Many of us can remember the slightly awkward moment at school when the teacher announced one particular topic for the upcoming lesson: sexual health. The whole class would groan or giggle, or a mixture of the two, but there was rarely a child who felt comfortable watching dated educational videos about menstrual cycles and puberty. But the betty for schools programme has a unique way of introducing these topics to children aged eight-12, in their trademark 'period bus'. Facilitator Karen Whyte, who has led groups studying at schools across north London, said she was attracted to the project when she joined in May 2017 by the elements of social activism involved. She said: "The project really works to challenge the taboo subject of periods and puberty, and making sure that both girls and boys are informed and not intimidated is really special. "It feels like we are empowering them with the knowledge about their own bodies, and opening up a dialogue. I, myself, am an actress and … [Read more...] about ‘Empowering children with knowledge about their own bodies’: period bus parks up in Barnet schools
Learning about the human body
0 Have your say Humanitarian campaigner Terry Waite is in Leeds next week to take part in a public talk about the power of the brain and how it copes under stress. Chris Bond talked to him. Terry Waite knows better than most what it’s like to endure extreme adversity. It’s just over 25 years since he emerged from captivity emaciated, bewildered and dazed by the glare of the world’s flashbulbs. As the Archbishop of Canterbury’s envoy, he had been sent to Beirut to negotiate the release of Western hostages in 1987.Waite had enjoyed successes elsewhere, including Iran and Libya, but on this occasion the father of four was captured by Hezbollah militia and kept shackled and blindfolded in solitary confinement for nearly five years, during which time he suffered vicious beatings on the soles of his feet and endured a mock execution.His final months of captivity were spent caged with hostages he had been trying to release – including John McCarthy and … [Read more...] about Terry Waite and what his time in captivity taught him about the resilience of the human brain
TRUMP, the draft-dodging American President, has suddenly developed a taste for war.But of course playing the global John Wayne is so much easier than keeping campaign promises, creating jobs at home or even passing a few little laws through Congress.Nobody will mourn the obliteration of some Islamic State nutjobs, but how much real, lasting good will Trump do by detonating the biggest bomb used since Nagasaki on Afghanistan?My guess is — none.Because history tells us that dropping western bombs on the Muslim world only ever makes things worse.What peace and happiness did the epic blood-letting of Bush and Blair do in Iraq?Was Libya made a happier land after the air strikes of Cameron and Hollande?No. The men of violence just carried on slaughtering each other — and innocent children — as they have always done.We keep inserting our forces in someone else’s civil war.We take sides in a Shia and Sunni sectarian conflict when we can’t even tell them apart.Yet … [Read more...] about Draft-dodging Donald Trump must learn bombing the Middle East never works now he suddenly has a taste for war
INCREDIBLE medicine meets incredible bodies in the BBC Two series which finishes its first series tonight.We've already seen a child whose heart is outside of her rib cage and a man who who injects himself with deadly snake venom — so what else is in store for viewers of Incredible Medicine: Dr Weston's Casebook tonight?Here's everything you need to know about the show...The final episode of the programme's jaw-dropping six-part series airs tonight at 9pm on BBC Two.Tonight's episode introduces us to engineer Tal Golesworthy, whose faulty connective tissue means he lived for years with the possibility his aorta could burst.We also meet a man who can taste words, and learn how his condition can help blind people to recognise colours.In this series, surgeon Gabriel Weston meets the people with the world's most extraordinary bodies.With the help of cutting-edge technology and top scientists, Gabriel explores why these bodies are the way they are, and what they … [Read more...] about When is Incredible Medicine: Dr Weston’s Casebook on BBC Two tonight, who is Dr Gabriel and what is it about?
