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Research shows that optimists live longer

More research has shown how being optimistic is important in relation to a longer life. The new research, produced by scientists from the Boston University School of Medicine, analyzed data from 69,744 women and 1,429 men. Optimism levels and other data such as general habits regarding health, diet, smoking and alcohol use were analyzed through these surveys.

Researchers have taken into account other factors such as age, demographic factors, possible chronic illnesses, depression, exercise habits and more. Women were performed for 10 years while men were followed for thirty years.

The researchers, analyzing the data, discovered that the most optimistic people showed on average a life span of 11-15% longer. They also showed a probability of reaching 85 years, compared to less optimistic people, 50-70% higher.

Although it is not entirely clear how optimism can increase the chances of having a longer life, the suspicion of various researchers, expressed in previous studies, is that a positive attitude is linked to a lower presence of stress, a state mental health for which the strong effect it can have on health has been shown and explained.

According to the researchers behind this study, the most optimistic people tend to have healthier habits, denote a lower likelihood of smoking and greater chances of exercising or otherwise being on the move.

The senior author of the study, Fran Grodstein, comments on the results: “The research on why optimism matters so much remains to be done, but the link between optimism and health is becoming more evident.”

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Increased amount of fat in the body increases risk of depression

A greater quantity of body fat increases the risk of depression according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Aarhus and the University Hospital of Aarhus, Denmark.

The research has calculated that having 20 pounds of excess body fat increases the risk of falling into depression by 17%. The greater the amount of fat, the greater the chance of developing depression.

And the position of fat in the body would make no difference, as specified by Søren Dinesen Østergaard, one of the authors of the study. This factor is important because according to the researchers it suggests that it is not a biological cause to increase the risk or otherwise to contribute but psychological causes are purely: “If the opposite were true, we would have seen that the centrally located fat on the body increased the risk more, since it has the most harmful effect in biological terms,” says Østergaard.

The researcher did not take into account the body mass index to measure obesity, a fairly crude measure that does not take into account other factors such as build and muscle mass. Instead, they analyzed data from two large genetic data sets, which contain various types of data, including the correlation between genetic variants and depression and physical measurements such as fat mass distributed around body parts.

Precisely because there is the psychological aspect at stake, according to the researcher, “it is important to have a balanced approach to the issue” given that the psychological consequences of obesity seem to be the main driving force that increases the risk of depression.

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New method will allow using exosomes as biomarkers for diseases

A new method that maps the proteins on the surface of a large number of individual exosomes has been developed by a group of researchers from the University of Uppsala and the company Vesicode AB.

The exosomes, compounds present both in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm of the cell, are released by all the cells of the body and are able to transfer proteins and nucleic acids of cells into cells allowing a sort of intercellular communication. They can be considered as excellent biomarkers for the progression of various diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases or cancer.

To use them as biomarkers, however, it is necessary to distinguish them on the basis of the protected surface complements they contain. However, it has always been difficult to identify specific exosomes and the tissue region from which they originate.

The new method, called proximity-dependent barcoding assay (PBA), allows the detection of the surface protein composition of individual exosomes using new-generation DNA sequencing techniques.

Di Wu, researcher and inventor of this technology and founder of the same Vesicode AB, comments on this new method: “This technology will not only benefit researchers who study exosomes, but will also allow the discovery of high-performance biomarkers. We will further develop and validate the PBA technology and provide assistance to researchers starting this year. We believe that the analysis of the single exosome will allow this exciting class of biomarkers to reach its full potential.”

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Crows eat food thrown away and suffer from high cholesterol

Wild urbanization is causing raven health problems according to a new study published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications. Even crows, like other animal species, resort to the rubbish we throw away to survive: they have learned, over the decades, to feed on the food scraps of human beings, which is leading them to live more and more. permanently in the cities.

In particular, this study suggests that this diet is leading to crows being characterized by higher levels of cholesterol in the blood: in “crows” it is much higher than those living in the countryside or in areas less densely inhabited by humans.

The discovery was made by researcher Andrea Townsend and her colleagues at Hamilton College. In fact, researchers measured cholesterol levels in the blood of 140 small American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) that lived in rural or urban environments in California. They then returned to measuring these rates after they had grown up. They discovered that the more the environment they lived in was urban, the higher the cholesterol in the blood.

To confirm this, they also provided a few regular crow cheeseburgers in some crow farms living in rural New York. They then measured their cholesterol level and compared it to that of neighboring crows that had not assimilated this junk food.

The crows that had eaten cheeseburgers showed higher cholesterol levels, similar to those of “urban” crows in California.