Health

Yoga illustration for 360 Magazine

The Roots Between Yoga and Plants

Yoga is a way for humans to connect with nature, and plants play a pivotal role in that. Plants increase mood, they can help heal the body, and some plants can also clean the air, which can make a pretty big difference in how people feel as they practice yoga. According to Adam Husler, one of the UK’s most sought after yoga instructors, having a green, plant-filled space adds multiple benefits to your yoga practice. As Adam states it, plants bring four major attributes to one’s yoga practice: Air purity, Form and Structure, Mood lifting, and Meditation Anchors.

Air Purity

Breathing is the foundation of yoga, which allows plants to play a huge role as they purify the air. Living plants are natural air purifiers, removing carbon dioxide from the air and producing oxygen during the day. There’s nothing like an oxygen-producing plant to bring life, and fresh air, to an indoor room. This offers a healthy environment for your practice, and allows you to intake the good stuff and less of the bad.

Form and Structure

Yoga is about form, self-enquiry and exploring various shapes and poses. For the ultimate balance, this should also be reflected in your space through combining yin and yang, masculine and feminine colors and shapes. Plants with interesting structure amongst robust leafy plants can help balance the look and feel of your space and improve your practice.

Mood Lifting

Did you know that different plants have almost instantaneous effects on your mood? Creating a green space sanctuary can really lift your mood. Mixing plants and positioning plants in various locations instantly creates an urban-jungle vibe, which encourages a sense of calm and happiness. Some of these include Aloe vera, Ferns, and Lavender (for direct light areas inside). According to a study published in the “Journal of Environmental Psychology,” people reported higher levels of mood and perceived comfort when plants were present than when they were not.

Meditation Anchors

Plants are soothing and add to one’s calmness. The foliage from plants make for great meditation anchors – their leaves are intricate and hypnotic to look at, you can easily get lost in them. And how about a little fragrance! Adding a little fragrance to meditation has a very powerful, positive and supportive effect on any type of meditation and becomes a way of helping our mind to become focused, clear, balanced and peaceful.

Lively Root recommends the following plants for your yoga studio:
White Bird Dragon Tree (Dracaena warneckii ‘White Stripe’)
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Wallisii)
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Variegated Snake Plants (Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
ZZ Plant/Eternity Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum ‘Petra’)
Peacock Plant (Calathea roseopicta ‘Medallion’)
Bromeliad

Perhaps the most low maintenance plants on our list are the ZZ Plant & the Snake Plant. They can grow in almost any location regardless of the lighting conditions. These plants, like the peace lily, have been shown to filter harsh toxins from the air including formaldehyde, toluene and benzene. As we said earlier, there’s nothing like oxygen-producing plants to bring life, and fresh air, to an indoor room.

For more information, please visit Lively Root’s website.

More about Lively Root
At Lively Root, the green spaces created have been instrumental in developing an ideal green space. Lively Root’s plants are home grown and full-scale fulfillment centers. They only sell eco-friendly products that are packaged and delivered right to your doorstep. Founding members have over a century of horticultural experience as growers, retailers, and landscapers, ranging from small plants, to indoor plants, outdoor plants, large trees, and flowering shrubs. They have planted & maintained trees on residential and commercial properties. Plants improve health by purifying the air, soothing stress, making people feel happier, and offering style and ambiance.

Green covid by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Tuberculosis Bacteria Paradox

TB-causing bacteria remember prior stress, react quickly to new stress

Tuberculosis bacteria have evolved to remember stressful encounters and react quickly to future stress, according to a study by computational bioengineers at Rice University and infectious disease experts at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS).

Published online in the open-access journal mSystems, the research identifies a genetic mechanism that allows the TB-causing bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, to respond to stress rapidly and in manner that is “history-dependent,” said corresponding author Oleg Igoshin, a professor of bioengineering at Rice.

Researchers have long suspected that the ability of TB bacteria to remain dormant, sometimes for decades, stems from their ability to behave based upon past experience.

Latent TB is an enormous global problem. While TB kills about 1.5 million people each year, the World Health Organization estimates that 2-3 billion people are infected with a dormant form of the TB bacterium.

“There’s some sort of peace treaty between the immune system and bacteria,” Igoshin said. “The bacteria don’t grow, and the immune system doesn’t kill them. But if people get immunocompromised due to malnutrition or AIDS, the bacteria can be reactivated.”

