Vitamins And Heart Disease

Vitamins are important for human health. This has been established by studies down the years by researchers. Having vitamin C ensure that your immune system works well. Vitamin A helps you maintain good eyesight, and so forth with other vitamins. However, even now the researchers are discovering new ways in which vitamins can help the human body.

At the John Hopkins University in the United States, researchers led by Professor Guoying Wang have been studying the effect of vitamin D deficiency in children. The study co-relates the deficiency of the vitamin in early childhood to an increased risk of elevated systolic blood pressure in them as adults.

Systolic blood pressure refers to the higher number in the two readings of a blood pressure. This figure reflects the amount of pressure exerted by the blood on the artery walls as the heart beats. The lower number refers to the diastolic reading.

High levels of systolic blood pressure can indicate an elevated risk of cardiovacular disease even if the diastolic level is normal. Simply put if you have suffered from vitamin D deficiency as a kid, you are at a great risk of getting a heart attack as an adult. Now that’s useful information from this science project.

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Bye Bye Heavy School Bags

The ever increasing number of school books have resulted in heavier and heavier school bags over the last few decades. While some schools offer the ability to retain unnecessary books in the lockers at school, many schools around the planet do not have this facility. This leaves young students trudging along to and from school with a heavy backpack. One which often causes them back pain and may even affect the spinal growth.

Researchers at the Liverpool Jon Moore University in collaboration with the researchers at the University of Granada in Spain conducted a scientific study in Applied Ergonomics. The study was conducted on 49 students from primary school and conducted a kinematic analysis of their trunk and lower limbs under three conditions.

The first was walking without any burden. The second had the children walk with a traditional school bag. Third had them walk with pulling a backpack trolley with loads at 10%, 15% and 20% of their body weight respectively. The study found that for least impact it was best that the school children pulled trolleys rather than carried backpacks. Also if they had to carry backpacks, the weight of the backpack should not exceed 10% of the child’s body weight.

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Death Defying Roaches

A common insect that may be feared by the majority of the population is the cockroach. This insect has the ability to breed quickly and population levels can increase drastically if they take root within an area of your home. The exterminating of cockroaches has traditionally been done using chemical sprays that kill them. Especially in cases of large spread infestation.

Unfortunately Purdue University researchers have found out that if a cockroach survives an insecticide treatment, they tend to develop an immunity to it. Not only will that chemical be rendered ineffective against the cockroach, it will also pass on the immunity to it’s offspring. This results in a larger population of cockroaches that are immune to most traditionally used insecticides.

Michael Scharf, professor of entomology (That’s the study of insects) says that within a generation they can register a four to six fold increase in resistance to a spray that the parent has survived. As more chemical immunity builds up in these insects, the professor feel that cockroach populations will continue to boom. Their scientific study recommends exploring non chemical methods of pest control in the future to have any kind of effect against the burgeoning population of roaches.

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Why Flyers Misbehave

We have all been on that flight where a co-passenger is found being loud, rude and obnoxious. The incident can affect flight safety, cause delays for the airline and disrupt the passenger’s peace of mind. The International Air Transport Association has recorded one disruptive incident for every 1053 flights in the year 2017. In the year 2016 it was one such incident for every 1424 flights.

Flying is never a stress free activity, and having badly behaved people only adds to the unpleasantness. This is why it would be handy if we knew what made people who were quite decent on the ground, suddenly become rube in the air. To this purpose the Atmosphere Research Group, a travel analysis firm, came up with a study.

The factors that may contribute to disruptive behavior according to the study have been many. A few of which include less number of flight attendants on duty, crowding in the economy class seats, fear of crashing, boarding through the first class section rather than the midsection of the plane, and presence of people from multiple classes of life. The scientific study shows that as the stress level on people increases due to one or a combination of factors, they tend to become more aggressive in the closed space.

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Now You Can Officially Suffer From “Burnout”

For a number of people pressure at the work place has been affecting their lives for years, but there was never any medical condition to ascribe it to. It was simply taken as the stress of living and working. A revision and updation of the International Classification of Diseases or ICD by the World Health Organization has changed that recently. Burnout has been added as a syndrome to the ICD-11 which is what the new updated list is being called.

According to the classification burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life. It is characterized by three dimensions. One, feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion. Two, increased mental distance from one’s job. Three reduced professional efficacy. WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic confirmed in a statement that it was the first time that burnout has been included in the classification.

The ICD-11 will be effective January 2022 on wards. There are a number of new additions that can be expected in this scientific record which reflect the changing times that we live in today. Addictions such as drugs and gambling have already had an entry, but now video gaming addiction will also be seen.

