Hadn’t noticed myself

Men with beard have more gems than dogs

I don’t think I got richer than the pooch when I grew my beard. Or, rather, stopped shaving out of boredom at having to.

Men’s beards carry more germs than dogs do in their fur, a study has found. Scientists looked at the levels of bacteria lurking in 18 men’s facial hair and 30 dogs from different breeds.

‘The researchers found a significantly higher bacterial load in specimens taken from the men’s beards compared with the dogs’ fur,’ Professor Andreas Gutzeit, of Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic, said.


Two uteri, wonder how that works?

A 20-year old Bangladeshi woman was in for an overwhelming surprise last week when she delivered twins, 26 days after having given birth to a boy.

According to news reports from Dhaka, Arifa Sultana Iti from Sharsha Upazila was rushed to the Khulna Medical College hospital in nearby Jessore on 25 February, following complications with her pregnancy.

Within hours, she gave birth to a premature baby boy through normal delivery and returned home soon after with her baby. But the doctors had missed the presence of her second uterus.

No, I know roughly how the second uterus existing works.

However, ain’t it hormones that leads to the actual birth? Contractions, cervix opening and all that? And while there are two uteri there’s only one bloodstream carrying hormones. So, why don’t the two uteri go into birthing mode at the same time?

One obvious answer is dunno given the rarity of the underlying uteri doubling. But anyone know more?

Hmm, yes, well

Infertility could increase the chance of cancer in mid-life by almost a fifth, research suggests.

The reporting here, actually quite good.

But the four-year study of women who were in their 30s when monitoring began, found that those who suffered infertility problems were 18 per cent more likely to develop any type of cancer during the period.

Researchers stressed that the overall risk of cancer at this stage in life remained low.

Overall, those with fertility problems had an absolute risk of 2 per cent, compared with that of 1.7 per cent among other women.


However, I wonder.

During the follow-up period there were 1,310 cancers diagnosed among the infertile women and 53,116 among the control group of women who were not infertile.

Breast cancer was the most common cancer in both groups.

The single largest risk factor for breast cancer is – I think I recall at least – not having brought a child to term and then nursed it.

So, I wonder, I wonder If we run this again with the infertile – presumably, those with no children – against the fertile but exclude those who already have children?

Didn’t we find out last time?

More than 100 children a day are having rotting teeth removed in hospital, when nine in ten cases could have been prevented, new figures show.

Children aged five and under accounted for 14,545 tooth extractions in 2017/18 in England, with most of those – 12,783 – as a result of tooth decay.

The rules changed meaning that extractions are now in hospital, not the dentist’s chair?

No it isn’t

The answer is that our healthcare system is currently undergoing the greatest structural market reform in the history of its existence, and it’s happening along American healthcare lines.

There’s nothing American at all about how the NHS is being reorganised.

True, ACOs exist in the US. But they’re an attempt to move the US health care system in a more European – continental Europe, not the NHS – direction.

Quite apart from anything else they’re found in Medicare – government paid for medical services.

A question

Why is it that when people propose US government health care it’s always Medicare for everyone and not Medicaid for everyone?

Might we have an admission here that government health care isn’t always lovely?

No, really, this is very interesting

England will have no new cases of HIV by 2030, Health Secretary says

That’s toss of course. Even if we limit the statement to no new transmissions within England as opposed to tourist activities etc. We don’t even manage that with measles let alone HIV. But this bit is fascinating:

“Today we’re setting a new goal: eradicating HIV transmission in England by 2030,” he will tell the event in London, pledging £600,000 of funding towards the efforts.

Technology marches on and now HIV transmission is a trivia, a rounding error on the state, even health, budget. That’s not bad as a change is it? We didn’t even know about it at all until 1981, had no treatments until the early 90s and now? Not that eradication, that’s not what I mean, but £600k? It’s trivia, isn’t it?

Yes, yes, of course, it’s not trivia for anyone who gets it etc. But as a public health problem…..

Presumably a sugar tax will solve this – or banning Coca Cola perhaps

Half of horses in the UK are overweight because owners have forgotten how to keep them healthy, leading equine vets have warned.

Experts from the British Equine Veterinary Assocation (BEVA) said obesity is the gravest threat facing horses, which is resulting in hundreds being put down every year.

David Rendle, a member of BEVA’s ethics and welfare committees, said studies showed around half of all UK horses are now overweight, while research from the Royal Veterinary College found as much as 70 per cent of native pony breeds were obese.

If it’s happening to the horses then perhaps it’s not evil industry causing us human to get fat?

I like the idea, sure

Scientists have discovered a breakthrough treatment to fight cancer, as they claim the disease will no longer be deadly for future generations.

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London believe it is possible to strengthen the body’s defences by transplanting immune cells from strangers.

