Sunday, 15 September 2019

First Zika cluster of the year after 3 cases in Serangoon Gardens

Three cases of locally transmitted Zika infection have been confirmed at Hemsley Avenue, in Serangoon Gardens area, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Friday (Sept 13), making this Singapore's first Zika cluster of the year.

"Residents and stakeholders are urged to maintain vigilance and continue to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats, as there could still be asymptomatic or mild, undiagnosed cases which might result in further transmission of the virus if there are mosquitoes in the vicinity," said NEA.

The virus has been associated with neurological diseases such as microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with a smaller head due to abnormalities in the development of the brain.

Both Zika and dengue are spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito.

Read more @

Flu-related complications. Watch for the increased risk of heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death

Certain groups of people have a higher risk of getting myocarditis as a complication from a viral infection such as flu.

Assistant Professor Laura Chan, consultant at the department of cardiology of the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), said that people at risk of flu-related complications are those with weakened immune systems, chronic diseases, and a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40. People living in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, are also more vulnerable.

Myocarditis is just one of many heart complications linked to the flu. The NHCS sees around 10 to 20 myocarditis cases each year.

Other flu-related cardiac complications include a heart attack, pericarditis (swelling of the pericardium, the thin sac-like membrane surrounding the heart), arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm), heart failure and sudden cardiac death.

Read more @

My photo - lanterns

A public domain photo by me

Drinking tea improves brain health

Are you a regular tea drinker? You might have better brain efficiency compared to non-tea drinkers, a study from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has found.

By looking at the brain imaging data of older adults, researchers found that those who consumed tea at least four times a week had brain regions that were connected in a more efficient way, NUS said in a news release on Thursday (Sep 12).

The results found that those who consumed either green tea, oolong tea or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were connected more efficiently.

Team leader Assistant Professor Feng Lei, from the Department of Psychological Medicine at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, said the results suggest that drinking tea regularly can protect the brain from age-related decline.

Read more @

SingHealth to issue digital MCs from 2020

Singapore’s largest healthcare cluster is making paper medical certificates (MCs) a thing of the past, aiming to roll out a digital medical certificate system by early next year.

It is hoped that the system, called DigiMC, will reduce administrative hassle and chances of MCs being forged or misplaced, even as some people interviewed by TODAY raised concerns about the level of security it affords.

SingHealth, which oversees several hospitals including the Changi and Sengkang general hospitals, generated one million hardcopy MCs in 2017.

Digital MC can be
  • sent via Short Message Service (SMS) to the patient’s mobile phone,
  • forwarded to the patient’s employers, and
  • backed up on cloud services for later reference, allowing it to be accessed perpetually.

Read more @

Friday, 13 September 2019

Exceptional people: Yip Pin Xiu winning gold at World Para Swimming Championships

Singapore para swimmer Yip Pin Xiu Yip (centre) with her gold medal at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in London, with silver medallist Aly van Wyck-Smart of Canada (left) and bronze medallist Angela Procida of Italy. Source:

Singapore national para swimmer Yip Pin Xiu became a world champion for the second time in her career, after she clinched the gold medal in the women’s 100m backstroke (S2) race at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in London on Wednesday (11 September).

The 27-year-old – who is the world record-holder in the event – clocked 2min 18.61sec to win her race by more than 20 seconds over silver medallist Aly van Wyck-Smart of Canada, who clocked 2:39.27. Italy’s Angela Procida won the bronze medal in 2:42.71.

“I’ve been swimming for 15 years now, but victory is special to me and recognition for all the hard training I do. The journey is important to me and I’m happy to be at this point now.”


How intermittent fasting can help lower inflammation

Image for illustration only

Intermittent fasting and related diets are having a moment. And there might be some good reasons to extend their 15 minutes of fame.

A new study has concluded that intermittent fasting reduces inflammation, a condition that can lead to various diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel syndrome.

That reduction, the study found, was due to a reduction in cells that cause inflammation — called “monocytes” — in the blood.

You may want to read Alternate-day fasting has health benefits for healthy people

My photo - lantern & mooncake festival 【元宵节】

A public domain photo by me

The secret to back pain is in your feet!

Back pain affects millions of people worldwide and can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, injuries, stress, and more.  Its intensity can range from mild to severe. health, exercise, science, health, exercise, science, health, exercise, science, health, exercise, science,

Yet, only a few people are aware of the fact that our feet can also contribute to back pain, as they play a major role in our movement, and are vital for our body posture.


