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Washing lungs, bad body image and questions over cannabis

A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 30 May

‘Washing' lungs can make them more suitable for transplant, according to researchers at Newcastle University.

The researchers used a modified heart-lung bypass machine to pump nutrients and oxygen through the lungs. It found that the technique, called ‘ex-vivo lung perfusion', can clear a build-up of water on the lungs, BBC Online reports.

Currently, only one in five donated lungs are good enough to be transplanted safely and around a quarter of people waiting for an organ donation die in their first year on the waiting list. 

 

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail was no doubt delighted to report that researchers at Plymouth University have found cannabis does not slow the progression of multiple sclerosis.

Their study found that patients who took capsules containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a key active ingredient in cannabis, fared no better than those given a placebo.

The research, which monitored 493 people with MS, assessed people on both a disability scale administered by neurologists and another based on their own reporting.

 

The Guardian also focused on a familiar concern – the effect that modern society has on female body image. MPs are warning that girls as young as five are routinely worrying about their body image, with an unrealistic ‘body ideal' damaging society.

Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, chair of the group of MPs, said: ‘Body image dissatisfaction in the UK has reached an all-time high and the pressure to conform to an unattainable body ideal is wreaking havoc on the self-esteem of many people.'

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