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How Bindi Irwin is passing down Steve's legacy to her daughter

<p>Bindi Irwin has found a unique and heartwarming way to introduce her late dad Steve to her own daughter.</p> <p>Grace, who is now three years old, never got to meet her grandfather Steve Irwin, who tragically passed away in 2006.</p> <p>In order to pass down his legacy and introduce Steve to her own daughter, Bindi has been showing Grace her dad's old documentaries.</p> <p>In an interview with <a title="US Weekly" href="https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/bindi-irwin-shares-the-one-thing-she-wants-to-tell-dad-steve-irwin/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener"><em>US Weekly</em>,</a> 25-year-old Bindi said her daughter has already picked up Steve's iconic catchphrase. </p> <p>"He was the same person in real life as he was on screen, so I feel like Grace is able to grow up knowing him," Bindi said. </p> <p>"As soon as we turn Dad on, she starts doing her imitation, yelling 'Crikey!' through the living room." </p> <p>Bindi, who continues to run Australia Zoo alongside her mum Terri, brother Robert, and her husband Chandler Powell, said the place is still filled with the essence of Steve with photos of him all through the park. </p> <p>It's bittersweet for Bindi, who's seeing her daughter grow up with a version of Steve who's only on the screen and the memory of him in Australia Zoo, but she's hoping that he's proud of them. </p> <p>"If I had the chance, the one thing I'd say to my dad is, 'I love you, and I miss you. Every day that you aren't here is hard. But we hope to be making you proud,'" she said.</p> <p>"I think when there's love that is that great, it never truly goes away. He's always with us."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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Here’s what happens to your body during plane turbulence – and how to reduce the discomfort it causes

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p>This week has seen another barrage of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/jan/22/uk-weather-storm-jocelyn-to-follow-isha-with-more-strong-winds-and-heavy-rain">unsettled weather</a> sweep across the UK, with many flights delayed or cancelled. Some of those who were fortunate enough to take off found themselves arriving at destinations that weren’t on their boarding passes – such as passengers travelling from Stansted to Newquay who eventually diverted to <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/storm-isha-creates-flight-diversion-142821278.html">Malaga</a>.</p> <p>One thing that was consistently described by passengers was that parts of the flights and the attempted landings were some of the most unnerving they’d ever experienced, due to turbulence.</p> <p>Turbulence results from uneven air movement, which is <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2023GL103814">increasing</a> in frequency. If you turn your hair dryer on at home and hold it still, the air moves at a constant rate, but once you begin drying your hair and moving the hairdryer around, the air movement becomes uneven, that is to say, turbulent.</p> <p>Although turbulence may be unnerving and make you feel unwell, it is important to recognise that it is very common and typically <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18018437/">nothing to worry about</a> if you’re in your seat with your seatbelt fastened.</p> <h2>How the body detects and responds to turbulence</h2> <p>The body recognises itself within any environment. Its relationship with objects in terms of distance and direction is called <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780123750006003414">spatial orientation</a>.</p> <p>When flying, this is typically moving forwards, ascending, some turns and a descent. However, turbulence disrupts this relationship and confuses the sensory information being received by the brain – it makes the body want to respond or recalibrate.</p> <p>Our inner ears play a pivotal role in all this. It consists of complex apparatuses that undertake more than hearing. These include the cochlea, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279394/">three semi-circular canals</a>, <a href="https://radiopaedia.org/articles/utricle-ear?lang=gb">the utricle</a> and <a href="https://radiopaedia.org/articles/saccule-ear-1?lang=gb">the saccule</a>.</p> <p>The cochlea is responsible for hearing. It converts <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531483/">sound energy into electrical energy</a> that is then “heard” by the brain. The remaining structures are responsible for the balance and position of the head and body. The semi-circular canals are positioned in a vertical (side to side), horizontal and front-to-back plane, detecting movement in a nodding, shaking and touching ear-to-shoulder direction.</p> <p>Attached to these canals are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532978/">the utricle and saccule</a>, which can detect <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10792/">movement</a> and <a href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(05)00837-7.pdf">acceleration</a>.</p> <p>All of these apparatuses use microscopic hair cells in a specialised fluid called <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531505/">endolymph</a> that flows with the head to create a sense of movement. When the plane encounters turbulence, this fluid moves around, but unpredictably. It takes <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518976/">about ten to 20 seconds</a> for the fluid to recalibrate its position, while the brain struggles to understand what is going on.</p> <p>When the aircraft hits turbulence, the balance apparatus <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2023.949227/full">cannot distinguish</a> the movement of the plane from that of the head, so the brain interprets the aircraft movement as that of the head or body. But this doesn’t match the visual information being received, which causes sensory confusion.</p> <p>The reason the inner ear causes so much confusion is because during flights you are devoid of your primary sensory tool relative to the external environment – your sight and the horizon.</p> <p>Eighty per cent of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518976/">spatial information</a> comes from your eyes during flight. However, you only have the seat in front of you or the cabin as a reference point, which means your inner ear becomes the dominant sensory message to the brain during turbulence and disrupts the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545297/">“vestibulo-ocular reflex”</a>. This reflex keeps your vision <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4130651/">aligned</a> with your balance or expected position.</p> <p>Vision is the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777262/">most valued</a> of the senses and one-third of the brain is attributed to its function, reinforcing its importance in spatial orientation.</p> <p>This sensory mixed messaging often results in things like dizziness and sweating as well as gastrointestinal symptoms, such as <a href="https://www.airmedicaljournal.com/article/S1067-991X(02)70038-2/fulltext">nausea and vomiting</a>.</p> <p>Motion sickness can be triggered by turbulence and although research into specific airsickness is limited, other modes that induce motion sickness suggest that <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16018346/">women</a> are <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26466829/">more susceptible</a> than men, particularly in the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16235881/">early stages</a> of the menstrual cycle.</p> <p>The turbulence also causes an increase in your heart rate, which is already higher than normal when flying because of a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15819766/">decrease in oxygen saturation</a>.</p> <h2>What about the pilots?</h2> <p>Commercial pilots accrue thousands of hours at the controls, they are subject to the same forces as the passengers.</p> <p>Over time, they can <a href="https://academic.oup.com/milmed/article/180/11/1135/4160573">adapt to these forces</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15828634/">experiences</a>, but they also have a couple of additional resources that most passengers don’t.</p> <p>They have the view out of the cockpit windows, so have a horizon to use as a reference point and can see what lies immediately ahead.</p> <p>If it is cloudy or visibility is low, their instruments provide additional visual <a href="https://www.faa.gov/sites/faa.gov/files/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/phak/19_phak_ch17.pdf">reference</a> to the position of the aircraft. This doesn’t mean they are immune to the effects of turbulence, with some studies reporting up to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26540704/">71% of trainee pilots</a> reporting episodes of airsickness.</p> <h2>How to reduce the discomfort</h2> <p>A window seat can help, or even looking out the window. This gives the brain some sensory information through visual pathways, helping calm the brain in response to the vestibular information it is receiving.</p> <p>If you can get one, a seat towards the front or over the wing reduces the effects of turbulence.</p> <p>Deep or rhythmical breathing can help reduce motion sickness induced by turbulence. Focusing on your breathing <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25945662/">calms the nervous system</a>.</p> <p>Don’t reach for the alcohol. While you may feel it calms your nerves, if you hit turbulence it’s going to interfere with your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7610847/">visual and auditory processing</a> and increase the likelihood of vomiting.</p> <p>If you suffer from motion sickness and are worried about turbulence while flying, then there are also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6241144/">drugs that can help</a>, including certain <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/cinnarizine/about-cinnarizine/">antihistamines</a>.</p> <p>Finally, it’s important to remember that although turbulence can be unpleasant, aircraft are designed to withstand the forces it generates and many passengers, even frequent fliers, will rarely encounter the most severe categories of turbulence because pilots actively plan routes to avoid it.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221780/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, Professor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/heres-what-happens-to-your-body-during-plane-turbulence-and-how-to-reduce-the-discomfort-it-causes-221780">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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How do I plan for my retirement? Step one – start right away

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p>Planning for retirement is important because it will help you build the nest egg you’ll need to financially sustain your retirement years.</p> <p>Past <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/epdf/10.1080/03601277.2012.660859?needAccess=true">studies</a> have shown that those who plan for their retirement are more likely to be better off at retirement compared to those don’t.</p> <p>The sooner the planning process gets underway, the better. This gives your money more time to grow by generating investment returns. And the income from your first job is your first opportunity to save for retirement. As the saying goes: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”</p> <p>As people <a href="https://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=15601">can expect to live longer</a>, they must save more for retirement so that they don’t outlive their savings. This is particularly true given that the pensions landscape worldwide has undergone some major changes.</p> <p>In the past, governments and employers provided retirement income for individuals through government social security benefits and employment-based retirement funds. Because of increasing life expectancies, pension plans that guaranteed a retirement benefit to employees are now rare. Employees are now responsible for making contributions towards their own pensions as well as choosing the investments offered by the pension fund.</p> <p>Since employers are no longer responsible for funding their employees’ retirement and governments lack resources to provide a universal state pension, each person is ultimately responsible for ensuring they have enough retirement savings. So it’s very important to know the basics of the retirement planning process.</p> <p>As a researcher, I’m interested in how people use financial products to overcome economic challenges and build wealth. One of the things I investigate is whether planning for retirement leads to better retirement outcomes. For instance, my <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bomikazi-Zeka-2/publication/340130176_Retirement_funding_adequacy_in_black_South_African_townships/links/5e8bf3924585150839c6408b/Retirement-funding-adequacy-in-black-South-African-townships.pdf?_sg%5B0%5D=started_experiment_milestone&amp;origin=journalDetail&amp;_rtd=e30%3D">research</a> has found that individuals whose financial affairs are in order are more likely to maintain their standard of living at retirement.</p> <p>Given that everyone’s financial situation is unique, it’s always a good idea to speak to a financial planner for tailored financial advice.</p> <p>If you haven’t given retirement planning much thought or don’t know where to start, here are four points to help get the ball rolling.</p> <h2>What are my retirement goals?</h2> <p>Retirement goals make you think about what you want to achieve by the time you retire and what you need to do to achieve it. Some people may have a goal in mind about when they want to retire, or how much wealth they’d like to have by the time they retire. And since wealth has different meanings for different people, others may think about maintaining or improving their standard of living at retirement.</p> <p>Once you’ve thought about your retirement goals, the <a href="https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/management/smart-goal/">“smart” goals</a> framework is a useful guide. It outlines that goals should be: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.</p> <p>When goals are clear, within reach, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive, they become a blueprint to help you turn them into a reality.</p> <h2>How do I start saving for retirement?</h2> <p>For those who have a job that comes with retirement fund membership, a workplace pension is used to provide for retirement. But there are also other options available to help you save.</p> <p>For instance, retirement annuity funds are voluntary retirement savings. Personal assets such as <a href="https://www.allangray.co.za/what-we-offer/unit-trust-investment/#fund-3">unit trusts</a> or <a href="https://www.gov.za/faq/money-matters/how-can-i-make-tax-free-investment">tax-free investments</a> can also be used as a savings tool. Unit trusts are generally better suited for people willing to take on risk because their value is tied to the movements of financial markets. In other words, they can generate positive returns but they can also lose value. The drawback of tax-free investments in South Africa is that they have a lifetime contribution limit. You can’t use them to save more than R500,000 (US$27,400).</p> <p>Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages and what works best for one person may not be best for another. But there are several ways to save for retirement depending on your financial situation and retirement goals. Getting professional advice will help you determine what’s best for you.</p> <h2>Will my retirement savings be enough?</h2> <p>Once you’ve set your retirement goals and have a retirement savings plan in place, you can calculate whether you are saving enough to achieve your retirement goals.</p> <p>For example, if your retirement goal is: “I want to retire at the age of 65 years with an income equivalent to R35,000 (US$1,900) per month” then you can use a <a href="https://www.sanlam.co.za/tools/Pages/retirement.aspx">retirement calculator</a> to track your progress and determine whether you need to make adjustments to meet your goals.</p> <p>You might have to increase the monthly amount you’re putting away for retirement or reconsider your retirement age. The retirement calculators are also a useful tool for regular check-ins on your progress should your financial situation change – for example, if you change employers and earn a different salary.</p> <h2>What other issues should I consider?</h2> <p>It’s also important to think about your lifestyle and priorities.</p> <p>For instance:</p> <ul> <li> <p>do you aim to retire with your mortgage settled?</p> </li> <li> <p>are there debts you plan to clear before you retire or children who need financial support at retirement?</p> </li> <li> <p>would you like to renovate your home?</p> </li> <li> <p>would you like to buy a new car when you reach retirement age?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Another important consideration is healthcare costs. Many people assume that they will be able to work indefinitely and overlook the fact that healthcare costs may increase with age.</p> <h2>Starting early matters</h2> <p>Many people plan to work after retirement age, while others don’t plan to retire at all. It may be that they can’t afford to. They may have accessed their retirement benefits too soon, made inconsistent retirement fund contributions, or had to pay high administrative costs that eroded the final value of a retirement payout.</p> <p>So best be prepared. Retirement may seem like a distant event to plan and save for, especially when there are more pressing financial needs. It’s important to think about the financial decisions you make now that may cost you in the future. If you start to plan for your retirement now, your future self will thank you for it.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230553/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, Assistant Professor in Finance and Financial Planning, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-do-i-plan-for-my-retirement-step-one-start-right-away-230553">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Retirement Income

