Scientists find that smoking harms livers of unborn babies

Image copyright Getty Images The impact of cigarette damage to unborn babies has been revealed in a new stem cell study. Scientists found that the cocktail of chemicals in cigarettes is particularly harmful to developing liver cells. They developed a method of studying the effects of maternal smoking on liver tissue using embryonic stem cells. The team, led by the University of Edinburgh, also discovered the cigarette chemicals affect male

Doctor in the House

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Most back pain goes away after a few weeks Nearly 10 million working days are lost each year for adults aged 25-64 due to back pain – and around 80% of us will suffer from back pain at some point in our lives. The financial cost to the UK economy is estimated to be around £12bn per year, plus there are huge personal and

Autism diagnoses ‘could be reduced under NHS plan’

Image copyright Getty Images Proposals to reduce the number of children being diagnosed with autism are being considered by NHS commissioners in south-west London. The idea of restricting an autism diagnosis to only the most severe cases was discussed earlier this month. The local alliance of five clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) says nothing has been decided yet. But the National Autistic Society says it is “deeply concerned” about the plans.

Why Greek mountain villagers have healthy hearts

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Elderly villagers are well known for their good health and long lives Scientists have pinpointed one reason why people living in isolated villages in Greece may enjoy long and healthy lives. They found a new genetic variant, common among villagers, which appears to protect the heart by lowering levels of “bad” fats and cholesterol. Despite a diet rich in animal fat, the people of

Charlie Gard’s parents fight for Supreme Court hearing

Image copyright Family handout Image caption Specialists at Great Ormond Street say there is no accepted cure for Charlie’s rare disease The parents of ill baby Charlie Gard who want to take their son to the US for treatment are bidding to take their case to the Supreme Court. Chris Gard and Connie Yates failed in their appeal against a High Court ruling that the eight-month-old should be moved to

Kettering General Hospital ‘fiddled’ waiting time records

Image copyright James Haynes/Geograph Image caption Whistle-blower David Whelan claims Kettering Hospital covered up waiting times to avoid being fined Thousands of patients were removed from a hospital’s waiting lists in a bid to “fiddle” the system, it is claimed. A BBC investigation found thousands of Kettering General Hospital patients had waited a year or more for operations. David Phelan, a hospital trust governor, claims patients were removed from lists

Charlie Gard’s parents lose life support court appeal

Image copyright PA Image caption Charlie’s rare disease has left him unable to cry and made him deaf Doctors can stop providing life-support treatment to ill baby Charlie Gard, Court of Appeal judges have ruled. Charlie’s parents appealed against a ruling made last month that would allow specialists to move their eight-month-old son to palliative care. Chris Gard and Connie Yates had raised £1.3m to send him to the US

Fitness trackers ‘poor at measuring calories burned’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Do I really deserve that ice cream or not? Most fitness trackers are good at measuring heart rate but poor at measuring calories burned, a study suggests. As a result, people should be cautious about using them to judge what to eat, Stanford University scientists said. The study recommended that companies release data showing how their devices work out measurements. The accuracy of seven

Conservative social care funding cap: Theresa May defends changes

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWatch: Andrew Neil grills Theresa May over Tory plans for social care in England Theresa May has defended her changes to the Tory social care policy, as critics called it a “manifesto meltdown”. The PM told the BBC “nothing has changed” and said rival parties had been “trying to scare” elderly people. It came after she said earlier that there would be

Assaults between care home residents reported daily

Police recorded 1,200 assaults between residents living at care homes between 2014 and 2016, the BBC has found. More than one assault a day was reported in England and Wales, an investigation by File on 4 revealed. Some care workers said they were not always given full information about who might pose a risk. The Care Quality Commission, the health regulator in England, said it was the responsibility of care