Owen Farrell is raring to go against Scotland on Saturday

ENGLAND XV: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Danny Care (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)

REPLACEMENTS: Jamie George (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), George Kruis (Saracens), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) 

Doctor asked to tell a patient they were being DEPORTED

Government officials controversially asked a doctor to tell a patient they were being deported, it has emerged today. 

The anonymous GP was approached by a branch of the Home Office to deliver the notice to an adult with mental health problems.

Union leaders condemned the ‘unprecedented’ request, that occurred in Liverpool, and blasted it as ‘completely unacceptable’.

Despite the doctor’s refusal to comply, fears have been raised that this could open the door to a flurry of similar requests. 

GPs have flocked to social media to blast the news that a fellow doctor was asked to serve a deportation notice to one of their patients.

Some dismissed the letter as ‘outrageous’ and ‘barbaric’, while others stressed ‘we are not border guards and immigration enforcement officers’.

The anonymous GP was approached by a branch of the Home Office to deliver the notice to an adult with mental health problems

The anonymous GP was approached by a branch of the Home Office to deliver the notice to an adult with mental health problems

The anonymous GP was approached by a branch of the Home Office to deliver the notice to an adult with mental health problems

The letter, leaked to GP Online, reads: ‘It is with great regret that [X’s] application for leave to remain has been refused. 

‘From evidence submitted to the Home Office [X] is attending [the practice]. 

‘On the patient’s next visit to the surgery, could you serve the refuse decision. This is due to the patient’s ongoing mental health.’

Dr Rob Barnett, chairman of Liverpool’s Local Medical Committee, confirmed the letter was real. 

He told GP Online: ‘It is incredible. I am concerned that a GP was in any way brought into this process. 

‘It cannot do anything to help the doctor-patient relationship in any circumstances. This is nothing to do with health – it is to do with immigration.’ 

GPs have flocked to social media to blast the news that a fellow doctor was asked to serve a deportation notice to one of their patients

GPs have flocked to social media to blast the news that a fellow doctor was asked to serve a deportation notice to one of their patients

GPs have flocked to social media to blast the news that a fellow doctor was asked to serve a deportation notice to one of their patients

Dr Umesh Prabhu, a medical director in two trusts for 15 year, said the letter was 'outrageous'

Dr Umesh Prabhu, a medical director in two trusts for 15 year, said the letter was 'outrageous'

Dr Umesh Prabhu, a medical director in two trusts for 15 year, said the letter was ‘outrageous’

A consultant psychiatrist tweeted he is 'categorically refusing' to serve deportation notices

A consultant psychiatrist tweeted he is 'categorically refusing' to serve deportation notices

A consultant psychiatrist tweeted he is ‘categorically refusing’ to serve deportation notices

While others stressed 'we are not border guards and immigration enforcement officers'

While others stressed 'we are not border guards and immigration enforcement officers'

While others stressed ‘we are not border guards and immigration enforcement officers’

Other Twitter users described the newly leaked letter as 'unacceptable' and 'barbaric'

Other Twitter users described the newly leaked letter as 'unacceptable' and 'barbaric'

Other Twitter users described the newly leaked letter as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘barbaric’

CAN THE NHS SHARE DETAILS ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WITH THE HOME OFFICE? 

Health chiefs have faced calls to stop sharing patient information with the Home Office, which uses the data as part of efforts to locate suspected illegal migrants.

NHS Digital has an agreement which allows them to share details such as names and addresses with immigration enforcement authorities.

Information can be requested in relation to those who have failed to comply with reporting restrictions, absconded from immigration control, escaped from detention, exceeded their time limit to stay in the UK or sought to obtain leave to remain by deception.

NHS Digital can refuse a request if it is not satisfied it is in the public interest.

In cases where the Home Office suspects an immigration offence has been committed, it provides what details it has to NHS Digital to check against its own records.

If there is a match and the request is accepted, NHS Digital will disclose information from its databases, such as names, dates of birth and last known addresses.

The letter, which was sent alongside the deportation notice, was sent by UK Visas and Immigration last August. 

Dr Richard Vautrey, chair of the British Medical Association’s GP Committee, said the request was ‘unprecedented’.

He told GP Online: ‘It is unacceptable to ask a GP to do that, and to use information from the patient record in this way. 

‘We have made it absolutely clear on many occasions – GPs are not an extension of the border agency or immigration service.

‘We have never heard of anything like this before, and I hope it never happens again. It should be plainly obvious to anyone that this is completely inappropriate.’  

A tweet posted by Dr John Hughes, from Prestwich, Greater Manchester, described it as ‘totally unacceptable ethically’.

