Fountain of youth for heart health may lie in the gut

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Gut bacteria under the microscope.Why do blood vessels naturally stiffen and degrade as we age, boosting cardiovascular disease risk?  New CU Boulder research has identified a surprising new culprit—and it lives in your gut.“This is the first study to show that changes in the gut microbiome with aging have an adverse impact on vascular health,” said lead author Vienna Brunt, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Physiology. “It opens up a whole new avenue of potential interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease.”For the study, published in the Journal of Physiology, researchers gave young mice and old mice broad-spectrum antibiotics to kill off the majority of bacteria living in their gut, aka their gut microbiome. Then they assessed the health of their vascular endothelium (the inner lining of their blood vessels) and the stiffness of their large arteries.They also measured blood levels of inflammatory compounds, tissue-damaging free-radicals, antioxidants and the blood-vessel-expanding compound nitric oxide in both groups.After three to four weeks of the treatment, the young mice saw no change in vascular health.The old mice, however, saw vast improvements on all measures.“When you suppressed the microbiome of the old mice, their vascular health was restored to that of young mice,” said senior author and professor Doug Seals, director of the Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory. “This suggests there is something about those microorganisms that is causing vascular dysfunction.” Vienna BruntOlder gut, more ‘bad’ bacteriaTo assess what that something may be, the researchers then took fecal samples from another set of mice and had them genetically sequenced, comparing the gut bacteria living in the old mice with that in the young.“In general, in the old mice, we saw an increased prevalence of microbes that are pro-inflammatory and have been previously associated with diseases,” Brunt said.For instance, the old mice hosted significantly more Proteobacteria, a phyla that includes Salmonella and other pathogens, and pro-inflammatory Desulfovibrio.To drill down further, the researchers measured blood levels of metabolites—small molecules produced by the gut microorganisms and absorbed into the bloodstream—in old and young mice.Old mice had three times as much TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide), a metabolite shown in previous studies to be linked to increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.As early as 45, risk of cardiovascular disease begins to creep up, according to the American Heart Association. By age 60–79, 70 percent of people in the United States have it. After age 80, fewer than one in five are free of it.But just what causes healthy arteries to stiffen and lose function with age has remained somewhat of a medical mystery.“We have long known that oxidative stress and inflammation are involved in making arteries unhealthy over time, but we didn’t know why arteries begin to get inflamed and stressed. Something is triggering this,” Seals said. “We now suspect that, with age, the gut microbiota begins producing toxic molecules, including TMAO, which get into the blood stream, cause inflammation and oxidative stress and damage tissue.”New solutions for boosting heart healthSeals and Brunt stress that they are absolutely not suggesting people use antibiotics as a cardiovascular fountain of youth.“We purely used antibiotics as an experimental tool. There are far too many side-effects and other problems with using it broadly,” Brunt said.But they do believe that diets high in probiotic-rich cultured food (yogurt, kefir, kimchi) and prebiotic fiber could play a role in preventing heart disease by promoting a healthy gut microbiome. They recently launched a human trial to explore how different diets impact the gut and, in turn, cardiovascular disease risk.They’re also studying a compound called dimethyl butanol, found in some olive oils, vinegars and red wines, which blocks the bacterial enzyme required to produce TMAO. Ultimately, it could be developed into a dietary supplement.Bigger picture, the paper—along with studies linking an aging microbiome to gastrointestinal, immune and brain aging—offers one more reason to keep our resident bacteria healthy, notes an editorial accompanying the journal article.As its authors put it:“The fountain of youth may actually lie in the gut.”Categories:Health & SocietyNews Headlinescenter_img Published: March 19, 2019 • By Lisa Marshall last_img read more

