TrendsPosted at: Jan 14, 2017, 1:51 AM; last updated: Jan 14, 2017, 1:51 AM (IST)HEALTH CAPSULES
‘Media stigmatises female binge drinkers’Are female drinkers still socially unacceptable? A study finds that women who binge drink are portrayed more negatively by the media than men who do the same. A recent study, published in BMJ Open, sheds light on the same and examined how the media reports women’s and men’s drinking habits.
According to researchers from the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University, newspaper coverage misrepresents the fact that binge-drinking remains a predominantly male activity. They analysed 308 articles published over two years in seven British national newspapers.
The findings indicate that women’s binge drinking was given more coverage, despite men drinking more in reality.
It also found that as well as misrepresenting differences in the amount each gender drinks, articles depicted women’s and men’s binge drinking in different ways.
“Media coverage of women’s binge drinking isn’t just about health or public disorder; it also performs a moralising, paternalistic role, reflecting broader social expectations about women’s public behaviour,” said Chris Patterson from the University of Glasgow in the Scotland.
Autoimmune diseases decoded
Scientists have discovered a new molecular mechanism behind some autoimmune diseases, an advance that may pave the way for new treatments against conditions caused by hyperactive immune systems.
While the immune system is crucial for protecting the body from infection and disease, prolonged activation can damage healthy tissue. After its activation, the immune system is shut off by specialised immune cells known as regulatory T cells (Treg cells), researchers said.
Understanding the development of Treg cells is thought to be critical for combating autoimmune diseases.
“The development of Treg cells in the thymus depends on super-enhancer establishment,” said Shimon Sakaguchi from Osaka University in Japan. This super-enhancer establishment permits the expression of genes specific for Treg cell development.
“Super-enhancers appeared to be a pre-requisite for Treg cell development, so we sought molecules controlling super-enhancers,” said Sakaguchi. Researchers report that Satb1 regulates the super enhancers essential for Treg cell development. Looking at the Treg cell development pathway, the scientists found that the level of Satb1 was the highest before Treg cells develop, and dropped after Treg cell development.
Further study showed that Satb1 bound to the super enhancers responsible for Treg cell development, but again, only in progenitors that differentiated into Treg cells and not Treg cells themselves. Therefore, Satb1 may regulate the epigenetic changes that precede the creation of Treg cells.
Your exercise routine is your kids’ too
A new study suggests that kids aged three to five are more likely to be physically active if their parents increase activity and reduce sedentary lifestyle.
The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examined the impact of parent modeling of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in low-income American ethnic minorities, included data from more than 1,000 parent-child pairs. The participants live in metro areas of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota and Nashville, Tennessee. Each parent and child wore an accelerometer for an average of 12 hours a day, for a week.
Researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the US found that the preschoolers' total physical activity was 6.03 hours per day with 1.5 hours spent in moderate to vigorous activity.
"This study highlights how important parents' physical activity is to shaping their young children's physical activity," said principal investigator Shari Barkin.