Saturday November 18, 2017

Lower-limb Robot Exoskeleton, a wearable Robot likely to help Paralytic Patients move

Researchers from Beihang University in China and Aalborg University in Denmark developed the wearable robot to quickly recover from the stroke and spinal cord injury.

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Knee Joint. Pixabay.

Washington, October 26, 2016:  In good news for stroke and spinal cord injury patients, researchers have designed a lower-limb robot exoskeleton — a wearable robot that features natural knee movement to help patients regain the ability to walk or help strengthen their muscles. Researchers from Beihang University in China and Aalborg University in Denmark developed the wearable robot to greatly improve patients’ comfort and willingness to wear it for gait rehabilitation.

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The team’s approach focused on the knee joint, one of the most complex mechanical systems within the human body and a critical player during gait. The knee joint’s motion is actuated by several skeletal muscles along its articular surfaces, and its center of rotation moves. “Our new design features a parallel knee joint to improve the bio-imitability and adaptability of the exoskeleton,” explained Weihai Chen, professor at Beihang University. Movement transparency is critical when wearing a robot for gait rehab.

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When wearing the exoskeleton, its movement should be synchronised and consistent with a patient’s natural movement. For this, the team focused on bionic mechanical design. “To improve the transparency of the robot, we studied the structure of the human body, then built our model based on a biometric design of the lower limb exoskeleton,” Chen said. This design is the first known use of a parallel mechanism at the knee joint to imitate skeletal muscles.

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As far as its applications, the exoskeleton’s main role will be to help stroke or spinal cord injury patients with their rehab. “We plan to streamline it to be wearable and to provide a comfortable training experience,” Chen noted in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments. The team is also developing virtual reality games to help make the training process more enjoyable. The next step for the team is to collaborate with hospitals, because testing the robot out with patients can provide critical feedback from patients and doctors. (IANS).

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Sweet Tooth? Curb your Sugar Cravings with 7 Simple Steps!

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Sugar Cravings
Sugar causes glucose spike and ultimate crash. Wikimedia
  • It takes incredible determination hard to get over sugar cravings
  • With these seven steps and some willpower, it is possible to curb sugar cravings
  • These steps will make sure that you are able to fight the urge

July 31, 2017: Fighting your sugar cravings is one of the toughest parts of a fit and healthy well-being. Any one who has tried a sugar-free diet knows the truth to that statement. Like a drug, the first few days feel good only to result in heightened urge after days.

Sugar and carbs are not suitable for the human body in large frequent consumptions. At the same time, it is tough. But with these seven steps to fight your sugar cravings, the dependency on willpower will reduce.

ALSO READ: List of 8 Food Items to Battle Depression and Anxiety

  • CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN:
The most straightforward solution. Getting rid of sugar from your kitchen and your sugar intake is bound to reduce. Stop stocking up on sugar and high carb food. It is only logical that you will crave less, or more broadly, will have lesser options to feed your urge. Rather than storing snacks that are unhealthy, store more of fruits and green vegetables to serve as snacks. It is important that these healthy snacks are openly kept. To fight the hunger and sugar cravings, it will automatically become easier to grab a healthy snack than going till the market and having junk. Stock your house with healthy food.
  • HAVE HIGH-FAT MEALS 
Just like sugar, carbs lead to glucose spike and ultimate crash. Hence, there is more craving for sugar later. Bread, Bagels, Pasta and other carbs are highly refined. They act like sugar in the body. It is the high-quality fats that give lasting energy to the human body. Having a high-fat quality meal is sure to keep you full for longer hours and curb any sugar cravings. The body adapts to a high-fat and low carb diet in a couple of weeks.

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  • REMOVE STRESSORS
Desserts spelled opposite is desserts. It is true in the real world. More stress leads to heightened sugar cravings. People who are overstressed in life have sugar cravings far more often. Stressors such as minimal sleep and long working hours make sugar cravings hard to fight. Biologically, when we are stressed the body releases Cortisol as a response. Cortisol increases our urge for comfortable and “stress-relieving” food. More importantly, the regulation of blood sugar is disturbed when consumption of sugar and stress are combined. Interestingly, body movement is one of the easiest ways to eliminate stress. It is suggested that body must be in action. Exercising, walking, yoga boosts energy in the body and reduces the dependency on sugar.
  • TRY NATURAL SWEETENERS
Sugar Cravings can be satisfied by natural sweeteners to an extent. Several natural spices add sweetness to the food. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves are natural sweeteners. Stevia, also a natural sweetener, is 300 times sweeter than sugar. However, Stevia has zero calories and does not affect the blood sugar level.

