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Education Next: Homeschoolers more likely than public-school peers to attend community events, visit museums, and more: New analysis of Education Department data

28 Jul

Parents and others often think of school choice in terms of public school or private school. There is another option and that is homeschooling. Homeschooling is one option in the school choice menu.  What is Homeschooling?

Family Education defines homeschooling.

Homeschooling means learning outside of the public or private school environment. The word “home” is not really accurate, and neither is “school.” For most families, their “schooling” involves being out and about each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, environment, and through interactions with other families who homeschool.
Essentially, homeschooling involves a commitment by a parent or guardian to oversees their child or teen’s educational development. There are almost two million homeschoolers in this country.

There is no one federal law, which governs homeschooling. Each state regulates homeschooling, so state law must be consulted. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a summary of each state’s laws. State Homeschool Laws The American Homeschool Association (AHA) has resources such as FAQ and the history of homeschooling at AHA https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/homeschooling-is-becoming-more-mainstream/

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/homeschooling/

https://drwilda.com/tag/homeschool/

https://drwilda.com/tag/the-american-homeschool-association/

Daniel Hamlin wrote about activities of homeschoolers in the comprehensive examination of the homeschool population, Homeschool Happens Everywhere: Less formal instruction, but more family and community activities:

Homeschool families report higher rates of participation in cultural and family activities, suggesting that students have opportunities to acquire cultural capital outside of formal instructional time. Indeed, increased opportunities for hands-on learning may be a fundamental reason why some families opt to homeschool. Participation in these types of activities also may play a compensatory role, possibly offsetting what may be forfeited by not attending a traditional brick-and-mortar school. And it may offer a glimpse of the potential unique benefits to homeschooling, such as more frequent exposure to museums and art galleries and other community-based opportunities to engage with high culture.

This initial foray into the relationship between cultural capital and homeschooling underscores lines of inquiry for future research. Little is known about how homeschool parents attempt to teach art, music, and foreign languages. Furthermore, it remains uncertain whether a lack of instruction in humanities subjects among homeschool households signifies a rejection of conventional forms of instruction or is a consequence of unobserved barriers that these families face.

These findings cannot fully answer the concerns raised by Bartholet about child safety and homeschooling. Child neglect and abuse are urgent problems in some share of all families, and it is true that some children find refuge and access social-service supports through their schools. However, national survey data does not indicate that this is a concern for the majority. Critiques that homeschooled children grow up in cultural and social isolation may be overstated and mischaracterize the practice.

A richer understanding of homeschooling is especially relevant as families across the United States contemplate an uncertain return to full-time formal instruction in school buildings in the fall of 2020. Taking the activities of homeschool families as a guide, reduced classroom time or continued closures may potentially free up more time for different sorts of educational activities that parents and children can pursue at home. Even if museums and libraries remain closed, they have created rich online tours and educational programs in the wake of the pandemic, like those offered by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Louvre, NASA’s Langley Research Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Is the knowledge students gain from these sorts of activities equivalent to what they develop through experiences at school? What might be the benefits, as well as the limitations, of exploring education in this way on a broad scale? In the pandemic age, we may be about to find out.                                                                   educationnext.org/homeschool-happens-everywhere-less-formal-instructin-more-family-community-activities/

Here is the press release from Education Next:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Homeschoolers more likely than public-school peers to attend community events, visit museums, and more

New analysis of Education Department data

Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Bartholet’s recent call to ban homeschooling purported that homeschoolers are isolated and at urgent risk of harm from maltreatment, under-education, and parental abuse. But concerns that such students are in danger appear, at the very least, overblown, reports Daniel Hamlin in a new article for Education Next.

He finds that homeschooled students are more likely to attend a community event, visit a museum, and engage in family activities than their counterparts in public schools.

“Critiques that homeschooled children grow up in cultural and social isolation may be overstated and mischaracterize the practice,” Hamlin writes.

For more information, read “X.” To speak to the authors, please contact Jackie Kerstetter.

About Education NextEducation Next is a scholarly journal committed to careful examination of evidence relating to school reform, published by the Education Next Institute and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School. For more information, please visit educationnext.org.

Many of our children are “unschooled” and a far greater number are “uneducated.” One can be “unschooled” or “uneducated” no matter the setting. As a society, we should be focused on making sure that each child receives a good basic education. There are many ways to reach that goal. There is nothing scary about the fact that some parents make the choice to homeschool. The focus should not be on the particular setting or institution type. The focus should be on proper assessment of each child to ensure that child is receiving a good basic education and the foundation for later success in life.

Related:

‘Hybrid’ homeschooling is growing                                      https://drwilda.com/2012/08/16/hybrid-homeschooling-is-growing/

New book: Homeschooling, the little option that could  https://drwilda.com/2012/10/12/new-book-homeschooling-the-little-option-that-could/

Homeschooled kids make the grade for college
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/02/homeschooled-kids-make-the-grade-for-college/

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University of California – Davis study: Domestic violence increased in the great recession

27 Jul

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Tolstoy may not have been specifically talking about domestic violence, but each situation is unique. There is a specific story and specific journey for each victim, each couple, and each abuser. There is no predicted endpoint for domestic violence; each situation will have its own outcome.

Headlines regularly detail incidents of domestic violence involving sports figures and other prominent people. Domestic Violence is a societal problem. According to Safe Horizon:

The Victims
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner….. http://www.safehorizon.org/page/domestic-violence-statistics–facts-52.html

Abusers come in all races, classes, genders, religions and creeds.

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/domestic-violence/

Science Daily reported in Domestic violence increased in the great recession:

Emergency room visits for domestic violence incidents in California more than tripled during the Great Recession compared to the years before, signaling a need to prepare for similar and more prolonged effects during the COVID-19 financial crisis, suggest University of California, Davis, researchers.

Conducting one of the first studies to date examining the impact of a modern recession on hospital and emergency room visits, researchers found that physical abuse in adults increased substantially between the time periods, with Black and Native American people being disproportionately affected. Violence against children did not show a marked increase. The results were published in Preventive Medicine in June.

“The results from our study shine a spotlight on the importance of domestic-violence-related screening, prevention and response during the next several months of the COVID-19 financial effects,” said the study’s primary author, Alvaro Medel-Herrero, project scientist for the UC Davis Center for Health and the Environment. “Notably, domestic violence is grossly under-reported, and cases that end up in the emergency room or result in a hospital stay are only the most egregious examples. This tells us there may be an even larger problem than the numbers can show.”

The study’s co-authors included Suzette Smiley-Jewel, of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Martha Shumway, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; Amy Bonomi, Michigan State University; and Dennis Reidy, School of Public Health, Georgia State University.

Study looked at 53,000 domestic violence episodes

The study’s authors looked at more than 53,000 domestic-violence-related episodes, composed of both intimate partner violence as well as violence against elders and children, between 2000 and 2015. The numbers were drawn from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, or OSHPD, and then broken down between the years during, before and after the Great Recession. While the Great Recession officially lasted less than two years, from December 2007 to June 2009, during which the gross domestic product contracted, the economic crisis produced long-lasting consequences for individuals as well as society as a whole, researchers said.

“Proactive outreach is especially needed for minoritized people, who may be especially isolated, experiencing disconnections from services, and facing extreme financial stress,” said one of the co-authors, Bonomi, of Michigan State University.

Blacks more than three times more likely to be victims

Time series for the study were divided into pre-recession (January 2000-November 2007) and recession/post-recession (December 2007-September 2015) periods. Blacks were more than three times more likely to suffer domestic violence during the recessionary period when compared with other segments of the California population, according to the data. Statistics showed that there were 3.58 emergency room visits per 100,000 population compared to 10.42 emergency visits per 100,000 people for Blacks. Hospitalization rates remained relatively similar from the pre-recession as compared to the recession/post-recession period except for Native Americans, which nearly doubled.

Emergency visits vastly exceeded hospitalizations during the 2007-2015 time period.

Additionally, the number of California police calls for weapon-involved domestic violence episodes steadily increased from 2008 (65,219) to 2014 (75,102).

Costs associated with domestic violence

For the period analyzed (2000-2015), the estimated total charge for all analyzed domestic violence hospitalizations was more than $1 billion (data was not available for emergency department costs)….                   https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200713165609.htm

Citation:

Domestic violence increased in the great recession

Study suggests preparing for similar issues in COVID-19

Date:       July 13, 2020

Source:    University of California – Davis

Summary:

Researchers found that physical abuse in adults increased substantially, with Black and Native American people being disproportionately affected.

Journal Reference:

Alvaro Medel-Herrero, Martha Shumway, Suzette Smiley-Jewell, Amy Bonomi, Dennis Reidy. The impact of the Great Recession on California domestic violence events, and related hospitalizations and emergency service visitsPreventive Medicine, 2020; 139: 106186 DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106186

 

Here is the press release from University of California – Davis:

Domestic Violence Increased in the Great RecessionUC Davis Study Suggests Preparing for Similar Issues in COVID-19 Financial Crisis

By Karen Nikos-Rose on July 13, 2020 in Human & Animal Health

A figure from the study shows incidents of domestic violence that required either an emergency room visit or hospitalization by rates per 100,000 of population. The numbers show a marked increase during the Great Recession, especially among Blacks and Native Americans.

Quick Summary

  • Need to prepare for similar effects during the COVID-19 financial crisis

Emergency room visits for domestic violence incidents in California more than tripled during the Great Recession compared to the years before, signaling a need to prepare for similar and more prolonged effects during the COVID-19 financial crisis, suggest University of California, Davis, researchers.

Conducting one of the first studies to date examining the impact of a modern recession on hospital and emergency room visits, researchers found that physical abuse in adults increased substantially between the time periods, with Black and Native American people being disproportionately affected. Violence against children did not show a marked increase. The results were published in Preventive Medicine in June.

“The results from our study shine a spotlight on the importance of domestic-violence-related screening, prevention and response during the next several months of the COVID-19 financial effects,” said the study’s primary author, Alvaro Medel-Herrero, project scientist for the UC Davis Center for Health and the Environment. “Notably, domestic violence is grossly under-reported, and cases that end up in the emergency room or result in a hospital stay are only the most egregious examples. This tells us there may be an even larger problem than the numbers can show.”

The study’s co-authors included Suzette Smiley-Jewel, of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Martha Shumway, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; Amy Bonomi, Michigan State University; and Dennis Reidy, School of Public Health, Georgia State University.

Study looked at 53,000 domestic violence episodes

The study’s authors looked at more than 53,000 domestic-violence-related episodes, composed of both intimate partner violence as well as violence against elders and children, between 2000 and 2015. The numbers were drawn from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, or OSHPD, and then broken down between the years during, before and after the Great Recession. While the Great Recession officially lasted less than two years, from December 2007 to June 2009, during which the gross domestic product contracted, the economic crisis produced long-lasting consequences for individuals as well as society as a whole, researchers said.

“Proactive outreach is especially needed for minoritized people, who may be especially isolated, experiencing disconnections from services, and facing extreme financial stress,” said one of the co-authors, Bonomi, of Michigan State University.

Blacks more than three times more likely to be victims

Time series for the study were divided into pre-recession (January 2000-November 2007) and recession/post-recession (December 2007-September 2015) periods. Blacks were more than three times more likely to suffer domestic violence during the recessionary period when compared with other segments of the California population, according to the data. Statistics showed that there were 3.58 emergency room visits per 100,000 population compared to 10.42 emergency visits per 100,000 people for Blacks. Hospitalization rates remained relatively similar  from the pre-recession as compared to the recession/post-recession period except for Native Americans, which nearly doubled.

Emergency visits vastly exceeded hospitalizations during the 2007-2015 time period.

Additionally, the number of California police calls for weapon-involved domestic violence episodes steadily increased from 2008 (65,219) to 2014 (75,102).

Costs associated with domestic violence

For the period analyzed (2000-2015), the estimated total charge for all analyzed domestic violence hospitalizations was more than $1 billion (data was not available for emergency department costs).

Length of hospital stays slightly increased during the recession/post-recession period as compared to the pre-recession period, yet the inflation-adjusted charge per hospitalization dramatically increased over time, according to the study.

Domestic violence rate does not correspond with other hospital visits

It is important to note that the described increase in domestic-violence-related hospitalizations during the recession does not correspond to a general trend in health care in California. For example, California cancer hospital rates dropped during the Great Recession, according to OSHPD data.  However, an increasing demand for emergency care during the recession and post-recession period has been reported and may reflect limitations in accessing care in other parts of the health care system, researchers said.

