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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


A lot of studies on whether to drink or not to drink alcohol. And if to drink how much. what is the accepted level. It is a well known fact that alcohol intake causes liver cirrhosis. It is also a well noted risk factor for a number of conditions like hypertension, cardiovascular problems etc. 
Not only does it cause health problems, it also adversely affects relationships and your  work or your home life.

Alcoholic beverages has been consumed by humans since prehistoric times for a variety of hygienic, dietary, medicinal, religious, and recreational reasons. The consumption of large doses of ethanol causes drunkenness(intoxication), which may lead to a hangover as its effects wear off.
Short-term effects of alcohol consumption include intoxication, dehydration, and ultimately alcohol poisoning. Long-term effects of alcohol include changes to metabolism in the liver and brain, and possible addiction (alcoholism)
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence,is a disabling addictive disorder. It is characterized by compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol despite its negative effects on the drinker's health, relationships, and social standing.
Long term alcohol abuse can cause a number of physical symptoms, including cirrhosis of the liver,pancreatitis, epilepsy,polyneuropathy, alcoholic dementia, heart disease, nutritional deficiencies, and sexual dysfunction, and can eventually be fatal.

The American Academy of Family Physicians says warning signs of problem drinking may include:

  1. Driving after drinking, 
  2. Feeling anxious, depressed or suspicious.
  3. Having problems with relationships that appear alcohol-related.
  4. Developing problems with self-esteem and generally taking poor care of yourself.
  5. Having difficulty sleeping, or finding it difficult to keep up at work.
  6. Noticing that your hands are trembling.
  7. Missing work due to being hung over.
  8. Blacking out or experiencing memory loss.

acne medicines and abdominal pain

Acne(pimples) is a common problem experienced by many mostly teenagers. Though it's not a big health problem , affecting appearance and also causing depression. It is a very disgusting problem and difficult to get rid of it. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to help control severe breakouts of acne. drugs belonging to the cycline group(tetracycline family) are the most commonly prescribed. But a word of caution in their use! Now there's evidence that antibiotics used to treat pimples cause Inflammatory bowel disease.
Bowel disorders linked to acne treatment are "a rare outcome," cautioned Dr. David Margolis, a dermatologist and lead author of a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
 previous studies have suggested that the acne drug isotretinoin, might be the cause of inflammatory bowel disease in a small number of patients being treated for severe acne.
A recent study done based on 94,000 British teenagers and young adults diagnosed with acne between 1998 and 2006 reported that long-term use of antibiotics appeared to double the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease.
The 3 commonly used cyclines doxycycline, minocycline, and tetracycline were reported to cause IBD(Inflammatory Bowel Disease) in 0.21%, 0.17%, 0.20% patients respectively.
IBD is of 2 forms Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. Of these the Crohns disease appears to be much more associated. Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea and malnutrition. It is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and some complications of the conditions can require surgery.
It is definitely a rare outcome but very disabling and difficult to treat and also very costly. It can be life-altering conditions that restrict social interactions and increase depression. And this potential risk should be considered when prescribing this medication.

So the next time you use medicines for pimples be careful about your intestines....

Endoscopic view of intestine affected with Crohns disease

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Now, online DIY DNA test to find out if your partner is cheating on you

Melbourne, Aug 15 (ANI): Suspicious that your partner is cheating on you? Now, buy an online DIY paternity test to check yourself.
The company claims its DNA profiling can be performed on chewing gum, licked stamps, razor shavings, toothbrushes, toothpicks, cigarette butts, tissues, handkerchiefs, trimmed finger or toenails, dental floss, hats, caps and bandannas.
It says the test guarantees up to 99.9999 per cent probability if the man is the biological father and 100 per cent if he is excluded.
However, medical experts are questioning the accuracy of the tests.
"Genetic tests can be incredibly complex and difficult to interpret and have far-reaching consequences, so there are real risks of misunderstanding if users aren't appropriately informed," The Age quoted Australian Medical Association Victoria president Dr Harry Hemley, as saying.
"I'd be concerned with people buying tests online without understanding the nature of the test and the quality of the testing," Hemley added.
Also, the Family Law Act states that only tests undertaken by accredited labs are legally acceptable and easyDNA is not one of them.
easyDNA's Mandy Hughes said that while the company was not NATA-accredited, its US lab was accredited by US authorities.
"These results are not explained, nor do they provide any form of contextual interpretation. So even though there may be the potential for the recipient of the results to suffer extreme emotional harm, there is absolutely no level of scrutiny of these services," NATA's Maritta Parsell said.
"The information from the DNA tests is very sensitive and can be misused," Victorian Health Services commissioner Beth Wilson said.
"Distress can be caused where incorrect results are given," she added. (ANI)


