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Melissa Gansler • Author at Mirror Daily

The popular application called Adobe Flash which is present in over 1 billion computers worldwide has been discovered to have a very significant vulnerability issue that can allow pretty much anyone to take control over it.

The Adobe Flash security vulnerability was revealed in some documents that have leaked online after an attack on a government sponsored group of spies called Hacking Team, which have been using said issue to break into the computers of people. At the moment there isn’t any patch that will fix this issue but the tech company has promised they will release one today. However, in order to completely ensure their protection people should delete the entire application altogether.

A statement coming from Adobe claims that a successful exploitation of the issue may cause a crash in the system which will then allow the cyber-attacker to take control. The issue in Adobe Flash affects Linux, Mac and Windows computers.

Seeing how the Adobe Flash security vulnerability has been detailed in documents available to the public after the hack, it is possible for everyone to use it against any system that is running the application. Some people have even shown how the issue could be taken advantage of in order to take full control of computers and run files stored on them. This can be used to expose all the information available on said computers and make them available for both illegal and immoral use.

The vulnerability problem comes from a bug in the code in Adobe Flash that people can use to write and read information on the computers running the popular application. Once the hackers infiltrate into a person’s computer by exploiting the issue, they can send commands to be executed by it.

The leaked documents show how Hacking Team described the vulnerability in Adobe Flash as being the most beautiful bug in the last four years.

Earlier this week, Hacking Team, a cyber-security company which sells its services and tools to the government was hacked. The files leaked onto the Internet after the hack hinted that the company had been selling its services and tools to oppressive regimes for quite some time now.

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Researchers discovered a correlation between increasing incomes of individuals in the developing world and the tendency to take on calorie-rich diets. According to a new study, adopting the unhealthy Western diet is on the rise around the world, but its popularity has nothing to do with the benefits (or lack thereof) it has on people’s health.

In a very unsurprising turn of events, the Western diet is not as good for you as we’d like it to be – to the point where adopting it can convey into various degrees of malnourishment. Researchers noted that high-calorie fast-foods do not offer us the essential nutrients we need to be healthy and score very low on nutritional benefit.

Leading study author David Tilman, professor and ecology expert at the University of Minnesota, explained that even eating processed foods offers people low nutritional substances. “Microwave meals,” as they’ve been dubbed, are full of “empty” calories, which means they satisfy your hunger for a short period of time.

If people don’t combine them with a lot of vegetables and fruit, malnutrition is ready to set in. The Western diet is known for its processed or semi-processed foods and its heavy reliance on supermarket chains that promote them in spite of their low nutritional value.

On top of that, this diet’s prominent features are overconsumption of fast-food, products with added-sugar, red meat and lots of saturated fats, and a lack of plant-based fibers. Overall, Westerners feed themselves with plenty of unhealthy fats, added sugar, salt, and meat, and almost no fibers.

According to Dr. Ian Myles from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the U.S., people adopting this diet have a very large intake of calories, in general. The study also reveals the health risks associated with the Western diet.

Highly processed foods usually mess up the immune system, with the most damaging ingredients being fructose and palmitic acid. Dr. Myles explained that our bodies react to these as if they are bacteria, attacking them and thus sustaining a continuous low-scale inflammation.

But because the immune system is constantly deceived by these phony bacteria, it is eventually less prepared for a genuine infection. Researchers hope that the situation can get back to normal as people switch to healthier diet choices.

Moreover, several previous studies proved the Western diet damages good gut bacteria, which is crucial for the health of the body overall. The gut bacteria is also linked to how the immune system responds to inflammation.
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Rabbits, deer and rodents are carriers of the Tularemia virus.

In awe of the recent 15 diagnoses registered in Colorado, officials could issue a warning on possible rabbit fever outbreak to prevent people from getting infected. The disease is very common around this time of the year in Colorado, but medical experts fear that the situation could get worse if left untreated.

Tularemia, more commonly known as the ‘rabbit fever’, is usually spread by domestic and non-domestic animals, such as, rabbits and deer. The virus is rapidly spread among humans and it can turn out fatal if patients do not receive treatments during the early stages of the disease.