One of the most likely candidates for a genetic switch that can toggle TB bacteria into a dormant state is a regulatory network that is activated by the stress caused by immune cell attacks. The network responds by activating several dozen genes the bacteria use to survive the stress. Based on a Rice computational model, Igoshin and his longtime Rutgers NJMS collaborator Maria Laura Gennaro and colleagues predicted just such a switch in 2010. According to the theory, the switch contained an ultrasensitive control mechanism that worked in combination with multiple feedback loops to allow hysteresis, or history-dependent behavior.

“The idea is that if we expose cells to intermediate values of stress, starting from their happy state, they don’t have that much of a response,” Igoshin explained. “But if you stress them enough to stop their growth, and then reduce the stress level back to an intermediate level, they remain stressed. And even if you fully remove the stress, the gene expression pathway stays active, maintaining a base level of activity in case the stress comes back.”

In later experiments, Gennaro’s team found no evidence of the predicted control mechanism in Mycobacterium smegmatis, a close relative of the TB bacterium. Since both organisms use the same regulatory network, it looked like the prediction was wrong. Finding out why took years of follow-up studies. Gennaro and Igoshin’s teams found that the TB bacterium, unlike their noninfectious cousins, had the hysteresis control mechanism, but it didn’t behave as expected.

“Hysteretic switches are known to be very slow, and this wasn’t,” Igoshin said. “There was hysteresis, a history-dependent response, to intermediate levels of stress. But when stress went from low to high or from high to low, the response was relatively fast. For this paper, we were trying to understand these somewhat contradictory results. ”

Igoshin and study co-author Satyajit Rao, a Rice doctoral student who graduated last year, revisited the 2010 model and considered how it might be modified to explain the paradox. Studies within the past decade had found a protein called DnaK played a role in activating the stress-response network. Based on what was known about DnaK, Igoshin and Rao added it to their model of the dormant-active switch.

“We didn’t discover it, but we proposed a particular mechanism for it that could explain the rapid, history-dependent switching we’d observed,” Igoshin said. “What happens is, when cells are stressed, their membranes get damaged, and they start accumulating unfolded proteins. Those unfolded proteins start competing for DnaK.”

DnaK was known to play the role of chaperone in helping rid cells of unfolded proteins, but it plays an additional role in the stress-response network by keeping its sensor protein in an inactive state.

“When there are too many unfolded proteins, DnaK has to let go of the sensor protein, which is an activation input for our network,” Igoshin said. “So once there are enough unfolded proteins to ‘distract’ DnaK, the organism responds to the stress.”

Gennaro and co-author Pratik Datta conducted experiments at NJMS to confirm DnaK behaved as predicted. But Igoshin said it is not clear how the findings might impact TB treatment or control strategies. For example, the switch responds to short-term biochemical changes inside the cell, and it’s unclear what connection, if any, it may have with long-term behaviors like TB latency, he said.

“The immediate first step is to really try and see whether this hysteresis is important during the infection,” Igoshin said. “Is it just a peculiar thing we see in our experiments, or is it really important for patient outcomes? Given that it is not seen in the noninfectious cousin of the TB bacterium, it is tempting to speculate it is related to survival inside the host.”

Gennaro is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Igoshin is a senior investigator at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics.

The research was supported by the Welch Foundation (C-1995) and the National Institutes of Health (GM096189, AI122309, AI104615, HL149450).

Healthcare Equity article illustrated by Rita Azar for 360 MAGAZINE

The Importance of Education for Advancing Healthcare Equity

By: Maria Hernandez, Ph.D.

If you’ve been tracking the nation’s progress in the fight against Covid-19, physicians and public health officials of color have been highlighting the need for health equity in the national dialogue. As the data on mortality rates becomes clearer, there is no mistake that the pandemic is impacting African American and Latino communities to a much greater extent. Current mortality rates for Blacks and Latinos is almost 2.8 times that of whites suggesting significant health inequities exist. The discussion about why these inequities are taking place has been less clear and even less clear is how to address this reality.

The key may be in educating healthcare providers about the root cause of these inequities and empowering patients that access healthcare systems.

