Body

Placeholder Content Image

Meet Benjamin Jesty: The unsung hero of vaccinations

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">More than 250 years before the first case of COVID-19 was announced, another deadly virus - smallpox - was spreading across Europe.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The smallpox epidemic led to the development of the first vaccine, credited to Gloucestershire physician, Edward Jenner.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, the technique which Jenner became famous for had been pioneered more than 20 years earlier by a Dorset dairy farmer whose social status prevented him from receiving any credit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It wasn’t until microbiologist Patrick Pead, who was holidaying in Dorset in 1985, found a booklet in a Worth Matravers village called ‘Benjamin Jesty: The First Vaccinator’.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I thought ‘that’s not right, it was Edward Jenner’,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We went to the churchyard and saw his tombstone and that day changed my life.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 307.37704918032784px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842847/_119356027_561b6ee2-0976-4b53-ac10-2677da1907fa.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/806cca2aa4094d378377c4193b187d8e" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Julia&amp;keld / Find a Grave</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over the following years, Pead went to work, piecing together what little information was known about Jesty. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This included the tracking down of the only portrait of the famer, which was believed lost for more than a century before it turned up on the other side of the world.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jesty’s story starts in 1774, when the farmer deliberately infected his family with cowpox to protect them from the smallpox virus, which was the leading cause of death at the time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most people became infected during their lifetimes, with about 30 percent of those infected not surviving.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Jesty had contracted cowpox as a boy and knew that milkmaids seemed to somehow be immune from smallpox.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Using pus taken from lumps on a cow’s udder, he scratched the infectious material into the skin of his wife and two sons using a stocking needle.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though his wife eventually recovered after being seriously ill, Jesty was vilified.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The last trial for witchcraft had been less than 40 years earlier,” Pead said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Jesty was reviled, people were suspicious.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In those days, everybody would go to church on Sunday and the human body was sacred but here was a guy taking something from a beast and poking it into a human body.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jesty’s experiments were later proved to be successful after attempts to infect his sons with smallpox failed, indicating they were immune.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Edward Jenner is believed to have heard of Jesty’s experiments through his dining club, carried out a similar test in 1796 on an eight-year-old boy, but his findings were rejected by The Royal Society.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After additional experiments, and with support from his colleagues and the king, Jenner was awarded a total of </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">£</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">30,000 ($AUD 56,270 or $NZD 59,360) by parliament between 1802 and 1807.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, Jesty’s efforts were not unrecognised, with doctors and clergy calling for his recognition in the discovery.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite their attempts to give him credit where it was due - including in the commission of Jesty’s portrait - Jenner’s well-connected supporters succeeded, leaving Jesty to become a footnote in the history of medicine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In his quest to uncover more about Jesty, Mr Pead was able to locate the portrait - which had passed to the Pope family of the Eldridge Pope Brewery in Dorchester - after receiving the phone number of a Pope family descendent in South Africa.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I rang them straight away - it was about 10 o’clock at night. They said, ‘it’s hanging here above the fireplace in the family home’,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After a drawn-out process, the portrait returned to the UK and was restored over two years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The painting finally went on display, first in Dorchester’s Dorset Museum, then at the Wellcome Collection galleries.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Interest in Jesty’s story has grown ever since, and Pead has written books and articles, given hundreds of talks, and was awarded a Fellowship of the Historical Association for his efforts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m a scientist working in medicine and I know all of the progress is built on the findings of others,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Vaccination wasn’t plucked out of the air by Benjamin Jesty or by Edward Jenner, it was built on out of what went before - that’s why Jesty does deserve recognition.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Wellcome Collection</span></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

“Fit” Sydney mum details battle with COVID Virus: “This virus is hell”

<p><span>A Sydney woman diagnosed with COVID has shared her hellish battle in a series of heartbreaking posts.</span><br /><br /><span>Melissa Green knew something was very, very wrong when she was admitted to hospital on 19 July after her oxygen levels dropped.</span><br /><br /><span>She described that she and her partner Dion were both “fit and healthy” when they were struck down with the virus.</span><br /><br /><span>Eventually, it also infected their three-year-old daughter Lola.</span><br /><br /><span>Melissa told <em>7NEWS.com.au</em> that she and her family had been “shocked” to receive positive results for COVID, after taking all the necessary precautions.</span><br /><br /><span>She said in a detailed post that her family were “all OK”, aside from Dion who lost his sense of smell and taste.</span><br /><br /><span>However just a day later, Melissa reported that fingertip oxygen monitors showed her oxygen level was “lower than it should be” and her heart rate higher than normal.</span><br /><br /><span>“Nothing to worry about, just body aches, chills and headaches,” the mum wrote at the time.</span><br /><br /><span>“Dion is just feeling really fatigued like he has run a marathon but just been in bed. We will get through this,” she said.</span><br /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842787/melissa-covid-4.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2c992b894da841749ea3ca49f7b5576c" /><br /><span>Sadly just 48 hours later, the mum explained her partner was rushed to the hospital when he began to suffer from “severe chest pains” and had “difficulty breathing”.</span><br /><br /><span>“He is one of the strongest and fittest people I know so this has been a total shock,” Melissa wrote on July 18.</span><br /><br /><span>Dion was able to return home a day later, but Melissa’s oxygen levels were plummeting and she was taken to Emergency.</span><br /><br /><span>Sharing a devastating image of herself in a hospital bed on July 20, Melissa urged people to “take this seriously.”</span><br /><br /><span>“Vaccinate or not it’s everyone’s choice. But if you think our hospital system can deal with the virus by opening up, you have another thing coming,” Melissa wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>“This variant is attacking the young, old, fit and healthy as well as those with health issues. Please take this seriously.”</span><br /><br /><span>Melissa reported the next day she was still in hospital and facing her “hardest day yet”.</span><br /><br /><span>“I’ve been fighting temps of 40C all day. I am still on oxygen and tomorrow I will start on tocilizumab and remdesivir and hopefully that will give me some relief,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>“I found out today that there are another 14 people here in the hospital and a good few in ICU.</span><br /><br /><span>“Dion is still at home with Lola managing on his asthma plan but severely fatigued and short of breath but doing a great job taking care of our baby.</span><br /><br /><span>“Hopefully tomorrow is a better day. One thing about this virus is you are up and down but when you hit the deck it’s worse than the time before.</span><br /><br /><span>“The nurse tells me the next few days could be even harder.”</span><br /><br /><span>Melissa came to Facebook the next day to share that her symptoms were on the up, noting that while she no longer had as much pain, she’d “lost control of things no one would wish to experience”.</span><br /><br /><span>“This virus has torn me apart,” she wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>“I am away from my baby and my partner all alone in a fishbowl of a room trying to fight to get back home to the two people I love with all my heart.</span><br /><br /><span>“All I want is to get home and hold my baby tight.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842786/melissa-covid-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/936b9a61bd014462b423c6568451dc61" /><br /><br /><span>“Fingers crossed I’m on the way up.”</span><br /><br /><span>On July 23 Melissa told family and friends in another post how she was likely to remain in hospital for another five days.</span><br /><br /><span>“That’s another five days of no hugs with my baby, no hugs with my partner.</span><br /><br /><span>“I cried and cried today all alone in a room fighting the hardest fight.</span><br /><br /><span>“They tried to get me up and walking and I lasted 40 seconds before I collapsed on the bed - this is insane!</span><br /><br /><span>“For someone who plays numerous games or netball and umpires weekly and now I can’t even walk for 40 seconds. What has this virus done to me? How long will I take to recover? Who knows?</span><br /><br /><span>“I know everyone is doing it tough but trust me this place is the toughest both mentally and physically. Stay home everyone and stay safe.”</span><br /><br /><span>On July 24, Melissa revealed it was her “hardest day yet”.</span><br /><br /><span>“I woke this morning with the lowest levels of oxygen I have had since being here and had to fight with the doctors to leave me on the ward as I didn’t want to go to ICU,” she wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>“At least where I am I have a window to the outside world.”</span><br /><br /><span>Melissa said watching the Sydney lockdown protests left her “saddened”.</span><br /><br /><span>“I believe in freedom and people’s rights but ... those out protesting have cost us all more time under lockdown so you only have yourselves to blame,” she wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>After a week in hospital, Melissa admitted her heart was “breaking”.</span><br /><br /><span>“This virus is hell,” she wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>“It separates people from loved ones, rips your health apart and challenges you mentally.</span><br /><br /><span>“Can people not see how contagious it is? Seriously, stay home so we can all see an end in sight.”</span><br /><br /><span>Melissa told Facebook after eight days in hospital, she was finally home.</span><br /><br /><span>“Recovering slowly, but I’ll get there,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>“Stay home and stay safe.”</span></p> <p><em>Images: Supplied</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Surviving winter with steam breathing