You may want to read 9 Easy And Most Effective Stretches to Release Lower Back and Hip Pain

Sleep doctor proves that a 20-minute nap increases reaction times by a third

Most of us would love to have a short nap in the afternoon - but its not likely to happen, especially when we are at work.

However a British sleep doctor, Dr Neil Stanley, on tonight's Inside the Factory, proved that a 20 minute power nap is beneficial for us.

The doctor met Cherry Healey and performed a reaction based experiment, before and after a 20-minute power nap on volunteers - and proved that the nap can improve our reaction time by up to a third.

However, he also claimed that if we nap for any longer we will go into a deep sleep and start to feel groggy. 


Wednesday, 11 September 2019

You need to delete these 24 malware-infested Android apps right now

The malware, which has been dubbed “Joker,” is designed to sneakily sign users up for subscription services, ones that they might be charged for over the course of several months before they even realize that they are subscribed.

Here is the list of apps infected with the Joker malware:
  • Advocate Wallpaper
  • Age Face
  • Altar Message
  • Antivirus Security – Security Scan
  • Beach Camera
  • Board picture editing
  • Certain Wallpaper
  • Climate SMS
  • Collate Face Scanner
  • Cute Camera
  • Dazzle Wallpaper
  • Declare Message
  • Display Camera
  • Great VPN
  • Humour Camera
  • Ignite Clean
  • Leaf Face Scanner
  • Mini Camera
  • Print Plant scan
  • Rapid Face Scanner
  • Reward Clean
  • Ruddy SMS
  • Soby Camera
  • Spark Wallpaper

If you did install any of the apps on this list, now is the time to uninstall them. You will also want to pay attention to your credit card statements to make sure you have not been signed up for anything without your knowledge.


Scam warning: Hackers impersonate electronics retail giants


In less than a week, hackers have impersonated electronics retail giants Challenger and Harvey Norman, in a bid to stage phishing attacks by directing customers to fake sites.

Yesterday, both firms issued advisories about such scams, reiterating the warnings they had given on Sept 3.

In Challenger's case, it involves an SMS sent to its customers that falsely claims they had won a mobile phone in a contest. They are then led to a website where they are asked to give their credit card details to pay for a processing fee.

Separately, Harvey Norman posted an alert on its website yesterday, warning that "an unknown entity has been impersonating the firm through Facebook".

The fake Facebook page has since been removed.

Both companies advise customers not to share their personal information or credit card details via unsolicited messages or fake sites.


Two-hour cancer testing in the pipeline at NUS

Instead of having to put up with weeks of uncertainty, people who suspect that they have cancer will soon be able to confirm if they have a malignant tumor, as well as ascertain the stage of their cancer in two hours.

Patients will also only need to provide doctors with a tissue sample equivalent to the size of a drop of blood – or 50 micro-liters – extracted by a fine needle.

The breakthrough from researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) also means that patients will no longer have to undergo multiple biopsies. The test is 94% accurate.

Currently, the most popular fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy option has up to a 35% chance of being inconclusive, which means one in three patients will have to return to the hospital for another jab.

Read more @

Three quarters of suicides are male - why are not men seeking help for their mental health in UK

In the UK, someone takes their own life every two hours and according to research, men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women - with men alone accounting for three quarters of suicides.

Male suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45.

In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, with 4,903 of them being among men.

Those are some pretty terrifying statistics to get your head round ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10).


Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The scary new wave of heart attacks before 40

Sorry, we should have led with the good news: If you are a middle-aged or older guy, the chances of your having a heart attack are as low as they have been in decades. (Thanks, Lipitor!) Even in much older people—the 65-plus crowd—there has been a nearly 40% drop in heart-attack hospitalizations in the past 20 years. But according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting last spring, people who have yet to hit the big four-oh are bucking that trend, experiencing higher heart-attack rates than ever.

The number of victims in their 20s and 30s has been rising over the past two decades, and scientists have even seen atherosclerosis, the arterial damage and blockages that cause serious heart events, in the arteries of men in their teens and 20s. What is driving the scary stats? Experts have four theories:
  • We are getting heavier earlier, and we stay that way
  • Younger guys are smoking—and vaping—more
  • Stress hits earlier
  • There is a tendency to ignore obvious heart attack risks and symptoms

Signs your body is sending you when your liver is damaged

The liver is responsible for cleaning the blood and detoxifies chemicals.