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Exercise, therapy and diet can all improve life during cancer treatment and boost survival. Here’s how

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rob-newton-12124">Rob Newton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p>With so many high-profile people <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/mar/23/cancer-charities-princess-of-wales-speaking-about-diagnosis">diagnosed with cancer</a> we are confronted with the stark reality the disease can strike any of us at any time. There are also reports certain cancers are <a href="https://www.cancer.org/research/acs-research-news/facts-and-figures-2024.html">increasing among younger people</a> in their 30s and 40s.</p> <p>On the positive side, medical treatments for cancer are advancing very rapidly. Survival rates are <a href="https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21763">improving greatly</a> and some cancers are now being managed more as <a href="https://www.cancer.org/cancer/survivorship/long-term-health-concerns/cancer-as-a-chronic-illness.html">long-term chronic diseases</a> rather than illnesses that will rapidly claim a patient’s life.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.cancer.org/cancer/managing-cancer/treatment-types.html">mainstays of cancer treatment</a> remain surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy and hormone therapy. But there are other treatments and strategies – “adjunct” or supportive cancer care – that can have a powerful impact on a patient’s quality of life, survival and experience during cancer treatment.</p> <h2>Keep moving if you can</h2> <p>Physical exercise is now recognised as a <a href="https://www.exerciseismedicine.org/">medicine</a>. It can be tailored to the patient and their health issues to stimulate the body and build an internal environment where <a href="https://wchh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/tre.884">cancer is less likely to flourish</a>. It does this in a number of ways.</p> <p>Exercise provides a strong stimulus to our immune system, increasing the number of cancer-fighting immune cells in our blood circulation and infusing these into the tumour tissue <a href="https://jitc.bmj.com/content/9/7/e001872">to identify and kill cancer cells</a>.</p> <p>Our skeletal muscles (those attached to bone for movement) release signalling molecules called <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7288608/">myokines</a>. The larger the muscle mass, the more myokines are released – even when a person is at rest. However, during and immediately after bouts of exercise, a further surge of myokines is secreted into the bloodstream. Myokines attach to immune cells, stimulating them to be better “hunter-killers”. Myokines also signal directly to cancer cells <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254623001175">slowing their growth and causing cell death</a>.</p> <p>Exercise can also greatly <a href="https://wchh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/tre.884">reduce the side effects of cancer treatment</a> such as fatigue, muscle and bone loss, and fat gain. And it reduces the risk of <a href="https://doi.org/10.2337/diacare.27.7.1812">developing other chronic diseases</a> such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Exercise can maintain or improve quality of life and mental health <a href="https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tbj/2022/9921575/">for patients with cancer</a>.</p> <p>Emerging research evidence indicates exercise might increase the effectiveness of mainstream treatments such as <a href="https://aacrjournals.org/cancerres/article/81/19/4889/670308/Effects-of-Exercise-on-Cancer-Treatment-Efficacy-A">chemotherapy</a> and <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41391-020-0245-z">radiation therapy</a>. Exercise is certainly essential for preparing the patient for any surgery to increase cardio-respiratory fitness, reduce systemic inflammation, and increase muscle mass, strength and physical function, and then <a href="https://www.jsams.org/article/S1440-2440(18)31270-2/fulltext">rehabilitating them after surgery</a>.</p> <p>These mechanisms explain why cancer patients who are physically active have much <a href="https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/fulltext/2019/06000/physical_activity_in_cancer_prevention_and.20.aspx">better survival outcomes</a> with the relative risk of death from cancer <a href="https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/fulltext/2019/06000/physical_activity_in_cancer_prevention_and.20.aspx">reduced by as much as 40–50%</a>.</p> <h2>Mental health helps</h2> <p>The second “tool” which has a major role in cancer management is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6016045/">psycho-oncology</a>. It involves the psychological, social, behavioural and emotional aspects of cancer for not only the patient but also their carers and family. The aim is to maintain or improve quality of life and mental health aspects such as emotional distress, anxiety, depression, sexual health, coping strategies, personal identity and relationships.</p> <p>Supporting quality of life and happiness is important on their own, but these barometers <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1349880/full">can also impact</a> a patient’s physical health, response to exercise medicine, resilience to disease and to treatments.</p> <p>If a patient is highly distressed or anxious, their body can enter a flight or fight response. This creates an internal environment that is actually supportive of cancer progression <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/feelings/stress-fact-sheet">through hormonal and inflammatory mechanisms</a>. So it’s essential their mental health is supported.</p> <h2>Putting the good things in: diet</h2> <p>A third therapy in the supportive cancer care toolbox is diet. A healthy diet <a href="https://www.cancer.org/cancer/survivorship/coping/nutrition/benefits.html">can support the body</a> to fight cancer and help it tolerate and recover from medical or surgical treatments.</p> <p>Inflammation provides a more fertile environment <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2022/reducing-inflammation-to-treat-cancer">for cancer cells</a>. If a patient is overweight with excessive fat tissue then a diet to reduce fat which is also anti-inflammatory can be very helpful. This <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2021.709435/full">generally means</a> avoiding processed foods and eating predominantly fresh food, locally sourced and mostly plant based.</p> <p>Muscle loss is <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rco2.56">a side effect of all cancer treatments</a>. Resistance training exercise can help but people may need protein supplements or diet changes to make sure they get enough protein to build muscle. Older age and cancer treatments may reduce both the intake of protein and compromise absorption so <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261561421005422">supplementation may be indicated</a>.</p> <p>Depending on the cancer and treatment, some patients may require highly specialised diet therapy. Some cancers such as pancreatic, stomach, esophageal, and lung cancer can cause rapid and uncontrolled drops in body weight. This is called <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8233663/">cachexia and needs careful management</a>.</p> <p>Other cancers and treatments such as hormone therapy can cause rapid weight gain. This also needs careful monitoring and guidance so that, when a patient is clear of cancer, they are not left with higher risks of other health problems such as cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that boost your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes).</p> <h2>Working as a team</h2> <p>These are three of the most powerful tools in the supportive care toolbox for people with cancer. None of them are “cures” for cancer, alone or together. But they can work in tandem with medical treatments to greatly improve outcomes for patients.</p> <p>If you or someone you care about has cancer, national and state cancer councils and cancer-specific organisations can provide support.</p> <p>For exercise medicine support it is best to consult with an <a href="https://www.essa.org.au/Public/Public/Consumer_Information/What_is_an_Accredited_Exercise_Physiologist_.aspx">accredited exercise physiologist</a>, for diet therapy an <a href="https://dietitiansaustralia.org.au/working-dietetics/standards-and-scope/role-accredited-practising-dietitian">accredited practising dietitian</a> and mental health support with a <a href="https://psychology.org.au/psychology/about-psychology/what-is-psychology">registered psychologist</a>. Some of these services are supported through Medicare on referral from a general practitioner.</p> <hr /> <p><em>For free and confidential cancer support call the <a href="https://www.cancer.org.au/support-and-services/cancer-council-13-11-20">Cancer Council</a> on 13 11 20.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/226720/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rob-newton-12124">Rob Newton</a>, Professor of Exercise Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/exercise-therapy-and-diet-can-all-improve-life-during-cancer-treatment-and-boost-survival-heres-how-226720">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Caring

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How risky is turbulence on a plane? How worried should I be?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hassan-vally-202904">Hassan Vally</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>The Singapore Airlines <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-05-21/singapore-london-flight-makes-emergency-landing/103876370">turbulence incident</a> that has sadly left one person dead and others hospitalised has made many of us think about the risks of air travel.</p> <p>We’ll hear more in coming days about how the aircraft came to drop so suddenly on its route from London to Singapore earlier this week, injuring passengers and crew, before making an emergency landing in Thailand.</p> <p>But thankfully, these types of incidents <a href="https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2014/in-flight-turbulence">are rare</a>, and much <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/transport-accidents">less-common</a> than injuries from other types of transport.</p> <p>So why do we sometimes think the risk of getting injured while travelling by plane is higher than it really is?</p> <h2>How common are turbulence injuries?</h2> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-air-turbulence-196872">Turbulence</a> <a href="https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2014/in-flight-turbulence">is caused by</a> the irregular movement of air, leading to passengers and crew experiencing abrupt sideways and vertical jolts.</p> <p>In the case of the Singapore Airlines flight, this type of turbulence is thought to be a severe example of “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/article/2024/may/21/what-causes-air-turbulence-and-how-worried-should-passengers-be">clear-air turbulence</a>”, which can occur without warning. There are several other types.</p> <p>About 25 in-flight turbulence injuries <a href="https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2014/in-flight-turbulence">are reported</a> to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau each year, although it is thought many more are un-reported. Some of these reported injuries are serious, including broken bones and head injuries. Passengers being thrown up and out of their seat during turbulence is one of the most common type of head injury on a plane.</p> <p>Other injuries from turbulence are caused by contact with flying laptops, or other unsecured items.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.atsb.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-04/AR-2008-034%20Turbulence%20FactSheet_v2.pdf">one example</a> of clear-air turbulence that came without warning, cabin crew, passengers and meal trolleys hit the ceiling, and landed heavily back on the floor. Serious injuries included bone fractures, lacerations, neck and back strains, a dislocated shoulder and shattered teeth. Almost all of those seriously injured did not have their seat belts fastened.</p> <p>But we need to put this into perspective. In the year to January 2024, there were <a href="https://www.bitre.gov.au/statistics/aviation/international">more than 36 million</a> passengers on international flights to Australia. In the year to February 2024, there were <a href="https://www.bitre.gov.au/statistics/aviation/domestic">more than 58 million</a> passengers on domestic flights.</p> <p>So while such incidents grab the headlines, they are exceedingly rare.</p> <h2>Why do we think flying is riskier than it is?</h2> <p>When we hear about this recent Singapore Airlines incident, it’s entirely natural to have a strong emotional reaction. We might have imagined the terror we might feel if we were on the aircraft at the time.</p> <p>But our emotional response <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2001-16969-005">alters our perception</a> of the risk and leads us to think these rare incidents are more common than they really are.</p> <p>There is a vast body of literature addressing the <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-how-our-understanding-of-risk-is-changing-79501">numerous factors</a> that influence how individuals perceive risk and the cognitive biases we are all subject to that mislead us.</p> <p>Nobel Prize-winning economist <a href="https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/2002/kahneman/facts/">Daniel Kahneman</a> covers them in his bestselling book <a href="https://www.penguin.com.au/books/thinking-fast-and-slow-9780141033570">Thinking, Fast and Slow</a>.</p> <p>He describes the way we respond to risks is not rational, but driven by emotion. Kahneman also highlights the fact that our brains are not wired to make sense of extremely small risks. So these types of risks – such as the chance of serious injury or death from in-flight turbulence – are hard for us to make sense of.</p> <p>The more unusual an event is, and this was a very unusual event, Kahneman says the more impact it makes on our psyche and the more likely we are to overestimate the risk.</p> <p>Of course, the more unusual the event, the <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1999-02435-000">more likely</a> it is for it to be in the media, amplifying this effect.</p> <p>Similarly, the easier it is to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0010028573900339">imagine an event</a>, the more it affects our perception and the more likely we are to respond to an event as if it were much more likely to occur.</p> <h2>How can we make sense of the risk?</h2> <p>One way to make sense of activities with small, hard-to-understand risks is by comparing their risks to the risks of more familiar activities.</p> <p>If we do this, the data shows very clearly that it is much <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/transport-accidents">more risky</a> to drive a car or ride a motorbike than to travel by plane.</p> <p>While events such as the Singapore Airlines incident are devastating and stir up lots of emotions, it’s important to recognise how our emotions can mislead us to over-estimate the risk of this happening again, or to us.</p> <p>Apart from the stress and anxiety this provokes, overestimating the risks of particular activities may lead us to make bad decisions that actually put us at greater risk of harm.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230665/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hassan-vally-202904">Hassan Vally</a>, Associate Professor, Epidemiology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-risky-is-turbulence-on-a-plane-how-worried-should-i-be-230665">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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How to write creative non-fiction history

