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Eye contact lenses are worn by many people for cosmetic reasons but wearing prescription contacts are also not uncommon. It is also used to correct some severe eye problems such as astigmatism and keratoconus.
By the year 2020, the contacts industry is predicted to reach $13.5 billion. Interestingly, the majority of wearers are female. The contacts are thought to have been invented by Leonardo da Vinci.
Its wearers do not experience any adverse health effects so long as they follow the cleaning instructions as well as its usage and storage. However, isolated cases of its users suffering complications have also been noted.
Types of eye contacts.
According to materials.
- Soft contacts.
Soft contact is made of soft, flexible plastic. They are comfortable to wear and also allow oxygen to pass through the eyes. Different types of contacts are made of these soft materials, and they are;
- Toric lenses.
- Disposal lenses.
- Colored or tinted lenses.
- Decorative or cosmetic lenses.
- Extended wear contacts.
- Rigid Gas-permeable lens.
RGP or rigid gas permeable lenses are also called hard contacts, and they are made from plastic or other hybrid materials. They are somewhat stiff, so they hold their shape very well, but they also allow oxygen to pass through the lenses and the eyes.
RGP lenses are mainly used for prescription contacts and the special ones that are used for vision correction such as keratoconus and astigmatism. It is also the preferred choice for people who have allergic tendencies and protein deposits in the eyes.
According to functions.
- Corrective contacts.
These are primarily engineered to correct vision problems such as astigmatism, long-sightedness, and short-sightedness as well as presbyopia.
- Cosmetic contacts.
These contacts are used to alter the appearances of an individuals’ eye color temporarily. In Asian countries, cosmetic lenses called circle lenses are very popular. They are different from a regular lens in that their entire lens is colored which makes the wearers’ iris appear bigger than normal. Apart from the aesthetic aspect, contacts are used to correct vision problems and other defects.
- Scleral contacts.
These lenses are specially engineered to fit individual with defective cornea and complications incurred during surgical procedures such as LASIK surgery. Physical injuries to the eyes are also corrected with scleral contacts.
The unique structure and positioning of the contacts on the cornea allow oxygen to flow freely as well as makes it wearable even for people with sensitive eyes. The contacts are firm but comfortable, and it does not cause any discomfort to the injured eyes.
Advantages of eye contacts.
- It can be comfortably worn in any weather conditions. It is not affected by fog, rain, sweat, dust and other external elements.
- It is also an excellent alternative to glasses for people who engage in any physical activity like sports and dance and running and other outdoor activity.
- It is very natural and does not hamper the peripheral vision of the wearer.
- It is used to correct many visual defects in the most natural and personalized manner.
- It is the safest way to change the looks and appearance of the person.
- Colored and special effects contacts provide a realistic look to special characters in mediums like movies.
Disadvantages of eye contacts.
- It needs regular upkeep and can be high maintenance for many. Without regular cleaning, there are serious risks involved.
- RGP contacts tend to slip while wearing and therefore can cause pain and discomfort to the wearer.
- It requires regular appointments with the doctor which can be time-consuming as well as run the bill high, after a while.
- It cannot be worn during an activity such as swimming or any activity involving water.
- Debris can perpetuate the lens causing damage to the eyes as well as the lens.
- It does not function as a cure for all vision defects. There are only a few eye defects and vision problems that can be corrected with eye contacts.
- Soft lenses that are used for extended wear such as a week can be difficult to manage especially for first-time users.
- Except for the RGP lenses, the vision may not be as sharp while wearing eye contacts.
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)