Soon, deaf people to use sign language on cell phones to talk

Washington, Aug 17 (ANI): University of Washington engineers are developing a tool which would be able to transmit American Sign Language over U.S. cellular networks.
"This is the first study of how deaf people in the United States use mobile video phones," said project leader Eve Riskin, a UW professor of electrical engineering.
MobileASL optimises compressed video signals for sign language and delivering intelligible sign language at a data rate of 30 kilobytes per second.
It also uses motion detection to identify whether a person is signing or not, in order to extend the phones' battery life during video use.
Transmitting sign language as efficiently as possible increases affordability. It improves reliability on slower networks and extends battery life, even on devices that might have the capacity to deliver higher quality video.
"The field study is an important step toward putting this technology into practice," Riskin said.
Most study participants say sending text messages or e-mail is currently their preferred method for distance communication. Their experiences with the MobileASL phone are, in general, positive.
""Texting sometimes is very slow. If you're using this kind of phone then you're either able to get in touch with the person or not right away, and you can save a lot of time," said Tong Song, a Chinese national who is studying at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
Josiah Cheslik, a UW undergraduate, said, "Texting is for short things, like 'I'm here,' or, 'What do you need at the grocery store?'"
"This is like making a real phone call."
"We want to deliver affordable, reliable ASL on as many devices as possible. It's a question of equal access to mobile communication technology," said Riskin. (ANI)


Breakthrough gene therapy could preserve vision

Washington, Aug 17 (ANI): Non-viral gene therapy can delay the onset of some forms of eye disease and preserve vision, found one of only two studies of its kind.
Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts developed nanoparticles to deliver therapeutic genes to the retina and found that treated mice temporarily retained more eyesight than controls.
The study brings researchers closer to a non-viral gene therapy treatment for degenerative eye disorders.
"Our work shows that it is possible to attain therapeutic results using non-viral gene delivery methods, specifically, nanoparticles. Nanoparticles, which are small enough to penetrate cells and stable enough to protect DNA, are capable of preventing retinal cell death and preserving vision," said senior author Dr. Rajendra Kumar-Singh.
"The most common approach to gene therapy involves using a virus to deliver DNA to cells. While viruses are very efficient carriers, they can prompt immune responses that may lead to inflammation, cancer, or even death. Non-viral methods offer a safer alternative, but until now, efficiency has been a significant barrier," added Kumar-Singh.
In a model simulating the progression of human retinal degeneration, the researchers treated mice with nanoparticles carrying a gene for GDNF (Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), a protein known to protect the photoreceptor cells in the eye.
Retinas treated with the GDNF-carrying nanoparticles showed significantly less photoreceptor cell death than controls.
Preservation of these cells resulted in significantly better eyesight in the treatment group seven days after treatment, compared to controls.
The protection conferred by the GDNF-carrying nanoparticles was temporary, as tests fourteen days after treatment showed no difference in eyesight between treated mice and controls.
"The next step in this research is to prolong this protection by adding elements to the DNA that permit its retention in the cell. Bringing forth a more potent and enduring result will move us closer to clinical application of non-viral gene therapy," said Kumar-Singh.
The study is published online in advance of print in Molecular Therapy. (ANI)


Study sheds light on blood stem cell, leukemia link

 Washington, Aug 17 (ANI): Scientists have found at least one key reason why blood stem cells are susceptible to developing the genetic mutations that can lead to adult leukemia.

Their finding also may explain, they say, why some other age-related hematological disorders develop.

The study, led by UCSF team, opens a new frontier for studying the molecular underpinnings of adult leukemia.

The discovery also suggests a possible therapeutic strategy, the scientists say, for reducing the risk of leukemia that results from chemotherapy used to treat solid tumors.

Finally, it may explain why other types of adult stem cells are susceptible to accumulating potentially lethal mutations.

In the study, conducted in the culture dish and mice, the team set out to determine if blood stem cells in the quiescent state were at greater risk for incurring genetic mutations in the process of repairing damaged DNA than were proliferating cells.

The team determined that both quiescent and proliferating blood stem cells have protective mechanisms ensuring their survival in response to exposure to ionizing irradiation, as occurs from such sources as the sun and X-rays.

"Our results demonstrate that quiescence is a double-edged sword, protecting hematopoetic stem cells from cellular stress but rendering them intrinsically vulnerable to mutagenesis following DNA damage," said senior author Emmanuelle Passegue.

"The thinking has been that blood stem cells must proliferate to acquire the mutations that drive tumor development. This work says, 'not so,'" Passegue added.

On the positive side, she says, the finding suggests a strategy for reducing the risk of leukemia resulting from chemotherapy used to treat solid tumors.

"Existing drugs, such as G-CSF and prostaglandins, could be used to induce hematopoetic stem cells to proliferate prior to the use of therapy with DNA damaging agents. This could enhance DNA repair fidelity and reduce the risk of leukemia development," Passegue said.

