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Nutrition Blogs

18 October 2021

Nutrition Blogs Nutrition Blogs
  • Halloween Candy Activities for Kids
    18 October 2021

    Kids need to explore candy just like any other food. And just like that vegetable or fruit your child does not like there will be candies your kids don’t like either. I promise! But the only way they are going to learn what the like (or don’t like) is by having access to candy and allowing them to explore it themselves.

    Halloween is one time of year that the topic of candy comes up the most. How to handle it? Which are the healthiest? We as a society have become so scared and anxious around candy (aka sugar) that we as adult don’t know how to eat it, therefore have no idea how to approach it with our kids.

    I for one have a kiddo that enjoys candy, especially chocolate. He asks for it often and so we keep it available in the house. We have a candy container we keep in the pantry that the kids can pick from. Some days they have a piece and some days we don’t. I often pack a piece with his lunch for school and some nights he has candy with his dinner. I for one love chocolate and often have some after my lunch. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate PB cups are hands down my favorite, basically anything chocolate + PB is my love language So am I surprised that my kids like it too? Nope! Serving it with a meal teaches kids that candy is just another food. Problems being when candy is scarce and kids don’t learn how to enjoy it. Friendly reminder that candy isn’t going anywhere and it’s delicious so lets make it just another food in our pantry!

    Here are my Top 5 Tips for Managing Candy in the Home
    1. Have candy available all year long!
    2. Keep a bowl or container with candy in the pantry.
    3. Let candy be an option with a meal or a snack.
    4. Decide when it’s offered
    5. If you have a kiddo who loves candy let them have more access more often. This may include offering larger portions as a snack on occasion.
    How to Approach Halloween Candy
    1. Offer a filling dinner or snack before going out trick-or-treating. Include foods that your kids enjoy and are nourishing.
    2. Go trick-or-treating!
    3. Let your kids have as much candy as they want that day.
    4. Avoid comments! Keep this experience as neutral as possible.
    5. Let kids explore and learn what candies they like and don’t like.
    6. Remember Halloween is all about the happy memories, not the nutrition. And is just one day a year
    7. In the days that follow halloween let them pick out 1-2 pieces of candy to enjoy with a meal or snack.
    8. SEE ABOVE (keep it available all year long!)
    Halloween Candy Activities
    1. Halloween Candy Sort
      • By color
      • By shape
      • By type
      • chocolate versus non-chocolate
      • favorite to least favorite
      • biggest to smallest
    2. Candy Taste Test
      • Let kids take a bite and describe the flavors they taste and textures they feel in their mouth
      • Have them rate the candy from favorite to least favorite
    3. Bake with candy!
      • Use candy in baking or cooking
      • Have kids come up with fun recipes using candy or their halloween candy
      • Mix it into trail mix or other snack mix
    Recipes using Halloween Candy

    Popped Sorghum Pumpkin Krispy Treats by Lauren Sharifi Nutrition

    Love this recipe, which can be easily made with Rice Krispy’s instead of popped sorghum. Top with a mini Reece’s cup or any chocolate you have leftover!

    Easy Halloween Brownie Bars  by Little Eats and Things

    Easy Halloween Peanut Candy Corn Bark by Little Eats and Things

    Yum! Love both of these recipes. Really easy to make with kids and a great way to use up leftover candy corn or just about any candy.

    Butterscotch Rice Crispy Bars by Fully Mediterranean

    Insert any chocolate here and yum!

    Butterfinger Drink by Amy Gorin 

    Make a drink with Butterfinger candy?! Who would have thought, but I love it. Just omit the shnapps for the kiddos



    The post Halloween Candy Activities for Kids appeared first on Lauren Sharifi Nutrition.

  • Pycnogenol Reduces Urinary Tract Infections
    18 October 2021

    As concerns mount over treating urinary tract infections (UTIs) with antibiotics, research shows that Pycnogenol may be a natural solution.

    The post Pycnogenol Reduces Urinary Tract Infections appeared first on Better Nutrition.

  • Chew, Pop, or Swig? How to Choose the Right Calcium Supplements for You
    18 October 2021

    When it comes to calcium supplements, the choices are endless. Here’s a guide to help you choose the one that fits you best.

    The post Chew, Pop, or Swig? How to Choose the Right Calcium Supplements for You appeared first on Better Nutrition.

  • Don’t Boost Your Immune System, Balance It!
    18 October 2021

    The key to fighting off viruses, bacteria, and other invaders is to balance your immune system instead of boosting it. Here's how.

    The post Don’t Boost Your Immune System, Balance It! appeared first on Better Nutrition.

  • Diversity in The Good Old Pasta Dinner
    18 October 2021
    Capitalizing on this family favourite to add delicious variety while keeping comfort and ease.

    My husband and I run a crazy household of four hungry kids, aged six and under. We have three rambunctious boys and a dancing ballerina.

    We are not going to lie when we say that some weeks look like pasta night for 4/7 dinners. We are regular folk with regular family schedules and regular family dinnertime chaos.  And so, pasta night just seems to make dinners easier. Why is that?  

    • We can cook pasta dinners in under 20 minutes.  
    • We can cook them with no recipe and with what we have on hand.  
    • We can count on the kids eating it without much fuss.  
    • We can fuel all kids well after a day of lots of activity.  
    • We can count on leftovers for school lunches that get eaten.

    Oh, and our all time favourite reason: 

    • We can feed the kids quickly and (relatively) smoothly, so we can enjoy an in-house date night with exotic take-out and to-die for wine! 

    While pasta dinners can be easy and very family friendly, any parent wants to add variety to the dinner table and also help build resilience in children’s palates. Here are a few tips and ideas on how to make simple pasta meals balanced and different! 

    1. Change the pasta 
    • Add fiber with whole wheat pasta or “smart” pasta.  Smart pasta has added fiber without the change of texture and taste of whole wheat; it can be more palatable for kids.  
    • Tired of wheat? Try corn, rice and other grain pastas for a pleasant change.  
    • Go pasta-less and instead use quinoa, wild rice, barley or rye berries. The result can be more of a risotto style dinner, while getting the benefits of these whole grain varieties.  
    • Lentils and bean pastas are becoming popular. You can try these for pasta meals where a buttered sourdough or garlic cheese bread are a must.  


    2. Pack the protein
    • Since you know picky eaters will eat the typical pasta dish, this is a good opportunity to place different types of side proteins for them to try. Make a bean salad with balsamic dressing or a roasted rosemary chicken breast. The point here is to make them try something new. 
    • Use leftover proteins with pasta meals. Kids may cringe at the thought of you serving that lousy protein they struggled to enjoy last night, but when coupled with their favourite pasta that protein may in fact be eaten without fuss.  
    • Disguise a protein by chopping it finely into the pasta sauce and topping it with melted cheese; this way skipping the “eat your meat please battle”. 
    • Serve a glass of milk (or milk alternative high in protein) with the pasta dish or make a greek yoghurt and fruit parfait for dessert to pack the protein. Sprinkle pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds or pecans, hemp hearts or chia for bonus points! 
    3. Bulk the veggies
    • Keep it simple and make a veggie platter with dip. You can make that before the pasta is ready so they get those veggies in. Add some fruit into the platter mix to lure those kids with less of a veggie appetite.  
    • Add a salad! Since you know they love their pasta, put more effort into the salad, add new things for them to try and explore, make a different dressing.  
    • When you have more time at hand, try an elaborate veggie side, like cauliflower steaks. This can expose kids to fun variety while leaning in the comfort of the pasta they love.  

