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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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The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

COVID-19 survivors may have loss of brain tissue

Even mild cases of COVID-19 may lead to loss of brain tissue, according to findings from a long-term study involving 782 volunteers. As part of the ongoing UK Biobank study, participants underwent brain scans before the pandemic. For a before-and-after comparison, researchers invited 394 COVID-19 survivors to come back for follow-up scans as well as 388 healthy volunteers. Most of the COVID-19 survivors had had only mild-to-moderate symptoms, or no symptoms at all, while 15 had been hospitalized. Among the COVID-19 survivors, researchers saw "significant" loss of gray matter in regions of the brain related to smell and taste - the left parahippocampal gyrus, left orbitofrontal cortex and left insula. Some of the affected brain regions are also involved in the memory of experiences that evoke emotional reactions, the researchers noted in a report posted on medRxiv on Tuesday ahead of peer review. The changes were not seen in the group that had not been infected. The authors said more research is needed to determine whether COVID-19 survivors will have issues in the longer term with their ability to remember emotion-evoking events. They also do not yet know whether the loss of gray matter is a result of the virus spreading into the brain, or some other effect of the illness.

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A weight-loss drug described as a 'game-changer' by obesity researchers has just been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), representing the first time the agency has endorsed such a treatment in several years.

Wegovy, a weight-management therapy to be manufactured by Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, is the the first FDA-approved weight-loss drug since 2014, but it's not entirely a new medication.

The same drug, called semaglutide, has been used in the US and other countries as an anti-diabetic medication for years. More recently, however, evidence has shown that semaglutide at a different dosage also functions as a powerful and effective appetite-suppressant.

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One of the Big Questions about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has for a while been about its origins. Most viruses that cause disease in humans have long, fascinating origin stories, with jumps from animal to animal until they finally make it into people and start killing them.

But COVID-19, goes the theory, must be lab-grown - either from an intentional lab leak or a mistake of epic proportions - there's simply too much circumstantial evidence to ignore! This idea doesn't really make sense. There's no special reason to believe that COVID-19 must have been grown in a lab.

Sure, there's political reasons that we might think the Chinese government is untrustworthy, but that's a slim basis for a theory. As humans, when we are given two possibilities, we assume that they are somewhat equivalent in likelihood, so when you hear "lab leak or natural origin" it's not unreasonable to assume that those two things are about as likely as one another, even though that makes no sense whatsoever.

We know from decades of evidence that new diseases jump from animals to humans all the time. There are literally dozens of cases in the last few decades alone where an entirely new disease has transferred from a non-human host to people.

This has even happened twice in recent memory with coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-2, which gives you some idea of just how unsurprising it is when a novel pathogen of likely animal origin is identified.

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An experimental device that turns thoughts into text has allowed a man who was left paralyzed by an accident to construct sentences swiftly on a computer screen.

The man was able to type with 95% accuracy just by imagining he was handwriting letters on a sheet of paper, a team reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.

"What we found, surprisingly, is that [he] can type at about 90 characters per minute," says Krishna Shenoy of Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The device would be most useful to someone who could neither move nor speak, says Dr. Jaimie Henderson, a neurosurgeon at Stanford and co-director, with Shenoy, of the Stanford Neural Prosthetics Translational Laboratory.

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The Canadian government is talking to international partners about the development of COVID-19 vaccination certificate systems that might one day help facilitate travel across international borders but bureaucrats in Ottawa, as well as some politicians, wonder if such a system is the best way to proceed.

“We are working on it on a scientific basis and we will have more to announce when we have it to announce,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday. “Right now we’re focussed on getting through this pandemic and being prepared to come roaring back once we’re through it.”

The lack of enthusiasm in federal government circles to develop vaccination certificates is matched by the World Health Organization which argued in a paper it published in February that “national authorities and conveyance operators should not introduce requirements of proof of COVID-19 vaccination for international travel as a condition for departure or entry, given that there are still critical unknowns regarding the efficacy of vaccination in reducing transmission.”

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As homeowners start to prep swimming pools for the season, they will face a widespread chlorine shortage.
In some parts of the country, pool supply stores have imposed quantity restrictions. In other areas, prices for chlorine tablets have already doubled from last year. A pandemic swimming pool boom created higher demand for chlorine, then a major chemical plant fire in Louisiana knocked some production offline, resulting in a shortage.

The worst chlorine shortage the country has ever seen is set to rock this summer’s pool season.

“It’s been a concern for us,” said Cody Saliture, owner of Texas Pool Professionals, which has been in business for 17 years.

The Rockwall, Texas-based company services 200 clients weekly, and Saliture said he recently began to stockpile chlorine tablets. He’s also been looking for different chemicals to keep pools sanitized and his customers happy.

“We’re looking for anything that we can get that we don’t have here in North Texas,” Saliture said. “We’ve been to about six states and 15 cities [for supplies].”

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The action would not remove menthol tobacco from stores immediately, but rather kick off the rule-making process to do so, which could take several years.

The Food and Drug Administration appears likely to move to ban menthol in cigarettes this week — a step, experts say, that has been years in the making and that could have a significant positive impact on the health of Black Americans.

The FDA's decision would not ban menthol immediately, but rather kick off the rule-making process to do so, which could take years.

"The winds are definitely in our favor," said Delmonte Jefferson, executive director of the Center for Black Health & Equity, citing both the decades of data that show that the cooling flavor in cigarettes makes it easier to start smoking combined with the current cultural momentum toward improving the lives of Black Americans.

When inhaled, menthol produces a cooling sensation in the throat, reducing the harsh taste of cigarettes and the irritation of nicotine. The vast majority of Black smokers — 85 percent — use menthol cigarettes. And Black men and women are much less likely than white Americans to be diagnosed with lung cancer at an earlier, potentially more treatable stage. Black men have the highest lung cancer death rate in the country.

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