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Six Tribes of Bacteria Live in Your Inner Elbow

The crook of your elbow is a special ecosystem that provides a bountiful home to six tribes of bacteria. Even after you wash, there are still 1 million bacteria living on every square centimeter.


These bacteria are what biologists call commensals, helpful rather than harmful organisms. They moisturize your skin by processing the raw fats that it produces.

The bacteria were discovered as part of the human microbiome project, a study researching all of the various microbes that live in people. The project is in its early stages, but has already established that the bacteria in the human microbiome collectively possess at least 100 times as many genes as the 20,000 or so in the human genome.

The bacterial cells also outnumber human cells by 10 to 1.

Humans depend on their microbiome for essential functions, including digestion, leading microbiologists to conclude that a person should really be considered a superorganism.

You may click to see :->The multitudinous world inside your elbow


* New York Times May 23, 2008

* Genome Research May 23, 2008

* Science May 22, 2008

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A Common Symptom of Heat Illness

Your body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating just isn’t enough. Your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels and you can develop a heat illness. Most heat illnesses occur from staying out in the heat too long. Exercising too much for your age and physical condition are also factors. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are most at risk. Drinking fluids, replenishing salt and minerals and limiting time in the heat can help.

Heat-related illnesses include:-

  • Heatstroke – a life-threatening illness in which body temperature may rise above 106° F in minutes; symptoms include dry skin, rapid, strong pulse and dizziness
  • Heat exhaustion – an illness that can precede heatstroke; symptoms include heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a fast, weak pulse
  • Heat cramps – muscle pains or spasms that happen during heavy exercise
  • Heat rash – skin irritation from excessive sweating


Click to see:

>Extreme Heat

>Hyperthermia: Too Hot for Your Health

> Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Extreme Heat


* Heat Cramps: First Aid
* Heat Exhaustion: First Aid
* Heatstroke: First Aid


* Extreme Heat: Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

* Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke: What You Need to Know

Specific Conditions:-

* Prickly Heat (Miliaria Rubra)

* Protect Yourself: Heat Stress

If you suspect a person is having a problem with the heat, err on the side of caution and insist they get into shade and cool down. Have them drink water and spray their body with cold water or rub them down with ice or a cold cloth. If they don’t cool down quickly, seek medical advice.

Dr. Bergeron notes that after incidents of heatstroke among student athletes, it often becomes clear that other students had noticed the player “didn’t look quite right.’’ Kids should be instructed that if their friends start acting funny, confused or mumbling, they should alert an adult.

As a result, athletic researchers recommend that kids and adult exercisers alike should adopt a buddy system when playing or exercising in the heat.

“The athlete is the worst one to make the decision,’’ Dr. Bergeron said. “We strongly recommend that you have people and kids in like positions sort of assigned to each other so you have a buddy system. It’s your buddy or friend who is likely to notice the behavioral change first.’’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention answers frequently asked questions about heat illness here.

Resources:The New York Times. June 10 ’08 and

Positive thinking

Softening And Expanding

Being Receptive To What You Want
In order to get what we want in life, we have to be willing to receive it when it appears, and in order to do that we have to be open. Often we go through life with defenses we developed early on in order to protect ourselves. These defenses act as barriers, walls we needed at one time to feel safe, but that now serve to shut out desired influences, like intimacy or love. So an essential part of being receptive to what we want is to soften these barriers enough to let those things in when they show up. For example, we may spend a lot of time alone as a way to protect ourselves from being hurt by other people, but we can see how this is now preventing us from meeting new friends.

Another obstacle to our receptivity can be our tendency to believe that we have to act aggressively in order to achieve our desired goal. This can cause us to become mono-focused and to fail to see, and be open to, opportunities on the periphery of our vision. So becoming receptive involves a softening of our defenses and a willingness to remain open to possibilities outside our immediate realm of vision. If we are looking for love or friendship, it means first looking within ourselves to see where we are shut down, and second, not getting too fixated on where we might find the love we want. In this way, we become more open as individuals and more expansive in terms of what we see as possible.

Often, the things and people we want to draw into our lives elude us because we are unconsciously blocking them out, either with our defenses, or with tunnel vision that causes us to not see them when they appear. When this is the case, we can take action by exploring and softening our barriers, and expanding our vision to encompass new possibilities. These actions are the essence of receptivity.

Source:Daily Om

News on Health & Science

The Wheezing That Could Signal Childhood Asthma

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LATE last fall, Carrie R., a public relations executive who lives in Riverdale in the Bronx, noticed that her 2-year-old daughter had been suffering from a nagging cough for far too long. She assumed the toddler had caught a cold or was reacting to the change in weather.

But when the cough hung on for several more weeks, and became so severe that her daughter vomited, Carrie began to worry about something more serious. Still, she was stunned by her pediatricians diagnosis  asthma.

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“I was completely blindsided, said Carrie, who asked that her surname not be used to protect the privacy of her daughter. “I thought asthma would look more like an ˜attack not just coughing. My pediatrician is wonderful, but I ended up taking my daughter to a specialist because this diagnosis was very serious and seemed so out of the blue that I wanted to be sure.