The authors’ research will continue.

The research was supported by a UC Davis Feminist Research Institute seed grant.

Media contact(s)

Karen Nikos-Rose, News and Media Relations, 530-219-5472, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

Marriage.com wrote in Prevention Of Domestic Violence:

Different ways intimate partner violence can manifest itself

So what thwarts the prevention of domestic violence? Intimate partner violence is one potential threat.

Intimate partner violence can exist in the form of physical violence, sexual violence, risks of physical or sexual violence, stalking, and emotional or psychological abuse by a present or past intimate partner. Intimate partner violence can occur among opposite sex or same-sex couples and does not need to involve sexual intimacy. It can be just one episode of domestic violence or a range of brutal episodes of domestic violence over a period of years.

So, prevention of domestic violence starts with looking at ways to make sure that violence can be avoided. The main way to prevent domestic violence is to ensure that it does not start in the first place. It is essential to do everything possible to prevent the occurrence of domestic violence because it constitutes a problem for public health and safety.

If you are looking for useful resources that facilitate prevention of domestic violence, here’s the right help.

Data from CDC’S National Intimate Partner and sexual violence study show that domestic violence constitutes Public Health issues and ;

  • Twenty-two percent of women and fourteen percent of men experience serious physical violence which includes being smacked with a very solid material, being lashed out or beaten, or being set ablaze.
  • Twenty-seven percent of women and roughly twelve percent of men in the US have witnessed some form of sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by their spouse or their intimate partner and stated that the violence they experienced had some kind of negative impact to their health. Example of actions that are classified as sexual violence is rape, being forced to penetrate, sexual compulsion, and undesirable sexual contact.

What can you do for prevention of domestic violence?

We all can help to prevent domestic violence by taking the following steps:

  • Ring the police if you witness any occurrence of domestic violence.

  • Publicly speak up against domestic violence. Domestic violence prevention should become a mass cause and it is important to sensitize others as much as you can. You can, for instance, tell a friend that makes a joke about beating your spouse, that it is unacceptable to you as a humorous subject.

  • One of the ways to prevent domestic violence is by showing your children how to live a healthy, respectful, romantic relationship through your relationship with your spouse. Live by what you preach. Remember this as one of the crucial domestic violence prevention tips.

  • If you have a clue that your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member is suffering from any form of domestic violence refer him or her to an organization that may help and aid in the prevention of domestic violence.

  • If your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member is abusing his or her partner, find ways to communicate your concerns to him or her and show your firm stance at preventing domestic violence.

  • Take part in educating others on how to ensure prevention of domestic violence by engaging a speaker from a domestic violence organization in your locality to give a talk about domestic violence at your religious or professional organization, public organization or volunteer group, in your workplace, or in schools.

  • Persuade people in your neighborhood to watch out for signs of domestic violence and related crimes. Recognizing red flags is a concrete step in the direction of prevention of domestic violence….                                                                                     https://www.marriage.com/advice/domestic-violence/prevention-of-domestic-violence/

Resources:

Prevent Domestic Violence in Your Community                                                                        https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/intimate-partner-violence/index.html

LifeWire – Together Against Domestic Violence ‘ class=”l sb-l” v:shapes=”sbresult_13″>

www.lifewire.org

Great Sources for Domestic Violence Prevention                                                                             https://www.socialworkdegree.net/domestic-violence-prevention/

 

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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American Academy of Neurology study: Does eating fish protect our brains from air pollution?

26 Jul

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment wrote in Benefits and Risks of Eating Fish:

Benefits of eating fish

Fish are an important part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. They provide a good source of protein and vitamins, and are a primary dietary source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids can:
    • lower risk of heart disease
    • lower triglyceride levels
    • slow the growth of plaque in your arteries
    • and slightly lower blood pressure
  • Omega-3 fatty acids may also provide health benefits to developing babies.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women can pass this nutrient to their baby by eating the right kind of fish.
  • Fish species that have higher levels of omega-3s are shown with a heart icon () when OEHHA recommends that they can be eaten at least once a week.

Risks of eating fish

While eating fish has nutritional benefits, it also has potential risks. Fish can take in harmful chemicals from the water and the food they eat. Chemicals like mercury and PCBs can build up in their bodies over time.

  • High levels of mercury and PCBs can harm the brain and nervous system.
  • Mercury can be especially harmful to fetuses, infants, and children because their bodies are still developing.
  • PCBs can cause cancer and other harmful health effects.

Reduce your risk

There is no way to tell the level of chemicals in a fish by simply looking at it or tasting it.  Fortunately, there are easy things you can do to reduce your risk, and enjoy the health benefits of eating fish:

  • Check if there are advisories for water bodies where you fish.
  • Follow our advisories (Watch our video to learn how) by picking species that are lower in mercury and other harmful chemicals.
  • Follow our general tips for catching and preparing fish.

While there are potential risks to consider, there are many health benefits of eating fish. If you avoid eating fish entirely, you won’t benefit from the nutrients that fish can provide. By following our fish advisories and properly cleaning, preparing, and cooking fish, you can safely enjoy the health benefits of eating fish.

Benefits and Risks of Eating Fish                                                                                                            https://oehha.ca.gov/fish/benefits-risks

Resources:

11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Eating Fish                                                          https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-health-benefits-of-fish#section11

The benefits of eating fish                                                                                                 http://seafood.edf.org/benefits-eating-fish

Health Benefits of Fish                                                                                                                           https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Food/Fish/HealthBenefits

Science Daily reported in Does eating fish protect our brains from air pollution?

Older women who eat more than one to two servings a week of baked or broiled fish or shellfish may consume enough omega-3 fatty acids to counteract the effects of air pollution on the brain, according to a new study published in the July 15, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers found that among older women who lived in areas with high levels of air pollution, those who had the lowest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had more brain shrinkage than women who had the highest levels.

“Fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and easy to add to the diet,” said study author Ka He, M.D., Sc.D., of Columbia University in New York. “Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to fight inflammation and maintain brain structure in aging brains. They have also been found to reduce brain damage caused by neurotoxins like lead and mercury. So we explored if omega-3 fatty acids have a protective effect against another neurotoxin, the fine particulate matter found in air pollution.”

The study involved 1,315 women with an average age of 70 who did not have dementia at the start of the study. The women completed questionnaires about diet, physical activity, and medical history.

Researchers used the diet questionnaire to calculate the average amount of fish each woman consumed each week, including broiled or baked fish, canned tuna, tuna salad, tuna casserole and non-fried shellfish. Fried fish was not included because research has shown deep frying damages omega-3 fatty acids.

Participants were given blood tests. Researchers measured the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their red blood cells and then divided the women into four groups based on the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood.

Researchers used the women’s home addresses to determine their three-year average exposure to air pollution. Participants then had brain scans with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure various areas of the brain including white matter, which is composed of nerve fibers that send signals throughout the brain, and the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory.

After adjusting for age, education, smoking and other factors that could affect brain shrinkage, researchers found that women who had the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood had greater volumes of white matter than those with the lowest levels. Those in the highest group had 410 cubic centimeters (cm3) white matter, compared to 403 cm3 for those in the lowest group. The researchers found that for each quartile increase in air pollution levels, the average white matter volume was 11.52 cm3 smaller among people with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids and 0.12 cm3 smaller among those with higher levels.

Women with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood also had greater volumes of the hippocampus…                                                                                                                                        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200715163555.htm

Citation:

Does eating fish protect our brains from air pollution?

Date:     July 15, 2020

Source:  American Academy of Neurology

Summary:

Older women who eat more than one to two servings a week of baked or broiled fish or shellfish may consume enough omega-3 fatty acids to counteract the effects of air pollution on the brain, according to a new study.

Journal Reference:

Cheng Chen, View ORCID ProfilePengcheng Xun, View ORCID ProfileJoel D. Kaufman, Kathleen M. Hayden, Mark A. Espeland, Eric A. Whitsel, Marc L. Serre, William Vizuete, Tonya Orchard, William S. Harris, Xinhui Wang, Helena C. Chui, Jiu-Chiuan Chen, Ka He. Erythrocyte omega-3 index, ambient fine particle exposure and brain agingNeurology, 2020 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000010074

Here is the press release from the American Academy of Neurology:

NEWS RELEASE 15-JUL-2020

Does eating fish protect our brains from air pollution?

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY

MINNEAPOLIS – Older women who eat more than one to two servings a week of baked or broiled fish or shellfish may consume enough omega-3 fatty acids to counteract the effects of air pollution on the brain, according to a new study published in the July 15, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers found that among older women who lived in areas with high levels of air pollution, those who had the lowest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had more brain shrinkage than women who had the highest levels.

“Fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and easy to add to the diet,” said study author Ka He, M.D., Sc.D., of Columbia University in New York. “Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to fight inflammation and maintain brain structure in aging brains. They have also been found to reduce brain damage caused by neurotoxins like lead and mercury. So we explored if omega-3 fatty acids have a protective effect against another neurotoxin, the fine particulate matter found in air pollution.”

The study involved 1,315 women with an average age of 70 who did not have dementia at the start of the study. The women completed questionnaires about diet, physical activity, and medical history.

Researchers used the diet questionnaire to calculate the average amount of fish each woman consumed each week, including broiled or baked fish, canned tuna, tuna salad, tuna casserole and non-fried shellfish. Fried fish was not included because research has shown deep frying damages omega-3 fatty acids.

Participants were given blood tests. Researchers measured the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their red blood cells and then divided the women into four groups based on the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood.

Researchers used the women’s home addresses to determine their three-year average exposure to air pollution. Participants then had brain scans with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure various areas of the brain including white matter, which is composed of nerve fibers that send signals throughout the brain, and the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory.

After adjusting for age, education, smoking and other factors that could affect brain shrinkage, researchers found that women who had the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood had greater volumes of white matter than those with the lowest levels. Those in the highest group had 410 cubic centimeters (cm3) white matter, compared to 403 cm3 for those in the lowest group. The researchers found that for each quartile increase in air pollution levels, the average white matter volume was 11.52 cm3 smaller among people with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids and 0.12 cm3 smaller among those with higher levels.

Women with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood also had greater volumes of the hippocampus.

“Our findings suggest that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood from fish consumption may preserve brain volume as women age and possibly protect against the potential toxic effects of air pollution,” said He. “It’s important to note that our study only found an association between brain volume and eating fish. It does not prove that eating fish preserves brain volume. And since separate studies have found some species of fish may contain environmental toxins, it’s important to talk to a doctor about what types of fish to eat before adding more fish to your diet.”

A limitation of the study was that most participants were older white women, so the results cannot be generalized to others. Also, researchers were only able to examine exposures to later-life air pollution, not early or mid-life exposures, so future studies should look at exposures to air pollution across a person’s lifespan.

###

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more about the brain at BrainandLife.org, home of the American Academy of Neurology’s free patient and caregiver magazine focused on the intersection of neurologic disease and brain health. Follow Brain & Life® on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

When posting to social media channels about this research, we encourage you to use the hashtags #Neurology and #AANscience.

The American Academy of Neurology is the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with over 36,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit AAN.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Media Contacts:

Renee Tessman, rtessman@aan.com, (612) 928-6137
M.A. Rosko, mrosko@aan.com, (612) 928-6169

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics wrote in Healthy Eating for Older Adults which was reviewed by Esther Ellis, MS, RDN, LDN:

Eating a variety of foods from all food groups can help supply the nutrients a person needs as they age. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy; includes lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with these recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

·         Eat fruits and vegetables. They can be fresh, frozen or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens or broccoli, and orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes.
·         Vary protein choices with more fish, beans and peas.
·         Eat at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day. Choose whole grains whenever possible.
·         Have three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy (milk, yogurt or cheese) that are fortified with vitamin D to help keep your bones healthy.
·         Make the fats you eat polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food.
Add Physical Activity
Balancing physical activity and a healthful diet is the best recipe for health and fitness. Set a goal to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day — this even can be broken into three 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
For someone who is currently inactive, it’s a good idea to start with a few minutes of activity, such as walking, and gradually increase this time as they become stronger. And always check with a health-care provider before beginning a new physical activity program.                                                                                       https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/healthy-eating-for-older-adults

 

The bottom line is, I’m blessed with good health. On top of that, I don’t go around thinking ‘Oh, I’m 90, I better do this or I better do that.’ I’m just Betty. I’m the same Betty that I’ve always been. Take it or leave it.