Humans are said to get the virus if bitten by insects that have been previously infected with the disease. The first symptoms are very similar to the ones of the common flu, which makes the disease all the more difficult to identify.

Patients, who have been diagnosed with Tularemia have complaint of swollen glands, chills, fever and headaches. The virus takes approximately 14 days to incubate, but humans begin to feel sick after just three days.

Medical experts are now concerned by the recent cases of rabbit fever that have been registered in Colorado. So far, 15 people are now under medical surveillance after contracting the virus in the past days.

The summer period is the perfect time of the year for the Tularemia virus to spread, which is why physicians are carrying out an informative campaign to help people protect themselves against the deadly virus.

According to them, humans must avoid contact with rabbits, deer and other rodent species as the latter may be contaminated. Ticks, mosquitos and other insects living in the close vicinity of these animals could also be carriers of the virus; therefore people must wear special protection to defend themselves.

It is recommended to wear long sleeves and pants that cover the skin during walks in nature – the favorite place of the Tularemia virus. As a consequence, suitable shoes and clothes must be worn to avoid contact with grass, plants and insects. Repellants are also highly effective as skin protection, especially during vacations.

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“Whilst there is life, there is hope.” – a Bible quote Meme from Faceglória

To each his own, they say. Yet, recently, a very small group of people from Brazil have made it big with a new type of social media site. Now, they say, you can atone for your sins through sin free Facebook – or, as they call it, Faceglória.

What is Faceglória? At first glance, it’s a pretty simple concept. It’s Facebook without all the nastiness that does not correspond to what the Bible preaches. Or what the Evangelical Church of Brazil believes that the Bible preaches.

That means:

No swearing. No criticizing of religious leaders. No sexy posting. No violent posts. The last two are extremely strict. You can tell by the fact that Facebook also has a no sexy posting policy, yet these guys thought that it was too permissive.

So – sorry Lady Gaga, no Faceglória profile for you.

But, this site also presents our “favorite” part of the current Facebook, in a much enhanced version:

Much more Bible quotes. Much more religious memes. Much more fanaticism. And also, much, much more moderated content. Yey!

But wait, there’s more: instead of the “Like” button, you have an “Amen” button. Amen to that.

The most shocking thing is that with close to no funding, the site’s gone up big time. It now numbers an astonishing 100 thousand users. That has prompted the creators of God’s social media website to buy domains for the English version of the site, and a few other languages as a bonus.

The virtual cardinals of the site have decided that they want to “take on Facebook.” So this is clearly an overt attack to Zuckerberg’s monster website. How do they plan to do this? By carefully cleaning up each and everyone’s news feed.

Ignoring the viability of such an approach on a much enlarged number of users, the site’s twenty moderators are hard at work checking just about every post, every comment, and every user account coming through. Yet, there are signs that they are already overwhelmed.

There are more than a few mock-accounts, like “Atheist dead God”, or “Deus e gay.” These accounts have yet to be banned. Yet, in response to the many blasphemies created, site representatives have openly complained to Brazilian media that they are under attack by “gays and Satanists.”

Yet, is this site ethical? Many of its policies violate fundamental rights like that to free speech.

However, we needn’t fear it will overcome Facebook. It will probably fade just as fast as it appeared.

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According to a new study published in Scientific Reports, working in competitive or stressful environments was proved to influence traders by making them more prone to take financial risks.

Volunteers who participated in the experiments were found to be more likely to invest in higher-risk assets after being administered doses of either testosterone or cortisol. Researchers had them buying and selling various assets among themselves under the effect of these steroid hormones.

Senior author of the study, Dr. Carlos Cueva PhD of the Department of Economics at the University of Alicante, Spain, explains that the experiments were designed to offer a better understanding of how hormonal changes can influence the traders’ behavior, especially when they work in times of financial instability.

Results showed that testosterone and cortisol both had a direct influence in the way traders were ready to take financial risks. Both men and women participated in the study, summing up to 142 participants, all of whom had their saliva samples collected for measurement and identification of hormone levels.

