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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Energy drinks could be troublesome

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:14:28 GMT | PressTV

Energy drinks are reported to be associated with potential health risks in individuals with heart diseases and high blood pressure.

According to a study published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, drinking two cans of popular energy drink increases the blood pressure as well as the heart rate.

Healthy individuals can tolerate the extra pressure imposed to their heart; the condition, however, may be life-threatening in those suffering from underlying heart-related problems.

Caffeine and taurine have direct impact on cardiac function; the high levels of these two non-essential amino acids are believed to be responsible for the increases in blood pressure and heart rate following the consumption of energy drinks.

Scientists therefore urge individuals with hypertension or heart disease to avoid drinking energy drinks.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fish robots to detect water pollution

Sun, 22 Mar 2009 15:24:54 GMT | PressTV

British scientists have developed a robot fish which can detect water pollution.
British scientists are slated to release into Spanish seas five carp-shaped fish robots which are capable of detecting water pollution.

Built by Essex University researchers, the 1.5-meter-long robots have an eight-hour battery and move like real fish.

They are equipped with chemical sensors which enable them to detect harmful contaminants such as leaks from vessels or underwater pipelines.

Costing $29,000 each, the robots swim at a maximum speed of about one meter per second, do not need remote controlling and transmit information using Wi-Fi technology.

The fish robots will navigate the Bay of Biscay at Gijon in northern Spain as part of a three-year joint project between the engineering consultancy BMT Group and Essex University.

"The hope is that this will prevent potentially hazardous discharges at sea as the leak would undoubtedly get worse over time if not located," AFP quoted Professor Huosheng Hu of Essex University as saying.

If the project is successful, the fish could also be used in rivers, lakes and seas across the world to prevent the spread of pollution.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Aluminum in water ups Alzheimer's risk

Fri, 06 Mar 2009 10:07:56 GMT | PressTV

Preliminary research has revealed that an excessive intake of aluminum could increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

"Alzheimer's disease is a multifactorial disease, and aluminum concentrations in drinking water may have an effect on cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Virginie Rondeau, at the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale in Bordeaux, France.

The French researchers declared that higher levels of silica appear to decrease the risk by reducing the oral absorption of aluminum or by increasing the excretion of this metal.

"Further studies are needed to settle the debate over the link between aluminum or silica in drinking water and neurologic disorders and cognitive impairment," the research team added.

The findings of the study are published in the February 15 issue of The American Journal of Epidemiology.

Previous studies have shown that following a Mediterranean diet -- one rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil -- can help improve memory and tackle Alzheimer's disease.

From a separate study, scientists indicate that drinking apple juice might improve mental performance and subsequently tackle the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists are optimistic that their findings will help pave the way for developing new drugs to treat Alzheimer's.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Afghan women call for peace, justice

Sun, 08 Mar 2009 18:08:15 GMT | PressTV

Afghan women have attended a ceremony in Kabul to mark the International Women's Day and call for peace and justice in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of women attended the ceremony which was held under the auspices of the UN on Sunday.

The event was also attended by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who condemned forced marriage and urged Afghan men not to marry off their daughters to men several decades older.

“It's very cruel that our traditions and social practices force girls to get married in their childhood or to make up for debts,” said President Karzai.

Forced marriages are a great concern in Afghanistan. Afghan girls are frequently married off to resolve disputes or to pay debts.

The Afghan government has reported over 10,000 cases of self-immolation by girls, who were trying to escape forced marriages and domestic violence in 2008.

Karzai also said that the reconciliation process is necessary to help eradicate mounting violence in the war-torn country that has reached a record level since the 2001 invasion.

The country's tumultuous situation is preventing girls from attending school. Girls account for 35 percent of Afghan students but their number has been decreasing due to attacks on girls' schools.

UN reports say the attacks have increased from 236 cases in 2007 to 293 in 2008.

“Violence against women in our country is increasing and we expect proper measures to be taken in this regard. This is not acceptable and we strongly condemn this,” an Afghan mother of two told a Press TV correspondent.

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