Posts tagged with "DNA"

ylona garcia entertain me single cover art by 88rising for use by 360 Magazine

YLONA GARCIA RELEASES NEW TRACK

“[Ylona Garcia is] an international superstar in the making.” — Flaunt Magazine

Today, 19 year old Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Ylona Garcia has released an absolute banger of a song called “Entertain Me via PARADISE.

Much like her 2021 single “All That,” “Entertain Me” is a straight up female empowerment anthem and destined for club greatness.

Produced by DNA and co-written by DNA and Ylona herself, the song finds the Australian-born Filipino artist asserting her independence and dispelling the notion that she can be fooled and controlled by anyone.

Coinciding with the single’s release is the launch of a new playable character in Riot Games wildly-popular video game, Valorant. The new character named Neon, who has been described as hailing from Manila in teasers, speaks Tagalog language, and is described as one of the youngest agents “who can outpace the rest of the roster, shocking the competition, and sliding straight into the fight.” Indeed, the launch of the character Neon perfectly compliments the empowered persona Ylona exudes in “Entertain Me.”

At only 19 years old, Ylona Garcia has set her sights on the global landscape in the next stage of her creative journey. With multiple song releases under her belt already, in addition to appearing on two of the biggest reality/talent contests shows in the Philippines, Ylona Garcia has become one of the fastest-rising, most prominent young voices in the Filipino music community. She currently has over 4.1 million Followers on Instagram and nearly 1 million followers on TikTok in addition to over 265,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and 170,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel.

Ylona Garcia’s music is released by 88rising’s sister label PARADISE RISING, which was launched in 2020 to help bring Filipino music to the forefront of culture.

About 88rising

Founded in 2015, 88rising has long been a champion of Asian and Asian American talent, stories and culture. The company has gone from a leading record label to a transformative media company and is now the most recognized pan-Asian music company in the world and a leader in music, media and events celebrating Asian culture. 88rising was the first company to launch an Asian-centric music festival in the United States (Head in the Clouds Music & Arts Festival), the first to have an Asian R&B artist top the Billboard charts (Joji) and the first to launch an all-Asian, multi-genre music radio channel with SiriusXM in December 2020. The brand recently announced a first look deal with Sony Pictures TV in January which allows 88rising to continue their mission of creating stories that center around Asians and Asian Americans through the development of scripted series across all platforms for Sony Pictures TV.

esther perbandt image for use by 360 magazine

Esther Perbandt Q×A

By: Kai Yeo

Born in Berlin, Esther Perbandt studies fashion design at the Berlin University of the Arts and polished a master’s degree in Fashion and Textile Design in Paris. In 2020, she made it to the finals of international designer show “Making The Cut” with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, supported by Naomi Campbell.

Not only is she a contemporary fashion designer, but also a visionary, performer, and mistress of ceremonies. Esther Perbandt describes her fashion as an act of (post)feminism irrespective of gender: personality, autonomy and individuality are at the center of her avant-garde style. The non-binary silhouette is deconstructed and reframed with classical menswear details, however, maintaining timeless aspects of elegance and style.

360 MAGAZINE had the pleasure of corresponding with Esther to learn about her inspiration, goals, and much more. Read on to find out her answers!

What/who are your biggest inspirations?

The joy of life is my greatest inspiration. This motor is so big that I can’t imagine running out of ideas at some point. I like doing two things for a living: sleeping and dancing. Many ideas come to me when I fall asleep or wake up and when I can dance without restraint.

How did Making The Cut (MTC) change your view of the fashion industry? 

When I studied fashion design in Berlin and Paris in the nineties and early noughties, the term “digitalization” was not really an issue in the fashion industry. I founded my own label over 17 years ago, which has grown very slowly on its own. Until I took part in MTC, I didn’t have an online shop, or only one that didn’t work. But I knew that if my brand was to survive the next 30 years, I had to change and become more digital. Who should I learn from, if not the biggest?

From a show like MTC of course you don’t only learn, you see what’s possible with a lot of money. But if you manage to transfer what you have experienced and seen at the highest level and translate it to your very own DNA, you can take the next steps. I don’t think there is a right or a wrong way in the fashion industry. There are an incredible number of individual paths. Depending on what the goal is.

After coming back from the MTC shoot, I didn’t do anything creative for 8 months, I just prepared business-wise for the airing of MTC: New website, new online store, new strategy. Today, I work with my pattern maker with avatars and digital fittings. This saves us a lot of time and resources.

How has the newly found attention changed/shaped you?

The new attention was a boon for my brand to finally grow. Many things have become a little easier professionally. But the pandemic probably slowed down the speed of this growth a bit and still does. Personally, I only got a limited amount of that attention. When the first season of MTC came out, which I was part of the cast of, the world went into its first hard lockdown. For months, I just worked a lot with my small team and sent packages all over the world every day, but especially to the US, without having the opportunity to meet many people. Germany is a grateful or ungrateful country, depending on how you take it, when it comes to addressing public figures. In the meantime, I had the feeling that hardly anyone in Germany had seen the show.

