Health

The Gairdner Award
Health News Science

Canadian Awards Predict Nobel Prize Winners

The Gairdner Foundation recently announced the winners of its 2012 awards.

The Canada Gairdner Awards are given to people who have made a new scientific discovery to combat disease or ease human suffering. It is one of the most important medical awards in the world.

As the Gairdner website puts it, “we’re dedicated to recognizing the world’s most creative and accomplished biomedical scientists.” Biomedical scientists work in medicine and biology (the study of living organisms).

The late James A. Gairdner established the Gairdner Foundation in 1957. Since then, 300 awards have been given. Seventy-three of those award winners have gone on to win a Nobel Prize in either medicine or chemistry.

The awards are selected by Canadians, but they are given to scientists throughout the world.

This year’s seven award winners include three people who broke through mysteries of the human circadian clock, the internal mechanism that controls our sleep and wakefulness, body temperature, and many other functions.

chocolate; image: Nieuw, Wikimedia Commons
Health Lighter News Science

Chocolate May Be Good For Your Heart

Chocolate – eaten in moderation – may actually be good for you, according to a new study.

The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, said that people who ate small amounts of dark chocolate instead of other high-fat treats, had slight improvements in the health of their heart.

For some participants, their blood pressure came down slightly. Some people had lower insulin levels.

The researchers, at the Norwich Medical School in the UK, studied more than 1,000 people. They asked people to eat chocolate (or not eat chocolate) and then they monitored them to check for changes in their blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a type of waxy fat; too much of it can cause damage to the heart.

Sidney Crosby in the Team Canada game against Norway at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Health News Sports

Skiing, Snowboarding Cause Most Winter Sports Injuries In Canada

Last winter, more than 5,600 Canadians ended up in the hospital with an injury from hockey, skiing or another winter sport.

That information comes from a new report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Most of the injuries were from skiing and snowboarding. More than 2,300 Canadians went to the hospital after they had an accident in either of those sports.

Hockey (1,114 injuries) and snowmobiling (1,126) were next on the list of injury-causing sports.

Polio Immunization in Lucknow
Health News

No More Cases Of Polio In India

India made history this month when it announced that there were no more cases of polio in the country.

The victory came after years of work by India’s public-health workers. They travelled to the most remote places and the poorest areas in the country. They gave vaccines—medicine that prevents diseases—to 172 million children.

Polio is a viral infection that can paralyze (stop movement in) the body, especially in people’s arms and legs. It can also make people’s breathing difficult is if they have very bad asthma. It can even be fatal.

Touchpoint Pharmacy machine
Health Technology

Remote Community Gets High-Tech Pharmacy

Curve Lake is a First Nations community half an hour north of Peterborough.

People who live there no longer have to go all the way into the city when they run out of their medicine and need a prescription filled.

They can get their medicine from a machine, similar to a bank machine – except that what comes out isn’t money, it’s pills.

Curve Lake gets a lot of snow in the winter.

In bad weather, it can be difficult for the community’s residents to get to the nearest pharmacy if they run out of their medication.

Crowd; Image: iStock Photo
Health Politics

We Are Turning Seven Billion Strong

The population of the world is about to hit a new milestone.

As of Oct. 31, demographers say there will be seven billion people living on earth.

Back in 1804, we hit the one-billion mark. It took another 123 years to reach two billion.

By 2083, the population rate could be much faster or slower, depending a few factors including average life expectancy.

It is the poor who are always hit hardest by population increases, researcher John Bongaarts told The Globe and Mail newspaper.

There are more people drawing on the earth’s resources—food and energy, for instance.

More than 900 million people in the world don’t get adequate nourishment.

Health News

Terry Fox’s Marathon Of Hope Still Running

In 1980, Terry Fox started a Marathon of Hope.

His hope was to raise money for cancer research and eventually help to find a cure for the disease.

After losing a leg to bone cancer, Terry Fox wanted to help other people. To raise money, he began a fundraising run across Canada. His famous run-hop stride is well known to Canadians and people around the world.

Terry Fox ran more than 5,300 kilometres – half-way across Canada – when the cancer spread to his lungs. He died at the age of 22, in 1981.

Activity helps kids brains
Health

Physical Activity Can Boost Kids’ Brains

Most people agree that doing schoolwork, puzzles, math and reading help kids get smarter. But did you know that a good workout can also help you learn more easily?

Scientists say that physical exercise gets more blood flowing through a person’s brain, and helps them think better.

It also causes the brain to release a protein (called brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which makes new brain cells grow.

Researchers say kids who are active and fit perform better on memory tests. It affects certain areas of the brain, like the hippocampus and the basal ganglia.

Children who aren’t as active are more likely to become easily distracted.

Health Lighter

Oldest Living Human Turns 115

Besse Cooper is the oldest person on earth. Last month, she turned 115 years old.

She was born on August 26, 1896… seven years before the invention of the airplane.

Cooper has held the title of “oldest person on earth” twice. She lost it once, when the Guinness Book of World Records discovered Maria Gomes Valentin in Brazil. She was about a month and a half older than Cooper.

Valentin passed away in June, and Cooper regained the title. The Gerontology Research Group and the Guinness Book of World Records each verified her age and her status as the world oldest living human.

Cooper’s son, Sidney, is 76 years old. He says his mom is in good physical health.

Gaelan Edwards delivered a baby Photographer unknown
Health Kids

12-Year-Old Boy Delivers His Baby Brother

Gaelan Edwards is a special kid. He’s 12 years old and lives in Campbell River, BC. He has three siblings, Gage, Rhianna and Rowan.

But it’s his newest brother whose birthday he’ll probably never forget. That’s because on Aug. 21, Gaelan delivered his brother.

Around 2 a.m., his pregnant mother woke up and shouted for Gaelan. She said she was going to have the baby.

Gaelan wondered what to do, and worried that if he didn’t catch the baby as it came out it might get hurt.

So he went into action. He pulled the baby out by the shoulders. Then, without being told, he ran to the kitchen and got a pair of scissors.