Betty White

 

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University of Edinburgh study: Blood iron levels could be key to slowing aging, gene study shows

25 Jul

Stephanie Watson wrote in the WebMD article which was reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on July 12, 2020, , What You Need to Know About Iron Supplements:

How Much Iron Do You Need?

How much iron you need each day depends on your age, gender, and overall health.

Infants and toddlers need more iron than adults, in general, because their bodies are growing so quickly. In childhood, boys and girls need the same amount of iron — 10 milligrams daily from ages 4 to 8, and 8 mg daily from ages 9 to 13.

Starting at adolescence, a woman’s daily iron needs increase. Women need more iron because they lose blood each month during their period. That’s why women from ages 19 to 50 need to get 18 mg of iron each day, while men the same age can get away with just 8 mg.

After menopause, a woman’s iron needs drop as her menstrual cycle ends. After a woman begins menopause, both men and women need the same amount of iron — 8 mg each day.

You might need more iron, either from dietary sources or from an iron supplement, if you:

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may also need to take an iron supplement, because the body doesn’t absorb the type of iron found in plants as well as it absorbs the iron from meat.

How Do You Know If You’re Iron Deficient?

“People often don’t know they have anemia until they have signs or symptoms — they appear pale or ‘sallow,’ are fatigued, or have difficulty exercising,” Chottiner says.

If you’re low in iron, you may also:

  • Feel short of breath
  • Have a fast heartbeat
  • Have cold hands and feet
  • Crave strange substances such as dirt or clay
  • Have brittle and spoon shaped nails or hair loss
  • Sores at the corner of the mouth
  • sore tongue
  • Severe iron deficiency can cause difficulty in swallowing

If you’re tired and dragging, see your doctor. “It’s fairly easy to detect and diagnose the different stages of iron deficiency with a simple blood test,” Thomas says. Women who are pregnant and people with a gastrointestinal disorder such as Crohn’sulcerative colitis, or celiac disease should have their iron tested on a regular basis.

Do You Need to Take an Iron Supplement?

If your iron is low, eating a diet that is high in iron-rich foods such as fortified cereals, red meat, dried fruit, and beans may not be enough to give you what you need. Your doctor might recommend that you take an iron supplement.

Prenatal vitamins usually include iron, but not all prenatal vitamins contain the recommended amount. Check with your doctor before taking any supplement.

While you are taking iron supplements, your doctor should test your blood to see if your iron levels have improved.

Can Iron Supplements Cause Side Effects?

Iron supplements can cause side effects, usually stomach upset such as nauseavomitingdiarrhea, dark stools, or constipation. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to constipation. Adding extra fiber to your diet can help relieve this symptom. A stool softener may also make you feel better.

Starting with a low dose of iron and then gradually increasing the dose to the daily recommended amount may help minimize side effects. If your iron supplements are bothering your stomach, your doctor can adjust the dose or form of iron you use. You can also try taking the supplements with food.

Can You Take Too Much Iron?

Unlike some supplements, when the subject is iron, more is definitely not better. Adults shouldn’t take any more than 45 mg of iron a day unless they are being treated with iron under close medical supervision.

For children, iron overdose can be especially toxic. “Iron supplements have killed young children because their needs for iron compared to an adult’s are relatively low,” Thomas says. If you take iron supplements, it is very important to keep them in a high, locked cabinet, far out of your children’s reach. Symptoms of iron poisoning include severe vomiting, diarrheaabdominal paindehydration, and bloody stool in children.

It’s difficult for adults to overdose on iron just from food and supplements, because an adult body has systems in place to regulate the amount of iron it absorbs. However, people with the inherited condition hemochromatosis have trouble regulating their iron absorption.

Although most people only absorb about 10% of the iron they consume, people with hemochromatosis absorb up to 30%. As a result, the iron in their body can build up to dangerous levels. That excess iron can deposit in organs such as the liverheart, and pancreas, which can lead to conditions like cirrhosisheart failure, and diabetes. For that reason, people with hemochromatosis should not take iron supplements.                      webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/features/iron-supplements#1

Resources:

Too Much Iron in Your Blood?                                                                                                    https://www.webmd.com/men/features/too-much-iron-in-your-blood#1

Iron-rich Foods and Anemia                                                                                                             https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14621-iron-rich-foods-and-anemia

Hemochromatosis                                                                                                                       https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemochromatosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351443

Mayo Clinic Family Health Book

The ultimate home medical resource — completely revised and updated!                              https://order.store.mayoclinic.com/books/gnweb43?utm_source=MC-DotOrg-PS&utm_medium=Link&utm_campaign=FamilyHealth-Book&utm_content=FHB

Science Daily reported in Blood iron levels could be key to slowing aging, gene study shows

Genes linked to ageing that could help explain why some people age at different rates to others have been identified by scientists.

The international study using genetic data from more than a million people suggests that maintaining healthy levels of iron in the blood could be a key to ageing better and living longer.

The findings could accelerate the development of drugs to reduce age-related diseases, extend healthy years of life and increase the chances of living to old age free of disease, the researchers say.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany focused on three measures linked to biological ageing — lifespan, years of life lived free of disease (healthspan), and being extremely long-lived (longevity).

Biological ageing — the rate at which our bodies decline over time — varies between people and drives the world’s most fatal diseases, including heart disease, dementia and cancers.

The researchers pooled information from three public datasets to enable an analysis in unprecedented detail. The combined dataset was equivalent to studying 1.75 million lifespans or more than 60,000 extremely long-lived people.

The team pinpointed ten regions of the genome linked to long lifespan, healthspan and longevity. They also found that gene sets linked to iron were overrepresented in their analysis of all three measures of ageing.

The researchers confirmed this using a statistical method — known as Mendelian randomisation — that suggested that genes involved in metabolising iron in the blood are partly responsible for a healthy long life.

Blood iron is affected by diet and abnormally high or low levels are linked to age-related conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and a decline in the body’s ability to fight infection in older age.

The researchers say that designing a drug that could mimic the influence of genetic variation on iron metabolism could be a future step to overcome some of the effects of ageing, but caution that more work is required.

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Anonymised datasets linking genetic variation to healthspan, lifespan, and longevity were downloaded from the publically available Zenodo, Edinburgh DataShare and Longevity Genomics servers.

Dr Paul Timmers from the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We are very excited by these findings as they strongly suggest that high levels of iron in the blood reduces our healthy years of life, and keeping these levels in check could prevent age-related damage. We speculate that our findings on iron metabolism might also start to explain why very high levels of iron-rich red meat in the diet has been linked to age-related conditions such as heart disease….”                                                                                                                  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716101548.htm

Citation:

Blood iron levels could be key to slowing aging, gene study shows

Date:      July 16, 2020

Source:   University of Edinburgh

Summary:

Genes linked to aging that could help explain why some people age at different rates to others have been identified by scientists.

Journal Reference:

Paul R. H. J. Timmers, James F. Wilson, Peter K. Joshi, Joris Deelen. Multivariate genomic scan implicates novel loci and haem metabolism in human ageingNature Communications, 2020; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17312-3

Here is the press release from the University of Edinburgh:

Blood iron levels could be key to slowing ageing

Genes that could help explain why some people age at different rates to others have been identified by scientists.

The international study using genetic data from more than a million people suggests that maintaining healthy levels of iron in the blood could be a key to ageing better and living longer.

The findings could accelerate the development of drugs to reduce age-related diseases, extend healthy years of life and increase the chances of living to old age free of disease, the researchers say.

Biological ageing

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany focused on three measures linked to biological ageing – lifespan, years of life lived free of disease (healthspan), and being extremely long–lived (longevity).

Biological ageing – the rate at which our bodies decline over time – varies between people and drives the world’s most fatal diseases, including heart disease, dementia and cancers.

Data analysis

The researchers pooled information from three public datasets to enable an analysis in unprecedented detail. The combined dataset was equivalent to studying 1.75 million lifespans or more than 60,000 extremely long-lived people.

The team pinpointed ten regions of the genome linked to long lifespan, healthspan and longevity. They also found that gene sets linked to iron were overrepresented in their analysis of all three measures of ageing.

Iron’s role

The researchers confirmed this using a statistical method – known as Mendelian randomisation – that suggested that genes involved in metabolising iron in the blood are partly responsible for a healthy long life.

Blood iron is affected by diet and abnormally high or low levels are linked to age-related conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and a decline in the body’s ability to fight infection in older age.

The researchers say that designing a drug that could mimic the influence of genetic variation on iron metabolism could be a future step to overcome some of the effects of ageing, but caution that more work is required.

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Anonymised datasets linking genetic variation to healthspan, lifespan, and longevity were downloaded from the publicly available Zenodo, Edinburgh DataShare and Longevity Genomics servers.

We are very excited by these findings as they strongly suggest that high levels of iron in the blood reduces our healthy years of life, and keeping these levels in check could prevent age-related damage. We speculate that our findings on iron metabolism might also start to explain why very high levels of iron-rich red meat in the diet has been linked to age-related conditions such as heart disease.

Dr Paul TimmersUsher Institute, University of Edinburgh

Our ultimate aim is to discover how ageing is regulated and find ways to increase health during ageing. The ten regions of the genome we have discovered that are linked to lifespan, healthspan and longevity are all exciting candidates for further studies.

Dr Joris DeelenMax Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

Realted links

Journal article in Nature Communications

Usher Insitute

Daniel Pendick, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch wrote in A healthy diet is the key to getting the iron you need:

Keeping the reservoir full

Most of us get the iron we need from food. Proponents of the Paleo or “cave man” diet should be cheered to know that red meat, poultry, and fish contain the most easily absorbed form of dietary iron—called heme iron. This is iron attached to the hemoglobin protein. The body absorbs heme iron more easily than the iron found in plants.

“In the typical American diet, the main sources of iron tend to be animal products,” Sesso says. “Typical meat consumption in the United States is usually more than adequate to meet one’s iron requirements.”

In plant foods, iron is not attached to such a protein. The body doesn’t absorb non-heme iron from fruits, vegetables, beans, and other plant foods as easily as it absorbs heme iron. That means those who eat little or no meat must take in more iron from leafy greens, legumes, whole grains, mushrooms, and other iron-rich plant foods. They also need to get enough vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron from food.

The USDA recommends that women between the ages of 19 and 50 get 18 mg of iron a day, while women ages 51 and older and men 19 years and beyond need 8 mg a day. Moderate amounts of meat plus fruits and vegetables can provide that amount, helped along by the many foods fortified with iron and other vitamins and minerals, like milk, flour, and breakfast cereals. And half of all Americans get some iron from a daily multivitamin.

One caution about iron: If you don’ think you are getting enough iron, or feel pooped out and assume it’s your “tired blood,” you may be tempted to pop an iron supplement as insurance. But beware. The body does not excrete iron rapidly. That means it can build up over time and, in some people, becomes toxic. The genetic disorder hemochromatosis causes iron to build up in organs, causing heart failure and diabetes.

So don’t just prescribe yourself an iron supplement on a whim; ask your doctor if you need it.

Good sources of iron

Food Portion Iron content (milligrams)
Fortified cold breakfast cereal 3 ounces 30 to 60
Spirulina seaweed 3 ounces 28
Oysters 3 ounces 9
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 9
Cream of Wheat 1 serving 9
Pumpkin seeds 3 ounces 8
Spinach, boiled and drained 1 cup 7
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 7
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 5
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 4
Beef, ground 4 ounces 3
Turkey, ground 4 ounces 3
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/healthy-diet-key-getting-iron-need-201502127710

Resources:

Iron-Rich Foods                                                                                                                            https://www.webmd.com/diet/iron-rich-foods#1

21 Foods that are High in Iron and Why You Need Them                                                              https://stayhealthy.fit/21-foods-that-are-high-in-iron-and-why-you-need-them/?utm_source=%2Biron%20%2Bdiet&utm_medium=21FoodsthatareHighinIronandWhyYouNeedThem&utm_campaign=adw_us

BEFORE BEGINNING ANY PROGRAM OF DIET, EXERCISE OR NUTRITION SUPPLEMENT CONSULT A COMPETANT MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL

 

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University of Missouri – Columbia study: Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces

24 Jul

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe Food Contamination: How Food Gets Contaminated – The Food Production Chain

It takes several steps to get food from the farm or fishery to the dining table. We call these steps the food production chain (see graphic). Contamination can occur at any point along the chain—during production, processing, distribution, or preparation.