You were unsure about whether or not to take part in Making The Cut. How do you feel about it now?

Yes, I was indeed very unsure when I received the first request to participate in MTC 1. For 16 years, I had been flying the flag for a freer, more unconventional and uncommercial way in the fashion industry, which also had a stronger connection to art. I felt it wasn’t for me or would betray my brand. But quite the opposite. It was the best decision I made for my business, but also for my life in general. In the last three years, since shooting MTC 1, I have learnt an incredible amount and finally started to build a sustainable foundation for my brand. Every path in the fashion industry is very individual and mine is probably also an atypical one. But it’s fun to see myself making strategic and business decisions in a very different way now and to see that the word “commercial” is not a dirty word for me.

Do you have any moments in your career you look back to often?

Oh yes, of course. I often think today where I got the strength to hold out for so long and to go through all the deep valleys. For many years I called my studio the “Palace of Tears”. Every few days there were tears because I felt like I was standing on the spot or because it was financially on the brink. But somewhere deep inside me, I always believed that it would work out and become easier one day.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

The signature of my brand has developed from the three cities in which I have lived in and which have been very important and inspiring for me: Berlin, Moscow and Paris.

Berlin, as the city where I was born, the city divided over the years with a great historical history, with its roughness, toughness, punk, subculture, snootiness. Moscow, with its avant-garde of the 1920s, the constructivists, high-necked, the uniforms and the austerity. And then of course Paris, as the city that gave me the finishing touch, the elegance, the femininity, and the glamor.

This special mix and the reduction to the color “black,” is meant to give my wearers a strength and make them grow. The focus on details should make the viewer curious to take a closer look at clothing.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced as a designer?

It has always been both a curse and a blessing that I have had to fight my own way through, especially financially. This has extremely slowed down the growth of my brand, but at the same time it has given me the chance and the time to carefully develop my signature and the DNA and to look closely at what I really want.

Do you think your surroundings and environment play a part in how you choose your designs?

Yes, definitely. As a creative, you unconsciously absorb everything you come across. I love observing people and thinking about why they wear the clothes they do. What identity do they have, and which one do they want to slip into? Dealing directly with my customers in the shop every day has of course influenced my choice of designs. Since MTC, I do a lot of styles in larger sizes and now a lot of women come and have my collection pieces made to measure. That’s a big market.

What are the next goals for your brand?

The USA has become my main sales market in the last two years. The next goal would be to open my own shop in New York for a while and then also produce locally so that customers who buy online don’t have to pay customs and the high shipping costs.

In fashion Esther Perbandt will continue to explore various paths, especially in creating haute couture looks for numerous events, as well as digging into costume design areas whenever projects allow for it.

It’s said that the future is unknown but at least with Esther Perbandt it will always continue to surprise and excite. We look forward to seeing more from her.

Hobamine: The Game Changing Discovery for a Long Life

By: Greg Macpherson, biotechnologist, author, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging.”

Free radicals are much-maligned molecules, blamed for causing many of the diseases we suffer from and even the aging process itself. We are regularly reminded of this in the fruit and vegetable isle at the supermarket and by supplement brands promoting antioxidants to counter the effect of free radicals. 

But dig a little deeper and you will discover that free radicals have an interesting little secret. It turns out that we need free radicals to be healthy. Free radicals are harnessed by our cells to send messages around the cell and between cells. Our immune system uses free radicals as part of its initial immune process (imagine free radical “bullets” being fired at an intruder) to slow the bugs down while the rest of our immune system jumps into action to fight off the infection.  

It turns out, for optimal health that we need to live in a “free radical goldilocks zone.”  Too many free radicals and we shift into something called oxidative stress and if that persists for too long then we are on track to get a disease.  But, if we have too few free radicals then it is equally harmful as our body loses the ability to mount a healthy immune response or to transmit messages that might notify the cell that something has gone wrong triggering a process where the cell removes itself for the health of the tissues that surround it.  

However, science is now telling us to go a little easy on antioxidants and not over do it. The clues have been there for a long time. A large study many years ago found that smokers, who create a burden of oxidative stress in their body with every puff, that took a vitamin E supplement had an increased risk of death. In another study, older adults that took antioxidants alongside exercise didn’t get the same level of muscle growth as their peers who went to the gym without taking antioxidants. In each case the antioxidants interfered with the healthy free radical signalling process creating a problem larger than the one it was aiming to solve. 

So how do we deal with the challenge of reducing oxidative stress whilst not over doing it and causing ourselves a serious health problem? Two strategies are coming to the fore. First, if you are going to take an antioxidant then take natural antioxidants that are derived from our diet such as curcumin, fisetin or pterostilbene. These bioactive molecules support the natural levels of antioxidants that our cells make to balance the levels of free radicals in our cells to keep us in the “goldilocks zone” and also have secondary health benefits, such ascurcumin, which is well known to reduce inflammation; fisetin, which is becoming well known as a senolytic, a molecule that helps remove senescent cells from the body; and pterostilbene, a molecule that activates key genes responsible for cellular repair and energy generation.  

