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Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist While Pregnant? – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Pregnancy is a time for many healthcare visits. While its tempting to skip the dentist, thats one appointment you shouldnt put off.

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Why? Pregnancy puts you at risk for dental problems, so its important to continue getting oral care, says Ob/Gyn Julian Peskin, MD.

In this Q&A, he answers some common questions about pregnancy and oral health.

A. As most pregnant women realize, pregnancy ramps up hormones. And that increased hormone load can cause your gums to swell. Swollen gums can trap food and result in gum disease or infection.

The other hormone-driven concern is morning sickness. When you vomit, the acid that comes up from the stomach can eat away at tooth enamel. Morning sickness can also make you less likely to brush your teeth, because the gag reflex and nausea are so strong. Without proper dental hygiene, your oral health is in jeopardy.

A. Severe periodontal disease can result in potential complications to your pregnancy. Many studies link periodontal disease to:

We believe that gum disease results in bacteria getting into your bloodstream and causing an inflammatory response in the body. Proper dental care can stop this process from starting.

A. The benefits of seeing a dentist far outweigh the risks. If you need:

A. Some procedures cant wait, like treatment for an abscess. And the good news is, you dont have to wait. Its perfectly fine to have gum surgery or other major dental work performed during pregnancy.

Just alert your dentist so they can choose an antibiotic that is safe during pregnancy. Dentists will avoid prescribing tetracycline, which can stain your fetuss teeth.

A. The keys to good oral health are the same whether or not youre pregnant. Brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and continue to floss. You can also use a fluoridated mouthwash that doesnt contain alcohol.

If you experience vomiting during pregnancy, protect your teeth by rinsing with a solution of water plus one teaspoon of baking soda. And if morning sickness makes you want to retch when brushing, ask your dentist for a bland-tasting toothpaste.

A. Continue to see your dentist for routine care every six months. Plus, eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes these vitamins and minerals:

Start your babys oral hygiene now! A babys first teeth begin to develop about three months into your pregnancy. Diets containing dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, provide essential minerals and are good for your babys developing teeth, gums and bones.

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Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist While Pregnant? - Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

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Changes in six domains of cognitive function with reproductive and chronological ageing and sex hormones: a longitudinal study in 2411 UK mid-life…

Study participants

We used data from the mothers of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort. Full details of the study have been previously reported [17, 18]. ALSPAC enrolled 14,541 pregnancies in the South West of England (around the city of Bristol) with an expected delivery date between 1st April 1991 and 31st December 1992. The participating families have been followed up through to the current day [17]. Please note that the study website (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/researchers/our-data/) contains details of all the data and interview guides that are available through a fully searchable data dictionary and variable search tool.

In 20092011, all mothers still engaged with the study (N=11,264) were invited to a follow up assessment clinic, with 4834 (43%) of invited women attending. The participating women were older and more educated than the original sample recruited in pregnancy [18]. A further three follow-up assessment clinics, each successively 1 to 2years apart, were undertaken focusing on women who were pre-menopausal in the initial clinic and therefore likely to go through the menopausal transition during the subsequent three assessments, reflecting the aim to explore social, lifestyle, health and biological changes as women go through the menopausal transition [19]. This study is restricted to these three later clinics in which cognitive function tests were administered. Figure1 describes the participant flow into the analyses. Women were included irrespective of whether they changed through one or all three of the menopausal stages of pre-, peri- and post-menopause as our primary exposures were not these categories but reproductive age and hormones. Women who had undergone surgical menopause at baseline or follow up were excluded, as were women reporting using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or hormonal contraception at baseline, so that the focus was on changes occurring across a natural menopause. Observations for women who reported using HRT or hormonal contraception in follow up were also censored at the last point before reported use. The analysis sample consisted of 2411 women with 1386 women participating in all three assessment clinics. A majority of the participants (97%) were White British.

Participant flow into eligible and analysis groups, 20112015

Women were asked a detailed set of questions about the date of their last menstrual period and the regularity of their menses by interview at each assessment clinic. These questions were designed to be able to categorise participants into Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop (STRAW) categories [15]. FMP could be identified when at least 1year of amenorrhea had occurred since the date of the last menstrual period. Using this information, reproductive age was calculated retrospectively using years since FMP and coded as zero when women were pre-FMP. Reproductive age could not be measured before FMP due to the relatively small number of women having their FMP during the study follow up. A binary variable on whether the woman had reached their FMP was also determined for each assessment clinic.

Levels of FSH, LH, and AMH were assessed from fasting samples in women at the three assessment clinics without restrictions on which day in the menstrual cycle the participants were at the time of blood sampling. Women were instructed to fast overnight or for at least 8h before the clinic visit, and the blood samples were processed within 4h and stored at 80C until thawed for hormonal analyses (with no previous thaw-freeze cycles). Serum FSH, LH and AMH were measured with a Roche Elecsys modular analytics Cobas e411 using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. The AMH assay used was the fully automated Elecsys AMH Plus immunoassay from Roche Diagnostics [20].

STRAW criteria [15], using the date of the last menstrual period and the regularity of menses, were used to categorise women into menopausal stages [19]. In this study, we condensed the more detailed categories into (i) pre-menopausal (reproductive, STRAW categories 5 to -3a), (ii) peri-menopausal (menopause transition and first year post-menopause, STRAW 2, 1 and+1a) and (iii) post-menopausal (from second year post-menopause, STRAW +1b to +2).

Six different cognitive tests were administered at each of the three assessment clinics according to a standardised protocol to assess specific domains of cognitive function (see Table1). Higher scores on each test reflect better cognitive function.

We adjusted for (1) educational attainment, as defined by the highest attained qualification (i) Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE), ordinary- (O-) level or vocational certificate (qualifications usually obtained at age 16, the UK minimum school leaving age when these women were at school), (ii) Advanced A-level (usually taken at 18years) or (iii) university degree, and (2) age at first pregnancy. Information on both were obtained by questionnaire when the women were first recruited.

As the period between each of the assessments was 1 to 2years, practice effects may have occurred in cognitive test performance. That is, performance may have improved, or an age-related decline be somewhat masked, as a result of familiarity with the test. We accounted for this in our analyses with a (3) time-varying continuous variable detailing the number of previous testing occasions. In addition, we adjusted for (4) the fieldworker who had administered the test to reduce any potential variation in performance related to how the tests were administered.

Descriptive statistics were calculated and cognitive test scores at the first assessment clinic were examined by menopausal stage using analysis of variance.

Full details of the strategy for the main analyses, including details of all multilevel models, are provided in Supplementary Text (Additionalfile1). Briefly, we used multilevel linear regression models to examine: (i) change in cognitive function domains by reproductive age (years since FMP) and chronological age and compare the contributions of each of these and (ii) the association of standardised LH, FSH and AMH levels (using mean and standard deviation (SD) from first assessment clinic, having replaced undetectable LH and AMH levels with 0.1 mIU/ml and 0.01ng/ml respectively) with cognitive function. Multilevel models allow all women with at least one cognitive function assessment to be included in analyses under a missing-at-random (MAR) assumption and take account of the correlation between repeated measurements. As we only had up to three measurements in each woman, we had to assume any change with reproductive or chronological age or association with hormones were linear. We modelled each cognitive function domain in SD units, using the mean from the first assessment clinic and the estimated between-individual SD derived from the fully adjusted model.

The Bayesian Information Criteria (BIC) was used to assess and compare how reproductive and chronological age explained variation in cognitive function. The main models were adjusted for fieldworker effects, practice effects, chronological age, education and age at first pregnancy. To assess associations of reproductive hormones (FSH, LH and AMH) with cognitive function, each was included as a time-varying exposure in separate models, with the results reflecting the difference in cognitive function between women with one SD difference in hormone level at any given age.

Lastly, we studied differences in the extent of improvement in cognitive function by practice at pre-, peri- and post-menopause. We tested whether the interaction between practice effects (with a random slope) and menopausal stage improved model fit in a model including chronological age, education and age at first pregnancy using log likelihood tests.

We compared baseline cognitive function scores by the duration of follow-up time available to examine whether results may have been biased by loss to follow-up. We also repeated the main analyses in a sample restricted to women who participated in all three clinics. All analyses were conducted in Stata 15.1 (StataCorp, Texas, US) and MLwIN version 3.01 using command runmlwin [21].

Ethical approval for the data collection was obtained from the ALSPAC Ethics and Law Committee and the Local National Health Service Research Ethics Committees. Informed written consent for the use of data collected via questionnaires and clinics was obtained from participants. Consent for biological samples has been collected in accordance with the Human Tissue Act (2004).

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Changes in six domains of cognitive function with reproductive and chronological ageing and sex hormones: a longitudinal study in 2411 UK mid-life...

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After fears it would close, Truro Sexual Health Centre to remain open – CBC.ca

A sexual health clinic in Truro, N.S., that offers health care to transgender people will continue to operate and might one day see an expansion of services.

The Truro Sexual Health Centre operates one evening a week out of office space provided by the Nova Scotia Health Authority's local collaborative health centre.

"It was a huge relief," said patient Katie Freeman, who accesses the clinic for transgender health care and hormone replacement therapy.

"On top of my own access to basic health services, I have local friends that were forced to put their transitions on hold because of the closure, so knowing that they can finally get the support that they need to start the transition just means a lot to me."

Transgender health care is a large part of the clinic's services, and it also offers services like sexually transmitted disease testing and treatments, birth control, pregnancy counselling and pap smears.

Although the health centreis not officially operated by the health authority, NSHA employees do the centre's administrative and nursing support duties, in addition to their regular work, as a partnership with the community.

Last month, people who work at and use the clinic became concerned the NSHA was reviewing that partnership and might withdraw its support.

But at a meeting on Aug. 5, NSHA offiicals told clinic founder Dr. Hali Bauldthe arrangement would continue.

"They indicated that we would receive the same amount of nursing hours as we had had previously, so that would be three hours a week," Bauld said.

The NSHA staff will also continue to give administrative support for booking and checking patients in to theWednesday evening clinic, and the NSHA will seek more funding to increase nursing support outside clinic hours.

"They also acknowledged that those hours and that level of support is probably not enough," Bauld said. She estimates there are more than 100 patients who need to be rescheduled.

"So I would say three hours a week would just be a drop in the bucket in terms of demand, and I think we would have to operate at least double that capacity to meet the current demand that there is for our service," she said.

In an email to CBCNews, Graeme Kohler, the director of primary health care for the northern zone, wrote that the centre is "an excellent example of passionate physicians working in partnership with Nova Scotia Health to meet the needs of community members."

Kohler said the NSHA is pleased with the arrangement and had "no intention of ever withdrawing support."

"We will continue to partner with the physicians to support this clinic and will explore future opportunities to ensure proper staffing and support is in place," he wrote.

Freeman welcomed that news and said many in the LGBTQ community feel the same way.

"It's such good news, especially the fact they're going to seek additional funding because it's a sign that we're moving in the right direction," she said.

The clinic is scheduled to reopen on the first Wednesday in September.

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After fears it would close, Truro Sexual Health Centre to remain open - CBC.ca

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The Science Behind Mindfulness Meditation Is All in Your Head Now. Powered by – Now. Powered by Northrop Grumman.

Mindfulness is a meditation practice that involves intentionally paying attention to the present moment. Researchers studying the science behind mindfulness meditation have demonstrated that it can actually change the way our brains work. As more and more Americans report depression and anxiety, there has been increased public interest and scientific attention to mindfulness in recent years. Could something as simple as meditating be a realistic alternative to pharmaceutical solutions?

The science is new on this subject, but its deeply embedded in the religious practices, especially in south Asian countries like India and Nepal, said Muhammad Aadil, M.D., resident physician in psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

He reviewed the latest research on mindfulness in the journal Cureus and as a physician, he educates his patients about mindfulness. We spoke with Dr. Aadil to learn whether mindfulness is a fad or the real deal, and to understand what happens to the brain during meditation.

Our mind is always wandering and always thinking about different things and not staying in the present moment,said Aadil. So, if you can train your mind to stick in the present time, it can truly change your life.

Scientific studies have demonstrated that mindfulness can help focus our thoughts. According to the University of California, Berkeleys Greater Good Magazine, consistent meditation can improve your compassion, ability to solve problems, attention span and resiliency to stress. Mindfulness helps the mind and body recover from stressful situations. For example, researchers have found that mindfulness makes breakups and divorce easier.

In general, according to Greater Good, mindfulness is a positive influence on relationships with loved ones. For example, studies have shown that when couples discussed a conflict, the stress hormone cortisol spiked during these difficult conversations, as expected. But after the conflict was over, the more mindful participants calmed down faster and quickly returned to normal cortisol levels.

Mindfulness can be a helpful tool for parents. It has been linked to lower stress, depression, and anxiety among parents of preschoolers and children with disabilities, and mindful parenting practices can help parents be more empathetic with their children.

Scientific American reports that evidence-backed benefits of mindfulness include memory improvement, stress reduction, healthier diet and sleep improvement. One study found undergraduate students who took a two-week mindfulness class performed better on the reading comprehension portion of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test used for graduate school admissions by 16 percentile points.

Mindfulness programs have widely been shown to help people cope with mental health such as anxiety and stress, and they can also improve physical health by helping people improve their eating and sleeping habits. For example, people who meditate with their eyes closed fall asleep faster, Aadil said.

Mindfulness can be part of psychological treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and eating disorders. In those situations, meditation can supplement, though not replace standard treatment.

The gold standard treatment is medication, says Aadil. He adds, Maybe in the future, with better techniques for mindful CBT, we might be able to reduce the dosage of the medication, but I dont see that it will completely replace medication.

But for mild depression and mild anxiety, mindfulness practices can be very effective without medication, according to Aadil.

If I see a patient thats in the emergency or in the outpatient clinic, said Aadil, I ask if they have heard of any mindfulness techniques. And if they say no, then I just educate them on the basics of mindfulness.

When Aadil has more time with patients, he does a guided two- to five-minute mindfulness therapy. The idea is to have the patient close their eyes, focus on breathing slowly and being only in the present moment. Depending on how technically savvy his patients are, he may also suggest meditation apps to help them continue to practice mindfulness at home.

Neuroscientists have studied mindfulness and discovered that meditation actually changes the physical structure of the brain. The Observer reports that when Harvard Medical School scientist Sara Lazar was skeptical about her yoga teachers claims about the benefits of meditation, she used MRI technology to find proof. Surprisingly, she observed that meditation can help us stay sharper as we age. The frontal cortex, which is the part of the brain associated with memories, typically thins out as we age. The brain scans revealed that older meditators had the same amount of gray matter in their cortex as their younger counterparts.

