Seven psychological facts about depression

first_imgBelow are seven facts about depression from researchers studying psychology and neuroscience.1.) Some forms of “positive thinking” have been linked to depression. Research published in the journal Psychological Science found people who fantasized about an idealized future tended to have fewer depressive symptoms in the present, but faced more depressive symptoms in the future. “Inducing positive fantasies may indeed produce depressive symptoms by encouraging people to enjoy their success prematurely in their minds, thus lowering energy and effort,” which leads to failures in the future, the researchers explained.2.) Persistent depression can damage parts of the brain. Research published in Molecular Psychiatry found depression was associated with hippocampal shrinkage. (The hippocampus is an area of the brain responsible for memory formation.) “Your whole sense of self depends on continuously understanding who you are in the world – your state of memory is not about just knowing how to do Sudoku or remembering your password – it’s the whole concept we hold of ourselves,” said co-author Ian Hickie. LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Pinterestcenter_img Email Share 3.) Research published in Depression and Anxiety found the more time young adults spent using social media, the more likely they were to be depressed. But the cause-and-effect relationship is unclear. “It may be that people who already are depressed are turning to social media to fill a void,” explained lead author Lui yi Lin.4.) Other research suggests that addiction to mobile technology is linked to depression.  “People who self-described as having really addictive style behaviors toward the Internet and cellphones scored much higher on depression and anxiety scales,” the researchers said. Luckily, simply using mobile devices to alleviate boredom was not associated with depression.5.) Youth who join gangs are more likely to be depressed and suicidal, according to a study in the journal Criminal Justice and Behavior. “Youth who join a gang are much more likely to have mental health issues, and then being in the gang actually makes it worse,” said researcher Chris Melde. “It doesn’t act as an antidepressant. And some people may be seeking that out – a sense of well-being or purpose.”6.) Research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society concluded that face-to-face social interactions can guard against depression in older adults.  “Research has long-supported the idea that strong social bonds strengthen people’s mental health. But this is the first look at the role that the type of communication with loved ones and friends plays in safeguarding people from depression. We found that all forms of socialization aren’t equal. Phone calls and digital communication, with friends or family members, do not have the same power as face-to-face social interactions in helping to stave off depression,” said lead author Alan Teo.7.) Depression may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes when combined with other metabolic risk factors, according to a study in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. Depression alone did not appear to significantly increase the risk. But those with both depression and metabolic risk factors were more than six times more likely to develop diabetes. This could be because people suffering from depression are less likely to adhere to medical advice or because depression causes changes in the body’s metabolic systems (or both.)last_img read more

Long-term stress linked to higher levels of obesity

first_imgLinkedIn Previous studies looking at the link between cortisol and obesity relied mainly on measurements of the hormone in blood, saliva or urine which may vary according to the time of day and other situational factors. These studies failed to capture long-term cortisol levels.This research involved 2,527 men and women aged 54 and older taking part in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, taking data over a four-year period.In the research, the scientists took a lock of hair 2cm long from each participant which was cut as close possible to a person’s scalp – this represented approximately two months’ hair growth with associated accumulated levels of cortisol. They also examined the participants’ weight, body mass index and waist circumference and how hair cortisol related to the persistence of obesity over time.They found that people who had higher levels of cortisol present in their hair tended to have larger waist circumference measurements, were heavier, and had a higher body mass index (BMI). Individuals classified as obese on the basis of their BMI (?30) or waist circumference (?102cm in men, ?88cm in women) had particularly high levels of hair cortisol.“These results provide consistent evidence that chronic stress is associated with higher levels of obesity,” said Dr Sarah Jackson (UCL Epidemiology and Public Health) who led the research. “People who had higher hair cortisol levels also tended to have larger waist measurements, which is important because carrying excess fat around the abdomen is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and premature death.”“Hair cortisol is a relatively new measure which offers a suitable and easily obtainable method for assessing chronically high levels of cortisol concentrations in weight research and may therefore aid in further advancing understanding in this area.”There were limitations to the study, which included the fact the data was from an older population in which levels of cortisol may differ relative to younger adults and the sample was almost exclusively white. It is not currently known whether chronically elevated cortisol levels are a cause or a consequence of obesity.More research is needed and if causation is proved, then targeting cortisol levels may offer a new method for treating obesity. Share on Twitter People who suffer long-term stress may also be more prone to obesity, according to research by scientists at UCL which involved examining hair samples for levels of cortisol, a hormone which regulates the body’s response to stress.The paper, published in the journal Obesity, showed that exposure to higher levels of cortisol over several months is associated with people being more heavily, and more persistently, overweight.Chronic stress has long been hypothesised to be implicated in obesity – people tend to report overeating and ‘comfort eating’ foods high in fat, sugar and calories in times of stress, and the stress hormone cortisol plays an important role in metabolism and determining where fat is stored. Pinterestcenter_img Share Share on Facebook Emaillast_img read more

