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FILE - A general view shows a "smiling" sunflower in a field in Tokyo on July 30, 2015. Some 20,000 sunflowers were enjoyed by visitors to the area, VOA

Dec 8, 2016: Being optimistic could lengthen your life, a new study suggests.

Writing in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that women with “a general expectation that good things will happen” had significantly lower risk of several deadly diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and infection compared to less optimistic women.


“While most medical and public health efforts today focus on reducing risk factors for diseases, evidence has been mounting that enhancing psychological resilience may also make a difference,” said Eric Kim, research fellow in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and co-lead author of the study. “Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviours and healthier ways of coping with life challenges.”

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Furthermore, researchers found “ healthy behaviors only partially explain the link between optimism and reduced mortality risk.”

For the study, researchers looked at data from 70,000 female participants in the Nurse’s Health Study, which examines women’s health every two years via surveys.

Specifically, they looked at the women’s level of optimism as well as other factors such as overall health, race, diet and physical activity.

They found the most optimistic woman had nearly a 30 percent lower risk of dying from disease. For example they had a 16 percent lower risk of dying from cancer, a 38 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, a 39 percent lower risk of dying from stroke, a 38 percent lower risk of dying from respiratory disease and a 52 percent lower risk of dying from infection compared to the least optimistic women in the study.

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Researchers noted other studies have linked optimism with reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, but this was the first to link optimism with reduced mortality from other diseases.

“Previous studies have shown that optimism can be altered with relatively uncomplicated and low-cost interventions, even something as simple as having people write down and think about the best possible outcomes for various areas of their lives, such as careers or friendships,” said postdoctoral research fellow Kaitlin Hagan, co-lead author of the study. “Encouraging use of these interventions could be an innovative way to enhance health in the future.” (VOA)


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This photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation

WASHINGTON — U.S. federal law enforcement agencies and Europol announced dozens of arrests to break up a global operation that sold illegal drugs using a shadowy realm of the internet.

At a Department of Justice news conference Tuesday in Washington, officials said they arrested 150 people for allegedly selling illicit drugs, including fake prescription opioids and cocaine, over the so-called darknet. Those charged are alleged to have carried out tens of thousands of illegal sales using a part of the internet that is accessible only by using specialized anonymity tools.

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Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

Currently, when users set up WhatsApp Pay in India, the service only verifies the phone number linked to your bank account to enable UPI-based transactions

Facebook-owned WhatsApp may soon ask users to verify their identity to make payments on the platform. According to XDA Developers, new strings spotted in the latest WhatsApp beta release suggest that the messenger will require users to upload verification documents to continue using payments on WhatsApp. Currently, when users set up WhatsApp Pay in India, the service only verifies the phone number linked to your bank account to enable UPI-based transactions. In Brazil, the messenger uses Facebook Pay to validate users' credit or debit cards to facilitate payments.

At the moment, the service doesn't require users to submit any identity verification documents to make payments. However, that might change soon, the report said. WhatsApp v2.21.22.6 beta includes a few new strings which suggest that users might have to submit identity verification documents to continue using payments.

The identity verification might be limited to those who use WhatsApp Pay to receive payments for their businesses. UPI-based apps, like Google Pay, PhonePe and even WhatsApp Pay don't require users to submit any documents to transfer or receive money. However, wallet apps like PayTM do ask for KYC verification as per RBI guidelines.

WhatsApp is yet to make an official announcement regarding this change. Since the new strings have just made their way to the beta version, it might be a while before the company reveals any details, the report said. (IANS/ MBI)


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Photo by Chelson Tamares on Unsplash

Practising good nail hygiene involves following a systematic process to ensure the longevity of our nail health.

By Rajesh U. Pandya

Although the world is recovering from coronavirus pandemic, we must not lower our guards and stay alert when it comes to hand hygiene to curb the spread of the deadly virus. But are we paying sufficient attention to our nail hygiene? Our nails are the index of well-being for our entire body. The manifestations of several critical diseases were first detected within the dirty nails.

The ignorance towards our nails becomes the breeding ground of harmful bacteria. These germs enter our body through our hands because in India we eat through our bare hands. Therefore, nail hygiene is crucial and without it hand hygiene is incomplete.

Practising good nail hygiene involves following a systematic process to ensure the longevity of our nail health. It includes ensuring that food particles, dirt and dust are not sticking to our nails and there is no build-up of nail bacteria. Thankfully, contrary to popular belief, it is not that difficult to maintain good nail hygiene. A little diligence, awareness and attention are sufficient to keep our nails healthy.

Avoiding nail hygiene makes you prone to viral infections
Due to constant negligence towards the cleanliness of the nails, many serious issues like bacterial and viral infections arise. Often these lead to serious health problems. Our hand hygiene is not perfect till the time we clean the undersides of our nails besides washing hands regularly. Most people don't mind sharing nail clippers with others. This is however an extremely unhygienic practice. When we don't share any of our personal hygiene products then why do we share our nail clippers? Nails harbour abundant germs, bacteria and viruses and sharing nail clippers is equivalent to exchanging those microorganisms.

microscopic organisms Nails harbour abundant germs, bacteria and viruses and sharing nail clippers is equivalent to exchanging those microorganisms.| Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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