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Power Faces Predict Law Firm Profitability

TORONTO, Oct. 25 (UPI) — Managing partners who have faces that look powerful have better bottom lines, Canadian and U.S. researchers suggest.

Nicholas Rule of the University of Toronto and Nalini Ambady of Tufts University say clothes, posture and hairstyles all impact first impressions, but it is the face that makes the biggest impression.

Earlier research showed West Point cadets whose faces projected dominance were more likely to become generals, U.S. Senate candidates whose faces appeared more competent won 75 percent of their races, and the more powerful the faces of chief executive officers of companies looked, the more profits their companies earned, the researchers say.

The researchers had people judge photos of 73 managing partners from the Top 100 U.S. law firms for dominance, maturity, attractiveness, likeability and trustworthiness. Half of the photos were downloaded from law firm Web sites, while the rest came from college yearbook photos of the partners, taken some 30 years earlier.

Ratings of dominance and facial maturity were a strong predictor of law firm profitability, not only currently, but in the yearbook pictures as well, the study finds.

The findings are published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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How Much Broccoli Needed for Anti-cancer

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Oct. 25 (UPI) — Three to five servings a week of broccoli is enough to have an anti-cancer effect, U.S. researchers suggest.

Elizabeth Jeffery, Michael Miller and Ren-Hau Lai of the University of Illinois say they found sulforaphane — the cancer-fighting agent in broccoli — can be released from its parent compound glucoraphanin by bacteria in the lower gut and absorbed into the body.

“This discovery raises the possibility that we will be able to enhance the activity of these bacteria in the colon, increasing broccoli’s cancer-preventive power,” the researchers say in a statement.

The researchers proved it by injecting glucoraphanin into the ligated lower gut of rats and demonstrated that sulforaphane is present in blood from the mesenteric vein, which flows from the gut to the liver.

“The presence of sulforaphane in measurable amounts shows that it’s being converted in the lower intestine and is available for absorption in the body,” Jeffery says.

Sulforaphane is an extremely potent cancer-fighting agent, Jeffrey says.

“Less than one daily serving of broccoli is enough to have an anti-cancer effect,” Jeffrey says. “With many of the other bioactive foods you hear about, vast amounts are required for a measurable outcome.”

The findings are scheduled to be published in the November issue of the journal Food & Function.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Falling in Love: Same As Cocaine Euphoria

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Oct. 25 (UPI) — When a person falls in love 12 parts of the brain release euphoria-inducing chemicals that create the same euphoric feeling as cocaine, U.S. researchers say.

Stephanie Ortigue of Syracuse University and colleagues worldwide conducted a meta-analysis that finds falling in love can take one-fifth of a second and then the brain starts to release euphoria-inducing chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline and vasopressin, but the heart is involved as well.

“I would say the brain, but the heart is also related because the complex concept of love is formed by both bottom-up and top-down processes from the brain to the heart and vice versa,” Ortigue says in a statement.

The analysis shows different parts of the brain are involved in love. For example, the unconditional love between a mother and a child include the middle of the brain, but passionate love is sparked by the reward part of the brain.

The meta-analysis also finds blood levels of nerve growth factor also increased when falling in love. This molecule plays an important role in the social chemistry of humans, or the phenomenon of “love at first sight,” Ortigue says.

Conversely, when love goes wrong, it can cause significant emotional stress and depression.

The findings are published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Biomarkers Can Identify Kidney Disease

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Oct. 24 (UPI) — Three biomarkers — substances that may signal disease — could help predict kidney disease, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Caroline Fox of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Framingham Heart Study in Framingham, Mass., says adding the blood levels homocysteine, aldosterone, and B-type natriuretic to standard risk factors like high blood pressure led to an additional 7 percent of patients being classified at high risk of chronic kidney disease.

“Our results identify biomarkers that can improve chronic kidney disease risk prediction,” Fox says in a statement.

The study, scheduled for publication in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, explains high levels of homocysteine — an amino acid — are already considered a marker of atherosclerosis risk. Aldosterone is a hormone that affects salt handling by the kidneys and B-type natriuretic peptide is an indicator of heart damage in patients with heart failure.

Fox and colleagues looked at six biomarkers when testing stored blood samples of 2,300 participants in a long-term study of heart disease — the Framingham Offspring Study. All had normal kidney function when they provided blood in 1995-1998. About 10 years later, 9 percent had developed chronic kidney disease and 8 percent had high levels of protein in the urine — a key sign of deteriorating kidney function.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Old Halloween Candy Can Make You Sick

MANHATTAN, Kan., Oct. 24 (UPI) — As parents dust off Halloween costumes and last year’s Trick or Treat bags some find candy, but U.S. experts warn some of it could cause illness.

Karen Blakeslee and Fadi Aramouni at Kansas State University say the shelf life of some candy, like hard candy, may be indefinite, but there have been cases of salmonella poisoning from the consumption of expired chocolate.

“The shelf life depends on the type of candy, packaging and storage conditions,” Blakeslee says in a statement.

If a candy appears extremely sticky or has a grainy texture, then it has most likely expired and the crystallization of sugar can result in an off flavor, have a change in color or turn moldy if it contains fruits or nuts.