    Like in anything with family nutrition, it is a trial and error approach and then try some more! Some things won’t work, but don’t get discouraged. Remember little ones are temperamental when it comes to eating. The first time they see something different they won’t have it, and the next few times, it’s like they have had it all along. Adding variety in family meals with wee ones is a real art where the focus is on long term results. So, keep your eye on the big picture: exposing your kiddos to diverse foods and adding adventure to their typical meals will build resilience to their relationship with food.  

    Sign up for our Sound Bites newsletter to learn more nutrition tips and healthy recipes from our Registered Dietitians.

    As university-trained Registered Dietitians, you can count on us for credible advice and practical meal planning so you don’t have to stress about food anymore. You can achieve a healthy and joyous relationship with food and your body.

    You might also want to check out these previous articles on our blog:  

    The post Diversity in The Good Old Pasta Dinner appeared first on Health Stand Nutrition - Online Nutritionist Calgary Dietitian team.

  • Trustworthy Review
    18 October 2021

    There's a new post on Kath Eats!

    Trustworthy is an online service where you can upload and organize your family’s important data – from insurance to medical records to household information. Trustworthy stores and organizes all of your family’s important data in one place. Here’s my Trustworthy review and everything you need to know to get started. KERF readers can get 20%...

    READ: Trustworthy Review

  • Tips for Running in the Cold Weather
    18 October 2021

    Tips for running in the cold weather including what to wear, what to drink after the run, how to get warm, quality gear and more!

    The weather is getting colder and I'm going to try to keep up my running all through the cold winter and early spring months. I'm going to share my cold weather running routine that I follow to make winter running easier. I currently run twice a week with my dad in the mornings. We run about 5 1/2 miles each time. While I prefer the weather being nicer out, I still love running all year round and don't want to lose my running ability just because it is colder. Here are the things that I do to make running in the cold easier.

    Read more »
  • Nutrition Network to launch new elective module on using new nutritional paradigms to treat chronic disease
    18 October 2021

    From 15 November 2021, medical and allied healthcare workers can enrol in a brand-new elective module being offered by Nutrition Network (NN). The new module will focus on the application of therapeutic carbohydrate restriction (TCR) to various conditions.

    The new module, called Nutritional Paradigms for Treating Chronic Disease, will examine the emerging evidence behind how TCR can be applied to various conditions in detail. It will share alternative ways to treat disease, specifically through nutritional intervention, and will look at the different versions of TCR, such as the carnivore and ketogenic diets. It also includes a talk on the multidisciplinary team approach and includes a range of lecturers from diverse backgrounds.

    Nutritional Paradigms for Treating Chronic Disease is an elective module that can be completed as part of the advanced training curriculum. It is suitable for medical professionals and allied healthcare workers who are familiar with the TCR lifestyle.

    The lecturers include Dr Robert Lustig MD, who will be sharing the eight pathologies he deems responsible for chronic disease; Dr Fotinos Paragakos, a dentist who will be discussing periodontal disease and its relationship to overall wellness and key chronic conditions; and Dr Joan Ifland, the author of Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment and Recovery, who will be discussing the impact of processed food on immune system function. Joining them is Dr Nasha Winters, the author of The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, who will be looking at the nutritional recommendations for cancer today, and certified NN Practitioner Peter Cummings who will be hosting a two-part lecture that will look at the programme his medical fitness centre in New York uses, with an emphasis on cardiometabolic fitness. Veterinarian Petro Dobromylskyj will also be providing a detailed lecture on how pathological insulin sensitivity could be causing metabolic derangement and adipocyte hypertrophy.

    In a bonus lecture, which appeared at the World Nutrition Summit, registered dietitian Tamzyn Murphy will discuss the application of the Carnivore Diet in treating a variety of conditions. NN Managing Director Jayne Bullen will also be examining the carnivore diet through an interview with Janae Cywes, the wife of obesity expert Dr Robert Cywes, who followed the Carnivore Diet throughout her pregnancy. Health Coach Tracey McBeath is interviewed about her experience using diet to manage her autoimmune condition, and Maria Emmerich discusses the management of Lyme’s disease with nutritional intervention. 

    Then Tamzyn Murphy returns for a second lecture, in which she discusses how polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may be contributing to modern metabolic diseases.

    Finally, Professor Tim Noakes will share his personal story of moving from embedded to autonomous scientist in a lecture titled A Personal Experience of Scientific Suppression.

    Nutritional Paradigms for Treating Chronic Disease will launch on 15 November 2021 and will cost US$300. Students who register before 15 November 2021 can take advantage of the early bird special of only US$210. 

    Register now at: 

    For media enquiries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Healthy Aging – Part 2
    18 October 2021
    Balance and Core Strength

    Welcome back to our 4-part series on Healthy Aging.

    In our last episode, we touched on the importance of supporting a healthy brain. After all, not much else matters if our brain isn’t working properly.

    In today’s episode, we are going to focus on Balance and Core Strength.

    One of the primary reasons that seniors have to leave their home and move into assisted living or nursing homes is because of their fall risks.

    Did you know that nearly 3 million seniors are taken to the hospital, each year, due to fall injuries?

    Of those 3 million, more than 800,000 require long-term care, due to head injuries and/or hip fractures.

    If you start being pro-active, now, and strengthen your core muscles, you will improve the odds that you can ‘age in place’ and stay in your home, instead of becoming one of the 3 million who require medical attention.

    However, before we can even discuss the exercises that help support your core and improve balance, we must talk about proper nutrition. Because, if you’re not eating the right kinds of food, your body won’t be strong enough to improve muscular strength.


    Since protein is the foundational building block for strong and healthy muscles, it’s imperative that you eat enough protein each day.

    As we age, our production of digestive enzymes slows down, so it’s important not to ‘over-do it’ with protein in one sitting. It’s much better to spread your proteins out, all through the day. And, it’s especially important to make sure you start your day with a protein-rich breakfast. No cereal and toast for you.  Optimally, you’ll eat 30-40 grams of protein, at each meal, in the form of:

    • Full-fat Greek yogurt
    • Chicken
    • Pork
    • Beef
    • Fish – especially tuna
    • Eggs

    Just 3 or 4 ounces of the chicken, pork or tuna will get you to 30+ grams of protein. So, as you can see, it’s pretty easy to do.

    If you find that your body is struggling to effectively digest your foods, you can buy digestive enzymes to help you out. They are taken at meal time and should contain:

    • Protease
    • Amylase
    • Lipase

    Fat is also a very important nutrient to aid in balance and core strength, because of its’ role in optimal nerve function. You may have heard the term ‘myelin sheath’, but might not know exactly what it means. Here is the definition:

    ‘Myelin is a lipid-rich (fatty) substance that surrounds nerve cell axons (the nervous system’s “wires”) to insulate them and increase the rate at which electrical impulses (called action potentials) are passed along the axon.’

