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Poor people eat more meat than the middle-classes who have a diet filled with more fruit and veg

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poor people eat more meat than the middle classes who have a diet filled with more fruit and veg

Wether you eat a vegan or meat heavy diet and your socioeconomic status can be determined simply by looking at proteins in your hair, a new study found.

A study led by a team at the University of Utah examined proteins in discarded hair found in rubbish bins from barbershops and salons across 20 US states. 

They found a way to determine what you eat, where you’ve been, and even how much you paid for your haircut simply by looking at proteins in hair samples. 

Poorer people had higher proportions of protein coming from cornfed animals in their hair, whereas more wealthy people had proteins from fruit and vegetables. 

The US team discovered that hair isotopes matched closely to standards of living, where people live, what you’ve eaten and even how much your last haircut cost.

Poorer people had higher proportions of protein coming from cornfed animals in their hair, whereas more wealthy people had proteins from fruit and vegetables. Stock image

Poorer people had higher proportions of protein coming from cornfed animals in their hair, whereas more wealthy people had proteins from fruit and vegetables. Stock image

The team examined the source of proteins – plant or meat – found in hair samples and then looked at the socioeconomic status of the owner of the hair.

PROTEINS IN HAIR CARRY INFORMATION ON FOOD SOURCES 

The researchers are able to match different proteins in hair to the food or drink they source they originated from.

Different food sources have different ratios of stable isotopes, or atoms of the same element with slightly different weights.

As food breaks down into amino acids, the isotopes present in our food find their way into all parts of our bodies – including our hair.

For example, corn photosynthesises differently to vegetables and legumes.

Corn is in a group called ‘C4 plants’ and vegetables are ‘C3 plants’.

So if you eat protein that ate corn, the amino acids that comprise your hair will have isotope ratios more like corn.

If your protein comes more from plant sources or from animals who ate C3 plants, your hair will have an isotope signature more like C3 plants.

Water, which varies in its oxygen and isotope ratios according to geography, works the same way and could be used to determine where someone has been.

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Next, the authors correlated the isotope information in the hair samples with US census socioeconomic data. 

Isotopes are atoms which differ in the number of sub-atomic neutron particles and scientists use this to predict details about the life of the person who grew the hair. 

For example, scientists can predict where you have been because of the water you drank – as seen in the isotopes – which is different from place to place.

They also found that  hair could be used to reveal socioeconomic status, as poorer people had higher proportions of protein coming from cornfed animals in their hair.

The researchers say their method could be used as a way to assess the health of entire communities at a time, and to spot health risks. 

Compared with plant-derived proteins, corn-fed animal-derived proteins were more common in the diets of individuals from low socioeconomic populations. 

‘Animal proteins accounted for 57 per cent of diets on average, and, in areas with low socioeconomic status , they accounted for as much as 75 per cent,’ they found.

 The findings suggest that consumption of corn-fed animal proteins is more common among lower economic populations than high economic populations,.

The team say this puts those in poorer communities at a heightened risk of illness. 

The study’s author, Jim Ehleringer, said: ‘This information can be used to quantify dietary trends in ways that surveys cannot capture.

‘We would like to see the health community begin to assess dietary patterns using hair isotope surveys, especially across different economic groups within the US.’

Since the 1990s Ehleringer and colleagues Denise Dearing and Thure Cerling have been looking into the ways that traces of diets could be detected in hair.

Different food sources have different ratios of stable isotopes, or atoms of the same element with slightly different weights.

As food breaks down into amino acids, the isotopes present in our food find their way into all parts of our bodies – including our hair. 

Ehleringer said: ‘We then began consideration of what we could learn from carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the hair.

‘For livestock raised in concentrated animal feeding operations, the corn that they eat is incorporated into their tissues.’

He explained how corn is in a group of plants called ‘C4 plants’ which photosynthesise differently than ‘C3 plants’, a group that includes legumes and vegetables.

So if you eat protein that ate corn, the amino acids that comprise your hair will have isotope ratios more like corn.

If your protein comes more from plant sources or from animals who ate C3 plants, your hair will have an isotope signature more like C3 plants.

He added: ‘Those are the principles of hair isotope analysis, but this study is about the applications – and for that, we’ll need some samples of hair.’

A study led by a team at the University of Utah examined proteins in discarded hair found in rubbish bins from barbershops and salons across 20 US states. Stock image

A study led by a team at the University of Utah examined proteins in discarded hair found in rubbish bins from barbershops and salons across 20 US states. Stock image

The team mustered up hair samples from more than 700 people from 65 cities across the USA by rummaging through the bins are hairdressers.

