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  1. #41
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    Islamic prayer ritual reduces back pain and increases joint elasticity, study finds

    Proper knee and back angles can be an effective clinical treatment, research finds

    by Peter Walke - 2/09/2017

    The repetitive physical movements of Muslim prayer rituals can reduce chances of lower back pain if performed properly
    , according to new research.

    The study found that not only does quiet prayer eliminate physical anxiety, but that proper knee and back angles can be an effective clinical treatment.

    Roughly 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide bow, kneel and place their foreheads to the ground in the direction of Mecca up to five times a day,

    “One way to think about the movements is that they are similar to those of yoga or physical therapy intervention exercises used to treat lower back pain,” said study co-author Mohammad Khasawneh.

    The paper, entitled An ergonomic study of body motions during Muslim prayer using digital human modelling, was published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

    The research used computer-generated human models of healthy Indian, Asian, and American men and women to look at the effect on lower back pain.

    The kneeling posture, known as sujud, apparently increases the elasticity of joints.

    The team did not however look at how varying prayer rituals for physically disabled people will effect back pain.

    “Physical health is influenced by socio-economic, lifestyle and religious factors,” added Mr Khasawneh, from Penn State Behrend university in Pennsylvania.

    “Prayer can eliminate physical stress and anxiety, while there is also research that indicates prayer rituals can be considered an effective clinical treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunction.”


  2. #42
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    Terror attacks receive five times more media coverage if perpetrator is Muslim, study finds

    Muslims carried out just 12.4 per cent of attacks in the US but received 41.4 per cent of news coverage


    Terror attacks carried out by Muslims receive more than five times as much media coverage as those carried out by non-Muslims in the United States, according to an academic study.

    Analysis of coverage of all terrorist attacks in the US between 2011 and 2015 found there was a 449 per cent increase in media attention when the perpetrator was Muslim.

    Muslims committed just 12.4 per cent of attacks during the period studied but received 41.4 per cent of news coverage, the survey found.

    The authors said the finding suggests the media is making people disproportionately fearful of Muslim terrorists.

    Scientists studied US newspaper coverage of every terrorist attack on American soil and counted up the total number of articles dedicated to each attack.

    They found that the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which was carried out by two Muslim attackers and killed three people, received almost 20 per cent of all coverage relating to US terror attacks in the five-year period.

    In contrast, reporting of a 2012 massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left six people dead and was carried out by Wade Michael Page – a white man, constituted just 3.8 per cent of coverage.

    A mass shooting by Dylann Roof, who is also white, at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, killed nine people but received only 7.4 per cent of media coverage, while a 2014 attack by Frazier Glenn Miller on a Kansas synagogue left three dead but accounted for just 3.3 per cent of reports.

    All of the above attacks are considered to meet widely-used definitions of terrorism
    , according to researchers at Georgia State University.

    The authors said their finding debunked Donald Trump’s suggestion, made in February, that the media is not reporting terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims.

    “When President Trump asserted that the media does not cover some terrorist attacks enough, it turns out that he was correct,” they wrote. “However, his assertion that attacks by Muslim perpetrators received less coverage is unsubstantiated.

    “Regardless of other factors, attacks perpetrated by Muslims receive a disproportionate amount of media coverage. In the present data, Muslims perpetrated 12.4 per cent of the attacks yet received 41.4 per cent of the news coverage.

    “Whether the disproportionate coverage is a conscious decision on the part of journalists or not, this stereotyping reinforces cultural narratives about what and who should be feared.

    “By covering terrorist attacks by Muslims dramatically more than other incidents, media frame this type of event as more prevalent. Based on these findings, it is no wonder that Americans are so fearful of radical Islamic terrorism. Reality shows, however, that these fears are misplaced.”


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    Fasting for Three Days Can Regenerate Entire Immune System, study finds

    A person's entire immune system can be rejuvenated by fasting for as little as three days as it triggers the body to start producing new white blood cells, a study suggests

    By Sarah Knapton - 05 Jun 2014

    Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as "remarkable".

    Although fasting diets have been criticized by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.

    Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.

    It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases.

    The researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.

    "It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California.

    "And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.

    “Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system."

    Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.

    During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.

    In trials humans were asked to regularly fast for between two and four days over a six-month period.

    Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to ageing and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumor growth.

    "We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system," added Prof Longo.

    "When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,"
    Dr Longo said.

    "What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?"

    Fasting for 72 hours also protected cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy.

    "While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy," said co-author Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.

    "More clinical studies are needed, and any such dietary intervention should be undertaken only under the guidance of a physician.”

    "We are investigating the possibility that these effects are applicable to many different systems and organs, not just the immune system," added Prof Longo.

    However, some British experts were skeptical of the research.

    Dr Graham Rook, emeritus professor of immunology at University College London, said the study sounded "improbable".

    Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at UCL, said: “There is some interesting data here. It sees that fasting reduces the number and size of cells and then re-feeding at 72 hours saw a rebound.

    “That could be potentially useful because that is not such a long time that it would be terribly harmful to someone with cancer. But I think the most sensible way forward would be to synthesize this effect with drugs. I am not sure fasting is the best idea. People are better eating on a regular basis.”

    Dr Longo added: “There is no evidence at all that fasting would be dangerous while there is strong evidence that it is beneficial. I have received emails from hundreds of cancer patients who have combined chemo with fasting, many with the assistance of the oncologists. Thus far the great majority have reported doing very well and only a few have reported some side effects including fainting and a temporary increase in liver markers. Clearly we need to finish the clinical trials, but it looks very promising.”


    Fasting Bolster Brain Power

    Mark Mattson talks at John Hopkins University talks about why fasting bolsters brain power.

    video: http://viewpure.com/uoRhsHJ3Q-w?start=0&end=0

    Fasting Three Days in Islam

    It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me, 'If you fast any part of the month then fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.'" (al-Nasaa'i, 2424; Ibn Maajah, 1707; Ahmad, 210; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami' al-Sagheer, 673).

    The prophet - peace and blessings be upon him - said "Fasting three days of every month (13th, 14th, 15th) is equal to Fasting the life time" [Declared Hasan by Al-Albani]

    what are the white days?

    The white days are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of every lunar month, they were named with this name because the moon becomes full on them and the light becomes strong which makes their nights completely luminous especially in desert, after that name was used for the days.

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    Majority of terrorists who have attacked America are not Muslim, new study finds

    Donald Trump's rhetoric and policies have been solely focused on 'radical Islamic terrorism'

    Mythili Sampathkumar New York | Friday 23 June 2017

    Most of the designated terrorist groups in the US are right-wing extremists, not Muslim,
    according to a new report.

    A joint project by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute, a nonprofit media centre, and news outlet Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting took a look at the 201 designated terrorism incidents within the US from 2008 to 2016.

    The results: “right-wing extremists were behind nearly twice as many incidents” as terror acts associated with those identified as “Islamist domestic terrorism”.

    The report identified 63 incidents involving those “motivated by a theocratic political ideology espoused by such groups as the Islamic State”. In that time period, this includes the San Bernardino shootings and Boston Marathon bombings, among others.

    Right-wing extremists, often white supremacists, were responsible
    for 115 incidents within the same period. Events like Robert Dear’s killing of three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood women's health clinic in December 2015 for offering abortion services would fall into this category.

    In terms of police action, 76 per cent of the Islamist incidents were thwarted versus just 35 per cent of the right-wing extremist incidents.

    Sting operations were used in nearly half of the Islamist-related incidents, a rate four times higher than police operations on right and left-wing extremist acts.

    More people died in the Islamist incidents, a total of 90 due to mass shootings like the one in Fort Hood, Texas in 2009.

    However, around 33 per cent of right-wing extremist incidents involved deaths versus 13 per cent of Islamist terror acts. They also caused 79 deaths.

    Regarding violent extremism on the left of the political spectrum, between 2008 and 2016 there were 19 incidents and seven deaths. The recent shooting on Republican Congressman playing baseball in Alexandria, Virginia falls under this category.