Brexit, the Millennial question and the endurance sport industry

first_img Related The morning of 24 June has confirmed that the British people have voted to leave the EU. It also coincides with the mainstream cinema release of Independence Day: Resurgence across the UK. As the politicians from the Leave camp spoke in recent weeks about 24th June being the UK’s chance to ‘have their independence day’, few commentators spoke about how bad the original Independence Day movie was.It really was bad. Although, few people probably care right now how good or bad the movie sequel is. After all, most of us will start to think about how this all impacts us. Of course, that’s the tricky bit. No-one at this moment is clear on what the outcome of Brexit is going forwards.For the endurance sport industry, just like any industry, there will be implications. Some companies may experience some short term pain; others may get a short term gain. The key thing is to try and get a sense for the medium-term and long-term effect of Brexit. That’s where it gets really difficult.For any industry, uncertainty isn’t a good thing as it impacts consumer confidence. In the endurance sport world, the consumer (or athlete, or age grouper – however we wish to think of ourselves) will face some challenges.An interesting meme has featured recently on social media. This shows the Spartan Race logo and the phrase ‘Keep calm and burpee on’. It’s a nice, irreverent way of taking on all this uncertainty. We can also see it as a way of showcasing that the endurance sport industry is fairly robust. After all, it has delivered healthy growth in recent years – and there is a strong participant base out there across a diverse range of endurance sport categories.It is worth remembering that age group athletes across the endurance sport world are generally often well-educated, in well-paid jobs and should weather any economic storm that could be on the way.However, in order to grow and flourish, the endurance sport industry needs to bring in more athletes rather than simply rely on an existing base of consumers spending more. Within triathlon, for example, we are starting to see a stalling in the demographic make-up of the athlete base. In other words, the sport of triathlon is seeing growth in participation for those aged over 40. Yet, there is evidence of contraction in tri participation for those below 40.The Millennials (or Generation Y, who were born from the 1980s to around 2000) are already feeling the financial squeeze. These younger adults typically find it harder to buy property, and in general have less disposable income.Large groups of Millennials have embraced obstacle racing, for example. Triathlon is a sport in need of a ‘Millennial recruitment solution’, and could look to obstacle racing to determine how best to entice the younger adult consumer.This may now be more difficult. Arguably, it is the Millennials who will take the biggest hit from any economic impact from Brexit.The UK consumer/athlete (across all demographic groups) is now facing a weakened British Pound. This of course means that imports will become more expensive; and, in turn, this could also mean the return of inflation, which will be a shock to many as prices have been relatively stable for so long.Another worry for the UK endurance sport industry about a threat from inflation is a possible rise in interest rates. While, in a bid to stem inflation, this does make Sterling more attractive, it does mean that the cost of borrowing for investment goes up. In turn, this could impact endurance sport brands, event organisers, retailers, etc., who are seeking to borrow and invest to grow their businesses.Also, for those home-owning consumers/athletes out there, a rise in interest rates can mean that the cost of monthly mortgage payments could go up too – putting more of a strain on household finances, and making that online order for some expensive gear or a new bike that bit harder to justify.Another impact of a weakened Sterling is that overseas travel becomes more expensive. Endurance sport races in Europe priced in Euros will therefore be relatively more expensive for the travelling UK athlete.So, from the middle income and middle aged, through to the more cash-squeezed Millennials, at a macro level there are some fundamental challenges on the horizon.Of course, a weakened Sterling also means that UK exports are cheaper. So, those overseas athletes buying British products may experience the reverse; and, for major international retailers based in the UK, such as Wiggle & Chain Reaction, the weakness of Sterling could present a boost and an even stronger hand when it comes to price competition overseas.As the impact of Brexit sinks in for all of us, we can hopefully put all the political rhetoric to one side, keep calm – and try not to be too gloomy.Perhaps the best thing to do now is go out for a run, get on the bike, hit the water… The endorphins we all get from exercise make us feel better, happier and healthier. This is arguably the key motivator for driving the endurance sport industry onwards and upwards. Whether it is buying gear or entering events, people like to feel good; and training, racing or just participating gives them that feeling.So, in the words of the late, great musician Ian Dury, there are still reasons to be cheerful.last_img read more

