Smartphone contraceptive apps rarely work and can cause unplanned pregnancy, scientists warn

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jul 1, 2016 in Rat News
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Women are at risk of having unplanned pregnancies by using menstrual cycle apps in place of traditional conception, new research has warned.

Fertility apps were initially designed to help couples who are trying to conceive by informing them when a woman’s menstrual cycle means her fertility levels are at a peak. The apps use the dates of a woman’s period, her temperature and other symptoms to determine fertility levels. 

However, instead of using them to increase conception chances, many women are turning to them for the opposite use and using them as a form of contraception, as the apps say when fertility chances are low or impossible too.

Research from the Georgetown University School of Medicine reviewed nearly 100 fertility apps to test how reliable and scientifically grounded their methodology is. They found that many apps rely on Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs) which may be insufficient to avoid pregnancy as they do not employ enough evidence based research and methodology.

Of apps analysed, just 6 were found to hold a “perfect score” for accuracy and having no false negatives.

The authors said: “The effectiveness of fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) depends on women observing and recording fertility biomarkers and following evidence-based guidelines. Apps offer a convenient way to track fertility biomarkers, but only some employ evidence-based FABMs.

“Of those reviewed, 30 apps predict days of fertility for the user and 10 do not. Only six apps had either a perfect score on accuracy or no false negatives (days of fertility classified as infertile).”

  • 1/25

    Most child antidepressants are ineffective and can lead to suicidal thoughts

    The majority of antidepressants are ineffective and may be unsafe, for children and teenager with major depression, experts have warned. In what is the most comprehensive comparison of 14 commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs to date, researchers found that only one brand was more effective at relieving symptoms of depression than a placebo. Another popular drug, venlafaxine, was shown increase the risk users engaging in suicidal thoughts and attempts at suicide

    RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty

  • 2/25

    ‘Universal cancer vaccine’ breakthrough claimed by experts

    Scientists have taken a “very positive step” towards creating a universal vaccine against cancer that makes the body’s immune system attack tumours as if they were a virus, experts have said. Writing in Nature, an international team of researchers described how they had taken pieces of cancer’s genetic RNA code, put them into tiny nanoparticles of fat and then injected the mixture into the bloodstreams of three patients in the advanced stages of the disease. The patients’ immune systems responded by producing “killer” T-cells designed to attack cancer. The vaccine was also found to be effective in fighting “aggressively growing” tumours in mice, according to researchers, who were led by Professor Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany

    Rex Features

  • 3/25

    Green tea could be used to treat brain issues caused by Down’s Syndrome

    A compound found in green tea could improve the cognitive abilities of those with Down’s syndrome, a team of scientists has discovered. Researchers found epigallocatechin gallate – which is especially present in green tea but can also be found in white and black teas – combined with cognitive stimulation, improved visual memory and led to more adaptive behaviour. Dr Rafael de la Torre, who led the year-long clinical trial along with Dr Mara Dierrssen, said: “The results suggest that individuals who received treatment with the green tea compound, together with the cognitive stimulation protocol, had better scores in their cognitive capacities”

  • 4/25

    New online test predicts skin cancer risk

    Health experts have created a new online tool which can predict a person’s risk of developing a common form of skin cancer. The tool uses the results of a 10-question-quiz to estimate the chance of a person aged 40 or over of having non-melanoma skin cancers within three years. Factors including the age, gender, smoking status, skin colour, tanning ability, freckling tendency, and other aspects of medical history are covered by the quiz

  • 5/25

    Multiple Sclerosis stem cell treatment ‘helps patients walk again’

    A new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) has enabled some patients to walk again by “rebooting” their immune systems. As part of a clinical trial at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital involving around 20 patients, scientists used stem cells to carry out a bone marrow transplant. The method known as an autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) works by using chemotherapy to destroy the area of the immune system which causes MS

    Rex Features

  • 6/25

    Dementia patients left without painkillers and handcuffed to bed

    Dementia patients experience a ‘shocking’ variation in the quality of hospital care they receive across England, a charity has warned. Staff using excessive force and not giving dementia patients the correct pain medication were among the findings outlined in a new report by The Alzheimer’s Society, to coincide with the launch of Fix Dementia Care campaign

    Rex Features

  • 7/25

    Cancer risk ‘increased’ by drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer per day

    Drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer a day increases the risk of developing cancer, according to medical experts. New guidelines for alcohol consumption by the UK published by chief medical officers warn that drinking any level of alcohol has been linked to a range of different cancers. The evidence from the Committee on Carcinogenicity (COC) overturns the oft-held view that a glass of red wine can have significant medical benefits for both men and women

  • 8/25

    Vaping ‘no better’ than smoking regular cigarettes

    Vaping could be “no better” than smoking regular cigarettes and may be linked to cancer, scientists have found. The study which showed that vapour from e-cigarettes can damage or kill human cells was publsihed as the devices are to be rolled out by UK public health officials as an aid to quit smoking from 2016. An estimated 2.6 million people in the UK currently use e-cigarettes

  • 9/25

    Rat-bite fever

    A teenager was hospitalised and left unable to move after she developed the rare rat-bite fever disease from her pet rodents which lived in her bedroom. The teenager, who has not been named, was taken to hospital after she complained of a pain in her right hip and lower back which later made her immobile, according to the online medical journal BMJ Case Reports. She suffered for two weeks with an intermittent fever, nausea and vomiting and had a pink rash on her hands and feet. The teenager, who had numerous pets including a dog, cat, horse and three pet rats, has since made a full recovery after undergoing a course of antibiotics. Blood tests showed that she was infected with for streptobacillus moniliformis – the most common cause of rat-bite fever. One of her three pet rats lay dead in her room for three weeks before her symptoms showed

  • 10/25

    Taking antidepressants in pregnancy ‘could double the risk of autism in toddlers’

    Taking antidepressants during pregnancy could almost double the risk of a child being diagnosed with autism in the first years of life, a major study of nearly 150,000 pregnancies has suggested. Researchers have found a link between women in the later stages of pregnancy who were prescribed one of the most common types of antidepressant drugs, and autism diagnosed in children under seven years of age

  • 11/25

    Warning over Calpol

    Parents have been warned that giving children paracetamol-based medicines such as Calpol and Disprol too often could lead to serious health issues later in life. Leading paediatrician and professor of general paediatrics at University College London, Alastair Sutcliffe, said parents were overusing paracetamol to treat mild fevers. As a result, the risk of developing asthma, as well as kidney, heart and liver damage is heightened

  • 12/25

    Fat loss from pancreas ‘can reverse’ effects of type-2 diabetes

    Less than half a teaspoon of fat is all that it takes to turn someone into a type-2 diabetic according to a study that could overturn conventional wisdom on a disease affecting nearly 3 million people in Britain. Researchers have found it is not so much the overall body fat that is important in determining the onset of type-2 diabetes but the small amount of fat deposited in the pancreas, the endocrine organ responsible for insulin production