<p><em>Discovering an old photo album from the 1920s, celebrated author and adjunct professor <strong>Paul Ashton</strong> embarked on a journey to turn historical research into engaging creative non-fiction, blending meticulous evidence with captivating storytelling. Here he shares he insights on the fascinating process. </em></p> <p>One afternoon my elderly father and niece came to my home for lunch. On their way they had seen something on a council clean up. ‘We thought you might be interested in this,’ said my father handing me a small, brown photo album. I was.</p> <p>The album contained around 100 undated black and white photographs. It became apparent quickly that this was the record of a road trip done in the 1920s or 1930s. A boy, two women and a man had gone on a trip from Sydney up through New England, to Tamworth then to Brisbane and back to Sydney. Shadows in some of the images indicate that they were taken by the man and at least one of the women. The album provided the basis for my first children’s book, Palmer’s Mystery Hikes.</p> <p>One photograph stood out for me. Hundreds of people were gathered somewhere in the bush. In the far left-hand corner in the background was an elevated table covered with a large white tablecloth. With a magnifying glass I could just make out ‘Palmers [something] Hike’. In 1932 Palmer’s men and boys’ department store, in Park Street in Sydney, had established a hiking club to promote the sale of hiking apparel. You bought a ‘mystery’ ticket from New South Wales Railways with which Palmer had an arrangement; turned up at Central Station on Sunday morning; and were taken to a mystery destination. From there you did a ten-mile hike to another station and were then trained back to Sydney. There were five hikes. The third one to the Hawkesbury River attracted over 8,000 people.</p> <p>Turning historical research into believable fiction or creative non-fiction has certain demands. How do you strike a balance between historical research and evidence and the narrative form? This is a big question and will ultimately depend on many things, including the availability of primary and secondary sources and the nature of the particular narrative. But perhaps the most important question is: how do writers use the past to give their work historical dimensions and insights?</p> <p>For me, the most critical element is context. And it’s the thing most missing in much historically based fictional literature. Evoking people, places and periods involves understandings of things such as continuity and change over time, historical process – like colonisation and suburbanisation – ideologies and superstitions. Where appropriate, these should form subtle backgrounds to the narrative. Fiction and creative non-fiction as historical modes of presenting history should also show – not tell.</p> <p>My edited collection, If It’s not True It Should Be (Halstead Press), explores writing history using fictional techniques. As Peter Stanley has written in that book, ‘those who seek to illuminate the past through the imaginative recreation of historical fiction … [are] motivated by the fundamental conviction that what links the fidelity of the historian and the imagination of the historical novelist is that the work of both should be offered and read as if it were true.’</p> <p><em>ABOUT THE AUTHOR<br />Paul Ashton is adjunct professor and co-founder of the Australian Centre for Public History at the University of Technology Sydney and adjunct professor at the University of Canberra and Macquarie University. He has authored, co-authored, edited and co-edited over 40 books and is editor of the journal Public History Review. His series of creative non-fiction children’s histories – Accidental Histories – is being published by Halstead Press.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Supplied</em></p>

Books

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After 180 years, new clues are revealing just how general anaesthesia works in the brain

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-d-hines-767066">Adam D Hines</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4773932/pdf/BLT.15.159293.pdf/">Over 350 million surgeries</a> are performed globally each year. For most of us, it’s likely at some point in our lives we’ll have to undergo a procedure that needs general anaesthesia.</p> <p>Even though it is one of the safest medical practices, we still don’t have a complete, thorough understanding of precisely how anaesthetic drugs work in the brain.</p> <p>In fact, it has largely remained a mystery since general anaesthesia was introduced into medicine over <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/08941939.2015.1061826">180 years ago</a>.</p> <p>Our study published <a href="https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0588-23.2024">in The Journal of Neuroscience today</a> provides new clues on the intricacies of the process. General anaesthetic drugs seem to only affect specific parts of the brain responsible for keeping us alert and awake.</p> <h2>Brain cells striking a balance</h2> <p>In a study using fruit flies, we found a potential way that allows anaesthetic drugs to interact with specific types of neurons (brain cells), and it’s all to do with proteins. Your brain has around <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cne.21974">86 billion neurons</a> and not all of them are the same – it’s these differences that allow general anaesthesia to be effective.</p> <p>To be clear, we’re not completely in the dark on <a href="https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0165614719300951">how anaesthetic drugs affect us</a>. We know why general anaesthetics are able to make us lose consciousness so quickly, thanks to a <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/367607a0">landmark discovery made in 1994</a>.</p> <p>But to better understand the fine details, we first have to look to the minute differences between the cells in our brains.</p> <p>Broadly speaking, there are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6591655/">two main categories of neurons in the brain</a>.</p> <p>The first are what we call “excitatory” neurons, generally responsible for keeping us alert and awake. The second are “inhibitory” neurons – their job is to regulate and control the excitatory ones.</p> <p>In our day-to-day lives, excitatory and inhibitory neurons are constantly working and balancing one another.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/npp2017294">When we fall asleep</a>, there are inhibitory neurons in the brain that “silence” the excitatory ones keeping us awake. This happens <a href="https://askdruniverse.wsu.edu/2018/01/07/why-do-we-get-tired/">gradually over time</a>, which is why you may feel progressively more tired through the day.</p> <p>General anaesthetics speed up this process by directly silencing these excitatory neurons without any action from the inhibitory ones. This is why your anaesthetist will tell you that they’ll “put you to sleep” for the procedure: <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nrn2372">it’s essentially the same process</a>.</p> <h2>A special kind of sleep</h2> <p>While we know why anaesthetics put us to sleep, the question then becomes: “why do we <em>stay</em> asleep during surgery?”. If you went to bed tonight, fell asleep and somebody tried to do surgery on you, you’d wake up with quite a shock.</p> <p>To date, there is no strong consensus in the field as to why general anaesthesia causes people to remain unconscious during surgery.</p> <p>Over the last couple of decades, researchers have proposed several potential explanations, but they all seem to point to one root cause. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7709148/#:%7E:text=At%20presynaptic%20part%2C%20voltage%2Dgated,anesthetics%20to%20inhibiting%20neurotransmitter%20release.">Neurons stop talking to each other</a> when exposed to general anaesthetics.</p> <p>While the idea of “cells talking to each other” may sound a little strange, it’s a <a href="https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain-basics/brain/brain-physiology/action-potentials-and-synapses">fundamental concept in neuroscience</a>. Without this communication, our brains wouldn’t be able to function at all. And it allows the brain to know what’s happening throughout the body.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/593888/original/file-20240514-16-5fletd.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/593888/original/file-20240514-16-5fletd.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/593888/original/file-20240514-16-5fletd.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=600&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/593888/original/file-20240514-16-5fletd.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=600&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/593888/original/file-20240514-16-5fletd.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=600&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/593888/original/file-20240514-16-5fletd.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=754&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/593888/original/file-20240514-16-5fletd.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=754&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/593888/original/file-20240514-16-5fletd.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=754&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Two branching structures in orange, green, blue and yellow colours on a black background." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Colourised neurons in the brain of a fly.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Adam Hines</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What did we discover?</h2> <p>Our new study shows that general anaesthetics appear to stop excitatory neurons from communicating, but not inhibitory ones. <a href="https://www.jneurosci.org/content/40/21/4103">This concept isn’t new</a>, but we found some compelling evidence as to <em>why</em> only excitatory neurons are affected.</p> <p>For neurons to communicate, proteins have to get involved. One of the jobs these proteins have is to get neurons to release molecules called <a href="https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22513-neurotransmitters">neurotransmitters</a>. These chemical messengers are what gets signals across from one neuron to another: dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin are all neurotransmitters, for example.</p> <p>We found that general anaesthetics impair the ability of these proteins to release neurotransmitters, but only in excitatory neurons. To test this, we used <a href="https://www.eneuro.org/content/8/3/ENEURO.0057-21.2021"><em>Drosophila melanogaster</em> fruit flies</a> and <a href="https://imb.uq.edu.au/research/facilities/microscopy/training-manuals/microscopy-online-resources/image-capture/super-resolution-microscopy">super resolution microscopy</a> to directly see what effects a general anaesthetic was having on these proteins at a molecular scale.</p> <p>Part of what makes excitatory and inhibitory neurons different from each other is that they <a href="https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/physrev.00007.2012">express different types of the same protein</a>. This is kind of like having two cars of the same make and model, but one is green and has a sports package, while the other is just standard and red. They both do the same thing, but one’s just a little bit different.</p> <p>Neurotransmitter release is a complex process involving lots of different proteins. If one piece of the puzzle isn’t exactly right, then general anaesthetics won’t be able to do their job.</p> <p>As a next research step, we will need to figure out which piece of the puzzle is different, to understand why general anaesthetics only stop excitatory communication.</p> <p>Ultimately, our results hint that the drugs used in general anaesthetics cause massive global inhibition in the brain. By silencing excitability in two ways, these drugs put us to sleep and keep it that way.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/229713/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-d-hines-767066">Adam D Hines</a>, Research fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/after-180-years-new-clues-are-revealing-just-how-general-anaesthesia-works-in-the-brain-229713">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

