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Breastfeeding lowers mother’s BP

Breastfeeding is not only good for the baby, it also has health benefits for moms!Breastfeeding lowers a mother's odds of developing high blood pressure even decades later, a new study has found.Researchers from the University of Western Sydney School of Medicine found the longer a woman breastfed, the lower her odds of developing high blood pressure before the age of 64.The benefits of breastfeeding are diminished after 64 years of age, the study found.

The researchers investigated the relationship between breastfeeding history and the prevalence of high blood pressure in 74,785 Australian women who were aged 45 years and over.Data for the research was drawn from the 45 and Up Study - a large scale study of healthy ageing involving over 260,000 men and women in New South Wales, and the largest study of its kind in the southern hemisphere.Principal researcher on the study, Dr Joanne Lind from the UWS School of Medicine, said the findings reinforce the importance of breastfeeding for both child and mother."

Hopefully this research will add to the discussion between women and their physicians and midwives. Whenever possible, women should be encouraged to breastfeed as long as possible as the protective effect of breastfeeding increases with the length of time breastfeeding," said Lind, a senior lecturer in molecular biology and genetics.
She said that this is the first study to show the link between breastfeeding and high blood pressure within Australian women.

Invisibility cloaks can now be created using 3D printers

Anyone who can spend a couple thousand dollars on a non-industry grade 3-D printer can literally make a plastic cloak overnight that masks small objects under specific wavelengths of light, a Duke University engineer has said.

Three-dimensional printing, technically known as stereolithographic fabrication, has become increasingly popular, not only among industry, but for personal use. It involves a moving nozzle guided by a computer program laying down successive thin layers of a material-usually a polymer plastic-until a three-dimensional object is produced.

Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor in electrical and computer engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, said that producing a cloak in this fashion is inexpensive and easy. He and his team made a small one at Duke which looks like a Frisbee disc made out of Swiss cheese. Algorithms determined the location, size and shape of the holes to deflect microwave beams. The fabrication process takes from three to seven hours.

Just like the 2006 cloak, the newer version deflects microwave beams, but researchers feel confident that in the not-so-distant future, the cloak can work for higher wavelengths, including visible light.

Space stethoscope to assess astronauts

Students from The Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering has designed a new stethoscope for Nasa to deliver accurate heart- and body-sounds to medics, who try to assess astronauts’ health on long missions in noisy spacecraft. With its whirring fans, humming computers and buzzing instruments, it is about as raucous as a party filled with laughing, talking people inside an spacecraft.
“Imagine trying to get a clear stethoscope signal in an environment like that, where the ambient noise contaminates the faint heart signal. That is the problem we set out to solve,” Elyse Edwards, a senior from Issaquah, Wash., who teamed up on the project with fellow seniors Noah Dennis of New York City, and Shin Shin Cheng of Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia, said.  Though developed for Nasa’s use in outer space, this improved stethoscope could also be put to use here on earth in combat situations, where ambient noise is abundant, and in developing countries where medical care conditions are a bit more primitive.

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