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Study shows links between physical attractiveness and higher salaries

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 05:06

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 17 : As a saying, "beauty is skin deep" sounds fair, but in the real world where money is top priority, physical attractiveness might have a lot more prominence than just inner beauty.

A study finds that healthier, more intelligent people have superior personality traits are preferred more for taking fatter pay checks home than those who are aesthetically compromised.

The study appeared in Springer's Journal of Business and Psychology.

The findings indicated that population-based surveys showed that people who are physically attractive earn more than the average Joe or Jane, while those who are aesthetically compromised - that gives pleasure through beauty - earn less.

More attractive lawyers and MBA graduates are also said to earn more.

Researchers, Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics and Mary Still of the University of Massachusetts in Boston analysed a nationally representative sample from a US data set that had very precise and repeated measures of physical attractiveness.

It measured physical attractiveness of all respondents on a five-point scale at four different points in life over 13 years.

Their analysis showed that people are not necessarily discriminated against because of their looks. The beauty premium theory was dispelled when the researchers took into account factors such as health, intelligence and major personality factors together with other correlates of physical attractiveness.

Healthier and more intelligent respondents and those with more conscientious, more extraverted and less Neurotic personality traits earned significantly more than others.

"Physically more attractive workers may earn more, not necessarily because they are more beautiful, but because they are healthier, more intelligent and have better personality traits conducive to higher earnings, such as being more conscientious, more extraverted and less Neurotic," Kanazawa explained.

Still stated that the methods used in other studies might explain why the findings in the current research are contrary to many current thoughts about the economics of beauty. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Consume Vitamin D pills to cut winter colds and flu

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 04:45

London [UK], Feb. 17 : Consume a healthy dose of vitamin D supplements during winters, as a study finds that taking them may protect you from acute respiratory infections and flu.

The study, published in The BMJ, suggests that taking vitamin D - also known as the sunshine vitamin - may have benefits beyond bone and muscle health and protects against acute respiratory infections.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London found that vitamin D supplementation cut the proportion of participants experiencing at least one acute respiratory tract infection by 12 percent, reports the Mirror.

"The bottom line is that the protective effects of vitamin D supplementation are strongest in those who have the lowest vitamin D levels and when supplementation is given daily or weekly rather than in more widely spaced doses," said lead researcher Adrian Martineau.

Respiratory tract infections are infection of the sinuses, throat, airways or lungs and can last up to 30 days.

They analyzed the data from almost 11,000 participants aged up to 95, who took part in 25 clinical trials.

The findings indicated that that supplements can help to prevent acute respiratory tract infections, particularly among those who are deficient in vitamin D.

After adjusting for other potentially influential factors, the team found that vitamin D supplementation cut the proportion of the participants experiencing at least one acute respiratory tract infection by 1 percent.

The results fit with the observation that colds and flu are most common during winter and spring, when levels of vitamin D are at their lowest.

"The evidence on vitamin D and infection is inconsistent and this study does not provide sufficient evidence to support recommending vitamin D for reducing the risk of respiratory tract infections," Martineau explained. (ANI)

Region: LondonGeneral: Health

Mitochondria size matters in keeping blood sugar level stable

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 04:58

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 15, : A study finds that changes in the size of mitochondria in a small subset of brain cells, may play a crucial role in safely maintaining blood sugar levels.

The study appeared in the journal Cell Metabolism.

"Low blood sugar can be as dangerous as high blood sugar," said senior author Sabrina Diano.

"We've found that changes in the size of mitochondria -- small intracellular organelles responsible for energy production -- in certain cells in the brain, could be key to maintaining the blood sugar within a safe range," Diano added.

"This new finding adds to our understanding of how the body keeps blood sugar levels within a safe range when sugar levels drop, like during fasting, or when they spike after a meal," Diano added.

The team designed the study to help understand how neurons in the brain that regulate appetite affect systemic glucose levels.

They used mouse models in which a specific mitochondrial protein, dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1), was either missing or present in varying amounts in the subset of brain cells that sense circulating sugar levels.

They found that depending on whether the mouse was hungry or not, mitochondria displayed dynamic changes in size and shape, driven by the DRP1 protein.

"We found that when DRP1 activity in the neurons was missing, these neurons were more sensitive to changes in glucose levels," said Diano,

"What surprised our research team was that these intracellular changes in this small subset of neurons were specifically important to increase blood sugar levels during a fasting period by activating the so-called counter-regulatory responses to hypoglycemia, in which the brain senses lower glucose levels and sends signals to peripheral organs such as the liver to increase glucose production," diano explained. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Combination of drugs may help kill brain cancer: Study

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 04:45

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 15 : A team of U.S. researchers finds that a combination of drugs may help in killing of brain cancer tumour cells with high cure rates in mice.

A combination of drugs may help in killing of brain cancer tumour cells with high cure rates in mice, finds a study.

The study appeared in journal Nature Communications.

Researchers at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa conducted the study on mice and found that a combination of drugs known as SMAC Mimetics and immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) amplifies kill rates of cancer tumour cells in laboratory testing.

They also found that the new mechanism also promotes long-term immunity against glioblastoma tumours and is highly effective against breast cancer and multiple myeloma - a malignant tumour of the bone marrow.

"These findings represent a significant evolution in our research and the field of immunotherapy. We are the first in the world to show the synergistic tumour-killing impact of combining SMAC Mimetics with immune checkpoint inhibitors for glioblastoma," said Robert Korneluk from the University of Ottawa.

"You could say it takes two to tango. We believe that it takes a combination strategy to impact cancer cure rates," Korneluk added.