Production

Production means growing the plants we harvest or raising the animals we use for food. Most food comes from domesticated animals and plants, and their production occurs on farms or ranches. Some foods are caught or harvested from the wild, such as some fish, mushrooms, and game.

Production means growing the plants we harvest or raising the animals we use for food.

Examples of Contamination in Production

  • If a hen’s reproductive organs are infected, the yolk of an egg can be contaminated in the hen before it is even laid.
  • If the fields are sprayed with contaminated water for irrigation, fruits and vegetables can be contaminated before harvest.
  • Fish in some tropical reefs may acquire a toxin from the smaller sea creatures they eat.

Processing

Processing means changing plants or animals into what we recognize and buy as food. Processing involves different steps for different kinds of foods. For produce, processing can be as simple as washing and sorting, or it can involve trimming, slicing, or shredding. Milk is usually processed by pasteurizing it; sometimes it is made into cheese. Nuts may be roasted, chopped, or ground (such as with peanut butter). For animals, the first step of processing is slaughter. Meat and poultry may then be cut into pieces or ground. They may also be smoked, cooked, or frozen and may be combined with other ingredients to make a sausage or entrée, such as a potpie.

Processing means changing plants or animals into what we recognize and buy as food.

Examples of Contamination in Processing

  • If contaminated water or ice is used to wash, pack, or chill fruits or vegetables, the contamination can spread to those items.
  • During the slaughter process, germs on an animal’s hide that came from the intestines can get into the final meat product.
  • If germs contaminate surfaces used for food processing, such as a processing line or storage bins, germs can spread to foods that touch those surfaces.

Distribution

Distribution means getting food from the farm or processing plant to the consumer or a food service facility like a restaurant, cafeteria, or hospital kitchen. This step might involve transporting foods just once, such as trucking produce from a farm to the local farmers’ market. Or it might involve many stages. For instance, frozen hamburger patties might be trucked from a meat processing plant to a large supplier, stored for a few days in the supplier’s warehouse, trucked again to a local distribution facility for a restaurant chain, and finally delivered to an individual restaurant.

Distribution means getting food from the farm or processing plant to the consumer or a food service facility like a restaurant, cafeteria, or hospital kitchen.

Examples of Contamination in Distribution

  • If refrigerated food is left on a loading dock for long time in warm weather, it could reach temperatures that allow bacteria to grow.
  • Fresh produce can be contaminated if it is loaded into a truck that was not cleaned after transporting animals or animal products.

Preparation

Preparation means getting the food ready to eat. This step may occur in the kitchen of a restaurant, home, or institution. It may involve following a complex recipe with many ingredients, simply heating and serving a food on a plate, or just opening a package and eating the food.

Preparation means getting the food ready to eat. This step may occur in the kitchen of a restaurant, home, or institution.

Examples of Contamination in Preparation

  • If a food worker stays on the job while sick and does not wash his or her hands carefully after using the toilet, the food worker can spread germs by touching food.
  • If a cook uses a cutting board or knife to cut raw chicken and then uses the same knife or cutting board without washing it to slice tomatoes for a salad, the tomatoes can be contaminated by germs from the chicken.
  • Contamination can occur in a refrigerator if meat juices get on items that will be eaten raw.

Mishandling at Multiple Points

Sometimes, by the time a food causes illness, it has been mishandled in several ways along the food production chain. Once contamination occurs, further mishandling, such as undercooking the food or leaving it out on the counter at an unsafe temperature, can make a foodborne illness more likely. Many germs grow quickly in food held at room temperature; a tiny number can grow to a large number in just a few hours. Reheating or boiling food after it has been left at room temperature for a long time does not always make it safe because some germs produce toxins that are not destroyed by heat.              https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/production-chain.html

Resources:

What is Food Contamination?                                                                                                       https://www.foodsafety.com.au/blog/what-is-food-contamination

Food poisoning                                                                                                                           https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20356230

Science Daily reported in Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces:

In the future, a durable coating could help keep food-contact surfaces clean in the food processing industry, including in meat processing plants. A new study from a team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists demonstrates that the coating — made from titanium dioxide — is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces.

The study was conducted by Eduardo Torres Dominguez, who is pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering in the MU College of Engineering, and includes a team of researchers from the College of Engineering and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Dominguez is also a Fulbright scholar.

“I knew that other researchers had developed antimicrobial coatings this way, but they hadn’t focused on the coatings’ mechanical resistance or durability,” Dominguez said. “In the presence of ultraviolet light, oxygen and water, the titanium dioxide will activate to kill bacteria from the food contact surfaces on which it is applied. Although the coating is applied as a liquid at the beginning of the process, once it is ready to use it becomes a hard material, like a thin layer of ceramic.”

Heather K. Hunt, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and one of Dominguez’s advisors, guided Dominguez through the process of finding, selecting, synthesizing and characterizing the titanium dioxide material — a known disinfecting agent that is also food safe.

“We picked this material knowing it would have good antimicrobial behavior, and we strengthened its mechanical stability to withstand normal wear and tear in a typical food processing environment,” said Hunt, whose appointment is in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering. “In addition to normal cleaning procedures, our coating can add an additional layer of prevention to help stop the spread of foodborne contamination.”

Once Dominguez developed the coating, Azlin Mustapha, a professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Food Science program and Dominguez’s other advisor, helped him optimize its antimicrobial, or disinfecting, properties. Matt Maschmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, helped Dominguez optimize the material’s durability through hardness testing.

Mustapha is encouraged by the group’s progress as this could be a way to deter the spread of foodborne germs in a food processing environment.

“This will not only be helpful in the raw food processing lines of a processing plant but also ready-to-eat food lines, like deli counters, as well,” Mustapha said. “All surfaces in a food processing plant that come into contact with food are prone to be contaminated by foodborne germs spread by the handling of a contaminated food product….”                                                                                                                                        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716111650.htm

Citation:

Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces

Date:      July 16, 2020

Source:  University of Missouri-Columbia

Summary:

A new study by engineers and food scientists demonstrates that a durable coating, made from titanium dioxide, is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces.

Journal Reference:

Eduardo Torres Dominguez, Phong Nguyen, Annika Hylen, Matthew R. Maschmann, Azlin Mustapha, Heather K. Hunt. Design and characterization of mechanically stable, nanoporous TiO2 thin film antimicrobial coatings for food contact surfacesMaterials Chemistry and Physics, 2020; 251: 123001 DOI: 10.1016/j.matchemphys.2020.123001

Here is the press release from University of Missouri – Columbia:

NEWS RELEASE 16-JUL-2020voiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces

Coating developed by collaborative team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA

In the future, a durable coating could help keep food-contact surfaces clean in the food processing industry, including in meat processing plants. A new study from a team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists demonstrates that the coating — made from titanium dioxide — is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces.

The study was conducted by Eduardo Torres Dominguez, who is pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering in the MU College of Engineering, and includes a team of researchers from the College of Engineering and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Dominguez is also a Fulbright scholar.

“I knew that other researchers had developed antimicrobial coatings this way, but they hadn’t focused on the coatings’ mechanical resistance or durability,” Dominguez said. “In the presence of ultraviolet light, oxygen and water, the titanium dioxide will activate to kill bacteria from the food contact surfaces on which it is applied. Although the coating is applied as a liquid at the beginning of the process, once it is ready to use it becomes a hard material, like a thin layer of ceramic.”

Heather K. Hunt, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and one of Dominguez’s advisors, guided Dominguez through the process of finding, selecting, synthesizing and characterizing the titanium dioxide material — a known disinfecting agent that is also food safe.

“We picked this material knowing it would have good antimicrobial behavior, and we strengthened its mechanical stability to withstand normal wear and tear in a typical food processing environment,” said Hunt, whose appointment is in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering. “In addition to normal cleaning procedures, our coating can add an additional layer of prevention to help stop the spread of foodborne contamination.”

Once Dominguez developed the coating, Azlin Mustapha, a professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Food Science program and Dominguez’s other advisor, helped him optimize its antimicrobial, or disinfecting, properties. Matt Maschmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, helped Dominguez optimize the material’s durability through hardness testing.

Mustapha is encouraged by the group’s progress as this could be a way to deter the spread of foodborne germs in a food processing environment.

“This will not only be helpful in the raw food processing lines of a processing plant but also ready-to-eat food lines, like deli counters, as well,” Mustapha said. “All surfaces in a food processing plant that come into contact with food are prone to be contaminated by foodborne germs spread by the handling of a contaminated food product.”

The researchers said this is the first step needed toward future testing of the coating’s properties in a real-world environment. Although the team has not tested it for use against the novel coronavirus, Hunt and Mustapha believe their coating has the potential to aid in helping stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in a food processing environment because of its durability and disinfecting qualities. So far, it has shown to be effective against a strain of E. coli that can be deadly in people, and more work is being done to test the coating against other disease-causing bacteria.

The study, “Design and characterization of mechanically stable, nanoporous TiO2 thin film antimicrobial coatings for food contact surfaces,” was published in Materials Chemistry and Physics. Co-authors include Phong Nguyen at MU and Annika Hylen at St. Louis University. Funding was provided by the graduate fellowship program of the Fulbright Program and the Comision Mexico-Estados Unidos para el Intercambio Educativo y Cultural (COMEXUS). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

###

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Diana Rodriguez wrote Preventing Food Contamination which was Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH:

Unfortunately, you can’t spot bacteria-riddled food just by looking at it. And food can spoil, even if refrigerated, faster than you might think. Learning how food contamination happens, and how to keep bacteria out of your kitchen and your meals, can help keep your family safe.

What Kinds of Bacteria Are to Blame?

Certain types of bacteria are responsible for most food contamination in the United States:

  • Clostridium botulinum,which cause botulism, is found in canned, vacuum-sealed, or other packaged foods, as well as in garlic packed in oil.
  • Escherichia coli 0157:H7 ( coli)can be found in raw or undercooked ground beef, raw fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk, and apple juice, and can also be transmitted through human contact.
  • Salmonellais found in poultry, meat, unpastureurized milk and dairy, raw or undercooked eggs, and seafood, and may be transmitted by people who prepare food.
  • Staphylococcus aureuscan be found in any food handled by an infected person who has touched food with staph-contaminated hands.
  • Shigellacan be found in any food handled by a person touching food with hands contaminated with shigella-infected fecal matter.
  • Listeria monocytogenesis located in processed foods like deli and lunch meats and cheeses, hot dogs, some sausages, and unpasteurized milk and cheeses.
  • Clostridium perfringenscan be found in any food left at room temperature or on a warming tray or table for a significant amount of time.
  • Campylobacter jejuniis found in unpasteurized milk, poultry, shellfish, raw or undercooked meats, and contaminated water.

Many of these bacteria cause very uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea that can last from several days to more than a week. Without treatment, some of these bacteria (like Clostridium botulinium) can actually lead to death.

How Food Contamination Happens

The food we eat can be contaminated during any of the many steps it takes to get it from the farm to our table. Food contamination can occur when:

  • The animal that is eventually slaughtered for meat has bacteria in its intestinal tract.
  • Meat becomes contaminated with bacteria during the slaughter.
  • Produce is washed or watered with bacteria-contaminated water.
  • A hen’s ovaries are infected with bacteria.
  • Bacteria in ocean water contaminate the fish that live there.
  • Humans handle meat and other foods with unwashed hands during processing.
  • Food processing equipment is contaminated.
  • The same utensils are used for multiple foods, transferring bacteria from contaminated food to uncontaminated food.
  • Food is left out of the refrigerator and sits at room temperature for more than a few hours.
  • Food is left in a refrigerator for too long.

If you think there’s any chance you have food that has been contaminated, don’t risk eating it — throw it out right away….                                                                                                                                             https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-home/preventing-food-contamination.aspx

Resources:

How to Prevent Food Poisoning                                                                                                https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/prevention.html

Types of Food Contamination                                                                                                         https://study.com/academy/lesson/types-of-food-contamination.html

How to avoid food poisoning this summer:  Summer is high season for foodborne illnesses. Use these expert tips to avoid them.                                                                   https://www.today.com/health/food-poisoning-symptoms-signs-how-tell-if-you-have-it-t187071

What is E. Coli?                                                                                                                               https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/what-is-e-coli#1

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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University of Cambridge study: Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

23 Jul

If you are a young unmarried woman of any color, you probably do not have the resources either emotional or financial to parent a child(ren). If you don’t care about your future, care about the future of your child. If you want to sleep with everything that has a pulse, that is your choice. BUT, you have no right to choose a life of poverty and misery for a child. As for those so called “progressives?” Just shut-up.
There are some very uncomfortable conversations ahead for the African-American community about the high rate of unwed mothers, about the care of women during pregnancy, and about early childhood education in the homes of children.Most important, about the lack the active involvement of fathers of some children.
Time to start talking. The conversation is not going to get any less difficult.

