Source:https://www.mcmaster.ca/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 18 2019It just got harder to avoid exercise. A few minutes of stair climbing, at short intervals throughout the day, can improve cardiovascular health, according to new research from kinesiologists at McMaster University and UBC Okanagan.The findings, published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, suggest that virtually anyone can improve their fitness, anywhere, any time.”The findings make it even easier for people to incorporate ‘exercise snacks’ into their day,” says Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster and senior author on the study.”Those who work in office towers or live in apartment buildings can vigorously climb a few flights of stairs in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening and know they are getting an effective workout.”Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesPrevious studies had shown that brief bouts of vigorous exercise, or sprint interval training (SIT), are effective when performed as a single session, with a few minutes of recovery between the intense bursts, requiring a total time commitment of 10 minutes or so.For this study, researchers set out to determine if SIT exercise snacks, or vigorous bouts of stairclimbing performed as single sprints spread throughout the day would be sufficient enough to improve cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), an important healthy marker that is linked to longevity and cardiovascular disease risk.One group of sedentary young adults vigorously climbed a three-flight stairwell, three times per day, separated by one to four hours of recovery. They repeated the protocol three times each week over the course of six weeks. The researchers compared the change in their fitness to a control group which did not exercise.”We know that sprint interval training works, but we were a bit surprised to see that the stair snacking approach was also effective,” says Jonathan Little, assistant professor at UBC’s Okanagan campus and study co-author. “Vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs on your coffee or bathroom break during the day seems to be enough to boost fitness in people who are otherwise sedentary.”In addition to being more fit, the stair climbers were also stronger compared to their sedentary counterparts at the end of the study, and generated more power during a maximal cycling test.In future, researchers hope to investigate different exercise snacking protocols with varying recovery times, and the effect on other health-related indicators such as blood pressure and glycemic control.
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 29 2019How sensory perception in the brain affects learning and memory processes is far from fully understood. Two neuroscientists of Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have discovered a new aspect of how the processing of odors impacts memory centers. They showed that the piriform cortex – a part of the olfactory brain – has a direct influence on information storage in our most important memory structure, the hippocampus. Dr. Christina Strauch and Professor Denise Manahan-Vaughan report about their findings in the online edition of the magazine Cerebral Cortex on 9 April 2019.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskElectric impulses simulate odorsTo find out how odors affect memory formation, the researchers triggered an artificial perception of an odor in the brains of rats. To do this, they stimulated the piriform cortex with electrical impulses. “We were very surprised to see that the hippocampus directly responds to stimulation of the piriform cortex,” remarked Christina Strauch.The hippocampus uses sensory information to create complex memories. The basis of this processes is its ability to increase the efficacy of information transmission across synapses and thereby store memory contents. This process is called synaptic plasticity. Manahan-Vaughan and Strauch were the first to show that stimulation of the anterior piriform cortex triggers synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.Special role for olfactionIn a second step, the researchers examined to what extent the piriform cortex competes with the entorhinal cortex in driving hippocampal synaptic plasticity. This structure sends information about activity in all sensory modalities to the hippocampus. Activating the afferent pathway of this structure, called the perforant path, triggered completely different reaction patterns in the hippocampus, to those generated by the piriform cortex. “The study gives us a theoretical basis for understanding how olfaction plays such a special role in memory formation and retrieval,” commented Denise Manahan-Vaughan.The two scientists have been working together since 2010 to investigate how odors cause memory formation. Source:https://news.rub.de/english/press-releases/2019-04-29-sensory-perception-how-olfactory-brain-affects-memory
