Saturday, 30 January 2016

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sweat

Discover the fun, fascinating, funky truth about all things sweaty.
If you totaled up Christopher Bergland’s athletic achievements, they would be the equivalent of running around the world four times, biking to the moon and back, and swimming across the Atlantic and home again.
The tenacious endurance athlete holds a Guinness World Record for running — 153.76 miles on a treadmill in a single day — and is a three-time Triple Ironman champion, completing the über-demanding 7.2-mile swim, 336-mile bike ride, and 78.6-mile run in a record-breaking time of 38 hours and 46 minutes.
Needless to say, Bergland knows a thing or two about sweat. “When I finished the Triple Ironman, I felt like I’d sweated out every last electrolyte,” he says. Fortunately, Bergland, author of The Athlete’s Way: Sweat and The Biology of Bliss, gets inspiration from perspiration.
“I love to sweat,” says Bergland. “In my mind, sweat equals bliss.”
Sweat is a common partner to exercise, whether it’s the rivulets of sweat that accompany an intense weightlifting circuit or the droplets of perspiration that pitter-patter onto our yoga mats during downward dog.
But outside of the gym, we rarely celebrate perspiration as a positive or desirable thing.
If we think of sweat at all, we consider it an embarrassing bodily function, a sometimes-stinky annoyance, a socially undesirable bit of physiology.
On an exciting first date, palms can get sweaty just as that special someone reaches for your hand. At a job interview, underarms can get swampy from the first tough question. Even in the context of a great workout, sweating buckets can be less than comfortable.
“Breaking a sweat can create some inconvenience,” acknowledges Bergland, “but the payback is always going to be worth it.”
Why? Because sweat serves a purpose — as a barometer of effort, as an indicator of stress, as a measure of health, and also as a literal lifesaver: If it weren’t for sweat cooling our bodies down and flushing our toxins out, we’d all perish much sooner.
Sweat is a near-universal experience. But how many of us really understand how perspiration works, and why? Here are the fascinating essentials you need to know — the cut-and-dried facts about all things sweaty.


Like it or not, we can’t live without sweat. Perspiration keeps the body from overheating and short-circuiting. When your core temperature rises much higher than 98.6 degrees F, the hypothalamus — your brain’s thermostat — signals the exocrine system’s sweat glands to activate. Perspiration rises to the skin’s surface through pores and evaporates when it hits the air, keeping you cool.
We often sweat during exercise, but plenty of other things can prompt sweating, like a hot summer day or situations that make us feel anxious, embarrassed, or mad.


You’ve no doubt noticed that sweat can taste salty. Perspiration is mostly water, with small amounts of fat and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and calcium. Its makeup differs depending on which kind of sweat gland it comes from: eccrine or apocrine.
Eccrine glands are found all over the body but are most highly concentrated on the forehead, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. These glands produce a clear, watery fluid when you exercise or are too toasty.
Don’t blame eccrine sweat for body odor though — this type of perspiration doesn’t smell. If your feet are stinky, it may be due to an overgrowth of themicrococcus sedentarius bacteria, which grow when feet are enclosed in socks and shoes all day.
Apocrine glands, on the other hand, produce a milky fluid that is responsible for B.O. They are found primarily in areas abundant in hair follicles — such as the underarms and genital area — and expel a thick, oily fluid containing fats and proteins. Apocrine sweat doesn’t innately smell bad, but when it interacts with the millions of bacterial organisms (such asstaphylococci or corynebacteria) that live on the skin’s surface, it produces a telltale odor.


More than you might think: According to the National Institutes of Health, an average adult can produce up to a quart of sweat per day. Children don’t start reaching those levels until puberty.


We are born with between 2 million and 4 million sweat glands located all over our bodies — except a few places like our lips and ear canals.


