Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Pulse Beat
Heart Attack, Immune System & Ayurveda
A new study, from Imperial College London, finds a link between blood levels of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and reduced chances of having heart attacks. Lead investigator Dr Ramzi Khamis, a consultant cardiologist and clinical research fellow, says: “Linking a stronger, more robust immune system to protection from heart attacks is a really exciting finding. As well as improving the way we tell who is at the highest risk of a heart attack so that we can give them appropriate treatments, we now have a new avenue to follow in future work.” The team was surprised to find the strongest link to reduced heart attack risk was to higher levels of IgG, and this was independent of other risk factors, such as cholesterol and blood pressure. Now, we are coming back to the Indian science of medicine where the kingpin is the immune system. It also takes us out of the compound wall of reductionist thinking about risk factors and what have you. Ayurveda is the science of helping the immune system to avoid diseases.
 
Regular Exercise Might Even Repair Muscles in Old Age
Senior people who do regular exercise may find it easier to protect their muscles after injury and the healing is faster as well. The capacity of the muscle to contract also improves with regular exercise. This McMaster University (Canada) study was published in The FASEB Journal. Senior author Gianni Parise, an associate professor in the department of kinesiology, says: “Exercise-conditioning rescues delayed skeletal muscle regeneration observed in advanced age.” In many mammals, including humans and mice, the speed at which muscle repairs itself slows down with age. In fact, at one time, it was thought skeletal muscle was unable to repair completely after a certain age. I need to add a caveat here though. This study was done in mice and directly extrapolating it to humans might be difficult but it can show us the way to do human studies.
 
Brain Tumours and Education Levels
The researchers from University College London and the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), in their paper in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, seem to have found some link between higher educational qualifications and glioma incidence. Until now, we did not know much about the risks of brain tumours. Now, a new direction is opening up.
“Results show that men with a university education that lasted at least 3 years were 19 percent more likely to develop a glioma, compared with men whose education did not go beyond compulsory schooling, which was 9 years of primary education. Likewise, women who went on to higher education had a 23 percent higher glioma risk and a 16 
percent higher meningioma risk, compared with women who did not.”
 
Electrical Signals To Help Heal Diabetic Wounds
Micro current application to control pain and also wound healing is one area engaging our research efforts and we have had some extent of success. Now, a new study shows that slow healing in diabetic wounds is linked to impaired naturally occurring electrical signals. They showed this in the cornea of a diabetic mouse. The international team, led by Min Zhao, professor of ophthalmology and of dermatology at the University of California-Davis (UC Davis), reports the finding in the journal Scientific Reports.
 
Breast Feeding and Mental Health in Children
Prolonged breast feeding helps the child to have a better mental balance and teenage behavioural problems are less in breast-fed babies compared to others. This study funded by the Canadian government and conducted in Africa shows that there are many advantages of breast feeding, in addition to a better and more robust immune system. “Beyond breast-feeding, the study examined a number of other factors that contributed to a child’s overall health and well-being. For example, the researchers found that attending preschool and the mother’s IQ were important determinants of a child’s cognitive development.”

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900 mn Indians live in 2 rooms or less
For 10 years, Degal Srimangar Sao, 26, has been sleeping in the corridor of a central Mumbai commercial complex, where he delivers tea every two hours to busy corporate employees.
 
Vijay, as he prefers to be called in Mumbai, is from Kharkatto, a village of 300 homes and 1,765 people - nearly 1,800 km northeast of Mumbai - in Hazaribagh district in the Gangetic-plains Hindi-heartland state of Jharkhand. His nine-member extended family -seven without Vijay and elder brother Puran, who also lives in a Mumbai office corridor - live in a three-room house.
 
Like Vijay, about 900 million Indians, or nearly 75 per cent of India’s households - with an average family size of five - live in two rooms or less, according to the latest data released by the government in June 2016.
 
Of the 900 million, 630 million, or more than half of all households, live in rural areas, with 262 million, or 20%, in urban areas. There does not appear to be a correlation between income and the size of homes, with some of India’s poorer states boasting larger homes than richer states and vice versa.
 
No more than 106 million urban households, or 9% of all Indian households, live in homes with more than three rooms. About 185 million Indians in rural areas, or 15% of all Indian households, live in houses with three or more rooms.
 
Data on the average size of rooms is not available with the Census of India.
 
Kerala has India’s largest homes
 
The people of Kerala - India’s seventh-richest by per capita income - live in India’s largest homes.
 
As many as 79% of rural households and 84% of the urban population in Kerala live in houses with more than three rooms, data from the 2014 baseline survey for Sample Registration System of the Census of India shows.
 
Kerala is followed by Jammu and Kashmir and Assam - 21st and 27th in terms of per capita income - with 66% and 34% rural, and 60% and 45% of the urban population living in relatively larger houses.
 
Jharkhand, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are the only states among the 23 big states for which the data has been released where more than half of all families live in two-room houses, both in rural and urban areas.
 