Here are some signs that your liver is in trouble:
  • You have super-itchy skin
  • Your skin and eyes are turning yellow
  • You have gained a lot of weight
  • You are losing weight
  • Your palms are red
  • You are not getting enough sleep
  • Your memory is getting worse
  • You are always tired
  • You have no appetite
  • Man experiencing enlarged breasts
  • Changing personality
  • Your skin is easily bruised
  • You have swollen legs and ankles
  • You feel bloated
  • Your urine is dark or chocolate color


A good food for your liver is sugarcane juice.You may want to read Sugarcane juice can help treat jaundice.

My photo - chrysanthemum flowers

A public domain photo by me

Women need more sleep than men because their brains work harder

Women need enough sleep or she will have psychological distress....

Science has confirmed that women have more complex brains, which suggests that they need more sleep. Professor Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University has a specific explanation on the importance of sleeping.

According to Jim Horne: “For women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression, and anger,” and “These feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men.”

“Because women’s brains are wired differently from men’s and are more complex, so their sleep need will be slightly greater. The average is 20 minutes more, but some women may need slightly more or less than this.”


You may want to read Actually, women are not better at multitasking

Monday, 9 September 2019

Exceptional people: Cherie Tan clinches Masters gold at World Bowling Women's and Professional Women's Bowling Association Championships - updated 9/9/2019

Source: Yahoo news

Singapore national bowler Cherie Tan won one of the most prestigious trophies in her sport, when she clinched the Masters gold medal at the World Bowling Women’s Championships in Las Vegas on Friday (30 August).

The 31-year-old becomes only the second female bowler from Singapore to clinch a gold at the elite tournament, after Shayna Ng won the all-events title in Abu Dhabi in 2015.


You may want to read Cherie Tan follows world bowling women's gold with victory at Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) Championship

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Exceptional people: Man lauded for saving suicidal woman’s life

(From left) Mr Ang Yaocheng, Assistant Commissioner of Police Devrajan Bala, Mr Ong Koon Tee and Mr Goh Keng Heong

Mr Goh Keng Heong, Mr Ong Koon Tee, and Mr Ang Yaocheng were commended for assisting the police in three separate cases. Yesterday, they were presented with the Public Spiritedness Award at the Jurong Police Division.

Mr Goh saved the life of a woman who  tried to commit suicide at Blk 510 Jelapang Road.

Mr Ong helped to arrest a molester with the victim's Blk 438 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4.

Mr Ang, 36, was involved in a chase when he detained a shoplifting suspect at Jurong Point shopping mall.


Funky Fields organic vegan spreadable recalled due to 'undisclosed allergen'

A recall has been issued for Funky Fields Organic Vegan Spreadable, an alternative to butter, due to the presence of whey protein, an undeclared allergen.

"Consumers who have purchased the affected products, and who are allergic to milk, should not consume it," said SFA.

Consumers who have bought the affected products may contact the importer, Angliss Singapore, at 67704183 for enquiries or exchange.

Read more @

The truth about head lice: Personal hygiene is not a factor

Pre-school and elementary school-going children are at greatest risk of getting head lice, tiny insects that feed on human blood on the scalp. Such infection affects millions of people worldwide.

Head lice, also called pediculosis capitis, typically spread through head-to-head contact. They can also spread via the clothes of an infected person, and through personal items such as combs, brushes, hats, towels and pillows – although this is much less common. Head lice, which crawl and do not jump or fly, cannot spread via household pets.

“Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice,” point out experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You may not be aware you have the infestation since symptoms, such as itching, can take two to six weeks to manifest.


Saturday, 7 September 2019

Technology: Chinese shoppers adopt facial payments in cashless drive

Image for illustration only. Ref:

No cash, no cards, no wallet, and no smartphones: China's shoppers are increasingly purchasing goods with just a turn of their heads as the country embraces facial payment technology.

China's mobile payment infrastructure is one of the most advanced in the world, but the new systems -- which require only face recognition -- being rolled out nationwide could make even QR codes seem old-fashioned.

Customers simply make a purchase by posing in front of point-of-sale (POS) machines equipped with cameras, after linking an image of their face to a digital payment system or bank account.

"I don't even have to bring a mobile phone with me, I can go out and do shopping without taking anything," says Bo Hu, chief information officer of Wedome bakery, which uses facial payment machines across hundreds of stores.


Exceptional people: Teen, who saved the life of pedestrian hit by bus, says the incident still keeps her up at night

It happened almost two months ago but the incident still keeps Secondary 3 student Diniy Qurratuaini up at night.

Despite helping to save the life of a pedestrian who was hit by the bus the 14-year-old was travelling on, Diniy still wonders if she did the best she could.

“I didn’t know what her injuries were and I just straightaway (sic) did CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on her... I didn’t know if I applied a lot of pressure on her when doing CPR,” said the 14-year-old in an interview with TODAY.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)’s Facebook post on Wednesday (Sept 4) however gave her the reassurance that she had done well.

Read more @

Vegetarians have a 20% higher risk of suffering a stroke than meat eaters 'because they miss out on key vitamins'

Vegetarians have a higher risk of stroke than meat eaters, researchers have found.

Oxford University scientists, who tracked nearly 50,000 people for 18 years, believe low intake of the vitamins from meat may cause the additional risk.

The academics found vegetarians and vegans had a 20% higher risk of stroke than meat eaters.

This is equivalent to three more cases of stroke per 1,000 people over 10 years, mainly due to a higher rate of haemorrhagic stroke - which occur when blood from an artery starts bleeding into the brain.


People with tattoos make reckless decisions and are more impulsive than those who are not inked, study claims

People who proudly don body ink and have visible tattoos are more likely to act on impulse and make actions in haste, according to a new study.

It also discovered that, as a result of these poorly thought through snap decisions, they are likely to not consider the full scope of their actions.

To find out if people's thought processes varied depending on if they had tattoos, the researchers asked participants to play a game commonly used by researchers to assess long-term planning ability.

The study was conducted by economists and was done on more than 1,000 people.


Thursday, 5 September 2019

Need more probiotics in your diet? Find out which foods are better for your gut

Image for illustration only

You have heard about probiotics and are keen to include these gut-friendly bacteria in your diet. But which food items will have the most impact on your gut health: The cultured milk drink or yoghurt? Also, is that kimchi or miso soup in your set meal worth having?

Adults need about 1 billion to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of probiotics a day, said Jaclyn Reutens, a clinical and sports dietitian, and founder of Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants.

Growth of probiotics in your gut can be stymied by a low fibre intake, foods high in unhealthy fat, sugar and salt, and foods that are highly processed. Even smoking, alcohol intake, inadequate rest and the lack of exercise can affect how well the probiotics work in your gut.

Finding the right probiotics may take some trial and error, said Professor Gail Cresci, an intestinal microbe specialist with Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. And hitting the jackpot may actually mean bloating, gas and changes in your stool patterns. “If you notice no benefits from one product after a few weeks, try a different one with a different strain of bacteria,” she said.

Read the full artiacle @

FairPrice to charge for plastic bags at selected outlets in month-long trial

From Sep 16, shoppers will be charged for plastic bags at seven NTUC FairPrice-owned outlets in a month-long trial, the retailer said on Wednesday (Sep 4).

The seven stores taking part in the No Plastic Bag trial are:
  • FairPrice Xtra @ Hougang One
  • FairPrice Finest @ Zhongshan Park
  • FairPrice @ Tai Seng
  • Cheers at 1 Create Way
  • Cheers at 1 Anchorvale Street
  • Cheers at 611 Aljunied Road
  • FairPrice Xpress at 384 Lorong Chuan

Plastic bags remain available for use at S$0.10 per transaction at the selected Cheers and FairPrice Xpress stores, and at S$0.20 per transaction at the other participating FairPrice stores.

Read more @

My photo - leaves

A public domain photo by me

Children who have an afternoon break at school 'are fitter and perform just as well in exams'

Afternoon breaks could make children fitter and do not take away from learning, research suggests.

Researchers from Swansea University looked at more than 5,000 primary-school students from across Wales.

They found those who had playtime in the afternoon, as well as a morning and lunchtime break, could run further.

This is compared to the youngsters who only had morning and midday breaks.


Heart patients may benefit more from exercise than healthy people

Exercise can do more to lower the risk of premature death for patients with cardiovascular disease than for healthy people, a new study suggests.

Healthy people did have a lower chance of dying during the study when they were more physically active. But the beneficial effect of exercise was more pronounced for people with heart problems, researchers reported in the European Heart Journal and at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Paris.

The study team scored participants' exercise levels and intensity based on a measure known as metabolic equivalent of task (MET) minutes per week. For optimal health, adults should get at least 500 MET minutes per week. (Because MET minutes can be difficult to calculate, an easier recommendation to follow is to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous exercise.)

