Thursday, August 17, 2006

Believe it if you like: "The man who made the Statue of Liberty appear to vanish may soon claim to do the same for unsightly bags and wrinkles. Master illusionist David Copperfield says he has found the "Fountain of Youth" in the southern Bahamas, amid a cluster of four tiny islands he recently bought for $US50 million. One of his islands in the Exuma chain, Musha Cay, is a private resort that rents for up to $US300,000 a week. The other islands serve as buffers to keep prying eyes away from celebrity guests on the white sand beaches. Copperfield is coy about his reasons for the Fountain of Youth claim. But the man best-known for entertaining with grand deception insists his archipelago also contains the legendary waters that bestow perpetual youth. "I've discovered a true phenomenon," he said. "You can take dead leaves, they come in contact with the water, they become full of life again. "Bugs or insects that are near death come in contact with the water, they'll fly away. "It's an amazing thing, very, very exciting." Copperfield, who turns 50 next month, says he has hired biologists and geologists to examine its potential effect on humans but he is not inviting visitors to swim in or drink from it just yet."

Obesity pill: "A drug which treats obesity by reducing the desire to eat has been launched in the UK. But NHS chiefs warned people not to expect it to become widely available straight away as the cost-effectiveness of the pill needed to be assessed. Rimonabant is the first drug to target factors governing the body's appetite, metabolism and energy use. Trials showed it can reduce weight by a tenth. UK experts said it could not replace healthy food and regular exercise. In the UK, it is estimated that one in five men and a quarter of women are obese. But at a cost of over 55 pounds for a month's treatment, it could end up costing the NHS billions of pounds of money. The drug still has to be assessed by NHS advisers the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The review is not expected for another two years and NHS bosses warned the public not to expect its widespread use immediately".

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