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Inspiration4 is the first human spacecraft to revolve around the Earth with just private people on board. The mission created awareness about the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and raised funds to support the expansion of St. Jude's childhood cancer research programme. Inspiration4 is headed by Jared Isaacman, the CEO of Shift4 Payments, who has over a decade of expertise as a pilot, including training in military aircraft.
Isaacman arranged for the trip and its four seats by SpaceX, with two of the seats being given to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Hayley Arceneaux, a medical assistant at the hospital who is also a bone cancer survivor, is chosen by the hospital to go on the trip. The second ticket was given away as part of a drive titled St. Jude Mission: Inspired, which raised US$200 million for the hospital. An unidentified person won the seat from Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University. For personal reasons, he chose to donate the seat to his friend, U.S. Air Force veteran Christopher Sembroski, who was also one of the 72,000 people who entered the raffle. In a competition patterned like "Shark Tank," Shift4 Payments chose entrepreneur Sian Proctor to join them on the trip.
During the three-day trip, no professional astronauts will be on board, making it the first time this has happened. | Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash
During the three-day trip, no professional astronauts will be on board, making it the first time this has happened. According to Wikipedia, all four crew members received commercial astronaut training by SpaceX, which encompassed lessons in orbital mechanics, operating in a microgravity environment, stress testing, emergency preparedness training, and mission simulations. Additionally, the crew completed over 90 different training programmes and practised what to do in the case of an emergency while in orbit. The drills included spending 30 consecutive hours in the simulator, going through various anomalies that might occur during their trip.
A five-episode television series, Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, will be shown on Netflix in September 2021 as part of the mission documentation. Although early space tourism flights may be beyond the grasp of all but the wealthiest of individuals, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk believes that these pioneering missions will lay the foundation for more frequent and cheaper journeys to space in the future. If the Inspiration4 mission is successful, it will be a milestone moment in the history of space travel.
Keywords: SpaceX, Elon Musk, Inspiration 4, cancer, children, astronaut, space
Long Covid symptoms rarely persist beyond 12 weeks in children and adolescents unlike adults, suggests a review. The review, published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, analysed 14 international studies involving 19,426 children and adolescents who reported persistent symptoms following Covid-19. The findings showed that long covid among children is less common than feared. The mostcommon symptoms reported four to 12 weeks after acute infection were headache, fatigue, sleep disturbance, concentration difficultiesAand abdominal pain.
"It is reassuring that there was little evidence that symptoms persisted longer than 12 weeks suggesting long Covid might be less of a concern in children and adolescents than in adults," Nigel Curtis, Professor at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne, Australia. A recent study, led by University College London and Public Health England researchers, showed that up to one in seven children and young people who caught SARS-CoV-2 may have symptoms linked to the virus about three months later.
Most children with Covid recover within a week, only a small percentage had long-term symptoms. | Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Another study published in the journal Lancet Child and Adolescent Health in August, noted that most children with Covid recover within a week, only a small percentage had long-term symptoms. The study, by researchers at King's College London, showed that less than one in 20 children with symptomatic Covid-19 experienced symptoms lasting longer than four weeks, and almost all children have fully recovered by eight weeks.
However, the existing studies on long Covid in children have not pointed to long lasting symptoms unlike adults. The most common symptoms reported in children have been headaches, tiredness (fatigue), a sore throat, and loss of smell (anosmia). Reassuringly, there have been no reports of serious neurological symptoms such as fits or seizures, impaired concentration or attention, or anxiety.
Yet more studies are required to investigate the risk and impact of long Covid in young people to help guide vaccine policy decisions, said Curtis. "The low risk posed by acute disease means that one of the key benefits of Covid vaccination of children and adolescents might be to protect them from long Covid," he said. "An accurate determination of the risk of long Covid in this age group is therefore crucial in the debate about the risks and benefits of vaccination." Many countries, including the US, Canada, Denmark, Spain, France have rolled out Covid vaccinations for children aged 12 and above. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: covid, symptoms, survey, report, 12 weeks, risks, children
In this technology savvy world, our food content and quality is also being affected and driven by various factors like taste and convenience, rather than nutritional value and quality. The choice of food is becoming "fast" rather than nutritious. This has both short-term and long-term consequences on our health. The high salt and sugar content of fast food gives rise to ailments like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc at a much younger age as compared to the previous generations. The high consumption of empty calories has dire consequences on our health. Advertisement-driven unhealthy food choices are overriding the healthy conventional food choices.