Citation: UK lawmaker: Facebook misled Parliament over data leak risk (2018, March 18) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-uk-lawmaker-facebook-misled-parliament.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Facebook accused of inaction over Russian ads in Brexit vote A British lawmaker accused Facebook on Sunday of misleading officials by downplaying the risk of users’ data being shared without their consent, after a former employee of data firm Cambridge Analytica says his company harvested information from 50 million Facebook users. Conservative legislator Damian Collins, who heads the British Parliament’s media committee, said he would ask Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg or another Facebook executive to appear before his panel, which is investigating disinformation and “fake news.”Collins said Facebook has “consistently understated” the risk of data leaks and gave misleading answers to the committee.”Someone has to take responsibility for this,” he said. “It’s time for Mark Zuckerberg to stop hiding behind his Facebook page.”Collins also accused the head of the U.K.-based data firm Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, of lying. Nix told the committee last month that his firm had not received data from a researcher accused of obtaining millions of Facebook users’ personal information.Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica, which is best known for working on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, on Friday over allegations it retained improperly obtained user data after claiming it had deleted the information.Former Cambridge Analytica employee Chris Wylie said that the company obtained information from 50 million Facebook users, using it to build psychological profiles so voters could be targeted with ads and stories.Wylie told Britain’s Channel 4 news that the company was able to amass a huge database very quickly from an app developed by an academic that vacuumed up data from Facebook users who agreed to fill out a survey, as well as their friends and contacts—a process of which most were unaware.”Imagine I go and ask you: I say, ‘Hey, if I give you a dollar, two dollars, could you fill up this survey for me, just do it on this app’, and you say, ‘Fine,'” He said. “I don’t just capture what your responses are, I capture all of the information about you from Facebook. But also this app then crawls through your social network and captures all of that data also.”Wylie said that allowed the company to get roughly “50 million plus” Facebook records in several months and he criticized Facebook for facilitating the process.”Why Facebook didn’t make more inquiries when they started seeing that, you know, tens of millions of records were being pulled this way, I don’t know,” he said.Lawmaker Collins said he would summon Nix to reappear before the Parliament committee.”It seems clear that he has deliberately misled the committee and Parliament by giving false statements,” Collins said.
Separation line Researchers from the Biomedical Engineering Department at Rutgers University have developed an end-to-end blood testing device that integrates robotic phlebotomy with downstream sample processing. This platform device performs blood draws and provides diagnostic results in a fully automated fashion at the point-of-care. By reducing turnaround times, the device has the potential to expedite hospital work-flow, allowing practitioners to devote more time to treating patients. The research has been published in a paper in the June 2018 issue of Technology. Explore further Diagnostic blood testing is the most commonly performed clinical procedure in the world and influences the majority of medical decisions made in hospital and laboratory settings. However, manual blood draw success rates are dependent on clinician skill and patient physiology, and results are generated almost exclusively in centralized labs from large-volume samples using labor-intensive analytical techniques.To address these issues, the team of researchers at Rutgers University created a device that includes an image-guided venipuncture robot, to address the challenges of routine venous access, with a centrifuge-based blood analyzer to obtain quantitative measurements of hematology. In the paper, results are presented on a white blood cell assay, using a blood mimicking fluid spiked with fluorescent microbeads. Studies were conducted on the integrated device—from blood draw to analysis—using blood vessel phantoms, demonstrating both high accuracy and repeatability of the cannulation and resulting white blood cell assay.”This device represents the holy grail in blood testing technology,” stated Martin Yarmush, M.D., Ph.D., the paper’s senior author. “Integrating miniaturized robotic and microfluidic systems, this technology combines the breadth and accuracy of traditional laboratory testing with the speed and convenience of point-of-care testing.””When designing the system, our focus was on creating a modular and expandable device”, stated Max Balter, Ph.D., first author of the paper. “With our relatively simple chip design and analysis techniques, the device can be extended to incorporate a broader panel of assays in the future”. Citation: End-to-end blood testing device shows capacity to draw sample and provide diagnostic results (2018, June 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-end-to-end-blood-device-capacity-sample.html More information: M.L. Balter et al, Automated end-to-end blood testing at the point-of-care: Integration of robotic phlebotomy with downstream sample processing, TECHNOLOGY (2018). DOI: 10.1142/S2339547818500048 Provided by World Scientific Publishing This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