The finds indicate that SMAC Mimetics also have a powerful synergistic effect with ICIs, relatively new drugs that are showing great promise in the clinic.

"Two drug companies have initiated human clinical trials this year to assess the impact of this combination of SMAC Mimetics and ICIs on patients with a variety of cancers," said another researcher ,Eric Lacasse.

"Although it could be years before any clinical trials begin for adults or children with the deadly brain cancer, glioblastoma, we're looking forward to seeing how scientific evidence from these experimental treatments adds to our knowledge," Lacasse explained. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

First-of-its-kind surgery in Delhi: 'Arthroscopy' used to tackle an ankle fracture

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 06:50

New Delhi [India], Feb. 15 : In what is a new approach to joint fractures in India, doctors at Indian Spinal Injuries Hospital, New Delhi, have used an arthroscope even while fixing a simple ankle fracture.

This the first time such a surgery is being done in Delhi. When a patient comes in with a joint fracture, a tiny camera is used to go inside the joint, to help doctors understand internal damage.

"Usually, we simply align the bone so it sets; we don't really look at cartilage damage. Naturally, on impact, the cartilage may also be broken-a complication of the fracture. So we open up the joint, sending in an arthroscope, to understand any other damage. Previously, we would fix the bone, and the patient would often get recurring pain. After several months, doctors would realize that there has been damage to the cartilage as well. By then, it is difficult to treat and the pain becomes a lifelong problem," said Dr Maninder Singh, Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Chief-Foot & Ankle Unit, Coordinator Sports Injury Unit, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi.

Adding, "To avoid this, the arthroscopic-assisted ankle fracture fixation method, gives the best possible patient outcome when it comes to ankle-fracture surgeries."

Understanding the importance of the surgery and the effect it is bound to have on patient outcomes, Indian Spinal Injuries Hospital has subsidized the rate of the arthroscopy, to encourage more and more people adopt this when they come in with ankle fractures. Within the Foot and Ankle Unit, it has become the protocol to do the arthroscopy. The hospital is now carrying out a study on the level of success of the surgery, again one of the first in the country.

"Once we know the extent of the damage to the cartilage, we can take suitable action, such as the shaving off any tiny shards of cartilage, so that it does not float around the joint and cause immense pain. Sometimes, the extent of breakage is so great that it needs a microfracture. This is a surgical technique wherein holes are drilled into the underlying bone in order to stimulate cartilage regrowth. The body's own stem cells will grow into new cartilage" said Dr Singh.

The arthroscopic-assisted ankle fracture fixation ensures that the surgeon is better able to understand how an accident or even a twist in the ankle that causes a fracture have impacted the joint in its entirety. It helps the doctor prescribe the best possible treatment for the patient's unique case, thereby getting the best patient outcomes.

While the surgery at Indian Spinal Injuries Hospital was done on the ankle, this can be performed on other joints as well.(ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Eat less to live more, finds study

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 07:13

New Delhi [India] Feb 14. : Finally the answer to the question 'How to live a long life?' has been found. At least, that's what it seems from a recent research.

There's a multi-billion-dollar industry devoted to products that fight signs of aging, but moisturizers only go skin deep. Aging occurs deeper, at a cellular level, and scientists have found that eating less can slow this cellular process.

Recent research published in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics offers one glimpse into how cutting calories impacts aging inside a cell. The researchers found that when ribosomes, the cell's protein makers, slow down, the aging process slows too. The decreased speed lowers production but gives ribosomes extra time to repair themselves.

"The ribosome is a very complex machine, sort of like your car, and it periodically needs maintenance to replace the parts that wear out the fastest," said Brigham Young University biochemistry professor and senior author John Price. "When tires wear out, you don't throw the whole car away and buy new ones. It's cheaper to replace the tires."

So what causes ribosome production to slow down in the first place? At least for mice: reduced calorie consumption.

Price and his fellow researchers observed two groups of mice. One group had unlimited access to food while the other was restricted to consume 35 percent fewer calories, though still receiving all the necessary nutrients for survival.

"When you restrict calorie consumption, there's almost a linear increase in lifespan," Price said. "We inferred that the restriction caused real biochemical changes that slowed down the rate of aging."

Price's team isn't the first to make the connection between cut calories and lifespan, but they were the first to show that general protein synthesis slows down and to recognize the ribosome's role in facilitating those youth-extending biochemical changes.

"The calorie-restricted mice are more energetic and suffered fewer diseases," Price said. "And it's not just that they're living longer, but because they're better at maintaining their bodies, they're younger for longer as well."

Ribosomes, like cars, are expensive and important, they use 10-20 percent of the cell's total energy to build all the proteins necessary for the cell to operate. Because of this, it's impractical to destroy an entire ribosome when it starts to malfunction. But repairing individual parts of the ribosome on a regular basis enables ribosomes to continue producing high-quality proteins for longer than they would otherwise. This top-quality production in turn keeps cells and the entire body functioning well.

Despite this study's observed connection between consuming fewer calories and improved lifespan, Price assured that people shouldn't start counting calories and expect to stay forever young. Calorie restriction has not been tested in humans as an anti-aging strategy, and the essential message is understanding the importance of taking care of our bodies.

"Food isn't just material to be burned -- it's a signal that tells our body and cells how to respond," Price said. "We're getting down to the mechanisms of aging, which may help us make more educated decisions about what we eat."(ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Are you smarter than your sibling? Read in to find out

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 06:34

Edinburgh [UK], Feb. 13 : If you are an elder sibling, you may already assume that first-born children are smarter than younger siblings. But new research out of the University of Edinburgh asks what many families have long pondered - and it turns out that the answer is more complicated than you might think.

