Scientists reveal dying patients CAN hear last words of family at bedside as they slip away

Goodbye, my love… scientists reveal dying patients CAN hear last words of family at bedside as they slip away

  • Patients can still hear when transitioning from life to death, study finds 
  • It’s not known whether they can understand what they’re hearing or just hear
  • The study is the first to run tests into unconscious hearing at the end of life 

Patients can still hear what is being said to them when they are nearing the end of their life, a study has found. 

Even when the patient is unconscious and close to death, they still have their sense of hearing and can hear what their loved ones are saying to them. 

The study by the University of British Columbia focuses on patients transitioning from life to death, when the body begins to shut down, rather than people in a coma, The Times reported.  

It is the first study to run tests into unconscious hearing at the end of life. 

Even when the patient is unconscious and close to death, they still have their sense of hearing and can hear what their loved ones are saying to them (file photo)

Researchers measured electrical activity in the patients’s brain with a hat containing 64 electrodes. 

They identified brain signals generated in response to complex tonal changes by playing a series of tone patterns to a young and healthy control group before replicating the test on a small number of hospice patients.  

The researchers checked for the same signals when the patient was both responsive and unresponsive and found brain activity between the two were very similar, as well as to the activity found in the control group. 

Some patients showed brain activity which was a little more complex. 

It is not known whether the patient can understand what they’re hearing or whether they can simply hear the words. 

Lead author Elizabeth Blundon said that patients transitioning from life to death might recognise their favourite piece of music.  

It is not known whether the patient can understand what they're hearing or whether they can simply hear the words (file photo)

It is not known whether the patient can understand what they’re hearing or whether they can simply hear the words (file photo)

The study could explain stories of patients ‘waiting’ for their loved ones to arrive at their bedside before dying. 

Hilary Jordan would chat to her husband Ian for almost 31 years after he suffered a head injury in a crash. 

He was working as a police officer in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1987 at the time.

She told the Canadian Press news agency that she said something to let him know it was OK if he left them. She had never said it before and shortly afterwards he passed away. 

Another important area for further study is whether patients also keep their sense of touch until the end of their life. 

Ms Blundon added that it’s not possible for a patient to be able to smell or taste anything after they lose consciousness. 

Leak reveals user information TikTok shares with police, including IP addresses, phone model, more

Leak reveals what kind of user information TikTok shares with police, including IP address history, phone model, Facebook ID and other related social media accounts

  • Leaked police documents reveal TikTok turning over user information 
  • Shared information included phone number, phone model, history of IP addresses used, Facebook ID, and other related social media accounts
  • Under US law, social media companies must comply with law enforcement requests for information made through valid subpoenas or court orders

Newly leaked police documents reveal how the video sharing app TikTok shares information about its users with law enforcement under certain conditions.

The information covered a range of personal and technical details, including the specific model of phone the account holder owned, the number of different IP addresses they had connected through, and the phone number attached to the account.

The company also provided information about what other social media accounts the user had, as well as the Facebook account used to sign up for their TikTok account.

Leaked police documents show that TikTok sometimes provides law enforcement with information about its users, including their phone numbers, Facebook ID, other linked social media accounts, and specific phone model used

The Facebook account information also includes a ‘Binding ID,’ an alphanumeric code used to identify specific Facebook accounts that connect with outside services or apps, according to a report in Business Insider.

The documents were dated from 2020 and were obtained as part of Blue Leaks, a collection of more than a million documents taken from hacked police servers from around the US.

TikTok has been open about its cooperation with requests from law enforcement agencies in the past.

In a 2019 transparency report, TikTok said it had received 100 requests from law enforcement over a six month period, asking for information on 107 accounts.

The company says that it filled 82 of those requests, though the exact nature of the information and the specific circumstances of the requests remains unclear.

Under US law social media companies are obligated to share information with law enforcement when requested through a subpoena or court order.

In 2019, TikTok said it had received 100 requests for user information from law enforcement during a six month period, and complied with 82 of those requests

In 2019, TikTok said it had received 100 requests for user information from law enforcement during a six month period, and complied with 82 of those requests

TikTok has come under particular scrutiny in recent months both from government officials and celebrities uncomfortable with the company’s privacy policies.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration was considering banning the app.

‘I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at,’ Pompeo said.

High profile video game streamer Ninja, who rose to international fame playing Fortnite on Twitch, recently announced he has deleted the app over privacy concerns.

The US Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice are also reportedly investigating TikTok over allegations it violated a 2019 agreement focused on children’s privacy.

TikTok has denied charges that there’s anything illegal or inappropriate about its data collection, and disputes charges made by some government officials that it is spying on behalf of the Chinese government.

‘We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users,’ a TikTok spokesperson said in a recent statement.

‘We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.’

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions.

TikTok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.

It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.

In 2019, it became the second-most downloaded app globally behind Whatsapp.

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.

Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok. 