    If you’re not eating enough healthy fats, it’s very difficult to create myelin, which means your nerves can’t send good signals from Point A to Point B. If your nerves can’t get from Point A to Point B, then, even if your brain is telling your legs to stand up, the signal’s not getting there, and you’re unable to stand up efficiently, risking a fall.

    Ideally, you’d eat 60 to 75 grams of healthy fat per day…..or, said another way, 20-25 grams per meal.

    Great sources of healthy fats would include:

    • Olives/olive oil
    • Avocado/avocado oil
    • Walnuts
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Full-fat dairy (from healthy, pastured sources)

    Carbohydrates, in the form of vegetables and fruits, also play a key role in supporting optimal muscle growth and function.

    My favorite two veggies for muscle health are:

    • Beets
      • People who drank beet juice experienced a 38 percent increase in blood flow to muscles, particularly “fast twitch” muscles that affect bursts of speed and strength, according to a study conducted at Kansas State University.
    • Spinach
      • A rich source of iron, which is very important for building strong muscles.
      • Also a great source of magnesium
        • A mineral that’s essential to muscle development and energy production.
      • Popeye was right about this one.

    So, now that you know the foods that will help you build strong muscle to aid in balance and core strength, let’s look at three exercises that will help, too.

    1. Sit/Stand from chair, or bed, with arms crossed over chest.
      1. This type of exercise forces you to use core muscles to lift and lower your body, instead of using your arm muscles.
        1. Initially, you might need to use your arms, but with practice, you’ll get stronger and stronger.
      2. 10 reps, 3 or 4 times per day, will be beneficial.
      3. Below is the video to show you how to perform this exercise.
    1. Uni-Pedal Standing – fancy term for standing on one foot
      1. Stand behind a steady, solid chair (not one with wheels), and hold on to the back of it. Lift up your right foot and balance on your left foot. Hold that position for as long as you can, then switch feet.
      2. The goal should be to stand on one foot without holding onto the chair and hold that pose for up to a minute.
      3. After you are very successful with this exercise, you can take it up a notch, by standing on a pillow. Please watch this video to understand why and perform the activity correctly.
      4. The great bonus with this exercise is that it has been shown to improve bone density and minimize osteoporosis in women over 70. Win-Win
    2. Seated Chair Sit-Ups
      1. This exercise is amazing for strengthening your core.
      2. Since it’s difficult to try to explain, with words, how to do this exercise, I am including the video, so you can see it being performed.

    There are many more exercises you can enjoy to improve balance and strengthen your core. However, these will, at least, get you started on your journey.


    The key reasons you want to improve this aspect of your life is to minimize your fall risks. Head injuries and broken hips from falls is a leading cause of hospitalization, loss of independence and, sadly, loss of life.  It’s never too late to start.  Each day, by improving your nutrition and spending a few minutes on key exercises, you will significantly improve your chances for a healthy and vibrant senior life.

    If you feel like you need a bit of guidance to get you going, please reach out to a graduate of Nutrition Therapy Institute for a referral for a Holistic Nutrition Therapist. Some of the school’s graduates are physical therapists with their certification in nutrition therapy.


    And, as always, a tasty, and easy recipe to start you out on the right foot.

    Seared Ahi Tuna with Pumpkin Seed Sauce

    I thought it would be fun to give you a recipe with all the seasonal PUMPKIN goodness…without any of the sugary spiced up drinks you tend to see.  This sauce can be used on virtually any cut of meat as it’s versatile taste pairs well with anything!


    1 tsp. olive oil – healthy fat for nerve health

    1 medium onion cut into wedges

    1 med bell pepper, sliced

    1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

    1/4 tsp. sea salt

    1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

    1/4 tsp. ground chili powder

    4 (4-oz) raw ahi tuna steaks – healthy protein

    Spinach – healthy carbohydrate rich with iron and magnesium for muscle health

    Pumpkin Seed Sauce

    3/4 cup pumpkin seeds – another healthy fat for nerve health

    1/4 Sriracha chili sauce

    1/2 cup water

    Zest and juice of 1 lime

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1/4 cup cilantro

    3 cloves of garlic

    1/4 cup chopped onion

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp pepper

    1/4 tsp cumin

    1/4 tsp coriander

    Directions for Pumpkin Seed Sauce

    Place all of your pumpkin seed dressing ingredients into a blender and blend.

    Transfer to a skillet, sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes until sauce is thick and fragrant.

    Directions for Tuna

    Heat oil in a large over medium heat.

    Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 min. or until onion is translucent.

    Add tomatoes cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft.

    Remove veggies from skillet.  Set aside.

    Combine salt, pepper, and chili powder in a small bowl, mix well.

    Coat all sides of ahi steaks with seasoning

    Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat.

    Add ahi; sear for 2 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness. Remove from heat.

    Slice tuna on an angle.

    Lay tuna over a bed of spinach with veggies and drizzle the pumpkin seed sauce over it.

    Bon Appetite

    About the author

    Dr Becky Spacke, is a course instructor at Nutrition Therapy Institute. In addition, she has a private practice, working with people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. You can learn more by visiting

    Attend an Informational Webinar


    Photo by sk on Unsplash

    Matěj Vrtil due to Pixabay image from the

    The post Healthy Aging – Part 2 appeared first on NTI School.

  • Southwest Chili
    18 October 2021
    This Southwest Chili makes for a cozy dinner, game day meal, or enjoyed as a hearty lunch. It’s easy to make ahead of time, freezes well, and is a family favourite in our house! We love topping it with sour cream, cheddar cheese, fresh avocado and serving it with tortilla chips. This Southwest Chili is...

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18 October 2021

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  • Simple, Easy Ways You Can Improve Your Health
    18 October 2021

    Written By Lewis Robinson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

    Whether your goal is to live longer, have more energy, drop a pant size or just simply feel better, healthy changes to your lifestyle do both your body and mind a lot of good. Health goals seem complex or hard to carry out in practice, but improvements in health and wellness are the result of a commitment to smaller, more manageable changes.

    Let’s look at a few simple, easy-to-manage strategies to give your overall health an upgrade. 

    Make It Fun

    The better your outlook on your lifestyle, the easier it will be to stick to healthier habits. If you dread the changes you make because they feel too restrictive, too difficult or just not enjoyable, it may be time to rethink your approach.

    You may have made too many changes too quickly or have chosen activities, diets or methods that don’t give you much to look forward to during the day. Look into ways to make healthy endeavors a likable part of your routine by incorporating rewards, selecting activities that you enjoy and looking up Thrive reviews to make it all a little easier for your body to sustain. 

    Start Small

    Humans are creatures of habit, and it can be incredibly difficult to break the bad ones. Though some can go cold turkey, it’s too much for others. Baby steps toward larger goals can help the journey feel more approachable without rocking the boat too much. Wondering where to start? These tips should help. 

    Drink More Water

    Many people are dehydrated despite ingesting fluids throughout the day. If you find yourself grabbing sodas, teas, coffee or juices more than water, it could be doing you more harm than good.

    Start by replacing one of your daily drinks with a glass of water or set a routine to drink an extra cup of water in the morning. Gradually add more water to give your body, and your routine, time to adjust. 