See:
We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

https://drwilda.com/tag/fathers/

https://drwilda.com/tag/father/

Science Daily reported in University of Cambridge study: Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behaviour and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

The study, by academics at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and the LEGO Foundation, pulled together fragmentary evidence from the past 40 years to understand more about how fathers play with their children when they are very young (ages 0 to 3). The researchers wanted to find out whether father-child play differs from the way children play with their mothers, and its impact on children’s development.

Although there are many similarities between fathers and mothers overall, the findings suggest that fathers engage in more physical play even with the youngest children, opting for activities such as tickling, chasing, and piggy-back rides.

This seems to help children learn to control their feelings. It may also make them better at regulating their own behaviour later on, as they enter settings where those skills are important — especially school.

Paul Ramchandani, Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of Cambridge, said: “It’s important not to overstate the impact of father-child play as there are limits to what the research can tell us, but it does seem that children who get a reasonable amount of playtime with their father benefit as a group.”

Dr Ciara Laverty, from the LEGO Foundation, said: “At a policy level, this suggests we need structures that give fathers, as well as mothers, time and space to play with their children during those critical early years. Even today, it’s not unusual for fathers who take their child to a parent-toddler group, for example, to find that they are the only father there. A culture shift is beginning to happen, but it needs to happen more.”

Parent-child play in the first years of life is known to support essential social, cognitive and communication skills, but most research focuses on mothers and infants. Studies which investigate father-child play are often small, or do so incidentally. “Our research pulled together everything we could find on the subject, to see if we could draw any lessons,” Ramchandani said.

The Cambridge review used data from 78 studies, undertaken between 1977 and 2017 — most of them in Europe or North America. The researchers analysed the combined information for patterns about how often fathers and children play together, the nature of that play, and any possible links with children’s development….        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200629120137.htm

Citation:

University of Cambridge study: Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

Date:        June 29, 2020

Source:    University of Cambridge

Summary:

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behavior and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

Journal Reference:

Annabel Amodia-Bidakowska, Ciara Laverty, Paul G. Ramchandani. Father-child play: A systematic review of its frequency, characteristics and potential impact on children’s developmentDevelopmental Review, 2020; 57: 100924 DOI: 10.1016/j.dr.2020.100924

Here is the press release from the University of Cambridge:

NEWS RELEASE 29-JUN-2020
Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behaviour and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behaviour and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

The study, by academics at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and the LEGO Foundation, pulled together fragmentary evidence from the past 40 years to understand more about how fathers play with their children when they are very young (ages 0 to 3). The researchers wanted to find out whether father-child play differs from the way children play with their mothers, and its impact on children’s development.

Although there are many similarities between fathers and mothers overall, the findings suggest that fathers engage in more physical play even with the youngest children, opting for activities such as tickling, chasing, and piggy-back rides.

This seems to help children learn to control their feelings. It may also make them better at regulating their own behaviour later on, as they enter settings where those skills are important – especially school.

Paul Ramchandani, Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of Cambridge, said: “It’s important not to overstate the impact of father-child play as there are limits to what the research can tell us, but it does seem that children who get a reasonable amount of playtime with their father benefit as a group.”

Dr Ciara Laverty, from the LEGO Foundation, said: “At a policy level, this suggests we need structures that give fathers, as well as mothers, time and space to play with their children during those critical early years. Even today, it’s not unusual for fathers who take their child to a parent-toddler group, for example, to find that they are the only father there. A culture shift is beginning to happen, but it needs to happen more.”

Parent-child play in the first years of life is known to support essential social, cognitive and communication skills, but most research focuses on mothers and infants. Studies which investigate father-child play are often small, or do so incidentally. “Our research pulled together everything we could find on the subject, to see if we could draw any lessons,” Ramchandani said.

The Cambridge review used data from 78 studies, undertaken between 1977 and 2017 – most of them in Europe or North America. The researchers analysed the combined information for patterns about how often fathers and children play together, the nature of that play, and any possible links with children’s development.

On average, they found that most fathers play with their child every day. Even with the smallest children, however, father-child play tends to be more physical. With babies, that may simply mean picking them up or helping them to gently raise their limbs and exert their strength; with toddlers, fathers typically opt for boisterous, rough-and-tumble play, like chasing games.

In almost all the studies surveyed, there was a consistent correlation between father-child play and children’s subsequent ability to control their feelings. Children who enjoyed high-quality playtime with their fathers were less likely to exhibit hyperactivity, or emotional and behavioural problems. They also appeared to be better at controlling their aggression, and less prone to lash out at other children during disagreements at school.

The reason for this may be that the physical play fathers prefer is particularly well-suited for developing these skills.

“Physical play creates fun, exciting situations in which children have to apply self-regulation,” Ramchandani said. “You might have to control your strength, learn when things have gone too far – or maybe your father steps on your toe by accident and you feel cross!”

“It’s a safe environment in which children can practise how to respond. If they react the wrong way, they might get told off, but it’s not the end of the world – and next time they might remember to behave differently.”

The study also found some evidence that father-child play gradually increases through early childhood, then decreases during ‘middle childhood’ (ages 6 to 12). This, again, may be because physical play is particularly important for helping younger children to negotiate the challenges they encounter when they start to explore the world beyond their own home, in particular at school.

Despite the benefits of father-child play, the authors stress that children who only live with their mother need not be at a disadvantage.

“One of the things that our research points to time and again is the need to vary the types of play children have access to, and mothers can, of course, support physical play with young children as well,” Ramchandani added. “Different parents may have slightly different inclinations when it comes to playing with children, but part of being a parent is stepping outside your comfort zone. Children are likely to benefit most if they are given different ways to play and interact.”

###

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

 

This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of “Katrina,” the real genocide is self-inflicted.

So, a behavior that statistically is more damaging than consuming sugary drinks is never condemned. The child born to a single poor mother is usually condemned to follow her into a life of poverty. Yet, the same rigor of dissuasion is not applied to young impressionable women who are becoming single mothers in large numbers as is applied to regular Coke or Pepsi addicts. Personal choice is involved, some of the snarky could categorize the personal choice as moronic in both cases. Government intervention is seen as the antidote in the case of sugary drinks, but not single motherhood. Why? Because we like to pick the morons we want government to control. The fact of the matter is that government control is just as bad in the case of sugary drinks as it would be in regulating a individual’s reproductive choice. The folks like Mayor Bloomberg who want government to control some behavior really don’t want to confront the difficult, for them, political choice of promoting individual personal values and responsibility. It is much easier to legislate a illusory solution. So, the ruling elite will continue to focus on obesity, which is a major health issue, while a disaster bigger than “Katrina” and “Sandy “ sweeps across the country with disastrous results.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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University of Southampton study: Using copper to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses

30 Mar

Gregor Grass, Christopher Rensing, and Marc Solioz wrote in the 2010 article, PMCID: Metallic Copper as an Antimicrobial Surface:

ABSTRACT
Bacteria, yeasts, and viruses are rapidly killed on metallic copper surfaces, and the term “contact killing” has been coined for this process. While the phenomenon was already known in ancient times, it is currently receiving renewed attention. This is due to the potential use of copper as an antibacterial material in health care settings. Contact killing was observed to take place at a rate of at least 7 to 8 logs per hour, and no live microorganisms were generally recovered from copper surfaces after prolonged incubation. The antimicrobial activity of copper and copper alloys is now well established, and copper has recently been registered at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the first solid antimicrobial material. In several clinical studies, copper has been evaluated for use on touch surfaces, such as door handles, bathroom fixtures, or bed rails, in attempts to curb nosocomial infections. In connection to these new applications of copper, it is important to understand the mechanism of contact killing since it may bear on central issues, such as the possibility of the emergence and spread of resistant organisms, cleaning procedures, and questions of material and object engineering. Recent work has shed light on mechanistic aspects of contact killing. These findings will be reviewed here and juxtaposed with the toxicity mechanisms of ionic copper. The merit of copper as a hygienic material in hospitals and related settings will also be discussed…. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3067274/

See, Antimicrobial applications of copper https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1438463916300669

Some examples of antimicrobial copper products https://www.bing.com/shop?q=antimicrobial+copper+consumer+products&FORM=SHOPPA&originIGUID=28A0FB6787B744CFAE086762DF2CC635

Science Daily reported in the 2015 article,  Using copper to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

New research from the University of Southampton has found that copper can effectively help to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which are linked to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Animal coronaviruses that ‘host jump’ to humans, such as SARS and MERS, result in severe infections with high mortality. The Southampton researchers found that a closely-related human coronavirus — 229E — can remain infectious on common surface materials for several days, but is rapidly destroyed on copper.
A newly-published paper in mBio — a journal of the American Society for Microbiology — reports that human coronavirus 229E, which produces a range of respiratory symptoms from the common cold to more lethal outcomes such as pneumonia, can survive on surface materials including ceramic tiles, glass, rubber and stainless steel for at least five days. While human-to-human transmission is important, infections can be contracted by touching surfaces contaminated by respiratory droplets from infected individuals, or hand touching, leading to a wider and more rapid spread
On copper, and a range of copper alloys — collectively termed ‘antimicrobial copper’ — the coronavirus was rapidly inactivated (within a few minutes, for simulated fingertip contamination). Exposure to copper destroyed the virus completely and irreversibly, leading the researchers to conclude that antimicrobial copper surfaces could be employed in communal areas and at any mass gatherings to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses and protect public health.
Lead researcher Dr Sarah Warnes said: “Transmission of infectious diseases via contaminated surfaces is far more important than was originally thought, and this includes viruses that cause respiratory infections. This is especially important when the infectious dose is low and just a few virus particles can initiate an infection.
“Human coronavirus, which also has ancestral links with bat-like viruses responsible for SARS and MERS, was found to be permanently and rapidly deactivated upon contact with copper. What’s more, the viral genome and structure of the viral particles were destroyed, so nothing remained that could pass on an infection. With the lack of antiviral treatments, copper offers a measure that can help reduce the risk of these infections spreading.”
Speaking on the importance of the study, Professor Bill Keevil, co-author and Chair in Environmental Healthcare at the University of Southampton, said: “Respiratory viruses are responsible for more deaths, globally, than any other infectious agent. The evolution of new respiratory viruses, and the re-emergence of historic virulent strains, poses a significant threat to human health…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151110102147.htm

Citation:

Using copper to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses
Date: November 10, 2015
Source: University of Southampton
Summary:
Copper can effectively help to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which are linked to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), new research shows. Animal coronaviruses that ‘host jump’ to humans, such as SARS and MERS, result in severe infections with high mortality. Researchers found that a closely-related human coronavirus – 229E – can remain infectious on common surface materials for several days, but is rapidly destroyed on copper.

