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Proposals to overhaul the approach to obtaining patient consent lack detail, contain advice that is non-specific, and might prevent doctors from making major changes to their practice warns an editorial in this week's BMJ.

Writing in response to the publication of the General Medical Council (GMC) guidance on patient consent to be implemented in June, Professor Glyn Elwyn argues that although the guidance appears radical and urges a change in the approach to informed consent, it fails to address how doctors will do this in busy clinical settings.

The process of obtaining consent from patients for procedures such as surgical operations often just involves patients signing a piece of paper declaring that they understand the nature of the procedure and its consequences, only a few hours before an operation. This rarely provides time for patients to read or consider the information about harms and benefits. In addition, evidence shows that patients want to be given more information about risks and consequences.

Simplistic and unpiloted NHS reforms are inadvertently damaging patient care in general practice, according to a group of academics writing in this week's BMJ.

Professor Howie, from the University of Edinburgh, writing with colleagues, criticises recent reforms in general practice and says if they "continue unchallenged [it] will result in the dismemberment of a primary care system that has been the envy of other countries."

They argue that the holistic care patients have always received from their GP, and which has worked in the individual patient's favor, is in danger of being harmed by recent changes.

WATERLOO, Ontario, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In a new and generous act of personal philanthropy, Mike Lazaridis has provided an additional $50 million (Canadian) to Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI). This private donation increases his personal contributions to $150 million in the research institute.

The private funding announcement, delivered by The Honourable John Wilkinson, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, was celebrated by over 600 people just prior to a PI Public Lecture. The donation was acknowledged by all dignitaries representing the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada, important members of a public-private partnership that fund the scientific research and outreach operations.

A seismologist at Washington University in St. Louis and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University and Newcastle University in the United Kingdom have found seismic signals from a giant river of ice in Antarctica that makes California's earthquake problem seem trivial.

Douglas A. Wiens, Ph.D., Washington University professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts&Sciences, and colleagues combined seismological and global positioning system (GPS) analyses to reveal two bursts of seismic waves from an ice stream in Antarctica every day - and each one equivalent to a magnitude seven earthquake.

The ice stream is essentially a giant glacier 60 miles wide and one-half mile thick. The data show that the river of ice moves about 18 inches within ten minutes, remains still for 12 hours, then moves another eighteen inches. Each time it moves, it gives off seismic waves that are recorded at seismographs all around Antarctica, and even as far away as Australia.

At Euro 2008, the soccer championship for European countries held every four years, this event, held jointly in two countries, means both Austria and Switzerland regard themselves as having the upper hand due to the "twelfth man" - home field advantage.

But does it really exist? Eva Heinrichs, a future diploma statistician at Technische Universität Dortmund, has scientifically tackled the issue and examined all games of the premier and second German national league as well as the Spanish, Italian and English premier leagues since 1963 - which is nice work if you can find it - and concludes it does exist, though it was a lot stronger in prior decades than it is today.

Kylie Minogue's breast cancer triggered a surge of over 30 percent in breast imaging of low risk women, says new University of Melbourne study.

Use of mammography and breast ultrasound procedures soared among women aged 25-44 in the six months following Minogue's breast cancer diagnosis, says a new study from the University of Melbourne.

There was also a sharp rise in the number of women aged 25-34 years who underwent breast biopsies – but this surge in screening activity did not lead to the detection of more cases of breast cancer.