Terra Drone makes inroads into North America

first_imgExplaining the motivation behind partnering with Ventus Geospatial, Terra Drone CEO Toru Tokushige says, “As the world leader in oil production, the United States is a lucrative market for Terra Drone’s international business expansion. The oil production in Texas is topped only by Russia and Saudi Arabia. So, the demand for inspection of oil and gas facilities is also quite high here.” Sea News, August 9 Author: Baibhav Mishra The joint venture will be known as Terra Drone Ventus and will offer inspection and survey solutions to a range of industries in North America With eight years of experience in the oil and gas sector, Ventus has flown and operated thousands of airborne missions without incident and worked with more than 200 clients, including Exxon, TC Energy and many more. It was also the first company in North America to obtain permission to fly BVLOS drone missions. Tokushige also recognizes that there are many other opportunities outside the oil and gas markets. “Moreover, the US is the second-largest producer of wind energy in the world. Texas leads the country in wind power capacity as well. This is again a lucrative market for us.” Japan-based Terra Drone Corporation, one of the world’s largest providers of industrial drone solutions, is expanding its global footprint in North America. Terra Done is partnering with US-based Ventus Geospatial, a leading provider of oil and gas inspection solutions and mapping services to form Terra Drone Ventus. Through its three North American branches in Houston, Texas, Calgary, Alberta and Lethbridge, Alberta, Terra Drone Ventus will provide inspection and survey solutions in sectors like oil and gas, power, renewables, mining and many more. Paul Mitcham, Chairman, Terra Drone Ventus, says, “Implementing new technologies from Terra Drone Group and leveraging their expertise will allow us to increase the capacity of our inspection solutions significantly.” Steve Myshak, COO, Terra Drone Ventus, adds, “Combining the technology and expertise we have developed with a partner like Terra Drone will give us a distinct advantage. This partnership is a natural progression for Ventus Geospatial and we are looking forward to providing a wider range of solutions to both current and prospective clients.” Earlier this year, eight tanks in a Houston-area oil and gas facility caught fire and continued to burn for multiple days. Accidents such as these prove the value of Terra Drone Ventus services. Terra Drone Ventus provides timely and regular inspections which help with early detection of anomalies to minimize incidents. The newly-formed Terra Drone Ventus will offer beyond visual line of sight (“BVLOS”) inspection services using Terra Drone group company, C-Astral’s high-endurance drones. Terra Drone Ventus will leverage the proprietary UT drones of Terra Inspectioneering (formerly RoNik Inspectioneering) for wall-thickness measurements and Ventus’ patented gas detection sensors to provide unparalleled solutions for gas leak detection and inspection of oil and gas assets such as pipelines, flare-stacks, well pads, and storage tanks. There will also be a dedicated focus on the power line industry with innovative solutions for vegetation management and renewables such as wind power generators.last_img read more

