Health/Food Posts Tagged as 'Science'
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Fad diets DO work... but only for a year: Health benefits such as weight loss and blood pressure vanish after 12 months, new study suggests
After months of counting calories and saying no to desserts, those on a diet will not want to hear this.
But improving eating habits will only keep weight off for less than a year and improvements in blood pressure will also disappear, according to a study.
Scientists looked at 14 popular food fads, including fashionable Atkins and Paleo diets, which were followed for an average of 26 weeks.
The Atkins diet encourages people to limit their carbohydrate intake while Paleo diets mean eating the foods ancient hunter-gatherers used to.
Will Coronavirus Be Gone by Summer? An Expert Provides Updates on the Pandemic
The United States now has the most cases of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in the world, and the majority of the country is under strict stay-at-home orders to slow the rate of infection. As Americans approach one month since the start of intense social distancing measures, everyone is wondering the same thing: When will this end?
To get a better understanding of what people can expect from COVID-19, Dr. Robert Norton, a professor of public health at Auburn University and member of several coronavirus task forces, answers questions about the virus.
Will COVID-19 be gone by the summer?
“Realistically, I think it’s going to be going well into the summer in some areas,” Norton says.
Gov. Newsom Says Schools Unlikely To Open For Rest Of School Year
Bill Gates Calls for National Lockdown: ‘Shutdown Anywhere Means Shutdown Everywhere’
Plant Disease Primarily Spreads Via Roadsides
An analysis based on mathematical statistics more precise than those previously carried out uncovered the reason why powdery mildew fungi on Åland are most abundant in roadsides and crossings. Identified as the specific cause was that traffic raises the spores found on roadsides efficiently into the air.
The researchers are interested in disease transmission, as it helps explain the occurrence and biology of diseases. There are plant diseases that spread along riversides, bird migration routes, ocean currents or, for example, air traffic networks, much like human diseases that spread through social networks.
The transmission process determines the abundance and location of occurrence, while the method of transmission determines how the diversity of the disease branches off temporally and spatially, and, in the end, how the disease evolves through natural selection.
CDC considering recommending general public wear face coverings in public
Should we all be wearing masks? That simple question is under review by officials in the U.S. government and has sparked a grass-roots pro-mask movement. But there’s still no consensus on whether widespread use of facial coverings would make a significant difference, and some infectious disease experts worry that masks could lull people into a false sense of security and make them less disciplined about social distancing.
In recent days, more people have taken to covering their faces, although it remains a scattershot strategy driven by personal choice. The government does not recommend it.
That may change. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are considering altering the official guidance to encourage people to take measures to cover their faces amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a federal official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing matter of internal discussion and nothing has been finalized.
You Shouldn't Be Wearing Gloves to Go Grocery Shopping
There’s a lot of anxiety about grocery shopping these days, and one very visible manifestation of it is the number of people in the aisles wearing gloves. Rubber gloves, dishwashing gloves, regular winter gloves—“I actually witnessed people earlier this week wearing plastic bags on their hands,” says microbiologist Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., director of the environment, exposure science and risk assessment center at the University of Arizona.
Does wearing gloves make grocery shopping safer? First of all, grocery shopping, if you observe the current novel coronavirus safety recommendations, isn’t ask risky as some parts of the internet have made it out to be (get point-by-point clarity on that here).
Second, and more importantly, “it could be causing a lot more harm than good,” explains Reynolds. There are a number of issues:
Gloves are like hands when it comes to spreading viruses; maybe even worse.
Are your nails too long? A doctor explains why trimming them and removing chipped polish may help prevent the spread of coronavirus
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact communities around the world, experts are advising people on the best ways to go about their personal routines, including staying safe while grocery shopping, cleaning produce from the supermarket, and skin-care best practices for social distancing at home.
One of the most recent suggestions that has gained traction online comes from a Facebook post reportedly relaying advice from an Australian nurse for people to keep their fingernails short to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Mystery In Wuhan: Recovered Coronavirus Patients Test Negative ... Then Positive
A spate of mysterious second-time infections is calling into question the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnostic tools even as China prepares to lift quarantine measures to allow residents to leave the epicenter of its outbreak next month. It's also raising concerns of a possible second wave of cases.
From March 18-22, the Chinese city of Wuhan reported no new cases of the virus through domestic transmission — that is, infection passed on from one person to another. The achievement was seen as a turning point in efforts to contain the virus, which has infected more than 80,000 people in China. Wuhan was particularly hard-hit, with more than half of all confirmed cases in the country.
But some Wuhan residents who had tested positive earlier and then recovered from the disease are testing positive for the virus a second time. Based on data from several quarantine facilities in the city, which house patients for further observation after their discharge from hospitals, about 5%-10% of patients pronounced "recovered" have tested positive again.
Some of those who retested positive appear to be asymptomatic carriers — those who carry the virus and are possibly infectious but do not exhibit any of the illness's associated symptoms — suggesting that the outbreak in Wuhan is not close to being over.
The Pandemic Has Led to a Huge, Global Drop in Air Pollution
The coronavirus pandemic is shutting down industrial activity and temporarily slashing air pollution levels around the world, satellite imagery from the European Space Agency shows.
One expert said the sudden shift represented the “largest-scale experiment ever,” in terms of the reduction of industrial emissions.
Readings from ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite show that over the past six weeks, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe were markedly lower than in the same period last year.
Nitrogen dioxide is produced from car engines, power plants and other industrial processes and is thought to exacerbate respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
Do you wear contact lenses? You should switch to glasses to stop spreading the virus
Focus on this, contact lens wearers of the world: To reduce the spread of the pandemic virus that causes Covid-19, experts suggest it's time to put your contact lenses on the shelf and dazzle the world with your frames.
