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sábado, 25 de outubro de 2014

Hidden truth about the health of homeless people

 


As many as 4 million Europeans and 3•5 million people living in the USA experience homelessness every year, and the numbers are rising. Homeless people "are the sickest in our society," but just treating ill health might not be enough to help get people off the streets, according to a new two-part Series on homelessness in high-income countries, published in The Lancet.

The Series highlights that being homeless is not only bad for your physical and mental health but also has dramatic effects on life expectancy. Rates of tuberculosis infection, for example, are at least 20 times higher in the homeless population than the general population [page 5, table 2], while rates of depression are up to seven times higher in the homeless population and similar to levels of psychosis.

Homeless people are also two to five times more likely to die prematurely than the general population, especially from suicide and unintentional injuries. However, despite an expansion of services, this increased risk of death has remained similar over the past 20 years.

"Homeless people are the sickest in our society. The evidence on disease rates is very concerning not only for drug and alcohol abuse but also for a range of infectious diseases, heart disease and other age-related chronic conditions, and mental health disorders. The evidence shows that homeless people are old decades before the rest of the population because of their poor health," says Seena Fazel, lead author of the first paper and Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Oxford in the UK.

Across the European Union 400,000 individuals, and in the USA 600,000 people, are homeless on any given night. Figures from the past 5 years suggest that the number of homeless people is continuing to rise, and the number of children and families who are homeless has increased substantially. Therefore, the importance of tackling this issue is greater than ever, say the authors.

Homeless people use the most expensive acute health-care services, such as accident and emergency care, and need longer hospital stays than people with homes. In the UK, for example, homeless people are around four times more likely to use emergency hospital services than the general population, costing the National Health Service around £85 million a year.

So what can be done to prevent adverse health outcomes? While national and state-wide targets to improve the health of homeless people should be introduced (eg, for the identification and management of infectious diseases, mental illness, and diseases of old age), the Series also calls for health-care providers to advocate for changes to the social policies and structural factors that result in homelessness, including the lack of affordable housing and employment opportunities for low-skilled workers.

Examples of integrated services across high-income countries are already bridging the gap between homelessness and health services, showing what can be achieved. In the USA, for example, "Housing First" programmes that provide housing and support services for homeless individuals with severe mental illness or substance abuse problems not only improve lives but can also reduce health-care and social service costs. Medical respite programmes for homeless patients leaving hospital reduce the risk of readmission and the number of days spent in hospital [page 3, panel 1].

However, these examples are not the norm and much more needs to be done, says lead author of the second paper Dr Stephen Hwang from St Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada: "It needs to be recognised that preventing homelessness, by creating more opportunities for housing, work, education, and health care during high risk periods, such as being discharged from institutional care, psychiatric hospital or prisons to the community, could effectively reduce homelessness and makes sound economic sense."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Lancet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephen W Hwang, Tom Burns. Health interventions for people who are homeless. The Lancet, 2014; 384 (9953): 1541 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61133-8

 

New methods for maintaining the quality of minimally processed potatoes for 14 days, without the use of sulphites

 


A graduate in Food Science and Technology, has proposed alternatives to the use of sulphites in potatoes, one of the main preservatives currently used and which, among other properties, prevents the browning that appears after peeling and/or cutting certain foods.

Today, one speaks of fourth range or minimally processed products to refer to fresh fruit and vegetables that have been washed, cut up and packaged before they are marketed.

As this researcher explained, "a few years ago it was discovered that sulphites could cause health problems in certain sectors of the population, so their use was banned in foods that could be consumed directly, like fruit and vegetables. In the case of potatoes, which are not eaten raw, sulphites continue to be used, so my thesis has focussed on finding alternative substances."

