Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Malaria Vaccine Protects Half Who Try It


New Malaria Vaccine – Greater than Licensed Vaccine

According to researchers, a new malaria vaccine seems to protect half of those who tend to try it for about a year, an effect which is greater than the licensed vaccine that is made available. For a small company, it is the first big success which has been working out of a Maryland strip mall for years, providing some kind of hope in combating an infection which tends to kill half a million people a years, mostly children. The company known as Sanaria develops the vaccine utilising the total Plasmodium falciparum parasite and the vaccine had protected 55% of the volunteers from getting affected and stopped the parasite from flowing in their blood stream so that they could not be carrier of the infection.

 Dr Tony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease that tends to help in testing the vaccine stated that it is potentially a very impressive vaccine. The clinical study of Phase I was just the first stage of testing the vaccine, involving only some volunteers and the vaccine is years away from the market yet. However, 55% protections was seen and improvement from the 30% protection provided by the drug giant vaccine Mosquirix of GlaxoSmithKline that had gained approval from European drug authorities last year.

Sanaria Adopts Different Approach

Malaria is caused by mosquitoes and the parasite tends to persist in the human body for several years. It is difficult to develop a vaccine for a parasite than a virus or bacteria since the parasite seems to have a complex life cycle which takes it from the blood to the liver and back. It is such a kind of a problem which health officials as well as the government seem to be frantic in attempting anything which would be helpful. Pesticides, bed nets together with eliminating wet breeding ground could help to some extent though nothing has oppressed the contamination.

The vaccine of Glaxo utilised a traditional kind of vaccine approach which was a portion of the protein from Plasmodium parasites and made it into an injection. Sanaria adopted a different approach wherein the company removed the total immature Plasmodium, a small organism known as sporozite from the infected mosquitoes. These were weakened utilising radiation and them made as a vaccine.

Goal – Vaccine Useful in Immunizing Total Population

It had been tough to get good immunity in real life, though Sanaria CEO Dr Stephen Hoffman had stated that an intravenous infusion of the substance had been effective. Hoffman informed NBC News that their goal is a vaccine which could be used in immunizing the total population to halt transmission and eliminate the parasite which is a rather lofty goal. His other goal is to be able to utilise the vaccine in preventing malaria in travellers, diplomats, expatriate workers, military personnel, together with people going in and out of malaria affected areas.Medication could be helpful in the prevention of infection though it could be awkward to use and have some serious side-effects.

A team of NIAID and the University of Maryland, for a trial had immunized 57 healthy individuals who never had malaria and compared them to 32 unvaccinated volunteers. Three weeks later, all had agreed to be bitten by malaria infected mosquitoes. The team reported in the journal Nature Medicine that the effect differed based on how many doses the people received. Only two from the nine volunteers who had received doses of the vaccine were infected with malaria when compared to the five out of six unvaccinated volunteers.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Scientists Make 'Second Skin' to Hide Wrinkles

Second Skin

Invisible Elastic Film – Lessen Wrinkle/Eye Bags

Scientist has developed an invisible elastic film which can be applied to the skin in order to lessen the appearance of wrinkle and eye bags. Nature Materials reports after a series of small trials that when the same is applied, the formula tends to dry to form a film which imitates the properties of youthful skin. Presently it is being explored as a commercial cosmetic product. However, the US scientist state that their second skin could ultimately be utilised in delivering medicines and sun protection.

 The team from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had tested their model product on some of the volunteers applying the formula to their under-eye bags, legs and forearms. The polysiloxane polymer had been made in the lab, utilising molecules of silicone as well as oxygen as the building blocks. Though it is synthetic, it has been designed to imitate the real skin providing a breathable, protective layer. The temporary film tends to lock in moisture, helping to boost skin elasticity, according to the researchers. Several tests had been performed including a recoil test wherein the skin was pinched and then released to observe how long it takes to ping back into position.