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Air travel exposes you to radiation – how much health risk comes with it?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/timothy-j-jorgensen-239253">Timothy J. Jorgensen</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/georgetown-university-1239">Georgetown University</a></em></p> <p>In 2017, <a href="http://www.independent.ie/business/world/18-million-miles-and-counting-the-globes-top-business-traveller-35666790.html">business traveler Tom Stuker</a> was hailed as the world’s most frequent flyer, logging 18,000,000 miles of air travel on United Airlines over 14 years.</p> <p>That’s a lot of time up in the air. If Stuker’s traveling behaviors are typical of other business flyers, he may have eaten 6,500 <a href="http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=689041">inflight meals</a>, drunk 5,250 <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1708-8305.2009.00339.x">alcoholic beverages</a>, watched thousands of <a href="http://www.iata.org/publications/store/Pages/global-passenger-survey.aspx">inflight movies</a> and made around 10,000 visits to <a href="http://blog.thetravelinsider.info/2012/11/how-many-restrooms-are-enough-on-a-plane.html">airplane toilets</a>.</p> <p>He would also have accumulated a radiation dose equivalent to about 1,000 <a href="https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=safety-xray">chest x-rays</a>. But what kind of health risk does all that radiation actually pose?</p> <h2>Cosmic rays coming at you</h2> <p>You might guess that a frequent flyer’s radiation dose is coming from the airport security checkpoints, with their whole-body scanners and baggage x-ray machines, but you’d be wrong. The <a href="http://www.aapm.org/publicgeneral/AirportScannersPressRelease.asp">radiation doses to passengers from these security procedures</a> are trivial.</p> <p>The major source of radiation exposure from air travel comes from the flight itself. This is because at high altitude the <a href="http://www.altitude.org/why_less_oxygen.php">air gets thinner</a>. The farther you go from the Earth’s surface, the fewer molecules of gas there are per volume of space. Thinner air thus means fewer molecules to deflect incoming <a href="http://www.space.com/32644-cosmic-rays.html">cosmic rays</a> – radiation from outer space. With less <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/earth/atmosphere_and_climate/atmosphere">atmospheric shielding</a>, there is more exposure to radiation.</p> <p>The most extreme situation is for astronauts who travel entirely outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and enjoy none of its protective shielding. Consequently, they receive high radiation doses. In fact, it is the accumulation of radiation dose that is the limiting factor for the maximum length of manned space flights. Too long in space and <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/hrp/bodyinspace">astronauts risk cataracts, cancer and potential heart ailments</a> when they get back home.</p> <p>Indeed, it’s the radiation dose problem that is a major spoiler for <a href="http://www.space.com/34210-elon-musk-unveils-spacex-mars-colony-ship.html">Elon Musk’s goal of inhabiting Mars</a>. An extended stay on Mars, with its <a href="http://www.space.com/16903-mars-atmosphere-climate-weather.html">extremely thin atmosphere</a>, would be lethal due to the high radiation doses, notwithstanding Matt Damon’s successful Mars colonization in the movie <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej3ioOneTy8">“The Martian</a>.”</p> <h2>Radiation risks of ultra frequent flying</h2> <p>What would be Stuker’s cumulative radiation dose and what are his health risks?</p> <p>It depends entirely on how much time he has spent in the air. Assuming an <a href="http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2002/JobyJosekutty.shtml">average flight speed</a> (550 mph), Stuker’s 18,000,000 miles would translate into 32,727 hours (3.7 years) of flight time. The radiation dose rate at typical <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-truths/why-do-planes-fly-so-high-feet/">commercial airline flight altitude</a> (35,000 feet) is about <a href="https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercialflights.html">0.003 millisieverts per hour</a>. (As I explain in my book <a href="http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10691.html">“Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation</a>,” a millisievert or mSv is a unit of radiation dose that can be used to estimate cancer risk.) By multiplying the dose rate by the hours of flight time, we can see that Stuker has earned himself about 100 mSv of radiation dose, in addition to a lot of free airline tickets. But what does that mean for his health?</p> <p>The primary health threat at this dose level is an increased risk of some type of cancer later in life. Studies of atomic bomb victims, nuclear workers and medical radiation patients have <a href="https://doi.org/10.17226/11340">allowed scientists to estimate the cancer risk</a> for any particular radiation dose.</p> <p>All else being equal and assuming that low doses have risk levels proportionate to high doses, then an overall cancer risk rate of <a href="http://www.imagewisely.org/imaging-modalities/computed-tomography/medical-physicists/articles/how-to-understand-and-communicate-radiation-risk">0.005 percent per mSv</a> is a reasonable and commonly used estimate. Thus, Stuker’s 100-mSv dose would increase his lifetime risk of contracting a potentially fatal cancer by about 0.5 percent.</p> <h2>Contextualizing the risk</h2> <p>The question then becomes whether that’s a high level of risk. Your own feeling might depend on how you see your background cancer risk.</p> <p>Most people <a href="http://www.who.int/whr/2002/chapter3/en/index4.html">underestimate their personal risk of dying from cancer</a>. Although the exact number is debatable, it’s fair to say that <a href="https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/lifetime-probability-of-developing-or-dying-from-cancer.html">about 25 percent of men ultimately contract a potentially fatal cancer</a>. Stuker’s 0.5 percent cancer risk from radiation should be added to his baseline risk – so it would go from 25 percent to 25.5 percent. A cancer risk increase of that size is too small to actually measure in any scientific way, so it must remain a theoretical increase in risk.</p> <p>A 0.5 percent increase in risk is the same as one chance in 200 of getting cancer. In other words, if 200 male travelers logged 18,000,000 miles of air travel, like Stuker did, we might expect just one of them to contract a cancer thanks to his flight time. The other 199 travelers would suffer no health effects. So the chances that Stuker is the specific 18-million-mile traveler who would be so unlucky is quite small.</p> <p>Stuker was logging more air hours per year (greater than 2,000) than most pilots typically log (<a href="http://work.chron.com/duty-limitations-faa-pilot-17646.html">under 1,000</a>). So these airline workers would have risk levels proportionately lower than Stuker’s. But what about you?</p> <p>If you want to know your personal cancer risk from flying, estimate all of your commercial airline miles over the years. Assuming that the values and parameters for speed, radiation dose and risk stated above for Stuker are also true for you, dividing your total miles by 3,700,000,000 will give your approximate odds of getting cancer from your flying time.</p> <p>For example, let’s pretend that you have a mathematically convenient 370,000 total flying miles. That would mean 370,000 miles divided by 3,700,000,000, which comes out to be 1/10,000 odds of contracting cancer (or a 0.01 percent increase in risk). Most people do not fly 370,000 miles (equal to 150 flights from Los Angeles to New York) within their lifetimes. So for the average flyer, the increased risk is far less than 0.01 percent.</p> <p>To make your exercise complete, make a list of all the benefits that you’ve derived from your air travel over your lifetime (job opportunities, vacation travel, family visits and so on) and go back and look at your increased cancer risk again. If you think your benefits have been meager compared to your elevated cancer risk, maybe its time to rethink flying. But for many people today, flying is a necessity of life, and the small elevated cancer risk is worth the price.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/78790/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/timothy-j-jorgensen-239253">Timothy J. Jorgensen</a>, Director of the Health Physics and Radiation Protection Graduate Program and Professor of Radiation Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/georgetown-university-1239">Georgetown University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/air-travel-exposes-you-to-radiation-how-much-health-risk-comes-with-it-78790">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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How one widow has changed how women solo travel

<p>After Yvonne Vickers' husband passed away in 2014, she thought her opportunities to travel and see the world had slipped away. </p> <p>Yvonne had always been a keen traveller and went on trips with her married friends after becoming a widow, but she "got over being the third wheel", she admitted to <a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/cruising-solo-female-older-passengers/9553953c-84e8-418a-9c2b-8c9b847b9ba4" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>9Travel</em></a>. </p> <p>Still wanting to see the world on her own terms, Yvonne took to Facebook where she created a group seeking like-minded women who share her passion for adventure. </p> <p>Now, the Find A Female Cruise or Travel Buddy is an ever-growing group that has connected thousands of women looking for travel companions. </p> <p>Whether they're single, widowed, or just married to someone who doesn't want to travel, the group is open to women across the globe to join.</p> <p>Thanks to her newfound community, Yvonne has taken 41 cruises and dozens of land trips since her husband's death, all while making friends for life, and the rest of the group's members are in the same boat.</p> <p>"It's wonderful to get feedback from ladies saying that it's helped to change their life," Yvonne said. "That's the rewarding part of it for me."</p> <p>Members can make a post in the group, detailing a cruise sailing or trip that they have their eye on booking, to see if anyone else would like to join them.</p> <p>"We have a lot of widows in our group who are cashed up and want to travel but don't have anyone to travel with or share their experiences with," Yvonne said. "The group gives them the opportunity to be able to do that."</p> <p>"There are also a lot of ladies who are married but their husbands don't want to travel. It gives them the opportunity to be able to travel."</p> <p>Yvonne says that cruising is a perfect way for older females to travel, especially if they're on their own.</p> <p>"It's a really safe way to travel as a solo female," she says, also noting that it's an easy way to get around and see places. Recently, she did a 35-day trip around Hawaii with a group of women from the group.</p> <p>For the Find A Female Cruise or Travel Buddy group, there's even more fun trips on the horizon.</p> <p>Yvonne just came back from a trip to Japan with 14 group members, and is heading to Bali in August with a friend she made through the group.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine News \ Facebook</em></p>

Cruising

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15,000 squares, 500 hours, 19 months: how I used embroidery to make sense of Australia’s catastrophic fires

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tracey-clement-1518268">Tracey Clement</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p>I slip the needle through a small loop of black thread, pull it tight and snip. Done. I have just tied off the very last stitch on an embroidered scroll that has taken me more than 500 hours across 19 months to complete.</p> <p>All of my artwork is extremely labour-intensive. But I have to admit, this is a bit excessive, even for me. It’s not surprising that I have been asked more than once “why not just outsource the labour?” and even “what is the point?”</p> <p>I always sigh and think enviously of plumbers. I am 100% sure hardworking tradies are never asked to justify the point of <em>their</em> work.</p> <p>Why do I work so hard? There is no one easy answer, it’s different every time. The labour intensity of my processes adds time into the equation and this both carries meaning and can change the meaning of the work as it goes on (and on and on). I always learn something unexpected.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590597/original/file-20240426-17-sg7esy.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1005&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A finger points to a knot on the back of a messy abstract embroidery done in black, red, orange and yellow" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The last stitch!</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Tracey Clement</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>I put my little scissors down and, before busting out the bubbles, I snap a picture for Instagram because #selfpromotion, but also because this is news, albeit of a very slow-breaking kind. This is what I’ve learned after stitching for seemingly endless hours: while no news may be good news, “slow news” is even better.</p> <p>My embroidered scroll is titled Impossible Numbers. It started as my attempt to memorialise <a href="https://wwf.org.au/what-we-do/australian-bushfires/in-depth-australian-bushfires">the estimated 3,000,000,000 non-human lives lost</a> in the devastating bushfires of 2019–20, a number impossible to actually comprehend.</p> <h2>Doomscrolling an emergency</h2> <p>During that long and awful summer Sydney was often shrouded in an eerie orange haze. You could smell smoke. Ash fell. But, like many Australians, I experienced the worst of it by <a href="https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/doomscrolling">doomscrolling</a> fast news.</p> <p>I was both horrified and fascinated by images of fires so huge and hot they generated their own weather, by pictures of houses reduced to smoking skeletal outlines that somehow remained standing, by headlines comparing the fires to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/31/mallacoota-fire-mayhem-armageddon-bushfires-rage-victoria-east-gippsland">armageddon</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/oct/30/australia-must-prepare-for-future-shaped-by-extreme-climate-bushfire-royal-commission-report-warns">the apocalypse</a>.</p> <p>This hyperbolic language implies we are locked in a war of good versus evil. Even headlines in the vein of “Firefighters battle blazes” pit us (people) against them (the forces of nature). And in the heat of the moment the language of war feels right. <a href="https://traceyclement.com/2020/04/21/apocalypse-now">I’ve succumbed to it myself</a>. But it is dangerous. This language reinforces the idea we can dominate nature; it frames the fires as a conflict that we can end by winning.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=1432&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=1432&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=1432&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590572/original/file-20240426-21-7mbf5w.JPG?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1800&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A hand holds a phone taking a picture of a long abstract embroidery in black, red, orange and yellow." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Viewing the world through the phone.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Tracey Clement</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>I will admit watching a goat-toting woman <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-03/scott-morrison-got-bushfire-welcome-he-deserved-says-liberal-mp/11838476">berate a sitting prime minister</a> left me with a short-lived, but mildly satisfying, feeling of shared righteous indignation. But mostly doomscrolling just fuelled my sorrow and left me feeling impotent as, inevitably, the fast news cycled on to the next crisis (and the next, and the next).</p> <h2>Slowing it down</h2> <p>In October 2022, I finally stopped trying to process the bushfires, and all their terrifying implications, through the fast-news language of war. I picked up a needle instead.</p> <p>Of course 3,000,000,000 stitches would be too many, even for me, so I decided to stitch a grid of some 15,000 squares, which I filled with innumerable stitches – a nod to the endless stream of pixels that usually deliver our news.</p> <p>I started wanting to honour the 3 billion dead, that impossible number, but after months of stitching I realised I was “writing” a kind of slow-news story. It may sound ridiculous, but this tactic has been used before. The <a href="https://www.bayeuxmuseum.com/en/the-bayeux-tapestry">Bayeux Tapestry</a> is a slow-news story that documents the Norman conquest of England through embroidery. It took years to stitch, and some 950 years later it is still in circulation.</p> <p>As an alternative to doomscrolling easily digestible fast-news stories of good triumphing (or not) over evil, I have created an actual fabric scroll which depicts a stylised firestorm building in intensity until it becomes all-consuming.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=799&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=799&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=799&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1004&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1004&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/590574/original/file-20240426-16-lk14qm.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1004&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A middle-aged white woman peeks out from behind a very long abstract embroidery in black, red, orange and yellow." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The artist with Impossible Numbers.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Tracey Clement</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Despite mimicking pixels, Impossible Numbers is resolutely handmade. It is too messy, too crude, to be anything else. It is bleedingly obvious (and there was blood) the will of a person is inextricably stitched into this image of devastating fire. Human labour is literally entangled in this artwork; it shows us as part of the picture, part of nature. And this is good news</p> <p>Impossible Numbers doesn’t have a victorious ending, or any ending at all. The scroll is not fully unrolled. There is no end in sight: the story isn’t over, it’s ongoing.</p> <p>In this way it points to the future; a future in which we are not fighting nature. And this is good news too.</p> <p>If you don’t have a spare 500 hours to process the news into slow news, don’t worry. By the time I finally tied my last knot, I found I had transformed my fear and rage into something tangible, something both magnificent and beautiful (if I do say so myself), no longer about me.</p> <p>It is now a slow-news story that is no longer about a particular event; something everyone can share. This is why I do the work.</p> <p><em>Impossible Numbers is on display as part of <a href="https://www.casulapowerhouse.com/prizes/the-blake-art-prize">The Blake Prize</a> at the Casula Powerhouse, Sydney, until July 7.</em></p> <hr /> <p><em>This article is part of <a href="https://theconversation.com/au/topics/making-art-work-126611">Making Art Work</a>, our series on what inspires artists and the process of their work.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/227907/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tracey-clement-1518268">Tracey Clement</a>, Lecturer in Visual Art and McGlade Gallery Director, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/15-000-squares-500-hours-19-months-how-i-used-embroidery-to-make-sense-of-australias-catastrophic-fires-227907">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Art