When people had heart disease, every additional 500 MET minutes per week of exercise was associated with a 14 per cent lower risk of dying from all causes during the study. For healthy people, the same increase in activity was tied to only a 7 per cent lower mortality risk.


Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Why you should care about CareShield Life, a policy for old-age disability

In mid-2020, all Singaporeans aged between 30 and 40 will automatically become part of a new national scheme called CareShield Life, which will provide payouts for old-age disability. After that, everyone turning 30 will automatically join the scheme.

There is no way anyone can opt out of the insurance scheme, aside from those born before 1980.

Currently, a Singaporean would be considered severely disabled if he or she cannot independently perform three out of six specific activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, dressing, transferring (from the chair to bed, for instance), going to the toilet, and walking or moving around.

Payouts will start at S$600 per month in 2020 and increase to a maximum of S$1,200 a month when a policyholder reaches 67 years old. Payouts remain flat thereafter.

Put simply, CareShield Life is an upsized version of the current ElderShield, a severe disability insurance scheme that provides about S$300 to S$400 a month in insurance payouts for up to five or six years for severely disabled Singaporeans who did not opt out of the scheme. Careshield Life provides payouts over a person's lifetime.

Read more @

Microplastics turning up in human stool

Tiny bits of plastic may be getting into our bodies through the air we breathe and the food we eat, a new study suggests.

Researchers who examined stool samples from eight people from diverse geographic locations found that all contained bits of plastic, according to a report in Annals of Internal Medicine.

"This small prospective case series showed that various microplastics were present in human stool, and no sample was free of microplastics," wrote the team of scientists, led by Dr. Philipp Schwabl of the Medical University of Vienna. "Larger studies are needed to validate these findings. Moreover, research on the origins of microplastics ingested by humans, potential intestinal absorption, and effects on human health is urgently needed."

Read more @

Teenager 'first in UK' to go deaf and blind due to junk food diet

Image for illustration only
A teenager is believed to be the first in the UK to go deaf and blind due to his junk food diet, a report has warned.  The 17-year-old lived off a daily portion of chips, crisps, white bread and processed meat for around a decade.

His poor diet, which resulted in a number of vitamin deficiencies, led to the boy developing a condition called nutritional optic neuropathy (NON).

More commonly seen in malnourished children in developing countries, purely dietary causes of NON are rare in the western world.

It manifests in damage to the optic nerve, which leads to sight loss and if undiagnosed, blindness. The unnamed patient also developed hearing loss and bone weakness.


The signs you must never ignore for cancer

  1. Unusual lumps
  2. Persistent coughing
  3. Changes in poo
  4. Needing to pee more frequently
  5. Unexpected bleeding from your bum, vagina or penis
  6. Unexplained weight loss
  7. Fatigue
  8. New or changing moles
  9. A wound, spot or mouth ulcer that won't heal
  10. Unexplained or chronic pain

You may want to read What is the first sign of cancer?

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Enterprise Singapore warns parents: Immediately stop using magnetic toys it has found to be unsafe

Parents who have bought two types of toys for their young children — magnetic building block sets and magnetic balls — were warned on Monday (Sept 2) by Enterprise Singapore to stop using them immediately, as they are unsafe.

A total of 10 toys fitting into these two categories have been removed from sale after Enterprise Singapore conducted tests on them, and found they did not comply with safety requirements, the agency said in a media release. Magnetic balls are commonly known as “Buckyballs”, it said.

It said the toys contained magnetic balls, cubes and building blocks, which may contain high-powered magnets, and can cause harm if several are ingested by children, resulting in injuries.

“The tiny magnets can attract each other through the intestines, and potentially result in injuries such as perforation, scarring or infection,” the agency said.

Read more @

How to sneak more fibre into your diet


Free training programmes for full marathon participants at StanChart Singapore Marathon

Picture for illustration only. Source: Yahoo news

Participants for the 2019 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) can take part in free training programmes from the Running Department, Garmin Women Squad, or SCSM’s virtual running community on Strava.

Free weekly training sessions led by official pacers from the Running Department have started since 28 August (Wednesday).

All registered female participants of the marathon can also enjoy a dedicated training programme with renowned Garmin ambassadors, leading up to race day. The free programme will include training runs, workouts, talks and exclusive gifts.

To register to train with Running Department as well as the Garmin Women Squad, please visit this website.


Almost 3 in 10 people with disabilities who are of working age are employed

Nearly three in 10 persons with disabilities (PWDs) who are of working age are employed, Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad told Parliament on Monday (Sep 2).