Our choice of food defines our body and mind. The selection should be guided by the nutrient value rather than taste buds and other conveniences. One should be informed about the nutritional value, the content of carbohydrates, fat, protein, minerals, sugar, salt in a particular preparation. Knowledge about nutritional values helps us to make an informed selection as per our bodies needs. The introduction of basic requirements like calorie needs per day, salt requirements, minerals for immunity, the strength of the body, etc should be taught in the school so kids learn early on.
The selection should be guided by the nutrient value rather than taste buds and other conveniences. Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
The idea of a balanced diet lays emphasizing the content and quantity of food items should be introduced in the school at an early age so that the child understands the importance of varied food items and their inclusion into daily meals. The role of carbohydrates in daily requirements as energy source and the ill effects of excessive carbohydrates in causing obesity and other ailments should be taught so when the child can visualise its effects on the body.
Children should be introduced to the kitchen at an early age, in order so as to get a glimpse of the ingredients and get a better understanding of food preparation. This makes them aware of their food choices and the long term impact on their health. A kitchen garden is a great way to educate them about the life cycle of the plants. Working with the plants, monitoring their growth, understanding the flower and fruit cycle helps in establishing connectivity with the food items. The interest in the food cycle helps them to make more informed choices. This experiential learning method helps to mold their health. Kids should also be taught about reading the content of packed food items, to know what they are consuming.
(Article originally written by: Puja Kapoor) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: health, nutrition,food, balanced diet, children, obesity
Urban lifestyles and heavy dependence on digital technology means children are spending less time with nature, which can affect their mental and physical well being. Children flourish best when allowed to spend more time with nature. Nurturing their love for nature can make them happier because it helps them create a bond of adventure, discovery and beauty with nature. It also makes them sharp thinkers and better innovators by enhancing their observation skills and fuelling their curiosity.
Ekta Ohri, founder, Litjoys, shares some life hacks on how to connect children to nature in simple ways:
At Home: Get younger children to help you to water plants, or feed birds. Let them observe the different plants in the house, or the birds that come to visit. Get them to observe not just flora and fauna but even the environment around. Let them see the shape of the clouds, sunrise, sunsets as well as the moon and stars. We might be locked at home right now, but these simple tasks are possible and very enjoyable for young children.
Let them observe the different plants in the house, or the birds that come to visit. Get them to observe not just flora and fauna but even the environment around. Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash
Outdoors: Young children love to collect things and enjoy the tactility of different shapes and textures. Nature offers a rich treasure trove of discovery for them, which can be a wonderful way to begin to introduce them to nature. Let them collect flowers, pebbles, twigs, or even leaves from the ground, and observe the different shapes and textures of these. It will help sharpen their observation skills. Don't encourage children to pluck flowers or leaves as that would undermine the process of teaching them to respect the environment.
Let them collect flowers, pebbles, twigs, or even leaves from the ground, and observe the different shapes and textures of these. Photo by Vanessa Serpas on Unsplash
Identifying textures and shapes like this is also good for brain development. As they grow a bit older, take them for nature walks in your complex or parks, where they can observe the different colours and shapes of the trees, point out birds, insects and small animals to them. 'My Gulmohar Tree' is a story with real-life photographs that will make children fall in love with trees and greens and inculcate values of respecting nature and protecting our environment. Let them have respect for all living things, from chameleons for their beauty of changing colour to the butterflies and bees.
Travel and Visits: Travel is a great way to get to know nature, whether it's other cities, beaches or visits to Sanctuaries and Parks closer to your home. Encourage visits to the National Parks, as opposed to only the Zoo. The former lets children observe animals and nature in their natural environment as opposed to behind a cage. Many cities have Butterfly Gardens and Nature Sanctuaries as well as Botanical Gardens, so do plan trips accordingly. Even on the beach, there are many things to observe from the colours of the sea and sky, as well as shells and small sea creatures. By doing small activities children learn better.
Encourage visits to the National Parks, as opposed to only the Zoo. The former lets children observe animals and nature in their natural environment as opposed to behind a cage.Photo by Mark Stosberg on Unsplash
For this Litjoys has a Little Collector's Passport travel game, which is an innovative kids travel scrapbook with stamps and flags stickers booklet through which parents can keep their children constructively engaged in different locations (flights/trains, restaurants, etc) while on holiday. It also helps in keeping kids engaged at home through learning about symbols of 48 countries across the world in a fun way! A great way for parents to develop their children's observation, cognitive thinking and creative writing skills.
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Children, travel, visits, flowers, trips, playing, birds