The study was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. (ANI)


Whether you have a major paunch or a tiny roundness and want to slim down, we have just the answers for you 

Looking for the simplest way to get rid of fat around your tummy? Go for this creative 20-minute fat-blasting workout and you’ll begin to see a toned tummy in just three weeks. Do them four times a week, with a day of rest in between. 

Work out
Your legs are your scissors: Lie on your back with arms by your sides, legs raised, and toes pointing toward the sky. Flatten your lower back, engaging lower tummy muscles. 

Inhale while lowering your right leg, so your toes are in line with your nose. Exhale, switching your legs scissor-like, so your right leg lifts back up and your left comes down. (Don’t touch the ground with your foot.) Do 3 sets of 8–10 reps. 

Lie flat in front: Get on your knees and forearms with your elbows directly under your shoulders, fingers interlaced. Stretch your legs long, and come up on your toes into plank position. Exhale while twisting slightly to the left from your waist only. Inhale, returning to the starting position, then repeat on the opposite side. Do three sets of 10-12 reps. 

A ball-game: Look up at the ceiling, lie down on a stability ball, and drape your abs and hips over it. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, and walk them out until the ball rolls beneath your shins; contract your lower abs and lift your hips slightly, then slowly lower them down. Do three sets of 10-12 reps. 

Sleeping Buddha-pose: Lie on your left side with your legs straight and stacked on top of one another and your feet flexed. Rest your head on your straight left arm. Inhale while lifting both legs off the ground, then exhale while slowly lowering them until they’re about 1 inch off the ground. Do 10-12 reps, then switch sides and repeat to complete 1 set; do three sets. 

Major paunch: Do 3 sets of 15 bicycle crunches 2-3 times a week, plus 30-45 minutes’ worth of run-walk intervals (2 minutes each) 4-5 times a week. You’ll notice a result in 4 weeks. 

Tiny roundness: Do 3 sets of 12-15 crunches on a stability ball 2-3 times a week to sculpt your tummy in 3 weeks. 

Eat this 
Major paunch: Cut or burn 500 calories and drink 2 cups of green tea daily as green tea alone helped exercisers drop ab fat in 12 weeks. 

Tiny roundness: Eat snacks with belly-busting monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) daily: 23 almonds, 6 olives, or 2 squares dark chocolate. MUFAs can reduce ab fat in a month. 

Fake it 
Major paunch: Dress in a way that your belly flat is kept hidden. Go for lacy camisoles to pull in and shape your middle, plus give your chest a lift. 

Tiny roundness: Get a belt that’s at least 3 inches wide and made of a stiff material or leather. A belt that won’t bend like a corset helps to hide your tummy. 

source- times of india

Monday, August 16, 2010

'Mixed practice' makes a man perfect

London, July 13 (ANI): A new American study explains why variable practice improves the brain's memory of most skills better than practice focused on a single task.

The research, by cognitive neuroscientists at the University of South Carolina and the University of California, Los Angeles, appears in Nature Neuroscience.

The researchers split 59 volunteers into six groups: three groups were asked to practice a challenging arm movement, while the other three groups practiced the movement and related tasks in a variable practice structure.

Volunteers in the variable practice group showed better retention of the skill. The process of consolidating memory of the skill engaged a part of the brain - the prefrontal cortex - associated with higher level planning.

The group assigned to constant practice of the arm movement retained the skill to a lesser degree through consolidation that engaged a part of the brain - the primary motor cortex - associated with simple motor learning.

Senior author Carolee Winstein, professor of biokinesiology and physical therapy at USC, said: "In the variable practice structure condition, you're basically solving the motor problem anew each time. If I'm just repeating the same thing over and over again as in the constant practice condition, I don't have to process it very deeply.

"We gravitate toward a simple, rote practice structure because we're basically lazy, and we don't want to work hard. But it turns out that memory is enhanced when we engage in practice that is more challenging and requires us to reconstruct the activity.

Winstein's team, led by Shailesh Kantak, a graduate student in biokinesiology at the time of the study, verified the neural circuits involved through harmless magnetic interference applied immediately after practice.

Volunteers in the variable practice group who received magnetic stimulation in the prefrontal cortex failed to retain or "consolidate" the arm movement as well as those in the same group who did not receive magnetic stimulation.

This implied that the prefrontal cortex was necessary for consolidating the memory.

Likewise, constant practice volunteers who received magnetic stimulation in the primary motor cortex failed to retain the arm movement as well as volunteers in the same group who did not receive magnetic stimulation.

Winstein said: "While it may be harder during practice to switch between tasks ... you end up remembering the tasks better later than you do if you engage in this drill-like practice.

"In motor skills training they know this, in educational programs where they're teaching the kids cursive hand writing, they know this."

Winstein described the study as "the linking of motor neuroscience to behavioral movement science to better understand the neural substrates that mediate motor learning through optimal practice structures. No one had done this before in this way."