The resident employment rate was 28.6% among PWDs in the working ages of 15 to 64, Mr Zaqy said as part of his response to a Parliamentary question by Member of Parliament Chong Kee Hiong regarding employment rates of the disabled.

Another 4.2% of PWDs in this age range were without a job and actively looking for one, translating to a resident unemployment rate of 12.9%.

"The remaining two-thirds of PWDs in this age group were outside the labour force, with most of them citing poor health or disability as the main reason," added Mr Zaqy.

Read more @

Most dengue clusters closed, dengue cases down, says Masagos

The number of dengue cases in Singapore is down and most dengue clusters are no longer classified as hotspots, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli on Monday (Sep 2).

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Masagos noted that as of Aug 24, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has closed 863 of 1,021 clusters formed in 2019, and brought down the number of dengue cases from a weekly high of 664 in mid-July to 478 in the third week of August.

The surge in dengue cases this year is due to three factors: An increase in the mosquito population, warmer weather and lower herd immunity, he said.

To combat this, NEA has increased "housekeeping measures" and its inspections of common areas to eliminate potential breeding areas.

Read more @

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Hormone replacement therapy raises the risk of breast cancer by a THIRD

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was back in the spotlight last night after an Oxford study found it raised the risk of breast cancer by a third.

Researchers said women aged 50 to 69 were 32% more likely to get the disease if they had taken the most common form of the hormone replacement therapy for at least five years.

The danger was twice as high for patients on the treatment for a decade.

The Oxford team said however that the overall risk was still small – and doctors said the benefits often outweighed the risks. Based on 58 global studies, the research suggested that HRT causes around one in 20 cases of breast cancer – nearly 3,000 a year in Britain.


The end of dental fillings

It is the 'holy grail' for scientists seeking to save thousands of people the misery of a trip to the dentist for a filling.

Now researchers have invented a material which could help people regrow their own tooth enamel naturally.

For more than a decade scientists have been trying to replace fillings by making tooth enamel regrow, by providing it with extra calcium phosphate. The problem was that the new enamel did not have the right 'fish-scale' structure and consequently was too soft.

But now scientists have used extra tiny clusters of calcium phosphate which organise into hard enamel within hours.


It is NEVER too late to start exercising

Taking up exercise in your 70s or 80s can still have major benefits - even after a lifetime on the couch.

Experts at the University of Birmingham found elderly people who had never done structured exercise before still benefited from sessions in the gym.

And they had the same ability to build their muscles as highly-trained master athletes of the same age.

Researchers said the findings showed it is never too late to get fit - and even walking up the stairs or pottering around the garden can have benefits.



You may want to read Exercise in pregnancy may protect obese mothers-to-be from gestational diabetes and their children from health problems in later life

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Scam alert: Sheng Siong urges shoppers not to believe scam message about winning a Huawei P30

Yesterday, the National Crime Prevention Council sounded off an alert about a scam message that has been making rounds recently, sent by a “ShengSiong”. The real Sheng Siong supermarket chain, however, has nothing to do with the “August Draw” that the message recipient was said to have taken part in.

The message includes a link to a website that will congratulate visitors for being one of the lucky few selected to score a free Huawei P30.  But you have to key in your billing information, including your credit card details.

Keying in one’s credit card details would immediately incur a $122 monthly fee for a subscription of some kind of “unlimited online entertainment”. There is an option to cancel the subscription, but since this is a scam, one wonders if it will work.


Forum: A law that is unhealthy for family ties

I am shocked to learn about the clause in the Women's Charter which mandates payouts for education for a child over 21 as long as he is unable to support himself (Parents obliged to support children's education, Aug 29).

Short of being physically or mentally challenged, I think able-bodied men who can serve national service and defend the country should be matured enough to look for a job and earn enough to support himself rather than depend on his parents.

I think parents should not be penalised if their adult children refuse to look for a job or fail to earn their keep themselves.

If parents, for whatever reason, cannot or refuse to fund the education of their adult children, it is only logical that the children should look for a job instead of continuing their education or taking their parents to court.

Allowing such a provision in our law that encourages children to sue their parents in court can only result in unhealthy family relationships. This will discourage more people from having children.

It is reasonable for parents to provide for their children till the age of 18. Anything beyond that should be strictly voluntary, and children should be expected to look after themselves thereafter.

Seah Yam Meng


My 2 cents:
Some of the clauses of Women's Charter were written long time ago when women and children needed protection. But time has changed and I think the clauses should change with the time.

