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  • 05/31/12--15:52: Key To A Perfect Match...?
  • They've been together for 64 years - an achievement Mel and Joey Schwanke of Fremont, Nebraska say is the result of wearing matching outfits every day.

    Talking to KETV, 86-year-old Mel Schwanke says he can't remember how the tradition started, but for decades his 81-year-old wife Joey has been laying out complementary outfits for the pair to wear each morning.


    The couple own 146 custom-made, matching outfits and Mel says his tie matches his wife's dress "every day".

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    The world is a strange place. And we have the proof right here…

    From 30 second cheeseburger chomping, genitalia and brain eating and a self-stirring pot created by a dentist – take a look at our pick of best (and most bizarre) food news from around the globe.

    man eats brain

    But if this isn’t enough weirdness for you, take a look at these:

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    Forget trying to disguise the signs of ageing with Botox, anti-ageing creams or surgery - because humans are able to sniff out a person's age through their body odour.

    According to a team of scientists, humans can identify other people’s ages based on the scent of their body odour – and contrary to belief, the ‘old person smell’ is less intense and unpleasant than the scent of a younger person.

    Researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, collected a selection of body odours by asking participants (ranging from young, middle-aged and elderly) to insert underarm pads into their t-shirts and wear them for five days.

    smell age

    The sweat patches were then cut up and placed into jars ready for researchers to sniff.

    The scents were assessed by a group of 41 'evaluators' aged 20 to 30 years old, who rated the intensity and pleasantness of each smell. They were also asked to guess the ages of the person who produced the smell and identify which odours came from older participants.

    The study found that the evaluators were able to distinguish between the three age categories but interestingly - the body odours taken from elderly people were described as less intense and unpleasant than the smells taken from young and middle-aged donors.


    The unique and so-called "old person smell" is recognised across human cultures. In Japanese it even has a special name, 'kareishu'.

    Researchers claim the change in our smell is driven by the chemicals we release through our glands and the bacteria on our skin, which varies as we get older.

    "Elderly people have a discernible underarm odor that younger people consider to be fairly neutral and not very unpleasant," explained study author Johan Lundström, said in a statement.

    "This was surprising given the popular conception of old age odor as disagreeable. However, it is possible that other sources of body odors, such as skin or breath, may have different qualities."

    Take a look at how certain smells can benefit our health...

    Find out how to get smell good naturally...

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    A commonly prescribed diabetes drug increases the risk of bladder cancer, research has found.

    Patients who use pioglitazone, a drug for type 2 diabetes, every day for more than two years double their chances of developing the disease.

    The medication for controlling blood sugar levels is known to increase the risk of heart failure, but the European Medicines Agency decided to keep it on the market.

    diabetes drugs bladder cancer

    Researchers based in Canada analysed the medical records of more than 115,000 people across the UK who were given the drug over an 11-year period and found there were up to 137 extra cases of bladder cancer per 100,000 person years.

    The results, published in the online medical journal, show that 470 patients were diagnosed with bladder cancer during the average 4.6 years of follow-up, a rate of 89 per 100,000 person years. The rate in the general UK population aged at least 65 is 73 per 100,000 person years.

    The analysis involved 376 cases, matched to 6,699 controls.


    If patients had ever taken pioglitazone they were at an 83% increased risk of bladder cancer, which corresponds to 74 per 100,000 person years.

    This increased to 88 per 100,000 person years for patients who had taken the drug for two years or more and 137 per 100,000 years for patients who had taken 28,000mg or more.

    Pioglitazone is similar to another drug, rosiglitazone, which also increases the risk of heart failure but does not increase the chance of bladder cancer.

    Dominique Hillaire-Buys and Jean-Luc Faillie, from the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Toxicology in Montpellier, France, said on "It can confidently be assumed that pioglitazone increases the risk of bladder cancer. It also seems that this association could have been predicted earlier.

    "Prescribers who are ultimately responsible for therapeutic choices can legitimately question whether the benefit-risk ratio of pioglitazone is still acceptable for their patients with diabetes."

    The data used was from the General Practice Research Database (GPRD), which contains anonymous patient records from more than 600 UK general practices.