A group of those samples were from 29 post codes in the Salt Lake Valley, Utah so they could study differences between areas that were close together.

Ehleringer said: ‘Barbers and salon owners were supportive. They would let us go to the trash bin and pull out a handful or two of hair, which we then sort into identifiable clusters representing individuals.

‘This sampling technique was blind to the individual’s age, gender, income, health status or any other factor, except for the isotope record.’

The samples collected from the Salt Lake Valley showed that carbon isotopes in hair matched with the price of the haircut at the sampling location. 

‘We had not imagined that it might be possible to estimate the average cost an individual had paid for their haircut knowing values,’ said Ehleringer.

They then went a step further and used driving license data to calculate trends in body mass index for particular post codes, the researchers found that the isotope ratios also correlated with obesity rates.

Ehleringer said: ‘This measure is not biased by personal recollections, or mis-recollections, that would be reflected in dietary surveys.

‘As an integrated, long-term measure of an individual’s diet, the measurement can be used to understand dietary choices among different age groups and different socioeconomic groups.’  

Their findings have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Sony apologies for PS5 pre-order disaster that created shortages within minutes

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sony apologies for ps5 pre order disaster that created shortages within minutes

Sony issued an apology on Twitter for PlayStation 5 pre-orders turning into a disaster.

The Japanese company announced pricing and release dates for the gaming system Wednesday and minutes after the event, nearly every major retailer was ‘out of stock.’

Retailers including Amazon, GameStop and Walmart jumped the gun with opening pre-orders a day early that started a buying frenzy in the gaming community. 

Gamers around the world ran to their computers, smartphones and tablets to reserve a console, but many were met with broken links, page time outs and the dreaded ‘out of stock’ message.

Sony shared in the tweet that it is set to release more consoles over the next few days and promises ‘more PS5s will be available through the end of the year.’ 

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Sony issued an apology on Twitter for PlayStation 5 pre-orders turning into a disaster. Sony shared in the tweet that it is set to release more consoles over the next few days and promises 'more PS5s will be available through the end of the year'

Sony issued an apology on Twitter for PlayStation 5 pre-orders turning into a disaster. Sony shared in the tweet that it is set to release more consoles over the next few days and promises ‘more PS5s will be available through the end of the year’

PlayStation 5 pre-orders were not set to open until Thursday, September 17, as the gaming system shared a tweet shortly after the event: ‘PS5 pre-orders will be available starting as early as tomorrow at select retailers.’

However, many retailers seemed to jump the gun and offer the gaming console earlier- even without having any physical systems. 

GameStop shared a news release stating it was now taking pre-orders for the PS5 Wednesday evening and quickly ran out of stock.

Target also sold out and is encouraging consumers to check back on the official release date of November 12. 

Sony announced pricing and release dates for its PlayStation 5 Wednesday and opened pre-orders one day early shortly after the event – creating a buying frenzy in the gaming community

Sony announced pricing and release dates for its PlayStation 5 Wednesday and opened pre-orders one day early shortly after the event – creating a buying frenzy in the gaming community

Major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop and Sony itself were all sold out within hours, some even in minutes after making pre-orders available on their sites

Major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop and Sony itself were all sold out within hours, some even in minutes after making pre-orders available on their sites

GameStop shared a news release stating it was now taking pre-orders for the PS5 Wednesday evening and quickly ran out of stock

GameStop shared a news release stating it was now taking pre-orders for the PS5 Wednesday evening and quickly ran out of stock

Target sold out, but is encouraging consumers to check back on the official release date of November 12. Best Buy is out of stock and lists 'coming soon' on its website, while Walmart's website notes it should have more in stock on September 22

Target sold out, but is encouraging consumers to check back on the official release date of November 12. Best Buy is out of stock and lists ‘coming soon’ on its website, while Walmart’s website notes it should have more in stock on September 22

Best Buy is out of stock and lists ‘coming soon’ on its website, while Walmart’s website notes it should have more in stock on September 22.

Pre-orders were gone in what seemed to be minutes on Amazon, leaving many customers with an error message or telling them they missed getting the console in the first release. 

Amazon has also warned users who were able to secure a PS5 that they may not receive the console by the official release date of November 12.

‘We’re contacting you about your order of PlayStation 5 to let you know in advance that you may not receive this item on the day it is released due to high demand,’ the email reads. 

‘We’ll make every effort to get the item to you as soon as possible once released.’

Users also ran to Twitter last week when they could not secure a console, telling the world of their frustrations.

