Puppies, kittens drive you crazy
Does the sight of puppies and babies leave you squealing with delight, wildly flapping your hands and saying things such as "Oh you're so cute I just can't stand it"? If so, a new study suggests that you may actually fall into the norm.
New research finds that cute things inspire not only an urge toward gentleness and care, but also a response dubbed "cute aggression," in which people respond to cuteness in a physical way, reports LiveScience.
The Yale University study was presented at an annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology on January 18.
"We think it's about high positive-affect, an approach orientation and almost a sense of lost control," said study researcher Rebecca Dyer, according to LiveScience. "You know, you can't stand it, you can't handle it, that kind of thing."
Researchers recruited 109 subjects to look at images of cute, funny, or neutral animals. Those who watched a slideshow of cute images popped more bubbles on a sheet of bubble wrap than the subjects who viewed less-cute photos. Also, when viewing images of cute animals, subjects exhibited less control and more desire to make noises or squeeze something, reports LiveScience.
Why? It isn't known but researchers posit that photos of cute babies and animals may induce an urge to nurture, and since you can't nurture a photograph, this energy is released as a type of physical aggression.
Rest as crucial as exercise for keeping fit
Short periods of rest are just as important as exercise itself, researchers say. Stirling University sports scientists believe taking it easy now and again not only allows the muscles to recover, it also makes the body fitter faster.
Their study was of keen cyclists but they think that men and women who are simply trying to get a bit fitter could also benefit from building periods of rest into their exercise programme.
In the study, 12 cyclists were split into two groups. One did bursts of high intensity exercise, interspersed with short rest periods, three times a week.
In each session, they pedalled hard, but below sprint pace, for four minutes, then stopped for two minutes, before repeating the pattern five times.
The second group rode continuously for an hour at a slightly easier pace, three times a week.
After four weeks, the two groups swopped programmes.
Tests showed that the first programme, which involved a mixture of tough training and taking it easy, to be the most beneficial, leading to twice as big an improvement in power and performance.
“It is a case of training smarter. We found in these cyclists that if you can make the hard sessions harder and the easy sessions easier, then you will likely see better progress,” the Daily Mail quoted researcher Stuart Galloway as saying.
The researchers suggest that while high intensity is still important, it’s the combination with low intensity which has the biggest impact.
It is thought that muscles find it harder to recover from long periods of exercise, than from short bursts, even if they are physically tougher.
According to co-author Dr Angus Hunter, muscles may be fatigued more quickly when you work at high intensity but they recover more quickly too, which could leave people feeling less tired in between exercise sessions.
The study has been published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
2-min workouts as good as 90 min run
Sept 6: It may sound like a couch potato's dream, but two-and-a-half minutes of exercise could be just as good as a 90-minute run, a study has revealed.
Research suggests that short, sharp bursts of exercise are better at warding off heart disease than much longer - but less strenuous - sessions, the Daily Mail reported.
Academic Stuart Gray asked a group of men aged between 18 and 35 to either do high-intensity sprints on an exercise bike, or walk for half an hour on a treadmill.
Those on the exercise bike pedalled as hard as they could for 30 seconds, rested for up to four minutes and then repeated the pattern four times.
This meant that, in all, they did two and a half minutes of exercise strenuous enough to make them sweat and leave them out of breath.
The others walked at the sort of brisk pace recommended in Government health guidelines.
A day later, they came back into the lab and ate a fatty breakfast and lunch consisting of bread, mayonnaise and cheese.
Their blood was then tested to see how quickly the levels of fat in their blood fell - as fat lingering in the blood after eating is known to trigger the first in a series of steps that can lead to clogging of the arteries and heart disease.
The results revealed that walking cut fat by 11 per cent, compared with not doing any exercise.
But the short sharp bursts of exercise cut it by 33 per cent - the sort of effect expected from a 90-minute run.
