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Health

How to better manage your relationship with your phone

How does it feel for you? What emotions come up in your mind and body?

What about when you realise you've left your mobile device at home, or in a taxi? Are you bereft? Do you crave it?

Last year, 84 per cent of Australians owned a smartphone — and among young people, that figure was 94 per cent.

And our dependence on mobile devices has crept up on us over time, leading to a range of problems, University of Washington Information School's Professor David Levy said.

GM pigs take step to being organ donors

The scientists successfully rid 37 pigs of viruses hiding in their DNA, overcoming one of the big barriers to transplanting pig organs to people.

The team at eGenesis admits preventing pig organs from being rejected by the human body remains a huge challenge

But experts said it was a promising and exciting first step.

The study, published in the journal Science, started with skin cells from a pig.

Tests identified 25 Pervs - porcine endogenous retroviruses - hidden in the pig's genetic code.

The most important thing your doctor should do

It involved using a camera to look for abnormal growths inside my bowel.

But, lying on the operating table waiting to be put to sleep, I suddenly realised the surgeon about to do the test hadn't introduced themselves.

Maybe they would speak to me afterwards, I thought.

But I was mistaken — not even a quick "hello".

The relationship between patient and doctor is as old as medicine itself.

Despite advances in drugs, surgery and scans, the process of getting better always starts with a conversation.

When acne isn't just a teenage phase

When Iona first got the blemish, she was irritated, but not too concerned.

She assumed the pimple was the result of a few late nights or some junk food — nothing out of the ordinary.

"But [after a while] I realised that I consistently had this one really bad pimple, and then consistently had a couple of really bad pimples," Iona said.

The acne came as a surprise for Iona, who didn't have a history of acne.

"I never had any problems with acne growing up," she said.

Broken fat switch

Scientists at Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute believe they have found a mechanism in the brain that coordinates the conversion of food into white fat or brown fat in the body.

The study was conducted on mice, but evidence suggests it would likely apply to humans as well.

White fat is how humans store energy, and excess storage leads to obesity, while brown fat actually produces heat and burns energy.

How to deal with the psychopath in your life

Or maybe it is you.

Five to 10 per cent of the population qualify as psychopathic, according to David Gillespie, author of Taming Toxic People: The Science of Identifying and Dealing With Psychopaths At Work and At Home.

A study last year found the rate could be as high as 20 per cent among corporate leaders.

The lifelong implications of telling children they can’t sing

Telling a child they can’t sing has life-long implications. But there are ways to reverse it.

Singing is a natural human interaction that transcends cultures, socio-economic groups, ability, gender and education level, but many people are so scarred from their childhood experiences of singing that they won’t sing as adults.

Northwestern University choral music expert Steven Demorest says this comes from a focus on talent rather than skill. “It creates a huge stigma for kids and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” he says.

Food health-rating labels failing to reveal added sugars, study finds

Professor Bruce Neal from the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney reviewed more than 34,000 packaged foods with health-star ratings.

These are the voluntary front-of-pack labels, designed to help people make healthier choices.

But health experts said naturally occurring sugars found in fruits, vegetables and dairy were treated the same as sugars added during food processing.

Indoor plants don't just look nice — they bring health benefits, too

The quarter-acre dream is fast disappearing and larger blocks and family gardens along with it.

As more people move from country areas to the city and as land to build homes near the city centre becomes scarce, we're getting further and further away from nature. It turns out this isn't great for our health.

The change in urban environments because of development, associated with a rapid increase in chronic disease, is a global phenomenon in developed countries.

Changing your mindset could change your life, Science says so

At the start of this year, did you do what many of us did? (Myself included)

We make great plans and set out an impressive agenda for the year, with key goals, important achievements and projects to undertake.

There's a sense of optimism and renewal that comes at the start of each year.

"This year I'm going to [fill in the blanks]."

But are you like me — that so often the busyness of life interferes with your plans and hopes for a happier, healthier life? We get into a rut and run on auto-pilot.

I spoke about this recently to a lovely group of people.