Here’s why heavy metal is good for you.


In contrast to the popularly held view that extreme music like heavy metal is responsible for causing feelings of anger, depression or isolation, it may in fact be capable of combating these very sorts of negative emotions, according to a new study published this week.

Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia have found that when volunteers were exposed to extreme music genres including heavy metal, emo, hardcore, punk, and screamo, they actually experienced a range of positive feelings, such as calmness, happiness or being inspired. (It’s worth noting that the participants in the testing were fans of these genres already – if not, your individual results may vary!)

The study, conducted by honours student Leah Sharman and psychologist Genevieve Dingle, took 39 regular listeners of extreme music aged between 18 and 34 years and subjected them to an anger induction, where for a period of 16 minutes they were prompted to recall unhappy personal experiences that made them feel angry or stressed, involving their partners, employment or finances.

After the anger induction, participants were then monitored during a 10-minute window in which they either listened to 10 minutes’ worth of extreme music or were required to sit in silence for the same amount of time.

The researchers found that, rather than amplifying the negative emotions of anger or stress, those who listened to 10 minutes of head-banging tunes actually felt the better for it.

According to the research, published this month in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, “The findings indicate that extreme music did not make angry participants angrier; rather, it appeared to match their physiological arousal and result in an increase in positive emotions. Listening to extreme music may represent a healthy way of processing anger for these listeners.”

The researchers contend that we’ve had it the wrong way around when it comes to assumptions about heavy music and the emotional state of the listener. Their findings suggest that people don’t listen to hardcore, thrash and punk and become angry as a result; rather, listeners may choose music forms that match their current level of stress or agitation and use the energy and rhythm of the recordings to help process how they feel.

“We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions,” Sharman said in a press release. “When experiencing anger, extreme music fans liked to listen to music that could match their anger. The music helped them explore the full gamut of emotion they felt, but also left them feeling more active and inspired. Results showed levels of hostility, irritability and stress decreased after music was introduced, and the most significant change reported was the level of inspiration they felt.”

What’s remarkable about the results is how extreme music, which has a reputation for dwelling in some pretty dark subject matter, can be so uplifting for those who like to listen to it – findings which may have even shocked the researchers.

“It was interesting that half of the chosen songs contained themes of anger or aggression, with the remainder containing themes like – though not limited to – isolation and sadness,” Sharman said.

“Yet participants reported they used music to enhance their happiness, immerse themselves in feelings of love and enhance their well-being.”

Smoking linked to breast cancer in young women .


The researchers found that pre-menopausal women who smoked for more than 21.5 years had a 3.1-times higher risk of dying from any cause and a 3.4-times higher risk of dying from breast cancer.

smoking effects, smoking side effects, smoking side effects women, menopause, menstruation, breast cancer, causes of breast cancer, disadvantages of breast cancer, cure breast cancer, health, women's diseases, causes of menopause, pre menopausal, disadvantages of smoking for women, health issues, women health, age of menopause

The increased risks seen in pre-menopausal women were especially relevant to women whose cancers expressed both the estrogen receptor and the progesterone receptor, the study said.

Smoking may increase the risk of dying early in pre-menopausal women with breast cancer, a research said.

“Overall, this work is monumental in advising patients about how smoking might affect breast cancer outcome,” said co-author Yuko Minami from Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.

This study included 848 patients admitted to a single hospital in Japan from 1997 to 2007. Active or passive smoking status was assessed using a self-administered questionnaire.

The patients were followed until December 31, 2010.

The researchers found that pre-menopausal women who smoked for more than 21.5 years had a 3.1-times higher risk of dying from any cause and a 3.4-times higher risk of dying from breast cancer.

These links were not apparent among post-menopausal women.

The increased risks seen in pre-menopausal women were especially relevant to women whose cancers expressed both the estrogen receptor and the progesterone receptor, the study said.

“Hopefully this paper will serve to reduce the number of breast cancer patients who continue to smoke,” Minami said.

Can We Reset The Age-Clock On Our DNA? Scientists Say Yes!


