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Gene may make a difference ‘Born to RUN ‘

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A few minor variations in one gene may make a difference in athletic endurance, according to a new study from Physiological Genomics.

The study examined 155 track and field athletes who had competed in national or international track and field competitions. The athletes were further subdivided into endurance group (10,000 meter and marathon runners) and a sprint group (100- and 200-meter and long jump). The control group consisted of 240 non-athletic healthy individuals.

These groups were further divided into elite-level (those who had represented Israel in the world track and field championships or in the Olympics) and national-level (those who had competed in national competitions, but not international).

The study found that two variations in the NRF2 gene (specifically, the NRF2 A allele and the NRF2 C/T genotype) occurred more often in endurance athletes than in sprinters. “Eighty percent of the elite-level endurance athletes were carrying the A allele of the NRF2 A/C single nucleotide protein, compared to only 46% of the elite-level sprinters,” Nir. Eynon said. The study also found that the combined NRF2 AA+ NRF2 C/T genotype was more frequent in endurance athletes than in the sprinters group and the control group.

“So,” concludes Eynon, “some of us are truly born to run.”

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Health

Grapes increase iron deficiency risk: Research

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Grapes

Despite the benefits reported for antioxidants, a new study suggests some of these compounds may place the consumers at risk of developing iron deficiency and anemia.

Previous studies have pointed out the various health benefits of polyphenols including their capability for fighting prostate cancer and leukemia, reducing the risk of heart disease, improving bone health, and preventing glaucoma and other eye conditions.

According to a recently released study, some polyphenol antioxidants, commonly found in legumes and fruits as well as chocolate, green tea and olive oil, are responsible for iron deficiency, the most common nutritional deficiency in the world.

Polyphenol antioxidants grape seed extract and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) found in green tea interact with the mechanism through which iron is absorbed in the intestinal tract.

In other words, the combination of polyphenol and iron cannot pass the intestinal cells to enter the bloodstream, resulting in iron deficiency in high-risk individuals, such as pregnant women and young children.

Scientists therefore urged individuals particularly those who are at risk of iron deficiency to keep an eye on the polyphenols they consume.

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Articles

Rocky relationships hurt men more than women

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LONDON: Despite their blase demeanours, young men are more affected by the ups and downs of romantic relationships than their girlfriends are, a new study suggests.

While young women are more affected by their relationship status—that is, whether they are in one or not—young men are more sensitive to a relationship’s quality, such as how supportive or straining it is, LiveScience reported.

“Simply being in a relationship may be more important for a woman’s identity,” said lead researcher Robin Simon of Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Having a relationship “is something that is emphasized constantly for women. Just pick up any woman’s magazine.”

But once in a relationship, the romance’s strengths are particularly helpful to men, and its difficult periods are particularly hard on them, Simon told LiveScience.

In the study, 1,611 men and women between the ages of 18 and 23 answered questions about their relationships and their own emotional states, including rating symptoms of depression and substance abuse. The questions were asked twice, two years apart, helping researchers deduce that emotional states were largely influenced by a relationship, not the other way around.

Rocky relationships were associated with equal amounts of depression in young men and women, and significantly greater problems with substance abuse and dependence among men. The correlative findings were published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Why relationships affect young women and men differently is not yet clear. But the finding contradicts the conventional view of women as the more emotionally involved romantic partner.

No matter their game face, men are not stoically impervious to a relationship’s ebbs and flows, Simon said.

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News

Experts Says , Life Could Survive on Mars

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Life Existence signs on MARS PLANET , Image is after an illusion formation

Researchers at McGill’s department of natural resources, the National Research Council of Canada, the University of Toronto and the SETI Institute have discovered that methane-eating bacteria survive in a highly unique spring located on Axel Heiberg Island in Canada’s extreme North. Dr. Lyle Whyte, McGill University microbiologist explains that the Lost Hammer spring supports microbial life, that the spring is similar to possible past or present springs on Mars, and that therefore they too could support life.

The subzero water is so salty that it doesn’t freeze despite the cold, and it has no consumable oxygen in it. There are, however, big bubbles of methane that come to the surface, which had provoked the researchers’ curiosity as to whether the gas was being produced geologically or biologically and whether anything could survive in this extreme hypersaline subzero environment. “We were surprised that we did not find methanogenic bacteria that produce methane at Lost Hammer,” Whyte said, “but we did find other very unique anaerobic organisms — organisms that survive by essentially eating methane and probably breathing sulfate instead of oxygen.”

It has been very recently discovered that there is methane and frozen water on Mars. Photos taken by the Mars Orbiter show the formation of new gullies, but no one knows what is forming them. One answer is that there could be that there are springs like Lost Hammer on Mars.

“The point of the research is that it doesn’t matter where the methane is coming from,” Whyte explained. “If you have a situation where you have very cold salty water, it could potentially support a microbial community, even in that extreme harsh environment.” While Axel Heiberg is already an inhospitable place, the Lost Hammer spring is even more so. “There are places on Mars where the temperature reaches relatively warm -10 to 0 degrees and perhaps even above 0ºC,” Whyte said, “and on Axel Heiberg it gets down to -50, easy. The Lost Hammer spring is the most extreme subzero and salty environment we’ve found. This site also provides a model of how a methane seep could form in a frozen world like Mars, providing a potential mechanism for the recently discovered Martian methane plumes.”

The research was published in the International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal and received logistical support from McGill University’s Arctic Research Station and the Canadian Polar Continental Shelf Project. Funding was received from NASA, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Space Agency. Additional funding for student research was provided by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, and the Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies.

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