Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 01 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:60

Media reports of injuries caused by landmines usually focus on the loss of limbs and lives. Many survivors, however, end up losing their sight (British Journal of Ophthalmology 2000;84:626-30). In one series of cases, over half the people admitted to a military hospital in Afghanistan with injuries caused by mines had ocular trauma. One third of the injured eyes were blinded. Many of the others recovered only enough to differentiate light and dark.

People and dogs tend to get fatter as they get older. Scientists assumed that the same thing happened in cats, and were surprised to find that the body composition of a 12 year old cat is more or less the same as the body composition of a 3 year old cat (International Congress and Symposium Series 244, Royal Society of Medicine, 2000:15-6). Lean muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so cats avoid the slow decline in energy expenditure which compounds middle aged spread in people and most other mammals.

When asked how they felt about the benefits of singing, members of a Canterbury choir responded enthusiastically (Health Matters in Prisons 2000;5:26-33). “After choir I feel like skipping,” said one. Others noted that singing relieved stress, cured headaches, improved fitness, and restored energy. Spiritual effects included “realising that Vivaldi …

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