The second strategy and is one of the most promising I have seen for a long time is taking a molecule called Hobamine (also known as 2-HOBA). Hobamine is an extract from the humble Himalayan Tartary buckwheat. It is an interesting molecule that protects our cells from the downstream effects of free radicals whilst leaving the healthy free radicals alone to do their work. How Hobamine delivers its health benefits is fascinating. It is a member of a new class of natural molecules called reactive carbonyl scavengers. While that is a bit of a mouthful you could also call it an antioxidant 3.0 or a smart antioxidant. It is so cutting edge that it is hard to find in most supplements. In fact, my company SRW is only the second company in the world to offer it in our Cel1 Stability supplement.

Hobamine works to mitigate the damage that free radicals cause in our cells. If you remember from grade school, free radicals are molecules that are unstable and all they want to find and react with is another molecule to becomestable. They damage our cells because in the process of getting stable they steal a molecule from a part of our cell. Free radicals are not picky and damage whatever is closest to them: our DNA, our delicate cellular machinery, or our cell membranes. In the process the free radical becomes stable but whatever they damage becomes radicalised and reactive. Because we are carbon based the most common downstream effect of free radical damage is the formation of reactive carbonyl species. These molecules are highly reactive and only persist for fractions of a second. They are so short lived that you can’t measure them, but you can measure the result of the damage they cause. 

Reactive carbonyl species bind with proteins, DNA and cell membranes affecting their function and, in some cases, interfere with the cells ability to remove the damage. Over time this is where the real damage from free radicals and oxidative stress is occurring within our cells and what is exciting is that Hobamine gives you a way, for the first time to slow the damage down. Hobamine neutralises the reactive carbonyl species before they have a chance to cause damage to the delicate cellular machinery, membranes and our DNA. 

What makes this doubly interesting is that researchers have discovered that the immune system is activated by the end molecules that result from the process between reactive carbonyl species and our cell membranes and this may be part of the reason that we experience increasing levels of inflammation as we age. 

Reactive carbonyl species and how to mitigate damage from them is now an active area of research and medical researchers have identified the link between reactive carbonyl species damage and diseases like Alzheimer’s, autoimmune, heart disease and high blood pressure. The list will continue to grow, and it is looking like the discovery of this new class of bioactive molecules could potentially reduce the burden of damage across our cells that we all accumulate as we age and potentially lead to helping protect ourselves from a wide range of conditions or better, get ahead of the damage and slow the aging process itself down. Hobamine is an exciting new tool in the fight to extend our health-spans so that we all get the opportunity to be healthier for longer. 

Biography:

Greg Macpherson is a pharmacist, biotechnologist, cellular health expert and author of, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging: to live your healthiest life.” For more than a decade, he has been working in the biotechnology sector, specifically focusing on the aging process at the cellular level. This work led him to discover ways to harness the nine identified, scientific hallmarks of aging, which is the premise of his book that addresses the natural aging process, how to age more favorably and simple strategies to slow the aging process and build a functional healthspan. Beyond theory and concept, Macpherson has used his entrepreneurial spirit to further develop solutions to this new paradigm of aging, described in his book, by launching SRW Laboratories, a science and research based company that curates the latest biotechnology research to formulate natural products designed to help slow the onset of aging and disease, and develop evidence based solutions for those who are experiencing age-related health concerns or who want to improve their healthspan. SRW, which stands for Science, Research and Wellness, is Macpherson’s natural world laboratory that will develop the preventative formulas for cellular health from nature required to slow down the aging process based on the nine hallmarks of aging, which include mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere attrition and cellular senescence, to name a few. With aging being the single biggest risk factor for developing disease, Macpherson’s mission to slow the aging process at a cellular level could help millions of people delay the onset of diseases associated with advanced aging like Alzheimer’s and heart disease and increase healthspan.

NB Pure illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels) for 360 Magazine

Summer Tips for Melanoma Prevention

Protect yourself from melanoma without becoming deficient in vitamin D

By Leah Johnston, RDN

Don’t be so quick to overlook concerns around melanoma just because it’s often viewed as preventable. Melanoma is one of the most common cancers and the deadliest form of skin cancer. However, there is a conflict between how we prevent melanoma and how we ensure we are getting enough vitamin D. Sun exposure is the main source of this essential vitamin, but it’s also the primary culprit in the formation of melanoma. With May being Melanoma Awareness Month, it’s time to take notice and learn how we can protect our skin while still absorbing enough vitamin D.

The Stats

Cases of melanoma have been rising over the last few decades, especially among young adults, as it’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer among people aged 25 to 29. According to the Melanoma Research Alliance, one person dies from melanoma every hour of every day. The American Cancer Society reports that the risk for getting melanoma is approximately 2.6% (1 in 38) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for Blacks, and 0.6% (1 in 167) for Hispanics. While fair skin poses a higher risk, darker complexions are also at risk.

How Melanoma forms

Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin and give skin its brown or tan color. It’s when melanocytes start to grow out of control on the skin’s top layer that cancer can develop and then spread to other parts of the body. Usually appearing as a brown or black spot or mole, melanoma is most commonly found on the chest and back for men and legs for women. It’s best not to ignore any irregular spots you may find on your skin because this cancer can also appear in other colors or patterns. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds can damage DNA in cells and significantly increase the risk of melanoma. Early detection is important for effective treatment.

Tips for melanoma prevention:

  • Use a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen all year when outdoors. This will help protect against sun damage, which can occur even when the sun might be hiding behind a cloud.
  • Limit sun exposure during the middle of the day when the UV rays are at their peak. Instead, plan outdoor time for the morning or later afternoon to lessen the risk. 
  • Opt for a spray tan over laying out by the pool. If you love to have a tan, spray tans are a safer option and will help protect the longevity of your skin.
  • Schedule annual skin exams with a dermatologist. This is especially important if you have fair skin or immediate family members who have had melanoma, such as a parent or sibling.

The importance of Vitamin D

What doesn’t vitamin D do? Known as the sunshine vitamin, the human body absorbs an inactive form of vitamin D from the sun, food, or supplements and converts it into an active form of vitamin that it can use. In its active form, vitamin D plays many roles in the body.

Bone Health: Vitamin D and calcium work together to maintain bone health and density. Calcium cannot be absorbed into bones without the help of vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency can result in bone softening, known as osteomalacia, and muscle weakness. Osteoporosis can also be associated with vitamin D deficiency due to the lack of calcium absorption. Both osteoporosis and melanoma affect older adults making it essential to couple melanoma prevention strategies with vitamin D supplementation.

Immunity: Recently, researchers have been investigating a possible link between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. While this research is still in its infancy, scientists have been finding that low vitamin D status may result in the increased severity of symptoms and higher mortality rate. More research is needed in this area.

Inflammation: Research has shown an association between vitamin D status and inflammation-related autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D also helps to regulate insulin levels for diabetes management.

Depression: People with depression are more likely to have low vitamin D levels. A 2011 study found that women who ate more foods rich in vitamin D had a lower risk of depression than women who got less vitamin D in their diets. Vitamin D has also demonstrated the ability to improve the symptoms of depression.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 15 mcg (600 IU) for most children and adults up to the age of 70, according to the National Institutes of Health. Adults who over 70 need 20 mcg (800 IU) daily.

Tips for getting enough Vitamin D:

  • Get outside but be strategic. As previously discussed, the best time to be in the sun is in the morning or later afternoon. Plan your days to limit your exposure to the midday sun.
  • Add at least one vitamin D rich food into your daily diet. These may include fortified dairy and non-dairy beverages such as milk or orange juice, fortified cereals, salmon (wild caught contains more than farmed), sardines, and egg yolks. Wild mushrooms or those that have been treated with UV light are a good plant source of the vitamin. 
  • Take a daily Vitamin D supplement. This may be particularly important if you live in regions of the world that are further from the equator, such as the Midwest. If you struggle to remember or don’t enjoy taking pills, NB Pure has a Vitamin D3 supplement in the form of a spray for the utmost convenience.
  • Have your doctor check your vitamin D levels at least once a year. Getting an annual physical is important for your long-term health. Ask your doctor to make sure they check your vitamin D levels at that visit.

The sun may be the main reason for the increasing rates of melanoma, but it’s also our number one source of vitamin D. It is possible to protect yourself from developing melanoma and ensure that you are obtaining ample amounts of vitamin D to prevent the consequences of a deficiency.

Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging: to live your healthiest life by Greg Macpherson for use by 360 Magazine

Reversing the Aging Process At A Cellular Level

By: Greg Macpherson, pharmacist, author, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging

You might think that the occasional gray hair, fine line and wrinkle starting to stare back at you in the mirror is a sign that time is starting to have its impact felt, but these visible changes as we age are just a symptom of what has been going on at a cellular level inside your body for decades. We all know that you can’t change time, but recent advances in our understanding of aging at a cellular level mean that in the not too distant future we will be able to change the impact that time has on our cells.

And it’s about time. Right now, despite the decades and billions of dollars that have gone and continue to go into attempting to understand and solve the diseases associated with advancing age like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cardiovascular disease, we have not made the progress we should.

Researchers are now starting to ask the question – what if we change track and seek to understand the aging process? By slowing aging, we not only spend decades longer in good health, but we push the diseases associated with old age down the road–possibly avoiding them all together.

 Why We Decline with Age

With better questions come better answers, progress, and breakthroughs. Nearly a decade ago, in the absence of a single theory regarding aging, scientists reached a consensus on nine key areas of our cells that decline in function as we age. These key areas are called the nine hallmarks of aging, and they all have something in common. If you make them worse, you age faster. If you make them better, you slow the aging process down.

Identifying the hallmarks of aging has given researchers cellular targets to focus on, and has unleashed an incredible amount of human capital focused on solving, or at least reducing, the ravages of aging on our bodies. Researchers armed with tens of billions of dollars in research grants and private equity are now racing to find the answers. And the prize is huge–resolving the aging process, deferring the diseases of older age and extending the time we spend in middle age in good health by decades will transform humanity and will both disrupt and create a trillion dollar industry overnight.

