• 05 AUG 17
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    Diabetes drug may be helpful for Parkinson’s disease

    "A drug commonly used to treat diabetes could help those living with Parkinson’s disease," The Guardian reports. A small study suggests a drug called exenatide may have a modest beneficial effect on motor (movement) symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease. Exenatide is known as a GLP-1 agonist, used to help regulate blood sugar levels in

    • 04 AUG 17
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    Gene editing used to repair diseased genes in embryos

    "Deadly gene mutations removed from human embryos in landmark study," reports The Guardian. Researchers have used a gene-editing technique to repair faults in DNA that can cause the often-fatal heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This inherited heart condition is caused by a genetic change (mutation) in one or more genes. Babies born with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have

    • 03 AUG 17
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    Kitchen sponges may be a ‘bacteria hotspot’ – but no need to worry

    "Study finds just a sugar-cube sized piece of kitchen sponge can contain 54 BILLION bacterial cells," the Mail Online reports. A German study sampled 14 different kitchen sponges and found they contained far more bacteria than expected. Genetic analysis revealed the used sponges contained billions of bacteria, from 362 species-like groups called "operational taxonomic units"

    • 03 AUG 17
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    Could discovery of ‘fat switch’ cure obesity?

    "Obesity cure possible after discovery of fat ‘switch’," is the somewhat premature headline in The Daily Telegraph. Researchers have identified a "biological switch" that controls when fat cells convert fat into energy for the body. But the headline fails to make it clear that this discovery was in mice, not humans. Current thinking is that

    • 02 AUG 17
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    More older adults ‘may benefit from taking statins,’ study reports

    "Nearly all men over 60 and women over 75 eligible for statins, analysis suggests," The Guardian reports. This is the finding of a study that aimed to see how many people in England would qualify for statin use if the 2014 NICE guidelines for statin therapy in adults were followed. Statins are drugs designed to lower cholesterol,

    • 01 AUG 17
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    Calls for GPs to offer HIV screening in high-risk areas

    "Offering routine HIV tests to people when they register with new GP surgeries in high-risk areas is cost-effective and could save lives," The Guardian reports. The news comes from the findings of a large trial in the London Borough of Hackney. Researchers wanted to see if offering HIV screening to new patients registering with GP surgeries

    • 29 JUL 17
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    Reports that frequent drinking prevents diabetes are inaccurate

    "Drinking a moderate amount of certain drinks such as wine three to four times a week reduced diabetes risk by about 30%," The Guardian reports. That was the main reported finding of a Danish study looking at the impact of alcohol on diabetes risk. Researchers looked at a group of more than 70,000 people who

    • 28 JUL 17
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    Questions over advice to finish courses of antibiotics

    "Should you finish a course of antibiotics?" asks BBC Online. The question is prompted by a new review suggesting concerns around antibiotic treatment are driven by fears of under-treatment, when we should instead be concerned about over-use. Patients have always been advised to finish their course of antibiotics even if they’re feeling better. The reasons given

    • 27 JUL 17
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    Eye screening linked to fall in sight loss in people with diabetes

    "The proportion of diabetics who go blind or suffer sight loss has almost halved since a new national retinopathy screening programme started in 2007," BBC News reports. The screening programme was in fact launched in 2003 but rolled out to all diabetic people over the age of 12 by 2007. The main risk to vision

    • 27 JUL 17
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    Western sperm counts ‘halved’ in last 40 years

    "Sperm counts among Western men have halved in last 40 years," The Guardian reports. A major review of research carried out since 1973 found an estimated 50-60% drop in sperm count in developed nations. Researchers looked for studies that reported measures of either total sperm count or sperm concentration in men not known to have