  • 13/25

    Potatoes reduce risk of stomach cancer

    Scientists have found people who eat large amounts of white vegetables were a third less likely to contract stomach cancer. The study, undertaken by Chinese scientists at Zhejiang University, found eating cauliflower, potatoes and onions reduces the chance of contracting stomach cancer but that beer, spirits, salt and preserved foods increased a person’s risk of the cancer

  • 14/25

    Connections between brain cells destroyed in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

    Scientists have pinpointed how connections in the brain are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, in a study which it is hoped will help in the development of treatments for the debilitating condition. At the early stages of the development of Alzheimer’s disease the synapses – which connect the neurons in the brain – are destroyed, according to researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The synapses are vital for brain function, particularly learning and forming memories

  • 15/25

    Sugar tax

    The Government should introduce a sugar tax to prevent an “obesity crisis” from crippling the NHS, a senior Conservative MP and former health minister has said. Dr Dan Poulter believes that the case for increased taxes on unhealthy sugary products was “increasingly compelling”

    PA

  • 16/25

    Cancer breakthrough offers new hope for survivors rendered infertile by chemotherapy

    A potentially “phenomenal” scientific breakthrough has offered fresh hope to cancer patients rendered infertile by chemotherapy. For the first time, researchers managed to restore ovaries in mice affected by chemotherapy so that they were able to have offspring. The scientists now plan to begin clinical trials to see if the technique, which involves the use of stem cells, will also work in humans by using umbilical cord material and possibly stem cells taken from human embryos, if regulators agree

  • 17/25

    Take this NHS test to find out if you have a cancerous mole

    An interactive test could help flag up whether you should seek advice from a health professional for one of the most common types of cancer. The test is available on the NHS Choices website and reveals whether you are at risk from the disease and recommends if you should seek help. The mole self-assessment factors in elements such as complexion, the number of times you have been severely sunburnt and whether skin cancer runs in your family. It also quizzes you on the number of moles you have and whether there have been any changes in appearance regarding size, shape and colour

  • 18/25

    Health apps approved by NHS ‘may put users at risk of identity theft’

    Experts have warned that some apps do not adequately protect personal information

  • 19/25

    A watchdog has said that care visits must last longer

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said home help visits of less than 30 minutes were not acceptable unless part of a wider package of support

  • 20/25

    Pendle in Lancashire tops list of five most anxious places to live in the UK

    Pendle in Lancashire has been named the most anxious place to live in the UK, while people living in Fermanagh and Omagh in Northern Ireland have been found to be the happiest

  • 21/25

    Ketamine could be used as anti-depressant

    Researchers at the University of Auckland said monitoring the effects of the drug on the brain has revealed neural pathways that could aid the development of fast-acting medications.
    Ketamine is a synthetic compound used as an off anaesthetic and analgesic drug, but is commonly used illegally as a hallucinogenic party drug.
    Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, a senior researcher at the university and a member of the institution’s Centre for Brain Research, used the latest technology in brain imaging to investigate what mechanisms ketamine uses to be active in the human brain

  • 22/25

    A prosthetic hand that lets people actually feel through

    The technology lets paralysed people feel actual sensations when touching objects — including light taps on the mechanical finger — and could be a huge breakthrough for prosthetics, according to its makers. The tool was used to let a 28-year-old man who has been paralysed for more than a decade. While prosthetics have previously been able to be controlled directly from the brain, it is the first time that signals have been successfully sent the other way

  • 23/25

    The biggest cause of early death in the world is what you eat

    Unhealthy eating has been named as the most common cause of premature death around the globe, new data has revealed. A poor diet – which involves eating too few vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains and too much red meat, salt and sugar – was shown to be a bigger killer than smoking and alcohol

  • 24/25

    Scientists develop blood test that estimates how quickly people age

    Scientists believe it could be used to predict a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as the “youthfulness” of donated organs for transplant operations. The test measures the vitality of certain genes which the researchers believe is an accurate indication of a person’s “biological age”, which may be younger or older than their actual chronological age

  • 25/25

    Aspirin could help boost therapies that fight cancer

    The latest therapies that fight cancer could work better when combined with aspirin, research has suggested. Scientists from the Francis Crick Institute in London say the anti-inflammatory pain killer suppresses a cancer molecule that allows tumours to evade the body’s immune defences.
    Laboratory tests have shown that skin, breast and bowel cancer cells often generate large amounts of this molecule, called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
    But Aspirin is one of a family of drugs that sends messages to the brain to block production of PGE2 and this means cancer cells can be attacked by the body’s natural defences

Study lead Marguerite Duane said of the findings: “Smartphone apps are increasing in popularity because more and more women are interested in using natural or fertility awareness based methods of family planning because they want to feel empowered with greater knowledge of their bodies.

“When learning how to track your fertility signs, we recommend that women first receive instruction from a trained educator and then look for an app that scored 4 or more on mean accuracy and authority in our review.”

  • More about:
  • Health
  • fertility
  • Science
  • Medicine
  • contraception

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/using-smartphone-apps-as-a-contraceptive-rarely-works-and-can-cause-unwanted-pregnancy-scientists-a7111331.html

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City College Shows Pride

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 30, 2016 in Rat News
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Board of Trustee Vice President, Thea Selby holds a rainbow pride flag before the start of the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

A flag held by Board of Trustee Vice President Thea Selby before the start of the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

Administration, faculty and students marched, drove and waved rainbow colored flags in the air, with rainbow letters spelling out CCSF on their chests to represent City College during the annual Pride parade on Sunday June 26.

 

The contingent paraded in white and red low riders from Spear to Market Street with hundreds of other decorative floats as part of the annual festivities.

 

Interim Chancellor Susan Lamb, Board of Trustees members Rafael Mandelman, Alex Randolph and Thea Selby all waved to the crowd with smiles from the back of a car, while faculty members accompanying them on foot handed flyers to the crowd to help promote classes struggling with enrollment.

 

Faculty members from the Interdisciplinary Department disciplines such as Women’s Studies and Middle East Studies were also on hand, holding their own signs to show the diversity for the college.

 

Toward the end of the parade, the college showed their support with their signs that read “We Stand With Orlando” as the marchers and the floats parted.
San Francisco’s annual Pride parade is held annually on the final Sunday of June.