<p>The WellO2 breathing exercise device is a non-medical device,<span> </span><strong>brand new to Australia!</strong><span> </span>Cold weather can be tough on all of us, but if you have asthma, winter can literally take your breath away. Asthma causes the airways to swell and narrow. When people with asthma are exposed to triggers — which make asthma symptoms worse — they might cough, wheeze or have trouble breathing. For many people, cold air is a common asthma trigger.</p> <p>For many people, asthma is harder to control during winter months, for a few reasons. First, the cold, dry air can irritate your airways and cause the muscles inside to spasm. Then there’s all those cold and flu viruses going around. A cold or respiratory tract infection can exacerbate asthma symptoms.</p> <p>Steam has been used to loosen tight phlegm from the airways for years – anyone who has been told to breathe over a bowl of warm water- or sit in a sauna – will know that steam is helpful in alleviating congestion. Steam plus RMT has been shown to help improve respiratory fitness and overall health and wellbeing.</p> <p>Start training with your WellO2 device today. Many people report seeing the benefit of using their WellO2 in two to four weeks!</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:324.67532467532465px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842666/rd_2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/cf8fc5e57fb6450f930588ab05253074" /></p> <p><strong>5 Ways to get lung fit!</strong></p> <ol> <li><strong>Stay hydrated</strong><span> </span>– It might seem simple but keeping well hydrated helps maintain the health of the mucosal lining in the lungs.</li> <li><strong>Slow relaxed breaths</strong><span> </span>-Deep breathing helps you to expand and allow your lungs to reach their full capacity.</li> <li><strong>Nasal Breathing</strong><span> </span>– Our nose is an important part of the respiratory system. It warms and humidifies the air we breathe and helps protect the airways from allergens, pollutants, and pathogens.</li> <li><strong>Sit straight, stand tall and breathe with the diaphragm</strong><span> </span>– Our lungs are soft structures, so making room for them to expand and contract as we breathe is incredibly important. Breathing patterns become abnormal with excessive use of the upper rib cage, which leads to insufficient use of the diaphragm while breathing.</li> <li><strong>Invest in a WellO2</strong><span> </span>– Breathing exercise devices, such as WellO2 are beneficial not only for those experiencing ongoing respiratory concerns, but for individuals looking to engage in conscious breathing for everyday general wellness.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Hear from some of our very happy customers, WellO2 really can change lives!</strong></p> <p>“I have been using the Well02 for just over two weeks now and I’m starting to see a real improvement with my Asthma, which is always at its worst in Spring. For the first week, I used the breathing device for 5 minutes in the morning then 5 mins at night. I must say, it was a very strange feeling when I first started using the device and I did notice that it would make me cough, which I understand is normal. Due to the coughing, I did take a few free breaths between each inhalation which helped. By the second week I was using the device 10 minutes x 2 a day. I am no longer coughing and have adapted very well. I found the set up of the device very easy but I did watch the YouTube video to make sure I was doing it correctly. I am pleased to say, since using the device, my use of ventolin has decreased. This alone is a huge advantage. I have also noticed I’m not as “puffed” out as I usually am on my nightly walks. I’m looking forward to seeing the continued benefits.” – Melissa H, NSW</p> <p>“I suffer from asthma and chronic bronchitis resulting in difficulty breathing and regularly coughing up thick mucus. The mucus is hard to cough up at times and makes it hard to breathe so I was expecting big things on my first use. It was much gentler than I imagined and although I felt slightly dizzy using it I did cough up a bit of mucus, my initial thoughts were I wanted it hotter and harder but I felt a bit more free in my chest after the first few days.</p> <p>After the first week I was really feeling it under my lower ribs like “real” exercise. I’m not sure if I am doing it too hard as sometimes it makes a whistling noise and I can’t find anywhere in the instructions or online if this is a good or bad thing.</p> <p>I’ve now upped it to level 2 and things are going well – this level seems better suited to me for some reason although I did miss a few days which resulted in an itchy throat feeling like I was getting a cold. The one thing I find difficult is finding the time to fill it, clean it and use it. I would prefer it just sat in the room and I could breathe it in as it did the work and I could do other things without having to hold it. I do love how small it is though – you can just store it away out of sight.</p> <p>Overall I highly recommend it as I’ve had some relief from my chronic symptoms – my chest and nose feel clearer, and breathing easier. I’m also not as affected by pollution and smokers as I was before.” – Rachel K</p> <p>“I am into my third week of using Wello2. My Asthma is Bronchial and generally comes on with the dampness or cold weather (particularly night air). Given my location in Qld, there are not too many very cold nights at this time of the year (October) although the humidity can also play a part at times, it isn’t too late. I have found the Well02 to be more beneficial to me now at night prior to going to bed, I think it helps open the airways and helps me relax a little more going to sleep. I did get up one night with a breathing problem and used the Wello2 at 3am to assist with breathing and I did find the steam did help and also helped me relax to return to sleep., I also find dismantling the parts for cleaning is much easier now than it was in the beginning, they were very stiff to move initially. I would certainly say that the device has been useful to me during the period I have been using it.” – Glenys Davison.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:324.67532467532465px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842665/rd_3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/59a1c231b898475495bade4760bcb51e" /></p> <p><em><strong>For a limited time, we are offering a discount of A$100 to Over60 readers for the WellO2 steam breathing device (normally RRP A$399) or the Travel Pack (normally A$450). We offer a 60-day money back guarantee and ongoing support for your breathing journey with our Breathing Club. Simply enter code ‘Over60’ at checkout.</strong></em></p> <p><span>If you would like any further information on WellO2, simply head to our website </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.wello2.com.au/" target="_blank">www.wello2.com.au</a><span> or contact us at hello@wello2.com.au</span></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/z7-JL_06cL0" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with <a rel="noopener" href="https://wello2.com.au/" target="_blank">Well02</a>.</strong></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Five weird signs you’re iron-deficient

