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Health news

  • Published at 01:23 pm January 10th, 2014
Health news

Sovaldi, a hope for chronic hepatitis C

The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) to treat chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Sovaldi is the first drug that has demonstrated safety and efficacy to treat certain types of HCV infection without the need for co-administration of interferon. Sovaldi is to be used as a component of a combination antiviral treatment regimen for chronic HCV infection.

Hepatitis C is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver that can lead to diminished liver function or liver failure. Like hepatitis B, hepatitis C has got no vaccine.

Fat dads make fat kids

Fathers-to-be need to get in shape before their children are conceived to avoid passing on fat genes, new research suggests. Recently a study showed that if fathers and grandfathers have a high fat diet and were obese, their grandsons are more likely to be overweight. While the effects of a mother’s diet during and even before pregnancy are known, the new research is a wake-up call for prospective dads.

It is thought that a father could contribute his genes and that’s about it, but this research suggests both parents’ lifestyles may contribute to their babies’ genes.

The findings have also sparked demand for further studies on the impacts of both parents’ behaviours on children during pregnancy.

Microchip helps in dieting

Dieters who are struggling in losing weight could be implanted with a computer chip that alerts them when they’ve eaten enough and then releases a hormone to make them feel full. Scientists in Switzerland are developing the pioneering technology and believe it could be available worldwide within five to 10 years. The coin-sized chip would be inserted under the skin of a slimmer’s arm where it would constantly check for fat in the blood and release a hunger-sating compound when enough was consumed. Subject to funding, the first human tests could take place in around three years. The device’s inventor, Professor Martin Fussenegger, said: “The chip could provide an alternative to expensive and invasive weight loss surgery with no major side-effects.”

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