    The evidence appears to belie Donald Trump’s rhetoric, however.

    The report said that Mr Trump’s “fixation” on “radical Islamic terrorism” is “irrational”.

    The “shutdown of Muslims” was a key platform issue throughout his presidential campaign and some of his closest advisers like Steve Bannon and former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, are said to think “fear of Muslims is rational,” as Mr Flynn once said.

    Once in the White House, he signed two versions of a travel ban barring people from a list of six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

    After thousands of people protested the order at airports across the country, American courts have, for now, issued holds on the order.

    The President has also openly chastised world bodies like the United Nations and allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) military alliance for not doing enough to fight terrorism of this variety.

    On a visit to Saudi Arabia, Mr Trump inaugurated a new centre to combat financing terrorism in Middle Eastern countries.

    Some experts have noted that the visit also prompted Saudi Arabia - where 15 of the 19 terrorists responsible for the September 11th attacks hailed from - to cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar.

    Saudi Arabia cited the small Gulf kingdom’s financing of terror groups, its support of the Muslim Brotherhood, and housing of Turkish troops as just a few of the reasons.

    Mr Trump’s sole emphasis on Muslim-related terrorism has implications in the US, too.

    The report found that only one per cent of “perpetrators or alleged perpetrators” were from the countries listed in the travel ban. An overwhelming 87 per cent of them were US-born.

    Shirin Sinnar, a law professor at Stanford University and the effect of counter-terror policies on immigrant and minority populations, told The Independent that “the administration's anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies can fuel white supremacist violence directed at Muslims, immigrants, or people of colour by legitimising such hate.”

    By ignoring the non-Muslim domestic threats law enforcement agencies may “fail to devote investigative resources towards combating them,”
    she said.

    This could allow groups like those who are categorised as white supremacists, for instance, to grow and plot more incidents such as the Portland, Oregon and Kansas murders as well as attacks on mosques and Sikh temples.

    The report also found a significant difference in the way right-wing terrorists and Islamist terrorists were treated in the US court system.

    “Muslims, it seems, are taken quite seriously as potential perpetrators, but far less so as victims,”
    the report said.

    Perpetrators of attacks on the general public were sentenced to an average of 14.5 years in prison, with seven death sentences.

    Those found to be guilty of attacking a mosque or targeting Muslims was sentenced to under nine years, never receiving life in prison or death sentences.

    Ms Sinnar said that after the tragic 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina there was some sign of hope in at the Department of Justice.

    The incident, in which nine people were killed by self-identified white supremacist Dylann Roof, appeared to prompt what she said was a “belated recognition...that ‘domestic terrorism’ by white supremacists, anti-government activists, and other non-Muslim groups was a significant and overlooked threat.”

    John Carlin, the Assistant Attorney General at the time, established a new position in the agency solely dedicated to addressing ‘homegrown’ terrorism as well.

    In January 2016, Mr Carlin told PRI that white supremacists, in particular, have planned attacks on “government buildings, businesses, synagogues...stockpiling of illegal weapons, explosive biological and chemical weapons and killing sprees”.

    "Just like with international terrorism...you see people being radicalised, where they go from someone with a series of beliefs to someone who's willing to kill in the name of those beliefs,” said Mr Carlin.

    Ms Sinnar said though, “it would be naive” to think the DOJ position or studies showing a more diverse, homegrown threat will change the approach of the Trump administration or the priorities for law enforcement agencies.

    “Its approach to security has less to do with facts than with racialised fears.”


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    Study finds that men who attack women are literally losers

    Video games always seem to have a rough time of it in the media. From the unsubstantiated scare stories that they promote violence or concentration issues in young people, to the dismissal that they are 'just for kids' - it's not been an easy path for the industry.

    Fortunately, there are some cracking examples of superb video games fighting the good fight for the medium. Whether it's the interactive storytelling of Undertale, the impossible simplistic beauty of Monument Valley or the excellent writing of Portal - there are some real winners to drown out the dull repetitive brown World War II shooters.

    Now it appears that video games are proving their worth in other areas too, specifically highlighting and examining sexism between men and women.

    A new study published in by PLOS One, claims to have found evidence that men who attack women online are actually, literally losers.

    Insights into Sexism, authored by Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff, examined interactions between gamers during 163 plays of the Xbox 360 game Halo 3.

    The sci-fi first person shooter was played in a multiplayer competitive mode - with teams cooperating in order to kill members of the opposing team outside of the main story line. During the study's play through, Kuznekoff and Kasumovic examined how individuals behaved towards a male or female-voiced teammate in both the positive scenarios (the number of kills they managed to wrack-up) and negative scenarios (the number of deaths they experienced), as well as player status (the maximum skill achieved).

    According to the study, the men who were worse players tended to level more abuse at female gamers, while guys who were more skilled at the game were generally more pleasant to both female and other male players.

    The research states:

    As higher-skilled players have less to fear from hierarchical reorganisation, we argue that these males behave more positively in an attempt to support and garner a female player’s attention. Our results provide the clearest picture of inter-sexual competition to date, highlighting the importance of considering an evolutionary perspective when exploring the factors that affect male hostility towards women.

    The pair argue that their findings support an "evolutionary argument" that low-status, low-performing males have the most to lose, and as a consequence lash out more at women who threaten their position in the hierarchy.

    The study goes on to reason:

    As men often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant social status, the increase in hostility towards a woman by lower-status males may be an attempt to disregard a female’s performance and suppress her disturbance on the hierarchy to retain their social rank. This idea is reinforced by the fact that higher-skilled males that should not feel threatened by a female increased their number of positive comments.

    Despite using video games to highlight issues of sexism in every day life, the research warns that in some scenarios the platform might be helping perpetuate sexism in young people.

    It concludes:

    The idea that videogames may be reinforcing such gender segregation as the norm for many teenagers is troubling given the fact that a significant proportion of them are gamers. Such ideas have the potential to spill over in real-life interactions and promote socially unacceptable behaviours such as sexism.

    HT Time


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    Islamophobia holding back UK Muslims in workplace, study finds

    One in five Muslim adults in full-time work compared with 35% of overall population, Social Mobility Commission says
    Muslim men and women are being held back in the workplace by widespread Islamophobia, racism and discrimination, according to a study which finds that Muslim adults are far less likely to be in full-time work.

    Research for the government’s social mobility watchdog, shared exclusively with the Guardian, found a strong work ethic and high resilience among Muslims that resulted in impressive results in education.

    However, that was not translated into the workplace, with only 6% of Muslims breaking through into professional jobs, compared with 10% of the overall population in England and Wales.

    The study found 19.8% of Muslims aged 16-to-74 were in full-time employment, compared with 34.9% of the overall population.

    The research also found evidence of women being encouraged by their communities to focus on marriage and motherhood rather than gaining employment. Overall, 18% of Muslim women aged 16 to 74 were recorded as “looking after home and family”, compared with 6% of the overall female population.

    Academics cited a number of barriers to success, including:

    Students face stereotyping and low expectations from teachers and a lack of Muslim staff or other role models in the classroom.
    Minority ethnic-sounding names reduce the likelihood of people being offered an interview.
    Young Muslims routinely fear becoming targets of bullying and harassment and feel forced to work “10 times as hard” as their white counterparts to get on.
    Women wearing headscarfs face particular discrimination once entering the workplace.

    Alan Milburn, the former cabinet minister who now heads the government-sponsored Social Mobility Commission, said the research painted a disturbing picture.

    “The British social mobility promise is that hard work will be rewarded. Unfortunately, for many young Muslims in Britain today this promise is being broken,” he said.

    Calling for action by the government, communities, educators and employers, Milburn said: “Young Muslims themselves identify cultural barriers in their communities and discrimination in the education system and labour market as some of the principal obstacles that stand in their way. Young Muslim women face a specific challenge to maintain their identity while seeking to succeed in modern Britain.”

    Prof Jacqueline Stevenson, of Sheffield Hallam University, which led the research, said: “Muslims are being excluded, discriminated against or failed at all stages of their transition from education to employment. Taken together, these contributory factors have profound implications for social mobility.”