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though iron is one of the most important nutrients that is needed for many functions of the body, many of us don’t get enough of it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient deficiency worldwide,” said Dr Kelly Prichett, assistant professor of sports nutrition at Central Washington University.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The World Health Organisation estimates that nearly half of the world’s 1.62 billion cases of anaemia - where an individual is lacking healthy red blood cells - can be traced back to an iron deficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When your body is low in iron, common signs include feeling tired, faint, or becoming breathless more easily. However, there are some more unusual signs that could indicate a dip in your iron levels, including these five.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Odd cravings for inedible items</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the reasons why are still unknown, people with severe iron deficiencies often crave non-food items including dirt, clay, paint chips, cardboard, and cleaning supplies, according to the </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/iron-deficiency-anemia" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The condition, called pica, can be difficult to identify as many are ashamed to admit they have these unusual addictions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pica typically occurs in young children or during pregnancy, but </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2850349/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">case studies</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> have shown that older people can experience pica too.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Brittle or spoon-shaped nails</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fingernails can be a surprisingly good indicator about your health, including when you’re experiencing iron problems.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Along with weak and brittle nails, spoon nails can be a sign of iron deficiency. Also called koilonychia, spoon nails occur when the inside of your nail sinks in, leaving your fingernail shaped like a spoon. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since spoon nails can also be caused by exposure to petroleum-based solvents, trauma (such as a jammed finger), and other issues, doctors may need to perform a blood test for iron deficiency anaemia when there aren’t any other obvious causes.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Dry and cracked lips</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While many of us are familiar with chapped lips caused by harsh cold, a dry room, or licking your lips, people with low iron levels may be prone to a more specific kind of cracking that affects the corners of the mouth, called angular cheilitis.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These cracks can make it difficult to eat, smile, or even shout.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a study of 82 people with the condition, 32 percent were found to have an iron deficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In those cases, creams or ointments won’t do the trick and the underlying iron deficiency must be addressed to stop the cracking from coming back.</span></p> <p><strong>4. An oddly swollen tongue</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Atrophic glossitis, also known as a swollen and tender tongue, is another less-than-obvious symptom of an iron deficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jfma-online.com/article/S0929-6646(13)00406-3/pdf" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2013 study</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of people with iron deficiency anaemia, nearly 27 percent of the 75 participants were found to have atrophic glossitis, as well as dry mouth, a burning sensation, and other oral health issues.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The swelling results in the tongue appearing smooth rather than bumpy, and can cause problems with chewing, swallowing, or talking.</span></p> <p><strong>5. A constant craving for ice</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Craving ice is a specific type of pica </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15804997/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">called pagophagia</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and is one of the most common symptoms of a severe iron deficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the reasons behind this craving are unclear, some experts hypothesise that chewing ice may increase alertness in iron-deficient people - who often feel sluggish and tired - or that it may soothe swollen tongues.</span></p> <p><strong>What to do about it</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you experience several of the above symptoms, booking an appointment with your doctor may be the best next step. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you are feeling more tired than usual, struggle to catch your breath while walking up stairs or exercising, feel dizzy or often feel weak, you may need to check your iron levels with your doctor.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the meantime, eating iron-rich foods such as red meat, poultry, eggs, fish, nuts, or dark leafy green vegetables can help you take in some more iron.</span></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

4 facts to know about scoliosis

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scoliosis is a common condition where a person’s spine is curved, affecting between two and three percent of the Australian population.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This condition is sometimes hereditary and primarily affects school-aged children, especially among girls.</span></p> <p>What are the signs of scoliosis?</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.scoliosis-australia.org/policies-programs/role-of-the-family-doctor/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scoliosis Australia</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, common signs of this condition include one shoulder being higher than another, the head not being centered over the body, and an obvious curve in the spine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height:478.75px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842579/outward-signs-of-scoliosis.gif" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c562f83321eb41fc9f9cedc369d8eade" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are four facts you should know about this unusual condition.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Most types develop just before puberty</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the most common form of scoliosis, is most commonly detected between the ages of 10 and 15. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If asymmetry is detected in a child’s shoulders, shoulder blades, spine, or pelvis, seeing a paediatric spine specialist is recommended. The specialist can then perform an X-ray so the doctor can measure the degree of curvature in the spine.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Early treatment is key</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Detecting the condition while children are young can help reduce the risk of the spine continuing to curve.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For children with spines that curve between 20 and 40 degrees, bracing may be needed if the spine continues to curve. However, one third of those with curves in this range do not progress further.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When the spine curves more than 40 degrees, surgery may be required to correct the spine.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Scoliosis isn’t just a cosmetic issue</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Without treatment, scoliosis can worsen over time as the child grows up. In those with spines that curve more than 70 degrees, lung function can be impaired, while those with curved spines of 90 degrees or more may experience poorer lung and heart function.</span></p> <p><strong>4. You can still live a normal, active life with scoliosis</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Luckily, there are new opportunities to treat scoliosis that didn’t exist only a few years ago that can reduce the need for surgery.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Additionally, minor curves are the most common form, with 3 adolescent girls per 1000 having a curve that requires surgery or a brace according to Scoliosis Australia.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even for those who require surgery, treatments continue to evolve and have good outcomes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If your child has scoliosis, don’t be afraid of it,” said Michael Vitale MC, of Columbia University.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The key is being aware of it and getting the diagnosis early so you can begin treatment. When treated early, there’s a lot of hope for stopping curve progression and allowing kids to live a perfectly active, normal life.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Scoliosis South Australia / Instagram</span></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Mum’s unconventional hack divides opinion

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A new mum’s unconventional solution for her baby’s acne has divided the internet, due to the presence of one unconventional ingredient.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Linh Ta took to TikTok to share her hack, filming herself placing a face mask sheet in a bowl of liquid before applying it to her son Levi’s face.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the clip, Linh Ta reveals the bowl contains liquid gold, telling followers that she uses breast milk to soothe her son’s skin.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When your baby has acne so you make a breast milk mask for him,” she captioned the clip.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Baby Levi can be seen sleeping peacefully as she puts the mask on him, which she leaves on to help his skin absorb the milk.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the comments, Linh Ta explained she made the mask “purely out of boredom” and “just to have a little fun”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m a first mum so I’m learning things as I go,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The video, which has been viewed more than four million times so far, has divided other users on the platform. Some were fans, while others were less enthusiastic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Sooo cute! But the acne will pass. It’s just your hormones leaving their body. It’s not like our acne,” one fan explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Um my heart is screaming, this is too cute. Not me going to cut up a dry wipe and do this on my nine-week-old,” another agreed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This just rubs me the wrong way,” one user argued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Mini serial killer mask,” another added.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a follow-up video, Linh Ta shows Levi’s clear face in response to a fan asking for before and after photos.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 277.1285475792988px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842560/placeholder_8729e81ef4f4d57_0.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8df990dcc851409d956f9a785ee96c14" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They were red and raised before and now the redness has subsided,” she said in the update.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though there is </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.healthline.com/health/baby/baby-acne-breast-milk#breast-milk" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">no scientific evidence</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> supporting the use of breast milk to treat baby acne, some people swear by the remedy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since breast milk has antimicrobial properties, the breast milk may help reduce or destroy bacteria and other impurities that block the baby’s pores and cause acne.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, research from the </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1108&amp;context=sn_pubs" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">International Journal of Childbirth</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> recommends simply keeping the baby’s skin clean with soap and water and avoiding oils or lotions that could worsen the acne.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Tiktok</span></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Adele stuns in public appearance after massive weight loss