    Researchers studied 115,727 patients newly treated with diabetes drugs from 1988 to 2009. Cases of bladder cancer were identified and matched to up to 20 healthy control patients.

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    Ignore those twinges of cynicism and embrace your inner patriot this weekend, as studies regularly show that nationalism makes people happy.

    However, how happy you feel also depends on what you’re taking pride in, noted researchers earlier this year.

    In a report for Psychological Science, Matthew Wright, a political scientist at American University, and Tim Reeskens, a sociologist from Catholic University in Belgium found that more national pride correlated with greater personal wellbeing.

    But they also noticed that those individuals who connected nationalism with respect for a country’s institutions and values, rather than race or religion, were the most content.


    Reeskens and Wright divided people who felt national pride into two categories: ethnic nationalists and civic nationalists.

    Ethnic nationalists saw ancestry—typically expressed in racial or religious terms—as key to defining their sense of identity. Whereas civic nationalists required only respect for a country’s institutions and laws to gain a sense of belonging.

    According to a statement, the researchers found that ‘civic nationalists’ were on the whole happier than any other kind of patriot.

    Wright explained: “It’s fine to say pride in your country makes you happy - but what kind of pride are we talking about? That turns out to make a lot of difference.”

    The authors analyzed the responses of 40,677 individuals from 31 countries, drawn from the 2008 wave of the cross-national European Values Study.

    They found that the wellbeing of the proudest ethnic nationalists’ barely surpassed that of people with the lowest level of civic pride.

    “There’s been a renaissance of arguments from political theorists and philosophers that a strong sense of national identity has payoffs in terms of social cohesion, which bolsters support for welfare and other redistributive policies,” says Wright.

    “We’ve finally gotten around to testing these theories.”

    The conclusion: “You have to look at how people define their pride.”

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    An antioxidant supplement called N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) may help to reduce the impact of autism symptoms, suggests a new study.

    Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital gave the NAC supplement to 31 autistic children aged from 3 to 12 years old for 12 weeks.

    During the study period, researchers focused on whether classic behavioural problems that affect children with autism - such as irritability, which can lead to involuntary bouts of kicking, hitting and biting - became more manageable.

    Researchers used the Aberrant Behaviour Checklist to measure their progress.

    autism boy

    "Today, in 2012, we have no effective medication to treat repetitive behavior such as hand flapping or any other core features of autism," said study author Antonio Harden, according to Science Daily.


    Researchers discovered a significant decrease in irritability after the 12-week period.

    Scores dropped from 13.1 to 7.2 and positive changes were noted regarding repetitive behaviour, levels of shyness and ability to communicate.

    It has been suggested in previous studies that people with autism are deficient in antioxidants.

    In the future, scientists hope to expand on their preliminary research, which has been published in Biological Psychiatry.

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    According to The Moscow Times, a field of marijuana plants has sprouted up around a metro station, after local workers planted the wrong type of seed.

    However, residents hoping for a free high won’t be in luck, as the weeds are being uprooted and an investigation is underway to determine how the mistake happened.


    The Brateyevo metro station is under construction in the city's south end, reports The Moscow Times.

    Workers had filled the area with the soil as part of the development project and the soil is now being replaced.

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    A new photography exhibition about to open in Los Angeles features subjects who have had extreme plastic surgery arranged in Renaissance style portraits.

    Phillip Toledano, the man behind A New Kind Of Beauty, is inviting us to decide whether as a species we’re using science and technology to redefine our own idea of aesthetic beauty.

    The initial reaction, from this writer at least, is a resounding no. The models, who have had a combination of collagen injections, nose jobs, eyelid lifts and breasts and pec implants look uncomfortable and unhappy, or as HuffPost US puts it, ‘almost inhuman’.


    But could it be, as Toledano contends, that we’re simply at the beginning of an “amalgam of surgery, art, and popular culture” that will eventually change what we perceive as beautiful forever?

    The contrast with Renaissance paintings is clever precisely because it demonstrates that this has already happened.

    It’s often observed that in previous centuries, men and women with fuller bodies were considered desirable, whereas today’s culture fetishizes slimness.

    What A New Kind Of Beauty seems to be asking is whether cosmetic surgery is, to use an oxymoron, a natural part of this evolution, or an aberration?