Skin less Firm/Elastic with Age

As the skin tend to age, it gets less firm and less elastic and hence does not perform well in this type of test. Skin which has been coated with the polymer seemed to be more elastic than skin without the film and to the naked eye, it looked smoother, firmer and with less wrinkles. The researchers with a spin-off company that would finally market their patented formula have stated that the film is basically invisible and can be worn all day without much irritation. It can also withstand things like sweat and rain.

However more research is essential before then. The polymer also requires safety approval from regulators. Dr Tamara Griffiths of the British Association of Dermatologist has mentioned that the bags under the eyes are caused by the protrusion of fat pockets related to ageing. Though completely natural, some may see it as undesirable, seeking ways to reverse it and sometimes resorting to surgery.

Developing Second Skin Presents Several Challenges

Dr Griffiths stated that the results seem to be comparable to surgery, minus the associated risks. Further research is essential though this is a novel and very capable approach to a common problem and its development will be followed with interest. Prof Robert Langer who leads the work at MIT commented that `developing a second skin which is invisible, comfortable and effective in holding in water and possibly other materials presents several different challenges.

 He adds that it has to have the right optical properties, or it won’t look good and it has to have the right mechanical properties, otherwise it will not have the right strength and won’t perform correctly. He informs that they are excited regarding the opportunities that are presented as a result of this work and looks forward to develop these materials further, to treat patients better who tend to suffer from various skin conditions.

Burning Solar Rays Get Through Your Car Windows, Study Finds


Car Door Windows Offer Different Levels of Sun Protection

According to research, car windows does not protect from harmful exposure to the sun and it is best to put on your sunglasses and sun block while driving. Though windshields seem to block most of the ultraviolet – UV radiation from the sun, the car door windows tend to offer different levels of protection from the rays that are linked to skin aging and cataracts. As per researcher Dr Brian Boxer Wachler of the Boxer Wachler vision Institute in Beverly Hill, California, state that some cars are as low as 50% blockage.

He informed Reuters Health that `even cars which came with factory tint had no guarantee that it would protect against UV rays’. UV rays tend to account for a small percentage of the sun’s rays though are very damaging to human skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UV-A rays seems to be the most common and tends to penetrate more deeply. Since drivers in the U.S have their left side exposed to the sunlight, UV rays seem to be blamed for the increased number of cataract as well as skin cancers which occurs on the left side, writes Boxer Wachler in JAMA Ophthalmology.

UV Rays – Pass Through Clouds/Glass

UV rays has the capability to pass through clouds and glass and to see if the car windows are protective, Boxer Wachler took a UV-A light meter on a cloudless day in May 2014, to a number of Los Angeles car dealers. He examined around 29 cars from 15 various manufacturers made within the period of 1990 and 2014. The car windshields on an average seemed to block about 96% of UV-A rays and the protection afforded by individual cars stretched from 95 to 98%.

However, side door windows are much less dependable. The percentage of UV-A rays that seem to block varied from 44% to 96%. Out of the 29 cars, only four had windows which blocked over 90% of UV-A rays. Boxer Wachler had mentioned that it had no correlation at all with the cost of the car, high-end car or low-end car. Dr Jayne Weiss in a commentary published with the study wrote that windshield are said to be more protective than car door windows since they must be made of laminated glass in order to prevent shattering. Car door windows though are just tempered glass usually.

UV Filters Added to Car Windows

She informed Reuters Health, `not to assume since you are in an automobile and the window is closed that you are protected from UV light. For the eyes, the best bet is to get sunglasses which block UV-A and UV-B light and wrap around the face, states Weiss who had been directing the Louisiana State University Eye Centre of Excellence in New Orleans. In this study, some of the car windows permit enough UV-A ray to affect the skin according to Dr Paul Nghiem who heads the division of dermatology at the University in Seattle.