In another study, the Harvard neuroscientists observed people who had never meditated before as they went through an eight-week mindfulness training program. The results demonstrated that mindfulness activates the parts of the brain related to memory storage, empathy and emotional regulation, as evidenced by an increase in brain volume in the hippocampus and temporoparietal junction. At the same time, meditation reduces activity in the fight or flight survival instinct part of the brain (amygdala), which triggers stress hormones.

According to Greater Good Magazine, long-term, consistent meditation makes people more resilient because it reduces the inflammatory response in people when they are exposed to stressors.

There are certain inflammatory markers for depression and anxiety that you can measure in the blood, Aadil explained. For individuals who are meditating for a long time, meaning for more than a year or two years, those inflammation markers go down in the blood.

While there is science behind mindfulness meditation, some studies have shown mixed results. For example, according to Greater Good, a study showed that a mindfulness program for adults had no impact on depression or anxiety in teens. Many other studies were inconclusive about the benefits of mindfulness practices.

One big issue is that not everyone is motivated to do brain training exercises. For many people, its difficult to sit still for several minutes.

One thing we can do is start teaching kids or children at a very early age, at least some basic mindfulness techniques, says Aadil.

Even a mindfulness expert such as Aadil admitted that he sees low success rates with his patients. Most of his patients are homeless, dealing with severe financial stress and addiction problems, so its difficult for them to prioritize meditation when they have more urgent issues to address.

After extensively studying mindfulness practices and learning the proven benefits, Aadil still finds it difficult.

I have read so much about meditation, Aadil says. I know how effective it is, I know how beneficial it is, I have multiple apps, I have a reminder for every day. But Im still not able to practice daily.

Mindfulness is an exercise for training the brain. Its not only about carving out a few moments of peace in your day. Just like the benefits of physical exercise extend beyond your sweat session, mindfulness has lasting benefits. Like many other skills, meditation is easy for some people and challenging for others. But like any other skill, it takes practice and dedication.

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Association of snoring and body composition in (peri-post) menopausal women – BMC Blogs Network

Study participants

This cross-sectional study enrolled participants who visited the Menopause Clinic in the Shanghai Sixth Peoples Hospital. Han-Chinese woman aged 4067years passing through the menopause were recruited. Exclusion criteria were (1) with rhinitis; (2) having severe internal illnesses and/or diseases such as myocardial infarction, stroke, and cancer; (3) current smoking (at least once per week for the previous 6months); (4) excessive alcohol drinking (at least one pack per month for the previous 6months); (5) suffering from thyroid disease; (6) having tubercle and cachexy; (7) missing data. Ultimately,715 participants were recruited in this study.

Baseline sociodemographic information was collected from a questionnaire through face-to-face interview, which has been previously employed [8] (seen in supplementary file1); Variables included age, marital status, employment status, education level, income per month, menopausal age, menopausal status, history of chronic disease (i.e., hypertension, diabetes mellitus, rhinitis, other diseases), besides, lifestyle (i.e., smoke, alcohol consumption) were recorded. Guiding by the Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop (STRAW +10) [15],participants were divided into three different menopausal subgroups, namely menopausal transition group (consecutive irregularities for over 7days of menstrual cycle), early postmenopausal group (absence of menstrual periods for 12months 5years) and late postmenopausal group (absence of menstrual periods for 5years). Hypertension was defined by any prior diagnosis from the questionnaire or by the criteria recommended by the seventh report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC7, [16]). While diabetes mellitus was identified by FPG7mmol/L or received any treatment for diabetes according to the WHO criteria [17].

Participants were asked by the question to assess the sleep snoring frequency, which was applied previously [18, 19]. Over the past 4 weeks, did you snore? And if did, how many times per week? and the options for responses were never, rarely, occasionally, and regularly, corresponding to never, <1 night per week, 12 nights per week, and 3 nights per week, respectively (seen in supplementary file1).

We measured and recorded participants weight, height. Body mass index (BMI) was computed by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. We took the blood pressure for all participants on the right arm three consecutive times after 5-min sitting (systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP)). Blood samples were collected for the detection of serum concentration of triglyceride (TG), cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and fasting blood glucose (FBG) after an overnight fast.

We measured the body composition by BIA (TBF-418B analyzer; TANITA) of lean mass (LM), fat mass (FM), and fat-free mass (FFM), and each segment included upper /lower limbs, and trunk. We also recorded basal metabolic rate (BMR) concurrently [20]. The well-trained staff guided the participants to take off heavy clothes, socks and shoes, and hold the hand electrodes, standing barefoot in contact with footpad electrodes [21]. Fat mass (total and each segment) and lean mass (total and each segment) were stated in the dichotomized form, with a cutoff of the highest quartile as the higher one (comparing the highest to the lower two tertiles). We defined 17.11kg, 1.41kg and9.11kg as higher total fat mass, higher fat mass of upper limbs and higher fat mass of trunk respectively.

All statistical analyses were taken by SPSS 22.0 (IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY, USA). Data were tested for normal distribution by the Kruskal WallisH-test. Levenes test of homogeneity of variance was also performed. Variables were presented as meanstandard deviation (SD) when they showed normal distributions, whereas medians (inter quartile range) or values (%). One-way ANOVA (normal distributions), the Kruskal Wallis H-test (skewed continuous variables) and 2 test (categorical variables) were carried out to compare the differences among the four groups. Snoring was analyzed as a categorical variable with never as the reference group. Relationship between body composition and snoring frequency was computed by multiple logistic regression analysis. Covariates included TG, TC, HDL, LDL, FBG, SBP, DBP, age, marital status, employment status, education level, income per month, menopausal age, menopausal status, hypertension, diabetes mellitus. Two-sided p<0.05 was considered significant.

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Association of snoring and body composition in (peri-post) menopausal women - BMC Blogs Network

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Hair loss warning: The food you eat every day could be accelerating hair loss – Express

Hair loss causes can be roughly divided into two categories - genetic and lifestyle, although the two may interact in complex ways. Hereditary-pattern baldness, for example, is a natural condition caused by some combination of genetics, hormone levels and the ageing process, according to Harvard Health. On the lifestyle end of the spectrum is a response to extreme stress, a medical condition or treatment.

It then enters the 10-day catagen phase where hair follicles shrink and growth stops.

The third stage is the telogen phase where hair rests for up to three months while new hair grows underneath.

During the final exogen phase the old hair will fall out to make way for the new one.

"In the case of low carb diets, during the bodys transitional stage of adapting to a new diet more hair follicles will enter the telogen stage, hence an increased hair loss," explained Dr May.

However, as Dr May pointed out, you should watch what carbohydrates you are in taking as a diet that is rich in processed foods and refined carbs with high levels of simple sugars could stimulate the body to produce more androgens, which are male hormones.

"Too many of these hormones can cause hair thinning and the balding process," he warned.

Refined (simple carbohydrates) are those that include sugars and refined grains.

They are stripped of all bran, fibre, and nutrients needed to boost your health.

Common examples are white bread, pasta, pastries, white flour, and white rice.

"Complex carbohydrates are higher in fibre, and are digested more slowly, these create less of a sugar spike and should form the foundations of our carbohydrate diets," advised Dr May.

While you try to establish the underlying cause of your hair loss, you may benefit from some psychological support.

As the NHS explains, there are groups around the country where you can meet and socialise with other people with alopecia.

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Hair loss warning: The food you eat every day could be accelerating hair loss - Express

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Americas obesity epidemic threatens effectiveness of any COVID-19 vaccine – PennLive

For a world crippled by the coronavirus, salvation hinges on a vaccine.

But in the United States, where more than 5 million people have been infected and more than 161,000 have died, the promise of that vaccine is hampered by a vexing epidemic that long preceded COVID-19: obesity.

Scientists know that vaccines engineered to protect the public from influenza, hepatitis B, tetanus and rabies can be less effective in obese adults than in the general population, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and illness. There is little reason to believe, obesity researchers say, that COVID-19 vaccines will be any different.

"Will we have a COVID vaccine next year tailored to the obese? No way," said Raz Shaikh, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

"Will it still work in the obese? Our prediction is no."

More than 107 million American adults are obese, and their ability to return safely to work, care for their families and resume daily life could be curtailed if the coronavirus vaccine delivers weak immunity for them.

In March, still early in the global pandemic, a little-noticed study from China found that heavier Chinese patients afflicted with COVID-19 were more likely to die than leaner ones, suggesting a perilous future awaited the U.S., whose population is among the heaviest in the world.

And then that future arrived.

As intensive care units in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere filled with patients, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that obese people with a body mass index of 40 or more _ known as morbid obesity or about 100 pounds overweight _ were among the groups at highest risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19. About 9% of American adults are in that category.

As weeks passed and a clearer picture of who was being hospitalized came into focus, federal health officials expanded their warning to include people with a body mass index of 30 or more. That vastly expanded the ranks of those considered vulnerable to the most severe cases of infection, to 42.4% of American adults.

Obesity has long been known to be a significant risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. But scientists in the emerging field of immunometabolism are finding obesity also interferes with the body's immune response, putting obese people at greater risk of infection from pathogens such as influenza and the novel coronavirus. In the case of influenza, obesity has emerged as a factor making it more difficult to vaccinate adults against infection. The question is whether that will hold true for COVID-19.

A healthy immune system turns inflammation on and off as needed, calling on white blood cells and sending out proteins to fight infection. Vaccines harness that inflammatory response. But blood tests show that obese people and people with related metabolic risk factors such as high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar levels experience a state of chronic mild inflammation; the inflammation turns on and stays on.

Adipose tissue _ or fat _ in the belly, the liver and other organs is not inert; it contains specialized cells that send out molecules, like the hormone leptin, that scientists suspect induces this chronic state of inflammation. While the exact biological mechanisms are still being investigated, chronic inflammation seems to interfere with the immune response to vaccines, possibly subjecting obese people to preventable illnesses even after vaccination.

An effective vaccine fuels a controlled burn inside the body, searing into cellular memory a mock invasion that never truly happened.

Evidence that obese people have a blunted response to common vaccines was first observed in 1985 when obese hospital employees who received the hepatitis B vaccine showed a significant decline in protection 11 months later that was not observed in non-obese employees. The finding was replicated in a follow-up study that used longer needles to ensure the vaccine was injected into muscle and not fat.

Researchers found similar problems with the hepatitis A vaccine, and other studies have found significant declines in the antibody protection induced by tetanus and rabies vaccines in obese people.

"Obesity is a serious global problem, and the suboptimal vaccine-induced immune responses observed in the obese population cannot be ignored," pleaded researchers from the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group in a 2015 study published in the journal Vaccine.

Vaccines also are known to be less effective in older adults, which is why those 65 and older receive a supercharged annual influenza vaccine that contains far more flu virus antigens to help juice up their immune response.

By contrast, the diminished protection of the obese population both adults and children has been largely ignored.

"I'm not entirely sure why vaccine efficacy in this population hasn't been more well reported," said Catherine Andersen, an assistant professor of biology at Fairfield University who studies obesity and metabolic diseases. "It's a missed opportunity for greater public health intervention."

In 2017, scientists at UNC-Chapel Hill provided a critical clue about the limitations of the influenza vaccine. In a paper published in the International Journal of Obesity, they showed for the first time that vaccinated obese adults were twice as likely as adults of a healthy weight to develop influenza or flu-like illness.

Curiously, they found that adults with obesity did produce a protective level of antibodies to the influenza vaccine, but they still responded poorly.

"That was the mystery," said Chad Petit, an influenza virologist at the University of Alabama.

One hypothesis, Petit said, is that obesity may trigger a metabolic dysregulation of T cells, white blood cells critical to the immune response. "It's not insurmountable," said Petit, who is researching COVID-19 in obese patients. "We can design better vaccines that might overcome this discrepancy."

Historically, people with high BMIs often have been excluded from drug trials because they frequently have related chronic conditions that might mask the results. The clinical trials underway to test the safety and efficacy of a coronavirus vaccine do not have a BMI exclusion and will include people with obesity, said Dr. Larry Corey, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who is overseeing the phase 3 trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

Although trial coordinators are not specifically focused on obesity as a potential complication, Corey said, participants' BMI will be documented and results evaluated.

Dr. Timothy Garvey, an endocrinologist and director of diabetes research at the University of Alabama, was among those who stressed that, despite the lingering questions, it is still safer for obese people to get vaccinated than not.

"The influenza vaccine still works in patients with obesity, but just not as well," Garvey said. "We still want them to get vaccinated."

___

(Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.)

___

Sarah Varney of Kaiser Health News (TNS) wrote this story.

(c)2020 Kaiser Health News

Visit Kaiser Health News at http://www.khn.org

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Americas obesity epidemic threatens effectiveness of any COVID-19 vaccine - PennLive

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US obesity epidemic threat to COVID vaccines effectiveness – Gadsden Times

For a world crippled by the coronavirus, salvation hinges on a vaccine.

But in the United States, where more than 5 million people have been infected and more than 161,000 have died, the promise of that vaccine is hampered by a vexing epidemic that long preceded COVID-19: obesity.

Scientists know that vaccines engineered to protect the public from influenza, hepatitis B, tetanus and rabies can be less effective in obese adults than in the general population, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and illness. There is little reason to believe, obesity researchers say, that COVID-19 vaccines will be any different.

"Will we have a COVID vaccine next year tailored to the obese? No way," said Raz Shaikh, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

"Will it still work in the obese? Our prediction is no."

More than 107 million American adults are obese, and their ability to return safely to work, care for their families and resume daily life could be curtailed if the coronavirus vaccine delivers weak immunity for them.

In March, still early in the global pandemic, a little-noticed study from China found that heavier Chinese patients afflicted with COVID-19 were more likely to die than leaner ones, suggesting a perilous future awaited the U.S., whose population is among the heaviest in the world.

And then that future arrived.

As intensive care units in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere filled with patients, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that obese people with a body mass index of 40 or more known as morbid obesity or about 100 pounds overweight were among the groups at highest risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19. About 9% of American adults are in that category.

As weeks passed and a clearer picture of who was being hospitalized came into focus, federal health officials expanded their warning to include people with a body mass index of 30 or more. That vastly expanded the ranks of those considered vulnerable to the most severe cases of infection, to 42.4% of American adults.

Obesity has long been known to be a significant risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. But scientists in the emerging field of immunometabolism are finding obesity also interferes with the bodys immune response, putting obese people at greater risk of infection from pathogens such as influenza and the novel coronavirus. In the case of influenza, obesity has emerged as a factor making it more difficult to vaccinate adults against infection. The question is whether that will hold true for COVID-19.

A healthy immune system turns inflammation on and off as needed, calling on white blood cells and sending out proteins to fight infection. Vaccines harness that inflammatory response. But blood tests show that obese people and people with related metabolic risk factors such as high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar levels experience a state of chronic mild inflammation; the inflammation turns on and stays on.