The thesis is entitled "Estudio de estrategias para la conservación de patatas (cv.Monalisa) mínimamente procesadas" (Study of strategies to preserve minimally processed potatoes [cv. Monalisa]). The study assessed various preserving techniques as alternatives to the use of sulphites to maintain the quality of minimally processed potatoes stored for a fortnight at 4 degrees Celsius. To prevent the product turning brown, natural solutions and/or their by-products were used. When monitoring the browning, the results indicated that "both the solution combining 4-Hexylresorcinol with ascorbic acid and the extracts of green tea and garlic studied can be used as anti-browning agents for preservation purposes in a refrigerated state over a 14-day period." As regards the texture modifiers studied, used in combination with the selected anti-browning solution, "a short, low-temperature thermal shock was used which maintained product quality over at least 14 days."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Basque Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gloria Bobo-García, Gabriel Davidov-Pardo, Cristina Arroqui, Paloma Vírseda, María R Marín-Arroyo, Montserrat Navarro. Intra-laboratory validation of microplate methods for total phenolic content and antioxidant activity on polyphenolic extracts, and comparison with conventional spectrophotometric methods. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.6706

 

15 Tweaks to Make Your Website More Appealing to Your Visitors

 

Wouldn’t it be awesome if a simple tweak on your website could gain you thousand more fans? Now imagine a few more tweaks and getting a hundred thousand fans! The good thing is, this happens for real and it can be done in a day.

Today, we will be learning some of these tricks to help you draw more traffic to your website.

 

Why Promotion and Visuals Matter

You can create great content, but if your website layout and visuals are not arranged well, you won’t see a large amount of traffic. However, by tweaking the design of your site, you have now started down a strategic path in your content marketing.

Tuning the site, optimizing the content and sharing strategically can do a lot for your conversions. Start with a simple plan and an achievable goal in mind. Once you start creating purposeful content that is featured on a well-thought out site, you will see everything improving.

 

15 Simple Tweaks

#1 Use a Relevant and Clean Header

A relevant and clean header implies professionalism. So skip the cheap freelancers and instead hire professional agencies to design your header and logos. Get rid of any unnecessary lines or visuals in your header. Make sure the font is readable as well.

Remember, the header is the aspect of your site that will establish a first impression. Here’s a simple and decluttered header and logo from laissez-faire. The header is clean and easy to look at and the logo tell the audience what they need to know about the company; you’re dealing with a website wherein food is its business.

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Here’s an example from getorganizedwizard. The header itself contains everything one needs to know about the site. It’s clean with some varying styles used for the font. The use of a digitally drawn image of the website’s author also adds a bit of fun and character to the header.

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#2 Offer a Live Chat or 24/7 Call Line

Live chat and 24/7 services can be tedious but it’s one way to draw in traffic. (Note: you don’t have to impliment every tweak we mention, just try the ones that are feasible for you).

Here’s an example from WardyIt , who offers a 24/7 global consulting service for immediate needs.

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#3 Keep Navigation (Menus) Simple and Clear

Some navigation menus may try to be as creative and unique as possible by changing the usual format into new and different options. However, visitors are more likely to look for something familiar that they always encounter. For example, you may say “Hit Me Up” just to be a little different, but the simple and clear line “Contact Me” will still get the better convert. These are the specific words viewers will actively search for if trying to contact the site.

Also make sure that the menus at the top of your page are minimal and decluttered. Stick with 6-7 navigational pages so as to not to overwhelm visitors.

Our Xen main site has only 5 menus at the top. The text is readable and easy on the eyes. It only includes the essentials which are the Home, Services, Blog, About and Contact pages.

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#4 Optimize your Home Page

Your homepage is your battle front. There are many things you can do to optimize it for better converts. Use the right font, and no more than 2 or 3 different types. Use readable text. The homg page should tell your visitors right away what’s in store for them.

#5 Use your Sidebar

Although sidebars aren’t a must for every website, they can be a lot of help in many situations. Sidebars can support your goal and get you a bit more traffic than usual. Include in your sidebar some lead generation tools and your most popular posts or services.

Here’s an ingenious way to use a sidebar from Health365. Here, it is utilized as an interactive chart. The visitors may choose the body part they are having problems with, then the list of conditions will appear. The conditions are linked to further detailed discussion. Under the interactive chart is the Newsletter Subscription call.

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#6 Enhance your Other Pages

You can’t just focus on your homepage and expect it to do all of the work. Your succeeding pages should grab attention too. For each page, use headlines that will compel readers. Simple and clear is always the best for this. For your “About” page, add photos if appropriate to your company but make sure they’re professional ones. In the “Contact” page, make sure you exhaust all the possibilities and ways that they can contact you (email, phone, social media).

Laissezfaire has a good way of presenting their “About Us” page with fun yet professional photos, see it here.

