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Appetite, apps and abstinence – this week’s Friday Five

New app detects killer kidney condition in minutes

The technology firm, DeepMind has developed a new mobile phone app known as Streams, which sends blood test results directly to front-line clinicians in the form of easy-to-read results and graphs.

The app was trialled at London’s Royal Free Hospital and was described as a “potential lifesaver”, providing diagnoses of acute kidney injury within minutes instead of hours.

Read more on BBC News.

Birth rate in England and Wales hits record low

The Office for National Statistics has reported that the birth rate in England and Wales hit a new low in 2018.

In total, 657,076 babies were born in England and Wales in 2018 – down 3.2% on 2017, and nearly 10% on 2012.

The ONS has suggested tat the trend could be driven by falling fertility rates and an ageing population.

Read more on BBC News.

Dark chocolate lowers the risk of depression, study suggests

A study by the University College London has found that eating dark chocolate appears to lower the risk of depression four fold.

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, antioxidant chemicals which lower inflammation and it has been suggested that this can prevent the onset of depression.

The study is the first to examine the association with depression according to the type of chocolate consumed and scientists have urged caution about the findings.

Read more The Telegraph.

Listeria outbreak: Sixth death from contaminated hospital food.

Public Health England has reported that another patient has died after eating a hospital provided sandwich contaminated with Listeria.

The latest death is one of nine previously confirmed cases of listeriosis linked to pre-packaged sandwiches supplied by Good Food Chain products.

PHE said it was continuing to test all samples of listeria on an ongoing basis to check if they are linked to this outbreak.

Read more on BBCNews.


Quote of the week

In response to the ongoing Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for International Development said:

“Diseases like Ebola have no respect for borders… If we don’t act now, many thousands more lives could be lost”.

Today, the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST) announced that more public health specialists will be deployed to the DRC to help track the spread of disease, and inform the best approaches to tackling it

Read more at GOV.UK.

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