EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
Kate's Feed
Mar 13, 2014

‘Love hormone’ oxytocin may help anorexics fight food fixation

LONDON (Reuters) – Oxytocin, a brain chemical known as the “love hormone”, is showing promise as a potential treatment for people with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, according to research by British and Korean scientists.

In studies of anorexic patients, researchers found oxytocin altered their tendencies to become fixated on images of fattening foods and large body shapes – suggesting it could be developed as a treatment to help them overcome unhealthy obsessions with diet.

Mar 10, 2014

Scientist urges withdrawal of his own ‘breakthrough’ stem cell research

TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) – A Japanese scientist called on Monday for his own headline-grabbing study on stem cells to be withdrawn from publication, saying its findings had now been thrown into too much doubt.

The research – hailed when it came out in January as a breakthrough that could herald a new era of medical biology – was covered widely in Japan and across the world after it was published in the highly reputable science journal Nature.

Mar 7, 2014

Despite progress, tuberculosis persists in West European cities

LONDON (Reuters) – Tuberculosis is becoming concentrated among immigrants, drug addicts, and the poor and homeless in Western Europe’s big cities despite progress in reducing national rates of the disease, experts said on Friday.

The contagious lung infection, once known as the “white plague” for its ability to render its victims pale, skinny and feverish, is being well tackled at national levels, they said, but is persisting in high-risk, marginalized groups.

Mar 6, 2014

Climate change could mean more malaria in Africa, South America

LONDON (Reuters) – Future global warming could lead to a significant increase in malaria cases in densely populated regions of Africa and South America unless disease monitoring and control efforts are increased, researchers said on Thursday.

In a study of the mosquito-borne disease that infects around 220 million people a year, researchers from Britain and the United States found what they describe as the first hard evidence that malaria creeps to higher elevations during warmer years and back down to lower altitudes when temperatures cool.

Mar 5, 2014

WHO halves sugar intake advice to 5 percent of daily intake

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) – Adults should eat less than the
equivalent of 6 teaspoons of sugar a day if they are to avoid
health risks such as weight gain and tooth decay linked to
sugary diets, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.

Issuing draft guidelines calling for a new sugar limit of
less than 5.0 percent of daily energy intake, the United Nations
health agency said its recommendations were based on “the
totality of evidence regarding the relationship between free
sugars intake and body weight and dental caries”.

Mar 5, 2014

Passive smoking causes irreversible damage to kids’ arteries

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) – Exposure to second-hand smoke in
childhood causes irreversible damage to children’s arteries -
increasing their risk of heart attacks or strokes when they grow
up, according to a large international study published on
Wednesday.

The research, which lends weight to campaigns for smoking to
be banned in private cars and homes, found passive smoking leads
to a thickening of children’s artery walls, adding some 3.3
years to the age of blood vessels by adulthood.

Feb 27, 2014

Britain sets out plans for first “3-parent” IVF babies

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Britain proposed new regulations
on Thursday that would make it the first country in the world to
offer “three-parent” fertility treatments to families who want
to avoid passing on incurable diseases to their children.

The move was praised by doctors and but feared by critics,
who say the technique will lead to the creation of genetically
modified designer babies.

Feb 27, 2014

Britain sets out plans for first ‘three-parent’ IVF babies

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain published draft regulations on Thursday that would make it the first country in the world to offer “three-parent” fertility treatments to families who want to avoid passing on incurable diseases to their children.

In a move praised by doctors and but feared by critics who say the technique will lead to eugenic “designer babies”, the government said the new rules were aimed at preventing transmission of a serious disease from mother to child and would be subject to public scrutiny and parliament’s approval.

Feb 26, 2014

UK troops mentally resilient despite Iraq, Afghan conflicts

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Intervention strategies have
helped mitigate the psychological impact on British soldiers of
more than 10 years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, a new
study suggests, leaving them mentally healthier than their U.S.
peers.

But the study, by the King’s Centre for Military Health
Research at King’s College London, found some British soldiers -
particularly reservists and soldiers deployed in combat – do
seem more vulnerable to mental illness when they come home.

Feb 17, 2014

First biomarker could help boys at risk of major depression

LONDON (Reuters) – British brain scientists have identified the first biomarker, or biological signpost, for clinical depression and say it could help find boys in particular who are at risk of developing the debilitating mental illness.

In a study in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS) journal, the team found that teenage boys who have a combination of depressive symptoms and raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol are up to 14 times more likely to develop major depression than those who show neither trait.

    • About Kate

      "I cover health and science news for the region of Europe, Middle East and Africa -- from flu pandemics to the newest planetary discovery to the latest drug and research developments. I joined Reuters in 1993 and worked in London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt before moving to BBC television to work on European politics for Newsnight for 2 years. Since returning to Reuters, I have also worked as a parliamentary correspondent in Westminster and on the main news desk of the London bureau."
    • Follow Kate