Sounds familiar

Unborn babies can switch off to their mother's voice in the same way as older children do, say researchers from Queen's University, Belfast. In a study of the effect of external sound and movement, they found the foetus stops responding when exposed to excessively loud noise or very soft sounds. According to a report in Doctor, what they like best is rhythmic sound.

Painless vein cure

A new, painless laser treatment for broken and spider veins on the legs, as well as some varicose veins, has been developed in the US and could soon be available in Britain. The Sclero-Lasercan eliminate troublesome leg veins up to 1mm in width, its manufacturers claim. Leg veins are usually treated by injection with an irritant solution, which can be painful, or by surgery.

No sweat

Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, cold sweats and palpitations can be eased by taking a nutritional supplement, says a report in the Journal of Sexual Health. A study of 157 menopausal women who took the supplement for three months found that nine out of 10 symptoms improved in more than 50 per cent of sufferers. The supplement contained various nutrients, including magnesium, pantothenic acid and the Bvitamins.