what's the buzz

what's the buzz

75pc flu sufferers have no symptoms

Researchers have said that around 1 in 5 of the population were infected in both recent outbreaks of seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, but just 23 per cent of these infections caused symptoms.

The Flu Watch study tracked five successive cohorts of households across England over six influenza seasons between 2006 and 2011. The researchers calculated nationally representative estimates of the incidence of influenza infection, the proportion of infections that were symptomatic, and the proportion of symptomatic infections that led to medical attention.

Participants provided blood samples before and after each season for influenza serology, and all participating households were contacted weekly to identify any cases of cough, cold, sore throat or ‘flu-like illness’. Any person reporting such symptoms was asked to submit a nasal swab on day 2 of illness to test for a variety of respiratory viruses using Real-Time, Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) technology.

The results show that on average 18 per cent of the unvaccinated community were infected with influenza each winter season—19 per cent during prepandemic seasons and 18 per cent during the 2009 pandemic. But most (77 per cent) of these infections showed no symptoms, and only around 17 per cent of people with PCR-confirmed influenza visited their doctor. Compared with some seasonal flu strains, the 2009 pandemic strain caused substantially milder symptoms.
Soon, ‘electronic tattoo’ to help gauge your health

Google is in the process of bringing out “electronic tattoo,” which could help you measure your heart rate, nutritional status, body temperature, hydration and breathing rate.

First of all they are not tattoos, as there’s no ink, needles or piercing of the skin. The reason that they are called “tattoos” is because their application is similar to those in kid’s fake tattoos. These so-called tattoos usually start out on a sheet of plastic, is then applied to the skin and rubbed on from outside the plastic, then the plastic is peeled away, leaving only a very thin, rubber patch that has a layer of flexible silicon wires.

The idea is to create an electronic device that usually involves sensors, which is thinner than a sheet of paper and is as flexible as a Band-Aid.

According to the researchers, these tattoos attached to the chest of a patient or even a newborn will monitor a wide range of vital signs. Google, for example, has specific patents for an electronic tattoo which functions as a lie detector.

Moss come back to life even after being frozen for years

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and Reading University have shown that moss can come back to life and continue to grow even after being frozen in Antarctic ice for over 1,500 years.
For the first time, this vital part of the ecosystem in both polar regions has been shown to have the ability to survive century to millennial scale ice ages. This provides exciting new insight into the survival of life on Earth.

The team observed moss regeneration after at least 1,530 years frozen in permafrost. This is the first study to show such long-term survival in any plant; similar timescales have only been seen before in bacteria. Mosses are known to survive environmental extremes in short-term with previous evidence confirming up to a 20 year timescale.

The team took cores of moss from deep in a frozen moss bank in the Antarctic. They sliced the frozen moss cores and placed them in an incubator at a normal growth temperature and light. After only a few weeks, the moss began to grow. Using carbon dating, the team identified the moss to be at least 1,530 years of age, and possibly even older, at the depth where the new growth was seen.