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Cryogenic freezing does not alter or erase subject’s memories according to new study

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Most people know about the fascinating process of cryogenic freezing from various science-fiction movies, but the truth is that it won’t be long now before this technology will become as real as you and me. In fact, a number of people and animals have already been frozen this way so that’s not really a problem. The issues start to arise when the subject needs to be thawed and brought back to life so to speak. As you might imagine, cryogenically freezing an organism does have a number of negative effects on it. Until recently it was believed that this process can damage the brain and erase memories, however, a recent study reveals that this may not actually be the case, at least as far as less advanced organisms are concerned.

The study was conducted by a group of researchers at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation and involved freezing worms, all in the name of science of course. Before the cryogenic freezing process, however, the worms were introduced to benzaldehyde and trained to recognize its smell. Interestingly enough, after being frozen and then thawed the worms reacted as per usual to the smell, which lead the scientists to conclude that the worms were still able to remember their previous experiences with the chemical compound. Although some more tests need to be conducted, at first glance it seems that contrary to what some may believe, the process of cryogenic freezing doesn’t actually damage memories. However, it’s hard to say how much of this would apply to humans given that our brains are quite a bit more complex than those of worms.

Believe it or not, there are already a number of people who underwent cryogenic freezing in the hope of being resurrected at some point in the future. Thus far, we have the technology necessary to safely preserve someone, but we still lack the means to bring them back to life without any negative effects. In other words, the people in question are not likely to be awakened anytime soon, although looking at how fast technology advances, that day certainly seems to be closing in.

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Which is better for us: fresh or frozen vegetables?

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People are changing how they shop at the grocery store to save money because the cost of living is going up. This is especially true when it comes to vegetables. As a general rule, frozen vegetables are less expensive than fresh ones. However, some people think that fresh vegetables are naturally “better” for you. Which is it?

In a clean corner
Fresh vegetables that are crunchy and taste great are great, but they might not have as many nutrients as you think.

They start to lose their nutrients as soon as they are picked. That’s because they are taken away from their source of nutrients when they are picked. So that they can stay alive, the cells in vegetables breathe faster, which can cause nutrients to be lost. It’s also possible for this to happen when vegetables are stored or processed and are exposed to oxygen.

But this is the big nutritional catch with fresh vegetables: how healthy they are depends on how soon you eat them after picking them. Since the prices of vegetables at stores are going through the roof, some people are growing their own or getting them from community gardens. It usually takes a little longer for fresh vegetables from the store to get to our tables.

To get the most out of fresh vegetables, they should be eaten within a few days, if possible. CNN Health spoke with Gene Lester, a plant physiologist and national program leader for the US Department of Agriculture. “After it’s four, five, or seven days old, it’s a whole different story.”

In the cold corner
It became popular to freeze fresh vegetables because they go bad faster when left out in the open air. This way, you can use them up faster and avoid having a fridge full of spoiled green beans. Besides that, because they are frozen so soon after being picked, frozen vegetables are usually thought to have more nutrients.

Still, there is some evidence that frozen vegetables may have less vitamin C than fresh vegetables. Vitamin C is important for many bodily functions and, you know, keeps you from getting scurvy. For that reason, frozen vegetables are blanched, which means they are quickly scalded in steam or boiling water and then quickly cooled.

Blanching food is thought to help keep the flavor and stop that weird gray color that can happen with frozen food. This is done by turning off enzymes in the vegetables, which freezing alone couldn’t do. But heat can also break down vitamin C, so some of it might be lost in vegetables that are going to be frozen.

Vitamin C loss doesn’t seem to be that clear-cut, though. If it’s frozen, there may not be any more loss.

A study from 2015 that looked at how well eight different fruits and vegetables kept their vitamins found that spinach, carrots, peas, and broccoli that were stored fresh or frozen did not differ significantly in terms of vitamin C. It was discovered that frozen corn and green beans had higher levels of vitamin C than fresh ones. The authors said this was because fresh vegetables break down faster.

The whole picture
The study mentioned above also discovered that, on average, frozen vegetables had the same amount of vitamins as fresh ones, and sometimes even more. Any food is “better” than none at all, and any vegetable is better than none at all in the big picture.

Vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they are good for you in many ways, like helping your immune system and giving you more energy.

If you can’t decide between fresh and frozen, choose the option that works best for you, whether it’s financially, practically, or just in terms of taste.

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As a possible world first, Finland will give bird flu vaccines to groups that are most likely to get sick

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Inland is poised to become the first nation globally to administer prophylactic avian influenza vaccines to select individuals. According to reports, the European Union (EU) has obtained the initial deliveries of the vaccine, which will be sent to the EU. This is to ensure that individuals who are most vulnerable to the virus can receive some level of protection.

