For centuries it was believed that people who have more sex live more happily. A new study confirms sex does not make you happier, according to the findings of the researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Happiness has wrongfully been connected many times before to a sexually active life. Professors at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have finally questioned these sayings and decided to end the mystery by carrying out a research on their own.
The study was performed on 128 married couples with heterosexual orientation, aged between 35 and 65. Scientists asked participants to increase their intercourses during the three-month interval in which the research was conducted.
Respondents were told either to double or to carry on with the usual amount of sex they have had so far, depending on the declarations they have made.
The couples were frequently asked to fill out questionnaires meant to determine their psychological condition.
Results have shown that the group who doubled the amount of sex was not at all happier than the group that maintained the same amount of intercourses.
As a matter of fact, respondents who had to practice more sex than they did before felt stressed and, consequently less happy.
Psychologists, who have viewed the results of the study, have questioned the research’s validity.
According to them, scientists at the Carnegie Mellon University were not able to accurately determine whether increased sex activity really makes you happier or not, precisely because they have stressed their respondents.
In their opinion, researchers should repeat the study and suggest respondents this time to find new methods of reducing stress. Sexy scenarios are more than welcome, according to psychologists, as they can help reduce the stress factor which perturbed CMU’s investigation.
George Loewenstein, the study’s lead investigator, is convinced that the study was biased. He strongly believes that increased sexual frequency can have numerous benefits on humans’ minds and bodies, when and if practiced properly.
According to researchers at CMU in Pittsburgh, the study was meant to improve couples’ sexual life, particularly middle-aged couples.
The latter are usually unhappy about their sexual life, so scientists thought they could find a link between the rare intercourses and the general discontent they feel about themselves and their partners.
Unfortunately the findings of the study were not very relevant. If we are to take into account what researchers have discovered, than it is clear: increased sexual activity does not make you happier.
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A recent behavioral study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut shows that adding hot photos on dating sites do not make users more attractive to the opposite sex.
While studying humans’ behavior on the Internet in general and on dating sites in particular a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut has made important discoveries.
According to the recent data they have gathered, much to our dismay, Photoshop-enhanced photos do not make users more attractive to the opposite sex.
The study was carried out with the help of 305 participants with the age between 17 and 36 years old. Each and every other participant had to view four different profiles on various dating sites for several minutes.
At the end of the attributed time interval, participants were asked to rate the four profiles in terms of attractiveness, trust and similarity.
The majority of the contributors have appreciated the profiles that looked natural, without enhanced profile pics or amplified information.
When asked to describe the profiles containing retouched pics, respondents have rated them as unreliable.
Further investigation into the matter has revealed that men have the tendency not to trust women who add hot photos and, consequently they avoid asking them out for a date.
Nevertheless, guys are willing to take a chance, even though they know women will not be as beautiful in person as they appear to be on the Internet profile.
Participants belonging to the feminine gender, on the other hand, have been positively impressed by males’ enhanced dating profiles.
They gave higher grades to these profiles because they automatically inferred, as they skimmed through the photos, that those men are generally preoccupied with their image.
The recent findings come to contradict many of the past beliefs that humanity has held valid so far.
Until recently, it was believed that males are more inclined to judge “a book by its covers”, consequently, to start relationships only with those women who look appealing.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut claim things have changes; women appear to be the ones, who choose their partners based on their looks.
Scientists have further added that attractiveness was the only aspect influencing women to pursue dates on the studied profiles.
The study was meant to provide people with additional information related to the cat-fishing phenomenon and to help prevent similar activities.
The research and its results will be presented during this year’s International Communication Association conference.
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A new study reveals measles vaccination could have benefits against other infections, according to the new medical findings.
Scientists at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were keen on addressing the recent debate regarding the effects of the measles vaccination. According to their recent discoveries, the measles shot could have many other additional benefits other than that of preventing young children and babies from getting this infection.
Children who have suffered from measles have registered a weaker immune system for about three years after the contagious disease has settled in.
Medical researchers have looked deeper into this problem and discovered that measles vaccine helps strengthen the immune system. Consequently, children stay protected against many other similar illnesses that could settle in after the measles eruption.
The recent study is meant to clarify and, hopefully, solve all concerns that parents may have in relation to the safety of the measles shot. Doctors have repeatedly stressed the importance of this vaccine in the past.
Thanks to the recent findings, they now have a solid base to prove their arguments. Richard Wenzel, an infectious disease specialist at Virginia Commonwealth University reinforced the message of the study: the measles vaccine is as safe as it can be.
Furthermore, there are many other illnesses that will be prevented thanks to this simple shot.