    Eat Your Vegetables

    Adults should consume around five to nine servings of vegetables per day, and a surprisingly small percentage of people reach this goal. To add more fresh produce to your diet, pack your plate with a heaping serving of two different vegetables at every meal before you eat the rest of your food, so you can crowd your stomach and fill up fibrous fruits and veggies while leaving room for other food groups afterward. 

    Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

    If your sleep schedule is erratic or unpredictable, it could be taking a huge toll on your mental and physical health. Stick to a set bedtime each night and try to wake up at the same time each day.

    If you normally go to bed very late and feel groggy in the morning, adjust the time you hop in bed by 10 minutes each night, so you can get yourself on a consistent schedule - which often results in better quality sleep after your body adapts. 

    Take a Breather

    Self-care is a crucial element in your overall wellness, but it’s often too infrequent. Ideally, you should reserve as much time as you can every day to do something for yourself, but this can be tricky if you’re overscheduled or pressed for time.

    Try to take small breaks throughout the day to remember to take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, stand up to stretch your legs or take a quick walk while listening to a favorite song. Even a couple of minutes can make a huge difference. 

    Train Your Brain

    When your mind is sharp and clear, you’re more ready to tackle the day. Stress, anxiety and other health issues can cloud your thoughts and overwhelm you, and many people find themselves mindlessly scrolling their devices at night to de-stress. 

    There is nothing wrong with a little screen time, but your body and mind will benefit more from a mindful practice designed to strengthen positive neural pathways, improve your memory and build your knowledge. 

    Consider solving a crossword, listening to a meditation podcast, doing something creative or participating in a favorite hobby. When your brain is healthy, it’s easier to take care of your body, too. 

    Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tipsnatural healthoral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list 

    Written By:

    Lewis Robinson is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. When he isn’t writing he can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.

    Reviewed By:

    Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at

    Photo by Chalo Garcia on Unsplash

  • Domino’s launch a Christmas dinner PIZZA
    18 October 2021

    Merry Crustmas! Domino’s launches a Christmas dinner PIZZA topped with turkey breast, sage and onion, Cumberland sausage and crispy bacon
    • The Festive One is complete with turkey and sage onion is available at Domino’s
    • Pizza delivery shop is also launching After Eight Mints as part of festive menu 
    • Last year Papa Johns launched a Christmas pizza while Lidl and Morrisons sold Pigs in Blankets pizzas

    By Bridie Pearson-jones For Mailonline

    Published: 09:04 EDT, 18 October 2021 | Updated: 10:17 EDT, 18 October 2021

    Christmas sandwiches are now a staple on the high street every year, but now other food retailers are jumping on the bandwagon to cash in on the demand for festive food offerings – with takeaway pizza the latest to get a seasonal makeover.

    Domino’s is answering Christmas wishes early this year – with two festive additions to its menus nationwide available from today.

    People across the UK can now get their hands on a  ‘The Festive One’ Domino’s first ever Christmas themed pizza.

    The Festive One is said to pack a punch with classic Christmas flavours including succulent, turkey breast marinated in aromatic sage and onion, traditional Cumberland sausage and crispy bacon to give you a taste of the top trimmings. 

    The Festive One is said to pack a punch with classic Christmas flavours including succulent, perfectly cooked turkey breast marinated in aromatic sage and onion, traditional Cumberland sausage and crispy bacon to give you a taste of the top trimmings

    The limited-edition pizza comes on Domino’s hand-stretched, fresh dough with signature vine-ripened tomato sauce and is generously sprinkled with 100 per cent mozzarella cheese and cost £19.99.

    The festive indulgences don’t stop there, as Domino’s has got the after-party covered with a new exclusive cookie that combines your favourite post-dinner treat with Domino’s cookie dough introducing Cookies with After Eight® for £4.99. 

    These deep-filled bites come in batches of four, offering a luxurious After Eight® mint fondant centre flavoured with 100 per cent natural peppermint – baked in Domino’s signature chocolate cookie dough, they’re the perfect way to end your meal.

    Merry Menu Maker at Domino’s, Melanie Howe told FEMAIL: ‘With less than 70 days until Christmas, we just know Brits are going to love these new festive flavours our chefs have come up with. 

    The limited-edition pizza comes on Domino’s hand-stretched, fresh dough with signature vine-ripened tomato sauce and is generously sprinkled with 100 per cent mozzarella cheese and cost £19.99 (stock image)

    The festive indulgences don’t stop there, as Domino’s has got the after-party covered with a new exclusive cookie that combines your favourite post-dinner treat with Domino’s cookie dough introducing Cookies with After Eight® for £4.99.

    ‘They’ve combined high quality ingredients and superfan feedback to create something that’ll truly bring joy to people’s tastebuds this Christmas!’ 

    It’s not the first festive pizza on the market. Last year, pizza delivery chain Papa John’s launched a festive pizza with a red wine gravy base, and is topped with tender turkey meatballs, roasted vegetables Brussels sprouts, and finished off with a rich cranberry drizzle.

    Elsewhere, microbrewery Zero Degrees, which has branches in Reading, Cardiff, Bristol and Blackheath, south London,  launched a roast dinner pizza for the Christmas season. 

    In 2020 both Lidl and Morrisons have launched pigs in blankets pizzas too.


    Share or comment on this article:

    Post source: Daily mail

  • Signal Relief Patch Review
    18 October 2021

    Signal Relief sent me their 4.5" patch to relieve the discomfort I was experiencing in my arm. I’ve been using Signal Relief Patch for a while now.  In this review, I  am going to discuss my experience using the Signal Relief 4.5" Blue Patch.

    The post Signal Relief Patch Review appeared first on The Complete Herbal Guide.

  • A dietitian’s guide to eating out
    18 October 2021
    Many restaurants dole out a sizable plate of food for one order, so try to keep an eye on your portions. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

    Whether it’s a Friday night dinner with family or friends, a business lunch, or takeout from your favorite restaurant, eating out can spell disaster for those trying to follow a healthy diet.

    But it doesn’t need to.

    With a little thought and planning, healthy dining out is possible, Spectrum Health dietitian Kristi Veltkamp said.

    “A lot of restaurants recognize that people want to eat healthier,” Veltkamp said. “Pretty much anywhere you go, there’s always a healthy option.”

    Here are her tips for keeping calories down and nutrition value up when dining out.

    1. Get in the right frame of mind

    Many times, we fall into the trap of feeling like eating out is a special occasion—and therefore we should eat whatever, and how much, we want, Veltkamp said. That can work if you’re eating out infrequently, but if it’s a regular habit, it can lead you off track.

    Veltkamp likes a strategy she learned in the book, The Diet Trap Solution: Train Your Brain to Lose Weight. Think about the traps that get you off track and anticipate how you will handle those in advance.

    “If you have laid it out ahead of time, you eliminate the debating you need to do when you get there,” she said. “If you have already made up your mind, you don’t need to think about it.”

    Many restaurants have their menus available online—some with nutrition information, allowing you to plan your order from home.

    “Sometimes just having that in mind before you go will help you to not get distracted by why other people are ordering or what you see on the menu when you get there,” she said.

    Another mindset strategy: Fast forward and think about yourself leaving the restaurant.