#7 Add Video Content

Most audiences are looking for visual content. Encorporating videos on your site is a good way to get out of having too much text. Watch a video and you’ll get the whole point. Whether the videos are promotional or testimonial, it can draw in more traffic.

#8 Go Global

This tweak can get expensive, but what’s a couple of dollars for worldwide audience traffic? The usual websites we access are all in English. However, there’s a bigger potential among non-English speaking countries if you are able to venture into that. There are available translation management system on the web to get multilingual options. You can potentially increase your market by 200% once you cater translation needs.

Here is a sample of a multilingual site offering three languages.

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#9 Make Load Time Faster

Load time can make or break your site. Websites that takes more seconds than necessary are often abandoned by visitors. You may test your speed with Google speed insight. It can also offer you ways to make your website “lose some weight” in order to run faster.

#10 Choose a Responsive Design

Responsive design means your viewers can view your website on any device but will still get the same quality. The responsiveness is available in your CMS features. However, some other themes can offer more. But of course you can choose yours to be coded directly.

#11 Post Consumer Reviews

Consumer reviews are a big factor in drawing traffic to your site. In the past, word of mouth was the best advertisement. Now, the word of an influencer and a big client can give your business the boost it needs.

Take a look at these testimonials on the Bulletproof site. The testimonials were from reputable people and organization and even a government department.

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#12 Design Everything for Humans

This seems pretty straight-forward, right? Well, a lot of web sites are designed with search engine optimization in mind, rather than a human audience. Remember that your audience is still human. Use color and highlight clickable links. It should be easily navigatable and screen friendly.

#13 Use White Space

Taking up every space on your homepage or any page isn’t advisable. Giving your readers space to rest their eyes should be considered.  Minimize clutter and don’t cram everything into your sidebar. Opt out of tag cloud, other blogs you follow and insignificant ads.

See how Elcom has used white space.

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#14 Place Opt-in Forms in the Right Places

Your opt-in forms should be placed at the top part of the site, under the each blog post, in the sidebar. Another options is a pop-up.

#15 Use the Right Colors

Website colors have a psychological effect on your visitors. You can’t just use any color and get away with it. Have you ever wondered why Facebook, PayPal and Twitter (not to mention countless other popular websites) all use blue? It’s because it cultivates trust. Here’s a few other examples of color meanings:

Green- call to action.

Orange- impulse.

Yellow- fun, friendly, playful.

black – luxury, value, power.

Indigo- sincerity, integrity.

So you see, most of these tricks are fairly reasonable and easy to do. Who’d have thought that simple colors can draw in more traffic? Or that simplifying everything can help in your conversion rates?

Human psychology works in complicated ways, and this is especially true on the Internet. Marketing and advertising fully rely on this to draw in consumers. In today’s digital world, human psychology has taken some complicated turns. As a marketer, however, there’s no need to worry if you have all the answers to successful website design at the tips of your fingers, or at the click of your mouse.

Snap 2014-10-25 at 19.01.07

Growing a blood vessel in a week

 


The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Two tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days.

The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days. This is shown in a new study from Sahlgrenska Acadedmy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital published in EBioMedicine.

Just three years ago, a patient at Sahlgrenska University Hospital received a blood vessel transplant grown from her own stem cells.

Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson, Professor of Transplantation Biology at Sahlgrenska Academy, and Michael Olausson, Surgeon/Medical Director of the Transplant Center and Professor at Sahlgrenska Academy, came up with the idea, planned and carried out the procedure.

Missing a vein

Professors Sumitran-Holgersson and Olausson have published a new study in EBioMedicine based on two other transplants that were performed in 2012 at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The patients, two young children, had the same condition as in the first case -- they were missing the vein that goes from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver.

"Once again we used the stem cells of the patients to grow a new blood vessel that would permit the two organs to collaborate properly," Professor Olausson says.

This time, however, Professor Sumitran-Holgersson, found a way to extract stem cells that did not necessitate taking them from the bone marrow.

"Drilling in the bone marrow is very painful," she says. "It occurred to me that there must be a way to obtain the cells from the blood instead."

The fact that the patients were so young fueled her passion to look for a new approach. The method involved taking 25 milliliter (approximately 2 tablespoons) of blood, the minimum quantity needed to obtain enough stem cells.