Adipose tissue or fat in the belly, the liver and other organs is not inert; it contains specialized cells that send out molecules, like the hormone leptin, that scientists suspect induces this chronic state of inflammation. While the exact biological mechanisms are still being investigated, chronic inflammation seems to interfere with the immune response to vaccines, possibly subjecting obese people to preventable illnesses even after vaccination.

An effective vaccine fuels a controlled burn inside the body, searing into cellular memory a mock invasion that never truly happened.

Evidence that obese people have a blunted response to common vaccines was first observed in 1985 when obese hospital employees who received the hepatitis B vaccine showed a significant decline in protection 11 months later that was not observed in non-obese employees. The finding was replicated in a follow-up study that used longer needles to ensure the vaccine was injected into muscle and not fat.

Researchers found similar problems with the hepatitis A vaccine, and other studies have found significant declines in the antibody protection induced by tetanus and rabies vaccines in obese people.

"Obesity is a serious global problem, and the suboptimal vaccine-induced immune responses observed in the obese population cannot be ignored," pleaded researchers from the Mayo Clinics Vaccine Research Group in a 2015 study published in the journal Vaccine.

Vaccines also are known to be less effective in older adults, which is why those 65 and older receive a supercharged annual influenza vaccine that contains far more flu virus antigens to help juice up their immune response.

By contrast, the diminished protection of the obese population both adults and children has been largely ignored.

"Im not entirely sure why vaccine efficacy in this population hasnt been more well reported," said Catherine Andersen, an assistant professor of biology at Fairfield University who studies obesity and metabolic diseases. "Its a missed opportunity for greater public health intervention."

In 2017, scientists at UNC-Chapel Hill provided a critical clue about the limitations of the influenza vaccine. In a paper published in the International Journal of Obesity, they showed for the first time that vaccinated obese adults were twice as likely as adults of a healthy weight to develop influenza or flu-like illness.

Curiously, they found that adults with obesity did produce a protective level of antibodies to the influenza vaccine, but they still responded poorly.

"That was the mystery," said Chad Petit, an influenza virologist at the University of Alabama.

One hypothesis, Petit said, is that obesity may trigger a metabolic dysregulation of T cells, white blood cells critical to the immune response. "Its not insurmountable," said Petit, who is researching COVID-19 in obese patients. "We can design better vaccines that might overcome this discrepancy."

Historically, people with high BMIs often have been excluded from drug trials because they frequently have related chronic conditions that might mask the results. The clinical trials underway to test the safety and efficacy of a coronavirus vaccine do not have a BMI exclusion and will include people with obesity, said Dr. Larry Corey, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who is overseeing the phase 3 trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

Although trial coordinators are not specifically focused on obesity as a potential complication, Corey said, participants BMI will be documented and results evaluated.

Dr. Timothy Garvey, an endocrinologist and director of diabetes research at the University of Alabama, was among those who stressed that, despite the lingering questions, it is still safer for obese people to get vaccinated than not.

"The influenza vaccine still works in patients with obesity, but just not as well," Garvey said. "We still want them to get vaccinated."

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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US obesity epidemic threat to COVID vaccines effectiveness - Gadsden Times

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What to do if your sex drive goes off after birth – Daily Nation

Rita and Andrew were at their lowest in their relationship when I met them at the Sexology Clinic. She felt there was nothing that would save her marriage. It was three months after she delivered and Andrew was pushing her to have sex yet she did not feel like.

"Last night he said that he had confirmed what he had been suspecting all along," Rita said, "that I had been unfaithful and got pregnant from an extramarital affair and that the baby was not his."

Andrew had incidentally found a cultural explanation for their debacle. According to their culture if a woman is impregnated by someone else other than her husband they have to wait until breastfeeding stops before resuming sex with the husband otherwise the baby dies mysteriously.

"Look here doctor," Andrew butted in, "we were told by the gynecologist that Rita will be well enough to have sex six weeks after delivery, it is now twelve weeks and she wouldn't allow me to touch her."

The couple had been married for only two years. This was Rita's first delivery. The pregnancy had gone well but there were a few problems at delivery and the doctor had to cut her vaginal opening and pull out the baby using a vacuum. Healing after this traumatic process does take time.

Previous research studies have shown that women who get cuts and bruises in the vaginal area at delivery and those who undergo cesarean section do take time to get comfortable with sex again. In one study it was found that up to 30 percent of first-time mothers had not resumed sex eight months after delivery and because of the traumatic events at delivery and the after pains.

Hormonal changes following delivery also do not favour resumption of sex. Female hormones fall drastically after delivery. As a result, the woman goes into a state that resembles menopause where vaginal dryness and thinning occur. Under such circumstances, penetration can be painful.

Prolactin, a hormone that enhances milk production, also rises to high levels after delivery. Prolactin inhibits sex desire and sex responsiveness. As such the woman has low libido.

The body changes following delivery do not make the situation any better. The colour of the skin, the shape of the tummy, and new-look breasts make some women feel that they have lost their beauty. Negative body image does not only make self-esteem and self-confidence crush but also interferes with interest in sex, making affected women keep off.

In all these difficult circumstances there is also a demanding baby. Babies can be stubborn in their early days. They wake up when everyone goes to sleep. They want to breastfeed at the weirdest hours of the night. The cries from colic can keep everyone awake and no medicine causes relief.

"Do you know I struggle with the baby alone all night as Andrew enjoys his sleep?" Rita reveals.

"But I have to go to work so I cannot keep awake," Andrew defends.

The result of all these changes is that sex sometimes becomes impossible. Sex desire is at its lowest even six months after delivery for some women. Some women feel pain. Most describe their sexual experience as unsatisfactory. Most relationships are troubled because of poor sexual experience. Some women feel guilty and inadequate because they are unable to live up to the expectations of their men.

While all women are affected, the situation is worse for first-time mothers. Many women feel that they need professional help to resume sex after delivery. Unfortunately, little or no help is forthcoming from their health provider.

"They talk to us a lot about contraceptives and the need to plan the next pregnancy but that is just how far it goes," Rita says, "they seem to imply that a woman will soon be all over the place enjoying sex again and will instantly conceive."

I booked Rita and Andrew for sex coaching lessons and slowly they got back into their sex routines. Andrew apologised for implying that Rita had conceived from an extramarital affair.

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What to do if your sex drive goes off after birth - Daily Nation

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Gynecomastia: The causes, the problems and some treatments – Irish Examiner

A tranquil break in sunny Marbella with his girlfriend probably seemed like a good idea to Hugh Grant but the 55-year-old has paid dearly for his fun. He attracted a vicious onslaught of body-shaming after being snapped splashing in the Med.

The reason? Grants once buff physique had deteriorated into what some called a 'dad bod'. Commentators sneered that the former heart-throbs chest muscles had melted into moobs. However, while Grant could very reasonably cite an ageing body for the decline of his renowned physique, man boobs or gynecomastia can be the cause of great distress for younger men.

Putting it simply, gynecomastia is defined as an enlargement of the male breast, which although usually benign, can cause significant embarrassment and psychological distress.

Gynecomastia, which appears during puberty, usually resolves naturally. Most cases of gynecomastia are believed to result from an imbalance between estrogens and androgens. However, pseudo-gynecomastia, or fatty breasts, is a condition commonly seen in obese men and differs from gynecomastia in that the resultant breast enlargement is due to increased fat deposition.

Not surprisingly, in a world saturated by images of the perfect male body, having either condition is increasingly problematic, particularly for young, image-conscious men research shows that exposure to media images of lean or very buff male bodies has a noticeably negative impact on mens mood and body satisfaction.

A study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology in 2004 concluded that viewing ideal male images contributed to a significant increase in depression in men, after researchers at the University of Central Florida found that appearance-related media exposure has a significantly negative effect on a males body image.

Societys increasing shift towards a culture saturated by social media, including visual platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, is, therefore, bringing an ever more intense attitude towards body image. So, surrounded by images of the 'ideal', muscular, wide-shouldered, lean-waisted male body, young men can fall prey to societal pressure to look buff' and feel self-conscious and distressed if they cannot match up to this physical ideal.

In such an environment, having man-boobs, or gynecomastia, is at best an embarrassment, at worst, as in the case of Grant, an invitation to severe body-shaming.

Expert in aesthetic medicine says pseudo-gynecomastia accounts for 90% of surgery cases he's handled

There is more pressure on young men today. There is a level of narcissism that never existed in previous generations and a lot of it is to do with image, says Dr Patrick Treacy, an expert in aesthetic medicine and medical director of the Ailesbury Clinic. He is multi-award-winning and author of a number of books, the latest of which, The Living History of Aesthetic Medicine, is due for publication shortly.

Exercise and losing weight will not reduce gynecomastia, which is usually related to the presence of excess female hormones in a man and not to overweight. However pseudo-gynecomastia is linked to weight, so exercise and diet can help to an extent, he says.

Treacy adds that gynecomastia caused by hormone changes during puberty is relatively common and often resolves itself. In most cases, the swollen breast tissue will go away without treatment within six months to two years," he says.

Pseudo-gynecomastia is the most common and would account for up to 90% of the cases I see, says Treacy, who has treated men aged 19 and upwards, using a variety of techniques.

These include surgery, which costs about 7,500, or another treatment, Vaser. This is a form of ultrasonic liposuction which takes about half an hour, is carried out under local anaesthetic and costs about 3,000, he says. However, he adds that afterwards, people who are very overweight and have fat removed may sometimes find that they are left with flaps of loose skin.

Sometimes people need surgery for that loose skin. You can also use a radiofrequency technique to tighten up the skin.

Another technique. cryolipolysis, freezes the fat, which then disappears after about three months, he says. This process costs 1,500. Meanwhile, radiofrequency treatment, which costs around 1,500, breaks down fat and tightens the skin.

Not surprisingly, young men are increasingly seeking treatment for the condition figures show that between 2017 and 2019, the HSE spent around 235,000 on gynecomastia treatments for just under 50 patients.

Man diagnosed with the condition says surgery "changed his life"

However, many young men, like Conor seek treatment privately.

Now in his mid-20s, he recalls the distress he experienced with the onset of gynecomastia during puberty. It started when I had hit puberty. I was about 12 when it began. I was quite athletic and played a lot of sports so I wasnt overweight," he says.

Conor adds that one of the doctors he consulted explained that the condition usually happens with children who are slightly overweight. When I was in sixth class, my nipples got very inflamed. At the same time, there was a lot of hard tissue underneath the nipple. It looked like I had a pair of hard little bumps. My nipples were large. I was severely embarrassed by it, he says.

Conor never took his top off in public and in situations where going bare-chested was unavoidable, such as while swimming, he would worry about it for days in advance.

This went on for about two years, or so. When I was nearly 15, I had to get a check-up with my GP, and, as part of the physical exam, he spotted it and told me I had gynecomastia. He explained there was a procedure you could have for it and referred me to a consultant. However, she thought I was too young for the operation. She felt that I might grow out of it and that it would probably go away of its own accord.

But Conor was having none of it.

I had quite a severe case and I wasnt taking no for an answer. The sheer thought of living with this for another two or three years was definitely not for me.

In the end, he was referred to a plastic surgeon who is experienced in the procedure, although he had normally operated on older males.

Conor underwent surgery at the age of 15.

I was in hospital for a few days and the most traumatic part of it was that I had to have drains put in under my nipples to prevent fluid build-up. That was very uncomfortable because you had to lie flat on your back most of the time. After I came out of hospital, I had to wear compression bandages for several weeks to prevent fluid building up in the cavities which had been created by the removal of the breast tissue."

I was able to go to playing sports after about two months and I never looked back. It changed my life if I hadnt been able to have the operation it would have affected me because I had become very self-conscious about my body."

If I hadnt been able to have that operation I think my confidence would have been destroyed by my mid-teens because I had been confident in primary school and second-level. It may not have been extremely obvious to other people but it was the biggest thing in the world for me. The procedure was covered by my parents health insurance so we were lucky that way.

However there are issues to think about before having treatment. Dr Treacy cautions that men thinking about undergoing treatment for gynecomastia need to check for issues such as hormonal disturbances, systemic diseases such as kidney or liver failure, genetic conditions that may be problematic, or drugs which can interfere with the normal hormonal balance of the body.

This includes many cardiac medications, some antibiotics, tricyclic antidepressants. Withdrawal of causative drugs can result in resolution of gynecomastia in 60% of cases, he points out.

Dr Treacy adds that the best candidates for gynecomastia surgery are men who are physically and mentally healthy, have realistic expectations and are willing to accept the scars associated with surgery.

They should also have already lost the weight they want to lose (if this applies) and have maintained a stable weight for at least six and ideally 12 months.

Gynecomastia surgery may not be suitable for certain candidates:

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Gynecomastia: The causes, the problems and some treatments - Irish Examiner

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Bad weather hits Ariane triple launch | – Advanced Television

August 14, 2020

Arianespace has delayed its planned launch of 3 satellites on a single Ariane-5 rocket on August 14th, blaming bad weather.

Arianespace says it is hoping that the weather conditions will have eased by August 15th.

Timings are:Between 5:33 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. Washington, D.C. time,Between 6:33 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. Kourou, French Guiana time,Between 21:33 and 22:20 Universal time (UTC),Between 11:33 p.m. and 12:20 a.m. Paris time, in the night of August 15th to 16th,Between 06:33 a.m. and 07:20 a.m. Japan time, in the morning of August 16th.

Arianespace says its Flight VA253 which will utilize an increased-lift Ariane 5 version is planned to carry to geostationary transfer orbit and deploy two telecommunications satellites: Galaxy 30 for Intelsat, and BSAT-4b for B-SAT, both of which are long-time Arianespace customers. Also carried by Ariane 5 is the Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) for Northrop Grummans wholly-owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC, which is a first-time user of Arianespace launch services.

Galaxy 30 was built by Northrop Grumman for Intelsat and will be the first payload deployed during the Ariane 5 mission. This satellite is to provide UHD video distribution/broadcast and broadband services that cover North America.

MEV-2 is stacked under Galaxy 30 on Ariane 5, and is to be the second payload released during Flight VA253. The SpaceLogistics LLC-built spacecraft is designed to offer life extension services for in-orbit satellites, and its initial target is the Intelsat 10-02 relay platform, which has been in geostationary orbit since 2004.

Completing Flight VA253s mission sequence will be the deployment of BSAT-4b, configured for 4K and 8K, DTH broadcasting across Japan. Built by Maxar Technologies, BSAT-4b will be operated by Japans Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT).

The launcher configuration used for Flight VA253 marks the final step in Ariane 5s latest performance improvement programme, which was decided in 2016 and has increased the launch vehicles total payload capacity by 300 kg. ArianeGroup is production prime contractor for Ariane 5, delivering the launcher to Arianespace for operation.

