Study Shows Drinking Soda in High Temperatures Could Result in Kidney Disease
Feb18

Study Shows Drinking Soda in High Temperatures Could Result in Kidney Disease

When the temperature rises and people are active outside, they often reach for a refreshing drink to cool them down. But unless that drink is water, people could be putting their health at risk. A new study from the University of Buffalo found that drinking sugary and caffeinated soft drinks while being active in hot weather may increase the risk of developing kidney disease. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Physiology — Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, looked at healthy adults in a laboratory environment which was set to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This setting is similar to that of working on an agricultural site on a hot day. And according to Christopher Chapman, the study’s lead author and a Ph.D. candidate in exercise and nutrition sciences in the School of Public Health and Health Professions, “Our data suggest that consuming a high-fructose, caffeinated soft drink increases the blood pressure response to exercise in the heat. Additionally, these beverages elicit a mild dehydration and acutely elevate biomarkers of acute kidney injury compared to water consumption during and following exercise in the heat.” Recent data suggest that there has been a rise in chronic kidney disease cases in the United States, many of which are found in farm workers in areas where the temperature is consistently hot. Many workers in the construction and agricultural industries spend long days outside in the heat. And while falls remain the number one cause of death in the construction industry, kidney disease is a rising concern. Study participants were asked to complete an hour-long exercise routine, which was made up of running on the treadmill for 30 minutes, followed by lifting and sledgehammer swinging activities. After 45 minutes of exercise, the participants were asked to rest for 15 minutes — half of the participants then drank 16 ounces of Mountain Dew and the other half drank 16 ounces of water. They then repeated the exercise-and-hydration cycle three times. After the four hours of exercising, the researchers took the participants’ body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, and looked for signs of kidney injury. This information was gathered right after the four hours and 24 hours later. It’s also important to note that all of the participants did both a water trial and a soft drink trial, with a week in between the trials. Results from the tests showed that after the soft drink trial, there were higher levels of creatinine in the participants’ blood and a lower glomerular filtration rate. These are both key indicators of kidney injury. Participants also showed signs of mild dehydration after the soft drink trial....

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Global Insect Decline Could Cause A Surge In Pests
Feb13

Global Insect Decline Could Cause A Surge In Pests

A recent global decline in insect numbers could mean a surge in certain pests. According to a recent study published in the journal Biological Conservation, up to 40% of insect species including bees, ants, and beetles have seen dramatic rates of decline around the world. This could mean a boom in pests such as houseflies and cockroaches. Researchers say insects have been disappearing eight times faster than reptiles, birds, and mammals. Intensive agriculture, climate change, and pesticides are the main causes. “The main factor is the loss of habitat, due to agricultural practices, urbanization, and deforestation,” said Dr. Francisco Sanchez-Bayo from the University of Sydney, the lead author of the study. “Second is the increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds,” said Sanchez-Bayo. “Thirdly, we have biological factors such as invasive species and pathogens; and fourthly, we have climate change, particularly in tropical areas where it is known to have a big impact.” Insects make up a major part of the world’s ecosystem. They provide food for birds such as the Canada goose, whose numbers have increased in the last 50 years. They also provide food for small mammals like bats. But insects are more than just food. They also pollinate 75% of the world’s crops and replenish soils, including all 60 different types in Texas, to keep pest numbers in check. Previous studies have shown that individual species of insects such as bees have seen major declines in developed economies, but Sanchez-Bayo’s study takes a broader look. Researchers reviewed 73 studies that have been conducted in the last 13 years. They found that one-third of insect species are classified as endangered and that current declines could lead to the extinction of 40% of insects in the next few decades. “It’s not just about bees, or even about pollination and feeding ourselves,” said Matthew Shardlow from Buglife, a UK conservation trust, “the declines also include dung beetles that recycle waste and insects like dragonflies that start life in rivers and ponds.” Germany has seen a rapid decline of flying insects in recent years. Puerto Rico has also seen a drop in flying insects in its forests. The reason for both, experts say, is rising global temperatures. So while a 119% increase in hardwood trees in American forest seems great, it’s not enough to stem the tide of climate change around the world. “It is becoming increasingly obvious our planet’s ecology is breaking and there is a need for an intense and global effort to halt and reverse these dreadful trends,” said Shardlow. “Allowing the slow eradication of insect life...

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How The Internet Is Changing Business And Investing
Feb12