<p>Adele surprised fans as she attended the NBA finals and showed off her shocking 44kg weight loss at the game.</p> <p>She has been careful to keep out of the public eye so the event was a welcome treat for fans.</p> <p>She also sparked rumours that she's dating sports super-agent Rich Paul as they sat together at the match.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRc5YvbNDO8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRc5YvbNDO8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Aᴅᴇʟᴇ•Aᴅᴋɪɴs😍 (@adellylove)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Adding fuel to the rumour mill, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst referred to Adele as Paul’s “girlfriend.”</p> <p>“Rich Paul, [LeBron James’] agent, brings his girlfriend to the game sitting next to LeBron. His girlfriend is Adele,” Windhorst said his<span> </span><em>The Lowe Post</em><span> </span>podcast. “Rich Paul is at the game with Adele.</p> <p>“This is the first time they’ve come out in public together so this will be all over the tabloids, especially in England tomorrow.”</p> <p>The pair haven't commented on the reports.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Calls for “life-changing” drug to be added to the PBS

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cystic Fibrosis sufferers are calling for a “life-changing” drug to be added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) so more of the 3500 affected Australians can access the treatment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Trikafta, produced by Vertex, currently costs Aussies $300,000 a year, meaning it is out of reach for most, including Ella Sawyer’s daughter, Evie.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Diagnosed with the condition six weeks after she was born, Evie is now 12 and manages her condition with various medications, supplements, and twice-daily breathing exercises that help clear her chest.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She is prone to long-lasting infections, takes enzymes with every meal and has increased calorie needs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though Trikafta is already available and reimbursed in 17 countries, the decision to recommend its listing on the PBS has been deferred while experts on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee engage further with Vertex.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the meantime, the drug is available free of charge to critically ill patients with no other medicinal options, subject to specific eligibility criteria and on request by their doctor.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evie isn’t one of the 200 Australians who currently qualify, so she and her family are waiting for change.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s really, really frustrating that if you’re born with CF [cystic fibrosis], your access to the best treatment can be limited depending on where you are in the world,” her mother Ella Sawyer said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If Ellie were to get the flu or another infection, she could have a big loss of lung function quite quickly whilst we wait for price negotiations to go on,” she added.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s just very frustrating when the quality of someone’s life comes down to a price.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The lack of access to Trikafta is putting lives at risk, according to Cystic Fibrosis Australia chief executive Nettie Burke.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We talk about having one of the greatest health systems here in the world,” Ms Burke said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think we do, but we can’t profess that when we can’t get drugs that have been in America for two years.”</span></p> <p><strong>Better quality of life</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Burke said recent trials of Trikafta have shown it to be a “life-changing” treatment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“People’s lives have definitely been extended, but their quality of life has been increased dramatically as well,” Ms Burke said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“One of the wonderful things we’ve seen from people overseas, or from those on trials, is that there’s a whole lot of babies being born.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Before, that wasn’t necessarily going to be the case because people were too unwell to have a family, but we’ve seen a big increase in babies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So we know that Trikafta is working …. It’s incredible.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While negotiations continue between the PBAC and Vertex, Ms Burke and families of people with cystic fibrosis are calling for compassionate access to Trikafta to be given to all eligible patients.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We could save lives by getting access immediately,” Ms Burke said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The next update from the PBAC is due in August.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Nettie Burke / Twitter</span></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

New inhalable device could be lifesaving for new mums

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A new inhalable product more than a decade in the making could save the lives of tens of thousands of new mothers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The device, developed by Melbourne researchers, looks like a small whistle and allows oxytocin to be inhaled rather than injected, to prevent postpartum haemorrhages.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Postpartum haemorrhages happen when a new mother experiences excessive blood loss after giving birth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the leading cause of maternal mortality globally, these haemorrhages occur in up to 18 percent of births and result in an estimated 60,000 deaths each year across the world.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Oxytocin is the </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/0315/p875.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">recommended first choice</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> for preventing postpartum haemorrhage due to its greater effectiveness in comparison to other drugs and has fewer side effects, and is currently administered via an injection.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University partnered with Johnson &amp; Johnson have developed a new inhalable form of oxytocin that, unlike the injectable form, doesn’t need to be refrigerated, making it a less invasive and easier to distribute option for developing countries.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Many women in Australia will receive an oxytocin injection after every childbirth to prevent or lower risk of postpartum haemorrhages,” project leader Michelle McIntosh said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We needed something that was really low cost and simple to use, but just as effective.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The World Health Organisation recommends every woman in the world to be given an injection of oxytocin after they give birth, but Professor McIntosh said this isn’t always possible.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Unfortunately, in a lot of low-resource settings, having access to someone present when you give birth, someone who is trained to give an injection and a product that has been maintained in cold storage, is very challenging.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even in Australia, Professor McIntosh said the rate of postpartum haemorrhages has been increasing significantly.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“While our focus has always been on low-resource settings, obstetricians in Australia and other developed countries [are] also quite keen to look at inhaled oxytocin,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That’s because it would take away the risk of needlestick injuries, it’s less invasive than a painful intramuscular injection and there are cohorts of patients we think would benefit from inhaled administration.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Clinical trials of the device, which could still be several years away from commercial use, have been funded by the Victorian government’s Medical Research Acceleration Fund, which allows researchers to develop new healthcare solutions in partnership with experts from Johnson &amp; Johnson.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Research and innovation to address the leading cause of maternal mortality 💕<br /><br />Excited about our ongoing partnership <a href="https://twitter.com/JNJInnovation?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JNJInnovation</a><br />Wonderful to visit <a href="https://twitter.com/MIPS_Australia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MIPS_Australia</a> <br />Thanks to Delia for sharing her story with <a href="https://twitter.com/bridgerollo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bridgerollo</a> <a href="https://t.co/4lPRvIC8h7">https://t.co/4lPRvIC8h7</a></p> — Jaala Pulford MP (@JaalaPulford) <a href="https://twitter.com/JaalaPulford/status/1415507837925531651?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 15, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When medtech, biotech, and pharmaceutical businesses innovate, they change lives,” said Victoria’s Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Jaala Pulford.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This new powder is going to be an extraordinary additional tool for women and their doctors and midwives and nurses [to deal] with something that comes on very suddenly and would be extremely terrifying.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Twitter</span></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