The magnetic interference tests also helped define the time window for the brain to consolidate skills. For volunteers chosen to receive interference four hours after practice, the procedure had no effect on learning. This suggested the brain already had done its consolidation. (ANI)

Childhood abuse, adversity may shorten lifespan

Washington, Aug 15 (ANI): A new study has found that the emotional pains we suffer in childhood can lead to weakened immune systems later in life.

"What happens in childhood really matters when it comes to your immune response in the latter part of your life," said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Ohio State University.

The study showed that for some children who experienced serious abuse or adverse experiences as kids, the long-term effect might be a lifespan shortened by seven to 15 years.

Along with research partner Ronald Glaser, director of the Institute of Behavioral Medicine Research, she looked at 132 healthy older adults who averaged 70 years old.

Forty-four percent of them served as primary caregivers for family members suffering from dementia, while 56 percent were non-caregivers.

The researchers took blood samples from each person measuring the levels of two cytokines known to be stress markers - interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

They also used a series of surveys to determine the participants' level of depression, health status, health behaviors and whether they had experienced childhood abuse or neglect.

The surveys also looked for adverse events as kids such as the loss of a parent, serious marital problems between parents, or mental illness or alcoholism within their family.

Lastly, from the blood samples they were able to measure the lengths of telomeres, bits of DNA on the ends of chromosomes.

"Every time a cell divides, it loses a little bit of its DNA at the ends. So the faster that process takes place, the more DNA is lost, and that's significant," said Glaser.

Shortened telomeres have been associated with aging, age-related diseases and death among the elderly.

The findings were explained at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in San Diego. (ANI)

Sugary drinks don't cause weight gain

London, Aug 15 (IANS) Sugary drinks, taken in small quantities, do not promote weight gain, carbohydrate craving or adverse mood effects in overweight women.

The study, conducted by Marie Reid and colleagues at the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, set out to determine the long-term effects on dietary intake and mood of adding a sucrose drink to the diet of overweight women aged between 20 and 55 years.

The results show that such women do not suffer adverse effects, such as weight gain or mood fluctuation, if they do not know whether or not they are drinking a sugary or artificially sweetened drink, says a Queen Margaret release.

Instead women took in fewer calories elsewhere in the diet, to balance the calories in the drinks, reports the journal Appetite.

These findings suggest that because it is widely believed that sugary drinks are bad and part of an unhealthy diet, people then go on to behave accordingly.

The primary causes of any negative effects of sugar on food choices and mood, may be psychological.

Marie Reid, professor of applied psychology at Queen Margaret concludes: 'Knowing that you're drinking sugary drinks, while believing that they're harmful, might result in the derailing of a generally healthy low-fat diet.'


Unhealthiest of fast foods revealed

New York, Aug 10 (ANI): A recent survey by Men's Health magazine has revealed that the Top 10 fast-food restaurants in the US boast entrees loaded with stomach-stuffing, artery-clogging saturated fat, sodium, and calories.

"Fast food requires fast decisions, and we wanted to create a guide to help people lose weight while still eating fast food," the New York Post quoted David Zinczenko, author of the book series "Eat This! Not That!' as saying.

Topping the list as the worst of the worst was the Tuna Melt sandwich combo from Quiznos. he value meal tops out at an astonishing 1,900 calories-the equivalent of eating an entire bag of Chips Ahoy! cookies and near the average person's daily caloric intake, the study noted.

No. 2 on the list was the Triple Baconator Value Meal from Wendy's-the sandwich, which has three hamburger patties, three slices of cheese and nine strips of bacon, packs a 1,850-calorie punch when paired with a small Coke and fries.

"As long as you don't overindulge, you're good," said an optimistic Carlos Suarez of Long Island, who bought the fat-packed Tuna Melt at a Quiznos on Chambers Street.

The good news, the study suggests, is that you don't have to stop eating fast food altogether- you just have to make smarter choices.

"Once people have an understanding of the caloric calamities out there, they can make better choices and still have burgers. If people make changes like this three times a week when they order fast food, they can lose four pounds," said Zinczenko.

"I guess after that I should only be having fruit and water for the rest of the day!" said Maurice Cummings, 37, of Brooklyn, after ordering a Big Breakfast at a McDonald's in Harlem. (ANI)


Tattooing linked to higher hepatitis C risk

A new study has revealed that individuals with multiple tattoos that cover large parts of their bodies are at higher risk of contracting hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases.

University of British Columbia researchers reviewed and analyzed 124 studies from 30 countries, including Canada, Iran, Italy, Brazil and the United States, and found the incidence of hepatitis C after tattooing is directly linked with the number of tattoos an individual receives.

During tattooing, the skin is punctured 80 to 150 times a second in order to inject color pigments.