    Stevenson told the Guardian that the research highlighted routine examples of Muslim men and women failing to secure jobs that were commensurate with their skills and qualifications.

    The research involved a series of in-depth focus groups across the country through which young Muslims shared their experiences. One woman in Liverpool said her father had suggested “changing her name to help get a job.

    A female respondent in High Wycombe referred to hearing comments such as “he looked very Muslim” or “look at her, she’s got a scarf on”. Another said they felt that when white children went to school they might fear getting bullied but the thought would occur to all ethnic-minority children.

    Farhana Ghaffar, a 25-year-old Muslim woman who acted as a researcher for the study, said she was “incredibly shocked” by the findings. “It ranged from assumptions that they were forced to wear the headscarf to jokes and casual comments in workplace about Muslims. Or every time there was a terror attack there was a feeling of a need to apologise and explain,” she said.

    Ghaffar talked of difficulties within the workplace, including a culture of drinking alcohol that Muslims were unable to participate in.

    Raised in London by parents who were economic migrants from Pakistan, Ghaffar said she had been strongly supported by her teachers and then at university, but the research often painted a different picture.

    The research aimed to build on a previous report by the commission that found children of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin outperformed other ethnic groups in education but were much less likely to enter managerial or professional jobs. This study aimed to explain what was causing the trend through more in-depth focus groups and statistical analysis.

    Another government-backed report, by Dame Louise Casey, previously raised the alarm over a lack of social integration in the UK.


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    This study shows how the media fuels support for anti-Muslim discrimination — and even war


    Since the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, news stories with negative portrayals of Muslims have dominated the media. This negative coverage is made more problematic when right-wing news channels fail to explicitly distinguish between radical Islam and the interpretation of Islam that is accepted by the overwhelming majority of Muslims, who do not support terror. In fact—maybe unsurprisingly—at least one empirical study has shown that Fox News watchers are significantly more likely to have negative views of Muslims.

    At the same time, anti-Muslim sentiment appears to be increasing across America. At Donald Trump rallies, we have seen overt hostility towards Muslim attendees. Most of us needn’t look further than our social media newsfeeds to see evidence of a growing animosity towards people of Islamic faith, especially amongst more conservative friends or unstable, mildly racist uncles. In accordance with these observations, a new study has found that short-term exposure to news that portrays Muslims in a negative way actually causes viewers to support policies that harm Muslims internationally and domestically.

    The study’s clever design broke participants into three groups, where each group was shown a 2-3 minute news clip from YouTube that portrayed Muslims in different ways. The news clip featured either a negative story, a neutral story, or a positive story about Muslims. The negative story involved an attempted terror attack on Fort Dix, in which six Muslim males were captured after their plot to kill as many American soldiers as possible was discovered and thwarted. The neutral news story discussed how a football practice schedule was changed due to Ramadan, a holy month in which Muslims fast during daylight. The positive news clip featured an Islamic leader urging the Muslim community to come together to help non-Muslim citizens during Christmas. After the news clip was presented, each group was given surveys that assessed their support for military action against Muslim countries, as well as their support for civil restrictions against Muslim Americans.

    What the study found was that the participants who viewed the negative news clip perceived Muslims as more aggressive, and as a result were more supportive of attacks on Muslim nations. With this in mind, it is easy to see why Republican presidential candidates like Ted Cruz, who has suggested that we “carpet bomb” areas of the Middle East—which would undoubtedly kill a significant number of civilians—are receiving widespread support from viewers of right-wing news outlets.

    Additionally, and perhaps more disturbingly, those who watched the negative news clip were in favor of restricting the civil rights of Muslim Americans, which once again can help explain the changes in popularity of certain Republican presidential candidates. For example, when Donald Trump stated that if elected president he would ban all Muslims from entering the country, he received a dramatic rise in the polls. Similarly, neurosurgeon Ben Carson saw his only significant boost in the polls immediately after he stated that he believed no Muslim should ever be elected president. This recent study is significant because it provides convincing evidence that the negative news stories that are commonly broadcast by the media have real and harmful effects on Muslims at home and abroad, and that politicians are actively exploiting the fears they promote.

    However, this study also yielded findings that are more optimistic. The group of people that viewed the positive news clip about Muslims were significantly less likely to be in favor of military action against Muslim nations, and less willing to restrict American Muslims’ rights.

    So how can we use this information to improve the situation? For a starter, the media could make a conscious effort to bring some balance to news stories involving Muslims. Although it is an undeniable fact that radical Islam is igniting terrorism around the world at an alarming right, the authors of the study suggest that journalists could also run segments where they speak to Muslim Americans about their opposition to terrorist attacks. Additionally, the media could seek out positive stories regarding Muslims in America. For example, a Muslim organization called “Who Is Hussain?” donated 30,000 bottles of water to the Red Cross in Flint, Michigan in an effort to alleviate the terrible water contamination crisis that the city is currently undergoing. Unfortunately, media coverage of this type is rare because violent stories that elicit fear are simply better for ratings.

    Some may claim that intentionally seeking out positive stories about Muslims in order to balance out the negative ones would be distorting the reality of the situation. However, given the fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims, especially Muslim Americans, are peaceful and opposed to ISIS, such an effort would actually lead to reporting that is more representative of the real world.

    Some public figures and commentators who are otherwise liberal in their views, like Bill Maher and Sam Harris, believe that we must be able to openly and harshly criticize Islam, as it is their opinion that the religion is a fundamentally violent and destructive ideology. Whether or not that is true, Maher and Harris need to be practical about the reality of the situation, and realize that focusing only on the negative aspects of Islam can and will lead to public support for policies that harm innocent Muslims—moderates who vehemently oppose the ideology of groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda. So in our quest for truth we must be honest and critical of ideas, but also mindful of the potentially dangerous effects of our language. Achieving the appropriate nuance may not be an easy task, but it is something we should strive for. Additionally, balanced reporting will also help protect against the rise of politicians and presidential candidates who exploit voters’ fears purely as a strategy to win elections.


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    Over-cooked potatoes and burnt toast could cause cancer, new research suggests

    Food Standards Agency (FSA) issues public warning over risks of acrylamide, a chemical compound found in starchy foods cooked at high temperatures

    By Jane Kirby - 23 January 2017

    Roasting and frying starchy foods could increase the risk of cancer, a Government body has said.

    The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a public warning over the risks of acrylamide - a chemical compound that forms in some foods when they are cooked at high temperatures (above 120C).

    A new campaign tells people how they can cut their risk, including opting for a gold color - rather than darker brown - when frying, roasting, baking, grilling or toasting.

    Acrylamide is found in high levels in a range of foods including breakfast cereals (not porridge), chips, potato products (such as waffles or children's potato shapes), biscuits, crackers, crispbread and crisps.

    It is also found in coffee, cooked pizza bases, black olives and cereal-based baby foods.

    Root vegetables including potatoes, sweet potatoes, beetroot, turnip, swede and parsnips can all carry high levels of the compound once they have been roasted or fried until darker brown or crispy. As well as high temperatures, long cooking times can increase levels of acrylamide even further.

    Foods such as skinny fries and crisps appear to have the highest levels.

    Acrylamide forms due to a chemical reaction between certain sugars and an amino acid (asparagine) in the food.

    However, boiling, steaming and microwaving appear far less likely to cause the reaction.

    Studies in mice have shown that high levels of acrylamide can cause neurological damage and cancer.

    While studies in humans have proved inconclusive, experts believe the compound has the ability to cause cancer in humans.

    The US Environmental Protection Agency has said acrylamide is "likely to be carcinogenic to humans" and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organisation, says it is a "probable human carcinogen".

    In its new campaign, the FSA said people could take simple steps to reduce their consumption of acrylamide.

    As a "rule of thumb", people should aim for a golden yellow color or lighter when frying, roasting, baking or toasting starchy foods.

