The Daily Populous

Wednesday July 4th, 2018 evening edition

image for Motherhood Can Make a Woman's Cells 'Older' by as Much as 11 Years

"We were surprised to find such a striking result," epidemiologist Anna Pollack from George Mason University told New Scientist.

"It is equivalent to around 11 years of accelerated cellular ageing.".

Pollack and her team analysed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) – a broad cross-sectional study charting the wellness of people in the US over time.

When they examined data from the period 1999–2002 – years in which the survey included measurements of a genetic marker called telomeres – they noticed something unusual.

What's more, in the study, the telomere shortening seemed to vary depending on how many children the women had delivered.

At least one researcher not involved with the study has suggested the effect might be as little as three years of biological ageing.

"We're not saying 'don't have children'," Pollack told New Scientist, and while scientists keep examining what's really going on here, that's very level-headed advice. »

Australia to issue monthly fines to parents who don't vaccinate children

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Australia has strengthened its “no jab, no pay” policy by issuing further financial sanctions to parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

Previously, parents whose children were not up to date with vaccinations would lose an end of year payment to their family tax benefit, worth A$737.

“Parents who don’t immunise their children are putting their own kids at risk as well as the children of other people.”. »

Fourth of July: Aspen, Colorado swaps fireworks for drones

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The US town of Aspen is swapping its annual Fourth of July fireworks display for a drone show - because of a wildfire risk in the drought-hit area.

Officials say 50 drones will light up the night sky in patriotic colours to mark Independence Day.

The Drone Light Show is being organised in the town's Wagner Park by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association (Acra). »

Same-sex couples in Hong Kong ‘should be granted lifelong spousal visas’, Court of Final Appeal rules

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Hong Kong’s top court ruled unanimously in favour of a lesbian expatriate on Wednesday, requiring the city’s Immigration Department to grant lifelong same-sex couples spousal visas just as it would for those who are married and heterosexual.

The decision means the marriage status and civil union partnerships of same-sex couples will be recognised in Hong Kong for the specific purpose of a dependant visa.

Lodged in 2015, the case centred on the department’s refusal to grant QT a dependant visa, which is normally available for heterosexual married couples. »