Journal Reference:
S. L. Warnes, Z. R. Little and C. W. Keevil. Human coronavirus 229E remains infectious on common touch surface materials. mBio, November 2015 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01697-15

Here is the 2015 press release from the University of Southampton:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 10-NOV-2015

Using copper to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

New research from the University of Southampton has found that copper can effectively help to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which are linked to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Animal coronaviruses that ‘host jump’ to humans, such as SARS and MERS, result in severe infections with high mortality. The Southampton researchers found that a closely-related human coronavirus – 229E – can remain infectious on common surface materials for several days, but is rapidly destroyed on copper.
A newly-published paper in mBio – a journal of the American Society for Microbiology – reports that human coronavirus 229E, which produces a range of respiratory symptoms from the common cold to more lethal outcomes such as pneumonia, can survive on surface materials including ceramic tiles, glass, rubber and stainless steel for at least five days. While human-to-human transmission is important, infections can be contracted by touching surfaces contaminated by respiratory droplets from infected individuals, or hand touching, leading to a wider and more rapid spread
On copper, and a range of copper alloys – collectively termed ‘antimicrobial copper’ – the coronavirus was rapidly inactivated (within a few minutes, for simulated fingertip contamination). Exposure to copper destroyed the virus completely and irreversibly, leading the researchers to conclude that antimicrobial copper surfaces could be employed in communal areas and at any mass gatherings to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses and protect public health.
Lead researcher Dr Sarah Warnes said: “Transmission of infectious diseases via contaminated surfaces is far more important than was originally thought, and this includes viruses that cause respiratory infections. This is especially important when the infectious dose is low and just a few virus particles can initiate an infection.
“Human coronavirus, which also has ancestral links with bat-like viruses responsible for SARS and MERS, was found to be permanently and rapidly deactivated upon contact with copper. What’s more, the viral genome and structure of the viral particles were destroyed, so nothing remained that could pass on an infection. With the lack of antiviral treatments, copper offers a measure that can help reduce the risk of these infections spreading.”
Speaking on the importance of the study, Professor Bill Keevil, co-author and Chair in Environmental Healthcare at the University of Southampton, said: “Respiratory viruses are responsible for more deaths, globally, than any other infectious agent. The evolution of new respiratory viruses, and the re-emergence of historic virulent strains, poses a significant threat to human health.
“The rapid inactivation and irreversible destruction of the virus observed on copper and copper alloy surfaces suggests that the incorporation of copper alloy surfaces – in conjunction with effective cleaning regimes and good clinical practice – could help control transmission of these viruses.”
Previous research by Professor Keevil and Dr Warnes has proved copper’s efficacy against norovirus, influenza and hospital superbugs, such as MRSA and Klebsiella, plus stopping the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes to other bacteria to create new superbugs.
###
For more information on antimicrobial copper, visit http://www.antimicrobialcopper.org
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

See, EPA Registration Copper Stewardship Site https://www.copperalloystewardship.com/

ScienceNetLinks wrote in Antibacterial Doorknobs:

Making Sense of the Research
You may have heard that doorknobs and sink handles are big germ-carriers. With so many people handling them all day long, often one right after another, it isn’t hard to see how germs from one person’s hand could end up on another’s by way of a doorknob.
You probably didn’t know that copper had antibacterial properties. But if it were your job to design the interiors of large buildings, or buy fixtures for schools, hospitals, or other big institutions, you’d probably have heard this. Manufacturers often promote copper’s proven bacteria-killing properties to sell fixtures made of brass, bronze, or other metals with a high copper content.
This experiment shows the importance of considering all factors before reaching a conclusion. Copper helps kill germs; therefore, it makes sense that copper-based doorknobs would pass along fewer germs than knobs made of glass, plastic, steel, or other materials. However, there’s a crucial factor that may be left out of this scenario: the sweat from the hands that touch the doorknobs.
It was known that sweat can corrode copper alloys (metal mixtures) like brass in the long term. But in this study, the researchers studied the effects of sweat on copper surfaces within a few hours of contact. They found that within as little as an hour, the salt in sweat can form a corrosive layer on the surface of the metal, which would prevent the electrochemical reaction that kills microorganisms.
Now, a full hour after someone touches a doorknob may sound like a long time for this effect to take hold. But consider how many people handle doorknobs or similar fixtures in a day: more than enough to neutralize the metal’s germ-killing powers as long as the building stays busy. What’s more, Bond points out that frequently touched items collect salts from the sweat of many people, which makes the corrosive layer tougher and longer lasting.
It would be difficult to study this in a real-life setting, for a number of reasons. In order to control the study properly, researchers would have to study bacterial colonies on brass fixtures handled all day long, and compare them to other brass fixtures that were somehow protected from sweat but exposed to the same people’s skin microorganisms. However, the research suggests that institutions using copper-based fixtures shouldn’t slack off on cleaning them, nor should they make any less of an effort to make sure people keep washing their hands.
Now try and answer these questions:
1. Why have copper-based doorknobs, sink handles, and other fixtures been promoted as healthy choices for schools, hospitals, and surgical wards?
2. What did this study find out about the relationship between sweat and the usual properties of copper?
3. What does this say, in your opinion, about the challenges of coming up with practical uses for scientific discoveries?
You may want to check out these related resources:

In the Science Update Triclosan and Staph , http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/triclosan-and-staph/ learn how some antibacterial chemicals may actually backfire and actively help a kind of bacteria they’re designed to kill.
The Science Update UV Disinfectant http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/uv-disinfectant/ describes another approach to helping keep hospitals germ-free.
For more about alloys, see the video Shape Memory Alloys, http://sciencenetlinks.com/videos/shape-memory-alloys/ in which Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Yale, demonstrates “metals with a memory” used in space, in robots, and even in your mouth! http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/antibacterial-doorknobs/

More research is necessary to find products and techniques to halt the destructive properties of viruses.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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Babraham Institute study: How to boost immune response to vaccines in older people

28 Mar

The WebMD article What Is Your Immune System? described the immune system:

You’ve heard of your immune system. But how much do you know about it?
There’s a good reason to find out. When you understand everything that it does for you, and how everyday things affect it, you can help it keep you well.
1. It Looks Out for You
Your immune system works to root out germs and other invaders that have no business in your body.
For example, if you inhale a cold virus through your nose, your immune system targets that virus and either stops it in its tracks or primes you to recover. It takes time to get over an infection, and sometimes you need medicine to help, but the immune system is the cornerstone of prevention and recovery.
2. It Likes It When You Relax
Do your best to tame your stress. When you’re wound up, your immune system doesn’t work as well as it does when you’re confident and mellow about your challenges. That may make you more likely to get sick.
3. It’s Got Agents Standing By.
Other than your nervous system, your immune system is the most complex system in your body. It’s made up of tissues, cells, and organs, including:
• Your tonsils
• Your digestive system
• Your bone marrow
• Your skin
• Your lymph nodes
• Your spleen
• Thin skin on the inside of your nose, throat, and genitals
All of these help create or store cells that work around the clock to keep your whole body healthy.
4. It Learns From Your Past
You’re born with a certain level of protection, or “immunity.” But it can get better.
Think of a baby or young child who comes down with colds, earaches, or other everyday illnesses often and babies who are breast feed continue to get antibodies from their mother while they are making their own.. Their immune system is creating a “bank”of antibodies as they are exposed to illnesses for the first time, enabling them to fight off future invaders.
Vaccines work in much the same way. They turn on your immune system by introducing your body to a tiny amount of a virus (usually a killed or weakened one). Your body makes antibodies in response that protects against threats like measles, whooping cough, flu, or meningitis.Then, when you come in contact with that virus in your everyday life, your immune system is already primed to kick in so that you don’t get sick….. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/immune-system-function

The immune system of seniors is weaker than those of healthy young people.

Camille Noe Pagán wrote in the WebMD article, How Aging Affects Your Immune System:

What’s Happening With Your Immune System?
It’s a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs. Together, they defend your body against things that can cause infection, like bacteria.
Why does it ease a bit as you get older? That’s still a bit of a mystery.
“The medical community is still trying to determine exactly how and why immunity decreases with age,” says Kira Rubtsova, PhD. Rubtsova is an immunity researcher at National Jewish Health in Denver.
What researchers do know is that most older adults:
Don’t respond as well to vaccines: Your immune system includes T cells, which attack other, illness-causing cells. They’re able to “remember” an invader, then defend against it better later. When you’re older, you make fewer T cells, and most vaccines require new ones to work.
The exception? The shingles vaccine. That’s one of the reasons it works so well for the senior set.
Are more likely to get sick: Not only do you have fewer immune cells as you age, the ones you do have don’t communicate with each other as well. That means they take longer to react to harmful germs.
Recover from injuries, infection, and illness more slowly: “Your body produces fewer immune cells, including white blood cells,” Rubtsova says. “That can slow down healing.”
How Do You Know When It’s Happening?
There’s no set age when immunity decreases.
“It’s like gray hair — it happens for everyone at a different rate,” Rubtsova says. There’s no single test that can tell you that your immune system isn’t functioning optimally. “There are certain immune markers we can test for, but it’s not the same as being tested for, say, heart disease,” Glatt says.
That’s why it’s important to go to the doctor regularly, and get medical help if you get sick often or if you’re having trouble healing after an injury or illness.
How Can You Stay Healthy?
Stay on top of your health. If you have diabetes, arthritis, or other things that affect how you feel and function, follow your doctor’s recommendations. “Keeping illnesses like diabetes well-controlled takes less of a toll on your immune system,” Glatt says.
Sleep well. “Research clearly shows that too little sleep — or poor-quality sleep — lowers immunity, even in young healthy people,” says Gisele Wolf-Klein, MD. You should be getting at least 7 hours a night. If you snore or have trouble falling or staying asleep, see your doctor. You could have a sleep disorder.
Look for ways to reduce stress. Over time, stress may lessen your immune response. “When you’re constantly worried about something, it takes a toll on your body,” Wolf-Klein says. It can also trigger other issues, like poor sleep and a bad diet, which both may affect your immunity.
Steer clear of sick people. “The truth is, when you’re older, you have to be especially careful about germ exposure, because you’re more likely to become ill, too,” Wolf-Klein says. When you are around people who have contagious conditions, like a cold or the flu, try not to get too close, and wash your hands more often.
Don’t skip your vaccines. Even though they may not be as effective when you’re older, they’re still an important way to lower your risk of many serious illnesses, including the flu and pneumonia. Check with your doctor to make sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations.
Move more often. Moderate exercise helps keep you fit, which makes your immune system stronger. Research also suggests it helps cells move more freely, which helps them do their job better.
Eat well. There’s no one diet that improves immunity. But researchers do know that a varied diet full of vitamin- and mineral-rich foods (like fresh vegetables and fruit) helps your body — including your immune system — function at its best. Eating a healthy diet also helps you weigh what you should, which may put less stress on your body and improve immunity.
Don’t smoke. Smoking weakens your body’s immune response, making you more susceptible to illness and infection. Your doctor can help you figure out how you can quit….                                                                                                     https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/seniors-boost-immunity#1

See, 5 Ways Seniors Can Strengthen Their Immune System https://www.homecareassistancemesa.com/strengthen-seniors-immune-system

Science Daily reported in How to boost immune response to vaccines in older people: Apply immune expertise and some genital wart cream!

Research just published by the Linterman lab shows that the immune system of older mice can be given a helping hand by applying immunology expertise and some genital wart treatment (don’t try this at home just yet)!
Mice and humans show similar age-dependent changes in their immune system so this finding offers hope for easily increasing the robustness of vaccination response in the older population.
As we age, the function of our immune system declines, rendering us more susceptible to infections, and making us less able to generate protective immunity after vaccination. By understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin this poor response in older individuals, researchers in the Linterman lab were able to repurpose an existing treatment for genital warts, and demonstrate that this was effective in overcoming the age-related effects on two of the many cell types making up our immune system. The research is published online in the journal eLife.
Dr Michelle Linterman, a group leader in the Institute’s Immunology research programme, said: “The current coronavirus pandemic highlights that older members of our families and communities are more susceptible to the morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand how the immune system in older people works, and to explore how we might be able to boost their immune responses to vaccines to ensure they work well in this vulnerable part of our society.”
Vaccines work by generating antibodies that are able to block the ability of pathogens to infect us. Antibody secreting cells are produced in the germinal centre, immune reaction hubs that forms after infection or vaccination. With age, the magnitude and quality of the germinal centre reaction declines.
Immune cells called T follicular helper cells are essential to the germinal centre response. In this study the team used mice and humans to investigate why T follicular helper cell numbers decline with age, and if there is a way to boost them upon vaccination.
“The germinal centre response is a highly collaborative process that requires multiple cell types to interact at the right place and the right time. Therefore, it made sense to us that defects in one or more of these cell types could explain the poor germinal centre response observed in older individuals after vaccination,” explains Dr Linterman.
The researchers found that older mice and humans form fewer T follicular helper cells after vaccination, which is linked with a poor germinal centre response and antibody response…..      [Emphasis Added]                      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200327113752.htm

Citation:

How to boost immune response to vaccines in older people
Apply immune expertise and some genital wart cream!
Date: March 27, 2020
Source: Babraham Institute
Summary:
Identifying interventions that improve vaccine efficacy in older persons is vital to deliver healthy aging for an aging population. Immunologists have identified a route for counteracting the age-related loss of two key immune cell types by using genital wart cream to boost immune response to vaccination in aged mice. After this validation in mice, the findings offer an attractive intervention to tailor the make-up of vaccines for older people.

