Lab Report

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 July, 2013, 11:29am

Tobacco control 'will save lives'

Tobacco control measures put in place in 41 countries between 2007 and 2010 will prevent some 7.4 million premature deaths by 2050, according to a study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation yesterday. The study looks at the effects of six measures identified by the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as most effective. They include monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies, protecting people from tobacco smoke, offering help to quit tobacco use, warning about tobacco's dangers, enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship and raising taxes on tobacco.

Lack of iron has long-term impactA long-term study has found that infants who lack iron have poorer cognitive, motor and socio-emotional outcomes as adults. In the study in The Journal of Paediatrics, researchers tracked 191 infants (12 to 23 months old) from an urban community near San José, Costa Rica. The adult follow-up 25 years later involved 122 of these subjects. The 33 subjects who had chronic iron deficiency as infants completed one less year of schooling on average and were less likely to complete secondary school or pursue further education, or get married. They also rated their emotional health as worse and reported more negative emotions and detachment/dissociation. Good sources of iron include red meat, egg yolks, dark leafy greens and fortified breakfast cereal.

Gene and not heard

Children from Southeast Asia who are late-talkers could be missing a portion of a gene, finds an international research team led by Baylor College of Medicine. The team found this trait in children from 15 unrelated families of Vietnamese, Burmese Thai, Indonesian, Filipino and Micronesian origin. The children had a chromosomal deletion that is linked with bright white spots that show up in an MRI in the white matter of the brain. Late-talkers speak only two or three words at age two, compared to 75 to 100 words for most children. But many such children overcome early speech and language difficulties as they grow. The report is in The American Journal of Human Genetics.