SIRC Media Watch Archive
Panics and Scares – January 2003

Risk for left-behind surgery tools higher in obese. In very rare instances, a patient will walk away from surgery carrying a memento of the experience inside their bodies, such as a sponge or surgical instrument. Now research … suggests that such potentially life-threatening mistakes occur more often in people who are overweight. Reuters.

Mobile phones blamed for sparrow deaths. The remarkable decline of the sparrow remains one of British wildlife's most enduring mysteries. Cats, lead-free fuel and even loft insulation have all been blamed for the disappearance of 10 million house sparrows. Now scientists seeking to unravel the cause of their disappearance have identified a new culprit: the mobile phone. Observer.

Trendy Jeans Warning. Trendy hipster jeans could be a health hazard, doctors have warned. The tight, low-rise trousers popularised by Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears can squeeze a sensory nerve under the hipbone and lead to a condition called paresthesia. The condition causes a tingling sensation in the thighs, said Dr Malvinder Parmar, medical director at the Timmins and District Hospital in the Canadian city of Ontario … He urged women to return to wearing traditional waist-cut jeans, or preferably loose dresses. Sky News.

Beer belly 'gene' found. Genetic make-up could be to blame for the beer belly. BBC.

Celebrity mums 'bad for health'. Pregnant women are being urged to put their health first and to avoid trying to look like celebrity mums like Victoria Beckham and Liz Hurley. BBC.

The formula for happiness. Scientists say they have solved one of the greatest mysteries plaguing mankind – just what is the secret of happiness? The answer, apparently, is nothing as simple as true love, lots of money, or an exciting job. Instead, it can be neatly summarised in the following equation:
Happiness = P + (5xE) + (3XH) BBC.

Euro notes are genetically modified, scientists reveal. Sceptics who derided the euro as an artificial currency have been right all along: its banknotes are printed on genetically modified cotton. Times.