The research by the University of Edinburgh has found that first-born children have superior thinking skills in comparison to their younger siblings.

Economists at the University of Edinburgh, Analysis Group and the University of Sydney examined survey data collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And the researchers found that first-borns scored higher than siblings in IQ tests as early as age one.

The study, published in the Journal of Human Resources, observed nearly 5,000 children from pre-birth to age 14, with children assessed every two years.

What's more, the research found that all children got the same degree of emotional support.

Lead on the research, Dr Ana Nuevo-Chiquero, said the results could explain differences in achievement observed in education and employment down the line.

Dr Nuevo-Chiquero, of Edinburgh University's school of economics, said "Our results suggest that broad shifts in parental behaviour are a plausible explanation for the observed birth order differences in education and labour market outcomes."

Typically, so say past studies, first-born kids are usually more successful and ambitious.

One conducted by the University of Essex found that the eldest child is 16 percent more likely to pursue higher education.

But they're also more likely to be short-sighted, so it's swings and roundabouts, right? (ANI)

Region: United KingdomGeneral: Health

Want shiny, happy hair, practice hair yoga, says expert Jawed Habib

Sun, 02/12/2017 - 05:18

New Delhi [India], Feb.12 : A happy person makes for happy, long, luscious, shiny and lustrous hair. So says famous hair specialist Jawed Habib.

He also maintains that the meditative practice of yoga can also contribute to pretty, thick and feminine hair.

"All one needs to do is practice hair yoga by following a healthy and balanced diet, having your meals on time, drinking milk, consuming lots of water and spending some time with oneself. Most importantly, smile for healthy, lustrous hair," says Habib.

"We all think good shampoos, conditioners and expensive salon treatments can make our hair healthy and beautiful, but we actually are completely unaware of reality. Good products and treatments are definitely important for hair. Hair care is beyond products and treatments. Understanding hair and its needs make things less complicated. Water is important for hair health. But not just drinking some 1-2 liters a day is all you need. Water for hair means drinking it well and rinsing it well," he adds.

Habib says drinking plenty of water helps to hydrate your hair and what is applied to the hair must also be well rinsed with cool water.

"Either don't apply any hair care product or make sure you have enough water to wash it off. If you understand the water rule for hair, half of your hair problems are solved. It's simple - drink it well, rinse with it well," he said.

"Young people think conditioner daily or an occasional spa treatments is enough.. No! Hair needs natural conditioning daily. Preconditioning is the answer-apply oil for five minutes daily before a wash. Use basic oils and not blends. Wash hair with normal hair shampoo, no other shampoo is required. Cut hair regularly, which means about 8-10 weeks. No chemical experiments at home and healthy lifestyle," he adds.

On the issue of trends in hair care, Habib said, "Always remember trends are temporary, but your hair is permanent. So, be wise. Work on balanced cuts. A hair cut is the foundation of a good look. Don't keep the length too long, long hair is not easy to look stylish. Get colour, Honey Blonde, Hazelnut and Khaki blondes are good options to get instant spark to the hair. Always go to professionals for hair styling, they know your hair more than you."

He further states that the scalp needs to be cleaned just the way your face is, and adds that a clean scalp prevents both dandruff and greying. In case you need to use an anti-dandruff shampoo, use it just once a week.

"I believe hair grooming is a science. A hair dresser is both your doctor and your designer. He will know exactly what to do with your hair, according to your personality, skin tone and hair texture."

He also said that oil does nothing but bring down the density of hair to manageable proportions. This , he said, can also be done by hair re-bonding and use of serums.

Short, shoulder-length hair can make any woman look beautiful. The shorter her hair is, the younger she looks. A hair-dresser can read and feel hair and a hair cut that originates from his or her mind and not eyes, makes the perfect cut, said Habib. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Exercise everyday to keep office frustration at bay!

Sun, 02/12/2017 - 04:15

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 12 : This happens to us all. Office frustrations are mostly never confined to just the work-place. To prevent them from spilling over into the house, scientists suggest taking a brisk walk or a long swim.

A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology tracked participants' sleep patterns and daytime physical movements found employees who recorded an average of more than 10,900 steps each day were less likely to perpetuate abuse at home than those recording fewer than 7,000.

"Research shows employees who are mistreated at work are likely to engage in similar behaviors at home," said University of Central Florida's College of Business management professor Shannon Taylor, who teamed up with researchers from Illinois and Wisconsin for the study. "If they've been belittled or insulted by a supervisor, they tend to vent their frustration on members of their household. Our study shows that happens because they're too tired to regulate their behavior."

The study concludes sleep and exercise are intervention points that can be leveraged to prevent the spread of harmful behavior. Study participants included 118 MBA students with full-time jobs who took a survey and then wore activity monitors for a week. A follow-up survey was then sent to the participants' cohabitants.

Taylor said the study found that burning an additional 587 calories can reduce the harmful effects of mistreatment and help prevent it from carrying into the home. For the average American man, these gains can be achieved with an hour of swimming or a brisk 90-minute walk.

"The findings are particularly compelling given recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association to walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps per day," Taylor said. "I also think the study gives us a new perspective on the importance of getting an adequate amount of sleep and exercise. It's not just good for you, it's good for your spouse, too."

Taylor is an associate professor and Ph.D. program coordinator in the management department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. His research examines rude, abusive, and unethical behaviors of employees and leaders. His work has appeared in journals in business and applied psychology and has been featured by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox News and NPR. He also serves as research director at Knowtro Inc. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Sex of the baby may play important role in would-be mother's immunity

Sat, 02/11/2017 - 09:22

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 11 : A study reveals would-be mothers, carrying female fetuses may exhibit a heightened inflammatory response that can contribute to sickness-related symptoms, such as achiness and fatigue.

