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Health & Fitness

  • Malaria ‘master switch’ found

    Researchers have discovered how the malaria parasite initiates the process of passing from human to human, unlocking a long-standing mystery. The scientists have identified the factor that the parasite must produce to begin the process of passing...

  • Diabetics in UK may get ‘useful’ new drug

    Diabetic people in England and Wales could soon be able to access a new drug which “significantly” reduces their blood sugar levels. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said that canagliflozin is a “useful” anti-diabetic...

  • Night eating disorder needs more study

    A fairly rare eating disorder whose signature is excessive eating – though not necessarily bingeing – at night needs further study since it may signal other mental health issues, researchers say. They analysed eating disorders and mental health...

  • Skin cells made into liver cells

    Scientists have transformed human skin cells into fully functioning liver cells with “extremely promising” therapeutic potential. Transplanted into laboratory mice with liver failure, the cells matured and multiplied over a period of nine...

  • Rich neighbour, poor health

    It was reported recently that the number of people below the poverty line in Malta has increased considerably in recent years. While this index is a relative one, depending as it does on the median wage of the population – which is continuously...

  • Precautionary medication

    Millions more people should be put on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to protect them against heart attacks and strokes, according to draft guidelines for the NHS in England. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says the...

  • Learning how to be positive

    Since its birth, the field of psychology has been preoccupied with what is wrong. This is not surprising given that this is a question that has dominated education, media, politics and even how we connect with each other. Apart from a few like...

  • Forgotten flexibility

    When we watch sports, we are so often impressed by the strongest and fastest competitors. Even if a participant loses, we still give them credit if they were the fastest player on the pitch, or stronger than the victorious opponent. The most...

  • Prostate test to predict risk

    Scientists show men most at risk of life-threatening prostate cancer can now be identified by mutations in their DNA and be monitored for life A collection of 13 gene defects can be used to identify men most at risk from life-threatening prostate...

  • Drug offers cervical cancer hope

    A drug that cuts the blood supply to tumours can significantly extend the lives of women with advanced cervical cancer, a study has shown. Compared with those on chemotherapy alone, patients taking Avastin typically lived nearly four months...

  • Poor sleep linked to widespread pain

    Regularly feeling tired and worn out after a night’s sleep was the strongest predictor of also developing widespread pain in a new study of UK adults over the age of 50. “In older adults widespread pain, that is pain that affects multiple sites in...

  • Frailty in old 'linked to hormones'

    Depression and frailty in older age may be linked to thyroid and stress hormone levels, two studies have shown. One research team found lower morning and higher evening levels of the stress hormone cortisol to be associated with weakness and...

  • Heart attack stem cell trial starts

    Doctors at a London hospital have started treating heart attack patients with their own stem cells in the largest trial of its kind ever undertaken. The patients at the London Chest Hospital are among the first of 3,000 participants in a...

  • Over-40s fear careers are stalling

    Workers as young as 40 fear their careers are stalling because of their age, according to new research. Many people over that age believe they are more likely to be overlooked for promotion or hit a “brick wall” in their job. A survey of 2,000...

  • Bad time to horse around

    Caring for poorly pets is always a challenge, but the bigger the animal, the bigger the problem – especially when a beast with a 30-metre digestive system starts suffering from a severe stomach ache, as Natalie Bowen finds out. Horses are a...

  • Fit for adoption

    Stray cats and dogs often suffer from poor health, and when they are picked up off the streets or from a bad home environment, they are often found to be in need of urgent medical attention. Pet home SPCA prides itself on helping transform even...

  • Neutering dogs

    Having your dog neutered eliminates or greatly reduces the chance of future health problems, but some owners are afraid to have their pet undergo this procedure due to the tendency of dogs to put on weight. This is understandable, as if left...

  • Pet peace of mind

    Having a pet comes at a price and not an insignificant one: there are food, jabs and vet fees to pay on a regular basis, besides cleansing products, toys and occasional treats to keep your four-legged happy. But there may be heftier, uncalled for...

  • Meet the ‘dog whisperer’

    When dogs misbehave, it’s often a case of nurture rather than nature, says dog behaviour consultant Robert Spiteri. He tells Stephanie Fsadni that proper rehabilitation and owner cooperation are key for a happy, normal life. Like humans, dogs may...

  • ‘Wake-up’ pill for immune system offers cancer hope

    A pill that “wakes up” the immune system allowing it to kill spreading tumours could one day bring new hope to people with advanced cancer. In tests on mice, scientists used a drug to activate natural killer (NK) cells, part of the innate immune...

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