5,000 year old blood.
Scientists have been working on the wound that killed the iceman Otzi here. They have isolated red blood cells which look very similar to our blood cells today and they have typed his blood as O Rh(D) Positive, the most common blood group. They also say that there was a significant amount of fibrin in the would which would indicate that he died quite quickly. Apparently the techniques they have developed may well come in handy for forensic scientists, he may be over 5,000 years old but his killer will be bought to justice.
An interesting investigation here has shown that an outbreak of the vomiting virus at a girls football tournament in the USA was linked to reusable shopping bags. Apparently the shopping was left in a bathroom where a sufferer vomited. Norovirus in the air contaminated the bags and was passed on to the rest of the team when they ate food from the bags. Lessons to be learnt; Don’t store food in the bathroom (derrr) and don’t underestimate Norovirus! If you don’t fancy 24hrs of vomiting keep clear of areas where people have vomited.
Heart attack rates halve
A report in the BMJ has shown that the number of heart attacks halved between 2000 and 2010. This has been put down to better medical interventions and better lifestyles. Just shows what can be achieved with a bit of effort.
Men at greater risk of oral HPV than women.
This piece of research has found that oral HPV infections can be found in 10% of men and only 3.6% of women. This virus is one of the major causes of cervical cancer in women and a risk factor for head and neck cancers. Head and neck cancers are becoming far more common and the researchers have suggested that trials of the HPV vaccine, which is currently given to teenage girls, should be carried to see if it protects both sexes from oral HPV as well.
This is an interesting use of Twitter. Apparently researchers have shown that Twitter is a better way to follow disease outbreaks than official monitoring. Just count the Tweets and you can get a good idea of how a disease is spreading 2 weeks before more traditional methods.