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Sleep wrinkles are real. Here’s how they leave their mark

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yousuf-mohammed-858232">Yousuf Mohammed</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/khanh-phan-1489820">Khanh Phan</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vania-rodrigues-leite-e-silva-1497208">Vania Rodrigues Leite E. Silva</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p>You wake up, stagger to the bathroom and gaze into the mirror. No, you’re not imagining it. You’ve developed face wrinkles overnight. They’re sleep wrinkles.</p> <p>Sleep wrinkles are temporary. But as your skin loses its elasticity as you age, they can set in.</p> <p>Here’s what you can do to minimise the chance of them forming in the first place.</p> <h2>How side-sleeping affects your face</h2> <p>Your skin wrinkles for a number of reasons, including ageing, sun damage, smoking, poor hydration, habitual facial expressions (such as grinning, pouting, frowning, squinting) and sleeping positions.</p> <p>When you sleep on your side or stomach, your face skin is <a href="https://academic.oup.com/asj/article/36/8/931/2613967">squeezed and crushed</a> a lot more than if you sleep on your back. When you sleep on your side or stomach, gravity presses your face against the pillow. Your face skin is distorted as your skin is stretched, compressed and pulled in all directions as you move about in your sleep.</p> <p>You can reduce these external forces acting on the face by sleeping on your back or changing positions frequently.</p> <h2>Doctors can tell which side you sleep on by looking at your face</h2> <p>In a young face, sleep wrinkles are transient and disappear after waking.</p> <p>Temporary sleep wrinkles can become persistent with time and repetition. As we <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19624425/">age</a>, our skin <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22233477/">loses elasticity</a> (recoil) and extensibility (stretch), creating <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27329660/">ideal conditions</a> for sleep wrinkles or lines to set in and last longer.</p> <p>The time spent in each sleeping position, the magnitude of external forces applied to each area of the face, as well as the surface area of contact with the pillow surface, also <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27329660/">affects</a> the pattern and rate of sleep wrinkle formation.</p> <p>Skin specialists can often recognise this. People who favour sleeping on one side of their body tend to have a flatter face on their sleeping side and more visible sleep lines.</p> <h2>Can a night skincare routine avoid sleep wrinkles?</h2> <p>Collagen and elastin are two primary components of the dermis (inner layer) of skin. They form the skin structure and maintain the elasticity of skin.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/593034/original/file-20240509-16-hz2ha3.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/593034/original/file-20240509-16-hz2ha3.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=395&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/593034/original/file-20240509-16-hz2ha3.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=395&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/593034/original/file-20240509-16-hz2ha3.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=395&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/593034/original/file-20240509-16-hz2ha3.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=496&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/593034/original/file-20240509-16-hz2ha3.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=496&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/593034/original/file-20240509-16-hz2ha3.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=496&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Skin structure" /><figcaption><span class="caption">The dermis is the inner layer of skin.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/skin-structure-old-young-1707589036">mermaid3/Shutterstock</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Supplementing collagen through skincare routines to enhance skin elasticity can <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32799362/">help reduce</a> wrinkle formation.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30287361/">Hyaluronic</a> acid is a naturally occurring molecule in human bodies. It holds our skin’s collagen and elastin in a proper configuration, stimulates the production of <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/26/15/4429">collagen</a> and adds hydration, which can help slow down wrinkle formation. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most common <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30287361/">active ingredients</a> in skincare creams, gels and lotions.</p> <p>Moisturisers can hydrate the skin in <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1473-2165.2009.00421.x">different ways</a>. “Occlusive” substances produce a thin layer of oil on the skin that prevents water loss due to evaporation. “Humectants” attract and hold water in the skin, and they can differ in their capacity to bind with water, which influences the degree of skin hydration.</p> <h2>Do silk pillowcases actually make a difference?</h2> <p>Silk pillowcases can make a difference in wrinkle formation, if they let your skin glide and move, rather than adding friction and pressure on a single spot. If you can, use silk sheets and silk pillows.</p> <p>Studies have also <a href="https://academic.oup.com/asj/article/36/8/931/2613967">shown</a> pillows designed to reduce mechanical stress during sleep can prevent skin deformations. Such a pillow <a href="https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation?paperid=67035#:%7E:text=Introduction-,The%20duration%20of%20sleep%20and%20the%20position%20of%20the%20face,permanent%20sleep%20lines%20with%20time.">could be useful</a> in slowing down and preventing the formation of certain facial wrinkles.</p> <p>Sleeping on your back can reduce the risk of sleep lines, as can a nighttime routine of moisturising before sleep.</p> <p>Otherwise, lifestyle choices and habits, such quitting smoking, drinking plenty of water, a healthy diet (eating enough vegetables, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07315724.2001.10719017?casa_token=uD1flbkLyKUAAAAA%3AsMTWPmxzO3fGHAI41o80B_bWrGrOrvQFeJwF2FtIEnkd73Qmjvyhxr1-GO2kU8_Yc2LYgZp56DqHVg">fruits</a>, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452251/pdf/nutrients-09-00521.pdf">yogurt and other fermented foods</a>) and regular use of sunscreens can help improve the appearance of the skin on our face.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/217380/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yousuf-mohammed-858232">Yousuf Mohammed</a>, Dermatology researcher, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/khanh-phan-1489820">Khanh Phan</a>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Frazer Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vania-rodrigues-leite-e-silva-1497208">Vania Rodrigues Leite E. Silva</a>, Honorary Associate Professor, Frazer Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sleep-wrinkles-are-real-heres-how-they-leave-their-mark-217380">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Paris in spring, Bali in winter. How ‘bucket lists’ help cancer patients handle life and death

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/leah-williams-veazey-1223970">Leah Williams Veazey</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alex-broom-121063">Alex Broom</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katherine-kenny-318175">Katherine Kenny</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>In the 2007 film <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0825232/">The Bucket List</a> Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play two main characters who respond to their terminal cancer diagnoses by rejecting experimental treatment. Instead, they go on a range of energetic, overseas escapades.</p> <p>Since then, the term “bucket list” – a list of experiences or achievements to complete before you “kick the bucket” or die – has become common.</p> <p>You can read articles listing <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2023/01/11/cities-to-visit-before-you-die-according-to-50-travel-experts-and-only-one-is-in-the-us.html">the seven cities</a> you must visit before you die or <a href="https://www.qantas.com/travelinsider/en/trending/top-100-guide/best-things-to-do-and-see-in-australia-travel-bucket-list.html">the 100</a> Australian bucket-list travel experiences.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UvdTpywTmQg?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>But there is a more serious side to the idea behind bucket lists. One of the key forms of suffering at the end of life <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.4821">is regret</a> for things left unsaid or undone. So bucket lists can serve as a form of insurance against this potential regret.</p> <p>The bucket-list search for adventure, memories and meaning takes on a life of its own with a diagnosis of life-limiting illness.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14407833241251496">study</a> published this week, we spoke to 54 people living with cancer, and 28 of their friends and family. For many, a key bucket list item was travel.</p> <h2>Why is travel so important?</h2> <p>There are lots of reasons why travel plays such a central role in our ideas about a “life well-lived”. Travel is often linked to important <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2003.10.005">life transitions</a>: the youthful gap year, the journey to self-discovery in the 2010 film <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0879870/">Eat Pray Love</a>, or the popular figure of the “<a href="https://theconversation.com/grey-nomad-lifestyle-provides-a-model-for-living-remotely-106074">grey nomad</a>”.</p> <p>The significance of travel is not merely in the destination, nor even in the journey. For many people, planning the travel is just as important. A cancer diagnosis affects people’s sense of control over their future, throwing into question their ability to write their own life story or plan their travel dreams.</p> <p>Mark, the recently retired husband of a woman with cancer, told us about their stalled travel plans: "We’re just in that part of our lives where we were going to jump in the caravan and do the big trip and all this sort of thing, and now [our plans are] on blocks in the shed."</p> <p>For others, a cancer diagnosis brought an urgent need to “tick things off” their bucket list. Asha, a woman living with breast cancer, told us she’d always been driven to “get things done” but the cancer diagnosis made this worse: "So, I had to do all the travel, I had to empty my bucket list now, which has kind of driven my partner round the bend."</p> <p>People’s travel dreams ranged from whale watching in Queensland to seeing polar bears in the Arctic, and from driving a caravan across the Nullarbor Plain to skiing in Switzerland.</p> <p>Nadia, who was 38 years old when we spoke to her, said travelling with her family had made important memories and given her a sense of vitality, despite her health struggles. She told us how being diagnosed with cancer had given her the chance to live her life at a younger age, rather than waiting for retirement: "In the last three years, I think I’ve lived more than a lot of 80-year-olds."</p> <h2>But travel is expensive</h2> <p>Of course, travel is expensive. It’s not by chance Nicholson’s character in The Bucket List is a billionaire.</p> <p>Some people we spoke to had emptied their savings, assuming they would no longer need to provide for aged care or retirement. Others had used insurance payouts or charity to make their bucket-list dreams come true.</p> <p>But not everyone can do this. Jim, a 60-year-old whose wife had been diagnosed with cancer, told us: "We’ve actually bought a new car and [been] talking about getting a new caravan […] But I’ve got to work. It’d be nice if there was a little money tree out the back but never mind."</p> <p>Not everyone’s bucket list items were expensive. Some chose to spend more time with loved ones, take up a new hobby or get a pet.</p> <p>Our study showed making plans to tick items off a list can give people a sense of self-determination and hope for the future. It was a way of exerting control in the face of an illness that can leave people feeling powerless. Asha said: "This disease is not going to control me. I am not going to sit still and do nothing. I want to go travel."</p> <h2>Something we ‘ought’ to do?</h2> <p>Bucket lists are also a symptom of a broader culture that emphasises conspicuous <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH_Pa1hOEVc">consumption</a> and <a href="https://productiveageinginstitute.org.au/">productivity</a>, even into the end of life.</p> <p>Indeed, people told us travelling could be exhausting, expensive and stressful, especially when they’re also living with the symptoms and side effects of treatment. Nevertheless, they felt travel was something they “<a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/14461242.2021.1918016">ought</a>” to do.</p> <p>Travel can be deeply meaningful, as our study found. But a life well-lived need not be extravagant or adventurous. Finding what is meaningful is a deeply personal journey.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Names of study participants mentioned in this article are pseudonyms.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/225682/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/leah-williams-veazey-1223970">Leah Williams Veazey</a>, ARC DECRA Research Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alex-broom-121063">Alex Broom</a>, Professor of Sociology &amp; Director, Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katherine-kenny-318175">Katherine Kenny</a>, ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/paris-in-spring-bali-in-winter-how-bucket-lists-help-cancer-patients-handle-life-and-death-225682">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Caring