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World’s Oldest Fungus Fossil Found

The creation of fossils is easier when there is a definite shape for the rocks to embed. Fossils of large animals with bones that take a long time to disintegrate are much easier to form, and easier to find by archaeologists as well. Fungus on the other hand is not that easy to fossilize. That’s why when micro fossils of a globular spore connected to a T-shaped filament were found in the Arctic region, it was a rare and celebrated find.

The researchers in northwestern Canada found the fungus fossil which sheds light on the origins of one of the important branches of the tree of life on Earth. The multi-cellular fungus in the fossil has been named Ourasphaira giraldae. It is supposed to have lived in an estuary environment over a billion years ago. This makes it the oldest fungus fossil found to date.

The Ourasphaira giraldae is an ancestor for many diverse forms of fungus and mold that exist today. Everything from different forms of mushrooms to yeast used in baking has descended from this multi-cellular fungus. The more scientific studies can determine about the past, the better equipped we become to handle our future.

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Antibiotics are Cause for River Contamination

When we think of Antibiotics we think in positive terms. Life saving drugs that made a huge difference in our fight against many diseases that used to be fatal. Our very survival as a species was helped by the discovery and administration of Antibiotics, so it’s going to be difficult to think of them as a contaminant. A serious problem causing harm to life in waterways around the world.

As humankind gives antibiotic treatments to themselves, they happily share the powerful drugs with their domesticated livestock and cultivated plants. This means the drugs are mixed in the feed and fertilizers on many farms. Not all of it is consumed by the intended targets and often there is a run off of the excess Antibiotics that gets absorbed by rivers in the region.

As global study of rivers around the world has revealed that countries like Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana, Pakistan and Nigeria have the highest concentration of Antibiotics in their rivers. 14 commonly used antibiotics were found in rivers of as many as 72 countries. The levels are dangerously high as per the scientific study and could cause major damage to the plants and fish living in the rivers. This is a global problem that needs to be addressed before it causes more damage than it already has.

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Ethical Gold Rush

The story of blood diamonds was a lesson to the world. The greed of mining diamonds to make money at the cost of human welfare was unpalatable to a large part of the human population. The horror stories that came from the mines made everyone rethink their desire to buy these cheap diamonds. This made jewelers realize that no matter how appealing the jewelry, it’s sad origins would take a toll on the sales.

Now people are even more concerned about the impact of mining of precious metals like gold on the environment. Given the trend, jewelers also try and source their raw material from verified suppliers who have strict standards to minimize the negative impact of mining metals for jewelry making. There are new scientific methods that help reduce the impact such human activity has. More mines are beginning to use these methods.

These artisanal mines don’t produce much gold annually, but they seek to preserve the environment in terms of methods of extraction used. They ensure humane working conditions for their miners and they are now producing what’s called “fairmined” gold. This ecologically friendly label makes them more in demand for big name gold smiths and jewellers.

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VEM for Space Station

A fire is a dangerous thing if left to go out of control. In a highly combustible area in close quarters it can be quite devastating. While all precautions are taken to ensure that no fire hazard occurs, more often than not most cities have seen fire fighting required.

Now imagine how that scenario would play out in the International Space Station. It can even be bad in a area under water such as on a submarine. A fire is pretty much the death knoll in such cases.

Can one use a highly pressurized foam to put out fires in low gravity conditions? Not really. That’s why the need to develop VEM or the Vacuum Extinguish Method. The fire extinguisher here doesn’t throw out anything. In fact it sucks in the flames as well as the combustion product in complete reversal of the traditional fire fighting technique.

The apparatus developed at the Toyohashi University of Technology uses VEM to create a fire extinguisher that can be used in space as well as submarines. The system allows the removal of fume, particulate matter, toxic gases, and components that could cause a health issue. This is one science project that has amazing practical uses.

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New Record for Female Astronaut

The longest time spent in space by a woman was previously recorded at 288 days by Peggy Whitson in 2016-17. Now female astronaut Christina Koch is all set to break the record for the longest spaceflight by a woman. The forty year old will be spending 328 days in space to help study the effects of long term spaceflights on the human body.

Christina has been on board the ISS since March 2019 and will continue to be there till February 2020, if all goes to plan. NASA is gearing up for it’s foray to Mars and is collecting scientific data on the effects on being in space for longer periods of time than the standard four months that most astronauts usually spend on the ISS.

This has led to longer in space time for certain astronauts to help study the potential issues that may crop up during the long flight to Mars and back. While the ISS is merely orbiting about 200 miles above the Earth, the conditions on board the space craft traveling to Mars are likely to be pretty much the same. This science project is taking planning ahead to a whole new level!

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