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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Can these hormones provide the key to autism, schizophrenia?

People with neuropsychiatric disorders — such as schizophrenia and autism — often display, among other symptoms, impaired social behavior. To address this, researchers looked into the impact of two hormones on social attitudes.

In a new study, investigators at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia turned to rhesus macaques to investigate the effects of two hormones — oxytocin and vasopressin — on social behavior.
These primates are known for their aggressive, competitive behavior in groups that are highly hierarchized — which typically split members between dominant and submissive individuals.
But rhesus macaques were also chosen for another reason; according to the researchers involved in the recent study, these primates — like humans — live in large social groups, form long-term connections, and present some similar social behaviors.
Study authors Michael Platt and Yaoguang Jiang first turned their attention to the possible effects of oxytocin on social behavior as this hormone has previously been tied to bonding between mother and infant and pair-bonding.
As they note in the study paper they recently published in the journal Scientific Reports, "A single intranasal dose of [oxytocin] in healthy humans [has also been seen to enhance] trust, generosity, and empathy."
But, alongside oxytocin, another horomone called vasopressin has been observed to help shape various social behaviors, including both aggression and pair-bonding— at least in animals.
Certain studies have suggested that vasopressin may be implicated in the regulation of social behavior in humans, too.

Prostate cancer in detail

Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, the gland that produces some of the fluid in semen and plays a role in urine control in men.
The prostate gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
In the United States (U.S.), it is the most common cancer in men, but it is also treatable if found in the early stages.
In 2017, the American Cancer Society predicts that there will be around 161,360new diagnoses of prostate cancer, and that around 26,730 fatalities will occur because of it.
Regular testing is crucial as the cancer needs to be diagnosed before metastasis.

How Can Prostate cancer Be Cure?

Researchers have recently discovered a new gene that plays an important role in promoting prostate cancer, and they have shown that turning it off can kill cancer cells.

They suggest that it could serve as a target for future treatments that may be used instead of — or in addition to — therapies that prostate cancer eventually becomes resistant to.
paper now published in the journal Nature Genetics reports how blocking the gene — called AR-regulated long noncoding RNA 1 (ARLNC1) — killed cancer cells in prostate cancer cell lines.
Silencing ARLNC1 also shrank tumors in mouse models of prostate cancer, while increasing its expression made tumors grow larger.
Prostate cancer develops when cells grow out of control in the prostate, which is a gland that adds fluid to semen as it passes through the urethra in a man's body. In the United States, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men.
Official estimates suggest that there will be 164,690 new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S. in 2018, accounting for 9.5 percent of all new cases of cancer.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Tomorrow's cities: Google's Toronto city built 'from the internet up'

On Toronto's Eastern waterfront, a new digital city is being built by Sidewalk Labs - a firm owned by Google's parent Alphabet.
It hopes the project will become a model for 21st-Century urbanism.
But the deal has been controversial, representing one of biggest ever tie-ups between a city and a large corporation.
And that, coupled with the fact that the corporation in question is one of the largest tech firms in the world, is causing some unease

Sidewalk Labs promises to transform the disused waterfront area into a bustling mini metropolis, one built "from the internet up", although there is no timetable for when the city will actually be built.
Dan Doctoroff, the company's head and former deputy mayor of New York, told the BBC the project was "about creating healthier, safer, more convenient and more fun lives".
"We want this to be a model for what urban life can be in the 21st Century," he said.
The area will have plenty of sensors collecting data - from traffic, noise and air quality - and monitoring the performance of the electric grid and waste collection.

Can chewing gum help you walk faster, burn more calories?

Chewing gum. Whether you munch on it because you're bored or restless, because you simply enjoy the taste, or as a quick fix after a very umami meal, you've probably had a fair share of it in your life. But does chewing gum bring surprising benefits that we hadn't considered?

According to recent data, in 2017 alone, 174.74 million people in the United States declared that they habitually use bubblegum or chewing gum.
But whether, and to what extent, chewing gum may aid or endanger health has been a matter of dispute.
Research demonstrates that sugar-free gum, specifically, is actually good for your teeth, because it can prevent decay andplaque formation.
One paper also found that munching on gum can help to alleviate stress, which, the study authors hypothesized, may be due to increased blood flow to the brain.
But other studies, including one published in the journal Eating Behaviors, concluded that a gum-chewing habit reduced individuals' appetite for healthful snacks, such as fruit, but did nothing to curb their preference for junk foods, such as chips.
Now, however, scientists at the Waseda University Graduate School of Sport Sciences in Tokyo, Japan, have turned their attention in a different direction, asking whether chewing gum while walking could in any way influence a person's physiological functions.
The study, which was conducted by Yuka Hamada and colleagues from Waseda University, has yielded interesting results for those looking to understand how even one of their smallest daily habits could impact their body and its use of energy.

Hamada and team reported their results last week at the European Congress on Obesity, held in Vienna, Austria.

YouTube stars' fury over algorithm tests

Some of YouTube's most popular stars have criticised the website for "experimenting" with how their videos are delivered to their fans.
Unannounced, YouTube started testing an algorithm that changed the order videos appeared in users' subscription feeds.
The experiment came to light when some users complained on social media.
One YouTube star said it was the worst decision the website had made for years. But YouTube defended its experiment.

Originally, the YouTube subscription feed was a chronological list of videos from all the channels that a person had chosen to "subscribe" to. The system let people curate a personalised feed full of content from their favourite video-makers.
However, many video-makers have previously complained that some of their videos have not appeared in the subscription feed, and have questioned whether YouTube manipulates the list to boost viewer retention and advertising revenue.
YouTube's latest experiment - which it said appeared for a "small number" of users - changed the order of videos in the feed. Instead of showing the most recent videos at the top, YouTube said the manipulated feed showed people "the videos they want to watch".

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Alicia Vikander's Lara Croft is a 'lost' girl turned action hero

Image result for Alicia Vikander's Lara Croft is a 'lost' girl turned action hero
The Oscar-winning actor plays the video game icon in the new "Tomb Raider" movie as a girl trying to find her father -- and her place in the world.

Alicia Vikander remembers being "blown away" as a kid when she found out there was a video game with a female action hero at the center of the story.
Now two decades later -- and 15 years after Angelina Jolie first brought Lara Croft to the big screen -- Vikander stars in a fresh cinematic take on the popular video games series "Tomb Raider." The new film, which shares the game's name and opens March 16, definitely presents Croft as the kick-ass adventurer fans have known and loved since her 1996 debut. But Vikander says the goal was also to create an origin story audiences in 2018 could relate to: a tale about a smart, vulnerable and "lost" girl trying to figure out who she is and her place in the world.
"Trying to adapt a video game or any other story is the fact that you want to give people what they want about the character and the world that they so well loved. But we also wanted to surprise them and give them something new," the Oscar-winning actor said in an interview at CNET's San Francisco headquarters last month.   
"She has all the common traits that she is so well known to have. But she is also not afraid of showing her vulnerability. She's human," Vikander adds. "We get to be with her and then root for her while she's going step-by-step to becoming this action hero."    

Vikander, who won an Academy Award for her role in "The Danish Girl," and who played an AI robot in the 2014 sci-fi thriller "Ex Machina," spoke with me about playing video games, helping start the #TimesUp movement to combat sexual harassment and about having a "Tomb Raider Barbie" modeled after her character in the new flick. Here's an edited transcript of our conversation.

Can these hormones provide the key to autism, schizophrenia?

People with neuropsychiatric disorders — such as schizophrenia and autism — often display, among other symptoms, impaired social behavior. T...