His post amassed nearly 200 retweets and has seen scores of angry doctors speak of their grave concerns over the request. 

It comes just weeks after the NHS was told to stop sharing patient data with the Home Office in order to trace immigrant offenders.   

Dr Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the House of Commons health select committee, criticised the deal between NHS Digital and the Home Office.

And health experts have previously warned pregnant and ill migrants are ‘too scared to see a doctor’ amid fears they will be deported.

MailOnline has approached the Home Office for comment. 

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s youngest 147 record beaten

  • Amateur snooker player Sean Maddocks managed a 147 at 15 years and 90 days  
  • Maddocks is the current Merseyside Open champion and is tipped for the top 
  • His break was made in Leeds last year but has only just been made official 

Tom Farmery For Mailonline

Ronnie O’Sullivan became the youngest snooker player to make a 147 in 1991 but his record has fallen after Merseyside amateur Sean Maddocks cleared up.

O’Sullivan was 15 years and 98 days old when he recorded a 147 break but Maddocks has beaten that by eight days.

The current Merseyside Open champion made the break at the Pro-Am Series in Leeds last year but it has now been officially recognised by Guinness World Records.

Sean Maddocks has become the youngest snooker player to record a break of 147

Sean Maddocks has become the youngest snooker player to record a break of 147

Sean Maddocks has become the youngest snooker player to record a break of 147

Ronnie O'Sullivan previously held the record for 27 years after completing the feat in 1991

Ronnie O'Sullivan previously held the record for 27 years after completing the feat in 1991

Ronnie O’Sullivan previously held the record for 27 years after completing the feat in 1991

The Liverpool-based player, who has been tipped for a bright future, recently made his 100th century break.

Coach Neil Johnson has helped Maddocks since a young age and believes he can realise his potential if he works hard.

He told BBC Sport: ‘I have trained Sean from the age of 10 and could see he had something special from the very beginning. He also has a great work ethic to go with his undoubted talent.

‘As with all young players, there is still a long way to go if he is to achieve his potential, but he has as good a chance as anyone that I am aware of and I hope that he can push on from here.’ 

Maddocks is the current Merseyside Open champion and is tipped for a bright future

Maddocks is the current Merseyside Open champion and is tipped for a bright future

Maddocks is the current Merseyside Open champion and is tipped for a bright future

British Gymnastics sacks head coach Eddie Van Hoof

  • Eddie Van Hoof has been dismissed as head coach of the men’s national team
  • British Gymnastics cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ for the decision to sack him
  • The Yorkshireman was UK Coaching’s coach of the year in 2016 following Rio
  • Men’s team won five medals at Olympics but he was suspended in November  

Matt Slater, Press Association Chief Sports Reporter

British Gymnastics has dismissed Eddie Van Hoof as head coach of the men’s national team, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’, the sport’s national governing body has announced.

The Yorkshireman was UK Coaching’s coach of the year in 2016 after the men’s team won five medals at the Rio Olympics, including two golds for Max Whitlock.

But the former Olympic gymnast was suspended from his role in November pending an investigation into alleged misconduct.

British Gymnastics has dismissed Eddie Van Hoof as head coach of the men's national team

British Gymnastics has dismissed Eddie Van Hoof as head coach of the men's national team

British Gymnastics has dismissed Eddie Van Hoof as head coach of the men’s national team

In a statement published on Thursday, British Gymnastics confirmed his dismissal and said: ‘It became clear there are irreconcilable differences between Eddie and British Gymnastics regarding the leadership, conduct and culture of elite coaching for our sport.

‘The situation had become untenable and it was best for all sides to bring matters to a close. We thank Eddie for his contribution to British Gymnastics and wish him every success in the future.’

The specific allegations against the coach are not known but his suspension came three weeks after British Gymnastics’ chief executive Jane Allen published an open letter denying there was a ‘win at any cost’ mentality at the sport’s Lilleshall base.

The Yorkshireman (left) was UK Coaching's coach of the year in 2016 following Rio Olympics

The Yorkshireman (left) was UK Coaching's coach of the year in 2016 following Rio Olympics

The Yorkshireman (left) was UK Coaching’s coach of the year in 2016 following Rio Olympics

That letter was a response to media reports about various issues within the sport, including a row with leading gymnasts over their contracts and claims of misconduct by unspecified coaches.

‘We want to make the nation proud but ‘how we win’ is just as important,’ wrote Allen, who has run the sport since 2010.

‘This administration has never had a desire to win at any cost and under my leadership I expect the athletes’ welfare to be given the highest priority.

