19 Kasım 2013 Salı

Fruit Bats Deadly Viruses

Bats harbour more deadly viruses than was previously thought, scientists say. Researchers have found that henipaviruses, which spread to other animals and humans, and a disease that is similar to rabies are widespread in a species of fruit bat found in Africa. The team says this poses a potential risk to human health, because the bats roost close to cities and are also hunted for food. The study is published in Nature Communications. Professor James Wood, an epidemiologist from the University of Cambridge, said:

"I think that it's no immediate cause for panic - these viruses have probably been there for a very long time in bats. "But I think that it does raise questions relating public health surveillance and care that should be taken to avoid possible contact that might result in transmission." Disease reservoir Bats are a well-known mixing pot for viruses, some of which can spread to other animals and humans. The origins of diseases such as Sars and Ebola can be traced back to these flying mammals, and they have also been implicated in the spread of the new deadly Mers virus. In Africa, the straw-coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum), the continent's most widely distributed bat, is known to host different infectious diseases.

But until now the extent has not been known. Straw-coloured fruit bat The bats roost in their millions and can live close to cities To find out more, researchers tested more than 2,000 bats in 12 African countries. They found that just under half (42%) were harbouring henipaviruses, which can be deadly if they spread to other animals and humans, particularly in the form of the Hendra virus. Prof Wood explained: "In Australia... the virus has spread into horses, and from horses, this virus has passed into vets tending sick horses, and this has killed a a number of people in Australian. "In Malaysia there was a huge outbreak associated with pigs in 1999, in which more than 100 pig farmers and slaughter house workers died." About a third of the fruit bats were also found to be infected with the rabies-like Lagos bat virus.

Prof Wood said there was no evidence yet that the two viruses had spread to humans in Africa. But he added that in some areas disease surveillance was poor, and there could have been cases that went undetected. The researchers said improved vigilance was needed. "For Lagos bat virus I think there are particular risks for those people who hunt bats, because it is most likely transmitted by bites," said Prof Wood. "But perhaps more worrying for the family of henipaviruses, there may well be some transmission from urine and that raises very large questions for people who live in close proximity to large bat roosts." The team said that removing the bats or culling them was not an option, and could even spread the viruses further. They added that the animals were also a crucial part of the ecosystem. "Making sure the animals live in a protected zone is probably is safer in terms of direct risks than intervening to make the bat colonies move on," explained Professor Wood.

5 Mayıs 2013 Pazar

10 Food Swaps For a Healthier Cinco de Mayo

Use them instead of: Pickled jalapenos Why they're healthier: Mass-produced pickled vegetables are soaked in preservatives (such as sodium benzoate) and often contain added sugars and sodium. Raw jalapenos, on the other hand, are sodium-free and have just 4 calories per pepper—not to mention a fresher, spicier flavor. Plus, research has shown that raw peppers have a higher concentration of antioxidants, including capsaicin, a compound that gives peppers their heat and makes your body temperature rise, helping you burn fat and calories faster.

10 Food Swaps For a Healthier Cinco de Mayo

Mexican dishes are a crowd favorite, but they're often loaded with cheese and fatty ingredients. So we gathered recipes that use fresh vegetables, lean protein, and fiber-rich beans to get the same great taste with less saturated fat and calories. In general, you should aim for 30% or less of calories come from fat, and most of those calories should come from healthy unsaturated fat. All fruits and vegetables, due to their rich nutrient and fiber content, help to combat chronic inflammation, so make sure to include adequate amounts of these foods daily. Some types of fresh produce, however, are even more potent than others. Some terrific anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables to include in your meal plan include apples, berries, broccoli, mushrooms, papaya, pineapple, and spinach. So try one of these Mexican food recipes tonight!

20 Nisan 2013 Cumartesi

8 Recipes for a Healthy Taco Night

Before you roll up your sleeves and dive into these tasty taco-night recipes, you have an important decision to make: hard taco shells, or soft? For soft tacos, wrap 24 corn tortillas in a clean kitchen towel and microwave for one minute and 30 seconds. To make hard shells, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Loosely fold tortillas in half and overlap on a baking sheet. Bake until just crisp, 8 to 12 minutes.Ingredients: Ground turkey, tomatoes, onion, chipotle chiles, ground cumin, fresh oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper Calories: 185

Dancing With the Stars: The Workout

Most of us weren't born with the flexibility of an Olympic gymnast—and that includes ABC's Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke. "I am not one of those girls who can just land in a split," says Cheryl, 28. "I need to warm up to be flexible." Before you launch into a dance workout, Burke recommends doing this eight-minute warm-up routine, which stretches and strengthens the muscles surrounding the hips, thighs, and ankles. Three days a week, begin with two minutes of jumping jacks and dive into these moves. DWTS-style heels—strictly optional!Benefit: Strengthens and stretches thighs, hips and glutes How to do it: Stand with feet a bit wider than hip-width, toes turned out. With hands on hips and back straight, lower butt toward ground until you feel a stretch in thighs. Pulse, moving ever so slightly up and down, for 10 counts. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds; repeat.Benefit: Stretches and strengthens feet and ankles How to do it: Extend right leg, point toes and "write" the entire alphabet in lowercase letters, using right leg as the "pen." Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat alphabet using uppercase letters and a larger range of motion. Repeat with left leg.

Live Healthy, Live Longer

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer. A recent study found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years. Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviors. Adopt the following nine habits to keep your body looking and feeling young.If you want to live to 100, leaving a little bit of food on your plate may be a good idea. Author Dan Buettner, who studies longevity around the world, found that the oldest Japanese people stop eating when they are feeling only about 80% full. St. Louis University researchers have confirmed that eating less helps you age slower; in a 2008 study they found that limiting calories lowered production of T3, a thyroid hormone that slows metabolism—and speeds up the aging process.Too much time in front of the boob tube can take a serious toll on your health. In fact, a 2010 study found that people who watched four or more hours a day were 46% more likely to die from any cause than people who watched less than two hours a day. Even cutting back a little can help; each additional hour you watch increases your overall risk of dying by 11% and dying from heart disease by 18%.

27 Mayıs 2011 Cuma

9 Reasons Not to Ignore GERD Symptoms

For most Americans, heartburn is just an occasional problem. Sixty million people get it at least once a month.But for the 19 million people who have a chronic form of heartburn known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), untreated symptoms can lead to a variety of health complications.If you experience frequent or extended heartburn (twice a week on a regular basis), see your doctor. Here are nine reasons why you shouldn’t ignore signs of GERD.