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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

News Flash

AIDS Drug Shows Promise
Scientists now believe they may soon have a pill that could keep people from contracting the AIDS virus. A combination of 2 drugs already used to treat HIV infection have shown promise at preventing the virus in monkeys, and officials plan to expand early tests on healthy high-risk men and women. "If it works, it could be distributed quickly and could blunt the epidemic," said Thomas Folks, a federal scientist.
Loneliness Linked to High Blood Pressure
A study published in the journal Psychology and Aging found that the loneliest people over the age of 50 had blood pressure readings as much as 30 points higher than those who weren't lonely, suggesting that loneliness can be as bad for the heart as being overweight or inactive. "The research says something about the importance of social connection in our everyday lives," said John Cacioppo, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago.
Red Bull Doesn't Tame Alcohol
Men reported feeling less drunk when they drank vodka mixed with the energy drink Red Bull, according to a new study. But researchers say those impressions were misleading, as men who rated themselves as less drunk preformed just as poorly on coordination tests and scored the same on breath alcohol levels as those who drank vodka alone. "People need to understand that the 'sensation' of well-being does not necessarily mean that they are unaffected by alcohol," says researcher Maria Lucia Souza-Formigoni at Brazil's Federal University of Sao Paolo.
Bird Flu: How Serious Is the Risk?
While it is impossible to watch television or read a newspaper without encountering dire reports about the possibility of a worldwide bird flu epidemic, researchers believe a human pandemic caused by the A (H5N1) virus is by no means inevitable, and many doubt it will ever happen.
Heavy Periods Could Signal Disease
Though rare, women with heavy periods could be affected by an undiagnosed bleeding disorder, according to The Hemophilia Society. Von Willebrand's disease is an inherited condition which leads to heavy or prolonged menstrual flow. Because issues of menstruation remain "taboo," and because the condition is hereditary, women often think that the heavy periods they share with other members of their family are normal.



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