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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Facebook's identical twin

New Delhi, Dec. 18 -- Created by an unknown user, a networking site for Aligarh Muslim University students is a replica of the social networking hub.

You might mistake it for Facebook. But the 'AMU Community' ( site is not even remotely connected to your favourite social networking website.

It is just a shocking copy of the original, frame by frame. Though the home page of the clone site does not have any information about its creators, the title bar of the site says, "AMU, Aligarh Muslim University".

The site, which has 65 communities related to the University, even asks students for enrollment numbers. 'Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology' is the most visited community with 104 fans.

Users even get points for profile updates and inviting friends and for every 1,000 points, they win a mobile recharge of Rs 20. Not surprising then that there is an update every five minutes.

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Hangover impairs judgment

The effects of intoxication last long after the alcohol is out of the blood, not only leaving a nasty hangover but also slowing reaction times and the ability to concentrate the next morning.

Previous research shows that symptoms of a hangover (headache, nausea, sleepiness) usually lift within a few hours of waking. To look at the effects of heavy drinking on young adults, researchers studied 95 Americans between the ages of 21 and 33. The participants spent two nights at the Boston test facility. One night they were given alcohol (either vodka or bourbon mixed in cola) and the other night they were given a placebo. The researchers determined their blood alcohol levels, sleep patterns and ability to think quickly and over a long period of time. Vodka and bourbon appear on each extreme of alcohol purity: vodka has the least impurities while bourbon 37 times more impurities or congeners (byproducts of the fermenting process) - all other alcohols are somewhere in between.

To approximate the effects of drinking on an empty stomach, researchers gave the participants a standardised meal three hours before the test liquids were given until subjects reached a minimum blood alcohol level of 0.09 grams percent (just above the level considered to be legally drunk).  Hangover correlated with poorer performance on tests requiring both sustained attention and speed. Alcohol decreased sleep efficiency and rapid eye movement sleep, and increased wake time and next-day sleepiness. Alcohol effects on sleep correlated with hangover but did not mediate the effects on performance. No effect of beverage congeners was found except on hangover severity, with people feeling worse after bourbon.

While drinking lots of bourbon causes a worse hangover than drinking lots of vodka, impairment in people’s next-day task performance is about the same for both drinks. Therefore, after a night of heavy drinking it is better to avoid driving even the next morning.

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Eating Disorders Seen In 10-15 Percent Of Women

Eating Disorders Seen In 10-15 Percent Of Women

David Goodhue
Miami, Florida, United States (AHN) - Ten to 15 percent of women have what scientists describe as "maladaptive" eating disorders beyond anorexia, according to Canadian researchers.

Lise Gauvin, a University of Montreal professor of social and preventive medicines, said in a statement that women are bombarded with conflicting messages - lose weight, but also "eat for the simple pleasure of it."
Gauvin and her colleagues interviewed 1,501 women about eating disorders and "disordered eating." None of the participants was classified as anorexic. Their average age was 31, and the majority of the women were non-smokers and college graduates.

Gauvin said that about 13.7 percent of the women reported binge eating one to five days, or one to seven days per month. About 2.5 percent of the women reported forcing themselves to vomit, use laxatives or diuretics to maintain their weight or shape.

The study was published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

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Green tea helps ease depression in elders

Sendai, Japan, December 21 -- According to Japanese researchers, green tea, the miracle beverage packed with many health benefits may be the natural way to help ease depression and lift up the spirits of the elderly.

Late life depression characterized by persistent down moods can elevate the risk of multiple illnesses, worsen the outcome of existing medical illnesses, and also increase mortality in the senior citizens.
Researchers at Tohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering in Sendai conducted a study to assess the potential benefits of green tea consumption in alleviating psychological stress.

Details of the study
Dr. Kaijun Niu, lead author of the study and his colleagues examined 1,058 elderly Japanese individuals aged 70 years and above exhibiting mild and severe depressive symptoms.

Nearly 34 percent of the males and 39 percent of the women in the group demonstrated some symptoms of melancholy, while 20 percent of the men and 24 percent of the women showed signs of severe depression.
The patients were questioned about their daily intake of green tea. Out of all, 488 of the group confessed to drinking four or more cups of green tea a day, 284 said they consumed two to three cups daily while the rest reported having one or less cup daily.

Observations by the researchers
The investigators noted that the gloomy feelings were 44 per cent lower in participants who drank more than four cups of green tea per day as opposed to those who drank one or less.
The researchers found the same effect of the beverage on depressive symptoms even after taking into account factors such as socioeconomic status, age, sex, disease history, BMI, alcohol consumption, smoking, diet, and physical activity.
However, the scientists found that other tea varieties like oolong and black tea did not display similar anti-depression benefits.

L-theanine promotes relaxation
According to researchers green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes feelings of relaxation that has a soothing, calming effect on people who drink it.
Theanine stimulates the production of alpha-brain waves associated with relaxation. It also alters levels of neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine that can affect mood swings.
The researchers believe that green tea appears to be a relative safe option for treating anxiety and depression over prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications which come with adverse effects.
Despite the promising outcomes of the study, the scientists feel there is need for further research to draw a more tangible connection between green tea consumption and mental health.

The study was published in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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A Healthy Life Should Start From A Young Age!

Healthy children are more likely to develop into healthy teenagers and healthy adults. If they are healthy, they can do a lot of things they want to do!

Being active promotes healthy growth and development. Children need at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Playing hide and seek, tag games and sports are great ways to get kids moving while also having fun.

1. Start the day with a healthy breakfast

Healthy breakfast gives them energy for the day. Whole-grain breads, cereals, whole fruits, skim or low-fat milk and yogurt are good breakfast foods.

2. Snack smart

Healthy snacks provide an additional source of calories needed by kids throughout their active day. Yogurt, fresh or dried fruits, cereal bars and raw vegetables with dip are good choices.

3. Eat lots of different foods

Children need to eat lots of different foods including large amounts of vegetables, legumes, fruits & whole grains; and small amounts of dairy & meats to get all the nutrients needed for growth & good health. Macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein) are the body's main source of fuel. Micronutrients (Vitamins and Minerals) are needed for many body functions.

4. Drink plenty of liquid

Children should drink plenty of liquid for hydration while providing nutrients for good health and growth.

5. Be active everyday

Being active promotes healthy growth and development. Children need at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Playing hide and seek, tag games and sports are great ways to get kids moving while also having fun.

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Thought of the Day

"All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming"

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