    For example, roast potatoes should not be "fluffed up" to maximise dark brown crispy bits and they should be roasted to the lightest color that is acceptable. Toast should also be browned to a light brown color.

    People are being told to follow the cooking instructions on packaging to ensure foods are not cooked for too long or at too-high temperatures.

    They should also stick to a varied, balanced diet to reduce their overall risk of cancer.

    The FSA said people should not keep potatoes in the fridge, which can increase overall levels of acrylamide. Instead, raw potatoes should be stored in a dark, cool place with temperatures above 6C.

    Evidence also shows the longer potatoes are kept, the more acrylamide can form.

    Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA, said manufacturers had already taken steps to cut the levels of acrylamide in foods, but it was time for consumers to be made more aware of the risks. He said studies showed babies, children and adults in the UK consumed too much acrylamide from food.

    He added: "We are not saying people should worry about the occasional meal... this is about managing risk over a lifetime.

    "Anything you can do to reduce your exposure will reduce your lifetime risk.

    "People might, for example, think 'I like my roast potatoes crispy', but they will just decide to have them less often."

    Other examples of ways to cut acrylamide include having chunky chips on occasion rather than fries.

    Cutting potatoes into larger wedges reduces their surface area, thereby cutting down the level of acrylamide that can form. Crinkle-cut chips are worse than normal chips as they have a larger surface area.

    Gavin Shears, a senior policy adviser in contaminants at the FSA, said: "We are not expecting people to go out and radically change their diets if they're eating a healthy balanced diet.

    "If you slightly overdo your roast potatoes on a Sunday, it's not that you have to throw them away. We're not asking people to cut out certain foods.

    "This is about reducing your overall lifetime risk through simple steps."

    There are no official limits on how much acrylamide a food can contain, although the EU has drawn up guidelines.

    The international expert scientific committee known as JEFCA has said acrylamide intake from food is a "human health concern" and levels should be as low as possible.


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    University of Arizona study reveals just how germy our shoes are

    By Briana Collins - Jan 04, 2017

    A new study from the University of Arizona may have many of us re-thinking our house rules. The study shows bacteria lives for days inside and outside our shoes. Researchers say they found more than 421,000 units of bacteria on one shoe. Bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections, meningitis and pneumonia.

    "It could be any combination of what we've walked in...whether that's been animal droppings or what's been on bathroom floors or restaurant floors," says Infection Preventionist Teresa Bastin. "Now you're moving what's outside, inside."

    The study tells us washing the shoes with detergent can clean them up to 99%. Bastin says carpets hold more bacteria than hardwood floors so she suggests we use a steam cleaner, and wash our hands right after taking our shoes off to avoid getting sick.


    Scientific studies reveal high levels of bacteria on shoes

    By Lia Blanchard - August 6, 2017

    Several studies have confirmed that the bottoms of our shoes commonly carry any number of potentially harmful strains of bacteria. A study published in a 2014 issue of Science Direct noted that shoe bottoms were the highest carrier of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) in all of the common household items or environmental dust tested -- 39.7 percent of the shoes tested were positive for the bacteria, which can cause life-threatening intestinal infections. A University of Arizona study found "large numbers" of bacteria on the bottom and inside of shoes, including: Escherichia coli (E. coli), Klebsiella pneumonia, and Serratia ficaria, reports a 2008 article in CIRI Science.

    "Our study also indicated that bacteria can be tracked by shoes over a long distance into your home or personal space after the shoes were contaminated with bacteria," notes Dr. Charles Gerba, the microbiologist who conducted the University of Arizona study. In fact, the study found that the transfer rate from contaminated shoes to previously uncontaminated living spaces was 90 percent to 99 percent.

    The good news: Simply washing the shoes is an effective method of significantly reducing the number of bacteria. The University of Arizona study confirmed that machine-washing shoes with detergent eliminated 99 percent of bacteria from the outside of the shoes, and 90 percent of the bacteria from the inside. ABC News made "Kick off your kicks" its No. 1 method of "detoxing your home," suggesting that leaving your shoes at the door will leave 80 percent of certain environmental pollutants -- such as road sealant and pesticides -- outside.


    Study shows wearing shoes inside your home invites unwanted germs

    by Sonu Wasu - Jun 13, 2017

    As part of the "Healthy Homes" initiative, the City of Phoenix is warning residents about the dangerous germs and fungi you could be tracking into your homes through the soles of your shoes.

    There is a direct correlation between health and housing, according to Laura Smith, the Project Manager of the city's Lead Free and Healthy Homes program.

    "Although we live in a beautiful state in a beautiful city, most people spend about 70% of their time inside their homes," said Smith.

    Studies done by researchers at the University of Arizona and the Environmental Protection Agency showed everything from fecal matter to E-coli, rodent droppings, toxic herbicides, cigarette residue, pollen, and lead dust on the soles of shoes they tested.

    This is all stuff you're potentially bringing inside your home. Smith warned that this could affect the health of young children who often put their hands in their mouth after playing on the floor, as well as it could affect the elderly population.

    Health experts advised keeping your homes cleaner and safer with a no-shoes rule, something practiced by many Asian communities for centuries.

    Reiko Yasui Reavis, the Executive Director of the Japanese Friendship Garden brought the tradition of removing shoes at the doorway, right before entering the home, from Japan to her home in Phoenix.

    "The reason why is in Japan we sit on the floor, we sleep on the floor on the Futon, so we are always close to the floor. It's kind of dirty to bring shoes into the house," said Yasui Reavis.

    Studies showed the floors of your home are actually dirtier than your toilet seat.

    "I don't want those germs in my house, especially when you have little babies," said Yasui Reavis.

    Health experts advise removing your shoes and carrying them into your shoe closet at home, then washing your hands.
    You can also wipe the soles of your shoes with anti-bacterial wipes, or throw tennis shoes in the washing machine to get rid of germs.

    For more information on having cleaner, toxin and germ-free homes visit the city's website HERE.


    This Is Why You Absolutely Need To Stop Wearing Shoes In Your House

    by David Benjamin

    The University of Houston did a study and found that 39% of shoes contained bacteria C. diff (otherwise known as Clostridium difficile), this is a public health threat that is now also resistant to a number of antibiotics. C. diff infections can cause multiple health conditions such as bad diarrhea which can also progress to colon inflammation and further serious health problems, especially if it doesn't respond to antibiotic treatment effectively.

    In another study done by the University of Arizona 9 different forms of bacteria were found on the bottom of shoes. Good Morning America did a test and found that the bottom of shoes were dirtier than toilet seats also. Furthermore, Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona did a test with a brand new pair of shoes and found that within just two weeks of wearing a new shoe 440,000 units of bacteria were found on the shoe. An astonishing 27% of that total bacteria were deadly E Coli. Klebsiella pneumonia was also found, which can lead to and cause pneumonia and wound and bloodstream infections and another type of infection called Serratia ficaria, which can lead to infection of the respiratory tract.

    "Shoes are contaminated from diverse sources, and we are regularly contaminating our doorsteps by shoes," says study author M. Jahangir Alam, Ph.D.

    The Clostridium difficile is only the tip of the iceberg though because only 4 out of 10 people have this on their shoes. There are many different types of bacteria that get into your home from your shoe. For example, most most public restroom floors contain around 2 million bacteria per square inch (interestingly enough the average toilet seat only contains about 50 per square inch). These are two very good reasons to avoid wearing shoes in your home at all. If you have young kid's who crawl around on the floor all day (whether 2 years old or 4 years old) it's even more important to not wear your shoes inside your home. Children 2 and under should NOT be playing on floors that shoes have been walked on. It is best to leave your shoes outside the home if you have a one or two year old child.

    What's interesting is that many countries like I previously mentioned earlier in this article leave their shoes completely outside their home with that door closed so you cannot even see shoes in the home. A great idea is to leave them at the front door or in the garage by the door to avoid bringing any unwanted bacteria or germs in the home. What's worse is that many of us will be barefoot in our homes (especially during the summer time) and to wear your shoes in your home even just once or a few times if you forgot something and are in a rush can potentially bring this dangerous bacteria in your home. Avoid it and do your best to keep the shoes outside for your health and safety.