New diabetes test could make blood-testing obsolete

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A new diabetes test could soon make the finger-prick testing of blood glucose obsolete.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aussie researchers from the University of Newcastle have developed the “world-first, pain-free diabetes test” from 20 years of research by a team led by Professor Paul Dastoor.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What we’ve done is to develop a way of creating biosensors, that we can print using reel-to-reel printing equipment,” Professor Dastoor said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The “lickable” test works using a plastic strip coating in a natural enzyme that interacts with saliva and produces an electrical current.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This current can then be detected and measured to determine glucose levels with high accuracy, with the results able to be delivered via a smartphone app.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’re able to test and have sensitivities at the concentration levels that glucose is in your saliva,” Professor Dastoor said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And, so, we don’t need to test blood, we will now be able to use saliva to test for glucose.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Elaine Staunton, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in her 30s, is overjoyed that the finger-prick tests could soon be replaced.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That would be marvellous if we could get that, especially for children,” Ms Staunton told </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/radio/newcastle/programs/mornings/stigma-of-living-with-diabetes/13441428" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ABC Newcastle</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the diagnosis didn’t come as a surprise to her, what did was the stigma associated with the condition.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At a work function, Ms Staunton was victimised for needing to monitor her blood glucose levels, which are controlled by insulin injections.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve always been taught to do my insulin when my meal’s in front of me,” Ms Staunton said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was hauled over the coals after the luncheon and told I wasn’t to inject myself in public and, if I had to do it, I had to do it in the toilet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was absolutely devastated. I cried all the way home and made the decision on the way home that I couldn’t go back there.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Now in her 50s, Ms Staunton said anything that would reduce the need to draw blood up to four times a day would be a welcome relief.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That’s a big thing, no blood,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Dastoor said the new tests would have positive health outcomes.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That’s huge because … having to test your blood puts people off doing their testing, and that then leads to poor health outcomes,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The inspiration for the test came from Professor Dastoor’s wife, who would help young children monitor their glucose levels during the day as a primary school teacher.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s a heartbreaking scenario, where the lunch bell rings and everyone runs to the playground bar an unfortunate few, who stay back to surrender their finger for blood testing at every meal time,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Our vision was to create a world where no one needs to bleed in order to eat.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The technology will be rolled out on a commercial scale, with the Australian government announcing $6.3 million in funding to build a manufacturing facility for the tests in the Hunter by the end of 2023.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: University of Newcastle, Elaine Staunton</span></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Migraine patients set to save hundreds after costly drug revision

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The addition of migraine-preventing medication to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) has been hailed as a step in the right direction by advocacy groups.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Emgality is used to prevent migraines in adults and is injected once a month by the patient.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It can cost up to $1000 a month, but from June 1 eligible individuals will pay just $41.30 a script or $6.60 if they are a concession holder.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Raphaella Crosby, the founding member of patient advocacy group Migraine Australia said the addition of the treatment to the PBS is a step in the right direction but that there’s still more work to do.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It does kind of pave the way because now that we’ve got one of these new medications on the PBS, there’s not much argument for listing the other ones,” Ms Crosby said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Ms Crosby said the number of people eligible for treatment would be limited by strict criteria.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To be eligible, a person must meet the definition of suffering from chronic migraines, be under the care of a neurologist, have tried three older medications that failed, and not have received botox (a common treatment for migraines) under the PBS.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The line between episodic and chronic migraine is nonsense, it’s an arbitrary line that somebody drew at some point. It has no clinical meaning,” Ms Crosby said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to research by Deloitte Access Economics in 2018, 4.9 million Australians live with migraines.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Migraines disproportionately affect women as well, with 45 percent of women aged between 25 and 45 living with very active migraines that affect their ability to work, Ms Crosby said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When the government talks about getting women back to work, to deny these drugs to women who aren’t completely debilitated by them is a bit counterproductive,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Because essentially what the restrictions are saying is ‘you need to be completely debilitated by your migraine before we’ll give you something that works’.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Emgality, made by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, belongs to a group of medications that block a particular protein associated with migraines, called calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP).</span></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Meshel Laurie’s incredible transformation

<p><span>Meshel Laurie has undergone a major transformation, shocking fans after she shared a photo of herself to social media.</span><br /><br /><span>Posing with <em>Australian True Crime</em> podcast co-host Emily Webb, the 47-year-old looked vibrant and glowing.</span><br /><br /><span>Not only does the star look more radiant and confident, but fans also took to pointing out just how happy Laurie looked.</span><br /><br /><span>"As you can see, we are two ladies who are quite pleased to be dressed up and out of the house," Meshel joked in the caption.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842402/meshel-laurie.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/295820b4260c4c3f9136cefe8677038f" /></p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em><br /><br /><span>Fans flocked to true comments to praise the podcast personality for her new look.</span><br /><br /><span>"First glance I thought you were Kate Hudson," one stunned fan commented.</span><br /><br /><span>"OMG YOU LOOK INCREDS!!!!!!!" another user added.</span><br /><br /><span>A third person said: "Meshel, you’re looking stunning... glowing smile.”</span><br /><br /><span>"MATEEEEEEE Look at you, looking bloody skinny mini. Glowing my sister," one other comment read.</span><br /><br /><span>"Regardless of what body size you are, you always look happiest doing what you love and it’s GREAT to see," another added.</span><br /><br /><span>Meshel has made her mark in the Australian podcast industry, and alongside <em>Australian True Crime,</em> she also hosts <em>Calm Ya Farm;</em> a daily podcast where she interviews celebrities on how they stay sane.</span><br /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842400/meshel-laurie-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/59271bcd50bb41e38919141c8eced5c2" /></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p><span>Speaking to the <em>Herald Sun</em> earlier this year, Meshel revealed her secret to looking and feeling healthy.</span><br /><br /><span>"Most of us need to reign in our alcohol consumption, lose weight and remember how to sleep after 2020, but if you put too much pressure on yourself, you’re likely to go off the rails and give up pretty quickly,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>"Drink less, eat better and spend an hour removing things that don’t need to be in your bedroom, especially the things that create ambient light, like all those chargers."</span><br /><br /><span>She went on to say, "Caring for yourself doesn’t have to be flamboyant and expensive.</span><br /><br /><span>“And the most important aspect is the decision to care for yourself. Something as simple as a hot bath with a book can feel as sumptuous as a soak in a Mediterranean hot spring (probably)."</span></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

“It is crazy”: 25-year-old woman stricken by Delta strain reveals ongoing symptoms

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">25-year-old Claudia Waitsman is still experiencing lingering COVID-19 symptoms more than a month after contracting the virus.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Eastern Suburbs woman was exposed to the virus during a trip to Joh Bailey’s hair salon in Double Bay, where the Delta strain outbreak started on June 16.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Ms Waitsman has said she initially did not show symptoms.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I had been to the hairdressers on the Saturday, then I was told on the Wednesday I had to get a test and isolate. I started to get a headache on Wednesday evening but didn’t think it was related,” she told </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/australia/sydney-woman-who-caught-covid-after-joh-bailey-hair-cut-reveals-symptoms/news-story/5f1d25cf7b845c21898a54812f4b4a61" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“On the Friday, I thought I might have symptoms so I got tested on the Saturday - which turned out to be positive.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Once it hit I had shortness of breath, my body aching, that kind of agony, a headache. It was similar to the flu or glandular fever. I lost my sense of taste and smell which I still don’t have back almost a month later.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since the start of the Delta strain outbreak, there have been 864 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in New South Wales, with the state recording 97 new cases on Wednesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Waitsman, a real estate agent, said she was not surprised by the rapid spread of the virus.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It is crazy,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was in lockdown in my bedroom, like completely in there I didn’t leave. But somehow my dad caught it, it is an absolute miracle my mum didn’t get infected.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was even wearing gloves to eat my food to try and stop it from spreading.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most of the cases recorded in the last few days have been revealed to be close and household contacts of those who are already infected.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On Tuesday, three out of four new infections were found to be household contacts, according to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Claudia Waitsman / Instagram</span></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Is our gut the key to good mental health?

