Milk is an essential source of minerals, vitamins, energy, and protein in children. The reasons young children avoid drinking cow milk include lactose intolerance or a parents lifestyle choice. A recent study published by Black et al. in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared New Zealand children who were long-term "milk avoiders" with children who habitually drank milk, by evaluating the daily calcium intake, bone mineral content, bone size, stature, and skeletal size of both groups. Children who were milk avoiders had significantly worse bone health and shorter stature than children who drank milk.
The 50 non-milk-drinking children were all white, averaged 6 years of age, had typically begun to avoid milk soon after the age of 1, and had not consumed milk for an average of 73% of their entire their lives. Their daily dietary calcium intakes, bone mineral density, skeletal size, and stature were compared with a control group of 200 white children who were habitual milk drinkers. Although all of the milk-avoiding children were apparently healthy, 15, or 30% were overweight or obese. Milk-avoiding children were significantly shorter in stature, had smaller bones and a lower total-body bone mineral content than the control group. Only 4 of the milk avoiders had adequate intakes of calcium, and ten forearm fractures were reported, for an annual incidence of 3.5% rather than the expected 1%.
Only half of the milk-avoiders reported having experienced any unpleasant physical symptoms from milk consumption, and 78% had a family member who also avoided cow milk. Many avoided milk because they disliked the taste or because family members chose not to offer it to them, rather than because of physical symptoms. The increased rate of overweight or obesity in children who avoided milk was considered to be due to the substitution of more calorie-rich fluids such as carbonated drinks or fruit juices.
Elizabeth Horowitz | EurekAlert!
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Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
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At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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