Canberra, June 22 (Xinhua/UNB) -- People with too much iron are more likely to contract diabetes and liver disease according to a joint study released on Friday.
While the medical issues associated with an iron deficiency have been well-documented, the study by researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA) and Imperial College London revealed the implications of an iron surplus.
They found that people with high iron levels are protected against anaemia, a blood condition linked to iron deficiency, and are less likely to have high cholesterol but are also more likely to contract liver disease, diabetes and bacterial skin infections.
UniSA geneticist and co-author of the study Beben Benyamin said that the link between an iron surplus and a lower risk of high cholesterol was particularly important.
"We used a statistical method, called Mendelian randomization that employs genetic data to better estimate the causal effect of iron status on 900 diseases and conditions. Through this, we found a link between excess iron and a reduced risk of high cholesterol," he said in a media release.
"This could be significant given that raised cholesterol is a major factor in cardiovascular disease and stroke, causing around 2.6 million deaths each year according to the World Health Organization.
"In this study we have provided population-based evidence that iron is associated with certain diseases. The next step is to investigate whether direct manipulation of iron levels improve health outcomes through clinical trials."
Benyamin and co-author Dipender Gill from the Imperial College London also found that people with high iron levels are more likely to contract cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection that affects 21 million people in 2015 and kills 17,000.
Paris, June 22 (AP/UNB) — Dior brought art to Paris Fashion Week on Friday as designer Kim Jones used a monumental plaster sculpture on the runway to inspire his architectural show.
Guests including Kate Moss, Christina Ricci and Kelly Osbourne marveled at the giant artwork by American artist Daniel Arsham that spelled out “DIOR” in broken up plaster with jewels surreally glimmering beneath.
Here are some highlights of spring-summer 2020 menswear shows.
Dior’s goes back to past
“It’s quite incredible,” exclaimed Osbourne. “The artist puts real crystals inside his work.”
The metaphor of the jewel hidden inside the sculptures provided Dior Man with its theme: Beauty unearthed from the past.
It was the starting point of a collection that went back to the past of Christian Dior, who revolutionized the global fashion industry after World War II with his sculpted, couture styles. These were evoked throughout the 49 looks.
Softly sculpted suits — single and double-breasted, and in pale shades — sported long contrasting silken strips that cleverly evoked the shading of the real sculptures on the runway.
Stiff, sanitized coats that were A-line and in white, meanwhile, referenced the house’s popular saddle bag by using the item’s curves here as storm flaps.
Elsewhere, the newspaper print first used by former designer John Galliano two decades ago featured on socks, saddle bags and sheer shirts.
The overly-referential designs are a frequent downside for Dior — but Jones ensured he didn’t lose his own identity.
Indeed, the collection’s strongest looks — like a simple T-shirt with a whoosh of blue watercolor on one shoulder — looked just like Jones exploring his own artistic self.
Berluti’s color vision
The scent of flowers that seemed to float into Berluti’s venue — the resplendent Luxembourg Gardens — was so intoxicating it had fashion insiders guessing that the perfume was, in reality, artificial.
The show itself by designer Kris Van Assche, which seemed inspired by the bright colors of a tropical forest, had a similar problem.
There is courage in putting men in bright hues — a point which should be duly credited to the Belgian who’s been at the helm of the Berluti house one year.
He’s certainly succeeded in bringing a new aesthetic to the storied 19th-century brand, a former Italian shoemaker, since arriving from Dior.
But the yellow citrines, vivid blues, electric oranges and electric reds that were chosen for the spring-summer looks were so eye-poppingly industrial they seemed to distract from all else.
The dazzling hues came on suits and long, loosely flowing sleeveless jackets.
And instead of being broken up with more neutral colors, for instance, or used sparingly, they were sometimes splashed across “total look” ensembles. It looked rather heavy-handed.
Still, the show had some great one-off moments — including one from model, Gigi Hadid, who closed the show in a verdigris pant-look speckled with matching diaphanous embroidered feathers.
Ecology escapes paris fashion
The art of the chic invite is still very much a staple of Paris fashion.
Houses compete to produce the most eye-catching, inventive and flamboyant show invitations delivered often by gas-guzzling courier to each guest’s personal or professional address with little thought for ecology.
The little works of art sometimes provide a hint as to what the collection has in store. Often, they are just plain wacky.
The invite to Louis Vuitton’s boyhood-themed show was a giant box containing a complete kite construction kit.
The edgy it-brand Vetements sent out an actual condom in a plastic packet that some fashionistas opened in the belief their seating placing was contained inside. They were wrong.