Health inequities are the differences in health outcomes due to unfair conditions or factors that different populations may face. These factors can include access to quality care, inadequate housing, lack of access to quality food, poverty and systemic racism. Public health researchers and healthcare providers have known about health inequities in the US for over 40 years and the research about what to do point to a confluence of factors that center on economic, educational and social change. Even before the pandemic, Native American and Black women are 2.5 times more likely to die in childbirth than Whites. Women are under diagnosed for heart disease.

Research points to the presence of unconscious and systemic bias as well as a lack of culturally competent care.

https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/tracking-the-covid-19-recessions-effects-on-food-housing-andThe pandemic exacerbated the impact of these factors in profound ways. If we look at the fact that essential front line workers–cashiers, bus drivers, food service providers, healthcare workers, postal carriers, warehouse workers, receptionists–have high concentrations of Black and Latino workers, it becomes much easier to understand why so many victims of Covid-19 are from these communities. And if we also explore the role poverty plays in the pandemic, we know that crowded housing conditions where social distancing is not possible has been a factor. The reality is that low income, hourly workers are not able to do their jobs remotely using telecommuting or video conferencing. Many of these workers also experience a harder time finding personal protective equipment that can be a burden for tight household budgets.

The pandemic has set the stage for profound changes in healthcare and its about time.

Two important responses that have emerged in the nation’s healthcare systems is an awareness that physicians, nurses and other caretakers must accept that–like all other human beings–they suffer from unconscious biases. It’s those snap judgements about a person’s race, ethnicity, age, ability, and socioeconomic status that enter into each encounter which can influence the recommended course of care. Those biases can be positive or negative but we all make those associations. The pandemic has accelerated the

extent to which hospitals are seeking training for front line staff and providers in order to reduce the likelihood of these biases and provide more culturally competent care.

These programs include an awareness of how bias impacts the experiences of patients and what may be important factors to consider in working with different populations. Culturally competent care encourages staff to look at how the patient may be experiencing their illness and what their own understanding of how to improve their health. It means taking into account the patients cultural of reference and listening to their unique needs.

Another response is the effort hospitals are making to partner with community clinics, faith based organizations and community organizations to win the trust of patients. This was present before the pandemic, but it has taken on a new sense of urgency as vaccine adoption rates have faltered in Black and Brown communities. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, not for profit hospitals which are the majority of facilities in the US have been asked to report what community benefits they provide to address known community needs.

Despite all of these approaches for improved healthcare services for diverse patients, it will take years before all health systems are aligned on their approach to advance health equity.

The most vulnerable patients need quality care now.

A visit to the doctor—even on-line—may require some key steps to ensure the best care is made available. Three steps that can make a big difference for patient visits. First, bring an advocate with you–a family member or friend who will join you in your visit and support your being heard or to help you ask the right questions. You’ll have to give them permission to be with you given privacy rules in healthcare but it’s worth it. Having a trusted advocate can be a big relief if there’s a lot of options to explore or if there’s different treatment steps involved. There’s a growing field of professional Patient Advocates — sometimes called Patient Navigators that help individuals with navigating treatment options, getting insurance payments, and arranging for home health care if needed. Your health may rely on having someone who understands the complexity of healthcare systems to support you.

Next, review the information your physician provides about the condition or illness and the medicines you may be asked to take. Ask your doctor what information you most need to understand for your treatment or what to do to support your health. Most physicians will provide information on a condition or point you to a reputable website for more information like the Mayo Clinic Review what your physician provides to be informed about the options and treatments presented.

Last, communicate with your care team throughout the course of your treatment or care. If you are struggling with side effects in your treatment or symptoms worsen, call your doctor or the nurse practitioner assigned to your care. Take an active role–with your advocate–to look at options for continued treatment. Poor communication with your physician can put you at greater risk for poor health outcomes. During these challenging days, preparing for each time you visit your physician can set the stage for you to receive the very best care available

About the author -Maria Hernandez, Ph.D., President and COO of Impact4Health is a thought leader in health equity and pay for success initiatives designed to address the upstream social determinants of health among vulnerable populations.  Maria currently leads the Alameda County Pay for Success Asthma Initiative which is testing the feasibility of reducing asthma-related emergencies using health education and proven home-based environmental interventions for children.  

vegetables by Nicole salazar for 360 magazine

Show your heart some love on more than just Valentine’s Day 

By Nutrition Myth Buster Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., CNS

Experts aren’t sure why people are more likely to have a heart attack during the winter than any other time of year. If Valentine’s Day and Heart Health Month are inspiring you to take better care of your ticker, here’s big news. 

