According to a report in Nature, scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School have found a common chemical, poloxamer 188, used in the manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries, which can repair damage to cardiac muscle cell membranes and prevent heart failure in mice with the genetic mutation that causes Duche-nne muscular dystrophy (DMD). People with DMD die in their 20s from heart failure caused by gradual weakening of heart muscles.
Patients of asthma, hay fever or an allergic condition may have the minimum risk of developing one fatal form of brain cancer, says Judith Schwartzbaum, associate professor of public health, Ohio State University. The evidence for this relationship was found in the normal variation of two genes (IL-4RA and IL-13). The variation makes people susceptible to different diseases in different degrees. Scientists found that individuals with one or two variations on the gene can suffer from asthma, but their risk of having the brain cancer risk is small.
A British Medical Journal report says happiness in old age is not associated with lifelong intelligence. Since intelligence is highly valued by society, its relation to happiness has been taken for granted. But researchers feel that apart from greater achievement, higher intelligence also leads to greater awareness of alternatives, and this may lead to frustration. As Ian Deary, professor of differential psychology at the University of Edinburgh, says, “How your life has turned out bears no relation to your score in an IQ test recently or long ago.”
Pesticides in womb
Researchers at the Environmental Working Group, US, have found that hundreds of toxins, including industrial chemicals, pesticides, etc may be contaminating newborns. An WebMD report says that an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants were found to be in the umbilical cord blood from 10 babies who were born in last August and September at US hospitals. This indicates that the infants were exposed to the compounds while still in the womb, say the researchers who collected blood samples from the hospitals last year.