<p>We all know that food improves our mood. Every one of us has a go-to “comfort food’ to lift us up when we’re feeling low, but what if we could help manage our mental health long term with diet? That is exactly what research has shown may be the case, and the <a rel="noopener" href="https://foodandmoodcentre.com.au/2016/07/what-is-the-gut-microbiome/" target="_blank">key seems to be the microorganisms that live in our gut</a> and help us digest our food, called the microbiome.</p> <p><strong>The microbiome may be even more important if you live with diabetes</strong></p> <p>For the second year, National Diabetes Week is focussing on the impact that living with diabetes can have on mental health. <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/news-resources/current-campaigns/national-diabetes-week/" target="_blank">Diabetes Australia says</a> that 4 in 5 people have experienced diabetes stigma, and nearly 50% experience mental health challenges generally, which is twice the national average. While the burden of long-term management plays a role, there is a clear link between blood sugar levels and mental health. The gut is doubly important for people living with diabetes because <strong>diet can control blood sugar levels and manage mental state at the same time</strong>.</p> <p><strong>The modern diet is at least partly to blame</strong></p> <p>The importance of a healthy, plant based, diverse diet is <a rel="noopener" href="https://nutritionaustralia.org/division/nsw/plant-based-diets-whats-the-fuss/" target="_blank">well understood</a>. Everyone that has ever tried to improve their health has read some variation of “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/" target="_blank">the best way to get the nutrients you need is to eat lots of vegetables</a>”. Sadly, this is easier said than done. Modern food is plentiful, transportable, and cheap, but unfortunately, nutrition has suffered as a result. Even so called “healthy” foods are not what they once were. We’ve all heard someone say that fruits and vegetables “just tasted better when I was a kid” (yes, I’m looking at you tomatoes). Unsurprisingly, this decline in flavour is a direct representation of diminished nutritional quality – “fresh food” isn’t fresh, and food just isn’t as nutritious as it used to be.</p> <p><strong>Food can also be the solution</strong></p> <p>Our biochemistry is driven by the food we eat. Almost everything that our body needs to thrive comes from our food and is absorbed through the gut. However, it isn’t as straight forward as it may seem. A good portion of what we need to thrive is made by the microbiome. The microbes eat parts of our food (fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, etc) and then make things that we use <a rel="noopener" href="https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/what-are-short-chain-fatty-acids-and-why-should-you-care/" target="_blank">such as short chain fatty acids (SCFA</a>).</p> <p>Scientific research has been able to measure the benefits of <em>feeding the microbiome</em>. In <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328676973_Efficacy_of_Dietary_Sugarcane_Product_on_Bowel_Function_and_Blood_Sugar_Level_in_Adult_Diabetic_Patients_A_Randomised_Controlled_Trial" target="_blank">one study</a> of people living with diabetes, just adding a functional food, <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nutrikane.com.au" target="_blank">NutriKane D</a><span>,</span> to the diet resulted in significant improvement of Quality of Life, mental health and ease of management of symptoms. In <a rel="noopener" href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26043750/" target="_blank">another study</a> of people recovering during long term hospital stay, cognitive function and mental state were improved by adding microbiome-feeding food. Even people <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.medicaljournals.se/jrm/content/abstract/10.2340/16501977-1999" target="_blank">living with Spina Bifida</a> see mental improvements with microbiome modification.</p> <p><strong>The Gut-Brain Axis is the key</strong></p> <p>The Gut-Brain Axis (GBA) describes the two-way communication between the central and enteric nervous systems (the system of nerves around and controlled by the gut). The enteric nervous system has so many neurons and uses so much of our mental biochemistry it is sometimes referred to as the second brain. Because digestion is so important, anything that affects digestion affects our mental state in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00044/full" target="_blank">three basic ways</a> :</p> <ol> <li>Systemic inflammation: if the microbes in the gut get out of balance (called dysbiosis) they can cause inflammation. Over time this inflammation spreads to the whole body that the brain recognises as “aches and pains”.</li> <li>Communication through the Vagus nerve: The Vagus nerve is the “direct line” to the brain. Bad digestion has been shown to directly cause feelings of unease, anxiety and even depression. When people experience ‘butterflies in the stomach’ this is the process happening in reverse, when feelings of anxiety translate to digestive distress.</li> <li>Bacteria in the gut make and use most of the biochemistry needed for our mental health: It is estimated that <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.caltech.edu/about/news/microbes-help-produce-serotonin-gut-46495" target="_blank">up to 90% of the body’s serotonin</a> is produced and consumed by the microbes in the gut. It has been shown that some bacteria do this deliberately - they <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gut-brain-connection" target="_blank">produce serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters</a> so that they may modify our eating habits. Changing the bacteria in our gut can free up much needed serotonin to relieve depression and anxiety.</li> </ol> <p><strong>You can take control</strong></p> <p>It isn’t straight forward, but it is possible to use diet management to improve both your physical and mental health. Functional foods that specifically modify the microbiome, such as NutriKane D, can help with not just diabetes management, but also a range of health conditions, and science shows that taking the time to feed the microbiome gets results both physically and mentally.</p> <p><strong>About the Author</strong></p> <p>Dr Malcolm Ball is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.medikane.com.au" target="_blank">MediKane</a>, an Australian natural health company that produces plant-based functional food products developed to prevent, manage, and reverse chronic health conditions including diabetes. MediKane’s flagship product is NutriKane D, which has been clinically proven in multiple studies to lower and control blood glucose levels.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

How kids are getting positive COVID test results with orange juice

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Teenagers in the UK have figured out how to “fake” positive results on COVID-19 tests - prompting at least one school to issue a warning to parents.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The trick has taken off on social media, as teens use orange juice or soft drinks to generate a false positive result on lateral flow Covid tests.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is not known whether any students have used it to successfully get time off school.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gateacre School in Belle Vale, Liverpool, asked students in years 7-10 to stay home from school after some positive COVID-19 test results were discovered in the school community, and warned parents to be vigilant about the social media trend.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Nationally, some school students have discovered that placing droplets of orange juice or other fruit juice on an LFD test gets a false ‘positive’ result,” </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/schools-warning-children-using-fruit-20896618?_ga=2.269013617.1871628857.1625379206-1709235865.1625379206" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">the warning email read</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In light of this, can you be extra vigilant when your child is doing their LFD tests. Also, remind them that a positive LFD test must be followed by a confirmatory PCR test.”</span></p> <p><strong>How it happens</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The false positive occurs due to the acidity of the juice or soft drink, rather than the beverage containing the virus, which essentially breaks the test.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Mark Lorch, a professor of science communication and chemistry at the University of Hull, </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/covid-19-kids-are-using-soft-drinks-to-fake-positive-tests-ive-worked-out-the-science-and-how-to-spot-it-163739" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">has said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> it is possible to spot “fake” positive tests by washing them with a buffer solution that restores the correct pH to the testing device. Once this happens, the “positive” line disappears to reveal the negative result.</span></p> <p><strong>A selfish thing to do</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jon Deeks, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Birmingham, has criticised the practice and discouraged teens from trying it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“False positives affect not just that child but their family and their bubble at school, so [it is a] pretty selfish thing to do. There are less harmful ways to fake a day off school,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Lorch instead encouraged students to help him publish his findings.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Children, I applaud your ingenuity, but now that I’ve found a way to uncover your trickery I suggest you use your cunning to devise a set of experiments and test my hypothesis,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Then we can publish your results in a peer-reviewed journal.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Mark Loch</span></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Can COVID vaccines affect my genetic code?

