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They develop a device to control potassium levels in a drop of blood

The Nanosensors Laboratory of the Rovira I Virgili University in collaboration with the spin-off CreatSens Health SL, the nephrology group and the CORE laboratories of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) present a validation study of a portable device for the measurement of potassium in blood in dialysis patients. The team has developed a device for the measurement of potassium, a cardiovascular and renal indicator, which does so quickly and easily and is low cost. Researchers at the URV and the Clínic have worked together to validate the measurement of potassium in renal patients during the month of December 2017 and January 2018 at the dialysis center of the Hospital Clínic in which they have analyzed more than 700 patient samples. kidney

The aim of the CreatSens project is to monitor the progress of chronic kidney disease through state-of-the-art technological tools that allow the measurement of relevant parameters for patients in a much simpler way than the current one. The vision of CreatSens is that the information generated by the measurement device can be followed from a mobile device such as a phone or a tablet, in the doctor’s office or in the patient’s home.

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The scientific research is led by the researcher of the Department of Analytical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry and member of the company derived from the URV, Francisco Andrade, who points out that the technology used is based on low-cost materials (such as paper) for ” allow access of these devices to all patients. ” Adrià Maceira, CEO of CreatSens Health SL, highlights the impact of this type of tools and strategies “for the control of health in society”. The technology developed would allow the decentralized and real-time generation of relevant clinical information, which would help the nephrologist in his decision making and could contribute to optimizing the resources of the health system.

“We have obtained good results, and its usefulness will be increasing in the coming years,” says Francesc Maduell, head of the dialysis section of Hospital Clínic. His counterpart and collaborator, Miquel Blasco, comments on the importance of this type of medical devices that allow obtaining information at the moment and help clinicians to give more specific diagnoses according to the pathology of the patient. The nephrology service, together with the CORE laboratory, with the participation of Josep Lluís Bedini and Nayra Rico, have joined efforts in the validation of these new leading technologies. They are seen, increasingly, as the future trend of personalized medicine.

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The CreatSens project got the support of the Iñigo Álvarez de Toledo Renal Foundation in 2017 to propose solutions to the management of chronic kidney disease with simple and inexpensive tools. The devices are low cost, they initially measure potassium, and in a second phase, they will also measure creatinine and other markers relevant to kidney function.

The Rovira I Virgili University, through its Valorization and Commercialization Unit, which has the support of ACCIÓ and the Chair on the Promotion of Entrepreneurship and the Creation of Companies, promoted the creation of the spin-off CreatSens Health SL. (Source: URV)

Relaxation, flaccidity and fatigue: what is and how long is the refractory period in men?

It is the time that man needs to return to ejaculate after a previous ejaculation. Hormonal and external factors – such as the quality of the erotic stimulus, stress and the pressure to “comply” sexually – influence the ability of man to get a new erection. The opinion of the specialists

No matter what the brain demands, the body simply will not deliver. After an ejaculation, the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the fight or flight response, sends the signal to the body to calm down and relax. As a consequence, the release of neurotransmitters is activated, which causes the smooth muscle of the penis to contract, causing it to flaccid.

The refractory period or the recovery period incorporated in man is the time after ejaculation where a man can not have an erection again. According to the International Society of Sexual Medicine, during the refractory period a man does not think about having sexual intercourse nor can he achieve sexual arousal. Your body does not respond to stimulation and will not respond until the period is over.

According to the sexologist, Mariana Kersz explained in the case of women their period of excitement is much slower than that of men, and the period of resolution at the end of the sexual act and before starting a new sexual relationship is much longer in them than in women.

That a man at the end of the sexual act wants to start again and cannot, does not necessarily reflect impotence, but has to do with a biological and physiological issue. According to the expert, the human sexual response is based on desire, excitement, the pre-orgasmic plateau, the refractory orgasm and resolution period.

For most people, this forced rest is not a big problem. The biggest problem arises for younger couples who want to have consecutive sessions of the sexual act.

Walter Ghedin, a psychiatrist and sexologist, explained: ” Just as the ways of initiating erotic courts tend to repeat themselves, so are the rigid behaviors that are established as a custom at the end of the sexual act, sometimes with claims of a of the parties, others with resignation and in some cases with the hope of a change “.

According to research, the period is longer after an ejaculation caused by a sexual relationship, and not by self-pleasure (Getty Images)

It is understood as the refractory period the one that mediates between two ejaculations and not between the orgasms since some men who practice tantric sex can reach an orgasm without ejaculating. Therefore, after an orgasm can resume the excitement. “The emission of semen is followed by a state of relaxation and sexual satisfaction called the refractory period: at this time all new erotic stimuli are rejected,” Ghedin added.

The science behind the period

According to a study published by the journal Biological Psychology, the increase in post-orgasmic prolactin after intercourse is 400% greater than that after masturbation, in addition to suggesting greater satiety.