The Guardian & NY Times recently published an article, about a new found discovery with DNA, stating the way in which we age is connected to are DNA. Essentially alluding to our age being related to a function of DNA – measuring the biological age of our tissues and organs.

DNA-strand-008-300x180

The so-called “clock” shows us that while most organs mature at the same rate as the body some of them often age slower or sometimes faster. Also, the age of diseased organs varied hugely.

Researchers say that the clock holds the key to helping them understand the ageing process in humans, and then we can begin slowing down the effects caused by age.

”Ultimately, it would be very exciting to develop therapy interventions to reset the clock and hopefully keep us young,” Horvath told the Guardian. He studied the methylation of nearly 8,000 samples of healthy and cancerous tissue and found 353 DNA markers that varied with aging. They effectively work like little biological clocks. Interestingly, different types of tissue age at different rates. Whereas the biological age of heart tissue appears around nine years younger than it should, the cancerous tissue appears to be an average of 36 years older.

What if it were possible for use to eliminate aging altogether? What if you could just pick your age and live like that for as long as you wanted?

dna-287x300

This leaves a lot of room for possibilities, but what is time? Is it a function of DNA? What is it?

Watch the video. URL: https://youtu.be/de5kx_D6lRo

Cyanogen starts developing CM12.1 based on Android 5.1.1


Cyanogen OS is running on a handful of devices that we see around us. The company has now announced that it has officially started working on the Android 5.1.1 (Android 5.1.1_r5) based CM12.1 release, while also sending out the final releases of CM11 and CM12 for the users. These can be downloaded from the company’s dedicated page right away.

If you’re wondering as to why an additional CM11 release was issued, it was because the company feels there are quite a lot of users out there who still rely on this particular version of CyanogenMod.

As of now, the likes of Samsung Galaxy S4, Google Nexus 7, HTC One M7, One M8, LG G2 from Sprint, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and several others support CM11 or CM12, so it’s understandable as to why the updates are being issued.

A word of caution for users is that don’t downgrade to either of these old CM versions if you have CM 12.1 installed on your device. So if you have CM12.1 on your smartphone or tablet, it makes sense to just stick with it.

Just as Android M becomes mainstream in the months to come (no timeframe provided), CM11 will supposedly go out of rotation altogether.

CyanogenMod is a decent alternative for users who are looking to get more out of their smartphones in addition to what the manufacturer provides by default. It also offers a lease of new life for devices that are no longer in the software update cycle.

Graphene: Looking beyond the Hype .


The wonder material. It’s just one atom thick but 200 times stronger than steel; extremely conductive but see-through and flexible. Graphene has shot to fame since its discovery in 2004 by UK-based researchers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, for which the University of Manchester pair were awarded the 2010 Nobel prize in physics.

We’ve heard the facts. We’ve read about how graphene could push the boundaries of today’s technology in almost unlimited ways. We’ve even pictured an elephant balanced on a pencil. But looking past the headlines, it’s clear that a lot of the most exciting areas of graphene science are still in the early stages. It will be years, decades perhaps, before we see the first graphene-enhanced smartphones, aeroplanes or bulletproof vests. But beyond these pie-in-the-sky promises, the underlying research is gathering pace.

Fast progress
‘If anything, the progress of graphene has been quicker than other comparable materials,’ says Andrea Ferrari, director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre at the University of Cambridge, UK. He points out that for the first few years after graphene’s discovery in 2004, most research was restricted to academia, and was fundamental physics. ‘It was only around 2009/2010 that applied university departments and companies really started taking notice of this material – we are just four years in.’

There has been a surge in graphene-related patents over the last few years – the total number published more than doubled from 2012 to over 9000 in 2014. More than three quarters of these were filed in China (47%), Korea (13%) or the US (18%).