Nghiem who is not involved in the new study had mentioned in his email that wearing long sleeved cloth or sunscreen which is broad spectrum could be very effective and seems indicated on long drives on sunny days. Boxer Wachler had stated that people could also get clear UV filters added to their car windows in order to protect from the damaging rays.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Three Ways To Optimize Your Child's Health

Many parents state that one of their primary concerns is ensuring that their child becomes as healthy as possible. However, many of these mothers and fathers find that they don't know which wellness strategies to implement to ensure that their daughters and sons feel their very best. To ensure that you can help optimize your child's health, be sure to implement some or all of the following health strategies:

1. Learn About Allergies.

As many medical experts know, allergies are common in children. As such, it's important for you to get educated about them and learn how to ensure that they don't plague your children. If you're interested in using allergy and hayfever tablets to combat allergies, you can learn more about the subject by visiting the Common Cents Mom blog.

2. Emphasize Activity.

One of the keys to optimizing your child's level of physical and mental health is ensuring that she or he remains physically active. Luckily, there are a wide range of exercise activities that your child can engage in to become and remain active. Some of them include:

-football -cycling
-jump rope

Sometimes, it's a good idea for you to set an example for your child by demonstrating your own commitment to being physically active. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, it may be more difficult for you to convince your daughter or son that they should be active. When you discuss physical activity with your child, be sure to remind them of the positive health benefits they'll attain from exercising. Some of them include:

-better sleep
-enhanced immunity
-weight management
-improved posture
-better metabolism
-enhanced digestion

3. Emphasize Healthy Eating.

One final strategy you should implement to optimize your child's level of health is placing emphasis on eating well. Be sure that you explain to your child that the food she or he eats plays an integral role in enabling the body to function optimally. Talk about the importance of incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables, and explain things like caloric intake, macro nutrient/micro nutrient ratios, and the difference between physical and psychological hunger.


If you're serious about ensuring that your child becomes and remains as healthy as possible, it's important to note that developing a strategic plan can help you realize the goal. While there are several health strategies you can deploy to make wellness an ever-present reality in your child's life, the tips and tricks outlined above can be particularly helpful!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Cardiff University Microwave Device to Help Diabetics


Portable Blood Glucose Measure for Diabetic

Diabetic patients now have the benefit of the microwave device which tends to help them in testing their blood to check their blood glucose level whenever they need to. Portable blood glucose measure for diabetic has been created by scientists that tend to use microwaves rather than pricking the skin, a painful process, though it may seem like a simple prick. Presently, diabetics need to test their blood many times a day or use inserted devices such as continuous blood glucose monitors – CGMs.

However a new monitor developed by Cardiff University’s School of engineering is subtly stuck on to the skin. Prof Adrian Porch has said that it will help with the management of the condition. He also adds that the conventional methods of monitoring blood glucose need the extraction of the blood and the device is non-invasive.

It does not need the extraction of blood apart from the initial calibration. Dr Heungjae Choi of Cardiff University demonstrated how the device can be worn. Prof Porch stated that the monitor established with Dr Heungjae Choi can be stuck on the arm or side of the body utilising an adhesive. Moreover, it also has a longer shelf-life since it is not chemical in its action. The data that is collected can be monitored constantly on a computer or a mobile app.

Sticking Microwave Emitter to Body

Though the notion of sticking a microwave emitter to someone’s body would sound alarming, Prof Porch said that is seems to be completely safe. He further added that it tends to use microwaves but the levels are very low. Thinking about a mobile phone, we are about a thousand times less than that level.

Prof Stephen Luzio of Swansea University’s College of Medicine seems to carry out clinical research in diabetes and had supervised trials of around 50 patients utilising the device, with plans this summer. He comments that patients are very keen on this device and one of the big problems with patients measuring their glucose is that they dislike pricking their finger and hence there is a lot of interest in the same.

People who are diabetic tend to have higher than normal blood sugar levels. There are about 3.5 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK with an estimated 549,000 more who seem to have the ailment, though do not know about it.

Product Five Years from Reaching Markets

The 10% who tend to have Type 1 diabetes need to monitor their blood glucose level on a regular basis, around six times a day or 20,000 times over a decade. Diabetes monitor project of Cardiff Universityhad begun in 2008 and since then has received £1m in finance from health improvement charity, Wellcome Trust.

