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Your genes may determine how marriage will fare: Study

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Representative Photo (Credit- WeddingWire)

New York, Feb 12: Do you think you could lead a happy married life? The answer is in your genes, a new study has said.

Although prior research has hinted that marital quality is, at least partially, impacted by genetic factors, and that oxytocin may be relevant to social support, according to recent studies, variation on specific genes related to oxytocin functioning impact overall marital quality, in part.

They are relevant to how partners provide and receive support from each other.

The study evaluated whether different genotypes – possible genetic combinations of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR)- influenced how spouses support one another, which is a key determinant of overall marital quality.

OXTR was targeted because it is related to the regulation and release of oxytocin.

“Genes matter when it comes to the quality of marriage, because genes are relevant to who we are as individuals, and characteristics of the individual can impact the marriage,” said Richard Mattson, Associate Professor from the Binghamton University in the US.

For the study, the team included nearly 100 couples.

Each partner was asked individually to come up with an issue to discuss something they identify as their most salient personal problem that was not related to their partner or partner’s family such as problems at work.

“We found that variation at two particular locations on OXTR impacted the observed behaviours of both husbands and wives, and that differences in behaviour across couples had small but cumulative effects on overall evaluations of support, and thus marital quality in general,” added Mattson, published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

However, what emerged as most relevant to overall marital quality for both partners was genotypic variation among husbands at a specific location on OXTR.

Husbands with a particular genotype were less satisfied with the support they were provided from their wives which suggested that it was also associated with being less satisfied with their marriage, noted Mattson.

The researchers hope their findings provide the foundation for replication and additional study of OXTR as an enduring determinant of marital functioning.

IANS

Lifestyle

How to take care of hair in pollution

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New Delhi, Feb 15: With pollution comes the requirement to be extra cautious of your hair as the chances of it getting dull gets higher. Make sure you treat it well.

Pankaj Chaturvedi, Director, Senior Consultant Dermatologist and Hair Transplant Surgeon at MedLinks list down some steps to get rid of frizzy hair due to pollution.

* Take cover, wear a hat: Always carry with you a hat or hairband to protect your hair from damage. If you really can’t help being in a really polluted area, keep your hair covered if you can, (or tie it back).

* Wash your hair regularly: Fortunately, pollutants sit on the outside of the cuticle and so can easily be washed off, so in order to reduce the microbial content of the scalp and make it less itchy and prone to flaking, we recommends regular shampooing. For men, alternate days to everyday and for women twice or thrice in a week.

* Adjust your styling routine: Hair that has been exposed to excessive amounts of air pollution becomes damaged, feeling brittle and making breakage and split ends more likely. Keep this in mind when using heat from a straighter, curling iron or hair dryer. Minimize the amount of heat you use and always use a heat protecting product.

* Add back hydration: When in doubt, hydrate. It’s a good rule for your health and your hair. Jojoba oil is one good ingredient to look for as it both moisturises and strengthens the hair’s natural hydro-lipid layer, which coats the hair to help keep it hydrated.

* Deep condition: Start a deep conditioning routine weekly. Deep conditioners are used to repair damaged hair, penetrating deep into the hair hydrating and repairing it.

-*-

Chiranjiv Chhabra, Director and Consultant Dermatologist at Skin Alive Dermatology and Aesthetics also has some inputs to share:

* Oil your hair regularly and properly: You should regularly oil your hair as it nourishes the scalp, cleanses dirt and dead cells. Almond oil is an effective hair cleanser, keeps hair healthy and facilitates hair growth as it is rich in Vitamin E.

* Try some do it yourself hair masks

* Ingredients: 1 Banana (it nourishes and repairs hair); Whole milk (moisturizer); Cocoa Powder – 2 teaspoons (moisturizes)

Method:

* Step 1- Peel and break the banana and put them into the bowl, mash the whole banana with a fork to get a fine pulp.

* Step 2 – Add enough whole milk to thin out the banana mixture. Add two teaspoons of cocoa powder, wisk all the ingredients in the bowl to form a nice smooth paste.

* Step 3 – Apply the mask on dry hair with a dye brush, and leave it for 20-30 minutes once a week with a dye brush to get perfect results.

* Step 4 – Wash your hair with a cleansing mild shampoo and let air dry your hair.