The former Olympic gymnast was suspended from his role in November pending investigation

The former Olympic gymnast was suspended from his role in November pending investigation

The former Olympic gymnast was suspended from his role in November pending investigation

Liverpool stars train ahead of West Ham league clash

  • Liverpool host West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon
  • Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all trained on Thursday 
  • As did forgotten man Nathaniel Clyne as he works his way back to full fitness 

Luke Augustus for MailOnline

Liverpool’s assault on a top-four Premier League finish continued on Thursday as they prepared for the visit of West Ham.

The Reds entertain their London rivals at Anfield on Saturday afternoon knowing that victory is crucial to their hopes of securing a Champions League qualifying spot.

And ahead of that match, the league’s third-best side trained at their Melwood base.

Roberto Firmino (left) and Sadio Mane were present during Liverpool's training session

Roberto Firmino (left) and Sadio Mane were present during Liverpool's training session

Roberto Firmino (left) and Sadio Mane were present during Liverpool’s training session

As was Mohamed Salah (right) on Thursday as he and his team-mates trained at Melwood

As was Mohamed Salah (right) on Thursday as he and his team-mates trained at Melwood

As was Mohamed Salah (right) on Thursday as he and his team-mates trained at Melwood

The Egypt international was in a buoyant mood ahead of this weekend's Premier League clash

The Egypt international was in a buoyant mood ahead of this weekend's Premier League clash

The Egypt international was in a buoyant mood ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash

Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his attacking trio can lead them to victory against West Ham

Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his attacking trio can lead them to victory against West Ham

Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his attacking trio can lead them to victory against West Ham

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will hope to inspire his side at Anfield on Saturday

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will hope to inspire his side at Anfield on Saturday

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will hope to inspire his side at Anfield on Saturday

Liverpool’s awesome attacking trident of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were all present during the session as they look to torment the Hammers’ defence at the weekend.

Loris Karius, Simon Mignolet and Danny Ward were put through their paces with some extensive goalkeeping drills – with the latter two hoping to usurp the former for the No 1 jersey.

Manager Jurgen Klopp was in a good mood as his squad worked hard and that would’ve only brightened as Nathaniel Clyne continues to work his way towards full fitness.

The full back hasn’t played for Liverpool since the final day of last season when the Reds secured their place in the top four with a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough.

While Clyne is expected to miss out on Saturday, the same can’t be said for Salah who has taken the season by storm.

Loris Karius will be hoping to hold on to the No 1 jersey for the Reds against West Ham

Loris Karius will be hoping to hold on to the No 1 jersey for the Reds against West Ham

Loris Karius will be hoping to hold on to the No 1 jersey for the Reds against West Ham

Karius knows he faces pressure from Simon Mignolet - as the latter looks to regain his spot

Karius knows he faces pressure from Simon Mignolet - as the latter looks to regain his spot

Karius knows he faces pressure from Simon Mignolet – as the latter looks to regain his spot

Third-choice goalkeeper Danny Ward was kept busy during Thursday's training session

Third-choice goalkeeper Danny Ward was kept busy during Thursday's training session

Third-choice goalkeeper Danny Ward was kept busy during Thursday’s training session

Nathaniel Clyne (front) was present during the session - in a boost for him and the club

Nathaniel Clyne (front) was present during the session - in a boost for him and the club

Nathaniel Clyne (front) was present during the session – in a boost for him and the club

The full back hasn't featured all season due to injury but is finally nearing a return to action

The full back hasn't featured all season due to injury but is finally nearing a return to action

The full back hasn’t featured all season due to injury but is finally nearing a return to action

The Egypt international has scored 30 goals in a remarkable debut season since joining from Roma and his former team-mate there Francesco Totti believes he can still improve.

‘The level he is playing at, at the moment, he is one of the best players in the world – and I think he can and will get even better,’ the Italian legend told Liverpool’s official club website.

‘I know him well. He is a good friend and wants to keep improving, to keep getting better as a player.

‘He does all the right things, he trains hard, he works hard, he listens to the coaches – that’s why, as good as he is playing at the moment, I think maybe there is even one more level in him.’ 

Salah's former Roma team-mate Francesco Totti believes the sky is the limit for his potential 

Salah's former Roma team-mate Francesco Totti believes the sky is the limit for his potential 

Salah’s former Roma team-mate Francesco Totti believes the sky is the limit for his potential 

Toddler has a chopstick lodged in his brain after tripping

A toddler in China has had a chopstick removed from his skull after it got lodged there through his mouth. 

The boy, known by his nickname Yang Yang, accidentally fell onto the chopstick during lunch time on February 18 at his home in Hengyang, Hunan Province.

Surgeons carried out an emergency operation overnight in order to save the child, according to a local report.  