The team have said that the product is possibly five years away from reaching the markets subject to further investment. The device would be of great help for those diabetic patients while monitoring their blood sugar level which needs to be done on a regular basis to keep control on their sugar levels with timely treatment.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Skin Cells Turned Into Sperm


Medical Achievement – Treatment for Infertility

Human sperm from skin cells have been developed by scientists from Spain, a medical achievement which could lead to treatment for infertility. The researchers informed that they had been working with a solution for the approximately15% of couples worldwide who tend to be unable to have children and the only option for them is to use donated sperms or eggs. Carlos Simon, scientific director of the Valencian Infertility Institute, the first medical institution that is entirely dedicated to assist reproduction in Spain, had asked `what to do when someone who wants to have a child lacks sperms or eggs?

This is the problem needed to be addressed, to be able to create gametes in people who do not have them’. Outcome of the research that had been carried out with Stanford University in the United States had been published recently in Scientific Reports, which is the online journal of Nature. The team had been motivated by the work of Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka and Britain’s John Gordon who had shared a Nobel Prize in 2012 for the discovery where adult cells could be altered back into embryo-like stem cells. Within a period of one month, the skin cell had transformed into a germ cell which developed into sperm or an egg, though they found that it did not have the ability to fertilize.

A Step Ahead of the Chinese Researcher

Simon had informed that `this is a sperm though it required a further maturation phase to become a gamete and this is just the beginning’.It seemed to be a step ahead of the Chinese researcher who had earlier in the year, announced that they had created mice from artificial sperm. Simon added that with the human species they could do much more testing since they are talking about the birth of child and are talking about a long process.

 The researchers need also to take into account the legal constraints as the technique involves the creation of artificial embryos that presently is only permitted in some of the countries. British law prohibits fertility clinics in the UK from utilising artificial sperm and eggs in treating infertile couples. If the law is reviewed, skin cells could probably be taken from patients and changed into genetically alike sperm or eggs for use in IVF therapies.

SOX17, Vital in Turning Human Stem Cells in Early-Stage Sperms/Eggs

A woman’s skin cell could only be utilised to make eggs since they lack the Y chromosome. Those from a male could ideally be changed into eggs as well as sperm though Azim Surani leading the work at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge states that on the basis of present knowledge, the same was doubtful. Surian informed the Guardian that it is not impossible that they could take these cells on towards making gametes, though whether they could ever use them would be another question for another time. In the process of their work, Surani’s team also learned that a specific gene, SOX17, was vital in turning human stem cells into early-stage sperm and eggs.

This discovery was surprising since in mice the corresponding gene does not tend play any role. Surani comments that mice are the key model used to study mammalian development and is generalized from mice to human. He adds that this work tells that the generalization could be unreliable. It is not that all work in mice does not apply to humans but there are essential differences which are needed to be watchful.

New health sensing tool measures lung function over a phone call, from anywhere in the world


SpiroCall – A New Health Sensing Tool – Measures Lung Function

Several people in the developing world suffering from asthma, cystic fibrosis or any other chronic lung ailment have no way to know how well their lungs tend to function beyond a clinic or doctor’s visit. However, most of them have access to a phone and though it could be a 10 year old flip phone or a common village landline rather than the latest app-driven smartphone.

This is the reason why the University of Washington computer science and engineering and electrical engineering researchers had created SpiroCall which is a new health sensing tool that can precisely measure lung function over an ordinary phone call. At the Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI 2016 conference in San Jose, California, a paper to be presented in May will show that the results of SpiroCall came within 6.2% of the results from clinical spirometers utilised in hospitals and doctor’s offices which meant that it meets the standards of the medical community accuracy.

Washington Research Foundation Endowed Professor of Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the UW, Shwetak Patel stated that they wanted to be capable of measuring lung function on any type of phone one may encounter around the world, smartphone, dumb phones, landlines, pay phone. With SpiroCall, one can call a 1-800 number, blow into the phone and utilise the telephone network to test your lung function.

