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That convergence of media, telecommunication, information technology and consumer electronics you've been hearing about? Mostly hype, says new research from Cass Business School, London, and it's now over.

All that's left is a focus on exploiting the business opportunities created by the digital revolution, they say.

Dr Gianvito Lanzolla, Senior Lecturer in Strategy at Cass, suggests that because the revolutionary conceptual shifts from analogue to digital technology took place in 2003 – 2004, with a focus on first mover advantage and innovations, subsequent developments within digital technologies are adjustments rather than major changes.

A hernia is produced when the content of the abdominal cavity protrudes through a weakened natural orifice of the abdominal wall such as the inguinal canal, the umbilical area, the epigastrium or a previous incision in the abdomen such as from a surgical operation. The hernia manifests itself as a bulging lump since the internal lining of the abdomen protrudes in what is called a hernial sac that shrinks or grows depending on the effort exerted by the affected individual.

Hernias are more frequent in the groin or navel areas and in the area of an old surgical scar, and they never improve or disappear naturally; on the contrary, they tend to grow. Not only painful but unaesthetic too, hernias can produce complications such as bowel obstructions and strangulations.

A new study published today in Annals of Internal Medicine has good news for coffee drinkers: Regular coffee drinking (up to 6 cups per day) is not associated with increased deaths in either men or women. In fact, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption is associated with a somewhat smaller rate of death from heart disease.

Women consuming two to three cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease during the follow-up period (which lasted from 1980 to 2004 and involved 84,214 women) as compared with non-consumers, and an 18 percent lower risk of death caused by something other than cancer or heart disease as compared with non-consumers during follow-up. For men, this level of consumption was associated with neither a higher nor a lower risk of death during the follow-up period (which lasted from 1986 to 2004 and involved 41,736 men).

Wang and colleagues performed a systematic review of safety studies of medical cannabinoids published over the past 40 years and found that short-term use appeared to increase the risk of non-serious adverse events.

Of all non-serious adverse events, dizziness was the most common (15.5%).

"We found that the rate of non-serious adverse events was 1.86 times higher among medical cannabinoid users than among controls," state the authors. "However, we did not find a higher incidence rate of serious adverse events associated with medical cannabinoid use." The authors note that 99% of the serious adverse events from randomized controlled trials were reported in only 2 trials, a fact the authors say suggests that more studies are required to further characterize safety issues.

LONDON, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Responding to reports in the media that Obecalp, a placebo pill for children, is due to be made available on the UK market, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain's (RPSGB) Chief Scientist, Jayne Lawrence said:

"The RPSGB is concerned that this product is due to be made available on the UK market as a placebo pill to give to children.

"As a dietary supplement, the manufacturers have not been required to carry out clinical trials. Further, the use of this drug indicates that symptoms diagnosis and advice have not been sought from a qualified healthcare professional, which runs the risk of misdiagnosis.

"We are also concerned that giving a child the pill reinforces the wrong message - that tablets are the answer for all of life's aches and pains."

Activities such as aquaculture, shipping and recreational boating have led to an army of marine alien species hitchhiking around the globe.

And only you can stop them.

Queen's University Belfast is attempting to find out exactly where and how non-native species get a foothold in a new area. To do this it is asking for help from the public to record what they have seen.

Part of the Marine Aliens consortium, co-ordinated by the Scottish Association for Marine Science, the project will use the information gathered to look at how invasions can be slowed or preferably prevented. It is very difficult to eradicate an organism once it has become established in a new area.