Self-harm resolves
AN Australian study of self-harm among adolescents and young adults published in The Lancet found the behaviour is strongly linked to depression and anxiety. About 8% of adolescents reported self-harm; however, in most cases the behaviour resolved spontaneously. The research was reported in the Herald Sun.

Melanoma gene found
AUSTRALIAN researchers have identified a gene linked to an increased risk of melanoma, according to a research letter published in Nature. The gene variant was significantly overrepresented in people with a family history of melanoma, multiple primary melanomas, or both, and was also linked to non-blue eye colour and multiple moles. The research was reported by

Pill‒prostate cancer link?
A HYPOTHESIS-testing ecological study published in BMJ Open has shown a link between population use of oral contraceptives and prostate cancer incidence. The researchers hypothesised that oral contraceptive by-products may cause an environmental contamination, leading to an increased low level oestrogen exposure and therefore higher prostate cancer incidence and mortality. The research was reported by BBC News.

Video gamers’ brains different
CHILDREN who play a lot of videogames have higher grey matter volume in the left striatal area of the brain — the so-called pleasure centre — compared with infrequent video game players, according to research in Translational Psychiatry. The researchers said the study results suggested that striatal volume as well as striatal function might mediate behavioural measures in gambling. The research was reported by ABC Science.

Heart–wallet link
DOCTORS who earn money for conducting cardiac stress tests are more likely to order them in patients after revascularisation than doctors who do not bill for technical or professional fees, according to new research in JAMA. The researchers examined the association between US doctors’ billing methods and their ordering of nuclear and echocardiography stress tests. The research was reported by the New York Times.

Posted 21 November 2011

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