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According to the researchers, these novel findings may provide the basis for new therapies for patients who have heart disease complicated by diabetes. Pixabay

Certain genetic factors may impact our body in intriguingly paradoxical ways. A team of scientists has identified 14 new genetic variations that were linked with higher Body Mass Index (BMI) but have the potential to lower risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure and lower heart disease risk.

According to researchers, it is because the location — around middle or round the liver — where surplus fat is stored could be genetically determined.


This location is more important than the amount when it comes to insulin resistance and risk of diabetes and other conditions.

“There are some genetic factors that increase obesity, but paradoxically reduce metabolic risk. It is to do with where on the body the fat is stored,” said Brunel Alex Blakemore, Professor at the Brunel University London.

The findings revealed that as they gain weight, people who carry these genetic factors store it safely under the skin, and so have less fat in their major organs such as the liver, pancreas and kidneys.


Representational image. Pixabay

“Directly under the skin is better than around the organs or especially, within the liver,” Blakemore added.

For the study, published in the journal Diabetes, the team examined more than 500,000 people aged between 37 and 73.

They used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of these people’s waists to match where they stored extra fat with whether they showed signs of Type-2 diabetes, heart attack and risk of stroke.

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“There are many overweight or obese individuals who do not carry the expected metabolic disease risks associated with higher BMI,” explained Hanieh Yaghootkar from the University of Exeter in Britain.

“Meanwhile, some lean or normal weight individuals develop diseases like Type-2 diabetes,” Yaghootkar noted. (IANS)


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When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

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.

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It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.

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.

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Jeff Bezos at the ENCORE awards.

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

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