Posts tagged with "STUDY"

Derrick Wan, 360 MAGAZINE, stem cells

NEW STEM CELL STUDY

 A new study released today in STEM CELLS outlines how fat grafting – which previous studies have shown can reduce and even reverse fibrosis (scar tissue) buildup – also improves the range of motion of the affected limb. The study, conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, was conducted on mice.

The tumor-destroying capabilities of radiation therapy can be a life saver for a person suffering from cancer. But it’s a therapy that has several unwanted side effects, too, including causing substantial damage not just to cancerous cells, but any healthy tissue in its path. Over time, fibrosis builds up in the treated area which, in the case of an arm, shoulder, or leg, for example, can lead to painful contractures that significantly limit extensibility and negatively impact the person’s quality of life.

The Stanford team irradiated the right hind legs of subject mice, which resulted in chronic fibrosis and limb contracture. Four weeks later, the irradiated limbs of one group of the mice were injected with fat enriched with stromal vascular cells (SVCs). These potent cells already naturally exist in fat, but supplementation of fat with additional SVCs enhances its regenerative capabilities. A second group was injected with fat only, a third group with saline and a fourth group received no injections, for comparison. The animals’ ability to extend their limb was then measured at baseline and every two weeks for a 12-week period. At the end of the 12 weeks, the hind limb skin underwent histological analysis and biomechanical strength testing.

“Each animal showed significant reduction in its limb extension ability due to the radiation, but this was progressively rescued by fat grafting,” reported corresponding author Derrick C. Wan, M.D., FACS. Fat grafting also reduced skin stiffness and reversed the radiation-induced histological changes in the skin.

“The greatest benefits were found in mice injected with fat enriched with SVCs,” Dr. Wan added. “SVCs are easily obtained through liposuction and can be coaxed into different tissue types, where they can support neovascularization, replace cells and repair injured issue.

“Our study showed the ability of fat to improve mobility as well as vascularity and appearance,” he continued. “We think this holds enormous clinical potential — especially given that adipose tissue is abundant and can be easily collected from the patients themselves — and underscores an attractive approach to address challenging soft tissue fibrosis in patients following radiation therapy.”

Furthermore, said co-author and world-renowned breast reconstructive expert Arash Momeni, M.D., FACS, “Our observations are potentially translatable to a variety of challenging clinical scenarios. Being able to reverse radiation-induced effects holds promise to substantially improve clinical outcomes in implant-based as well as autologous breast reconstruction. The study findings are indeed encouraging as they could offer patients novel treatment modalities for debility clinical conditions.

“Excessive scarring is a challenging problem that is associated with a variety of clinical conditions, such as burn injuries, tendon lacerations, etc. The potential to improve outcomes based on treatment modalities derived from our research is indeed exciting,” Dr. Momeni added.

“Skin and soft tissue scarring and fibrosis are well-established problems after radiation. The current study, showing that human fat grafting can normalize the collagen networks and improve tissue elasticity in immune deficient mice, provides molecular evidence for how fat grafting functions,” said Dr. Jan Nolta, Editor-in-Chief of STEM CELLS. “The studies indicate that, with the appropriate regulatory approvals, autologous fat grafting could potentially also help human patients recover from radiation-induced tissue fibrosis.”

Full article HERE.

rice university, 360 MAGAZINE, health, study, leukemia

Cocktail proves toxic to leukemia cells

Rice University, MD Anderson research points toward better personalized therapy

A combination of drugs that affect mitochondria — the power plants inside cells — may become the best weapons yet to fight acute myeloid leukemia, according to Rice University researchers.

A study led by Rice bioscientist Natasha Kirienko and postdoctoral researcher Svetlana Panina found that mitocans, anti-cancer drugs that target mitochondria, are particularly adept at killing leukemia cells, especially when combined with a glycolytic inhibitor, while leaving healthy blood cells in the same sample largely unaffected.