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Bad weather hits Ariane triple launch | - Advanced Television

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‘Maintaining the fresh qualities of cut strawberries’ – FreshPlaza.com

While the vast array of shelf life extension technology for fresh cut produce has grown exponentially over the last decade, strawberries had been absent from the list until recently. This highly popular and beloved berry had eluded efforts to extend its shelf life after cutting.

Through focused research and development, NatureSeal has succeeded in creating a treatment to maintain the fresh qualities of cut strawberries. This newly introduced product is a healthy, clean-label powder blend that protects sliced, topped, halved and diced fresh strawberries, maintaining freshness for up to eleven days when refrigerated. NatureSeal retards spoilage and maintains the color and firmness of fresh-cut strawberries without altering flavor.

NatureSeal ST-A is comprised of GRAS ingredients and is allergen-free, gluten-free, Kosher certified and non-GMO.

The NatureSeal for strawberry product is easy to use and perfect for cut fruit medleys, yogurt and baked goods toppings or as a stand-alone offering.

For more information:Tim Grady NatureSeal, Inc.Tel: 203-767-0059Email: Tim.Grady@natureseal.comwww.natureseal.com

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'Maintaining the fresh qualities of cut strawberries' - FreshPlaza.com

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Ariane 5 Not Ready to Go for the Fifth Time With a Triple Satellite Payload – SatNews Publishers

Word was issued Thursday, from Arianespace that due to unfavorable weather conditions the launch that was targeted for Friday, August 14, will not take place. The soonest date for a launch is Saturday, August 15. This makes four delays, and hopefully a launch on the fifth day.

On Wednesday Satnews wrote: After three launch delays, its all a go for Arianespace Flight VA253 on August 14 which will utilize an increased-lift Ariane 5 version is a go for launch on August 14 following an additional Launch Readiness Review (LRR) performed Wednesday in French Guiana. However, now we know that there will be no Friday, launch

Heres the announcement Arianespace issued.

The Ariane 5 with its three satellite payloads for Flight VA253 was transferred today to the Guiana Space Centers ELA-3 launch zone. However, due to currently unfavorable wind conditions at altitude above the Guiana Space Center, Arianespace has decided not to initiate the final phase of launch preparation operations.

The soonest possible launch date for Flight VA253 is Saturday, August 15, as early as possible during the following launch window:

The Ariane 5 launch vehicle and the three satellite payloads: Galaxy 30; MEV-2 and BSAT-4b are in stable and safe conditions.

The mission to geostationary transfer orbit will deploy two telecommunications satellites: Galaxy 30 for Intelsat, and BSAT-4b for B-SAT, both of which are long-time Arianespace customers. Also carried by Ariane 5 is the Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) for Northrop Grummans wholly-owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC, which is a first-time user of Arianespace launch services.

Galaxy 30 was built by Northrop Grumman for Intelsat and will be the first payload deployed during the Ariane 5 mission. This satellite is to provide Ultra-High-Definition video distribution/broadcast and broadband services that cover North America.

MEV-2 is stacked under Galaxy 30 on Ariane 5, and is to be the second payload released during Flight VA253. The SpaceLogistics LLC-built spacecraft is designed to offer life extension services for in-orbit satellites, and its initial target is the Intelsat 10-02 relay platform, which has been in geostationary orbit since 2004.

Completing Flight VA253s mission sequence will be the deployment of BSAT-4b, configured for Ultra-High-Definition (UHD, 4K and 8K) direct-to-home television broadcasting across Japan. Built by Maxar Technologies, BSAT-4b will be operated by Japans Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT).

The launcher configuration used for Flight VA253 marks the final step in Ariane 5s latest performance improvement program, which was decided in 2016 and has increased the launch vehicles total payload capacity by 300 kg. ArianeGroup is production prime contractor for Ariane 5, delivering the launcher to Arianespace for operation.

Liftoff of Flight VA253 is planned as early as possible within the following launch window on August 14:

Between 5:33 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. Washington, D.C. time,Between 6:33 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. Kourou, French Guiana time,Between 21:33 and 22:20 Universal time (UTC),Between 11:33 p.m. and 12:20 a.m. Paris time, in the night of August 14 to August 15,Between 06:33 a.m. and 07:20 a.m. Japan time, in the morning of August 15.

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Ariane 5 Not Ready to Go for the Fifth Time With a Triple Satellite Payload - SatNews Publishers

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NATO is trying to replace ancient AWACS aircraft – defence-blog.com

According to a recently published solicitation at the U.S. governments main contracting website, NATO is deciding to replace ageing fleet of E-3A Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft.

The E-3A Sentry is an airborne warning and control system, or AWACS, aircraft with an integrated command and control battle management, or C2BM, surveillance, target detection, and tracking platform. The aircraft based on the Boeing 707 platform from the 1970s.

AWACS provides situational awareness of friendly, neutral and hostile activity, command and control of an area of responsibility, battle management of theater forces, all-altitude and all-weather surveillance of the battle space, and early warning of enemy actions during joint, allied, and coalition operations.

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According to the Scramble Magazine, the eighteen NATO countries involved decided a replacement aircraft is required to be selected before 2023, in order for it to be operational by 2035. The countries recently decided to give the E-3As a final service life extension program worth USD 1 billion, to see the Boeing fleets ability to operate up to 2035. The new fleet of aircraft will be worth somewhere in the range of USD 10 billion.

Currently, NATOs AWACS component has fourteen E-3A aircraft, the first aircraft was delivered in 1982.

The E-3A AWACS aircraft are extremely important to the Alliance. The unique plane usually operates at an altitude of around 10 km and from this altitude, a single E-3A can constantly monitor the airspace within a radius of more than 400 km and can exchange information via digital data links with ground-based, sea-based and airborne commanders. Its mission is to perform all surveillance and battle management tasks ordered by the NAEW&C Force Commander on behalf of the SACEUR.

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NATO is trying to replace ancient AWACS aircraft - defence-blog.com

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How F-16 Testers Are Evolving The Jet’s New Radar Beyond The Homeland Defense Mission – The Drive

The U.S. Air Force is deeply engaged in advanced testing that will help it to exploit the full capabilities of the F-16s new Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array, or AESA, radar. Its part of uncovering the full potential of the radar, and the F-16 for that matter, as it joins more squadrons, firstly in the Air National Guard, followed by active-duty units.

AESA radars offer a massive leap in capabilities over their mechanically scanned array predecessors, both in terms of range, fidelity, fast-scanning ability, reliability, and resistance to being jammed or being fooled by enemy countermeasures, among other advantages. You can read more about AESA arrays in these past War Zone pieces for more background on the topic.

The Air Force recently highlighted the radar and the added capabilities it offers in a media release that detailed how the radar was tested on a first-of-its-kind combined mission with four suitably upgraded F-16s on July 2, 2020. By testing four AESA radars at the same time, the service also assessed whether the aircraft experienced interference and evaluated if the radars' signals improved or degraded while operating together.

Now that we have a number of these radars available, especially in operational test, we are going to work our way through all mission sets [...] all the way through air-to-air, air-to-ground, Suppression of Enemy Air Defense, Close Air Support, and how we integrate it across all types of other aircraft too, Air Force Major Joe "Hurt" Viegas told The War Zone. Viegas is the AESA program manager from the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. That unit is part of the 53rd Wings 53rd Test Management Group, which is headquartered at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

U.S. Air Force/Jack Harman

A view from inside the cockpit during the four-ship F-16 mission from Eglin on July 2.

Whats somewhat unique about the overall F-16 test enterprise is that the 53rd Wing and the Test and Evaluation Group have been really trying to streamline our efforts in terms of rapidly fielding capabilities, Viegas added. Though this is a fielded capability, talking to the APG-83 specifically, this is being [rolled-out] in incremental phases.

Northrop Grumman developed the AN/APG-83, also known as the Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR), as a scalable and tailorable AESA based on its work with the F-22s AN/APG-77 and the F-35s AN/APG-81. It is ideally suited as aretrofit solution for the F-16s mechanically-scanned AN/APG-66/68 radar and is also now available in new-build Vipers. Flight-testing of the radar on the F-16 first commenced at Edwards AFB, California, in November 2009, and Taiwan became the launch customer when it selected the radar for its F-16V upgrade. The radar is now a key part of that upgrade package and it will also be found on new-production F-16C/D Block 70/72 aircraft, which you can read more about here in this previous War Zone piece. SABR is also being assessed for possible USAF bomber upgrades.

Viegas says that the 53rd Wing is now tasked with stressing the AESA in a realistic and combat-representative environment, collectively using two Eglin test units, along with the 59th TES at Nellis and the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Test Center (AATC) in Tucson, Arizona.

U.S. Air Force/MSgt Tristan McIntire

Four AESA-equipped F-16Cs prepare for the mission from Eglin on July 2, 2020.

The Air National Guard has already received this new capability to a certain degree and is already flying it. So, the significance of the most recent flight is that fielding of this capability has been quite a unique experience for the 53rd Wing. The initial task was basic integration of a new capability in the F-16 [for the] Air National Guard units that are protecting our nation from a homeland defense perspective, as quickly as possible, the major continued. Now the 53rd Wing has accomplished that task, which is to get capability to the warfighter as quickly as possible, the task is how can we further develop this radar and truly stress the capabilities that we can integrate it into our tactics, techniques, and procedures [TTPs], our three-dash-one [tactics manual], added Maj Viegas. Once we have the Guard sufficiently stocked with this capability, the Air Force is going to pivot and start fielding this to active-duty units.

The ANG has got it fielded as we are doing testing. The 53rd Wing is passing information to them so they can work effectively with the new capabilities as well as creating our recommendations and TTPs for when the active-duty starts getting the radar, added Air Force Captain Michael "Echo" Arnold, the AN/APG-83 Tactics Investigation Unit Project Officer for the 85th TES.

While the Nellis element of the 53rd Wing team will start work with upgraded AESA-equipped F-16s this Fall, the current work lies with the Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force (OFP CTF), a combined effort between the 40th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) and the 85th TES, at Eglin. The same team will take a similarly efficient combined approach when the new F-15EX arrives there next year for initial test work.

U.S. Air Force

A Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 being installed in an Air National Guard F-16 at Joint Base Andrews.

In January 2020, Northrop Grumman said the USAF completed the first installation of the AN/APG-83 radar on ANG F-16s at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, to meet a U.S. Northern Command Joint Emergent Operational Need (JEON) for homeland defense.

This followed a June 17, 2017, announcement from the USAF that it had selected the AN/APG-83 to upgrade 72 F-16s to meet the JEON. In addition, the USAF plans to retain 350 Block 40/42/50/52 F-16C/Ds in service through at least 2048 and it is putting them through a service-life extension program (SLEP), plus adding new avionics, including the AESA radar.

The new radar enables the F-16 to detect and track targets at greater ranges and with increased precision, especially low flying targets with small radar cross-sections. Cruise missile defense was one of the driving factors in equipping the Guard Vipers that stand watch over Washington, D.C. with the radars. AESA are also more reliable than their mechanically scanned forebearers and they are capable of enhanced air-to-ground mapping.

This [enhanced air-to-ground mapping] capability allows us to target the northwest corner of a small building or the cockpit of an aircraft [on the ground at an enemy airfield] from several miles away, beyond line-of-sight [beyond visual range], Jack Harman, a 40th Flight Test Squadron government civilian F-16 test pilot, was quoted by the USAF as saying. [The radar] improves our ability to identify the threat prior to us being targeted. We no longer have to be inside a threat envelope in order to detect it.

Upgrading the existing F-16 radars with the new AESA is a major capability jump for the USAF F-16 community, and it also enables greater collaboration in the fighter integration effort with 5th generation assets. That new hardware and software [in the AESA] is how were leveraging lessons learned from the F-22 and F-35 [...] and funneling all those lessons into what we are developing in the F-16, said Major Viegas.

U.S. Air Force/MSgt Tristan McIntire

An F-16C from the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron that is fitted with the new AN/APG-83 AESA radar.

Viegas says the team of F-16 test units will work through all mission sets and assess if the AESA changes any aspects of those and see how the fighter integrates with all types of other aircraft too. We will be bringing APG-83-equipped aircraft from Eglin out here to [Nellis to] participate in those Large Force Test Events, he adds, saying that all of the work will then be integrated into the USAF Weapons School course.

The new AESA upgrade is a critical part of keeping USAF F-16s credible for the remainder of their service lives. It also brings the F-16 into step with the Air Force's other front line fighters with a radar technology that has become a benchmark in capability across the international fighter aircraft community.

Contact the author: jamie@thedrive.com

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How F-16 Testers Are Evolving The Jet's New Radar Beyond The Homeland Defense Mission - The Drive

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Black Cumin Seed Oil Market 2020: (COVID -19) Update, Future Demand and Market Trends with Top Leading Players Analysis| Henry Lamotte OILS GmbH,…

A new research study has been presented comprehensive analysis on the Global Black Cumin Seed Oil Market where user can benefit from the complete Market research report with all the required useful information about this Market.

This is a latest report, covering the current COVID-19 impact on the Market. The pandemic of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected every aspect of life globally. This has brought along several changes in Market conditions. The rapidly changing Market scenario and initial and future assessment of the impact is covered in the report. The report discusses all major Market aspects with expert opinion on current Market status along with historic data. This Market report is a detailed study on the growth, investment opportunities, Market statistics, growing competition analysis, major key players, industry facts, important figures, sales, prices, revenues, gross margins, Market shares, business strategies, top regions, demand, and developments.

Get FREE SAMPLE PDF of Black Cumin Seed Oil Market Click Here https://www.crediblemarkets.com/sample-request/black-cumin-seed-oil-market-224815

Key Companies

Henry Lamotte OILS GmbH

FLAVEX Naturextrakte GmbH

Henry Lamotte Oils GmbH

Kerfoot Group

Earthoil Plantations

Life Extension

Nuverus

Omega Pharma

BioPraep

Key Types

Food Grade

Cosmetic Grade

Key End-Use

Soap

Health Food

Personal Care Products (Massage Oils, Skin Care Products)

Primary and secondary research methodologies have been used to formulate this report. This Report Provides an in-depth study analyzing the current and future demands of this Market also it provides the overview, definition, cost structure, segmentation, recent developments, application, and industry chain analysis, CAGR growth, and Porters Five Forces Analysis, demand. The report has offered an all-inclusive analysis of the global Market taking into consideration all the pivotal aspects like growth factors, Market developments, future prospects, and trends.

The Black Cumin Seed Oil Market report provides a detailed analysis of the global Market size, regional and country-level Market size, segment growth, Market share, competitive landscape, and sales analysis, impact of domestic and global Market players, value chain optimization, trade regulations, recent developments, opportunity analysis, strategic Market growth analysis, product launches, and technological innovations.

