Egypt Independent: Science-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/Environment/rss.xml en Eating fruit during pregnancy linked to higher IQ in children http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2469967 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/12/15/43/screen_shot_2015-12-15_at_2.55.07_pm.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>A Canadian study, published in the journal EbioMedicine, has found that women who ate more fruit during pregnancy had children with higher IQs at one year old.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In a recent study, Canadian researchers from the University of Alberta found that one of the factors contributing to improved cognitive development in children was the amount of fruit their mothers ate during pregnancy.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The scientists studied 688 one-year-old babies, who were controlled for factors otherwise affecting their learning and development, such as family income and parental education.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>They found that the mothers who ate six to seven portions of fruit per day &mdash;&nbsp;including juices &mdash;&nbsp;had children with IQs six or seven points higher on the standard scale at one year old.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;We know that the longer a child is in the womb, the further they develop &mdash;&nbsp;and having one more serving of fruit per day in a mother&#39;s diet provides her baby with the same benefit as being born a whole week later,&quot; explains Dr Mandhane, the study&#39;s senior author.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In spite of their discovery, the researchers warn pregnant women against going overboard on fruit, which contains fructose, as this can lead to complications such as gestational diabetes and high birthweight.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>These initial findings will be followed up by more research, investigating whether the positive effects of fruit consumption on cognitive development persist in children over time. The scientists also plan to study the impact of fruit consumption on cognitive functions such as planning, organizing and working memory.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sat, 28 May 2016 12:29:00 +0000 AFP 2469967 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/12/15/43/screen_shot_2015-12-15_at_2.55.07_pm.png US sees first case of bacteria resistant to all antibiotics http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2469944 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/05/27/16030/image.jpeg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>U.S. health officials on Thursday reported the first case in the country of a patient with an infection resistant to all known antibiotics, and expressed grave concern that the superbug could pose serious danger for routine infections if it spreads.<br /><br />&quot;We risk being in a post-antibiotic world,&quot; said Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, referring to the urinary tract infection of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman who had not travelled within the prior five months.<br /><br />Frieden, speaking at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C., said the infection was not controlled even by colistin, an antibiotic that is reserved for use against &quot;nightmare bacteria&quot;.<br /><br />The infection was reported Thursday in a study appearing in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. It said the superbug itself had first been infected with a tiny piece of DNA called a plasmid, which passed along a gene called mcr-1 that confers resistance to colistin.<br /><br />&quot;[This] heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria,&quot; said the study, which was conducted by the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. &quot;To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of mcr-1 in the USA.&quot;<br /><br />The patient visited a clinic on April 26 with symptoms of a urinary tract infection, according to the study, which did not describe her current condition. Authors of the study could not immediately be reached for comment.<br /><br />The study said continued surveillance to determine the true frequency of the gene in the United States is critical.<br /><br />&quot;It is dangerous and we would assume it can be spread quickly, even in a hospital environment if it is not well contained,&quot; said Dr. Gail Cassell, a microbiologist and senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School.<br /><br />But she said the potential speed of its spread will not be known until more is learned about how the Pennsylvania patient was infected, and how present the colistin-resistant superbug is in the United States and globally.<br /><br /><strong>&#39;Medicine cabinet is empty for some&#39;</strong><br /><br />In the United States, antibiotic resistance has been blamed for at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually.<br /><br />The mcr-1 gene was found last year in people and pigs in China, raising alarm.<br /><br />The potential for the superbug to spread from animals to people is a major concern, Cassell said.<br /><br />For now, Cassell said people can best protect themselves from it and from other bacteria resistant to antibiotics by thoroughly washing their hands, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly and preparing foods appropriately.<br /><br />Experts have warned since the 1990s that especially bad superbugs could be on the horizon, but few drugmakers have attempted to develop drugs against them.