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Significant improvements in positive mood and pain scores, as well as decreases in negative mood and anxiety, were observed, the researchers said. Patients perceived BVAI as overall positive (95 per cent) and wished to participate in future art-based interventions (85 per cent).

A brief bedside art therapy may improve mood and decrease the levels of pain and anxiety in patients with cancer, a study claims. In the study published in the European Journal of Cancer Care, a bedside visual art intervention (BVAI) facilitated by art educators improved mood and reduced pain and anxiety in inpatients with haematological cancers.

The study was conducted on 19 female and two male patients admitted to the inpatient bone marrow transplant and haematologic services at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine-Rochester in the US. They were invited to participate in a BVAI where the goal of the session was to teach art technique for about 30 minutes. Significant improvements in positive mood and pain scores, as well as decreases in negative mood and anxiety, were observed, the researchers said.

Patients perceived BVAI as overall positive (95 per cent) and wished to participate in future art-based interventions (85 per cent), they said. According to the researchers, the findings indicate that experiences provided by artists within the community may be an adjunct to conventional treatments in patients with cancer-related mood symptoms and pain.

Courtesy - Indian Express

Saturday, 24 March 2018 16:33

Sadist people more likely to seek vengeance

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By gaining a deeper understanding of what drives certain people to seek revenge, researchers will be able to create profiles that could be used to identify those who are most likely to commit violence in the future and intervene.

People who enjoy hurting others and seeing them in pain are more likely to seek revenge against those who have wronged them, a study has found. Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the US found that sadism is the dominant personality trait that explains why certain people are more likely than others to seek vengeance.

“We wanted to paint a picture of the personality of the type of person who seeks revenge. Were all slighted in our daily lives, but some of us seek revenge and some of us do not,” said David Chester, assistant professor at VCU.

“The core of what we found is that the person who seeks revenge is a person who tends to enjoy it,” Chester said.
The researchers conducted three studies involving 673 students in which participants filled out questionnaires that have been validated to predict a persons real-life behaviour.

They were asked to say whether they agree or disagree to a variety of statements, such as “Anyone who provokes me deserves the punishment that I give” and “If Im wronged, I cant live with myself until I revenge.”

By gaining a deeper understanding of what drives certain people to seek revenge, researchers will be able to create profiles that could be used to identify those who are most likely to commit violence in the future and intervene.
“Identifying who is most at risk for seeking revenge is really important to do in order to intervene before they engage in harmful acts and start to hurt other people in retaliation,” Chester said.

Courtesy - Indian Express

India is third among countries with the largest pictorial warning on tobacco products, according to a report released today.

The report said that India has moved to the third position out of 205 countries from its earlier ranking of 136 in 2014 and 123 in 2012.

"Nepal now has the largest warning requirements in the world at 90 per cent of the package front and back.

Vanuatu will implement 90 per cent pictorial warnings in 2017.
"India and Thailand are tied for third, requiring 85 per cent pictorial warnings.
In the 2014 report, Thailand was top ranked at 85 per cent," the report said.

The Cigarette Package Health Warnings International Status Report was released today by Canadian Cancer Society at the 7th session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), being held at Greater Noida.

The report ranks 205 countries and territories on the size of their health warnings on cigarette packages and lists countries and territories that require graphic picture warnings.

The report shows a significant global momentum towards plain packaging with 4 countries requiring plain packs and 14 working on it.

The report also shows that 105 countries and territories have required picture health warnings on cigarette packages.

"By implementing 85 per cent pictorial health warnings front and back on all tobacco packages, Indian Government has set up an example for making India a global leader and sending a strong message to the global community about India's commitment to reducing tobacco use and the sickness and poverty it causes", said Bhavna B Mukhopadhyay, Chief Executive, Voluntary Health Association of India.

While inaugurating the COP7, Union Health Minister J P Nadda had said that 2016 has been a landmark year for tobacco control activities in India.