 

City College students walk toward the end of the San Francisco Pride Parade holding a sign that reads We Stand With Orlando on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College students walk toward the end of the San Francisco Pride Parade holding a sign that reads “We Stand With Orlando” on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College faculty hand out flyers to the crowd along the parade route in attempt to recruit future students during the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College faculty hand out flyers to the crowd along the parade route in attempt to recruit future students during the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College students and faculty and ride along the Market Street parade route during the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College students and faculty and ride along the Market Street parade route during the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College professor of Middle East Studies Neela Chatterjee holds a sign that reads Muslim Pride at the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College professor of Middle East Studies Neela Chatterjee holds a sign that reads Muslim Pride at the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

Board of Trustee members Rafael Mandelman and Alex Randolph wave to the crowd on Spear Street as they ride along the San Francisco Pride Parade route on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

Board of Trustee members Rafael Mandelman and Alex Randolph wave to the crowd on Spear Street as they ride along the San Francisco Pride Parade route on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College Board of Trustee member Alex Randolph displays a City College banner while Board of Trustee President Rafael Mandelman holds a pride flag while waiting for the San Francisco Pride Parade to begin on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College Board of Trustee member Alex Randolph displays a City College banner while Board of Trustee President Rafael Mandelman holds a pride flag while waiting for the San Francisco Pride Parade to begin on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

Army Veteran Rodney Davidson polishes his car in preparation of the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

Army Veteran Rodney Davidson polishes his car in preparation of the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

Cas Ruffin, dressed as the Rams mascot, struggles to remove his T-shirt before the San Francisco Pride Parade in the City College on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

Cas Ruffin, dressed as the Rams mascot, struggles to remove his T-shirt before the San Francisco Pride Parade in the City College on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College student John Gallo and his pet rats carrier decorate for the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College student John Gallo and his pet rats carrier decorate for the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College student John Gallo and pet rats march with the City College contingent in the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College student John Gallo and pet rats march with the City College contingent in the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College faculty create signs before the San Francisco Pride Parade to support the Interdisciplinary Studies program on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College faculty create signs before the San Francisco Pride Parade to support the Interdisciplinary Studies program on June 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College faculty show support for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida at the San Francisco Pride Parade on June, 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

City College faculty show support for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida at the San Francisco Pride Parade on June, 26, 2016. (Photo by Cassie Ordonio/The Guardsman)

Article source: http://theguardsman.com/city-college-shows-pride/

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Would Miss Manners swear if she saw a rat?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 29, 2016 in Rat News
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Rats! There is no Miss Manners way to explain away a rat that scampers — not once, but twice — across your deck where friends sit sipping a perfectly chilled rose.

My response was unprintable as I all but leapt up on the chair. And, yes, I’m aware that the rat was probably more frightened than I was startled/horrified.

Even if I’d had the wit to consult the etiquette expert — I do, after all, live within scampering distance of the water — Miss Manners had little to offer.

Among the archives, the only gentle advice I could find was to a reader who asked whether it’s OK to answer the door with one of her pet rats on her shoulder, if someone arrives unexpectedly.

Miss Manners didn’t disapprove, which shows how little I know about etiquette. In that perfect world, the bigger gaffe apparently is arriving unexpectedly.

Fortunately, my invited guests were completely nonplussed.

They’d had bigger animal problems including a bear that Steven had literally convinced out of the garage by waving his hands and saying, “Shoo, shoo!”

“Rats are just squirrels with bad PR,” he opined as he sanguinely kept on sipping.

History is most certainly against rats. There was the matter of the Black Death that wiped out a third of humanity between 1340 and 1400.

It wasn’t the rats per se that carried the bubonic plague. It was the fleas freeloading on the rats. Although recently, a study concluded that it wasn’t rats at all. It’s Asian gerbils that deserved the blame.

Still preferring to base my prejudice on science rather than history, or even the rats’ garbage-eating, sewer-dwelling ways, I contacted the Vancouver Rat Project.

Its researchers have found more than enough to justify the call to an exterminator and yesterday’s placement of even more big, black traps at the perimeter of our building.

According to the Rat Project’s lead researcher Chelsea Himsworth, a veterinarian and associate professor at UBC, rats’ guts are “mixing bowls” where microbes trade genes to create even worse strains of drug-resistant diseases.

In rats collected in downtown east-side alleys, researchers found E. coli, the superbug MRSA and leptospirosis, a fever that’s resulted in a significant number of deaths around the world.

Unsurprisingly, the researchers concluded that none of this can be good for humans who come into contact with them. But Reka Gustafson, Vancouver Coastal Health’s medical officer, demurred saying there’s no established link between what rats carry and what diseases have been found in humans here.

Of course, no one has actually gone looking for that link, although it’s on the Rat Project’s to-do list along with a rat census and a rat policy for the city. Kaylee Byers, a doctoral student working on the Rat Project, figures that’s enough for “several PhDs worth of research work.”

Without a citywide policy aimed at limiting the number of rats, it’s left to individuals and private exterminators to do what they can.

But given their iron guts’ capacity to mix up ever more toxic brews, it’s unsurprising that rats can become resistant to poison. The anticoagulant, Warfarin, for example, is no longer effective.

Even getting rats into a trap set with poison can be problematic, says Byers. Rats distrust new things and avoid them. You know, new things like the traps that the exterminator was busily putting down as I talked to Byers.

She says rats are also smart enough to be able to pass on to their friends and kids stuff like, ‘I’m not feeling so well so maybe you shouldn’t eat what’s in that black box.’

So, newer poisons are slow-acting, taking anywhere from three to five days to kill. Dying rats can’t be definitive about which ‘rat restaurants’ to avoid.

“It’s really a kind of arms race,” says Byers.

Anecdotally, it seems it’s a race that we’re losing in Vancouver. But who really knows.

That said, it seems only fair — and as a hedge against a potential deluge of hateful mail from pet rat owners — to enumerate a few of rats’ good qualities.

Some are able to sniff out tuberculosis even before the traditional testing produces a positive. Giant Gambian pouched rats from sub-Saharan Africa are being used in both Mozambique and Cambodia to sniff out land mines.

YouTube has videos of rats jumping through hoops and videos that teach you how to train your rats to jump through hoops.

It’s all kind of adorable . . . except that they’re rats.

dbramham@postmedia.com

twitter.com/daphnebramham

Article source: http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/daphne-bramham-would-miss-manners-swear-if-she-saw-a-rat

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Jared Leto Says the Joker Is "Role of a Lifetime"

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 28, 2016 in Rat News
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The stories of Jared Leto’s overcommitment to staying in character as the Joker in Suicide Squad are already infamous. Yet whether or not it actually pays off when audiences see the results in a month, Leto already considers the Joker the “role of a lifetime.”

Leto shared this with Deadline Hollywood, calling it “an incredible honor to be asked to play the part.” While there have already been 75 years of different Jokers in comics, movies and television, Leto promises that the Joker’s latest movie is “something completely different than other movies in the genre.”

This is already a Joker that looks different than Heath Ledger’s or any before on screen, with tattoos, silver teeth, no facial scars, and a love interest in Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn who is practically a victim of Stockholm Syndrome and worse. Leto’s extremes to playing such a different Joker on set has included antics like giving used condoms, pet rats and other such disturbing gifts to the cast, leaving aside that Ledger didn’t need such a demented mind set to submerge into the Joker.

