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85-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes shatters expectations – WNDU-TV

Dec 7th, 2019
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There are more than a million people who have Type 1 diabetes, and they're expected to live at least 10 years less than Americans without it.

In fact, there are only 90 diabetics who have lived more than 70 years.

But one man crushed that goal 15 years ago and is telling others how they can do it too.

Eighty-five-year-old Don Ray can't remember a life without diabetes.

As a child, Don could not go to gym class. He couldn't play sports. He couldn't even play hide and seek.

"Because if you were to hide, and they can't find you and you have an insulin reaction or a hypoglycemia, you might really be in trouble because they will never find you," Don explains.

He was told he wouldn't live past his 30s. But eventually he got tired of hearing, "You can't, you can't, you can't."

"I would go to gym class when I started school in kindergarten and first grade, and I'd sit in the chair in gym class and I'd watch these kids, and I knew I could do this, cause I just knew I could do this," Don says.

Don and his dad started playing catch, and that turned into 20 years of playing football and 30 years of baseball.

And he did it because "he followed the rules," according to Betul Hatipoglu, MD, at the Cleveland Clinic.

What rules? First make sure your blood sugar is in check: between 80 and 130 milligrams. If it's too low, eat some carbs, but don't forget to check while working out.

"If they are going to exercise for an hour, they have to check it in 30 minutes again to make sure they are still in the safe zone," Hatipoglu says.

But don't take too much insulin before your meal or before your workout.

"So if you are going to exercise after lunch, for lunch you take less insulin so it is safer for you," Hatipoglu says.

And if you're working out after dinner, be careful as well. You don't want any overnight complications.

"If you take care of the disease, the disease will take care of you, and you can if you take care of yourself," Hatipoglu explains.

Nowadays, there are nearly 140,000 people diagnosed with diabetes each year in the U.S. alone. But in 30 years, an expected five million Americans will be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.


BACKGROUND: Glucose is a critical source of energy for your brain, muscles, and tissues. When you eat, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose and this triggers the pancreas to release a hormone called insulin. Insulin acts as a "key" that allows glucose to enter the cells from the blood. Your body can't function or perform properly if it doesn't produce enough insulin to effectively manage glucose. This is what produces the symptoms of diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious complications by damaging blood vessels and organs. It also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, and eye disease. Nutrition and exercise help manage diabetes, but it's also important to track blood glucose levels. Treatment may include taking insulin or other medications. (Source:

COPING WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES: People who have had type 1 diabetes for a long time may develop what's called "diabetes burnout." This can happen when you start to feel burdened by the disease. A good support system is essential to coping with type 1 diabetes. Spending time with friends and family or talking with someone you trust are ways to manage diabetes distress, which can include stress and anxiety. Taking good care of yourself can reduce diabetes stress and help you cope with the condition. Making sure to eat well, exercise, and learn how to monitor blood sugar levels are important. Getting enough sleep each night and taking time to relax and enjoy life are also very important. There are resources available to help you manage type 1 diabetes such as apps designed to count carbs, watch blood sugar levels, and track progress with diet and exercise. The more you know about your condition, the better prepared you'll be at taking care of yourself. Your doctor can also recommend books about type 1 diabetes. (Source:

NEW DISCOVERY FOR DIABETES: Matthias Hebrok, PhD, director of the UCSF diabetes center, and Gopika Nair, PhD, have discovered how to transform human stem cells into healthy, insulin producing beta cells. "We can now generate insulin-producing cells that look and act a lot like the pancreatic beta cells you and I have in our bodies. This is a critical step towards our goal of creating cells that could be transplanted into patients with diabetes," said Dr. Hebrok. For the longest time, scientists could only produce cells at an immature stage that were unable to respond to blood sugar levels and secrete insulin properly. The team discovered that mimicking the "islet" formation of cells in the pancreas helped the cells mature. These cells were then transplanted into mice and found that they were fully functional, producing insulin and responding to changes in blood sugar levels. Dr. Hebrok's team is already in collaboration with various colleagues to make these cells transplantable into patients. (Source:

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85-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes shatters expectations - WNDU-TV



How to effectively prepare for finals – The Medium

Dec 7th, 2019
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As final exams approach, tensions riseas students try to balance their already complex lives with studying. Knowingthe effects of stress, and especially the difference between effective andineffective coping mechanisms, is essential to handling the exam season in themost healthy and productive way possible. Dr. Judith Andersen, a healthpsychologist and an associate professor of psychology at UTM, provides valuableinsight into how stress impacts the body and the mind, and how to use onesphysiology to not only optimize studying, but to train oneself to remain calmthroughout the last few weeks of the semester.

Stress, atfirst glance, is both emotionally and mentally taxing. It is also present invarious situations with each part of that stress taking some of yourresources. These cases of acute stress, such as when waiting in a long line atTim Hortons or missing the bus Shuttle Bus, can be usually managed with ahealthy diet and enough sleep which restore ones resources. However, as examseason is more demanding than day-to-day life, there is a higher level ofrecovering required to return to a regular functioning state. When restorativemeasures are not adequately satisfied, the exhaustion of the bodys resourcesbecome apparent. When we start to get burned out, you may notice that youdont have as much energy in the morning as you had before [even with a goodnights sleep.] Your night of sleep didnt completely recover your reserves.This depletion can significantly impact physical and mental health.

