Soya and Women’s Health – Recently Adopted Aliment

Over the past few years, a lot of myths revolving around soya appeared over the internet, and one very common one is that soy’s isoflavones have oestrogenic properties and it was blamed for raising the risk of breast cancer (and prostate cancer in men). Is this just a myth?

Recently adopted aliment

While soya was consumed in many Asian countries for millennia, it’s only been a common part of the Western diet for about 60 years. Today, European supermarkets have plenty of soy milk alternatives, soy burgers and various other soy-based meat replacements, like tofu, soya sauce and others.

Health concerns

Soya was linked to various health problems, and one of them is a low risk of heart disease. However, one greater problem soya was linked with is breast cancer: Soya contains a great number of isoflavones, which have oestrogenic properties (acting like estrogen, the main female hormone), binding estrogen receptors in the body, and estrogen can fuel the growth of some types of breast cancer.


There isn’t a straight answer towards the risk women expose themselves to when consuming soy. Some observations concluded that soya intake among Asian women was linked to a 30% lower risk of developing breast cancer. Asian women consume more than 10 times more isoflavones (by ingesting soya).

Research among 6,000 women with breast cancer living in the United States concluded that those who consumed more soya had a 21% reduction in mortality.

Reasons for the myth

Soya has been found to catalyst the growth of cancer cells in lab research. An experiment from 2001 in which mice with inhibited immune systems and with cancerous tumors that were fed isoflavones concluded that soya facilitated the growth of tumors in mice.

Instagram Fights against Fake News about Vaccines

Instagram has been quite under pressure when it comes to handling misinformation about vaccines. But starting this week, the company will start blocking hashtags that lead to fake information about vaccines. The global head of public policy at Instagram, Karina Newton stated in a press release that:

“If the hashtag was #vaccines1234, if it contained a high proportion of known vaccine misinformation, we would block that hashtag entirely.”

Previously, Instagram blocked hashtags like #vaccinescauseautism and #vaccinescauseaids, and the company will continue to block hashtags that anti-vaxxers use to spread false claims like the example above given by Newton.

When referring to fake news or false information, the “known vaccine misinformation” refers to the false claims that were verified by WHO, the CDC, and similar organizations, added Instagram. The platform will review the hashtag, and if it has a “high proportion” of misinformation, it will be banned.

What Happens When You Tap on a Banned Hashtag?

When you click/tap on a banned hashtag, you will get no results or find any content on Instagram. The same thing was done on Facebook to groups and pages that spread false information about vaccines.

Other social networks like Pinterest and even YouTube have cracked down on people that spread fake news or information about vaccines.

Instagram is also trying to combat other fake news, such as opioids, self-harm, and other harmful topics.

As for completely removing anti-vaccination information from its platform, Newton explained that the action is in its early stages and that “it’s going to take some time to continue the work on it.”

Instagram will also offer the chance to appeal to a post removal. Users can appeal the removed post, which will be sent to a different moderator for review. The appeals tool is now reviewing posts that contain nudity, but it will target other content in the next months, stated Instagram’s director of community operations, Bettina Fairman.

Recent Genetic Findings Could Help Treat Osteoporosis Patients

With recent genetic work on osteoporosis, Montreal researchers believe they can pave the way for better drugs and treatments for this very common disease: about one third of women in Canada will experience a fracture during this lifetime due to this pathological rarefaction. bone tissue.

Osteoporosis has few treatment options for the time being, with some drugs being overpriced, and others having side effects that are not appreciated by patients, said Dr. Brent Richards in an interview. Principal investigator of the study, who led a team of international researchers and researchers from Montreal working at the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital.

This is the importance of these research results, which have just been published in the journal Nature Genetics : find treatments and drugs and also determine who will be affected by this disease, which is characterized by the gradual decline bone strength, and therefore a high risk of fracture, he explained.

Increase in the number of cases

The impact is particularly important when considering the number of seniors who have hip fractures, often leading to hospitalization and subsequent loss of independence. Osteoporosis affects women more than men, but is also one of the most common age-related chronic diseases in men.

And the number of fractures related to osteoporosis is expected to increase, as the cost of health care to treat, as the population ages, warns Dr. Richards, professor of medicine and human genetics at McGill University .

The latter, who is also a geneticist at the Clinical Epidemiology Center of the Lady Davis Institute and who treats patients with osteoporosis in his practice, has worked with the lead author of this study, Dr. John Morris, as well. Institute and McGill University.

The team worked very hard for three years to concoct a species of “atlas” of genetic influences on osteoporosis, which they identified.

They used the UK biobank, “the world’s largest research cohort,” which analyzed the genome of 426,000 people.

The number of fractures related to osteoporosis is expected to increase, as will the cost of health care to treat them. Photo: getty images / istockphoto / kckate16
They then identified a smaller set of genes that could be targeted by those who develop drugs. From 20,000 genes, they have grown to a few hundred, including 301 newly identified, which predispose to reduced bone mineral density, one of the most relevant factors for diagnosing osteoporosis.

“A massive reduction,” says Dr. Richards.