"We have successfully implemented, from April 2016, the large pictorial health warnings occupying 85 per cent of the principal display area of tobacco packs and on all forms of tobacco," he had said.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

More than half of India's area is "vulnerable" to earthquakes and several of its cities are at "high risk", a catastrophe risk management firm said today and advised "closing" these gaps. Speaking ahead of three-day Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction beginning tomorrow, the firm, in a statement, said that high quality and high resolution risk models are a "key" first step in helping drive the expansion of catastrophe insurance. "More than half of India by area is vulnerable to earthquakes and almost forty cities are particularly at risk. The rapid expansion in population and development in India is moving too fast to ensure adequate standards of protection," Robert Muir-Wood, chief research officer of the firm RMS, said, according to a statement. Muir-Wood noted that India has the highest number of people exposed to flood risk of any country worldwide, and the fastest increase in flood risk from development and climate change. He said the widespread damage from earthquake to ordinary buildings as seen in Nepal, after massive quake hit the Himalayan country last year, "could equally be the outcome in many cities in India." Referring to events such as 2001 Gujarat earthquake, 2005 Mumbai floods and inundation in Chennai last year, Muir-Wood added, "...the protection gap in India must be closed." Courtesy – Deccan Herald

On the eve of World Stroke Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) today said that over 11 million strokes occur every year in South-East Asia Region which includes India, and underlined the need for governments to have a well-prepared health system in place to save lives and prevent lifelong disabilities.

"In low-and middle-income countries, which include those of the WHO South-East Asia Region, over 11 million strokes occur every year. "This causes four million deaths annually, and leaves approximately 30 per cent of survivors seriously disabled. For the 70 per cent of survivors who recover, the likelihood of suffering further strokes is greatly increased," said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.

WHO's South-East Asia Region comprises Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

A 'brain stroke' or a 'brain attack' is condition when the brain is deprived of blood and the oxygen it carries, or when bleeding inundates surrounding tissue and causes the brain to swell leading to its effective operation becoming compromised. Both incidents can cause lasting vision problems, seizures, fatigue, loss of speech, memory loss, and paralysis among other adverse effects, WHO said.

"On World Stroke Day, we need to spread awareness on stroke prevention, understand the symptoms and when to seek immediate care, and have a well-prepared health system to save lives and prevent lifelong disability," Singh said.

People with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes or a high blood-sugar level are vulnerable to brain stroke and so are people who are obese, smoke or consume alcohol in large volumes and are physically inactive.

"Our health systems must be in a position to act decisively," Singh said. A diet high in vegetables and fruit and low in salt should be consumed and doing so will decrease fatty deposits in the arteries that can cause blockages, as well as diminish the prospect of burst vessels that high blood pressure brings.

WHO said that blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels should be checked regularly, with associated conditions managed in consultation with a health care provider. "These simple but effective habits can help prevent brain stroke and other noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease and diabetes," Singh said.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

Global wildlife populations could decline by two-thirds by 2020, a new report said today as it placed India fifth in terms of capacity to produce renewable resources and absorb spillover wastes like carbon dioxide.

The report said food production to meet demands of growing human population was the "primary" factor responsible for the destruction of habitats and over-exploitation of wildlife.

It said despite the low personal carbon footprint of Indians, it is a "challenge" when aggregated by population size and predicted that the equation will be further affected as wealth grows.

"Global wildlife populations could decline by an average of 67 per cent between 1970-2020 as a result of human activities. Global populations of birds, mammals, amphibians, fish and reptiles have already declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012, the most recent year with available data.

"This places the world on a trajectory of a potential two-thirds decline within a span of the half-century ending in 2020," WWF's Living Planet Report 2016 said while highlighting the magnitude of human impact on the planet and the changes needed in the way society is fed and fuelled.

The report said just as human demand on nature varies among countries, nature's biocapacity--ecosystem's capacity to produce resources such as food, fibre and renewable raw materials and absorb spillover wastes like carbon dioxide--is unevenly distributed.

"Brazil, China, US, Russia and India account for nearly half of the planet's total biocapacity. These few countries function as global biocapacity hubs as they are among the primary exporters of resources to the other countries.

"This results in great pressure on ecosystems in these countries, undoubtedly contributing to habitat loss. This is an example where pressure is driven by consumption activities in other, distant countries," it said.

The 2016 report noted that food production is primarily responsible for the destruction of habitats and over- exploitation of wildlife.

"At present, agriculture occupies about one-third of the Earth's total land area and accounts for almost 70 per cent of water use. India ranks fifth in terms of biocapacity...India's carbon footprint currently makes up 53 per cent of the country's overall ecological footprint," the report said.

The report, which tracks over 14,000 vertebrate populations of over 3,700 species from 1970 to 2012, provides additional evidence that the planet is entering a completely unchartered territory in history in which humanity is shaping changes on Earth, including "a possible sixth mass extinction".

The top threats to species are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss, degradation and over- exploitation of wildlife, the report said.

"Our consumption patterns and the way we look at our natural world are constantly shaping the future of our planet... The power to build a resilient planet for future generations lies in our understanding of how we are moving into this new epoch that scientists are calling 'Anthropocene' and adopting sustainable practices that decrease humanity's impact on the planet.