In small doses, the stress response is not harmful. However, the bodys reaction to stress is observable when acute exposure turns into chronic stress and the necessary recovery conditions are not met. The human stress responsemore commonly known as the fight-or-flight response is characterized by high cortisol levels, high blood pressure, and poor immune function. From an evolutionary perspective, these effects are necessary to enable an individual to run really fast or temporarily enhance their muscles to fight off a predator. When one remains in a state of stress, the stress responses begin to influence the growth and development of the bodys natural structure and defenses. Andersen describes the difference between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system: Your parasympathetic system is that rest and digestthats when youre sleeping, even when youre relaxing, or just doing something thats enjoyable and not arousing. The parasympathetic state is essential to keeping your body in a healthy state. It is in [the parasympathetic] state that your immune system works the best. You can digest things [and] youre excreting growth hormone. All of those things [are] need[ed] to keep yourself healthy and build those long-term reserves. If the sympathetic nervous system is constantly activated, the body does not get the chance to replenish itself and prepare for the next acute stress situation.

Towards the end of the fall semester, itseems as if many individuals are sick with the common cold or other viruses.While vaccinations are recommended, Andersen mentions that immunization doesnot work as well if youre highly stressed, because your immune system isalready busy trying to deal with the stress. At a microbiological level, thebody cannot make antibodies to this virus because its busy trying to handlethe acute stress youre dealing with at the moment and also trying to recoverfrom the built-up chronic stress. It is a good precautionary measure to getvaccinated before the tidal wave of exam season sweeps by so that the body doesnot have to handle with the added stressor of a virus.

Stress does not only negatively impact ones immune system. It also drains mental resources. The stress response is very autonomic and instinctual. It is kind of this brain stem process [and] not our higher order thinking, Andersen describes. When responding to stress, the sympathetic state does not allow higher order thinking to take precedence over survival. In the case of an exam, when youre sitting down to think at a test, youre going to have all these physical reactions, and your mind is not going to be focused. This is problematic when one considers the immense amount of higher order thinking required at a university level.

To prevent and minimize ones stressresponse, Andersen describes a technique she teaches to police and otheremergency personnel who have been able to effectively reduce their stressresponse and reactivate their parasympathetic network during high stresssituations. The simple technique is known as the one breath reset.

Youre going to take a really deep breath,and hold it for just a second at the top of the breath. Youre going to exhalevery slowly, but youre pushing the breath out through pursed lips, Andersenexplains. The technique lowers heart rate and allows the body to optimize theoxygen being spread throughout the brain and body. The increase in oxygen flowmanual[ly] override[s] the stress response system and as the body begins tocalm down, the parasympathetic network reactivates and one can carry outregular brain functions again.

Another way to lower stress is to break uplong sessions of studying with a quick cardiovascular workout such as a quickten to twenty minute power walk or a jog for regular runners. If space is anissue, Andersen recommends doing jumping jacks. The one breath reset techniqueis optimal in cases of acute stress and when exercise is not an option such aswhen you first sit down at an exam and read the first few questions. Andersenwarns that you need to have learned the information in the first place, inorder to recall it under stress. This means breaking up studying into sessionsthroughout the week and avoiding cramming the last few hours before.

In terms of dealing with stress on along-term basis, Andersen advises maintaining a healthy diet and a stable sleepschedule. She recommends avoiding eating foods that provide a temporary boostin energy such as sugar or caffeine since you will crash, which distract[s]from your cognition. [Sugar and caffeine] create cravings in your brain and canmake you more tired. Instead, she recommends eating fiber [which] breaks downthe sugar evenly as it digests and give you sustained energy. Fiber is foundin vegetables, whole grains, and lentils. A proper diet ensures that the bodyhas the essential resources it needs. In terms of sleep, that is the time inwhich your body consolidates and encodes the information that youve learnedduring the day. Without sleep, the body needs to use more resources to remainawake which prevents one from learning.

All in all, it is important to recognize theeffects of stress to facilitate proper maintenance. Listening to your body andknowing what it needs and when it needs it will allow you to prepare and repairso that you are in the best shape to handle the upcoming exam season. When indoubt, step away from the notes, take a deep breath, perform a quick exercise,and then power through.

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Vegetation Management Conference to Focus on Key Issues – Transmission & Distribution World

Dec 7th, 2019
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At the Duke Energy Convention Center in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio, vegetation management professionals from 44 utilities, 44 states and six countries shared strategies, expressed concerns and discussed possible solutions at the 2019 Trees & Utilities conference.

The event, which was hosted by the Utility Arborist Association (UAA) and the Arbor Day Foundation, had more than 850 attendees, which far surpassed the 500 registrations mark last year in Omaha.

It was the largest crowd we have ever had, and I am blown away by the attendance, said Philip Charlton, executive director of the UAA. It is a good indicator, and it said a lot of our industry and the value of what we do as vegetation managers. Our work is critical, and there is no margin for error. It is good to see people out learning how to do their jobs better.

Prior to the start of the conference, attendees could register for two different workshops. Iris Caldwell, P.E., a research engineer at the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and her planning committee organized a Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group Meeting. Also, attendees could register for the Women in Vegetation Management Workshop, which was organized by Sara Sankowich, a past UAA president, and the Women in Vegetation Management committee. Anne Marie Moran of National Grid, Josiane Bonneau of Wildlife Habitat Council and Jennifer Arkett, who retired from Duquesne Light Company, were the featured speakers. The UAA honored Arkett, a past UAA president, with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Trees & Utilities conference for her valuable contributions to the industry and Lindsey Boyle of PG&E with the Rising Star Award.