High-Performance Signal Analyzer Solution for 5G Signal Measurement

first_imgAnritsu Corporation has introduced a new high-performance Signal Analyzer for the development and commercial production of 5G mobile communications systems. The MS2850A is the first mid-range Signal Analyzer to offer 1 GHz analysis bandwidth supporting evaluation of 5G multi-carrier signals. The analyzers are available in two frequency options 9 kHz to 32 GHz and 44.5 GHz. By using the 5G measurement software packages, the MS2850A uses high dynamic range and excellent flatness performance to cut measurement times using all-at-once, high-accuracy measurements of a typical 800 MHz modulation bandwidth to be used in 5G.With operators now preparing the introduction of next-generation 5G cellular mobile communications systems, leading wireless equipment makers have started transitioning from the development and verification testing phases to development of commercial models and preparations for volume manufacturing. Reducing the potentially high equipment investments needed to start 5G NR production lines is a major issue for base station suppliers, who instead require a high-performance but cost-effective 5G signal analyzer meeting both development and manufacturing requirements. Additionally, other non-5G communications fields will have the same bandwidth and flatness requirements as 5G when broadband communications come into use offering larger data capacity at faster speeds.The new signal analyzer MS2850A supports transmitter performance tests for wireless communications equipment during development and manufacturing; the 32 GHz and 44.5 GHz measurement frequency models have an analysis bandwidth of 255 MHz as standard, which can be extended as an option up to 1 GHz. Noise Figure (NF) and Phase Noise measurement functions can also be installed in both models.Installing the 5G measurement software packages in the MS2850A supports measurement of 5G uplink and downlink signal frequency error, power, EVM, etc., using CP-OFDM modulation. Additionally, downlink measurements evaluate multi-carriers all at once. Not only does the MS2850A support all previous cellular technologies such as, LTE, W-CDMA, TD – SCDMA, and GSM, it also offers future proof support for the new 5G NR standards now being defined by 3GPP.Key Features of the MS2850A Signal AnalyzerExcellent Dynamic Range and Flatness Performance for Wideband Signal Analysis: The MS2850A hardware has both excellent dynamic range and flatness performance, which are critical for evaluating wideband wireless signals accurately and improving the quality of wireless communications equipment.Specifications at 28 GHzAmplitude Flatness: ±1.2 dB (at Center Frequency ±500 MHz)Phase Flatness: 5° p-p (at Center Frequency ±500 MHz)ADC Clipping Level: 0 dBmDANL: –141 dBm/HzSFDR: –70 dBc5G Standard Measurement Software (Base License) – MX285051APre-Standard CP-OFDM Downlink (Rel.1) – MX285051A-001Pre-Standard CP-OFDM Uplink (Rel.1) – MX285051A-051Three software packages leverage the excellent dynamic range of the MS2850A to achieve an EVM performance of <1%. At downlink measurement, the all-at-once multi-carrier analysis function improves measurement and testing efficiency by shortening times for relative comparisons of characteristics of each carrier, timing errors, and general characteristics for all carriers.Cutting Infrastructure Investment CostsUnlike extremely expensive wideband signal analyzers for leading-edge R&D, the MS2850A is the world’s leading middle-price-range, wideband signal analyzer. Anritsu is releasing it now to respond to customers’ growing need to proactively cut costs while investing in new infrastructure for the rapidly developing 5G market.Target Markets: Makers of wireless communications equipment and electronic parts, mobile operatorsTarget Applications: Development and production of mobile-phone base stations and terminals, satcom wireless communications equipment, and broadband communications equipment, and monitoring of satellite communicationslast_img read more

ICC WT20 East-Asia-Pacific ‘B’ Qualifier Underway in the Philippines

first_imgThe International Cricket Council (ICC) WT20 East-Asia-Pacific (EAP) ‘B’ Qualifier has commenced at the Friendship Oval in Dasmarinas, just south of Manila in the Philippines. The ICC WT20 EAP ‘B’ Qualifier will see teams from Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and hosts Philippines compete in double round robin T20 format from the 1-7th December, 2018. The winner of the ICC WT20 EAP ‘B’ Qualifier will advance to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup EAP Regional Final alongside Vanuatu and the Hebou PNG Barramundis in early 2019. Hosts, Philippines will head into the tournament as favourites after finishing ahead of Indonesia and Japan in their last encounter in 2017. The ICC WT20 EAP ‘B’ Qualifier will be the first ICC Sanctioned Tournament to be held in the Philippines.last_img

Pacesetters teams in convincing wins over Sonics, Kobras

first_imgPacesetters basketball teams secured convincing wins in the first and Under-23 divisions when the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association [GABA] ‘League Championship’ continued on Thursday at the Burnham Court, Middle and Carmichael Streets. The home side defeated Sonics 66-51 in the first division as Michael Turner tallied a game-high 18 points while Taric Cave and Nathan Saul added 11 and 10 points respectively.Contributing eight and seven points apiece were Travis Williams and Stephon Gillis. For the Mandela Avenue unit, Orland Neils netted 18 points while Jason Squires supported with 11 points.   The contest started perfectly for the home side, who secured a 12-5 lead at the conclusion of the first period. The visitors responded in the second quarter, outscoring Pacesetters 16-12 to reduce the deficit (21-24) heading into the halftime interval. However, Pacesetters re-asserted their dominance in the pivotal third quarter, netting 16 points while reducing Sonics to 11 points to lead 40-32 heading into the final quarter.The victory was then sealed in the fourth period, as Pacesetters out-hustled their opponent 26-19.Meanwhile Pacesetters downed Kobras 77-69 in the U23 section. Troy David top scored with 23 points while Zion Gray supported with 19 points. hipping in with 10 and eight points respectively were Quincy DosSantos and Kashif Liverpool.For the Kobras, Amoniki John top scored with 27 points while Akeem Morrison was the next best scorer with 13 points. Adding eight and six points respectively were Akil Hughes and Justin Algu.last_img read more