First death reported in romaine-linked E coli outbreak

first_imgIn an update on an Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce today, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first death, along with 23 more illnesses from 10 states, lifting the total number of people sickened in the outbreak to 121.Federal health officials are still investigating exactly where and how the romaine was contaminated with the bacteria, as the reach expands in an outbreak that has hospitalized half of the people it has sickened.Death reported in California; 52 hospitalizedThe death was reported in a California resident. Last week the CDC said is seeing a higher than usual number of hospitalizations in the outbreak, which officials said is a pattern seen in the past with outbreaks involving E coli strains that only produce Shiga toxin type 2 (STX2).So far 52 people have been hospitalized, including 14 with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal kidney complication.Three more states—Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Utah—have reported their first cases in the outbreak, pushing the number of affected states to 25.The latest illness onset was Apr 21, and the CDC said infections occurring after Apr 11 might not be reported yet, due to the average 2- to 3-week interval between symptom onset and case reporting.Romaine warning remains in placeWith the investigation into the source of contamination still under way, federal health officials are still warning the public to avoid any type of romaine lettuce unless they are certain that it didn’t come from growing regions in Yuma, Ariz., which have been linked to the outbreak. “Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, do not eat or buy romaine lettuce if you do not know where it was grow,” the CDC said.Most of the illnesses were in people exposed to chopped romaine before they got sick, but last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said whole-head romaine from Harrison Farms, of Yuma, was linked to eight E coli infections at a correctional facility in Alaska.In the United States, romaine harvesting usually shifts north to California at this time of year, but federal officials have said they can’t guarantee there are no more products currently coming out of the Yuma growing region. All romaine from the farm linked to Alaska’s cases was harvested between Mar 5 and Mar 16, and health officials said last week that the facility is now growing grass.Eggs recalled in Salmonella outbreak distributed overseasIn other foodborne illness outbreak developments, the FDA said yesterday that the recalled shell eggs implicated in a multistate Salmonella Braenderup outbreak were also distributed to the US Virgin Islands and other overseas locations including several Caribbean locations (Bahamas, Haiti, Aruba, Cayman Islands, Saint martin, Turks & Caicos, Saint Barthelemy), as well at the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.Federal officials and their state partners are juggling three foodborne illness outbreaks, the E coli event linked to romaine, the Salmonella outbreak connected to eggs, and a norovirus outbreak related to raw oysters harvested from British Columbia.See also:May 2 CDC outbreak updateApr 27 CIDRAP News story “Romaine-linked E coli outbreak grows; Arizona farm named in Alaska cases”last_img read more