Women are now more independent and can be just as greedy and evil. People are getting smarter and cunning, including children. 

Capable people should be encouraged to be less dependable on the government, find their own solutions whenever possible.

When the law is separated into men and women, there will never be equality among the sexes. Just like when law and religions are mixed, there will be no peace among the same people. Law should not be mixed nor divided.

Exceptional people: Koen Pang becomes first Singaporean to be ranked world’s No. 1 Under 18 table tennis player

Source: Yahoo news

Table tennis player Koen Pang has become the first Singaporean to be ranked the world’s No. 1 Under 18 paddler.

This comes after the International Table Tennis Federation updated the current Under 18 world ranking list, the Singapore Table Tennis Association said in a statement on Friday (31 August).

Koen, 17, said, “I am very happy that I am able to achieve this target. It's a milestone and I'm really grateful for the support given to me by Singapore Table Tennis Association, Sports SG, Singapore Sports Institute and Singapore Sports School. I hope this will spur the younger players to believe that with hard work and perseverance, all things are possible!’’


Friday, 30 August 2019

Singapore ranked second-safest city in the world: EIU index

Cities are ranked according to their performance in 57 indicators across four pillars — digital, infrastructure, health and personal security.

The EIU index, sponsored by NEC this year, was revised to better capture "urban resilience" — defined as the ability of cities to absorb and bounce back from shocks — as the concept has had an increasing influence on thinking in urban safety over the last decade, especially as policymakers worry about the implications of climate change.

  1. Tokyo
  2. Singapore
  3. Osaka
  4. Amsterdam
  5. Sydney
  6. Toronto
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Copenhagen
  9. Seoul
  10. Melbourne

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Forum: Confusion over what reserves are and why they're needed

The same concerns regarding the massive reserves accumulated by tertiary institutions, megachurches and, by implication, other organisations that receive funds from the public can be applied to the country's ample national reserves (Varsities, religious groups raising the most donations, July 14).

There appears to be a misunderstanding that accumulated reserves equate to cash in hand and are readily available to more than amply meet the charitable and social objectives of the said entities.

In fact, reserves include assets and liabilities, of both long-term and short-term characteristics, and share capital.

Long-term assets very often include huge amounts locked up in buildings, infrastructure, equipment and other fixed assets that are not readily convertible to cash and often are available only upon liquidation of the organisations.

Clearer indicators of whether an entity is overaccumulating reserves would be the levels and the rate of growth in cash balances and other liquid investments like fixed deposits, bonds and equities. This has to be counterbalanced by not ignoring short-term liabilities.

Like any corporate body, non-profit entities need to maintain a healthy level of reserves in order to provide working capital to sustain their existence, to assure beneficiaries who may not be able to withstand a sudden cessation of aid and to meet the long-term plans for growing the entity.

Typically, entities with several years of track record and proper financial management capabilities should be able to arrive at an adequate reserves level on, say, a three-to 10-year perspective.

Given the persistent public outcry, all entities receiving public monies should pay attention to their level of reserves.

Perhaps, they should also take their cue from the 2016 Netflix series Billions, which had an episode ironically entitled "Accumulation with no end in sight is gluttony", one of the seven deadly sins.

Loh Kin Poh


My photo - sightseeing in a side car attached to scooter @ Kampong Glam

A public domain photo by me

What is Alzheimer's?

Loss of short-term memory
Behavioral changes
Mood swings
Difficulties dealing with money or making a phone call

Severe memory loss, forgetting close family members, familiar objects or places
Becoming anxious and frustrated over inability to make sense of the world, leading to aggressive behavior
Eventually lose ability to walk
May have problems eating
The majority will eventually need 24-hour care  

Source: Alzheimer's Association

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Age limit for IVF to be removed, more funding for couples seeking fertility treatments

There are various kinds of assisted reproductive treatment(ART) procedures, with the most common one being in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

From January next year:
  • The Ministry of Health (MOH)  will lift the age limit for women to undergo ART treatments and remove the cap on the number of ART cycles for all women.
  • Women aged 40 and above will be eligible for Government co-funding for up to two of the six co-funded ART cycles, as long as the couple had attempted assisted reproduction (AR) or Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) procedures before age 40, and are assessed medically fit by their doctor to carry a pregnancy to term.
  • Eligible couples can receive co-funding of up to S$7,700 per fresh cycle and S$2,200 per frozen cycle for three cycles each.
  • Government co-founding will also be rolled out for the less invasive IUI procedure. Those undergoing IUI procedures at public AR centres will be able to receive co-funding of up to 75%, capped at S$1,000 per treatment cycle for three cycles, as long as the woman is below 40 at the start of the cycle. The couple must also have been assessed by a doctor at the centre and one spouse has to be a Singapore citizen.