Progress is being made at an accelerating rate, and there are now therapies that have  been proven in mice models that are now making their way into clinical studies. Rapamycin, a pharmaceutical that is typically used for organ transplant recipients, because of its ability to help the body avoid rejecting the organ, is now understood to extend life in mice by up to 60%. Senolytics, molecules that help the body identify and remove senescent cells that increasingly accumulate as we age and literally poison the healthy cells that surround them, have extended life in mice by up to 30%. Metformin, a drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes has been identified to significantly reduce cancer rates and extend life.

And these are just a few of the compounds that have been identified that shift the effect of time on our bodies. These and more molecules being developed right now, plus strategies for healthy aging that have been identified from the blue zones around the world where people live to 100 and beyond at a much higher rate than the rest of us, are amongst the many healthy aging strategies that I featured in my book, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging, to Live Your Healthiest Life.”

As a pharmacist with 30 years of experience, I have spent the last decade working in the biotechnology arena associated with anti-aging, translating the complex world of anti-aging science to make it available for the rest of us. By understanding the nine hallmarks of aging­–adopting simple strategies from the blue zones, and sharing the breakthrough molecules that have not been available to humans in previous generations– I’ve put together a step-by-step, healthy aging strategy. We can all adopt  this strategy and, in the process, significantly alter our aging trajectory and making healthy aging much more of a certainty.

Why DNA Matters

One example of a hallmark of aging is “genomic instability,” which is another way of saying that the negative changes to our DNA in our cells that happen as we age. Your DNA is your cellular instruction set and defines what it means to be a human versus every other living species on our planet. Your DNA is responsible for the difference between a skin cell and a heart cell, a neuron and an insulin producing cell.

Your DNA are molecules that sit at the center of almost every single cell in your body, helping it function, live and thrive. Your DNA does this in an incredibly hostile environment as it deals with the external stress of pollution, mutagenic foods and chemicals, UV light and X-rays, and the internal insults of oxidative stress. Due to these factors your DNA is damaged between 50,000 and 100,000 times per day, per cell.

Because of the importance of having a healthy instruction set, your cells spend a huge amount of resource on the repair and maintenance of your DNA and as we age, and this process starts to decline, which has significant effect on the health of your cells. Take a quick look at the back of your hand compared to the skin on the inside of your wrist to get a sense of the difference between cells exposed to UV damage that hits your DNA.

DNA damage is happening right now in every cell in your body, and over time it affects the ability of your cells to function effectively. Starting as early as your 30s, by supporting DNA repair and maintenance through making lifestyle changes and by taking molecules, like hobamine, NMN and apigenin, as outlined in my book, it can help your body keep your DNA and the other hallmarks of aging in good shape. By following the roadmap of this breakthrough strategy in a healthy aging, you will age better than previous generations have ever been able to achieve.

Biography

Greg Macpherson is a pharmacist, entrepreneur and author of, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging: To Live Your Healthiest Life.” For more than a decade, he has been working in the biotechnology sector, specifically focusing on the aging process at the cellular level. This work led him to discover ways to harness the nine identified, scientific hallmarks of aging, which is the premise of his book that addresses the natural aging process, how to age more favorably and simple strategies to slow the aging process and build a functional longevity plan. Beyond theory and concept, Macpherson has used his entrepreneurial spirit to further develop solutions to this new paradigm of aging, described in his book, by launching SRW Laboratories, a science and research based company that curates the latest biotechnology research to formulate natural products designed to help slow the onset of aging and disease, and develop evidence based solutions for those who are experiencing age-related health concerns. SRW, which stands for Science, Research and Wellness, is Macpherson’s natural world laboratory that will develop the preventative formulas from nature required to slow down the aging process based on the nine hallmarks of aging, which include mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere attrition and cellular senescence, to name a few. With aging being the single biggest risk factor for developing disease, Macpherson’s mission to slow the aging process at a cellular level could help millions of people delay the onset of diseases associated with advanced aging like Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
greg macpherson headshot for use by 360 Magazine

Murderous History illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Murderous History Series

TRUE CRIME MYSTERIES PULLED STRAIGHT OUT OF HISTORY

MURDEROUS HISTORY

ALL-NEW SIX PART SERIES PREMIERES SUNDAY APRIL 25 at 9PM ET/PT ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL

No fingerprinting? No DNA tests? No psychological profiling? No problem. Smithsonian Channel steps back in time to investigate history’s most shocking murder mysteries and reveal how they were solved in the upcoming all-new series, Murderous History. On the heels of the channel’s recent success in true crime, historians guide viewers through the sinister undercurrents of various city’s past where odd and lethal scandals perplexed historical detectives and expose the dark undercurrents of society. From the devastatingly bombed streets of London to industrial Chicago to Nazi Berlin, each episode captures nail-biting criminal investigations to prove that everything is not always what it seems. Murderous History premieres on Smithsonian Channel Sunday, April 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

At the scene of every crime is a story of a time, the place, and its people. This six-part series steps back in time to examine the most gruesome and compelling murder mysteries of the past 200 years, viewed through the lens of the eras and cities in which they took place. Through cinematic reenactments, we follow the determined investigators and complex perpetrators while revealing how each case made its own mark on history.