Device to Monitor Ailment At Home

Researcher from the UW’s UbiComp Lab had introduced SpiroSmart in 2012 that enabled people to monitor their lung function by blowing into their smartphones. Patients tend to take a deep breath in and breathe out as hard and fast as they can till they cannot breathe out any more. The microphone of the phone senses sound and pressure from the outbreath and directs the data to a central server that utilises machine learning processes, converting the data into average measurements of lung function.

Lead author Mayank Goel, a UW computer science and engineering doctoral student stated that people have to manage chronic lung disease for their entire lives, so there is a real need to have a device which permits patients to precisely monitor their ailment at home without the need of constantly visiting a medical clinic which could be far off and time consuming.

System Works on Any Phone/Anywhere in the World

The team had collected data from over 4,000 patients, over the last four years, who had visited the clinics in Seattle and Tacoma as well as in Bangladesh and India, where the clinicians had measured lung function by using SpiroSmart as well as a commercial spirometer. The comparative data has enhanced the performance of the machine learning, laying the groundwork for the current FDA clearance process of the team.

However in surveying patients from India and Bangladesh, the team recognized that a significant percentage did not own smartphone and were unable to use SpiroSmart in their own home which happened to be the main goal of the project. The team had also realized that the only sensor used was the microphone that all the phones tend to have and hence they decided to create a system which would work with any phone, anywhere in the world wherein the patient can use a call-in service.

SpiroCall tends to transmit the gathered audio using a standard phone channel against a sound file which is transferred by a smartphone app over the internet. The team integrated various regression processes to provide reliable lung function estimate in spite of the degraded audio quality

Friday, 13 May 2016

3 Good Reasons Why You Should Get in the Pool

Designers: Homify

Swimming – Relaxing Activity with Health Benefits

There are different types of swimming pools for residential use some of which have been built-in, indoor pool or lap pool which have been built for enjoyment as well as for health benefits. Besides being a relaxing activity, swimming also has plenty of health advantage. In the 1985 movie `Cocoon’ by Ron Howard, a group of elderly adults had found that a pool nearby had the power to instil them with renewed strength enhanced energy as well as with a more youthful sense of health. Swimming provides something which no other aerobic exercise does and the ability to work your body without any harsh impact to your skeletal system.

When the body is immersed in water, it automatically tends to get lighter and when it is immersed to the waist, the body seems to bear just around 50% of its weight. When submerged to the chest, that number reduces to about 25 to 35% and with water all the way to the neck, one only have to bear 10% of the your weight and the other 90% is managed by the pool. This could mean that the pool tends to provide an ideal place to work out the stiffness in muscles and sore joints, if one tends to be overweight or have been suffering from arthritis.

Swimming – Increases Muscular Strength/Muscle Tone

With regards to the right type of exercise for people suffering from arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation has recommended those that stretch muscles, those that strengthen muscles as well as those that offer an aerobic workout and a few laps in the pool have all these combinations. If the pool tends to get heated, it is better for arthritis people since the warm water could be helpful to loosen the stiff joints. People with rheumatoid arthritis tend to obtain better benefits to their health after hydrotherapy when compared to other activities. It has been proved that water-based exercise tends to improve the use of affected joint, decreasing pain from osteoarthritis. Swimming tends to increase muscular strength as well as muscle tone compared to the other aerobic exercises.