A 12-month human clinical study involving 577 participants conducted in Malaysia reveals we aren’t doing our hearts any favors by eating a high-carb diet. Researchers looked at different patterns of eating, from high-fat to low-fat, high-carb to low-carb, and measured the effect each way of eating had on the risk for heart disease. Turns out, fat intake didn’t move the risk needle one way or the other. The higher carb diets, on the other hand, were associated with greater cardiovascular ris. 

I wasn’t the least surprised by this study’s findings! I’ve been saying for years that fat has been wrongly demonized. If anything, it’s sugar – not fat – that’s causing us to go off the metabolic rails. In this study, low-carb diets performed considerably better than high-carb diets.

The study found that healthy adults who ate higher proportions of carbohydrates (compared with the amount of proteins or fat they consumed) tended to develop several elevated risk factors for cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure and more plaque-promoting small LDL cholesterol particles. Higher proportions of dietary fat intake were not associated with elevating these risk factors.

A hormone called insulin – and a condition called insulin resistance – are at the core of pre-diabetes, and are turning out to be early warning signs for heart disease. And the results of this study showed that insulin measures were considerably better when people ate diets with a lower amount of carbs, and that was true regardless of the amount of fat consumed. 

It’s insulin resistance, not cholesterol, that is the root cause of heart disease and, according to other research, probably many other chronic underlying conditions plaguing our world. 

The good news is that insulin resistance is treatable, preventable and mostly reversible by diet alone. It’s time we get off the toxic diets that are causing this condition in the first place! It’s time we understand that saturated fat and cholesterol are not the problems. When you remove that outdated thinking, the current dietary guidelines collapse like a house of cards. 

What’s good for the heart is good for the brain, and vice versa. I haven’t found one exception to that case. The right diet for the heart looks exactly like the right diet for the brain. And sadly, the  diet we SHOULD be eating is exactly the opposite of the diet we’ve been told is heart-healthy. 

Easy, no-fail heart-healthy eating changes

Most attempts to eat healthier fail quickly because the changes are too big and unmanageable. Instead of trying to completely overhaul your diet, start by making a few small changes. Here are a few simple suggestions that may have a healthy impact on your heart: 

First, remove these items from your kitchen: 

  • Corn oil and canola oil. These seed oils are filled with omega-6 which is very pro-inflammatory. 
  • Sugar. Let’s be realistic. I know you’re probably not going to give up your favorite sweets entirely. But be kind to your heart by restricting those goodies to just a few days a month.
  • Canned soups, salad dressings and pasta sauces. These are often loaded with hidden sugars and a ton of sodium. Instead of relying on these cooking shortcuts, do an internet search for simple recipes you can make from scratch.  
  • White flour and white rice. These are heavily processed and raise your blood sugar almost as much as pure sugar. And – don’t shoot the messenger – products made with ‘whole grains” don’t do much better. Whole grains still raise blood sugar, and still contain gluten, so they may not be the solution for everyone. 

Then, add these items to your fridge and pantry: 

  • Palm oil. You can find this online and in specialty markets. Millions of people around the world use it as their everyday cooking oil. Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil is rich in nutrients such as brain- and heart-healthy vitamin E tocotrienols. 
  • Butter. This was never bad to begin with! It was banished from our tables because of our ill-advised fear of saturated fats. So we replaced it with something much worse!
  • Stevia and monk fruit. These are natural sweeteners that have no effect on your blood sugar.” 
  • Nuts: People who eat more nuts have lower BMIs. Their diets are higher in magnesium, higher in fiber, higher in poly- and monounsaturated fats, all of which can have a profound effect on your health. But nuts are also easy to overeat and contribute to weight gain, so just be careful about the amount you consume.
  • Egg yolks: What a relief that you don’t have to suffer through one more tasteless egg white omelet! The advice to eat egg white omelets is way past its expiration date! 
  • Dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa on the label): Chocolate contains cocoa flavanols; beneficial plant-based phytonutrients that support cardiovascular health.
  • Grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and less inflammatory omega-6s. It’s also free of hormones, a very big plus indeed. If you follow this suggestion, you’ll never have to worry about how much marbling is in your steak, or if your hamburger is 70/30 instead of 90/10 or 80/20. It won’t matter. 
  • Dark meat poultry: The USDA data shows that there are mere milligrams of differences in the nutritional content of white and dark meat. 