"Since tattoo instruments come in contact with blood and bodily fluids, infections may be transmitted if instruments are used on more than one person without being sterilized or without proper hygiene techniques," said lead author Dr. Siavash Jafari, of the UBC School of Population and Public Health (SPPH).

"Furthermore, tattoo dyes are not kept in sterile containers and may play a carrier role in transmitting infections.

"Clients and the general public need to be educated on the risks associated with tattooing, and tattoo artists need to discuss harms with clients," said Jafari.

Other risks of tattooing identified by the study include allergic reactions, HIV, hepatitis B, bacterial or fungal infections, and other risks associated with tattoo removal.

The researchers are calling for infection-control guidelines for tattoo artists and clients, and enforcement of these guidelines through inspections, reporting of adverse events and record-keeping.

They also recommend prevention programs that focus on youth - the population who are most likely to get tattoos - and prisoners - who face a higher prevalence of hepatitis C - to lower the spread of hepatitis infection.

In Canada, 12 to 25 per cent of hepatitis C infections among prisoners are associated with tattooed individuals, compared to six per cent of the general population.

The findings were published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Getting fit in midlife

Exercising in your 40's, 50's and 60's is like saving for your retirement, experts say.
Starting early is money in the bank, but even late bloomers can reap astonishing benefits.

"The game isn't over, even if you haven't been active," said Dr. Angela Smith, past president of the American College of Sports Medicine. "Aerobic fitness, bone health, agility, you may be able to catch up. It's remarkable to see the things people can actually do."

Smith, a physician at Philadelphia Children's Hospital, said studies have shown that even octogenarians can double their strength with weight training.

"There's good evidence that among people who have arthritis, the stronger have less pain, and that getting fit decreases the chance of having cancer," she said.

But if you're a former high school athlete who became sedentary as your temples grayed, don't expect your history to save you.

"Some of the benefits you built up aren't going to maintain themselves if you become a couch potato," Smith said. "That wonderful bone strength you built in your 20's will melt away a lot faster if you don't stay active."

Smith said logic dictates that 40-, 50- and 60-year olds need to pay attention to all components of fitness.
"Make certain to do flexibility, strength and aerobic training, even if you have to decrease the amount of impact. A jumping sport may be difficult. But many of the non-sport activities, swimming, weight training, yoga, people can do just fine in 40's, 50's, 60's."
ndrea Metcalf, a fitness expert and personal trainer for over 20 years, recommends bite-sized portions for the late beginners.

"People who have never exercised don't have a good sense of body awareness or body movement, so we need to focus on simple patterns, on strengthening those stabilizing muscles," said Metcalf, whose forthcoming DVD, Keeping Fit: Strength, Cardio, Pilates, targets the midlife exerciser.

"We know that 10-minute segments will have a cardiovascular effect. So if you do a couple, in the next week you can bring that up," she said.

Metcalf agrees it's never too late to start. "You'll feel the benefits within the first two weeks of
doing any new program. In six weeks you'll see body changes. If you touch your arm it's going to feel stronger."

Dr. Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, of the University of Illinois and the leader of the Active Aging Blueprint, a umbrella group which develops strategies to help people 50 and older increase physical activity.

He thinks people should revisit their routines just as they do their retirement investments.

"The 25-year-old kid that goes for a run without a warm-up will need to adjust that middle age, when he's more prone to injuries," Chodzko-Zajko said. "The choice of most 40-year olds is not going to be same as most 60-year olds."

He said studies in nursing homes have shown that strength-training residents increase their mobility. Some even get out of wheelchairs. "Even modest improvement is associated with huge differences in the quality of life."

Chodzko-Zajko urges people to find the activity that makes sense to them. "Even walking the
dog or spending time outside. Adopt active choices. Be active in your own way."

Metcalf says people who live to be 100 all have a fitness component.

"Exercise is the fountain of youth. If you want to live to 100 you have to exercise," she explained.

So what's the best workout?

"The one you'll do," she said. "All the rest is just marketing."

