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States That are Working to Improve Mental Health For Students

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Students across the United States are increasingly facing mental health issues in this day and age. Here are a couple of states that have taken steps to improve mental health for the student population. 

Oregon: In July 2019, Governor Kate Brown approved mental health days for students, meaning that schools will excuse student absences that relate to mental and behavioral health. Students who petitioned the bill intend to remove the stigma around mental health, especially in Oregon, where suicide rates are disproportionately high. In fact, suicide was found to be the second leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds. 

Florida: The Florida State Board of Education will require public-school students in sixth grade and above to learn more about health through a minimum of five hours of mental health education yearly. The educational curriculum includes information regarding how to seek help from others, address peers that have mental health disorders, and interpret signs and symptoms. 

What would you like to see in schools to address the mental health crisis?

Sources: 

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/18/us/florida-to-require-mental-health-education-trnd/index.html
  2. https://www.today.com/health/oregon-passes-law-letting-students-take-mental-health-days-t159385
  3. https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/22/us/oregon-schools-mental-health-days-trnd/index.html

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Gray Hair and Stress?

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Photo Credit: pixaby.com

Scientists have discovered the mechanism that links gray hair to stress. Researchers demonstrated that stress induces the fight-or-flight responses in our bodies that causes the pigment of our hair to decrease. Ya Chieh Hsu, a stem cell biologist from Harvard, studied mice and injected them with a compound known as capsaicin, which is present in chili peppers, to increase the stress levels of the mice. The scientists attributed the loss of melanocytes caused by stress to gray hair. Located in the hair follicles, melanocytes color hair by converting into pigment-producing cells. The body cannot replenish this source of cells. The mechanism for the hair turning gray is that stress triggers the release of norepinephrine, which leads to an excessive release of pigment-producing cells. This rapidly depletes the melanocyte cell supply and causes hair to turn gray as a result. 

To learn more, please visit the following link: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/how-stress-turns-hair-gray-triggers-body-fight-flight-response

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Coronavirus Updates from Around the World

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Check out this map for the coronavirus for the number of deaths and cases throughout the world. The data used in this map is from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

  • The World Health Organization developed a new name for the virus: COVID-19
  • Recently, there has been an outbreak on the Diamond Princess Ship, which is a luxury cruise ship in Japan. 175 people have contracted the disease. Testing and other forms of surveillance have begun by public health officials. Those who have tested positive have been sent to hospitals or have been quarantined. 
  • A Hong Kong apartment building is being investigated as a potential cause for the COVID-19’s airborne transmission. A 62 year old lady who lived 10 stories under the 12th confirmed case in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus. A professor from the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Microbiology stated that many of the vents might not have been properly blocked, allowing the virus to spread through the vents. 
  • First confirmed case in San Antonio, Texas. The individual was part of a group that flew from the Hubei province in China to the San Antonio Air Force Base. 
  • While the coronavirus has been curbed in China, officials state cannot predict a definitive end to the outbreak. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/12/watch-world-health-organization-provides-an-update-on-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html
  2. https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/02/175-now-infected-with-coronavirus-on-cruise-ship-including-quarantine-officer/
  3. https://www.hongkongfp.com/2020/02/11/hong-kong-authorities-evacuate-tsing-yi-estate-flats-second-resident-diagnosed-coronavirus/
  4. https://www.texastribune.org/2020/02/13/coronavirus-texas-case-confirmed-san-antonio-cdc-says/
  5. https://www.cnn.com/asia/live-news/coronavirus-outbreak-02-12-20-intl-hnk/index.html
  6. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

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Tech Company Predicted Coronavirus Using AI

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Photo Credit: pixabay.com

The coronavirus has become a hot topic of discussion in the last two months. While public health officials have been investigating the disease, a tech firm recently predicted the outbreak on December 31, 2019. This is days before the CDC and WHO released official statements. The company, known as BlueDot, utilized an AI system that “combs through animal and plant disease networks” and mined government documents to inform their clients about danger zones including Wuhan. BlueDot additionally analyzed airline ticket data and news reports in different languages to predict the spread of the virus. CEO of BlueDot Kamran Khan notes that the goal of using AI and machine learning is to spread information to healthcare workers as fast as possible in an effort to diagnost, treat, and monitor diseases better. What do you think about the role of AI in disease prediction? Let us know in the comments. 

To learn more, please visit:

  1. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/this-tech-firm-used-ai-machine-learning-to-predict-coronavirus-outbreak-warned-people-about-danger-zones/articleshow/73697801.cms
  2. https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/1/28/21110902/artificial-intelligence-ai-coronavirus-wuhan

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