That's because wearing glasses can help you stop touching your face, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a key way any virus is spread, including the novel coronavirus currently spreading across the world.
Why contact lens?
Contact lens users not only touch their eyes to put in and remove their lens twice or more a day, they also touch their eyes and face much more than people who don't wear contacts, said Dr. Thomas Steinemann, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
"You touch your eye and then you touch another part of your body," said Steinemann, an ophthalmologist at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
Do not attempt to hook up during the coronavirus lockdown, says Terrence Higgins Trust
“You are your safest sexual partner right now.”
The Terrence Higgins Trust has advised those in lockdown to not seek hook ups.
Due to the misinformation online about sex and the coronavirus, medical director Dr. Michael Brady has written an educational blog post clarifying the NHS and government’s guidelines on how to keep safe during this pandemic.
“This follows the new measures which have been announced by the Government telling everyone to stay at home, to stop face-to-face socialising, to stop all non-essential journeys and to limit our movement,” he writes.
“Unless you have sex with someone within your household, it’s important to find sexual pleasure in other ways. Sex is an important part of life, but right now we have to find other ways to achieve sexual pleasure and satisfaction.”
Although there is no evidence to suggest that the coronavirus can be transmitted through sexual contact, Brady stresses that it can be spread through close physical contact, rimming and kissing because of saliva and mucus.
Personal voice assistants struggle with black voices, new study shows
Speech recognition systems have more trouble understanding black users’ voices than those of white users, according to a new Stanford study.
The researchers used voice recognition tools from Apple, Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft to transcribe interviews with 42 white people and 73 black people, all of which took place in the US. The tools misidentified words about 19 percent of the time during the interviews with white people and 35 percent of the time during the interviews with black people. The system found 2 percent of audio snippets from white people to be unreadable, compared to 20 percent of those from black people. The errors were particularly large for black men, with an error rate of 41 percent compared to 30 percent for black women.
Why Warmer Weather Probably Won’t Stop COVID-19
COVID-19 is not the flu. But amidst the ongoing pandemic, many people hold out hope that the two diseases have something crucial in common: a seasonality that will loosen the global grip of SARS-CoV-2 as the weather warms.
Many infectious diseases wax and wane with the changing months. Some, like flu, spike when the weather turns cold, while others, like cholera, thrive during warm, rainy summers. Whether such a pattern applies to SARS-CoV-2 is unclear. With spring just barely sprung, scientists haven’t had the time to suss out SARS-CoV-2’s annual schedule—if it sticks to one at all.
Disentangling the drivers of these patterns is a complex pursuit. Some factors are obvious: Infections caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses that must be ferried from host to host by an insect vector like a mosquito will inevitably ebb and flow with the natural breeding seasons of their buggy chauffeurs. In other cases, the environment can have a direct effect on the pathogen, Ogbunu says. Some viruses—including influenza and SARS-CoV-2—are packaged in a fragile, fatty outer layer called an envelope that’s both necessary for infection and sensitive to harsh conditions, including heat and the ultraviolet rays found in sunlight. High humidity can weigh down the infectious, airborne droplets needed to ferry the virus from person to person, preventing the microbes from traveling as far.
The coronavirus did not escape from a lab. Here's how we know.
As the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 spreads across the globe, with cases surpassing 284,000 worldwide today (March 20), misinformation is spreading almost as fast.
One persistent myth is that this virus, called SARS-CoV-2, was made by scientists and escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began.
Here's why: SARS-CoV-2 is very closely related to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which fanned across the globe nearly 20 years ago. Scientists have studied how SARS-CoV differs from SARS-CoV-2 — with several key letter changes in the genetic code. Yet in computer simulations, the mutations in SARS-CoV-2 don't seem to work very well at helping the virus bind to human cells. If scientists had deliberately engineered this virus, they wouldn't have chosen mutations that computer models suggest won't work. But it turns out, nature is smarter than scientists, and the novel coronavirus found a way to mutate that was better — and completely different— from anything scientists could have created, the study found.
Some People Can Detect Earth's Magnetic Field, Which Sounds Like a Pretty Sweet Party Trick
Could some humans be able to sense the Earth’s magnetic field? Evidence suggests that in addition to quite a few animal species, humans could be—yes, this is the real term—magnetoreceptors. In a recent study, scientists conducted an experiment that measured how alpha waves interacted with a trace mineral that they believe registers magnetism.
Once upon a time, scientists thought animal magnetoreception was impossible, too. As they started to understand that birds and other animals used magnetoreception to navigate in the world, they still thought there was no way humans could do it.
But that assumption seems up for grabs too. In an experiment last year—hat tip to Gizmodo for unearthing it again—researchers built a specially equipped Faraday cage where subjects were fitted with EEG sensors. Inside the structure of the cage, they arranged coils that generate a magnetic field when active. The coils could be switched into a “sham mode” with no magnetic field, but that still looked and felt the same otherwise.
Can I Get Coronavirus From Food? Scientists Say Yes and to Step Away From the Deli Meats.
Research has confirmed the coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces, like plastic and metal, for days. But it turns out, food can also be a carrier of the contagious respiratory illness, especially items like deli meats, salads, and certain fruits.
“Moist, semi-solid foods are a wonderful medium for microbes and can boost the longevity of the virus,” said Dr. Jack Caravanos, a clinical professor at New York University’s School of Global Public Health. “It’s as good of an environment for the virus as your mouth.”
CAN I CATCH CORONAVIRUS FROM MY PHONE, CLOTHES OR OTHER SURFACES?