For More Information about this Report Visit @ https://www.crediblemarkets.com/reports/black-cumin-seed-oil-market-224815

Financial assessments of leading Black Cumin Seed Oil Market players are also highlighted in the Market report. It underscores the evaluation of their production cost, pricing structure sales volume, gross margin, profitability, sales revenue, growth rate, and other financial ratios.

Additionally, it illuminates companies organizational structure, corporate alliance, production volume, product specifications, manufacturing base, processes, value chain, raw material sourcing strategies, distribution networks, and global presence. The referred analysis helps Market players intuit the strengths, weaknesses, and Market positions of their strong rivals.

Direct Purchase Report @ https://www.crediblemarkets.com/reports/purchase/black-cumin-seed-oil-market-224815?license_type=single_user

KEY REGIONS AND COUNTRIES COVERED IN GLOBAL Black Cumin Seed Oil Market REPORT:

North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico)

Europe (U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Central & Eastern Europe, CIS)

Asia Pacific (China, Japan, South Korea, ASEAN, India, Rest of Asia Pacific)

Latin America (Brazil, Rest of L.A.)

Middle East and Africa (Turkey, GCC, Rest of Middle East)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Covid-19 Impact on 2020-2026 Global and Regional Black Cumin Seed Oil Market Production, Sales and Consumption Status and Black Cumin Seed Oil Market Research Report Standard Version

Table of Contents:

Global Black Cumin Seed Oil Market Research Report 2020

Chapter 1 about the Black Cumin Seed Oil Market Industry

Chapter 2 World Market Competition Landscape

Chapter 3 World Black Cumin Seed Oil Market share

Chapter 4 Supply Chain Analysis

Chapter 5 Company Profiles

Chapter 6 Globalization & Trade

Chapter 7 Distributors and Customers

Chapter 8 Import, Export, Consumption and Consumption Value by Major Countries

Chapter 9 World Black Cumin Seed Oil Market

RD Market Forecast through during years

Chapter 10 key success factors and market overview report highlights:

KEY QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN THE REPORT:

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Black Cumin Seed Oil Market 2020: (COVID -19) Update, Future Demand and Market Trends with Top Leading Players Analysis| Henry Lamotte OILS GmbH,...

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

In-depth Research On Food Emulsifiers Market Insights, And Forecast Till 2017-2026 Trends Market Research – Kentucky Journal 24

According to Stratistics MRC, the Global Food Emulsifiers Market is accounted for $2.55 Billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $4.48 Billion by 2026 growing at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2017 to 2026. Some of the factors such as growing consumption of convenience foods and premium products, rising beverage industry and high demand for specialty food ingredients in various applications will boost the market growth. However, growing health concerns and Complex US regulatory environment may hinder the market growth.

Request For Report Sample@https://www.trendsmarketresearch.com/report/sample/11330

Emulsifiers used in food are also known as emulgents. Emulsifiers or colloids are extensively used as additives during processing of victuals. These products have a broad application spectrum ranging from bakery to meat processing. The food emulsifier is a substance that stabilizes food emulsion by increasing its kinetic stability. Food emulsifiers are either synthetic or natural food additives, which assist the stabilization and formation of emulsions by reducing surface tension at the oil-water interface.

Amongst Application, Bakery Products segment registered considerable market share during the forecast period due to growing demand for innovative gluten-free baked products. In bread making, they are used for dough conditioning and shelf life extension. By geography, North America dominated the market owing to presence of many international chocolate brands and growing demand for and dairy & frozen desserts and convenience foods among the consumers.

Some of the key players in Food Emulsifiers include Dupont, Cargill Inc.,Corbion , Ingredion Incorporated, Kerry Group Plc,Archer Daniels Midland Company , Lonza Group Ltd.,Danisco A/S, Riken Vitamin Co., Ltd., BASF SE, Palsgaard A/S, Solvay S.A. , Adani Wilmar Ltd.,Stepan Company and Lubrizol Corporation

Types Covered: Mono- & Di-Glycerides and their Derivatives Sorbitan Esters Lecithin Polyglycerol Esters Stearoyl Lactylates Polyhydric Emulsifiers Anionic Emulsifiers Other Types

Functions Covered: Protein Interaction Crystal Modification Lubrication and Processing Aids Starch Complexing Emulsification Oil Structuring Aeration and Stabilization

Get Complete TOC with Tables and Figures@https://www.trendsmarketresearch.com/report/discount/11330

Sources Covered: Animal Source Plant Source Synthetic

Applications Covered: Dairy & Frozen Desserts Bakery Products Confectionery Products Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Convenience Foods Beverage Oil and Fat Margarine & spreads Infant Formula Sauces & Dressings Food & Nutrition Other Applications

Regions Covered: North Americao USo Canadao Mexico Europeo Germanyo UKo Italyo Franceo Spaino Rest of Europe Asia Pacifico Japano Chinao Indiao Australiao New Zealando South Koreao Rest of Asia Pacific South Americao Argentinao Brazilo Chileo Rest of South America Middle East & Africao Saudi Arabiao UAEo Qataro South Africao Rest of Middle East & Africa

What our report offers: Market share assessments for the regional and country level segments Market share analysis of the top industry players Strategic recommendations for the new entrants Market forecasts for a minimum of 9 years of all the mentioned segments, sub segments and the regional markets Market Trends (Drivers, Constraints, Opportunities, Threats, Challenges, Investment Opportunities, and recommendations) Strategic recommendations in key business segments based on the market estimations Competitive landscaping mapping the key common trends Company profiling with detailed strategies, financials, and recent developments Supply chain trends mapping the latest technological advancements

<<>>https://www.trendsmarketresearch.com/report/covid-19-analysis/11330

Free Customization Offerings:All the customers of this report will be entitled to receive one of the following free customization options: Company Profilingo Comprehensive profiling of additional market players (up to 3)o SWOT Analysis of key players (up to 3) Regional Segmentationo Market estimations, Forecasts and CAGR of any prominent country as per the clients interest (Note: Depends of feasibility check) Competitive Benchmarkingo Benchmarking of key players based on product portfolio, geographical presence, and strategic alliances

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In-depth Research On Food Emulsifiers Market Insights, And Forecast Till 2017-2026 Trends Market Research - Kentucky Journal 24

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TRANSACTIONS (CHAPTER 10 OF LISTING REQUIREMENTS) : NON RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONSAward of Contract from Single Buoy Moorings Inc. to KNM Wholly-Owned…

TRANSACTIONS (CHAPTER 10 OF LISTING REQUIREMENTS) : NON RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS Award of Contract from Single Buoy Moorings Inc. to KNM Wholly-Owned Subsidiary, KNM Process Systems Sdn Bhd Amounting to Approximately MYR 17,132,641.93

KNM GROUP BERHAD

Type

Announcement

Subject

TRANSACTIONS (CHAPTER 10 OF LISTING REQUIREMENTS)

NON RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

Description

Award of Contract from Single Buoy Moorings Inc. to KNM Wholly-Owned

Subsidiary, KNM Process Systems Sdn Bhd Amounting to Approximately MYR

17,132,641.93

1. Introduction

KNM Group Berhad ("KNM") is pleased to announce that its wholly-owned subsidiary, KNM Process Systems Sdn Bhd ("KNMPS"), had on 13 August 2020 received a Purchase Order ("PO"), bearing PO No. 001.17043.000078 from Single Buoy Moorings Inc. ("SBM Offshore") for the supply of PME pressure vessels separators for the Prosperity FPSO Project amounting to USD 4,081,630 (equivalent to approximately MYR 17,132,641.93 based on the exchange rate of USD 1.00 : RM 4.1975) ("Transaction").

The supply and delivery duration of the Transaction is for a period from 13 August 2020 until 1 June 2021.

2. Information About the Parties

KNMPS was incorporated as a private limited company under the laws of Malaysia on 28 June 1990 and it is principally involved in the design, engineering, procurement and manufacturing of process equipment, including without limitation pressure vessels, reactors, columns and towers, drums, heat exchangers, air finned coolers, process gas waste heat boilers and specialized shell and tube heat exchangers, condensers, spheres, process tanks, mounded bullets, process skid packages and turnkey storage facilities as well as technical and project management services in relation to process equipment, plant facilities and general facilities for the oil, gas, petrochemicals, minerals processing and renewable energy industries worldwide inclusive of solar PV installation work and solar leasing.

SBM Offshore, a company incorporated in Switzerland and headquartered in Amsterdam is principally involved in the design, supply, installation, operation and the life extension of floating production solutions for the offshore energy industry.

3. Financial Effect of the Transaction

The Transaction is expected to contribute positively to KNM Group's earnings for the financial years ending 31 December 2020 and 31 December 2021.

4. Risk Factors

The Transaction is subject to certain commercial and financial risks mainly in the power, oil, gas, petrochemical, and energy industries. These include changes in general economic conditions such as, but not limited to inflation, environmental, health and safety regulations, taxation, foreign exchanges, interest rates, labour and material supply, changes in business and operating conditions such as, but not limited to government and statutory regulations and deterioration in prevailing market conditions.

KNM is already operating in these industries and hence would continue to be exposed to risk factors that they currently face whilst operating in these industries.

Although KNM with its vast experience may undertake efforts to mitigate the various risk factors, there is no assurance that any change in the above risk factors will not have a material adverse effect on the business and operations of KNM.

5. Approval(s)

The Transaction is not subject to the approval of the shareholders of KNM or any regulatory authority in Malaysia or in any other country.

6. Directors' Statement

Having considered all aspects of the Transaction, the Board of Directors is of the opinion that the Transaction is in the best interest of KNM.

7. Directors' and Major Shareholders' Interest

None of the directors and/or major shareholders of KNM, and/or any persons connected with them, have any direct or indirect interest in the Transaction.

8. Documents for Inspection

Details of the Transaction are available for inspection at the registered office of KNM located at 15 Jalan Dagang SB 4/1, Taman Sungai Besi Indah, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia for three (3) months from the date of this Announcement during normal business hours from Mondays to Fridays.

This announcement is dated 14 August 2020.

Disclaimer

KNM Group Bhd published this content on 14 August 2020 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 14 August 2020 13:42:00 UTC

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TRANSACTIONS (CHAPTER 10 OF LISTING REQUIREMENTS) : NON RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONSAward of Contract from Single Buoy Moorings Inc. to KNM Wholly-Owned...

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

What is driving the Black Cumin Seed Oil? Market size? Key players are Henry Lamotte OILS GmbH, FLAVEX Naturextrakte GmbH, Henry Lamotte Oils GmbH,…

Trends, market share, opportunities, impact of COVID-19 in Black Cumin Seed Oil market and forecast in Black Cumin Seed Oil market from 2025 in terms of Food Grade, Cosmetic Grade, Others, by applications including Soap, Health Food, Personal Care Products (Massage Oils, Skin Care Products), Others and major Black Cumin Seed Oil market influencers such as Henry Lamotte OILS GmbH, FLAVEX Naturextrakte GmbH, Henry Lamotte Oils GmbH, Kerfoot Group, Earthoil Plantations, Life Extension, Nuverus, Omega Pharma, BioPraep and others.

Get free sample report and related graphs & charts @: https://www.marketintellica.com/report/MI32087-black-cumin-seed-oil-market-research#enquiry

The future of the Black Cumin Seed Oil market looks good with opportunities in the Soap, Health Food, Personal Care Products (Massage Oils, Skin Care Products), Others industries.

Various figures/charts and tables are provided in this 51-page report to help in your business decisions.

You can directly purchase the Black Cumin Seed Oil report using this secure link: https://www.marketintellica.com/checkout/MI32087-black-cumin-seed-oil-market-research

Emerging trends which have a direct impact on the dynamics of the Black Cumin Seed Oil industry includes the increasing penetration of Food Grade, Cosmetic Grade, Others.

Black Cumin Seed Oil Market by region [Volume and Value ($ Million)]:

In this study, the years considered to estimate the size of Black Cumin Seed Oil market are as follows:

If you are involved in the Global Black Cumin Seed Oil industry or plan to be, then this study will help you to answer all your queries needed to enter or growth in Black Cumin Seed Oil market. It is important that you keep your market knowledge up to date segmented by applications, product types and major players. If you have a different set of players/manufacturers according to geography or need regional or country-specific insights, we can provide customization according to your business requirements. This study mainly helps you to understand which market segments or region or country you should focus in coming years to channelize your resources to maximize the growth and increase the profitability. The report presents the market competitive landscape and consistent in-depth analysis of the major vendor/key players in the market.

Inquire for customization in report : https://www.marketintellica.com/report/MI32087-black-cumin-seed-oil-market-research#customization

The Black Cumin Seed Oil Report includes:

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What is driving the Black Cumin Seed Oil? Market size? Key players are Henry Lamotte OILS GmbH, FLAVEX Naturextrakte GmbH, Henry Lamotte Oils GmbH,...

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Army refutes CAG findings on shortage of winter clothing and equipment – India Today

Shortage in reserves at the Army headquarters does not impact availability to troops, the Army told a parliamentary panel responding to the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pointing out deficiencies of winter clothing and equipment for high altitude areas.

The Indian Army stated that the shortages in the stocks, that existed for special clothing and mountaineering meant for areas where temperatures dip below minus 20 degrees Celsius, is being built up now.

The Army's assertion that there is no shortage of equipment and clothing for troops on the ground is significant as it comes amid the India-China standoff in eastern Ladakh. With the deadlock continuing, the Indian Army is stocking up and preparing for a "long winter deployment" when the temperatures in some of the areas fall to minus 30 to minus 45 degrees Celsius.

Clarifying about the shortages flagged in the CAG report tabled in Parliament earlier this year - which talked only about shortages in reserves at the headquarters and had no bearing on troops deployed in areas at more than 10,000 feet - the Army informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that local purchases are available to meet any eventuality, if required.

"Discounting reserves, availability of stocks with troops was adequate. Local purchases for urgent requirements are undertaken," the Army told the PAC on Monday. Due to shortages, the troops had to "recycle" snow boots, the CAG had observed in its report between 2015-16 and 2017-18.

The Army has faced critical shortages in its reserves of special clothing and equipment - like snow goggles, boots, jackets and sleeping bags - meant for high altitude areas, the report had said. The audit performed by the CAG was based on clothing, equipment, ration and housing in high altitude areas.

Explaining the procurement process, the Army stated in its response to the PAC, that only items approved by soldiers are included in the tendering. The panel was informed that high altitude areas are divided into two categories. Heights up to 12,000 feet is in the category of 'Extreme Cold' clothing, and for heights beyond that special clothing and mountaineering equipment is required.

More than 3,54,000 troops are deployed up to 12,000 feet, and 38,000 troops at heights above that. Responding to the CAG findings on irregularities in the selection of "inferior" rucksacks that did not meet specifications listed in the contract, the Army said that inconsistencies in lab testing led to a dispute between the Directorate General Quality Assurance and the supplier.