Viola Davis was particularly unnerved by Leto’s stunts, telling E! News that it was “a little worrisome” when Leto gave a box of bullets to her as a ‘gift’ while in character. To her, she only met the real Leto for the first time at a Glamour Magazine event after filming, and admitted that “I almost had my pepper spray out.”

There were still moments in the last year when Leto wasn’t consumed by the Joker, as he cleaned up beforehand to host the AOL interview series Beyond the Horizon, which even included interviews with the likes of Al Gore and Edward Snowden. He is prepping for another season now, as it will likely premiere well after wider audiences see a much more demented side of him than the one that can talk like a sane person to important figures.

Leto was coy on whether he would appear at Suicide Squad’s San Diego Comic-Con panel two weeks before the movie premieres. However, his Joker side will be seen with the Squad and likely against it in theaters on Aug. 5.

Article source: http://www.themovienetwork.com/article/jared-leto-says-joker-role-lifetime

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Yarmouth dog owners search: Where’s the rat?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 27, 2016 in Rat News
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Hosted by the Nova West Kennel Club at Beacon United Church, the event was well attended.

ARS president Jackie McGowan St. Croix and Trevor Morse from Halifax brought dog-savvy pet rats with them. Dog owners received first dibs on the introductions. Then came the dogs.

Club spokesperson Mary Margaret Pitt describes a typical competition.

“A “barn” is set up with ex pens used as fencing, with about 12 stacked bales of hay inside. Time allowing, the event consists of five components, each is a lone exercise for your dog.”

In the beginning, each dog is brought in and allowed to sniff the environment just to “get a feel.” Empty tubes and others filled with hay or rat feces are placed at ground level.

Each dog is introduced individually to “Elton,” the live rat in a cage, then in a tube that is bungee strapped on a piece of wood.

The rat in the tube is put behind the bales and each dog is walked around to see the rat.

“The object of this behaviour is to distance the dog from the owner so that it finds the rat on its own,” said Pitt.

Tubes are then inserted between the bottom bales of hay so the dog can sniff them out. The dog then has to “find the rat”.

St. Croix raises her rats in her home as family pets and they are also registered. They are raised with Parson Russell Terriers, a Miniature Poodle and a crossbreed. 

The June 11 event was run under the umbrella of Rats Canada, following its rules and regulations. Rats Canada is a fairly new organization and has gained popularity in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and now Nova Scotia. Dogs can actually earn ratting titles.

St. Croix commended the club through social media in the days following, for a well-run event and the enthusiasm of participants.

“The dogs participating were wonderful. Some of them did so well, they would have earned their instinct title in Brush Hunt had it been a sanctioned trial,” she said.

“There were definitely some highlights. The Standard Poodle who was so keen, he had to be practically dragged out of the ring, while never taking his eyes off of where the rat was. The Frenchie who did amazing and sang his joy of rat sports for all to hear. The Dachshunds who were fantastic and gorgeous, the older Lab that was just so good and so sweet, the Pyr-cross who was a little nervous of the rat, Ew! and loved his Poppa so much, The Chinese Cresteds who showed they are not just a pretty face and so many more,” she said.

4 things about barn ratting

1. Atlantic Rat Sports is the Atlantic division of RATS! Canada. They have a Facebook Page

2. The Rats! Canada organization was founded in July 2015,

3. Rat sports are based on hunting and teamwork skills. Historically, rat catchers with their dogs offered their services to farmers to control vermin thus helping to conserve and preserve their cereals and consequently protect the inhabitants from disease.

4, The purpose of Barn Hunt and the Brush Hunt events are to demonstrate teamwork between the handler and his dog.

Article source: http://www.kingscountynews.ca/Living/2016-06-21/article-4563395/Yarmouth-dog-owners-search%3A-Where%26rsquo%3Bs-the-rat%3F/1

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For the love of rats

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 26, 2016 in Rat News
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Fable, a blue self rat, eagerly pops out of his cage to be petted by Watts.

Article source: http://www.livingstonparishnews.com/living/for-the-love-of-rats/article_a499645c-3a52-11e6-bb5b-273b15413957.html

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Workplace ‘cake culture’ fuelling obesity and poor dental health, experts warn

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 25, 2016 in Rat News
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“Cake culture” in the workplace is fuelling the obesity epidemic and contributing to poor dental health, a dental leader will warn.

Workers should bring fruit platters into the office instead of doughnuts, cookies and biscuits, the dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons will say.

Professor Nigel Hunt will call for employers to stop offering such snacks in meetings.


In a speech to the Faculty of Dental Surgery’s annual dinner, Prof Hunt will say: “Managers want to reward staff for their efforts, colleagues want to celebrate special occasions, and workers want to bring back a gift from their holidays. But for many people the workplace is now the primary site of their sugar intake and is contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health.

“It is particularly dangerous that this is lying around the office all day for as we know, sugar has a particularly negative effect if it’s eaten outside of meal time.”

He will add: “Cake culture also poses difficulties for those who are trying their hardest to lose weight or become healthier – how many of us have begun such diets only to cave in to the temptation of the doughnuts, cookies or the triple chocolate biscuits?”

“I’m not saying we need to ban such treats. But we do need a change in culture.

  • 1/25

    Most child antidepressants are ineffective and can lead to suicidal thoughts

    The majority of antidepressants are ineffective and may be unsafe, for children and teenager with major depression, experts have warned. In what is the most comprehensive comparison of 14 commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs to date, researchers found that only one brand was more effective at relieving symptoms of depression than a placebo. Another popular drug, venlafaxine, was shown increase the risk users engaging in suicidal thoughts and attempts at suicide

    RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty

  • 2/25

    ‘Universal cancer vaccine’ breakthrough claimed by experts

    Scientists have taken a “very positive step” towards creating a universal vaccine against cancer that makes the body’s immune system attack tumours as if they were a virus, experts have said. Writing in Nature, an international team of researchers described how they had taken pieces of cancer’s genetic RNA code, put them into tiny nanoparticles of fat and then injected the mixture into the bloodstreams of three patients in the advanced stages of the disease. The patients’ immune systems responded by producing “killer” T-cells designed to attack cancer. The vaccine was also found to be effective in fighting “aggressively growing” tumours in mice, according to researchers, who were led by Professor Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany

    Rex Features

  • 3/25

    Green tea could be used to treat brain issues caused by Down’s Syndrome

    A compound found in green tea could improve the cognitive abilities of those with Down’s syndrome, a team of scientists has discovered. Researchers found epigallocatechin gallate – which is especially present in green tea but can also be found in white and black teas – combined with cognitive stimulation, improved visual memory and led to more adaptive behaviour. Dr Rafael de la Torre, who led the year-long clinical trial along with Dr Mara Dierrssen, said: “The results suggest that individuals who received treatment with the green tea compound, together with the cognitive stimulation protocol, had better scores in their cognitive capacities”