During the event, the attendees had the opportunity to earn continuing education credits by attending the sessions and learn about new products by meeting with 66 exhibitors during the trade show. Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, said he was humbled by the size of this years Trees & Utilities conference.

I remember some of the first ones in the 1990s in Nebraska City, Nebraska, he said. We are continuing to learn, share and continue the peer-to-peer connections in the vegetation management industry.

Focus on Stewardship and Sustainability

With environmental stewardship as a focus of the UAAs strategic plan, Trees & Utilities conference co-located with the meeting of the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group. This network of professionals from the electric, gas, rail and road industries work with industry leaders, government agencies, academia and non-profit partners to promote the conservation of habitats along rights-of-way and other managed lands.

The workshop kicked off on Monday morning with a pollinator habitat field demonstration and hands-on training on the Ohio Department of Transportations right of way followed by a visit to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden to learn about pollinator initiatives. The next day, the group met at the convention center, where they learned how to advance pollinator habitats on working lands.

During the Trees & Utilities conference, several of the sessions were also devoted to sustainability. For example, Josiane Bonneau of the Wildlife Habitat Council delivered a presentation on nature-based solutions for a resilient right of way, and Jarod Cassada from Oklahoma Gas & Electric shared his utilitys approach to promoting habitat and sustainable vegetation. In addition, John Goodfellow of BioCompliance Consulting presented a session on the cost efficiency of IVM, while Lori Nordstrom from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service educated the attendees about regulatory mechanisms for promoting habitat on ROWs. Roy van Houten of Wetland Studies and Solutions and Ronan Mason of TC Energy Corporation focused on integrated habitat management.

The Rights-of-Way Stewardship Council also honored those utilities who are applying integrated vegetation management practices, including AltaLink, Arizona Public Service, Bonneville Power Administration, Pacific Gas & Electric, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Vermont Electric Power Co.

In addition,the UAA recognized organizations whose support through membership, sponsorship, active committee volunteerism, and many other means have been quantified and recognized with the Partners in Excellence Award. The Arbor Day Foundation, whose goal is to plant, nurture and celebrate trees, recognized the Tree Line USA utilities. Lambe said now is the time for utilities to get involved.

Utilities need to work together to plant and care for trees, Lambe said.

Overcoming the Workforce Challenge

Sustainability was not the only topic addressed. Workforce management was one of the key topics at the 2019 Trees & Utilities conference. In the United States, workers are often certified after 18 months of on-the-job training, Charlton said. The UAA, however, is working on an apprenticeship program in which the workers learn about best practices, health and safety during the first six months before they move into the contractor workforce.

During the Trees & Utilities conference, the attendees voiced their concerns about labor recruitment and retention during the Thursday morning sessions. Sankowich and Emily Kramer of ComEd shared the results from a vendor survey from the Utility Vegetation Managers Summit in May 2019. The UAA sent out a survey to 27 vendors from different regions and received responses from different parts of the country.

In their Utility Impacts on Workforce Retention session, Sankowich said recruiting and retaining workers is a huge issue facing the industry.

Most of our workforce is employed by contractors, and we spent a lot of time preparing to understand how utilities could impact workforce retention, Sankowich said.

The survey asked the respondents to rank the common reasons that employees are leaving the industry. The desire for travel and the opportunity for higher pay in an industry that is not as physically taxing ranked first, followed by more stability and advancement opportunities. To stabilize the workforce and reduce attrition, contractors stated that utilities can allow for cost-of-living increases, offer continuous contracts and base wage minimums. While the respondents stated in the poll that three years was the ideal contract length to retain employees, the attendees at the Trees & Utilities conference participating in a live poll said that five years was more preferable.

Following the summit, the UAA launched a workforce retention task force to understand the issues faced by utility line clearance contractor workers. They learned that they want respect from their own company as well as the utility company and the utility line workers, and rather than being called tree trimmers, they prefer the term, arborists.

Jordan Jozak of Tree Care of New York, LLC, the chair of the workforce retention task force, said the UAA is also working on ways to encourage more education and training in the vegetation management industry. So far, 80 people have already agreed to help with the effort, and the association is looking for more volunteers.

In addition, they discovered the importance of partnering with schools to recruit potential candidates. For example, New Brunswick Power in Canada started a program with the College of Forest Technology to build credibility and improve safety. The two-year program, which cost $20,000 per student, received 40 applicants, and 76 percent graduated. All of the graduates were hired by NB Power, and they worked for both in-house crews and contractors, which resulted in two new crews who were certified as utility arborists.

One panel focused on recruiting new workers was well as retaining employees in the vegetation management industry. Kelly Clapper, who has been in the business for 38 years, said he has a strategy to fix the problem, and he needs every utility and contractor to help him with this team effort to see results. Over the last five years, he said 54.4% of the workers in the vegetation management industry voluntarily left their positions.

As a utility person, I would be scared to death, said Clapper of JAFLO Trees. I dont see where the labor is going to come from. It is going to affect safety, and costs are going to go up.

After his career in the industry, he said its his turn to give back and to help start training schools throughout the country for arborists. He said to recruit new applicants, line contractors and utilities can turn to graduating high school students and military veterans. He proposed securing federal grants to start the program.

I see everyone talking about it, but I dont think we are doing enough, he said. We have to train and keep the people in the industry, and once they get a year of training, we can guarantee them jobs.

