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July 31, 2014

Attack of the cancer-sniffing clone dogs

A black lab in Japan that can (allegedly) sniff cancer is being cloned in a Korean biotech lab, according to the Discovery Channel. If the experiment is successful, the company plans to make clones of the dog available for “worldwide distribution.” This could substantially reduce waiting lists for people seeking diagnoses, but it also seems […]

Buy a sunflower for hospice care: the HSE can’t touch it

Hospices and palliative care services throughout the Republic will benefit financially from Sunflower Days, which take place on June 13 and 14. On those dates volunteers throughout the State will be selling sunflower pins for €2 each. The fundraising drive is all the more poignant this year because it was recently revealed, during a recent […]

Explain a ‘cybrid’ to your friends

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, if it gets through British Parliament, will permit the creation of IVF-conceived children for the purpose of creating tissue-matches for sick siblings, and it will reduce the legal time limit on abortion from 24 weeks. But it will not allow scientists to give people tails and snouts and gills.

Cytology lab association slams tender award to US company

The decision to award Quest Diagnostics with a contract to provide all of Ireland’s cytology screening is not just bad; it’s a potential disaster – according to the Irish Association for Clinical Cytology (IACC). According to an IACC press release, the decision risks reducing quality in detection rates, the ability of Irish labs to tender […]

Ultrasound plus mammography may improve cancer detection

The addition of an ultrasound examination to mammography for women at high risk of breast cancer resulted in a higher rate of cancer detection, but also increased the number of false-positive results, according to a new study. Supplemental ultrasound screening has the potential of depicting small, node-negative breast cancers not seen on mammography, according to […]

The genetics of happiness

A recent article in Psychological Science has argued that subjective well-being (happiness and unhappiness) is linked to personality by common genes. Brain Blogger weighs in on it: Personality traits are not always inherited, and environmental factors clearly also play a role in the development of personality development. Environmental factors are also important in the development […]

Peer training helps reduce teen smoking: Lancet

Peer trainers are more likely to encourage teenagers to quit smoking compared with a conventional teacher-led educational approach, according to an article in the Lancet. Listen to the podcast.

‘Redundant’ oncology consultants needed

Ireland must create ‘slightly redundant’ oncology posts if research work and clinical trials here are to be comparable internationally, the Associate Director of the National Cancer Research Network in the UK told the sixth International Cancer Conference in Dublin last week. Prof Richard Kaplan said that Ireland was too small to efficiently balance the clinical […]

Work begins on new unit for Donnybrook Hospital

Work has begun on the construction of a new €7.5 million, 30-bed unit at the Royal Hospital Donnybrook (RHD). The new unit will bring the number of in-patient beds up to 230 and it is expected to be completed early next year. The hospital, which was founded in 1743, also has a 25-bed day hospital […]

Mary Harney: il buono, il brutto, il cattivo

Mary Harney has been Minister for Health since 2004 and now, thanks to new Taoiseach Brian Cowen, she’s about to do what no female politician has done before: enter another five years on the job. The only other two female Minister’s for Health lasted less than a year: Eileen Desmond for Labour in 1981 and […]

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