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PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 March, 2007, 12:00am

Chest is best for heart stoppers

Pumping the chest, rather than giving mouth-to-mouth, improves the chances of recovery from cardiac arrest so significantly, according to a Japanese study of more than 4,000 cases, that some experts are now advising against resuscitation. Chest compression helps keep blood moving, providing oxygen and nourishment to the brain and heart, Surugadai Nihon University Hospital researchers found: 22 per cent of those who received just chest compressions survived with good neurological function, compared with only 10 per cent who received both, AP reports.

Souped-up tomato a folate feast

US researchers have developed a genetically engineered tomato rich in folic acid that they say could cut the rate of birth defects and anaemia in developing countries. Folate deficiency is associated with defects such as spina bifida, heart disease and cancers, reports. Andrew Hanson, from the University of Florida, says the team now plans to develop folate-rich cereals and crops such as sweet potato. The so-called super tomato contains as much as 25 per cent more folate than ordinary crops.

Atlas on the map

A special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure - the equivalent of a combination of two medications, preliminary studies on 50 patients in the US have found. The procedure subtly realigns the Atlas vertebra - a doughnut-shaped bone at the top of the spine, WebMD reports. 'When the statistician brought me the data, I didn't believe it,' says team leader George Bakris from the University of Chicago. 'It was way too good to be true. But we checked for everything, and there it was.'

Potent plans for virility herb

Malaysia plans to market a natural alternative to Viagra: a herb traditionally used for its reputed rejuvenating and aphrodisiac properties. Tests of the rainforest plant, tongkat ali (the walking stick of Ali), on rodents show it can help boost hormone production, although no human trials have been conducted. The plant has spawned a range of products, from pills to drinks, Reuters reports, but the Forest Research Institute is now researching its potential to spearhead a biotech industry.

Jason Sankey is a tennis professional