Offbeat

New Delhi: Besides, negative effects on cardiovascular health and life expectancy, increased exposure to air pollution may also harm your kidneys, researchers warn.

The study suggests that there really is no "safe" level for air pollution, as even the lowest levels of particulate matter in the air can do great harm to the kidneys and lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD), a decline in glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)-- the rate of blood flow through the kidneys as well as end stage renal disease (ESRD) -- the last stage of CKD.

 

"Even levels below the limit set by the EPA were harmful to the kidneys. This suggests that there is no safe level of air pollution," said Ziyad Al-Aly, Director at the VA Saint Louis Health Care System in Missouri, US.

"Our findings demonstrate a significant association between exposure to PM2.5 and risk of incident CKD, eGFR decline, and ESRD," Al-Aly added.

When we breathe, tiny particles present in the dirty air pass through our lungs and enter our bloodstream to finally reach kidneys.

Kidneys -- our body's main filters -- sift these particles out of the blood. However, excess exposure to these harmful pollutants reduces the efficacy of the process, Al-Aly explained.

For the study, which will appear in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), the team examined information on 2,482,737 US veterans who were followed for a median of 8.5 years. Air pollution levels were also assessed using space-borne sensors from NASA satellites.

The researchers found a linear relationship between air pollution levels and risk of experiencing kidney function decline and of developing kidney disease or kidney failure.

Each year in the US, 44,793 new cases of chronic kidney disease and 2438 new cases of kidney failure are attributed to particulate matter air pollution exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency's recommended limit of 12 µg/m3, the researchers said.

--IANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi:  Cigarette butts (CBs) thrown into garbage as trash can be turned into a valuable resource for killing mosquitoes that cause malaria, a new study by an international team, including from India, has revealed.

This novel method for pest control -- using CBs for the synthesis of silver nanostructures -- has been reported by the international of scientists in the latest issue of the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

 

Besides nicotine -- a known poison -- CBs contain a mixture of toxic substances including heavy metals, Kadarkarai Murugan, lead author and Vice Chancellor of Thiruvalluvar University at Vellore, told this correspondent in an email.

The researchers report experiments with water extracts of CBs collected from the campus of the Bharathiar University in Coimbatore, another participating institution from India.

Scientists from Italy, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Malaysia also participated in the study, during which they used the CB extract as a source to synthesise silver nanoparticles.

According to their report, "A single treatment with CB extracts and silver nanostructures -- synthesised using the extract -- significantly reduced egg hatchability of 'Anopheles stephensi', the mosquito species that spreads the 'P. falciparum' malaria parasite."

Low doses of the silver nanostructures also inhibited the growth of a soil bacteria (Bacillus subtilis), the organism (Klebsiella pneumoniae) that causes pneumonia and "Salmonella typhi", that causes typhoid, says the report.

Normally, the larvae of malaria mosquitoes in water are eaten by their predators -- small crustaceans called M. aspericornis -- and thus naturally get eliminated before they become adult mosquitoes.

According to the researchers, who evaluated the impact of their nanomaterial in an aquatic environment, the predation efficiency of these useful crustaceans was not affected by the introduction of CB-synthesised nanoparticles.

Smoke toxicity experiments conducted against adult mosquitoes showed that "CB-based coils led to mortality comparable to the standard pesticide permethrin", the report says.

CBs are one of the most ubiquitous forms of garbage with an estimated environmental burden of 4.5 trillion butts discarded annually.

"Overall, the present research would suggest that an abundant hazardous waste, such as cigarette butts, can be turned into an important resource for nanosynthesis of novel insecticides highly effective against young instars and adults of the A. stephensi chloroquin resistant P. falciparum malaria parasite and microbial pathogens," says the report.

Considering the growing threat of drug-resistant P. falciparum strains, the CB synthesized nanomaterial "can be considered for the development of an alternative" approach for treating and controlling chloroquin resistant malaria parasites.

