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Red wine facilitates bacterial diversification of the intestinal microbiome

A further study confirms the positive qualities of red wine. This time it’s a team of researchers at King’s College London who made the discovery.

In fact, researchers have found that those who regularly drink moderate amounts of red wine have a greater diversity regarding the intestinal microbiome, which in itself is a sign of better bowel health. They also found a link between red wine drinkers and lower levels of obesity and bad cholesterol.

The researchers analyzed the effects of beverages such as beer, cider, red or white wine and other alcohol on the intestinal microbiome. The dataset they analyzed was for 916 UK female twins. They discovered that those who drank red wine had a more diversified microbiome than those who drank white wine or other beverages.

The intestinal microbiome is one of the most important factors for human health and among those most analyzed at the research level. Even the slightest imbalances, for example between the amounts of “good” microbes compared to “bad” microbes, can lead to different pathologies, weight gain or high cholesterol.

The researchers found that regular consumers of red wine had a greater number of different bacterial species in their intestines than non-consumers of this drink. The researchers also considered various factors including age, weight, diet and socioeconomic status of the participants.

The reason, according to the researchers, is due to the polyphenols present in red wine, chemical substances, which among other things are also present in different types of vegetables and fruit, which show various beneficial properties, primarily antioxidants. These are substances that can act as “fuel” for bacteria within the body.

In any case, we speak of moderate quantities of wine, as Caroline Le Roy, first author of the study, well explains: “Although we observed an association between the consumption of red wine and the diversity of intestinal microbiota, drinking red wine rarely, for example once every two weeks, it seems to be sufficient to observe an effect. If today you have to choose an alcoholic beverage, red wine is the one to choose as it seems to potentially have a beneficial effect on you and your intestinal microbes, which in turn can also help [to manage] the weight and risk of diseases heart. However, it is advisable to consume alcohol in moderation.”

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Increased absorption of carbon dioxide in the Antarctic ocean detected by new study

A new study published in Nature Climate Change shows a great increase in the absorption of carbon dioxide in the Antarctic Ocean. In particular, the researchers analyzed the marine areas off the western Antarctic peninsula, an area that is experiencing very rapid climatic changes with very clear temperature increases and ice melting in tow.

Understanding how carbon dioxide absorption is changing in the Antarctic Ocean is crucial to understanding the development of current climate change, as Michael Brown, a researcher at the Center for Ocean Observing Leadership at Rutgers University, points out.

The study analyzed 25 years of oceanographic measurements in the Antarctic ocean and found that the carbon dioxide absorption of this marine area increased nearly five times during the summer from 1993 to 2017.

When the melting of sea ice reaches a certain level, there will not be a sufficient amount of ice to prevent mixing of the wind in the upper ocean and this will cause a reduced absorption of the same carbon dioxide in the Antarctic ocean with harmful consequences for the whole globe.

The results of the new study are more than worrying considering that the Antarctic ocean absorbs about half of the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere, even more in recent decades following the increasingly widespread use of fossil fuels as an energy source.

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Retinitis pigmentosa: augmented reality can help

Augmented reality could be used to facilitate the lives of people with sight problems. The peculiar characteristics of this new technology, in fact, can be used to improve mobility and to ensure that people with sight problems can navigate better in their environment.

This is what was stated by a group of researchers from the University of Southern California School of Medicine after analyzing various patients with retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease that can cause significant vision problems. The results they obtained during the first experiments they performed with glasses adapted for augmented reality saw an improvement in the mobility of patients with this disease by 50%.

As Mark Humayun and Charlotte Ginsburg, two of the researchers who conducted the study, specify, this is a different approach than other attempts to exploit technologies such as augmented reality: the latter, in this case, is used to improve, not for replace, the natural senses. For example, glasses adapted to augmented reality can project different bright colors on the patient’s retina, colors that can correspond to obstacles of various kinds.

The same glasses can perform a complete rendering of the 3D structure of a room practically in real-time. The same rendering is translated into a semi-transparent colored visual overlay that highlights the edges and lines of potential obstacles with bright colors. The same technology, as reported in the press release, can already work on commercially available augmented reality devices.

During the experiments, patients with retinitis pigmentosa wore glasses for augmented reality, equipped with the aforementioned software, while they traveled a real path with obstacles. Analyzing the number of times the patients clashed with obstacles and the time taken to complete the pathway, the researchers noted that the patients who benefited from augmented reality enjoyed some improvement.

In particular, they had a 50% lower number of collisions against obstacles, a fairly clear improvement.

“Through the use of RA, we aim to improve the quality of life for visually impaired patients by increasing their confidence in performing basic tasks, ultimately enabling them to live a more independent life,” says Anastasios N. Angelopoulos, one of the researchers who participated in the study.