According to researchers, women, over the years, have claimed that body of a mother, carrying male and female baby, react differently.

The study, published in journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, shows the sex of a baby is associated with pregnant women's immune responses.

Inflammation is a critical part of the immune response involved in wound healing and responses to viruses, bacteria and chronic illnesses and excessive inflammation is stressful to the body and can contribute to sickness-related symptoms, such as achiness and fatigue.

Researchers from the Ohio State University's wexner medical center in the US followed 80 pregnant women across the course of their pregnancy and examined whether women exhibited different levels of immune markers called cytokines based on fetal sex.

The analyses were conducted on levels of cytokines in the blood and levels produced by a sample of immune cells that were exposed to bacteria in the lab.

"While women didn't exhibit differences in blood cytokine levels based on fetal sex, we did find that the immune cells of women carrying female fetuses produced more pro-inflammatory cytokines when exposed to bacteria," said principal investigator of the study Amanda Mitchell.

"This means that women carrying female fetuses exhibited a heightened inflammatory response when their immune system was challenged, compared to women carrying male fetuses," Mitchell explained.

Adding, "This research helps women and their obstetricians recognise that fetal sex is one factor that may impact how a woman's body responds to everyday immune challenges and can lead to further research into how differences in immune function may affect how a women responds to different viruses, infections or chronic health conditions (such as asthma)."

While maternal inflammation can affect outcomes related to the fetus, like timing of birth, but more research is necessary to understand how fetal sex is associated with maternal inflammation. It's possible the sex hormones or other hormones in the placenta affect maternal inflammation levels, Mitchell said. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Doing hot yoga? Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep a cool head

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 06:27

London [UK], Feb. 10 : If you are doing a hot yoga - a style of yoga that takes place in a room heated between 26°C - 40.5°C - make sure you are drinking plenty of water before, during and after the class as it makes people more susceptible to dehydration and muscle injuries.

According to researchers from Washington University in St. Louis of United States, people doing hot yoga should take a break, cool down and get themselves hydrated as proper hydration is the key, reports The Mirror.

The findings indicated that more than half of the people doing hot yoga experience dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or dehydration, despite benefits such as greater flexibility and improvements in mood, fitness and stamina and if people are feeling dizzy - have headaches or feel weak or fatigued - then it may be related to fluid loss.

"People may assume the warnings, benefits and possible risks are the same for all types of yoga and that's simply not true," said assistant professor Casey Mace.

"There may be a misconception that these feelings are normal, but they're not," she says.

Doctors in Chicago reported last summer on a case, involving a healthy 35-year-old woman, who went into cardiac arrest induced by heatstroke during a hot yoga class. The woman survived.

Muscle and joint injuries may be common with hot yoga because the heat makes people feel more supple than they actually are.

"You have to be a bit cautious when you look at studies, because they are conducted with high-quality, well-trained yoga teachers under the best of circumstances," said another researcher Carol Ewing Garber.

"The reality is that out in the real world, there's a lot of variability across instructors in terms of their training," Garber added.

If you have low blood pressure or any health condition, consult your doctor before trying hot yoga and if you are prone to heatstroke or dehydration, then you should stick with regular yoga, the authors concluded. (ANI)

Region: LondonGeneral: Health

Less water intake accelerates urine infection

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 09:09

New Delhi [India], Feb. 9 : Winter problems are no longer restricted to cough, cold and flu. When the temperature drops and the cold winds begin to blow, the air becomes drier and our bodies get less moisture than they do in warmer months, leading to dehydration. And that is the first step towards a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

UTI refers to a bacterial infection anywhere in the urinary tract, such as the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or the urethra and one tends to be exposed to such infections in winters.

Dr. Anant Kumar, Chairman - Urology, Renal Transplant, Robotics, and Uro-Oncology Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket said, " Our bodies suffer from UTI in winters as we stop drinking water. While we can invest in any warm beverage rather than icy water when it comes to wintertime, it's still critical to maintain the water intake. Consumption of less water, especially during winter is one of the main causes that worsen UTI."

Moreover, the main symptom of the infection which is burning sensation is usually considered a result of eating high calorie rich food during this season. This delays the patients from approaching the doctors on time. Also, women who make contact with the infections are so apprehensive of reporting it to the doctors that they prefer to self-medicate, which in turn makes the infection acute.

While most cases of bladder infection occur suddenly, others may recur over the long-term. Early treatment is keys to preventing the spread of the infection. Bacteria that enter through the urethra and travel into the bladder cause bladder infections. Normally, the body removes the bacteria by flushing them out during urination. This overwhelms the body's ability to destroy them, resulting in a bladder infection.

According to Dr. Kumar, for preventing bladder infections the following lifestyle changes may help reduce or eliminate the occurrence of bladder infections:

• Change underwear daily: Since women are more prone to infections, they should change their undergarments twice a day.

• Don't hold urine: Urinate as soon as you feel the need. Holding urine for long multiplies the bacteria, thus causes infection.

• Wear cotton underwear: Cotton underwear's are comfortable, especially for women as it helps keep the vagina dry. Synthetic underwear's cause excessive friction, thus leading to discharge of fluid which causes irritability.

• Don't Use feminine hygiene sprays: The pH in the vagina regulates itself, and douching or spraying, changes the equilibrium.

• Urinate before and after sexual activity: Urinating right after sex can help prevent the spread of faecal bacteria to the bladder and thus reduce the risk of UTIs. Men should pass urine each time after the sexual intercourse.