The chopstick impaled the boy's mouth and was lodged in his brain after an accident in China

The chopstick impaled the boy's mouth and was lodged in his brain after an accident in China

The chopstick impaled the boy’s mouth and was lodged in his brain after an accident in China

Surgeons has successfully removed the wooden stick after an overnight emergency operation

Surgeons has successfully removed the wooden stick after an overnight emergency operation

Surgeons has successfully removed the wooden stick after an overnight emergency operation

Yang Yang, who was not yet two years old, was running around his home while holding the chopstick, according to his father Mr Li.

The child got tripped by a threshold and the chopstick speared into his mouth, Mr Li told Hunan Television Station.

The boy’s mother told the station that Yang Yang’s grandmother was following behind Yang Yang trying to feed him food.  

Yang Yang was rushed to a local hospital. Local doctors told his family members that they must take the boy to the Central South University’s Second Xiangya Hospital, which is in the provincial capital Changsha. 

Doctors from the Central South University’s Second Xiangya Hospital immediately examined the boy after receiving him at around 6pm.

They found that the chopstick had gone so deep into his skull that it was resting in his brain. Emergency surgery was planned and a team of interdepartmental experts was formed.

The neurosurgeons opened the boy's skull from the back of his head to remove the chopstick

The neurosurgeons opened the boy's skull from the back of his head to remove the chopstick

The neurosurgeons opened the boy’s skull from the back of his head to remove the chopstick

Neurosurgeons Huang Wei, Xiang Jun and chief of neuro Zhou Yangpo operated on the child, but the surgery proved most difficult for the anaesthesiologists, reports said.

The experts were unable to put the boy under because the mask used to induce the safest form of anaesthesia was obstructed by the protruding chopstick.

The doctors therefore decided to cut a section of the stick off in order to fit the mask over the boy’s face.

The neurosurgeons opened the boy’s skull from the back of his head, accessing his posterior cranial fossa to find the tip of the chopstick.

The wooden stick was then slowly removed from the boy’s oral cavity, which caused bleeding from his wounds.

The operation which began in the evening ended in the early hours of the following morning, but it was a success.

The toddler has since regained consciousness in the facility’s ICU.

The hospital expects him to be discharged in the coming days. 

Morbidly obese woman who weighed 704lbs gains weight

A morbidly obese woman weighing 704 pounds was denied gastric surgery by doctors on TLC’s My 600lbs Life – after gaining 30lbs.

Lisa Fleming, 49, from Mobile, Alabama, had pleaded to doctors for help after discovering maggots in the folds of her skin.

She was put on a controlled diet in hospital by Dr Younan Nowzaradan ahead of planned weight loss surgery, during which time she managed to lose 87lbs.

However, when she was sent home she managed to put on 29lbs after secretly eating junk food – with nutritionists discovering she had donuts and ice cream in her fridge.

Lisa was then kicked off the hospital program by Dr Nowzaradan after he discovered she had gained weight.

He even suggested that she was ‘manipulative’ after she had an epic meltdown and tantrum. 

At the end of the show, it was revealed that she had managed to lose a total of just 58lbs over the course of the year.

Scroll down for video  

Lisa Fleming, 49, weighed 704 pounds and discovered maggots in the folds of her skin before realizing she needed help 

Lisa Fleming, 49, weighed 704 pounds and discovered maggots in the folds of her skin before realizing she needed help 

Lisa Fleming, 49, weighed 704 pounds and discovered maggots in the folds of her skin before realizing she needed help 

During TlC’s My 600lbs Life on Wednesday, Lisa revealed how she started out as a ‘regular child, having fun, doing things, playing’. 

Growing up with five brothers, she admitted her dad spoiled her and constantly told her he loved her while her mother struggled to verbalize her affection, cooking Fleming whatever she wanted to show she cared instead.

‘That’s how she showed it, by cooking,’ she added. 

However, Lisa, who is now hoping to get weight loss surgery, added that food was also used as a punishment.

Lisa eventually pleaded to doctors for help, after being left bed bound for several years 

Lisa eventually pleaded to doctors for help, after being left bed bound for several years 

Lisa eventually pleaded to doctors for help, after being left bed bound for several years 

However, she was kicked off the weight loss program after doctors discovered she managed to put on 29lbs after eating on junk food

However, she was kicked off the weight loss program after doctors discovered she managed to put on 29lbs after eating on junk food

However, she was kicked off the weight loss program after doctors discovered she managed to put on 29lbs after eating on junk food

She had been put on a controlled diet in hospital by Dr Younan Nowzaradan, during which time she managed to lose 87lbs. However, she quickly gained back some of this weight 

She had been put on a controlled diet in hospital by Dr Younan Nowzaradan, during which time she managed to lose 87lbs. However, she quickly gained back some of this weight 

She had been put on a controlled diet in hospital by Dr Younan Nowzaradan, during which time she managed to lose 87lbs. However, she quickly gained back some of this weight 

‘I remember this one time, I asked for some cake and she wouldn’t give it to me,’ she explained. ‘I didn’t understand so I just stuck my finger in and rubbed all the icing off the cake. 

