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‘Conveyor belt’ circumcisions; miracle births and why seeing grey is a marker for depression

By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Wednesday 21 July.

The fight against HIV gets stronger. In Zimbabwe there is a drive to circumcise 80% of the male population using a ‘conveyor belt strategy'.

The operation reduces the chance of contraction by 60%.The Guardian explained how four men would be operated on at the same time. ‘One doctor gives the local anaesthetic to all four patients. By the time he reaches the fourth patient, the first is ready for the operation, using a fast, forceps-guided method.'

‘Seeing grey… you could be depressed' is the headline in The Daily Telegraph (print). Scientists in Germany tested the retinas of patients with depression and found they have a ‘dramatically lower retinal contrast'... ‘similar to turning down the contrast on a television.'

The Independent went further by saying ‘it was possible to distinguish highly depressed patients from healthy volunteers simply by looking at test results.' The results help explain why ‘artists consistently depict depression with darkness' and could be used as an accurate diagnostic tool in the future.

The Daily Mail tells the miraculous story about the birth of premature twins, which has two interesting points. First of all, Amanda Hope was born and survived even though she ‘came into the world … when their mother was 23 weeks and two days pregnant', which is before the ‘24-week legal limit for abortion'. And secondly, that her twin brother, Arthur, remained in the womb for a further 10 days. This is likely to give strength to the campaign to lower the abortion rate to 20 weeks.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest