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Chronic rhinosinusitis, which causes a persistent blocked nose and headaches among other symptoms, affects 11 percent of people in the US – and recent research has found a link between the condition and changes in brain activity.

The team behind the study is hoping that the link will help explain some of the other common effects of the persistent inflammation: finding it hard to focus, struggling with bouts of depression, having trouble sleeping, and dizziness.

Finding a connection between the underlying disease and the neural processing happening elsewhere could be vital in understanding the chronic condition, along with efforts to find better and more effective ways to treat it.

"This is the first study that links chronic sinus inflammation with a neurobiological change," said otolaryngologist Aria Jafari, from the University of Washington; the team's paper was published in April 2021.

"We know from previous studies that patients who have sinusitis often decide to seek medical care not because they have a runny nose and sinus pressure, but because the disease is affecting how they interact with the world. They can't be productive, thinking is difficult, sleep is lousy. It broadly impacts their quality of life. Now we have a prospective mechanism for what we observe clinically."

The researchers tapped into data from the Human Connectome Project to find 22 subjects living with chronic rhinosinusitis and 22 control subjects with no sinus inflammation. Data from fMRI scans were then used to compare blood flow and neuron activity in the brain.

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Portugal’s health care system was on the verge of collapse. Hospitals in the capital, Lisbon, were overflowing and the authorities were asking people to treat themselves at home. In the last week of January, nearly 2,000 people died as the virus spread.

The country’s vaccine program was in a shambles, so the government turned to Vice Adm. Henrique Gouveia e Melo, a former submarine squadron commander, to right the ship.

Eight months later, Portugal is among the world’s leaders in vaccinations, with roughly 86 percent of its population of 10.3 million fully vaccinated. About 98 percent of all of those eligible for vaccines — meaning anyone over 12 — have been fully vaccinated, Admiral Gouveia e Melo said.

“We believe we have reached the point of group protection and nearly herd immunity,” he said. “Things look very good.”

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The stigma surrounding mental health continues to melt away, slowly but surely, with each new generation. This allows people to seek help and develop the tools needed to cope with feelings of stress, anxiousness, isolation, and other mental health needs. What people may not be as aware of is that this kind of support may also benefit the immune system.*

This isn’t the first (and certainly won’t be the last) time we discuss the inextricable link between mental and physical well-being. But in case you need a refresher, read on.
How mental well-being can impact immune functioning.

When the body faces a perceived danger (i.e. stress) it activates the sympathetic nervous system. “When that system is activated, you get ready for either fighting or running away,” says neuroscientist Wendy A. Suzuki, Ph.D. Though a natural (and helpful!) defense mechanism in times of real danger, if you turn into The Boy Who Cried Wolf...er, stress...the body listens.

Meaning, when you’re trying to wind down at night, your body will be gearing up to either run from danger or fight it—not exactly a peaceful, dream-like state, no? And poor sleep impacts more than just your mood the next morning.

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Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore are tackling food waste by turning discarded durian husks into antibacterial gel bandages.

The process extracts cellulose powder from the fruit's husks after they are sliced and freeze-dried, then mixes it with glycerol. This mixture becomes soft hydrogel, which is then cut into bandage strips.

"In Singapore, we consume about 12 million durians a year, so besides the flesh, we can't do much about the husk and the seeds and this cause environmental pollution," said Professor William Chen, director of the food science and technology programme at NTU. The fruit's husks, which make up more than half of the composition of durians, are usually discarded and incinerated, contributing to environmental waste.

Chen added that the technology can also turn other food waste, such as soy beans and spent grains, into hydrogel, helping limit the country's food waste.

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Pfizer-BioNTech said on Monday that the companies' two-dose Covid-19 vaccine was safe and showed a "robust" antibody response in children ages 5 to 11.

Based on data collected in a trial that included more than 2,000 children, Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, said in a press release that the vaccine was "safe, well tolerated, and showed robust neutralizing antibody responses" for this age group. No Covid vaccines have yet been authorized or approved for use in children under 12.

The children in the trial were given two smaller doses of the vaccine than those given to people 12 and older, according to the release. The companies said that it produced antibody responses, and side effects, in children that were comparable to those seen in a study of people 16 to 25 who received the full dose of the vaccine.

