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Surge in TB cases, the wonders of beetroot juice, and stingyness is in the genes

By Gareth Iacobucci

Our roundup of health news headlines on Thursday 4 November.

Tuberculosis is rearing its ugly head again, with cases hitting their highest levels in the UK for 30 years. New HPA figures, reported in the Guardian, show there were 9,040 TB cases in the UK last year.

It’s a health news bonanza in the Mail today. First, we read that babies born with the help of forceps or a suction cup are more likely to have emotional problems, according to new research.

Bad news for the NHS, with a new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies showing that middle-aged Britons are healthier than their American counterparts, but die earlier because our healthcare system is apparently much worse.

The Mail also reports that scientists are a step closer to unlocking the riddle of autism, with a leading geneticist showing for the first time how a gene linked to autism rewires the brain’s connections.

Ever drank beetroot juice? No, us neither. But apparently, researchers have discovered that it increases blood flow to the brain – a finding that holds great promise for combating the progression of dementia.

And finally, tight-wads of the world rejoice. We’ve all got friends with stitched-up pockets, and they now have a get-out clause for their miserly ways. Apparently, being mean could be in the genes, with scientists pinpointing a stretch of DNA that makes people stingy with their cash. It says here that around one in four of us carries the ‘mean gene’, which we have inherited from our parents.

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know, and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

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