"We need to come together as a global community and address the threats to biodiversity to protect our environment as well as our economic and social structures," said Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India.

In 2020, commitments made under the Paris Climate deal will kick in and the first environmental actions under the globe's new sustainable development plan are due that year.
"Wildlife is disappearing within our lifetimes at an unprecedented rate...Biodiversity forms the foundation of healthy forests, rivers and oceans.

"Take away species, and these ecosystems will collapse along with the clean air, water, food and climate services that they provide us," said Marco Lambertini, International Director General, WWF.

The report recognizes the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as an "essential" guide to decision-making that can ensure that the environment is valued alongside economic and social interests.

Quoting factsheets about India based on reference material sources from public domains, it said 41 per cent of mammals, 7 per cent of birds, 46 per cent of reptiles, 57 per cent of amphibians and 70 per cent of freshwater fish of India's wildlife is threatened with extinction while four of the 386 species of mammals evaluated are already extinct.

Although India aims for 33 per cent forest cover, it currently has only 21.3 per cent of forest and tree cover which makes it one of the countries with the lowest per capita availability of forests in the world, according to the factsheets.

Though India has about 4 per cent of the world's freshwater resources, ranking it among the top ten water rich countries, it is still designated a "water stressed region". 70 per cent of its surface water is polluted and 60 per cent of groundwater sources are expected to be in a critical state within the next decade.

According to the reference material, it is estimated that by 2020, food grain requirement will be almost 30-50 per cent more than the demand in 2000 and India could also see a 10-40 per cent loss in crop production by 2080-2100 due to global warming.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

Babies should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents during the first year of their lives, but on a separate crib or bassinet, to decrease the risks of sudden sleep-related deaths, US experts say.

The new recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics draws on new research that supports skin-to-skin care for newborn infants; addresses the use of bedside and in-bed sleepers; and adds to recommendations on how to create a safe sleep environment.

"Parents should never place the baby on a sofa, couch, or cushioned chair, either alone or sleeping with another person. We know that these surfaces are extremely hazardous," said lead author Rachel Moon, from the University of Virginia.

About 3,500 infants die annually in the US from sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); ill-defined deaths; and accidental suffocation and strangulation.

The number of infant deaths initially decreased in the 1990s after a national safe sleep campaign, but has plateaued in recent years.

According to the new recommendations, babies should be put on their back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet. Soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys, should not be used. The crib should be bare, experts said.

The baby should share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns one, but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 per cent, researchers said.
Skin-to-skin care is recommended, regardless of feeding or delivery method, immediately following birth for at least an hour as soon as the mother is medically stable and awake, they said.

Breastfeeding is also recommended as adding protection against SIDS. After feeding, experts encourage parents to move babies to their separate sleeping space, preferably a crib or bassinet in the parents' bedroom.

"If you are feeding your baby and think that there's even the slightest possibility that you may fall asleep, feed your baby on your bed, rather than a sofa or cushioned chair," said Lori Feldman-Winter, member of the Task Force on SIDS and co-author of the report.

"As soon as you wake up, be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed," Feldman-Winter. "There should be no pillows, sheets, blankets or other items that could obstruct the infant's breathing or cause overheating," she said.

While infants are at heightened risk for SIDS between the ages one and four months, new evidence shows that soft bedding continues to pose hazards to babies who are four months and older. The research was published in the journal Pediatrics.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

Over two thirds or 68 per cent of people globally would like more rest for their well-being, according to the world's largest survey of of its kind carried on over 18,000 people from 134 countries.

The survey, led by researchers from Durham University in the UK, also showed that nearly a third (32 per cent) of respondents said they need more rest than the average person, while 10 per cent think they need less.

More than 18,000 people from 134 different countries took part in the Rest Test, an online survey to investigate the public's resting habits and their attitudes towards relaxation and busyness.

The survey found that those who felt they needed more rest scored lower in terms of well-being.

Similarly, those who responded saying they think they get more rest than average or do not feel in need of more rest, had well-being scores twice as high as those who wanted more rest.

This suggests that the perception of rest matters, as well as the reality, researchers said.

"The survey shows that people's ability to take rest, and their levels of well-being, are related. We're delighted that these findings combat a common, moralising connection between rest and laziness," said Dr Felicity Callard, principal investigator on the project.
The survey asked people to choose the activities that they find the most restful.