‘My mama caught me and said, “I know ain’t nobody done this but you,” and she sat me down and said I had to eat the whole cake but after an hour my dad came and threw it in the trash can. He always saved me. 

Lisa also revealed that her parents’ divorce when she was nine-years-old added to the trauma and during this time, the only thing that made her feel better was eating.

‘Ice cream was my friend at night. I had my own bowl, I had my own spoon and I kept it hid in my room until my mom found it one day, but that didn’t even stop me.’

Lisa managed to lose a total of just 58lbs over the course of the year, after not following doctor's advice  

Lisa managed to lose a total of just 58lbs over the course of the year, after not following doctor's advice  

Lisa managed to lose a total of just 58lbs over the course of the year, after not following doctor’s advice  

Doctors found she had been eating junk food, and discovered ice cream in her fridge

Doctors found she had been eating junk food, and discovered ice cream in her fridge

Doctors found she had been eating junk food, and discovered ice cream in her fridge

For the first time in years, she was able left the same bed her mother died in due to obesity as she was taken to hospital in an ambulance 

For the first time in years, she was able left the same bed her mother died in due to obesity as she was taken to hospital in an ambulance 

For the first time in years, she was able left the same bed her mother died in due to obesity as she was taken to hospital in an ambulance 

By the age of 11 she already weighed 120lbs.

Her weight continued to shoot up over the years until she weighed over 400lbs. 

After the death of her mother passed away from cancer, she gained another 100lbs as she sought comfort in food.

‘One day I just couldn’t get up and move,’ Lisa explained. 

She said she knew it was time to make a change when she became completely bedridden and eventually found maggots in the folds of her skin.

Lisa described how her weight continued to go up through her life, until one day she woke up and 'just couldn't get up and move' 

Lisa described how her weight continued to go up through her life, until one day she woke up and 'just couldn't get up and move' 

Lisa described how her weight continued to go up through her life, until one day she woke up and ‘just couldn’t get up and move’ 

She explained how her issues with weight had began as a child, when she would comfort eat

She explained how her issues with weight had began as a child, when she would comfort eat

She explained how her issues with weight had began as a child, when she would comfort eat

Lisa has been reliant on the help of others after being left completely bed ridden for years

Lisa has been reliant on the help of others after being left completely bed ridden for years

Lisa has been reliant on the help of others after being left completely bed ridden for years

And for the first time in years, she was able left the same bed her mother died in due to obesity to make a six-hour trip, meeting with expert Dr. Younan Nowzaradan in Houston in order to ask for his help.

Appearing in the episode of My 600lb Life, Lisa admits: ‘I’m tired, I’m hungry, and I’m not looking forward to having the paramedics move me out of this bed.’

Seven paramedics were needed to remove the woman from her bed, down a ramp and onto an ambulance.

They also had to use her bed sheets to help life Fleming out of the bed.

‘The paramedics have to reinforce the ramp they’ll use to get me out of the house,’ she admitted. ‘I can’t believe it’s come to this.’  

Appearing on Wednesday night's episode, Lisa shared how a traumatic childhood signaled the start of a lifelong battle with her weight

Appearing on Wednesday night's episode, Lisa shared how a traumatic childhood signaled the start of a lifelong battle with her weight

Appearing on Wednesday night’s episode, Lisa shared how a traumatic childhood signaled the start of a lifelong battle with her weight

Growing up the only girl in a household of boys, Lisa admitted that her father used to spoil her as a child

Growing up the only girl in a household of boys, Lisa admitted that her father used to spoil her as a child

Growing up the only girl in a household of boys, Lisa admitted that her father used to spoil her as a child

When Lisa's parents divorced when she was nine, she used food to comfort herself, sneaking snacks like ice-cream into her bedroom

When Lisa's parents divorced when she was nine, she used food to comfort herself, sneaking snacks like ice-cream into her bedroom

When Lisa’s parents divorced when she was nine, she used food to comfort herself, sneaking snacks like ice-cream into her bedroom

Feeder: Her mother used to cook her whatever she wanted as a child

Feeder: Her mother used to cook her whatever she wanted as a child

Heavy: Lisa's problems didn't start until later and by the age of 11, Lisa weighed 120 pounds