How The Internet Is Changing Business And Investing

As reliance on the internet grows, people are changing the way they’re finding and starting businesses. While this may make some aspects of starting a new business easier, this new innovation comes with increasing challenges. Innovative Technology Spurs Startups As the internet continues to expand at shocking rates, more people are harnessing the technological capabilities to create businesses entirely online. Previously, 35% of people wouldn’t have discovered a business had it not been for their sign; however, this has been changing in recent years due to the overwhelming presence of digital businesses. Websites like Kickstarter and Patreon are now also enabling individual creators to establish their own brand and earn a living entirely online by creating digital content and receiving payments through the internet. As more people are able to easily start their professional careers online with less capital, more startups are springing onto the scene. This, in turn, is changing how people are investing in various industries. Changes In Investing As the internet changes the professional landscape across the board, people have more options when it comes to investing in different types of businesses. Some more traditional methods remain popular, even among younger generations. In fact, 55% of millennials are interested in investing in real estate, the highest percentage of all demographics questioned. However, with crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and more making startups more common, people are having an easier time contributing to the growth of small businesses. These platforms enable people to invest even small amounts into the start of new businesses. However, this new type of investment is not without its drawbacks. Drawbacks Abound Crowdfunding platforms, as well as many other apps and services, take a few fees and a small cut of profits as part of their agreements with creators and service providers. This is how services like these make their profits, including everything from Instacart to Uber. That means that customers tipping or investing using these platforms might not actually be giving money to their creator or service provider, with those funds instead of being redirected to the platforms and organizers. As the internet grows and expands, more services and apps like these will spring up to help creators and entrepreneurs start up their dream businesses. However, these services will continue to come at a cost to those looking to start their professional lives with the help of the digital world. Will these platforms continue to thrive, or will the costs come back to haunt them? Only time will tell if this digital phenomenon is here to...

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SEO Trends To Watch In 2019
Feb12

SEO Trends To Watch In 2019

It’s no secret that SEO trends are constantly changing from month to month or even week to week. If you want to help your business thrive, keeping your internet marketing strategy up to date is an absolute must. But where do you start? These top SEO experts weighed in on what trends to look for in internet marketing in 2019. Here’s what they had to say about how you should be handling your SEO this year. Multi-Channel Marketing As people look for a greater multimedia experience in their time spent online, companies are going to have to shift to accommodate. This means integrating more types of content into your online marketing strategy; everything from videos on Youtube to podcasts and more can be unique ways to build up your online presence. “This year we will see the rise of digital video and audio,” said Christopher Romero of Full Scale SEO. “Content that can be consumed from any device with multiple variants that answers your users’ main questions and focuses on intent will be king.” While your business may normally focus on blog posts as a means to boost your search engine results, don’t forget about up and coming forms of content creation as well. “In 2019, digital marketing has to be thought about from a full-service approach,” said Jonathan Bentz of Direct Online Marketing. “Every business may have one channel that outperforms another or an area of their campaigns that needs specific growth, but businesses that are looking at leveraging one channel are missing the big picture.” So, when building your online presence, don’t forget what platforms your customers will be using. Different platforms specialize in different types of content; for example, using Youtube to spread video content relating to your products and services. “Companies must chart a path to engage on all digital channels where their target customers interact,” says Sterling Wahl of MWI. If you know your target audience has a strong presence on a particular platform, consider catering to their needs with that platform’s specialized medium. And according to Ayokay’s Jack Shepler, personalization is key. Essentially, you must know your customers in order to properly market to them. “Stop thinking of your customers as a list that are all interested in the same things — they’re not! We can learn a lot about each customer individually from their browsing patterns, purchase history, and how they interact with your brand — then automatically deliver personalized content based on that,” said Shepler. Mobile-First While not new to 2019, mobile searches are going to continue to be important in securing your keyword rankings this year. More internet and search...

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Modern Developments: How Cosmetic Surgery Has Changed And Evolved

America has a sordid history with plastic and cosmetic surgery. In the past few decades, the controversial operations have become much more commonplace — and much less like the Pamela Anderson’s and Dolly Parton’s of years before. Despite the fact that breast implants and liposuction are more popular than ever before, body positivity is at the center of this movement. “We talk a lot about being health conscious, but the truth is we’re also increasingly appearance conscious,” says Steven Teitelbaum, a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles. “The stigma of plastic surgery is going down, the procedures themselves are getting better, and the economy is very strong right now.” The ideal candidates for liposuction are men and women above the age of 18, who are within 10 to 20 pounds of their target weight. In modern times, those candidates now possess a disposable income and a desire to do what makes them happy regardless of what anyone else thinks. Considering bodily ailments like acne plague roughly 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24, the ability to do what makes you happy with your body is an important concept. In terms of breast implants, the age of extreme plastic surgeries seems to have passed. Though the most popular sizes continue to exist in the 300- to 450-cc range, which take most patients up approximately two to three cup sizes, people care about looking natural rather than looking large. Advances in technology have permitted the U.S. to start using anatomical implants; now, shape and proportion are key players in breast augmentation consultations. One doctor even remarked on his surprise when he started receiving requests for Kate Hudson’s diminutive breasts, suggesting that they “[represent] a paradigm shift in the way we’re approaching augmentation.” Although cosmetic surgeries are making leaps and bounds both socially- and technologically-speaking, discounted services still provide serious risk to men and women of all ages. Miami has recently become known for plastic surgery, but not in a positive light: in the past six years, eight women have died from complications after their cheap cosmetic surgeries. The likelihood of injury or death from complications is extremely low when performed by a licensed medical professional, but many discount plastic surgery establishments don’t meet industry standards. If you’re going to pursue cosmetic surgery, more power to you! Just make sure to do your research and vet your doctor before heading over for a...

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