    Not only do shoes contain bacteria but they also contain germs, chemicals and oil or petroleum by-products
    . The bottom of your shoes are full of plenty of chemicals and pathogens that you do not want to spread all over your home then walk barefoot on later.

    It's uncommon in western countries such as America and Canada for guests to ask to remove your shoes at the door but most cultures around the world ask that you leave your shoes at the door. It will help keep those germs and bacteria out, as well as bacteria C. diff which can be more dangerous. Taking your shoes off at the door is a sign of respect for your home and the home of guests. In many religious traditions shoes are removed for prayer and entering the home. Shoes carry many germs and bacteria and it's best to leave the outside world just outside your door along with your shoes.

    Let's recap, what's on the bottom of your shoes? Fecal matter, multiple forms of bacteria causing fecal matter as well as infections and inflammation of the colon, germs, chemicals, petroleum and so much more! Where are you going to leave your shoes from now on? and maybe you'll rethink that 5-second rule (or 5 BECOMING a 10-second rule) of dropping food on the floor and picking it up to eat it next time.


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    Study Finds India Is Asia's Most Corrupt Country, While Japan Comes In Last

    by Suparna Goswami - Mar 8, 2017

    One of the main objective of the current Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been to make India corruption free. But it seems the country still has a long way to go. A recent survey by Transparency International (TI), an anti-corruption global civil society organization, states that India has the highest bribery rate among the 16 Asia Pacific countries surveyed. Nearly seven in 10 people who accessed public services in India had paid a bribe. In contrast, Japan has the lowest bribery rate, with 0.2% respondents paying a bribe.

    Approximately 900 million -- or over one in four -- people across 16 countries in Asia Pacific, including some of its biggest economies like India and China, are estimated to have paid a bribe to access public services. For its report titled "People and Corruption: Asia Pacific", TI spoke to nearly 22,000 people in these countries about their recent experiences with corruption.

    Even massive economic players like China aren't that far behind India. The biggest economy in the region has a lot to do in terms of fighting corruption. Nearly three quarters of the people surveyed in the country said corruption has increased over the past three years, suggesting people don’t see much work happening against corruption.

    People in the survey were also asked to rate their government in terms of how it was performing in fighting public sector corruption. More than half the people living in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia felt that their government was doing a good job in fighting corruption. In contrast people in South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia didn’t think highly of their government in its fight against corruption.

    Services people pay for

    Across the region, nearly two in five said that they thought most or all police officers were corrupt. Unsurprisingly, just under a third of people in the region who had come into contact with a police officer in the past 12 months had paid a bribe. While citizens of Pakistan were the most likely of any country to be asked for bribes in law and order institutions (around seven in 10), for India the police bribery rate is 54% and for China a low 12%.

    India had the highest bribery rates of all the countries surveyed for access to public schools (58%) and healthcare (59%), suggesting serious corruption risks when people try to access these basic services. In comparison these numbers for Pakistan and China for public schools are 9% and 29% respectively. In terms of healthcare, the rate for China is 18% and for Pakistan 11%.

    Ilham Mohamed, regional coordinator for Asia at TI feels that people in these regions find it tough to access basic services. “People don’t pay bribes for quicker access to services,” says Mohamed. “The problem is most don’t have access to basic services like healthcare, school or law and order. What the data across Asia Pacific shows is that the poor are disproportionately affected by petty bribery," says Mohamed.

    infograph: https://infogram.com/bribery_rates_a...pacific_region

    Mohamed says low civil service salaries coupled by systems that allows little or no access redress mechanisms are main reasons behind corruption. “In other words people with limited resources are further disempowered by an additional hurdle in accessing public services through having to pay bribes. This cycle continues when redress mechanisms are inaccessible,” she says.


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    ‘Inventing Terrorists’ Study Offers Critical Examination of Government’s Use of Preemptive Prosecutions

    Nearly ninety-five percent of individuals on a Justice Department list of “terrorism and terrorism-related convictions” from 2001-2010 included some elements of preemptive prosecution, according to a study by attorneys which they say is the first to “directly examine and critique preemptive prosecution and its abuses.”

    The study is called “Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution” [PDF]. It was released by Project SALAM, which stands for Support and Legal Advocacy for Muslims, and the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF), a coalition of groups that “oppose profiling, preemptive prosecution and prisoner abuse.”

    While Mother Jones has already published extensive work on the entrapment and prosecution of “terrorists” since the 9/11 attacks examining the Justice Department’s list, this study is noteworthy because it advances the journalism to outline how the government has perverted the criminal justice system through practices that have become popular especially against Muslims.

    Stephen Downs and Kathy Manley, authors of the study, were defense attorneys for Yassin Aref, an imam of a mosque in Albany, New York, who was targeted for his “ideology.” The government deployed an agent provocateur, Shahed Hussain, to entrap the inman by accepting a “loan” that Hussain claimed consisted of funds from the sale of a missile to terrorists. So the authors produced the study with the experience of having defended someone who was a victim of this kind of prosecution.
    The concept of preemptive prosecution is defined as “a law enforcement strategy, adopted after 9/11, to target and prosecute individuals or organizations whose beliefs, ideology, or religious affiliations raise security concerns for the government.” (However, the authors do acknowledge that the practices bear resemblance to tactics used by the FBI as part of COINTELPRO.)

    Criminal charges are pretext. For example, someone charged with “material support for terrorism” may be charged with that to criminalize “free speech, free association, charity, peace-making and social hospitality.” Someone may be charged with “conspiracy” for having friendships or simply being part of an organization the government doesn’t like.

    Agents provocateurs may be sent in to entrap a target into participating in a plot manufactured and controlled by the government every step of the way. The government may also choose to use “minor ‘technical’ crimes,” such as errors on immigration forms, an alleged false statement to a government official, gun possession, tax or financial issues, etc., to go after someone for their “ideology.”

    The study broke down each case into three separate categories: preemptive prosecution; “elements of preemptive prosecution,” meaning the defendants’ may have committed non-terrorism-related crimes that the government “inflated” into a terrorism charge; and terrorism-related charges that were legitimate and not the result of preemptive prosecution.

    The Justice Department’s list only contained 399 cases. The study concluded “the number of preemptive prosecution cases is 289 out of 399, or 72.4%. The number of elements of preemptive prosecution cases is 87 out of 399, or 21.8%.”

    “Combining preemptive prosecution cases and elements of preemptive prosecution cases, the total number of such cases on the DOJ list is 376, or 94.2%,” according to the study.

    Nearly twenty-five percent of the cases contained material support charges. Nearly thirty percent were cases with conspiracy charges. Over seventeen percent of cases involved sting operations. More than sixteen percent of cases included false statement or perjury charges, and around six percent of cases involved immigration-related charges.

    The study also concluded that there were only eleven cases where threats had been “potentially significant” to the United States. “Only three were successful (the Tsarnaev brothers and Major Nidal Hasan), accounting for seventeen deaths and several hundred injuries.”

    Out of hundreds of cases, the authors were only able to come up with twenty-three individuals, who they believed ever posed a threat and were not preemptively prosecuted. But, as is noted in the study, nine of these people were inexplicably listed even though they committed non-terrorism related crimes.

    Thus, the study clearly demonstrates how resources for fighting terrorism have mostly been used to target individuals, who are suspicious and easier to prosecute because they practice a certain religion or have an “ideology” the general public will resent. And, if most of these people were not people of color with Arabic-sounding names that could be used to promote a fear of foreigners in the criminal justice process, their crimes would be given the same light treatment other members of the general public typically receive.