Their open access paper, a collaboration with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, appears in the Nature journal Cell Death & Disease. The research could lead to new ways to personalize treatment for patients with leukemia.
“We started with the idea of finding an underlying connection between types of cancer and their sensitivity to specific kinds of chemotherapeutics, mitochondria-targeting drugs,” Kirienko said. “Our bioinformatic analysis, which included 60 cell lines from nine different cancer types, showed that leukemia cells are particularly sensitive to mitochondrial damage.”

The researchers exposed the cell lines to multiple known mitocan molecules. They found low doses of a mitocan/glycolytic inhibitor cocktail killed all of the leukemia cell lines they tested at concentrations lower than what was necessary to kill healthy cells. Conversely, they reported that solid tumor cells, like ovarian cancers, proved highly resistant to mitocans. Glioblastoma cells were sensitive to mitocans, but unfortunately more resistant than healthy blood cells.

In their best experimental results, 86% of targeted leukemia cells were killed, compared to only 30% of healthy blood cells. “A number of drugs currently used in the clinic have some cancer preference, but here we’re talking about a five-fold difference in survival,” Kirienko said.
The researchers also showed a significant correlation between how efficiently mitochondria can turn energy from incoming oxygen into useful adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and how resistant they are to treatment.

“The more efficient they are, the more resistant they will be to mitochondria-targeting drugs,” Kirienko said. “If this holds true, doctors can perform a relatively simple test of this specific parameter of mitochondrial health from a patient’s sample and predict whether the treatment would be effective.”
Panina said computational models led them to think the glycolysis pathway could be enlisted to help mitocans. “Glycolysis also provides ATP, so targeting that will decrease energy as well as block the precursor for energy production in mitochondria, which mitocans will exacerbate further,” she said. “It led us to believe this combination would have a synergistic effect.

“Cancer cells are usually more metabolically active than normal cells, so we predicted that they be might be more sensitive to this combined strike, and they are,” Panina said.

Kirienko said a presentation of the research she and Panina gave at MD Anderson’s recent Metabolism in Cancer Symposium drew a large response. “People were very interested, and they immediately started asking, ‘Did you test my favorite drug or combination?’ and ‘Are you going to test it in a wider panel of cancers?’”

That work is well underway, Panina said. “We’re currently doing high-throughput screening of these potential synergistic drug combinations against leukemia cells,” she said. “We’ve gone through 36 combinations so far, building landscapes for each one.”
“And we found some that are more effective than what’s reported in this paper,” Kirienko added. “But we’ve also found some that are antagonistic — two drugs that negate each other’s effects — so it’s also important to know what therapeutic cocktails should not go together.”

Co-authors of the paper are postdoctoral fellow Natalia Baran; Marina Konopleva, a physician-scientist and professor in the Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson; and Rice graduate student Fabio Brasil da Costa. Kirienko is an assistant professor of biosciences.
The Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, the Welch Foundation and the National Institutes of Health supported the research.

Read the paper at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41419-019-1851-3.pdf.

This news release can be found online at https://news.rice.edu/2019/10/31/cocktail-proves-toxic-to-leukemia-cells/

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:


Kirienko Lab: http://kirienkolab.rice.edu/index.html
Marina Konopleva: https://faculty.mdanderson.org/profiles/marina_konopleva.html
Rice Department of BioSciences: https://biosciences.rice.edu
Wiess School of Natural Sciences: https://naturalsciences.rice.edu

Ashley Smith, informs pr, 360 MAGAZINE , pixabay

Revamped Crew Scheduling Model Cuts Airline Delays by as Much as 30%

INFORMS Journal Transportation Science New Study Key Takeaways:

  • Researchers introduce slack times distributed across a crew schedule to plan ahead of any delays or disruptions.
  • The approach can reduce extreme delays by as much as 20–30% on average.
  • The buffers in scheduling cost airlines less than 5%.

Delays and disruptions in airline operations annually result in billions of dollars of additional costs to airlines, passengers and the economy. Airlines strive to mitigate these costs by creating schedules that are less likely to get disrupted or schedules that are easy to repair when there are disruptions—new research in the INFORMS journal Transportation Science has found a solution using a mathematical optimization model.

