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Summer Born Children Are More Likely To Be Healthier Adults

Summer apparently could be the best time to be born. But how true is it? That depends on what traits you consider to be most advantageous. Although a recent study found that baby girls born in June, July, and August develop into healthier women than girls born at other times of the year, past medical research has also linked summer birthdays to those who have less successful career outcomes.

For a recent study, now published in the online journal Heliyon, researchers from Cambridge University in the UK investigated an idea that has fascinated humans: Can a child’s birthday give clues to their future? While we have often looked to the stars for this answer, the Cambridge team went to science instead.

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“When you were conceived and born occurs largely ‘at random’ — it’s not affected by social class, your parents’ ages, or their health — so looking for patterns with birth month is a powerful study design to identify influences of the environment before birth,” said lead author Dr. John Perry in a statement.

For their project, the team compared the growth and development of around 450,000 men and women from the UK Biobank study, a major national health resource that provides the data on UK volunteers to shed light on the development of disease. The researchers looked to see how birth month affected the weight, as well as adult height and body mass index. They were also the first to specifically look for a correlation between birth month and when puberty started.

Results revealed that girls born in the summer were slightly heavier at birth, taller as adults, and went through puberty slightly later than those born in winter months which means good health. The team hypothesized differences in the later life health of summer and winter babies may be caused by the amount of sun that their mothers received during their pregnancy — a factor that significantly determines her vitamin D exposure. However, the researchers insisted that, at this point, they are still unsure why this happens.

“We need to understand these mechanisms before our findings can be translated into health benefits,” Perry added.

Previous research, however, has revealed less advantageous effects of summer birthdays. According to a 2012 study published in Economic Letter, individuals born in summer months are the far less likely to hold CEO positions than individuals born in other times of the year. The reason for this was more simple: In many schools, the cut-off date for registration falls between September and January. This leaves those with summer birthdays as the youngest in their grade. Maurice Levi, the study’s co-author said that older children within the same grade tend to do better than the youngest. These career outcomes may be the result of early successes in school.

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Jeremy Hunt Wants Doctors’ Judgements To Be Replaced By Computers

Jeremy Hunt has made a call to make the NHS safer by removing medical decisions out of the hands of doctors and letting computers and protocols decide aspects of care instead.

The Health Secretary said that the controversial approach had worked in parts of the American healthcare system and that the NHS should go down the same route.

“The truth is that safety in healthcare is actually about adopting protocstock-footage-caucasian-male-female-medical-team-members-using-tablet-computer-hospital-rooms-shot-on-red-epicols so that you are eliminating judgment from areas where you know you’ve got a proven way that works better and allowing doctors to spend their time in areas where you really do need their judgment,” Jeremy Hunt told a fringe meeting organised by the Reform think-tank at the Conservative Party conference being held in Manchester.

The Health Secretary gave an example of a hospital in America where the production techniques of a Japanese car company had been replicated and applied to the healthcare. He said that this hospital had benefited from the new approach and that patients safety was better than ever.

He went on to argue that removing doctors from these equations would help reduce costs in the NHS wihtout affecting patient care.

“One of the safest hospitals in the world is Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle. They developed their incredibly high standards by copying the production techniques used by Toyota and this was very controversial when they started on this journey 10 years ago,” he said.

The Virginia Mason is a hospital for teaching with over 300 beds. In 2002 the hospitals managers visited the factories of Toyota in Japan as part of a traning course. It is a private hospital and charges its patients for treatment.

 

 

 

 

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First UK Patient Receives Stem Cell Treatment That Cures Blindness

A patient in the UK has become the first person to receive an experimental treatment using stem cells which could in the future cure the eyesight of millions of people.

The woman, who has age related macular degeneration had a successful operation by doctors at Moorfields Eye Hosptial last month. Doctors will not know if the operation will work and she has regained eye_1819937bher sight until December. If she does it could be a massive step is saving sight in millions of people.

The transplant itself contains eye cells, called retinal pigment epithelium, which were created using stem cell research and were grown in a lab. The cells then form a patch that can be placed behind th
e retina during surgery.

If the operation proves a success and the patient regains her sight the potential for this stem cell research could be huge. Although the first patients have the “wet” form of macular degenerative condition the doctors believe that this operation could be used on those who suffer from the “dry” form which is the majority of the sufferers in the United Kingdom.

Stem Cells have moved from drawing board to human trials with incredible speed say scientists. The first embryonic stem cell was grown in 1989. Using them in eyes was always going to have a big advantage over other prospects, because it is possible to transplant them without an attack by the immune system, as would happen in other parts of the body. Most people who have any sort of transplant have to take drugs that suppress the immune system for the rest of their lives.

Stem Cells are believed to be the way forward and if this operation proves to be a success then we are taking a huge step in medical science as well as researching more on the use of stem cells.