    “Ask yourself, ‘What do I want to feel like emotionally or physically when I walk out of the restaurant?” Veltkamp said. “Is it worth feeling this way afterward?”

    2. Know what you’re looking for

    Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s healthy and what’s not on a restaurant menu, Veltkamp said.

    For your main course, look for a lean source of protein that’s not breaded or deep-fried, such as grilled or baked fish or chicken. If you want beef, choose a leaner cut such as sirloin, she suggested.

    Then think about your sides, opting for a baked potato, salad, steamed vegetables or fruit. Broth-based (not creamy) soups are good options as well.

    And watch your add-ons, such as bread, appetizers and dessert. You can request that your server not bring bread or tortilla chips to the table before the meal—or that they bring only one serving per person.

    Or ask that they bring your salad first, so you have something to eat while you wait for your entrée. Even sipping on a coffee or tea can help avoid the pre-meal munchies, she said.

    For special occasions, it might be fun to order an appetizer or dessert, Veltkamp said. Consider splitting it with your dining partners, or asking if you can just have a bite of someone else’s.

    3. Control your portion size

    One thing about dining out is nearly universal—at most restaurants, you’re getting much more than the recommended portion size, Veltkamp warned.

    In fact, many times it’s enough for two meals, she said.

    Veltkamp recommends using your hand as a portion guide. The palm of your hand should be the size of your protein portion. Then half of your plate should be filled with vegetables, followed by 1 to 2 cupped handfuls of starch.

    Other tips: Order a child portion or senior-sized portion, if that’s an option. Order one meal and split it with someone. Or ask for a to-go box when they bring your meal and immediately put half of the meal in the box.

    “If we see it there, we’re going to keep picking at it,” Veltkamp said. “Splitting it early and getting it out of sight helps because we get distracted by talking and we don’t pay as much attention to when we’re full.

    “This gives you a nice starting point,” she said. “And then if you feel like you could use a little more food, you can always take more out of the to-go box.”

    Also remember it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full. So slow down, eat mindfully and stop when you are satisfied.

    4. Ask questions

    “It’s OK to ask questions and to try to customize meals,” Veltkamp said.

    How is this cooked? Is it buttered? What sauces are added to it? I’m on a heart-healthy diet or low sodium diet—what would you recommend?

    “Sometimes they have options that are not on the menu,” Veltkamp said. “I have found a lot of times that just by asking questions, they can accommodate a lot of things.”

    5. Watch your beverages

    It’s possible to eat a very healthy meal and then sabotage it by ordering high-sugar, high-calorie drinks, Veltkamp said.

    Soft drinks, sweetened iced tea, lemonade, wine, beer and sweet alcoholic drinks like piña coladas and daiquiris can add calories in the form of carbohydrates—fast.

    So Veltkamp urged diners to know how many calories are in their drink—and at what serving size.

    A serving size of wine is 5 ounces and beer is 12 ounces, she said.

    “Keep that in mind when you are ordering because you could be having two servings instead of one,” Veltkamp said.

    With these tools, even those sticking to a healthy diet can enjoy a night out, or a takeout night at home, without blowing their diet, Veltkamp said.

    “It just takes being mindful,” she said.

  • Get Outside, Even In the Cold!
    18 October 2021

    How Getting Outside May Improve Your Mood, Even in the Dead of Winter.

  • Heart To Heart: How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Heart Health Throughout Your Life
    18 October 2021

    Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States? Far too many women think of heart disease as a man's issue — but that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, risk factors in pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, peripartum cardiomyopathy and preterm birth, along with autoimmune and other chronic diseases, can impact your heart health throughout your life.

    Hear from leading experts about your risk factors, how to talk to your healthcare provider and the lifestyle choices you can make right now to keep your heart healthy as you age.


    • Nieca Goldberg, M.D., Medical Director Atria New York City and Clinical Associate Professor NYU Grossman School of Medicine


    • Icilma V. Fergus, M.D., Director of Cardiovascular Disparities and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York
    • Erin Poe Ferranti, Ph.D., M.P.H, RN, CDCES, FAHA, FPCNA, FAAN, Assistant Professor of Nursing at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
    • Debora Grandison, Heart Disease Advocate and Survivor
    • Emily J. Jones, Ph.D., RNC-OB, FAHA, FPCNA, Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing
    • Judette Louis, M.D., M.P.H., Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of South Florida

    This program was created with support from Amgen, Bristol Myers Squibb and Novartis

  • 5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick This Fall
    18 October 2021

    It seems as though it was just yesterday when summer was in the air and temperatures averaged at about 85 degrees. Fall has definitely arrived, and with the weather transitioning into cooler climates, winter isn’t too far behind. Along with the cool weather comes, you guessed it, cold and flu season. Before you know it, you feel scratchiness at the back of your throat and the sniffles that are all too familiar.

  • How Many Lives Have Coronavirus Vaccines Saved? We Used State Data on Deaths and Vaccination Rates to Find Out
    18 October 2021

    By Sumedha Gupta, IUPUI

    CC BY-ND

    More than 200 million U.S. residents have gotten at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine with the expectation that the vaccines slow virus transmission and save lives.

    Researchers know the efficacy of the vaccines from large-scale clinical trials, the gold standard for medical research. The studies found the vaccines to be very effective at preventing severe COVID–19 and especially good at preventing death. But it's important to track any new treatment in the real world as the population-level benefits of vaccines could differ from the efficacy found in clinical trials.

    For instance, some people in the U.S. have only been getting the first shot of a two-shot vaccine and are therefore less protected than a fully vaccinated person. Alternatively, vaccinated people are much less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others, including those who are not vaccinated. This could make vaccines more effective at a population level than in the clinical trials.

    I am a health economist, and my team and I have been studying the effects of public policy interventions like vaccination have had on the pandemic. We wanted to know how many lives vaccines may have saved due to the states' COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in the U.S.

    Building an accurate model

    In March 2021, when weekly data on state COVID-19 vaccinations started to become reliably available from state agencies, my team began to analyze the association between state vaccination rates and the subsequent COVID-19 cases and deaths in each state. Our goal was to build a model that was accurate enough to measure the effect of vaccination within the complicated web of factors that influence COVID–19 deaths.

    To do this, our model compares COVID-19 incidence in states with high vaccination rates against states with low vaccination rates. As part of the analysis, we controlled for things that influence the spread of the coronavirus, like state–by–state differences in weather and population density, seasonally driven changes in social behavior and non-pharmaceutical interventions like stay-at-home orders, mask mandates and overnight business closures. We also accounted for the fact that there is a delay between when a person is first vaccinated and when their immune system has built up protection.

    Vaccines saved lives

    To check the strength of our model before playing with variables, we first compared reported deaths with an estimate that our model produced.

    When we fed it all of the information available – including vaccination rates – the model calculated that by May 9, 2021, there should have been 569,193 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. The reported death count by that date was 578,862, less than a 2% difference from our model's prediction.

    Equipped with our well-working statistical model, we were then able to “turn off" the vaccination effect and see how much of a difference vaccines made.

    Using near real-time data of state vaccination rates, coronavirus cases and deaths in our model, we found that in the absence of vaccines, 708,586 people would have died by May 9, 2021. We then compared that to our model estimate of deaths with vaccines: 569,193. The difference between those two numbers is just under 140,000. Our model suggests that vaccines saved 140,000 lives by May 9, 2021.