To keep workers within the vegetation management industry, companies need to focus on human performance, said Alex Konopka of Portland General Electric.

This work will always be done by people, and a human will be behind a chainsaw, joystick or helicopter, Konopka said.

Another panelist, Sara Dreiser of the Davey Resource Group, said that at her company, a lot of the employees were eager for growth, and as such, she works on developing training and mentorship programs.

While wages are a part of the puzzle, you also need to give them a sense of autonomy, mastery and purpose, and they will stick with your company, Dreiser said. You also need to give them intensive training when you bring them into the workforce.

Editors Note: To see a photo gallery from the conference, visit

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Vegetation Management Conference to Focus on Key Issues - Transmission & Distribution World



From winter vagina to heart attacks and bad skin the 8 health dangers of cold weather – The Sun

Dec 7th, 2019
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WEATHER forecasters are warning that the UK could be face a 40-day freeze as an Arctic blast brings frost and snow to Britain.

And as temperatures plummet to well below zero, the chill could put our health at risk.


In fact, the cold winter weather can have an impact on all parts of the body - including, yep, your private parts.

And on a more serious note cold weather also means you're more likely to suffer from serious conditions such as a heart attack or blood clots.

Here, we take you through the main health dangers that can be triggered by cold weather...

People exposed to cold weather are more likely to suffer a heart attack, a recent study revealed.

Researchers from Sweden from Lund University in Sweden foundthat the average number of heart attacks per day was significantly higher when the weather as cold compared to when the weather was warm.

On a day-to-day basis it translated to fourmore heart attacks per day when the average temperature was below zero.

It is thought the risk of heart attacks is higher incold weather because the body responds to feeling chilly by restricting superficial blood vessels.

This decreases how warm the skin is and increases blood flow through the arteries.

The body also begins to shiver and your heart rate increases to keep you warm.

But these responses can add extra stress on your heart.

Women are likely to suffer more with vaginal dryness during the winter months, according to Mary Burke, a former NHS midwife and senior clinical nurse at the London Bridge Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Clinic.

"Dry autumn and winter air depletes moisture from our bodies, leaving our skin dehydrated and cracked, and out sinuses parched," she said.

While its an issue few will want to discuss openly, our vaginas can enter drought mode during this time

And while its an issue few will want to discuss openly, our vaginas can enter drought mode during this time, too.

When we spend a lot of time in air conditioned rooms, or with the heating on, were living in air which carries very little moisture.

And the dryness we experience can often extend to every inch of our bodies - including our most private regions."

Sudden changes in temperature cause thermal stress for the body - which has to work harder to maintain its constant temperature.

In particular, research has shown this makes it more likely for people to suffer fromdangerous blood clots during winter.

Study authors, from a hospital in Nice, France, suggested that respiratory tract infections more common in winter might make patients more vulnerable to blood clots.

They also suggested that chilly weather might make the blood vessels constrict, making it more likely that blood clots will form.

With winter comes warm coats, oversized scarfs...and the flu.

Coming down with a cold or flu is almost unavoidable in the colder months, with flu season tendingto start in mid-November then peaking in mid-January to March.

Professor Robert Dingwall, a flu expert at Nottingham Trent University told The Sun Online:

"The flu circulates more easily in the winter.

Our general immune levels are a bit lower because of the lack of sunlight, and we are spending more time indoors

"Our general immune levels are a bit lower because of the lack of sunlight, and we are spending more time indoors which makes it easier for bugs to get passed around."

Your best protection against the nasty bug is theflu vaccine,but eating the right foods can also help protect you and your family.

The cold chill and central heating systems often causeeczemato flare up during the winter season.

Dermatologist Dr Daniel Glass atThe Dermatology Clinic London says: "Eczema in the winter is incredibly common, with many people finding that their skin will flare up more frequently or get worse during the colder months, as the cold biting winds and central heating systems continuously dry out their skin.

"Their eczema may be further irritated by taking hot baths or showers, which will in turn strip the skin of its natural oils.

"Bundling up in woollies to ward off the cold may also irritate the skin and exacerbate symptoms, so try to layer up in cotton clothing which is often kinder and softer on the skin.

"Keeping the skin well moisturised is one of the most important things you can do to prevent the eczema flaring up."

Most people have noticed they can no longer fit into their skinny jeans comfortably over the winter months.

In particular, craving warming comfort foods and rich, carbohydrate-heavy meals in the chilly weather can lead to winter weight gain.

And, on top of this, many people feel unmotivated to exercise in the cold outdoor weather.

Five ways to speed up fat loss this winter

1. Focus on portion size

Stick to certain serving sizes, such as a "tennis ball sized" portion of pasta, rice, noodles or couscous. and one handful of breakfast cereal.

2. Avoid fatty toppings

Watch what you eat starchy carbs with, serving them with butter, cream, fatty meat and cheese wont help you shape up.

3. Hit the gym

A calorie controlled diet and exercise in tandem is the best way to reduce body fat.

4. Snack wisely

Choose your snack food wisely - even healthy looking snacks, like reduced fat biscuits, cereal bars, yogurt, cereals etc. might seem like virtuous choices, but not all are created equally.

5. Sleep for longer

Getting an extra hour of sleep alters your metabolism so your body can process food effectively.

A recent study also revealed that our cells store more fat when we are not exposed to sunshine.

"When the suns blue light wavelengths the light we can see with our eye penetrate our skin and reach the fat cells just beneath, lipid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell," explained Peter Light, senior author of the Scientific Reportsstudy.

