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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP condemns 'dangerous' software

'Gel could replace the Pill'

The story

A new gel that delivers hormones through the skin will be a popular alternative to the contraceptive pill, the Daily Mail reports.

The source

A company called Antares Pharma has developed a gel delivery system for birth

control hormones. The gel is still undergoing tests and is unlikely to be available in the UK for several years.

Expert view

Dr Sarah Jarvis, RCGP spokesperson on women's

health, said patients had already been coming in and asking about the gel. 'There is no chance of it being prescribed in the

foreseeable future as it's still being tested,'

she said.

'Fish oil boosts reading age'

The story

Fish oil can improve children's reading age by up to three years and make them calmer, cleverer and happier, according to the Daily Mail.

The source

The Daily Mail carried out its own study of fish oil capsules in a class of seven-year-olds. After three months of treatment, it reported an impressive effect in children whose reading ages were already above average.

Expert view

Professor Tom Sanders, professor of nutrition and dietetics at King's College London, said: 'Omega-3 oils are needed for normal growth and development, but beyond the perinatal period you are unlikely to see any effect. I'm very sceptical about the quality of these reports. There could be a real effect but it also could be a placebo effect.'

'Blood test for ovarian Ca'

The story

A new blood test could transform the diagnosis of ovarian cancer by detecting the disease before symptoms develop, The Times, Guardian and Daily Mail report.

The source

US researchers have developed a test that detects levels of leptin, prolactin, osteopontin and insulin-like growth factor II.

A new study of 200 women, published in PNAS, found the test could detect ovarian

cancer with an accuracy of

95 per cent.

Expert view

Martin Ledwick, CancerBACUP

senior cancer information nurse, said: 'Any development in the accuracy of screening tests is encouraging. But we need to be sure this test is reliable, accurate and able to pick up ovarian cancer at a time when it is possible for it to be cured.'

'Fizzy drinks disrupt children'

The story

Fizzy drinks disrupt children's concentration and behaviour, claims the Daily Mail.

The source

A study in a school in Kent funded by water filter company Brita replaced fizzy drinks with water for a week. Self-reported concentration levels and good behaviour increased.

Expert view

Dr Frankie Phillips, dietitian at the British Dietetic Association, said: 'It's very important children are well hydrated at school but I am very surprised if fizzy drinks are affecting concentration as the number of children who have any reaction to the colours and

flavourings in fizzy drinks is extremely low. I would like to see some properly conducted research.'

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