Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

Monthly Archive

Week Beginning 29 April 2002

Chatterbox Bacteria

If things aren’t bad enough, what with all those species bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics a running amok in hospitals in the country, but now it seems that our microbial enemies are apt to plan amongst themselves what mischief to perform. Believe it or not but the little devils "talk" to each other. That is if the latest UK research is accurate. For a team of UK scientists have detected bacteria sending messages to each other – a discovery that could shed some light on the spread of antibiotic resistance in hospital. Writing in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, Alan Parsons and Richard Heal, who work for QinetiQ – formerly the Ministry of Defence science laboratory – say that they grew two separate colonies of bacteria, one on food spiked with an antibiotic. They found that if a small gap was left between the two cultures, the ailing bacteria would recover. The scientists say that the only conclusion they can draw from their findings is that the healthy bacteria are sending their neighbours some kind of 'survival advice'. Hey, what’s that high-pitched giggling I can hear?

The Guardian

Hubby Knows You Know

Watch out ladies! If you are playing away from home your men folk may already know. Furthermore he might be letting you know he knows in ways you might not expect. According to the latest relationships research out of the USA women who are treated to unexpected gifts, flowers and romantic dinners by their husbands and boyfriends have a new reason to be suspicious – their partners may be trying to keep them away from other men when they are at their most fertile. Research in the US has found that women are more sexually interested in men who are not their primary partners during the period around ovulation – when they are at maximum fertility – and that their partners are at their most attentive at the same time. The findings, from a study led by Steven Gangestad, of the University of New Mexico, suggest that men may sense when women are most likely both to conceive and to think about being unfaithful.

The Times

Sore Head Linked To Bacterium

Next time you reach for the paracetamol to try to put an end to that exasperating headache you might not be resorting to the right antidote. For preliminary research has suggested that some headaches may be linked to infection with a common bug and daily doses of bacteria could ward them off. The study found that about 18 per cent of chronic migraine sufferers were infected with the stomach bug Helicobacter pylori and antibiotics appeared to clear the headaches. Adding the friendly bacteria Lactobacillus seemed to work even better, leaving most people migraine-free for a year and lessening the intensity and frequency of recurring headaches in the others, said the researchers from the University of Milan.

The Times

Longevity For Depressed Ladies

Depression is on the rise in the Western world but if the latest study from the USA is to believed low mood may help us to live longer, rather than curtail our existence. The new research, conducted at Duke University in the US, suggests that mildly depressed older women tend to live longer than those who are not depressed at all. More than 3,000 men and women aged over 65 were interviewed about their health at three-year intervals from 1986 to 1997 and separated into three categories: depressed; mildly depressed; and not depressed. The findings show that women with mild depression are, on average, 60 per cent less likely than others to die during any three-year period. The researchers say the study may support a theory, advanced by University of Michigan psychiatrist Randolph M Nesse, that mild depression may allow people to cope more easily with their problems and remove themselves from dangerous or harmful situations.

The Daily Mail

Mother’s depression may affect infant’s learning

As you might expect, there is not all good news for depression. Certainly not good news for the newborn of depressed mothers. The results of a US study suggest that 'baby talk' helps foster young infants’ learning and that when a mother suffers from depression, this form of stimulation may be muted enough to affect her baby’s development. Researchers from the University of Colorado at Denver found that while the 4-month-old infants of women without depression associated the sound of their mother’s voice with an image of a smiling female face, the infants of depressed mothers did not. The researchers claim that while these infants showed normal learning ability, the lower levels of stimulation they may receive from a caregiver who suffers from depression could nonetheless hinder their learning. The findings are published in the journal Psychological Science.

The Daily Express


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