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Just a single 20-minute spin on a bicycle could boost cognition and memory in the over-60s

Scientists from the University of Iowa analysed 34 people, aged 60-to-80, who rode an exercise bike for the short amount time of 20 minutes.

After a single work out, brain scans showed a burst of activity in the participants' hippocampus, which acts as the 'memory centre'.

They also had increased connectivity between the hippocampus and the parietal and prefrontal cortexes, regions involved in both memory and cognition.

'Day-to-day' activities could be all it takes to reap the benefits, with the researchers stressing people should not feel they have to 'train for a marathon' to keep their memory sharp.


Scam warning: Singtel warns about scam calls involving fake technicians, customer service officers

Singtel on Wednesday (Aug 28) warned of a scam targetting the personal details of its customers.

There have been callers claiming to be a Singtel technician or customer care officer, offering to troubleshoot customers' Internet connection, said the telco.

These callers ask for personal details including NRIC numbers, Wi-Fi passwords and router numbers.

"This is a scam," said the company. "Singtel does not ask for Wi-Fi passwords and router numbers during troubleshooting calls."

Read more @

Bye to cold sores


Why do we hiccup?

Maybe it was because when the waiter asked, “Still or sparkling?” you chose sparkling. It could have also been that you were ravenous and ate a little too much. Or, possibly, it was your ex, who happened to be dining at the same restaurant and stood a little too long over your table making awkward small talk. All of these things, hic, might cause spasms, hic, in your diaphragm, hic.

Most hiccups are benign and last only a few minutes or hours. But sometimes hiccups are indicative of a more serious health issue, particularly when they recur or do not go away for days, weeks or years. Beyond being embarrassing, the muscle contractions can be physically exhausting. They can interrupt sleep and make it hard to eat. Approximately 4,000 people in the United States are admitted to the hospital every year for hiccups.

Doctors say there are as many causes for hiccups as there are crazy remedies, including tugging on your tongue, standing on your head and swallowing granulated sugar. Some actually work. Others are more likely just entertainment for friends and family who watch while you try to cure yourself.

Everyone gets the hiccups, and yet nobody knows why.


Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Reasons to use a handkerchief

Paper tissues do not come from recycled wood. Instead fresh trees are cut to produce them. Because of what they are used for (mostly for hygiene purposes), tissues are not recyclable but handkerchiefs are.

The best material for handkerchief is 100% cotton as polyester and cotton blends do not adsorb moisture.

Why use handkerchief:
  • It saves money
  • It produces less waste/saves resources
  • Hankies are more comfortable to use
  • Hankies create less of a mess
  • Hankies are more sustainable

Save the earth and the trees by using handkerchief instead of paper tissues.


You may want to read  Do cloth diapers really save you money?

Get wary about dengue

Ref: ST 26 Aug, 2019

Studies suggest fasting may cut chronic disease risks and eating fewer calories may boost immunity

Image for illustration only

Periodic fasting may reduce the risk of chronic disease by keeping inflammatory immune cells at bay, a new study suggests.

What's more, a second new study suggests that eating fewer calories - enough, but not more than an individual needs for nourishment - may supercharge other infection-fighting immune cells.

The teams - from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City - both say this could lead to doctors recommending a nutritional plan coupled with traditional treatments for patients suffering from infections or certain cancers. 

'All these studies synergize to show that a simple change in diet can have a profound effect on our immune system,' Dr Yasmine Belkaid, chief of the Metaorganism Immunity Section in NIAID's Division of Intramural Research, told


Monday, 26 August 2019

Why constant complaining is bad for health and how to stop doing it with mindfulness

Complaining might feel like a harmless way to relieve stress, but if you do it often enough it can induce a negative outlook that, in the long run, may affect your physical health.

Optimists tend to be healthier than pessimists, according to research published in 2004 in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The study surveyed 999 elderly men and women for almost a decade, during which time 397 participants died. When the study was over, the researchers found that participants who considered themselves highly optimistic had a 55 per lower risk of death from all causes and a 23 per lower risk of death from heart failure compared with participants who were strongly pessimistic.

It is hard to pinpoint the reasons behind the results, although it is understood that major depression, which is associated with a negative outlook – is a known risk factor for cardiovascular problems.

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