Swimming – Strengthen Heart

Running for instance, s jogger takes a few laps round the track, is in fact only moving his leg or body in the air. A swimmer on the contrary is pushing his body through water which is a substance around twelve times as dense as air, which means that every kick and arm stroke tends to become a resistance exercise. It is a known fact that resistance exercises are the best way of building muscle tone as well as strength. Swimming has also shown improvement in bone strength especially in post-menopausal women. Since swimming seems to be an aerobic exercise, it tends to strengthen the heart in not only helping it to get larger, but also in making it well-organized in pumping. This leads to a better flow of blood in the entire body. Research has also indicated that aerobic exercise can fight the inflammatory response of the body also which is a main link in the chain leading to heart disease.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Health Risk' Warning Over fall in Food Safety Checks


Food Hygiene Dropped by 15% in UK

Research shows that since2003, food hygiene has dropped by 15% in the UK, with experts cautioning of risks to public health. The study found that the amount of inspections that had been handled by local authorities had dropped from 307,526 in 2003-04 to 260,765 in 2014-15. The Food Standards Agency overseers have said that the situation was of `growing concern. The Local Government Association stated that councils tend to `work extremely hard on food safety in spite of budgetary pressures.

Ministers have stated that public safety was `paramount` and the majority of local authorities tend to continue to balance their budgets and increase or maintain public satisfaction with service. Figures acquired by Prof Steve Tombs for the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, utilising freedom of information requests to Food Standards Agency – FSA indicated around 47,000 less inspections carried out in 2014 than in 2003. The number of establishments impeached had also fallen by 35% from 552 to 361 over the same time. Prof Tombs, s professor of criminology at the Open University stated that policymakers need to address the radical reduction in local authority inspections and enforcement, urgently.

  • Food premises have been rated from `0’ which means that urgent upgrading is essential to `5’, which means hygiene standards are very good 
  • The scores are based on inspections by officers from the local authority 
  • They see how the food is prepared and cooked and also reheating, cooling together with storage 
  • They also check on the condition of the building and what the management have been doing to ensure that the food is safe 
  • Intervals between inspections are based on risk assessment 
  • Category A premises need to be inspected at least every six months 
  • Category E businesses like off-licences, should be assessed only every three years

Food Law Code of Practice

BBC’s 5 live Investigates programme has seen minutes of an FSA board meeting from January this year wherein anxieties were raised on the increasing numbers of complaints as well as falling staffing levels. The agency had warned that the overall position is one of growing concern. At a local level, there have been good numbers of authorities that have been struggling to undertake interventions of food business at the need frequencies. The minutes had also stated that several local authorities ` are not capable of delivering a food service as set out in statutory Food Law Code of Practice.

 The minutes also showed that they are also acutely aware that local authority resources, particularly in England will face further significant reductions over the next few years. Food Standards Scotland – FSS, since 1 April 2015 had the responsibility for food safety and food standards in Scotland. Investigators had found poor hygiene practice at a takeaway that cannot be named for legal reasons, which permitted possibly deadly salmonella bacterial to pass from eggs to other food.

The last complete inspection of the premises had been 20 months before the outbreak and has received a Food Hygiene Rating of two, meaning that improvement is necessary. An environment health officer had visited in June 2013, to provide support and guidance and the outbreak took place a year later.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Global Sleeping Patterns Revealed by App Data


Global Sleep Crisis

Social pressure has been compelling people to cut back on their sleep which has contributed to a `global sleep crisis as per a new study based on research collected through smartphone app. The sleeping patterns of the world has been revealed by scientists investigating data collected from an app which shows the Dutch have almost an hour more in bed each night than people in Singapore or Japan.

The study that was published in Science Advances also found that women regularly got more sleep than men with middle-aged men getting the least of all. According to the researchers, the findings could be utilised in dealing with the `global sleep crisis’. The team at the University of Michigan had released the Entrain app in 2014 in order to support people to overcome jetlag. However users have the option of sharing data on their sleeping habits with the research group.

As per the study, it was found that people in Japan and Singapore had an average of seven hours and 24 minutes sleep while the people in the Netherlands had eight hours and 12 minutes, while people in the UK had just under eight hours, a bit less than the French.

Conflict between Desire to Stay up Late/Bodies Urging to Get up Early

It was the country’s normal bedtime which had the biggest impact on the time spent in bed. The later a country tends to stay up in the night, the less sleep it get. However, what time a country wakes up, tends to have little effect on the duration of sleep.

