Blood test may predict premature birth

WASHINGTON: US and Danish researchers said Thursday they have developed an inexpensive blood test that may predict with up to 80% accuracy whether a pregnant woman will give birth prematurely. While more research is needed before the test is ready for widespread use, experts say it has the potential to reduce fatalities and complications from the 15 million premature births per year worldwide. The test can also be used to estimate the mother’s due date “as reliably as and less expensively than ultrasound,” said the report in the journal Science.…

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Chile’s new sexual freedom leads to AIDS spike

SANTIAGO: The winds of change are blowing through Chile where a youthful sexual revolution is shattering taboos – but also sparking an explosion of HIV cases that has set off alarm bells in the traditionally conservative Latin American country. Chile has the highest rate of HIV cases in the region – some 5,816 new cases were registered last year, a jump of 96% since 2010. Young people aged 15 to 29 are the most exposed, say authorities, who are poised to unveil a new prevention plan for HIV, the virus…

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Colon cancer screening should begin at 45: US doctors

TAMPA: Screening for colon cancer should begin earlier, at age 45 instead of 50, due to an uptick in colorectal tumors among younger people, the American Cancer Society said on Wednesday. The new guidelines came after research showed a 51% increase in colorectal cancer among people under 50 since 1994, and an accompanying rise in death rates. “When we began this guideline update, we were initially focused on whether screening should begin earlier in racial subgroups with higher colorectal cancer incidence, which some organizations already recommend,” said Richard Wender, chief…

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AI better at finding skin cancer than doctors

PARIS: A computer was better than human dermatologists at detecting skin cancer in a study that pitted human against machine in the quest for better, faster diagnostics, researchers said Tuesday. A team from Germany, the United States and France taught an artificial intelligence system to distinguish dangerous skin lesions from benign ones, showing it more than 100,000 images. The machine — a deep learning convolutional neural network or CNN — was then tested against 58 dermatologists from 17 countries, shown photos of malignant melanomas and benign moles. Just over half…

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After death, Hawking cuts ‘multiverse’ theory down to size

PARIS: With a science paper published after his death, Stephen Hawking has revived debate on a deeply divisive question for cosmologists: Is our Universe just one of many in an infinite, ever-expanding “multiverse”? According to one school of thought, the cosmos started expanding exponentially after the Big Bang. In most parts, this expansion or “inflation” continues eternally, except for a few pockets where it stops. These pockets are where universes like ours are formed — multitudes of them that are often likened to “bubbles” in an ever-expanding ocean dubbed the…

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Transforming adversities into opportunities

JOIN Caroline Ward from Sydney, Australia, the Head of Brahma Kumaris Chile, a sought-after speaker, Author, Master Practitioner and coach in NLP. She has been practising and teaching meditation for the past 30 years with the Brahma Kumaris, an international spiritual university that is also the official organizer of this session. Caroline will be presenting a session on Transforming Adversities into Opportunities which will set us to explore further in areas of Self-Transformation, Inner Strength and Courage on 13th May 2018 at Brickfields Asia College (Petaling Jaya Campus, beside Tun…

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Judge orders cancer warning for coffee sold in California

LOS ANGELES: A Los Angeles judge has held up a ruling ordering Starbucks and other roasters to carry a cancer warning label on coffee sold in California. Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle on Monday finalized an earlier decision he had rendered in a case pitting a little-known nonprofit group against some 90 companies that make or sell coffee. In his ruling, Berle said that the companies, including Starbucks Corp., Keurig Green Mountain Inc. and Peet’s Operating Co., failed to prove that the health benefits from drinking coffee outweighed the risk…

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Canada: Huge merger creates pot giant ahead of legalization

MONTREAL: With the legalization of recreational marijuana looming in Canada, therapeutic producer Aurora said Monday it was acquiring rival MedReleaf Corp. in a huge deal set to create a giant company. Aurora said it would pay Can$3.2 billion (RM9 billion) as part of an all-stock deal that will leave Aurora shareholders with control of 61 percent of the resulting company. The new company will have a production capacity of 570 tonnes of cannabis a year, with nine greenhouse operations in Canada and two in Denmark, Aurora and MedReleaf said in…

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New phase of globalisation could worsen CO2 pollution

PARIS: The shift of low-value, energy-hungry manufacturing from China and India to coal-powered economies with even lower wages could be bad news for the fight against climate change, researchers cautioned Monday. As Asia's giants move up the globalisation food chain, many of the industries that helped propel their phenomenal growth — textiles, apparel, basic electronics — are moving to Vietnam, Indonesia and other nations investing heavily in a coal-powered future. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, global warming has been caused mainly by burning oil, gas and especially carbon-rich…

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Tick tock: Study links body clock to mood disorders

PARIS: Messing with the natural rhythm of one's internal clock may boost the risk of developing mood problems ranging from garden-variety loneliness to severe depression and bipolar disorder, researchers said Wednesday. The largest study of its kind, involving more than 91,000 people, also linked interference with the body's “circadian rhythm” to a decline in cognitive functions such as memory and attention span. The brain's hard-wired circadian timekeeper governs day-night cycles, influencing sleep patterns, the release of hormones and even body temperature. Earlier research had suggested that disrupting these rhythms can…

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