Most children use the app to film themselves lip-syncing to chart hits.

It offers users a raft if colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos.

The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion).

Iron Age murder victim buried with his hands tied together found in Buckinghamshire

An Iron Age murder victim buried with his hands bound has been found by a 200ft-wide wooden circle in Buckinghamshire by archaeologists clearing land for HS2.

The grisly discovery was made at Wellwick Farm, where land is being prepared for the Wendover Green Tunnel and North Cutting as part of the high-speed railway line.

Other finds from the site span from the Neolithic to the Medieval period — some 4,000 years — and include an Iron Age ring and a 1st Century gold British coin.

The wooden monument — a circle of posts around 213 feet (65 metres) in diameter — was aligned with the winter solstice, just like Stonehenge.

The find suggests that the land west of Wendover was persistently used for ceremonial activity, the project’s archaeologists said.

The exact age of the murder victim’s skeleton is not yet known, but experts said it must be at least 2,000 years old. 

The Iron Age murder victim buried with his hands bound was found by a 200ft-wide wooden circle in Buckinghamshire by archaeologists clearing land for HS2

The discovery was made at at Wellwick Farm, where land is being prepared for the Wendover Green Tunnel and North Cutting as part of the high-speed railway line. Pictured, the 213-feet-diameter circle of wooden posts that experts believe was used ceremonially

The discovery was made at at Wellwick Farm, where land is being prepared for the Wendover Green Tunnel and North Cutting as part of the high-speed railway line. Pictured, the 213-feet-diameter circle of wooden posts that experts believe was used ceremonially

Other finds from the site span from the Neolithic to the Medieval period — some 4,000 years — and include an Iron Age ring and a 1st Century gold British coin, pictured

Other finds from the site span from the Neolithic to the Medieval period — some 4,000 years — and include an Iron Age ring and a 1st Century gold British coin, pictured

Project archaeologist Rachel Wood said: ‘We already knew that Buckinghamshire is rich in archaeology — but discovering a site showing human activity spanning 4,000 years came as a bit of a surprise to us.

‘The death of the Wellwick Farm man remains a mystery to us but there aren’t many ways you end up in a bottom of a ditch, face down, with your hands bound.’

However, she added: ‘We hope our osteologists will be able to shed more light on this potentially gruesome death.

‘The large wooden ceremonial structure, the Roman lead burial and the mystery of the skeleton at Wellwick Farm helps bring alive the fact that people lived, worked and died in this area long before we came along.’

Archaeologists believe that the Bronze and Iron Ages saw Wellwick Farm occupied — as they have identified traces of at least one roundhouse, along with structures that could be animal pens and pits used for the disposal of waste food.

Archaeologists believe that the Bronze and Iron Ages saw Wellwick Farm occupied — as they have identified traces of at least one roundhouse, along with structures that could be animal pens and pits used for the disposal of waste food. In the Roman period, however, residents appear to have moved to the nearby town of Wendover — which still exists today — while the Wellwick Farm site was instead used for burials, such as the one pictured

Archaeologists believe that the Bronze and Iron Ages saw Wellwick Farm occupied — as they have identified traces of at least one roundhouse, along with structures that could be animal pens and pits used for the disposal of waste food. In the Roman period, however, residents appear to have moved to the nearby town of Wendover — which still exists today — while the Wellwick Farm site was instead used for burials, such as the one pictured

The team found a square enclosure containing a skeleton buried in a lead-lined coffin (pictured) — an expensive form of interment that indicates the remains must have belonged to an individual of considerable status

The team found a square enclosure containing a skeleton buried in a lead-lined coffin (pictured) — an expensive form of interment that indicates the remains must have belonged to an individual of considerable status

In the Roman period, however, residents appear to have moved to the nearby town of Wendover — which still exists today — while the Wellwick Farm site was instead used for burials.

The team found a square enclosure containing a skeleton buried in a lead-lined coffin — an expensive form of interment that indicates the remains must have belonged to an individual of considerable status. 

‘Before we build the low-carbon, high-speed railway between London and Birmingham, we are uncovering a wealth of archaeology that will enrich our cultural heritage,’ said HS2 lead archaeologist Mike Court.

‘Our discoveries will be shared with communities and the public through virtual lectures, open days and in an upcoming BBC archaeology documentary.

‘The sheer scale of possible discoveries, the geographical span and the vast range of our history to be unearthed makes HS2’s archaeology programme a unique opportunity to tell the story of Buckinghamshire and Britain.’