LANL: Building Better Electron Sources With Graphene

first_imgAn added layer of graphene allows photocathode substrates to be cleaned and reused repeatedly in place inside electron microscopes and accelerators. Courtesy/LANLLANL News:Photocathodes that produce electron beams for electron microscopes and advanced accelerators can be refreshed and rebuilt repeatedly without opening the devices that rely on them, provided the electron emitting materials are deposited on single-atom-thick layers of carbon known as graphene, according to a new study published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.“The machines that rely on these electron emitters typically operate under high vacuum,” said Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist Hisato Yamaguchi. “By choosing graphene over materials like silicon or molybdenum, which tend to degrade during use, we can clean the substrate and redeposit electron-emitting materials without opening the vacuum. This can dramatically reduce downtime and labor involved in replacing photocathodes.”The researchers studied photocathodes made of cesium potassium antimonide, which efficiently emit electrons when illuminated with high-power, green laser light. The photocathode efficiency falls with use, and the photocathodes must be either replaced or renewed with the electron-emitting material baked off and replaced in situ. When the researchers renewed photocathodes on substrates of silicon or molybdenum, which are common materials for such devices, the photocathode performance degraded with each cycle. Following the same procedure with graphene serving as the substrate resulted in uniformly high electron emission, time and time again.The researchers proposed that the resilience of photocathodes deposited on graphene surfaces was due to weaker binding between the emitter atoms and the underlying carbon layer. Numerical calculations based on the material properties of the emitters and graphene were consistent with the hypothesis.The authors concluded their study by stating, “Our results provide a foundation for graphene-based, reusable substrates for high [quantum efficiency] semiconductor photocathodes.”In addition to Yamaguchi from Los Alamos, collaborators included researchers from the Japanese institutions Nagoya University, the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), the National Institutes of Natural Sciences, and Hiroshima University.The research was published June 22 in the journal Applied Physics Letters.Publication: Graphene as reusable substrate for bialkali photocathodes, Lei Guo et al., Applied Physics Letters, June 22, 2020, DOI: 10.1063/5.0010816Funding: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science U.S.-Japan Science and Technology Cooperation Program in High Energy PhysicsAbout Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.last_img read more

David Alkire Joins Distinctive Industries as Regional Sales Manager

first_imgWith more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – David Alkire has been appointed eastern North American regional sales manager for Distinctive Industries, a provider of automotive interiors and restoration upholstery for 1960s and 1970s-era collector cars. In his new role, Alkire will focus on relationship- and business-development opportunities, as well as customer outreach.   “We are proud to welcome David to Distinctive Industries,” said Dave Edmondson, VP of sales and marketing. “His knowledge of the restoration market, including his background in sales, marketing and management, is significant and a valuable asset to our company.”   Alkire’s infatuation with cars as a youth, which began with modifying a 1976 Chevrolet truck, was transformed into a career when he joined Year One as sales and operations manager for the Atlanta-based supplier of restoration and performance products. More recently, he held key positions at Georgia Marketing and Promotions and Trim Parts.  An avid enthusiast who races and rides moto-cross and hare-scramble events at the amateur level, and the proud owner of a 1956 Chevrolet gasser that competes in vintage drag racing events, Alkire holds a bachelor of arts in communications from the University of Toledo (Ohio).   “David brings a wealth of knowledge and industry expertise to his new position,” said Edmondson. “We are confident he will play a pivotal role in our company’s continued growth.”   AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain.last_img read more

Bedside Reading Cocktail Welcome

first_imgOn Friday, March 1, Bedside Reading, which distributes complimentary book gift bags to local hotels, held its Cocktail Welcome & Book Signing in The Barn at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton. Author Amy Impellizzeri’s novel “Why We Lie” was the featured work for the evening. The event kicked off three days of book signings featuring five authors, also held at White Fences Inn, The 1770 House, The Baker House 1650, and The Maidstone Hotel. Sharelast_img