Heavy: Lisa's problems didn't start until later and by the age of 11, Lisa weighed 120 pounds

Although her mother used to cook her whatever she wanted as a child, Lisa’s problems didn’t start until later and by the age of 11, she weighed 120 pounds

Lisa said she started out as a 'regular child, having fun, doing things, playing' before her issues with her weight began

Lisa said she started out as a 'regular child, having fun, doing things, playing' before her issues with her weight began

Lisa said she started out as a ‘regular child, having fun, doing things, playing’ before her issues with her weight began

Her weight began to spiral out of control after her mother's death, going up to over 500lbs

Her weight began to spiral out of control after her mother's death, going up to over 500lbs

Her weight began to spiral out of control after her mother’s death, going up to over 500lbs

Seven paramedics were needed to remove Lisa from her bed, down a ramp and onto an ambulance as they took her to hospital 

Seven paramedics were needed to remove Lisa from her bed, down a ramp and onto an ambulance as they took her to hospital 

Seven paramedics were needed to remove Lisa from her bed, down a ramp and onto an ambulance as they took her to hospital 

 

Structure that powers the movement of sperm is discovered

A never-before-seen structure has been discovered in the tails of human sperm.

Using Noble Prize-winning technology, scientists found spirals within the tubes of sperms’ tails.

Study author Davide Zabeo from the University of Gothenburg, said: ‘We believe that this spiral may act as a cork inside the microtubules [a collection of tubes], preventing them from growing and shrinking as they would normally do, and instead allowing the sperm’s energy to be fully focused on swimming quickly towards the egg.’

Sperms’ tails play a critical role in their ability to swim and consequently fertilise an egg. 

It is unclear if the spiral discovery could pave the way for future fertility treatments.

Via Noble Prize-winning technology, scientists discovered spirals within tubes in sperms' tails

Via Noble Prize-winning technology, scientists discovered spirals within tubes in sperms' tails

Via Noble Prize-winning technology, scientists discovered spirals within tubes in sperms’ tails

DOES WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY REDUCE MALE FERTILITY? 

Weight-loss surgery could make men infertile, research suggested in October 2017.

Semen abnormalities occur in 57.1 per cent of men after they undergo bariatric surgery, a study found.

Only four per cent of the study’s 79 participants fathered children after having the procedure, compared to 13 per cent before, the research adds.

Dr Edward Lin, editor-in-chief of the journal Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care, which published the study, said: ‘This study is one important piece in solving the puzzle of male infertility.

‘The challenge is to see if correcting hormonal and micronutrient aberrations are enough to reverse male infertility.’ 

The researchers, from the Hospital das Clinicas in São Paulo, analysed men who were attempting to conceive with their partner.

Of the study’s participants, 23 were followed for at least five years after having bariatric surgery; 23 for two years after having the operation; 18 were obese but did not have the procedure; and 15 were of a healthy weight.

All of the participants completed a questionnaire asking them about their sexual quality of life.

They were also assessed for their blood glucose, testosterone, vitamin D, zinc and semen levels. 

‘We spotted something we had never seen before’ 

The researchers used cryo-electron tomography, which produces 3D images of cellular structures and was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2017.

Lead author Johanna Höög said: ‘Since the cells are depicted frozen in ice, without the addition of chemicals which can obscure the smallest cell structures, even individual proteins inside the cell can be observed.’

The scientists initially set out to uncover what human sperm cells look like in 3D.

Ms Höög added: ‘When we looked at the first 3D images of the very end section of a sperm tail, we spotted something we had never seen before inside the microtubules: spiral that stretched in from the tip of the sperm and was about a tenth of the length of the tail.’ 

The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports. 

What was already known about human sperm-tails’ structure? 

Sperm tails consist of around 1,000 building blocks, including structures known as tubulins, which form long tubes.

Attached to these tubes are moving molecules called motorproteins. 

These pull and bend sperm tails, enabling them to swim. 

Ms Höög said: ‘It’s actually quite incredible that it can work. 

‘The movement of thousands of motorproteins has to be coordinated in the minutest of detail in order for the sperm to be able to swim.’  

These spirals (seen more clearly in the top image) are thought to prevent sperms' tails growing and shrinking, which may allow all of their energy to be focused on fertilising an egg

These spirals (seen more clearly in the top image) are thought to prevent sperms' tails growing and shrinking, which may allow all of their energy to be focused on fertilising an egg

These spirals (seen more clearly in the top image) are thought to prevent sperms’ tails growing and shrinking, which may allow all of their energy to be focused on fertilising an egg

Declining sperm counts could be a ticking time bomb for the human race 

This comes after research released in October 2017 suggested declining sperm counts and doubling rates of testicular cancer could be a ticking time bomb for the human race.

