HEALTH NOTES: Peanut allergies can take the brush off when testing toothpaste
Scientists are testing whether a toothpaste can help protect people suffering from peanut allergies.
New York-based drug company Intrommune Therapeutics has enrolled 32 peanut-allergic adults in a trial in which they will use a toothpaste containing traces of peanuts.
Oral immunotherapy, in which allergy sufferers are exposed to small doses of an allergen over time, is often used by allergy specialists, but is often hampered by users forgetting to take their dose.
Without continuous exposure, allergy tolerance can quickly decline. Experts hope that by putting the doses in toothpaste, they can help patients keep up with their therapy.
Intrommune founder Michael Nelson said that if the trial is successful, future tests could test toothpastes that contain other allergens.
Scientists are testing whether a toothpaste can help protect people suffering from peanut allergies
Paper towels are much more effective at stopping the spread of germs than air hand dryers.
Scientists conducted an experiment in which two groups of volunteers dipped their hands in a non-harmful viral solution, shook them off, and dried them with paper towels or air dryers. The volunteers then walked a set path through a hospital, touching commonly used surfaces such as elevator buttons.
Samples were taken from these surfaces and analysis showed that the degree of contamination was ten times higher for those who dried their hands with an air dryer.
Study author Ines Moura said: “The study was conducted in a health care facility and has important lessons for health facilities that still have high-speed air dryers in toilets, but the results are also relevant for public toilets with many pedestrians.”
Women living in cities are less likely to have children than their rural counterparts.
A Finnish study found that women aged 19 to 42 were 15 percent less likely to reproduce in cities. Researchers think this is because there is more competition for husbands in cities, as women tend to be larger than men.
Similar previous studies have shown that women are more likely to move to urban areas than men. In cities, every percentage point increase in men in the population increased women’s chances of having a child by 2.7 percent, compared to a 0.4 percent increase outside the cities.
Britons are twice as likely to have started eating unhealthily than they have started exercising since the start of the Covid pandemic.
A World Cancer Research Fund survey of more than 2,000 people in the UK found that 40 percent were eating more unhealthy foods, while only 22 percent had started exercising.
More than a quarter of adults drank more alcohol. The charity fears the negative impact of Covid could lead to more cancer diagnoses.