Because the sun is rarely out during winter, it means our bodies are more likely to store fat; "contributing to the typical weight gain some of us have over winter," one of the other study authors, Dr Charles A. Allard, noted.

Thewinter bluesarent just in your head.

As the days shorten, many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - which causes them to have a persistent low mood and feelings of despair, worthlessness and lethargy.

The exact cause of SAD isn't fully understood, but it's often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days.

The main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, which may affect the production of hormones including melatonin and serotonin.

These hormones affect your mood, appetite and sleep.

For kids and adults,asthmais normally a lot harder to control during the winter months.

This is because the cold, dry air canirritate airwavesand cause the muscles inside to spasm.

Chilly weather, colds and flu, chest infections and mould are more common and can trigger life-threatening asthma attacks

Emma Rubach, Head of Health Advice atAsthma UK, says: "Winter can be a dangerous time for people with asthma in the UK as chilly weather, colds and flu, chest infections and mould are more common and can trigger life-threatening asthma attacks.

"They cause airways to become inflamed, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and struggling to breathe.

"Make sure you carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) with you at all times and keep taking their regular preventer inhaler (usually brown) as prescribed.

SKIN AGONY I slept in mittens to stop clawing skin after getting addiction to eczema cream

CHILLING DIAGNOSIS Dad, 49, who went to GP with runny nose diagnosed with terminal cancer

SEXUAL HEALING I lost 10st because being fat meant I could only do one sex position

GAME ON Playing Xbox helped me lose 10st after getting so big I could barely walk

SICK LEAVE My fear of vomiting made me too scared to leave the house & left me in hospital

CHECK UP Think youve got the flu? 6 ways to know if youre too sick to go to work


DEBORAH JAMES Cancer's made me a tree hugger & it's worked wonders for my mental health


CHEESED OFF I had to tape eye open after brain tumour - which docs said was cheese allergy

COLD TRUTH Needing to pee more when its cold can be sign of deadly condition, docs warn

"The simple scarf could also save your life.

"Do a 'scarfie - wrapping a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth to help warm up the air before they breathe it in, as cold air is another asthma attack trigger.

"It could also be helpful to stick to indoor activities when the weather is particularly cold."

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From winter vagina to heart attacks and bad skin the 8 health dangers of cold weather - The Sun



Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny give the Seahawks the 1-2 punch they need for a deep postseason run – The Athletic

Dec 7th, 2019
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RENTON, Wash. Ever since Seattle selected Rashaad Penny 27th overall in 2018, part of running back coach Chad Mortons job has been keeping his unit together.

At the time Penny was selected, Seattle had a pair of former late-round picks in Mike Davis and Chris Carson who had strong cases for being Seattles lead running back in the upcoming season. In came a first-rounder who would presumably take their carries. Instead, Carson and Davis were the top ball carriers on one of the best run games in the league. This year, with Davis departing in free agency, Carson presumed the lead role, while Penny played sparingly in relief. There was no one-two punch like coach Pete Carroll and Morton hoped for, just one bruiser of a lead back on pace for another fringe Pro Bowl season.

But regardless of whos carrying the load, Morton has always been encouraged by the camaraderie in the running back room. There are no egos. Just a room full of hyper-competitive...

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Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny give the Seahawks the 1-2 punch they need for a deep postseason run - The Athletic



How Dan the Zebra Stopped an Ill-Fated Government Breeding Program in Its Tracks –

Dec 7th, 2019
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The skeleton of NMNH 221086, sometimes referred to as Dan, resides in a steel cabinet in a dimly lit storage room at the Smithsonians Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland. The skeleton is a male Grevys zebra (Equus greyvi) that was born in the kingdom of Abyssinia (now northern Ethiopia) in the early 20th century. In 1904, Abyssinias King Menelik presented the four-year-old zebra as a gift to President Theodore Roosevelt. Dan was soon transported to Americathe first chapter in a strange journey that holds some important lessons for human history.

With technology and geopolitics changing at a faster and faster pace, the late 19th and early 20th century saw people, plants and animals moving between continents like never before, including the colonial and imperialist expansions of the western world into Africa, Australasia and the Americas. Before motorized vehicles, much of this expansion was powered by hoofbeatshorses were not only transportation, but also still played a key role in military infrastructure, agriculture, industry and communication.

However, some areas of the world, such as equatorial Africa, were hostile environments for horses. This region, known for its notorious tsetse flies and parasitic diseases like trypanosomiasis, presented extreme biological barriers to large livestockleaving many dead nearly on arrival to low-latitude portions of the continent.

Against this backdrop, some western eyes turned to the zebra. With immense physical strength and stamina, the zebra by comparison to the horse and other equine brethren, is well-adapted to African climates and the continents fatal diseases.

As Western interests in Africa and other challenging climates for livestock transport expanded, these traits raised questions about whether zebras might be domesticated. Arriving in the U.S., Dan quickly became the focus of a government program that sought to domesticate the zebra by cross-breeding the animals with domestic horses and donkeys.

It didnt go well. Dan was unruly, known for attacking his caretakers, and uncooperative with efforts to cross-breed with other equids. A 1913 summary of the program, published in The American Breeders Magazine, describes how Dan refused the mares brought to him. Dan was said to have a positive aversion to his horse counterparts, and when one was let loose in his paddock, he rushed at the mare, and would undoubtedly have killed her had he not been driven back into his stall. He did, however, ultimately mate successfully with a number of jennies (female donkeys).