Remember the Saturday Night Live schoolgirl character, Mary Katherine Gallagher, who would stick her fingers under her arms and then smell them whenever she got nervous? It’s likely she was getting a whiff of something strong: Sweat produced when we’re under emotional duress is made by the apocrine glands, which are responsible for the stinkiest sweat. What exactly triggers stress sweat is still unclear, though scientists hypothesize it is linked to the adrenaline release that accompanies a fight-or-flight situation, serving as an evolutionary — and odorous — warning signal.
Stress may also cause a vicious circle of sweat: When you notice you’re perspiring a lot, it can increase your anxiety — what if someone notices my wet underarms?— which in turn can make you sweat even more.


Thank your parents for this one. A big factor in how much you sweat is genetic, determined by exactly how many sweat glands you have. It’s also affected by other factors like gender (see “Sweating and the Sexes,” below), fitness level, health status, and weight.
Heavier people tend to have higher sweat rates, both because they have to exert a lot of energy during physical activity and because there is more body mass to cool down. Surprisingly, though, the sweatiest people in the gym are often the fittest.
“People who are highly fit generally maintain a higher sweating rate, due to more muscle mass (which is heat-producing) and having a greater blood volume and circulatory system, along with a greater sweat-gland capacity and sensitivity,” says Michael Bergeron, PhD, fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and executive director of the Sanford Sports Science Institute and National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute. “And, of course, the more fit you are, the longer and harder you can exercise, and thus, the more you will sweat overall.”


There’s a reason babies and little kids smell sweet: Their apocrine glands aren’t yet active. Once puberty hits, and the apocrine glands start functioning fully, body odor can become an issue.
Another shift happens in midlife. About 75 percent of women experience hot flashes and sheet-soaking night sweats during perimenopause and menopause. This excessive sweating is probably caused by changes in reproductive hormonesand changes in the body’s thermostat, says Rebecca Thurston, PhD, director of the Women’s Biobehavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. “The central thermostat of the body malfunctions during menopausal transition,” she says.
Women can experience hot flashes or night sweats for several years: “We used to think the duration that a woman will have hot flashes and night sweats was three to five years,” says Thurston. “But the newest data shows that they can last much longer — about a decade on average.”
Some doctors prescribe hormone therapy to ease the discomfort of night sweats, but many are working to develop nondrug approaches. Studies have shown that not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and using herbs like black cohosh may help, and Thurston notes that “the most effective behavioral treatment right now is hypnosis — believe it or not — with cooling suggestions.”


Sweat may play a role in nonverbal human communication. The “sweaty-T-shirt study,” for example, conducted by Swiss biologist Claus Wedekind in 1995, found that women rated most pleasant the scent of men whose genes were most unlike their own, ensuring a stronger immune system for their offspring. Talk about chemistry!
Sweat can also speak poorly of us: Research published in PLOS ONE in 2013 shows that women’s stress sweat can make men perceive them as less confident, competent, and trustworthy.
And a report published in Psychological Science finds that we can detect other people’s emotions, thanks to sweat. In fact, researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands suspect that sweat’s scent actually makes emotions contagious.
In the study, underarm sweat was collected from men as they watched scary scenes from The Shining and gross-out clips from the TV show Jackass. When women smelled the “fear sweat” samples, they opened their eyes wide and had a frightened expression. When they smelled the “disgust sweat,” they grimaced.


About 3 percent of the world’s population has hyperhidrosis, which causes someone to sweat a lot — four to five times as much as the average person.
“Primary hyperhidrosis, while not life threatening, is certainly life altering,” says Lisa Pieretti, executive director and cofounder of the International Hyperhidrosis Society. “The extreme embarrassment as well as actual functional impairment can be devastating. But thankfully, we see great improvement in the treatments being offered and the awareness of both the public and medical communities.”
While primary hyperhidrosis appears to have a genetic component, secondary hyperhidrosis can result from an underlying condition, such as lymphoma, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes, or as a side effect of medication. Treatments include Botox injections, iontophoresis, and even surgery, though some doctors suggest that hyperhidrosis can be vastly improved with food-intolerance testing and by the removal of any offending foods from the diet.


