Archive for the ‘health’ category

Nov 26, 2020

Scientists Figured Out How Much Exercise You Need to ‘Offset’ a Day of Sitting

Posted by in category: health

We know that spending hour after hour sitting down isn’t good for us, but just how much exercise is needed to counteract the negative health impact of a day at a desk? A new study suggests about 30–40 minutes per day of building up a sweat should do it.

Up to 40 minutes of “moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity” every day is about the right amount to balance out 10 hours of sitting still, the research says – although any amount of exercise or even just standing up helps to some extent.

That’s based on a meta-analysis across nine previous studies, involving a total of 44,370 people in four different countries who were wearing some form of fitness tracker.

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Nov 24, 2020

A good COVID-19 vaccine is one that works for rich and poor alike

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

And, of course, there is patriarchy. In some parts of the world, women have no control over their health. It is the men – fathers, husbands and uncles – who decide what treatment “their” women receive. Humanitarians have seen men refuse emergency caesareans for their wives. They have also seen them refuse vaccinations for women whose bodies they effectively control.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has launched the world on a pro-poor route to fair global vaccination against COVID-19. This is wonderful news. Now we need to address the challenges of a pro-poor roll-out. A major part of this must involve all States getting behind the COVAX effort to ensure fair global access to COVID-19 vaccination tools. It is good to see the UK co-leading on this with others.

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Nov 23, 2020

Doctors say CDC should warn people the side effects from Covid vaccine shots won’t be ‘a walk in the park’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Public health officials and drugmakers must be transparent about the side effects people may experience after getting their first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, doctors urged during a meeting Monday with CDC advisors as states prepare to distribute doses as early as next month.

Dr. Sandra Fryhofer of the American Medical Association noted that both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines require two doses at varying intervals. As a practicing physician, she said she worries whether her patients will come back for a second dose because of the potentially unpleasant side effects they may experience after the first shot.

Nov 23, 2020

Progress and Prospects of CRISPR/Cas Systems in Insects and Other Arthropods

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and the CRISPR-associated gene Cas9 represent an invaluable system for the precise editing of genes in diverse species. The CRISPR/Cas9 system is an adaptive mechanism that enables bacteria and archaeal species to resist invading viruses and phages or plasmids. Compared with zinc finger nucleases and transcription activator-like effector nucleases, the CRISPR/Cas9 system has the advantage of requiring less time and effort. This efficient technology has been used in many species, including diverse arthropods that are relevant to agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and public health; however, there is no review that systematically summarizes its successful application in the editing of both insect and non-insect arthropod genomes. Thus, this paper seeks to provide a comprehensive and impartial overview of the progress of the CRISPR/Cas9 system in different arthropods, reviewing not only fundamental studies related to gene function exploration and experimental optimization but also applied studies in areas such as insect modification and pest control. In addition, we also describe the latest research advances regarding two novel CRISPR/Cas systems (CRISPR/Cpf1 and CRISPR/C2c2) and discuss their future prospects for becoming crucial technologies in arthropods.

Keywords: CRISPR/Cas9, insects, non-insect arthropods, research progress, prospects.

Genome editing technologies are useful for understanding the functions of target genes in diverse organisms (Segal and Meckler, 2013). Before the CRISPR/Cas9 system was discovered, zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) technologies were used for genome modification; both technologies can be used to design a DNA-binding domain that can effectively recognize and modify virtually any sequence, and both technologies have been widely applied in various fields (Gaj et al., 2013). ZFNs and TALENs, however, require the use of a variety of nucleases, and the off-target effects of nucleases can lead to cellular toxicity. In addition, methods using ZFNs and TALENs are complex and labor-intensive (Kanchiswamy et al., 2016). These two genome-editing systems have been recently replaced by the CRISPR/Cas9 system, which is far more convenient and effective than ZFNs and TALENs (Lander, 2016; Mohanraju et al., 2016; Wang H. et al., 2016; Westra et al.

Nov 22, 2020

Aerodynamics of Infectious Disease: Airflow Studies Reveal Strategies to Reduce Indoor Transmission of COVID-19

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, particle physics

Scientists studying the aerodynamics of infectious disease share steps to curb transmission during indoor activities.

Wear a mask. Stay six feet apart. Avoid large gatherings. As the world awaits a safe and effective vaccine, controlling the COVID-19 pandemic hinges on widespread compliance with these public health guidelines. But as colder weather forces people to spend more time indoors, blocking disease transmission will become more challenging than ever.

At the 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics, researchers presented a range of studies investigating the aerodynamics of infectious disease. Their results suggest strategies for lowering risk based on a rigorous understanding of how infectious particles mix with air in confined spaces.

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Nov 21, 2020

3 Profound Impacts Exercise Has on The Brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

Here are just a few ways exercise changes the structure of our brain.


Many studies suggest that exercise can help protect our memory as we age. This is because exercise has been shown to prevent the loss of total brain volume (which can lead to lower cognitive function), as well as preventing shrinkage in specific brain regions associated with memory. For example, one magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan study revealed that in older adults, six months of exercise training increases brain volume.

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Nov 21, 2020

FDA allows emergency use of antibody drug Trump received

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

(AP) — U.S. health officials Saturday agreed to allow emergency use of a second antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19, an experimental medicine that President Donald Trump was given when he was sickened last month.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. drug to try to prevent hospitalization and worsening disease from developing in patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms.

The drug is given as a one-time treatment through an IV. The FDA allowed its use in adults and children 12 and over who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kilograms) and who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of age or certain other medical conditions.

Nov 20, 2020

Pfizer to seek emergency vaccine OK Friday, doses could ship in 24 hours

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health

Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and partner BioNTech will seek emergency government approval for their coronavirus vaccine on Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, paving the way for millions of doses to be distributed within 24 hours.

“We will ship millions of doses of vaccine within 24 hours of FDA approval. So my message is hope and help are on the way,” Azar said Thursday as he announced the pending emergency use application during a White House coronavirus task force briefing.

Pfizer’s German partner BioNTech had said this week that it would seek the emergency approval for the vaccine, which showed 94.5 percent efficacy in clinical trials.

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Nov 20, 2020

Geometry Reveals How the World Is Assembled From Cubes

Posted by in categories: health, mathematics

An exercise in pure mathematics has led to a wide-ranging theory of how the world comes together.

Nov 19, 2020

Kidney Function: The Missing Link In The TMAO-Health And Disease Story?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health

Here’s my latest video!

Animal products, including meat, cheese, and eggs contain carnitine and choline, metabolites that are converted by gut bacteria into TMA, which is then converted by the liver into TMAO. Plasma levels of TMAO are associated with an increased risk of disease and death, so should we limit intake of these animal products?

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