Other zebras were brought in to supplement the program, and crossed with southwestern burros (feral donkeys) to produce zebra-ass hybrids with a more suitable and less dangerous temperament. Jennies were also used to collect material, and perform artificial inseminations of female horses. Unfortunately, these second-generation animals showed little inclination to work as riding or draft animals, and were also infertile so that producing another generation required repeating the cross-breeding process from scratch.

After its many trials and tribulations, the program eventually ran out of funding and enthusiasm. The zebra domestication program proved to be an absolute failure.

Dan was sent to the Smithsonians National Zoological Park, where he lived out his days until his death on December 14, 1919. His remains became a part of the scientific collections at the Smithsonian, where they this year mark their 100-year anniversary.

After Dans death, the dream of an American domestic zebra died as well.

But why were some animals domesticated, and others not? This zebras tale may actually hold important clues into the deep history of horse and animal domestication. A similar process of capture and experimentation with animal breeding, captivity and use must have played out countless times over human history. However, in the end only a handful of large animalsamong them horses, donkeys, llamas, camels and reindeerwere successfully domesticated (meaning that after generations of breeding, they become dependent on humans for their upkeep) for use in transport, while other hooved animals like the zebra, the moose, the elk and the deer remain undomesticated.

Scientists have long considered the earliest horse domestication took place among an ancient population of animals from Botai, Kazakhstanthese were believed to be the first ancestors of the domestic horse (E. caballus) and the first to be managed, ridden and domesticated. But in 2018, research by geneticist Ludovic Orlando and his team showed that the Botai animals were not the ancestors of modern domestic horses, but rather of todays Przewalskis horse (Equus przewalskii), a closely related sister species that has never, in later periods, seen use as a domesticate.

About 5,500 years ago, the people of Botai subsisted almost completely on these horses. Their tools were made from horse bones. Archaeological evidence suggests the horses were part of ritual burials. They may have even kept them for milk.

However, the domestication of the Przewalskis horseif it can be called domesticationdid not last across the centuries and Equus przewalskii returned to the wild, while Equus caballus proliferated across the globe as a highly successful domesticated animal.

The strange 20th century efforts to domesticate the zebra offer a plausible explanation: perhaps, like their striped cousins, Przewalskis horses were too unruly to justify a sustained, multigenerational process of captive breeding.

The zebra was not a complete failure as a domestic animal. While few zebras were effectively trained for riding, many did find their way into transport infrastructure as members of driving teams in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Anecdotal accounts suggest that the animals were more effectively controlled in team harnesses, particularly when they could be paired with more docile mules to mitigate their wild behavior.

Its successes may be even more instructive in understanding the earliest horse domestication. A major lingering mystery is that, beginning with their first appearance in archaeological sites or ancient records, there is, in fact, very little evidence of horses being used for riding. From the frozen steppes of ancient Russian and Kazakhstan, to the sandy ruins of ancient Egypt, or the royal tombs of central China, the first horses are nearly always found in teams, usually with chariots.

If the first domestic horses were behaviorally similar to the zebradisagreeable, violent, and dangerouspulling carts may have been the only practical form of transportation available to ancient horsemen. In this scenario, it might have taken centuries of breeding and coexistence between human and horses before behavior, knowledge and technology reached a point where riding on horseback was safe and reliable.

Sorting out these possibilities will take many lifetimes of work, but fittingly, Dan and others like him may still have an important role to play in finding the answers. Without historical records, and with few other kinds of artifacts available from crucial time periods, of the most useful data sets for studying domestication come from the study of the animals bones themselvesa discipline known as archaeozoology.

Over recent decades, a growing number of researchers have sought clues to the domestication process in the skeletal remains of ancient horses. Robin Bendrey, a professor at the University of Edinburgh is one of these researchers. To find answers in ancient bones, Robin and his colleagues spend countless hours studying the skeletons of modern horses, donkeys, zebras and other equids with well-documented histories and life experiences.

The study of modern skeletons of animals with known life histories is crucial, he says, Because it allows us to understand the different factors that influence skeletal variation and abnormality. We can then use these comparative data to investigate pathology in archaeological remains and make robust interpretations about past human-animal relationships. By looking at bones of individual animals, Bendrey and others have been able to trace skeletal features linked to human activity, like bridling or riding, that can be used to trace the process of domestication in assemblages of ancient bone.

Today, Dans skeleton preserves a number of interesting clues into his life that may help future researchers understand domestication. While the skeleton of a wild equid is usually relatively free of major problems, Dans teeth are worn irregularlya common issue in animals that were feed an artificial diet rather than gritty natural forage. Dans skull also shows several kinds of damage from a harness or a muzzle. This includes warping of the thin plates above his nasal cavity, new bone growth in on the front margins of the nasal bones, and wearing away of the nasal bones thin from a bridle/halter noseband. By documenting issues like these in modern natural history collections, archaeozoologists can expand their analytical toolkit for identifying domestic animals, and understand how they were fed, bridled and harnessed, or otherwise used by early people in the deep past.

William Taylor is a specialist in the study of archaeozoology and horse domestication. He serves as assistant professor and curator of archaeology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. He was assisted on this story by Seth Clark as part of his 3D Fossil Digitization Internship at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

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BEYOND LOCAL: Age-related eye problems and how to treat them –

Dec 7th, 2019
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This article, written byLangis Michaud, Universit de Montral, originally appeared on The Conversation and has been republished here with permission:

Monique is 77 years old. I met her when she came to the eye clinic at the University of Montral, where I am a professor. A retired teacher, Monique has enjoyed an active and full life with her students and family and considers herself lucky to be in good health.