  • 4/25

    New online test predicts skin cancer risk

    Health experts have created a new online tool which can predict a person’s risk of developing a common form of skin cancer. The tool uses the results of a 10-question-quiz to estimate the chance of a person aged 40 or over of having non-melanoma skin cancers within three years. Factors including the age, gender, smoking status, skin colour, tanning ability, freckling tendency, and other aspects of medical history are covered by the quiz

  • 5/25

    Multiple Sclerosis stem cell treatment ‘helps patients walk again’

    A new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) has enabled some patients to walk again by “rebooting” their immune systems. As part of a clinical trial at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital involving around 20 patients, scientists used stem cells to carry out a bone marrow transplant. The method known as an autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) works by using chemotherapy to destroy the area of the immune system which causes MS

    Rex Features

  • 6/25

    Dementia patients left without painkillers and handcuffed to bed

    Dementia patients experience a ‘shocking’ variation in the quality of hospital care they receive across England, a charity has warned. Staff using excessive force and not giving dementia patients the correct pain medication were among the findings outlined in a new report by The Alzheimer’s Society, to coincide with the launch of Fix Dementia Care campaign

    Rex Features

  • 7/25

    Cancer risk ‘increased’ by drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer per day

    Drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer a day increases the risk of developing cancer, according to medical experts. New guidelines for alcohol consumption by the UK published by chief medical officers warn that drinking any level of alcohol has been linked to a range of different cancers. The evidence from the Committee on Carcinogenicity (COC) overturns the oft-held view that a glass of red wine can have significant medical benefits for both men and women

  • 8/25

    Vaping ‘no better’ than smoking regular cigarettes

    Vaping could be “no better” than smoking regular cigarettes and may be linked to cancer, scientists have found. The study which showed that vapour from e-cigarettes can damage or kill human cells was publsihed as the devices are to be rolled out by UK public health officials as an aid to quit smoking from 2016. An estimated 2.6 million people in the UK currently use e-cigarettes

  • 9/25

    Rat-bite fever

    A teenager was hospitalised and left unable to move after she developed the rare rat-bite fever disease from her pet rodents which lived in her bedroom. The teenager, who has not been named, was taken to hospital after she complained of a pain in her right hip and lower back which later made her immobile, according to the online medical journal BMJ Case Reports. She suffered for two weeks with an intermittent fever, nausea and vomiting and had a pink rash on her hands and feet. The teenager, who had numerous pets including a dog, cat, horse and three pet rats, has since made a full recovery after undergoing a course of antibiotics. Blood tests showed that she was infected with for streptobacillus moniliformis – the most common cause of rat-bite fever. One of her three pet rats lay dead in her room for three weeks before her symptoms showed

  • 10/25

    Taking antidepressants in pregnancy ‘could double the risk of autism in toddlers’

    Taking antidepressants during pregnancy could almost double the risk of a child being diagnosed with autism in the first years of life, a major study of nearly 150,000 pregnancies has suggested. Researchers have found a link between women in the later stages of pregnancy who were prescribed one of the most common types of antidepressant drugs, and autism diagnosed in children under seven years of age

  • 11/25

    Warning over Calpol

    Parents have been warned that giving children paracetamol-based medicines such as Calpol and Disprol too often could lead to serious health issues later in life. Leading paediatrician and professor of general paediatrics at University College London, Alastair Sutcliffe, said parents were overusing paracetamol to treat mild fevers. As a result, the risk of developing asthma, as well as kidney, heart and liver damage is heightened

  • 12/25

    Fat loss from pancreas ‘can reverse’ effects of type-2 diabetes

    Less than half a teaspoon of fat is all that it takes to turn someone into a type-2 diabetic according to a study that could overturn conventional wisdom on a disease affecting nearly 3 million people in Britain. Researchers have found it is not so much the overall body fat that is important in determining the onset of type-2 diabetes but the small amount of fat deposited in the pancreas, the endocrine organ responsible for insulin production

  • 13/25

    Potatoes reduce risk of stomach cancer

    Scientists have found people who eat large amounts of white vegetables were a third less likely to contract stomach cancer. The study, undertaken by Chinese scientists at Zhejiang University, found eating cauliflower, potatoes and onions reduces the chance of contracting stomach cancer but that beer, spirits, salt and preserved foods increased a person’s risk of the cancer

  • 14/25

    Connections between brain cells destroyed in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

    Scientists have pinpointed how connections in the brain are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, in a study which it is hoped will help in the development of treatments for the debilitating condition. At the early stages of the development of Alzheimer’s disease the synapses – which connect the neurons in the brain – are destroyed, according to researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The synapses are vital for brain function, particularly learning and forming memories

  • 15/25

    Sugar tax

    The Government should introduce a sugar tax to prevent an “obesity crisis” from crippling the NHS, a senior Conservative MP and former health minister has said. Dr Dan Poulter believes that the case for increased taxes on unhealthy sugary products was “increasingly compelling”

    PA

  • 16/25

    Cancer breakthrough offers new hope for survivors rendered infertile by chemotherapy

    A potentially “phenomenal” scientific breakthrough has offered fresh hope to cancer patients rendered infertile by chemotherapy. For the first time, researchers managed to restore ovaries in mice affected by chemotherapy so that they were able to have offspring. The scientists now plan to begin clinical trials to see if the technique, which involves the use of stem cells, will also work in humans by using umbilical cord material and possibly stem cells taken from human embryos, if regulators agree

  • 17/25

    Take this NHS test to find out if you have a cancerous mole

    An interactive test could help flag up whether you should seek advice from a health professional for one of the most common types of cancer. The test is available on the NHS Choices website and reveals whether you are at risk from the disease and recommends if you should seek help. The mole self-assessment factors in elements such as complexion, the number of times you have been severely sunburnt and whether skin cancer runs in your family. It also quizzes you on the number of moles you have and whether there have been any changes in appearance regarding size, shape and colour

  • 18/25

    Health apps approved by NHS ‘may put users at risk of identity theft’

    Experts have warned that some apps do not adequately protect personal information

  • 19/25

    A watchdog has said that care visits must last longer

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said home help visits of less than 30 minutes were not acceptable unless part of a wider package of support

  • 20/25

    Pendle in Lancashire tops list of five most anxious places to live in the UK

    Pendle in Lancashire has been named the most anxious place to live in the UK, while people living in Fermanagh and Omagh in Northern Ireland have been found to be the happiest