"No compromise on quality of stores, and no defect report has been received from the troops till date," it said.The Army also said that there has been no quality complaints or loss to state due to Shelf Life Management of any of the items.

The auditor had found that three items of the special clothing and mountaineering equipment were issued to units after the expiry of shelf life. The Army, however, said that the shelf life extension of stores is a regular process and all the items were gainfully utilised.

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Army refutes CAG findings on shortage of winter clothing and equipment - India Today

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The Great Energy Debate: Is Nuclear Power the Solution to Climate Change? – DER SPIEGEL

Dorfman, 64, of University College London, is founder and chair of the Nuclear Consulting Group, a collection of experts and activists working on nuclear energy and radiation medicine, nuclear proliferation and the sustainability of energy systems.

Qvist, 34, completed his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and has since been conducting research in the U.S. and Sweden on the safety and economics of nuclear power. He currently runs an energy consultancy firm in Great Britain. He is the author of the book "A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow together with the economist Joshua Goldstein.

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Qvist, do lobbyists view the climate crisis as an opportunity to reframe dangerous nuclear energy as a technology that could save us?

Qvist: Well, I would take objection to the framing of that question, because it suspects anyone who finds arguments in favor of nuclear power of being a lobbyist - and devalues his arguments. And there are good, factual arguments, such as nuclear power being an energy source which does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions during operation. Which has additional benefits of not being dependent on the weather. The fact that it is climate friendly is indisputably one of the main reasons we should look at nuclear power as a part of the energy system.

The article you are reading originally appeared in German in issue 34/2020 (August 14, 2020) of DER SPIEGEL.

DER SPIEGEL: How do you see it, Mr. Dorfman?

Dorfman: Why should anyone build a nuclear power plant? Renewables are much cheaper. The climate crisis is going to hit us hard and quicker than we planned for - but this actually speaks against nuclear power.

DER SPIEGEL: Why?

Dorfman: Climate change poses a number of unique challenges to humanity. One of the most difficult is that we have to be carbon neutral as soon as the middle of the century. Now, the unfortunate reality is that you could not build enough reactors fast enough even to replace the existing reactors that will reach the end of their lifetime before 2050.

DER SPIEGEL: So Germany made the right decision to phase out nuclear energy?

Dorfman: Absolutely. There is still no final repository for nuclear waste and economically viable operation is impossible. Many safety questions are unresolved. Even utilities in Germany are clear and blunt: They say they would not even consider getting back into nuclear. The only political party that is against the shutdown is the partly extreme-right-wing AfD, and AfD also denies climate change.

Qvist: I do not know German politics, but just because the wrong people agree with you doesn't mean the cause is wrong. To me, the German phase-out is a terrible decision, one of the worst decisions for the environment and the climate that anyone has ever made. One study shows that the phase-out led to the death of more than 1000 people every year not even accounting for the millions of tons of CO2 that have been released. And the phase-out isn't even done yet!

DER SPIEGEL: Let us explain this briefly: You're referring to the fact that because of the nuclear phase-out, we're burning more coal. And many people are being killed by coal smoke and its pollutants - sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury, arsenic?

Qvist: Exactly.

A mothballed reactor in Stade: "One of the worst decisions for the environment and the climate that anyone has ever made."

DER SPIEGEL: The phase-out led to massive investments in clean energy, including wind and solar, which wouldnt have happened without that decision.

Qvist: True, Germany has done fantastic things for the climate, being an early investor that plunged a lot of money into wind and solar. Germany should be lauded for doing that, as well as for developing a lot of technologies that we need for the low-carbon future. This decision, however, to prematurely shut down nuclear power plants really is a blotch on the scorecard.

DER SPIEGEL: How so?

Qvist: By 2025, Germany will have spent more than 500 billion euros ($591 billion) on its energy transition. The result has been climbing prices for electricity, CO2 emissions have hardly dropped at all and Germanys energy mix remains climate unfriendly. In 2022, when the last reactors will be decommissioned, problems will become even worse. At Germanys rate of adding clean energy, it would take the world more than a century to decarbonize. And the existing nuclear plants in Germany are not even uneconomical. They're wonderfully operating plants. Some of them.

Dorfman: Hang on, lets talk about the ageing nuclear plant issue here

Qvist: some of the plants that will be shut down, like Emsland and Grohnde, are probably the best operated power plants of any kind that have ever been run on planet Earth. Shutting them down is an affront to good engineering, to climate, to people, to the environment, to humanity!

Dorfman: The opposite is true. Ageing nuclear plants pose a very real risk of serious accidents. They have little or no defense against terrorist attack, aircraft crashes and climate-change impact such as sea level rise, which weren't thought about when these reactors were designed.

DER SPIEGEL: Still, we have to decarbonize the energy system as soon as possible to prevent catastrophic consequences. How do we get there?

Qvist: The popular answer is renewables, but wind and solar alone at a reasonable system cost is a fantasy. They are becoming cheaper, but they are not available around the clock, and batteries that could power entire cities for days or weeks show no sign of materializing any time soon. But we actually have proven models for rapid decarbonization: France and my home country of Sweden decarbonized their grids decades ago - and Germany emits almost eight times as much carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour as France and more than 40 times as much as Sweden. But above all: over 40 percent more than the EU average.

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Dorfman, the CO2 footprint of people living in France or Sweden is indeed only half that of Germans. Why is theirs not a model for the world?

Dorfman: Because it is not a sustainable solution. The key about nuclear is the cost of the bill. Take France: The majority of the French fleet is in relatively serious trouble. They dont have modern safety measures such as core catchers.

DER SPIEGEL: When they no longer meet the standards, they need to be retrofitted. Isnt that enough?

Dorfman: But partial retrofitting can do little to change this. An almost complete rebuild would be needed just to get through compliance with todays safety standards.

DER SPIEGEL: So France and Sweden will run into a really big problem in 20 years?

Dorfman: Yes. They will very, very soon. While France has committed itself to reducing the share of nuclear energy in electricity production to 50 percent by 2035, the estimated cost of the reactor fleet life extension in France is about 50 to 100 billion. And Swedens booming wind power is surpassing its capped nuclear fleet this year. We must not build new nuclear plants but shut down old plants as fast as possible.

Qvist: I disagree. The German and the French nuclear plants are producing cheap and stable electricity. The absolute fastest option for decarbonizing the energy sector is not to shut them down.

DER SPIEGEL: And do what instead?

Qvist: Use a combination of renewables and nuclear - the most cost-effective combinations you can find of all low-carbon sources. In the world today we have around 20 electricity grids that are zero-carbon year-round. More than half of those are very poor countries that have one or two big hydroelectric power plants and use very little electricity. Thats not a model anyone could follow. Then you have three or four countries with renewable systems that are based on geographical luck. Norway is a good example. They have ample hydro power. Or Iceland: They have both geothermal power in the ground and hydro power. Costa Rica is similar. But then you have four regions that are already across the finish line in terms of decarbonized power without completely relying on luck. Those four systems are Sweden, France, Switzerland and Ontario in Canada, all of them relying on a combination of renewables and nuclear.

Dorfman: The market seems to think otherwise. U.K. offshore wind projects are projected to produce electricity at 47 pounds per megawatt hour. The current projected electricity price for Hinkley Point C, a new nuclear plant being built in the UK, is 109 pounds per megawatt hour. The difference is just astonishing, isnt it?

DER SPIEGEL: Other so-called Generation 3 plants are currently under construction, including Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France. Mr. Qvist, all of them are hugely expensive, years behind schedule, and without massive subsidies, they would not exist. Do they really make sense?

Qvist: Europe has not built any nuclear power plants for a very long time, its not very surprising that the first of their kind get expensive.

Dorfman: You can say that Olkiluoto was first of a kind, but this isnt true for Flamanville, which is also years behind. If the French can't build to cost and time, then where can you build? Nuclear is now conclusively shown to be seriously more expensive than renewables.

DER SPIEGEL: Which figures are you thinking of?

Dorfman: The rating agency Standard & Poors reports that investment in renewables is at $350 billion per year. For nuclear, it fell to 17 billion last year. And this trend is likely to continue. The International Energy Agency reports an annual global growth of 35 percent in solar and 17 percent in wind energy. Nuclear growth is less than 1 percent! The only way that you're seeing new nuclear being built is with vast public subsidy, in China, in Russia, and amazingly, as a mad outlier, in the U.K. Nuclear plants cost so much; they take so long to build that they really cannot help us to slow down climate change. Renewables, on the other hand, get cheaper all the time.

Qvist: In every case where nuclear power was shut down, renewables have not filled the gap. Why is Germany not decarbonized, although it is going full-on with renewables? Its CO2 emissions intensity from electricity production is many times higher than that of France and Sweden, and its electricity costs to consumers are also vastly higher. You cannot find a better climate investment than maintaining and modernizing the existing European reactor fleet to keep it in operation.

DER SPIEGEL: Although 54 reactors are currently being built worldwide, the share of nuclear energy in electricity-generation is only ten percent and will continue to decline. If the nuclear renaissance you are praising was happening, why arent more countries expanding their capacities?

Qvist: The reasons are economics and fear. In recent decades, the United States and some European countries created ever more complicated reactors, with ever more safety features in response to public fears. This has driven up costs. China and South Korea can build reactors right now at one-sixth the current cost of what they are in the United States. In the longer term, dozens of start-ups are developing new reactors that can be mass-produced, potentially generating electricity at lower cost than fossil fuels. The key is standardization and repetition.

Dorfman: Thats a pipe dream, none of these innovations have worked so far. Frances sodium-cooled ASTRID-reactor for example has been cancelled.

Solar power plant in Nevada: "Renewables and energy efficiency reduce emissions more and faster."

Qvist: ASTRID is a failure, yes, but there are probably 30 new reactor designs being put forward right now, some of them with serious venture capital backing. You have, for example, the whole variety of so-called Small Modular Reactors, SMR.

DER SPIEGEL: They have nothing to do with the gigantic nuclear power plants of the past ...

Qvist: That's right, these are small conventional reactors that will be commercialized by the late 2020s. This is happening. NuScale, a U.S. company, is about to finalize its licensing process for its SMR and already has a customer. It would be insane to not give them a chance to see if they can deliver on their promises.

DER SPIEGEL: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, excluded nuclear from EUs new Green Deal...

Qvist: ...yes, and that is very, very damaging. Pressured by countries such as Germany, Luxembourg and Austria, the EU is torpedoing anything that could have a positive impact on nuclear.

Dorfman: For good reasons, to not harm the EU budget. Look, in the past, nuclear went bigger so that the costs would come down. Its called economy of scale. Now, all of a sudden, you're saying that the economy of scale is not important and can be magically replaced by the economy of replication?

Qvist: Well, would you like to see those innovations succeed?

Dorfman: For me thats not the point. There is just not the capacity to build sufficient nuclear plants to help us solve the climate crisis. Even if you're willing and able to overcome all the other unsolved problems - affordability, accidents, waste management, proliferation, and system inflexibility we just do not have an unlimited amount of money.

DER SPIEGEL: The International Energy Agency has just acknowledged that the growth of renewable energies has slumped, as of late. Can the world still rely on them alone?

Dorfman: Look, we need to use the capital that we have for decarbonization in a way that gets the best emissions reduction for every euro spent in the shortest time. Nuclear is not competitive on both criteria. Renewables and energy efficiency reduce emissions more and faster. It's not a question of doing renewables and nuclear, it's a question of doing renewables or nuclear.

Qvist: Renewables and nuclear is a proven success story, renewables alone is not. Beyond decarbonizing todays electric grid, we must replace fossil fuels in transportation, industry and heating. We must provide for the fast-growing energy needs of poorer countries and extend the grid to a billion people who now lack electricity. Thats just not possible without nuclear!

DER SPIEGEL: More than 80 percent of the worlds primary energy still stems from fossil sources. Wind and the sun provide less than 2 percent. Worldwide energy consumption 30 years from now is projected to be about 50 percent higher than it is today. How can we get there?

Dorfman: We need to create a green hydrogen economy with all its components, energy efficiency, storage and interconnectivity between electric grids. The last thing that you need in such a system is nuclear, because nuclear is either on, or it is off. It is very bad at what we call load following...

DER SPIEGEL: ... youre talking about the process of flexibly starting them up and shutting them down when renewables fail.

Qvist: Obviously, wind and solar are wonderful. I am not here to be against anything. Im for everything. But it is a fact that nuclear is the only scalable low-carbon heat source that we have. With that heat, we can provide district and industrial-process heating, and more effectively produce hydrogen. Things like that will make nuclear flexible for the grid while churning out 100 percent core power all the time.

Dorfman: Germany and other countries are eyeing new offshore wind farms dedicated to green hydrogen production. We dont need nuclear to do this.

Qvist: But let's say you have a week of lull. You don't have much sun because its winter. You dont have a lot of hydro. Where is your power coming from?

Dorfman: Its a combination. We have to talk about hydrogen, interconnectors and load balancing. Even solar energy produced in the Sahara could be used to power parts of Europe. And we need storage

Qvist: ... what kind of storage? If it's batteries, thats just an unimaginable cost on a grid level. If it's hydrogen, you have to build electrolyzers and hydrogen storage. Thats what I mean when I talk about system costs. You have to pay for all these things.

DER SPIEGEL: Gas plants are very flexible. Why not use them in addition to renewables?

Qvist: This works, but its a fossil energy source that emits a lot of CO2 and pollutes the air.

DER SPIEGEL: The idea is to eventually replace the fossil gas by synthesized gas produced from hydrogen.

Qvist: Again, you would have to invest in all the infrastructure, and you need to include that in the costs. We don't have a hydrogen economy yet. And by the way, do you think it would be safer than nuclear? I am not so sure.

DER SPIEGEL: Are you kidding?

Qvist: Not at all. Statistically, nuclear power is the safest form of large-scale energy humanity has ever used. Mining accidents or gas explosions kill people, sometimes in large numbers, and smoke from coal-burning kills us, as Ive mentioned before, in enormous numbers. By contrast, in about 60 years of nuclear power, only three accidents have raised public alarm, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, and even during these catastrophic events not many people have been killed directly through radiation. I mean, we have hydroelectric power, which is a wonderful zero-carbon electricity source. But it has got a far worse safety record than nuclear. Dams burst, thousands of people have died.

Dorfman: The problem with nuclear is that, if and when it does go wrong, things go really, really go wrong. I'm an advisor to the Irish government on radiation risk. We commissioned a study that stated clearly that if there was severe contamination from a nuclear accident, it would largely bankrupt Ireland because of impacts on agriculture. So, reducing risk to body counts is really problematic.

DER SPIEGEL: But dont we have to balance this risk against the existential risk of climate change?

Dorfman und Qvist with DER SPIEGEL reporters Philip Bethge (left) and Rafaela von Bredow (right) at University College London: "This is fear-mongering."

