Playground paints pose risk for children: Study
on equipment in 50 playgrounds in the UK contains up to 40 times the recommended levels of lead, which may pose a significant potential risk to young children a new study has claimed. Scientists from Plymouth University analysed the metallic content of paints on playgroung equipment, including some less than a decade old. “The effects of lead on human health, including those that impact on the neurological development of children, are well-documented with regard to paint exposure in urban and domestic settings,” said Andrew Turner from Plymouth University.
New way to predict preterm births:
Scientists have developed a new method to estimate a newborn’s gestational age just using a drop of blood, an advance that may help improve medical care for babies in developing countries. Knowing if an infant was born on time or prematurely can make all the difference in deciding what medical care the baby needs, researchers said. According to the WHO, in low-income settings, half of babies born at or earlier than 32 weeks die because of a lack of cost-effective care, such as warmth, breastfeeding support, and basic care for infections and breathing difficulties. The study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Device to reduce chronic back pain:
Scientists have developed a simple, low-cost spinal fusion device to reduce chronic back pain that may help avoid the need for more invasive surgery and painful bone grafts. Researchers anticipate the innovative medical device ‘ThruFuze’ will transform spinal fusion surgery, which is used when conservative therapies such as physical therapy, medication and injections have failed. The human trials are expected to begin in Australia later this year.
Key protein may cause cancer:
APOBEC, a protein that usually fights viral infections, may also cause cancer by taking advantage of a weakness in DNA replication process to induce mutations in our genome, a new study has found. Cancer is caused by the growth of an abnormal cell which harbours DNA mutations, ‘copy errors’ occurring during the DNA replication process.