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High microplastic concentration found on ocean floor

High microplastic concentration found on ocean floor

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Scientists have identified the highest levels of microplastics ever recorded on the seafloor.The contamination was found in sediments pulled from the bottom of the Mediterranean, near Italy.The analysis, led by the University of Manchester, found up to 1.9 million plastic pieces per square metre.These items likely included fibres from clothing and other synthetic textiles, and tiny fragments from larger objects that had broken down over time.The researchers' investigations lead them to believe that microplastics (smaller than 1mm) are being concentrated in specific locations on the ocean floor by powerful bottom currents."These currents build what are called drift deposits; think of underwater sand ...
Nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, CDC says

Nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, CDC says

Health
April 24 (UPI) -- Nearly half of all American adults have high blood pressure, according to new figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In estimates released Friday, the agency reported that, in 2017-18, more than 45 percent of people 18 years of age and older had blood pressure above the threshold for hypertension -- high blood pressure -- of 130/80 mmHg. Notably, this figure has remained relatively stable for 20 years -- though it dipped briefly to roughly 42 percent in 2009-2010 and 2013-2014. In 1999-2000, 47 percent of all adults in the U.S. met the CDC's criteria for high blood pressure, according to the latest report. And, as was the case two decades ago, high blood pressure remains more common among men than women. The CDC estimates that, in 2017-18, 51...
Faster cognitive decline in black people linked to high blood pressure

Faster cognitive decline in black people linked to high blood pressure

Health
April 13 (UPI) -- Black people experience significantly faster declines in cognitive function than white people, perhaps because of higher blood pressure, a new analysis suggests. Black people see faster drops in global cognition, a commonly used measure of brain function, and memory than white people as they age, according to an article published Monday by JAMA Neurology. Researchers say these declines occurred because of higher blood pressure, and progress faster as blood pressure rises. "African-Americans' higher blood pressure levels appear to explain their faster cognitive decline in later-life compared with whites," Dr. Deborah A. Levine, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, told UPI. "Improved control of high blood pressure in African-Am...
Coronavirus: Risk of spread raised to ‘very high’ around world

Coronavirus: Risk of spread raised to ‘very high’ around world

World
The risk of the coronavirus outbreak's global spread and impact is at its highest possible level, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.The level has been raised to "very high" from "high" by WHO and brings the rest of the world in line with China, which was already at "very high". This means that an "immediate response" - within hours - is required as soon as a COVID-19 case is suspected.However, it would be a "big mistake" to switch from a public health strategy of containment to mitigation, where authorities accept the coronavirus is spreading, WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. ...
Fuel prices push inflation to unexpected six-month high

Fuel prices push inflation to unexpected six-month high

Business
The rate of Consumer Price Index inflation increased to 1.8% in January from 1.3% in December, the Office for National Statistics has said.The rate was above expectations of around 1.6% and was also the highest in six months, pushed up by higher petrol prices and a smaller-than-usual drop in airfares. Fuel prices were up 4.7% compared with a year earlier - the biggest rise since November 2018.ONS statistician Mike Hardie said: "The rise in inflation is largely the result of higher prices at the pump and airfares falling by less than a year ago."In addition, gas and electricity prices were unchanged this month, but fell this time last year due to the introduction of the energy price cap." ...