They happened in times of war and peace, during daylight and darkness, and to victims old and young. These are the stories of the most heinous murders of the 19th and 20th centuries, some which have faded from memory and others that continue to haunt their host cities to this day. Join us as we travel back to some of history’s defining moments when detectives had to overcome the limited tools of their era—and often invented new forensic techniques on the fly—in a race to catch the killers before they struck again.

Murderous History is produced by Warehouse 51 Productions Ltd. for Smithsonian Channel. The executive producers are TKTK from 51 Productions and John Cavanaugh for Smithsonian Channel. 

About Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel, a ViacomCBS Inc. brand, is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing factual entertainment, available in HD and 4K Ultra HD across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel, winner of Emmy and Peabody awards, is the home of popular genres such as air and space, travel, history, science, nature and pop culture. Among the brand’s hit series are Aerial America, America in Color, America’s Hidden Stories, Apollo’s Moon Shot, The Pacific War in Color and Air Disasters, as well as critically acclaimed specials that include The Green Book: Guide to Freedom, Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier, Walk Against Fear: James Meredith and Princess Diana’s Wicked Stepmother. Smithsonian Channel is available internationally in Canada, Singapore, Latin America, the UK and Ireland.

Woman at Computer by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

UVA’s DNA Discovery

Scientists have identified a group of drugs that may help stop a leading cause of vision loss after making an unexpected discovery that overturns a fundamental belief about DNA.

The drugs, known as Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors, or NRTIs, are commonly used to treat HIV. The new discovery suggests that they may be useful against dry macular degeneration as well, even though a virus does not cause that sight-stealing condition.

A review of four different health insurance databases suggests that people taking these drugs have a significantly reduced risk of developing dry macular degeneration, a condition that affects millions of Americans.

“We are extremely excited that the reduced risk was reproduced in all the databases, each with millions of patients,” said Jayakrishna Ambati, MD, a top macular degeneration researcher at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. “This finding provides real hope in developing the first treatment for this blinding disease.”

Targeting Macular Degeneration

The new discovery comes from Ambati; Fred H. Gage, PhD, of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies; and collaborators around the world. The work rewrites our understanding of DNA, revealing for the first time that it can be manufactured in the cytoplasm of our cells, outside the cell nucleus that is home to our genetic material.

The buildup of a certain type of DNA in the cytoplasm, Alu, contributes to macular degeneration, the researchers found. This buildup appears to kill off an important layer of cells that nourishes the retina’s visual cells.

Based on this discovery, the researchers decided to look at drugs that block the production of this DNA, to see if they might help prevent vision loss. They analyzed multiple U.S. health insurance databases – encompassing more than 100 million patients over two decades – and found that people taking NRTIs were almost 40% less likely to develop dry macular degeneration.

The researchers are urging further study to determine if these drugs or safer derivatives known as Kamuvudines, both of which block a key inflammatory pathway, could help prevent vision loss from dry macular degeneration.

“A clinical trial of these inflammasome-inhibiting drugs is now warranted,” said Ambati, the founding director of UVA’s Center for Advanced Vision Science. “It’s also fascinating how uncovering the intricate biology of genetics and combining it with big data archeology can propel insights into new medicines.”

Ambati, of UVA’s Department of Ophthalmology, previously determined that NRTIs may help prevent diabetes as well.

Findings Published

The researchers have published their findings in the scientific journal PNAS. The research team consisted of Shinichi Fukuda, Akhil Varshney, Benjamin J. Fowler, Shao-bin Wang, Siddharth Narendran, Kameshwari Ambati, Tetsuhiro Yasuma, Joseph Magagnoli, Hannah Leung, Shuichiro Hirahara, Yosuke Nagasaka, Reo Yasuma, Ivana Apicella, Felipe Pereira, Ryan D. Makin, Eamonn Magner, Xinan Liu, Jian Sun, Mo Wang, Kirstie Baker, Kenneth M. Marion, Xiwen Huang, Elmira Baghdasaryan, Meenakshi Ambati, Vidya L. Ambati, Akshat Pandey, Lekha Pandya, Tammy Cummings, Daipayan Banerjee, Peirong Huang, Praveen Yerramothu, Genrich V. Tolstonog, Ulrike Held, Jennifer A. Erwin, Apua C.M. Paquola, Joseph R. Herdy, Yuichiro Ogura, Hiroko Terasaki, Tetsuro Oshika, Shaban Darwish, Ramendra K. Singh, Saghar Mozaffari, Deepak Bhattarai, Kyung Bo Kim, James W. Hardin, Charles L. Bennett, David R. Hinton, Timothy E. Hanson, Christian Röver, Keykavous Parang, Nagaraj Kerur, Jinze Liu, Brian C. Werner, S. Scott Sutton, Srinivas R. Sadda, Gerald G. Schumann, Bradley D. Gelfand, Fred H. Gage and Jayakrishna Ambati.

Jayakrishna Ambati is a co-founder of Inflammasome Therapeutics, iVeena Holdings, iVeena Delivery Systems and DiceRx; a full list of the authors’ disclosures is included in the paper.

The research was supported by UVA’s Strategic Investment Fund, the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute and many other generous contributors. A full list is included in the paper.

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

Male Pattern Baldness article illustrated by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Everything You Need To Know About Male Pattern Baldness

The average person loses anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs a day—it’s part of the natural hair cycle and won’t make a difference on the scalp.

It only becomes a problem when there isn’t new hair to replace the ones that you’ve lost. A medical condition, it can be caused by a number of things from medications to hormonal changes.

Genetics can play a role as well. If anything, that’s what causes androgenic alopecia aka male pattern baldness.

Think you might have it? Want to know what some of the possible treatments are? If so, be sure to read the rest of the post!

What Is Male Pattern Baldness?

Male pattern baldness is a condition that causes loss of hair in men. In the United States, it affects nearly 50 million individuals. In fact, it’s said that more than half of all men will experience it to some extent by the age of 50.

And while it doesn’t pose any health threats, it can be psychologically distressing.

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness? 

Male pattern baldness has to do with the male sex hormones aka androgens. More specifically, they have an effect on the hair growth cycle. Instead of producing new strands to replace the ones that have fallen out, the hair follicle shrinks.

Over time, this leads to baldness.

While the condition is often inherited, it can also be caused by other things such as medications and certain cancers. In cases like that, it’s often accompanied by a rash or peeling of the scalp.

Who’s At Risk?

When do men start balding? It depends, but male pattern baldness typically occurs when an individual is in his 30s or 40s (the likelihood increases with age). With that said, it can also happen during the teen years after puberty. 

Since it’s genetic, those with a family history of the condition are also at a higher risk of developing the condition. This is especially true if it runs on the material side of the family.

Common Symptoms 

Male pattern baldness shows up in a telltale shape. That is, it often starts as a receding hairline with thinning strands around the hair.

Over time, it’ll continue to move backward, forming an “M” shape. Eventually, as the hair becomes shorter and finer, it’ll create a horseshoe pattern with hair on the sides of the head.

Depending on the severity, the hairline may continue to recede until all of the strands are gone.

Treating Male Pattern Baldness 

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for male pattern baldness. Having said that, there are treatments available for those who’d like to improve their appearance. 

Medications

There are a couple of medications that can help with the condition, one of which includes a topical lotion or foam. Available over-the-counter, it works best on the crown of the head.

Keep in mind, however, that it can take several months for you to see results. Also, the medication must be used indefinitely to preserve the effects.

And while it’s typically well-tolerated, it can cause side effects such as itching, irritation, or swelling of the skin.

In addition to that, there’s a prescription medication that you can take orally. Put it simply, it prevents DHT, a male hormone, from shrinking the hair follicles on the scalp. In doing so, it can slow the progression of baldness.

As with the lotion, however, the effects will be reversed if the pill is stopped.

Wigs 

Wigs can be used to cover receding hairlines, thinning hair, or complete baldness. The best part is that they come in a variety of colors and styles so that you can choose the one that’s right for you.

You can also work with a professional wig stylist for a more natural look.

Hair Weaves 

Weaves are basically wigs that are sewn into your hair. There’s just one thing—you must have enough hair for them to work with.

Unlike wigs, which can easily come off, weaves will always stay on, even if you’re running or swimming. However, they must be sewn again whenever new hair growth occurs.

Hair Transplants 

A hair transplant is the most invasive option and because of this, it’s often considered to be the last resort. How does it work?

A doctor will remove hair from areas of the scalp that still have active growth and transplant them to balding areas. Generally speaking, multiple treatments will be necessary.

Common side effects include numbness on the treated areas of the scalp, swelling, and scarring. The new hair may also appear less dense over time depending on the density of follicles in the transplanted area.

Is Male Pattern Baldness Preventable?

Currently, there’s no known way to prevent the condition. With that said, some researchers believe that it may help to reduce stress. Ultimately, this has to do with the fact that stress can contribute to hair loss by increasing sex hormones.

Given that, you may want to participate in relaxing activities such as walking or listening to soothing music.

Understanding Male Pattern Baldness 

Now you know all about male pattern baldness. As you can see, it can be caused by various things from medications to genetics. Fortunately, there are ways to treat the condition. When in doubt, consult with your primary care doctor!

Did you enjoy this post? Looking for more pages like this? If so, why not check out the rest of our site?

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, COVID-19

New COVID-19 Strain In Southeast Asia

By Eamonn Burke

A mutation of the COVID-19 virus called D614G has been discovered in Southeast Asia, mostly in Malaysia and the Philippines but also in China. The outbreak can be traced back to a man who did not quarantine after his trip from India, causing a 45-case outbreak in Malaysia. The man has since been fined and sentenced to five months in prison. D614G is the leading strain in the United States and Europe, after being discovered in Chicago in June. Now the mutation is quickly spreading across Asia and the entire world.