While, the house of Berluti sent out a chunky wooden block, as was historically used in the construction of classic footwear, with their show details on top.
Juun J.’S variations
Korean designer Juun J.’s spring collection was called “Module,” a term that describes independent units used to construct a more complex structure.
The units in this show of oversize designs comprised: Huge utilitarian pockets, triangular hoods, sharp shoulders, cinched segmented waists on voluminous pants and some gargantuan, statement fanny packs.
They were all used like a puzzle across the 40 looks in varying rates and intervals. It produced a diverse, yet coherent, series of variations — or modulations — on a theme that worked well.
Juun J.’s go-to color palette of black, white and khaki began the show — moving into some space-age sheens of silver and pink that were on female models. Their billowing skirts seemed to melt down the body, artistically.
Balmain sparkles again
Shimmer, sparkle, stripes in the intoxicating style of the ’80s — that was the essence of designer Olivier Rousteing’s spring collection for Balmain that didn’t break any mold. And why should it?
The 33-year-old French designer’s tried-and-tested formula for bold, big-shouldered opulence is financially successful.
This season, he loosened the silhouette and put on a fashion show with dramatic black and white stripes as well as all-out looks comprising embroidered mirrored pallettes and dazzling silver space pants.
To say that this collection didn’t tread much out of Rousteing’s comfort zone demonstrates how totally he has redefined the aesthetic and reputation of the age-old Parisian house founded in 1945 by icon Pierre Balmain, a contemporary of Christian Dior.
Balmain’s democratic fashion party
Balmain’s show is being billed as part of Paris’ annual all-night music celebration, la Fete de la Musique. The event_as much concert as runway_is being held inside the French capital’s historic, 384-year-old Jardin des Plantes.
For the final moments of sunshine on the longest day of the year, it will take place outdoors and will be followed by musical performances, kicked off by Gesaffelstein.
Earlier in the month, 1,500 free tickets to the event were available, free of charge. Designer Olivier Rousteing said it was his way of “democratizing” fashion. Money is being raised for (RED), a charity that helps fight AIDS.
Dhaka, June 22 (UNB) - Three compounds found in cocoa beans, particularly in the product’s shells, show promise for reducing the inflammation and insulin resistance that may result from obesity, according to a new study. The research comes from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where researchers investigated three specific phenolic compounds on mice. The compounds’ effects were described as ‘powerful’, reports SlashGear.
The study investigated three compounds called epicatechin, protocatechuic acid, and procyanidin B2. Though all three bioactive chemicals are found at high levels in cocoa bean shells, they’re also present in cocoa beans, green tea, and coffee.
As part of the study, researchers tested these compounds in a water-based extract on immune and white fat cells from mice; the team also investigated the effects of each chemical individually. In both instances, damaged mitochondria in the white fat cells was repaired, resulting in less fat accumulation.
As well, the researchers noted that inflammation was blocked in these white fat cells and insulin sensitivity was restored, something necessary to avoid the harmful effects of insulin resistance often seen in cases of obesity.
Effects on immune system
The compounds were also found to be effective against another harmful effect of obesity: excessive growth of immune cells called macrophages. This growth is triggered when fat cells accumulate too much fat, resulting in what the researchers describe as a ‘toxic cycle’ of interaction between the immune and fat cells. Resulting toxins can lead to chronic inflammation, compounding obesity’s harmful effects.
Chronic inflammation in obesity eventually results in insulin resistance, which can then snowball into type 2 diabetes. When the phenolic compounds were introduced into the mix, however, the white fat cells transformed into what is known as ‘beige’ fat, which burns fat more efficiently and contains more mitochondria. Insulin sensitivity was maintained and inflammation was controlled.
Using cocoa ‘waste’
The researchers note that cocoa bean shells, which contain high levels of these compounds, are considered a waste product with approximately 700,000 tons thrown away every year. Extracting these compounds may put those shells to good use while also potentially helping address the harmful effects obesity has on the body.
New York, June (AP/UNB) - If you want your child to have a rich and fulfilling life, one of the best things you can do is help build your child’s vocabulary. Research shows strong language ability is associated with a number of positive things, including happiness, friendships, connections with family, academic success and a satisfying career.
Building your child’s language ability is not something you should wait to do until they’re old enough to go to school. Vocabulary development is extremely rapid. Between birth and second grade, children, on average, learn about 5,200 root words.
The ability to quickly interpret words at 18 months can determine the size of a child’s vocabulary later in childhood.