    What will our concept of physical beauty be in another 100 years time? Could the answer be in the photos below? Let us know what you think.

    A New Kind Of Beauty will show at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles between 2 June and 2 July.

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    Cardiac arrests in hospitals could be prevented if doctors recognise and act on early warning signs more quickly, a health watchdog has said.

    More than a third (38%) of cardiac arrests in acutely ill patients could be avoided by improving their assessment and response to deterioration, researchers finds.

    Experts from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) criticised senior doctors for failing their patients by not supporting junior colleagues.

    Almost half (47%) of patient assessments when they reached hospital was not good enough, the NCEPOD report shows, and warning signs that a patient was deteriorating and may suffer a cardiac arrest were seen in three-quarters of cases.

    The study, Time To Intervene?, finds that warning signs were not picked up in 35% of those patients, not acted on in 56% and not communicated to senior doctors in 55%.

    Report author and NCEPOD lead clinical co-ordinator Dr George Findlay said: "The recognition of acute illness, response to it and escalation of concerns to consultants when patients are deteriorating is not happening consistently across hospitals.

    "Senior doctors must be involved in the care-planning process for acutely ill patients at an earlier stage and support junior doctors to recognise the warning signs when a patient is deteriorating."

    Improved decision-making is also needed for when CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) should be given to a patient and when it should not, known as DNACPR (do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

    Dr Findlay said: "The lack of senior input fails patients by both missing the opportunity to halt deterioration and also by failing to question if CPR will actually improve outcome."

    Even when a DNACPR decision had been made it was not always followed, and 52 patients underwent CPR despite their explicit DNACPR decision, the report finds.

    Dr Findlay said performing CPR is the default decision doctors take where no explicit alternative exists, but pointed out: "This does not excuse lack of clarity around the role of CPR for individual patients. CPR status must be considered and recorded for all acute admissions, if not on initial admission then at the first consultant review."

    NCEPOD chairman Bertie Leigh said: "In nearly half of all the cases we reviewed there was a failure to formulate an appropriate care plan on admission and a failure, often over several days, to find out what the patient's wishes were, and to carry them out.

    "We are at a crossroads. All of us need to recognise and accept the limits of what can be achieved in medicine to the benefit of the patient and a ceiling of treatment described and agreed with the patient wherever possible.

    "Doctors should only administer CPR where a patient has consented, or if the doctor is satisfied it is in the patient's best interests."

    A Department of Health spokesman said: "Assessment and follow-up monitoring of a patient's condition when they are in hospital is obviously a critical part of delivering high-quality patient care. We expect doctors to ensure that patients are assessed effectively on admission and that changes in their condition are closely monitored.

    "It is critical that hospitals have processes in place for junior doctors to escalate their concerns to senior colleagues, and for senior doctors to work with junior colleagues on recognising the warning signs of cardiac arrest at an early stage."

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    Unhealthy Western ways of living are likely to fuel a massive surge in cancer rates around the world, experts have claimed.

    A study predicts a more than 75% increase in the global cancer burden by 2030. In the poorest countries, the rise could be in excess of 90%.

    The number of people worldwide diagnosed with cancer each year is forecast to swell from 12·7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million within the next 20 years.

    The trend is blamed on the spread of Western lifestyles to developing countries, where more people are now eating convenience food, becoming obese and smoking.


    A number of common cancers are linked to unhealthy high-income living, including those affecting the breast, prostate and bowel.

    Substantial rises in the incidence of these diseases are likely to offset falling rates of others associated with infections, including cervical and stomach cancers, say researchers.

    Scientists based their findings on a snapshot of cancer statistics collected from 184 countries in 2008.

    The incidence and death rate estimates were recorded on the Globocan database compiled by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

    They showed how cancer patterns varied according to four levels of human development, measured on a Human Development Index (HDI) scale.

    This information was used to project how the cancer burden was likely to change in 2030, taking into account forecasts of population size, ageing and national development.

    The results are published online in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

    Study leader Dr Freddie Bray, from the IARC in Lyon, France, said: "Cancer is already the leading cause of death in many high-income countries and is set to become a major cause of morbidity (illness) and mortality in the next decades in every nation of the world.