<p>The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are set to become the mainstay of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout as the year progresses, according to the latest government projections <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-23/gov-projects-little-need-for-astrazeneca-after-october-covid19/100239442">released this week</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/06/covid-19-vaccination-covid-vaccination-allocations-horizons.pdf">From September</a>, up to an average 1.3m doses of the Pfizer vaccine plus another 125,000 doses of the yet-to-be approved Moderna vaccine are expected to be available per week. These figures are set to rise from October, as use of the AstraZeneca vaccine drops.</p> <p>Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which contain tiny fragments of the genetic material known as “messenger ribonucleic acid”. And if social media is anything to go by, <a href="https://twitter.com/AJ19803/status/1334476726022385666">some people</a> are concerned these vaccines can affect their genetic code.</p> <p>Here’s why the chances of that happening are next to zero and some pointers to how the myth came about.</p> <p><strong>Remind me, how do mRNA vaccines work?</strong></p> <p>The technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is a way of giving your cells temporary instructions to make the <a href="https://theconversation.com/revealed-the-protein-spike-that-lets-the-2019-ncov-coronavirus-pierce-and-invade-human-cells-132183">coronavirus spike protein</a>. This protein is found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccines teach your immune system to protect you if you ever encounter the virus.</p> <p>The mRNA in the vaccine is taken up by the cells in your body, ending up in the liquid inside each cell known as the cytoplasm. Our cells naturally make <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941114/">thousands of our own mRNAs</a> all the time (to code for a range of other proteins). So the vaccine mRNA is just another one. Once the vaccine mRNA is in the cytoplasm it’s used to make the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.</p> <p>The vaccine mRNA is <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-mrna-the-messenger-molecule-thats-been-in-every-living-cell-for-billions-of-years-is-the-key-ingredient-in-some-covid-19-vaccines-158511">short-lived</a> and is rapidly broken down after it’s done its job, as happens with all your other mRNA.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408058/original/file-20210624-13-1w14e5y.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip" target="_blank"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408058/original/file-20210624-13-1w14e5y.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Typical mammalian cell, showing different parts, such as nucleus and cytoplasm" /></a></p> <p><span class="caption">Vaccine mRNA is in the cytoplasm and once it’s done its job, it’s broken down.</span> </p> <p><strong>Here’s why the mRNA can’t insert into your genetic code</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Your genetic code is made up of a different, but related, molecule to the vaccine mRNA, known as DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid. And mRNA can’t insert itself into your DNA for two reasons.</p> <p>One, both molecules have a different chemistry. If mRNAs could routinely insert themselves into your DNA at random, this would play havoc with how you produce proteins. It would also scramble your genome, which is passed on to future cells and generations. Life forms that do this would not survive. That’s why life has evolved for this <em>not</em> to happen.</p> <p>The second reason is vaccine mRNA and DNA are in two different parts of the cell. Our DNA stays in the nucleus. But vaccine mRNA goes straight to the cytoplasm, never entering the nucleus. There are no transporter molecules we know of that carry mRNA into the nucleus.</p> <p><strong>But aren’t there some exceptions?</strong></p> <p>There are some extremely rare exceptions. One is where genetic elements, known as <a href="https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/transposons-the-jumping-genes-518/">retro-transposons</a>, hijack cellular mRNA, convert it into DNA and insert that DNA back into your genetic material.</p> <p>This has occurred sporadically <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nrg2640">throughout evolution</a>, producing some ancient copies of mRNAs scattered throughout our genome, to form so-called <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41576-019-0196-1">pseudogenes</a>.</p> <p>Some <a href="https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Retrovirus">retroviruses</a>, such as HIV, also insert their RNA into our DNA, using similar methods to retro-transposons.</p> <p>However, there is a vanishingly small chance of a naturally occurring retro-transposon becoming active in a cell that has just received a mRNA vaccine. There’s also a vanishingly small chance of being infected with HIV at precisely the same time as receiving the mRNA vaccine.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408059/original/file-20210624-29-gcexgw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408059/original/file-20210624-29-gcexgw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Blood sample labelled with HIV - Test" /></a></p> <p><span class="caption">There’s a vanishingly small chance of being infected with HIV at precisely the same time as having an mRNA vaccine.</span> </p> <p>Even if a retro-transposon were to become active or a virus such as HIV were present, the chances of it finding the COVID vaccine mRNA, among the tens of thousands of natural mRNAs, is extremely unlikely. That’s because vaccine mRNA is degraded within <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18797453/">several hours</a> of entering the body.</p> <p>Even if vaccine mRNA did become a pseudogene, it would not produce the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but just one of the viral products, the harmless spike protein.</p> <p><strong>How do we actually know this?</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>We know of no studies looking for vaccine mRNA in the DNA of people who have been vaccinated. There is no scientific basis on which to suspect this insertion has happened.</p> <p>However, if these studies were to be carried out, they should be relatively straightforward. That’s because we can now <a href="https://cellandbioscience.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13578-019-0314-y">sequence DNA in single cells</a>.</p> <p>But in reality, it will be very hard to ever satisfy a naysayer who is convinced this genome insertion happens; they can always argue scientists need to look deeper, harder, in different people and in different cells. At some point this argument will need to be laid to rest.</p> <p><strong>So how did this myth come about?</strong></p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2105968118">One study</a> reported evidence for coronavirus RNA integrating into the human genome in cells grown in the lab that had been infected with SARS-CoV-2.</p> <p>However, that paper did not look at the mRNA vaccine, lacked critical controls and <a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.05.434119v1">has</a> <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00294-21" target="_blank">since been discredited</a>.</p> <p>These types of studies also need to be seen in context of the public’s wariness of genetic technology more broadly. This includes <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt1099_941d" target="_blank">the public’s concerns</a> about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), for instance, over the past 20 years or so.</p> <p>But GMOs are different to the mRNA technology used to make COVID vaccines. Unlike GMOs, which are produced by inserting DNA into the genome, vaccine mRNA will not be in our genes or passed to the next generation. It’s broken down very quickly.</p> <p>In reality, mRNA technology has <a href="https://theconversation.com/3-mrna-vaccines-researchers-are-working-on-that-arent-covid-157858">all sorts of</a> <a href="https://www.wired.co.uk/article/mrna-vaccine-revolution-katalin-kariko">applications</a>, beyond vaccines, including biosecurity and sustainable agriculture. So it would be a pity for these efforts to be held back by misinformation.</p> <p> </p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/archa-fox-1153308">Archa Fox</a>, Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-western-australia-1067">The University of Western Australia</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jen-martin-17007">Jen Martin</a>, Leader, Science Communication Teaching Program, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/traude-beilharz-1240711">Traude Beilharz</a>, Assoc Professor ARC Future Fellow, Biochemistry &amp; Molecular Biology, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/can-the-pfizer-or-moderna-mrna-vaccines-affect-my-genetic-code-162590" target="_blank">original article</a>.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Polio survivors urging Australians to get vaccinated