By grades three and four, vocabulary also is closely related to children’s ability to understand what they read. This is partly because a child’s vocabulary is a strong indicator of a child’s knowledge of the world.
As one who researches the best ways to develop children’s literacy, here are seven things that I believe parents and educators can do to help build children’s language and vocabulary skills.
1. Talk about objects and events that interest the child
Talk about something that has the child’s attention. A mother may notice her 8-month-old baby staring at a large cat and say, “Oh look at the nice kitty. She has such pretty eyes and soft fur.” Such interactions may also occur when a child points to something and starts trying to talk about it, indicating excited interest. These exchanges are prime opportunities for adults to name, describe and explain things. Occasions when parents and children talk about things they are both attending to are powerful instructional moments. Words are paired with objects, events and emotions. The importance of these exchanges is shown by the fact that the amount of pointing by children at 18 months is related to language development at 42 months.
2. Have many conversations with children
The amount of language children hear during conversations with adults in the first 18 to 24 months of life matters. Language areas of the child’s brain are rapidly developing. The ability to translate sounds into meaningful words is rapidly improving. Linking sounds to meanings quickly enables one to continue to make sense from the words they are hearing. The speed with which children assign meaning to words is strongly related to the amount of language they have heard as part of adult-child conversations.
3. Engage in sustained interactions
By the time children are 2, it is not only the quantity but also the quality of the conversations they hear that matters. At this point to really foster your child’s language growth, don’t be in a hurry – talk with your child about particular objects or events for a decent amount of time. It’s not necessarily a certain amount of time that matters. But there should be at least eight to 10 back-and-forth exchanges between the parent and the child. When children are verbal, these back-and-forth exchanges that take place over many turns are especially valuable.
Indeed, preschool children who have longer-lasting conversations show faster brain development and more efficient processing of information than those who have fewer and shorter conversations.
4. Read and discuss books
One of the most powerful of all shared activities is book reading. Books can be shared and enjoyed from the first year of life. They provide endless opportunities to name objects, animals and action. These experiences can be repeated over and over. The activity also gives parents a time to bond with their child while talking about favorite pictures, events and stories.
5. Use varied words while expanding world knowledge
Children acquire knowledge rapidly as they learn words that refer to more complex concepts. As time goes on, these words will be used during conversations about new ideas and experiences. For example, during a trip to an aquarium a child might see fascinating creatures as their parent names the animal, talks about parts of its body – its fins and tail, for instance – and how it moves. Or, during a trip to the grocery store, one can name objects, discuss their attributes, talk about where they come from and much more.
6. Talk about past events
Through language we are able to travel through time to past and future events. As parents talk with children about experiences from the past, they tend to use novel words and children, in turn, are encouraged to use them. For example, a parent may say, “Do you remember when we went to the aquarium? The child responds: "Yes, we saw that big big fish with wings.” To which the parent replies: “Yes that was an enormous stingray.” Regular conversations about the past foster vocabulary learning.
7. Engage in pretend play
Language enables children to construct and live in imaginary worlds. The talk that occurs as they enact their roles in these imaginary worlds leads them to expand their vocabulary.
For example, two children are playing with action figures that represent doctors. One child holds a doctor figure and the other is playing with one that is lying on the ground. The doctor says, “Be quiet I need to use my stethoscope.” The “injured” figure says, “OK. Is that the thing you use to hear my heart?” Here we see one child informally teaching a sophisticated word. The second child is learning what a stethoscope is and, as they play, will gain some understanding of how it is used.
These evidence-based methods are just a few ways that parents can help build their children’s vocabulary and knowledge of the world.
Lhasa, June 21 (Xinhua/UNB) -- An art museum dedicated to stone carvings has opened in the city of Xigaze in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.
The museum, the first of its kind in Tibet, features more than 60 original stone carving works and reproductions, 30 rubbings, as well as over 20 stone carving crafts, showcasing the art form in Tibet from the seventh to the 19th century.
"In Tibet, stone carving art is widespread and has a long history," said Kalwang, an official with the Xigaze cultural bureau. "With great historic, artistic and scientific value, these splendid stone carving works are a window into the traditional and ethnic culture of Tibet."
The opening of the museum is the culmination of years of efforts by Tibet’s art researchers on surveying, collecting and preserving artworks of stone carvings.
"Most of the stone carvings in Tibet were engraved on slates or precipices and were vulnerable to damage and erosion," said Kalwang. "We opened the museum to raise people’s awareness on preserving stone carvings, hoping to keep the art form alive."