Dorfman: The problem is that we all make different assumptions and come to different conclusions. Lets stick to what we know, and that is that radiation is dangerous to human health. An influential study in Germany, the KiKK study, showed that clusters of leukemia cases in little children and infants were more likely to be found near nuclear plants

Qvist: ... this study has been debunked because it did not fully assess factors other than radiation. There is just no correlation between radiation and leukemia close to nuclear plants.

Dorfman: Every radiation-protection organization in the world will tell you that there is no safe dose of radiation. And when you talk about a nuclear accident, you're not simply talking about cancers such as leukemias. You are talking about a whole raft of other things that happen way down the line, including probably genomic instability in generations to come. The complexity of the debate is mind-boggling. Why would you want to invest money in a such a highly dangerous technology? And I havent even started with the risks of nuclear waste.

Qvist: Civilian nuclear waste has never harmed anyone. We have stored it for 60 years in more than 30 countries and nothing happened. Highly radioactive nuclear waste is a tiny component in the vast mass of hazardous materials that we as a society produce, including toxic arsenic, mercury and lead, which last forever. And in the future, we will be able to burn nuclear waste as fuel in new types of reactors.

Dorfman: It's not that simple. We have high-level radioactive waste, intermediate and low-level waste. There is the idea that we can dig a deep hole and get rid of it. However, new research shows that the materials that the U.S. and other countries plan to use to store high-level nuclear waste will likely degrade faster than anyone previously knew.

Qvist: This is fear-mongering, I am sorry. How many people have died from civilian nuclear waste? None. Its a solved problem. The Finnish nuclear regulatory agency has approved the plans for a repository near Olkiluoto. It is being built and will be ready soon

Dorfman: will it work? Thats still open to debate. We will only know in about a thousand years.

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Dorfman, you are 64 years old, Mr. Qvist, you are 34. Do you think that our discussion is an intergenerational dispute?

Qvist: I believe so. In Sweden, for instance, you see the young generation being increasingly pro nuclear because they see it as an efficient measure against climate change. We see that once misconceptions are being fought by facts, opinions can change rapidly. In polls, only 11 percent have an anti-nuclear stance.

Dorfman: If you were to ask that question in Germany, you may well receive a very different answer. I dont believe that it is a generational issue. Everybody's worried about climate change. The key is how we can respond to it. And therein lies the discussion.

Qvist: Just for kicks, I might agree with you.

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Qvist, Mr. Dorfman thank you very much for this interview.

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The Great Energy Debate: Is Nuclear Power the Solution to Climate Change? - DER SPIEGEL

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Illuminating Womens Hidden Contribution … – genetics.org

Abstract

While productivity in academia is measured through authorship, not all scientific contributors have been recognized as authors. We consider nonauthor acknowledged programmers (APs), who developed, ran, and sometimes analyzed the results of computer programs. We identified APs in Theoretical Population Biology articles published between 1970 and 1990, finding that APs were disproportionately women (P = 4.0 1010). We note recurrent APs who contributed to several highly-cited manuscripts. The occurrence of APs decreased over time, corresponding to the masculinization of computer programming and the shift of programming responsibilities to individuals credited as authors. We conclude that, while previously overlooked, historically, women have made substantial contributions to computational biology. For a video of this abstract, see: https://vimeo.com/313424402.

PLENTIFUL evidence shows a historic and continuing gender gap in participation and success in scientific research (Beede et al. 2011; Shen 2013). However, less attention has been directed at clarifying obscured contributions of women to science. The lack of visible women role models (particularly in quantitative fields) contributes to a reduced sense of belonging and retention among women (Steele 1997; Cheryan et al. 2017). We seek to counteract this cycle by illuminating the historical contribution of women programmers to our own fields, population and evolutionary genetics.

To do so, we consider computational population genetics in the 1970s. In this era, leaders in molecular evolution developed innovative methods to test evolutionary hypotheses (Ewens 1972; Felsenstein 1974; Watterson 1975). Many of these methods were designed for protein variation data, and continue to be widely applied today on DNA sequence data. This work relied on extensive simulations and numerical approaches that were made possible by advances in computation. However, programming these computations required a detailed understanding of computational hardware, as well as a strong foundation in mathematics. Based on authorship at the time, it seems that this research was conducted by a relatively small number of independent individual scientists, nearly all of whom were men.

However, in some of the seminal papers from this time, we noticed that nonauthor computer programmers are thanked in the acknowledgments. Due to authorship norms at the time, these programmers were credited in the acknowledgments sections of manuscripts, rather than being recognized as authors. While this practice was typical at the time, these contributions might well have resulted in authorship today. For example, one acknowledgment reads I thank Mrs. M. Wu for help with the numerical work, and in particular for computing table I. (Watterson 1975).

We are now in a cultural moment when the historical scientific contributions of women and people of color are being increasingly revealed to popular audiences (e.g., Hidden Figures) (Shetterly 2016; Evans 2018). In that context, we performed a gender analysis of the scientific contribution of these acknowledged programmers (APs).

We identified APs in Theoretical Population Biology (TPB) articles published between 1970 and 1990. Using these data, we analyzed the gender representation among authors and APs, and trends over time. We use citation data to assess the impact of AP-supported manuscripts, relative to manuscripts without AP support. Finally, we note recurrent APs who contributed to several manuscripts.

We selected the journal TPB because of its high density of population genetics articles that involved programming. We manually collected the author names, institutional affiliations, acknowledgments text, and APs for all articles published in TPB from 1970 to 1990. While work in computational population genetics began before 1970, our TPB-based analysis begins when the journal was first published. We classified both authors and APs into binary gender categories (men and women, see Supplemental Materials).

Cumulatively, over 883 articles, of individuals with classifiable binary gender, significantly more APs were women (43.2%) as compared to authors (7.4%) (Table 1) (two-tailed Fishers exact test, P = 4.0 1010). This difference is even more striking when considering just the 1970s, when 7.0% of authors were women and 58.6% of APs were women (Table 1).

The acknowledgment of women programmers peaks in the mid-1970s, after which the proportion of APs who are women decreases significantly (Figure 1 and Supplemental Material, Figures S1 and S2, and Table S1, one-tailed Fishers exact test, P = 4.3 103). This parallels the broader cultural shift, which moved computer programming from pink collar work (where women workers are overrepresented and pay is typically low) to a respected male-dominated field (Vogel 2017). Between the 1970s and 1980s, the practice of acknowledging programmers declined as programming duties were likely transferred to graduate students, postdocs, and faculty who received authorship (Table S1, two-tailed Fishers exact test, P = 0.034) (W. Hill, personal communication). Over the same time, we see a nonsignificant increase in the proportion of women authors (two-tailed Fishers exact test, P = 0.64).

Total number of programmers acknowledged per year in Theoretical Population Biology. Each bar indicates the total number of acknowledged programmers broken down by binary gender. Purple, women; yellow, men; and green, ambiguous.

In our data, three APs were acknowledged more than once over the years analyzed. When Barbara McCann worked as a research assistant at Brown University (Matter 1970), she was an AP for two articles in TPB, as well as an author of two papers (Tables S1 and S2). Jennifer Smith was acknowledged for programming and numerical analysis in three articles in TPB, as well as at least three additional articles in Biometrics when she was a computing assistant at the University of Edinburgh (Tables S1 and S2). Lastly, Margaret Wu, a research assistant in the Department of Mathematics at Monash University, was acknowledged in two papers in TPB, one of which has been cited over 3400 times as it established a widely used estimator of genetic diversity (known as Wattersons estimator) (Table S1). She was an AP in at least three additional manuscripts (Table S2). She went on to earn a PhD and hold a faculty position at the University of Melbourne, where she developed statistical methods to analyze educational data (Wu 2011).

The specific technical contribution of an AP likely varied over projects. However, the fact that authors repeatedly chose to work with some APs suggests that these recurrent APs contributed particular expertise. Specifically, in addition to programming and numerical work, Jennifer Smith developed algorithms to carry out verbally specified analyses (W. Hill, personal communication). Margaret Wu performed a variety of statistical work including developing estimators for parameter values, devising algorithms for statistical tasks, and sometimes creating numerical methodology (M. Wu, personal communication). Overall, womens contributions were substantial in terms of the high proportion of contributions from women APs, as well as in quality.

To begin to assess if papers with AP contributors had a disproportionate impact on the field, we compared the number of citations for AP-supported vs. non-AP papers. The support of an AP is nonsignificantly correlated with the number of citations (Pearsons correlation test P = 0.06). A more powerful analysis of broader data may clarify this relationship.

Our retrospective analysis has shed light on the contributions of women to computational genetics research. These womens contributions were previously obscured by being relegated to footnote acknowledgments due to authorship norms. We showed that womens contributions were substantial when measured by volume (the high proportion of contributions from women APs), as well as by quality when we consider that some women APs were involved in seminal papers and the development of cutting edge approaches.

Our findings raise questions about how our current norms of scientific credit may favor certain individuals or groups. For instance, the bibliometric h index (h such that a scholar authored h papers that have been cited at least h times) has gained popularity, in part due to its correlation with other indicators of academic success such as National Academy membership or Nobel prize laureateship (Hirsch 2005). However, this concordance may reflect that the h index is consistent with biases in scientific recognition processes (Kelly and Jennions 2007). Furthermore, in the present age of highly collaborative science, authorship can be difficult to interpret. Noncontributor authors (authors who may have provided data, materials, or funding, but made no intellectual or practical contribution) are presented in an estimated 35% of publications in biology, while nonauthors, particularly technicians, are estimated to contribute to 56% of publications in biology (Jabbehdari and Walsh 2017). Because scientific roles (e.g., technician, student, or principal investigator) are related to social factors (e.g., gender, race, class background, and nationality), contributions from particular groups likely remain obscured.

In the two cases where we have specific information, without a clear path to persist in science, women APs left science to care for children and spouses (W. Hill, personal communication and M. Wu, personal communication). Today, the path for graduate students to advance still tends to favor men (Blickenstaff 2005; Martinez et al. 2007). It is fitting that our analysis is in computational population genetics because, while womens representation in evolutionary biology has dramatically improved in the past decades (Wellenreuther and Otto 2016), women are still underrepresented in population genetics (Telis 2017) and computational biology (Bonham and Stefan 2017).

The field of population genetics that we have studied here was chosen because it is our own field, not because we had a prior expectation that this particular field would reveal significant hidden contributions by women. Since we do find that women scientists contributions to this field were often obscured, we speculate that, rather than being rare, this may be a general trend. It would therefore be interesting to test this further in other scientific fields. When contributions are hidden, this exaggerates perceptions that women are minor participants in work in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Because perceiving underrepresentation in the field can impact a womans performance (Steele 1997; Cheryan et al. 2015), improving awareness of womens contributions may play a role in improving gender equity.

We thank Michael DeGiorgio, Tracey Heath, Emily Jane McTavish, Fergal Casey, Rasmus Nielsen, and Pleuni Pennings for constructive comments on an earlier version of this manuscript; Michael Turelli, Jim Harner, and Michael Rose for helping identify the genders of ambiguously named acknowledged programmers; and Margaret Wu and Bill Hill for information that shaped our research. This work was funded by San Francisco Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity National Institutes of Health grant number 1UL1-GM-118985, National Institutes of Health grant 1R35GM128946-01, and E.H.-S. was supported by National Science Foundation grant NSF-DEB-1557151. The authors declare no competing interests.

Author contributions: conceptualization: E.H.-S. and R.V.R.; methodology: E.H.-S. and R.V.R.; data curation: E.C., F.C., S.K.D., A.L., E.L.B., R.-J.R., and R.T.; investigation: S.K.D., A.L., E.L.B., R.-J.R., R.V.R., and R.T.; writing: S.K.D., E.H.-S., A.L., E.L.B., R.-J.R., R.V.R., and R.T.; and supervision: E.H.-S. and R.V.R.

Available freely online through the author-supported open access option.

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Illuminating Womens Hidden Contribution ... - genetics.org

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Mitochondrial Eve – Wikipedia

In human genetics, the Mitochondrial Eve (also mt-Eve, mt-MRCA) is the matrilineal most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of all living humans. In other words, she is defined as the most recent woman from whom all living humans descend in an unbroken line purely through their mothers and through the mothers of those mothers, back until all lines converge on one woman.

In terms of mitochondrial haplogroups, the mt-MRCA is situated at the divergence of macro-haplogroup L into L0 and L16. As of 2013, estimates on the age of this split ranged at around 150,000 years ago,[note 3] consistent with a date later than the speciation of Homo sapiens but earlier than the recent out-of-Africa dispersal.[4][1][5]

The male analog to the "Mitochondrial Eve" is the "Y-chromosomal Adam" (or Y-MRCA), the individual from whom all living humans are patrilineally descended. As the identity of both matrilineal and patrilineal MRCAs is dependent on genealogical history (pedigree collapse), they need not have lived at the same time. As of 2013, estimates for the age Y-MRCA are subject to substantial uncertainty, with a wide range of times from 180,000 to 580,000 years ago[6][7][8] (with an estimated age of between 120,000 and 156,000 years ago, roughly consistent with the estimate for mt-MRCA.).[2][9]

The name "Mitochondrial Eve" alludes to biblical Eve, which has led to repeated misrepresentations or misconceptions in journalistic accounts on the topic. Popular science presentations of the topic usually point out such possible misconceptions by emphasizing the fact that the position of mt-MRCA is neither fixed in time (as the position of mt-MRCA moves forward in time as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages become extinct), nor does it refer to a "first woman", nor the only living female of her time, nor the first member of a "new species".[note 4]

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Early research using molecular clock methods was done during the late 1970s to early 1980s. Allan Wilson, Mark Stoneking, Rebecca L. Cann and Wesley Brown found that mutation in human mtDNA was unexpectedly fast, at 0.02 substitution per base (1%) in a million years, which is 510 times faster than in nuclear DNA.[11] Related work allowed for an analysis of the evolutionary relationships among gorillas, chimpanzees (common chimpanzee and bonobo) and humans.[12] With data from 21 human individuals, Brown published the first estimate on the age of the mt-MRCA at 180,000 years ago in 1980.[13] A statistical analysis published in 1982 was taken as evidence for recent African origin (a hypothesis which at the time was competing with Asian origin of H. sapiens).[14][15][16]

By 1985, data from the mtDNA of 145 women of different populations, and of two cell lines, HeLa and GM 3043, derived from a Black American and a !Kung respectively, was available. After more than 40 revisions of the draft, the manuscript was submitted to Nature in late 1985 or early 1986[16] and published on 1 January 1987. The published conclusion was that all current human mtDNA originated from a single population from Africa, at the time dated to between 140,000 and 200,000 years ago.[17]

The dating for "Eve" was a blow to the multiregional hypothesis, which was debated at the time, and a boost to the theory of the recent origin model.[18]

Cann, Stoneking and Wilson did not use the term "Mitochondrial Eve" or even the name "Eve" in their original paper; it appears to originate with a 1987 article in Science by Roger Lewin, headlined "The Unmasking of Mitochondrial Eve."[19] The biblical connotation was very clear from the start. The accompanying research news in Nature had the title "Out of the garden of Eden."[20] Wilson himself preferred the term "Lucky Mother"[21] and thought the use of the name Eve "regrettable."[19][22] But the concept of Eve caught on with the public and was repeated in a Newsweek cover story (11 January 1988 issue featured a depiction of Adam and Eve on the cover, with the title "The Search for Adam and Eve"),[23] and a cover story in Time on 26 January 1987.[24]

Shortly after the 1987 publication, criticism of its methodology and secondary conclusions was published.[25] Both the dating of mt-Eve and the relevance of the age of the purely matrilineal descent for population replacement were subjects of controversy during the 1990s;[26][27][28][29] Alan Templeton (1997) asserted that the study did "not support the hypothesis of a recent African origin for all of humanity following a split between Africans and non-Africans 100,000 years ago" and also did "not support the hypothesis of a recent global replacement of humans coming out of Africa."[30]

Cann, Stoneking & Wilson (1987) harvtxt error: multiple targets (2): CITEREFCannStonekingWilson1987 (help)'s placement of a relatively small population of humans in sub-Saharan Africa was consistent with the hypothesis of Cann (1982) and lent considerable support for the "recent out-of-Africa" scenario.