Lawyers in UK and Ireland hit hardest by problems in property market

first_imgOnly Ireland has suffered more job losses within its legal profession than the UK, the director general of the Law Society of Ireland said last week. Ken Murphy told delegates at a Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) meeting in Brussels that lawyers in both the UK and Ireland had been hit hardest by problems in the property market. Murphy said that Ireland’s legal profession has been ‘decimated’. He added: ‘Ten per cent of our 8,200 solicitors are out of work. And that doesn’t include the 2009 intake of law graduates, some of whom are never going to find work as lawyers.’ After Ireland, practising solicitors in England and Wales have been worst hit by job losses, he acknowledged, with several thousand understood to have been made redundant. Murphy said both jurisdictions had been exposed to the ‘biggest bubble in history’, the property market, which has now burst. ‘Bars and law societies in continental Europe, less reliant on property, have been largely untouched by the recession,’ he added. Murphy said lawyers’ representative bodies in continental Europe do not see their role as helping members survive any downturn. ‘It is seen as a commercial problem for the individual firms affected,’ Murphy said. The Law Society of Ireland has now appointed a full-time careers adviser to help lawyers find new jobs, including directing solicitors towards opportunities in Australia and Canada where law firms are still recruiting. The Law Society of England and Wales has published a redundancy note on its website advising lawyers on employment rights and job-seeking strategies. Meanwhile, the late Stanislav Markelov, a Russian lawyer assassinated in January, has been posthumously given the CCBE Human Rights Award 2009. At the time of his death, he was seeking justice for Elza Koungayeva, an 18-year-old Chechen woman kidnapped, raped and strangled by Russian army colonel Yuri Budanov. Budanov obtained early release from prison on 15 January 2009. Four days later, upon leaving a press conference denouncing the release, Markelov was shot in the head and later died.last_img read more

Read of the Week

first_imgPermanent RemovalAlan S CowellJacanaReview: Brian JossI have a memory for trivia: sometimes it’s useful, sometimes it’s not. But I recall seeing a newspaper poster many years ago referring to a New York Times reporter who was booted out of South Africa by the apartheid government. That reporter was Alan S Cowell who has written an intriguing thriller loosely based on the Cradock Four: Matthew Goniwe and Fort Calata (both had been tagged for assassination), and Sparow Mkonto and Sicelo Mhlaudi, who were never seen alive again after they were intercepted at a road block near Port Elizabeth about 31 years ago.In Permanent Removal, they are known as the Cooktown Four. America Thomas J Kinzer, a former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary based in South Africa until he was “demoted” by a political sabre in the back, is now a lecture-circuit guru, a delegate and speaker at conferences. Kinzer is drawn back to the country when he receives a letter from Lily Nyati, whose husband, Solomon, along with Zinto, Ngalo and Mboniswa were killed in the struggle, asking Kinzer, who was to speak at a conference in Cape Town, to keep a promise he made to find out who murdered the Cooktown Four. The widows want the perpetrators brought to justice before Parliament passes the Statute of Limitations, otherwise the unsolved cases from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission “will just disappear and the oppressors will be free,” Lily tells Kinzer.The letter was signed by the four widows and when he opens it he also opens a Pandora’s Box, which has unintended consequences. Kinzer renews old acquaintances on his journey to discover the truth: an ex-girlfriend and firebrand reporter, Jess Chase, now married to Chris de Vere, and he meets Zoë Joubert, who was part of the Old Deep Action Committee, (ODAC), a group of naïve whites who wanted to be part of The Struggle. Joubert knew Nyati as an activist and writer and Kinzer is smitten. But she also has secrets of her own as do the other members of the Deep Set. As Kinzer keeps his promise to Lily and the other three widows, his journey is one of self-discovery and one of his passengers on the way is Celiwe, the Nyatis’ firebrand activist daughter, who wants to meet anyone who knew her father. Kinzer knows many unsavoury characters from his stay in South Africa, including an ace reporter, Ray Gilliomee, who is now just a drunk has-been and whose book puts the former diplomat on to the trail of Kobus Theron, an agent of the former apartheid regime. Things spiral out of control when Theron and Kinzer come face to face with an outraged mob in Cooktown and their own mortality.The action stretches from Johannesburg to the Garden Route and further afield into the depths of the Eastern Cape and set against the backdrop of the Nelson Mandela presidency. Cowell’s writing is elegant and this well-written political thriller will draw you in until the last page when you find out if the characters are freed from the burden of the past. It is a compelling read.last_img read more