While it’s normal for foods like garlic to temporarily alter body odor as their chemical compounds are excreted through our pores, strong B.O. can, infrequently, signal a health issue. Trimethylaminuria is a rare genetic disorder that causes sweat to smell like rotting fish or eggs. Research has also linked certain body odors to kidney failure, schizophrenia, and olfactory reference syndrome (ORS), a delusional condition in which the patient believes he has a bad body odor, but in reality doesn’t. These conditions are rare, but should be addressed by a medical professional.


A study published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology shows that polyester apparel is much stinkier than cotton clothing after a hard workout, because it is less absorbent and promotes odor-causing bacteria.
“We investigated the microbial growth on both textile types and it appeared that different microbial growth occurred,” says Chris Callewaert, researcher at Ghent University in Belgium and the website
“Polyester was a source for micrococcus enrichment, which was not seen on cotton. Micrococci are known for their enzymatic capacity to degrade fatty acids and amino acids into volatile malodorous compounds. These microbes are also an important reason why polyester is stinkier after exercise.”
Like natural cotton, wool can help you avoid a smelly clothes hamper. While wool will permit microbial growth, it breeds mostly nonodorous bacteria.
Workout wear is often made from synthetics like Lycra and polyester, which can wick away sweat but hold on to body odor. Specially formulated detergents can help dissolve the oils that interact with bacteria and cause the smell. Antimicrobial sportswear can also help reduce the microbial numbers, but they come with their own risks (see “Why Anti-Odor Clothes Stink“).
These measures prevent the sweat absorbed into the treated material from becoming stinky. But be forewarned that bacteria on your skin can still transform the sweat molecules into something malodorous.


Yes. Sweating too little — a condition called anhidrosis — can be life-threatening, because the lack of sweat can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Anhidrosis happens when your sweat glands stop working. It may be caused by nerve damage, burns, certain medications, genetics, or dehydration.
If anhidrosis affects only a small area of your body, it’s typically not harmful. If you can’t sweat from a large area of your body, however, it’s wise to seek professional counsel.


Sweat and food
Just like hot weather, hot-tasting foods raise your body temperature, affecting the receptors in your skin that tell the nervous system to kick into cool-down mode and produce sweat.
In addition to five-alarm chili and kicky curries, substances like caffeine, nicotine, and certain prescription drugs can also stimulate the sweat glands. And drinking large amounts of alcohol promotes profuse sweating, too, by increasing your heart rate and dilating the blood vessels in your skin.
Extreme food-related perspiration is called “gustatory sweating,” or Frey’s syndrome. While it is sometimes linked to conditions like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, many cases happen after trauma to a parotid gland — the largest salivary glands. When damage occurs, an individual may sweat when he or she is supposed to salivate.


Aside from its temperature-regulating effect, sweating has been shown in recent studies to excrete toxins, including arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium, as well as rev up circulation and clear the pores.
Researchers have found that exercise is not the only way to reap these rewards — saunas can be a part of your sweat-inducing regimen. Infrared saunas, in particular, which heat the body without warming the surrounding air, can provide such benefits as improved circulation and pain relief. Scientists are exploring the use of this therapy in treating health issues like rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure.
Still, many experts contend that perspiration’s key benefit is preventing overheating — not ridding our bodies of unwanted pollution — noting that sweat’s detoxification powers are mild compared with that of our kidneys and livers.


To keep on top of hydration, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends paying attention to how much you sweat. Calculate your body’s sweat rate by weighing yourself before and after an hour of exercise, then add the difference to the amount of fluid you drank during the workout. Use this number to know how much you need to drink to replace fluids and electrolytes (aim to replace all lost during exercise), rather than just relying on how thirsty you are.


Sweating is definitely a sign that your body is working hard: The more intense the activity, the more heat your muscles produce, and the more you sweat. But even with little sweat in sight, you might still be getting a great workout. Remember that not everyone sweats the same amount, and sweat can evaporate quickly, especially if you’re exercising outdoors on a nice, breezy day or inside in an air-conditioned gym.


