Dye inconsistencies may cause lab errors

Pathology labs can make errors diagnosing diseases like cancer because special dyes used to analyze biopsies can be unreliable, according to Haber Inc.

The company released a three-year research study published in the official publication of the Biological Stain Commission. The study shows Haber's Electromolecular Propulsion technology can quickly screen medical-purpose dyes to detect inconsistencies that might be linked to diagnostic errors.

Microsurgery makes disk surgery easier

Microsurgery is making it possible to repair herniated disks with day surgery.

Called a microdiskectomy, it takes about an hour, and four hours later the patient can walk out of the hospital. Recover time is two to four weeks at home.

A herniated disk occurs when the disk, or cushion between the spine's vertebrae, becomes damaged and pushes out between the vertebrae. When that happens, it presses against the nerves going to the legs and causes pain.

In the microsurgery, the surgical microscope allows the surgeon to make a small, one-inch incision and about a millimeter of bone is removed above and below the injured disk. The bony structure of the spine is not altered.

Flossing system may beat out matchbooks

Millions of Americans double and even triple floss their teeth - the day before a dentist appointment. Almost one-third admit they lie to their dentist about their irregular flossing habits.

A survey conducted for Cirrus Technologies, which just introduced a new flossing system, shows that dental floss isn't even in the top three items Americans use to clean their teeth: toothpicks, paper and matchbooks. Dental floss is next, at fourth, with thread from clothing rounding out the top five.

`Bend Over Backward' and reap some rewards

Mentadent believes kids who "bend over backward" to help others should reap some rewards. So in conjunction with their new Procare toothbrush, they're inviting kids to enter a "good Samaritans" essay contest with prizes that include a trip for four to Disney World.

Youths 9 to 13 are asked to write a two-page or shorter essay about how they have individually bent over backward to help someone. The grand prize is the trip to Disney World. First prize is $2,500 cash. Second prize is $1,000 cash. Third prize is $500 cash and the fourth prize is a year's supply of Mentadent ProCare Toothbrushes.

Contestants need to include their name, daytime phone number and complete address on the top of each page and have a parent write "I give permission for (child's name) to participate in the Mentadent ProCare Toothbrush Bending Over Backwards Essay Contest" on a 3x5 card, then sign it.

The card and essay should be mailed to Mentadent ProCare Bending Over Backwards Contest, P.O. Box 1845, Young America, MN 55594-1845 by June 18.