In the first phase of the experiments, the participants’ natural hormone levels were tested and measured, offering researchers a baseline to work with. During the second phase, the volunteers had their hormone levels artificially increased.

In natural conditions, cortisol – or hydrocortisone – is usually secreted when the individual deals with fight-or-flight situations, and is correlated to increased blood sugar. Psychological stress or intense physical activity are two of the most common triggers for elevated cortisol levels in the organism.

Upon comparing and analyzing the behavior of the two groups, researchers found that increased levels of hormones had a significant influence on taking bigger risks in financial investments.

Volunteers who had their cortisol level artificially boosted showed a clear tendency in acquiring high-risk assets, while those on testosterone presented increased optimism for potential future price change in assets.

Lead co-author of the study, Dr. Ed Roberts of the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, said that understanding the influence of hormones in this line of work is important when it comes to establishing whether or not the traders’ environment is too competitive or stressful.

Dr. Roberts noted that the focus of the study was to observe only the behaviors of the groups with artificial hormonal boosts; this lab response might not reflect real-life situations of traders performing their jobs – something Dr. Roberts is keen on measuring and analyzing in a different study.
Image Source: The Forex Guy

Stella & Chewy’s pet food batches contain traces of Listeria; therefore, clients are advised to dispose the food.

An official announcement issued by the Milwaukee-based company on early Monday morning wrote that Stella & Chewy’s pet food gets recalled due to listeria traces that have been identified during the recent tests. The company is now offering a full refund to dissatisfied customers, who worry that their cats and dogs might have been intoxicated.

The Listeria bacterium was first identified by microbiologist Joseph Lister in 1940. According to the description provided by medical experts, this bacterium may be found in various types of food. People, who consume this type of intoxicated food can suffer of listeriosis, which, in turn, might cause sepsis and meningitis.

Pregnant women, children and elderly people, whose immune systems are very weak, are the most sensitive to these affections. For that matter, medical experts recommend people to avoid food that has not been properly preserved. Currently, the death rate of this disease amounts to 20 percent in the United States.

Given these pieces of information, it goes without saying that pet owners have been highly disturbed to find out that some of the food produced by the chain Stella & Chewy’s contained traces of Listeria. Several batches of pet food will  be recalled in the following period as the company is trying to make up for the recent mistake.

The pet food producer wrote on their official website that they are incredibly dedicated to their mission, namely, that of providing healthy food to dog and cat owners. They have further apologized for the inconvenience they have caused and they have promised to give a total refund to those customers, who have purchased a contaminated pack of food.

The company also provided a list of the products that were found to be toxic, asking clients to return them as fast as possible or to dispose them. The complete list of products, together with the UPC dates, lot numbers and codes may be found on the company’s official website.

The Food and Drug Administration will make additional tests in the following period to identify the causes that have led to this contamination. Stella and Chewy’s will work close with the administration to solve the situation and get rid of the contaminated batches of pet food.

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Robot engineers are constantly looking at the animal kingdom for inspiration. From cheetahs, to dogs, to cockroaches, to moths, all creatures have body features and natural abilities that help experts develop machines better suited for the task at hand.

The newest source of inspiration to be added to the list is the seahorse. Robot engineers at Clemson University say that the creatures have an especially durable body amour due to its bony structure, and a useful, flexible tail that can easily wrap around objects due to its square shape, all while also exhibiting a great deal of force.

Resent studies looking at the marine creature have answer a long pondered question in the scientific community by finding that the seahorse’s square shaped tail is better at withstanding attacks than a more common, round shaped tail. The fish often use this appendage to grab various objects or plants, and tests using an oversized 3D model have shown how much more effective this shape is.

The study, published in the journal Science, has revealed that the seahorse’s tail is made up of no less than 36 different segments. Each of them has kind of a square appearance and defies all expectation.