Sperm counts have halved in the western world over the past four decades, which, alongside rising testicular tumours, could be behind plummeting fertility rates and couples’ increasing dependency on IVF, according to Professor Niels Skakkebaek from the University of Copenhagen.

Hormone-disrupting pesticides sprayed onto everyday food may be too blame as the changes are occurring too rapidly for genetics to be at fault, he adds.

Professor Skakkebaek added: ‘Alterations in our genome cannot explain the observations as changes have occurred over just a couple of generations.

‘Modern lifestyles are associated with increased exposure to various endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as pesticides that may be harmful to humans even though exposure to individual chemicals is low.’ 

Sepsis could be prevented by the gut, study suggests

Altering our gut bacteria could protect us from the potentially deadly condition sepsis, new research suggests.

By boosting levels of certain gut microbes in mice, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were able to effectively switch on an immunological shield from the condition.

More and more research suggests that our gut is core to our emotions and immune system, but the new study offers hope that changing our gut could even change the conditions we are susceptible to.

If the findings translate to the human gut, they could help curtail the 15 percent of hundreds of thousands of deaths that sepsis causes each year.

Sepsis might be preventable by encouraging the growth certain gut microbes, a University of Pennsylvania study in mice suggests 

Sepsis might be preventable by encouraging the growth certain gut microbes, a University of Pennsylvania study in mice suggests 

Sepsis might be preventable by encouraging the growth certain gut microbes, a University of Pennsylvania study in mice suggests 

Our guts are as unique as our DNA, but infinitely more changeable.

The more we learn about the gut, the more it becomes clear that everything about us shifts as the tiny microorganisms within it do.

Every person has differently-sized populations of each of the trillions of microbes – or microscopic organisms – in our guts.

Depending upon which populations are flourishing in our guts, everything from our digestion to our memories can change, and, according to the new research, so can our response to sepsis.

The body responds to bacterial infections by releasing a wave of chemicals to fight off the invaders.

But the battle has its casualties: inflammation is part of the immune response, and when the fight goes on for too long that inflammation can damage any and all organ systems, a dangerous state called sepsis.

If this state persists, a person is said to be in septic shock, which can result in steep drops in blood pressure and death.

More than one million Americans become septic each year, and between 15 and 30 percent do not survive.

Scientists have noted in the past that people who lack an immune antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) have poorer survival rates than others when they get sepsis.

These blood antibodies fight infections without the inflammatory side effects that lead to sepsis.

Certain gut microbes trigger a response from IgA, which then quickly revs up and rushes to the front lines, fighting infection early and lowering the risk of sepsis.

Doctors have had some success treating people with sepsis by giving them IVs of immunoglobulins, and it is thought that those with more IgA are also more resilient against the condition.

But Dr Joel Wilmore and Dr David Allman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine imagined that if they could prompt the body to deploy the antibodies more quickly simply by introducing more of the gut microbes that stimulate that response.

The researchers tested their theory by boosting the levels of a group of microbes in the Proteobacteria phylum.

When they sampled the mice’s blood, they found higher levels of IgA.

So Dr Willmore and Dr Allman went a step further. They induced sepsis in the mice and transferred blood that had no IgA to one group of them.

Only one mouse in that set survived more than two days.

On the other hand, the mice that got the IgA-enriched blood had far better survival times.

Between the two experiments, the researchers suggest that it is reasonable to think that a diet that helps Proteobacteria flourish in the gut could boost IgA-levels, providing protection against sepsis. 

A&E staff report more than 1.3 MILLION counts of abuse

Over-stretched A&E staff report more than 70,000 counts of verbal and physical abuse each year.

A&E staff live in fear of being attacked, researchers have revealed after tallying up how many times they were abused in 2016. 

Nearly 193 attacks occur daily by angry patients and visitors, as they now consider dealing with violence part and parcel of their job.

It comes amid the ‘worst winter ever’ for the NHS, with tempers high among patients who are furious about the state of the health service. 

Official data confirms the NHS has been crippled by a crisis, with A&E diverts and ambulance delays having reached worrying levels in recent weeks. 

The new study, by Lancaster University researchers, uses data from 2016, before the ‘humanitarian crisis’. The toll could be higher for 2017.

A&E staff live in fear of being attacked, researchers have revealed after tallying up how many times they are abused each year

A&E staff live in fear of being attacked, researchers have revealed after tallying up how many times they are abused each year

Scared nurses and doctors have revealed they have been left with PTSD and serious injuries, and live in fear their attacker may return some day. 