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How to avoid 6 common tourist scams

<p>Often when people are on holidays their focus is on relaxing or seeing the sights of the area. But if you don’t keep your wits about you, it’s possible you might end up losing everything to scammers who will do anything to get their hands on your belongings.</p> <p>Here we have six common scams to look out for while you are travelling abroad.</p> <p><strong>Scam 1:</strong> You are in a busy bar in a tourist friendly area when some locals ask where you’re from and offer to buy you a drink. Without thinking, you accept the drink and then find yourself waking up hours later without any of your belongings as you’ve had your drink spiked.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> If people seem too friendly, be aware that they may be scammers. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know, and don’t leave your drink unattended to use the bathroom.</p> <p><strong>Scam 2:</strong> You are about to put your handbag and computer on the conveyer belt to go through the scanner. The people in front of you walk through the metal detector and while one goes through, the other sets off the alarms. They step back into where you are standing and take their time removing wallets and coins from their pockets. While you are waiting for your turn to walk through the metal detector, the other person has taken your belongings and is long gone.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Don’t place your items on the conveyer belt until there is no one else waiting in front of you to go through the metal detector.</p> <p><strong>Scam 3:</strong> In a busy area such as after a concert or a busy night like New Year’s Eve it can be impossible to get public transport or a taxi back to your hotel. A friendly looking guy comes by and offers you a lift for a reasonable fee using his private car. The scam itself can then range from being charged an exorbitant amount when you arrive at your hotel – or you could even find yourself robbed and dropped by the side of the road with no way home.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> However tempting it is, never get in the car with an unlicensed taxi driver. This is even more important to note if you are travelling alone.</p> <p><strong>Scam 4:</strong> While you are waiting with your luggage for a train or bus, a passer-by appears to drop their wallet and walk off without noticing. You might try to do the right thing by grabbing the wallet and running after the person to return it. By the time you get back, your luggage is missing.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> When travelling alone, never leave your items unattended even if it means you don’t help someone when you normally would. This is especially true in airports where baggage will quickly be confiscated if left alone.</p> <p><strong>Scam 5:</strong> You’re taking in the sights when a couple of men dressed as policemen approach you. They demand to see your wallet and let you know that counterfeit money has been given to tourists in the area. When your wallet is returned it has had much of the contents removed.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Police would never demand to see your wallet. If something doesn’t feel right, suggest that you continue the discussion at the nearest police station as you don’t feel comfortable. Most likely they will not push their luck.</p> <p><strong>Scam 6:</strong> You receive a phone call in your hotel room late at night from someone claiming to be from the front desk. They apologise for the late call but request that you just confirm your credit card details as their system is playing up. You read out the numbers and hang up. Before too long your credit card has rung up a huge bill as this was a scammer calling you, not a staff member.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Solution:</em></span> Organise payment in person by letting the caller know that you will come down to the front desk to discuss it.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Travel Tips

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3 common travel illnesses (and how to avoid them)

<p>Nobody wants to fall sick when they’re on holidays but it happens and is actually quite common. Not every travel illness is foreseeable, but the most prevalent ones usually can be managed if you’re prepared and know what to look out for. Here are three of the most common illnesses travellers experience and what you can do to avoid them.</p> <p><strong>Traveller’s diarrhoea</strong></p> <p>It may be an unpleasant topic of conversation, but as diarrhoeais the most common travel sickness, it’s important to be prepared. It is estimated diarrhoeais experienced by almost half of travellers at some point on their holiday, but mainly by those visiting developing countries. It’s contracted by eating or drinking contaminated food and water and in severe cases can last for days.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How to avoid it</span>:</em> Stick to bottled or purified water, freshly cooked meals and fruits and vegetables you can peel yourself. Talk to your doctor for antibiotics you can take in case you are struck with traveller’s diarrhoea.</p> <p><strong>Motion sickness</strong></p> <p>Whether it’s by boat, plane, or car, many travellers experience motion sickness. This occurs when your eyes see motion but your body doesn’t register it, leading to a conflict of the senses. It often results in nausea, vomiting, headaches, and sweating.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How to avoid it</span>:</em> If flying, try to sit near the wings of plane. If cruising, get an outside cabin in the middle of ship, and if in a car, sit up front. Don’t play with your devices, as looking at a small screens often exacerbates the problem; instead try to look far to the horizon. Have a light meal before travelling and avoid spicy, greasy or rich foods. You can talk to your doctor about over-the-counter medication that can help motion sickness as well.  </p> <p><strong>Bug bites</strong></p> <p>There are all sorts of infectious diseases like malaria, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever you can pick up from bug bites, especially in developing nations. While you should always talk to your doctor about the types of vaccines you need to take for your travel destination, it is always advisable to protect against insect bites.</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How to avoid it</span>:</em> Apply insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants where possible and try to avoid outside activity around dust and dawn when mosquitos are active. If sleeping outdoors, it is advisable to use curtain nettings.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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How much time should you spend sitting versus standing? New research reveals the perfect mix for optimal health

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christian-brakenridge-1295221">Christian Brakenridge</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/baker-heart-and-diabetes-institute-974">Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute</a></em></p> <p>People have a pretty intuitive sense of what is healthy – standing is better than sitting, exercise is great for overall health and getting <a href="https://theconversation.com/could-not-getting-enough-sleep-increase-your-risk-of-type-2-diabetes-225179">good sleep is imperative</a>.</p> <p>However, if exercise in the evening may disrupt our sleep, or make us feel the need to be more sedentary to recover, a key question emerges – what is the best way to balance our 24 hours to optimise our health?</p> <p><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-024-06145-0">Our research</a> attempted to answer this for risk factors for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. We found the optimal amount of sleep was 8.3 hours, while for light activity and moderate to vigorous activity, it was best to get 2.2 hours each.</p> <p><iframe id="dw4bx" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/dw4bx/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <h2>Finding the right balance</h2> <p>Current health guidelines recommend you stick to a <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/physical-activity-and-exercise-guidelines-for-all-australians/for-adults-18-to-64-years">sensible regime</a> of moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity 2.5–5 hours per week.</p> <p>However <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.02.031">mounting evidence</a> now <a href="https://doi.org/10.2337/dc14-2073">suggests</a> how you spend your day can have meaningful ramifications for your health. In addition to moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity, this means the time you spend sitting, standing, doing light physical activity (such as walking around your house or office) and sleeping.</p> <p>Our research looked at more than 2,000 adults who wore body sensors that could interpret their physical behaviours, for seven days. This gave us a sense of how they spent their average 24 hours.</p> <p>At the start of the study participants had their waist circumference, blood sugar and insulin sensitivity measured. The body sensor and assessment data was matched and analysed then tested against health risk markers — such as a heart disease and stroke risk score — to create a model.</p> <p>Using this model, we fed through thousands of permutations of 24 hours and found the ones with the estimated lowest associations with heart disease risk and blood-glucose levels. This created many optimal mixes of sitting, standing, light and moderate intensity activity.</p> <p>When we looked at waist circumference, blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and a heart disease and stroke risk score, we noted differing optimal time zones. Where those zones mutually overlapped was ascribed the optimal zone for heart disease and diabetes risk.</p> <h2>You’re doing more physical activity than you think</h2> <p>We found light-intensity physical activity (defined as walking less than 100 steps per minute) – such as walking to the water cooler, the bathroom, or strolling casually with friends – had strong associations with glucose control, and especially in people with type 2 diabetes. This light-intensity physical activity is likely accumulated intermittently throughout the day rather than being a purposeful bout of light exercise.</p> <p>Our experimental evidence shows that <a href="https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/39/6/964/29532/Benefits-for-Type-2-Diabetes-of-Interrupting">interrupting our sitting</a> regularly with light-physical activity (such as taking a 3–5 minute walk every hour) can improve our metabolism, especially so after lunch.</p> <p>While the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity time might seem a quite high, at more than 2 hours a day, we defined it as more than 100 steps per minute. This equates to a brisk walk.</p> <p>It should be noted that these findings are preliminary. This is the first study of heart disease and diabetes risk and the “optimal” 24 hours, and the results will need further confirmation with longer prospective studies.</p> <p>The data is also cross-sectional. This means that the estimates of time use are correlated with the disease risk factors, meaning it’s unclear whether how participants spent their time influences their risk factors or whether those risk factors influence how someone spends their time.</p> <h2>Australia’s adult physical activity guidelines need updating</h2> <p>Australia’s <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/physical-activity-and-exercise-guidelines-for-all-australians/for-adults-18-to-64-years">physical activity guidelines</a> currently only recommend exercise intensity and time. A <a href="https://www.uow.edu.au/media/2023/why-adults-need-to-move-more-stop-sitting-and-sleep-better-.php">new set of guidelines</a> are being developed to incorporate 24-hour movement. Soon Australians will be able to use these guidelines to examine their 24 hours and understand where they can make improvements.</p> <p>While our new research can inform the upcoming guidelines, we should keep in mind that the recommendations are like a north star: something to head towards to improve your health. In principle this means reducing sitting time where possible, increasing standing and light-intensity physical activity, increasing more vigorous intensity physical activity, and aiming for a healthy sleep of 7.5–9 hours per night.</p> <p>Beneficial changes could come in the form of reducing screen time in the evening or opting for an active commute over driving commute, or prioritising an earlier bed time over watching television in the evening.</p> <p>It’s also important to acknowledge these are recommendations for an able adult. We all have different considerations, and above all, movement should be fun.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228894/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christian-brakenridge-1295221"><em>Christian Brakenridge</em></a><em>, Postdoctoral research fellow at Swinburne University, Centre for Urban Transitions, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/baker-heart-and-diabetes-institute-974">Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-much-time-should-you-spend-sitting-versus-standing-new-research-reveals-the-perfect-mix-for-optimal-health-228894">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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What are heart rate zones, and how can you incorporate them into your exercise routine?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-bennett-1053061">Hunter Bennett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p>If you spend a lot of time exploring fitness content online, you might have come across the concept of heart rate zones. Heart rate zone training has become more popular in recent years partly because of the boom in wearable technology which, among other functions, allows people to easily track their heart rates.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6537749/">Heart rate zones</a> reflect different levels of intensity during aerobic exercise. They’re most often based on a percentage of your maximum heart rate, which is the highest number of beats your heart can achieve per minute.</p> <p>But what are the different heart rate zones, and how can you use these zones to optimise your workout?</p> <h2>The three-zone model</h2> <p>While there are several models used to describe heart rate zones, the most common model in the scientific literature is the <a href="https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijspp/9/1/article-p100.xml">three-zone model</a>, where the zones may be categorised as follows:</p> <ul> <li> <p>zone 1: 55%–82% of maximum heart rate</p> </li> <li> <p>zone 2: 82%–87% of maximum heart rate</p> </li> <li> <p>zone 3: 87%–97% of maximum heart rate.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If you’re not sure what your maximum heart rate is, it can be calculated using <a href="https://www.jacc.org/doi/full/10.1016/S0735-1097%2800%2901054-8">this equation</a>: 208 – (0.7 × age in years). For example, I’m 32 years old. 208 – (0.7 x 32) = 185.6, so my predicted maximum heart rate is around 186 beats per minute.</p> <p>There are also other models used to describe heart rate zones, such as the <a href="https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijspp/14/8/article-p1151.xml">five-zone model</a> (as its name implies, this one has five distinct zones). These <a href="https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijspp/9/1/article-p100.xml">models</a> largely describe the same thing and can mostly be used interchangeably.</p> <h2>What do the different zones involve?</h2> <p>The three zones are based around a person’s <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-200939060-00003">lactate threshold</a>, which describes the point at which exercise intensity moves from being predominantly aerobic, to predominantly anaerobic.</p> <p>Aerobic exercise <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/difference-between-aerobic-and-anaerobic">uses oxygen</a> to help our muscles keep going, ensuring we can continue for a long time without fatiguing. Anaerobic exercise, however, uses stored energy to fuel exercise. Anaerobic exercise also accrues metabolic byproducts (such as lactate) that increase fatigue, meaning we can only produce energy anaerobically for a short time.</p> <p>On average your lactate threshold tends to sit around <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.2147/OAJSM.S141657">85% of your maximum heart rate</a>, although this varies from person to person, and can be <a href="https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/japplphysiol.00043.2013">higher in athletes</a>.</p> <p>In the three-zone model, each zone loosely describes <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/physiology/articles/10.3389/fphys.2015.00295/full">one of three types of training</a>.</p> <p><strong>Zone 1</strong> represents high-volume, low-intensity exercise, usually performed for long periods and at an easy pace, well below lactate threshold. Examples include jogging or cycling at a gentle pace.</p> <p><strong>Zone 2</strong> is threshold training, also known as tempo training, a moderate intensity training method performed for moderate durations, at (or around) lactate threshold. This could be running, rowing or cycling at a speed where it’s difficult to speak full sentences.</p> <p><strong>Zone 3</strong> mostly describes methods of high-intensity interval training, which are performed for shorter durations and at intensities above lactate threshold. For example, any circuit style workout that has you exercising hard for 30 seconds then resting for 30 seconds would be zone 3.</p> <h2>Striking a balance</h2> <p>To maximise endurance performance, you need to strike a balance between doing enough training to elicit positive changes, while avoiding over-training, injury and burnout.</p> <p>While zone 3 is thought to produce the largest improvements in <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1440244018309198">maximal oxygen uptake</a> – one of the best predictors of endurance performance and overall health – it’s also the most tiring. This means you can only perform so much of it before it becomes too much.</p> <p>Training in different heart rate zones improves <a href="https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/document?repid=rep1&amp;type=pdf&amp;doi=38c07018c0636422d9d5a77316216efb3c10164f">slightly different physiological qualities</a>, and so by spending time in each zone, you ensure a <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/bf00426304">variety of benefits</a> for performance and health.</p> <h2>So how much time should you spend in each zone?</h2> <p>Most <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fspor.2023.1258585/full">elite endurance athletes</a>, including runners, rowers, and even cross-country skiers, tend to spend most of their training (around 80%) in zone 1, with the rest split between zones 2 and 3.</p> <p>Because elite endurance athletes train a lot, most of it needs to be in zone 1, otherwise they risk injury and burnout. For example, some runners accumulate <a href="https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijsnem/22/5/article-p392.xml?content=pdf">more than 250 kilometres per week</a>, which would be impossible to recover from if it was all performed in zone 2 or 3.</p> <p>Of course, most people are not professional athletes. The <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity">World Health Organization</a> recommends adults aim for 150–300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, or 75–150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.</p> <p>If you look at this in the context of heart rate zones, you could consider zone 1 training as moderate intensity, and zones 2 and 3 as vigorous. Then, you can use heart rate zones to make sure you’re exercising to meet these guidelines.</p> <h2>What if I don’t have a heart rate monitor?</h2> <p>If you don’t have access to a heart rate tracker, that doesn’t mean you can’t use heart rate zones to guide your training.</p> <p>The three heart rate zones discussed in this article can also be prescribed based on feel using a simple <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2004.00418.x">10-point scale</a>, where 0 indicates no effort, and 10 indicates the maximum amount of effort you can produce.</p> <p>With this system, zone 1 aligns with a 4 or less out of 10, zone 2 with 4.5 to 6.5 out of 10, and zone 3 as a 7 or higher out of 10.</p> <p>Heart rate zones are not a perfect measure of exercise intensity, but can be a useful tool. And if you don’t want to worry about heart rate zones at all, that’s also fine. The most important thing is to simply get moving.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228520/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-bennett-1053061">Hunter Bennett</a>, Lecturer in Exercise Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-are-heart-rate-zones-and-how-can-you-incorporate-them-into-your-exercise-routine-228520">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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How extreme dieting can affect bone health

