Teenagers are less interested than ever in engaging in adult activities
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Excessively worried parents might think their children are doing things ahead of their age, but a recent research proves the opposite. It seems it takes a little more for teenagers to do things they used to do at earlier ages. Nowadays, they are less interested in romantic and sexual relationships, partying, or going out.
Teenagers don’t grow up too fast
The research, published in the journal Child Development, studied around 8.3 million teenagers over the past 40 years. These participants, aged between 13 and 19, were monitored from 1976 and 2016, and researchers analyzed what activities they enjoyed the most. What they found out came as a surprise for many.
Today’s teenagers are not so eager to perform adult activities. This means they are no longer interested in going out for drinks, dating or having sex, driving, or getting ready for a job. In fact, kids aged 18 today act similar to how 15-year-olds behaved several decades ago, and this result was uniform across all participants.
The situation has both a good and a bad side
Other studies and papers also analyzed this situation, and some saw it as a good thing. Less drinking and sex among teenagers might make us think they have chosen other interests, which is true, but these interests are not always better. A wider access to internet, gadgets, and smartphones might have made teens less interested about the real world, making them spend so much time inside, without any interaction.
Also, these results might mean they are not ready to start their own life. Instead of thinking about college and getting ready for a job, they still depend way too much on their parents. However, parents can’t help rejoicing about the positive aspects of the situation.
Teenage birth rates are now incredibly low, and staying away from alcohol and unprotected sex keeps kids healthy. Therefore, the situation has both advantages and disadvantages, and teenagers should find a balance between more adult activities and spending time doing things they are comfortable with.
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Persistent use of bleach and other disinfectants increases the risk of COPD
(Mirror Daily, United States) – A team of researchers from Harvard University and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in France have developed a study which has serious implications for cleaners, nurses, or people who have to use bleach or other similar cleaning products daily. Using these products regularly greatly increases their risk of developing serious lung diseases.
Nurses and people who often use bleach put themselves at great risks
Using bleach and other similar cleaning products is a must for many people, especially when they have a job in cleaning or in other field which require disinfection. However, the study showed even using such products once a week is enough to increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by a third.
For the study, researchers collected data from 55,000 American nurses. They took into account their levels of exposure to bleach, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or another disinfecting substances, such as quaternary ammonium compounds. Exposure to all of these products was associated with an increase between 24 percent and 32 percent of the COPD risk.
This is the first study to link disinfectants with high COPD risk
COPD is actually not a single disease, but a general term used to define serious lung diseases. These include asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema. All these conditions affect many people, and most of them do not survive. There are several millions of people who die of COPD every year.
Older studies discovered a link between persistent use of bleach and breathing problems. However, this was the first one to clearly identify a relation between COPD and disinfectants. Researchers and doctors used to neglect the impact bleach has on lung conditions, but this study should open our eyes and prove there are great risks if you use such products on a regular basis.
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Pluto’s regions have just received the darkest of names
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Scientists have finally chosen some names for several regions of the most lovable dwarf planet of the solar system, Pluto. As it has been named after the Roman god of the underworld, it was natural that its regions should get some fitting names. Therefore, those who came up with the names did some serious research in the field of dark mythology.
The first flyby mission to Pluto took place in 2015
Scientists have identified 14 distinct features present on the surface of Pluto, and they couldn’t remain without a name. Therefore, the International Astronomical Union (IAU). A part of these names were chosen as a result of a campaign launched in 2015 by IAU and the NASA team New Horizons, soon after the flyby mission to Pluto started.
Back then, IAU agreed the names should come from themes like mythology, the underworld, or from the field of science and exploration. However, they haven’t been released until today. Now, we finally got to see how creative people got, and where they took their dark inspiration from.
The names were inspired from mythology and the underworld
Several depressions on the surface got the name Djanggawul Fossae. This is the name of three beings from the Australian mythology which used to travel between the continent and the island of the dead. Another region is called Sleipnir Fossa, named after the Nordic god Odin’s horse, which carried him down into the underworld.
Another name worth mentioning is Virgil Fossae, named after one of the greatest Roman poets. Virgil was also present in Dante’s Divine Comedy as hell and purgatory’s guide. IAU also preserved some names previously given by scientists, such as Sputnik Plainita or Tombaugh Regio. These names were made public even since the 2015 flyby, but they haven’t been official until now.
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The translucent lobster was female, and was bearing eggs
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Over time, fishermen have stumbled upon different kinds of weird-looking lobsters swimming in the waters of Maine. These creatures usually have a peculiar appearance, and people have learned not to be surprised. However, this time, they were baffled after having caught a translucent lobster.
Maine is the country of weird lobsters
Alex Todd is the lobsterman who caught the weird-looking specimen. He has always known the Maine waters are special, as he even caught blue or half blue-half orange lobsters. However, this was the first time in his lifetime when he saw a translucent lobster.