Vijay stays away from his family, wife, children and parents, except for an annual two-week visit home. Seven members of his family stay in a three-room mud house in their village, which he detests.
 
He is not sure whether he is really "content" in Mumbai or with his home. “Pasand ka sawaal nahi hai saab; karna padta hai (There is no question of me liking it, I have to do it),” said Vijay.
 
In Tamil Nadu, Bihar and West Bengal, 48%, 44% and 43% of the population lives in one room or no room - which could mean they are homeless.
 
Last year, along with his brother Puran, who also works in Mumbai, Vijay started building a brick-cement-mortar house for his family in his village; two rooms are complete.
 
To complete the renovation of his mud-house, Vijay needs to keep earning money and holding down expenses. “Mumbai mein raho to har mahina paisa bhej sakte hai, aur kharcha bahut kam ho jata hai (If you stay in Mumbai, you can send money home every month and expenses are low).”
 
Urban Maharashtra has the smallest houses
 
Of India’s states, Maharashtra has the highest proportion of urban population that is homeless or lives in one room: Half.
 
Maharashtra also has the maximum proportion of “urban slum units” (blocks of population living in slums), with 53% of all homes in slums, largely due to the slums that proliferate in the Mumbai metropolitan region, home to about 19 million people.
 
With 43% of its urban population living in one room or homeless, Tamil Nadu follows Maharashtra; West Bengal is next with 38% homeless or in one-room homes.
 
Vijay is one of those who represents Maharashtra’s cramped urban conditions: He lives in the corridors of a commercial building to maximise his earning and minimise his expenses, as many of India’s 360 million migrants do. In June 2016, IndiaSpend explored how this economic imperative played out with migrants forced out of their traditional homes.
 
Although Vijay’s village is not short of water and his father ploughs the land every monsoon and regularly reaps a paddy crop, it isn’t enough for the family. So, Vijay lives in Mumbai, sleeps in a corridor and, slowly, rebuilds the family home.
 
“In two years, my five-room pucca (brick-cement-mortar) home will be built,” said Vijay. “My father will be able to sleep in his own room, for the first time.”
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Ralph Rau

1 year ago

The great dream of every young man. Save. Save. Save for that dream home if not in the big, bad, over-crowded city then back in the Gaon where you can enjoy if not the largest room then at least the highest ceiling - the starry night sky .

How snails and plants showed me that brains are an optional extra (The Funny Side)
Scientists discovered a snail which can make decisions using only two brain cells, a report from the University of Sussex says.
 
Yeah yeah, so what? Male humans can make decisions after performing complete temporary lobotomies on themselves using only cans of cold beer. Mind you, the decisions are uniformly bad ones, such as the ordering of additional cans of cold beer.
 
That report reminded me of the famous 2012 experiment when scientists tried to teach a splodge of slime mold to navigate a maze. The slime successfully completed the task despite having no brain, no eyes, no legs and no Wi-Fi access to Google Maps.
 
That also left me unimpressed: I had a look at the maze and reckoned I could do it myself, probably, if I had a decent map and got one of my kids to do it for me.
 
But what scientists are basically saying is that mounting evidence shows that brain processors are not needed for most activities.
 
Welcome to real life, boffins. Any adult who has tried to get a child (or let's be honest, a husband) dressed and breakfasted and loaded on to a 7.15 a.m. bus knows that the absence of conscious awareness is not a factor one way or the other.
 
But all this is a blow to the "you are your brain" school of thought and a bonus for the "announcer is not in the radio" school of thought, whose scientists say consciousness is a quantum phenomenon.
 
The piece of evidence that raised my eyebrows the highest was the recent discovery that plants have memories and can even count, despite having no brain of any kind. A researcher noticed that Venus fly traps know the difference between bits of tasteless dust and yummy visiting bugs by counting three footsteps before they snap shut and consume them.
 
Considering the astonishing inability to count the staff at my local fruit and veg shop regularly demonstrates, I am tempted to suggest to the manager that he replace the somnambulant cashiers with a selection of plants. The plants' math will be better and the general level of small talk will improve too.
 
The findings also lend weight to scientists who say high IQs are an anti-evolutionary trait. One of my evangelical atheist friends last week showed his spiritual sister a study "proving" that his type had higher IQs than her type. She responded with a much bigger study showing that his type was more likely to be childless and die earlier.
 
Given his predilection for self-lobotomy-by-application-of-Carlsberg, that's probably true.
 
A recent book by scientist Bob Nease explains why. Humans process 10 million bits of information a second, but only 50 bits, which is 0.0005 percent, are devoted to logical thought. In other words, hearts rule heads, and people who let this happen are more likely to survive and reproduce.
 
Consciousness is over-rated, anyway. Consider the following scene, which happens at my house every Saturday lunch time. Me to teenage daughter: "You slept 14 hours!" Her: "I'm up, I'm up, see?" She moves from bedroom doorway to sofa - where she lies down.
 
Now that's living.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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