    Our study only looked at the few months just after vaccination began. Even in that short time frame, COVID-19 vaccinations saved many thousands of lives despite vaccination rates still being fairly low in several states by the end of our study period. I can say with certainty that vaccines have since then saved many more lives – and will continue to do so as long as the coronavirus is still around.

    Sumedha Gupta, Associate Professor of Economics, IUPUI

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

  • A Move to Rein In Cancer-Causing ‘Forever Chemicals’
    18 October 2021
    Michael Regan, the E.P.A. administrator, wants to limit a class of chemicals that has been linked to cancer and is found in everything from drinking water to furniture.
  • My Close Friend’s Cancer Diagnosis Helped Save My Life
    18 October 2021

    As told to Fortesa Latifi

    I know my body, and I know when something's wrong — even when doctors don't believe me. My period pain had been dismissed my entire life, but after watching my close friend die of cancer, I knew I could no longer afford to be quiet.

    Last year, I had a few irregular menstrual cycles in a row, and I went to see several doctors. None of them found a cause for my increasingly painful periods. But I knew there had to be an answer, and I knew I had to push deeper to find it. My close friend for more than a decade, Tiffany, had recently passed away after not being diagnosed with cancer until it was stage 4, past the point of much hope. After seeing her struggles, I knew I had to fight for myself. If she had taught me anything, it was this. I couldn't let what happened to her happen to me.

    Tiffany was diagnosed almost accidentally. After she pressed her doctors to find out what was going on inside her body, her care team stumbled upon her diagnosis. What they initially thought were hemorrhoids turned out to be a clue to her actual diagnosis: colon cancer. Tiffany was a nurse, and she knew how to dig deeper and press her doctors. But still, in March 2020, she ended up dying from a cancer that was diagnosed too late.

    It was devastating to watch what Tiffany went through and it became clear to me that healthcare providers (HCPs) need to listen to their patients when they tell them something is wrong. Tiffany had to press and press her doctors, and it was still not enough. I tell people all the time that if it weren't for her, I probably wouldn't have learned my own diagnosis. I credit my life to being saved by her fight.

    Initially, my doctors were sure I didn't have cancer. They said that point-blank, but I still urged them to do more testing. After many tests and scans, they concluded I had adenomyosis, a condition that occurs when the inner lining of the uterus grows into the wall of the uterus. I also had a Pap test and an HPV test. They showed that I had HPV and abnormal cells in my cervix. So, the next step was a hysterectomy, but I insisted that I wanted to have a thorough biopsy before undergoing such extensive surgery. Through my advocating for myself, I was able to secure two biopsies before the hysterectomy. And those biopsies uncovered my cervical cancer.

    I was distraught. I'd just lost Tiffany months before my own diagnosis. I sank into a level of depression I'd never before experienced. I'd watched many people in my life battle cancer: my aunt, who died from breast cancer; my husband's grandfather; my uncle; and another close friend who beat cervical cancer only to then have breast cancer twice. I remember thinking, "Everyone I know who's had cancer either died from it or had a recurrence. Why would I be any different? Why would I be the one to survive?"

    I was still grieving Tiffany. I was still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that she was gone. She died right before Covid-19 hit, so not only was I grieving my friend but I was trying to adjust to life in a pandemic and then my own diagnosis was thrown in on top of that. It was overwhelming.

    Everything I did during my journey was influenced by the experiences of my loved ones. I took notes at every doctor's appointment. I made sure I asked questions and did my own research.

    I almost can't believe it, but I'm healthy and cancer-free now. After chemotherapy and radiation, my cancer was gone and my follow-up scans are coming back clear. I feel like I'm back to my old self. That's hard for me to say because it feels so unreal. I never imagined I would make it through this. But I did, and I owe so much of my survival to Tiffany.

    If I could talk to other women who are facing health issues, I would tell them to be aware of their body and their health. If you think something is wrong, no matter how small it may seem, go see your HCP. Nothing is too small to mention. Do your research. Make sure you find HCPs who are specialists to help you. Keep track of everything — medications, therapies — that you try. Be open. Be vocal. Be loud about what's going on with you. Don't just accept whatever they say, especially when you feel like it's not a solution to your problem.

    Your pain is not just something you have to deal with. You deserve a diagnosis.

Health Science blogs

Science Blogs

18 October 2021

Science Blogs Science Blogs
  • 5 Weird and Wild Animals You've (Probably) Never Heard Of
    18 October 2021
    These threatened species include living fossils, scaly mammals, and the biggest rodent ever.
  • World Waits for Specifics on U.S. Climate Plan
    18 October 2021
    In the run-up to major international climate negotiations, the fate of the Biden administration’s climate plans is uncertain
    --
  • A Magnetic Tunnel Surrounds the Earth
    18 October 2021

    What if our eyes could see radio waves?

    If we could, we might be able to look up into the sky and see a tunnel of rope-like filaments made of radio waves. The structure would be about 1,000 light-years long and would be about 350 light-years away.

    This tunnel explains two of the brightest radio features in the sky.

    Astronomers discovered the North Polar Spur and the Fan Region in the 1960s when radio astronomy was getting going. The North Polar Spur is a massive ridge of hot gas that rises above the plane of the Milky Way. It emits x-rays and radio waves. Over the decades since its discovery, there’s been an ongoing discussion about what it actually is and how far away it is. Astronomers thought it could be related to the Fermi Bubbles or a feature carved out by ancient supernovae explosions.

    The Fan Region is one of the most dominant polarized radio features in the sky. There’s debate about the nature of the Fan Region, too, with some saying it’s a local feature and some arguing that it’s on a galactic scale.

    The Galaxy is seen in radio waves in the conventional view with the Galactic centre in the middle of the image. Credit: Haslam et al. (1982) with annotations by J. West.

    A team of researchers from Canada and the US presents evidence in a new paper showing that the pair of features are connected. The paper’s title is “A Unified Model for the Fan Region and the North Polar Spur: A bundle of filaments in the Local Galaxy.” The lead author is Dr. Jennifer West, Research Associate at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto.

    “If we were to look up in the sky, we would see this tunnel-like structure in just about every direction we looked – that is, if we had eyes that could see radio light.”

    Dr. Jennifer West, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy

    The authors say that both the NPS and the Fan Region are parts of the same feature. The feature is made up of 1,000 light-years long “ropes,” which themselves are made up of charged particles and a magnetic field. They’re right in front of our eyes, but we can’t see them. “If we were to look up in the sky,” explains West, “we would see this tunnel-like structure in just about every direction we looked – that is, if we had eyes that could see radio light.”

    This image from the study shows the tunnel at 30 GHz. The North Polar Spur sweeps up and to the right, while the Fan Region is on the left. Image Credit: West et al., 2021.

    “Magnetic fields don’t exist in isolation,” West explains in a press release. The trick was to figure out how these two were connected. West thinks that her team is the first group of astronomers to join the pair of features.

    West says she’s been thinking about the pair of features for 15 years since she first saw a radio map of the sky. In recent years she’s built a computer model that shows what the radio sky would look like from Earth as she changed the shape and location of the long radio ropes. The model made it possible to “build” the radio structure around us. It showed her what the sky would look like through radio telescopes. The model gave her a new perspective that helped her match the data to the observed data.