The study, conducted by Vikrant Vaze of Dartmouth College and David Antunes and Antonio Pais Antunes, both of the University of Coimbra, looks at data from Virgin America airline from 2014, that is 94 daily flights connecting 14 continental U.S. airports.

Using this data, researchers determined that introducing buffers or slack times that are distributed in an intelligent way across a crew schedule can reduce extreme delays by as much as 20–30% on average, with only a 2–3% increase in crew salary costs.

“Our model can lead to significant overall benefits, fewer flight delays, more importantly fewer worst-case delays, fewer crew infeasibilities, and lower passenger delays and disruptions,” said Vaze, a professor in the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth.

This research allows airlines and airline managers to seek the best trade-off between the goals of reducing delays and disruptions while not being overly conservative in buffer placement.

“If you err on one side, you will have large delays/disruptions. If you err too much on the other, you will have to pay the crew for sitting around doing nothing. Neither is quite a good situation to be in. So, we optimize the buffer placement in crew schedules,” continued Vaze. “Paying the crew a little extra ahead of time and then using that extra time as buffers strategically located throughout their work schedules can provide big gains in terms of delay reductions, if we use our optimization model.”

About INFORMS and Transportation Science

Transportation Science is a premier peer-reviewed scholarly journal focused on research about all modes of transportation, present and prospective, and looks at planning and design issues and the related economic, operational, and social concerns. It is published by INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals. More information is available at www.informs.org or @informs.

Key to Auto Dealer Satisfaction

As auto dealers confront a rapidly changing consumer landscape in which many customers now apply for credit online before visiting a dealership, the experienced and empowered credit and sales personnel at captive and non-captive lenders are becoming critical elements in the success of an automotive finance operation. According to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study,SM the ability to answer dealer questions correctly the first time, facilitate electronic transactions and resolve contracts quickly is key to helping dealers successfully navigate the changing marketplace.

“Dealers are able to put together more attractive, seamless transactions for their customers when they are able to work in lock-step with lenders they trust to deliver fast, accurate and competitive products,” said Jim Houston, Senior Director, Automotive Finance Intelligence at J.D. Power. “That relationship becomes more important as vehicle sales slow and more buyers may seek to secure financing outside of the dealership. Credit analysts and sales personnel perform some of the most important functions for dealers looking to match customers purchase with the right financial transaction. When these teams are available, knowledgeable and empowered, they improve dealer satisfaction and enhance the lender’s value proposition.”

The 2019 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study is based on 16,870 retail credit and 2,117 floor plan provider evaluations from dealer personnel, a 17% increase in response rate from the 2018 study. The study was fielded in April-May 2019, measuring auto dealer satisfaction in three segments of lenders: non-captive, captive mass market and floor planning. The non-captive analysis evaluates the dealer/lender relationship across three factors: relationship; provider offerings; and application/approval process. In the captive segment, four factors are evaluated: relationship; provider offerings; application/approval process; and lease return. Three factors are measured in the floor planning segment: relationship; portfolio management; and provider credit line.

Quality of Sleep is Significant Opportunity for North American Hotels

Fewer Than 30% of Hotel Guests Experience “Better Than Expected” Night’s Sleep

Forget the minibar, sleek lobby and mints on the pillow. If hotels really want to build loyalty and delight their customers with stand-out lodging experiences, they need to focus on the bed. According to the J.D. Power 2019 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) Study,SM released today, quality of sleep is one of the most important components of a hotel guest experience with the potential to drive overall satisfaction and brand loyalty, but the majority of hotels are not delivering better-than-expected sleeping conditions.

“Delivering a superior sleep experience—from the quality of the bed, linens and pillows to the ambient sound and temperature of the room—is a huge opportunity for hotels to differentiate themselves from the pack and earn significant goodwill with guests,” said Jennifer Corwin, Senior Manager of Consumer Insights for Travel & Hospitality Intelligence at J.D. Power. “Of all the discrete variables of the hotel guest experience we measure, a better-than-expected night’s sleep is the one with the potential to drive the highest levels of overall guest satisfaction for those hotels that can deliver.”

