Friday, February 21, 2003

News in Science 21/2/2003 Leptin firms as a pathway for obesity drugs
Friday, 21 February 2003

"he appetite hormone leptin is one step closer to becoming a therapeutic target for obesity following an American study which has isolated its pathway in the brain.

For the first time, the study by Dr Martin Myers and colleagues at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston distinguished between leptin's reproductive and its hunger-suppressing functions.......
An odd development was that the modified obese mice could have babies - but they couldn't feed them, as they did not produce breast milk. Unless the babies were put onto a unmodified mother's breast, their babies died. "That was really interesting as well," said Morris. "It looks like STAT3 is needed for lactation, but not for reproduction.""
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Miranda, my hero

"Miranda, God love her, has spent whole minutes of screen time clad in a zip-up maternity bra with veiny, pendulous, milk-filled breasts visibly throbbing. (It was a huge shock when the actress Cynthia Nixon revealed that those breasts were prosthetic. They looked so real!) That scene proved truly shocking to some viewers: breastfeeding, a rare televisual event in itself, is usually conducted beneath immaculate silk shirts obscured by tasteful and strategically placed furnishings. But as Miranda struggled to connect baby with milk, her physical frustration was matched by the fear that she was no longer herself. "I can't follow your thoughts," she wailed to Carrie, who sat horrified in front of her." [An excellent essay on how Miranda, the single mom character on Sex and the City, presents a realistic and somewhat horrifying portrayal of motherhood. - JC]
Keeping abreast of the times
By Charlotte Halle
Ha'aretz English Edition

"Esther Grunis likes to recall the time she was thrown out of a well-baby clinic in Jaffa about 10 years ago and told never to set foot in a Health Ministry clinic again - as if she were a member of some "breastfeeding cult." Now Grunis, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) qualified, and one of Israel's most experienced lactation consultants, can laugh at the story because she is the main lecturer on breastfeeding for staff at the well-baby clinics across the country, which are known locally as `Tipot Halav.' She is employed part-time at Lis Maternity Hospital in Tel Aviv Medical Center (formerly Ichilov) and in addition to training staff, she runs workshops on breastfeeding for pregnant couples, new mothers going back to work, moving from breast milk to solids and - her own creation - a course which grandmothers and other carers can join. She also runs one of the hospital's expert Internet forums. It's not bad progress in just a decade."