    A paper from 1965 played a role in the discovery.

    “A few years ago, one of our co-authors, Tom Landecker, told me about a paper from 1965, from the early days of radio astronomy,” West said. “Based on the crude data available at this time, the authors (Mathewson & Milne), speculated that these polarized radio signals could arise from our view of the Local Arm of the Galaxy, from inside it. That paper inspired me to develop this idea and tie my model to the vastly better data that our telescopes give us today.”

    “Most astronomers look at a map with the North pole of the Galaxy up and the Galactic centre in the middle.”

    Dr. Jennifer West, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy

    West compares their work with a map of the Earth. The North Pole is on top, of course, and the equator is in the middle. But it can be drawn from a different perspective, which is what West’s computer model allowed her to do. “Most astronomers look at a map with the North pole of the Galaxy up and the Galactic centre in the middle,” she explains. “An important part that inspired this idea was to remake that map with a different point in the middle.”

    Left: The sky as it would appear in radio polarized waves. The Van-Gogh-like lines show the orientation of the magnetic field. These radio data are shown projected as they would be seen in the sky together with the brightest stars and constellations outlines and constellation names overlaid. Credit: Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory/Villa Elisa telescope/ESA/Planck Collaboration/Stellarium/J. West. Right: the sky in the same orientation and projection, as it can be seen with our eyes. The same brightest stars and constellations as in the previous image are shown. Credit: Stellarium/J. West.

    “This is extremely clever work.”

    Dr. Bryan Gaensler, study co-author.

    “This is extremely clever work,” says Dr. Bryan Gaensler, a professor at the Dunlap Institute and an author on the publication. “When Jennifer first pitched this to me, I thought it was too ‘out-there’ to be a possible explanation. But she was ultimately able to convince me! Now I’m excited to see how the rest of the astronomy community reacts.”

    West is an expert in galaxies and the ISM. She’s looking forward to more research that can hopefully discover how the various magnetic structures in the sky are connected.

    “Magnetic fields don’t exist in isolation,” she explains. “They all must connect to each other. So a next step is to better understand how this local magnetic field connects both to the larger-scale Galactic magnetic field and also to the smaller scale magnetic fields of our Sun and Earth.”

    This figure from the study shows the arrangement of some of the loops constructed on nested cylinders. The diagram is not to scale, but the placement of the filaments is correct with respect to the Sun’s position and relative to each other. Image Credit: West et al. 2021.

    We can’t see these structures with our eyes. But knowing they’re out there is thought-expanding.

    “I think it’s just awesome to imagine that these structures are everywhere whenever we look up into the night sky,” said West.

    For years, astronomers have argued over the nature of the North Polar Spur. Different research has produced contradictions. Some studies show it’s a distant feature, while others show it’s more local. West and her co-authors say their paper has resolved these contradictions. “We show this model is consistent with the large number of observational studies on these regions and is able to resolve an apparent contradiction in the literature that suggests the high latitude portion of the NPS is nearby, while lower latitude portions are more distant.”

    “This model has implications for developing a holistic model of magnetic fields in galaxies,” the authors write. “We still do not fully understand the origin and evolution of regular magnetic fields in galaxies and how this field is maintained.”

    The model isn’t a perfect match with observations. The yellow regions show polarization disagreement between the model and the data in this image from the study. But the areas of disagreement are primarily on the ends of the NPS. The team thinks that some foreground structure is causing some depolarization and say that the model still broadly agrees with the data. Image Credit: West et al. 2021.

    The team hopes a better understanding of features like the tunnel will lead to a better understanding of more distant magnetic features. Filaments much more extensive than these exist, and so do bubbles and super-bubbles. Astronomers have observed them in more distant regions of the Milky Way.

    But studying these more distant features is difficult. “Thus, it is likely that we do not currently have the resolution and sensitivity to see this level of structure in many locations except the local environment and possibly in the Perseus arm,” the team concludes.


    The post A Magnetic Tunnel Surrounds the Earth appeared first on Universe Today.

  • Here’s the View From Sweden During the Recent Solar Storm
    18 October 2021

    Vivid green and purple aurora swirled and danced across the entire night sky in Sweden recently. The nighttime light show was captured by an all-sky camera in Kiruna, Sweden, which is part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space Weather Service Network.

    This camera is pointed straight up, and is fitted with a fish-eye lens to be able to capture the sky from horizon to horizon. The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, were visible due to the impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME) into our planet’s magnetosphere on October 12. A solar storm on the Sun ejected a ejected a violent mass of fast-moving plasma into space on October 9, 2021.  A few days later, aurora were seen around the world in the northern hemisphere.

    “What I love about this video is the chance to see this beautiful, purple aurora, more clearly visible during intense geomagnetic storms,” said Hannah Laurens, a Space Weather Applications Scientist based at European Space Operations Center (ESOC). “The movement of this swirly structure in space and time is often referred to as auroral dynamics.”

    Laurens explained how the aurora is a manifestation of complex drivers operating in the distant magnetosphere which makes it a useful, and beautiful, tool with which to monitor space weather conditions. But being able to study the auroral dynamics is especially important when studying the relationship between the ionosphere and magnetosphere, which are linked by lines of magnetic field.

    Various spacecraft keep an eye on the Sun: the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter are just some of the tools scientists use to learn more about our star and how it affects our planet. Observatories on the ground, like all-sky cameras, are also vital to understanding the complex, and sometimes hazardous interactions between the Sun and Earth.

    A preliminary look at the eruption from the M1.6 solar flare with the help of SDO and STCE/SIDC.

    We see a gorgeous eruption which very likely launched an earth-directed CME into space. More info will come later when coronagraph imagery becomes available.

    — SpaceWeatherLive (@_SpaceWeather_) October 9, 2021

    All-sky cameras have operated in Kiruna since the International Geophysical Year 1957-1958, and a digital all-sky camera has been in operation since 2001. The Kiruna Atmospheric and Geophysical Observatory (KAGO) is part of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF),

    While most of the solar wind is blocked by Earth’s protective magnetosphere, some charged particles become trapped in Earth’s magnetic field and flow down to the geomagnetic poles, colliding with the upper atmosphere to create the beautiful aurora.

    The post Here’s the View From Sweden During the Recent Solar Storm appeared first on Universe Today.

  • Colin Powell’s Passing Highlights The Need For More People To Get Vaccinated
    18 October 2021
    Powell's blood cancer likely reduced the protection he received from Covid-19 vaccination.
  • Cities Built on Secret Cemeteries
    18 October 2021
    As urban centers expanded, city planners solved a grave problem with imperfect solutions.
  • Colin Powell's weakened immune system may have played a role in his COVID-19 death
    18 October 2021
    Powell had previously undergone treatment for a blood cancer that can harm the immune system.
  • Hungry grizzly bear photo-bombs camera trap in award-winning photo
    18 October 2021
    A grizzly bear attacked a photographer's camera trap and the resulting image won the Animals in their Environment category at the 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
  • The human immune system is an early riser
    18 October 2021

    Circadian clocks, which regulate most of the physiological processes of living beings over a rhythm of about 24 hours, are one of the most fundamental biological mechanisms. By deciphering the cell migration mechanisms underlying the immune response, scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), in Switzerland, and the Ludwigs-Maximilians University (LMU), in Germany, have shown that the activation of the immune system is modulated according to the time of day. Indeed, the migration of immune cells from the skin to the lymph nodes oscillates over a 24-hours period. Immune function is highest in the resting phase, just before activity resumes — in the afternoon for mice, which are nocturnal animals, and early morning for humans. These results, which can be read in the journal Nature Immunology, suggest that the time of day should possibly be taken into account when administering vaccines or immunotherapies against cancer, in order to increase their effectiveness.

