Walnuts and grass hidden by squirrels are seen under the hood of a car, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, U.S. in this October 7, 2019 image obtained via social media. Chris and Holly Persic via REUTERS
(Reuters) – Squirreling away supplies for winter took on a whole new meaning for a couple in the United States, after they discovered a hoodful of walnuts and grass in their car.
Holly Persic was driving to a library in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, when she noticed the car seemed strange.
“My wife called me from Northland Library and said that her car smelt like it was burning, and was making a weird sound,” Chris Persic said in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.
Holly opened the hood to find an engine full of walnuts neatly packed in grass, presumably stored there by squirrels over the weekend, when the vehicle had been parked in the open.
Chris spent almost an hour cleaning out “over 200 (not an exaggeration) walnuts and grass from under the hood”, he continued in the post.
The couple seemed to take the incident in their stride.
“There’s definitely an angry squirrel wife right now wondering where all the nuts went”, Chris said.
Reporting by Nur-Azna Sanusi; Writing by Karishma Singh; Editing by Alison Williams
SATURDAY, June 22, 2019 — The population of bacteria on your skin changes when you swim in the ocean, potentially increasing your risk of infection, researchers report.
They collected samples of skin bacteria from the legs of nine people before they took a 10-minute swim in the ocean, after they had air-dried completely following their swim, and then six and 24 hours after their swim.
Before swimming, all the participants had different communities of skin bacteria (skin microbiome) from one another. But after swimming, they all had similar communities on their skin, which were completely different from their before-swim communities, the study showed.
Six hours after swimming, the participants’ skin microbiomes had started to return to their pre-swim state, and were far along in that process 24 hours later, according to the research. It was slated to be presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, in San Francisco.
“Our data demonstrate for the first time that ocean water exposure can alter the diversity and composition of the human skin microbiome,” said lead author Marisa Chattman Nielsen, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Irvine.
“While swimming, normal resident bacteria were washed off while ocean bacteria were deposited onto the skin,” she explained in a meeting news release.
The study was prompted by previous research showing a link between ocean swimming and infections, and by high rates of poor water quality at many beaches, which can lead to skin infections, ear infections and gastrointestinal and respiratory illness.
“One very interesting finding was that Vibrio species — only identified to the genus level — were detected on every participant after swimming in the ocean, and air drying,” Nielsen said.
The Vibrio genus includes the bacterium that causes cholera. Six hours after swimming, Vibrio were still present on most of the participants, but 24 hours after swimming, only one participant had them.
“While many Vibrio are not pathogenic, the fact that we recovered them on the skin after swimming demonstrates that pathogenic Vibrio species could potentially persist on the skin after swimming,” Nielsen said.
The fraction of Vibrio species detected on the swimmers’ skin was more than 10 times greater than the fraction in ocean water, suggesting Vibrio has a specific affinity for attachment to human skin, according to the researchers.
They noted that skin is the body’s first line of defense against contaminated water.
“Recent studies have shown that human skin microbiome plays an important role in immune system function, localized and systemic diseases, and infection,” Nielsen said. “A healthy microbiome protects the host from colonization and infection by opportunistic and pathogenic microbes.”
Research presented at scientific meetings should be considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Mattel & Warner Bros. CP Extend DC Global Toy Partnership Mattel will continue to be the toy licensee for DC Universe characters and brands in the girls, preschool, vehicles, games and novelty categories, supporting and growing both existing franchises as well as new content from the DC Super Hero Girls brand.
“Mattel has been our partner on DC for over 15 years and really knows our characters and understands the special connection they have with our fans. Their leadership in the preschool, vehicle and girls categories will help us bring great toys and experiences to DC fans of all ages.” — Stephen Teglas, SVP for North America, WBCP
CALL FOR ENTRIES: animago 2019 The 23rd competition for 3D animation, vfx and design will be held Nov. 2-5 in Munich. Submissions are invited to enter for a shot at 10 competition categories, including the new Best In-Game Graphics award, Best Visual Effects, Best Game Cinematic, Best Short Film, Best Advertising Production, Best Character, Best Young Production, Jury’s Prize, Best Motion Design, and Best Still (public vote). Deadline: June 30, 2019.
Sony Interactive Launches Unit to Adapt Games for Film, TV The new banner headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by Sony Interactive chairman of worldwide studios Shawn Layden will mine the PlayStation games property library for filmed entertainment hits. Titles like Tomb Raider and Ratchet & Clank have previously received live-action and animated movie adaptations.