Dr Gray, of Aberdeen University, told the British Science Festival in the city that short bursts of intensive exercise may somehow spur the liver into taking in more fat from the blood, before storing it or burning it off.
He said that, while the high intensity training "won't necessarily" improve strength, it does boost endurance.
He added that the short duration of the exercise was "highly important as time is often cited as the main barrier to taking part in exercise.
Infant dies as father can’t pay Rs 200 for incubator
JALANDHAR, July 25: In a shocking incident that has put humanity to shame, a newborn girl child died at a government hospital in Jalandhar after doctors removed her from the incubator because her parents could not pay Rs 200.
The girl child was born on July 20. Being a premature baby, she needed incubator support. However, civil hospital authorities asked her father to arrange money - to pay the electricity charges to run incubator – to continue keeping the baby in incubator.
A painter by profession, Sanjiv Kumar, could not arrange Rs 200 demanded by the hospital. The poor man asked many people to lend him money but no one came forward to help.
Despite Kumar’s inability to pay Rs 200, hospital authorities, showing no empathy, removed the incubator leading to the death of the baby on Wednesday night.
Kumar said, "The baby was very ill. They (hospital authorities) asked us to deposit Rs 200 first. We begged and pleaded them to admit our child but they refused."
He also alleged that the glucose drip was also removed from the baby for non payment of dues.
The child’s mother Sunita is inconsolable. “They killed my child,” she said.
Hospital CMO says that he can’t believe that an incident like this can happen. He has asked the baby’s father to submit a complaint and then he will look into the matter.
Indian Govt to give free medicine to hundreds of millions
MUMBAI: Govt has put in place a $5.4 billion policy to provide free medicine to its people, a decision that could change the lives of hundreds of millions, but a ban on branded drugs stands to cut Big Pharma out of the windfall.
From city hospitals to tiny rural clinics, India's public doctors will soon be able to prescribe free generic drugs to all comers, vastly expanding access to medicine in a country where public spending on health was just $4.50 per person last year.
The plan was quietly adopted last year but not publicised. Initial funding has been allocated in recent weeks, officials said.
Under the plan, doctors will be limited to a generics-only drug list and face punishment for prescribing branded medicines, a major disadvantage for pharmaceutical giants in one of the world's fastest-growing drug markets.
"Without a doubt, it is a considerable blow to an already beleaguered industry, recently the subject of several disadvantageous decisions in India," said KPMG partner Chris Stirling, who is European head of Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals.
"Pharmaceutical firms will likely rethink their emerging markets strategies carefully to take account of this development, and any similar copycat moves across other geographies," he added.
But the initiative would overhaul a system where healthcare is often a luxury and private clinics account for four times as much spending as state hospitals, despite 40 percent of the people living below the poverty line, or $1.25 a day or less.
Within five years, up to half of India's 1.2 billion people are likely to take advantage of the scheme, the government says. Others are likely to continue visiting private hospitals and clinics, where the scheme will not operate.
"The policy of the government is to promote greater and rational use of generic medicines that are of standard quality," said L.C. Goyal, additional secretary at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and a key proponent of the policy.
"They are much, much cheaper than the branded ones."
Global drugmakers like Pfizer (PFE N), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) and Merck (MRK.N) will be hit. They spend billions of dollars a year researching new treatments and target huge growth for branded medicine in emerging economies such as India, where generics account for around 90 percent of drug sales by value, far more than in developed countries.
US-based Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N), which bought an Indian generics maker in 2010, is the biggest seller of drugs, both branded and generic, in India, followed by GlaxoSmithKline.
In March, India granted its first ever compulsory license, allowing a domestic drugmaker to manufacture a copy-cat version of Nexavar, a cancer drug developed by Germany's Bayer (BAYGn.DE), unnerving foreign drugmakers that fear a lack of intellectual property protection in emerging markets.
That enabled India's Natco Pharma (NATP.NS) to sell its generic version of Nexavar at 8,800 rupees per monthly dose, a fraction of the 280,000 rupees Bayer's version cost.