Not necessarily. In order for sweat to cool us down, it needs to evaporate into the air, and humidity makes that difficult. For this reason, experts warn against overdoing it at hot-yoga studios; when exercising outdoors on a hot, humid day with little-to-no wind; or when sitting in a steam room. The sweating itself isn’t dangerous, but humid environments can make it ineffective.


by Margret Aldrich
We often turn to deodorants and antiperspirants to smell fresh. There’s a difference between the two: Deodorants mask scent, while antiperspirants obstruct the sweat glands, stopping odor before it starts.
Although these products can be effective, there’s a chance they will make you stinkier. “Deodorants and antiperspirants have a big effect on the composition and diversity of our armpit microbiome,” says Callewaert. When deodorants or antiperspirants are used consistently, the armpit microbiome is stable, but when use is stopped or resumed, the axillary microbiome can change, leading to more odor-causing corynebacteria.
Antiperspirants may also be detrimental to your health: Though the research is inconclusive, they have been linked to breast cancer and Parkinson’s disease, and both antiperspirants and deodorants can contain nasty chemicals like parabens and hormone-disrupting fragrances. Antiperspirants may also be to blame for yellow underarm stains, which are thought to be caused by the interaction of sweat with the aluminum used in antiperspirants.
Instead of commercial antiperspirants or deodorants, choose clothing made from cotton and other natural textiles, and try out a homemade deodorant made from cornstarch, baking soda, and coconut oil, a natural antimicrobial.

Answers to Questions About the Zika Virus

Answers to Questions About the Zika Virus
The Zika virus is thought to have reached Asia from Africa at least 50 years ago.
The World Health Organization has warned that the Zika virus is "spreading explosively" in the Americas and that as many as 4 million people could be infected by the end of the year. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged pregnant women against travel to several countries in the Caribbean and Latin America where the outbreak is growing.

The infection appears to be linked to the development of unusually small heads and brain damage in newborns. Some pregnant women who have been to these regions should be tested for the infection, the agency also says. Here are some answers and advice about the outbreak.

1. What is the Zika virus?

A tropical infection new to the Western Hemisphere.

The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus. Although it was discovered in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947 and is common in Africa and Asia, it did not begin spreading widely in the Western Hemisphere until last May, when an outbreak occurred in Brazil.

Until now, almost no one on this side of the world had been infected. Few of us have immune defenses against the virus, so it is spreading rapidly. Millions of people in tropical regions of the Americas may have had it.

2. How is the virus spread?

Mosquitoes, but not every species.

Zika is spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes species, which can breed in a pool of water as small as a bottle cap and usually bite during the day. The aggressive yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, has spread most Zika cases, but that mosquito is common in the United States only in Florida, along the Gulf Coast, and in Hawaii - although it has been found as far north as Washington in hot weather.

The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is also known to transmit the virus, but it is not clear how efficiently. That mosquito ranges as far north as New York and Chicago in summer.

Although the virus is normally spread by mosquitoes, there has been one report of possible spread through blood transfusion and one of possible spread through sex. The virus was found on one occasion in semen.

3. How does Zika cause brain damage in infants?

Experts are only beginning to figure it out.

Scientists do not fully understand the connection. The possibility that the Zika virus causes microcephaly - unusually small heads and damaged brains - emerged in October, when doctors in northern Brazil noticed a surge in babies with the condition.

It may be that other factors, such as simultaneous infection with other viruses, are contributing to the rise; investigators may even find that Zika virus is not the main cause, although right now circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that it is.

It is not known how common microcephaly has become in Brazil's outbreak. About 3 million babies are born in Brazil each year. Normally, about 150 cases of microcephaly are reported, and Brazil says it is investigating nearly 4,000 cases.

4. What countries should pregnant women avoid?

About two dozen destinations mostly in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

The Pan American Health Organization believes that the virus will spread locally in every country in the Americas except Canada and Chile. The latest updates to the CDC's current list of countries and territories in which Zika virus is circulating can be found at

5. How do I know if I've been infected? Is there a test?

It's often a silent infection, and hard to diagnose.