Now in its 23rd year, the North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study was redesigned this year to incorporate much deeper guest profiling information and extended coverage of the full hotel customer journey, including the path to purchase, pre-stay communications and post-stay communications. The study also now includes property-level information throughout North America, updated food and beverage metrics and inclusion of vacation rental utilization metrics.

Following are some key findings of the 2019 study:

  • More zzzs, please: Overall satisfaction scores increase 114 points (on a 1,000-point scale) when hotel guests experience a better-than-expected quality of sleep. However, just 29% of hotel guests had such an experience. Of guests who do experience better-than-expected quality of sleep, 78% say they “definitely will” return to that property and 71% say they “definitely will” return to that brand.
  • The anatomy of a good night’s sleep: The top contributors to quality of sleep and, therefore, higher satisfaction scores, are comfort of bed; quietness of room; comfort/quality of pillows; room temperature; and comfort/quality of linens. Satisfaction scores for quality of sleep are also higher when hotels offer beyond-the-basics items, such as white noise/sound machines, earplugs, robe/slippers and authentic local decor.
  • Quality of sleep directly correlated to price of room: The highest rate of better-than-expected sleep quality is in the luxury hotel segment (42%), followed by the upper upscale (33%), upscale (31%), upper midscale (28%), midscale (28%) and economy (23%) segments.
  • Arrival and check-in experiences present opportunity to shine: The key elements of the check-in experience consistent with high hotel guest satisfaction scores are efficiency (ideally takes five minutes or less); accuracy; and offering a warm welcome. When any of those baseline criteria are not met, satisfaction scores tumble as much as 100 points.

Study Rankings

The following hotel brands rank highest in guest satisfaction in their respective segments:

Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton (for a fifth consecutive year)
Upper Upscale: Hard Rock Hotel
Upscale: Best Western Premier
Upper Midscale: Drury Hotels (for a 14th consecutive year)
Midscale: Wingate by Wyndham (for a fifth consecutive year)
Economy: Microtel by Wyndham (for a second consecutive year)

The 2019 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study analyzes guest responses to more than 150 questions regarding their overall experiences and includes 85 officially ranked brands in six market segments. This year’s study is based on responses from approximately 44,890 guests who stayed at a hotel between June 2018 and May 2019.

For more information about the 2019 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/resource/jd-power-north-america-hotel-guest-satisfaction-index-study.

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

LEARNING + TRAVEL: THE SECRETS TO LONG LIFE?

New Survey Reveals Belief that Travel Plus a Passion for Learning are Key

We’ve all heard the theories that exercise, healthy diet and challenging mind games can help a person live longer with greater mental acuity, but it seems that travel (particularly travel with an educational focus) should be added to that list as well. Road Scholar, the nation’s non-profit leader in educational travel for Boomers and beyond, conducted an online national survey of more than 1,000 men and women, age 55 and older, and found that an overwhelming 85 percent of them believe travel actually can help extend their life. As for the main reason for travel, 43 percent said they travel to learn about other cultures and places. In fact, 26 percent described themselves as lifelong learners. In addition, a full 74 percent of respondents said travel was “important” or “very important” as a way to maintain mental acuity. Road Scholar was built on the belief that learning is the key to a longer and more fulfilled life, and a large number of their survey respondents seem to agree.

“We hear over and over how important learning, coupled with a travel component, is in the lives of Road Scholar participants, but it was fascinating to discover that so many of the people surveyed view travel and learning as synergistic, and the best way to learn about the world,” stated Road Scholar’s President and CEO, Jim Moses. “Road Scholar has always focused on learning, and our educational adventures combine the best of both education and travel.”

Of course, the findings also reflect a shift in current thinking about the role of learning in our lives, particularly as we age, noted Moses. “The concept of learning as an age-based activity for children and young adults is being replaced by a philosophy of the benefits of lifelong learning – an approach to learning that is not just school-based, but experiential, social and intellectual and continuing throughout the course of a person’s life. For many, travel is an ideal way to continue learning new things no matter their age,” he said.

“I definitely think that travel enhances and may contribute to longer life,” said Debbie S., a 65-year-old avid traveler who divides her time between Arlington TX and Presque Isle, WI. “It keeps your brain working. It’s also been proven that if you have passions that you tend to live longer.”