Here are the five most effective bladder infection remedies:

• Drink more water: Have at least 2 litres of water every day. Water flushes out the bacteria in your bladder, helping to eliminate the infection faster. It also dilutes your urine, so urination may be less painful.

• Antibiotics: Antibiotics kill the bacteria causing the bladder infection. Antibiotics may not always be needed. In some cases, a minor bladder infection can resolve on its own. It might cause symptoms for a day or two, but with increased hydration and urination, it may pass.

• Heating pads: Putting low heat across your abdominal region or back may soothe the dull ache that sometimes occurs during bladder infections. This can be especially helpful if medications aren't enough to ease your discomfort.

• Appropriate dress: Bacteria thrive in warm and moist environments.

Tight jeans and other snugly fitting clothes can trap moisture in your most delicate areas, making them a breeding ground for bacteria. Wearing loose, casual clothing that allows your skin to breathe can keep the bacteria in your urinary tract at bay. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Find out reason behind miscarriage among women undergoing IVF

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 04:53

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 9 : In a shocking revelation, a study finds daylight savings time (DST) - turning the clock ahead as warmer weather approaches and back as it becomes colder again - increases the rate of miscarriage among women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).

According to researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and IVF New England, DST contributes to higher miscarriage rates among women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) who have had a prior pregnancy loss.

The findings, published online in the journal Chronobiology International, shed light on the impact of circadian rhythm changes on reproduction and fertility as DST represents a subtle but widespread disruption to daily circadian rhythms.

"To our knowledge, there are no other studies looking at the effects of daylight savings time and fertility outcomes", said Constance Liu from Massachusetts General Hospital.

"We knew that we were researching an uncharted field and it was important for us to understand the effect a one-hour change had on patients undergoing IVF," Liu added.

The team looked at the pregnancy and miscarriage rates among a sample of patients undergoing IVF prior to and during daylight savings time, in both fall and spring.

The patients were then categorised into three groups based on the timing of their embryo transfer during daylight savings time.

They found that miscarriage rates in the IVF patients, who had had a prior miscarriage were significantly higher among women whose embryo transfers occurred 21 days after spring DST began, compared to patients whose embryo transfers occurred before or well outside the spring DST window.

Successful pregnancy rates did not differ between seasons or among the three groups or among the three groups during the change to standard time in the fall.

"While our findings on the impact of DST on pregnancy loss among IVF pregnancies is intriguing, they need to be replicated in larger IVF cohorts in different parts of the world to observe DST," said study's senior author Wendy Kuohung from Boston University's school of medicine. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Marry or Divorce: Marital transition affect women health

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 08:56

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 8 : Both marriage and divorce affect the health of postmenopausal women.

A new study reveals that blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) tend to worsen if a woman marries and improves if she divorces or part ways.

The study appeared in journal of Women's Health.

Researchers analysed data from more than 79,000 postmenopausal women.

The findings indicate that marital transitions had a direct impact on health indicators -waist circumference, BMI and blood pressure and behaviors - smoking, alcohol use, physical activity and diet.

The results showed that the BMI of a postmenopausal woman increased with marriage and decreased with divorce.

Divorce was not only associated with a lower BMI, but also a reduction in waist circumference with improvements to diet and increased physical activity.

The article titled 'Relationship between Marital Transitions, Health Behaviors, and Health Indicators of Postmenopausal Women: Results from the Women's Health Initiative' describes the relationship found between marital transitions and both health indicators and behaviours.

"These new results are in stark contrast to earlier findings in which marriage has been associated with improved overall health and divorce with higher mortality," explained Susan G. Kornstein from Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health.

The study was conducted by Randa Kutob and researchers from Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and Cancer Center of University of Arizona (Tucson); Brown University School of Public Health (Providence, RI); University of California, Davis; University of Texas Health Science Center (San Antonio); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and University of Iowa College of Public Health (Iowa City). (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Pregnant women drinking from plastic bottle up risk of baby being obese

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 05:12

London [UK], Feb. 8 : Pregnant women drinking from plastic water bottles could be driving up their risk of having obese babies, a new study has found.

Scientists have found that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone disruptor, is linked to an unborn child's increased risk of obesity.

When the child is exposed to BPA, they become less sensitive to a hormone responsible for controlling appetite.

Experts admit they are not surprised by the results, and warned of the need to be aware of environmental factors that can lead to increased susceptibility of obesity.

BPA is a chemical found in a variety of food containers, including polycarbonate plastic water bottles and can linings.

This chemical can interfere with the endocrine system (a collection of glands that produce several hormones) by mimicking estrogen, one of the main sex hormones found in women.

Research indicates BPA exposure is nearly universal. More than 90 percent of people tested in population studies had detectable levels of BPA, and compounds produced when it is metabolized by the body, in their urine.

The study, conducted by The Endocrine Society based in Washington DC, looked at baby mice. Researchers found that mice born to mothers exposed to BPA were less responsive to the hormone leptin, which is sometimes called the satiety hormone.

Leptin helps inhibit the appetite by reducing hunger pangs when the body does not need energy. The hormone sends signals to the hypothalamus region of the brain to suppress appetite.

Senior author Dr Alfonso Abizaid, of the Department of Neuroscience at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada said: 'Our findings show that bisphenol A can promote obesity in mice by altering the hypothalamic circuits in the brain that regulate feeding behavior and energy balance.

'Low level prenatal exposure to BPA delays a surge of leptin after birth that allows mice to develop the proper response to the hormone. BPA exposure permanently alters the neurobiology in the affected mice, making them prone to obesity as adults.'

To examine how BPA can encourage the development of obesity, the researchers fed pregnant mice BPA in their food.