    "This study serves as an important reference point in drawing attention to the need for global action to reduce the increasing burden of cancer."

    Poor countries with a low HDI currently experience high rates of infection-linked cancers, such as cervical, stomach and liver cancers, and Kaposi's sarcoma.

    But rich countries with a high HDI, such as the UK, US, and Australia, are more afflicted by cancers associated with smoking, obesity, diet and reproductive risk factors, such as not having children.

    In both "high" and "very high" HDI regions four of these cancers - breast, lung, bowel and prostate - now account for over half the total cancer burden, the study showed.

    Almost 40% of global cases of cancer in 2008 occurred in very high HDI countries, even though these regions contained just 15% of the world's population.

    The research predicts medium HDI countries, such as South Africa, China and India, experiencing a 78% upsurge in cancer rates by 2030.

    A 93% rise is forecast for low HDI countries, including those in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Dr Christopher Wild, director of the IARC, said: "This study reveals the dynamic nature of cancer patterns in a given region of the world over time.

    "Countries must take account of the specific challenges they will face and prioritise targeted interventions to combat the projected increases in cancer burden via effective primary prevention strategies, early detection, and effective treatment programmes."

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    If you’re planning on embracing the Jubilee this weekend, here’s another reason to pick up your Union flag – waving it could burn 137 calories an hour.

    A recent study by fashion retailer and the University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science found that waving your red, white and blue flag "enthusiastically" for an hour burns off the same amount of calories that are contained in a portion of Coronation chicken.

    waving flag

    The unlikely bingo wing buster could help the nation burn off 106bn calories throughout the Jubilee and other patriotic events coming this summer, such as the Olympics and Euro 2012, suggests the fun piece of research.


    And it looks like people in the Midlands are set to have the most toned arms in Britain, as 50% admit to having their flags ready for the weekend.

    Waving enthusiastically can increase calorific expenditure by 66%, compared to standing still and not waving at all, the research suggests.

    Study author Geoff Middleton advises: “Flag waving predominately uses the muscles of the upper arms, shoulders and upper torso – so either get two flags or change your waving arms frequently otherwise you may notice the difference in your arms at the end of the summer."

    If flag waving isn't your thing, take a look at other inspiring ways to keep fit...

    Or check out how the world keeps fit...

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    Premature babies are significantly more likely than average to suffer serious mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, in later life, a study has found.

    The risk increases for those babies that are born much too soon, when a pregnancy lasts less than 32 weeks.

    Compared with normal term babies, they are three times more likely to be hospitalised for a psychiatric problem at age 16 or older, researchers found.

    Very premature babies have more than twice the normal chance of developing schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis.

    Their risk of bipolar disorder is increased more than seven-fold, while the chances of developing major depression and eating disorders are raised 2.9 and 3.5 times.

    Brain injuries resulting from birth complications are thought to cause the increased risk, however experts stressed that the chances of a premature baby having a serious psychiatric problem were still small.

    Rates of hospitalisation for psychosis are raised from two in 1,000 to around four in 1,000. The vast majority of pre-term babies turn out healthy and normal.

    Both Sir Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein were famously premature.

    However experts saw that to some extent, babies born moderately prematurely at 32 to 36 weeks were more likely to have depression, psychosis and bipolar disorder.

    In this case the risk of psychosis was raised 1.6 times, of bipolar disorder 2.7 times, and of serious depression 1.3 times.

    Researchers believe the pattern is due to the impact of being born prematurely on early brain development. However, why some children are affected and others not is unknown.

    Premature babies are also far more prone to developmental problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder and autism.

    The new research, reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry, is based on a study of almost 1.5 million Swedish birth and medical records from 1973 and 1985.

    Every child admitted to hospital with a first episode of a psychiatric disorder by 2002 was identified.

    Dr Chiara Nosarti, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, said: "We found a very strong link between premature birth and a range of psychiatric disorders. Since we considered only the most severe cases that resulted in hospitalisation, it may be that in real terms this link is even stronger.

    "However, it is important to remember that even with the increased risk, these disorders still only affect 1% to 6% of the population."