Maxine T., a 73-year-old woman from Walnut Creek, CA, agrees in the power of travel, saying “Each trip leaves us hungry for the next adventure so, I guess we’ll have to live a very long time. There sure is a lot of world to see!”

In addition to longevity, the survey asked respondents to list all the ways they keep their brains active and engaged and gave them a list of methods that included reading/book club, crossword puzzles, continuing education classes, travel, museum visits and attending lectures.

Travel was cited more frequently than any other category, by 69 percent of respondents. Reading and book clubs were a close second at 66 percent, followed by crossword puzzles at 49 percent and museum visits at 42 percent.  Continuing education and attending lectures were checked by 36 percent and 31 percent, respectively.

About Road Scholar

Road Scholar is the nation’s largest not-for-profit educational travel organization for adults – a true university of the world. It offers 5,500 programs in 150 countries and 50 states and financial aid for those who otherwise could not participate in its programs. Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel, the world leader in educational travel since 1975. Learn more at roadscholar.org

Survey Methodology Details

This survey was conducted by Survata, an independent research firm in San Francisco. Survata interviewed 1000 online respondents between April 22, 2019 and April 28, 2019. Respondents were reached across the Survata publisher network, where they take a survey to unlock premium content, like articles and ebooks. Respondents received no cash compensation for their participation. More information on Survata’s methodology can be found at survata.com/methodology.

Risks of an Animal Protein Diet

Diet rich in animal protein is associated with a greater risk of death

A diet rich in animal protein and meat in particular is not good for the health, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland finds, providing further backing for earlier research evidence. Men who favored animal protein over plant-based protein in their diet had a greater risk of death in a 20-year follow-up than men whose diet was more balanced in terms of their sources of protein. The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Men whose primary sources of protein were animal-based had a 23% higher risk of death during the follow-up than men who had the most balanced ratio of animal and plant-based protein in their diet. A high intake of meat in particular seemed to associate with adverse effects: men eating a diet rich in meat, i.e. more than 200 grams per day, had a 23% greater risk of death during the follow-up than men whose intake of meat was less than 100 grams per day. The men participating in the study mainly ate red meat. Most nutrition recommendations nowadays limit the intake of red and processed meats. In Finland, for example, the recommended maximum intake is 500 grams per week.

The study also found that a high overall intake of dietary protein was associated with a greater risk of death in men who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer at the onset of the study. A similar association was not found in men without these diseases. The findings highlight the need to investigate the health effects of protein intake especially in people who have a pre-existing chronic medical condition. The mean age of the men participating in the study was 53 years at the onset, and diets clearly lacking in protein were not typical among the study population.

“However, these findings should not be generalized to older people who are at a greater risk of malnutrition and whose intake of protein often remains below the recommended amount,” PhD Student Heli Virtanen from the University of Eastern Finland points out.

Earlier studies have suggested that a high intake of animal protein, and especially the consumption of processed meats such as sausages and cold cuts, is associated with an increased risk of death. However, the big picture relating to the health effects of protein and different protein sources remains unclear.

The study is based on the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) that analyzed the dietary habits of approximately 2,600 Finnish men aged between 42 and 60 at the onset of the study in 1984-1989. The researchers studied the mortality of this study population in an average follow-up of 20 years by analyzing registers provided by Statistics Finland. The analyses focused on the associations of dietary protein and protein sources with mortality during the follow-up, and other lifestyle factors and dietary habits were extensively controlled for, including the fact that those eating plenty of plant-based protein followed a healthier diet.

Stem Cell Relief

Clinical trial shows promise of stem cells in offering safe, effective relief from arthritic knees

Stem cells collected from the patient’s own bone marrow holds great interest as a potential therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee (KOA) because of their ability to regenerate the damaged cartilage. The results were released today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM).

KOA is a common, debilitating disease of the aging population in which the cartilage wears away, resulting in bone wearing upon bone and subsequently causing great pain. In its end stages, joint replacement is currently the recommended treatment. In the first clinical trial of its kind to take place in Canada, researchers used mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), collected from the patient’s own bone marrow under local anesthesia, to treat KOA.

