bluntly state that, for some cancers of the mouth, throat and breast, “risk increases with any amount you drink”
Until now, medicine has been a prestigious and often extremely lucrative career choice. But in the near future, will we need as many doctors as we have now? Are we going to see significant medical unemployment in the coming decade?
Scientists are taking a closer look at the main breakdown product of aspirin, called salicylic acid, and its potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.