    Through preemptive prosecution, the government can discourage Muslim Americans from supporting charities abroad, even when those charities have no nexus at all with groups committing violence. For example, Dr. Rafil Dhafir, an oncologist who was born in Iraq and later became a US citizen, founded the Help the Needy Charity in 1990 and for thirteen years fought to raise money for Iraqis most impacted by the Gulf War and UN sanctions. He donated $1.4 million “of his own money,” according to the US government. He was particularly concerned about the effects of depleted uranium on Iraqis. But his charity was criminalized, and he was arrested just weeks before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    Preemptive prosecution may lead to a “terrorism enhancement” being applied during sentencing, which opens one up to being placed in a Communications Management Unit (CMU), as the government did to Aref. CMUs are solitary confinement units and involve a set of highly restrictive detention conditions that limit contact with family and the outside world.

    There are also several prosecutions where the government criminalizes the advocacy of what the study calls “non-specific violence.” While it may seem controversial, this speech is protected under the Constitution.

    “Free speech includes the right to use violent and hate speech, and it is not charged as a crime when right-wing terrorists or domestic hate groups engage in it. Charging only Muslims or other targeted groups is discriminatory and preemptive,” the study contends. (The case of Tarek Mehanna is one clear example.)

    “Simply being a member of a group, or being associated with certain individuals, should not be a crime unless there is evidence of specific intent to become involved in a given criminal action or conspiracy,” the study argues. However, the study adds, “A number of material support and conspiracy cases included individuals who were friends of others who were charged, and this association was the main evidence against them, with little or no additional evidence.” (For example, the case of the Fort Dix Five.)

    Additionally, the study takes the even more bold position of defending those who go to “foreign lands” to defend Muslim communities and prevent them from attack.
    …All prosecutions of defendants who expressed a desire to go to a training camp, or who unsuccessfully tried to find one, or who attended one and failed to act on the training, are considered preemptive prosecutions unless the circumstances indicated that the defendant actually intended to engage in violence against civilians or the United States. Many defendants were drawn to attend training camps out of a desire to defend Muslim communities in Bosnia, Kashmir, Chechnya, Sudan, or other countries where there was/is conflict. However, cases in which the defendants actually intended to commit acts of violence against American soldiers or against civilians are not included as preemptive prosecutions…
    While the study does not draw any conclusions, hypotheses are put forward on why there are so many more preemptive prosecutions of Muslims for terrorism or terrorism-related offenses.

    The first hypothesis is that the FBI truly believed there was a domestic network of “ideological” Muslims to dismantle. Another hypothesis is that preemptive prosecutions are designed to scare Muslims from criticizing US foreign policy abroad. And yet another is that this is how the government must go about prosecuting these individuals because, if they did it any other way, they would be running up against constitutional prohibitions.

    In other words, preemptive prosecutions represent the government’s best efforts to take advantage of all the loopholes in the criminal justice system and neutralize the ability of those prosecuted to put on a defense so the law can be used by prosecutors to control a population.


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    Study: Girl Only Schools Good for Girls

    Boys DO make girls body conscious: Young women in mixed sex schools 'feel more pressure to be thin and have lower self esteem'

    By Madlen Davies - 30 March 2016

    Girls at mixed-sex schools feel more under pressure to be thin than those at all-girls' schools, a study has found.

    They were also more likely to feel pressure to be thin and have lower self-esteem, it was revealed.

    The presence of boys may make girls worry more about how they look
    , researchers said.

    On the other hand, an all-female environment may protect young women from negative messages about body image, they added.

    The team, from the University of Bristol, wanted to investigate the factors that contribute to a young woman's confidence.

    Society 'continues to advocate an unrealistically thin body shape' and girls being aware of this pressure - and acting on it - is 'increasingly concerning', they said.

    They wanted to find out if the type of school a young woman attends affects her self-esteem - something they said was 'largely unexplored' before their study.

    As part of their research, they recruited 212 British girls with an average age of 13.8 attending either a single-sex or co-educational (mixed sex) school in West Sussex, south east England.

    The schools were broadly similar in socioeconomic terms, and school uniform was compulsory at both.

    The girls were given questionnaires which asked them for their height and weight, and their Body Mass Index was calculated from the results.

    The questionnaires also asked about their attitudes to appearance and weight; whether they were currently trying to lose weight, and, if so, by what method.

    They were also quizzed about their self-esteem and their social support network.

    Despite the majority - 79 per cent - of the girls having a normal BMI, researchers found 46 per cent were trying to lose weight.

    Some 23 per cent were doing this through dieting; 41 per cent by exercising and 1 per cent by smoking.

    While there were few differences between the two schools, women in the same-sex one were more likely to take pressures to be thin to heart.

    The presence of boys may cause women to care more about how they look - lowering their confidence, researchers said.

    Writing in the report, lead author Victoria Cribb, of the University of Bristol, said: 'Internalising the thin ideal portrayed by the media has a stronger link with self-esteem in girls attending a co-educational school.

    'Greater internalisation is linked to lower self-esteem in girls in mixed gender environments.'

    The study supports the argument that the presence of boys inflates girls worries about their looks, lowering self-esteem, she added.

    Meanwhile, in same sex schools, women may be protected from taking cultural attitudes about women being thin to heart - meaning it doesn't affect their confidence as much.

    The study was published in the Journal of Adolescence.



    They turn against Islam for promoting gender-separation yet themselves learn through pain/suffering that is the only correct solution.

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    Study : Air Pollution Leads to Weaker Sperm

    Men who have trouble conceiving may have the air they breathe to blame, a new study by Chinese researchers suggests.

    Microscopic particles in the air called particulate matter (PM2.5) may affect the quality of sperm, which in turn can make it difficult to fertilize a woman's egg, the researchers said.

    PM2.5 stands for particulate matter with a diameter 2.5 micrometers or less. That's about 3 percent of the diameter of a human hair.

    "Air pollution is associated with a significant drop in normal sperm shape and size, which may result in a significant number of couples with infertility," said lead researcher Xiang Qian Lao. He is an assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Primary Care at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    Lao cautioned, however, that this study can't prove that PM2.5 causes the damage to sperm, only that the two are associated.

    "You cannot conclude it is a causal relationship in this study, but existing evidence from toxicology and other studies support that the relationship is potentially causal," he said.

    Exactly how air pollution might affect sperm isn't clear, Lao said. Many components of fine particulate matter, such as heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, have been linked to sperm damage in experimental studies, he said.

    The effect of air pollution on sperm is small, Lao said, but because pollution is so widespread around the globe, many men could be affected.

    And, because reducing air pollution may improve the quality of sperm, "we call for global strategies to reduce air pollution for improvement of reproductive health," Lao said.

    Abnormal sperm results in infertility because the sperm can't penetrate the egg, explained Dr. Tomer Singer, director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

    "We have seen a trend in the last several decades where the concentration of the sperm, the motility and the shape of the sperm have been deteriorating," Singer said. "It's been difficult to pinpoint what has been the culprit."

    This study provides strong evidence to support an association between air pollution exposure and abnormal semen, said Dr. Manish Vira, vice chair of urologic research at Northwell Health's Arthur Smith Institute for Urology in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

    However, reports from the United States have not found similar results, suggesting that the negative impact may be seen only in areas with extremely poor air quality, he said.

    Vira called air pollution a global health emergency and said this new study suggests that impaired fertility may be among the health consequences.

    "The next step is to correlate air pollution levels with pregnancy rates to determine if the changes seen in semen translate to impaired fertility," Vira said.

    For the study, Lao and his colleagues collected data on nearly 6,500 Taiwanese men 15 to 49 years old. All of the men had taken part in a medical examination program between 2001 and 2014. The program included assessing the quality of their sperm, including the total number, shape, size and movement (motility).

    Exposure to PM2.5 levels was estimated from the home addresses of each man for three-month periods over two years. It takes three months for sperm to be generated, Lao said.

    The researchers found an association between exposure to PM2.5 and abnormal sperm. Specifically, every 5 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter of air over two years was associated with a nearly 1.3 percent drop in normal sperm shape and size.

    It was also associated with a 26 percent increased risk of being in the bottom 10 percent of normal sperm size and shape, after accounting for other possible influences on sperm quality, such as smoking, drinking, age and weight.

    Exposure to PM2.5, however, was also associated with a significant increase in the number of sperm. The researchers said this may be a way the body attempts to overcome the poorer quality of sperm overall.

