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A2 Milk Better For The Gut Than A1 Milk

Source: Rachel Clemons via Choice Online

New Australian research suggests that consuming A1 milk can adversely affect the gastrointestinal tract compared with A2 milk.

Forty-one men and women were recruited into the double-blind, randomised cross-over study run by Curtin University in Perth over eight weeks.

For two weeks, participants underwent a ‘washout’ where they cut out dairy from their diets.

This was followed by two weeks of drinking 750mL milk per day that contained either pure A1-type or pure A2-type beta-casein milk. After a second washout, participants switched to the alternative milk for a final two weeks…Read More>>

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Spinal Steroid Injections Don’t Work, Say Experts

Source: Jill Margo via The Sydney Morning Herald

Thousands of Australians with back pain are lining up for “a quick fix” that doesn’t work and can be risky.

Last year 40,000 queued for an injection of steroids into their spine in the hope it would curb pain in their lower back, legs, neck or arms.

That there is no reliable evidence to show these injections are effective seems to make no difference.

Steroids are being injected up and down the spine for a range of pains.

A new study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine looked at one particular condition, central spinal stenosis.

With this condition, the central canal running down the spine narrows in the region of the lower back. It can cause bilateral pain which can radiate through the buttocks and into both legs.

The study showed the benefit of steroid injections for people with this condition was so small as to be clinically irrelevant….Read More>>

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Napthine Government To Introduce Sexting Laws

Source: Henrietta Cook via: The Age Victoria

People who send or threaten to distribute explicit images without consent could soon be charged, with the Napthine government introducing Australia’s first “sexting” offences into Parliament this week.

The new laws, which will be introduced into Parliament on Thursday, will ensure that young people who receive or send raunchy but non-exploitative sexts are spared from child pornography offences and being placed on the sex offenders register.

The changes are recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry that was triggered by reports in The Sunday Age of young people whose career prospects were ruined after they were caught with intimate images and placed on the register…Read More>>

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Babies Don’t ‘Start From Scratch’

Source: Anna Langova via: Medical Xpress

There’s now overwhelming evidence that a child’s future health is influenced by more than just their parents’ genetic material, and that children born of unhealthy parents will already be pre-programmed for greater risk of poor health, according to University of Adelaide researchers.

In a feature paper called “Parenting from before conception” published in today’s issue of the top international journal Science, researchers at the University’s Robinson Research Institute say environmental factors prior to conception have more influence on the child’s future than previously thought.

“This really is a new frontier for reproductive and developmental research,” says corresponding author and Director of the University’s Robinson Research Institute, Professor Sarah Robertson…Read More>>

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Do Gut Bacteria Rule Our Minds?

Source: Unknown via: Medical Xpress

It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us—which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold—may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.

In an article published this week in the journal BioEssays, researchers from UC San Francisco, Arizona State University and University of New Mexico concluded from a review of the recent scientific literature that microbes influence human eating behavior and dietary choices to favor consumption of the particular nutrients they grow best on, rather than simply passively living off whatever nutrients we choose to send their way.

Bacterial species vary in the nutrients they need. Some prefer fat, and others sugar, for instance. But they not only vie with each other for food and to retain a niche within their ecosystem—our digestive tracts—they also often have different aims than we do when it comes to our own actions, according to senior author Athena Aktipis, PhD, co-founder of the Center for Evolution and Cancer with the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF…Read More>>

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New Study Sheds Light On How Children’s Brains Memorize Facts

Source: Unknown via Medical Xpress

As children learn basic arithmetic, they gradually switch from solving problems by counting on their fingers to pulling facts from memory. The shift comes more easily for some kids than for others, but no one knows why.

Now, new brain-imaging research gives the first evidence drawn from a longitudinal study to explain how the brain reorganizes itself as children learn math facts. A precisely orchestrated group of brain changes, many involving the memory center known as the hippocampus, are essential to the transformation, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The results, which will be published online Aug. 17 in Nature Neuroscience, explain brain reorganization during normal development of cognitive skills and will serve as a point of comparison for future studies of what goes awry in the brains of children with learning disabilities…Read More>>

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Are Robots The Future of Surgery, Or A Pricey Marketing Gimmick?

Source: David McNamee via Medical News Today

Luke Skywalker had his amputated hand repaired by one. The Transformers had one that turned into an ambulance. And they have been among us on Earth, operating quietly since 1985. Robot surgeons are nothing new and they are not science fiction, though the real-life machines may not be instantly familiar to Star Wars fans. Recently, however, research has questioned whether there is evidence to support robot-assisted surgery. We investigate the issue.

In 1985, the PUMA 560 robotic surgical arm successfully assisted in a delicate neurosurgical biopsy. This marked the first documented robot-assisted surgery. Two years later, the first laparoscopic procedure – a cholecystectomy – was performed using the robotic system, and in 1988, PUMA was used to perform transurethral resection.

These landmark surgeries opened up the potential for a greater degree of precision in minimally invasive surgeries through the steady, mechanical hand of the robot…Read More>>

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Australian Students Lack Skills To Cope With Life

Source: Rebecca Barrett via ABC News

More than half of Australian students lack the skills to deal with life’s difficulties, a survey has found, with many citing depression, stress and a lack of confidence.

The study of more than 1,600 students in years 4 through to 12 by Resilient Youth Australia, a not-for-profit organisation promoting the mental health of young people, found a third of girls felt unhappy, depressed and lacking in confidence.

One in three boys reported that they were constantly under strain, while a quarter had issues with confidence.

“It’s certainly a concern,” said Andrew Fuller, a clinical psychologist and the director of Resilient Youth Australia…Read More>>

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Goodbye To Australia’s Favourite Clown Doctor

Source: Unknown via  Southern Highland News

The life of a man who lived for smiles and laughter will be remembered.

On Saturday, Australia’s best-known clown doctor and Bowral general practitioner Dr Peter Spitzer, was farewelled as he lost his battle with cancer.

Dr Spitzer was fondly known as Dr Fruit-Loop and was the co-founder and medical director of The Humour Foundation. The beloved doctor and friend became Australia’s first clown doctor when he established The Humour Foundation in 1997. The charity is dedicated to promoting the health benefits of humour to those who need it most.

Dr Spitzer was often found wandering hospital corridors around the country dressed in a funny hat and carrying a big bag of magic tricks, determined to make sick children smile. Since establishing The Humour Foundation, Dr Spitzer and clown doctors around Australia have brought smiles and laughter to more than 150,000 sick children and their families around Australia every year, when they have needed it most…Read More>>

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Mental Health Disorders on the Rise

Source: Adrianne Hill via Liberty Voice

Mental Health disorders are on the rise, and healthcare officials worry about the burden of these illnesses across the globe. Recent studies show that mental disorders and illegal drug abuse cases have risen steadily in the last 20 years. The policies to manage and alleviate the suffering of people with these disorders are not keeping pace with the growing needs of people with these issues.

Mental health and substance abuse disorders increased almost 38 percent between 1990 and 2010, and these disorders were globally the leading cause of non-fatal disease. Ian Hickie, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute, said that mental health and substance abuse are extremely large factors of death and disability worldwide.

Even with all the factors of mental disorders and illegal drug use increasing, the overall burden to the healthcare system is still smaller than that of smoking and alcohol. These two substances are responsible for around 10 percent of the burden for death and illness worldwide…Read More>>

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