The mice were exposed to doses of BPA that are lower than levels deemed safe by the US Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada. Once the mice gave birth, the researchers gave their offspring injections of leptin at various intervals and then examined their brain tissue and analyzed their blood to gauge the response to the hormone.

Other pregnant mice were not exposed to any chemicals or were exposed to an estrogen chemical called diethylstilbestrol (DES), so their young could be compared to those born to mice that were exposed to BPA.

Newborn mice typically exhibit a surge of leptin when they are eight days old that programs a part of the brain to respond to fullness cues. The study found that animals exposed to BPA experienced this surge two days late, and mice exposed to DES never had a surge of leptin.

When they were treated with leptin over the course of two days, control animals that weren't exposed to either chemical lost more weight than BPA - or DES- exposed mice.

'This study improves our understanding of how BPA can disrupt the endocrine system in a manner that raises the risk of obesity in animals,' Dr Abizaid said.

'Since BPA has also been linked to obesity in humans, people need to be aware that environmental factors can lead to increased susceptibility to obesity and cardio-metabolic disorders.'

A report released in October 2016 claimed that plastic bottles contain hormone-disrupting chemicals that can cause cancer, diabetes, ADHD and autism.

Yet they are found in thousands of everyday products, ranging from plastic and metal food containers, to detergents, flame retardants, toys and cosmetics.

These chemicals are responsible for scores of illnesses - costing the US an astonishing $340 billion in health-related costs each year, the NYU Langone report read.

The most common illness due to endocrine disrupting chemicals is neurological - including attention-ADHD, autism and loss of IQ. (ANI)

Region: LondonGeneral: Health

Innovative technique connects liver `directly` to the heart

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 04:48

New Delhi [India], Feb. 8 : A 21-year-old Iraqi woman, who suffered from a rare genetic condition in which blood clots prevented the flow of blood into the liver and outflow from the liver to the heart, has been given another chance to live a full and happy life by the doctors.

A team of doctors lead by Dr. Vivek Vij, Director, Liver Transplant, FMRI conducted an extremely complex lifesaving surgery, in a carefully crafted procedure on December 28, 2016.

"My parents sent me to India fearing relatives might say they didn't try enough to save my life," recalls 21-year-old Bnar Satar Mala, who till December 2016 had given up hope of survival.

It all started somewhere in the year 2014, with initial symptoms of turning pale, then yellow with severe pain shooting down the left shoulder to her arm soon developed into swelling in her limbs and abdomen. "I would feel nauseous at the mention of food, I could barely eat and often throw up soon after".

Doctors in Iran diagnosed her with a rare genetic disorder called Budd Chiari Syndrome, a condition where blood clots completely or partially blocks the blood flow to the liver in an individual. Very few cases of this syndrome have been reported worldwide so far. It is rare to the extent that many liver transplant surgeons might not have even got an opportunity to treat such a case.

The blockage may occur anywhere from the small and large veins that carry blood from the liver (hepatic veins) to the inferior vena cava (that takes the blood back to the heart). The IVC drains fluid out of the liver too. Due to the blockage in the hepatic vein which obstructed the outflow, her liver was gradually "dying".

"No doctor wanted to take the risk of operating on me, at best, a stent was put inside my liver to drain the fluid out," added Mala.

"By the time Bnar reached FMRI, her liver was completely black and shrunken, requiring urgent transplant in order to save her life. Her brother, 27-year-old Bzar, matched for a donor in Mala's case. All necessary tests were done and Mala underwent the transplant on December 28th," explained Dr Vij.

"Her IVC was completely blocked and she required a lot of blood transfusion during the surgery. The affected liver was removed and a part of the liver was taken from her brother and transplanted in the patient. In this case, the challenge was to suture the liver "directly" to the heart as the patient's native IVC was completely blocked. In order to suture the liver as close to the heart as possible, the heart had to be pulled down into the abdominal cavity. We decided not to open the recipient's chest and instead pulled the heart down through a narrow gap made in the diaphragm separating the chest and the abdomen. By doing this, we significantly reduced the risk of any infection which could have occurred due to a large opening in the chest. Also, being a woman, her concern was the scar such an opening would have left on her chest," added Dr Vij.

The hepatic vein was sutured directly to the heart through this novel technique and the team made sure that they did all this avoiding sternotomy (cutting open the chest to reach the heart).

Doctors worked meticulously post-surgery to maintain a fine titration of her medicines to make sure of optimum anti-coagulation.

"FMRI has pioneered several complex surgeries in the past. This case was almost a lost cause when the patient reached us, however we gave it our best and were successful in our endeavour to save her life. Our efforts are proof of our need to provide quality health care services and medical aid to anyone across the globe who requires it," said Dr. Simmardeep Singh Gill, Zonal Director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.

Liver transplantation is currently in its golden period in India. The number of transplants being performed and the steady increase in new programmes that have emerged over the last decade is a testimony to it.

A multipronged approach in developing infrastructure and the involvement of multidisciplinary teams in the management of transplant patients has had a major positive impact on the outcome and as a result a positive impetus to the growth of this specialty in India. Till date, the majority of transplants performed in India are live donor liver transplants. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

A 30-minute treadmill workout can remodel your heart tissues

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 06:51

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 7 : Hitting treadmill for 30 minutes can remodel your heart tissues as expression of genes used to repair damaged DNA increased in response to endurance exercise, after a single session.

The study appeared in the journal of Experimental Physiology.

Researchers from the University of Maryland, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, East Carolina University, the Catholic University of Brasilia and Southern Methodist University showed that physiological stressors like exercise can remodel heart tissue.