In 1999 Krings et al. eliminated problems in molecular clocking postulated by Nei (1992)[citation needed] when it was found that the mtDNA sequence for the same region was substantially different from the MRCA relative to any human sequence.

In 1997, Parsons et al. (1997) published a study of mtDNA mutation rates in a single, well-documented family (the Romanov family of Russian royalty). In this study, they calculated a mutation rate upwards of twenty times higher than previous results.[31] This study has been cited by Creationists to justify the emergence of "Eve" only 6,000 years ago.[32] As Donald Chittick pointed out, the "6000 year date for Eve brings to mind the Biblical time scale and is an uncomfortable result for evolutionism."[33]

Although the original research did have analytical limitations, the estimate on the age of the mt-MRCA has proven robust.[34][35] More recent age estimates have remained consistent with the 140200 kya estimate published in 1987: A 2013 estimate dated Mitochondrial Eve to about 160 kya (within the reserved estimate of the original research) and Out of Africa II to about 95 kya.[3] Another 2013 study (based on genome sequencing of 69 people from 9 different populations) reported the age of Mitochondrial Eve between 99 and 148 kya and that of the Y-MRCA between 120 and 156 kya.[2]

Without a DNA sample, it is not possible to reconstruct the complete genetic makeup (genome) of any individual who died very long ago. By analysing descendants' DNA, however, parts of ancestral genomes are estimated by scientists. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA are commonly used to trace ancestry in this manner. mtDNA is generally passed un-mixed from mothers to children of both sexes, along the maternal line, or matrilineally.[36][37] Matrilineal descent goes back to our mothers, to their mothers, until all female lineages converge.

Branches are identified by one or more unique markers which give a mitochondrial "DNA signature" or "haplotype" (e.g. the CRS is a haplotype). Each marker is a DNA base-pair that has resulted from an SNP mutation. Scientists sort mitochondrial DNA results into more or less related groups, with more or less recent common ancestors. This leads to the construction of a DNA family tree where the branches are in biological terms clades, and the common ancestors such as Mitochondrial Eve sit at branching points in this tree. Major branches are said to define a haplogroup (e.g. CRS belongs to haplogroup H), and large branches containing several haplogroups are called "macro-haplogroups".

The mitochondrial clade which Mitochondrial Eve defines is the species Homo sapiens sapiens itself, or at least the current population or "chronospecies" as it exists today. In principle, earlier Eves can also be defined going beyond the species, for example one who is ancestral to both modern humanity and Neanderthals, or, further back, an "Eve" ancestral to all members of genus Homo and chimpanzees in genus Pan. According to current nomenclature, Mitochondrial Eve's haplogroup was within mitochondrial haplogroup L because this macro-haplogroup contains all surviving human mitochondrial lineages today, and she must predate the emergence of L0.

The variation of mitochondrial DNA between different people can be used to estimate the time back to a common ancestor, such as Mitochondrial Eve. This works because, along any particular line of descent, mitochondrial DNA accumulates mutations at the rate of approximately one every 3,500 years per nucleotide.[1][38][note 5] A certain number of these new variants will survive into modern times and be identifiable as distinct lineages. At the same time some branches, including even very old ones, come to an end when the last family in a distinct branch has no daughters.

Mitochondrial Eve is the most recent common matrilineal ancestor for all modern humans. Whenever one of the two most ancient branch lines dies out, the MRCA will move to a more recent female ancestor, always the most recent mother to have more than one daughter with living maternal line descendants alive today. The number of mutations that can be found distinguishing modern people is determined by two criteria: firstly and most obviously, the time back to her, but secondly and less obviously by the varying rates at which new branches have come into existence and old branches have become extinct. By looking at the number of mutations which have been accumulated in different branches of this family tree, and looking at which geographical regions have the widest range of least related branches, the region where Eve lived can be proposed.

Newsweek reported on Mitochondrial Eve based on the Cann et al. study in January 1988, under a heading of "Scientists Explore a Controversial Theory About Man's Origins". The edition sold a record number of copies.[39]

The popular name "mitochondrial Eve", of 1980s coinage,[19] has contributed to a number of popular misconceptions. At first, the announcement of a "mitochondrial Eve" was even greeted with endorsement from young earth creationists, who viewed the theory as a validation of the biblical creation story.[40][41][42][non-primary source needed]

Due to such misunderstandings, authors of popular science publications since the 1990s have been emphatic in pointing out that the name is merely a popular convention, and that the mt-MRCA was not in any way the "first woman".[43] Her position is purely the result of genealogical history of human populations later, and as matrilineal lineages die out, the position of mt-MRCA keeps moving forward to younger individuals over time.

In River Out of Eden (1995), Richard Dawkins discussed human ancestry in the context of a "river of genes", including an explanation of the concept of Mitochondrial Eve.[44] The Seven Daughters of Eve (2002) presented the topic of human mitochondrial genetics to a general audience.[45] The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa by Stephen Oppenheimer (2003)[39] was adapted into a Discovery Channel documentary.[46]

One common misconception surrounding Mitochondrial Eve is that since all women alive today descended in a direct unbroken female line from her, she must have been the only woman alive at the time.[43][47] However, nuclear DNA studies indicate that the size of the ancient human population never dropped below tens of thousands. Other women living during Eve's time may have descendants alive today but not in a direct female line.[citation needed]

The definition of Mitochondrial Eve is fixed, but the woman in prehistory who fits this definition can change. That is, not only can our knowledge of when and where Mitochondrial Eve lived change due to new discoveries, but the actual Mitochondrial Eve can change. The Mitochondrial Eve can change, when a mother-daughter line comes to an end. It follows from the definition of Mitochondrial Eve that she had at least two daughters who both have unbroken female lineages that have survived to the present day. In every generation mitochondrial lineages end when a woman with unique mtDNA dies with no daughters. When the mitochondrial lineages of daughters of Mitochondrial Eve die out, then the title of "Mitochondrial Eve" shifts forward from the remaining daughter through her matrilineal descendants, until the first descendant is reached who had two or more daughters who together have all living humans as their matrilineal descendants. Once a lineage has died out it is irretrievably lost and this mechanism can thus only shift the title of "Mitochondrial Eve" forward in time.[citation needed]

Because mtDNA mapping of humans is very incomplete, the discovery of living mtDNA lines which predate our current concept of "Mitochondrial Eve" could result in the title moving to an earlier woman. This happened to her male counterpart, "Y-chromosomal Adam," when older Y lines from Africa were discovered.[citation needed]

Sometimes Mitochondrial Eve is assumed to have lived at the same time as Y-chromosomal Adam (from whom all living people are descended patrilineally), and perhaps even met and mated with him. Even if this were true, which is currently regarded as highly unlikely, this would only be a coincidence. Like Mitochondrial "Eve", Y-chromosomal "Adam" probably lived in Africa. A recent study (March 2013) concluded however that "Eve" lived much later than "Adam" some 140,000 years later.[7] (Earlier studies considered, conversely, that "Eve" lived earlier than "Adam".)[48] More recent studies indicate that Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam may indeed have lived around the same time.[49]

Mitochondrial Eve is the most recent common matrilineal ancestor, not the most recent common ancestor. Since the mtDNA is inherited maternally and recombination is either rare or absent, it is relatively easy to track the ancestry of the lineages back to a MRCA; however, this MRCA is valid only when discussing mitochondrial DNA. An approximate sequence from newest to oldest can list various important points in the ancestry of modern human populations:

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Fears over feminising antioxidants in fish feeds – The Fish Site

While the feminisation is not necessarily undesirable in the production of many species, as females tend to grow faster, its a disaster for tilapia producers, who prefer all-male stock. It could also have negative consequences for broodstock producers across a wide range of species, as feminisation of male broodstock is likely to have a very negative impact on fertility levels and rates of reproduction.

Til-Aqua International, a Dutch genetics company, has developed a strain of YY males over the past 25 years, using manual genetic selection rather than hormone treatment to produce 99.7 percent male offspring, which are sold for ongrowing.

However, in mid-2019 the company noticed a dramatic increase in the proportion of females in its juveniles, prompting them to start an investigation.

Our customers began to complain about the proportion of females in the fish wed sold them. We thought that it might be something they were doing wrong with their diagnostics, but site visits showed that there really were a high proportion of females. So we started to investigate our own operations and procedures, explains Hanneke van den Dop, the companys experienced fish vet.

But our internal investigation showed that nothing had changed in our own procedures, so we started to look into other variables as external variables can have an impact on the sex ratio of tilapia. The investigation was very time-consuming and lasted from July 2019 until May 2020, as it takes time to produce a sufficient amount of test groups and repeat the tests several times, she adds.

Their investigation uncovered that there had been a change in formulations of the feed by a well-known commercial aquafeed producer that they were using.

We finally worked out that the change in the proportion of females coincided with a change in the antioxidants used in the feeds. And one of our customers, in Africa, who was using the same feeds had noticed the same affects, while other customers, using different feeds, did not have problems, says van den Dop.

The feed manufacturer had, it transpired, replaced E321 and E324 with two other antioxidants. Van den Dops follow-up research showed that one of these is considered to be an endocrine disrupter, while the other is considered a weak oestrogen. As a result, Til-Aqua initiated a series of feed trails to investigate whether the change in antioxidants could have been responsible for the oestrogenic effects and changed sex ratios in their fish.

In order to achieve this, juvenile offspring of different genetic lines were tested with several feeds in the first weeks of their life the time when tilapia gender is determined. Thousands of fingerlings were dissected, and their gonads were examined macroscopically and microscopically, and the trials found that in various cases only 8 percent of the tilapia were males from broodstock that initially produced more than 99 percent males. They also discovered large numbers of individuals that contained gonads or gonadal tissue of both sexes. Meanwhile their trials showed deteriorated gonads in the broodstock.

Til-Aqua flagged up the results of their trials with the feed provider.

It was a brand we had used for 30 years with great satisfaction and in excellent cooperation, but this changed dramatically when they changed their feeds and we confronted them with our findings, says van den Dop.

When we brought it up they said they were using the antioxidants at levels within the limits of EU legislation and were therefore not responsible for any undesirable side-effects, she continues.

Given that the change in ingredients and its results had proved incredibly stressful to the staff at Til- Aqua, and could have dramatically undermined the trust of their customers, van den Dop was appalled.

Til-Aqua is now in the process of providing compensation to their customers. They also have to flush out each of the biofilters in their own production site.

In our trials, using very high water refreshment rates, just like in a flow-through system, produced higher male ratios up to the normal 99 percent we had been getting with the old feeds. It was clear that RAS led to an accumulation of the antioxidants, so were now having to flush each of the biofilters in our system to ensure that theres no residual feminising effect, van den Dop explains.

Meanwhile, according to van den Dop, the producer continues to use the antioxidants in its feeds. While this may have an upside for some farmers in species such as trout, carp and sturgeon the females grow faster, she points out there may also be some widespread negative trade-offs.

Because the fish are under oestrogenic influence, they are more susceptible to parasites and disease using the feeds that lowered the ratio of males produced fry that were weaker, which is an issue both in terms of animal welfare and sustainability, she says.

And there could be more tangible drawbacks for broodstock producers, particularly those using RAS.

We saw a degeneration of the gonads of our broodstock, and the use of RAS worsened these symptoms by accumulating these additives, van den Dop reflects.

In the meantime she is hopeful that the EU will ban the use of these two antioxidants, which can potentially have such a disruptive influence on the hormones of fish.

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Fears over feminising antioxidants in fish feeds - The Fish Site

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Genes take side in the battle of the sexes – Science News – Deadline News

Men may have a surprising genetic advantage over women, according to new research carried out at the University of St Andrews.

The study, published today inProceedings of the Royal Society Series B Biological Sciences, focused on genes that are present on the X chromosome.

These are carried by individuals of both sexes but with females typically having a double dose.

Traditionally, the over-representation of the X chromosome among females has been thought to lead to it favouring a genetic blueprint that benefits females at the expense of males.

But the St Andrews team have shown that, in many cases, the X chromosome instead sides with males in the battle of the sexes.

The research didnt specifically focus on human genetics and instead applies to all creatures that exhibit sex differences.

Across the animal kingdom males and females of the same species can differ remarkably in their size, shape, life-history and behaviour.

Males of the blanket octopus, for instance, are barely the size of the females eye, and males of the rusty tussock moth grow large ochre wings while females have tiny vestigial ones.

However, despite these striking differences, the two sexes generally share the same genome the set of genetic instructions that act as a blueprint for building an organism.

This can lead to problems, as the genome that encodes the best male might not be the one that encodes the best female, and any evolutionary advance that better serves the interests of males is likely to come at the expense of females.

This all depends on where in the genome they are found and on aspects of the species lifestyles, such as whether mums tend to be younger than dads.

Thomas Hitchcock said: The average ages of mothers and fathers in the population can also tilt the balance of genes interests in favour of one sex. If, as in humans, the average father is older than the average mother, then our model shows that this will lead almost all genes to shift their interests towards what works best for males.

Professor Andy Gardner, added: In general, these different parts of the genome will disagree about how best to balance the fitness of females against males.

This can lead to an interesting intragenomic conflict, where an individuals own genes can go to war against each other, and the fallout from that is expected to be harmful for both females and males.

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Genes take side in the battle of the sexes - Science News - Deadline News

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith


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