Dr. Michael Porter, lead investigator and mechanical engineer over at Clemson University (South Carolina), gave a statement informing that “Almost all animal tails have circular or oval cross-sections, but not the seahorse’s. We wondered why. We found that the squared-shaped tails are better when both grasping and amour are needed”.

Miriam Ashley-Ross from the Wake Forest University was not associated with the study, but gave a statement of her own explaining that when a living organism decides to deviate from what’s normally found in nature, there’s almost always a good biomechanical reason. All one has to do is look for clues that reveal specific problems that the animals are facing in their natural habitats. They are typically the reason behind the atypical evolution.

Dr. Porter first started examining seahorses while he was working on developing a steerable catheter. For whatever reason, his initial prototype was designed with a square cross section. He then tried to change it into a round one, for that is the shape more common in nature and he intended to insert it into veins. But what he realized was that the second version didn’t work anywhere near as well as the first one.

He gave a statement sharing that the square design simply felt like it fit together better and that it performed more robustly, compared to the round design, which held its shape together poorly, and didn’t really feel like it fit well together.

The seahorse’s armor is made out of “L” shaped bone plates that overlap beneath the animal’s skin. They run down the creature’s entire body, including the tip of its tail, but they do get smaller towards said tip. The corners from the L shapes are the ones that form the fish’s square cross section.

The researchers used this knowledge to build an oversized 3D model of the seahorse’s square shaped tail, and compared it to another 3D model of a round shaped tail, in order to assess which one is more useful to the creature.

They found that the square shaped tail segments slided right past one another and retained their shape when Dr. Porter and his team applied force that mimicked a set of teeth or a beak that were trying to crush the fish. The round shaped tail segments did nor fair so well and ended up being warped by the pressure.

What’s more, the researchers twisted the two different 3D tails and found that the square one did not encounter much difficulty going back to its initial shape after the twisting stopped. On the other hand, the round one remained distorted.

The square shaped tail also proved to be much better than the round shaped tail at grasping various things, they have flat sides which don’t slide off of surfaces quite so easily, and lend themselves to a much more powerful grip.

Dr. Porter hopes that his study will lead to designing robots that are more flexible, but also stronger and much harder to break. He mentioned that while robot engineers generally prefer to build stiff shapes because they are easier to control, Mother nature is better at building shapes that are strong enough not to break, while also making them flexible enough to be able to accomplish a multitude of tasks. He says that this is exactly why researchers should start looking at animals more and more when designing the next generation of robots.

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A new study suggests a new method that would diagnose early autism in toddlers by simply having them perform a sniff test, as researchers call it.

Children who participated in the experiments were asked to watch a cartoon while their nasal airflow was measured. At the same time, the nasal cannula – which was attached to an olfactometer – was delivering pleasant and unpleasant odorants.

Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be an elusive matter. Professor Sobel and his team attempted to find a connection between a child’s reaction to smells and increased risk of ASD. To find out, 18 children with normal development and 18 children with autism were tested by their sniff responses to pleasant and unpleasant odors.

According to Liron Rozenkrantz, a doctoral student in neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, toddlers and children dealing with ASD have a tough time differentiating smells, which leads to the sniff reaction to be the same, regardless of how bad or enjoyable a scent is.

Rozenkrantz explained that before this method can become a way of detecting early autism, it needs to undergo testing in young babies. Moreover, babies whose results show they are at risk of ASD would have to be monitored into childhood to verify if initial tests are confirmed and the child actually developed the disorder.

The sniff response is intuitive and innate, as both adults and children who experience a typical development have a similar reaction to different scents.

Following further research in this field, researchers conducting this study are positive that autism will become easier to detect beyond the 14-to-24-month window, even before ASD’s behavioral red flags – motor, social and physical changes – appear.

Having the same sniff response to both pleasant and unpleasant scents may be an indication for autism in children. Even though he was not involve in this study, Dr. Glen Elliott, medical director and head of psychiatry at Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto, California, believes this innovative testing method that bases on how autistic children process odors has really good odds of becoming widely use.

For years researchers have been looking for ways of detecting early autism because it has been proven to improve chances for the child to experience a more normal development. What happens is that parents who know about their child’s condition are more prepared to meet his needs.