These findings are important for understanding how exercise provides a protective effect on the heart.

"The genes that are important for genome stability are upregulated in the heart tissue after a single bout of endurance exercise. This may contribute to the protective effects of exercise on cardiovascular health," said researcher Stephen Roth from the University of Maryland in the U.S.

The researchers studied the hearts of mice after 30 minutes of running on a treadmill.

They looked at how genes were being expressed compared to those in hearts of mice that had not been exercised.

The group results are applicable to humans because these genes are regulated in a similar way to those in humans.

They hope that by understanding this process and basic heart biology, future research may lead to increased life expectancy and drug-free cures for chronic heart problems, including high blood pressure.(ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Careful! Are you dating a scammer online?

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 04:53

New Delhi [India], Feb. 7 : Let's face it, the days of dropping cheesy pick-up lines at social gatherings are coming to an end.

We would be hearing less cheesy lines like "Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?" or "Was your dad a thief? Because he stole the stars and put them in your eyes".

The traditional approach to getting an opposite sex to talk to you or take an interest in you by actually talking to them face to face is slowly fading. Our cavemen instinct of hunting is slowly being overtaken by convenience - The equivalent of a caveman ordering pizza delivery instead of hunting.

-Digital Dating - Broken Barrier

Before the advent of internet dating, we used to head to various places to socialize and meet people - bars, pubs, clubs, parties, weddings, places of worship and even the library! It took physical effort and mental courage to walk up to someone and introduce oneself.

Back then, it's victory when phone numbers were exchanged, which then led on to conversations to get to know each other to actually going on a date to get to know the person further. Unfortunately, all these would have to take place in the location or country you reside in - flying in and out of the country can be costly!

Now, with online dating websites and apps, it has become so easy to find a partner or in this case, a match - even from a different country if you wish. You can judge if you like the person by looking at their picture and also read their profile details to see if they're "your type".

Computers and servers in these virtual dating agencies filter the millions of people in their databases to find you your closest match. You're able to scroll through profiles of people near you on your smartphone and send them a flirty text copied from a Google search you just did, bypassing the effort and anxiety of thinking of what you would like to say to your match.

Not everybody on the Internet is whom they seem to be.

You might be a guy and scrolling through profiles on a dating site and then you spot a nice girl who you might like to date. You send her a message - and she answers in a kind and lovely manner. She wants to know you better! She wants to talk to you! But behind the guise of that sweet-sounding woman may actually be a man --- a beardy cybercriminal who only wanted to get your phone number to scam you.

Last year, Russian police have arrested two men from Smolensk who pretended to be young, attractive girls stealing the hearts of men in Moscow and then threatening and tricking them into sending rather big sums of money. The criminals were found to have actually earned about one million Russian rubles (or USD16,500) with this scheme.

Now, some of you are thinking that men are more gullible in this area, but there are many cases where women have been scammed of money by their internet lovers. However, the real figures on romantic frauds are never known. Many of the victims, especially married people, prefer to keep silent.

Also, there are instances where website employees behaved like scammers as there were only a few women registered on the site. So they create accounts of pretty girls themselves using pictures copied from anywhere on the internet. Then, there are bots created to lure newcomers into chat and get them to pay money to continue the conversation.

So just believe us: anyone can be reeled in. This is how Monica Whitty, a cyber-psychologist from the University of Leicester explains the situation to the DailyMail:

"You don't have to be 'vulnerable'. You can be a highly intelligent person with a good job. The strategies these fraudsters use are highly sophisticated."

Whitty has acquired much experience working with victims of romance frauds. She admits that victims meet double pressure: they blame themselves and their friends and relatives do the same. "Most crime victims are given sympathy and support, but in the case of online fraud, friends and family are furious. Their response is, "How could you be so gullible?"

-Valentine's Day cometh

As we approach the official day of love, most of us will receive the traditional anonymous Valentines - albeit in digital form. Usually it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess the author but some come as a surprise and the admirer is unknown.

Your curiosity is quite understandable in this case, but do not let it reduce your vigilance - instead of romance, such "letters" typically lead to malware or real money loss.

While installing a reliable internet security suite such as Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 will secure from malware and malicious links, it will not protect you from a broken heart.

So to keep you safe from being broken hearted and scammed this Valentine's Day, we have put together list of common scams and some tips to ensure your safety and your digital life is not compromised:

-Scam: Mutual connection

This is where a scammer contacts you via social channels and claims having common interest or a mutual connection with you maybe from an introduction at a wedding or large gathering. If you're a serial poster of pictures and haven't updated your privacy settings, it's easy guesswork for the cybercriminals.

Tip: If you receive such a claim, and no matter how desperate you are, dismiss the conversation and never add that person as a friend. Also, update your privacy settings to share with only those you know.

-Scam: Intimate Activity

A very common scam especially for those in a long distance internet dating relationship. After an intense courtship period, the scammer asks the victim to connect with them via webcam and "chat." The fraudster's webcam is mysteriously broken, but they heap praise on their victim and, with a combination of flattery and persistence, convince their "partner" to partially disrobe or perform other intimate acts.

The scammer then reveals their true identity. They claim to have made a video recording and threaten to share the video with mutual social media friends or post the recording online, unless the victim sends money. Once the victim complies, the cycle begins-demands increase until the victim finally refuses.

Tip: If it involves a webcam and you are asked to perform indecent acts, never ever give into to the demands, no matter what they are. If the relationship is real, then you would wait to meet each other in person.

-Scam: Fake Dating Sites

The recent Ashely Madison leak offers a glimpse into the world of fake dating sites. Services claim to offer legitimate meetups, but are either severely underpopulated or awash with scammers and bots.

