Friday, 11 August 2017

Vitamin 'breakthrough' to cut miscarriages, birth defects

Taking a common vitamin supplement could significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects worldwide, Australian scientists said, in what they described as a major breakthrough in pregnancy research.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that deficiency in a key molecule among pregnant women stopped embryos and babies' organs from developing correctly in the womb, but could be treated by taking the dietary supplement vitamin B3, also known as niacin.

"Now, after 12 years of research, our team has also discovered that this deficiency can be cured and miscarriages and birth defects prevented by taking a common vitamin," said Sally Dunwoodie, a biomedical researcher at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.


Saliva found to have properties that help speed up the healing process

Every parent knows the first thing to do with a cut arm or scraped knee is to kiss it better.

And now there is a scientific reason to do it too. Experts say it could actually speed up the healing process as it has properties that can boost recovery, which is why cuts in the mouth heal quicker.

Professor Vicente Torres, of the University of Chile, said: ‘These findings open new alternatives to better understand the biology underlying the differences between oral and skin wound healing. We believe the study could help the design of better approaches to improve wound healing in tissues other than the mouth.’


Video: Full recording of NDP 2017

1) Full NDP 2017 recording

2) Red Lions self-recording parachuting in the air during NDP 2017 performance

Obituary: Rhinestone Cowboy is dead

Glen Campbell, who recorded the chart-topping hits Rhinestone Cowboy and Southern Nights, as well as a clutch of easy-listening favourites including award-winning Gentle On My Mind and By The Time I Get To Phoenix, passed away on Tuesday, aged 81.

He had Alzheimer's.

Dry eyes deserve attention

Tens of millions of Americans, especially women older than 50, have dry eye disease, medically known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

Images for illustration only
Over-the-counter eye drops are a crucial measure to keep eyes from becoming overly dry and chronically irritated.

Untreated, severe dry eye disease can result in scarring, ulceration, infection and even perforation of the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye that protects the iris, pupil and anterior chamber, and accounts for much of the eye’s optical power.


Tears is one of the reasons for dry eyes. They serve a variety of functions, which accounts for the kinds of complications their deficiency can cause. They lubricate the eye, supply it with nutrients and oxygen, and help to focus images and clear the eye of debris.

“We used to think that tears were like salty water — just add more liquid and you’ll be fine,” Dr Rachel Bishop, chief consulting ophthalmologist at the National Eye Institute explained. “We now know that there are many hundreds of substances in tears, including 1,500 proteins, and three main components. We try to pinpoint why a particular person is experiencing dry eye and treat that person’s specific problem.”

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