  • 21/25

    Ketamine could be used as anti-depressant

    Researchers at the University of Auckland said monitoring the effects of the drug on the brain has revealed neural pathways that could aid the development of fast-acting medications.
    Ketamine is a synthetic compound used as an off anaesthetic and analgesic drug, but is commonly used illegally as a hallucinogenic party drug.
    Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, a senior researcher at the university and a member of the institution’s Centre for Brain Research, used the latest technology in brain imaging to investigate what mechanisms ketamine uses to be active in the human brain

  • 22/25

    A prosthetic hand that lets people actually feel through

    The technology lets paralysed people feel actual sensations when touching objects — including light taps on the mechanical finger — and could be a huge breakthrough for prosthetics, according to its makers. The tool was used to let a 28-year-old man who has been paralysed for more than a decade. While prosthetics have previously been able to be controlled directly from the brain, it is the first time that signals have been successfully sent the other way

  • 23/25

    The biggest cause of early death in the world is what you eat

    Unhealthy eating has been named as the most common cause of premature death around the globe, new data has revealed. A poor diet – which involves eating too few vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains and too much red meat, salt and sugar – was shown to be a bigger killer than smoking and alcohol

  • 24/25

    Scientists develop blood test that estimates how quickly people age

    Scientists believe it could be used to predict a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as the “youthfulness” of donated organs for transplant operations. The test measures the vitality of certain genes which the researchers believe is an accurate indication of a person’s “biological age”, which may be younger or older than their actual chronological age

  • 25/25

    Aspirin could help boost therapies that fight cancer

    The latest therapies that fight cancer could work better when combined with aspirin, research has suggested. Scientists from the Francis Crick Institute in London say the anti-inflammatory pain killer suppresses a cancer molecule that allows tumours to evade the body’s immune defences.
    Laboratory tests have shown that skin, breast and bowel cancer cells often generate large amounts of this molecule, called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
    But Aspirin is one of a family of drugs that sends messages to the brain to block production of PGE2 and this means cancer cells can be attacked by the body’s natural defences

“When people are going out to the shops and buying cake and sweets they should at least consider buying smaller quantities and making them available only with lunch meals.

“Ideally office workers should consider other alternatives altogether like fruit platters, nuts, or cheese.

“Responsible employers should take a lead and avoid such snacks in meetings.”

PA

  • More about:
  • Obesity
  • Dental Health

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/workplace-cake-culture-fuelling-obesity-and-poor-dental-health-experts-warn-a7098891.html

Tags: , , , , ,

Parkinson’s disease breakthrough ‘could lead to cure’

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 24, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

Scientists believe they have discovered that Parkinson’s disease is caused in a different way than previously thought and also a possible new way of treating the severely debilitating condition.

Charity Parkinson’s UK said the research could lead to a new drug that could “slow or stop the condition in its tracks”.

It was believed Parkinson’s occurs when mitochondria – which supply power to cells – malfunctioned, causing brain cells that produce the key hormone dopamine to die.

But Leicester University researchers found most of the problem related to another part of the cell, called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), they reported in the journal Cell Death and Disease.

In a study with fruit flies that had been genetically modified to develop Parkinson’s, the scientists managed to at least partially correct the problem so that the number of brain cells increased and the flies’ muscles remained healthy.

One of the researchers, Dr Miguel Martins, said: “This research challenges the current held belief the Parkinson’s disease is a result of malfunctioning mitochondria. 

“By identifying and preventing ER stress in a model of the disease it was possible for us to prevent neurodegeneration. 

“While the finding so far only applies to fruit flies, we believe further research could find that a similar intervention in people might help treat certain forms of Parkinson’s.” 

Parkinson’s, which affects about 127,000 people in the UK, causes shaking, memory and speech problems, anxiety and depression among other symptoms.

The ER’s role is to fold vital proteins used by a cell. If it misfolds the proteins, they can be dangerous so the cell will halt production. This is designed to protect the cell, but without the proteins it will eventually die.

The researchers believe the misfolding is caused when too much of the ER is attached to the mitochondria by a substance called mitofusin.

  • 1/25

    Most child antidepressants are ineffective and can lead to suicidal thoughts

    The majority of antidepressants are ineffective and may be unsafe, for children and teenager with major depression, experts have warned. In what is the most comprehensive comparison of 14 commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs to date, researchers found that only one brand was more effective at relieving symptoms of depression than a placebo. Another popular drug, venlafaxine, was shown increase the risk users engaging in suicidal thoughts and attempts at suicide

    RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty

  • 2/25

    ‘Universal cancer vaccine’ breakthrough claimed by experts

    Scientists have taken a “very positive step” towards creating a universal vaccine against cancer that makes the body’s immune system attack tumours as if they were a virus, experts have said. Writing in Nature, an international team of researchers described how they had taken pieces of cancer’s genetic RNA code, put them into tiny nanoparticles of fat and then injected the mixture into the bloodstreams of three patients in the advanced stages of the disease. The patients’ immune systems responded by producing “killer” T-cells designed to attack cancer. The vaccine was also found to be effective in fighting “aggressively growing” tumours in mice, according to researchers, who were led by Professor Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany

    Rex Features

  • 3/25

    Green tea could be used to treat brain issues caused by Down’s Syndrome

    A compound found in green tea could improve the cognitive abilities of those with Down’s syndrome, a team of scientists has discovered. Researchers found epigallocatechin gallate – which is especially present in green tea but can also be found in white and black teas – combined with cognitive stimulation, improved visual memory and led to more adaptive behaviour. Dr Rafael de la Torre, who led the year-long clinical trial along with Dr Mara Dierrssen, said: “The results suggest that individuals who received treatment with the green tea compound, together with the cognitive stimulation protocol, had better scores in their cognitive capacities”

  • 4/25

    New online test predicts skin cancer risk

    Health experts have created a new online tool which can predict a person’s risk of developing a common form of skin cancer. The tool uses the results of a 10-question-quiz to estimate the chance of a person aged 40 or over of having non-melanoma skin cancers within three years. Factors including the age, gender, smoking status, skin colour, tanning ability, freckling tendency, and other aspects of medical history are covered by the quiz

  • 5/25

    Multiple Sclerosis stem cell treatment ‘helps patients walk again’

    A new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) has enabled some patients to walk again by “rebooting” their immune systems. As part of a clinical trial at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital involving around 20 patients, scientists used stem cells to carry out a bone marrow transplant. The method known as an autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) works by using chemotherapy to destroy the area of the immune system which causes MS

    Rex Features

  • 6/25

    Dementia patients left without painkillers and handcuffed to bed

    Dementia patients experience a ‘shocking’ variation in the quality of hospital care they receive across England, a charity has warned. Staff using excessive force and not giving dementia patients the correct pain medication were among the findings outlined in a new report by The Alzheimer’s Society, to coincide with the launch of Fix Dementia Care campaign

    Rex Features

  • 7/25

    Cancer risk ‘increased’ by drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer per day

    Drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer a day increases the risk of developing cancer, according to medical experts. New guidelines for alcohol consumption by the UK published by chief medical officers warn that drinking any level of alcohol has been linked to a range of different cancers. The evidence from the Committee on Carcinogenicity (COC) overturns the oft-held view that a glass of red wine can have significant medical benefits for both men and women

  • 8/25

    Vaping ‘no better’ than smoking regular cigarettes

    Vaping could be “no better” than smoking regular cigarettes and may be linked to cancer, scientists have found. The study which showed that vapour from e-cigarettes can damage or kill human cells was publsihed as the devices are to be rolled out by UK public health officials as an aid to quit smoking from 2016. An estimated 2.6 million people in the UK currently use e-cigarettes

  • 9/25

    Rat-bite fever

    A teenager was hospitalised and left unable to move after she developed the rare rat-bite fever disease from her pet rodents which lived in her bedroom. The teenager, who has not been named, was taken to hospital after she complained of a pain in her right hip and lower back which later made her immobile, according to the online medical journal BMJ Case Reports. She suffered for two weeks with an intermittent fever, nausea and vomiting and had a pink rash on her hands and feet. The teenager, who had numerous pets including a dog, cat, horse and three pet rats, has since made a full recovery after undergoing a course of antibiotics. Blood tests showed that she was infected with for streptobacillus moniliformis – the most common cause of rat-bite fever. One of her three pet rats lay dead in her room for three weeks before her symptoms showed

  • 10/25

    Taking antidepressants in pregnancy ‘could double the risk of autism in toddlers’

    Taking antidepressants during pregnancy could almost double the risk of a child being diagnosed with autism in the first years of life, a major study of nearly 150,000 pregnancies has suggested. Researchers have found a link between women in the later stages of pregnancy who were prescribed one of the most common types of antidepressant drugs, and autism diagnosed in children under seven years of age

  • 11/25

    Warning over Calpol

    Parents have been warned that giving children paracetamol-based medicines such as Calpol and Disprol too often could lead to serious health issues later in life. Leading paediatrician and professor of general paediatrics at University College London, Alastair Sutcliffe, said parents were overusing paracetamol to treat mild fevers. As a result, the risk of developing asthma, as well as kidney, heart and liver damage is heightened

  • 12/25

    Fat loss from pancreas ‘can reverse’ effects of type-2 diabetes

    Less than half a teaspoon of fat is all that it takes to turn someone into a type-2 diabetic according to a study that could overturn conventional wisdom on a disease affecting nearly 3 million people in Britain. Researchers have found it is not so much the overall body fat that is important in determining the onset of type-2 diabetes but the small amount of fat deposited in the pancreas, the endocrine organ responsible for insulin production

  • 13/25

    Potatoes reduce risk of stomach cancer

    Scientists have found people who eat large amounts of white vegetables were a third less likely to contract stomach cancer. The study, undertaken by Chinese scientists at Zhejiang University, found eating cauliflower, potatoes and onions reduces the chance of contracting stomach cancer but that beer, spirits, salt and preserved foods increased a person’s risk of the cancer

  • 14/25

    Connections between brain cells destroyed in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

    Scientists have pinpointed how connections in the brain are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, in a study which it is hoped will help in the development of treatments for the debilitating condition. At the early stages of the development of Alzheimer’s disease the synapses – which connect the neurons in the brain – are destroyed, according to researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The synapses are vital for brain function, particularly learning and forming memories

  • 15/25

    Sugar tax

    The Government should introduce a sugar tax to prevent an “obesity crisis” from crippling the NHS, a senior Conservative MP and former health minister has said. Dr Dan Poulter believes that the case for increased taxes on unhealthy sugary products was “increasingly compelling”

    PA

  • 16/25

    Cancer breakthrough offers new hope for survivors rendered infertile by chemotherapy

    A potentially “phenomenal” scientific breakthrough has offered fresh hope to cancer patients rendered infertile by chemotherapy. For the first time, researchers managed to restore ovaries in mice affected by chemotherapy so that they were able to have offspring. The scientists now plan to begin clinical trials to see if the technique, which involves the use of stem cells, will also work in humans by using umbilical cord material and possibly stem cells taken from human embryos, if regulators agree

  • 17/25

    Take this NHS test to find out if you have a cancerous mole

    An interactive test could help flag up whether you should seek advice from a health professional for one of the most common types of cancer. The test is available on the NHS Choices website and reveals whether you are at risk from the disease and recommends if you should seek help. The mole self-assessment factors in elements such as complexion, the number of times you have been severely sunburnt and whether skin cancer runs in your family. It also quizzes you on the number of moles you have and whether there have been any changes in appearance regarding size, shape and colour

  • 18/25

    Health apps approved by NHS ‘may put users at risk of identity theft’

    Experts have warned that some apps do not adequately protect personal information

  • 19/25

    A watchdog has said that care visits must last longer

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said home help visits of less than 30 minutes were not acceptable unless part of a wider package of support

  • 20/25

    Pendle in Lancashire tops list of five most anxious places to live in the UK

    Pendle in Lancashire has been named the most anxious place to live in the UK, while people living in Fermanagh and Omagh in Northern Ireland have been found to be the happiest

  • 21/25

    Ketamine could be used as anti-depressant

    Researchers at the University of Auckland said monitoring the effects of the drug on the brain has revealed neural pathways that could aid the development of fast-acting medications.
    Ketamine is a synthetic compound used as an off anaesthetic and analgesic drug, but is commonly used illegally as a hallucinogenic party drug.
    Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, a senior researcher at the university and a member of the institution’s Centre for Brain Research, used the latest technology in brain imaging to investigate what mechanisms ketamine uses to be active in the human brain

  • 22/25

    A prosthetic hand that lets people actually feel through

    The technology lets paralysed people feel actual sensations when touching objects — including light taps on the mechanical finger — and could be a huge breakthrough for prosthetics, according to its makers. The tool was used to let a 28-year-old man who has been paralysed for more than a decade. While prosthetics have previously been able to be controlled directly from the brain, it is the first time that signals have been successfully sent the other way

  • 23/25

    The biggest cause of early death in the world is what you eat

    Unhealthy eating has been named as the most common cause of premature death around the globe, new data has revealed. A poor diet – which involves eating too few vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains and too much red meat, salt and sugar – was shown to be a bigger killer than smoking and alcohol

  • 24/25

    Scientists develop blood test that estimates how quickly people age

    Scientists believe it could be used to predict a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as the “youthfulness” of donated organs for transplant operations. The test measures the vitality of certain genes which the researchers believe is an accurate indication of a person’s “biological age”, which may be younger or older than their actual chronological age

  • 25/25

    Aspirin could help boost therapies that fight cancer

    The latest therapies that fight cancer could work better when combined with aspirin, research has suggested. Scientists from the Francis Crick Institute in London say the anti-inflammatory pain killer suppresses a cancer molecule that allows tumours to evade the body’s immune defences.
    Laboratory tests have shown that skin, breast and bowel cancer cells often generate large amounts of this molecule, called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
    But Aspirin is one of a family of drugs that sends messages to the brain to block production of PGE2 and this means cancer cells can be attacked by the body’s natural defences

In a statement, Leicester University said: “The scientists were able to prevent neurodegeneration in mutant flies not only by reducing mitofusin, but also with chemicals that block the effects of ER stress.” 