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p>In a recent Instagram post, the actor Jameela Jamil revealed she has poor bone density, despite only being in her 30s. Jamil blamed this finding on 20 years of dieting – urging her followers to be aware of the harms diet culture can do to your health.</p> <p>Bone density is important for many reasons, primarily because it acts as a reservoir for many of the important minerals our bones need to function well. Many factors can affect your bone density – and as Jamil has pointed out, diet is one component that has a significant effect on bone health.</p> <p>Bone is a living tissue. This means our skeleton <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1521690X08000869">grows and remodels itself</a> according to the stresses and strains it’s put under. Everything from fractures to exercise require our bones to change their shape or density. This is why a weightlifter’s skeleton is <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00298721">much denser</a> than a marathon runner’s.</p> <p>The biggest skeletal changes we experience happen in our younger years. But bones keep changing throughout our lives depending on how active we are, what our diet consists of, and if we’ve suffered an injury or disease.</p> <p>Bones are <a href="https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/what-bone">made of proteins</a>, such as collagen, as well as minerals – largely calcium. This is a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430714/">key mineral</a> for us, as it keeps our bones and teeth strong and helps repair and rebuild any injured bones.</p> <p>But other minerals and vitamins are also important. For example, vitamin D supports calcium, playing a key role in <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2761808">bone mineralisation</a>. This is where calcium <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279023/">combines with phosphate</a> in our bones to create the mineral crystal <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7264100/">hydroxyapatite</a>. This crystal is crucial to our bone mineral density (also known as “bone mass”), as it helps bones remodel and maintain their structural strength.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dexa-scan/">Dexa scans</a> – the type of scan Jamil referred to in her post – can measure the density of these crystals in bones. The <a href="https://theros.org.uk/information-and-support/osteoporosis/scans-tests-and-results/bone-density-scan-dxa/">more hydroxyapatite crystals</a> detected, the healthier the bones are.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/591182/original/file-20240430-18-u30byz.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/591182/original/file-20240430-18-u30byz.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=338&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591182/original/file-20240430-18-u30byz.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=338&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591182/original/file-20240430-18-u30byz.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=338&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591182/original/file-20240430-18-u30byz.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=424&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591182/original/file-20240430-18-u30byz.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=424&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591182/original/file-20240430-18-u30byz.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=424&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="The interior of bones, showing four depictions of bone density – from healthy to severe osteoporosis." /><figcaption><span class="caption">The more crystals detected, the better your bone density.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-illustration/osteoporosis-4-stages-one-picture-3d-524364046">Crevis/ Shutterstock</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>We hit peak bone mineral density in our <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35869910/">late teens and early 20s</a>, when our body has grown to full size and our metabolism is working its best. From here, it’s possible to maintain <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5684300/">stable bone mass</a> into your late 30s for women and early 40s for men, with the right diet and activity. But after this point, it begins to decline.</p> <h2>Bone density</h2> <p>We accrue calcium over many years. It initially comes from our mother, then later from our diet. Our body accrues calcium so it can adapt to times when calcium demand is greater than what we can get from our diet – such as during pregnancy, when the foetus needs calcium to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3355895/">build its own bones</a>.</p> <p>However, relying solely on this skeletal calcium reserve can’t be sustained for lengthy or repeated periods, because of how long it takes to be replenished. This is why diet is so important for bone density – and why a poor diet can cause extreme damage, especially when certain food groups or minerals are consistently left out.</p> <p>For instance, studies have shown consuming soft drinks, (<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17023723/">particularly cola</a>), more than four times a week is linked with <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071508/">lower bone density</a> and increased fracture risk. This is true even after adjusting for many other variables that affect bone density.</p> <p>These carbonated and energy drinks contain <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2966367/">varying levels of vitamins</a> – often with none of the minerals, including calcium, that the body needs to function optimally. This causes the body to draw on its reserves if calcium isn’t being delivered elsewhere in the diet.</p> <p>Diets high in added sugar can also have a detrimental affect on the skeleton. Excess sugar causes inflammation and other physiological changes, such as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9471313/">obesity</a>. Consuming high amounts of sugar is linked with <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2748414/">reduced calcium intake</a>, especially in children who substitute milk for sugary drinks. Excess sugar consumption also causes the body to <a href="https://jps.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1007/s12576-016-0487-7">excrete excess calcium</a>, instead of reabsorbing it in the kidney as the body normally would.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25491765/">Low- and high-fat diets</a> have also been associated with increased risk of <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteoporosis/">osteoporosis</a> (a condition that weakens bones) in women – though larger studies are needed to better understand the effects of removing whole food groups on bone health.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/anorexia/overview/">Anorexia nervosa</a> also has a significant affect on <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30817009">bone density</a> – affecting a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6959847/">majority of people</a> with the condition.</p> <p>Low bone mineral density – especially in the spine – puts people with anorexia at <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6959847/">increased risk of fractures</a> because their bone thickness is reduced, increasing the likelihood of developing osteoporosis, which is associated with increased fractures.</p> <p>Anorexia in young adulthood is particularly challenging. This is the stage where the skeleton is building itself to reach peak <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15574617/">bone mass</a>, so it’s depositing calcium at a record pace. When diet is insufficient and the body already starts drawing on its mineral reserves, there’s a potential that the bone density or calcium reserves in the body will never be optimal – increasing fracture risk for the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6746661/">rest of that person’s life</a>.</p> <h2>Can bone health be fixed?</h2> <p>Optimal bone health starts in utero, but our prepubescent years are key to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26884506/">setting our skeleton up</a> for later life. People who are behind the curve in early life may have difficulty achieving their peak, as poor bone mineral density can affect everything from our appetite to how efficient our gastrointestinal tract is at absorbing <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6971894/">important nutrients</a> (including calcium). Supplements have a limited effect because our body can only absorb a set amount of any <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8746734/">vitamin or mineral at a time</a>.</p> <p>While it’s possible to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5684300/">limit some of the decline</a> in bone density that naturally happens as we age, some of the choices we make – such as not consuming enough calcium – can accelerate the decline. Biological sex also has a significant impact on our bone health in old age – with post-menopausal women at greater risk of osteoporosis because they <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5643776/">produce less oestrogen</a>, which helps keep the cells that <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3424385">degrade bone</a> in check.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228321/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, Professor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty </em><em>Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-extreme-dieting-can-affect-bone-health-228321">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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What is childhood dementia? And how could new research help?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kim-hemsley-1529322">Kim Hemsley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/flinders-university-972">Flinders University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nicholas-smith-1529324">Nicholas Smith</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/siti-mubarokah-1529323">Siti Mubarokah</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/flinders-university-972">Flinders University</a></em></p> <p>“Childhood” and “dementia” are two words we wish we didn’t have to use together. But sadly, around <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awad242">1,400 Australian children and young people</a> live with currently untreatable childhood dementia.</p> <p>Broadly speaking, childhood dementia is caused by any one of <a href="https://www.childhooddementia.org/what-is-childhood-dementia#what">more than 100</a> rare genetic disorders. Although the causes differ from dementia acquired later in life, the progressive nature of the illness is the same.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awad242">Half</a> of infants and children diagnosed with childhood dementia will not reach their tenth birthday, and most will die <a href="https://www.childhooddementia.org/what-is-childhood-dementia#what">before turning 18</a>.</p> <p>Yet this devastating condition has lacked awareness, and importantly, the research attention needed to work towards treatments and a cure.</p> <h2>More about the causes</h2> <p>Most types of childhood dementia are <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/146/11/4446/7226999">caused</a> by <a href="https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Mutation">mutations</a> (or mistakes) in our <a href="https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Deoxyribonucleic-Acid">DNA</a>. These mistakes lead to a range of rare genetic disorders, which in turn cause childhood dementia.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awad242">Two-thirds</a> of childhood dementia disorders are caused by “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459183/">inborn errors of metabolism</a>”. This means the metabolic pathways involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids, fatty acids and proteins in the body fail.</p> <p>As a result, nerve pathways fail to function, neurons (nerve cells that send messages around the body) die, and progressive cognitive decline occurs.</p> <h2>What happens to children with childhood dementia?</h2> <p>Most children initially appear unaffected. But after a period of apparently normal development, children with childhood dementia <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2023.09.006">progressively lose</a> all previously acquired skills and abilities, such as talking, walking, learning, remembering and reasoning.</p> <p>Childhood dementia also leads to significant changes in behaviour, such as aggression and hyperactivity. Severe sleep disturbance is common and vision and hearing can also be affected. Many children have seizures.</p> <p>The age when symptoms start can vary, depending partly on the particular genetic disorder causing the dementia, but the average is around <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093%2Fbrain%2Fawad242">two years old</a>. The symptoms are caused by significant, progressive brain damage.</p> <h2>Are there any treatments available?</h2> <p>Childhood dementia treatments currently <a href="https://www.childhooddementia.org/news/report-reveals-global-research-inequity">under evaluation</a> or approved are for a very limited number of disorders, and are only available in some parts of the world. These include gene replacement, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/jmd2.12378">gene-modified cell therapy</a> and protein or <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1712649">enzyme replacement therapy</a>. Enzyme replacement therapy is available in Australia for <a href="https://australianprescriber.tg.org.au/articles/cerliponase-alfa-for-neuronal-ceroid-lipofuscinosis-type-2-disease.html">one form of childhood dementia</a>. These therapies attempt to “fix” the problems causing the disease, and have shown promising results.</p> <p>Other experimental therapies include ones that <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/life12050608">target</a> faulty protein production or <a href="https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmoa2310151">reduce inflammation</a> in the brain.</p> <h2>Research attention is lacking</h2> <p>Death rates for Australian children with cancer <a href="http://www.childhooddementia.org/getasset/2WX39O">nearly halved</a> between <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/australias-children/contents/health/cancer-incidence-survival">1997 and 2017</a> thanks to research that has enabled the development of multiple treatments. But over recent decades, <a href="http://www.childhooddementia.org/getasset/2WX39O">nothing has changed</a> for children with dementia.</p> <p>In 2017–2023, research for childhood cancer received over four times more funding per patient compared to funding for <a href="https://www.childhooddementia.org/getasset/2WX39O">childhood dementia</a>. This is despite childhood dementia causing a <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awad242">similar number of deaths</a> each year as childhood cancer.</p> <p>The success <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/australias-children/contents/health/cancer-incidence-survival">for childhood cancer sufferers</a> in recent decades demonstrates how adequately funding medical research can lead to improvements in patient outcomes.</p> <p>Another bottleneck for childhood dementia patients in Australia is the lack of access to clinical trials. An <a href="https://www.childhooddementia.org/news/report-reveals-global-research-inequity">analysis</a> published in March this year showed that in December 2023, only two clinical trials were recruiting patients with childhood dementia in Australia.</p> <p>Worldwide however, 54 trials were recruiting, meaning Australian patients and their families are left watching patients in other parts of the world receive potentially lifesaving treatments, with no recourse themselves.</p> <p>That said, we’ve seen a slowing in the establishment of <a href="https://www.childhooddementia.org/news/report-reveals-global-research-inequity">clinical trials</a> for childhood dementia across the world in recent years.</p> <p>In addition, we know from <a href="https://www.childhooddementia.org/join-us/professionals/impacts">consultation with families</a> that current care and support systems <a href="https://www.childhooddementia.org/getasset/44MLP8">are not meeting the needs</a> of children with dementia and their families.</p> <h2>New research</h2> <p>Recently, we were awarded <a href="https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/media-releases/news-items/major-funding-boost-for-research-into-childhood-dementia">new funding</a> for <a href="https://www.flinders.edu.au/giving/our-donors/impact-of-giving/improving-the-lives-of-children-with-dementia">our research</a> on childhood dementia. This will help us continue and expand studies that seek to develop lifesaving treatments.</p> <p>More broadly, we need to see increased funding in Australia and around the world for research to develop and translate treatments for the broad spectrum of childhood dementia conditions.</p> <p><em>Dr Kristina Elvidge, head of research at the <a href="https://www.childhooddementia.org/our-people">Childhood Dementia Initiative</a>, and Megan Maack, director and CEO, contributed to this article.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228508/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kim-hemsley-1529322">Kim Hemsley</a>, Head, Childhood Dementia Research Group, Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute, College of Medicine and Public Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/flinders-university-972">Flinders University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nicholas-smith-1529324">Nicholas Smith</a>, Head, Paediatric Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/siti-mubarokah-1529323">Siti Mubarokah</a>, Research Associate, Childhood Dementia Research Group, Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute, College of Medicine and Public Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/flinders-university-972">Flinders University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-childhood-dementia-and-how-could-new-research-help-228508">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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How Guy Sebastian was conned by a Telstra worker