    Similar findings were seen after three months of exposure to PM2.5, the study found.


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    Study: Red Onion, The Healthiest Type of Onion

    by Sara Faye Green - October 25, 2017

    Turns out, there's one variety of onions that's better for you than the others. A 2017 study published in Food Research International found that red onions were most effective at killing human cancer cells compared with other onions thanks to their higher levels of the antioxidants quercetin and anthocyanin.

    "Anthocyanin is instrumental in providing color to fruits and vegetables, so it makes sense that the red onions, which are darkest in color, would have the most cancer-fighting power," says study author Suresh Neethirajan, Ph.D.

    However, red onions aren't the only ones with these benefits. "All onions are potent cancer fighters thanks to their high concentrations of the antioxidants anthocyanin and quercetin," says Karen Ansel R.D.N., author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer. Red onions just happen to be even better at fighting cancer thanks to their high amounts of anthocyanin, which increase the effectiveness of quercetin in attacking cancer-causing free radicals, she adds.

    Luckily, red onions swap in easily in place of white. Try substituting the colorful variety anytime your usual recipes call for white or yellow onions for an extra boost of powerful antioxidants (and flavor).


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    Study: Twitter abuse - '50% of misogynistic tweets from women'

    Half of all misogynistic tweets posted on Twitter come from women, a study suggests.

    Over a three-week period, think tank counted the number of uses of two particular words as indicators of misogyny.

    It found evidence of large-scale misogyny, with 6,500 unique users targeted by 10,000 abusive tweets in the UK alone.

    Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has said that tackling abuse is a priority.

    The research comes as UK MPs - Yvette Cooper, Maria Miller, Stella Creasy, Jess Philips - alongside former Liberal Democrat minister Jo Swinson, launch their Reclaim the Internet campaign, in response to growing public concern about the impact of hate speech and abuse on social media.

    he campaign has opened an online forum to discuss ways to make the internet less aggressive, sexist, racist and homophobic.

    Launching the campaign, Ms Cooper told the BBC: "The truth is nobody knows what the best answers are. There is more when there is criminal abuse, for example rape threats, that the police should be doing but what is the responsibility of everyone else? What more should social media platforms be doing?"

    She said that the campaign was an opportunity for the public to "put forward their proposals and demands for the changes we want to see".

    In response to the survey, Twitter's head of trust and safety Kira O'Connor told the BBC: "Hateful conduct has no place on the Twitter platform and is a violation of our terms of service.

    "In addition to our policies and user controls, such as block, mute and our new multiple tweet reporting functionality, we work with civil society leaders and academic experts to understand the challenge that exists."

    The Demos study also looked at international tweets and found more than 200,000 aggressive tweets using the words, "slut" and "whore", were sent to 80,000 people over the same three weeks.

    The commonsense approach to posting comments on social networks would be to never say anything online that you wouldn't say to someone's face but that simple rule seems to be regularly ignored.

    Being able to post anonymously helps and, in many ways, social networks have become the modern day equivalent of a natter over the garden fence or a gathering on the village green - but on a global scale.

    And just as in the old gossip circles of old, there will be people whose comments are meaner or more aggressive than the rest, so that is amplified online. And now the voices of the trolls can be heard and they can pick victims - generally people they don't know - pretty much at random.

    Abuse on social networks is not new and neither is the revelation that women contribute to the problem.

    A 2014 study from cosmetics firm Dove found that over five million negative tweets were posted about beauty and body image. Four out of five were sent by women.

    The bigger question is what can be done about it?

    We have seen in recent years the police take the issue much more seriously and trolls have faced lengthy prison sentences. Some have made public apologies to their victims.

    Education will be key. Teaching youngsters who haven't yet joined social media platforms that politeness is not a dying art and that if you say hurtful things online, they could genuinely cause distress, may give the next generation pause for thought before they start typing.

    Stark reminder

    Demos used algorithms to distinguish between tweets being used in explicitly aggressive ways and those that were more conversational in tone.

    Researcher Alex Krasodomski-Jones said: "This study provides a birds-eye snapshot of what is ultimately a very personal and often traumatic experience for women.

    "While we have focused on Twitter, who are considerably more generous in sharing their data with researchers like us, it's important to note that misogyny is prevalent across all social media, and we must make sure that the other big tech companies are also involved in discussions around education and developing solutions."

    She added that it was not about "policing the internet" but was more "a stark reminder that we are frequently not as good citizens online as we are offline".

    Thousands have responded to the hashtag #ReclaimtheInternet, with many congratulating the female MPs for starting the campaign.

    Others though questioned how effective the campaign would be, with some questioning whether it would damage free speech.


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    Default Regular Use Of Mouthwash May Increase Risk For Diabetes

    Regular Use Of Mouthwash May Increase Risk For Diabetes

    by Robert Glatter, MD

    Just as brushing our teeth is part of our daily oral care routine, no one would think twice about using mouthwash to go with it.

    But a new study now raises questions of whether regular use of mouthwash may increase risk for developing type 2 diabetes in those persons who are already at higher risk for the disease.

    The study, published in the Journal, Nitric Oxide, found that persons who use mouthwash at least two times a day had a 55% higher risk of developing prediabetes or diabetes over a three-year follow-up period compared with those who used it less frequently. Among persons who used mouthwash at least twice a day, 30 percent developed either prediabetes or diabetes.

    Mouthwash contains compounds which kill both good and bad types of oral bacteria
    that contribute to development of plaque and bad breath. But some of the beneficial bacteria that colonize our oral cavities also produce a chemical--nitric oxide--that helps to prevent diabetes.

    Nitric oxide plays an important role in regulation of insulin levels in the body
    , which in turn has a large effect on our energy level and metabolic rates.

    Destruction of “good” bacteria by frequent use of mouthwash changes the oral flora, altering metabolism of blood sugar in our bodies, leading to prediabetes or diabetes.

    For the study, the researchers evaluated 1,206 overweight persons between the ages of 40-65 without diabetes or any known history of coronary artery disease. Complete data was available on 945 patients. This study was part of the San Juan Overweight Longitudinal Study in Puerto Rico.


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    Study: Living Descendants of Biblical Canaanites Identified Via DNA

    Genome sequenced from 3,700-year-old remains is found in today's residents of Lebanon.

    More than 90 percent of the genetic ancestry of modern Lebanese is derived from ancient Canaanites
    , according to a paper published today in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

    Researchers supported by The Wellcome Trust were able to sequence the Canaanite genome from the remains of five individuals buried in the ancient port city of Sidon (modern Saïda, Lebanon) around 3,700 years ago. The results were compared against the DNA of 99 modern-day Lebanese residents.

    According to the results, Canaanite ancestry is a mix of indigenous populations who settled the Levant (the region encompassing much of modern Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories) around 10,000 years ago, and migrants who arrived from the east between 6,600 and 3,550 years ago.

    An additional Eurasian element was added to the genetic mix sometime between 1800 and 200 B.C., a tumultuous period that saw the collapse of the Bronze Age and the advent of the Iron Age, the era in which most scholars believe the Bible was recorded.

    Biblical Villains or Israelite Ancestors?

    Biblical accounts generally portray Canaanites as the arch-enemies of early Israelites, who eventually conquered Canaanite territory and either exterminated or subjugated its people.

    Archaeologists, however, identify the Canaanites as a collection of tribes of varying ethnicities that appears in the Levant around the beginning of the second millennia B.C. Over the centuries, they were at various times independent city-states or client states under Egyptian control, and their presence is recorded in letters from Bronze Age rulers in Egypt, Anatolia, Babylon, and elsewhere in the region.

    Despite massive cultural and political upheaval in the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age in the 12th century B.C., Canaanite presence persisted in the region, most notably in powerful port cities along the coast, where they were known to the Greeks as Phoenicians.

    No archaeological evidence for the widespread destruction of Canaanite settlements described in the Bible has yet been identified, and many scholars believe that the Israelites, who appear around the beginning of the Iron Age, may have originally been Canaanites.

