Polluted air plagues key Asian cities
A major study on the state of air pollution in 20 key Asian cities shows that while there have been improvements in achieving better air quality, air pollution still poses a threat to health and quality of life of many people. The study found that concentrations of sulphur dioxide, the gas responsible for acid rain, have stabilised at a relative low level and rarely exceed health guidelines. However, the use of high sulphur fuel content in some countries result in an increase in emissions. The study examined the capability to manage air quality and collected air quality data of cities including Bangkok, Beijing, Calcutta, Dhaka, Mumbai, New Delhi, Singapore and Tokyo. The study was led by the Stockholm Environment Institute’s centre at the University of York (UK) and the Clean Air Initiative for Asia Cities.
Drugs misuse fuelling HIV
Poor implementation of laws that control the sale of prescription drugs in India is increasing injection drug use and fuelling the spread of HIV in the country, according to the Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report published recently. About 10 per cent of HIV-positive people in India contracted the virus through injection drug use. Injection drug users, who no longer are satisfied by snorting or inhaling illicit substances, sometimes purchase drugs from pharmacies without prescriptions, liquefy the powders and inject the drugs intravenously. Activists agree that the number of drug inspectors in India is not adequate to effectively crack down on such illegal purchase of drugs.
New hope for wrinkles
Researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia, have developed a new anti-ageing ingredient that is expected to be available in skin products next year. Known as GGC, it is a precursor for an effective antioxidant known as glutathione, which is the body’s key defence for detoxifying harmful compounds implicated in cancer, diabetes, ageing and other diseases and degenerative conditions. Natural dietary sources of GGC are available, including milk whey protein and garlic. However, GGC is present only in relatively dilute concentrations. This new, pure GGC product will potentially allow for more efficacious dosages and product formulations.
Gender affects eating habits
US researchers have discovered a subtle new difference between men and women. The researchers found that following exposure to ideal-body images, men who are insecure about their bodies eat more in front of other men. However, women who are insecure about their bodies eat less in front of other women, according to the journal Communication Research.