© 2018 AFP Yandex instead announced a new smart speaker that uses the voice of “Alisa”—a virtual assistant similar to Amazon’s Alexa Speculation has been mounting for years that Yandex—which dominates internet services in Russia—will put forward its own mobile device to rival giants like Apple, Samsung and Huawei.Excitement reached fever pitch when Yandex announced it would be holding a presentation at its glossy Moscow headquarters, with Russian media reports anticipating a smartphone launch that would be a major step for the company.But Yandex instead announced a new smart speaker that uses the voice of “Alisa”—a virtual assistant similar to Amazon’s Alexa—that will cost around 40 euros.Asked by disappointed journalists about the potential smartphone, Yandex representatives said only: “We are not commenting on this question.”Yandex started in the 1990s as a search engine similar to Google but has since expanded into every corner of the Russian internet, developing maps, taxi and food order apps that Russians use every day.A Russian-designed smartphone—the YotaPhone—was launched in 2013 but has failed to catch on and tech observers have been waiting anxiously for Yandex to jump into the field.Tom Morrod, research director at IHS Markit, said that once Yandex does enter the market it will likely be with a mid-range option aimed at supporting its services.”Non-hardware companies are often happy to take a mid-market position, without hoping to make money. Yandex’s smartphone would likely run on Android but they would put their own environment on it, with all their apps that you probably will not be able to delete,” he said. “It’s about getting people locked into their ecosystem, collect data and advertise,” he added. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Russian tech giant dashes hopes for smartphone (2018, November 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-russian-tech-giant-dashes-smartphone.html Russian search engine alerts Google to possible data problem Russian internet giant Yandex disappointed tech enthusiasts on Monday by failing to unveil what many hoped would be a highly anticipated Russian-made smartphone. Explore further
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and other leaders at an all-party meeting convened by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swarajin New Delhi on Tuesday – AP Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL The Centre has told leaders of all parties that there is no military tension with Pakistan and what happened in Balakot, “80 miles beyond the Line of Control”, was not a military action, but an anti-terrorist attack. At a meeting of leaders of various political parties, the Union Ministers also confirmed that more than 300 terrorists were at the camp when the air strike took places. A source who attended the meeting, however, said the Centre has not confirmed the total number of terrorists killed but said no civilians or Pakistan Army personnel were killed in the strike.The meeting, convened by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narednra Singh Tomar and senior officials such as the secretaries of the Department of Defence, External Affairs and Home. No defence personnel were present in the meeting. In the event of a meeting of Pakistan’s nuclear command on Tuesday, the officials said there are efforts from the other side to escalate the matter but they will not be successful in doing so.‘Intelligence inputs’The Centre said it got intelligence input that more than 300 terrorists belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed are camped in Balakot to plan another attack on the country and the defence forces thought it is best to attack, so that such plans are busted. The Centre also told them that the strike was successful.Later, talking to reporters, Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the strike was a clean operation. “We will support our security forces in their endeavour to finish terrorism entering into India from outside. The good part was that it was a very clean operation,” he said.In the meeting, the Centre, however, had to face tough questions. Based on Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik’s statement that it was intelligence failure which led to the Pulwama attacks, the Opposition members asked why such a lapse occurred after Pathankot and the Urisurgical strike. The Opposition also reminded the Centre that Indian Air Force officers were present when the Centre briefed the Opposition about the Uri strikes, but they were not there for Monday’s official meeting. Finance Minister Jaitley told the meeting that IAF was not present as the details of the Balakot strike are a secret.On assault on KashmirisThere were also questions on the reported attacks against Kashmiri students across the country and move to do away with 35-A of the Constitution, which confers the power to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define who are permanent residents and their rights. There were also questions that why the number of local youth who have joined terrorism from Kashmir increased in the last five years. A meeting of the Opposition parties will discuss the matter on Wednesday. Pakistan February 26, 2019 SHARE COMMENTS COMMENT defence terrorism (crime)