<p>Guy Sebastian was allegedly duped into performing at a young girl's birthday party, when he thought the event was for a charity. </p> <p>The singer was one of many people who were scammed by former Telstra salesman Gerard Cecil Vamadevan, 56, who has been sentenced to a maximum two years jail after pleading guilty to making hundreds of harassing phone calls to 19 separate victims.</p> <p>On Monday, the NSW District Court heard how Vamadevan would tell victims he was either a “talent scout” or a “TV agent for Channel 7” to gain their phone numbers before making “sexually explicit” and “vulgar” anonymous phone calls to them.</p> <p>In addition to his 19 seperate victims, Guy Sebastian was also conned by Vamadevan, who he met over a decade ago, as his claims came to light following the conclusion of the case in court. </p> <p>At the beginning of their relationship, Sebastian was tricked into performing at Vamadevan's daughter's birthday party, although he told the singer it was a charity event for Telstra. </p> <p>The court heard how Vamadevan would use social media pictures with Sebastian, other celebrities and business leaders he had met through work to convince his victims of his “connections” to the entertainment industry. </p> <p>Sebastian’s manager said the pair knew each other about a decade ago and said the singer was used “for the convicted’s own personal benefit”.</p> <p>In a statement to news.com.au, a spokeswoman for Telstra said they were “very concerned” about allegations the former employee had “misrepresented his relationship” with the company, as Vamadevan long claimed he worked for the Telstra "charity arm". </p> <p>Vamadevan was sentenced to two years imprisonment, although will be eligible for release June 30th 2025 on good behaviour. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

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Battling to make ends meet? Financial planning expert offers 5 tips on how to build your budget

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p>Every day seems to bring new headlines about rising costs. <a href="https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/nigerias-big-unions-call-indefinite-strike-over-fuel-prices-and-the-cost-of-living-20230926">In Nigeria</a>, unions are threatening to strike amid soaring fuel prices; the country’s inflation rate <a href="https://www.cbn.gov.ng/rates/inflrates.asp">hit 25%</a> in August. The amount it costs to fill a food basket in South Africa <a href="https://pmbejd.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/PMBEJD_Key-Data_September-2023_27092023.pdf">keeps climbing</a>. Ghanaians <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/multi-day-protests-over-economic-crisis-grip-ghanas-capital-2023-09-23/">took to the streets</a> of Accra in late September to protest about the cost of living.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/retail-distribution/consumer-behavior-trends-state-of-the-consumer-tracker.html">recent study by the audit and consulting firm Deloitte</a> found that 75% of South Africans were concerned that the prices for everyday purchases would continue to increase, while 80% of consumers across all income groups expected the prices of groceries, household utilities and fuel to rise.</p> <p>This stark reality means budgeting may be more necessary than ever.</p> <p>If you don’t know how to create a budget, then you shouldn’t feel bad – most adults aren’t taught how to create one. And most people don’t budget, because they see it as restrictive or unsustainable. But it need not be: once you appreciate that a budget can work for you, it can be a financially empowering exercise. It’s a cornerstone of financial planning because it ensures you are living within your means and helps you remain in financial control.</p> <p>As a financial planning academic, I focus in <a href="https://researchprofiles.canberra.edu.au/en/persons/bomikazi-zeka/publications/">my research</a> on improving financial wellbeing and promoting savings behaviours through interventions such as budgeting. Here are five guidelines for creating a budget.</p> <h2>1. Apps vs spreadsheet</h2> <p>A good place to start is to choose the format of how you’re going to budget. There are several <a href="https://www.sanlamreality.co.za/wealth-sense/setting-up-a-family-budget-that-works/">online templates</a> and apps you can use for budgeting. For instance, <a href="https://www.22seven.com/">22Seven</a> has gained popularity in South Africa due to its compatibility with several financial institutions, including the country’s big five banks. Similarly, <a href="https://www.the-star.co.ke/business/kenya/2021-01-25-budgeting-using-mint-app/">Mint</a> is a popular budgeting tool that is used in Kenya and Nigeria.</p> <p>If you prefer to put pen to paper, some online templates come with <a href="https://www.wonga.co.za/blog/free-budget-template">free printable budgets</a>. Creating your own <a href="https://create.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/articles/how-to-make-excel-budget">Excel spreadsheet</a> is an equally good approach.</p> <p>What matters most is using a tool that you can commit to.</p> <h2>2. Itemising your income and expenses</h2> <p>A budget essentially shows how much you’re spending in relation to how much you’re earning. So once you have selected your budgeting tool, you need to fill in your income and itemise how much you’re spending on each expense in a month. A budget can be considered a cashflow statement because it allows you to track money coming in (income) and money going out (expenses).</p> <p>If you are living within your means, your budget should indicate a surplus – more cash inflows than cash outflows. So budgeting provides an accurate account of your short-term financial position.</p> <h2>3. A realistic account of expenses</h2> <p>When you look at your financial statements, fill your expenses into your budget honestly and accurately. Don’t cheat! Since everyone’s financial situation is different, your budget will also be unique.</p> <p>Even though there is no one-size-fits-all approach to budgeting, it should still consider all of your expenses (both regular and intermittent). A general rule of thumb is that if it’s deducted from your account then you should treat it as an expense. This includes payments for housing, medical insurance, fuel, dining out, credit card repayments and even bank fees.</p> <h2>4. Save first, spend later</h2> <p>Now you’ve seen how much you’re spending. Either it’s too much – and you can plan where to cut back – or you have savings at the end of the month.</p> <p>When compiling your budget it’s important to demarcate how much will be in the form of savings. What’s more important is getting into the habit of saving before you spend instead of saving after spending. If you spend first then you’ve deprived yourself of the opportunity to save for a rainy day.</p> <p>Furthermore, <a href="https://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/10231/1/Microsoft_Word_-_submitted_version_3rd_June_201.pdf">research</a> has shown that getting into the habit of saving has a transgenerational effect: it can be considered a cultural value that is passed on from one generation to another. So think of saving as paying yourself first. Once you have done so, you won’t feel guilty for treating yourself because you’ve already done the financially responsible thing by putting your savings aside.</p> <h2>5. Considering assets and liabilities</h2> <p>Once you’ve become comfortable with consistently budgeting, you can take it up a notch by including your assets (everything you own with an economic value) and liabilities (everything you owe) to determine your overall financial position.</p> <p>You can get a clearer picture of your overall financial wellbeing by compiling a list of all your assets, for example your savings and <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/home_equity.asp">home equity</a>, in relation to liabilities (such as bank loans). Knowing your long-term financial position can indicate how financially resilient or vulnerable you are. In the event of a financial emergency, you will know which resources you can draw upon to meet an unexpected expense.</p> <p>By creating a budget (and sticking to it), you can protect yourself and your household from financial shocks. Consider the alternative. Imagine you haven’t budgeted and set savings aside. If a financial emergency were to arise, your next best bet would be to borrow the funds you need. You’d have to come up with a plan to repay what you’d borrowed while also building your savings.</p> <h2>A healthy habit</h2> <p>Getting into the habit of budgeting isn’t easy, especially if you haven’t done it before or you’re intimidated by the process. But, as the expression goes, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Think of budgeting as taking a small but important step towards reclaiming control over your finances and improving your financial well-being.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/214861/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, Assistant Professor in Finance and Financial Planning, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/battling-to-make-ends-meet-financial-planning-expert-offers-5-tips-on-how-to-build-your-budget-214861">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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