Todd lives right in the middle of the ‘lobster country’, namely in Chebeague Island, Maine. Therefore, he has plenty of experience on how these creatures should look like. When he saw the animal looked as if it had been made of glass, he knew this was a unique specimen. Shortly after he had caught it, he took several pictures of the animal, which immediately reached social media.
The translucent lobster was an egg-bearing female
However, Todd couldn’t keep the translucent lobster. He noticed how it had a notched tail, which meant he had to throw it back into the water. This is a sign that the specimen is a female which is bearing eggs. Therefore, due to conservation purposes, these specimens have to be returned immediately to their habitat.
When fishermen catch female lobsters and notice they are bearing eggs, they take a V-notch knife and cut a small piece off its tail. This way, when other fishermen catch the same lobsters, they should know they are egg carriers, and throw them back in the water.
Several experts looked at the photos taken by Todd of the translucent lobsters. They suggested this peculiar color is given by a condition called Leucism. This translates as a partial loss of pigment in the lobster’s shell, leading to it looking almost transparent.
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Many children are suffering from high blood pressure
(Mirror Daily, United States) – On August 21st, the American Academy of Pediatrics approved new guidelines regarding the detection of children suffering from high blood pressure. These guidelines are meant to make it easier for the pediatricians to identify this condition in children.
High blood pressure is a serious condition, as it represents one of the most prominent diseases in the United States. This condition doesn’t always have visible symptoms, but it might lead to serious consequences, such as the development of cardiovascular diseases or organ damage.
Which children are more likely to have high blood pressure?
A report from 2013 stated 360,000 deaths which had high blood pressure as one of the main contributing causes. Therefore, it’s important to detect the condition in time. Children could be suffering from it as well, so the new guidelines are important for an early detection and treatment.
Overweight children are more likely to have high blood pressure than those with a normal weight. For instance, there are about 3.5 percent of children and adolescents who suffer from hypertension, and most of these children are overweight.
New guidelines to detect hypertension more easily
The previous guidelines included some tables containing the ideal levels of blood pressure that children should have. However, this data included some measurements made on overweight kids. The new guidelines are based on data collected from children with a normal weight. Therefore, hypertension should get easier to detect.
Also, these guidelines suggest that pediatricians should regularly measure the blood pressure of the child during the annual visits instead of doing it when the child comes in sick. This assures the accuracy of the measurement and avoids misdiagnosing.
In case a child is found to have high blood pressure, the first recommended solution would be for the parents to impose certain lifestyle changes. If the blood pressure still doesn’t go down, then pediatricians might administer some medications. This is also recommended in case the child is suffering from other health conditions as well.
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Researchers found an innovative way to treat peanut allergies
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Peanut allergies are one of the most widespread in the world, and also one of the most dangerous, especially for kids. Staying away from foods which might contain traces of peanuts might be difficult, but a team of researchers from Australia might have found a solution to this persistent problem.
Peanut allergies, more dangerous for children
Children are in more danger if they struggle with peanut allergies, as any small trace of the food can turn out deadly for them. This is why most schools have banned peanuts and peanut products, so not even kids without allergies are allowed to consume the food. However, permanently banning allergens from public places is not a solution.
This is why scientists from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia wanted to find a way to destroy peanut allergies. Therefore, they tried an innovative method called immunotherapy on several kids struggling with this kind of allergies.
Treating peanut allergies with peanuts
Immunotherapy consists of exposing patients to a controlled dose of the allergen, in our case peanuts. This exposure would lead to an autoimmune response. If patients receive the proper treatment over a longer period of time, their bodies might get used to the allergen and adjust their reactions to it.
This trial started in 2013 and lasted for 18 months. About 80 percent of the children who took part in this experiment came to tolerate peanuts. Researchers looked at their condition again, four years after the trial, and they can still eat this food without experiencing severe allergic reactions.
However, parents need to be careful. This was only a small trial, which used quite a small sample of participants. Before such a treatment should become widely embraced, researchers need to make sure it works on a larger scale as well. Even so, this is a huge achievement, showing that we might be on the way to beating peanut allergies.
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A woman swallowed a piece of wire from her braces, and ended up in the ER 10 years later
(Mirror Daily, United States) – A team of Australian surgeons have recently removed a seven centimeters long piece of wire from a woman’s stomach. She came to the emergency room after experiencing severe stomach pain and, after undergoing a CT scan, she found she had somehow swallowed a piece of wire from her braces.
The scan revealed a piece of wire in the woman’s stomach
A 30-year-old woman came to the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Australia, and complained of extreme stomach pain. Doctors decided to perform a CT scan and see what could have caused her affliction, and made a weird discovery.
They observed how she had a piece of metal in her abdomen, which resembled a wire. When questioned about it, the woman said she used to wear braces. Therefore, the only explanation was that she had swallowed a piece of wire from it. However, what’s worrying is the fact that the woman has had the metal in her bowels for 10 years or more.