Blood willingly cooperates

Professor Sumitran-Holgersson's idea turned out to surpass her wildest expectations -- the extraction procedure worked perfectly the very first time.

"Not only that, but the blood itself accelerated growth of the new vein," Professor Sumitran-Holgersson says. "The entire process took only a week, as opposed to a month in the first case. The blood contains substances that naturally promote growth."

More groups of patients can benefit

Professors Olausson and Sumitran-Holgersson have treated three patients so far. Two of the three patients are still doing well and have veins that are functioning as they should. In the third case the child is under medical surveillance and the outcome is more uncertain.

They researchers have now reached the point that they can avoid taking painful blood marrow samples and complete the entire process in the matter of a week.

"We believe that this technological progress can lead to dissemination of the method for the benefit of additional groups of patients, such as those with varicose veins or myocardial infarction, who need new blood vessels," Professor Holgersson says. "Our dream is to be able to grow complete organs as a way of overcoming the current shortage from donors."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. The original article was written by Krister Svahn. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael Olausson, Vijay Kumar Kuna, Galyna Travnikova, Henrik Bäckdahl, Pradeep B. Patil, Robert Saalman, Helena Borg, Anders Jeppsson, Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson. In vivo application of tissue-engineered veins using autologous peripheral whole blood: A proof of concept study. EBioMedicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2014.09.001

 

+1 Bate-papo ao cair da noite

 

Snap 2014-10-25 at 17.23.05

Essa quantidade de visualizações em termos comparativos,  não sei o que representa. Mas em termos absolutos é uma grande VITÓRIA. Palmas para mim…Smiley piscando

Um bate papo ao cair da noite

 

Circle Doc

 

Pintei esta cabeça de cavalo em 1985, utilizando tinta PVA, (polivinyl acetato) aquela usada para pintar paredes.

É preciso trabalhar rápido porque a tinta seca muito rápido, mais rápido do que tinta acrílica para pintura de quadros.  A vantagem é que se pode conseguir uma imensa variedade de tons, que se consegue no momento do trabalho. Só se pode trabalhar com pincéis de cerda dura, de várias larguras, para se conseguir um bom resultado.  Outra vantagem é que é utilizado somente tinta e água, e o resultado final é semelhante ao de uma pintura à óleo, depois de envernizado.  (Palmas para mim, ( Obrigado, meus amigos…Smiley piscando…)

Beetroot beneficial for athletes, heart failure patients, research finds

 


Football teams are claiming it improves their athletic performance, and according to new research from Kansas State University, it also benefits heart failure patients. The special ingredient: beetroot.

Recently, the Auburn University football team revealed its pregame ritual of taking beetroot concentrate, or beet juice, before each game. The juice may have contributed to the team's recent winning season -- and one exercise physiologist who has been studying the supplement for several years says that may be the case.

"Our research, published in the journal Physiology in 2013, has shown that the nitrate found in beetroot concentrate increases blood flow to skeletal muscles during exercise," said David Poole, professor of exercise kinesiology and anatomy and physiology at Kansas State University.

The researchers' latest study, "Microvascular oxygen pressures in muscles comprised of different fiber types: Impact of dietary nitrate supplementation," was published in the Journal of Nitric Oxide, Biology and Chemistry. This work provides the basis for how beetroot juice may benefit football players by preferentially increasing blood flow to fast-twitch muscle fibers -- the ones used for explosive running. This work was performed by Poole; Scott Ferguson, doctoral student in anatomy and physiology; and Timothy Musch, professor of exercise kinesiology and anatomy and physiology, all at Kansas State University.

In addition to improving athletic performance, the research also found that beetroot juice can improve the quality of life for heart failure patients.

"Remember, for every one football player in the United States, there are many thousands of heart failure patients that would benefit from this therapy," Poole said. "It's a big deal because even if you can only increase oxygen delivery by 10 percent, that can be the difference between a patient being wheelchair-bound versus getting up and walking around and interacting with his or her family."

The benefits of beetroot come from the nitrate found within it. The amount of nitrate in one 70-milliliter bottle of beetroot juice is about the same amount found in 100 grams of spinach.