Here’s more advice: Stick with the basics. I’ve always said that the only rule you really need to follow in nutrition is to eat real food, food your great-grandmother would have recognized as food. Eat from what I call the “Jonny Bowden Four Food Groups”: food you could hunt, fish, gather or pluck. Stay away from overly processed and get back to basics. 

That doesn’t mean you can never snack. Get organic (non-GMO) popcorn with minimal chemical processing. Get away from that chemical soup called “butter flavoring” and look for a microwave popcorn that contains palm oil, because palm oil doesn’t burn easily so your popcorn will taste better.  

This year, you can finally make commitments to a heart-healthy diet that are easy to achieve. These tips will help you take better care of your heart throughout the winter and may become heart-healthy habits you’ll want to follow all year long.  

Biography: Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, (aka “The Nutrition Myth Buster”) is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health, and the best-selling author of 15 books on health. Dr. Jonny — a former professional pianist and conductor — earned six certifications in personal training and fitness, has a Master’s degree in psychology, a PhD in holistic nutrition and is board certified by the American College of Nutrition. He has written, contributed to or consulted on hundreds of articles in publications as diverse as the New York Times, People, Us, O the Oprah Magazine, In Style, Vanity Fair Online, People, GQ, Forbes Online, Clean Eating, the Huffington Post and countless others.

He is the best-selling author of 15 books, including “Living Low Carb”, “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth” and his latest, the revised and expanded version of “The Great Cholesterol Myth” (2020). 

Plastic Surgery illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Plastic Surgeon × Breast Reconstruction

Specialist Dr. Constance Chen Offers Practical Tips on Putting a New Nipple on a Reconstructed Breast

Reconstructing the nipple-areola complex completes the sense of restoration that helps some women put cancer behind them.

More and more women who have lost a breast to mastectomy now choose breast reconstruction. Reconstruction can be performed either at the time of the mastectomy, called “immediate reconstruction,” or later, called “delayed reconstruction.” Breast reconstruction can also be performed either via breast implants or with a woman’s own natural tissue. Using her own tissue to fashion a new breast, a procedure known as “autologous reconstruction,” results in a soft, warm, natural breast that is sometimes difficult to distinguish from a woman’s original breast, especially when a woman has had a nipple-sparing mastectomy. For women who cannot undergo nipple-sparing mastectomy, it is possible to reconstruct the nipple-areola complex. “Having a new breast with a nipple is important to many women,” says plastic surgeon and breast specialist Dr. Constance M. Chen. Reconstructing the nipple-areola complex completes the sense of restoration that helps some women put cancer behind them.”

Women who are considering a mastectomy that preserves the nipple-areola complex must be evaluated to ensure that there is no tumor tissue near the nipple and no symptoms such as discharge that might indicate the presence of disease in the nipple itself. Those who are not candidates for nipple-preserving surgery can consider nipple reconstruction, which folds and sutures a flap of skin from the surrounding breast tissue to form a mound in the shape of a nipple. Nipple reconstruction typically also requires tattooing several months after surgery to add color to the healed reconstructed nipples.

For women who would like to bypass surgical nipple reconstruction, there are also tattoo artists who specialize in tattooing the nipple-areola complex directly on the breast mound. This less invasive procedure has become increasingly popular as the techniques have become increasingly sophisticated, even creating a realistic three-dimensional effect. 3-D tattooing may be performed in the surgeon’s office or by a trained tattoo artist in a shop or specialized medical center. It is generally performed several months after breast reconstruction surgery when surgical scars are completely healed.

“While a nipple tattoo cannot create an actual projection, a high-quality, detailed tattoo, designed for each woman, can appear to have dimension as well as the shading, shadows, and coloration of a natural nipple,” Dr. Chen says. The practitioner consults with each patient to determine how to best match the nipple to her skin tone and to create the appearance she wants. The inks used are mixed to create the best color for each woman. When the tattoo is to be applied to only one breast, it can be designed to match the appearance of her natural breast.