how to look your best during the rainy season

It is a hot sultry and uncomfortably humid afternoon, but model Anchal Kumar looks cool as a cucumber. In the city for a fashion show, the model from Chandigarh seemed to be hardly affected by the sticky weather. When one asks Kumar how she manages to defy the humidity and prevent it from messing up her makeup, she confides, "The right foundation can work wonders." "It's important to understand your skin type and then decide on the make-up. I prefer using loose powder instead of a creamy foundation," says Kumar who uses Clinique products. "Pores tend to get blocked in this weather. Cleansing and toning should be a part of everyday routine," says the model who prefers to stick to a light foundation, no heavy eye-makeup and a liberal use of lip gloss.
Backstage before a fashion show, we also got ruling Miss India Manasvi Mamgai, who boasts a dusky and flawless complexion, to dish out her tips for the monsoon. "No matter what, never sleep with your make-up on. It can be disastrous," she says. She insists that she is blessed with a good skin and follows the cleansing, toning, moisturing regime. "I prefer using a matte foundation when the humidity levels are so high," she adds. Bare Minerals and MAC products are worth a try, according to her.
While there are umpteen branded creams and concoctions that promise skincare, many stick to natural or home-made remedies when it comes to skincare during the monsoon. "Nothing beats fresh fruit pulp smeared on your face," says model Alesia Raut. If you have an acne issue, she recommends pressing garlic paste on it for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Monsoon can be tricky if you wear make-up daily, like the city's pretty television anchor Jaspreet. "Add to it the constant glare of harsh lights in the studio," she adds. "To keep my skin stress-free, I use a fresh fruit face pack twice a week. Also I make sure I remove all make-up at night," she adds.
According to Vijay Verma, who runs the salon B:Hair in Sector 46, make-up in the monsoon season should be restricted to using a light foundation, a pale coloured blush-on and no mascara. "One should not neglect the use of water-based moisturisers to fight oily skin, acne and water loss due to perspiration and sweating," he says.
According to city-based beauty expert Salochna Ahuja, who runs a chain of salons in the tricity, "Acne and pimples tend to erupt in this season. So keep your skin dry," she says, before mentioning a quick scrub recipe for all types of skin. "Just mix half a teaspoon of rice flour with one teaspoon sandalwood powder, a teaspoon of rose water and one teaspoon of grated cucumber. Apply and rinse when dry," she signs off.


Swine Flu Panic in Orissa, People opt for Homeopathy

The Swine Flu panic gripped Orissa, as five more people tested positive for H1N1 yesterday. The total number of positive cases has gone up to 25 in the state, while eight people died of Swine Flu so far.

People in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Burla and other parts of the state are in a state of panic. Most people are seen wearing masks to prevent Swine Flu. They also throng to various hospitals to get vaccines and tablets, which are not easily available because of high demand.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation at a high level meeting. He urged the people not to be panic. While three lakh Tami Flu medicines are available in the state, the Centre has been asked to send another one lakh tablets.

The anti-Swine Flu nasal drops are still not available in Orissa market. More people are seen turning to Homeopathy, fearing the possible "side-effects" of Swine Flu vaccines.

Bhubaneswar-based Sai Seba Homeo Clinic in BJB Nagar has decided to offer free homeopathic medicine to people, which is said to be effective against all kind of influenza, including A H1N1. They can be reached at 9437278960 for further assistance.

Since the injectible vaccines (‘Vaxiflu-S’ and ‘Humenza’) and nasal vaccine ‘Nassovac ‘are not easily available in the market, people have decided to rely on homeopathic medicines.

The health authorities have urged the people to avoid crowded places such as cinema halls, shopping malls, restaurants and mass prayers as a precaution against Swine Flu. It has been advised to contact the doctor immediately, if anyone suffers from cold, fever and nasal congestion.

source- breakingnewsonline

Developed nations' currency notes have less bacteria

Researchers have found currency notes in developed countries to have fewer bacteria than money in poorer countries.
Led by University of Ballarat's food microbiologist Frank Vriesekoop, a global research team analysed banknotes from at least 10 nations, including Australia, China, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain and the US.
'The richer and more developed countries had fewer bacteria on their money than poorer countries,' Vriesekoop said, according to the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease.
'Importantly, nowhere in the world were alarming levels of pathogenic bacteria found on money, Vrieselkoop added.
A total of 1,280 banknotes were collected from food outlets such as foodshops and cafeterias and then carefully screened to ascertain the presence of bacteria, says a Ballarat release.
The international study included researchers from 10 universities and research institutes.
'The older notes are more wrinkled, so dirt and bacteria can easily nestle in the folds of the notes,' Vriesekoop said.
'The material the banknotes are made of was also found to be important. In most countries, banknotes are made from a cotton based material. But in Australia, New Zealand and Mexico - the banknotes are made from a polymer (plastic) material.'
'We found that notes made from polymer material carried significantly less bacteria compared to the notes made of cotton,' Vriesekoop added.

Parents suffer when a child struggles

A new study has found that even into adulthood, problem children continue to give their parents heartache. 

"What this study finds is that the children may have their own lives and moved on, but their ups and downs are still deeply affecting their parents," said psychology professorKaren Fingerman of Purdue University. 

For this study, 633 middle-aged parents in the Philadelphia area rated each of their grown children's achievements in relationships, family life, education and career. 

They were asked to rate each child's successes compared to other adults the same age. Most parents had more than one child so there were reports of 1,251 grown children included in the study. 

Parents also answered questions about their own psychological well-being, what kind of relationship they had with their children, and whether each of their children had experienced specific physical, emotional, lifestyle and behavioral problems. 

