BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7002.462 (Published 12 August 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:462

The publication of the first complete genome of a bacterium, Haemophilus influenzae Rd, a benign laboratory strain of H influenzae (Science 1995;269:496-512) has galvanised geneticists. As the commentaries accompanying the genetic map point out, the techniques used are not only enabling other bacterial sequences to be defined but may well be adaptable to the human genome and so greatly speed up the race to sequence it.

A study on volunteers in Nottingham showed that fine particles of bran were better tolerated that coarse bran but that both types substantially delayed gastric emptying. The report in “Gut” (1995;37:216-9) comments that this effect may have clinical applications: a high fibre meal will delay the onset of hunger and so may be useful for people trying to lose weight, and the slowing effect of fibre may relieve symptoms due to precipitous gastric emptying in the dumping syndrome.

Surgery for second and third degree prolapse of the uterus accounted for one fifth of all gynaecological operations in two hospitals in Ethiopia (East African Medical Journal 1995;72:2-9). The mean age of the women being treated was 40, but many were under 30; the average parity was 4.4.

Each year in England and Wales …

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