    The "Tip of the Iceberg"

    The new study is notable for its sequencing of the Canaanite genome. Obtaining ancient DNA (aDNA) from human remains found in the region is difficult, since heat and humidity are the "biggest enemies" of aDNA preservation, accordingto Marc Haber of The Wellcome Trust's Sanger Institute and a co-author of the paper. Many of the ancient samples tested came from sand-filled vessels near the sea shore at Sidon, a major Canaanite/Phoenician city-state that was eventually conquered by Alexander the Great in 332.

    The research demonstrates that scientists have the ability to do interesting studies on aDNA from Lebanon and surrounding areas, says Sanger Institute co-author Chris Tyler-Smith. "This is only the tip of the iceberg," he adds. "We're looking forward to more samples from different places and different time periods."

    While the researchers were surprised at the level of genetic continuity between ancient Canaanites and modern Lebanese after some 4,000 years of war, migration, and conquest in the area, they caution against drawing too many conclusions on ancient history based solely on genetic data. "People can be culturally similar and genetically different, or genetically similar and culturally different," says Tyler-Smith.

    Archaeologist Assaf Yasur-Landau, co-director of the Tel Kabri Archaeological Project and author of a forthcoming book on the Canaanites, agrees. "Canaanites are still a huge mystery to us, so every study of the Canaanites—whether it's in genetics, culture, economy, religion, or politics—is something that will tell us tremendously important facts about the makeup of the Biblical world of the first millennium."



    So in other words, the people of Levant (including Palestinians) are the real Natives of the land who changed to different religions over time. The european zionists who claim to have biblical ancient rights are a joke and have no basis for their false claims.

  18. #58
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    Ibuprofen and Male Infertility Linked In Study: What to Know

    by Sy Mukherjee - 1/09/2018

    A new study published in the journal PNAS find a link between high intake of ibuprofen and male infertility, including changes to male hormones. It’s an important finding to keep in mind—but also comes with some caveats, and isn’t exactly a clarion call to ditch painkillers like ibuprofen (sold under brand names like Advil and Motrin) altogether.

    Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory that’s commonly used to treat fevers and pain. In the new study, researchers found that prolonged, high-dosage use of ibuprofen may cause changes to levels of so-called “luteinizing hormones,” which induce the testicles to produce testosterone. With testosterone and luteinizing hormones out of whack, the subjects in the trial taking the ibuprofen developed a form of “hypogonadism,” which is usually prevalent in older men and is associated with male infertility and other health effects, including fatigue and depression.

    The study, although small, appears to be well-structured. It was a randomized control trial, with one group of participants receiving ibuprofen and the others receiving placebo. So the findings merit further research.

    But the amount and frequency of ibuprofen use in the study is fairly atypical—the maximum recommended dosage of 1,200 milligrams per day every day for two weeks. So it’s not much cause for concern for the occasional user (even high doses over a week-long time frame would likely not lead to permanent hormonal changes, according to the study authors).

    But long-distance runners and athletes who regularly take ibuprofen during training or sports matches in order to ward off inflammation may want to keep an eye on the research. As the study authors note, it’s unclear whether constant, long-term, and high-dose use of ibuprofen could have more lasting changes on male hormones.

    Ibuprofen isn’t the only common painkiller that’s come under the spotlight, either. Acetaminophen, one of the most commonly used drugs in America, carries liver damage risk, and some studies have linked its use by pregnant women with behavioral issues in their children.


  19. #59
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    Teen Depression and Suicide Rates are Rising in Tandem with Smartphone Ownership, Researchers Find

    November 26, 2017

    Teen suicide rates rose 31 percent between 2010 and 2015. Teen depression rates rose 33 percent over the same period.

    Guess what else rose around 35 percent during that time period? Teen smartphone ownership.

    In an attempt to narrow down what was driving the sudden decline in teenage mental health, researchers from San Diego State University and Florida State University ruled out all the obvious culprits: The years between 2010 and 2015 were a period of steady economic growth and falling unemployment. The time spent on homework stayed the same, ruling out academic pressure as a cause. And the rate of increase in depression and suicide was consistent across all socioeconomic backgrounds, all races and ethnicities, and in every region of the country.

    After scouring the statistics for clues,
    researchers found the percentage of American teens owning smart phones rose basically in tandem with depression and suicide rates. It’s estimated around 35 percent of teens owned smartphones in 2010. That figure hit 73 percent by 2015, and is now at 77 percent.

    The researchers published their findings in Clinical Psychological Science Nov. 14.

    “All told, our analysis found that the generation of teens I call ‘iGen‘ –
    those born after 1995 – is much more likely to experience mental health issues than their millennial predecessors,” wrote the paper’s lead author SDSU Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge in an article for The Conversation.

    It’s not only the ownership of smartphones that factored into mental health decline, but the number of hours spent staring at them.

    “We found that
    teens who spent five or more hours a day online were 71 percent more likely than those who spent less than an hour a day to have at least one suicide risk factor (depression, thinking about suicide, making a suicide plan or attempting suicide),” Twenge wrote.

    those who spent two or more hours a day online, were at significantly increased risk.

    It’s unclear whether “screen time” is directly harming mental health, but the indirect consequences are clear, Twenge says:

    1. Inadequate sleep. Teens who spend more time on their phones are more likely to not be getting enough sleep. Not sleeping enough is a major risk factor for

    2. Less in-person social interaction. “Interacting with people face to face is one of the deepest wellsprings of human happiness; without it, our moods start to suffer and
    depression often follows,” Twenge wrote.

    Feeling socially isolated is also one of the major risk factors for
    suicide, Twenge noted.

    Twenge points out that the jury is still out on whether or not on “screen time” is inherently harmful, but says it’s a serious enough issue that parents might want to play it safe.

    “The downside to limiting screen time – say, to two hours a day or less – is minimal. In contrast, the downside to doing nothing – given the possible consequences of depression and suicide – seems, to me, quite high.”

  20. #60
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    Honesty makes you happier and healthier - even if your fibs are well-meaning, studies show

    By Danielle Zoellner - 21 September 2017

    Lying is bad for your health - whether it's well-meaning or not, studies show.

    People are more likely to tell white lies, or 'prosocial lies', to those they care about to avoid hurting their feelings, researchers have found. But no matter what the reason, results showed lying is almost always damaging to someone's physical and mental health.

    The study by researchers at the University of San Diego Emotion Lab builds on previous research from 2012, which showed honesty also makes us happy.

    The researchers looked at prosocial lies and how they impact daily life.

    Their first study analyzed when people told white lies and their compassion level toward the person who received the lie.

    They found that compassion towards someone increased their likelihood to tell a white lie. 'The effect of compassion on prosocial lying was partially mediated by the importance placed on preventing emotional harm that could occur as a result of their feedback', the researchers said in the study.

    A second study was initiated that went deeper into what about compassion causes people to tell these white lies.

    The researchers looked at differences in traits of people to see if it differs how they handle their compassion towards someone. One trait connected with compassion is someone's attempt to prevent harm on the person that can be inflicted by being honest. But this attempt to prevent harm can actually hinder happiness.

    A study from the University of Notre Dame, published in 2012, analyzed lying and how it impacts someone's mental health.

    The researchers found that people who were honest with loved ones in their lives were also more likely to be happy. They studied 110 people over a 10-week period. The ages of the participants ranged from 18 to 71 years. Half of the group was instructed to not lie for the full 10 weeks while the other group had no special instructions and acted as a control. Researchers found that people in the non-lying group experienced better physical and mental health than those who were in the control. Participants in the non-lying group also reported an improvement in their personal relationships over the 10 weeks and better social interactions.

    While white lies might be necessary to loved ones who people are more compassionate about, experts recommend avoiding them to improve physical and mental health.


    ‘Ayeshah (radhiallahu anha) said:

    No characteristic was more hateful to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) than lying. If a man told a lie in the presence of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), he would continue to feel some unrest in his heart until he knew that the man had repented.

    At-Tirmidhi (1973); Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Saheehah (2052).


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