According to Reuters, the European Union (EU) is set to enter into a contract with CSL Seqirus, a vaccine maker, to obtain 665,000 doses of a preventive avian influenza vaccine. This contract will be on behalf of 15 nations within the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). Similar initiatives are already in progress in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, considering that the European Union’s agreement is scheduled to be finalized on June 11, 2024, it appears highly probable that Finland will be the first country to commence its immunization campaign.

The Zoonotic Influenza Vaccine Seqirus, approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in October 2023, was specifically designed to combat a strain of avian influenza classified as H5N8.

This is distinct from the avian influenza that has recently received attention as a result of outbreaks on dairy farms in a number of US states, specifically due to the H5N1 virus. The vaccine does focus on the hemagglutinin surface protein of the virus, specifically the “H” part that is shared by both H5N8 and H5N1, so it is expected to offer some protection against H5N1.

Currently, there have been three instances where agricultural workers in the US have become infected with the virus due to contact with cows that were carrying the infection. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted between individuals. Although the overall risk is typically deemed to be minimal, those who have vocations that include close interaction with animals will serve as early indicators if this virus begins to transmit more frequently to people.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise those who are in close proximity to dairy cows or raw milk to maintain proper hand hygiene and utilize personal protection equipment such as gloves, respirators, and safety goggles. It is anticipated that a vaccination, even targeting a slightly variant strain of avian flu, will provide an additional level of defense.

As of now, no nations in the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) have reported any instances of H5N1 infection in humans. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control stated in its weekly report for June 1–7 that the likelihood of zoonotic influenza spreading to the general public in EU/EEA nations is deemed to be minimal.

In 2023, Finland saw many occurrences of extremely contagious H5N1 infections. These outbreaks affected both wild birds and mammals on numerous fur farms around the country, leading to the need for extensive culling.

Farmed animals, such as mink, are prone to the avian flu. However, the occurrence of outbreaks on fur farms and the current situation with dairy cows in the US are particularly worrying to epidemiologists. This is because it raises the possibility of continuous transmission between mammals, which in turn increases the likelihood of a virus crossing over to humans.

According to Hanna Nohynek, the head of the Infectious Diseases Control and Vaccines Unit at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, “the situation appeared highly concerning last year,” according to Euractiv. “Although this year has been relatively peaceful, we are aware that the virus is still present based on the situation in the United States. Therefore, our aim is to safeguard individuals who are involved in handling animals that could potentially be impacted.”

According to STAT News, Finnish officials intend to promptly distribute vaccination doses to chicken farmers, fur farm workers, veterinarians, and virus researchers once the vaccines arrive in the country.

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The Roman Baths in England are renowned for their potential medicinal properties

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New research has indicated that the thermal waters of the famous Roman Baths in the city of Bath, England, may provide a solution to fighting antibiotic resistance. By isolating over 300 distinct microorganisms residing in the warm pools of the renowned attraction, the researchers found that 15 of these have the ability to impede certain highly concerning disease-causing agents.

Antimicrobial resistance is a significant and continuously escalating concern, projected to result in approximately 1.27 million fatalities annually worldwide. It is anticipated that this yearly toll would escalate to 10 million by the year 2050. Currently, the search for novel natural antibiotics is considered our most promising solution to counteract the increasing danger. However, efforts to uncover such items have mostly been fruitless thus far.

In order to look for these new compounds that might kill bacteria, scientists are now placing more emphasis on extreme habitats like hot springs. This is because the unusual ecosystems present in these conditions are likely to harbor distinct creatures that might possess antimicrobial characteristics.

The researchers chose to examine the microbial communities in the water, biofilm, and sediment at specific locations within the Roman Baths. These locations include the King’s Spring, where the water temperature reaches approximately 45 °C (113 °F), and the slightly cooler Great Bath, which has a temperature of around 30 °C (86 °F). The Roman Baths are unique in the UK as they are the only place with a thermal spring.

In total, the researchers successfully identified and separated 297 unique bacterial species, including many strains of Actinobacteria and Myxococcota, which are well-known for their ability to produce antibiotics. Upon initial screening, it was shown that 92 of these substances exhibited different degrees of activity against the pathogens E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Subsequently, these highly potential candidates underwent testing against the remaining six bacteria that constitute the ESKAPE pathogens. These pathogens are deemed by the World Health Organization to be in critical need of innovative antibiotic therapies. In total, 15 of the samples collected from the Roman Baths exhibited “broad spectrum activity,” meaning they were effective against three or more of these diseases.

Dr. Lee Hutt, the study author, stated that these studies have shown, for the first time, the presence of some microbes in the Roman Baths. This discovery suggests that the Roman Baths could be a valuable source for developing new antimicrobial substances.

“It is quite ironic that the waters of the Roman Baths have been historically recognized for their medicinal qualities, and now, with the progress of modern science, we may be close to confirming that the Romans and subsequent civilizations were indeed correct,” he remarks.

The research is published in the scientific publication named The Microbe.

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