Lifestyle and behavioral problems included: trouble with the law, drinking or drug problems, divorce and serious relationships problems. They also considered if each child's problems were deemed involuntary, such as a health issue, and controlled for them within the study. 

The research found 68 percent of parents had at least one grown child suffering at least one problem in the last two years. Close to 49 percent of parents said at least one of their children was highly successful. 

The majority of parents, 60 percent, said they had a mix of successful and less successful children, while 17 percent had no children suffering from problems and 15 percent had no children they rated as being above average on life achievements. 

The researchers then looked at how children's successes and failures affected parents'' well-being. Parents who had more than one highly successful child reported better well-being. 

However, having even one problematic child had a negative impact on their mental health, even if the other children were successful. Simply having at least one successful child was not associated with better well-being. The findings suggest parents react more strongly to their children's failures than their successes, according to Fingerman 

"Having two children suffering problems may be more demanding than having only one child who suffers problems," she said. "By the same token, having a successful child did not buffer the effects of problem-ridden children." 

The findings were presented at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association

source- times of india

maternal exposure to flu increases schizophrenia risk in offspring

Kids born to mothers who suffered from flu, viruses and other infections during pregnancy have about a 1.5 to 7 times increased risk for schizophrenia. And now, a new study out of Temple University has examined what's behind that link.
Temple University psychologist Lauren Ellman found that exposure during pregnancy to certain immune proteins, such as those produced in response to the flu, leads to increased risk for brain abnormalities associated with schizophrenia in offspring.
The good news, says Ellman, is that not all of the women in the study who showed an increase in immune proteins gave birth to offspring who developed brain alterations.
"This tells us that some other factor - perhaps a genetic vulnerability or something from the environment - must also be present for the increased immune protein levels to lead to the brain alterations we identified," she said.
Previous studies, including one by Ellman, have already established a link between maternal exposure to flu and increased risk for schizophrenia in offspring, but it was not clear why the link existed, because most infections do not cross the placenta. Researchers then began to look at maternal immune responses to infection as the possible cause for the increased risk.
Of particular interest to the researchers were proteins termed proinflammatory cytokines, which are produced by the body in response to infection.
"Now, it appears that the damaging effects to the fetus are related to these maternal responses to infection during pregnancy rather than to the infections themselves," Ellman said.
The study has been published this month in Schizophrenia Research. (ANI)

New drug shows promise against ovarian and breast cancer

London, Aug 13 (ANI): An international consortium of researchers has shown that an investigational drug, Olaparib, can reduce the size of tumors in women with advanced hereditary ovarian cancer with BRCA gene mutations.
The Phase II ovarian cancer study results - as well as another Phase II trial in which Cedars-Sinai researchers also participated that evaluated the drug's effectiveness in the treatment of hereditary breast cancer - were published in a recent issue of Lancet.
The two trials showed similar levels of response to the genetically-targeted drug in both breast and ovarian cancers with BRCA mutations.
"These are significant new studies. Olaparib is the first single-agent, non-chemotherapy treatment to show benefit to patients with cancers that result from BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations," said William Audeh, M.D., an oncologist specializing in cancer genetics at Cedars-Sinai's Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and first author on the ovarian cancer study
"Until now, treatments for cancer have been selected based upon where in the body the cancer originated. These two studies suggest that it is the underlying genetic weakness of a cancer, not the organ of origin, that is the key to selecting effective therapy." (ANI)


A gene defect that causes gall stone

HYDERABAD: Scientists working at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG) here have discovered that genetic defect due to a mutation in gene, ABCG8, in the liver causes growth of gall-bladder stones in Indians.
The discovery, made for the first time in Asia, is likely to result in more accurate diagnosis, reduced cost of treatment, use of preventive medicine (UDCA) for those having genetic mutation, and reduced chances of cancer and death.
AIG chairman and chief of gastroenterology Dr D Nageshwar Reddy, along with scientists Dr GV Rao, Dr Sasi Kala and Dr Shiva Prasad, told reporters here today that the AIG, along with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), would conduct a major study on the genetic nature of gall stone diseases.
The study, which may take three years, will be sponsored by the Union department of biotechnology (DBT). The staff at AIG believe that these discoveries will result in heralding personalised medication and will change the way medicine is being practised now.
According to Reddy, the discovery has thrown light on a specific genetic defect among Indian patients (mostly in Uttar Pradesh) causing gall stones. Mutation in gene, ABCG8, in the liver was resulting in excess excretion of cholesterol into the bile causing cholesterol gall stones.
Along with the age of the patient the secretion increases causing more gall stones in older patients.
The research, which took more than three years, was published in the ‘Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2010’, he said.
Replying to queries, Reddy said the discovery would reduce the basic cost of testing at labs (having gene sequence and real-time PCR equipment) to just Rs 500. At present, treatment of gall stones costs about Rs 30,000.
Earlier, it was thought that gall stones resulted from eating fatty food, food containing high refined sugar, obesity, lack of exercise, etc. Now, these are found to be hereditary and have high incidence among the twins.
People with tendency would be advised to have life style changes like lower intake of sugar, higher intake of fiber and exercise. People with high risk and have tendency to develop cancer, prophylactic removal of gall bladder would decrease the chances of cancer and death. ''We (AIG) believe that with this discovery we will be able to manipulate the genes so that gall stones can be prevented in future, '' he added.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Latest diet fad - weight loss patch

For years, nicotine patches have been used by people to quit smoking. The latest fad is weight loss patches.

