Nov 12, 2017
Christina Murray is a PhD
tudy biomedical science: ‘We’re trying to find answers to the big diseases’
student researching the causes of Alzheimer’s disease at the Queen Square Brain Bank at the UCL Institute of Neurology. Her work, funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, involves using donated brain tissue to investigate the role of the immune system in Alzheimer’s disease.
As an undergraduate I originally wanted to study medicine, but I’m glad I did a biomedical science degree instead – at the time I wasn’t aware of all the different opportunities it would open up. In my final year I did a lab-based project on neurodegeneration and began to think about a research career. I applied for a job as a lab technician – which I did for four years – and then applied for a PhD.
If you completed a project at undergrad level, you are probably capable
We work here on donated human brains. I’ll look at brain tissue under the microscope, investigating the difference in the genes of people with genetic Alzheimer’s compared with people who’ve developed the disease seemingly randomly. Then I’ll spend time analysing the data, which involves many hours on a computer. Ultimately we’re trying to identify risks of developing the disease.
Study biomedical science: ‘We’re trying to find answers to the big diseases’
This can be hard work and difficult – you need to be self-motivated and focused. Sometimes you get negative results, but it is worthwhile when you reach the end and have found out something new. We’re trying to find answers to the big diseases. There are ways to test out whether you’d like a research career in this field – the Nuffield Foundation can help with mini placements. If you completed a project at undergraduate level, you are probably capable.
Posted at 10:36 pm by nseew
Apr 13, 2016
10 Myths About Organic Food Debunked
Last Monday as we wandered around the streets of Naples after lunch, we noticed yet anther green, organic and bio food shop. We also noted the layout and the colors which were mainly green, of course. We commented on the pricey food and then got to wondering whether this organic food is healthier and if it really protects the environment. When I got home, I did some research and this is what I found.
Here are the top 10 myths about organic food that are widely believed.
1. Organic farming protects wildlife
You hear people saying it all the time. Yes, organic food does not use pesticides or herbicides therefore it is not damaging the soil or wildlife. The only problem is that this type of farming needs lots of land which is already scarce. We would have to cut down 10 million square miles of forest if the world decided to adopt organic food globally. The fact is that modern farming has actually saved about 15 million square miles of wildlife habitat.
2. Organic farming will save the world from hunger
If we think that this type of farming will save us from hunger, we should think again. Yes, it is true that it may be better to avoid pesticides and herbicides in an ideal world. But reducing food production will only make less food available for the hungry people in this world. It costs three times as much as traditionally produced food. This is a controversial topic. Reading Denis Avery’s book Saving The Planet With Pesticides and Plastic on the benefits of high-yield farming is an eye opener.
3. Organic farming never uses pesticides
The fact is that organic farmers also use pesticides and fungicides so you cannot get away from that. Did you know that there are 20 chemicals which are approved by the US Organic Standards and these are used all the time in organic food production? The alarming thing is that these are not so effective as the synthetic ones used in conventional farming. So, it may well be that organic food contains more chemicals than is really necessary. Some estimates say that organic farming uses double the amount of copper and sulphur organic fungicides than conventional farming!
4. Organic food is more nutritious
The bad news is that this is not true at all. Various studies have shown that organic corn may have more flavonioids than normal corn. But there are lots of studies that show there is no nutritional advantage in eating organic food. The sad fact is that nutritional value really depends on the shelf life of vegetables. It may be organic but if the spinach has been in the store for a week, then it has lost 50% of its valuable foliate content.
5. Organic food is safer
Many people think that organic always means safer and healthier. Unfortunately, this is not always true. Let us take an infamous organic pesticide called rotenone. Yes, it is organic because it is extracted from the roots and stems of subtropical plants. The only problem is that researchers found that it killed off the mitochondria which are like energy powerhouses for our cells. It was also linked to possibly causing Parkinson’s disease. This is just one example, but overall, lots of plants have toxic mixes of their own bacteria and fungi. Just because they do not have chemical name which is impossible to pronounce does not necessarily mean they’re totally safe for us.
6. Organic farming is always ecological
This may be true in a few cases but look how statistics and labels have been manipulated to satisfy this thirst for organic ingredients. Let us take the case of organic milk. There has been such a demand that giant food companies who boast that they are producing organic milk actually import the ingredients to make up the shortfall. How ecological is that and who is controlling the source, quality, purity, and safety of these imported ingredients?