Though asthma is a common disorder, particularly in childhood, it can be difficult to diagnose. Doctors can struggle to figure out whether a child who is having trouble breathing has asthma rather than a virus, nasal allergy or other upper-respiratory problem.

Unlike the tests for some diseases, checking for asthma does not involve using high-technology equipment or techniques. While there are tests — the most common uses a device called a spirometer, which measures airway efficiency — doctors often rely more on family histories and thorough questioning about symptoms and exposure to allergens.


There is no definitive test, said Dr. Stuart Stoloff, a family practice physician in Carson City, Nev. “There are no easy markers or a single blood test to tell when it’s asthma and when it’s not. Instead you have to carefully look at the whole picture.”

Dr. Stoloff is on an expert panel that is rewriting the federal guidelines for diagnosing and managing asthma. By early summer, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program will introduce these new recommendations, which place added emphasis on analyzing symptoms, looking for allergens, gathering histories and confirming the diagnosis with spirometry.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects 20 million Americans, including 9 million children, or 6.5 percent of the under-18 population. It is characterized by attacks of inflammation and narrowing of the small airways of the lungs, generally sparked by a viral infection (like those that cause colds), exercise or exposure to pet hair, pollen or other allergens. But because attacks can vary in intensity and show up as shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest pain, rapid breathing or a combination of these symptoms, asthma can often be confused with other illnesses.

The growing incidence of obesity in children has made diagnosing asthma even trickier. “Investigators are reporting that more and more children, particularly adolescents, are coming in with a diagnosis of asthma and they are also obese,” said Dr. Alkis G. Togias, the section chief, asthma and inflammation, division of allergy, immunology and transplantation at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. “But it is not clear that they have asthma. It might be that the obesity is causing shortness of breath.”

Experts worry that asthma is often not diagnosed, particularly in young children. “Younger children, under 7 or 8, sometimes can’t express themselves well,” said Dr. Norman H. Edelman, the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association and professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center, in Stony Brook, N.Y.

A spirometer test can help confirm an asthma diagnosis. This device measures the amount of air blown out of the lungs over time. But if the test is done when the patient is not having symptoms, it may not show any abnormality. Furthermore, not every doctor’s office has such equipment, and some patients whose airway function seems normal might still have asthma. In addition, children under 4 generally cannot perform the test.

Dr. Sandra Braganza, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, estimated that about a fourth of all the patients she sees suffer from the disease. “The rates of asthma in our community are so high that when a child comes in with wheezing, coughing or shortness, we immediately suspect asthma,” she said. “Parents, too, need to know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of asthma,” she added. “There’s nothing worse than seeing a child who can’t breathe. But being empowered with education makes it a lot less scary.”

Source: The New York Times

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Adolescence is a time of change and upheaval. This can be a challenging time as you watch your daughter grow independent, make decisions and develop into a young adult. Some risks that are unique to teen girls, such as decreased self-confidence, depression and early puberty, can lead to drug and alcohol abuse. Even during this difficult time, parents are the most important influence in their child’s life. You can help your daughter navigate this exciting, but stressful time. Below are tips on how to raise healthy, drug-free daughters.

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MAXIMIZE time together to build a strong bond with your daughter.
Spend time just listening to your daughter’s thoughts and feelings, fears and concerns. Teens who spend time, talk and have a close relationship with their parents are much less likely to drink, take drugs or have sex.

Really listen to what your daughter is saying. Make the time to ask your daughter about her school, friends and activities and interests.
Talk to your daughter about tough issues, such as the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
Make special time each week to talk and enjoy each other’s company.

MODEL coping skills to manage stress and pressure.
Adolescence can be a stressful process for teens. You can be a more supportive parent by understanding where the stress is coming from and model positive, healthy behavior and coping skills.

Set positive examples on how to cope with stress, such as setting realistic goals, learning to prioritize, getting enough sleep and engaging in physical activity.
Teach your daughter skills to handle negative peer pressure, such as how to say no.

MOTIVATE your daughter’s self-confidence by recognizing her strengths, skills, and interests.
Research shows that many girls experience a sharp decline in their self-esteem and self-confidence during early adolescence. Parents can help their daughter develop a healthy sense of worth.

Provide meaningful roles for your daughter in the family. Treat your daughter as a unique individual, distinct from siblings or stereotypes.
Encourage your daughter to develop an identity based on her talents and interests; downplay appearance and weight, and tell her a beautiful body is a healthy and strong one.
Promote healthy activities, such as exercising or doing community service. Teenagers enjoy giving to others, but they need your support.

MONITOR your daughter’s activities and behaviors with love and limits.
Show your unconditional love, but don’t be afraid of setting rules. Parental disapproval of drug use plays a strong role in keeping teens drug-free. Parental monitoring has been shown to be effective in reducing risky behaviors among teens.

Praise your daughter as often as possible. Show love, warmth and interest in your teen, but set clear “no-drug” rules, limit time spent watching TV and using the Internet.
Always know where your daughter is, whom she is with and what she is doing. Know her friends and the parents of those friends. Have regular check-in times.
Attend your daughter’s school events and recreational activities. It will make your teen feel loved, help her maintain good grades and increase her enjoyment of school.

Source:The New York Times