She is concerned, however, about a recent visual loss that prevents her from reading and enjoying her painting workshops. It also prevents her from driving safely, which is important if she wants to maintain her independence.

A complete examination of Moniques vision and eye health quickly revealed the cause of her problems: she has developed cataracts and her retina shows early signs of macular degeneration.

Cataracts are a normal phenomenon, resulting from the aging process of the eye and affecting everyone, without exception. They occur when the lens of the eye gradually loses its transparency, like a window that gets dirty with the seasons.

The light that enters the eye passes through opaque areas and generates blurred vision, without the possibility of improving it with glasses, lenses or magnifiers. Only surgery can restore the clarity of the eye.

The aging of the crystalline lens

The crystalline lens is particular and its metabolism is very fragile. When disturbed, the lens accumulates deposits and loses its transparency. This lens also absorbs a large part of the suns ultraviolet rays to protect the retina at the back of the eye.

The amount of UV absorbed accumulates over the years, contributing to the premature aging of the lens. That is why it is recommended to protect yourself with sun lenses from an early age.

Other factors that disrupt its functioning include the use of certain medications such as oral cortisone, the presence of diseases such as diabetes or a shock to the head, which can contribute to the arrival and progression of cataracts. Very rarely, cataracts are transmitted during pregnancy, especially following infections such as rubella, toxoplasmosis and herpes.

Finally, very strong links have been established between smoking and cataracts. Food, on the other hand, does not seem to have an impact. Quitting smoking and protecting your eyes with good sunglasses are therefore considered effective ways to delay the onset and progression of cataracts.

Implants to the rescue

Cataract treatment is quite simple. The ophthalmologist will perform surgery to exchange the natural lens of the eye with a new lens, called an implant. This surgery is very safe and can be performed at any time during cataract development, although surgery will usually only be offered if there is a significant impact on the patients vision and quality of life.

Implants are permanent and remain clear for life, without the need for replacement. They can be used to correct distance vision, including astigmatism, which would be accomplished through the use of a specially designed toric implant. Also, nearsightedness can be fixed via bifocal or multifocal implants, thus avoiding the need for glasses later on, in most cases.

However, the patient may be subject to seeing halos and may be more sensitive to light. It is also necessary to ensure that the retina is in good health, otherwise the final result will not be very good.

This is particularly the case for Monique, who also has the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is a phenomenon affecting one per cent of people exceeding 40 years of age, but whose prevalence reaches 30 per cent at 80 years of age.

The at-risk population is composed of Caucasians (those of European origin) and women more than men. Systemic diseases everything that affects blood vessels such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity are important risk factors, as are oxidative causes such as smoking, high saturated fat nutrition and UV exposure.

Prevent macular degeneration

Essentially, the best retinal cells, which allow good vision (macular area), degrade over time if not well nourished by the vascular network and accumulate deposits that prevent their normal functioning.

These deposits become visible as small yellow spots at the fundus the part of the eyeball opposite the pupil. These deposits, known as drusen, can become confluent. The degradation of cells is accompanied by a change in their colouring (pigment reworking), a phenomenon that is also visible when the retina is examined. This is called dry macular degeneration. Vision is more or less affected depending on the number of affected cells.

Over time, the systems response can lead to the formation of new blood vessels to supply dying cells. These are fragile and have no real place to stay. They can easily burst. Their membrane formation, like roots invading a pipe, and their flow (bleeding) contribute to a very severe reduction in vision. This is when we speak of wet degeneration. This more severe form affects 10 per cent of AMD cases, but anyone with the dry form can progress at this stage.

Nutritional supplements

AMD treatments are limited and aim to limit the progression of the disease. They cannot cure it. Quitting smoking, good nutrition, regular exercise and following the doctors recommendations in the control of vascular diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, can delay the progression of the dry form of AMD.

Wearing sunglasses also helps, even on cloudy days. Taking omega 3 at the right dosage and fish oil extracts may help although more recent results have called this strategy into question.

In more advanced stages of the dry form, taking oral nutritional supplements including vitamins and antioxidants are recommended, except in some patients with a particular genetic profile.

The wet form has recently been effectively treated by injecting drugs directly into the eye, to prevent the formation of new blood vessels. These injections must be repeated periodically and restore vision when the procedure is performed at the appropriate time.

Moniques case is a mixed one. On the one hand, it is possible to greatly improve her short-term vision with cataract surgery, for which she will be referred to ophthalmology. Implants protect against UV rays, another factor in preventing the progression of macular degeneration. This will allow her to drive safely and resume her activities. She will also monitor her diet, which she admits is deficient, and take omega supplements. Her AMD is at a stage that is too early for vitamins or antioxidants.

Monique does not smoke and is not taking medication for vascular problems. If she does one day, she will follow her doctors recommendations and begin a light exercise program. Walking may be enough. Finally, she will be followed every six months in an optometry office, will perform simple home screening tests and will come in for a consultation as soon as a change is noted.

Monique is reassured! She will be able to remain active and independent to enjoy the good times of life.

Langis Michaud, Professeur Titulaire. cole d'optomtrie. Expertise en sant oculaire et usage des lentilles cornennes spcialises, Universit de Montral

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Weight-loss surgery between pregnancies tied to better outcomes – Physician’s Weekly

Dec 7th, 2019
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By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health) Obese women who have weight-loss surgery between pregnancies may be less likely to experience complications like high blood pressure and preterm births in their second pregnancy, a recent study suggests.