The United States of America have been dealing with frequent measles infections at the beginning of the current year. Medical reports show that 147 cases have been registered in Disneyland in the past few months and 131 in California.
The need to immunize children against this ill has become all the more important as worrisome measles outbreaks have also been registered in Mexico and Canada, where 159 people have fallen victim to this disease.
The majority of the victims did not receive vaccination as a result of their parents’ or their personal choice.
The United States of America have registered powerful measles epidemic in the past decades, but the outbreak was suppressed thanks to the widespread vaccination campaigns that were carried out.
The death rate of the contagious disease fell from 18% before vaccination to less than 6% after vaccination.
Rare outbreaks still occur as a result of the overseas infections. Measles are frequently related to fever, cough and blotchy rash.
Medics warn that the infection may also be accompanied by symptoms that are generally associated with other more common diseases, such as runny nose and red eyes.
Nevertheless, parents should not ignore any of the symptoms that their children may have and address the medical authorities as soon as the signs of illness appear.
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A recent medical study shows that fruits, natural brain and memory enhancers, are the worst enemies of diets causing people to crave for sweets and junk food.
Researchers at the Kreck School of Medicine wanted to determine the exact extent to which dieters may or may not be helped by fruit consumption. They have, therefore, interviewed 24 participants and asked them to take part in several activities.
Participants were asked to eat a certain amount of fructose and glucose-based products, so scientists could determine their effects on those people, who want to lose weight.
Volunteers were, then, asked to take a look at pictures of edible and non-edible products.
The majority of the participants have declared that they felt hungrier after consuming fruits, instead of feeling satiated.
Not even fruit salads help counteract munchies, which are, most of the times, responsible for late-night dinners and appetizers.
At the end of the test, volunteers were asked to choose between high-calorie foods and a monthly salary. The majority of them have chosen to give up all their material possessions in exchange for a regular portion of junk food.
Scientists at the Kreck School of Medicine have explained the findings of the test through the effects of fructose consumption.
According to them, people who ingest higher amounts of fructose are more inclined to eat junk food because fructose does not favor insulin production.
Glucose-based products, on the other hand, are filling because they assure the daily amount of insulin the body needs to avoid hunger.
The study’s findings were further confirmed by brain scans and blood tests.
The images proved that there is a direct link between fructose or glucose consumption and brain functions, hormones and “hunger response”. According to the brain scans, fructose activates the brain parts that are responsible for the “attention and reward process”.
Scientists did not intend to prevent people from consuming fruits, just to warn them that quantity matters.
They have concluded the study by adding that people should take into consideration just how much fructose or glucose their bodies need to have the best diet results.
As a general guidance, consumers should limit their fructose amount to about 50 grams per day. A glass of natural juice at breakfast contains sufficient fructose for an entire day.
In regards to glucose consumption, scientists have maintained their position against carbohydrates and junk food. Nevertheless, they have all acknowledged that a slice of bread at lunch can help prevent the irritating hunger sensation.
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According to an investigation meant to find out just how easily alcohol is available to minors, at least 58 percent of NYC stores are selling alcohol to minors at the moment. This is directly correlated with the whopping proportion of underage drinking that has been observed in NYC and the entire US in the last years.
The investigation was conducted by the New York Health Department, that invested $147,000 in an undercover investigation performed last year over a period of six months. The investigators sent in undercover minors who tried to purchase alcohol from a wide range of places, including bodegas, grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies and bars.
Ironically, the investigation included 911 stores throughout its entire development, which represent 10 percent of the total retail stores that posses a liquor license. And the results did not fail to meet the suspicions of the Health Department, relaying that up to 58 percent of the retailers that the young undercover agents walked into ended up selling them alcohol.
The spokesman of the investigation further explained that undercover minors did not even use fake ID’s, and that the minors produced ID’s that were correspondent to their real age, that is in the case that they were even asked for identification to begin with.
It is precisely the fact that the $147,000 could not account for an undercover operation like the complex ones seen in Hollywood movies, that gives credibility to the investigation. Is is unclear though how much the minors used by the Health Department were paid.
As for the consequences, the fines for selling alcohol to minors start at $2,500 and can reach $10,000 in more severe offenses, such as repeated selling of alcohol to minors.
Binge drinking is an ever growing problem of the current generation and it is commonly known that despite the legal drinking age of 21, there is always a possibility to score booze even if you are a lot younger than that.
It has actually come to the point where it is laughable to not be able to get alcohol as a minor, because the possibilities are endless. From fake ID’s, to willing older friends or siblings, to, apparently, the mild-mannered clerk from around this corner or the other, there are options out there and when there’s a will, there’s a way.
