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Seasonal depression can be treated with medication and psychotherapy

Research Reports - Wed, 11/09/2016 - 09:23

Depression.jpg

Just like regular depression, a seasonal depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can be treated effectively with medication and psychotherapy, health experts say.

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Snapchat rolls out new update to include ‘World Lenses’ feature

UAE News - Wed, 11/09/2016 - 08:19

In an announcement made on Tuesday, Snapchat ephemeral messaging app said that it is rolling out an extension of the popular face-altering Lenses feature which was unveiled by the company in 2015.

Snapchat's new take on the Lenses feature - which allows Snapchat users to use animated overlays for embellishing their photos and videos - comes as part of the app's latest update; and is called 'World Lenses.'

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Categories: UAE News

Researchers discover why modern humans lost much of Neanderthal DNA

Research Reports - Wed, 11/09/2016 - 07:31

Neanderthal_DNA.jpg

Neanderthals and modern humans diverged from a common ancestor nearly half a million years ago and the two species interbred thousands of years ago, but genomes of modern humans have a very small amount of Neanderthal genetic material or DNA. Now, a new study claims to have solved that mystery.

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Gold nanoparticles helps in delivering drugs into cancer cells

Health News - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 09:04

A recent research found that gold nanoparticles helps in delivering a drug right into the heart of cancer cells,

According to the new laboratory research, transferring effective drugs into cancer cells, particularly to where the chromosomes are stored, was one of the biggest hurdles in treating cancer. Gold nano-particles have proven to be well suited to being absorbed into cells, safely delivering drugs that could otherwise be blocked.

Researchers have been working on better ways to transport a drug directly into the control room of cancer cells, where the chromosomes are kept. This specific drug targets a molecule - telomerase - that builds up the protective caps at the end of chromosomes called telomeres.

In most cells of the body, telomeres act like an in-built timer to ensure that the cell does not live past its expiry date. Telomeres shorten each time the cell divides. Once a critical length is reached, the cell can no longer divide and it dies. Cancer cells manage to get around this safety check by reactivating telomerase allowing them to continue to grow out of control.

By engineering the gold nanoparticles and adding the radioactive tracer, the researchers were able to prove that their drug was reaching the desired target in skin cancer cells grown in the lab and was shutting telomerase down, halting cancer's growth.

While the radioactive tracer was used to precisely follow the drug in this study, the same method can also be used to deliver a dose of radioactivity to cancer cells, helping to kill them. This second dose is especially powerful because inactivation of telomerase makes cancer cells more sensitive to radiation.

Professor Kate Vallis, lead researcher said: "Gold is precious in more than one way. We have used tiny gold nanoparticles loaded with targeted drugs to kill cancer cells in the laboratory. Our long term goal is to design new treatments for cancer patients based on this promising approach."

Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: "Gold has been used in medicine for many years and this research adds further insight into its potential. Ensuring that treatment is accurately targeted at cancer and avoids healthy cells is the goal for much of cancer research, and this is an exciting step towards that."

Dr Karen Kennedy, Director of the NCRI, said: "Research continues to shed light on how cancer cells behave and how to effectively deliver a lethal payload to the tumour. This exciting research offers that potential and needs further investigation to see how it would be used in patients. The future looks exciting with research such as this improving the way the disease is treated."

The study has been presented at the 2016 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer conference.(ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

Child's academic performance linked to gestational age

Health News - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 09:01

How your child performs in school has got a strong link with his/her gestational age, finds a recent study.

The study indicates that being born either too early or too late is likely to affect their academic performance.

The risk of cognitive and developmental problems in premature infants is well-established, but preventing preterm birth is limited clinically. By contrast, less is known about what happens to cognitive performance in children born post-term, or about the influence of birth weight variations within post-term populations, where there may be more scope for intervention.

This study details the relationship between gestational age at birth and school grades at age 16 across the full range of pregnancy duration (22 to 45 completed weeks), by weight-for-gestational age, focusing on extremely pre- and post-term births and taking account of possible effects within and between families.

Using the whole Swedish population, over two million live births between 1973 and 1994 were linked to the National School Register and other registers from Statistics Sweden and the National Board of Health and Welfare. Academic performance was measured by the final grade achieved on completing secondary education at 16.

Between 1973 and 1994, 9.4 percent of Swedish births were post-term and 4.6 percent preterm. Late preterm children (3.6 percent) were more likely to have been exposed to maternal medical risk or birth complications.