Researchers examined hospital records from 2002 to 2014 for more than 1.6 million women 15 to 45 years old in New South Wales, Australia. The study focused on 326 women who had bariatric surgery between their first and second pregnancies and 461,917 women who had two pregnancies without a weight-loss operation in between.

The study found that for obese women who had the surgery between pregnancies, the risk of complications dropped markedly from the first pregnancy to the second, although it didnt reach the level seen in the general population of women.

The odds of adverse pregnancy outcomes among women who have bariatric surgery do not decrease to the level observed in the general birthing population; however, there was substantial improvement, lead study author Dr. I Ibiebele of Royal North Shore Hospital in New South Wales and colleagues write in BJOG.

Although body mass index (BMI) was not directly assessed in this study, bariatric surgery performed for the management of obesity, in accordance with current clinical criteria, is likely to result in improved pregnancy outcomes in women who have a subsequent pregnancy, Ibiebele and colleagues write.

During the study period, there was a 13-fold increase in hospitalizations for women having bariatric surgery for the first time, the analysis found.

Compared with women in the general population, those who had bariatric surgery had higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and preterm deliveries overall.

But women who had bariatric surgery between their first and second pregnancies were 61% less likely to experience high blood pressure, 37% less likely to have infants that were large for their gestational age, 63% less likely to have a preemie and 36% less likely to have their baby sent to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) than in their first pregnancies.

Women who had surgery and those in the general population were around the same age when they had their first pregnancy. But the women who had bariatric surgery waited an average of two years longer to have their second child, the study found.

The women who had bariatric surgeries between pregnancies were also more likely to use assistive reproductive technology (ART) to conceive and to have multiples.

Even though diabetes and high blood pressure rates were higher for women who had bariatric surgery between pregnancies, these women did have a bigger drop in the risk of these complications from one pregnancy to the next compared to the general population.

After bariatric surgery, womens risk of high blood pressure in the second pregnancy fell by 67%, compared with a 49% reduction for women who didnt have the weight loss procedures.

And the risk of gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, dropped by 39% in second pregnancies for women who had bariatric surgery, compared with a 24% decline for women who didnt have surgery. This difference, however, was too small to rule out the possibility that it was due to chance.

Although preterm birth rates were higher in the bariatric group in first pregnancies, in second pregnancies there was a 63% reduction in the odds of preterm birth in the bariatric surgery group compared with a 20% reduction for women who didnt have surgery.

For women who had bariatric surgery between pregnancies, the odds of having an infant large for its gestational age were higher in the first pregnancy. But the risk of this outcome decreased 37% in the second pregnancy, compared with a 74% increase among women who didnt have bariatric surgery.

The study wasnt designed to prove whether or how weight loss surgery might directly impact pregnancy outcomes.

One limitation of the analysis is that researchers lacked BMI data to see if the magnitude of weight change between pregnancies might have influenced the risk of various complications.

SOURCE: BJOG, online November 20, 2019.

Weight-loss surgery between pregnancies tied to better outcomes - Physician's Weekly



This Once 90-Pound Beagle Is Nailing His Weight Loss Journey – Inside Edition

Dec 7th, 2019
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After beginning aweight loss journeyat 90 pounds, Wolfgang the beagle is all the #healthgoals we need this holiday season.

Erin McManus began fostering the overweight dog and didn't want to give the adorable guy up, so she decided to adopt him and help him lose the weight.

Wolfgang's goal weight? 25 pounds.

He's losing about a pound a week, McManus told Knowing that it was going to be a journey with him was a big reason why we did adopt them. He's just such a nice dog. Hard to say no to that face.

To stay on the weight loss train and shed pounds, Wolfgang is now on a 600-calorie diet.

I make his own food. It's lean turkey as the base, lots of vegetables, and some supplements, McManus said.

He swims in the pool now, goes on walks, and even exercises on a water treadmill weekly.

He takes his toy with them. He always has a toy, McManus said. "We don't know why he likes to work out with a toy, but I guess most people like working out with a friend, so I think he thinks the toys are his workout buddies.

While McManus said she doesnt know much about Wolfgangs previous life, she said he has a minor thyroid problem that he is now on medication for.

McManus created an Instagramaccount for Wolfgang, which has already racked up 37,000 followers. So Wolfgang has all the support he needs. The dog mom said she definitely wasnt expecting all of the attention.

I was expecting maybe my mom would follow on Instagram, and maybe one or two other people. But you know, I mean, his personality I think, shines through, McManus said. Everyone likes feeling encouraged. And a morbidly obese dog trying to get fit, I think has encouraged a lot of people. I know he encourages us.


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This Once 90-Pound Beagle Is Nailing His Weight Loss Journey - Inside Edition



10 Best Weight Loss Pills 2019: Do They Really Work? – International Business Times

Dec 7th, 2019
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Many people find their extra weight causing a lot of problems pertaining to health, sex life, self-esteem, and psychology. But since the conventional combination of diet and exercise isnt easy for everyone, weight loss pills have become the most sought-after method to lose weight easily.

Heres a list of some of the best weight loss pills of the year:

A new prescription weight loss pill has some health officials hopeful. Photo: Pixabay

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10 Best Weight Loss Pills 2019: Do They Really Work? - International Business Times


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