Users ran to Twitter when they could not secure console Wed, telling the world of their frustrations. One user by the name of 'Roy' wrote in a tweet: 'PlayStation pre-orders are sold out everywhere, I gotta be on my A-game next wave' - but some places are already sold out for the next release

Users ran to Twitter when they could not secure console Wed, telling the world of their frustrations. One user by the name of ‘Roy’ wrote in a tweet: ‘PlayStation pre-orders are sold out everywhere, I gotta be on my A-game next wave’ – but some places are already sold out for the next release 

Jason Celso was also unable to secure the gaming console, but is hopeful to have better luck pre-ordering the Xbox Series X

Jason Celso was also unable to secure the gaming console, but is hopeful to have better luck pre-ordering the Xbox Series X

However, it seems those who beat the rush and pre-ordered a PS5 are already trying to ‘flip them on Amazon and Ebay’ for a higher cost

However, it seems those who beat the rush and pre-ordered a PS5 are already trying to ‘flip them on Amazon and Ebay’ for a higher cost

Gamers around the world ran to their computers, smartphones and tablets to reserve a console, but many were met with broken links, page time outs and the dreaded ‘out of stock’ message

Gamers around the world ran to their computers, smartphones and tablets to reserve a console, but many were met with broken links, page time outs and the dreaded ‘out of stock’ message

PlayStation was not the only technology that sold out. Nividia’s RTX 3080 graphics card went on sale early Thursday for $699 and was gone within minutes of its release at major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and the firm’s own website

PlayStation was not the only technology that sold out. Nividia’s RTX 3080 graphics card went on sale early Thursday for $699 and was gone within minutes of its release at major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and the firm’s own website

One user by the name of ‘Roy’ wrote in a tweet: ‘PlayStation pre-orders are sold out everywhere, I gotta be on my A-game next wave.’

Jason Celso was also unable to secure the gaming console, but is hopeful to have better luck pre-ordering the Xbox Series X.

However, it seems those who beat the rush and pre-ordered a PS5 are already trying to ‘flip them on Amazon and Ebay’ for a higher cost. 

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15-minute ‘awe walks’ among nature boost emotional well-being

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15 minute awe walks among nature boost emotional well being

Going on a 15-min ‘awe walk’ each week, where we stop to appreciate the world around us, can help boost positive emotions and reduce stress, a new study shows.

It’s well-known that getting out of the house to take a short walk every day can dramatically improve our mood. 

But US scientists say walking boosts our frame of mind even more if we make a note to soak up the beauty of all that is around us.

These ‘awe walks’, where we soak up the details of the world around us, can boost healthy ‘pro-social’ emotions such as compassion and gratitude.

After analysing selfies taken during walks these walks, the US experts found that ‘awe walks’ make us smile more too. 

A regular dose of awe is a simple way to boost healthy 'prosocial' emotions such as compassion and gratitude

A regular dose of awe is a simple way to boost healthy ‘prosocial’ emotions such as compassion and gratitude

‘What we show here is that a very simple intervention,’ said Professor Virginia Sturm at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). 

‘Essentially a reminder to occasionally shift our energy and attention outward instead of inward can lead to significant improvements in emotional well-being.

‘Experiencing awe is such a simple practice – just taking a moment to look out the window or pausing to consider the technological marvels that surround us – and we now show it can have measurable effects on our emotional well-being. 

‘A little more joy and a little more connectedness with the world around us is something all of us could use these days.’

The study was inspired by a call from the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) for research proposals on ways to identify simple, low-cost interventions to improve brain health. 

Professor Sturm partnered with psychologist Dacher Keltner, an expert in emotion at the University of California, Berkeley, to develop a simple intervention.

Its concept was simple – to try to replicate the feeling of awe by drawing on external cues. 

‘Awe is a positive emotion triggered by awareness of something vastly larger than the self and not immediately understandable – such as nature, art, music, or being caught up in a collective act such as a ceremony, concert or political march,’ Keltner said. 

‘Experiencing awe can contribute to a host of benefits including an expanded sense of time and enhanced feelings of generosity, well-being and humility.’

The team recruited 52 healthy older adults from the UCSF’s long-running Hilblom Healthy Aging Study program. 

They asked each of these participants to take at least one 15-minute walk each week for eight weeks. 

Half of the participants in the study were asked to replicate the emotion of awe and during their walks.

‘In general, we encouraged awe by asking people to attend to the details of the world around them and to tap into their sense of wonder,’ said Professor Sturm.

