The Health News United Kingdom October 27 2017

  • Scientists have demonstrated an “incredibly powerful” ability to manipulate the building blocks of life in two separate studies. One altered the atoms in DNA to rewrite the human genetic code and the instructions for life. The other edited RNA, which is a chemical cousin of DNA and unlocks the information in the genetic code.
  • A new survey of 1,000 women from charity Target Ovarian Cancer reveals that just one percent of women in the UK are able to recognise a common symptom of ovarian cancer: needing the toilet more often than usual. Only 1 in 100 women surveyed in England said they knew that needing the loo was one of the more common signs of ovarian cancer.
  • A major report backed by Prime Minister Theresa May has said that bosses should accept sick notes signed by mental health nurses in a bid to help psychologically ill people back to work. The measure is one of a range of recommendations designed to improve mental health among employees which found 1 in 6 suffers from mental illness. Around 300,000 people lose their job a year due to mental ill-health, with the toll on the economy due to lost productivity approximately £99 billion.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 27th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41724994

Scientists have demonstrated an “incredibly powerful” ability to manipulate the building blocks of life in two separate studies. One altered the atoms in DNA to rewrite the human genetic code and the instructions for life. The other edited RNA, which is a chemical cousin of DNA and unlocks the information in the genetic code. The studies – which could eventually treat diseases – have been described as clever, important and exciting. Cystic fibrosis, inherited blindness and other diseases caused by a single typo in the genetic code could ultimately be prevented or treated with such approaches. Both studies were performed at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology  and Harvard.

DNA is built out of the four bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. If a single one of them is in the wrong place, it can cause disease. Base editors alter the atomic structure of one base to convert it into another. Researchers can now manipulate the four bases. And the team used base editing to correct an inherited disease that leads to dangerously high levels of iron in the blood. Professor David Liu of the Broad Institute said: “We are hard at work trying to translate base editing technology into human therapeutics.”
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The second study, published in the journal Science, focused on RNA, another of the molecules essential for life. DNA is the master copy of the genetic code, but in order for a cell to use the genetic instructions, it must first create an RNA copy. It is like going to a library where you cannot read any of the books, but can only use photocopies. The researchers used their RNA approach to correct an inherited form of anaemia in human cells.

http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/25/only-1-of-women-recognise-this-common-symptom-of-ovarian-cancer-7025923/

A new survey of one thousand women from charity Target Ovarian Cancer reveals that just one percent of women in the UK are able to recognise a common symptom of ovarian cancer: needing the toilet more often than usual. Only one in a hundred women surveyed in England said they knew that needing the loo was one of the more common signs of ovarian cancer. That’s pretty concerning, especially considering that ovarian cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in women, and in the UK, eleven women die of the disease each day. The women surveyed were pretty unaware of other symptoms, too. Just one in five were aware that abdominal pain could be a sign of ovarian cancer, three percent were aware that constantly feeling full is a symptom, and only twenty one percent knew that bloating can be an indicator.

The poll also found that thirty percent of women believe that cervical screening tests will identify ovarian cancer – which isn’t the case. In light of these worrying results, the charity is keen to raise awareness of symptoms of ovarian cancer, so that people are able to tell when something’s wrong and get help more quickly. Early diagnosis doubles the odds of surviving ovarian cancer for five years or more, so it’s incredibly important that everyone knows what to look out for – and when to talk to their general practitioner. Target Ovarian Cancer chief executive Annwen Jones said: ‘There is a chronic lack of awareness and funding for ovarian cancer. She added: “We urgently need a national awareness programme for ovarian cancer and investment in research into new treatments. We have seen enormous advances in other cancers, but ovarian cancer is lagging behind.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/26/mental-health-sick-notes-should-ease-people-back-work-says-government/

A major report backed by Prime Minister Theresa May has said that bosses should accept sick notes signed by mental health nurses in a bid to help psychologically ill people back to work.
The measure is one of a range of recommendations designed to improve mental health among employees which found one in six suffers from mental illness. The report also calls for the Government to transform the rules governing Statutory Sick Pay to enable people recovering from mental ill-health to return gradually to work.

The Prime Minister, who commissioned the research, yesterday pledged to accept a package of new practices for about two million public servants meaning they should receive tailored in-house mental health support. She said society must make mental health an “everyday concern”, meanwhile Jeremy Hunt condemned the “work hard, play hard, macho culture” which downplays the issue. Around three hundred thousand people lose their job a year due to mental ill-health, with the toll on the economy due to lost productivity approximately ninety nine billion pounds.

The current practice whereby a General Practitioner without specialist mental health training signs a sick note often means patients who could cope with a gradual return to work are prevented from doing so, said Paul Farmer, the Chief Executive of the charity Mind, who co-wrote the report. The document also called for firms who prioritise the mental health care of their staff to receive discounts on their insurance premiums. Officials said the Government would respond to the wider recommendations in due course.

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