Egypt Independent: Science-Main news en Company provides bikes for employees for environmental protection <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="ltr">In the midst of Cairo&rsquo;s unbearable traffic and heat, a young man with KarmSolar, a solar technology and integration company, rides around on a bike, a mode of transportation that is both fast and environmentally friendly. The bikes are provided by KarmSolar to all their employees and are part of their efforts to provide renewable energy discourse in Egypt.</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 1em;">Planet Earth has been around for 5 billion years, and before civilization the planet enjoyed a natural balance that was then overthrown by human&rsquo;s compulsive need to build and consume. So says Karim El Bana, an employee of KarimSolar, specializing in business development.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 1em;">People became addicted to travelling long distances and burning fuel to do so, which has resulted in a phenomenon that everyone in the world is familiar with: global warming.</span></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Bicycles are not only great for exercise, they also help decrease carbon emissions from cars, emissions that cause a great deal of pollution,&rdquo; says El Bana.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;What we want to do at KarmSolar is send people a message: you need to use bikes more often,&rdquo; he says.<br /><br />KarmSolar offers bikes to all their employees to run work related errands. The company&rsquo;s efforts to save the environment are not limited to offering bikes to their employees. Their main line of work is in solar energy.</p><p>&ldquo;At KarmSolar, we work towards providing solar power to people who desperately need it, especially in the desert areas. One of the things that promotes sustainable energy is bikes. That&rsquo;s why we promote it as an activity.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>El-Bana continues, &ldquo;People think that Egypt is a very polluted country generally, but that&rsquo;s not necessarily true. Egypt does not house a great deal of industry, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we are not as developed as countries in Europe, for example, who are more industrialized. But our natural spaces are still preserved to a large extent.&rdquo; &nbsp;<br /><br />Cairo&rsquo;s pollution is really what people think about when they say Egypt is polluted. And in this regard, bicycles are the answer, he argues, as most of Cairo&rsquo;s pollution comes from the overwhelming number of cars that it contains.</p><p><span style="color: rgb(91, 91, 91); font-family: &quot;open sans&quot;, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;">KarmSolar has been Egypt&rsquo;s largest private off-grid solar energy integrator for a while now, with a lot of experience in developing its award-winning high-capacity solar pumping stations, including the region&rsquo;s largest off-grid Hybrid Pumping &amp; Irrigation System.</span></p> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:25:00 +0000 Egypt Independent,Al-Masry Al-Youm 2473080 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/09/29/43/unnamed-18-850x478.png Over 43,000 deaths in Egypt linked to pollution in one year <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Over 43,000 Egyptians died from diseases related to air pollution in 2012, a report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The diseases included in the report comprised acute lower respiratory, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, ischemic heart disease (IHD) and lung cancer.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to the report, 22,327 Egyptians died of IHD while 2079 lost their lives to lung cancer.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The WHO said that 92 percent of the world&rsquo;s population live in places where the air quality levels exceed &ldquo;WHO&rsquo;s ambient air quality guidelines.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The report provided information on each country&rsquo;s exposure to particulate matter of an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5).&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to the WHO, particulate matter consists of a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air. The most health-damaging particles are those with a diameter of 10 micrograms per cubic meter or less, which can penetrate and lodge deep inside the lungs. Both short- and long-term exposure to air pollutants have been associated with health impacts, WHO said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to the WHO air quality guidelines, levels of PM2.5 should be limited to 10 micrograms per cubic meter. However, Egypt is among countries exposed to 36-69 micrograms per cubic meter, according to the WHO.&nbsp;</div><div>In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths, which amount to 11.6 percent of all deaths around the world, were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Air pollution continues to take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations &ndash; women, children and the older adults,&quot; Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director General at WHO, said. &quot;For people to be healthy, they must breathe clean air from their first breath to their last.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The report revealed that low and middle-income countries are more affected by air pollution as numbers showed that 90 percent of air-pollution-related deaths occur in WHO&rsquo;s South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The new WHO model is &ldquo;the most detailed outdoor (or ambient) air pollution-related health data, by country, ever reported by WHO,&rdquo; the organization said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Major sources of air pollution include inefficient modes of transport, household fuel and waste burning, coal power plants, and industrial activities, according to the report.&nbsp;</div> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:32:00 +0000 Aswat Masriya 2473054 at sites/default/files/photo/2012/09/24/143861/world_health_organization_who_headquarters.jpg Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>German data protection authorities on Tuesday said they had blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from its subsidiary WhatsApp, citing privacy concerns.