the chance of giving birth to a healthy baby

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An IVF test that trebles a woman’s chance of having a baby has been developed by scientists.

It could spare thousands of couples the heartache of miscarriage as well as removing the risk that children conceived by fertility treatment have of conditions such as Down’s syndrome.

It also offers hope to those undergoing fertility treatment in their late 30s and early 40s, who often struggle to get pregnant and, once they do, are more likely to lose the baby.

The test developed by American researchers is called Chromosome Aneuploidy Screening, has been so successful that experts believe it will be routinely available to women undergoing IVF in private clinics or on the NHS within the next three years.

The screening checks embryos for chromosome abnormalities. Any which are faulty are discarded, and only those which stand the best chance of developing into a healthy foetus are implanted back into the womb.

Trials have shown that up to 88 per cent of women receiving tested embryos give birth.

This is more than treble the success rate of IVF – only between 20 and 30 per cent of those undergoing treatment in Britain will have a baby.

The test, which was unveiled at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Denver, Colorado, costs £2,000 a time, on top of the normal price of IVF of around £4,000.

But its success rate means that couples paying for private treatment would potentially save thousands of pounds as they would probably need only one cycle.

It would also cut millions from the NHS’s fertility treatment bill. Couples are normally offered up to three free cycles of IVF at a total cost to the health service of 12,000.

Last year British scientists unveiled a similar screening technique that also used chromosome screening to select only the healthiest embryos for IVF.

But this latest method is at a far more advanced stage and has been subject to rigorous testing, unlike the British technique.

For this reason it is likely to be the first IVF screening method to be available in British clinics, and researchers believe it will be widely used within two or three years.

Tony Rutherford, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said: ‘It’s technically challenging but if held up in future research it is something we’d clearly like to see introduced in helping to select the best embryos to be transferred.’

Normally during IVF, up to 24 eggs are taken from a woman’s ovaries to be fertilised with her partner’s sperm. Doctors then look at the shape and size of the embryos and choose what they think are the healthiest ones to be implanted.

But experts say this current method is very unreliable at picking up faulty embryos.

In addition, many IVF clinics will implant two or three embryos to try and boost a woman’s chances of having a baby. Often more than one will develop into a foetus meaning she will have twins or triplets, which involves extra risks to the babies.

The new technique involves taking a sample from embryos when they are five days old and checking each of its 23 pairs of chromosomes. Only the healthiest single embryo is implanted in the womb.


Fight early pregnancy blues

Monday, October 18, 2010

Before most women enjoy the fact that they are going to give birth to the baby of their dreams, most of them feel overwhelmed by the innumerable physical and emotional changes taking place. The first trimester often means discomfort, morning sickness, fatigued, bloated bodies and hours of feeling low and cranky. However, realising that this is just a passing phase and using some expert advice can be of great help for expecting mothers.

Physical changes

The initial stage in a pregnancy often translates into the body craving more rest. With the levels of hormones progesterone and oestrogen increasing dramatically, women often have serious mood swings that continue through the pregnancy. The fact that your body is busy creating another life might just make you want to sleep longer than usual. Food cravings, constipation, morning sickness, irritable moods, growing and exceptionally tender breasts and a rounded body are other physical changes that plague most women.

Tips to cope with physical changes

• Eat small six meals

• Have high fibre food

• If you have morning sickness, limit fluids and eat dry snacks before coming out of bed

• Have glucose

• Have your folic acid and iron tablets on time as per your doctor’s instructions

Ruchika Pradhan Deshmukh, a young mother-to-be, says that “The first three months were really difficult in my case. But with advice from my doctors I was able handle it. What worked for me was keeping glucose handy, which in turn took care of the excessive fatigue I faced. Also, I avoided fluids in the mornings and evenings as I threw up almost all that I ate during those hours. Also, another tip that worked wonders for me was eating crackers or a dry snack like toast before getting out of the bed in the morning. This eased the nausea.”



GlaxoSmithKline ups albendazole worm drug donation

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Britain's biggest drug maker already supplies 600m albendazole tablets a year to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to treat a disease caused by a parasite transmitted between humans by mosquitoes.

Under the commitment announced today alongside WHO's first report on neglected tropical diseases, Glaxo will, from 2012, supply a further 400m albendazole pills a year over five years to de-worm children in Africa.

Andrew Witty, Glaxo chief executive, said supplying 1bn tablets annually will cost the company £12m a year and it will increase capacity through new investments in its factories in South Africa and India.

He added the extra supply meant that "albendazole will impact the most people in the world of any medicine we manufacture".

Combined with existing de-worming programmes, the extra supply should enable universal coverage of school-age children in Africa.

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO director-general said: "The Glaxo donation means that many millions more will benefit as part of a strategy that can break the cycle of poverty, ill-health, poor school performance, and lost productivity."

Mr Witty said he hoped the WHO report heralded "a new momentum in the fight against neglected tropical disease and I know there is a real appetite amongst my industry colleagues to play a full part".