Tip: Look out for sign-up questionnaires that are light on personal details, but heavy on questions about finances. Also watch for an influx of attention just after you've created your profile. If all your profile contains is a few lines of text, no photo and no set preferences, but you start getting message after message from potential suitors, chances are you've stumbled across a fake dating site.

Other things to pay attention to even on legitimate dating sites - let's face it, scammers are everywhere - include the following:

-Suspicious Spelling and Grammar

If they supposedly come from an English-speaking nation, be on the lookout for awful spelling and grammar. While not everyone looking for love online has the soul and finesse of William Shakespeare, truly terrible grammatical errors and run-on sentences are red flags.

The same goes for emails. Native English speakers have a natural cadence when they speak and write that isn't easily mimicked. Be suspicious if something seems "off" about the tone or pacing.

-Cut-and-Paste

If messages and profile descriptions read too well, be worried. Often, scammers won't bother writing their own material, but instead lift it from other websites or dating profiles. Here, it's a good idea to run suspicious text through an Internet search to see if any matches come up. If they do, don't message or respond to this scam artist.

-Weird Links

Legitimate users often post links to their favourite bands, travel destinations or hobbies. Scammers typically fill their profiles with links to low-quality "spam" sites that are trying to sell a product or teach you to "get rich quick." You may also find links to X-rated websites-a warning sign that the profile isn't entirely legitimate.

-Double Time

While strong feelings often accompany the first few weeks of any new romance, scammers will try to accelerate this process even further by offering not only a huge volume of compliments and kind words, but also intimate details of their own life that they have "never shared with anyone else."

What can be even more troubling is if after just a few chat sessions or emails, they're asking for a small amount of money to cover strange expenses-perhaps they're stranded in a foreign country, have a family member in medical distress or have just been robbed, and need you to wire transfer money ASAP. If requests for money are ever on the table, walk away.

"As we get closer to Valentine's Day, everyone, especially single folks will be scurrying to find themselves a date with a potential Mr. or Ms. Right. One of the many ways would be through the use of internet dating sites or apps. We would like to arm everyone with knowledge about common romance scams and how to avoid these fraudsters so you can skip the fake romance and seek out your true love instead," said AltafHalde, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab, South Asia. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Liquorice can bring harm to pregnant women: Report

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 04:43

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 6 : All the women who are currently going through the process of pregnancy or planning to have a child in the near future should be cautious of consuming large amount of liquorice during pregnancy.

A Finnish study proves, youth who were exposed to larger amount of liquorice in the womb performed less than others in cognitive reasoning tests done by the psychologist.

Those exposed also performed less in memory measuring capacity tasks and they also had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)-related problems more than others.

The study report was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The author of the article is Academy Professor Katri Raikkonen from the University of Helsinki.

The study carried out by University of Helsinki, the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Uusimaa hospital districts equated 378 youth of about 13 years whose mother had consumed large amounts or little/no liquorice during pregnancy.

In the research, a large amount was explicated over as over 500 mg and little/no as 249 mg glycyrrhizin per week.

It is suggested that all the women who are pregnant and women planning pregnancy should be told about the harmful effects of the products containing glycyrrhizin on the foetus.

In Finland, this has already become a reality. In January 2016, the National Institute for Health and Welfare published food recommendations for families with children, in which liquorice was placed in the 'not recommended' category for pregnant women.

But, occasional consumption of small amounts such as a portion of liquorice ice cream or sweets is not dangerous.

Glycyrrhizin is one of the main factors that affect the development of a foetus. But it is impossible to say whether it was glycyrrhizin expressly that affected the development of a certain individual.

Glycyrrhizin intensifies the effects of stress hormone cortisol by inhibiting the enzyme that inactivates cortisol, while cortisol is essential to the development of a foetus.

Short term effects of glycyrrhizin have been seen from a long time, but such long-lasting effects on the foetus have not been proven before. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Go camping to get rid of sleep problems!

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 06:52

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 4 : Good news for people facing sleep problems as a new study says that spending a weekend out camping can reset your circadian rhythm that may help you fall asleep faster, boost performance at work and quell seasonal depression.

The findings, published in journal of Current Biology, indicate that after filling the day with natural light and the night with true darkness for a weekend increases a hormone - melatonin - which promotes sleep and physiologically prepares the body for nighttime nearly two hours earlier.

"These studies suggest that our internal clock responds strongly and quite rapidly to the natural light-dark cycle," said lead author Kenneth Wright from University Of Colorado at Boulder in the U.S.

"Living in our modern environments can significantly delay our circadian timing and late circadian timing is associated with many health consequences. But as little as a weekend camping trip can reset it," Wright added.

The team conducted two new studies.

In the first, they recruited 14 volunteers: nine went camping in the Colorado mountains for a summer weekend; five stayed home.

When the campers returned after just two days and had their saliva tested, their melatonin rise had shifted 1.4 hours earlier.

"Weekend exposure to natural light was sufficient to achieve 69 percent of the shift in circadian timing. We previously reported after a week's exposure to natural light," Wright stated.

For the second study, five volunteers went camping for one week near the time of the winter solstice and returned to the lab to have their melatonin tested hourly for 24 hours. The results indicated that they had been exposed to a whopping 13 times as much light by day as in their typical weekday environment during winter. While camping, they went to bed earlier and slept longer.

Upon return, their melatonin levels began to rise 2.6 hours earlier.

When light hits photoreceptors in the eye, it alters the master clock, which then signals a cascade of events that impact rhythms in our body, influencing not only when we sleep and rise, but also the timing of hormone releases that impact appetite, metabolism and more. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

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