<br /><br />Facebook and WhatsApp promised in the wake of the Silicon Valley giant&#39;s 2014 acquisition of the messaging app that they would not share data, Hamburg&#39;s Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Johannes Caspar recalled in a statement.<br /><br />He added that Facebook would be required to delete any data already received from WhatsApp in Germany.<br /><br />&quot;It has to be (the users&#39;) decision whether they want to connect their account with Facebook,&quot; Caspar said. &quot;Facebook has to ask for their permission in advance.&quot;<br /><br />WhatsApp announced in August that it would begin sharing data with Facebook, in a bid to allow better targeted advertising and fight spam on the platform.<br /><br />Currently, users of the instant messenger must opt out of sending information to Facebook through WhatsApp&#39;s settings on their smartphone.<br /><br />Caspar said that he had acted to protect the privacy of 35 million WhatsApp users in Germany -- a fraction of some one billion worldwide -- and that of people saved in their address books, whose details might also be forwarded under the data-sharing arrangement.<br /><br />Facebook&#39;s activities in German-speaking regions are managed through its subsidiary in Hamburg, placing the firm under the jurisdiction of the regulator in the northern port city.<br /><br />Spokespeople for Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment on the ruling.<br /><br />WhatsApp&#39;s announcement that it would share information with Facebook came just four months after the service introduced end-to-end encryption by default, saying that the content of messages would become unreadable for anyone except the sender and receiver.<br /><br />In mid-September, the European Commission recommended tighter privacy and security requirements for services including WhatsApp and Microsoft-owned video calling service Skype, saying they should be regulated more like traditional telecoms.<br /><br />Subjecting the internet firms to such rules could force them to offer emergency calling services and to obey stricter privacy rules.</p> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:09:00 +0000 AFP 2473020 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/05/07/484151/whatsapp.jpg Watch out for these heart attack signs in women <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Some heart attack symptoms can be more vague and subtle in women than they are in men. Often mistaken for anxiety attacks, the signs are harder to spot and often lead to later diagnosis and treatment. With heart attacks in women under 50 on the rise, specialists are keen to raise awareness about symptoms that shouldn&#39;t be overlooked, such as breathing difficulties and nausea. The advice comes ahead of World Heart Day, September 29.<br /><br />More than 60 percent of heart attacks in women under 60 are linked to smoking. The risk is further heightened for smokers -- especially those over the age of 35 -- who also take a combined oral contraceptive pill containing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Heart attacks in women under 50 have tripled in the last 15 years. Here are some of the warning signs that often go unnoticed.<br /><br /><strong>Don&#39;t assume you&#39;ll have chest pains</strong><br /><br />&quot;The chest pains that spread to the left arm and jaw, which are typical in men, are absent in women in around 40 percent of cases,&quot; explains the president of the French Federation of Cardiology. In women, these can be replaced by other signs such as nausea, heart palpitations during physical exertion, shortness of breath, pain in the middle of the back and unusual levels of fatigue. When chest pains do occur in women, they&#39;re more likely to be felt in the side and they aren&#39;t necessarily linked to exertion. Generally speaking, for men over 40 and women over 50, specialists recommend seeing a cardiologist or general practitioner as soon as chest pains are experienced with exertion.<br /><br /><strong>Unusual difficulty in breathing</strong><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />From anxiety attacks to smoking and asthma, shortness of breath can have many causes, which is why we don&#39;t always consider it a serious symptom. &quot;The important thing is to note if the discomfort is new,&quot; explains sports cardiologist Dr Uzan, such as after running one and a half miles rather than your usual six, or climbing three flights of stairs that usually pose no problem. The specialist also suggests taking heed of remarks from friends and family, which can help flag up recent changes (e.g., &quot;Keep up! You&#39;ve got slow these days,&quot; &quot;You didn&#39;t breathe like that before&quot; etc.). Breathing difficulties when resting are also a warning sign.<br /><br /><strong>Don&#39;t ignore palpitations</strong><br /><br />Although heart palpitations are benign most of the time, they&#39;re definitely worth keeping an eye on. These feelings of missed heartbeats or fast thumping (tachycardia) can be a telltale sign of heart disease. They are never normal when experienced with exertion, explains Dr Uzan. You should also see a doctor if your heartbeat is irregular and note the context in which it occurs (mealtimes, strong emotions, physical exertion, etc.).<br /><br /><strong>Dizziness, nausea, fainting</strong><br /><br />Episodes of fainting or faintness associated with dizzy spells, vomiting, nausea, or loss of consciousness can be linked to heart-attack risks. &quot;Regular&quot; fainting -- called vasovagal syncope -- caused by low blood sugar levels or strong emotions, for example, can usually be felt approaching with symptoms such as sweating and nausea. Fainting episodes linked to the heart come with no warning signs.<br /><br />Note that persistent digestive problems and unusual feelings of fatigue are symptoms which cardiologists also recommend following up with a doctor.</p> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:07:00 +0000 AFP 2473019 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/09/27/39/heartattacks.jpg