In his latest book, ‘In Defence of Food’ (Allen Lane imprint, Penguin, 2008), Michael Pollan raises more questions than he answers. They are thought-provoking questions, though—reason enough to pick up this book. Pollan gets you looking at your supermarket buys and asking: Is that food, or a cocktail of edible non-food substances? The answers he does provide are basic enough that anyone should benefit. They work for all levels of involvement, from intensive (forage for your food) to significant (grow/make your own) to minimal (buy the least processed item, preferably vegetarian, to shorten your food chain).
The optimal treatment for fever in children is to start ibuprofen alone and then try paracetamol plus ibuprofen, a new clinical trial reports in the ‘British Medical Journal’. Alastair D. Hay of the University of Bristol, UK, and colleagues treated high temperature in 146 children (six months to six years) with either ibuprofen or paracetamol alone, or a combination of both. In the first 4 hours , the combination cut the duration of fever by 55 minutes more than paracetamol alone. However, ibuprofen alone was comparable in the early stages. After more than 24 hours, the combination reduced fever duration by 4.4 hours more than paracetamol, 2.5 hours more than ibuprofen. (Reuters)
BPL Healthcare has launched ViScope 100, a “cardiac anomaly indicator” for use by doctors. Positioned as an alternative to the traditional stethoscope, it produces an audio-visual display of heart activity that could detect cardiac abnormalities such as heart murmurs and valvular or septal defects. BPL claims the device won’t require as much practise to identify problems as a traditional stethoscope. For instance, sound frequencies that are difficult to hear can be displayed on the ViScope 100’s LCD screen. The device connects to a standard computer to record cardiac waveforms. (Staff Writer)