Already popular with celebrities, including Paris Hilton, the patches are a 2 inch square sticking plaster and can be attached to any part of the body.

They suppress hunger pangs and help the body burn off fat. Traditional weight loss pills have been found to damage the liver.

'The patches work by increasing the body's ability to burn the fat it receives through food, while at the same time reducing cravings to binge eat. You consume less fat and the fat you do consume is metabolised quicker,' quoted the spokesperson of weight patch makers SlimWeight as saying.

'By simply applying one weight loss patch a day you can go about your routine safe in the knowledge that you're burning fat and reducing your cravings,' the spokesperson added.

Potential treatment for pulmonary hypertension discovered

Researchers at University of Alberta have discovered potential treatment for a deadly disease called pulmonary hypertension.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension, which is high blood pressure in the lungs, currently has only a few treatment options but most cases lead to premature death.
It is caused by a cancer-like excessive growth of cells in the wall of the lung blood vessels. It causes the lumen, the path where blood travels, to constrict putting pressure on the right ventricle of the heart which eventually leads to heart failure.
Evangelos Michelakis, his graduate student Gopinath Sutendra and a group of collaborators have found that this excessive cell growth can be reversed by targeting the mitochondria of the cell, which control metabolism of the cell and initiate cell death.
By using dichloroacetate (DCA) or Trimetazidine (TMZ), mitochondria targeted drugs, the activity of the mitochondria increases which helps induce cell death and regresses pulmonary hypertension in an animal model, says Sutendra.
Current therapies only look at dilating the constricted vessels rather than regression, so this is a very exciting advancement for the lab.
"In the pulmonary hypertension field they're really looking for new therapies to regress the disease, it might be the wave of the future," said Sutendra.
"The other thing that is really exciting is that TMZ and DCA have been used clinically in patients so it's something that can be used right away in these patients." (ANI)


Bone marrow stem-cell therapy could treat acute lung injury: Study

Researchers have found more evidence to prove that bone marrow stem cells could be used to treat acute lung injury in patients.
Drs. Michael A. Matthay and Jae W. Lee and their colleagues at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of the University of California, San Francisco conducted the study.
"We found that these stem cells secreted a significant quantity of a protein that restored the barrier that keeps fluid and other elements out of the lungs," said Lee.
The team is focussing on mesenchymal stem cells, which have the ability to differentiate into cells, which develop into tissues throughout the body when mature.
Acute lung injury is caused by pneumonia and sepsis. It can worsen into acute respiratory distress syndrome, and results in insufficient oxygenation of blood and eventual organ failure.
Lungs contain tiny groups of cells called alveoli, which are lined with a layer of epithelial cells that serve as a critical barrier. The barrier serves to maintain gas balance inside.
The team decided to re-create the unhealthy lung conditions in the lab.
"We then introduced mesenchymal stem cells without direct cell contact, and they churned out a lot of protein, called angiopoietin-1, which prevented the increase in lung epithelial permeability after the inflammatory injury," said Xiaohui Fang.
The team hopes that clinical trials will prove the therapy is a viable one for preventing respiratory failure in critically ill patients.
The study is published in a Journal of Biological Chemistry. (ANI)


Scientists come up with safer plastics

Scientists have discovered a new way of preventing potentially harmful plasticizers from migrating from one of the most widely used groups of plastics.
The advance could lead to a new generation of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics that are safer than those now used in packaging, medical tubing, toys, and other products, they say.
Helmut Reinecke and colleagues note that manufacturers add large amounts of plasticizers to PVC to make it flexible and durable.
Plasticizers may account for more than one-third of the weight of some PVC products. Phthalates are the mainstay plasticizers. Unfortunately, they migrate to the surface of the plastic over time and escape into the environment.
As a result, PVC plastics become less flexible and durable. In addition, people who come into contact with the plastics face possible health risks.
The scientists describe development of a way to make phthalate permanently bond, or chemically attach to, the internal structure of PVC so that it will not migrate.
Laboratory tests showed that the method completely suppressed the migration of plasticizer to the surface of the plastic.
"This approach may open new ways to the preparation of flexible PVC with permanent plasticizer effect and zero migration," the article notes.
The study has been published is in ACS' Macromolecules, a bi-weekly journal.(ANI)