what's the buzz


Atrial fibrillation is characterised by an abnormal heart rhythm.
A survey involving over 2,000 people showed that while 57 per cent of the respondents were far more likely to check their passport expiry date, only 32 per cent checked their pulse.
In addition only 28 per cent of the people knew taking their pulse was a health check they should carry out on themselves.
The British Heart Foundation has launched a dedicated phone line and new area of its website (bhf.org.uk/pulse) so people can hear examples of regular and irregular heartbeats, and get advice on how to take their pulse.
“Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that can be easily detected and treated,” said Dr Mike Knapton.

Go easy on glucose to live long, cancer-free life
Reducing caloric intake, specifically in the form of glucose, can extend the life of human cells and speed the death of pre-cancerous cells, a new study has found.
This discovery by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham could help lead to drugs and treatments that slow human aging and prevent cancer.
“Our hope is that the discovery that reduced calories extends the lifespan of normal human cells will lead to further discoveries of the causes for these effects in different cell types and facilitate the development of novel approaches to extend the lifespan of humans,” said Trygve Tollefsbol, Centre for Aging and Comprehensive Cancer Centre at the university.
“We would also hope for these studies to lead to improved prevention of cancer as well as many other age-related diseases through controlling calorie intake of specific cell types,” Tollefsbol added.
Swine flu virus could still mutate, warns WHO chief
The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stressed the need to “guard against complacency” concerning the global swine flu pandemic.
Dr Margaret Chan said the virus was still active in countries including India and Egypt and could mutate into a more dangerous strain.
“It is too premature and too early for us to say we have come to an end of the pandemic influenza worldwide,” she said.
The WHO’s director general added: “We will watch this virus with eagle’s eyes”.
Swine flu symptoms
1. High temperature, tiredness and lowered immunity
2. Headache, runny nose and sneezing
3. Sore throat
4. Shortness of breath
5. Loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea
6. Aching muscles, limb and joint pain

Superbugs develop resistance to antibiotics
A new study has shown that increased use of disinfectants could cause hospital superbugs to become resistant to antibiotics as well as the disinfectant itself.
Disinfectants are used to kill bacteria on surfaces to prevent their spread. If the bacteria manage to survive and go on to infect patients, antibiotics are used to treat them.
A research team from the National University of Ireland in Galway found that by adding increasing amounts of disinfectant to laboratory cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the bacteria could adapt to survive not only the disinfectant but also ciprofloxacin, a commonly-prescribed antibiotic — even without being exposed to it. The adapted bacteria had developed the ability to more efficiently pump out antimicrobial agents from the bacterial cell.
The bacteria was also found to have a mutation in their DNA that allowed them to resist ciprofloxacin-type antibiotics specifically.

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