An onion a day can keep strokes at bay | Red onion Day

Thursday, October 7, 2010

In the fight against heart disease, one of the secret weapons could be nestling in your vegetable rack.

Scientists have discovered that onions help reduce bad cholesterol, which can cause heart attacks and strokes.

At the same time the body retains good cholesterol, which help protect against heart disease. The researchers used red onions, but there appears no reason why the white variety normally used in Britain should not be just as effective.

The experiment involved feeding crushed red onions to hamsters which had been put on a high-cholesterol diet.

The scientists found that after eight weeks levels of bad cholesterol, or low density lipoprotein (LDL), had dropped by an average of 20 per cent.

But over the same time period there was no reduction in the hamsters' good cholesterol levels, also known as high density lipoprotein (HDL).

Zhen Yu Chen, who was in charge of the research carried out at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said: "Despite extensive research on onions, little is known of how their consumption interacts with human genes and proteins involved in cholesterol metabolism within the body. These results support the claim that the regular consumption of onion reduces the risk of coronary heart disease."

Most popular

Although white onions are by far the most popular type in Britain, red onions are widely used in India, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. They are far sweeter than the white variety, and are often used raw in salads.

Red onion marmalade, made by cooking onions with vinegar and sugar, has recently become popular in Britain an alternative to chutney served with cheese or cold meat.

Onions have long been known to have many health benefits including preventing cancer, heart disease and common coughs and colds. Some parts of the world where onion consumption is high have even been shown to have much lower cancer rates.



Robo Chair by Luca Nichetto

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Robo chair by Italian designer Luca Nichetto is “Kama Sutra meets Industrial Robotics.” The concept of dismantlement provided the spark for Robo’s design, which found inspiration in the Icelandic singer Bj√∂rk’s 1999 video for the song “All Is Full of Love” directed by Chris Cunningham in which the main protagonists are robots that take on human characteristics.

“I find the idea that a robot could become a living being really exciting, and so I imagined what would happen if the same principle were applied to the design of a chair. The goal was to create an object that respected the environment by playing with a design comprised of separate pieces so that the chair could be transported in a small box. My vision became reality when I translated the forms of a ‘humanized’ robot into a chair, placing particular emphasis on the shapes of the robot’s ‘limbs’. The project couldn’t have been called anything other than Robo” (Luca Nichetto).

The Robo chair is indeed a design innovation with its completely new and unique look with separated seat and legs. When shipped, the disassembled components of the chair fit in a box measuring only 50 x 50 x 20cm which will save the transport cost.


5 Ways to Rev Up Metabolism and Jump-Start Weight Loss

ast winter, I put on a few extra pounds. It was probably 5 pounds or less, but my clothing fit differently and I didn’t like it. Usually, when I notice the pounds creeping on, I pay a little more attention to what I put into my mouth and spend a little more time at the gym. The weight usually comes off slowly, but eventually I’m back to my Feel Great Weight.

But this time, after a few weeks of small lifestyle tweaks, the scale still hadn’t gone back to “normal.” I didn’t want to drastically change my life by cutting out my favorite foods or spending hours and hours at the gym, so I focused on revving up my metabolism to jump-start my weight loss efforts.

Here’s what I did:

I ate breakfast
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast within an hour or two of waking up jump-starts your metabolism because your body is running on empty after a night of not eating. Plus, eating early can help curb cravings and hunger throughout the day.

I went to bed earlier
When I didn’t get enough sleep, I felt myself reaching for snacks a lot more often. Research shows that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to gain weight over time. My lack of sleep messed with my hunger hormones, so I tended to overeat when I felt sleep-deprived.

I pumped some iron
A lot of women steer clear of strength training because they think they’ll bulk up, but this is not the case! I started taking Body Pump classes, and within a couple of months, I noticed a difference in my weight and how my body looked. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so adding a couple of full-body strength training workouts to my weekly routine definitely helped me tone up.

I kicked up my cardio
Incorporating intervals into my cardio workouts maximized my calorie burn. Intervals vary the energy that your body uses, which keeps it guessing and ups your metabolic rate. You even benefit from an “after-burn” of calories when you finish your workout.

I added some protein
Instead of just winging it in the kitchen, I built my meals around low-fat protein, like tofu, beans, eggs, and lean meats. Protein helps your muscles recover after a workout and makes them stronger. It also takes more energy to digest protein, which means you’re burning calories without even trying! Plus, adding protein to my meals satisfied me for long stretches of time, which meant that I’d consume fewer calories overall.


Personalized Golf Putting Set

Monday, September 6, 2010

While you may have been his greatest gift, it’s now time to get dad a Father’s Day present that won't grow a rattail

Get your on-the-go padre this zippered travel golf putting case from an Atlanta-rooted artist, which features a comfort-grip, silvertone shaft putter (breaks down into four pieces for easy carrying anywhere), whose head can be engraved with dad's name/monogram. Also included's a golf ball along with a metal practice cup "perfect for when there's no green available", which can also be said about the fancy oregano in the back of High Times.

To order yours today, visit, and click the link on the top left for their Etsy shoppe

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