CURRENTLY 25 US states and the District of Columbia have medical cannabis programmes.On November 8, Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota will vote on medical cannabis ballot initiatives, while Montana will vote on repealing limitations in its existing law.We have no political position on cannabis legalisation.We study the cannabis plant, also known as marijuana, and its related chemical compounds.Despite claims that cannabis or its extracts relieve all sorts of maladies, the research has been sparse and the results mixed.At the moment, we just don’t know enough about cannabis or its elements to judge how effective it is as a medicine. What does the available research suggest about medical cannabis, and why do we know so little about it?While some researchers are investigating smoked or vaporised cannabis most are looking at specific cannabis compounds, called cannabinoids.From a research standpoint, cannabis is considered a ‘dirty’ drug because it … [Read more...] about What do we REALLY know about the medical benefits of cannabis? Two experts review the evidence
Gravity keeps our feet firmly planted on the ground. That’s why we can always tell up from down. In a weightless environment, however, these signals that our bodies need for orientation are no longer there. "We really don’t notice that we’re standing on the ceiling" says Thomas Reiter. "You first have to learn to learn to trust the information your eyes are sending your brain more than your gut feelings. The sensation of gravity simply isn’t present." That’s why all astronauts have problems with orientation the first time in orbit. But because the human brain is so flexible, astronauts are able to slowly adjust to weightlessness over a few days. Doctors are studying this ability in the hopes that it will teach them more about medical conditions, such as the equilibrium problems experienced by many elderly patients. Another problem is that after arriving in space, around two litres of the blood and bodily fluids that is usually distributed throughout an … [Read more...] about What Happens to the Human Body in Space?
It was on March 27, 2015, when US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko boarded Sojuz TMA-16M en route to the International Space Station (ISS). They got there in just six hours. By then, it was March 28 at precisely 01:33 UTC. Since then, the clock has been ticking, by now in record fashion. If everything goes according to plan, the two will return to earth after more than 340 days in space. In the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, they will close the hatch of the space ship. Then it will be Wednesday, 3:40 am in Kasakhstan, that is to say Tuesday 9:40 p.m. UTC, and in the NASA mission control center in Houston at 4:40 pm. Another American-Russian duo also set the previous long-term-record aboard the ISS. Michail Tyurin and Michael Lopez-Alegria spent 215 days there between 2006 and 2007. But there were four Soviet and Russian cosmonauts who were longer in space than either of the ISS crews, including Kelly and Kornienko. The Russian Valeri Polyakow holds the … [Read more...] about Long-term space missions are about more than setting records
With the UN climate summit underway in Cancun, Politicians and health experts have met in Bonn, Germany, to discuss the risks posed to human health by the increasing number of extreme weather events, and ways of helping the population to prepare, adapt – and stay healthy. "It's not just about people dying from drowning or accidents during the floods," said Juergen Becker, Secretary of State in Bonn’s Environment Ministry. "We also have to look at measures to tackle water pollution afterwards or problems resulting from mould growing inside affected buildings." Becker cites the heat waves in Europe during 2003 and 2006 as examples. He stresses that even in a wealthy industrialized country like Germany, with its good medical infrastructure, there were an estimated 7,000 deaths from heart attacks and heat-related illnesses during the 2003 heat wave - one of the most extreme summer events ever recorded in Europe. The environment expert is also worried about increased … [Read more...] about Experts warn of climate change affecting human health
When it comes to space travel, it's a simple case of math and … how long you're prepared to sit in a capsule, hurtling through the vacuum. Okay, so the math isn't quite so simple. But when you consider that Mars is on average 225 million kilometers from Earth, and that depending on your mode of transport, it could take you between six and nine months to get there, a three-day trip to the moon looks less daunting. The average distance to the moon is about 382,500 kilometers. So you could get there and back in a week. Compared to that, you'd have to block out almost two years of your life for a round-trip to Mars - up to nine months to get there, a three month wait for the Red Planet to get as close as it can to Earth, and then those nine months back again. But, hey, we don't have the technology to get back from Mars, so you may as well block out the rest of your life. On top of that, there's still so much we can learn from the moon, and you may quickly wonder why on Earth we … [Read more...] about Fifty years after Lunar Orbiter 4 mapped almost all the moon it’s time we went back
The Nobel Prize committee's Goran Hansson let the words "cool method" roll off his tongue, and then let them hang in the air on Wednesday. And then with a light smile he continued to describe the achievements of the three newly-minted Nobel Chemistry laureates. "A revolution in biochemistry," is how Sara Snogerup Linse, another member of the Nobel committee, put it moments later. And with it three chemists — the Swiss Jacques Dubochet, the German-born US citizen Joachim Frank, and the Scottish-born Richard Henderson — were awarded the prestigious prize for developing cryo-electron microscopy. Cryo-electron microscopy is cool for two reasons. First, the method only works at very low temperatures of more than minus 150 degrees Celsius (minus 238 degrees Fahrenheit). And second, it's enthralled scientists around the world, because it is allowing them to study vital proteins with a precision that was impossible until recently. The technique has "opened up a … [Read more...] about Up close and cold: Cryo-electron microscopy takes the 2017 Chemistry Nobel Prize