Underage drinking is associated with drunk driving and considered to be a predisposing factor of considerably more serious problems that teenagers are faced with, such as rape and suicide. Therefore, if 58 percent of NYC stores are selling alcohol to minors, then this greatly contributes to the actions of these wayward teenagers.
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Two studies regarding the effects of gene therapy on the retina have been published. This is a first step in curing a congenital retinal disease, called Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA), a remarkable success in the fields of Genetics and Ophthalmology.
LCA is a inherited disease of the retina, that affects 1 in 80,000 people. The disease has an early onset, appearing at birth or in the first few months of life and its main symptom is, as the name describes, amaurosis. This means the loss of sight that is not associated with a lesion.
The studies were conducted at the University College London’s Institute of Ophthalmology and at the University of Pennsylvania’s Scheie Eye Institute in the US. The principle of the study was injecting healthy genes in the affected retinal area of LCA patients.
Previous gene therapy programmes have been conducted in regards to LCA, using an adeno-associated virus on the RPE65 gene, the mutated gene that causes LCA. While this course of treatment has shown promising results, it still has not reached the point where it may be widely used.
These two studies focusing on injecting healthy genes in the retina have proven to be successful to a certain extent, but as the method is at the moment, it only has a temporary effect on the patients’ sight. An effect has been observed in the night vision of the twelve patients in the study. The improvement observed peeked at six to twelve months post-treatment and then started to decline up to the point where it disappeared completely.
“Within days of the injections, some patients reported increases in their ability to see dim lights they had never seen before. It was remarkable for us to get this feedback that things were indeed changing positively,” said Dr. Jacobson, M.D., Ph.D., who conducted the clinical trial at the University of Pennsylvania’s Scheie Eye Institute.
The studies provided six years of data on the effects of gene therapy on LCA. Aside from the rapid effect on the greater light sensitivity, some patients showed a longer term improvement as well. They managed to make use of the area near the injection site for seeing letters, function for which the fovea is normally responsible. The fovea is a component of the eye that has a high density of photoreceptors and therefore provides detailed sight.
This ground-breaking study will be the base line of future research on the matter, as gene therapy has shown tremendous results. “As with any application of a novel therapy, it now needs to be fine-tuned.”, said Dr. Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Eye Institute.
While not having cured LCA completely, this newest version of gene therapy is the first step in curing a congenital retinal disease. Researchers are looking for a more potent gene-therapy treatment plan, based on the results of these two studies, in the hope that soon enough diseases like LCA will be history.
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The Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it is now official that Rubella, otherwise known as German measles is completely eradicated in South, Central and North American states.
The good news comes after five years with no reported cases, only three being needed in assessing the impact of medical eradication strategy. The registered success is reportedly due to extensive measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) campaigning in all the targeted areas.
In 1969, Dr. Maurice Hillman developed and introduced the MMR following the major rubella outbreak in the US. Now, after a 15 year long vaccination campaign, rubella no longer exists in the Americas.
The possibility of other cases still being reported in the following years are limited only to the cases of persons travelling outside the rubella free states. Since it is a highly contagious virus that can be spread by simply sneezing and coughing, the chances are not that limited, unless the person already developed immunity. The most visible symptoms of rubella are high fever and an eruption of red rashes on the body.
The success of the MMR vaccination campaign comes as an even greater delight considering that throughout the US there have been periods of time during which groups of people, predominantly those with children refused vaccination. It was believed at the time that MMR can cause autism in children being vaccinated.
Yet, against this fear, the greatest threat that was posed to pregnant women was that of congenital rubella syndrome that could result in miscarriage or stillbirth. Even if the children survived there were high chances that they would suffer of heart problems, brain damage, bone development problems, blindness or deafness. The misfortunes could even reach internal organs such as the liver or the spleen.
The German measles have been eradicated, following the elimination of smallpox in 1971 and of polio in 1994.
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A new prospective longitudinal study published by the Jama Pediatrics and developed at Boston University shows that the health benefits of potassium-rich diets are numerous. The study, titled “Longitudinal Effects of Dietary Sodium and Potassium on Blood Pressure in Adolescent Girls” was conducted on 2185 teenage girls over a period of 10 years.
The study measured the comparative intake of sodium and potassium and the effects of the two in relation to blood pressure. Dr. Lynn L. Moors’s study can prove crucial for blood pressure control of the risk population.
During the study it was observed that more health benefits can be gained from a potassium-rich diet in comparison to a sodium-reduced one. Those girls that had an intake of 2400 mg or more of potassium each day had critically lower blood pressure than the ones that had a lower intake. This trend can continue well into adulthood as it was discovered that such a diet can reduce the risk of death or cardiovascular disease.