The study was conducted by a research team from the Arthritis Program at the Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, led by Sowmya Viswanathan, Ph.D., and Jaskarndip Chahal, M.D. “Our goal was to test for safety as well as to gain a better understanding of MSC dosing, mechanisms of action and donor selection,” Dr. Viswanathan said.

It involved 12 patients, aged 45 to 65, with moderate to severe KOA. They were divided into three groups, with each group receiving a different dose of MSCs. (Each patient was injected with his or her own cells.) The researchers then followed the patients for the next 12 months, using analytical methods that included imaging, biomarkers, molecular fingerprinting and the patient’s own assessment of how he or she felt.

At the end of the 12-month period, the team noted significant improvements in the patients’ pain levels and quality of life. The study also showed that the MSCs were safe at all the doses tested and that the higher the dose, the more effective the outcome.

Dr. Viswanathan said, “We also obtained novel insights into a potential anti-inflammatory mechanism of action of these cells in osteoarthritic knee joints. We noted that donor heterogeneity is an important factor, and our assembled panel of genes helps us identify cells which are potent in osteoarthritis. These are important findings which we hope to translate into a larger, powered clinical trial as part of our next steps.”  

“Furthermore,” added Dr. Chahal, “we have been able to show that through an anti-inflammatory mechanism of action, such patients have an improvement in pain, function and quality of life. This sets the stage for the future of cell-based therapy and trials in Canada.”

“This clinical pilot study advances the field of stem cell research for patients with arthritis, showing safety, and giving insights into potential therapy efficacy guidelines”, said Anthony Atala, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “We look forward to larger scale trial results.”

The full article, “Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Patients with Osteoarthritis Results in Overall Improvement in Pain and Symptoms and Reduces Synovial Inflammation,” can be accessed here.

About STEM CELLS Translational Medicine

STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), co-published by AlphaMed Press and Wiley, is a monthly peer-reviewed publication dedicated to significantly advancing the clinical utilization of stem cell molecular and cellular biology. By bridging stem cell research and clinical trials, SCTM will help move applications of these critical investigations closer to accepted best practices. SCTM is the official journal partner of Regenerative Medicine Foundation.

About AlphaMed Press

Established in 1983, AlphaMed Press with offices in Durham, NC, San Francisco, CA, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, publishes two other internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals: STEM CELLS® , celebrating its 37th year, is the world’s first journal devoted to this fast paced field of research. The Oncologist® also a monthly peer-reviewed publication, entering its 24th year, is devoted to community and hospital-based oncologists and physicians entrusted with cancer patient care. All three journals are premier periodicals with globally recognized editorial boards dedicated to advancing knowledge and education in their focused disciplines.  

About Wiley

Wiley, a global company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions, help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company’s website can be accessed here.

About Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF)

The non-profit Regenerative Medicine Foundation fosters strategic collaborations to accelerate the development of regenerative medicine to improve health and deliver cures. RMF pursues its mission by producing its flagship World Stem Cell Summit, honoring leaders through the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards, and promoting educational initiatives.

5 Top Tips to Looking After Your Eyes Daily

You brush your hair, you clean your teeth, you moisturise your skin, but do you think about looking after your eyes each day? Our sight is such a precious sense, but it is one that most people take almost entirely for granted. Modern urban life is particularly punishing for our eyes. Too much time spent looking at screens means that for many, their eyes are often tired and sore, and the dust and dirt of a city pose a further threat to our eyesight. Don’t wait until there’s a problem, take care of your eyes and build eye care into your daily routine.

Keep your hands clean

Keeping your hands clean is important for maintaining good general health, but it is also particularly important for maintaining the good health of your eyes. A study by Michigan State University found that only 5% of people wash their hands correctly. Dipping those pinkies in water is simply not good enough, they need a proper scrub for at least twenty seconds. Most of us are guilty, at some time or another, of absentmindedly rubbing our eyes but it is something that all of us should try to avoid. Rubbing your eyes, even with hands which appear to be clean, can cause eye related problems such as conjunctivitis.

