Help for local psoriasis patients
Sufferers of the chronic skin problem that results in red, scaly patches will get physical and psychological support soon. The Psoriasis Patient Group and Hong Kong Psoriatic Arthritis Association last week announced a collaboration to launch a new programme called Reborn next year to help patients overcome the social stigma they often face due to the disease. In addition to medical treatment and psychological counselling, participating patients will receive styling advice to rebuild their confidence and improve their social lives. The patient group also plans to organise public education programmes to remove misconceptions about the autoimmune disease. An estimated 20,000 people in Hong Kong have psoriasis.
Boost to IVF success rate
Peking University scientists have developed a new, safe, accurate and low-cost method that could double the success rate of in vitro fertilisation from 30 per cent to 60 per cent. In their study, published in the scientific journal Cell, the researchers describe their method: whole genome sequencing of polar bodies - cells that arise as a by-product of egg cell division and often die later on. Because polar bodies are dispensable for human embryonic development, they can be safely removed without harming the embryo. The new method detects chromosomal abnormalities and DNA sequence variations associated with genetic disorders. The researchers are starting a clinical trial to test the approach.
Poor find greater meaning in life
What the poor lack in monetary wealth they make up for with richness in life. According to a new study published in Psychological Science, people living in poorer nations report having greater meaning in life which was found to be linked with greater religiosity and lower suicide rates. Researchers examined data from the 2007 Gallup World Poll, a large-scale survey of more than 140,000 people from 132 countries on life satisfaction. People in wealthier nations were found to be more educated, had fewer children and expressed more individualistic attitudes compared to those in poorer countries. According to the researchers, religion may provide meaning in life to the extent that it helps people to overcome personal difficulty and cope with the struggles of working to survive in poor economic conditions.