After each walk, participants filled out brief surveys, detailing characteristics of the walk and the emotions they had experienced, including questions intended to assess their experience of awe. 

People in the ‘awe group’ reported increasing experience of awe on their walks as the study went on, they found. 

In the ‘awe walk’ group, answers to some of the open-ended survey questions reflected their ‘growing sense of wonder and appreciation for the details of the world around them’. 

For example, one participant reflected on ‘the beautiful fall colours and the absence of them amidst the evergreen forest’ and ‘how the leaves were no longer crunchy underfoot because of rain’. 

In contrast, participants from the ‘control walk’ group tended to be more inwardly focused when answering the questions about their thoughts and feelings.  

For example, one control walk participant said: ‘I thought about our vacation in Hawaii coming up this next Thursday [and] all the things I had to do before we leave.’

Another reflected on ‘what a beautiful day it was and that later I was going to go see my great granddaughter’.  

The researchers also asked participants to take selfies at the beginning, middle and end of each walk. 

Analysis of the selfies in both sets of participants revealed a noticeable difference in how they portrayed themselves.

People in the awe group increasingly made themselves smaller in their photos over the course of the study, preferring to feature the landscapes around them, compared to the control group. 

At the same time, the smiles on the faces of awe group participants grew more intense as the study went on. 

‘One of the key features of awe is that it promotes what we call “small self” – a healthy sense of proportion between your own self and the bigger picture of the world around you,’ said Sturm. 

‘To be honest, we had decided to do this particular analysis of participants’ selfies on a lark – I never really expected we’d be able to document awe’s ability to create an emotionally healthy small self literally on camera!’

Participants also completed daily surveys throughout the eight-week study to assess their day-by-day emotional state

Those in the awe group experienced big boosts in their daily experience of positive pro-social emotions such as compassion and gratitude over the course of the study.

Participants in the control group actually took more frequent walks during the study, the researchers found, likely because some of them suspected that the study was focused on exercise. 

However, this did not result in significant shifts in emotional well-being – or in their selfies. 

The effects were relatively moderate but were easy to evoke and grew stronger over time, suggesting the benefits could continue to grow with longer practice. 

‘I find it remarkable that the simplest intervention in the world – just a three-minute conversation at the beginning of the study suggesting that participants practice feeling awe on their weekly walks – was able to drive significant shifts in their daily emotional experience,’ Sturm said. 

‘This suggests promoting the experience of awe could be an extremely low-cost tool for improving the emotional health of older adults through a simple shift in mindset.’         

The study has been published in the journal Emotion.  

AWE WALK INSTRUCTIONS 

Below is the set of instructions given to ‘awe walk’ participants – which can help you get the best out of your daily walk too.  

For the next eight weeks, we’ll ask you to go on a walk once a week where you perhaps have an experience of awe. 

Awe often shifts your attention away from yourself and helps you to appreciate the wonders of the world around you. 

With the right outlook, awe can be found almost anywhere, but it is most likely to occur in places that involve two key features: physical vastness and novelty.

 These places could include natural settings, like a trail lined with tall trees, or urban settings, like a city street lined with skyscrapers. 

No matter where you choose to take your walk, these two general guidelines should increase your opportunities to find awe – inspiring moments. 

First, try to tap into you r childlike sense of wonder. 

Young children are in an almost constant state of awe since everything is so new to them. 

During your walk, try to approach what you see with fresh eyes, imagining that you’re seeing it for the first time. 

Take a moment in each walk to take in the vastness of things, for example in looking at a panoramic view or up close at the detail of a leaf or flower. 

Second, go somewhere new. Each week, try to choose a new location. 

You’re more likely to feel awe in a novel environment where the sights and sounds are unexpected and unfamiliar to you. 

That said, some places never seem to get old, so there’s nothing wrong with revisiting your favorite spots if you find that they consistently fill you with awe. The key is to recognize new featu res of the same old place. 

The walk should be completed outside. Try to maintain a fairly light to moderate pace while walking – no speed walking or jogging. 

If you look at this scale and imagine a six as the least strenuous walk you could do and a 20 as the most strenuous walk, we want you to be somewhere around a 10 or 11. Try to minimise phone use during the walk.

 This means no texting, no listening to music, no checking social media, and no talking on the phone during the walk. Ideally, keep your phone on airplane mode. 

During the walk, we’ll ask you to take three pictures of yourself – one before the walk, one during the walk, and one after the walk. 

Make sure your face is visible in these pictures! Every day at 4 pm during this eight – week period, you’ll receive an email from us with a link to your daily survey. You are to complete the survey every day – even on days you don’t walk. The survey should only take a few minutes. 