7. Organic food is cleaner
Whether the food is grown organically or not, it is still at risk of containing the deadly E.coli bacteria which is very difficult to treat with antibiotics now. People foolishly think that organic food is somewhat safer from all these germs. In fact, they are not and they need to be washed just as vigorously as vegetables which have been produced on a high-yield farming unit. In a ten year period from 1999-2001, over 10,000 people suffered food poisoning from E.coli infected food and organic foods were to blame in many of these cases.
8. Organic labels are a guarantee of quality
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has started an organic certification program (the USDA Organic Label) which helps producers meet the high standards when they use this seal. But the label needs to be treated with a certain caution and scepticism as pointed out by Peter Laufer in his book, Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth Behind Food Labeling. Investigating the origin of certain organic foods was extremely difficult, Laufer found.
9. Organic food products are carfully inspected
Yes, organic farms, staff, transportation and other relevant production processes are inspected and their goods are then certified. The only problem here is that the process is often poorly carried out and there are certifiers who are much less rigorous and less expensive to hire. There are many conflicts of interest so there is no 100% guarantee that every producer of organic cereal or apple you buy has been properly inspected. Organic accreditation by the USDA is plagued by competing certifying agents.
10. Organic food demand is growing
There are powerful lobbies at work which claim that the demand for organic food is growing at an exponential rate. In the UK, only 1 percent of food sold there can be considered as organic. The Soil Association in the UK is claiming that it is pursuing sustainable development. However, many claim that it is nothing more than a trading group. Maybe there is a conflict of interests here.
It is impossible to say whether organic food is automatically safer and more nutritious than the conventional food produced on farms. It is a minefield. As we have seen, many myths abound and there are many false claims made. There’s nothing inherently wrong with organic, but you need to take that label with a grain of salt, or two!
Posted at 09:34 pm by nseew
Sep 16, 2014
The construction of dozens of dams.
Chinese researches say the fall is due to rising levels of pollution in the Yangtze river and the construction of dozens of dams.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences also found that no young sturgeons were found swimming along the Yangtze toward the sea during the period they usually do so book hotel hk
A researcher told Xinhua that in the 1980s, at least several thousand sturgeon could be found in the river. It is estimated only around 100 fish remain.
"Without natural reproduction, the fish population cannot replenish itself Serviced apartment Hong Kong
. If there are no further steps taken to strengthen conservation, the wild sturgeon faces the danger of extinction," he said.
People view sturgeon fish at the Beijing Aquarium on 30 May 2012. Several sturgeon fish are housed in the Beijing aquarium
This file picture taken on 9 November 2006 shows a keeper playing with a finless porpoise, a cousin of the baiji dolphin and one of five in Wuhan Baji Aquarium. The finless porpoise, another native species to the Yangtze river, is said to be at risk as well
In recent decades the Chinese authorities have built numerous dams along the 6,300km-long Yangtze river to boost the country's electricity supply. Such moves have drawn criticism of environmental degradation and displacement of villagers.
The WWF says that one of two species of dolphins native to the Yangtze river, the Baiji dolphin, went extinct in 2006 because of declining fish stocks.
The other species, the finless porpoise, is said to be at risk from illegal and intensive fishing practices and pollution. About 1,200 to 1,800 finless porpoises remain in the entire 1.8 million sq km Yangtze basin DDoS Attack
Posted at 07:22 pm by nseew
Jul 16, 2014
We're in the middle of a titanic struggle..
Prime Minister Tony Abbott axed the Climate Commission, set up by the previous government, last week.
But the group resurrected itself as the Climate Council, saying it hoped "Obama-style" public donations raised online would keep it open
Australia is the developed world's worst polluter per head of population.
The Climate Commission was set up to provide "an independent and reliable source of information about the science of climate change" under former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Speaking at Tuesday's launch, scientist Tim Flannery, who headed up the Climate Commission, said: "We are raising money Obama-style in small donations online from the public."
He added that the council would "fiercely guard [its] independence" and would not take "any money that has any strings attached to it".
"We're in the middle of a titanic struggle... I think the fight for a clean and safe environmental future is reaching its peak," he said.
Supporters of the rebranded Climate Council say it will provide impartial and fearless advice about impending threats to Australia from more bushfires, droughts and rising sea levels, the BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney reports.
Sceptics in Australia argue that warming temperatures are the result of naturally occurring cycles, and are not caused by society's excesses, our correspondent adds.
