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Childhood abuse causes food addiction

 Women who suffered extreme physical or sexual abuse during childhood are much more likely to battle food addiction as adults than women who did not experience such violence, according to a new study. 

Susan Mason, PhD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and her colleagues studied 57,321 adult participants in the Nurses' Health Study II, which ascertained physical and sexual child abuse histories in 2001 and current food addiction in 2009. (Food addiction was defined as three or more addiction-like eating behaviors severe enough to cause significant distress or loss of function.) 

The analysis revealed that addiction-like eating behaviors were relatively common among women in the study, with eight percent meeting the criteria for food addiction. Women who had experienced physical or sexual abuse before the age of 18 years were almost twice as likely to have a food addiction in middle adulthood compared with women without a history of childhood abuse. The likelihood of food addiction was increased even further for women who had experienced both physical and sexual abuse in childhood.
 The food addiction prevalence varied from six per cent among women without a history of physical or sexual abuse to 16 per cent among women with a history of both severe physical and sexual abuse. 
Human scab-inspired bandage speeds up healing 
An advanced new bandage that mimics human scab formation promotes faster wound healing, scientists have claimed. 

Shutao Wang and colleagues explain that scabs are a perfect natural dressing material for wounds. In addition to preventing further bleeding, scabs protect against infection and recruit the new cells needed for healing. Existing bandages and other dressings for wounds generally are intended to prevent bleeding and infections. Wang's team set out to develop a new generation of wound dressings that reduce the risk of infections while speeding the healing process. 

They describe how research on the surface structure of natural scabs served as inspiration for developing a "cytophilic" wound dressing material. It attracts new cells needed for healing. 

The material mimics the underside of scabs, where tiny fibers are arranged in the same direction like velvet or a cat's fur. Wang's team spun fibers of polyurethane — the common durable and flexible plastic — into the same pattern. 
High-efficiency zinc-air batteries that are cheaper 
Scientists have created an advanced zinc-air battery, which has higher catalytic activity and durability than the ones that are constructed of costly platinum and iridium catalysts. The results could lead to the development of a low-cost alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries widely used today. Hongjie Dai, a professor chemistry at Stanford and lead author of the study, said there have been increasing demands for high-performance, inexpensive and safe batteries for portable electronics, electric vehicles and other energy storage applications. 

He said that metal-air batteries offer a possible low-cost solution.  “Zinc-air batteries are attractive because of the abundance and low cost of zinc metal, as well as the non-flammable nature of aqueous electrolytes, which make the batteries inherently safe to operate,” Dai said. 

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