The mutation is estimated to be up to 10 times more infectious, but “We still don’t have enough solid evidence to say that that will happen,” says Phillipines’ Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Verviers. A study from Johns Hopkins points to evidence showing that the new virus is not more deadly than the previous strain. Benjamin Cowling of University of Hong Kong agreed: “(D614G) might be a little bit more contagious. We haven’t yet got enough evidence to evaluate that.” A Cell Press paper also corroborates this, saying that the strain will most likely not impact vaccine development. However, Malaysia’s Director-General of Health, Noor Hisham, warns that this may mean that vaccine studies may be incomplete without accounting for the new strain.

A mutating virus is far from an exceptional thing, because it is how they can continue to spread. In fact, the genome of the coronavirus changes about 2 times a month, according to Science Magazine. Some of them help the virus reproduce, others damage it, and some are neutral. These changes can be just a single letter in the genetic code, but it can make the virus much more transmissible. Dr Thushan de Silva, at the University of Sheffield, says that there is not enough evidence to say whether the D614G mutation helps or harms the virus, but he knows that it is not neutral.

This comes as the FDA has just granted emergency authorization for COVID-19 spit tests, which will make testing much easier and much wider spread. The SalivaDirect test, developed at Yale University, will expedite testing by eliminating a time consuming step in the process.

Meanwhile, the United States passes 170,000 deaths from the virus, with infections of children rising as they return to school. New information from the CDC says that rates of COVID-19 in children are increasing. While they make up only 7% of cases in the country, they are responsible for over 20% of them. In addition to this, and in contrast to previous beliefs, “Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx compared with adults and that children can spread the virus effectively in households and camp settings.”

Data to reinforce this claim can be found in the rising cases among children at schools that have already reopened, including 7,000 in Alabama. Many schools have debated or committed to reversing course and going online. These rising cases correlating with schools reopening “may explain the low incidence in children compared with adults,” says the CDC, suggesting that children’s perceived resistance to transmitting the virus may have been partly a result of simply staying inside – a sobering reminder of the ever changing narrative of COVID-19.

360 Magazine, Ahmaud Arbery, Politics

Everything you need to know about DNA ancestry tests

A DNA ancestry test is essentially the way you can learn every single detail about your family genealogy through the genes, a process that has become quite popular over the last few years as people’s interest in their history has grown exponentially.

Believe it or not, the genetic ancestry testing allows to examine the DNA to the point where you can find the most unbelievable variations that offer the clues you want to know in order to determine where your ancestors came from, and even the connection between the families.

This relationship is usually one of the most revealing details when making a DNA ancestry, given the fact that the more related two families or individuals are, the more variation patterns these groups will share.

Getting to this point, it is important to know there are different types of ancestry DNA tests that exist right now. In case you don’t know any of these, here are the most famous.

Mitochondrial DNA testing

This one essentially identifies the vast number of genetic variations that take place in the so-called mitochondrial DNA. This is probably the most complex testing considering there’s an incredible number of DNA and cell structures that are checked in order to provide the results.

One of the most curious aspects of this type of test is the fact that while both females and males can use the Mitochondrial DNA testing, its main purpose is essentially to provide information about the direct ancestral line of the woman. Also, it preserves the data about her ancestors, which is quite useful since this information usually get lost from the historical records.

Y chromosome testing

As it name suggest, this type of testing is the opposite of the previous one, meaning that only males can take it and its main purpose is to check the whole ancestry line in the man’s direct line.

On the other hand, this type of genetic testing is sometimes used to determine different questions such as whether two different groups or families are related even when they have the same surname.

Nucleotide polymorphism testing

This type of test evaluates the widest variations across someone’s entire genome. Once this part is done, the results are then compared with those of other people who have also taken this specific test in order to give an estimate of the ethnic background.

This is the most famous type of testing of all, considering this is the one that people use to determine the percentage of all ethnicities they have in their genes. For example, someone could be 25 percent African, 50 percent Asian, 20 European, etc.

X-DNA testing

This one really comes in handy for inheritance patterns and it is known for being part of the autosomal test, which is the procedure that only focuses on the 22 different chromosomes’ pairs that don’t have any sort of association with someone’s sex.

As it name suggests, the X-DNA testing looks exclusively at the X-chromosome, which is present not only males but also in females. After all, while men always get the X-chromosome only from their mothers, women receive it from each of her parents.

People usually get this test in order to examining every single detail of the chromosome in question. The reason? Experts concluded this will spot inheritance patterns not only for traits but also for different types of illnesses that the person can suffer in the future depending on their ancestry.

Ethnic Makeup test

The main goal of this type of DNA test is to determine the population clusters of people’s ancestry and the so-called biographical makeup.

In order to understand the purpose of this test, it is crucial to know that the Homo Sapiens were nomadic species that traveled every single continent and nation. Throughout the years, this specimen created tribes that eventually migrated to other parts of the world, being the reason why every single person is made up of numerous percentages of ethnicities.

This information is easily determined by this test, which gives the person who goes through it the most accurate prediction of the biographical makeup. What’s quite outstanding about this type of DNA ancestry test is the fact that it shows a map with the different ancestral locations.