Until recently, Zika was not considered a major threat because its symptoms are relatively mild. Only 1 of 5 people infected with the virus develop symptoms, which can include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Those infected usually do not have to be hospitalized.

There is no widely available test for Zika infection. Because it is closely related to dengue and yellow fever, it may cross-react with antibody tests for those viruses. To detect Zika, a blood or tissue sample from the first week in the infection must be sent to an advanced laboratory so the virus can be detected through sophisticated molecular testing.

6. I'm pregnant and I recently visited a country with Zika virus. What do I do?

Some women should get blood tests, and just about all should get ultrasound scans.

On Jan. 19, the CDC issued interim guidelines for women in that situation and for their doctors. The guidelines are complex - and may change.

In general, they say that pregnant women who have visited any area with Zika transmission should consult a doctor. Those who have had symptoms of infection like fever, rash, joint pain and bloodshot eyes during their trip or within two weeks of returning should have a blood test for the virus.

That recommendation is controversial, because even women with no symptoms may have been infected - 80 percent of those who get the virus have do not feel ill - and there is no evidence that babies are hurt only when the mother has been visibly ill. But at the time the guidelines were issued, the CDC and state health departments simply did not have the laboratory capacity to test every pregnant woman who visited Latin America and the Caribbean in the last nine months, as well as every pregnant woman in Puerto Rico.

Even for women who get blood tests, the news is not entirely reassuring. Tests for the virus itself only work in the first week or so after infection. Tests for antibodies can be done later, but they may yield false positives if the woman has had dengue, yellow fever or even a yellow fever vaccine.

Under the CDC's testing algorithm, pregnant women who have been to affected regions - whether they have symptoms or not, and whether they have negative or positive blood tests - should eventually have an ultrasound scans to see if their fetuses are developing microcephaly or calcification of the skull.

Unfortunately, an ultrasound normally cannot detect microcephaly before the end of the second trimester.

Some women also should have amniocentesis to test the fluid around the fetus for Zika virus. But amniocentesis involves piercing the amniotic sac with a long needle through the abdomen; it is slightly risky for the fetus and is not recommended before 15 weeks gestation.

Several companies are working on rapid tests for Zika infection. The CDC also usually distributes test kits and training materials to state health departments during outbreaks, which should increase testing capacity.

7. Does it matter when in her pregnancy a woman is infected with Zika virus?

Earlier in pregnancy seems to be more dangerous.

The most dangerous time is thought to be during the first trimester - when some women do not realize they are pregnant. Experts do not know how the virus enters the placenta and damages the growing brain of the fetus.

Closely related viruses, including yellow fever, dengue and West Nile, do not normally do so. Viruses from other families, including rubella (German measles) and cytomegalovirus, sometimes do.

8. Should infants be tested?

Microcephaly is not the only birth defect caused by the virus.

Federal health officials say that newborns should be tested for infection with the Zika virus if their mothers have visited or lived in any country experiencing an outbreak and if the mothers' own tests are positive or inconclusive.

The reason, officials said in interviews, is that infection with the virus could be linked to defects in vision and hearing, among other abnormalities, even if the child does not suffer microcephaly. The other defects may require further assessments and testing.

The new guidance applies only to infants of mothers who reported symptoms of Zika virus infection - a rash, joint pain, red eyes or fever - while living abroad in an affected country or within two weeks of travel to such a destination.

9. Is there a treatment?

No. The CDC does not recommend a particular antiviral medication for people infected with the Zika virus. The symptoms are mild - when they appear at all - and usually require only rest, nourishment and other supportive care.

10. Is there a vaccine? How should people protect themselves?

Protection is difficult in mosquito-infested regions.

There is no vaccine against the Zika virus. Efforts to make one have just begun, and creating and testing a vaccine normally takes years and costs hundreds of millions of dollars.

Because it is impossible to completely prevent mosquito bites, the CDC has advised pregnant women to avoid going to regions where Zika is being transmitted, and has advised women thinking of becoming pregnant to consult doctors before going.