Payyalore Rajagopalan, former director of the Vector Control Research Centre in Pondicherry, said that nicotine is a known mosquito killer. "But the authors have done a lot of work and it needs to be encouraged," he told this correspondent in an email.

 

 

 

 

 

(This story has not been edited by dailyaddaa staff and is auto-generated from a IANS feed.)

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi: Grabbing a dictionary to know the meaning a word may now have become a thing of the past in the online world, but Google Doodle on Monday decided to honour Samuel Johnson, the man who compiled a mammoth dictionary of the English language 150 years before the Oxford English Dictionary appeared.

Son of a bookseller, Johnson published "A Dictionary of the English Language" in 1755 after nine years of work.

On what would have been his 308th birthday, Google Doodle paid homage to Johnson for being a "pioneer lexicographer who dedicated years to his craft."

Johnson dictionary was described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship," and had a far-reaching effect on modern English.

It was described as the premier English dictionary until the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later.

Johnson was also a poet, essayist, critic, biographer and editor.

"Johnson's dictionary was more than just a word list: his work provided a vast understanding of 18th century's language and culture. His lasting contributions guaranteed him a place in literary history," Google said.

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi: Dark chocolate nowadays is popularly known as one of the best superfoods. If you nibble dark chocolate to satisfy a craving, youre also helping your heart with every bite, say experts.

Sonia Narang, Wellness and Nutrition Expert, Oriflame India and Meher Rajput, Nutritionists and Dietician, FITPASS share that how dark chocolates can be healthy too.

 

* Dark chocolate is also pre-loaded with decent amounts of soluble fibre and potential minerals. It contains Oleic acid, Stearic acid and Palmitic acid.

* Loaded with organic compounds which are biologically active, dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure and improve the flow of blood in your body. It greatly helps in decreasing the levels of oxidised LDL Cholesterol in men.

* Eating dark chocolate (which has 65 percent polyphenol-rich cocoa) helps to lower blood pressure naturally.

* Flavanols found in dark chocolate help in improving your heart health by lowering blood pressure and refining the flow of blood to the heart as well as to the brain. They also help in reducing the risk of cancer.

* Dark chocolate also reduces the level of insulin resistance, which is a very common factor behind the birth of diseases like Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, and other heart ailments.

* Dark chocolate also has high concentration of an alkaloid called theobromine which has stimulant properties and relaxing effects. It can dilate the blood vessels.

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi:On teacher's day, google doodle paid tribute to the birth anniversary of India's celebrated teacher and its first vice president, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Following close was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who paid to Dr Radhakrishnan and wished the nation a happy teacher's day this morning. In a post on Twitter, the PM urged people to "make the next 5 years about 'teach to transform, educate to empower & learn to lead.'"

 Leading the way are the President of India Ram Nath Kovind tweeted their greetings. President Koving greeted teachers across the country on the occasion of Teacher's Day. Prime Minister Modi saluted the teaching community who he said have a central role in realising the dream of a "New India."

The doodle shows the middle 'g' as a tiny teacher holding a book and teaching her little pupils various subjects. The little 'G', along with 'o', third 'o', slim 'l' and short 'e' seem immersed in the lessons of Miss 'g'. The backgrounds keep changing reflecting varied subjects.

 The significance of the day lies in the birthday of one of India's most famous and revered teachers, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Dr Radhakrishnan was a celebrated academic. He taught at Chennai's Presidency College and Calcutta University. In 1962 Dr Radhakrishnan became the second President of India.

 It is said that Dr Radhakrishnan's students were keen to celebrate his birthday. However, he suggested instead of celebrating his birthday, it would be his "proud privilege" if the day was observed as Teacher's Day instead.

Since then students across India celebrate the day wishing their dear teachers today. Social media platforms are flooded with tributes to teachers. Some stick to traditional methods and buy gifts like greeting cards, hand-made presents.