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Drinking up to three cups of coffee a day may protect your heart, a new study finds.

Among people with no diagnosis of heart disease, regular coffee consumption of 0.5 to 3 cups of coffee a day was associated with a decreased risk of death from heart disease, stroke and early death from any cause when compared to non-coffee drinkers.

The study, presented Friday at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, examined the coffee drinking behavior of over 468,000 people who participate in the UK Biobank Study, which houses in-depth genetic and health information on more than a half a million Brits.

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India's drug regulator has approved the world's first DNA vaccine against Covid-19 for emergency use.

The three-dose ZyCoV-D vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 66% of those vaccinated, according to an interim study quoted by the vaccine maker Cadila Healthcare.

The firm plans to make up to 120 million doses of India's second home-grown vaccine every year.

Previous DNA vaccines have worked well in animals but not humans.

India has so far given more than 570 million doses of three previously approved vaccines - Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V.

About 13% of adults have been fully vaccinated and 47% have received at least one shot since the beginning of the drive in January.

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Disney and Walmart, two of America's largest employers, announced Friday that they are requiring employees be vaccinated.
Disney (DIS) is requiring all its salaried and non-union hourly employees in the US to be vaccinated. Workers who are working on-site but are not yet vaccinated must do so within the next 60 days, according to a statement from the company to CNN Business. All new hires must be fully vaccinated before beginning their jobs.
Employees who aren't already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days to do so; employees still working from home must provide proof of vaccination prior to their return to work. The company also said it has started discussing vaccine mandates with the unions representing its workers.

Walmart (WMT), the nation's largest retailer, said all its US-based corporate employees must be vaccinated by October 4, according to a Friday memo from Doug McMillon, the company's president and CEO.

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Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee or two throughout the day, but a new study suggests that too much of the stuff could shrink brain volume and increase the risk of dementia over the long term.

This was a large study as well, involving 17,702 participants aged from 37 to 73, taken from the UK Biobank project. The long-running project collects information on a host of different health and lifestyle metrics, including coffee consumption, brain volume, and disease – as well as additional data like socioeconomic status that scientists can factor in.

The excess coffee risks can jump quite sharply, though you do need to be drinking a lot of the beverage: The study found that people drinking six or more cups a day had a 53 percent higher chance of getting dementia than those who drank one or two cups or less.

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When you're trying to squeeze in a quick HIIT routine or speedy full-body strength workout, the last thing you probably want to do is tack on an extra five-minute warm-up. But just a few simple warm-up exercises can make a pretty big difference when it comes to your performance and recovery.

"Warming up before a workout is extremely important," says fitness instructor and trainer at bande Mindy Lai. "When your muscles are cold, they are harder to move. If you hop into a class with zero warm-up or stretch, chances are you'll walk out with an injury."

Beyond injury prevention, easing in with a warm-up can activate your central nervous system and help prepare your body for movement.

Lai also adds that without an adequate warm-up "you won't get the most out of your workout, because you won't be able to move as limberly from the beginning of class." In other words, kicking things off with some dynamic movement can help support your mobility and range of motion.

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Alcohol is estimated to have caused more than 741,000 cancer cases last year, with the majority of cases involving cancers of the oesophagus, liver and breast.

Existing evidence strongly suggests that alcohol consumption can cause various cancers, though the researchers involved in this study believe the links are ‘often unknown or overlooked.’

To indicate exactly how many cancer cases alcohol can cause globally, the team used data such as existing alcohol consumption estimates for 2010 and risk estimates for cancers known to be linked to alcohol and combined the figures with existing estimates of new cancer cases expected for 2020.

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How does the human brain keep track of the order of events in a sequence?

New research suggests that 'time cells' – neurons in the hippocampus thought to represent temporal information – could be the glue that sticks our memories together in the right sequence so that we can properly recall the correct order in which things happened.

Evidence for these kinds of sequence-tracking time cells was previously found in rats, where specific neuron assemblies are thought to support the recollection of events and the planning of action sequences – but less is known about how episodic memory is encoded in the human brain.

To investigate, a team led by neuroscientist Leila Reddy from the Brain and Cognition Research Center (CerCo) in France monitored electrical activity in the brains of 15 epilepsy patients, using microelectrodes implanted in the hippocampus.

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