“We looked at what Marvel has done in taking the world of comic books and making it into the biggest thing in the film world. It would be a lofty goal to say we’re following in their footsteps, but certainly we’re taking inspiration from that … We want to create an opportunity for fans of our games to have more touch points with our franchises. When fans beat a 40-50 hour game and have to wait three-four years for a sequel, we want to give them places they can go and still have more of that experience and see the characters they love evolve in different ways.” — Shawn Layden, SIE Chairman – Worldwide Studios.
’Game of Thrones’ Alum Bryan Cogman Joins ‘Lord of the Rings’ Amazon Series Speaking of fantasy epics! Cogman joined GoT as an assistant to creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and went on to write many key episodes (including season 8 tearjerker “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”) and wrap the show as a co-executive producer. The move to LotR is part of his overall deal with Amazon Studios. The new series will further explore Middle-earth outside the familiar book trilogy tale.
Jeff Fowler: ‘Sonic’ Date Pushed Back for Redesign After the debut trailer for live-action/CG event feature Sonic the Hedgehog gave the entire collective internet a conniption and caused director Fowler to announce a redesign of the lead character, the helmer posted to Twitter Friday that the release is being delayed to accommodate the makeover. “Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right. #novfxartistswereharmedinthemakingofthismovie,” Fowler tweeted, with a sketch of Sonic’s gloved hand (are they turning his furry white hands back into gloves?!) holding a sign with the date February 14, 2020. The new date means Sonic debuts the same day as comic-book movie Kingsman 3 and a week after hybrid family flick Peter Rabbit 2.
FRIDAY, Oct. 12, 2018 — Children with asthma are at increased risk for childhood obesity, a new study suggests.
Obesity is widely regarded as a risk factor for asthma, but these new findings suggest the reverse is true, too, according to the researchers.
The study authors analyzed data from more than 21,000 children in nine European countries who were diagnosed with asthma at ages 3 to 4 years old and followed up to age 8.
Compared to toddlers without asthma, those with asthma were 66 percent more likely to become obese, and the risk was 50 percent higher among those with persistent wheezing.
Children with active asthma were nearly twice as likely to become obese than those without asthma and wheezing, according to the study.
“Asthma may contribute to the obesity epidemic. We urgently need to know if prevention and adequate treatment of asthma can reduce the trajectory toward obesity,” study co-author Frank Gilliland, professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, said in a university news release.
One way that asthma may contribute to obesity is by limiting children’s physical activity, the researchers said.
It’s also been suggested that higher doses of inhaled corticosteroids used to treat asthma may increase the risk of obesity. In this study, children with asthma who used medication had the greatest risk of becoming obese.
“We care about this issue because asthma affects approximately 6.5 million children — about 1 in 10 — in the United States,” said study senior author Lida Chatzi, also a professor of preventive medicine at USC.
“It’s a chronic childhood disorder and if it increases the risk of obesity, we can advise parents and physicians on how to treat it and intervene to help young children grow up to enjoy healthy, adult lives,” Chatzi said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 40 percent of Americans — or 93 million people — are obese. Obesity is linked to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans with asthma in the United States is growing every year. About 1 in 12 people now has the illness, the study authors said.
The study was published recently in the European Respiratory Journal.
July 11, 2018 — A judge’s ruling means that hundreds of lawsuits alleging Roundup weed killer caused a cancer called non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can move forward.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said Tuesday that plaintiffs could present expert testimony linking the product to the cancer, the Associated Press reported.
While evidence that glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — can cause Hodgkin’s lymphoma is “rather weak,” the opinions of the three experts are not “junk science” that should be excluded from a trial, Chhabria ruled.
While the decision means the lawsuits can move forward, the judge noted that it could be a “daunting challenge” to convince him to allow a jury to hear testimony that glyphosate was responsible for individual cancer cases, the AP reported.
Lawsuits allege that Roundup maker Monsanto long knew about the cancer risk associated with the week killer but did not warn people. There are hundreds of lawsuits in state and federal courts, and Chhabria is handling more than 400 of them.
“Moving forward, we will continue to defend these lawsuits with robust evidence that proves there is absolutely no connection between glyphosate and cancer,” Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said in a statement. “We have sympathy for anyone suffering from cancer, but the science clearly shows that glyphosate was not the cause.”
Many government regulators say there is no link between cancer and glyphosate, the AP reported.
FRIDAY, Feb. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Women don’t need to have blocked arteries to experience a heart attack, a new study points out.
Blocked arteries are a main cause of heart attack in men, according to researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
They found, though, that about 8 percent of women who have chest pain but no blocked arteries actually have scars on their heart that indicate they had a heart attack.