Grade averages were lower for pre- and post-term children than for term-counterparts, and were lowest in children showing evidence of poor fetal growth, irrespective of gestational age. The adjusted grades of extremely preterm children (at 24 completed weeks) were lower by 0.43 standard deviations (95% confidence interval 0.38 to 0.49) corresponding with a 21 point reduction (19 to 24) on a 240-point scale, although they had improved over time. The grades of extremely post-term children (at 45 completed weeks) were lower by 0.15 SD (0.13 to 0.17), corresponding with an eight point reduction (seven to nine).

Grades of pre- and post-term children remained lower than those of term counterparts when considering spontaneous deliveries, uncomplicated unassisted deliveries, children with normal Apgar, or without congenital anomalies. However, induced post-term deliveries were not associated with reduced school performance.

Among matched siblings, within-family effects were weaker, particularly in the preterm sibling cohort and less so in post-term children. This attenuation of effect suggests confounding by unmeasured familial traits. Residual within-family associations suggested there may also be direct causal links between birth at early or late GA and school-leaving age academic performance.

This is the first study to detail associations between pregnancy duration and school performance across the full range of pregnancy. Irrespective of gestational age at birth, there was an independent effect of fetal growth restriction on later school performance which has persisted over time.

"Less favorable outcomes of post-term infants with poor fetal growth suggest that placental insufficiency may become particularly toxic to neurodevelopment the longer a pregnancy endures," said lead author Hein Heuvelman.

The study has been published in International Journal of Epidemiology. (ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

Starting next year, Tesla will give up on free charging at Supercharger stations

UAE News - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 08:02

In a Monday announcement, electric vehicle maker Tesla has revealed that, with effect from January 2017, the company will give up on free charging at its international network of Supercharger stations.

The announcement implies that, from next year onwards, charging at Tesla's Superchargers will not be free any more. As such, new Tesla buyers who want to plug in their electric vehicles at the Superchargers will have to pay a fee.

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Categories: UAE News

War Metaphors for Alzheimer’s may do more harm than good: researchers say

Research Reports - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 11:10

War_Metaphors_for_Alzheimer.jpg

Using war metaphors for conditions like Alzheimer's disease may do more harm than good, a team of researchers led by Daniel R. George of Penn State College of Medicine cautioned. 

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Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch now available for pre-orders; shipping starts Nov. 18

UAE News - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 10:54

On Sunday, November 6, Samsung opened the pre-orders for its much-awaited smartwatch, the Samsung Gear S3. US wireless carrier AT&T started accepting pre-orders for the smartwatch on November 4.

With the pre-orders of the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch now open, the smartwatch is scheduled to start shipping to customers with effect from November 18, the date on which the device will also hit the store shelves.

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Categories: UAE News

India to host Conference on Tobacco Control today

Health News - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 03:46

India is set to host the crucial global tobacco control conference today for the first time, where it will push for incorporating smokeless tobacco as an agenda.

The Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties to World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will begin today at Greater Noida.

Health Ministry officials said, about 1,500 delegates are expected to participate in the six-day conference from around 180 countries along with other observers in official relations with the WHO FCTC Secretariat in Geneva.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will be the special invited speaker at the conference, which will be inaugurated by Union Health Minister JP Nadda.

The Sri Lankan President, who served as the Minister of Health during the previous government, is a strong advocate of tobacco control and successfully implemented laws to display pictorial warnings up to 80 percent on both sides of cigarette packets.

India has provided a leadership role in the negotiations of FCTC and has also served as the regional coordinator for the South-East Asia Region.

India ratified the treaty on February 27, 2005 and is obligated to comply with the treaty provisions and its guidelines to reduce tobacco consumption globally. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Monarch butterflies are back in Pismo Beach

California Business - Sun, 11/06/2016 - 06:22

Monarch_Butterflies.jpg

The western monarch Butterflies are back in Pismo Beach, and currently there are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 butterflies at the Monarch Butterfly Grove.

Migrating to the coast of California in high numbers, monarch butterflies have raised hope that this year will be more promising for the beautiful creatures. Many visitors say they can't help but watch.

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Too much heat in kitchen increases risk of heart disease: researchers find

Research Reports - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 09:41

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It may be the temperature at which food is cooked, rather than the amount of oil, which may be causing heart disease, a new study published in the journal "Nutrition" suggested.