Mr Abbott intends to repeal Australia's controversial carbon tax, which was introduced under the previous Labor government.
Posted at 08:57 pm by nseew
Jul 9, 2014
China routinely detains government critics without explanation.
The detention of Tsering Woeser comes during a visit to the city by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is having talks with Chinese leaders.
Last year, the writer was named a winner of the US state department's International Women of Courage Award.
She has been detained with her husband, author Wang Lixiong, for two days.
Tsering Woeser was held on Tuesday when she returned to her Beijing home with her husband from a trip to the north of China.
She said the security personnel who detained her had declined to say why she was being held.
But writing on her Facebook page, she said she believed it was because she had been invited to an official dinner at the US embassy.
The US secretary of state is currently in Beijing for annual discussions between Chinese and American leaders, talks known as the Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
It is not known whether Mr Kerry was due to attend the dinner, but he is an admirer of the Tibetan writer.
At last year's women of courage award ceremony, which the Chinese authorities banned Tsering Woeser from attending, he called her a clarion voice of the people家居清潔公司
"[She] has bravely documented the situation around her, and for her efforts she is now subject to constant surveillance," he said.
Mr Kerry said she spoke out for millions of Tibetans who could not do so themselves through her website, books and use of social mediaNeogen
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China routinely detains government critics without explanation before anniversaries, special events or visits by foreign dignitaries.
Posted at 07:47 pm by nseew
Jul 3, 2014
The construction firm that was responsible for building the flyover
The concrete and steel bridge, which was under construction, fell on to traffic on a busy highway向日葵纖體美容投訴
The front of a commuter bus was crushed along with two apparently unoccupied construction lorries. A car was also reported crushed.
The south-eastern Brazilian city is due to host a football World Cup semi-final match next week.
The health department of the state of Minas Gerais, of which Belo Horizonte is the capital, said the bus driver and another person were killed, and 22 other people were injured.
Authorities said they had not yet reached a small passenger car that was flattened by the collapse. It was not known if anyone was inside the car but officials said they would be working through the night to try to free it.
Car crushed by falling bridge. 3 July 2014 It is not yet known if anyone was in the car crushed when the flyover collapsed向日葵纖體美容投訴
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said on Twitter that it was "with sadness" that she found out about the accident, and she offered her "solidarity to the victims' families".
Belo Horizonte Mayor Marcio Lacerda visited the scene of the accident and declared three days of mourning for the two victims, the city government said in a statement.
The construction firm that was responsible for building the flyover, Cowan, said it "deeply regrets what happened".
"At the moment, the priority is to support victims and their families," it said in a statement.
The company said technical staff had been sent to the scene to start investigations.向日葵纖體美容投訴
Posted at 09:10 pm by nseew
Jun 18, 2014
Around eight million pigs a year are slaughtered for meat in the UK.
Inspectors in abattoirs used to be able to cut open pig carcasses to check for signs of disease.
But under new European regulations, supported by Britain's Food Standards Agency (FSA), they will have to rely on visual checks alone.
The FSA says the new system avoids the risk of harmful bacteria being spread.
Around eight million pigs a year are slaughtered for meat in the UK.
Ron Spellman, a British meat inspector with 30 years' experience, says the new regulations, which took effect from 1 June, risk diseased parts of animals going undetected.
Listen to Allan Urry's report on File on Four on BBC Radio 4 at 20:00 BST on Tuesday 17 June, or catch up on the BBC iPlayerotterbox reflex
Mr Spellman, who is director general of the European Working community for Food inspectors and Consumer protection (EWFC), which represents meat inspectors across the EU, said: "Last year we know that there were at least 37,000 pigs' heads with abscesses or tuberculosis lesions in lymph nodes in the head. They won't be cut now.
"There's no way to see those little abscesses, little tuberculosis lesions without cutting those lymph nodes."
Meat from pigs' heads, is recovered by specialised parts of boning plants and goes into pies, sausages and other processed foods.
The new regulations have been drawn up by the European Food Safety Authority, an agency funded by the EU, but they are based on scientific advice from the FSA.gifts for women
The FSA's chief operating officer Andrew Rhodes told the BBC it was better to have a hands-off system using visual checks to reduce cross-contamination, because bugs like E. coli and campylobacter are causing scientists more concern.
He said: "The risks to the consumers are increasingly from microbiological and pathogenic hazards and that's what we must control.