Travelers to these countries are advised to avoid or minimize mosquito bites by staying in screened or air-conditioned rooms or sleeping under mosquito nets, wearing insect repellent at all times and wearing long pants, long sleeves, shoes and hats.

11. If Zika virus has been in Africa and Asia for decades, why wasn't the microcephaly problem detected earlier?

Until now, the virus never struck such a large population without immunity.
Microcephaly is rare, and it has many other causes, including infection of the fetus with rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus or toxoplasmosis (cat-litter disease); poisoning of the fetus by alcohol, mercury or radiation; or severe maternal malnutrition and diabetes. It is also caused by several gene mutations, including Down syndrome.

Until recently, health officials paid little attention to Zika virus. It circulated in the same regions as dengue and chikungunya, and compared to those two painful infections - nicknamed "break-bone fever" and "bending-up fever" - Zika was usually mild.

The virus is thought to have reached Asia from Africa at least 50 years ago. While it may have caused spikes in microcephaly as it first spread, there was no testing to pin down which of many possible causes was to blame.

In 2007, a Southeast Asian strain of the Zika virus began leap-frogging the South Pacific, sparking rapid outbreaks on islands where no one had immunity to it. Because island populations are small, rare side effects did not occur often enough to be noticed. But in 2013, during an outbreak in French Polynesia, which has 270,000 residents, doctors confirmed 42 cases of Guillain-Barrê syndrome, which can cause paralysis. That was about eight times the normal number and the first hint that Zika virus can attack the nervous system, which includes the brain.

Zika was first confirmed in Brazil - a country of 200 million - last May, and it spread like wildfire. The first alarms about microcephaly were raised only in October, when doctors in the northeastern state of Pernambuco reported a surge in babies born with it. Pernambuco has 9 million people and 129,000 annual births. In a typical year, nine are microcephalic infants.

By November 2015, when Brazil declared a health emergency, Pernambuco had had 646 such births.

Race to make Zika vaccine speeds up as virus spreads in 23 countries

City workers fumigate the Jardines de Merliot neighbourhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Santa Tecla, El Salvador. (REUTERS)

