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Frequent exercises for backache

A new study has shown that frequent exercising can help alleviate chronic lower back pain.
The University of Alberta researchers showed that those who worked out four days a week had a better quality of life, 28 per cent less pain and 36 per cent less disability.
However, those hitting the gym two or three days a week did not show the same level of change. “While it could be assumed that someone with back pain should not be exercising frequently, our findings show that working with weights four days a week provides the greatest amount of pain relief and quality of life,” said Robert Kell, lead author of the study.
In the study, groups of 60 men and women with chronically sore lower backs each exercised with weights in two, three or four-day weekly programmes, or not at all.
It showed that the level of pain decreased by 28 per cent in programmes that included exercise four days a week, by 18 per cent three days a week and by 14 per cent two days a week. The quality of life, defined as general physical and mental well-being, rose by 28, 22 and 16 per cent respectively.

Possible cure for diabetes

Scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) have shown that restoring leptin sensitivity to a tiny area of POMC neurons in the brain’s hypothalamus cures mice deficient in the leptin-receptor of severe diabetes, and also spontaneously doubles their activity levels.
Writing about their findings in ‘Cell Metabolism’, the researchers say that their findings may help further expand the understanding as the leptin’s role in the brian’s complex neurocircuitry behind weight gain and glucose control. “This discovery suggests a new therapeutic pathway for drugs to treat insulin-resistant diabetes in humans with severe obesity, and possibly even to stimulate their urge to exercise,” says Dr Christian Bjorbaek.

Media puts kids at risk

Easy access to a wide variety of media increases a child’s risk for numerous health issues, such as obesity, eating disorders, drug use and early sexual activity, says a US expert.
Victor C Strasburger, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, says that on average, American children and teens spend more than six hours a day with media such as TV, computers, internet, video games and VCR or DVD players — more time than they spend per day receiving formal classroom instruction.
All this media access affects a variety of health issues, he said.
“The media are not the leading cause of any paediatric health problem in the United States, but they do make a substantial contribution to many health problems,” says Strasburger. He recommends that parents, teachers and clinicians need to be educated about these connections, and student education about media should be mandatory in schools.

Development of swine flu vaccine

Having issued an alert that a pandemic may be imminent, the World Health Organisation has prompted scientists worldwide to accelerate their efforts to develop a swine flu as early as possible.
“It can take five or six months to come up with an entirely novel influenza vaccine. There is a great deal of hope that biotech and pharma companies might be able to have something ready sooner,” says John Sterling, editor-in-chief, ‘Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News’.
Officials at a company called Replikins, which actually predicted over a year ago that significant outbreaks of the H1N1 flu virus would occur within 6-12 months, say that their PanFLu vaccine is ready for clinical trials.

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