The results show that the top five most restful activities are those often done alone: Reading (58 per cent), being in the natural environment (53.1 per cent), being on their own (52.1 per cent), listening to music (40.6 per cent) and doing nothing in particular (40 per cent).

"It's intriguing that the top activities considered restful are frequently done on one's own. Perhaps it's not only the total hours resting or working that we need to consider, but the rhythms of our work, rest and time with and without others," Callard said.

The results of the survey come at a time when the urge to be busy defines modern life and the topic of rest is at the forefront of many people's minds.

Rest can seem hard to find, whether in relation to an exhausted body, a racing mind or a hectic city, researchers said.

Rest is a much broader category than sleep and has physical, mental and spiritual components. But much less is known about the potentially restorative benefits of rest - in part because it means different things to different people.

The survey asked respondents to state how many hours rest they had within the last 24 hours. The results showed that, on average, being younger and having a higher household income was associated with having fewer hours of rest.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

Gravitational waves are formed around 10 million years after two galaxies collide and their central black holes merge - about 100 times faster than previously thought, a new study has found.

Gravitational waves were detected for the first time earlier this year, over a century after Albert Einstein predicted the phenomenon in his General Theory of Relativity.

Until now, it was not possible to conclusively predict the point at which gravitational waves are triggered and spread throughout space when galaxies merge.

An international team of astrophysicists from the University of Zurich, the Institute of Space Technology in Pakistan, the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has now calculated this for the first time using an extensive simulation.

Every galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its core, which can exhibit millions or even billions of solar masses.

In a realistic simulation of the universe, the merging of two roughly 3-billion-year-old galaxies lying relatively close to one another was simulated.

With the aid of supercomputers, researchers calculated the time the two central black holes with around 100 million solar masses needed to emit strong gravitational waves after the galaxies collided.

"The merging of the two black holes already triggered the first gravitational waves after 10 million years – around 100 times faster than previously assumed," said Lucio Mayer from the University of Zurich.

The computer simulation, which took more than a year, was conducted in China, Zurich and Heidelberg. The project required an innovative computational approach with various numerical codes on different supercomputers.

In the process, each supercomputer was responsible for calculating a certain phase of the orbital convergence of the two massive black holes and their parent galaxies.

Compared to previous models, the relation between the orbits of the central black holes and the realistic structure of the parent galaxies was factored into the present simulation.

"Our calculations therefore allow a robust forecast for the merging rate of supermassive black holes in the early stage of the universe," said Mayer.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

 

Thursday, 22 September 2016 14:05

Warmer oceans have caused changes in planet Earth: report

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The upper depths of the oceans of the Earth have warmed significantly over the last 20 years causing an increase in the number of severe hurricanes, storm surges, loss of ice and change in global weather patterns, according to a new report.

The report which was presented at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii yesterday has found the upper depths of the world's oceans have warmed significantly since 1995.

A chapter of the study, led by Professor Grant Bigg and Professor Edward Hanna from the University of Sheffield's Department of Geography, has disclosed how this increase in sea temperatures has changed global weather patterns.

The scientists have shown that the rise in ocean temperatures has caused an increase in the number of severe hurricanes and typhoons, such as Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, and Typhoon Haiyan, which caused massive destruction in the Philippines in 2013.

Hurricanes have even been observed in the South Atlantic for the first time since satellite records began in the 1970s.

The area was traditionally viewed as an unlikely region for hurricane formation because of its cooler sea surface temperatures, however in 2004 conditions were more favourable than normal due to warmer ocean temperatures, spawning Hurricane Catarina off the coast of Brazil.

The report also shows that warmer seas have resulted in a significant loss of ice in the Arctic region.

The atmosphere in the polar regions has warmed at about twice the average rate of global warming with Arctic coasts experiencing a rise in the occurrence of storm surges.

This increase in storm surges can have a detrimental effect on fragile ecosystems in the area, such as low relief tundra, underlain by permafrost, according to the report.

Warmer oceans have also caused a distinct change in El Nino events – the warmer currents associated with the cycle have now been observed towards the central Pacific rather than the west, according to the Sheffield scientists.

Professor Grant Bigg, from the University's Department of Geography, said: "Many people may associate warmer seas with the pleasant weather conditions they're used to experiencing while on holiday, but the fact of the matter is that an increase in sea temperatures is having a huge impact on the world's weather.

"Our study has shown that severe hurricanes, storm surges, melting ice in the Arctic region and changes to El Nino are all being caused by sea temperatures rising across the planet. These are all things that can have a devastating impact on the way we live our lives," he said.

Courtesy – Deccan Herald

 

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