Women who complain of chest pain often are told they haven’t had a heart attack if their arteries aren’t blocked, the researchers said.
Their study included 340 women who reported chest pain but did not have blocked heart arteries. An imaging procedure — called cardiac magnetic resonance — revealed that 26 of the women (8 percent) had scars on their heart that indicated prior damage to the heart muscle.
Of those 26 women, about a third were never diagnosed with a heart attack, even though their cardiac scans revealed heart muscle damage.
A year later, 179 of the women had another heart scan. At that point, two women were found to have new heart scarring. In that year, both of the women had been hospitalized for chest pain but were not diagnosed with a heart attack, the study reported.
The study was published Feb. 22 in the journal Circulation.
“This study proves that women need to be taken seriously when they complain of chest pain, even if they don’t have the typical symptoms we see in men,” first author Dr. Janet Wei said in a Cedars-Sinai news release.
“Too often, these women are told they don’t have a heart problem and they are sent home, instead of receiving appropriate medical care,” she said.
“Many women go to the hospital with chest pain, but they often aren’t tested for a heart attack because doctors felt they were low-risk,” study co-author Dr. Noel Bairey Merz said in the news release.
“They are considered low-risk because their heart disease symptoms are different than the symptoms men experience,” she said.
Merz is director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai.
Results from a French study published Wednesday indicate drivers under the influence of alcohol are decidedly more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than marijuana users. The recent PLOS One study found motorists in France under the influence of marijuana increase their probability of causing a fatal car accident by 1.65 […] Marijuana
Prohibitionists just revealed that a retired professor is bankrolling their efforts to defeat marijuana legalization ballot measures this year to the tune of more than $ 1.3 million. SAM Action, the advocacy arm of the nonprofit Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said in campaign finance documents filed Friday in both California and Massachusetts that Julie Schauer, a former art teacher […] Marijuana
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, atopic, or allergy-related, eczema affects up to 30% of Americans, mostly kids, and the figure is on the rise.
At a meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in New Orleans, WebMD spoke with Asriani M. Chu, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and medicine in the division of allergy and immunology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, about eczema.
The location of the rash is also a telltale sign. In kids, it tends to affect the elbows or behind the knees. Adults tend to have the hands affected. It’s often worse in the wintertime, when it’s cold and the air is dry inside due to heaters.
What are the most common causes of eczema?
If an allergic cause is identified, it is going to be more related to foods. Those foods could include commonly allergenic foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and milk, for example. There have also been some studies that identified dust mite allergy as being a contributing factor. It is more likely to happen if somebody has a family history.
Are there any practical things that you can do to prevent eczema?
The really important thing is the dysregulation between your body’s moisture level and hydration. So you want to keep skin well moisturized and rehydrated.
Some practical things include bathing at least daily in water that is not too hot. If it’s too hot it can take away the essential oils in the skin. You also don’t want to bathe too long because that can also dry the skin out. After you use kind of lukewarm water in your bath, maybe 10 minutes in length, pat dry the skin — don’t rub it dry — and then use moisturizers that are fragrance-free so they’re not irritating to the skin.
If your health care provider has prescribed any topical prescription ointments, you would want to use those prescription ointments first, then the moisturizers.
One of the other things that we mention is that “eczema is the itch that rashes, not the rash that itches.” So there may be times that the doctor may prescribe an allergy medication or anti-itching medication so that the person doesn’t scratch all the time.
July 1, 2016 — The death rate in the United States hit an all-time low in 2014, but heart disease and cancer were still the top two causes of death, new data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows.
Together, these 10 causes accounted for 74% of all deaths in the United States. They are unchanged from the top 10 in 2013.
The information comes from death certificates, which are completed by funeral directors, doctors, medical examiners, and coroners.
Rankings differed when analyzed by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin. Heart disease was the leading cause of death for men and women, and cancer was the second leading cause for both sexes. Accidents were the third leading cause for men and the sixth for women.
When analyzed by age, accidents were the top cause of death for children and adults under 44 years old. Cancer (30.5%) and heart disease (25.5%) were the leading causes for those 45 to 64 and 65 years and older, respectively.
Heart disease was the top cause of death for whites, blacks, American Indians and Alaska natives, while cancer was the leading cause for Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders.
HIV/AIDS went from the sixth to the eighth leading cause of death for men 25 to 34. It was the sixth for black men and seventh for Asian/Pacific Islander men and Hispanic men in the same age group. In contrast, HIV is not among the top 10 leading causes of death for white men of the same age.