Claire Bale, head of research communications at Parkinson’s UK, said: “This research provides new insights into the significance of the role of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the potential order of events that happens when a brain cell starts to malfunction and die.

“Identifying a way to prevent losing precious dopamine-producing cells in a fly model could translate to new and better treatments for Parkinson’s.

“This would have the potential to slow or stop the condition in its tracks, which no treatment for Parkinson’s can currently do.”

  • More about:
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • fruit flies

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/parkinsons-disease-cure-breakthrough-leicester-university-a7098106.html

Tags: , , , , ,

Yarmouth dog owners search: Where’s the rat?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 23, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

Hosted by the Nova West Kennel Club at Beacon United Church, the event was well attended.

ARS president Jackie McGowan St. Croix and Trevor Morse from Halifax brought dog-savvy pet rats with them. Dog owners received first dibs on the introductions. Then came the dogs.

Club spokesperson Mary Margaret Pitt describes a typical competition.

“A “barn” is set up with ex pens used as fencing, with about 12 stacked bales of hay inside. Time allowing, the event consists of five components, each is a lone exercise for your dog.”

In the beginning, each dog is brought in and allowed to sniff the environment just to “get a feel.” Empty tubes and others filled with hay or rat feces are placed at ground level.

Each dog is introduced individually to “Elton,” the live rat in a cage, then in a tube that is bungee strapped on a piece of wood.

The rat in the tube is put behind the bales and each dog is walked around to see the rat.

“The object of this behaviour is to distance the dog from the owner so that it finds the rat on its own,” said Pitt.

Tubes are then inserted between the bottom bales of hay so the dog can sniff them out. The dog then has to “find the rat”.

St. Croix raises her rats in her home as family pets and they are also registered. They are raised with Parson Russell Terriers, a Miniature Poodle and a crossbreed. 

The June 11 event was run under the umbrella of Rats Canada, following its rules and regulations. Rats Canada is a fairly new organization and has gained popularity in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and now Nova Scotia. Dogs can actually earn ratting titles.

St. Croix commended the club through social media in the days following, for a well-run event and the enthusiasm of participants.

“The dogs participating were wonderful. Some of them did so well, they would have earned their instinct title in Brush Hunt had it been a sanctioned trial,” she said.

“There were definitely some highlights. The Standard Poodle who was so keen, he had to be practically dragged out of the ring, while never taking his eyes off of where the rat was. The Frenchie who did amazing and sang his joy of rat sports for all to hear. The Dachshunds who were fantastic and gorgeous, the older Lab that was just so good and so sweet, the Pyr-cross who was a little nervous of the rat, Ew! and loved his Poppa so much, The Chinese Cresteds who showed they are not just a pretty face and so many more,” she said.

4 things about barn ratting

1. Atlantic Rat Sports is the Atlantic division of RATS! Canada. They have a Facebook Page

2. The Rats! Canada organization was founded in July 2015,

3. Rat sports are based on hunting and teamwork skills. Historically, rat catchers with their dogs offered their services to farmers to control vermin thus helping to conserve and preserve their cereals and consequently protect the inhabitants from disease.

4, The purpose of Barn Hunt and the Brush Hunt events are to demonstrate teamwork between the handler and his dog.

Article source: http://www.hantsjournal.ca/Living/2016-06-21/article-4563395/Yarmouth-dog-owners-search%3A-Where%26rsquo%3Bs-the-rat%3F/1

Tags: , , , , ,

Yarmouth dog owners search: Where’s the rat?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 22, 2016 in Rat News
Closed

Hosted by the Nova West Kennel Club at Beacon United Church, the event was well attended.

ARS president Jackie McGowan St. Croix and Trevor Morse from Halifax brought dog-savvy pet rats with them. Dog owners received first dibs on the introductions. Then came the dogs.

Club spokesperson Mary Margaret Pitt describes a typical competition.

“A “barn” is set up with ex pens used as fencing, with about 12 stacked bales of hay inside. Time allowing, the event consists of five components, each is a lone exercise for your dog.”

In the beginning, each dog is brought in and allowed to sniff the environment just to “get a feel.” Empty tubes and others filled with hay or rat feces are placed at ground level.

Each dog is introduced individually to “Elton,” the live rat in a cage, then in a tube that is bungee strapped on a piece of wood.

The rat in the tube is put behind the bales and each dog is walked around to see the rat.

“The object of this behaviour is to distance the dog from the owner so that it finds the rat on its own,” said Pitt.

Tubes are then inserted between the bottom bales of hay so the dog can sniff them out. The dog then has to “find the rat”.

St. Croix raises her rats in her home as family pets and they are also registered. They are raised with Parson Russell Terriers, a Miniature Poodle and a crossbreed. 

The June 11 event was run under the umbrella of Rats Canada, following its rules and regulations. Rats Canada is a fairly new organization and has gained popularity in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and now Nova Scotia. Dogs can actually earn ratting titles.

St. Croix commended the club through social media in the days following, for a well-run event and the enthusiasm of participants.

“The dogs participating were wonderful. Some of them did so well, they would have earned their instinct title in Brush Hunt had it been a sanctioned trial,” she said.

“There were definitely some highlights. The Standard Poodle who was so keen, he had to be practically dragged out of the ring, while never taking his eyes off of where the rat was. The Frenchie who did amazing and sang his joy of rat sports for all to hear. The Dachshunds who were fantastic and gorgeous, the older Lab that was just so good and so sweet, the Pyr-cross who was a little nervous of the rat, Ew! and loved his Poppa so much, The Chinese Cresteds who showed they are not just a pretty face and so many more,” she said.

4 things about barn ratting

1. Atlantic Rat Sports is the Atlantic division of RATS! Canada. They have a Facebook Page

2. The Rats! Canada organization was founded in July 2015,

3. Rat sports are based on hunting and teamwork skills. Historically, rat catchers with their dogs offered their services to farmers to control vermin thus helping to conserve and preserve their cereals and consequently protect the inhabitants from disease.

4, The purpose of Barn Hunt and the Brush Hunt events are to demonstrate teamwork between the handler and his dog.

Article source: http://www.thevanguard.ca/Living/2016-06-21/article-4563395/Yarmouth-dog-owners-search%3A-Where%26rsquo%3Bs-the-rat%3F/1

Tags: , , , , ,

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