It may be that the results are indicative of healthy diet options, as the high levels of potassium intake mostly result from the consumption of vegetable and fruit. The body of a teenager requires higher potassium intake than that of an adult. Sticking to the right diet thus offers not only protection of low blood pressure levels in adulthood, but also regulation of the heartbeat and lower risk of muscle loss or cardiovascular complications.
To perfect the guidelines for a potassium-rich diet, it is indicated to consume such foods as potatoes, white beans, apples, bananas, coconut or broccoli.
“This study emphasizes the need to develop methods for estimating salt sensitivity to be used in future studies of high-risk populations and points to the potential health risks associated with the existing low dietary potassium intakes among US children and adolescents,” Mrs. Moore concluded.
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With the release of a new report titled Worldwide situation country analysis: Response to Antimicrobial Resistance, the United Nations agency revealed that only about a quarter of 133 states in the spotlight have set in place national plans to combat resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines.
The issue at stake is that in all six regions of the world, a large percentage of the population is misusing antibiotics, which leads to drug resistance in the case of such conditions like pneumonia, tuberculosis, malaria or HIV. Eventually, it is about allowing treatable diseases to become lethal.
In dealing with this situation, all six regions where the study was conducted showed significant gaps in taking action in a situation that was described as a post-antibiotic era in which people can die from common infections. Known, treatable and curable common infections.
Keiji Fukada of the World Health Organization stated that:
“All types of microbes, including many viruses and parasites are becoming resistant to medicines, particularly bacteria that are progressively less treatable by available antibiotics. This is happening in all parts of the world, so all countries must do their part to tackle this global threat.”
The main concerns voiced in the report published by WHO are the low number of countries that have a national plan to combat the misuse of drugs, the widespread sales of antibiotics or other antimicrobial drugs without prescription, or the even more widespread occurrence of counterfeit and low-quality drugs. These pose the threat of being overused and abused by both patients and doctors.
Other issues brought forward by the report are low public awareness in all world regions and the widespread belief that any viral infection can be treated with antibiotics, as well as the lack of sufficiently developed national monitoring programs or of programs that could control and prevent infections coming from a hospitalized environment.
In light of these findings, WHO officials emphasized the need for more coherent, globally, regionally and nationally coordinated efforts for spreading the results of the study and for combating the resistance to microbes caused by improper drug use.
In this respect, the WHO developed a Global Action Plan that will be submitted to the attention of the World Health Assembly which takes place in May 2015. It is hoped that participant governments will approve the plan and reiterate their commitment to address global health.
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In recent studies conducted by Doctors Ruth Milanaik and Andrew Adesman of Cohen Children’s Medical Center found in New York, it has been discovered that over the counter (OTC) dietary supplements are being sold to children and teens, despite warnings that they are not safe.
Products labeled as for adult use only have been recommended and even endorsed by staff of health food stores to teens, being aware that these dietary supplements can often prove dangerous if used against the warning labels.
The FDA has not so far regulated supplements as such and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has repeatedly signaled that those less than 18 years of age are exposed to serious documented health hazards if they use body-shaping supplements. Against better judgment, purchasing these products by minors is legal in 49 states.
The issue is sparked by teens who are insecure of their bodies in an environment that puts sufficient pressure on a young person to look in a certain way. They search for body-building, fat-burning, enhancing supplements that are viewed as the quick way to a better, improved self-image.
The reality proves differently. These products are a quick way to a number of health hazards that could be avoided if the purchasing of supplements would be illegal for those underage.
At the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, Milanaik and Adesman presented the results of the study they conducted. 244 health food stores in the 49 states were selling OTC supplements to minors is legal were sampled by 15 year old boys and girls. The boys were looking for testosterone boosters (TesB) while girls were looking for fat-burning dietary supplements. 41 percent of sales representatives told the 15 year olds that they could buy the products on their own.
TesB usage by minors is known to affect bone growth and cause the body to halt his natural production of testosterone. If not suffering from a diagnosed medical condition, the usage of TesB is highly not recommended. Yet many young males under the age of 18, athletes or non-athletes fall for the advertisement that it can improve endurance training and strength.
And this is where the staff of health food stores could intervene, alongside the pediatricians who have teens in their care. Employees that are labeled as trained experts should act as such and correctly inform their underage customers of the real and serious health hazard they are exposing themselves to, rather than working for the company’s financial gain.
Pediatricians, along with parents should ensure the minors stay informed, healthy and develop in a supportive, and if need be, medically-approved environment.
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