"We cannot simply ignore the risks that are brought by touching, cutting and handling products that are later going to go on to be cooked and eaten, we have to do this properly."
But the FSA's support for the new measures puts them at odds with many of their own frontline staff, the 1,100 meat inspectors who check safety standards in Britain's 350 slaughterhouses and in meat-cutting plants
Posted at 11:13 pm by nseew
Jun 4, 2014
It is a massive increase in the risk of developing lung cancer,"
The research, published in the journal Nature, found the gene could double the likelihood of getting lung cancer.孔聖堂中學中六
And some men and women faced a far greater risk, a team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London said.
Cancer Research UK suggested drugs targeted at breast cancer may work in some lung cancers.
The links between variants of the BRCA genes and breast cancer are well established - a diagnosis led Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie to have a preventative double mastectomy - but it has also been linked with an increased risk of other cancers affecting women such as ovarian cancer and prostate cancer in men.
The study compared the genetic codes of people with and without lung cancer.
Smokers have 40 times the chance of developing lung cancer, but those with a BRCA2 mutation were nearly 80 times more likely, the analysis showed.
A quarter of those carrying the mutation, and who also smoke, will go on to develop lung cancer, the research team said.
"It is a massive increase in the risk of developing lung cancer," said Prof Richard Houlston from the team.
"There is a subset of the population who are at very significant risk.
"The most important thing is reducing smoking; it is so bad for other diseases, as well as [increasing] the risk of lung cancer."
Mutations to the BRCA genes stop DNA from repairing itself effectively.
"In the context of smoking there is such an enormous amount of DNA damage that any loss of DNA repair is going to be an issue," Prof Houlston added.
The discovery could mean treatments that are being developed for breast cancer may also work in some cases of lung cancer孔聖堂中學
"We've known for two decades that inherited mutations in BRCA2 made people more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer, but these new findings show a greater risk of lung cancer too, especially for people who smoke," said Prof Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK's chief clinician.
"Importantly this research suggests that treatments designed for breast and ovarian cancer may also be effective in lung cancer, where we urgently need new drugs.
"But, with or without one of these genetic flaws, the single most effective way to reduce the risk of lung cancer is to be a non-smoker."孔聖堂中學好唔好
Posted at 08:42 pm by nseew
May 23, 2014
The New York Times then reported that the companies .
Initial reports suggested that the NSA did in fact extract the data via special equipment they had installed on the companies' computers which acted as a "back door".
However, the tech firms denied they provided "direct access".
The New York Times then reported that the companies had created the digital equivalent of "locked mailboxes" - secure areas on their networks onto which they copied the requested files for the agency to inspect.home improvement
However, Google later denied this in an interview with Wired magazine.
It said it had complied with court-ordered requests by either sending data over secure FTP (file transfer protocol) - an encrypted transmission sent from its computers to the authorities' - or by physically handing over the information "in person".Multi-touch Panel
Other tech firms have not been as specific.
On 29 June the Washington Post published additional slides which it said showed the NSA obtained at least some of the information from the FBI, adding that the bureau had indeed placed "government equipment" on the private property of participating companies.
The newspaper added that as a result the NSA was able to carry out real-time surveillance through Prism. It said this included live notifications of when a target logged on or sent an email as well as the ability to monitor a voice or text chats as they happened.designer sunglasses women
Posted at 08:47 pm by nseew
Mar 9, 2014
Whilst it is too soon to speculate about any connection between these stolen passports and the missing plane, it is clearly of great concern that any passenger was able to board an international flight using a stolen passport listed in Interpol databases," the Secretary General of international police agency Interpol, Ronald Noble, said in a statement.Interactive
He said no checks of Interpol's database had been made for either passport between the time they were stolen and the departure of the flight, and expressed frustration that few of Interpol's 190 member countries "systematically" search the database.
Malaysia's Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said all angles were being examined in the search for the what happened, but he added: "The main thing here for me and for the families concerned is that we find the aircraft."Lafite
The passengers on the flight were of 14 different nationalities. Two-thirds were from China, while others were from elsewhere in Asia, North America and Europe.
Malaysia Airlines is the country's national carrier, and one of Asia's largest fleets, flying nearly 37,000 passengers daily to some 80 destinations worldwide.
Correspondents say the route between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing has become more and more popular as Malaysia and China increase tradeinteractive digital signage
Posted at 11:45 pm by nseew