Next step is testing to see if the sniff-response pattern only applies to autism, because researchers suspect it might show up in other neuro-developmental conditions as well.
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The liraglutide-based medicine can lower blood sugar levels and drop body weight.

Given the recent discussions related to a new drug discovery, doctors have published various studies showing how the new diabetes drug works. Based on their findings, the drug is capable of reducing hunger sensation, thus, enabling users to significantly diminish their body fat.

The liraglutide-based medicine produced by Saxenda has many more uses than that of treating patients with diabetes. Researchers have reached this conclusion after studying its effects on 3,700 people from six continents.

Results have shown that the drug is, indeed capable of lowering blood sugar levels – the main factor responsible for diabetes. In addition, the respondents, who received this medical treatment for a given period of time have experienced important weight loss.

The participants were divided into two groups, one, which received the medicine as a daily shot and the second one that was assigned a placebo pill. At the end of the 56-week period, medical experts noticed that the respondents, who took the medicine dropped 18.5 pounds, whereas the placebo group lost only 6 pounds.

The medical treatment was accompanied by a special diet, according to scientists’ explanations. The 3,700 participants were asked to consume only products with low caloric intake and to carry out various physical activities on a daily basis.

Figures have further indicated that the members of the study group who were administered the shot lost 63 percent of their body fat, whereas the placebo group registered only a 27-percent-loss.

Researchers have also compared different versions of the liraglutide medicine and tests have shown that the drug produced by Saxenada is the most effective. The shot enabled participants to lose 33 percent of their body weight during the experiment. At the opposite pole, participants who were given placebo drugs diminished their body weight by 10 percent.

In spite of the positive results that the drug has had, physicians warned that this shot should only be administered to people suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes. The effects of the medicine on healthy individuals have not been studied; therefore, people should not take the drug without a doctor’s recommendation.

FDA has approved the medicine, but it has also listed some of the side effects that the medicine could have on patients. Among the body reactions they have noticed were also diarrhea, nausea, vomiting sensations, constipation and depression.

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Siri is helpful most of the times, but she can get really sassy when users ridicule her.

Due to the new experiments that tech savvies have made, now you can hear Siri’s bold response to silly math question. The software program is very loved by iPhone users not only for its correct responses, but also for the sassy answers she gives back whenever ridiculed.

Siri may sometimes act like the geekiest computer program ever, but the voice service can be tough, too. Developers have foreseen users’ mockery and they have provided Siri with the right answers right from the very first moment it was introduced on the market.

It took users a couple of months after they have finally ceased to repeatedly test Siri’s abilities with annoying questions. Yet, this practice is now back in users’ attention after a silly question math triggered one of the sassiest responses from Siri.

Probably deriving her mocking style from her inventor, Apple’s late CEO, Steve Cook, Siri told users they have no friends when they asked her how much was zero divided by zero. Based on the videos that have been frantically uploaded ever since the first rumors had it that Siri can be sassy, too, the iPhone customer asked the voice program how much was zero divided by zero. To that, the program simply replied “And you are sad that you have no friends”.

There are, however, many more possibilities when it comes to Siri’s creativity. The program might also bore users to death with her detailed description of the math operation.

On the other hand, the service can portray the operation by telling customers to imagine that they have zero cookies that they divide to their non-existent friends.

This isn’t the first sassy observation that Siri has made; the Internet is filled with many tops and classifications inspired by the answers provided by the computer program. The most appreciated ones are those lines stemming from famous American movies.

Take, for instance, the question ‘what is the meaning of life?’ The program will only resume itself to saying ‘42’, the well-known line from the movie “A Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

The same ironic response is obtained when users try to talk Siri into saying that other voice programs from competing companies are better. The female voice either fakes laugh or it replies that it has no idea what those programs are.

However, there has been a case when Apple’s Siri answered Nokia’s Lumia 900 when asked to name the best smartphone on the market. Developers have fixed this issue and now the program ridicules the interlocutor by saying that she was not aware there were other phones available.

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