Journal Reference:
Marisa Stebegg, Alexandre Bignon, Danika Lea Hill, Alyssa Silva-Cayetano, Christel Krueger, Ine Vanderleyden, Silvia Innocentin, Louis Boon, Jiong Wang, Martin S Zand, James Dooley, Jonathan Clark, Adrian Liston, Edward Carr, Michelle A Linterman. Rejuvenating conventional dendritic cells and T follicular helper cell formation after vaccination. eLife, 2020; 9 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.52473

Here is the press release from Babraham Institute:

NEWS RELEASE 27-MAR-2020
How to boost immune response to vaccines in older people
Apply immune expertise and some genital wart cream!
BABRAHAM INSTITUTE
Research just published by the Linterman lab shows that the immune system of older mice can be given a helping hand by applying immunology expertise and some genital wart treatment (don’t try this at home just yet)!
Mice and humans show similar age-dependent changes in their immune system so this finding offers hope for easily increasing the robustness of vaccination response in the older population.
As we age, the function of our immune system declines, rendering us more susceptible to infections, and making us less able to generate protective immunity after vaccination. By understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin this poor response in older individuals, researchers in the Linterman lab were able to repurpose an existing treatment for genital warts, and demonstrate that this was effective in overcoming the age-related effects on two of the many cell types making up our immune system. The research is published online in the journal eLife.
Dr Michelle Linterman, a group leader in the Institute’s Immunology research programme, said: “The current coronavirus pandemic highlights that older members of our families and communities are more susceptible to the morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand how the immune system in older people works, and to explore how we might be able to boost their immune responses to vaccines to ensure they work well in this vulnerable part of our society.”
Vaccines work by generating antibodies that are able to block the ability of pathogens to infect us. Antibody secreting cells are produced in the germinal centre, immune reaction hubs that forms after infection or vaccination. With age, the magnitude and quality of the germinal centre reaction declines.
Immune cells called T follicular helper cells are essential to the germinal centre response. In this study the team used mice and humans to investigate why T follicular helper cell numbers decline with age, and if there is a way to boost them upon vaccination.
“The germinal centre response is a highly collaborative process that requires multiple cell types to interact at the right place and the right time. Therefore, it made sense to us that defects in one or more of these cell types could explain the poor germinal centre response observed in older individuals after vaccination,” explains Dr Linterman.
The researchers found that older mice and humans form fewer T follicular helper cells after vaccination, which is linked with a poor germinal centre response and antibody response. By developing our understanding of the cellular and molecular events occurring in the germinal centre after vaccination, the researchers identified that T follicular helper cells in older mice and people received less stimulatory interactions from their immune system co-workers. By using a cream (imiquimod, currently used to treat genital warts in humans) on the site of immunisation to boost the number of stimulatory cells, they were able to restore the formation of T follicular helper cells in older mice and also rescue the age-dependent defects in another immune cell type (dendritic cells). Encouragingly, this demonstrates that the age-related defects in T follicular helper cell formation in ageing are not irreversible, and can be overcome therapeutically.
The full picture and evaluation of whether this approach will work as an intervention in humans requires more research into why the germinal centre response changes with age, and what can be done to overcome this. Once achieved, it could be that clinical trials are established to incorporate this knowledge into new vaccine formulations for older people.
###
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Resources:

How Your Immune System Works – HowStuffWorks https://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/immune/immune-system3.htm

Difference Between Immune Response to Bacteria and Virus … https://pediaa.com/difference-between-immune-response-to-bacteria-and-virus

Bats’ immune system may be why their viruses can be deadly … https://www.sciencenews.org/article/bats-immune-system-viruses-ebola-marburg-people

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North Carolina State University study: To stay positive, live in the moment — but plan ahead

26 Mar

Medical News Today described health in What is good health?

Fast facts on health
Here are some key points about health. More detail is in the main article.
• Health can be defined as physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and as a resource for living a full life.
• It refers not only to the absence of disease, but the ability to recover and bounce back from illness and other problems.
• Factors for good health include genetics, the environment, relationships, and education.
• A healthful diet, exercise, screening for diseases, and coping strategies can all enhance a person’s health….
Types
Mental and physical health are the two most commonly discussed types of health. We also talk about “spiritual health,” “emotional health,” and “financial health,” among others. These have also been linked to lower stress levels and mental and physical wellbeing.
Physical health
In a person who experiences physical health, bodily functions are working at peak performance, due not only to a lack of disease, but also to regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest. We receive treatment, when necessary, to maintain the balance.
Physical wellbeing involves pursuing a healthful lifestyle to decrease the risk of disease. Maintaining physical fitness, for example, can protect and develop the endurance of a person’s breathing and heart function, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition.
Physical health and well-being also help reduce the risk of an injury or health issue. Examples include minimizing hazards in the workplace, practicing safe sex, practicing good hygiene, or avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
Mental health
Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, social, and psychological wellbeing. Mental health is as important as physical health to a full, active lifestyle.
It is harder to define mental health than physical health, because, in many cases, diagnosis depends on the individual’s perception of their experience. With improvements in testing, however, some signs of some types of mental illness are now becoming “visible” in CT scans and genetic testing.
Mental health is not only the absence of depression, anxiety, or another disorder.
It also depends on the ability to:
• enjoy life
• bounce back after difficult experiences
• achieve balance
• adapt to adversity
• feel safe and secure
• achieve your potential
Physical and mental health are linked. If chronic illness affects a person’s ability to complete their regular tasks, this may lead to depression and stress, for example, due to money problems…. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999#types

Mindfulness is a possible technique for coping with stress.

Psychology Today defined mindfulness in What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. This state encompasses observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad.
To live mindfully is to live in the moment and reawaken oneself to the present, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. Mindfulness can also be a healthy way to identify and manage latent emotions that are causing problems in personal or professional relationships.
Mindfulness is frequently used in meditation and certain kinds of therapy. It has many positive benefits, including lowering stress levels, reducing harmful ruminating, and protecting against depression and anxiety. Research even suggests that mindfulness can help people better cope with rejection and social isolation…. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/mindfulness
Mindfulness can help individuals become more resilient in difficult situations.
Tamara A. Russell and Gerson Siegmund wrote in What and who? Mindfulness in the mental health setting:
Summary and conclusions
When used as a clinical intervention for major depressive disorder, there is good evidence that MBCT can prevent relapse to a degree that is at least similar to currently available treatments. It may have advantages for particular subgroups of depressed individuals with more long-standing, recurrent depressive illness and childhood adversity. Evidence for efficacy in other domains of mental ill health is less convincing, but it is emerging. Although strong evidence exists for the application of mindfulness in the management of anxiety (generalised), this work does not seem as prevalent in the UK setting. This may be because CBT approaches are very effective for anxiety disorders so there is less of a driver to find alternatives.
The breadth of ‘mindfulness interventions’ continues to grow, from standardised protocols to peer-led drop-ins, apps and self-help materials. Navigating this growing landscape in a way that is true to the transformational possibilities of mindfulness and that allows clients to connect to mindfulness in a meaningful and healthy way presents some challenges. Some recommendations have been made here to help in this endeavour. Specifically, to know the state of the evidence, to be aware of relevant client characteristics, and to know your own limitations as a teacher or facilitator of mindfulness. Continuing personal and professional development is essential and will have an impact on efficacy. These are exciting times as the impact of mindfulness training spreads throughout our health services, offering a chance for both staff and clients to benefit and improve their mental ‘wealth’. However, it is most important that this endeavour is conducted in a mindful way – paying attention, on purpose, moment by moment and without judgement…. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5353507/

A North Carolina State University examined how to stay positive.

Science Daily reported in To stay positive, live in the moment — but plan ahead:

A recent study from North Carolina State University finds that people who manage to balance living in the moment with planning for the future are best able to weather daily stress without succumbing to negative moods.
“It’s well established that daily stressors can make us more likely to have negative affect, or bad moods,” says Shevaun Neupert, a professor of psychology at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the recent work. “Our work here sheds additional light on which variables influence how we respond to daily stress.”
Specifically, the researchers looked at two factors that are thought to influence how we handle stress: mindfulness and proactive coping.
Mindfulness is when people are centered and living in the moment, rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. Proactive coping is when people engage in planning to reduce the likelihood of future stress.
To see how these factors influence responses to stress, the researchers looked at data from 223 study participants. The study included 116 people between the ages of 60 and 90, and 107 people between the ages of 18 and 36. All of the study participants were in the United States.
All of the study participants were asked to complete an initial survey in order to establish their tendency to engage in proactive coping. Participants were then asked to complete questionnaires for eight consecutive days that explored fluctuations in mindfulness. On those eight days, participants were also asked to report daily stressors and the extent to which they experienced negative mood.
The researchers found that engaging in proactive coping was beneficial at limiting the effect of daily stressors, but that this advantage essentially disappeared on days when a participant reported low mindfulness.
“Our results show that a combination of proactive coping and high mindfulness result in study participants of all ages being more resilient against daily stressors,” Neupert says. “Basically, we found that proactive planning and mindfulness account for about a quarter of the variance in how stressors influenced negative affect…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200325130650.htm

Citation:

To stay positive, live in the moment — but plan ahead
Date: March 25, 2020
Source: North Carolina State University
Summary:
A recent study finds that people who balance living in the moment with planning for the future are best able to weather daily stress without succumbing to negative moods.

Journal Reference:
Melody G. Polk, Emily L. Smith, Ling-Rui Zhang, Shevaun D. Neupert. Thinking ahead and staying in the present: Implications for reactivity to daily stressors. Personality and Individual Differences, 2020; 161: 109971 DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2020.109971

Here is the press release from the University of North Carolina: March 25, 2020

To Stay Positive, Live in the Moment – But Plan Ahead

March 25, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shevaun Neupertshevaun_neupert@ncsu.edu919.513.7952
Matt Shipmanmatt_shipman@ncsu.edu
A recent study from North Carolina State University finds that people who manage to balance living in the moment with planning for the future are best able to weather daily stress without succumbing to negative moods.
“It’s well established that daily stressors can make us more likely to have negative affect, or bad moods,” says Shevaun Neupert, a professor of psychology at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the recent work. “Our work here sheds additional light on which variables influence how we respond to daily stress.”
Specifically, the researchers looked at two factors that are thought to influence how we handle stress: mindfulness and proactive coping.
Mindfulness is when people are centered and living in the moment, rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. Proactive coping is when people engage in planning to reduce the likelihood of future stress.
To see how these factors influence responses to stress, the researchers looked at data from 223 study participants. The study included 116 people between the ages of 60 and 90, and 107 people between the ages of 18 and 36. All of the study participants were in the United States.
All of the study participants were asked to complete an initial survey in order to establish their tendency to engage in proactive coping. Participants were then asked to complete questionnaires for eight consecutive days that explored fluctuations in mindfulness. On those eight days, participants were also asked to report daily stressors and the extent to which they experienced negative mood.
The researchers found that engaging in proactive coping was beneficial at limiting the effect of daily stressors, but that this advantage essentially disappeared on days when a participant reported low mindfulness.
“Our results show that a combination of proactive coping and high mindfulness result in study participants of all ages being more resilient against daily stressors,” Neupert says. “Basically, we found that proactive planning and mindfulness account for about a quarter of the variance in how stressors influenced negative affect.
“Interventions targeting daily fluctuations in mindfulness may be especially helpful for those who are high in proactive coping and may be more inclined to think ahead to the future at the expense of remaining in the present.”
The paper, “Thinking Ahead and Staying in the Present: Implications for Reactivity to Daily Stressors,” is published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. First author of the paper is Melody Polk, an undergraduate at NC State. The paper was co-authored by Emily Smith and Ling-Rui Zhang, graduate students at NC State. The work was done with support from NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Note to Editors: The study abstract follows.
“Thinking Ahead and Staying in the Present: Implications for Reactivity to Daily Stressors”
Authors: Melody G. Polk, Emily L. Smith, Ling-Rui Zhang and Shevaun D. Neupert, North Carolina State University
Published: March 25, Personality and Individual Differences
DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2020.109971
Abstract: We examined how proactive coping and daily mindfulness may work together to predict emotional reactivity to daily stressors. Using data from the Mindfulness and Anticipatory Coping Everyday study, 116 older adults and 107 younger adults participated in a daily diary study for nine consecutive days. Results from multilevel models suggest that people high in proactive coping were more emotionally reactive to daily stressors on days with decreased mindfulness. Due to the trait-like future-oriented thinking of proactive coping and the state-like present-oriented aspect of daily mindfulness, these results underscore the importance of simultaneously considering state and trait information to elucidate antecedents, correlates, and consequences of daily stressors.

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
Helen Keller

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University of Otago study: Misinformation on vaccines readily available online

23 Mar

Michaeleen Doucleff reported in the NPR story, How Vaccine Fears Fueled The Resurgence Of Preventable Diseases:

For most of us, measles and whooping cough are diseases of the past. You get a few shots as a kid and then hardly think about them again.
But that’s not the case in all parts of the world — not even parts of the U.S.
As an interactive map http://www.cfr.org/interactives/GH_Vaccine_Map/index.html#map from the Council on Foreign Relations illustrates, several diseases that are easily prevented with vaccines have made a comeback in the past few years. Their resurgence coincides with changes in perceptions about vaccine safety.
Since 2008 folks at the think tank CFR have been plotting all the cases of measles, mumps, rubella, polio and whooping cough around the world. Each circle on the map represents a local outbreak of a particular disease, while the size of the circle indicates the number of people infected in the outbreak.
As you flip through the various maps over the years, two trends clearly emerge: Measles has surged back in Europe, while whooping cough is has become a problem here in the U.S.
Childhood immunization rates plummeted in parts of Europe and the U.K. after a 1998 study falsely claimed that the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella was linked to autism.
That study has since been found to be fraudulent. But fears about vaccine safety have stuck around in Europe and here in the U.S.
Viruses and bacteria have taken full advantage of the immunization gaps.
In 2011, France reported a massive measles outbreak with nearly 15,000 cases. Only the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Somalia suffered larger measles outbreaks that year.
In 2012, the U.K. reported more than 2,000 measles cases, the largest number since 1994.
Here in the U.S., the prevalence of whooping cough shot up in 2012 to nearly 50,000 cases. Last year cases declined to about 24,000 — which is still more than tenfold the number reported back in the early ’80s when the bacteria infected less than 2,000 people.
So what about countries in Africa? Why are there so many big, colorful circles dotting the continent? For many parents there, the problem is getting access to vaccines, not fears of it.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/01/25/265750719/how-vaccine-fears-fueled-the-resurgence-of-preventable-diseases?utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20140202&utm_source=mostemailed

There are many myths regarding vaccination of children.

Dina Fine Maron wrote in the Daily Beast article, 6 Top Vaccine Myths:

To sort through the onslaught of information and misinformation about childhood immunizations, we asked Austin, Texas-based pediatrician Ari Brown, coauthor of “Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Baby’s First Year,” to debunk some of the most common vaccination myths.
Myth 1: It’s not necessary to vaccinate kids against diseases that have been largely eradicated in the United States.
Reality: Although some diseases like polio and diphtheria aren’t often seen in America (in large part because of the success of the vaccination efforts), they can be quite common in other parts of the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that travelers can unknowingly bring these diseases into the United States, and if we were not protected by vaccinations, these diseases could quickly spread throughout the population. At the same time, the relatively few cases currently in the U.S. could very quickly become tens or hundreds of thousands of cases without the protection we get from vaccines. Brown warns that these diseases haven’t disappeared, “they are merely smoldering under the surface.”
Most parents do follow government recommendations: U.S. national immunization rates are high, ranging from 85 percent to 93 percent, depending on the vaccine, according to the CDC. But according to a 2006 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the 20 states that allow personal-belief opt outs in addition to religious exemptions saw exemptions grow by 61 percent, to 2.54 percent between 1991 and 2004.
Brown is concerned that parents who opt out or stagger the vaccine schedule can end up having to deal with confusing follow-up care, which could produce an increase in disease outbreaks like last summer’s measles epidemic. A 2008 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that when there are more exemptions, children are at an increased risk of contracting and transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases.
For more on the pros and cons of staggering or skipping vaccinations, visit MSN’s guide or read this U.S. News and World Report piece. For information on vaccine safety, check out the CDC’s information page. To search for your state’s vaccine requirements, see the National Network for Immunization Information.
Myth 2: Mercury is still in kids’ vaccines.
Reality: At the center of this issue is a preservative called thimerosal (a compound containing mercury) that once was a common component in many vaccines because it allowed manufacturers to make drugs more cheaply and in multidose formulations. But public concern, new innovations and FDA recommendations led to its removal from almost all children’s vaccines manufactured after 2001. (More thimerosal background can be found at the FDA’s Web site) Since flu vaccines are not just for children, manufacturers still put thimerosal in some flu-shot formulations. You can ask your pediatrician for the thimerosal-free version, says Brown.
If your child does not have asthma and is at least 2 years old, Brown recommends the FluMist nasal-spray vaccination over the flu shot. “It seems to have better immune protection and it could help your child avoid another shot,” she says. (Caveat: the spray does contain a live version of the virus, which can result in a slight increase in flulike symptoms).
Myth 3: Childhood vaccines cause autism.
Reality: There is no scientific evidence that this link exists. Groups of experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), agree that vaccines are not responsible for the growing number of children now recognized to have autism.
Earlier this month, the law supported scientists’ conclusions in this arena with three rulings from a section of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which stated that vaccines were not the likely cause of autism in three unrelated children. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in an online statement following the ruling, “The medical and scientific communities have carefully and thoroughly reviewed the evidence concerning the vaccine-autism theory and have found no association between vaccines and autism.” Noting the volume of scientific evidence disproving this link, an executive member of one of the nation’s foremost autism advocacy groups, Autism Speaks, recently stepped down from her position because she disagrees with the group’s continued position that there is a connection between the vaccines and autism.
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Myth 4: Getting too many vaccines can overwhelm the immune system and cause adverse reactions or even serious illness.
Reality: Children’s immune systems are capable of combating far more antigens (weak or killed viruses) than they encounter via immunizations. In fact, the jury is still out on if there’s an actual limit on how many the body can handle—though one study puts the number around a theoretical 10,000 vaccines in one day.(Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ site or the Network for Immunization Information for more information)
Currently, “There is even less of a burden on the immune system [via vaccines] today than 40 years ago,” says Edgar Marcuse, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington who works on immunization policy and vaccines. He points to the whooping-cough vaccine as an example where there are far fewer antigens in the shot than the earlier version administered decades ago. Brown says she supports following the recommended schedule for vaccinations, which outlines getting as many as five shots in one day at a couple check-ups. (The CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule can be found here.) “I have kids, and I wouldn’t recommend doing anything for my patients that I wouldn’t do for my own kids,” she says.
The CDC reports that most vaccine adverse events are minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever and “so few deaths can plausibly be attributed to vaccines that it is hard to assess the risk statistically.” Of all deaths reported to the Health and Human Services’ Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting site between 1990 and 1992, only one is believed to be even possibly associated with a vaccine. The Vaccine Safety Datalink Project, an initiative of the CDC and eight health-care organizations, looks for patterns in these reports and determines if a vaccine is causing a side effect or if symptoms are largely coincidental.
If you have concerns about following the recommended vaccination, schedule don’t wait until a check-up. Set up a consultation appointment with your pediatrician, or even outline a strategy for care with your doctor during your pregnancy.
Myth 5: It’s better to let my kid get chickenpox “naturally.”
Reality: Before the chickenpox vaccine was licensed in 1995, parents sometimes brought their child to a party or playground hoping that their child might brush up against a pox-laden kid to get their dose of chickenpox over since cases were usually less severe for children than adults. But pediatricians say severe complications are possible with chickenpox—including bacterial infections that could result in a child’s hospitalization or death. (More information on the chickenpox vaccine is available at the CDC’s Web site.)
Now that there’s a vaccine for chickenpox, more than 45 states require the shots (unless your child already had the chicken pox or can prove natural immunity). Two shots usually guarantees your child a way out of being bedecked in calamine lotion for two feverish weeks, but some individuals do still come down with a milder form of the pox. Most pediatricians recommend getting the shot.
Myth 6: The flu shot causes the flu.
Reality: The flu shot does not contain a live virus, so your child can’t get the flu from this shot. But, after the shot, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit achy while the immune system mounts its response. Remember that for two weeks following the shot, your child can still get the flu, so be sure to help your child avoid that feverish kid next door. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/02/22/six-top-vaccine-myths.html

A question in the current climate is what can be done to make parents responsible for putting other children at risk.

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/vaccines/ and https://drwilda.com/tag/vaccination/

Science Daily reported in Misinformation on vaccines readily available online:

Parents researching childhood vaccinations online are likely to encounter significant levels of negative information, researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.
Lead researcher Dr Lucy Elkin says negative information about vaccines remains readily available on Google, Facebook and YouTube, despite attempts by the internet platforms to better control access to misinformation through algorithm and policy changes.
The researchers searched the three platforms for information on vaccines, mimicking the kind of ‘real-life’ search that would be conducted by a parent looking for information on childhood vaccinations. Their research is published in the leading scientific journal Vaccine.
Dr Elkin says that while most of the websites generated by Google (80 per cent) and videos published on YouTube (75 per cent) were positive about vaccines, half of the Facebook pages were negative towards vaccines.
“Parents would be able to find information encouraging or discouraging vaccination on the vast majority of the websites, Facebook pages and YouTube videos analysed, but popular pages on Facebook containing vaccine information were more polarised.”
She says steps being taken to reduce the amount of “vaccine misinformation” shared on websites are likely to be improving the quality of information available on Google and YouTube.
“The greater proportion of vaccine negative content on Facebook compared to YouTube may reflect the different degrees to which providers are censoring vaccine-negative content.
“Facebook state that the purpose of their platform is to ‘build community’ and to ‘connect with others’. This could mean that Facebook may intentionally connect people with like-minded views on vaccination and therefore have little interest in censoring vaccine-negative content…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200312142300.htm

Citation:

Misinformation on vaccines readily available online
Date: March 12, 2020
Source: University of Otago
Summary:
Parents researching childhood vaccinations online are likely to encounter significant levels of negative information, researchers have found.

Journal Reference:
Lucy E Elkin, Susan R.H. Pullon, Maria H. Stubbe. ‘Should I vaccinate my child?’ comparing the displayed stances of vaccine information retrieved from Google, Facebook and YouTube. Vaccine, 2020; 38 (13): 2771 DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.02.041

Here is the press release from the University of Otago:

NEWS RELEASE 12-MAR-2020
Misinformation on vaccines readily available online
UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO
Parents researching childhood vaccinations online are likely to encounter significant levels of negative information, researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.
Lead researcher Dr Lucy Elkin says negative information about vaccines remains readily available on Google, Facebook and YouTube, despite attempts by the internet platforms to better control access to misinformation through algorithm and policy changes.
The researchers searched the three platforms for information on vaccines, mimicking the kind of ‘real-life’ search that would be conducted by a parent looking for information on childhood vaccinations. Their research is published in the leading scientific journal Vaccine.
Dr Elkin says that while most of the websites generated by Google (80 per cent) and videos published on YouTube (75 per cent) were positive about vaccines, half of the Facebook pages were negative towards vaccines.
“Parents would be able to find information encouraging or discouraging vaccination on the vast majority of the websites, Facebook pages and YouTube videos analysed, but popular pages on Facebook containing vaccine information were more polarised.”
She says steps being taken to reduce the amount of “vaccine misinformation” shared on websites are likely to be improving the quality of information available on Google and YouTube.
“The greater proportion of vaccine negative content on Facebook compared to YouTube may reflect the different degrees to which providers are censoring vaccine-negative content.
“Facebook state that the purpose of their platform is to ‘build community’ and to ‘connect with others’. This could mean that Facebook may intentionally connect people with like-minded views on vaccination and therefore have little interest in censoring vaccine-negative content.
“This is significant because, typically, when browsing anything on the internet, a person’s search history is remembered and further similar content will be generated. Those reading vaccine-critical information on Facebook are more likely to come across vaccine-critical information in subsequent searches on any platform, regardless of whether they are looking on social media, or on a search engine.”
Dr Elkin says the level of vaccine critical information on Facebook is concerning because evidence shows those viewing vaccine-critical information online are more likely to be hesitant about getting their children vaccinated.
“It is important that vaccine-promoting agencies continue to make every effort to maximize their presence online so that parents who are researching whether or not to vaccinate their children will encounter evidence-based information online.”
She says health professionals can also help to accurately inform and support parents by referring them to credible websites containing well-validated information.
The research paper, ‘Should I vaccinate my child? comparing the displayed stances of vaccine information retrieved from Google, Facebook and YouTube’ is published in the international journal Vaccine.
###
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

See, Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania study: Vaccine misinformation and social media https://drwilda.com/tag/annenberg-public-policy-center-of-the-university-of-pennsylvania/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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