Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 29 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:324

Manufacturers of genetically modified foods have failed to convince consumers that their motives are anything more than the pursuit of short term profit. The latest product, rice laced with the genes required to make provitamin A, may help to restore the industry's credibility (Science 1999;287:303-5). Developed using public and private funds, the new golden rice will be available free to the communities that need it most: the rice eating nations of the developing world.

Insurance companies in the late 19th century were the first to notice that tall people lived longer than short people. Many factors contribute to the difference, including poverty, poor diet in childhood, and early infection with Helicobacter pylori. Data from the west of Scotland suggest, however, that worse lung function in short people accounts for most of the excess cardiorespiratory deaths (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2000;54:97-103). Forced expiratory volume seems to be inversely related to height.

A handful of jelly beans is a reliable alternative to the traditional glucose drink in a glucose challenge test, say researchers from Texas who compared both sources of sugar in 136 pregnant women (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1999;181:114-7). Glucose responses were similar, and participants preferred the jelly beans, …

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