Ghostbusters seek out the ghouls

first_imgCape Town Paranormal Investigations team members. Some of Cape Town’s popular landmarks – including the Castle of Good Hope – are haunted, say a team of paranormal investigators.Cape Town Paranormal Investigations, a non-profit organisation based in Durbanville is made up of a team of 16 investigators from across the city.Their work includes researching the history of various buildings, including the Castle of Good Hope, Brackenfell Train Depot, Tygerberg Hospital and Green Point Lighthouse built in 1824.The group’s founder, Marc Leitao, says it all started five years ago when he and some friends found themselves talking about their various paranormal experiences.“Our experiences could not be explained, and we decided to investigate whether or not it was just our minds playing tricks on us or if spirits were roaming the city.”Team members Amanda and Corne de Klerk, of Brackenfell, describe themselves as “sceptics by nature” and say they joined Marc on the ghost-busting journey because they wanted to know if they were living in a haunted city.But the team doesn’t go ghost-hunting on a whim. Each case can take weeks, if not months, to prepare for.“We do not walk into a place and believe that there is activity. We do sufficient research on the history of locations, speak to people who have lived at locations previously, visit museums and pick up old newspapers. Thereafter, we will visit the area to investigate for possible activity,” says Corne.Some investigations are tedious while others are of a more spine-chilling nature, says Amanda.“Sometimes you go and investigate, expecting an experience of a lifetime, but you sit there for hours and nothing happens. On other occasions, it’s unexplainable, and we scratch our heads about the things we find.”Marc recalls the time when, out of frustration, he shouted, “Please just show us something! Come on prove that you are here!” The team got a pen and a doorknob thrown at them seconds later.Marc says all their findings are factual and the team do not dramatise their YouTube and Facebook videos.They use infra-red cameras and motion sensors, audio recorders thermal-imaging cameras, hand-held camcorders and instruments to read fluctuations in electromagnetic fields.The team say they can pick up anomalies, or spiritual energy, that the eye cannot.In a video, which according to the team was shot at the Brackenfell Train Depot in March 2018, they can be seen shouting questions into the empty space around them. An audio recording from that night, they say, picked up an eerie response, which sounded like a disembodied voice from a faulty phone: “Insane, I am dead.” At Simon’s Town School, founded in 1815, the team say, they found evidence that a boy who died many years ago is still roaming the corridors.But waiting for responses from reluctant spectres is only one of the frustrations they face in their work, says Marc. There are those who waste their time and resources by calling them out under false pretences.“Many people call us saying that they are having creepy experiences in their homes, and when we investigate, it turns out that they are testing the way we do things.”Another problem is when they get called by tenants who believe they are rooming with a free-loading phantom, but the team can’t do anything without the landlord’s permission, and many landlords, says Marc, simply refuse. Amanda says that while some of the team’s followers encourage them to pray or read from the Bible, they are not psychics, mediums or preachers.“We have normal day jobs and are ghost hunters by night, which is a hobby,” she says.Their new video, Ghost vs Brain, to be released in coming weeks, helps you tell whether you’re seeing a ghost or experiencing a trick of the mind.To find out more about the group search online for Cape Town Paranormal Investigations or call 071 899 3467.last_img read more

Polish high speed rail project cancelled

first_imgPOLAND: Cancellation of the plan to build a Y-shaped high speed line was announced by Slawomir Nowak, Minister of Transport, Construction & Maritime Economy, on December 7.The EU is Poland’s main source of funding for rail projects, but the country had been told it could only count on support of around 30bn z?oty in 2014-20. This left the ministry with a choice between one megaproject or upgrading existing lines, which are a deteriorated state and lag behind western European standards. As a result, Nowak decided to freeze all work on the high speed project until 2030. The Y-shaped line from Warszawa through Lódz to Poznan and Wroclaw would have been 450 to 470 km long and suitable for 350 km/h operation. The cost was initially estimated at 20bn zloty, but had risen to 28bn zloty with unofficial estimates reaching 35bn zloty. Despite cancellation of the dedicated high speed line, Poland may start regular 200 km/h passenger operation on the Central Trunk Line between Warszawa and Katowice in 2013, with speeds increasing to 220 km/h when the first Alstom Pendolinos are delivered in 2014. In the longer term conversion of the 3 kV DC electrification to 25 kV 50 Hz AC is planned, allowing Pendolinos to reach 250 km/h. Under-Secretary for Railways Andrej Massel tells Railway Gazette International about the government’s plans for infrastructure modernisation and regulatory reform in the December 2011 issue.last_img read more