In another blow to Big Pharma's emerging market ambitions, China recently overhauled regulations to grant authorities the power to allow domestic drugmakers to produce cheap copies of medicines protected by patents.
Emerging markets are on track to make up 28 percent of global pharmaceuticals sales by 2015, up from 12 percent in 2005, according to IMS Health, a healthcare information and services company.
Most sales in emerging markets come from branded generics, which are off-patent drugs priced at a premium to those made by local manufacturers.
The Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), a lobby group for multinational drugmakers in the country, argues that the price of drugs is just one factor in access to healthcare and that the scheme need not be detrimental to manufacturers of branded drugs.
"I think this will hasten overall growth of the pharmaceutical industry, as poor patients who could not afford will now have access to essential medicines," said Tapan Ray, director general of OPPI.
About 600 billion rupees in drugs are sold each year in India, or 482 billion at wholesale. Drugs covered under the new policy account for about 60 percent of existing sales, or 290 billion rupees at wholesale cost.
The government's annual cost is likely to be lower due to bulk purchasing and because patients at private clinics would still pay for their own drugs. States will pay for 25 percent of the free drugs and the central government will cover the rest.
Under various existing programmes, around 250 million people, or less than a quarter of India's population, now receive free medicines, according to the health ministry.
India's new policy, to be implemented by the end of 2012 and rolled out nationwide within two years, is expected to provide 52 percent of the population with free drugs by April 2017, at a cumulative cost of 300 billion rupees.
Want to live longer? 'Be happy'
LONDON: A five-year study, led by the University College London, has found that happiness can help people live longer and those with a positive outlook have a 35 per cent reduced risk of dying early.
The study of almost 4,000 52 to 79-year-olds found the higher they rated their contentment, the longer they lived.
Health psychologist Andrew Steptoe, of University College London, who led the study, was quoted by the 'Daily Express' as saying, "The present findings provide further reason to target the positive wellbeing of older people."
Previous studies showed that a positive mood could reduce stress-related hormones and boost immune function, paving the way to better health and longer life.
This latest research, published in the 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' journal, is further evidence that a "glass half-full" attitude is good for health.
For the study, the researchers asked participants to rate their feelings of happiness over a day.
They questioned more than 3,800 people taking part in a long-running British study of ageing, to rate their feelings of happiness or anxiety four times daily. They followed them for five years, recording the number of deaths.
After noting age, gender, depression, certain diseases and health-related behaviours, the researchers found those who reported feeling happiest had a 35 per cent reduced risk of dying early compared to those who reported being least happy.
Professor Steptoe said the link between happiness and living longer could be down to having lower stress hormones that can trigger disease. He said: "We suspect there may be a biological process that helps people survive longer if they are happy.Stress hormones such as cortisol fall when you are more satisfied with your lot and that could be a significant factor in our findings."
Aerobics most effective to lose belly fat
WASHINGTON, Sept 9: A new study has found that aerobic exercise is the best bet when it comes to losing that dreaded belly fat.
Belly or abdominal fat - known in scientific communities as visceral fat and liver fat - is located deep within the abdominal cavity and fills the spaces between internal organs. It’s been associated with increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer.
"When it comes to increased health risks, where fat is deposited in the body is more important than how much fat you have,” said Duke exercise physiologist Cris Slentz, Ph.D., lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Physiology. "Our study sought to identify the most effective form of exercise to get rid of that unhealthy fat,” he added.
When Duke University Medical Center researchers conducted a head-to-head comparison of aerobic exercise, resistance training, and a combination of the two, they found aerobic exercise to be the most efficient and most effective way to lose the belly fat that’s most damaging to your health.
"Resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass,” said Slentz.
"But if you are overweight, which two thirds of the population is, and you want to lose belly fat, aerobic exercise is the better choice because it burns more calories,” he added.
Aerobic training burned 67 p.c. more calories in the study when compared to resistance training.
The study will be published in the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism.