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Festivalgoers urged to get MMR jab as measles infection rate soars

People who missed out owing to late 90s scare stories warned of increased risk in crowded places

Festivalgoers who missed the MMR vaccination 20 years ago have been urged to get the jab before the European festival season, after infection rates in England tripled in a year.

It has been 20 years since the controversy surrounding the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, which falsely linked the jab to autism and resulted in a significant drop in its uptake. The health concerns of MMR were widely discredited and Andrew Wakefield, the doctor behind the research paper which made the claim, was struck …read more

Schools alone cannot solve childhood obesity crisis, Ofsted warns

Head of watchdog says teachers do not have ‘silver bullet’ to cure health problem

Schools cannot provide a “silver bullet” to tackle childhood obesity and should not be expected to solve society’s wider problems, the chief inspector of Ofsted has warned.

Amanda Spielman said teachers were already stretched and should not be distracted from their primary role as educators. She said that while schools could help encourage healthy lifestyles and exercise as part of the curriculum, they could not address all aspects of the obesity problem.

Related: Schools are not the answer to childhood obesity epidemic, study shows

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Omega-3 no protection against heart attack or strokes, say scientists

Supplements do not offer cardiovascular benefits, researchers conclude from trials involving 112,000 people

The widespread belief that taking omega-3 capsules will help protect you from a heart attack, stroke or early death is wrong, according to a large and comprehensive review of the evidence.

Thousands of people take omega-3 supplements regularly and for years. The belief that it protects the heart has spread – and is promoted in the marketing of the supplements – because the results from early trials suggested the capsules had cardiovascular benefits.

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World-first melanoma blood test detects early stages of deadly skin cancer

Australian scientists say test delivers a more accurate diagnosis than the human eye

Australian scientists have developed the world’s first blood test to detect melanoma in its early stages.

Early trials of the test involving 209 people showed it was capable of picking up early stage melanoma in 81.5% of cases.

Related: Seven ways … to prevent skin cancer

Related: Australians’ skin cancer checks being performed by untrained GPs, experts warn

Continue reading… …read more

How apps have the potential to save lives | Anna Bawden

Apps that allow deaf people to call 999 and blind people to find volunteers to ‘be their eyes’, are two winners of this year’s Tech4Good awards

When Becca Hume was 16, she got a part-time job where she met a deaf person for the first time. “I realised how isolated he was at work, so I started learning sign language to be able to talk to him properly,” she says. It made her understand the daily frustrations facing people who cannot hear and she wanted to do something about it. An MA focused on accessible product design at Ulster university gave …read more