A monthly round-up of expatriate news, provided by Expatriate Healthcare
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Welcome to this edition of Expat News

Country Feature - SOUTH AFRICA

Each month we will provide you with information on a particular country or region. This month we focus on South Africa.

"South Africa is a beautiful and intriguing destination, offering plenty of opportunities for expatriates settling there . . ."

click here for more information on this particular country.

For information on other countries click here

Expatriate Healthcare update the news everyday on their website. Here's a round up of the top stories from last month.

Monthly round-up:

Over the past month, there have been a number of stories discussing exciting regions for expatriates to relocate abroad to. These include the adventurous countries of Mauritius, Portugal, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, which all have a number of activities for a wide range of people to enjoy.

Spain was also highlighted as an exciting country. Tenerife in the Canary Islands was said to be good for athletic people, as well as those who prefer a quieter place to stay, while golf enthusiasts were told of of the range of courses on the Costa del Sol.

While housing in Spain could still have a small way to fall, property investors were informed about the potential of real estate in Morocco, particularly in the capital of Marrakesh.

Scientists found people who live in richer areas have better health outcomes than those in poorer regions when other variables are controlled, while children who grow up in the inner city were discovered to have higher rates of asthma than their suburban counterparts.

However, living in a rural community was linked to higher rates of obesity, while scientists showed children with weight problems have weaker tastebuds than slimmer youngsters and a cardiac specialist complained that overweight patients are harder to diagnose and treat for heart problems than the average person.

Read on to catch up on other health news from around the world . . .

Scientists discover genetic marker for bone density

Expatriates who are at risk of suffering from a fracture may be able to benefit from the discovery of a gene that regulates bone strength and density. A study, which was published in the journal PLoS Genetics and undertaken by medical specialists in the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, claimed this genetic marker could be able to determine the risk of a person sustaining a fracture and could also open up opportunities for preventative treatments to support bone health.

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Immune cell 'could play role in susceptibility to lung cancer'

A key immune cell could determine a person's likelihood of developing lung cancer. Researchers at St Louis' Washington University School of Medicine used a mouse model to find evidence that natural killer cells have genetic diversity that contributes to the animal's likelihood of suffering from the condition. Natural killer cells typically discover and destroy tumour cells and the research indicates that these may be better at eliminating developing lung cancer in some people than in others.

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Dubai 'has strong culinary scene'

Dubai is growing in importance as a destination for people relocating abroad and it has also been described as a region with a good culinary scene. Cheapflights.co.uk travel expert Oonagh Shiel explained that there is a wide variety of dishes for people to choose from. Luxury hotels contain licensed restaurants that enable people to have enjoy alcohol with food, she added.

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New molecule 'could improve delivery of drugs in organisms'

A new molecule has been developed by scientists at Kansas State University that could potentially deliver medicines inside the body. The membrane-bounded vescicle is entirely formed of peptides, which are made up of amino acids. A patent for the molecule is currently pending and the research was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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MDA7 'could potentially treat Alzheimer's'

A new treatment could potentially treat Alzheimer's disease, a study has indicated. Researchers at the Lerner Research Institute and Anaesthesiology Institute at Cleveland Clinic examined the compound MDA7. The investigation, which was published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, revealed that the drug induced positive responses within the immune system, which limited Alzheimer's disease's development.

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Breakthrough made in brain cancer treatment

International healthcare researchers at Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) have made groundbreaking advances in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme. This is a particularly dangerous and lethal form of tumour, which rapidly grows and readily spreads to other tissues, while it accounts for around 17 per cent of all brain cancers.

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HRT 'should be researched by patients'

Expatriates who are being offered hormone replacement therapy (HRT) through an international healthcare firm have been advised to research the treatment. Life coach and mentor Annette Greenwood said while HRT is not a "magic cure-all" for all the ailments experienced as a result of the menopause, it can be effective.

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Scientists develop laser alternative to hypodermic needles

A groundbreaking development could soon make vaccination programmes painless and hassle-free. The Optical Society's journal Optics Letters contained a paper written by Seoul National University's professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering Jack Yoh that described a laser-based inoculation system that sends drugs and compounds into the skin through microscopic jets. If this development reaches the market, it could supplant hypodermic needles and take the pain out of injections.

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'Countless activities' in Algarve

Expatriates planning on relocating abroad to a tourist-friendly destination might want to look into the Portuguese district of Albufeira. This region is one of the Algarve's principal locations for tourism, according to Algarve Promotion Bureau executive director Daniel Queiros. He explained that it contains historical sites, beautiful beaches and meandering streets, which feature discos, bars, restaurants and retail spaces.

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Research could eventually lead to AIDS vaccine

While an AIDS vaccine would be a great addition to international healthcare provisions and is considered the Holy Grail for a number of medical researchers, it has not yet been discovered. A study undertaken at Oregon Health & Science University's Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and published in the journal Nature Medicine revealed why inoculations against weakened versions of the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) - which can cause AIDS in monkeys and is thought to be the source of the human epidemic - are too risky for use in humans, despite the fact that they could prevent later infection with virulent strains of the illness.

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