‘Digital health’ movement in focus at tech show

The Consumer Electronics Show has traditionally been the preserve of computers and high-tech television, but specialised health gadgets and applications are making inroads on the world’s biggest technology show. Photo: AFP

With an app, a game or a gadget, technology startups and major companies across all sectors are trying to tackle some of the thorniest problems in health and medicine.

Friday, 11 January, 2013, 12:41pm

Insulin breakthrough may end daily jabs for diabetics

Lead researcher and Associate Professor Mike Lawrence examining modes for docking insulin into a three-dimensional structure of the human insulin receptor ectodomain in Melbourne. Photo: AFP

Research mapping how insulin works at a molecular level could open the door to novel new diabetes treatments, ending daily needle jabs for millions, scientists said yesterday.

A team in Melbourne, Australia has been able to lay out for the first time how the insulin hormone binds to the surface of cells, triggering the passage of glucose from the bloodstream to be stored as energy.

11 Jan 2013 - 4:33am

CCTV report claims that sharks are in restaurant kitchens, not in the soup

CCTV reveals restaurants using fake shark fins that may be toxic.

There's something fishy about the shark-fin soup found at various restaurants in Beijing, Zhengzhou and Nanjing, and not in a good way. It might not actually contain shark and could be toxic, according to an exposé by a state broadcaster yesterday.

9 Jan 2013 - 5:46am

Healthy Gourmet: Running lean on greens and beans

Andrea Oschetti has resolved to return to the shape he was in for the 2009 New York City Marathon.

A sustainable weight loss can come only from a metabolic change. How to induce this change is difficult to know, not only because the science is still in its infancy, but because we are each unique and respond differently to food.

8 Jan 2013 - 2:58pm

Fat people have lower death risk, study shows

Study finds that being slightly overweight, and even mildly obese, can increase life expectancy.

It's a common medical refrain: carrying extra kilos raises the risk of ills such as heart disease and diabetes and therefore the risk of premature death. But does that heightened risk of early death apply across the board to those who are merely overweight?

4 Jan 2013 - 9:24am

Shenzhen hotpot found with high levels of preservatives

Survey finds Shenzhen hotpot laced with preservatives

Unacceptable levels were found in samples from hotpot restaurants across the city, a popular dining destination for Hongkongers. A possible carcinogen banned in food production was also found in samples.

3 Jan 2013 - 10:57am 3 comments

Doctor suspended for 8 months over misleading beauty centre adverts

Doctor suspended for 8 months over misleading beauty centre adverts

A doctor who founded two beauty treatment centres had his licence removed for eight months, the heaviest penalty in recent years, for unauthorised advertisements by doctors.

3 Jan 2013 - 4:30am 1 comment

Short Science, December 30, 2012

A study found that two cups of milk a day was the right balance to maintain sufficient vitamin D without affecting iron levels.

One of the key compounds in green tea is Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, a potent antioxidant, which supporters say reduces fat gain and enhances fat-burning.

30 Dec 2012 - 7:12am

Studly links breathing disorders to insomnia

Breathing factor forces rethink on treating insomnia.

Insomnia is a disorder in which the sufferer is unable to fall asleep, or stay asleep, as long as desired. Sometimes insomnia is a transient condition due to emotional stress, anxiety or a response to certain medications or medical conditions.

Insomnia without any known cause is termed as primary insomnia. Chronic insomnia is diagnosed if the condition lasts for longer than a month.

30 Dec 2012 - 3:54am

Pharmacists warn against trusting hangover cure drugs

Some people might also be allergic to the substances in the “remedies”, says a warning from two pharmacy groups. Photo: Felix Wong

With the party season in full stride, revellers should be careful not to misuse drugs that are said to ease hangovers and prevent pregnancy, pharmacists warned on Thursday.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Stigma of epilepsy makes sufferers hide condition

Former Scottish rugby international Tom Smith (in orange) speaks openly about his epilepsy. Photo: AFP

I have taught several students who were epileptic. Interestingly, no parent has notified me about how they would like their child to be cared for should they have a seizure in class.

23 Dec 2012 - 11:50am

Too many women are still dying in childbirth

Every Mother Counts founder, Christy Turlington Burns (far right), visits village women in Bangladesh. Photo: CARE

After a harrowing 36 hours delivering her daughter, Michelle Thompson faced yet another complication. Her cervix tightened so much that she suffered a retained placenta. It was a potentially life-threatening development as the tissue, if left untreated, could have become infected and led to haemorrhage.

23 Dec 2012 - 12:25pm

Solo rock stars more likely to die young, study says

Elvis Presley. Photo: AP

Solo rock stars are twice as likely to die prematurely as those who perform in groups. British researchers examined the fate of 1,489 rock and pop stars who rose to fame in a period spanning half a century, from Elvis Presley in 1956 to the Arctic Monkeys in 2006.

21 Dec 2012 - 3:53am

Shanghai researchers identify bacteria linked to obesity

Mainland researchers have identified a bacteria which may cause obesity.

A new paper suggests diets that alter the presence of microbes in humans could combat the condition.

Researchers in Shanghai found that mice bred to be resistant to obesity even when fed high-fat foods became excessively overweight when injected with a kind of human bacteria and subjected to a rich diet.

20 Dec 2012 - 4:12am

Childhood obesity still a problem in Hong Kong

The percentage of students deemed overweight has continued to drop but the rate is still significantly higher than 16.4 per cent 15 years ago. Photo: Reuters

Childhood obesity is a problem that has not received the attention it deserves. There is a common but dangerous misperception that an extra few pounds at a younger age does no harm. Some parents even find chubby children more adorable and are quite happy to see their waistlines grow more than they should.

20 Dec 2012 - 3:03am