    An estimated one in 13 children are born prematurely in the UK each year. As a group, they are more likely than other children to require extra school support and to suffer a range of physical problems.

    Dr Nosarti added: "We believe that the increased risk of mental disorders in those born very prematurely can be explained by subtle changes in brain development. The immature nervous system in those born prematurely is particularly vulnerable to neonatal brain injury resulting from birth complications."

    Her team is now conducting a deeper investigation with the help of a group of men and women in their 20s and 30s who were born very prematurely.

    As well as looking for reasons why some pre-term babies are more susceptible to psychiatric problems, the researchers will also search for "resilience factors".

    Dr Nosarti suggested screening at-risk children at the age of five, using a questionnaire filled out by their parents to "flag up" potential problems.
    Colleague Dr Abraham Reichenberg, also from the Institute of Psychiatry, said: "The results of this study suggest that we shouldn't stop worrying about pre-term babies when they cross the age of seven. We should have a second stage of monitoring at a later age.

    "If their behaviour's a little odd it might suggest there is a future risk that is evolving. We just need to pay attention."

    Early identification of children developing psychiatric problems would allow them to receive appropriate treatment before their symptoms worsen.

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  • 06/02/12--07:36: *** ARTICLE BLOCKED ***
  • ***


    *** Note: Article removed by member request. ****



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  • 06/03/12--05:08: Elton Wants Another Baby
  • Sir Elton John has revealed he wants to have another baby - so his son has support when he is teased about not having a mother.

    The pop superstar, 65, said he and partner David Furnish had talked about the prospect of Zachary being targeted over his untraditional family set-up before they fathered him with a surrogate mother 15 months ago.

    In an interview with Guardian, Sir Elton said it was inevitable that the toddler would face pressure over his family life as he is growing up.

    "I think it's difficult to be an only child, and to be an only child of someone famous," he said.

    "I want him to have a sibling so he has someone to be with. I know when he goes to school there's going to be an awful lot of pressure, and I know he's going to have people saying, 'You don't have a mummy.'

    "It's going to happen. We talked about it before we had him. I want someone to be at his side and back him up. We shall see."

    The Rocket Man singer said the fact he was an only child of an unhappy marriage and spent a lot of time by himself listening to his parents argue was another reason why he wanted more children.

    During the revealing interview, Sir Elton, who will perform at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace tomorrow night, also revealed he worries about Zachary being spoilt by a global army-of well-wishers and friends.

    He said: "At Christmas we bought him a swing for the garden and a little slide, and this was his Christmas present and his birthday present from us.

    "But he had so many presents from other people throughout the world, which is touching, but we actually found it obscene."

    The star, who has been know for his extravagant lifestyle, said they gave most of the gifts to charity.

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    A new wonder drug for one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer could allow women to survive with the disease for months longer.

    The smart drug not only prevents the spread of breast cancer but its side effects are much less severe, experts at the American Society for Clinical Oncology will hear today.

    The T-DM1 drug will be used to treat patients suffering from HER2-positive breast cancer - one of the most aggressive forms of the disease.

    Research has found the drug keeps cancer at bay for three months longer than conventional treatments, while it is so precise the side-effects, such as hair loss and severe diarrhoea commonly associated with other forms of chemotherapy, are significantly reduced.

    Professor Paul Ellis, from Guy's Hospital in London, said: "These results are remarkable because for the first time in breast cancer we have been able to significantly improve efficacy while substantially reducing many of the unpleasant side effects associated with chemotherapy.

    "HER2-positive breast cancer is very aggressive and once it progresses to the advanced stage it becomes very difficult to treat, so there is a real need for new treatment options, like T-DM1, that can keep cancer at bay while maintaining patients' quality of life."

    T-DM1 could be available to patients in less than a year. But it does not yet have a licence to be administered in the UK and there are concerns the NHS will not be able to afford to pay for its widespread use.

    Dr Eliot Sims, from King George Hospital in Ilford, Essex, told the Mail on Sunday: "Is the emergence of T-DM1 going to cause funding problems? You bet it will.

    "It's been the holy grail of oncology to find magic bullets - treatments which attack breast cancer without causing side effects. This is a huge breakthrough, and it is unusual to see such dramatic improvements."