Closer to home, graphene R&D has attracted several hefty dollops of public investment. In the UK this year, the £61 million Manchester-based National Graphene Institute (NGI) opened with £38 million from the UK government. And the Graphene Flagship initiative was one of the big winners at the European commission’s future and emerging technologies competition, and will receive €1 billion (£730 million) from the Horizon 2020 budget over the next 10 years, which will support both fundamental and applied research. To date, the project has more than 140 partner organisations in 23 countries, and it recently released its roadmap for graphene research, which Ferrari is coordinating.

Lightbulb moment
A landmark moment came just a few months ago, when the UK’s first graphene-enhanced commercial consumer product was unveiled – a lightbulb produced by Graphene Lighting, a company spun out from the University of Manchester and the NGI.

he bulb’s developers have been somewhat secretive about how the technology works, saying only that the bulb contains a filament-shaped LED coated with graphene, whose superior conductivity makes the whole thing around 10% more efficient, as well as longer lasting. It is also cheaper to manufacture, and boasts ‘more sustainable’ components, says Colin Bailey of the University of Manchester, one of Graphene Lighting’s directors. ‘We expect these to go to market by the end of this year,’ he says. ‘We’ve got a supply chain in place.’

He adds that the NGI has other devices on the way in the near future, including an antenna made of graphene ink that can be printed on paper, opening up the possibility of cheaper radio frequency identification tags and wearable wireless sensors. Bailey estimates this will be market-ready in 2016. ‘We’re just looking for the capital to support the factories and the supply chain that we require,’ he says. ‘We’ve also got many other things in the pipeline – we’re looking at graphene coatings on, for example, steel masonry, looking at batteries that can be re-charged a lot quicker and hold a lot more energy and also graphene in composites.’

Indeed, graphene-containing composites are likely to be some of the first major mainstream applications of graphene, owing to the relatively low cost of producing fragments of graphene in solution by liquid-phase exfoliation of graphite. Incorporating small amounts of graphene into other materials such as alloys or polymers can lead to exponential increases in strength or conductivity, which will enable manufacturers to produce better protective paints and coatings, conductive inks for 3D and inkjet printing or stronger building materials.

The Graphene Flagship’s roadmap predicts more and more graphene-infused inks and materials will start hitting the market within the next few years, and some companies have started producing them already. Composites manufacturer Haydale Graphene Industries has incorporated graphene nanoplates into epoxy resins and carbon fibre reinforced polymers, and are currently collaborating with yacht racing team Alex Thomson Racing to try and build stronger-but-lighter vessels and develop performance-enhancing coatings.

US sports equipment manufacturer Head caused a stir in 2013 with a tennis racquet which uses a graphene-enhanced polymer in the shaft, shifting the weight distribution. This gives a racquet with the same ‘swing weight’ that is 20% lighter overall, the company claims. The product has been a big success for Head, and the company’s patent also covers the material for use in other sports equipment, including skis and golf clubs. ‘This is really going very fast, and this is where I think it’s really surprised the market,’ says Bailey.

Keeping up standards
The speed of progress of graphene-based devices and materials is closely tied to the ability to manufacture them in large quantities. At this stage, methods that produce the best quality single layer graphene, such as mechanical exfoliation (the sticky-tape method) and chemical vapour deposition (CVD), are not currently cost-effective enough to be suitable for bulk production, and are still largely restricted to R&D. While this has been one factor in holding back some of the high-tech applications of graphene that require large, defect-free single-layer sheets, the technology for producing other materials, such as flakes of few-layer and multi-layer graphene, has begun to get off the ground.

‘There used to be about 100 companies involved in graphene production two years ago … now it’s about 300,’ says Terrance Barkan, director of the Graphene Council, a network for those involved in research, development and production of graphene.

While this growth is a promising sign in many ways, Barkan warns it can also create problems. ‘Every day there’s a new company that purports to be producing graphene, but there are absolutely no universally agreed standards for this material … people are calling single walled nanotubes “rolled-up graphene”, or you’ve got material that is single-layered or multi-layered and it’s all being referred to as graphene. Unless you’re involved in the use of graphene on a regular basis, it is easy to get confused by all the different terminology.’