"When consumed, nitrate is reduced in the mouth by bacteria into nitrite," Ferguson said. "The nitrite is swallowed again and then reduced to nitric oxide, which is a potent vasodilator. The nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels, similar to turning on a water faucet, and allows blood to go where it needs to go."

The beetroot juice consumption resulted in a 38 percent higher blood flow to the skeletal muscles during exercise and was preferential to the less-oxygenated, fast-twitch muscles.

"Heart failure is a disease where oxygen delivery to particular tissues, especially working skeletal muscles, is impaired, decreasing the capacity to move the arms or legs and be physically active," Poole said. "The best therapy for these patients is getting up and moving around. However, that is often difficult. Increasing the oxygen delivery to these muscles through beetroot can provide a therapeutic avenue to improve the quality of life for these patients."

Clinical trials are currently underway.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Scott K. Ferguson, Daniel M. Hirai, Steven W. Copp, Clark T. Holdsworth, Jason D. Allen, Andrew M. Jones, Timothy I. Musch, David C. Poole. Effects of nitrate supplementation via beetroot juice on contracting rat skeletal muscle microvascular oxygen pressure dynamics. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 2013; 187 (3): 250 DOI: 10.1016/j.resp.2013.04.001
  2. Scott K. Ferguson, Clark T. Holdsworth, Jennifer L. Wright, Alex J. Fees, Jason D. Allen, Andrew M. Jones, Timothy I. Musch, David C. Poole. Microvascular oxygen pressures in muscles comprised of different fiber types: Impact of dietary nitrate supplementation. Nitric Oxide, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.niox.2014.09.157

 

Vou pensar nisso.

 

Snap 2014-10-25 at 13.31.44

VICTOR HUGO

Victor Hugo viveu no século XIX. Será que isso ainda vale no presente século? 

That’s my work.

 

 

Snap 2014-10-25 at 12.22.59

Beyond 3D printers and the coming of the home electronics factory

 

Squink is a miniature factory (Photo credit:Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)

Squink is a miniature factory (Photo credit:Eric Mack/Gizmag.com)

Image Gallery (9 images)

When I saw BotFactory's Squink in action at MakerCon in New York last month, it was one of those innovations that took a few minutes to sink in. It looks like a modified 3D printer, but it does much more. In essence, it is a home factory in a single package.

Unlike most 3D printers, Squink has a detachable head that can be swapped out to allow it to move around its workspace to perform different functions. When I first approached the machine, it was in the process of building a circuit board independent of any human assistance in between steps (besides physically switching out the detachable heads). The machine head was picking up components, then hovering the part over a small camera that identified it and then gave the order for it to be placed on a piece of paper where the Squink had already printed conductive ink and laid down conductive glue to ready it for components.

If a 3D printer puts the power of a CNC mill and a few other machines into the hands of even amateur makers, then Squink could essentially put the power of an entire factory into one small corner of a home office. Forget soldering, cutting, etching or simply waiting forever to get your prototype back from an actual factory. BotFactory, which is a startup that grew out of the relationship between a few NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering graduates and their professor, sees Squink as a way to take the lag out of the traditionally long and laborious process of prototyping electronics.

“We see ourselves as members of the Agile Electronics Development wave,” they said in a recent release leading up to MakerCon. “As such we walk uncharted routes, creating new horizons for this newborn concept. In the upcoming years we'll continue evolving our products to provide the best experience on the market for this kind of technology.”

Those new horizons are where my mind went right away as I watched the Squink place each component on the circuit it recently printed. The amount of people out there with ideas that are at least worthy of making it to a prototype, but who don't possess the fabrication skills or background to ever dream of making their notions a reality, is surely larger than just me.

Wearable technology is one possible use for Squink

"It allows very easy entry into the world of electronics," BotFactory Co-Founder Michael Knox confirmed in an interview.

The team claims that Squink is simple enough to operate that there's no reason even a child couldn't design and create a circuit with a little guidance. They imagine uses for their technology that might include integrating circuits into glass, wearables and even artwork, just for starters.

A crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter successfully raised US$100,000 to get Squink off the ground, and now the team is gearing up to begin selling the early units for somewhere around $3,500, which is what a few dozen backers pledged to be first in line for the fully-functional version of the system.

Check out the video below to see a quick demonstration of the alpha version of Squink in action.

Source: BotFactory