During ejaculation, men release a cocktail of brain chemicals that include norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, nitric oxide, and the hormone prolactin. The latter represses dopamine, a key chemical in desire and motivation, which is related to drowsiness and feelings of sexual satisfaction.

According to a study designed to examine the role of central dopaminergic mechanisms in the control of the post-ejaculatory refractory period, the more dopamine receptors are blocked, the longer the period will last.

At the same time, the production of serotonin and prolactin counteracts excitation. Prolactin is the hormone most strongly associated with the refractory period: the lower the prolactin levels, the quicker you can start over.

On what does its duration depend?

A young man may have five or more erections and orgasms in a day with a new partner, while another young man in the same circumstances may not have the drive or ability to have more than one (Getty Images)

Although it depends on multiple factors, the most important for experts is the age group to which the individual belongs. The refractory period in teenagers is around a few minutes, it takes about a few hours in adults, and most men who cross the seniors can take up to one day.

“The refractory period extends with age, young people have very short refractory periods that increase over the years, making the relationships more widely spaced,” Ghedin warned.

However, the level of desire and sensitivity, excitement, quality and emotional state of a relationship, the consumption of toxic substances and practically everything that affects the ability to start a sexual relationship are the other factors that come into play, even more so when man finds himself struggling against the natural inclinations of his body to recharge his energies.

Some keys to reducing it

“It really cannot be controlled, but increasing excitement helps shorten the time,” Kersz explained. In especially exciting circumstances, the unexpected happens, and men may be surprised by how quickly their erections return and with their ability to have orgasms in relatively rapid succession.

Renting a hotel room instead of having sex at home, practicing sex in the morning instead of at night or buying lingerie are just a few of the small efforts to add novelty that may be enough for the excitement to dominate the systems.

However, several books claim that men are able to eliminate the refractory period and have multiple orgasms similar to multiple female orgasms by learning to separate ejaculation from orgasm.

While it is a strange phenomenon that requires practice, if a man can refrain from ejaculating during orgasm, he may be able to have multiple orgasms. For experts, it is essential to understand ejaculation and orgasm as separate processes.

In addition, those men who started masturbation or other sexual activity before puberty report the ability to have achieved multiple orgasms, without ejaculation, without refractory periods during that time in their lives.

Problems in the couple for refractory periods

Lack of respect for physical and emotional limits in relation to sex, and tying pleasure in orgasm could be the main causes (Getty Images)

Trying to impose a somewhat arbitrary order of events in the sexual life, or ignoring the man when he communicates having physically and psychologically lost the sexual impulse immediately after the orgasm, does not return the same sense of care and respect.

Due to the cultural priority of female pleasure over the pleasure of man, many of them feel pressure to take their partners to the second orgasm, and do not relax or concentrate on their own pleasure before fulfilling this ‘duty’.

“Like most human behaviors, sexual behavior tends to become routine and the best that can happen is that the individual or couple’s interest arises to raise the issue and introduce changes .” Desire does not appear if it is not helped with actions, gestures that detonate and increase, “said Ghedin.

For the expert, a woman who is waiting a little longer may feel that her partner only fulfilled a physiological act, or kind of ‘discharge’ that, although pleasurable for both, is then lived as a selfish act.

The differences according to gender

Women do not have long refractory periods as men do, but fatigue after orgasm or multiple orgasms may temporarily cause them to lose interest in sex.

The physiology in this resolution phase marks some gender differences. “In men,” Ghedin added, ” the sudden drop in testosterone, dopamine, and the increase in serotonin cause a state of relaxation, drowsiness or the need to get out of bed and change activity.”

“If a woman is multi-orgasmic, in the same sexual encounter, until the man ejaculates, she can have almost twenty orgasms … Potentially, all women can do it, but they must know what to do to achieve it and know the technique,” Kersz explained…

They look for ways to control maize diseases through genetics

Within the Center for Bioinvestigations of UNNOBA (CeBio) (Argentina), Dr. Inés Catalano directs the project funded by the Commission of Scientific Investigations of the Province of Buenos Aires (CIC), in which two species are studied of “leafhoppers”: Delphacodes kuscheli, vector of the agent that causes the “Evil of Río Cuarto”; and Dalbulus maidis, which causes corn stunting. “While the evil of Río Cuarto affects the core zone, what is known as ‘achaparramiento’ occurs more towards the north of the country. With a different scope, the entire maize area was affected in one or another campaign by these diseases, “said Catalano. The model they use takes some axes of the advances achieved by research developed at the University for the study of the kissing bugs.

The research team is focused on studying different aspects of the vector that transmits the causal pathogen of these diseases. What they seek is to determine which genes affect the development or survival of these insects to try to find a control method that preserves the crop and does not affect its performance. “We have the transcriptome sequenced in all stages and we have an infected colony that we are maintaining to be able to work in the search for immunity genes,” he said. With both species try the same thing: discover genes that can be used to devise ways in which the plant itself can exercise some control over the plague. The Deputy Director of CeBio remarked that the relevance of the research is given by the impact that these insects and the diseases they transmit have on the cultivation of corn.