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a bid to inspire more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, polio survivors have shared their stories of the years when the highly contagious disease was crippling children and spreading around the world.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For the survivors, the current pandemic brings back unsettling memories.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">From 1944 to 1955, polio killed more than 1,000 people in Australia and infected hundreds of thousands of others.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Poliomyelitis, commonly shortened to polio, is a highly infectious viral disease that affects the central nervous system and weakens muscles, mostly affecting children under the age of five.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jenny Jones contracted polio when she was five years old, but had missed out on getting the jab by just five weeks.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was a very active, healthy strong girl,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I ended up in hospital for eight weeks, I couldn’t walk when I came out, I missed most of year one [at school].”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Polio outbreaks came in waves, mostly in summer months.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ian Holding terrified his father when he caught the disease as a toddler.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He was sitting in a waiting room with a child of two that couldn’t stand up,” Ian said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It upset him a lot. We weren’t allowed to visit anyone, but dad was still allowed to go to work.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the first polio vaccine was developed in 1955, widespread vaccination saw two of the three variants eradicated globally.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A van went around the schools and you all lined up,” Jenny recalled.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It went from 399 cases a year to two a year, so the impact of that vaccination was enormous,” Ian added.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even then, people needed convincing about getting the jab.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the Delta variant spreading around NSW, getting the population fully vaccinated has become more urgent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The focus is shifting towards getting young people vaccinated, with experts calling for children to be included in the vaccine discussion.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Just as polio survivors have had to contend with lasting symptoms, survivors of COVID may have to manage ‘long COVID’ and other unknown symptoms going into the future.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As for Jenny and Ian, they were quick to get the COVID vaccine after missing out on the polio vaccine as children.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They hope their experiences with polio can serve as a cautionary tale for those worried about or considering refusing the vaccine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I had my second [COVID] jab yesterday,” Ian said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And that makes me happy, because that protects me, my family, and the rest of the country.”</span></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Mum's "genius" hack to get the kids moving

<p>A mum has revealed she lets her children watch cartoon TV only if they walk on a treadmill.</p> <p>The US woman said she tricks her kids into exercising using her parenting technique - but not everyone agrees with her method.</p> <p>She shared a video to TikTok showing her 11-year-old son getting his steps in on the machine while enjoying a TV show.</p> <p>“I only let my kids watch cartoons if they’re walking on a treadmill,” she wrote in the video’s caption.</p> <p>“One day my 11-year-old walked 16 miles (25.7 kilometres).”</p> <p>The video has attracted over 2.7 million views with my parents praising her idea.</p> <p>“You win at parenting! That’s genius!” one person wrote.</p> <p>“Well excuse me while I add a treadmill to my Amazon cart,” another added.</p> <p>However, not everyone was convinced of her idea and said she should let her kids “relax” while they watch TV.</p> <p>“They will talk about this in therapy one day,” one person claimed, while another commenter went so far as to say it was “low-key evil”.</p> <p>But the mum wasn’t having any of the criticism and said it was “astounding” people claimed her actions were abusive as her “kids love doing it”.</p> <p>“The volume of people who think allowing a high energy child to choose to walk while watching cartoons = trauma and abuse, is astounding,” she said.</p> <p>The woman also claimed the method was “really effective” for adults.</p> <p>“I tell myself I can only watch my favourite show if I’m on the treadmill or folding laundry,” she explained.</p> <p>Other commenters also defended the mum, saying that those who were criticising her “need to go touch grass”.</p> <p>“I wish my parents would’ve done this to me,” one person wrote.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Patient zero of Black Death found

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">New evidence has suggested a man who died 5300 years ago in Latvia was infected with the earliest-known strain of the plague that caused the Black Death.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Waves of the plague swept through Europe for several centuries from the 1300s, causing millions of deaths.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Up to now this is the oldest-identified plague victim we have,” Dr Ben Krause-Kyora of the University of Kiel in Germany said of the remains.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The man was buried with three others at a Neolithic burial site in Latvia near the River Salac, which connects to the Baltic Sea.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The research, published in </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cell Reports</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, involved the sequencing of the DNA from the bones and teeth of the four individuals.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 375px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842261/60da287e1477f300188c82ae.jpg" alt="Dominik Göldner / BGAEU" data-udi="umb://media/1f7ae3fb0a0c41a49c6b87ea085cbef8" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When the bodies were tested for bacteria and viruses, the researchers were surprised to find one hunter-gatherer - a man in his twenties - was infected with an ancient strain of the plague, caused by the </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yersinia pestis</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> bacterium.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He was most likely bitten by a rodent, got the primary infection of </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yersinia pestis</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and died a couple of days [later] - maybe a week later - from the septic shock,” said Dr Krause-Kyora.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The researchers suggest that this strain appeared about 7000 years ago at the same time that agriculture started to appear in central Europe.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They also believe the bacterium may have sporadically jumped from animals to humans and that it became better at infecting humans over time, evolving into the form known as the bubonic plague.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The research has been welcomed by other experts, though it doesn’t rule out the hypothesis that the disease was spreading throughout Europe at the time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the disease is still around today, it is treatable with antibiotics if caught early.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dominik Göldner / BGAEU</span></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

“Horrific” dieting invention slammed online

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A newly-invented weight-loss tool that stops people from eating by holding their mouths shut has been criticised and labelled as “horrific” by many online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers from The University of Otago in New Zealand have claimed the DentalSlim Diet Control is a “world-first weight-loss device to help fight the global obesity epidemic”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fitted by a dentist, the device only allows people to open their mouth 2mm, which the university has said restricts “them to a liquid diet”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It allows free speech and doesn’t restrict breathing,” they clarified on the University’s website.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a trial of people based in the city of Dunedin, the university said subjects lost an average of 6.36 kilograms in two weeks while using the device.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Paul Brunton, the lead researcher and University of Otago Health Sciences Pro-Vice Chancellor, said the invention was “effective, safe, and affordable”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The main barrier for people for successful weight loss is compliance and this helps them establish new diets, allowing them to comply with a low-calorie diet for a period of time,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It really kick-starts the process.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, the announcement of the invention on Twitter has seen commenters call the invention “horrific” and compare it to a medieval torture device.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Brilliant, I'd like to submit my idea for a device to help short people be taller. <a href="https://t.co/5WYp26VbJ3">pic.twitter.com/5WYp26VbJ3</a></p> — Ika Makimaki (fish monkey) (@pezmico) <a href="https://twitter.com/pezmico/status/1409378892935176196?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 28, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Additionally, the </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">British Dental Journal</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> reported that some of the seven participants in the trial “had trouble pronouncing some words” but “felt tense and embarrassed only occasionally”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It also noted: “One patient admitted to ‘cheating’, consuming melted chocolate and fizzy drinks.”</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">After two or three weeks they can have the magnets disengaged and device removed. They could then have a period with a less restricted diet and then go back into treatment. This would allow for a phased approach to weight loss supported by advice from a dietician.</p> — University of Otago (@otago) <a href="https://twitter.com/otago/status/1409368110402990089?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 28, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Following the backlash online, the University clarified that the device could be removed after two or three weeks and was aimed to help people lose weight for surgery rather than act as a long-term weight loss tool.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: The University of Otago / Twitter</span></em></p>

Body

Our Partners