Antibiotics can cure chronic lower back pain, say Danish scientists

Studies show antibiotics can treat chronic lower back pain.

Up to 40 per cent of patients with chronic back pain could be cured with a course of antibiotics rather than surgery, in a medical breakthrough that one spinal surgeon says is worthy of a Nobel prize.

Sunday, 12 May, 2013, 2:08am

Blood donors told they have rare bug

Regular donor Mr Chiu (left) was 'very shocked' when Red Cross doctor Lee Cheuk-kwong gave him the news. Photo: Felix Wong

Nine blood donors have received unwelcome news after giving blood to the Red Cross: they carry a rare bug that puts them at risk of colorectal cancer.

9 May 2013 - 5:45am 2 comments

Doctor remembers a family's sacrifice in donating organs

Transplanted organs can lastup to 10 or 15 years if properly taken care of. Photo: Corbis

The night of December 22, 1995 is so long ago, but it stands out in my memory. I got a call from the ICU that a 30-year-old man, involved in an accident, was deeply comatose.

6 May 2013 - 10:50am

Hong Kong fails to promote breast milk even amid formula shortage

The government has been accused of squandering an opportunity to promote breastfeeding amid the furore over shortages of infant formula. Photo: May Tse

One breastfeeding advocacy group said a special hotline and other measures aimed at helping local mothers secure formula milk actually assisted manufacturers in promoting their products and gave them direct access to mothers.

5 May 2013 - 5:03am 2 comments

Benefits of vitamin D should be crystal clear

Children walk among hexagonal rocks in Sai Kung. Photo: May Tse

Hexagonal structures are not rare in nature. For instance, the crystals in our bones and teeth, the apatites, are hexagonal. These apatite crystals contain calcium. The main fraction of calcium of our body is located in bones. Calcium comes from our food, and for its optimal absorption from intestines we need vitamin D.

5 May 2013 - 2:51am 1 comment

Forget brain food

Omega-3 fatty acids, gingko and vitamin B6 are touted as memory boosters, but a recent study suggests otherwise.

29 Apr 2013 - 9:57am

Japan drug maker Takeda loses US lawsuit

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

Takeda Pharmaceutical of Japan must pay US$6.5 million in damages to a California man who said Asia's largest drug-maker failed to warn consumers that its Actos diabetes drug could cause cancer, a jury ruled in the first of more than 3,000 lawsuits over the medication to go to trial.

28 Apr 2013 - 6:36am

Wild fungus dish left hikers near death

Tony Wu and his wife wound up in hospital after the meal. She had a liver transplant, while he recovered without surgery. Photo: David Wong

Tony Wu Tung-ping and wife Wong Ngan-lin were a fit and healthy couple. He could finish a marathon in less than four hours and she enjoyed hiking with him every weekend.

27 Apr 2013 - 4:21am

For some, running 100 miles around Mt Fuji is pure joy

The glorious Mt Fuji is the heart of this weekend's Ultra Trail Mount Fuji race. Photo: Jeanette Wang

The late Czech long-distance running great Emil Zatopek once said: "If you want to win something, run 100 metres, if you want to experience something run a marathon." I wonder what he would say about running four straight marathons (that's 42.195km each) in a row.

26 Apr 2013 - 9:43am

Health bites

Caffeine, the flavour enhancer

Caffeine, the flavour enhancer

23 Apr 2013 - 10:49am

Great E-scapes

Great E-scapes

Hunched over, a young Fruit Ninja fan squirms on his MTR seat, slicing bananas as if his life depends on it. Next to him two women share earphones, while a sharp-suited, but slouching businessman opposite frantically scrolls through his BlackBerry.

23 Apr 2013 - 10:49am

Hitting the high road in HIV fight with Aids Walk 2013

Society for Aids Care chief executive Alice Chan (second from left) with other participants in Aids Walk 2013. Photo: Edward Wong

Patients and volunteers braved the wind and drizzle to take part in a charity walk on The Peak yesterday to raise funds for HIV and Aids sufferers.

22 Apr 2013 - 4:52am

Devi Shetty's Narayana Hrudayalaya can perform heart surgery for US$800

A staff member at Narayana Hrudayalaya clinic attends to an infant while founder and surgeon Devi Shetty explains a point. Photos: AFP

What if hospitals were run like a mix of Walmart and a low-cost airline? The result might be something like the chain of "no-frills" Narayana Hrudayalaya clinics in southern India.

Using prefabricated buildings, stripping out air-conditioning and training visitors to help with post-operative care, the group believes it can cut the cost of heart surgery to US$800.

22 Apr 2013 - 5:17am

Nanomedicine could outdo surgery

The nanoparticle is made by linking amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

In 1959, the Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman predicted that we would one day be able to "swallow the doctor" to heal ailments from inside our bodies.

22 Apr 2013 - 9:36am

Lab report

Lab report

A study published last week has found that drinking just 15 millilitres of beer can trigger the release of dopamine, a brain neurotransmitter linked with alcohol and other drugs of abuse.

22 Apr 2013 - 9:45am