The woman wasn’t aware she had swallowed a part of her braces
Both the patient and the doctors were amazed to make such a discovery, as none of them was expecting it to be a piece of metal. Often, patients come to the emergency room with such stomach pain after swallowing fish bones which then perforate the bowels. However, the CT scan showed it was something else this time.
Fortunately, the wire didn’t cause any severe damage to the woman’s stomach. Usually, these kinds of objects might be dangerous if the person doesn’t come to the hospital early. However, the woman wasn’t aware a piece of her braces actually ended up in her stomach.
It doesn’t happen really often that someone should swallow wires from braces without knowing. The only possible case would be if the person were under anesthesia, but it is still highly unlikely that something like this should happen.
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Websites which load faster go up in the News Feed
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Facebook wants to offer you a better browsing experience, so it will soon roll out a feature which will affect your News Feed. Soon, those stories which load faster will appear first, and those taking you too much time to access will be pushed down in the News Feed. This way, you can browse swiftly and see what’s relevant without wasting time. However, the update will apply to the mobile version of the app.
What will you see first on your News Feed?
Facebook will consider a number of factors when deciding which stories should appear first in your News Feed. It will look at the time it takes to load the story in question and how fast the website moves in general. Therefore, quicker websites have priority.
Facebook wants that all relevant stories should be brought to users as quickly as possible. The website speed is important, of course but, sometimes, there might be other factors which influence its loading speed. Facebook thought of this, too, and will consider what type of device you are using and the speed of your data or Wi-Fi connection.
How to tackle a slow internet connection
Therefore, if you’re using a slower connection which makes it difficult for you to load videos, your News Feed will display fewer videos at the moment you are browsing it. Fortunately, there is a solution for those who use slow networks.
Facebook makes certain predictions and decides which links you are likely to access. Then, it prefetches these links, meaning that they are downloaded first, and can be loaded faster. Afterwards, this link is temporarily cached on your device.
The company wanted to help users avoid unpleasant situations when they get frustrated after failing to open a link. This News Feed algorithm is meant to deliver them quality content which is easy to access, and brings them information as soon as possible.
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The active ingredient in green tea has many health benefits
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Green tea is a great choice of a beverage, as it contains substances which bring many benefits. A recent study on the active ingredient in this type of tea reveals how it can combat obesity, prevent the body from becoming resistant to insulin, and stop cognitive decline.
The active ingredient in green tea has many benefits
Researchers performed several experiments on mice to see how the active component of green tea influences them. This component, called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) is most abundant in the tea. They discovered how this substance prevented memory impairment in mice, as well as insulin resistance caused by high fat and high fructose.
This is a great discovery, since green tea is almost the most consumed beverage in the world, after water. The plant which produces this drink is grown in over 30 countries, leading to such a great popularity of this type of tea. Now, researchers found it also brings medical benefits in a recent study published in the FASEB Journal.
Researchers tested it on mice
For the study, researchers took mice aged three months and split them into three groups, according to their diets. One group received a normal diet, the second one followed a HFFD diet (high fructose and high fat), while the third one was put on a HFFD diet together with two EGCG grams per one liter of water.
After 16 weeks of monitoring, they observed how the HFFD mice had the highest body weight of all. More precisely, their body weight was much higher than that of mice who received the EGCG treatment. Also, those mice scored the best results in other tests they have been subjected to.
This is a great reason to start drinking green tea, in case you’re not a fan of it already. Since the drink is so popular, we can be optimistic and think it contributes to a healthier lifestyle among many populations, and helps people take care of their brain and their metabolism.
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Stem cells in the hypothalamus control aging, and might even reverse the process
(Mirror Daily, United States) – New research discovered the main part of the brain which can contribute to a longer lifespan and keep aging at bay. This component is the hypothalamus, an agglomeration of neurons at the brain’s base. The tiny body part can decide the speed at which the body ages.
Researchers performed tests on mice, and discovered how several stem cells placed in the brain region can control the aging process. This is strongly related to the ‘well-being’ of these cells. As time passes and they start damaging either naturally or because of external factors, the organs start aging.
The results on mice might be applied on humans as well
These tests only showed the influence of the hypothalamus on mice, but researchers say humans are likely to function the same. Stem cells in this brain region decline over time, and this process is unavoidable. Therefore, it is related to aging of the entire body.
Researchers also bring good news. During their experiments, they discovered the damage done by this stem cell loss is not irreversible. If they replenished these cells or their products, they could slow down the aging process. In some cases, they could even reverse some of the effects of the damage.
What does the hypothalamus do?
The hypothalamus is responsible with taking care of many processes taking place in the body. One of its main roles is taking care everything is balanced, and this is called homeostasis. Several processes it directs are blood pressure, heart rate, sex drive, appetite, sleep cycles, and controls many hormones.
These stem cells which are so important for aging turn into neurons when they mature. The research, published in the journal Nature, showed how they started being damaged in mice at 10 months of age. A few months later, the first aging signs started appearing.
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