Motor neurone disease researchers find link to microbes in gut

Study could eventually lead to new treatments for neurodegenerative condition Scientists have found tantalising clues that the devastating condition motor neurone disease may be linked to changes in microbes that live in the gut. Studies in mice revealed that animals bred to develop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of the disease that affected microbiome to the neurodegenerative illness, the work raises the possibility of new treatments for the condition. Eran Elinav at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel began by showing that mice with a mutation common in ALS patients fared much worse when their gut microbes were all but wiped out with strong antibiotics. The finding suggested that somehow, microbes in the animals guts were involved in …

My biological clock is ticking but having children seems an unaffordable luxury | Arwa Mahdawi

Kids have always been expensive, but insecure housing and jobs markets have made becoming a parent more financially challenging than ever, writes Arwa Mahdawi Forget Rolexes, designer handbags or fancy holidays the ultimate status symbol these days is a child. Or, more accurately, a bunch of children. (What is the collective noun for children? An ingratitude? A cacophony? An expense?) It seems to have become de rigueur for the rich and famous to have an enormous number of offspring. Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Boris Johnson are all part of the Five Kids Club, for example. Madonna has six. Kim Kardashian recently announced a fourth, called Psalm, which she had via a surrogate. Unusual names are another status symbol, of …

The Tokyo neighbourhood where people come to disappear

For hundreds of years people have come to Sanya in search of labouring jobs, shelter and a sense of belonging but the area is changing fast, and its residents are struggling to adapt At first sight, Sanya looks much like any other Tokyo suburb: well-appointed homes, supermarkets and fast-food restaurants. In the distance, soaring above the rooftops and mesh of overhead power lines is the unmistakable shape of the Tokyo Skytree. But its proximity to the ultra-modern landmark is deceptive. Older men in well-worn tracksuits, baseball caps and plastic slippers clutch cans of early-afternoon chu-hi alcopops, and dozens of no-frills hostels advertise rooms with easily the lowest rates in the city clues to Sanyas status as a Tokyo neighbourhood like …

Murders of three trans women in Texas underline increasing dangers across US

Three black trans women have been killed in Texas since October, and activists believe that attacks are on the rise due to a hostile political climate The transgender community in Dallas was still had been found in a lake, making her the second black trans woman murdered in the city in the space of a fortnight. Three black trans women in their 20s have now been said during the ceremony, standing at the altar next to a blue coffin adorned with flowers. Her back has been against the wall so many times and thats one of the reasons I didnt want her to be who she was, because its already hard for a black man. Then a black gay man …

Austerity to blame for 130,000 preventable UK deaths report

Two decades of public health improvements have stalled, says IPPR thinktank More than 130,000 deaths in the UK since 2012 could have been prevented if improvements in reducing preventable disease flatline since 2012. At the same time, local authorities have seen significant cuts to their public health budgets, which has severely impacted the capacity of preventative services. Social conditions for many have failed to improve since the economic crisis, creating a perfect storm that encourages harmful health behaviours. This health challenge will only continue to worsen. The IPPR calls for a radical new prevention strategy involving a renewed and increased commitment to the states role in preventing disease. No longer can we place the burden of responsibility exclusively upon the …

YouTube star who humiliated homeless man given prison term

ReSet posted footage of man eating Oreos filled with toothpaste in Barcelona A YouTube star who tricked a homeless man into eating biscuits filled with toothpaste and then posted footage of the incident online has been sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay his victim 20,000 in moral damages. A judge in Barcelona also banned Kanghua Ren, better known as ReSet, from having any social media accounts for five years. ReSet, who was born in China but grew up in Spain, was among the 200 most popular YouTubers in Spain and Latin America, with 1.1 million followers. In 2017 he accepted a dare to scrape the cream out of Oreo cookies and replace it with toothpaste. He …

If Roe v Wade is overturned, we should worry about the rule of law | Shira A Scheindlin

Affirming precedence is an important legal principle. If its ignored, which other supreme court decisions could be overturned next? Donald Trump was staunchly pro-choice until he sought to become President Donald Trump. From that moment on, a centerpiece of his campaign was a promise to do whatever he could to ensure that the 1973 supreme courts landmark decision in Roe v Wade that guaranteed a womans right to an abortion would be overturned. He has kept his promise and his base loves him for it. He undoubtedly believes that his strong and now unwavering anti-abortion stance will go a long way to ensuring his re-election in 2020. How did he keep his promise? The answer is not complicated. He did …

How the ‘Las Vegas of Italy’ is kicking its slot machine addiction

Once compared to Oxford, the university city of Pavia is now better known for gambling. These activists are fighting to change that At the start of this year, Massimo was standing on a bridge determined to jump off. The 45-year-old had been struggling with gambling addiction since 2001. I started to play slot machines and video poker after the death of my father and ended up spending 5,000 a day, says the artisan fence-maker, from the city of Pavia in northern Italy. He was soon in debt to loan sharks and ended up stealing to fund his habit, including from his own mother, before considering suicide. Now Massimo (not his real name) lives in La Casa del Giovane, a unit …