Research targets for new drugs are significantly reduced.

“We can prescribe injectable drugs that rebuild the bone, but they are priceless. We have drugs that prevent bone loss, but they must be taken on a strict schedule. Thus, the number of people who need to be treated but who are not, is high. Therefore, we believe that we will be more successful in ensuring that patients follow a treatment regimen if it can be simplified, “says Dr. Richards.

But “it’s always better to prevent than treat,” says Dr. Richards.

He therefore welcomed the fact that recent research should also help prevent the spread of the disease.

Would you accept $1000 to leave Facebook?

One Thousand dollars. This is the minimum amount that should be given to an average Facebook user to convince him to leave the social network for a year.

This is at least the conclusion of a study published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS One, and for the purposes of which we asked the question to 1258 people.

Of these 1258 people, 212 were students, 115 were adults recruited from a Midwestern US city and 931 were found online.

Scientists found that students were the most valuable at Facebook, averaging $2,076 a year. The group recruited on the Internet, considered to be the most representative, asked for an average of $1921 to be absent from the social network for one year.

The Midwest City group was more generous, claiming only $1139 on average to leave Facebook. The researchers indicate that this result could be influenced by several factors, including the fact that this group was more heterogeneous from a socio-economic point of view.

The team of scientists noted that participants who regularly use Snapchat or Instagram tended to bet a lower amount.

Real auctions

To achieve these results, the researchers organized four bids, during which participants had to indicate the lowest amount they would be willing to accept to deactivate their account for a full year.

In order to ensure that the guinea pigs were serious, the scientists promised them that they would really get the amount they had wagered if they won an auction (lowest bid) and that they managed to prove that they had deactivated their Facebook account.

For even greater reliability, the research team used a method called “Vickrey’s Auction,” which involves charging – or, in this case, giving – the winner the second highest bid. According to the experts, this method tends to ensure that participants will bet the amount they consider truly fair.

Facebook, happiness engine?

According to the researchers, their results show that even if Facebook registration is free, users consider that this social network has value.

They note that this value is relatively high despite the many scandals that shook the latter this year.

“One of the reasons people stay on Facebook, despite genuine concerns about how it’s used, is that they still get a lot of happiness out of it,” says Sean Cash, one of the authors. of the study, in an interview published in the journal MIT Technology Review.

This scientist also believes that a part of users’ lives is closely linked to the platform and that this discourages them from leaving it. “You may have 10 years of photos [on Facebook], or you may be using it to organize your study groups … People in their twenties may have even been on Facebook for their whole adult life” he emphasizes.

study shows how ants combat disease in a colony

During their evolution, ants adapted their social organization and developed defense mechanisms to counter disease, according to research from Swiss biologists.

All the factors that favor the spread of diseases are gathered in the anthill: a dense population and frequent contacts between individuals.

Biologist Nathalie Stroeymeyt and her colleagues at the University of Lausanne have discovered that they do not interact randomly with all their peers. Instead, they are organized into working groups, depending on their age and the tasks to be accomplished.

Thus, the young ants who look after the larvae inside the colony (workers / nannies) have very little contact with the elders who come out for food (workers / soldiers).

Study the spread of diseases

In order to understand the spread of diseases, biologists from the Department of Ecology and Evolution first put digital markers on 2266 black garden ants, divided into 22 colonies in its laboratories.

Then they took pictures every half-second to know very precisely the movements and positions of each individual.

The researchers then exposed 10% of the fodder workers to the spores of a pathogenic fungus, transmissible between ants by simple contact.

They then compared the properties of anthills before and after the introduction of the infective agent to find that these insects were able to detect the presence of the fungus and quickly adjust their behavior to enhance the colony’s defense mechanisms.

The fragmentation of the colony and the segregation between the different working groups have increased.

Nathalie Stroeymeyt, University of Lausanne

Thus, the nannies and the fodder have less interacted.

In addition, the fodder initially exposed to the fungus was isolated. They spent more time outdoors and reduced their movements once inside the colony. Healthy forage, which had not been exposed, reacted in the same way.

As for the nannies, they moved the brood (set of eggs, larvae and nymphs) deeper into the nest to make it safe.

The fact that unexposed ants are also able to adapt their behavior to the presence of a pathogen was unknown until now.

Nathalie Stroeymeyt

It has also been shown that the colony overprotects important insects when a threat arises.

For example, the queen (the only individual to breed) and nannies (young ants who still have many hours of work to offer to the community) were less exposed to the pathogen.

At the end of the 9-day experiment, “mortality was higher among fodder than nanny. And all the queens were still alive, “stresses Nathalie Stroeymeyt.

Common front against the disease

This study is the first to show that an animal community is able to actively modify its organization to reduce the spread of diseases.

Social insect groups have many similarities with human societies.

According to the researchers, the ability of ants to collectively cope with complex problems, such as the risk of an epidemic, could inspire the development of similar methods in humans, or even prevent pandemics on a global scale.

Ants know how to protect themselves against diseases for 100 million years. We, since a few centuries hardly.

Laurent Keller, University of Lausanne

The details of this study are published in the journal Science