<br /><br />Frieden said the need for new antibiotics is one of the more urgent health problems, as bugs become more and more resistant to current treatments. &quot;The more we look at drug resistance, the more concerned we are,&quot; Frieden added. &quot;The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients. It is the end of the road for antibiotics unless we act urgently.&quot;<br /><br />Overprescribing of antibiotics by physicians and in hospitals and their extensive use in food livestock have contributed to the crisis. More than half of all hospitalized patients will get an antibiotic at some point during their stay. But studies have shown that 30 percent to 50 percent of antibiotics prescribed in hospitals are unnecessary or incorrect, contributing to antibiotic resistance.<br /><br />Many drugmakers have been reluctant to spend the money needed to develop new antibiotics, preferring to use their resources on medicines for cancer and rare diseases that command very high prices and lead to much larger profits.<br /><br />In January, dozens of drugmakers and diagnostic companies, including Pfizer, Merck &amp; Co, Johnson &amp; Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline, signed a declaration calling for new incentives from governments to support investment in development of medicines to fight drug-resistant superbugs.</p> Fri, 27 May 2016 14:09:00 +0000 Reuters 2469944 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/27/16030/image.jpeg Are you more loyal to your phone than your partner? http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2469908 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2012/09/24/54605/hi-farmer-phone-6col.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>A survey out of London by sexual well being brand Durex has revealed that 52 percent of adults expect better sex on holiday, but 60 percent are left disappointed, admitting that the reality didn&#39;t quite live up to their expectations.<br /><br />Of the 2,000 adults questioned the survey found that almost a fifth of them said their phones and tablets get in the way of their sex life while on vacation, with 15 percent admitting that they have less sex on holiday than they do at home because of their tech.<br /><br />Forty percent responded that they are less likely to instigate sex if their partner is on their phone in bed, and 41 percent admitted that evenings on holiday can be spent in bed together concentrating on separate phones rather than each other.<br /><br />Fifty-nine percent also said that they, their partner or both have too much screen time, and more than half of those respondents felt their relationship suffers as a result.<br /><br />Seventy-two of the 2,000 respondents even admitted to using phones during sex.</p> Fri, 27 May 2016 00:03:00 +0000 AFP 2469908 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2012/09/24/54605/hi-farmer-phone-6col.jpg Drug discovery brings hope of new breast cancer treatments http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2469905 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/10/01/43/breast_cancer_pink_ribbon_20150925_620_449_100.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Scientists from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, have identified a new drug that could offer an effective future therapy for breast cancer. While a potential treatment is still a long way off, this discovery could give rise to promising clinical trials.<br /><br />The potentially life-changing compound for women suffering from breast cancer is called eCF506. The British team of researchers discovered its ability to block the growth of breast cancer cells in lab-based studies.<br /><br />Unlike other drugs currently being tested in clinical trials, this new compound has the advantage of being highly selective, so it doesn&#39;t affect other molecules in the cell. This means it should have fewer side effects for patients.<br /><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Roboto, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.7143px;" />The researchers say that their early findings are highly promising, even if the drug will require further preclinical testing before progression to clinical trials. &quot;eCF506 is the first drug candidate of a second generation of Src inhibitors that will not only help to understand the complexity of some cancers but also the development of safer combination therapies,&quot; explains Dr Asier Unciti-Broceta, who led the study.<br /><br />Breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer affecting women worldwide. One in nine women will suffer from breast cancer in her lifetime and one in 27 will die from the disease. Breast cancer is most common after the age of 50. The survival rate five years after diagnosis varies from 80 percent to 90 percent, depending on age and the type of cancer.<br /><br />Current treatments usually revolve around four techniques: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy.<br /><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Roboto, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.7143px;" />The World Health Organization singles out the early onset of puberty, late menopause or a first pregnancy later in life as some of the most significant risk factors for breast cancer. Women using oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapies are also at higher risk of developing the disease. Breastfeeding has, on the other hand, been found to have a protective effect against the disease.</p> Thu, 26 May 2016 12:58:00 +0000 AFP 2469905 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/10/01/43/breast_cancer_pink_ribbon_20150925_620_449_100.jpg