Companies and scientists are racing to create a Zika vaccine as concern grows over the mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to severe birth defects and is spreading quickly through the Americas.
Zika is now present in 23 countries and territories in the Americas. Brazil, the hardest-hit country, has reported around 3,700 cases of the devastating birth defect called microcephaly that are strongly suspected to be related to Zika.
The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO), stung by criticism that it reacted too slowly to West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, convenes an emergency meeting on Monday to help determine its response to the spread of the virus.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has activated an emergency operations centre staffed around the clock to address Zika, agency officials told Reuters.
On Thursday, the WHO said as many as 4 million people in the Americas may become infected by Zika, adding urgency to the research efforts. Vaccine developers made clear a vaccine for widespread public use is at least months, if not years, away.
The closest prospect may be from a consortium including drugmaker Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc <INO.O> that could have a vaccine ready for emergency use before year-end, according to one of its lead developers. Inovio’s share price gained more than 15 percent in Friday trading.
Canadian scientist Gary Kobinger told Reuters on Thursday the first stage of testing on humans could begin as early as August. If successful, the vaccine might be used during a public health emergency by October or November, said Kobinger, who helped develop a trial vaccine for the Ebola virus.
Privately owned vaccine developer Hawaii Biotech Inc said it began a formal programme to test a Zika vaccine last fall as the virus started to gain traction in Brazil, although it has no timetable yet for clinical trials.
“Right now, we are in the pre-clinical stage, as I suspect everyone is,” Chief Executive Officer Dr. Elliot Parks told Reuters.
Another private vaccine developer, Boston-based Replikins Ltd, said it was preparing to start animal studies on a Zika vaccine in the next 10 days. Data from the trials on mice and rabbits would likely be out in the next couple of months, Replikins Chairman Samuel Bogoch told Reuters.
“No one has the $500 million on hand to take it (a vaccine) all the way to human trials. Somewhere along the course we hope to have big pockets join us,” Bogoch said.
‘Fight the mosquito’
Zika had been viewed as a relatively mild illness until Brazilian health officials identified it as a matter of concern for pregnant women. While a direct causal relationship has not been established, scientists strongly suspect a link between Zika and thousands of children born in Brazil with abnormally small heads, brain defects and impaired vision.
There is no treatment for Zika infection.
Efforts to combat Zika are focussed on protecting people from being bitten and on eradicating mosquitoes, a tough task in many parts of Latin America, where people live in poverty and there are plentiful breeding grounds for the insect.
“We do not have a vaccine for Zika yet. The only thing we can do is fight the mosquito,” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said on Friday, reiterating her call for a national eradication effort.
Rousseff said tests for the development of a vaccine would begin next week at the Butantan Institute, one of Brazil’s leading biomedical research centers in Sao Paulo.
US President Barack Obama spoke on Friday with Rousseff about the spread of the virus, the White House said.
“The leaders agreed on the importance of collaborative efforts to deepen our knowledge, advance research and accelerate work to develop better vaccines and other technologies to control the virus,” the White House said in a statement.
Zika has hit Brazil just as it prepares to host the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 5-21, an event that draws hundreds of thousands of athletes, team officials and spectators. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) assured teams on Friday the Olympics would be safe from Zika, but urged visitors to carefully protect themselves.
US lawmakers have begun to press the Obama administration for details of its response to Zika. At least 31 people in the country have been infected, all of them after travel to affected countries.
The US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is planning a hearing on Zika “very soon,” said Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who called the threat posed by the virus to the United States a “big concern.”
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said he did not expect the United States to be hit hard like other some countries in South America and the Caribbean.
“We prepare for the possibility of a major outbreak but we believe it is unlikely to happen,” Fauci said.

Strong 7 magnitude earthquake strikes eastern Russia

Russia earthquake, quake in russia, eastern russia earthquake, 7.0 quake in russia, 7.0 earthhquake russia, russia earthquake damage

A strong earthquake of at least a 7.0 magnitude struck in Russia’s Far East on Saturday, US and Russian scientists said, sending tremors across the coastal peninsula.
The US Geological Survey said the quake occurred at 0325 GMT at a depth of 160 kilometres (100 miles), about 95 kilometres northeast of the Russian town of Yelizovo in the mountainous Kamchatka Krai region. It put the magnitude at 7.0.
The Russian Academy of Sciences said on its website the first tremor, which it said measured 7.3 in magnitude, was followed minutes later by a 5.2 magnitude aftershock.
Residents of regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky felt the earth tremble, a spokesman for the local branch of the Academy told Russia’s Interfax news agency.
The quake struck in an area close to the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of fault lines that circle the Pacific Ocean which is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The National and Pacific Tsunami Warning Centers said there was no risk the earthquake had caused a tsunami.
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Friday, 29 January 2016

Best Kerala Recipes

Prepare yourself for a culinary journey that canvases everything from exquisite seafood to ignored vegetables, from coconut milk to crispy curry leaves, from spluttering mustard seeds to soft and spongy appams. Prepare yourself for a scrumptious ride to 'God's own country'.

The food of Kerala is one that needs no introduction: It's simple, zesty, flavourful and offers an intelligent combination of potent spices. Unlike the cuisine of its neighbouring states, the food of Kerala prides itself on being predominantly non-vegetarian. You've got chicken, mutton, pork, beef and a thrilling range of seafood - mussels, crab, tiger prawns, king prawns, tiny prawns, oysters, sardines, mackerel, tuna and gorgeous red lobsters.