Besides Dr Radhakrishnan, another famous teacher who served as President was APJ Abdul Kalam. Authors like Rabindra Nath Tagore, JK Rowling, RK Narayan and Robert Frost were teachers too.

 

 

 

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New Delhi: Each year, Teacher's Day is celebrated on the 5th of September in India. Teacher's Day is marked in honour of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was born on September 5, 1888. Dr Radhakrishnan was India's first vice president and second president. He was a great scholar, philosopher and Bharat Ratna recipient. Since 1962 - the year he became president - India has commemorated Dr Radhakrishnan's birth anniversary by paying tribute to its teachers and gurus on this day. Read on to find out more about the importance, significance and history of Teacher's Day in India.

Dr Radhakrishnan was a celebrated academic. He taught at Chennai's Presidency College and Calcutta University. He served as Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. In 1936, Dr Radhakrishnan was invited to fill the Chair of Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford which he retained for 16 years. 

It was in 1962 when Dr Radhakrishnan became the President of India that his birthday came to be observed as Teachers' Day.

 

It is said that Dr Radhakrishnan's students were keen to celebrate his birthday. However, he suggested instead of celebrating his birthday, it would be his "proud privilege" if the day was observed as Teacher's Day instead. 

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who was one of Dr Radhakrishnan's closest friends famously said: "He has served his country in many capacities. But above all, he is a great teacher from whom all of us have learnt much and will continue to learn. It is India's peculiar privilege to have a great philosopher, a great educationist and a great humanist as her President. That in itself shows the kind of men we honour and respect." 

 

On Teacher's Day, students across the nation honour the teachers and gurus in their lives. Often, special programmes are held in schools and colleges honouring educators and the important - and often, thankless - work they do daily. Social media platforms are flooded with tributes to teachers. On Twitter, many remember their teachers using the hashtag #TeachersDay. Many others offer their teachers greeting cards and hand-made presents.

 

 

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New Delhi:  In todays world, people are not only conscious about how they look but also how their skin feels and lipsticks are an important factor in making or breaking your image. This makeup tool is not just about different shades or textures but also about ingredients, application and choosing the right trends, say experts.

Sargam Dhawan, Director of cosmetic and personal care brand Paul Penders India, doles out tips on some lipstick trends that are making waves this season.

 

* The herbal route: Using vegan and organic lipstick not only protects the lips from harsh chemicals but also preserves the natural texture and colour of the lips. Applying lipsticks with less chemicals reduces chances of lip discolouration.

* Shift from matte to creamy: Creamy matte or satin finish provide a soft and smooth look while leaving the right amount of colour and shine. Creamy Matte texture is also known to stay on the lips for longer hours and avoids the lipstick to get flaky on the lips.

* Ditch the nudes: Get over with the nudes already. A pale pink, a peachy coral or a vibrant fuchsia would be the perfect pick for the Indian skin this festive season. Applying natural pink lipsticks is perfect for the desk to dine look.

* The blend of orange: As we know, red never goes out of style. However, this season it's raining orange. A subtle blend of orange in your red can get you the perfect glamorous look for the season.

Annanya Sabarwal, Country Head of cosmetic and personal care brand KIKO Milano India shares some finest trends to wear your pout in 2017.

* Top glitter coat: A glitter top coat adds a gorgeous shimmering sheen, be it over a lipstick or applied straight to bare lips. Applying a subtle hint of glitter over your lips can make your lips pop just how you want them to. Apply your favourite lip colour and then a little amount of transparent gloss. Then add the glitter -- this way, it will be fixed in all your lip.

* The unconventional bold shades: Unconventional bold shades like blue, purple and grey can be a game changer for parties if worn with confidence. Rocking a bold hue draws attention to your lips and makes you stand out..

* Nude mattes: Everyone is well acquainted with nude shades, natural matte lipsticks are perfect for day wear and also go with smokey eyes for evening wear. Use natural matte shades, a tone lighter or darker to give the perfect definition to your lips.