Depending on how much sensation a woman has in her reconstructed breast, the tattooing procedure may be completely painless or may be performed with a local anesthetic. Healing takes a week to ten days.

Finally, a prosthetic nipple can be used to place an extremely realistic nipple-areola complex on the breast. Usually made of silicone, the prosthetic nipple-areola complexes come in many different colors and projections, and are glued onto the breast mound. Women can swim and take showers with the prosthetic nipple on their breast, and then take them off to wash them with soap and water if they start attracting lint. They can then be reglued to the breast mound.

“The results achieved with prosthetic nipples can be truly impressive,” says Dr. Chen. “For women who aren’t candidates for a nipple-preserving mastectomy or who want to avoid the additional surgery of nipple reconstruction, a prosthetic nipple is a straightforward, non-invasive procedure that completes the breast reconstruction that restores a woman’s self-image as she moves confidently forward.”

Constance M. Chen, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon with special expertise in the use of innovative natural techniques to optimize medical and cosmetic outcomes for women undergoing breast reconstruction. She is Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery) at Weill Cornell Medical College and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery) at Tulane University School of Medicine. 

Dentistry illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Cold Sore Flareup Triggers

Virus Highjacks Important Immune Response, UVA Discovery Reveals

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have shed light on what causes herpes simplex virus to flare up, explaining how stress, illness and even sunburn can trigger unwanted outbreaks.

The discovery could lead to new ways to prevent cold sores and recurrent herpes-related eye disease from reoccurring, the researchers report.

“Herpes simplex recurrence has long been associated with stress, fever and sunburn,” said researcher Anna R. Cliffe, PhD, of UVA’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology. “This study sheds light on how all these triggers can lead to herpes simplex-associated disease.”

About Herpes Simplex Recurrence

Once you’re infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV) – and more half of Americans are – the virus never really goes away. Instead, it lurks inside neurons, waiting for the right moment to strike again, a process known as reactivation.

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are one of the most common symptoms of HSV reactivation. Recurrent reactivation in the eye leads to herpes keratitis, which, if left untreated, can result in blindness. HSV infection has also been linked to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Recurrences of HSV are typically associated with stress, illness or sunburn, but doctors have been uncertain exactly what causes the virus to reactivate. Cliffe and her collaborators found that when neurons harboring the virus were exposed to stimuli that induce “neuronal hyperexcitation,” the virus senses this particular change and seizes its opportunity to reactivate.

Working in a model developed by the Cliffe lab using mouse neurons infected with HSV, the researchers determined that the virus highjacks an important immune response within the body. In response to prolonged periods of inflammation or stress, the immune system releases a particular cytokine, Interleukin 1 beta. This cytokine is also present in epithelial cells in the skin and eye and is released when these cells are damaged by ultraviolet light.

Interleukin 1 beta then increases the excitability in the affected neurons, setting the stage for HSV to flare up, the UVA researchers discovered.

“It is really remarkable that the virus has hijacked this pathway that is part of our body’s immune response,” Cliffe said. “it highlights how some viruses have evolved to take advantage of what should be part of our infection-fighting machinery.”

The scientists say that more research will need to be done to fully understand the potential factors which play into herpes simplex disease. It may vary depending on the virus strain or the type of neuron infected, even. And it is still unknown if the virus alters how neurons respond to cytokines such as Interleukin 1 beta. But the new insights help doctors better understand what is happening in neurons and the immune system, and that could lead to ways to prevent unwanted outbreaks, the researchers hope.

“A better understanding of what causes HSV to reactivate in response to a stimulus is needed to develop novel therapeutics,” Cliffe said. “Ultimately, what we hope to do is target the latent virus itself and make it unresponsive to stimuli such as Interleukin 1 beta.”

Findings Published

The researchers have published their findings in the scientific journal eLife. The research team consisted of Sean R. Cuddy, Austin R. Schinlever, Sara Dochnal, Philip V. Seegren, Jon Suzich, Parijat Kundu, Taylor K. Downs, Mina Farah, Bimal N. Desai, Chris Boutell and Cliffe.

The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke, grant R01NS105630; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, grant T32AI007046; the National Eye Institute, grant F30EY030397; the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, grants T32GM008136, T32GM007267, GM108989 and GM007055and Medical Research Council grant MC_UU_12014/5.