Sugar Cravings
Bad sugar should be replaced by natural sweeteners such as Nutmeg, Cinnamon. Wikimedia

  • READ THE LABELS
The labels on our food deserve more attention and closer inspection. We cannot leave it to guesswork to know if a product will have sugar as an ingredient. Further, different quantity is another aspect. It is important to know the grams of sugar added to the product.

 

  • DRINK WATER
Water gives numerous benefits to the human body. In the case of controlling sugar cravings, water does wonder. Sometimes, it is the thirst that we perceive as a food craving. Drinking water satisfies that thirst and the sugar craving is curbed. Of course, soda and sugar-filled drinks are not recommended. Substitute these with coffee, tea, and fresh juices.
  • OTHER TIPS
There are other steps that help curb the sweet tooth urge. Deficiencies in the diet can be satisfied with daily consumption of multivitamin. Small adjustments like avoiding the route where your favorite dessert shop may be located. It is best to avoid the consumption of processed foods and also artificial sweeteners. All these are triggers. Lastly, keeping a track of your days without sugar is motivational. It is a reminder of what the fight is all about.

–  by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Recent Archaeological Digs Show the Remains of ‘Skull Cult’ in Turkey

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Gobekli Tepe, Turkey
Gobekli Tepe was a place where the people from the Stone Age use to gather around 9,000 years ago. Wikimedia
  • A study by the German Archaeological Institute suggested that Gobekli Tepe was a place of ritualistic significance
  • There were 691 fragments of bones at the site and 408 of them belonged to human skulls
  • There were no signs of decapitation and it was clear that the changes were made shortly after their death

Turkey, July 1, 2017: Gobekli Tepe was a place where the people from the Stone Age use to gather around 9,000 years ago. It was a time long before the kingdoms or the kings use to rule the lands.

A study by the German Archaeological Institute released in the journal ‘Science Advances’ suggested that Gobekli Tepe was a place of ritualistic significance performed by the early humans.

It is inevident that the people who were buried died there, but there were 691 fragments of bones and 408 of them belonged to human skulls. Moreover, according to the study the site also consisted of monolithic T-shaped limestone pillars and a stockpile of limestone sculptures. In fact, the research also shows the signs of deliberate modifications on the skull fragments.

ALSO READ: Quinona: Sacred “mother grain” of Ancient Inca Civilization may be the Grain of Future

Deep grooves across the foreheads of the skull were also found and some skulls even had hole drilled into it. It showed the signs that the skulls were put on display so that the visitors could see them hanging. Though there were no signs of decapitation and it was clear that the changes were made shortly after the death of those people.

These kinds of remains were also found in other archaeological sites where the skulls were used to worship and in the ancient cities of Anatolia and Levant.

Anthropologists say that these practices were because people used human skulls for various reasons- some people used to worship ancestors, others thought the dead could protect the living and some groups also used skulls of their animals to display. They refer to these groups as ‘Skull Cults’.

Gobekli Tepe also seems to be one of the oldest skull cults that the researchers have come across till now.

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

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Preservative Formalin having adverse impact on Human body found in 11 Fish samples in Agartala markets: Minister

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Fisherman in India Wikimedia

Agartala, March 3, 2017: Preservative formalin having an adverse impact on human body was found in 11 fish samples in Agartala markets, which forced the Tripura government to take “severe action”.

“Following the media reports, the state health department officials collected 40 fish samples from Agartala and formalin was found in 11 samples,” Tripura Health Minister Badal Choudhury said in the Tripura assembly on Tuesday.

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Formalin, a poisonous and non-decomposing chemical agent, is used as an antiseptic, disinfectant and preservative in various items.

Replying to a calling attention notice, he told the assembly: “Officials have been asked to take severe legal action against the accused and wrongdoers.”

The calling attention notice was earlier jointly given by opposition Trinamool Congress lawmakers Ashish Saha and Pranjit Singh Roy.

The minister said of the 11 fish samples in which laboratory tests showed formalin was used, five samples were collected from two main fish markets of Agartala and six were collected from fish imported from Bangladesh.

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Choudhury said a massive awareness campaign was also undertaken against the use of formalin in eatable items.

“Food Safety Officers are collecting samples randomly from the open market and testing them in laboratories. Under the Food Safety Security Act and Rules, 2011, if anyone is found guilty, the defaulter may face a penalty of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh or imprisonment or both,” the Health Minister warned.

The Tripura government has taken steps to appoint Food Safety Officer in each sub-division to ensure proper vigilance against food adulteration.

District Sessions Judges are designated to hear such cases and dispose them at the earliest, he added.

An official of the industries and commerce department said on an average, 25,644 kg fish are being daily imported from Bangladesh and 26,180 kg from outside the state, including Andhra Pradesh, in Tripura.

“These fish being imported from Bangladesh and other Indian states are being sold in Tripura markets without any laboratory tests,” the official told IANS on condition of anonymity. (IANS)