Mallu food isn't just about the recipes; it reflects a meeting of cultures. Kerala hindus have a largely vegetarian menu and use coconuts that grow along the coast. Syrian Christians eat more fish and meat, and the Muslims make delicious breads and sizzling biryani. But some techniques and habits remain common through the state; vegetables are cooked with mild spices and steamed in their own juices or cooked in yogurt/ coconut milk. Rice is the staple food and red rice is commonly eaten. Coconut oil is preferred for cooking and is what gives Malayali cuisine a distinct taste. (Why people eat with their hands in Kerala)

Kerala is also known as the 'land of spices' and has attracted traders and travelers for centuries. Its mountainous terrain has the perfect climate to support the cultivation ofpeppernutmeg, cardamomcinnamoncloves and turmeric. It's probably why they're prominently used in Mallu cooking. Coconut is an indispensable hero of the Kerala cuisine. It's used in everything - from hot curries to soothing desserts. Besides enhancing the taste of the dish, it blends and tones down the potency of the spices. Unripe mango is also used in some fish and vegetable preparations. So is lime juice and vinegar. The pulp extraction of tamarind (in the form of pulp) is also used very often to give the food a unique sour taste. (10 things you must eat in Kerala)

We at NDTV Cooks are crazy about Mallu food which is why we take great pride in listing down some of the most top-rated recipes we've gathered through the years. Most of them are ridiculously easy while others need some serious craft, but we promise you're going to love them all.

1.Chemeen Pollichathu (Pan seared prawns)Recipe by Chef Laiju Jameson, Taj Kumarakom, Kerala
This will get you drooling over your keyboard. Prawns are marinated in beautiful spices and lime juice, and cooked in coconut milk till the they've soaked in all the piquant masalathey possibly can.
Recipe video
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2.Fish Mappas (Fish curry) - Recipe by Chef Laiju Jameson, Taj Kumarakom, Kerala
An elegant fish curry cooked in coconut milk that makes the perfect partner for a plate of steamy appams.
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3.Meen Murringakka Curry - Recipe by Chef P.T Mathai, Taj Varkala, Kerala
This killer fish curry comes from the house of Taj in Kerala. Sardines are cooked with pulp-y tamarind, coconut and drumsticks and then tempered with onions and red chillies.
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4.Cheera Thoran - Recipe by Chef Ritesh Venu, Marriott Welcome Hotel
Kerala style stir-fry is a beautiful way to cook fresh vegetables. It can be served a side dish with some kind of curry or grilled meat of your choice. It's got clean, simple flavours that work well with rice, appamsdosa and malabar paratha.
Recipe video
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5.Kozikode Biryani - Recipe by Chef Veena Arora, Chef De Cuisine, The Spice Route
Don't mistake this for just another biryani recipe. It's crossed generations and is made all along the Malabar area in Kerala - from Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thalassery to Kasargod. What you need for this stellar dish is a huge amount of spices, a small amount of chilli and one perfectly boiled egg.
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6.Kerala Fish CurryRecipe by Chef Aruna Kirpal
This features high on every Mallu restaurant's menu and lunch table. All you need to do is pick a fleshy white fish and smear it with onion, tomatoes, garlic, green chillies and coconut paste - Fry, temper and serve!
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7.Pomfret Moilee  - Recipe by Chef Asif Ali, Casino Hotel,Cochin, Kerala
The recipes is simple, easy and sensational. A fleshy pomfret, some mustard seeds, curry leaves, tomatoes and turmeric and you've got yourself a cracker of a dish.
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8.Chicken Stew with Appams - Recipe by Chef Joey Matthew
Appam is a revolutionary food. It's got a soft and thick center, a paper thin outside and can be paired with almost anything. Chicken stew on the other hand is also a regular Mallu delicacy. Chunks of chicken or meat are bathed in a beautifully spiced and dreamy coconut gravy and served steaming hot.
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9.Erissery - Recipe by Chef Ambili Kurian
This dish is enjoyed as a side dish throughout Kerala in weddings and festivals. It's two star ingredients are pumpkins and coconut.

10.Karimeen Pollichathu - Recipe by Chef Raju, Hotel Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom, Kerala
Unwrapping a steamed fish is as good as unwrapping a new present. Marinated pearl spot fish is wrapped in a huge banana leaf, steamed still done and served with parboiled rice.
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