A Few Strange Ones...
By Peter Hadfield
Feline Rescuer Left by Owner in Burning Home
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A cat risked one of her nine lives to wake her owner when his apartment caught fire in Vetlanda, southern Sweden -- but he left her behind when he fled panic-stricken from the flames.
Cat Zarah woke Micke Sahlstrom, 39, in the middle of the night, yowling and hitting his face with her paws. Sahlstrom woke and ran for his life -- leaving Zarah behind.
Minutes later, the conscience-stricken Swede was relieved to see a firewoman carrying his feline savior from the building, the tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet reported on Wednesday.
Copper Nose Wires Vanquish Colds? 2-16-00
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A German businessman claimed Tuesday to have found the cure for the common cold -- a copper wire pushed up each nostril.
Alexander Loschke, 35, said he found the healing capacities of copper while growing tomatoes. He placed copper rings on his tomato canes to help the plants grow while other gardeners found theirs were rotting.
``I thought what did the tomatoes good can't do me any harm,'' Loschke told Reuters. When he next had a cold, Loschke placed small copper rings in his nostrils and found he was better in just 36 hours.
``I asked myself, how can that be?'' said Loschke, from Sulzbach in the southern state of Bavaria. He consulted experts on the common cold and found that the copper rings help get more air into the nostrils and combat micro-organisms.
Loschke is now selling the copper rings for around 20 marks ($10.03).
Dispute Over Man's Plan to Embalm Wife
LONDON (Reuters) - A controversy was brewing Wednesday over a British grandfather's plan to embalm his wife's body and keep her in his front room.
Terry Lee, from Dover in southern England, made the threat after his local council refused to allow him to bury his wife Ruth, who died in January, in their garden according to her wish.
``My wife was completely against cremation. I intend to have her embalmed, which is 100 percent preserved, and put her in the front room if I have to,'' Lee told BBC radio. ``I don't want to have to do it but I'm prepared to go to extreme measures to prove a point.''
Chief housing officer for Dover, Tony Stickles, said Lee's neighbors had complained about the home burial.
``It's difficult to accept this as a solution. The council obtained an injunction (against the home burial) four weeks ago.
``The advice we have is that with Mrs Lee having been in the hospital (freezer) for almost six weeks, (embalming) is simply not an option.''
He added: ``I feel for Mr. Lee, coming to terms with the loss of his wife. However, we are talking about a relatively small terraced house with a number of other properties close by and it's easy to understand the concerns of neighbors.''
Brain Tumors Linked To 1950s Scalp Radiation Treatments 2-16-99
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) -- The use of head irradiation to treat fungal scalp infections in Israeli immigrants in the 1950s has been linked to an increase in meningiomas, a type of benign tumor that can cause bone erosion and compress brain tissue, researchers report.
Between 1948 and 1960, about 20,000 Israeli individuals -- mostly children -- received head radiation treatment for tinea capitis, a fungal infection of the scalp that can cause hair loss, according to Dr. Siegal Sadetzki and colleagues from the Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel. Most were recent immigrants from North Africa or the Middle East.
To investigate the impact of this mass irradiation, the team looked at the incidence of benign meningioma in Israeli immigrants over the past 40 years.
From the 1980s onward, there was a marked increase in the tumors among immigrants aged 40 to 49 years old, who would have been aged 5 to 14 in the 1950s.
Those Israelis born in North Africa between 1940 and 1954 were 4 to 5 times as likely to develop a benign meningioma as people born between 1930 and 1939, before radiation was commonly used.
Israelis born in the Middle East between 1940 and 1954 had twice the risk of the brain tumors while European-American immigrants had nearly the same risk as those born between 1930 and 1939.
``This observation is in line with the fact that a larger proportion of North African-born immigrants were irradiated, as compared with Middle Eastern born,'' Sadetzki and colleagues note. Their findings are published in the February 1st issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The findings ``illustrate vividly how a strong medical intervention (radiation), for a relatively innocuous condition (tinea capitis), led to a dramatic change in the occurrence of a very serious disease (meningioma),'' according to the report.
It is unusual for a link between an illness and a medical treatment to be ``so strong and widespread that its effect is seen clearly in national incidence rates,'' Sadetzki told Reuters Health. SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology 2000;151:266-272.

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