COMMENTS SHARE The Janata Dal (Secular) supremo, HD Deve Gowda (85), is as relevant to Indian politics as he was in 1996, when in an unexpected move, the United Front chose him for the prime minister’s post. Deve Gowda’s tenure was short lived as 10 months later he was forced to step down. The JD(S), along with the Congress, now runs the government in Karnataka. In an interview with BusinessLine, he said there is an undeclared emergency in the country. Edited excerptsWhat are the main issues before the electorateRising crude oil prices will be the key challenge for the new government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he will provide a stable, strong and corruption-free government if the NDA comes to power in the 2014. Has it happened? What has been the outcome of demonetisation? Nothing. He did not even take into confidence his own Cabinet. Not even the RBI. He is always trying to mislead the people. The price of a gas cylinder earlier was ₹300 and now it is ₹1,200. The GST is levied on food in a hotel and if you buy vegetables from the market, you have to pay 10 per cent. Does it help the poor people, the common man?What are your views on the current political discourse?I never thought that thePrime Minister will use such language to criticise the Opposition. He calls Mahaghatabandhan Maha-milavat. Why does he keep talking about surgical strike as if there was no such thing earlier. He wants to use all this for the political purpose, to cover up for all his lapses. I have been in Parliament for the last 29 years. I have seen the administration of AB Vajpayee, Inder Gujral, PV Narasimha Rao and the others. When the country was facing such economic crisis, Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh got us out of the debt trap. But Modi said he has done everything. What has he done? Modi said by 2025, he will make this country strong and eradicate poverty. Why should he make false promises?On farm loans…The type of administration he has given so far will only harm the farmers. There is no mercy for the farm sector. The farmers have been forced to go on a rally to get their demands addressed. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has made a categorical statement stating that there is no question of waving the farm loans. If this happens, what will be the plight of the poor farmers? The loan burden when Modi took over as the PM was ₹24 lakh crore and now it has increased to ₹104 lakh crore. Who is going to carry this burden? People will be forced to suffer.On Constitution, reservation issues…His Cabinet colleague said this Constitution will be reversed. How can you allow such a Minister to continue in the Cabinet? The RSS chief wants to abolish the reservation system. If Hindutva is the main objective of this government, what will be the fate of the minorities? The farmers are suffering so much; many have committed suicide. This time, the people will give a befitting answer. The BJP wants to remove Article 370. When I was the Prime Minister, the elections in Kashmir were conducted smoothly. The polling percentage was 58 per cent and now it is mere 15 per cent. In what field has he succeeded?.On Pulwama attack, Agusta Westland and the Rafale deals…Pulwama attack was a massive intelligence failure. He keeps talking about the Agusta Westland scam and calls Christian Michel as Michel mama (uncle). It is not fair and unbecoming of a Prime Minister to say such things. The Hindu has exposed the deal involving Rafale. But Modi continues to avoid giving details about the deal. He goes and strikes the deal on his own without even taking the Defence Minister there… and then sends the others to defend him. I don’t think this man will come back to power. He has disrespected his own elders in the party.On IT raids and media…There have been several raids against Opposition leaders which is quite unprecedented. Some of the media personnel are being harassed. The co-founders of one TV channel were arrested though the court gave them immediate relief. Let me be very plain on this, the situation in the country is nothing but an undeclared emergency. We have never seen this type of a government in the past.What according to you are the NDA’s prospects in this election?Modi may not come back to power. I don’t think the NDA will even get a working majority. A party which got 282 seats will fall short of majority. It will be a mandate against his type of administration. The party will then have to start the process of trying to strike an alliance with others.Do you see yourself as Prime Minister again?No. There is no question of a repeat of 1996. There will be a coalition government with Rahul Gandhi’s support. Naturally, I will stand by him. There are several competent leaders who are much better than Narendra Modi. For example: Mamata Banerjee. If you go to her house, she has no personal belongings. Chandrababu Naidu, Naveen Patnaik, Mayawatia and Sharad Pawar, all are very competent. We are going to sit together and come to an understanding about the contours of the next government. national politics April 23, 2019 Published on COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL interviews