Washington: Scientists have developed a new test that can easily measure common stress hormones using sweat, blood, urine or saliva. Stress is often called “the silent killer” because of its stealthy and mysterious effects on everything from heart disease to mental health. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati in the US hope to turn the system into a simple device that patients can use at home to monitor their health. “I wanted something that’s simple and easy to interpret. This may not give you all the information, but it tells you whether you need a professional who can take over,” said Andrew Steckl, a professor at University of Cincinnati. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app Scientists developed a device that uses ultraviolet light to measure stress hormones in a drop of blood, sweat, urine or saliva. These stress biomarkers are found in all of these fluids, albeit in different quantities, Steckl said. “It measures not just one biomarker but multiple biomarkers. And it can be applied to different bodily fluids. That’s what’s unique,” he said. The device, described in the journal American Chemical Society Sensors, is not intended to replace full-panel laboratory blood tests. Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails “If you’re able to do the test at home because you’re not feeling well and want to know where you stand, this will tell whether your condition has changed a little or a lot,” said Steckl. “Stress harms us in so many ways. And it sneaks up on you. You don’t know how devastating a short or long duration of stress can be,” said Prajokta Ray, from University of Cincinnati. “So many physical ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure and neurological or psychological disorders are attributed to stress the patient has gone through. That’s what interested me,” said Ray. Taking exams always gave her stress. Understanding how stress affects you individually could be extremely valuable, she said. “Stress has been a hot topic over the past couple years. Researchers have tried very hard to develop a test that is cheap and easy and effective and detect these hormones in low concentrations,” Ray said. “This test has the potential to make a strong commercial device. It would be great to see the research go in that direction,” she added.
Investing in forests is win-win for communities, climate and orangutan conservation. Photo: UNEP Another editor, Dr. Erik Meijaard, cited the impact of unsustainable palm oil development in Indonesia, where he is based.“It’s time we recognized that the land-use choices we make as human beings can have devastating results not just for ourselves, but for biodiversity,” he urged. “The climatic conditions that now occur regularly in Southeast Asia – floods, the fires, the temperature rises – are no accident.”Dr. Meijaard explained that these conditions are rather the result of poor land use decisions and ignoring the costs of deforestation. He expressed a hope that the report would be seen as a resource for better planning in the future.“Africa may seem vast and limitless as a future site for palm oil, but Borneo and Sumatra once did, too. Better management in palm oil is possible. The evidence is there that great apes can be managed in oil palm plantations. But the good examples are vastly outnumbered by the bad ones, and that needs to change,” he said.Although sustainable palm oil accounts for some 20 per cent of global production, only half is sold. UNEP advocates expanding the current market for sustainable palm oil in order to drive conservation efforts that would support the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Palm oil is a $62 billion industry and an ingredient found in roughly half of all items on supermarket shelves. In 2014, UN Environment signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil in order to encourage consumer demand to move towards sustainably sourced palm oil.Palm Oil Paradox advocates a multi-stakeholder approach that includes environmental experts from the start as well as strictly enforced “no-kill” policies and environmental teams to monitor, manage and protect great apes and high conservation value (HCV) forests.Dr. Marc Ancrenaz, lead editor of the report who has worked in great ape conservation for more than three decades in Africa and Asia, said: “There are so many lessons to be learned from the cultivation of palm oil in Southeast Asia; not just mistakes, but successes too, and we believe that it is crucial that those lessons be carried over into Africa.”“We also felt it was important to address many of the misperceptions regarding the palm oil industry and suggest a new dialogue that finds ways to collaborate with an industry that will only grow bigger in the years to come,” he added.“The conservation of orangutans and biodiversity is our first priority, but it’s clear we need a fresh perspective if we’re going to achieve our goals in the years ahead,” he said. Burning rainforests on Borneo and Sumatra to make space for palm oil plantations is one of the greatest threats to orangutans. Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Peter Prokosch The recommendation follows the release of a new report, Palm Oil Paradox: Sustainable Solutions to Save the Great Apes, the result of a two-year study of palm oil development in Southeast Asia. It includes steps required to ensure that the loss of biodiversity that occurred in that region is not repeated as the crop expands into Africa.The report was produced by UN Environment through the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), an alliance of 105 governments, conservation organizations, research institutions, UN agencies, and private companies committed to ensuring the long-term survival of great apes and their habitat. The report was released at the 14th Roundtable on the Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) meeting in Bangkok. “This report recognizes that palm oil is here to stay and the hard line boycotts are unlikely to achieve success,” said GRASP coordinator Doug Cress.“Right now, all of the chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans in the world are classified as endangered or critically endangered, so we need to find a way to work constructively with a commodity that can either hasten extinction or offer a way forward. Palm Oil Paradox makes it clear that finding common ground with palm oil developers makes sense,” he added.
← Previous Story Beach Handball Champions Cup: Sea, sun and handball in Gran Canaria Next Story → Poland and Spain at the final in Gdansk Germany and Slovenia will play for the DHB Super Cup trophy on Sunday 14.45. Both teams celebratee unexpected secure wins over Serbia and Brazil. Dagur Sigurdsson guys had 19:5 after 26 minutes of the match against Serbian “Eagles”. However, Serbs found the way to stop total domination of host team in the second half, but only for 37:26 (20:8).Germany – Serbia 37:26 (20:8)Germany: Lichtlein, Wolff; Kneer, Gensheimer (4), Lemke (1), Reichmann (2), Wiede (2), Weinhold (4), Strobel, Schmidt (4), Fäth (3), Groetzki (3), Müller (1), Dahmke (6), Späth, Ernst (1), Pieczkowski (2), Kohlbacher (4)Serbia: Ivezic, Kocic, Marjanac; Sesum, Nikcevic (5/3), Djukic, Djordjic (4), Stojkovic, Nemanja Ilic (2), Rnic (3), Zelenovic (1), Cutura, Abutovic, Marsenic (3), Stankovic (2), Vujin (4), Elezovic (2)Slovenia beat Brazil 38:27 (18:14) with the same 11-goals difference.STANDINGS:Germany 4Slovenia 4Serbia 0Brazil 0