The findings suggest clear signs put up in hospitals warning visitors that police and security teams will escort them out the premises are being ignored. 

Lancaster University researchers concluded there was a total of 70,555 reported assaults on frontline hospital staff in the UK in 2016.

The findings were made after scientists looked into reports of abuse against medics working in emergency departments in 18 countries.  

Around the world, one in four emergency staff suffered some sort of physical abuse, with nurses subject to regular verbal and physical abuse.

Dr Ian Smith, a clinical psychologist and co-author of the study, made the findings by going through questionnaires and surveys by staff.

He said: ‘Staff appear to passively accept violence and aggression, often when preventative and reactive strategies were inconsistently enforced.’ 

One healthcare worker said: ‘People can swear at us, spit at us, bite at us…try and hurt us and nobody puts an incident report in.’

HOW MANY CALLS HAVE BEEN MADE TO NHS 111 THIS WINTER?

NHS England data, collected from all 137 trusts across the country, show the overall number of calls made to NHS 111 for each week this winter.

February 12-18 

February 5-11

January 29-4

January 22-28

January 15-21

January 8-14

January 1-7

December 25-31

December 18-24

December 11-17

December 4-10

November 27-3

248,855 

335,918

324,301

328,412

324,853

322,073

395,704

480,371

396,262

325,042

267,374

300,644 

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE AMBULANCES BEEN TURNED AWAY?

NHS England data, collected from all 137 trusts across the country, show the amount of times ambulances have been turned away this winter.

February 12-18 

February 5-11

January 29-4 

January 22-28

January 15-21

January 8-14

January 1-7

December 25-31

December 18-24

December 11-17

December 4-10

November 27-3 

 23

30

36

43

20

6

32

39

6

30

25

11 

It was also seen that some staff saw some patients as being able to control their violence more than other.

Another said: ‘If the patient has dementia, that’s a bit different than a drunk patient or just a patient angry about waiting time.’

The researchers said some workers often missed signs of increasing aggression before an attack.

Others found it hard to understand why they were being attacked when they were trying to help. 

One unnamed medic said: ‘My biggest hurdle was that I feel like a victim, rather than getting to be in the “superman” role.’ 

The study, published in the International Journal of Emergency Nursing, also found staff working on their own can often feel inadequate and guilty.

One member of staff who replied to the survey said: ‘Nobody cared at all, not even the head nurse. You feel abandoned.’

It was found experiencing violence and aggression led to feelings of powerlessness, with some reluctant to work in emergency departments. 

HOW MANY PATIENTS HAVE BEEN STUCK IN AMBULANCES OUTSIDE?

NHS England data show the overall number of patients who were stuck in ambulances outside A&E units for more than half an hour this winter.

February 12-18 

February 5-11

January 29-4

January 22-28

January 15-21

January 8-14

January 1-7

December 25-31

December 18-24

December 11-17

December 4-10

November 27-3

 13,302

10,751

11,694

11,061

11,019

12,559

16,690

16,893

11,852

14,323

11,852

10,184 

 

WHAT ARE THE BED OCCUPANCY RATES IN THE NHS THIS WINTER?

NHS England data, collected from all 137 trusts across the country, show the overall bed occupancy rates for each week this winter.

February 12-18

February 5-11

January 29-4

January 22-28

January 15-21

January 8-14

January 1-7

December 25-31

December 18-24

December 11-17

December 4-10

November 27-3

 94.9%

95.0%

95.1% 

95.1%

94.8%

94.9%

95.0%

91.7%

90.8%

95.1%

94.5%

94.5% 

 

Some staff were said to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and were left with serious injuries from attacks.

One said: ‘I’m always worried whether the person will come back.’ Another added: ‘I ended up tearing cartilage in my left knee, ended up having surgery.’

The experience of violence and aggression also had an effect on the ability or willingness of staff to do their job.

An A&E staff member said: ‘A female patient… came into be treated. For some reason this triggered a post traumatic reaction for me. 

‘I instantly became very shaky, nauseated, and started crying… I then went to counselling for a couple of months, I think.

‘My biggest hurdle… was [that I felt], and still do, feel like a victim, rather than getting to be in the “superman” role.’

Writing in the journal, researchers said: ‘These accounts imply that staff’s sense of self-worth was dependent on their ability to care and “rescue” patients.

‘Violence and aggression in the emergency department can often be an overwhelming yet inevitable experience for staff.

‘A strong organisational commitment to reducing violence and aggression is imperative.’

The psychologists also found some staff had become ‘less tolerant of aggressive behaviour’ which sometimes led to an increasing number of violent incidents.