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Effective social marketing, along with healthy recipe improve eating habits among low-income families

Health News - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 09:35

Food Hero, a social marketing campaign designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income families in Oregon, has been found effective to help them eat more nutritious meals through fast, tasty, affordable and healthy recipes.

The initiative, by the OSU Extension Service in 2009, includes several components, such as a website with information in both English and Spanish; Food Hero recipe taste-tasting events in schools and communities across Oregon; and a library of healthy recipes that have all been taste-tested and many approved by children.

According to the two new research studies from Oregon State University, co-author of the studies Melinda Manore said, "The success of the program is by far exceeding the scope of what we envisioned when we started."

"Getting people to change their diet and eating behavior, especially when they do not have much money, is very difficult, and this program is helping to do that," Manore added.

The social marketing program is led by Lauren Tobey of Extension Family and Community Health at OSU, and Tobey is lead author of the studies. Food Hero is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education, or SNAP-Ed. SNAP-Ed focuses on obesity prevention within low-income households.

One of the new studies explores how Food Hero was developed and tested. The goal of the program is to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among those eligible for SNAP benefits in Oregon, with a particular focus on low-income mothers.

The campaign's strategy includes providing clearly focused messages, writing in plain language, being positive and realistic with the messaging, and offering simple tools for action that include an explanation of what to do and how to do it. The campaign has been effective in part because educators stayed focused on their target audience, the researchers said.

The other study examines Food Hero's recipe project in more depth. The recipes used in the Food Hero campaign are formulated to be healthy, tasty and kid-friendly. To date, the Food Hero recipes have been accessed millions of times via the website and social media sites such as Pinterest.

"All of the recipes are simple to make and cost-effective for families on tight budgets," Tobey said. "Many families can't afford to have a recipe fail or try an untested recipe the family may not end up liking."

The recipes also are being tested with children who complete surveys or participate in a vote. If at least 70 percent of participating children say they "like the taste" of a recipe, it is considered "kid-approved." The program has collected more than 20,000 assessments from kids who have tried Food Hero recipes at school or at community events. About 36 percent of the tested recipes have received the "kid-approved" rating to date.

"When our nutrition educators say to the children, 'Would you like to try this for us and tell us what you think?' it empowers them," Manore said. "It also is a way to expose kids to foods they may not have tried before."

Parents and caregivers are also surveyed after their children participate in tasting exercises. Of those who completed surveys, 79 percent said their child talked about what they had learned in school about healthy eating; 69 percent reported that their child asked for specific recipes; and 72 percent reported making at least one Food Hero recipe, the research showed.

As Food Hero's tips, tools and recipes get shared in person, online, through the media and via social media, the program's reach also expands beyond the initial audience, the researchers said. Recipes from the program are now being used around the world, and in 2015, the recipes on the Food Hero website received more than 290,000 page views.

Anyone interested can also subscribe to Food Hero Monthly, an electronic magazine that includes recipes and tips.

In addition to their collaborations with Oregon partners such as the Department of Human Services, Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority, Food Hero program leaders are sharing materials and ideas with public health and SNAP-Ed programs in other states.

"Since 95 percent of the Food Hero recipes contain fruits and/or vegetables, people who try the recipes are helping us meet the primary goal of the campaign, which is to encourage more fruit and vegetable consumption, especially among low-income families," Tobey said.

The two studies are published in the journal Nutrients and Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. (ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: Health

Microsoft: Upcoming UUP technology will reduce the size of Windows 10 updates

UAE News - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 08:23

In a noteworthy announcement made this week, software biggie Microsoft has revealed that its forthcoming 'Unified Update Platform' (UUP) technology will help the company reduce the size of future Windows 10 updates by one- third.

The imminent use of the UUP technology by Microsoft marks the latest behind-the-scenes change being made by the company in its Windows 10 OS, underscoring a tweak of the Windows update process.

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Categories: UAE News

Supermassive black hole screaming through space at speed of 2,000mph: research

Research Reports - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 07:36

Black_Hole.jpg

A supermassive black hole is screaming through space at a speed of 2,000 miles per second (mph) and it will likely never stop, a team of American astronomers estimated.

According to astronomers, including one from CU Boulder, millions of years ago, the black hole B3 1715+425 had been comfortably gulping down stars and deadly x-rays at the center of a distant galaxy.

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