There have even been cases of inconsistency from within the same supplier, says Barkan, leading to buyers getting batches of material with slightly different properties. This creates a lot of confusion, and makes it very risky for companies to start substituting traditional, well-characterised materials with graphene in their products.

To address this, the Graphene Council is working on creating a set of standards that can be used to characterise all the different variations on graphene across the industry. This is also an area the Graphene Flagship has been active in, and last year researchers from across Europe developed a ‘family tree’ to sort and classify different types of graphene and related materials.

‘Standardisation is not exciting,’ says Barkan. ‘It doesn’t produce any revenue – people hate it! But I would argue if you don’t overcome this obstacle you will never get to a serious, broadly integrated commercial market.’

Finding a killer
While it has been undeniably exciting to see the first graphene devices emerge, cynics have been quick to point out that light bulbs and tennis racquets are perfectly capable of functioning without it. It is still unclear when things that are completely new will be made, and even what they will be.

‘It’s quite difficult at the beginning of a field to actually have the correct idea of where the “killer application” is going to be,’ Ferrari says. To glimpse what may happen further down the line, he says we need to look at the histories of similar materials. For example, diamond-like carbon – amorphous carbon that displays some properties similar to diamond but does not have a crystalline structure – was first developed in the 1970s, and at that time, like graphene, it was suggested the material could be used in transistors.

‘But no functional transistor made with diamond-like carbon has been sold in the past 50 years,’ Ferrari says. ‘On the other hand, this material has been totally successful in other areas – every single computer hard disk in the world would not function without the layer of diamond-like carbon on the top. At the moment there are a billion computers like this being produced every year ` but of course no one in 1970 had any idea what was going to be the killer application 40 years later.’

At the moment nobody knows what graphene’s killer application will be, but many of its properties point to its potential in electronics. Much of Ferrari’s research has been focused on developing flexible electronics, making use of graphene as a conductor that is transparent, bendy and thin. In partnership with Cambridge-based company FlexEnable, Ferrari’s group produced the first graphene-based flexible display last year, an e-reader-style reflective display which uses flexible graphene electrodes in place of metals and bendy plastic instead of glass for the screen.

Mobile phone giants Samsung and Nokia have also set their sights on graphene-based flexible electronics, pouring millions into projects to develop bendable screens that use graphene in place of the brittle, unbending indium tin oxide layer used to make the touch screens found in today’s smartphones and tablets. Although Samsung is said to have produced a few working prototypes, the expensive CVD process needed to make the graphene still presents a challenge, and they are not yet available to buy.

There is also talk of replacing the silicon in chips, as our ability to build smaller and smaller chips containing greater number of transistors begins to slow down. But that is a long way ahead, warns Ferrari: ‘I’m never going to be able to replace the silicon transistor with graphene – not in my lifetime.’ He adds it could be at least another 20 years before many of graphene’s electronic applications are ready to enter the market, and he warns a great deal more investment will be required.

‘The headline “€1 billion for graphene” looks great, but then it looks peanuts when you think that one single semiconductor company might spend several billion dollars over 10 years just to make a single device slightly smaller,’ Ferrari says. ‘What we have at the moment for graphene is really the very beginning.’

Changing the world
For Tim Harper, a technology consultant involved in running several high-tech start-ups, there are other world-changing graphene technologies that may be far closer to becoming reality. The real winners of the ‘graphene race’, he says, will be those who are able to translate the technology into applications where there is already market demand.

‘If you’re going round with a bag of graphene trying to find an application for it it’s a tough call,’ Harper says. ‘If you can find a way of using graphene to do something that nobody else can do then you’ve got a business.’

One area in which Harper thinks graphene materials show particular promise is water purification. He recently founded UK-based company G2O, which has licensed graphene oxide membrane technology developed at the University of South Carolina, US. The water filtration membranes are made by coating a polyamide substrate with flakes of graphene oxide, which overlap and wrap around the polyamide fibres to ‘mimic the mucus layer on top of fish scales’, says Harper. When a mixture of oil and water is exposed to the membrane, the graphene oxide flakes trap water inside the structure, creating hydrophilic pockets that repel the oil. This makes the membrane very resistant to fouling, which is a common problem with most purification membrane technology.

