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Sitting Too Long Won’t Kill You – Just Exercise Everyday

At first, it was said that sitting was just as smoking a cigarette. We then found out that sitting is affecting our muscle movement and brain activity, making our behinds larger, and leaving our DNA open to ageing. To fight against this you were probably thinking about investing in one of those stand up desks. Then, you found out that standing desks weren’t as good as everyone said. Thankfully, a new study has found that our general beliefs about sitting for prolonged periods might not be as dangerous as once said before.

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Contrary to studies that showed even exercise time can’t reverse the effects of long sitting periods, researchers from the University of Exton and the University College London found that if you are otherwise physically active, sitting for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean you are on your way to an early death.

The researchers had 5,000 civil servants in London collect data on when they sat at work and at home over the course of 16 years. 3,720 men and 1,412 women were involved in the study, and age, race, gender, socio-economic status, general health, smoking, alcohol consumption, and diet were taken into account, as well as the amount of walking and exercise the person did.

What they found, however, was that many of the civil servants spent twice as much time walking a day than other London residents, even though the participants used London public transportation.

“Our findings suggest that reducing sitting time might not be quite as important for mortality risk as previously publicized and that encouraging people to be more active should still be a public health priority,” said lead author Richard Pulsford, a researcher in the sport and health sciences department at the University of Exeter.

Though the researchers agree that the study could use more research in determining if sitting can lead to complications such as diabetes, or if a person’s physical posture or lack of motion is the real reason that sitting is considered to be harmful, they concluded their study by stating, “policy makers and clinicians should be cautious about placing emphasis on sitting behaviour as a risk factor for mortality that is distinct from the effect of physical activity.”

It might seem as if every day a new study comes out saying sitting is bad or sitting is not so bad, but either way the message remains the same: Make sure you get at least some exercise every single day.

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Summer Born Children Are More Likely To Be Healthier Adults

Summer apparently could be the best time to be born. But how true is it? That depends on what traits you consider to be most advantageous. Although a recent study found that baby girls born in June, July, and August develop into healthier women than girls born at other times of the year, past medical research has also linked summer birthdays to those who have less successful career outcomes.

For a recent study, now published in the online journal Heliyon, researchers from Cambridge University in the UK investigated an idea that has fascinated humans: Can a child’s birthday give clues to their future? While we have often looked to the stars for this answer, the Cambridge team went to science instead.

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“When you were conceived and born occurs largely ‘at random’ — it’s not affected by social class, your parents’ ages, or their health — so looking for patterns with birth month is a powerful study design to identify influences of the environment before birth,” said lead author Dr. John Perry in a statement.

For their project, the team compared the growth and development of around 450,000 men and women from the UK Biobank study, a major national health resource that provides the data on UK volunteers to shed light on the development of disease. The researchers looked to see how birth month affected the weight, as well as adult height and body mass index. They were also the first to specifically look for a correlation between birth month and when puberty started.

Results revealed that girls born in the summer were slightly heavier at birth, taller as adults, and went through puberty slightly later than those born in winter months which means good health. The team hypothesized differences in the later life health of summer and winter babies may be caused by the amount of sun that their mothers received during their pregnancy — a factor that significantly determines her vitamin D exposure. However, the researchers insisted that, at this point, they are still unsure why this happens.

“We need to understand these mechanisms before our findings can be translated into health benefits,” Perry added.

Previous research, however, has revealed less advantageous effects of summer birthdays. According to a 2012 study published in Economic Letter, individuals born in summer months are the far less likely to hold CEO positions than individuals born in other times of the year. The reason for this was more simple: In many schools, the cut-off date for registration falls between September and January. This leaves those with summer birthdays as the youngest in their grade. Maurice Levi, the study’s co-author said that older children within the same grade tend to do better than the youngest. These career outcomes may be the result of early successes in school.

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Soon Pigs Could Be Human Organ Donors

Pigs are known to be looked down upon. Thanks to their fondness for mud and tendency to eat nearly anything, the otherwise intelligent animal usually gets a bad reputation. But while most people may snub their nose at the idea of even touching a pig, scientists are looking to make use of their organs in human transplant surgeries. According to a recent study, researchers may be closer than ever to using pig organs for human transplant.

Many are unaware of just how biologically similar humans and pigs are. For this reason, pigs are often used for everything from practicing surgery to developing the best way to find cadavers. According to a recent study presented on last week at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in WaPigsshington, D.C., our relationship with pigs may get a lot more personal. Although pigs and humans are similar biologically, doctors must address certain obstacles before they can even think about using them for organs transplants.

The first and arguably most important of these obstacles involves the possible transfer of pig viruses to humans. However, this week, a team of researchers led by Dr. George Church, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, announced their success in killing 62 viruses from pig embryos. The feat was accomplished using CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology, and has eliminated the fear that these viruses could cause disease in human transplant recipients, Nature reported.

Organ rejection is a serious problem with any transplant operation. In the case of pig-to-human transplants, this problem is even more apparent. According to the recent study, Church and his team were also able to overcome this problem by using CRISPR technology to successfully modify more than 20 genes in pig embryos known to trigger a human immune response or cause blood clotting. The feats are a major step forward to creating a sustainable organ bank, and could one day be used on pigs specifically intended to be organ donors. “This is something I’ve been wanting to do for almost a decade,” Church said, according to Science.

Currently, organ donations are the only source for those needing a transplant. Recent innovations, such as making use of HIV positive transplants, have helped to get more body parts to those who really need the transplant. Research into using stem cells to grow organs has potential, but the demand is incessant. According to the Department of Health & Human Services, in 2014, an average of 22 people died each day waiting for transplants that couldn’t take place only due to the fact that there weren’t enough donors.

Now that we know how to fine-tune the pig DNA, it’s time to make sure it’s done correctly. The team’s next tasks involve ensuring that the deactivation of the pig viruses do not compromise the welfare of the animals. At this point it’s unclear exactly what role the viruses have in the pigs’ biology, and what removing them may do to the animals’ fitness. However, Physics.org reported that Church plans on implanting the gene-edited pig into the mothers sooner rather than later, so it won’t be too long before we are able to see the living product of the genetic feat.