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In fact, the “leafhoppers” have a buccal system similar to that of the kissing bugs. “The leafhoppers and the kissers are of the same order of insects, have the same buccal apparatus and have a similar behavior. The only difference is that the kissers feed on human blood and the leafhoppers of ‘the blood of the plant. According to Catalano, all the knowledge generated in this field will be novel because “there are no studies on leafhoppers that are so specific. The transcriptome and the genome are not studied, so any gene we discover will be an advance. ”

Currently, the management of these diseases is carried out through the use of insecticides. The purpose of this research is to have the knowledge to develop a plant that contains genes that may have the ability to inhibit others of the insect to make your life does not persist. “Our highest aspiration would be to achieve an insecticide method, provide knowledge for the development of a plant that carries with it certain characteristics that affect the development and survival of these pests,” concluded the project director.

The development of this project involves the participation of professionals from different disciplines. With anchoring in genetics, each of them deploys a task within the framework of this research.

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Victorio Palacio, from the Bioinformatics, is devoted to the analysis of the transcriptome of the species studied.
Lucia Dalaison, who is doing her final thesis of the Degree in Genetics, managed to develop the entire life cycle of the leafhoppers artificially. It is also devoted to the study of the normal embryonic development of insects.

Hugo González is an agronomist, has a doctoral fellowship from CONICET and is responsible for the maintenance of infected insects in colonies. You will also have the task of comparing the transcriptome of healthy and infected.
Lucila Pérez has a CIN scholarship and is doing the final work of the degree in Genetics. It was inserted in the project to study neuropeptides in “chinches”, an insect that affects the soybean crop.
Elías Gazza has a degree in Genetics, a doctoral fellowship from CONICET and is putting genome editing techniques to the test.

WHO publishes new guidelines on childbirth with focus on individuality

The UN agency has presented a list of 56 recommendations based on scientific evidence and gathered in the new guidelines on childbirth.

The right to decide how to control pain during childbirth and to reject unnecessary medical interventions are two of the recommendations that are part of the new guidelines developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on how to manage care for pregnant women.

The United Nations agency on Thursday unveiled a list of 56 recommendations based on scientific evidence and brought together in the new guidelines on childbirth. The goal is to highlight the importance of a mother being at the center of decisions and to discard unnecessary medical interventions.

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“The guidelines propose a holistic approach to childbirth where the mother has a pre-eminence,” said Olufemi Oladapo, a specialist in maternal health research at the WHO Department of Reproductive Health.

It is estimated that annually 140 million births worldwide occur, the vast majority without complications. However, over the past two decades the use of medical interventions that were previously only made when there was a risk or some complication, such as the administration of oxytocin to help in dilation or a cesarean section, has been greatly increased.

According to WHO, on many occasions, these interventions are not only unnecessary but also cause the mother to have a negative experience in childbirth. It is estimated that a large number of healthy women, with a normal process, received some type of intervention, although the report does not give concrete data.

Because of this, the agency drew up rules that emphasize the importance of an unmedicalized delivery, which includes the possibility for the mother to decide how to manage her own pain, which involves deciding whether or not to use epidural anesthesia and, if want, at what time.

In addition, the new guidelines recognize that each delivery is a delivery and that rules implemented over the past 70 years should not be maintained. An example of this is the dilation of the neck of the uterus. Until now, it was believed to be “normal” for him to expand by one centimeter per hour. The new guidelines state that these limits are ” unrealistic ” and ” inadequate ” to determine if a child is progressing poorly or is simply slower than average.

“These rules were established in the 1950s and we have enormous scientific evidence that shows that in many cases this does not happen because each delivery is unique. In fact, the speed with which the uterus dilates does not have any importance in the chances of survival of the baby, as long as there is progress, “said Oladapo.

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He stated that no other category of speed has been established for dilatation because they do not want to “restrict” delivery again to a rule since what should change in the mentality of doctors and midwives is that each case is different.

Another generalized intervention is the episiotomy, the surgical incision in the vulva made in certain deliveries to facilitate the exit of the fetus.

“It is almost barbaric and almost routine, although its advantages are a complete myth,” exclaimed Oladapo, explaining that the method should only be used in extreme cases, due to the multiple negative consequences for the mother in the future.

Another intervention used excessively is a cesarean section. According to the organization, the method is applied in many countries of average investment routinely, for the convenience of doctors, and because in many cases, the experts charge much more for a surgical delivery than for a natural one.

“The guidelines are intended for doctors and remind them of the risks in the short and medium term of cesareans, but also mothers, so that they know they are entitled to a birth as natural as possible and with their control.”