Friday, 8 December 2017

Children and babies' brains at risk from toxic pollution

Satellite imagery used to assess pollution levels around the world found that South Asian countries accounted for 12.2 million of the total number of 17 million of children affected but that there is also a growing problem in African cities.

Air pollution has already been linked to asthma, bronchitis, and other long-term respiratory diseases.

"But a growing body of scientific research points to a potential new risk that air pollution poses to children's lives and futures: its impact on their developing brains," UNICEF said.

The report highlighted links found between pollution and brain functions "including verbal and nonverbal IQ and memory, reduced test scores, grade point averages among school children, as well as other neurological behavioural problems."

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Easy ways to reduce your food waste

It had been reported that half of food waste generated by Singapore households could have been better managed if they (households) cooked or bought less food.

Wasting food is not just about money. Rotten food produces methane gas, the second most common greehouse gas, contributes to climate change.

Here are 20 ways to reduce your food waste.

You may want to read The 'Rat Eaters' of Bihar: India's poorest people eating rat stew.

Singapore issues advisory on Dengvaxia dengue vaccine

Healthcare professionals in Singapore have been advised not to administer a dengue vaccine to patients who have not been previously infected by the virus.

Sanofi said in late November that a new analysis based on six years' worth of clinical trial data showed Dengvaxia could worsen symptoms for those not previously infected with dengue.

The analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia is only effective for those who was previously infected with dengue.


Internet could increase dementia risk

Do you turn to Google or other search engines each time you can’t remember something? You could increase your risk for dementia, said an expert.

Professor Frank Gunn-Moore, director of research for the School of Biology at the University of St Andrews, called the phenomenon outsourcing the brain to the Internet.

In a Daily Mail article, Prof Gunn-Moore said that people are “performing a dementia experiment on themselves as they increasingly rely on the Internet for information rather than using their brains”.

“We will have to wait and see if this outsourcing affects dementia prevalence,” he said, adding that good brain health comes from using the brain.

Prof Gunn-Moore is not the first one to make the connection. In a 2016 study, researchers at the University of California and University of Illinois found that Internet dependence changes the way people think and remember.

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