On days that you don’t walk, you’ll be asked a few questions about your emotional experience that day. 

On days that you do walk, you’ll be asked some additional questions about the details of your walk and you’ll be able to upload any pictures you took. 

At the end of the two – month period, we’ll send you a larger set of questionnaires to fill out.

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Facebook says its already registered 2.5 million new US voters

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facebook says its already registered 2 5 million new us voters

Facebook says it has already registered 2.5 million Americans to vote in the upcoming presidential election, with a goal of registering 4 million total before Election Day.

In a blog post in advance of National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, the social-media giant touted its combined registration figures from Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, extrapolating from conversion rates from several states.

So far, an estimated 39 million people have visited Facebook and Instagram’s Voting Information Centers. 

‘With six weeks until Election Day and registration deadlines fast approaching in many states, this week we’re putting the full force of our platform behind this campaign to empower every eligible voter to make their voice heard in this election.’ 

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Facebook announced it's already registered 2.5 million new voters in advance of Election Day November 3, with a goal of registering 4 million people total. The campaign is part of the platform's ongoing effort to thwart disenfranchisement and misinformation doing the campaign season

Facebook announced it’s already registered 2.5 million new voters in advance of Election Day November 3, with a goal of registering 4 million people total. The campaign is part of the platform’s ongoing effort to thwart disenfranchisement and misinformation doing the campaign season

Last weekend, Facebook launched a poll-worker recruitment drive to help staff election centers facing shortages because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It also started pinning voting information at the top of all three apps, with links to official state voting websites and nonpartisan voting organizations.

The voter hub will remain top-of-feed through September 25.

Today, Facebook announced a national campaign, ‘More Questions, More Answers,’ would appear on both Instagram and Facebook with the aim of directing people to its Voting Information Centers ‘to help ensure their vote is counted in this election.’

Screenshots from Facebook's voting information hub. On Monday Facebook announced a new national campaign, 'More Questions, More Answers,' would appear on both Instagram and Facebook

Screenshots from Facebook’s voting information hub. On Monday Facebook announced a new national campaign, ‘More Questions, More Answers,’ would appear on both Instagram and Facebook

The company said this was the first time a campaign was being deployed on both apps, and it will be highlighted in radio and TV spots nationwide.

New National Voter Registration Day stickers are launching Tuesday and users who download them will be added to a special Register To Vote story.

On Tuesday morning, Facebook Watch will kick off a one-hour Vote-A-Thon 2020 special with celebrities and public figures calling Americans to get out the vote and celebrate ‘the unsung heroes of the election process.’

What is Facebook doing to protect the election process? 

• All new political ads on Facebook and Instagram banned a week from November 3 – but existing ones can stay be re-used and be re-targeted 

• Misinformation about voting is being removed now, not 72 hours before November 3 as had been planned

• Group forwarding on Facebook Messenger is suspended so users can only forward five messages at a time. 

• Posts with ‘implicit’ voter suppression is being removed.  

• Facebook’s voting info center will tell people ‘there is nothing illegitimate about not having a result on election night.’

• Anyone claiming election victory before it has been called by Reuters will have their post flagged with a link to the official results. 

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Next week information about early voting and vote-by-mail will start appearing in feeds of users where they’re available.

Social media, and Facebook in particular, was criticized for allowing misinformation campaigns to taint the 2016 election.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company will remove all political ads a week before the election, though users can deactivate such ads now if they choose.  

‘This election is not going to be business as usual,’ Zuckerberg wrote. ‘We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy.’ 

Adam Chiara, a communications professor at the University of Hartford said Facebook seemed to be acknowledging the power it holds over the upcoming presidential race. 

‘Maybe some steps they are taking work and others are mistakes,’ Chiara said, ‘but I would rather have the platform try to be a positive force than be in denial of the role it plays in our democracy.’

Other social media platforms have also announced intense efforts to prevent election tampering.  

Twitter will remove or label unverified postings claiming electoral victory prematurely, and YouTube is taking down content aimed at manipulation, including ‘videos that contain hacked information about a political candidate shared with the intent to interfere in an election,’ according to a statement.

YouTube will also remove videos promoting efforts to interfere with the voting process such as telling viewers to create long voting lines.

Last week, Snapchat announced it had registered more than 400,000 new voters, more than half of whom were between the ages of 18 and 24.

More than half of Snapchat users who registered through the app in 2018 voted in the midterm elections, highlighting the power of social media as an election driver. 

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