One of the researchers, Prof Daniel Forger stated that there was conflict between our desire to stay up late and our bodies urging us to get up in the morning. He informed BBC News website that `society has been pushing us to stay up late, our body – clocks are attempting to get us up early and in the middle, the amount of sleep is being forfeited, it is what we tend to think has been going on in global sleep crisis.

The study also portrayed that women had around 30 minutes more each night in bed than men especially between the ages of 30 and 60. People who seemed to spend most of the time in natural sunlight seemed to go to bed earlier. A strong consequence of age on sleep was also noticed. Prof Forger stated that a wide variety of sleep and wake-up times was discovered in young individuals though `that really narrows in old age.

We Are Ruled by Social Circumstances

Dr Akhilesh Reddy from the University of Cambridge had informed BBC that he was of the opinion that `it is interesting, there had been a trend for these studies utilising data from twitter and apps and discovering interesting correlations across the world, they have never been able to do by putting people in sleeplab. It tends to highlight that though our body clocks are programming us to do certain things; we are unable since we are ruled by social circumstances.

We will not know the long-term consequences of this for several years. Disturbed sleep in shift workers has been associated to a variety of health issues inclusive of type 2 diabetes. Dr Reddy has informed that the next wave of studies would be gathering data from activity and sleep monitors and `that is where the future of this is’.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Why Red Wine is Good for Your Microbiome


Flemish Gut Flora Project

Variety is good for health and red wine could be of great help. In a couple of studies published recently in Science, researchers from Belgium and the Netherlands have presented the most comprehensive work on the human microbiome to date. After studying the poop of thousands of citizen volunteers, they have mapped out the species of bacteria which tend to live within their guts and have connected some of those bacteria to related lifestyle factors.

Some scientists expect to use the microbes which tend to live in our guts in diagnosing and treating the diseases which seem to be related to them. It is not known what the `best’ microbiome is or if there is one normal microbiome and it will take some time longer for the perfect poop transplant therapies.

However, with the data presented in the latest studies scientist have taken a big step in comprehending how the microbiome tend to make big changes in our lives. The first study led by Joroen Raes of the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology, focuses on the so-called Flemish Gut Flora Project that collected stool samples from 3,500 volunteers.

Dutch Health Monitoring Program – Lifeline

Raes informed The Post that `itis a lot since Flanders only has a population of about 6 million and none of these people were paid and they had only been interested in the science. So far around 1,100 samples had been analysed and cross-checked their findings with a Dutch health monitoring program known as LifeLines which is the main data source for study No.2, led by the University of Groningen’s Cisca Wijmenga.

Raes doubts that the microbiomes that are heavily influenced by diet could be quite different in countries beyond the Western world but thinks that the results of the two studies would be fairly valid to other populations in Europe and probably also in America. Raes together with his team were capable of using the Dutch data to confirm 92% of the 69 influential factors identified in Belgium that promises well for the accuracy of the testing. He said that `in Belgium they found association with beer and chocolate while in the Dutch population they saw associations with dairy products.

No Diet that Fits All

Both the studies found small dietary changes to big effect. In the study of Wijmenga, though some dairy products like yogurt and buttermilk seemed to increase the diversity of species in the gut, full-fat products seemed to decrease that diversity. Red wine and coffee seemed to increase the biodiversity of the gut also. High calorie, carb-heavy diets tend to have the opposite effect and amazingly babies do not seem to be influenced by breast feeding at least in their gut.

According to the first author of the Science article, Alexandra Zhernakova of the University Medical Centre mentioned in a statement that in total they found 60 dietary factors which influenced the diversity and what it means is hard to say. However there is a good connection between diversity and health and greater diversity seems to be better. It is clear that we do not tend to have any idea on what diet works best for us. Rate of obesity has tripled in every country and there is no diet which tends to fit all.

How to Keep Your Small Business Germ Free

Running a small business is one of the hardest things anybody has to do. If you’re that size business that has between 10 and 50 employees, you’ve got one of the most difficult tasks that you’ll find in the business world ahead of you each day.