Death Rate Down
A second report also published June 30 in the same issue of National Vital Statistics Reports explains that the age-adjusted death rate fell by 1% to a record low of 724.6 deaths per 100,000 U.S. population from 2013 to 2014.
Overall, life expectancy at birth has not changed since 2012, at 78.8 years. But it rose for black men and Hispanic men and women. It fell for white women from 2013 to 2014.
Age-specific death rates decreased for people 1 to 4 years old, 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 and older. Age-specific death rates rose for 25- to 34-year-olds, 35- to 44-year-olds, and 55- to 64-year-olds.
The infant mortality rate fell 2.3% to a historically low value of 5.82 deaths per 1000 live births.
One of the most challenging things about hair loss is figuring out why it’s happening. The list of causes ranges from genetics to medication to lifestyle. While it can be hard to pinpoint the cause right away, knowing the possibilities can help you figure it out.
Most of us can blame Mom and Dad for thinning locks, says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, clinical instructor in dermatology at University of California, San Francisco, and a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss in women.
“Heredity is the most common cause of hair loss,” she says. “The gene can be inherited from either the mother’s or father’s side of the family, though you’re more likely to be affected if both of your parents had hair loss.”
Hereditary hair loss affects about 30 million women in the United States, the American Academy of Dermatology says. Women with this trait tend to develop thinning at the hairline, behind the bangs, or they might notice more scalp showing or a widening part, Badreshia-Bansal says. The condition develops slowly and may start as early as your 20s.
How to know for sure? A scalp biopsy can show if the hair follicles have been replaced with smaller follicles. That’s a surefire sign of hereditary hair loss, she says. Applying minoxidil 2 % or 5% ( Rogaine) to the scalp can stop further thinning, she says.
Telogen effluvium is a common type of hair loss translates to excessive shedding. (It’s normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day.)
This type of hair loss can happen after your body goes through stress, says Amy McMichael, MD. She’s the chair of the dermatology department at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, N.C.
Possible causes include:
Women with telogen effluvium typically notice hair loss between 6 weeks to 3 months after the stressful event. At its worst, handfuls of hair may come out.
Diet can play a role, too. Shortfalls in protein and iron can bring on telogen effluvium. So can extreme weight loss, says Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a dermatologist with Permanente Medical Group in Vallejo, Calif.
(Reuters) – A Vienna baker has stirred up anger by making a cake depicting Austria’s main political parties as New York’s twin towers coming under attack from opposition party aircraft.
“It’s ironic that a baker has no taste,” wrote one critic on the website of the mass-circulation Heute tabloid that highlighted the unusual creation. “I would call this incitement to terrorism,” wrote another.
But baker Thomas Kienbauer defended his work on Tuesday, saying it represented legitimate political commentary.
“The cake is supposed to represent the collapse of the ‘grand coalition’,” he told Reuters, referring to the centre-left Social Democrats (SPO) and the conservative People’s Party (OVP) who share power and have dominated post-war politics here.
He said he was inspired by the fact that the attacks on the World Trade Center towers by Islamist militants using hijacked aircraft took place on September 11, 2001 (9/11), while Vienna local elections will take place this year on Oct. 11 (10/11).
The 9/11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people.
Kienbauer brushed off the online anger.
“Most people who see this cake interpret it immediately as lots of people lost their lives and … blah blah blah. Few see the purpose behind the whole thing,” he said.
Miss Israel 2014 Doron Matalon poses for photographs at the 63rd Annual Miss Universe Pageant in Miami, Florida, in this January 8, 2015, handout photo.
Credit: Reuters/Miss Universe Organization/Handout via Reuters
(Reuters) – A Israeli beauty queen’s selfie has caused a stir in Lebanon, with some Lebanese saying their country’s contestant at the Miss Universe pageant should be stripped of her title for consorting with the enemy.
Miss Israel Doron Matalon posted a photo of herself and Miss Lebanon Saly Greige smiling together at pageant preparations in Miami, where the winner will be picked on January 25.
The two countries are technically at war, although the border has been largely quiet since their 2006 conflict. The Lebanese risk prison if they call or travel to Israel and all Israeli products are banned in Lebanon.
Some Lebanese have demanded on social media that Greige lose her title for contacts with a citizen of the enemy state.
Greige defended herself on the photo-sharing service Instagram on Saturday, saying Matalon had pestered her for a picture together and finally photobombed her.
“Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel, who tried several times to take a photo with me,” Greige said.
“I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia, suddenly Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie, and uploaded it on her social media.”