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In America, 50% of people are baffled by the notion that the same government responsible for FEMA should be more involved in something as important as health care. Not so in Australia. Professor Jim Butler, Director of the Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health (ACERH) based at Australian National University, says not only would national Medicare be good for people, it would make staunch capitalists happy by increasing competition and thereby lowering waiting times.

Private hospitals and capitalism are the reason there are wait times? No, but allowing private hospitals access to medicare money would allow them to compete with public hospitals and reduce wait times while lowering costs. Or so he says. Instances where government funding reduced the cost of anything? Still sitting at 0 throughout human history.

In Butler's analysis, a Hospital Benefits Schedule funded by the Commonwealth and not the states would be created to enable patients to use their publicly funded health service benefit in private hospitals.

A person's gender in a leadership role is associated with the mental and physical health of subordinates, according to new research out of the University of Toronto.

The study conducted by Scott Schieman, a professor of sociology at the University of Toronto and Taralyn McMullen, a PhD candidate, involved data from a 2005 sample of 1,800 working adults in the United States. The participants were assessed on levels of psychological distress, physical symptoms, occupation, job sector, and numerous work conditions including authority, pressures, the quality of interpersonal relations, and satisfaction. The study examined workers who were managed by two supervisors (one male, one female), one same-sex supervisor or one supervisor of a different sex.

The study found that:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say up to one in four teens in the United States will contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and experts believe a major contributing factor is the failure of many teens to use condoms consistently and routinely. A new study provides some insight into some of the factors that influence condom use among teenagers.

Researchers from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and three other institutions surveyed more than 1,400 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 21 who had unprotected sex in the previous 90 days. They found that teens who did not use condoms were significantly more likely to believe that condoms reduce sexual pleasure and were also more concerned that their partner would not approve of condom use. The findings appear in the September/October issue of Public Health Reports.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -Without a way to measure religious beliefs, anthropologists have had difficulty studying religion. Now, two anthropologists from the University of Missouri and Arizona State University have developed a new approach to study religion by focusing on verbal communication, an identifiable behavior, instead of speculating about alleged beliefs in the supernatural that cannot actually be identified. 

Children who are bilingual before the age of 5 are significantly more likely to stutter and to find it harder to lose their impediment compared to children who speak only one language before that age, according to research in Archives of Disease in Childhood.The researchers base their findings on 317 children who were referred for stuttering between the ages of 8 and 10.

A drug used to increase blood production in both medical treatments and athletic doping scandals seems to also improve memory in those using it. New research published in BMC Biology says that the memory enhancing effects of erythropoietin (EPO) are not related to its effects on blood production but are due to direct influences on neurons in the brain. The findings may prove useful in the treatment of diseases affecting brain function, such as schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s.

Patients given EPO to treat chronic kidney failure had been observed to have improved cognition after starting the drug. “These effects of EPO were thought to result from the blood-boosting effects of the drug,” explains Hannelore Ehrenreich at the Max Planck Institute, “but the finding of receptors for EPO on nerve cells in the brain suggests that some other mechanism might be involved.”