    Unlike the innate immune system, which reacts immediately but in a non-targeted way, the adaptive immune system builds a long-term response specific to each infectious agent.“The adaptive immune system takes weeks to form a response specific to a given pathogen. This response then lasts for a long time thanks to a cellular memory mechanism”, says Christoph Scheiermann, a professor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology and in the Geneva Centre for Inflammation Research (GCIR) at UNIGE Faculty of Medicine, who led this research. “This is typically the mechanism at work during vaccination against a virus, for example.”

    To understand the role of circadian rhythms on immune activation, the researchers looked at the migration of dendritic cells from the skin into the lymphatic system, one of the pillars of the adaptive immune response. Located in many peripheral organs, including the skin, dendritic cells migrate through the lymphatic vessels to the lymph nodes, where antigens are presented, in order to trigger an immune response against an incoming pathogen.

    Synchronised clocks

    The scientists first observed the migratory capacity of dendritic cells in wild mice four times a day, then in mice without functional internal clocks. “For cell migration to take place correctly, not only the dendritic cells but also the lymphatic vessel cells must respond to a circadian rhythm”, explains Stephan Holtkamp, then a researcher at the Biomedical Center of the Ludwig-Maximilian University and first author of this study. The circadian clock must therefore be functional on both sides of the mechanism: in the cell and in its environment. If not, the activity peaks no longer occur and the immune system continuously works in slow motion.

    The researchers then repeated their experiment on human skin cells taken from patients at different times of the day. “We identified numerous molecules, in particular chemokines, which are involved in the migratory process and whose expression is regulated by circadian clocks”, says Christoph Scheiermann. “The same molecules were found in human and mouse cells with an inverted rhythm corresponding to the life habits of the two species, nocturnal for rodents, diurnal for humans. This confirms that this rhythm is governed by natural activity according to the alternation of day and night.”

    Stimulating the immune system at a favourable time

    Additional data also indicate that if the immune system is stimulated at different times of the day, the same oscillations appear, with a peak in the morning. But why is the immune system governed by an oscillatory rhythm? “Circadian rhythms function as an energy-saving system to make the best use of energy resources according to the most immediate needs. Could this be a way for the immune system to be on alert at times when the risk of exposure to pathogens is greatest, through the ingestion of food and/or social interactions?” Likewise, could we be more vulnerable to pathogens in the evening and at night? It is impossible to say for the moment. Nevertheless, the importance of the circadian rhythm on the immune system is only just being to be revealed and could be of major importance both for preventive vaccination and for the administration of anti-tumour therapies or the management of autoimmune diseases. Christoph Scheiermann’s team will now explore in more detail the very first stage of the immune response, when the pathogen or vaccine enters the body.

  • Researchers successfully build four-legged swarm robots
    18 October 2021

    As a robotics engineer, Yasemin Ozkan-Aydin, assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, gets her inspiration from biological systems. The collective behaviors of ants, honeybees and birds to solve problems and overcome obstacles is something researchers have developed in aerial and underwater robotics. Developing small-scale swarm robots with the capability to traverse complex terrain, however, comes with a unique set of challenges.

    In research published in Science Robotics, Ozkan-Aydin presents how she was able to build multi-legged robots capable of maneuvering in challenging environments and accomplishing difficult tasks collectively, mimicking their natural-world counterparts.

    “Legged robots can navigate challenging environments such as rough terrain and tight spaces, and the use of limbs offers effective body support, enables rapid maneuverability and facilitates obstacle crossing,” Ozkan-Aydin said. “However, legged robots face unique mobility challenges in terrestrial environments, which results in reduced locomotor performance.”

    For the study, Ozkan-Aydin said, she hypothesized that a physical connection between individual robots could enhance the mobility of a terrestrial legged collective system. Individual robots performed simple or small tasks such as moving over a smooth surface or carrying a light object, but if the task was beyond the capability of the single unit, the robots physically connected to each other to form a larger multi-legged system and collectively overcome issues.

    “When ants collect or transport objects, if one comes upon an obstacle, the group works collectively to overcome that obstacle. If there’s a gap in the path, for example, they will form a bridge so the other ants can travel across — and that is the inspiration for this study,” she said. “Through robotics we’re able to gain a better understanding of the dynamics and collective behaviors of these biological systems and explore how we might be able to use this kind of technology in the future.”

    Using a 3D printer, Ozkan-Aydin built four-legged robots measuring 15 to 20 centimeters, or roughly 6 to 8 inches, in length. Each was equipped with a lithium polymer battery, microcontroller and three sensors — a light sensor at the front and two magnetic touch sensors at the front and back, allowing the robots to connect to one another. Four flexible legs reduced the need for additional sensors and parts and gave the robots a level of mechanical intelligence, which helped when interacting with rough or uneven terrain.

    “You don’t need additional sensors to detect obstacles because the flexibility in the legs helps the robot to move right past them,” said Ozkan-Aydin. “They can test for gaps in a path, building a bridge with their bodies; move objects individually; or connect to move objects collectively in different types of environments, not dissimilar to ants.”

    Ozkan-Aydin began her research for the study in early 2020, when much of the country was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After printing each robot, she built each one and conducted her experiments at home, in her yard or at the playground with her son. The robots were tested over grass, mulch, leaves and acorns. Flat-ground experiments were conducted over particle board, and she built stairs using insulation foam. The robots were also tested over shag carpeting, and rectangular wooden blocks were glued to particle board to serve as rough terrain.

    When an individual unit became stuck, a signal was sent to additional robots, which linked together to provide support to successfully traverse obstacles while working collectively.

    Ozkan-Aydin says there are still improvements to be made on her design. But she expects the study’s findings will inform the design of low-cost legged swarms that can adapt to unforeseen situations and perform real-world cooperative tasks such as search-and-rescue operations, collective object transport, space exploration and environmental monitoring. Her research will focus on improving the control, sensing and power capabilities of the system, which are essential for real-world locomotion and problem-solving — and she plans to use this system to explore the collective dynamics of insects such as ants and termites.

    “For functional swarm systems, the battery technology needs to be improved,” she said. “We need small batteries that can provide more power, ideally lasting more than 10 hours. Otherwise, using this type of system in the real world isn’t sustainable.” Additional limitations include the need for more sensors and more powerful motors — while keeping the size of the robots small.

    “You need to think about how the robots would function in the real world, so you need to think about how much power is required, the size of the battery you use. Everything is limited so you need to make decisions with every part of the machine.”

    Daniel I. Goldman at the Georgia Institute of Technology co-authored the study.

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