Friday, 27 October 2017

Pigs are the latest genetically modified organisms (GMO)

The genetically modified low-fat piglets. Image: channelnewsasia

Chinese scientists have used genetic engineering to breed pigs with 24% less fat than normal swines, potentially saving farmers significant resources used in heating and feeding the animals.

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists said that modern pigs lack a gene, called UCP1 - which is present in most other mammals - making them susceptible to the cold and prone to fat deposition.

To counter that, the scientist edited a mouse version of the gene into pig cells and then used those cells to create 2,553 cloned pig embryos, which they implanted into 13 sows. Three of the pigs became pregnant, producing 12 piglets, the report showed.

The hogs showed “an improved ability to maintain body temperature, decreased fat deposition, and increased carcass lean percentage”, the scientists said in their report.


Exceptional people: Alert hotel workers honoured for preventing guest's suicide

He noticed the bloody hands when the guest collected the bottle of liquor at the door of his hotel room, and Mr Jason Ong immediately sensed something amiss.

The 39-year-old restaurant supervisor at Furama Riverfront Singapore checked with the guest, who claimed he had spilled make-up on his hands and closed the door.

Mr Ong did not buy it and told his colleagues, who quickly devised a plan to investigate. In the end, they saved the guest's life.

The police were called and the guest later revealed he had planned to take his own life.

Mr Ong and Mr Sanmugam received the Special Mention Award for vigilance.


Calcium absorption can stop

Did you know that your body's calcium absorption can stop one day? Or that your bones need more than just calcium?

When we reach 30 years of age, we hit our peak bone mass and our bone's calcium "bank" cannot store any more calcium "savings".

This means, we need to focus even more on ensuring that we have enough calcium to meet our body's daily needs.

Our body loses calcium daily through our skin, perspiration, nails and even when we go to the toilet. When there is not enough calcium for the body to use, it will go to the "bank" that we built up for 30 years.

What are the signs?
When we don't have enough calcium, it can lead to signs and symptoms other than brittle bones. These include dry skin, coarse hair, muscle cramps usually in the back or legs, chronic itching, fatigue, irritability, tooth decay, muscle weakness, brittle nails and more.

A baby only needs 400mg of calcium daily, but a growing child needs 500mg to 700mg.

An adolescent and a breastfeeding or pregnant woman and seniors will need l,000mg to keep their bones healthy and strong.

In general, adults (aged 19 to 51) should ensure they get a minimum of 800mg of calcium a day.

However, to reach this amount, an adult needs to drink four 200ml packets of milk, which may be difficult for most of us. Other sources of calcium include dark, leafy greens, cheese and calcium-fortified products.

Bones need more than just calcium
But calcium alone does not support strong, healthy bones. We need other nutrients, complemented by good lifestyle habits.

Vitamin D is an important building block for children to develop strong bones, and for adults to keep theirs healthy. A deficit could lead to the bones becoming brittle as the body ages. Get your fix from sunlight, oily fish like salmon, as well as fortified milk and foods.

Collagen forms 90 per cent of organic bone mass. About 10g of collagen peptldes intake daily can support a healthy bone mass density. Nutrients that enhance collagen production are found in bird's nest, pig trotters and fish collagen peptides.

Do also take vitamin C, as we need it to produce collagen.

Magnesium is another essential mineral as it enables the body to absorb enough calcium for its needs plus, it may also suppress a hormone that is said to break down bone.

One's ideal intake of calcium and magnesium should be in the ratio of 2:1. Magnesium can be found in buckwheat kelp and almonds.


Household items that work just as well as weights or exercise equipment

You can save some gym membership fees if you just use some of your household items as exercising equipment. Better still, do some housework and build your health.

1. Chair as support for arm and leg exercises

2. Boxes for stepping exercises

3. Water bottles, heavy books, bag of fruits, etc as weights

4. Running up and down the stairs in the house

5. Towels are good for doing stretching. Treat them like exercise bands

6. Aerobic exercises like dancing, kickboxing.