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog.

What Keeps Men From Picking Up Their Household Mess

By Andi Simon, Ph.D.

For many of the women I have been working with during the pandemic crisis, the biggest complaint has been: “Why doesn’t my husband help pick up the mess?” “Don’t men even see the toys all around them, the dishes in the sink, the clothes needing folding?” And when they finally lend a hand, it is hardly neat or “the way I would have done it.”

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the cultural dilemma is upon us, exaggerated during the current stay-at-home, work remotely era caused by COVID-19. What wives, moms and girlfriends might have silently dealt with in the past has become a major issue when both partners are now at home together. Differences are more apparent, irritations closer to the surface.

As an anthropologist, and a wife, and a mother, I know all too well how difficult it is to change habits in adults. Once we learn our habits, they take over and drive us. My husband is a wonderful teammate but loves to leave his cabinets open, his clothes folded but not so smoothly, and his office … well let’s not discuss that. I do confess, at times my office is as big a mess as his, which is OK as long as each of us stick to our own disorderly worlds.

In a recent Atlantic article, “The Myth That Gets Men Out of Doing Chores,” Joe Pinsker writes about how these male-female differences originate partly from how boys and girls are raised, and partly from how men and women simply see things through different lenses. While some contend that boys are naturally messier than girls, there is little research to support that. If anything, boys and girls (and men and women) can both make a mess in the bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen — indeed, making messes comes naturally to both sexes. Cleaning them up, less so.

The issue is that boys and girls are taught differently what it means to be “neat” or “messy.” There is nothing inherent in either of those words. We learn what they mean as we grow up, and the ones teaching us play a major role in handing down those cultural values about what we should or should not be doing to create order in our lives.

What matters is how we “believe” that we as humans create and manage our physical and social order, at home and outside of it. Watch boys at a sporting event — lacrosse, soccer or anything — and they learn quickly how to pack their sports bag and keep their equipment in good shape (or be yelled at by the coach). Girls do the same. In the office, men can be very neat, or not. I have had bosses with horrible office order and others who were so immaculate that it was weird. The same has been true of male or female bosses.

The question then becomes: Why do we think women should pick up the toys, fold the laundry and close the cabinets, while the guys watch their ballgame and drink their beer with a mess all around them? Humans are culture-creating and culture-living creatures. As children, we learn from parents, teachers and friends what is valued and for whom. If boys are allowed to have messy rooms because, well, they are just boys, they will quickly learn that boys can be messy, ignore the mess, and not be expected to restore order to it. If girls are told that they must clean up their rooms before they can do something they want, they learn other rules and other norms.

It really is true that what we see our mothers and fathers, and others, doing is what we mimic, in business and in life. It becomes embedded in our psyches, sometimes without our even realizing. If girls and women repeatedly hear that cleanliness is next to godliness, they will learn that making the bed, tidying the kitchen and cleaning up messes are positive reinforcements for how good and acceptable they are. Boys don’t learn this. In fact, if a boy neatly picks up his toys and then is called a sissy, what value judgement is that passing along?

So then, if you have a man in the house who repeatedly ignores the kids’ mess on the floor, think hard about what both of you are teaching your kids about personal responsibility, beyond neatness and messiness. You might during this at-home period be able to change their futures by providing them with unbiased values and beliefs about what men and women see and do. Remember, it is easier to change the kids than the guy. I would advise, though, that in your corrections to the latter, tread carefully but quickly, before the opportunity evaporates.

About Andi Simon

Andi Simon, Ph.D., author of the book Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, is a corporate anthropologist and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants. A trained practitioner in Blue Ocean Strategy®, Simon has conducted several hundred workshops and speeches on the topic as well as consulted with a wide range of clients across the globe. She also is the author of the award-winning book On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights. Simon has a successful podcast, On the Brink with Andi Simon, that has more than 125,000 monthly listeners, and is ranked among the top 20 Futurist podcasts and top 200 business podcasts. In addition, Global Advisory Experts named Simons’ firm the Corporate Anthropology Consultancy Firm of the Year in New York – 2020. She has been on Good Morning, America and Bloomberg, and is widely published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Business Week, Becker’s, and American Banker, among others. She has been a guest blogger for Forbes.com, Huffington Post, and Fierce Health.