* Lip gradation: The latest lip trend of 2017 surely includes the gradation of the lips. A little more pop of colour in the middle of your lips making their way out lighter towards the edges.

 

 

(This story has not been edited by dailyaddaa staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi: The viral 'honesty app' Sarahah where you can send or receive anonymous messages is not as anonymous as it appears as the app has been found uploading the user's phone contacts on to the company's servers.

A senior security analyst Zachary Julian who works for IT security consulting firm Bishop Fox was the first to discover Sarahah uploading private information, using a monitoring software BURP Suite.

 

"As soon as you log into the application, it transmits all of your email and phone contacts stored on the Android operating system," a report in The Intercept on Sunday quoted Julian as saying.

Though the app asks for user's permission to access contacts, there is no such feature in the app where these contacts would be required or even a search feature where users can look up for a friend using a contact number.

However, Sarahah's founder Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq said contact lists were being uploaded "for a planned 'find your friends' feature" that was not yet released.

In a tweet, Tawfiq wrote that the data request will be removed on next update.

It often seems suspicious if users do not get anything out of granting access to apps to their contact lists.

For example, earlier in 2017, the newsletter unsubscription service Unroll.me drew a lot of criticism following allegations that it sold user data to cab-hailing service Uber.

--IANS

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi:  The worldwide market for mobile phone displays is expected to overtake that of TV screens for the first time ever this year, brought on by the change in consumer demand, industry trackers said on Sunday.

According to financial services company IHS Markit, growth of mobile panels averaged 17 per cent annually in the past seven years, effectively bridging the gap with TV screens that have traditionally led the market.

 

While mobile phone-related displays have surged forward, sales of TV screens contracted roughly 8 per cent per year during that same 2010-2016 period, Yonhap reported.

The latest predictions showed sales of mobile phone displays will hit $46.56 billion compared to $41.25 billion for TV screens that include both light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED).

This is in contrast to TV screen sales that were tallied at $55.38 billion in 2010, four-times larger than $12.9 billion for mobile phones.

The rise in mobile phone displays is directly linked to the emergence of smartphones and the advances being made in ultra-high definition panels that have appeared on mobile devices since then.

Apple's iconic iPhone was first launched in 2007, with Samsung Electronics's Galaxy S, based on the Android platform following suit in 2010. The two companies continue to dominate the global smartphone market.

Market researcher Strategy Analytics (SA) said mobile phone displays are on a solid growth trajectory with shipments to hit 3.24 billion units this year and rise to 4.62 billion five years later.

It said such a growth will allow mobile phone displays to further get ahead of TV screens.

SA further noted that the market for mobile displays is being fuelled by cutting edge, premium OLEDs and flexible panels that are starting to be showcased.

In particular, growth of the flexible screen market that stood at just $3.13 billion last year is expected to become a $20-billion market by 2020.

With the growth of mobile display demand, industry watchers said the clear beneficiary will likely be Samsung Display that is already the dominant player in this field.

 

-IANS

 

 

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An 'overworked' tiger lost its temper and attacked a handler during a live circus act gone wrong in China's Yingkou City on Saturday. Shocked audience members sat just 2 metres away as the animal dragged one of the handlers across the stage during the show. A short clip of the unfortunate incident has been circulating on social media.

The big cat jumped on a costumed trainer inside the caged arena. As it grabbed the man, a second trainer rushed in and repeatedly hit the tiger with a stick. After a severe beating, the tiger eventually let go of the man and retreated back. Witnesses said the tiger was cruelly hit over ten times before it released the trainer. The trainer survived the attack with no life-threatening injuries, Metro quotes circus staff.

 

 

 

 

The tiger was reportedly forced to perform the routine thrice a day for 10 consecutive days which may have caused the breakdown, South China Morning Post quotes circus bosses. Following the incident, the circus announced that the animal will only be made to do two shows a day.

This isn't the first instance of a circus animal attacking its handler. In May this year, a trainer was left seriously injured after a lion attacked him and grabbed him by the throat.

 

 

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