‘Water treatment costs are extremely high at the moment,’ says Harper. ‘But once you start coating these membranes, suddenly the amount of water you can get through increases, and other things don’t foul, and that translates to massive savings. If you look at a typical desalination plant, we can save probably 40% of the energy costs.’ That could save a plant up to $40 million (£26 million) every year, and Harper hopes the figures are promising enough to convince water treatment and desalination companies to fund the scaling-up of this technology.

Another company he is involved with, Xefro, is trying to design the perfect heater. ‘Using printable graphene inks we’ve come up with heaters that can be moulded into different shapes that can be integrated into the fabric of buildings,’ Harper says. Initial tests suggest combining the technology with control systems that can modulate the heating in each room of a house could achieve energy savings between 25% and 70%, depending on how well insulated the rest of the house is. ‘We can come up with a solution that can keep heating costs down 50–60%,’ says Harper.

These ideas seem futuristic, but Harper is keen to stress that with the right investment they could become reality much sooner than you might expect. ‘I’m not looking at a 10-year research project, I’m not looking at a five-year research project,’ he says. ‘This is something we think we can get to market within a couple of years.’

Though some areas are progressing faster than others, the wonder material doesn’t show any signs of leaving the spotlight. As a technology just beginning to attract the attention of investors and industry, Ferrari describes graphene as a ‘new-born baby’. There can be no doubt that before too long it will begin to take its first steps.

Fiber Optic Fix Will Make Connecting The World Easier And Cheaper


Optical Fibers

Wires are so old school. Nowadays, most of our information (whether on the Internet, TV, or phone) is communicated over fiber optic cables, long strands of material that can transmit information as light over distances. And with a new discovery, fiber optic cables could become cheaper, more efficient, and could literally cover more ground.

The research is published in a new paper in Science where researchers at the University of California at San Diego tackled a problem familiar to anyone that has ever played ‘telephone.’ Just like when you were a kid and you sent a nonsensical whisper down a line of people, only to hear a totally different phrase at the end of the game, the longer a fiber optic cable is, the more chances for information to get distorted along the way. Today, we solve the problem with machines called repeaters placed strategically along a fiber optic route, which reduce the noise. But repeaters are expensive.

“Today’s fiber optic systems are a little like quicksand. With quicksand, the more you struggle, the faster you sink. With fiber optics, after a certain point, the more power you add to the signal, the more distortion you get, in effect preventing a longer reach. Our approach removes this power limit, which in turn extends how far signals can travel in optical fiber without needing a repeater,” Nikola Alic, one of the authors of the study said in a press release.

The approach Alic and his colleagues took was to develop a ‘frequency comb’–a method that removes the troublesome distortion by working with it. Instead of sending the information as is, the frequency comb alters information slightly at the start so that the distortion won’t affect it dramatically. When the information reaches its destination, it can be easily decoded because the receiver knows exactly how the information has been changed, and can change it back.

With the new method, the engineers showed that fiber optic cables could transmit information reliably over nearly 7,500 miles, twice as far as before, without needing expensive equipment stationed every 60 miles along the route to filter out the noise.

That means that more information can be transmitted faster and for less money. Looks like our small world might get even smaller.

Scientists have created 3D holograms that you can touch


“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”

Save for lightsabers, traveling at the speed of light and jittery robot sidekicks, perhaps the most memorable technology in the original Star Wars movie was the three-dimensional hologram of Princess Leia. Scientists have been trying to turn this fiction into a reality for years, with varying degrees of success. But new research into laser projection might finally lead to holograms we can touch.

The research team, comprising scientists from universities across Japan, has managed to create a display out of femtosecond lasers, which they’re calling “Fairy Lights.” These lasers pulse at one quadrillionth of a second and turn air in a specific point into plasma—or ionized air—which you can touch. Research lead Yoichi Ochiai told Popular Science that the plasma feels like sandpaper.

holographic displays© 

The team’s research shows that all sorts of science-fiction displays may be possible in the future. We could have holograms that wrap around real-world objects, or body parts, or computers interfaces that float in midair. The lasers pulse so quickly that disrupting the displays with our fingers could be fed back into a computer in what would appear to our eyes as real time, like moving a mouse and seeing a cursor move on a screen. Tony Stark would certainly be pleased.

There have been previous attempts to turn lasers into holograms, and while there has been some successes, this femtosecond laser has one key advantage: it wouldn’t sear your skin if you touch it. The Fairy Lights team pulses its laser at a faster rate—meaning less laser radiation exposure for your skin—that creates a perfectly safe hologram. The problem now is that the holograms that the team has has managed to create are tiny—not much larger than the size of a pinhead.

Spectrum IEEE reports that it’s theoretically possible for these displays to scale up, meaning our future displays may soon look like those a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

US Military Creating Brain Chips To Regulate Emotion


The Pentagon is developing an innovative brain chip that would help to treat PTSD in soldiers and veterans that could eventually help to bring sweeping changes to the way depression and anxiety is treated for millions of Americans. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, wants to reach deep into your brain’s soft tissue in order to record, predict, and treat anxiety, depression, and other maladies of mood and mind. Together, teams from the University of California at San Francisco, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and Medtronic, will use the money to create a cybernetic implant that will have electrodes extending into the brain.

The military is optimistic in having the prototype completed within just 5 years, and it then plans to seek FDA approval for the device. DARPA’s “Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies” program has seen more than a decade of research in treating disorders such as Parkinson’s disease via a technique called deep brain stimulation. With this treatment, low doses of electricity are sent deep into the brain much in the same way that a defibrillator is used to send electricity win order to jump-start a heart following cardiac arrest.

“DARPA is looking for ways to characterize which regions come into play for different conditions – measured from brain networks down to the single neuron level – and develop therapeutic devices that can record activity, deliver targeted stimulation, and most importantly, automatically adjust therapy as the brain itself changes,” stated the DARPA program manager Justin Sanchez.

The Air Force has also been interested in studying the brain using electricity, and they’ve been conducting studies that examine the effects of low amounts of electricity on the brain by using a non-invasive interface. More specifically, they’ve been using a cap that doesn’t penetrate into the skull. The objective is to deliver a surge or boost with the cap, so that it helps to keep soldiers awake and stay alert through long stretches of piloting or screen interaction.

z“With existing technology, we can’t really record anxiety level inside the brain. We can potentially record adrenaline and cortisol levels in the bloodstream to measure anxiety. However, if a deep brain implant is to be used (as proposed in this project), it might be possible to monitor activity in the amygdala, and this would be a direct way of monitoring anxiety,” states University of Arizona neuroscientist Charles Higgins.

If the program is successful, it will yield new brain-monitoring capabilities that have the potential to collect data about when the patient is most likely to encounter traumatic stimuli. The device would record what happens when a subject transitions into a state of depression or anxiousness. Today, such a task can only be accomplished using a brain-monitoring system, like the EEG or MEG. The new technology could promote similar technology which is smaller, more cost-effective, and useful.

It is currently predicted that around 1 in 3 soldiers suffer from PTSD after serving. With the increase in prevalence, it’s understandable why so many are vested into researching this technology. However, affording the government with the technology and the ability to implant a chip into soldiers that will promote a stable mood, making them happy regardless of their environment and actions, seems like a scary benefit to the government and military.

This may also be applied in conjunction with a similar DARPA project which was recently able to allow human movements to be regulated through a non-invasive machine interface: mind control. Whether these projects are of strategic value may be primary in the military, but attention must be paid to the ethical implications of these technologies. It is unclear what exactly will come out of all this, but the direction these projects appear to be taking is worrying.

 

Male contraception is coming, are men ready for it?


The world of contraception is set to change real soon, with the advent of the male contraceptive pill. This means that before long, the question of who’s taking ‘the pill’ in a relationship will become a matter of sharing responsibility, rather than having it fall almost exclusively on the female partner.

Yes, there will be needles. (but should that bother you?)

Big Think reports that the Man Pill (well, it’s more a sort of injection,) which will be a “non-hormonal alternative to the condom,” should reach markets as early as 2018. The drug is designed to last a number of years per injection, while being non-permanent. What’s more, the non-hormonal aspect should mean good news for those men who worry about the various side effects women have to endure when taking the “regular” pill. On the flip side, though, it will most definitely entail more doctors fondling your junk. As Big Think’s Monica Joshi explains:

Vasalgel is a polymer that is injected under local anesthetic into the man’s sperm-carrying tubes. These are accessible through the scrotum. However, it is not injected in his penis or testicles. It works by blocking sperm and is expected to be reversible through a second injection that dissolves the polymer. While we don’t completely know its length of efficacy and whether or not it’s fully reversible, medical trials are already on their way, beginning in 2016, to test these possibilities.

Did any of the above make you shrink away a bit? Well, consider what women have to go through routinely at the gynaecologist’s office. A quick jab in your nether regions, under local anaesthetic no less, shouldn’t be so bad.

It should be noted that, exciting though this development is, the Man Pill (Guy Injection? We’ll work on it some more.) – doesn’t serve as a complete replacement for other birth control methods. Most especially, don’t expect the condom to disappear from your night-time arsenal just yet. While this new method would effectively lessen the risk of unwanted pregnancies from otherwise unprotected sexual encounters, the drug does nothing to protect the user from STDs.

What was the holdup, anyway?

It occurs to me that this development is kind of late, considering the way female birth control methods have evolved over the years. Has the notion of male contraception received less attention, historically? Maybe we could have arrived here sooner, or maybe modern medicine has only now made it possible for male contraceptives to work in a non-invasive manner. If nothing else, it seems like we’re headed for a major culture change when it comes to who takes care of what in the bedroom, and perhaps more importantly, what comes after.

Toxins Can Be Released Into Blood Stream After Ultramarathons Or Similar Exercise


Health & Sports News: Study: Toxins Can Be Released Into Blood Stream After Ultramarathons Or Similar Exercise

Study: Toxins Can Be Released Into Blood Stream After Ultramarathons Or Similar Exercise

Trending News: Excessive Exercise Can Literally Poison You

Why Is This Important?

Because this is just another reason to gradually build up to personal fitness goals.


Long Story Short

A recent study found that long, strenuous exercise can actually cause blood poisoning in unprepared athletes.


Long Story

In exercise and sports, “push your limits” is a common motivational fitness message. However, a new study makes a pretty good argument for not taking that maxim too far.

A study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that extreme exercise can actually have the same effects as sepsis, or blood poisoning, on the bodies of under-prepared athletes.

Scientific American reports that in the study, researchers sampled the blood of 17 runners before and after a 24-hour ultramarathon (anywhere from 75 to 130 miles). During the race, gut bacteria escaped into the runners blood stream due to a lack of blood flow to the intestines and the jarring physical trauma of extreme exercise.

The gut bacteria released toxins into the runners’ blood streams, triggering an immune response in the body resulting in inflammation.

The study found that some runners had “blood profiles identical to those of patients admitted to the hospital with blood poisoning, or sepsis.” Sepsis can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated properly.

However, the bodies of the most well-trained competitors were equipped with a counterattack. Likely due to gradual and frequent training, their bodies had become familiar with the pattern of gut bacteria release and were able to release anti-inflammatory compounds to counteract the immune overreaction.

The authors of the study wrote that even just four hours of exercise can trigger this type of gut bacteria leakage.

With marathons, triathlons and Iron Man competitions becoming more and more popular, it’s important that people are aware of the importance of gradually training their body to withstand extreme exercise. Doctors also suggest getting a check-up before participating in an extreme endurance event.

You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation, so make sure you’ve laid yours properly before embarking on a major fitness challenge.