* Usage of right shampoo and conditioner: You should always use a shampoo according to your hair type. If your hair is oily and greasy then you should use oil-free shampoos which will make your hair less oily. For dry hair, you should always use a conditioner or a moisturizing shampoo to protect your hair from frizzing up.

* Add extra protection for your hair: You should keep your scalp well protected in terms of both physical protection and nourishment before stepping out of the house. You can use a sunscreen serum or spray to protect your hair from harmful UV rays and toxins.

IANS

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TV-time in class? Textbooks come alive in Gujarat’s schools

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Bhuj Gujarat School LCD

Bhuj (Gujarat), Feb 15 (IANS) In a small school near Bhuj in Gujarat, a group of class five students sit attentively in class, their eyes glued to an LCD screen. The opened science books on their laps have come alive on the screen before them, as an animated character explains the nuances of the chapter in their native language, Gujarati. Efficient learning, experts say, happens when students enjoy the experience, and in hundreds of schools across Gujarat, digitised school textbooks are opening up children’s minds like never before.

Learning Delight, the hand that is turning the wheel of change in 10,000 government schools, mostly in rural and semi-urban areas across the state, has been digitising the state curriculum since 2011, and has the approval of the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT). The idea is simple: use technology to aid classroom teaching to make the learning process more engaging, more efficient – and definitely more fun.

So much so, that in a survey done in 350 schools where they have a presence, Parinita Gohil, co-founder of Learning Delight, said, “The dropout rate among children studying between Class 1 and Class 8 has come down by 6-7 per cent in the past five years.”

It all started a decade back when two friends, Harshal Gohil and Vandan Kamdar, who were doing their MBA, realised that there was a huge gap in education between schools in different settings. Outdated teaching methods, lack of interest among students and teachers, and gender discrimination were some of the common problems. This led the two to use technology and design, an e-learning tool that would aid classroom teaching.

“Harshal and Vandan began with a survey in five schools. Here they found that although there was no dearth in infrastructure – the schools had computers – there was scepticism about using them,” Parinita Gohil, who is married to Harshal Gohil, told IANS. The resistance mainly arose because “most teachers were not comfortable with the English language, were scared of using the computer, and apprehensive if the computers would replace their role”.

Therefore, the offline computer software that they developed was designed in such a way that a teacher’s presence was necessary in the class. The medium of instruction was Gujarati. “So be it any subject – science, math, social studies – the content was digitised in a way that through animation, riddles, puzzles, and stories textbook learning is made more interactive and fun,” Parinita Gohil said. The experts who designed the digitised content also had teachers on board.

There has, however, been an exception in this digitisation process – the language textbooks, be it English, Hindi, or Gujarati, have been left out. “We don’t want children to leave reading their books. So, while we have digitised the grammar lessons, language textbooks have been left as they are,” she said.

Next in the pipeline is a mobile phone app being developed with a similar software and a foray into Rajasthan, for which software has been developed in Hindi and in tandem with the Rajasthan state education board.

(Azera Rahman can be contacted at [email protected] )

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Lifestyle

Facebook tracking users who threaten its workers: Report

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San Francisco, Feb 15 (IANS) Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties, the media reported.

According to a report in CNBC on Thursday, the tracking of users begins when the Facebook security team finds they are making “credible threats on its social network”.

The tracking is done by using location data taken from the user’s Facebook app or an IP address collected by the social network when a user is active on Facebook.

The locations of users are only accessible after they were placed on a ‘Be On the Lookout’ (BOLO) list after their threats are deemed credible. The list is updated nearly once a week.

“The company mines its social network for threatening comments, and in some cases uses its products to track the location of people it believes present a credible threat,” said the report.

Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services.

“That means that if just 0.01 per cent of users make a threat, Facebook is still dealing with 270,000 potential security risks, the report added.

Users who publicly threaten the company — including posting threatening comments to company executives like CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — are added to the list.

“Our physical security team exists to keep employees safe,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

“We have strict processes designed to protect people’s privacy and adhere to all data privacy laws and Facebook’s terms of service. Any suggestion our onsite physical security team has overstepped is absolutely false,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Depending on the threat, Facebook’s security teams can take other actions, such as stationing security guards, escorting a BOLO user off campus or alerting law enforcement.

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