As a general rule, the softer the candy, the shorter the shelf life, but heat can cause some candies to melt and chocolate can get a powdery look to it — called bloom — due to temperature changes, but it is still fine to eat, Blakeslee says.

The National Confectioners Association suggests:

– Dark chocolate can be kept for one to two years if wrapped in foil and stored in a cool, dark place.

– Milk and white chocolate last no more than eight to 10 months.

– Jellied candies, caramels and gum, once opened, can last six to nine months.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Haitian Cholera Toll Surpasses 250

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 24 (UPI) — Doctors and relief workers in Haiti say they fear a cholera outbreak north of Port-au-Prince will reach the capital as the disease’s death toll surpassed 250.

Ariel Henry, chief of staff at the Haitian Ministry of Health, said some 3,115 cases have been confirmed, The Wall Street Journal reported. He estimated 253 people have died from the disease.

“I have no doubt that it will arrive in Port-au-Prince, because people are moving a lot. It will arrive during the next week probably,” Henry said.

Since first appearing earlier this year in the town of St.-Marc, 60 miles north of the capital, efforts to contain the disease haven’t been entirely successful, as five residents of Port-au-Prince were diagnosed with cholera Saturday, The New York Times said.

The disease is generally acquired by contact with infected human feces, which is common among the poverty-stricken tent cities where more than 1 million Haitians live after January’s massive earthquake, officials told the Times.

Federica Nogarotto, a Doctors Without Borders coordinator in St.-Marc, said in a statement the hospital in St.-Marc “does not have the capacity to handle a cholera emergency” and efforts were under way to create isolation treatment areas.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Volunteers Build D.C. School Playground

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) — Several members of Barack Obama’s Cabinet and some 500 volunteers built a school playground in Washington because “every school should have a playground.”

“Every single school should have a playground,” Arne Duncan, secretary of education, said Saturday before the playground building took place at the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School, a charter school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, as part of Make A Difference Day, a national day of service involving more than 3 million people nationwide.

Shaun Donovan, secretary of housing and urban development, took it one step further: “My goal is not just to make sure that every school has a playground but that every neighborhood has a playground.”

The Cabinet secretaries and the other volunteers including children not only built a playground in 6 hours, they also built a pathway, an outdoor classroom, picnic tables, benches, disposal areas, planted three gardens, created asphalt games and painted murals.

The majority of the funding for this playground was provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of a national effort to engage residents in getting involved in their communities. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has marked Make A Difference Day by building playgrounds, and 15 years later, it marks its 1,894th volunteer-built playground.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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N. Carolina Pioneering Human Waste-to-energy

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 24 (UPI) — A North Carolina county’s plan to burn human excrement for electricity is being watched nationwide, scientists said.

Cabarrus County plans to begin burning processed waste at its water-treatment plant as early as next year, and the project could be duplicated across the United States, the Charlotte Observer reported Sunday.

“All responsible water utilities are contemplating this as part of their future planning,” Robert Rubin, a retired North Carolina State University professor of biological and agricultural engineering, told the Observer. “We are looking at these societal byproducts as a resource.”

The newspaper said Mecklenburg County was drafting plans for a similar project authorized by a February court ruling allowing electric utilities to pay a premium price for waste-generated power.

Cabarrus County has incinerated waste for several years. The plan calls for a small steam generator to capture the heat from the burning and use it to generate around 1.5 megawatts of electricity, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Carolina Pioneering Human Waste-to-energy

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 24 (UPI) — A North Carolina county’s plan to burn human excrement for electricity is being watched nationwide, scientists said.

Cabarrus County plans to begin burning processed waste at its water-treatment plan as early as next year and the project could be duplicated across the United States, the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported Sunday.

“All responsible water utilities are contemplating this as part of their future planning,” Robert Rubin, a retired North Carolina State University professor of biological and agricultural engineering, told the Observer. “We are looking at these societal byproducts as a resource.”

The newspaper said Mecklenburg County was drafting plans for a similar project authorized by a February court ruling allowing electric utilities to pay a premium price for waste-generated power.

Cabarrus County has incinerated waste for several years. The plan calls for a small steam generator to capture the heat from the burning and use it to generate around 1.5 megawatts of electricity, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Haitian Cholera Toll Surpasses 200

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 24 (UPI) — Doctors and relief workers in Haiti say they fear a cholera outbreak north of Port-au-Prince will reach the capital as the disease’s death toll reached 208.

Officials said some 2,674 cases have been confirmed and those people are being treated with hydration and antibiotics, The New York Times reported.

However, since first appearing earlier this year in the town of St. Marc, 60 miles north of the capital, efforts to contain the disease haven’t been entirely successful, as five residents of Port-au-Prince were diagnosed with cholera Saturday, the report said.

The disease is generally acquired by contact with infected human feces, which is common among the poverty-stricken tent cities where more than 1 million Haitians live after January’s massive earthquake, officials told the Times.

Federica Nogarotto, a Doctors Without Borders coordinator in St.-Marc, said in a statement the hospital in St.-Marc “does not have the capacity to handle a cholera emergency” and efforts were under way to create isolation treatment areas.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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