'Silent' heart attacks more common So-called silent heart attacks, where sufferers aren't aware they've had one, may be far more common and deadlier than suspected, say US researchers who have developed a new technique for detecting them. Most methods can pinpoint only certain types of silent attack known as Q waves. But of 185 coronary patients with no record of heart failure, the Duke University team found that 35 per cent had suffered a silent attack. Two years on, this group had a 17-times higher risk of death from heart problems than those with no damage and an 11-times greater risk of death from any cause, Reuters reports. New paint kills harmful microbes US researchers have invented a paint that can kill superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and significantly reduce their transmission. The antimicrobial paint, designed to be used in hospitals, kills disease-causing bacteria, mould, fungi and viruses and is the most potent yet developed, say Yuyu Sun and Zhengbing Cao of the University of South Dakota. The paint remains potent for a long time and can be reactivated, WebMD reports. Sunshine for mums helps babies grow Children whose mothers were exposed to more sunlight during the last trimester of their pregnancies than normal appear to have stronger and larger bones, say British researchers, based on studies of almost 7,000 10-year-olds and their mothers. The key is probably vitamin D, and the University of Bristol team says the study highlights the beneficial role of the so-called sunshine drug. Bone mass acquired early in life helps reduce the risk of fractures in later years, Reuters reports. Fruit boosts smokers' cancer risk Smokers trying to do the right thing by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables may be increasing their risk of contracting colon cancer, say Dutch researchers, based on an eight-year study of about 500,000 people across Europe. For non-smokers, eating 600 grams or more of fruit and vegetables cuts the risk of colon cancer by as much as 25 per cent, says the team from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health. But for smokers, the risk increases, suggesting that something in the food boosts the carcinogenic effects of tobacco smoke, AFP reports. Blueberries shown to cut fat Blueberries may help reduce abdominal fat, which has been linked to heart disease and diabetes, and also lower cholesterol, say US researchers, based on studies of rats. The University of Michigan team suspects that the antioxidant-rich berries may actually change how the body stores and processes glucose or sugar. In the rat studies, the health benefits were evident regardless of whether the rodents were on a high- or low-fat diet, WebMD reports. Season and slump see suicides rise The combination of spring and an economic slowdown is potentially fatal for some people, according to a British-Belgian study of suicide worldwide. Other suicide risk factors include being a man, a doctor and a smoker. The mainland has one of the highest rates (about 20 per 100,000 people), along with Japan, Finland, Latvia, Hungary and Kazakhstan. The mainland's suicides account for 3.6 per cent of all its deaths and 30 per cent of all suicides worldwide. Far more women than men on the mainland kill themselves. Men tend towards firearms and hanging, whereas women prefer poisoning, although in South Asia they often set themselves on fire, AFP reports.