Wear sunglasses

Sunglasses provide protection from harmful UV rays which can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal sunburn and skin cancer around the eyelids. UV rays are not just a summer hazard, they can reflect off surfaces such as snow, water, sand and concrete. If you wear prescription glasses, you should give your eyes the added protection of prescription sunglasses. Don’t worry, there are plenty of fashionable options available.

Visit your optometrist regularly

You really can’t have your eyes checked too often. The onset of glaucoma has no obvious symptoms and by the time that you do become aware that there is a problem, you may have sustained permanent eye damage. Early detection of eye pressure, which is an indicator of the disease, is only possible with a professional eye examination. Your optometrist can also give you early warning of diabetes, high cholesterol and even cancer.

Wear goggles in the swimming pool

Chlorine is a sanitising agent added to the water of swimming pools to reduce the spread of disease and water borne bacteria. Unfortunately, chlorine strips away the film that protects your cornea which actually makes your eyes more vulnerable to any dirt or bacteria that may be in the pool. Conjunctivitis, red, irritated eyes and even blurry vision can all be contracted by swimming in a chlorinated pool. Protect your eyes when swimming, by always wearing water tight goggles with a strong seal.

Keep hydrated

It is recommended that you drink eight glasses of water a day in order to maintain your health. Drinking water helps keep your skin hydrated, aids brain function and is crucial to maintaining the natural lipid layer on the surface of your eyes.

Nation ‘Tired’ of Seeing Patriots in Super Bowl

Nearly half of Americas say they are tired of seeing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week.

46% said they were “tired” of seeing them, with only 25% finding their appearance making the game “more interesting.”

Among those who follow the NFL closely or very closely, the number rises to 62% who are tired of seeing them against only 27% who believe their appearance makes the game more interesting.

The poll received 985 adult responses across the country, using both landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.

Tom Brady
The numbers are not very good for New England quarterback Tom Brady either, whose favorable rating has fallen to only 29% after a high of 61% in February 2015, when the Poll first asked about him.  That was before the penalty for “Deflategate” was instituted, and his favorable rating fell to 34% by that October. 

Brady’s favorable rating was only 24% among women and 35% among men. While the overall rating is 29% favorable to 23% unfavorable, among those that follow the NFL closely it is even.

Bill Belichick
Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick had only a 20% favorable rating in this poll, about even with his standing in October of 2015 in the wake of “Deflategate.”

“Despite his brilliance on the field, it appears the effects of ‘Deflategate’ and the suggestion that Brady was a cheater may linger for the remainder of his career,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall.  “As for ‘Patriots Fatigue’ it will be interesting to see how it effects the ratings.”

Legal Sports Betting
Meanwhile, as legalized sports betting begins a growth period on a state-by-state basis, Americans had a strong feeling that it will inevitably lead to scandal.  Asked if they believe legal betting can lead to cheating or fixing of games by players, 81% said yes, and 79% said it can lead to cheating or fixing of games by referees or umpires.

What is music to a network ear however, is that 71% say they would be more likely to watch a broadcast of a game on which they bet. Even better news is by more than 5 to 1, people 18-29 are more inclined to watch a game they bet on. This is similar with Seton Hall Sports Poll’s finding when the question was first asked last fall.

WEIGHING IN ON RULE CHANGES IN WAKE OF POST-SEASON CONTROVERSIES

Replay for Pass Interference
Asked if replay review should be allowed for judgment calls like pass interference, 82% said yes, with only 10% saying no, a result consistent with those who follow the NFL closely.  

Overtime Possession Rule
And on the question of each team getting at least one possession in overtime, even if the first team scores a touchdown, 58% said both teams should have the ball, with only 33% saying the rule (a touchdown on first possession ends the game), should be left alone.

This release may be found online at http://blogs.shu.edu/sportspoll/

The Official Seton Hall Sports Poll podcast discussing this topic with Seth Everett and Rick Gentile can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/mt/podcast/seton-hall-sports-poll/id1053266467.