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Was using a doctor to help track down Osama Bin Laden right or wrong? Aid agencies fear a resulting lack of trust in Pakistan could hit vaccination campaigns. And a sweet cure for skin infections


The United States has confirmed publicly for the first time that a Pakistani doctor helped them to track down Osama Bin Laden.

Aid agencies who’ve questioned whether this tactic breached the medical oath to 'do no harm' believe that it could threaten the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns, by eroding trust.

It’s not clear whether DNA samples were ever taken from Bin Laden’s children, but the doctor in question has been arrested by the authorities in Pakistan.

But on the British Medical Journal’s forum doc2doc a lively debate has developed on the ethics of using medical care to track someone down.

Some believe that the action was taken for the ‘greater good’ and that the doctor should be freed.


Gout is often associated with an image of a red-faced older man, slightly overweight, with a glass of port in hand.

But the painful condition which affects the joints – often the joint at the base of the big toe - is on the increase amongst younger people who are obese.

One of the researchers who first identified this trend for gout to strike earlier is from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in the United States.


Folklore would have us believe that cheese gives you nightmares - but does it?


A rather special kind of honey which is made by bees collecting nectar from manuka bushes in New Zealand and Australia looks like a promising bet to treat wounds.

Manuka honey has long been known for its anti-microbial properties - but it’s not been clear until now exactly how it works.

Now a team at Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK has revealed that manuka honey inhibits the growth of ‘biofilms’ - communities of bacteria which can develop on the most difficult to treat wounds.

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18 minutes

Last on

Sun 12 Feb 2012 13:32GMT


  • Was it right or wrong to use a doctor to help track down Osama Bin Laden?

    Aid agencies say that using a doctor to help track down Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan has put vaccination campaigns at risk. MSF say the medical oath which doctors take to “do no harm” has been breached

    Duration: 05:44

  • New research reveals obese people get gout earlier

    The painful arthritic condition gout is no longer exclusive to port-drinking, red-faced older men. American research shows that overweight people are getting gout earlier in their lives

    Duration: 04:25

  • Does eating cheese give you nightmares?

    An expert in sleep medicine tackles another of the myths about our health - that cheese eaten at bedtime gives you bad dreams

    Duration: 01:40

  • A sweet-tasting solution for difficult-to-treat wound infections

    A special type of honey holds the key to treating chronic wound infections, according to new British research. Medical grade manuka honey destroys the sugary “biofilm” created by bacteria on the skin

    Duration: 05:01


  • Wed 8 Feb 2012 19:32GMT
  • Thu 9 Feb 2012 04:32GMT
  • Thu 9 Feb 2012 12:32GMT
  • Fri 10 Feb 2012 23:32GMT
  • Sun 12 Feb 2012 03:32GMT
  • Sun 12 Feb 2012 13:32GMT