What's the buzz

What's the buzz

New Patsari stove soft on women’s lung

An estimated two billion people around the world rely on biomass fuel for cooking, typically over unvented indoor fires. These indoor fires generate high levels of pollutants such as carbon monoxide, particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide.
One recent analysis put exposure to indoor biomass smoke among the world’s top 10 environmental causes of mortality and morbidity.

The ‘Patsari’ stove designed to address this problem has been found to reduce indoor air pollution concentrations by an average of 70 per cent.

The study, at the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, involved women in more than 500 households from Central Mexico, who had been randomised to receive the new Patsari stove.

When the researchers analysed those who used the Patsari stove versus those who did not, they found strong evidence that use of the Patsari stoves was associated with marked improvements in respiratory health.

Aloe juice good for a breakfast

A cup of aloe juice, nutritious milk shake and herbal tea may be a good replacement for a heavy breakfast, the study claims. These three drinks apparently provide everything needed in the morning for energy, nutrition and hydration.

Gu Linong, Peking University People’s Hospital, said: “This combination has a scientific foundation, though it runs counter to traditional ideas of a healthy breakfast.”

The essential components of healthy breakfast are carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals, water and fibre. Gu insists that the three drinks provide it all.

How to keep the doctor away

Having an apple every day is even more important for a healthy diet than previously thought, suggests a new study.

Researchers at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich discovered that the levels of a key antioxidant was previously underestimated in the properties of fruits such as apples, peaches and nectarines.

They said the content of super-chemical polyphenol in fruits is an important part of a healthy diet, and was up to five times higher than recorded in the past.

Professor Fulgencio Saura-Calixto, who led the study, said: “These polyphenols are major constituents of the human diet with important health properties. To consider them in nutritional and epidemiological research may be useful for a better understanding of the effects of plant foods in health.”

Cancer linked to human evolution

A new study conducted by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) suggests a link between cancer and human evolution.

Writing about their work in the journal ‘Genome Research’, the researchers say that gene mutations that once helped humans survive may increase the possibility for diseases, including cancer.

They came to this conclusion after studying mutations in the genome of the mitochondria, a part of every cell responsible for energy production that is passed exclusively from mothers to their children.

The mitochondria are essential to every cell’s survival and our ability to perform the functions of living.