Patients will begin to receive the new treatment next year, and the team now wants to establish ‘immune banks’ to store disease-fighting cells.

Memory tells that there are various things going on with extracting bits of the immune system, beefing them up, then injecting again. Working very well so it seems too.

But from other people? Confuses me – as with transplant rejection etc, isn’t the immune system, in a chemical sense, what actually makes you, you? Your one attacks that which isn’t you – thus, presumably, that of someone else attacks you?

Obviously, I’m wrong here, but why?

The perils of puffing

Queen Victoria’s daughter died in debt to tobacconist due to secret smoking habit, documents reveal


Queen Victoria’s daughter died with outstanding debt to a tobacconist due to her secret smoking habit, documents have revealed.

Princess Louise, the sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, died in 1939 when she was 91-years-old with an unpaid cigarettes bill to a cigarette shop R Lewis Limited, located near Buckingham Palace.

The princess, who was known for her unconventional lifestyle, was a “regular smoker” who managed to hide the habit from her mother who detested smoking.



A US federal judge in Texas ruled on Friday that the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional, a decision that was likely to be appealed to the supreme court.

US district judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of 20 states that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire Obamacare law.

I think Obamacare was a bad idea, badly implemented. That it might be unconstitutional could also be true – it was such a kludge that it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Gonna be fun.

What fun eh?

The rate of babies diagnosed with milk allergies has risen 500 per cent in a decade due to links between the formula industry and doctors, an investigation suggests.

Experts warn that the health of infants and their mothers is being harmed and rates of breastfeeding damaged thanks to over-broad diagnostic criteria drawn up with the help of vested interests.

Published in the British Medical Journal, the investigation found that prescriptions for specialist formula milks used to treat cows’ milk protein allergy (CMPA) rose from 105,029 in 2006 to more than 600,000 in 2016, with the NHS bill increasing from £8.1 million to more over £60 million annually.

Change the population and you’ll change the incidence of genetically rated conditions, won’t you?

Further, a generation or two after you’ve created formula that doesn’t kill – essentially, clean water for all – you’ll find lactose intolerance rising as those who carry it won’t have died as babies.

Sure, there’s also that possibility of bribery but……

Essentially, the complaint is that the NHS allows the formula companies to print leaflets about cow’s milk allergies. Ho Hum.

So, not for the first time, the modern world is saving my life

This is something that we would currently call trivial. An abscess under a tooth causing the jaw and cheek to blow up. Becoming distinctly painful.

I’ve just started a €5 euro course of amoxicillin, something that is up there at 99 to 99.9% certain to take care of it. If it doesn’t there are other things behind that to do so.

And 100 years ago there wouldn’t have been that thing. And yes, people did die – agonisingly actually – as a result of abcesses. Pulling the tooth might clear it up, might not.

Just a little thought to cheer me up while I wait for the swelling to go down.

This is not beyond the wit of man, surely?

Breast cancer survivors have complained that screening letters are forcing them to relive the trauma of their battle.

Women who have had double mastectomies to remove the disease have said they are still receiving invitations for mammograms, even though they have do not need to be screened.

Now, charities are calling on the NHS to better link its IT systems in order to prevent the distress.

The NHS system automatically posts letters to British women between the ages of 50 and 70 who are registered to a GP to invite them for regular breast screenings, including the time and date of the appointment.

According to NHS Digital, Women in England are called and recalled for screening using an application called Breast Screening Select (BSS).

Using the application, doctors flag higher risk individuals as well as remove patients from the system.

However this is not always the case and women who have survived the disease and are living ‘“flat” – having had two mastectomies – are still being given screening appointments.

Running a database. Or even, making sure the information on one is correct. This is not beyond the wit of man. Although it does seem to be beyond the ability of a bureaucracy. Which is one good reason why perhaps we shouldn’t use bureaucracies to run things.

Or maybe it’s just Hayek’s pretence of knowledge. Either way, not hopeful for this method of doing things, is it?

There’s something wrong here

The number of children having teeth removed in hospital has risen almost a fifth in six years, new figures show.

Dentists said it was a “scandal” that so many teeth were being left to rot, amid a diet of too much sugar and too little toothbrushing.

The NHS figures show more than 45,000 hospital operations to remove teeth from teenagers and children in 2017/18 – a rise of 18 per cent since 2012/2013.

The severity of the tooth decay means that the treatment has to be undertaken in a hospital under general anaesthetic, rather than a dentist.

They included 75 cases in which children had to have every single tooth removed – a 40 per cdnt rise over the period.

Sugar consumption is lower than it used to be. So, what is it that they’ve done wrong to reach this result? Who knows, we might even be polite and assume they’re mistaken rather than just flat out lying.