With so much to do each and every day, it’s easy for a lot of things to fall through the cracks if you aren’t careful. What you don’t want to fall through the cracks is the safety of yourself and your employees.

While on the job training and teaching programs can ensure safety among workers doing physical labor, you also need to worry about things like germs, bacteria and potential outbreaks in your office. If you’ve got people traveling all over the world in your office, this is an even bigger concern.

Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to keep your office space germ free and your employees healthy. If you don’t, you could face some serious problems down the line.

Hire Cleaning Staff 

As a small business owner, it’s tempting to just have employees clean up after themselves. After all, you’re not dealing with 2,500 employees, a lunch room and several floors of office space.
The problem is that employees don’t have the ability to do the deep cleaning that a reputable service can. A cleaning service should be in your office at least a few times per week taking care of things like the carpet, draperies and main lobby area.

These are places likely to collect bacteria.

Get Outside Inspections 

As a small business owner, you can’t do everything yourself. That’s especially true when it comes to safeguarding your office and keeping your entire space germ free and healthy for yourself and your employees.

That’s why you need to hire outside inspectors to come into your place of business. Ideally, you should be doing this at least once per year to make sure there are no issues or outbreaks.

Click here to learn more about inspectors that can test for things like legionella and other serious bacteria that could pose a problem in your office. Exposure to these germs might seem unlikely, but when you’re running a business, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Get an inspection ASAP and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with it.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Scientists Reveal How to Wash Your Hands


Lathering Hands with Soap/Rubbing/Rinsing – Not Effective Way of Cleaning

Lathering the hands with soap and rubbing them strongly for 20 seconds and then rinsing does not seem to be the most effective way of cleaning them. Experts now state that the six-step hand-hygiene technique suggested by the World Health Organization tends to be more superior to a challenging three step process. In a recent study, this practice seems to reduce the median bacterial count from 3.28 to 2.58, when compared to the three step system which only touched 2.88.

Researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland witnessed 42 physicians together with 78 nurses wash their hands with alcohol based hand rub after they had treated their patients. The six-step method was considered to be microbiologically much more effective in decreasing the median bacterial count, in comparison to the three step method. But utilising the six-step method needs 25% more time to complete.

According to Jacqui Reilly, PhD, lead author of the study as well as professor of infection prevention and control at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, stated that `one of the remarkable related results was that submission with the six-step technique was missing.

Alcohol-Based Hand Rub

Just 65% of the providers seemed to complete the hand hygiene process in spite of the participants having instructions on the technique before them and then having the technique observed. This permits further investigation for this precise technique and how the submission rates could be improved. Experts state that one should use soap only when the hands seem to be visibly dirty but should use alcohol-based hand rub when one does not know on looking at them.

To wash the hand well utilising the six-step method, one should start by wetting the hands with water and take either a dollop of soap or hand rub. Start by rubbing the palms together with the fingers closed and then together with the fingers interlaced. Moving your right palm over left dorsum with interlaced finger and vice versa, ensuring in actually rubbing in between the fingers. Thereafter interlock the fingers and rub the back of them by rubbing the back of them by turning the wrist in a half circle motion.

Lack Surveillance Systems in Monitoring

Then clasp the left thumb in the right palm and rub it in a rotational motion from the tip of the fingers towards the end of the thumb and then switch hands. Lastly scrub the inside of the right hand with the left fingers closed and then the other hand. Reilly has commented that hand hygiene has been regarded as the most important intervention in reducing the healthcare-associated infection thought there is restricted evidence on which of the technique seems to be more effective. He further added that the study has provided a foundation for effective best practices to implement on the frontlines of healthcare.

As per World Health Organization, health care-related infections attained in health-care location seem to be the most frequent adverse incident in health-care delivery all over the world and most of the countries tend to lack surveillance systems in monitoring the problem. Though there has been substantial development in fighting this issue, there still seems to be one in 25 hospitals with atleast one healthcare-related infection.