'We already knew that Buckinghamshire is rich in archaeology — but discovering a site showing human activity spanning 4,000 years came as a bit of a surprise to us,' said project archaeologist Rachel Wood. Pictured, archaeologists stand on the outline of a horse shoe -shaped funerary enclosure believe to date back to the Iron Age

‘We already knew that Buckinghamshire is rich in archaeology — but discovering a site showing human activity spanning 4,000 years came as a bit of a surprise to us,’ said project archaeologist Rachel Wood. Pictured, archaeologists stand on the outline of a horse shoe -shaped funerary enclosure believe to date back to the Iron Age

'Before we build the low-carbon, high-speed railway between London and Birmingham, we are uncovering a wealth of archaeology that will enrich our cultural heritage,' said HS2 lead archaeologist Mike Court. Pictured, an Iron Age ring found at the Wellwick Farm site

‘Before we build the low-carbon, high-speed railway between London and Birmingham, we are uncovering a wealth of archaeology that will enrich our cultural heritage,’ said HS2 lead archaeologist Mike Court. Pictured, an Iron Age ring found at the Wellwick Farm site

The discoveries were made at Wellwick Farm, where land is being prepared for the Wendover Green Tunnel and North Cutting as part of the high-speed railway line

HS2 WILL LINK LONDON, THE WEST MIDLANDS, LEEDS AND MANCHESTER

HS2 (High Speed 2) is a plan to construct a a new high-speed rail linking London, West Midlands, Leeds and Manchester.

The line is to be built in a ‘Y’ configuration.  London will be on the bottom of the ‘Y’, Birmingham at the centre, Leeds at the top right and Manchester at the top left. 

Work on Phase One began in 2017 and the government plans envisage the line being operational by 2026. 

The HS2 project is being developed by High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd. 

The project has a projected cost of £56 billion ($77 billion), up from the initial cost of £32.7 billion ($45 billion) in 2010. 

Last year’s annual report showed that the company established by the government to build the railway spent £500 million in the year to March 31 – up almost 30 per cent from £352.9 million the year before.

It takes the total amount spent by HS2 so far to more than £1.9billion since 2009.

Separate accounts published by the Department for Transport also showed it had spent another £366 million on HS2.

The bulk of this was on compensating individuals and businesses who own property and land near the planned line.

People with high blood sugar levels are more than TWICE as likely to die from Covid-19

Patients with Covid-19 and high blood sugar levels are twice as likely to die from the coronavirus than those with lower levels – even without a diabetes diagnosis, a study shows.

Researchers working in China looked back at patients admitted to different hospitals in Wuhan with high blood sugar levels who later died of the Covid-19. 

Previous studies have shown a link between abnormally high blood sugar and a greater risk of death from pneumonia, stroke, heart attacks, trauma and surgery.

A link has also been shown between diabetes and a greater risk of death from Covid-19, according to the Huazhong University of Science and Technology team.

And the researchers say their findings show that, even without a diabetes diagnosis, high blood sugar is linked to a raised risk of dying from coronavirus. 

They recommend hospitals introduce blood glucose level screening when patients are admitted with coronavirus symptoms. 

A link has also been shown between diabetes and a greater risk of death from Covid-19, according to the Huazhong University of Science and Technology team. They recommend hospitals introduce blood glucose level screening (above, stock image) when patients are admitted with coronavirus symptoms

Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine, University of Glasgow, not involved in the study, said the reports findings are in line with expectations.

‘We know, for example, that those with higher blood sugar levels will have more severe disease, because more severe disease will stress metabolic pathways more, leading sugar levels to rise in the sickest patients,’ Sattar said.

The Chinese team looked at fasting blood glucose levels at admission from January 24, 2020 to February 10, 2020 in two hospitals in Wuhan, China.  

They also examined demographic and clinical data, 28-day outcomes, in-hospital complications and the severity of pneumonia in patients with the condition. 

A total of 605 COVID-19 patients were covered by the study, including 114 who died in hospital – with an average age of 59 years.

Thirty-four per cent had one or more underlying conditions, but had not been diagnosed with diabetes, with high blood pressure being the most common. 

Almost one third of patients had blood sugar levels so high that if they were constantly at that level they would be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  

The results showed that patients in the highest blood sugar level group were 2.3 times more likely to die than those in the lowest, a statistically significant result. 

Those in the middle group were 71 per cent more likely to die than those in the lowest group, although this result only had borderline statistical significance. 

The data also showed that men admitted with higher blood sugar levels were 75 per cent more likely to die than women with similar levels.  

The authors said they have shown high blood sugar levels are an indicator of a greater chance of dying from coronavirus or suffering complications from the virus. 

‘These results indicate that our study included both undiagnosed diabetic patients and non-diabetic patients with hyperglycaemia caused by an acute blood-glucose disorder,’ the authors wrote. 

‘Patients with conditions not related to diabetes, such as severe sepsis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and traumatic brain injury tend to have abnormally high blood sugar.’

There were limitations to the study, for example the team didn’t have data on measures taken to lower blood sugar levels such as insulin and its impact. 

‘What the authors cannot confirm is whether differential targeting of blood sugar levels in those admitted leads to differences in outcomes,’ Professor Sattar said. 

‘It would be a step too far to assume from this study that targeting blood sugar more aggressively to lower levels than currently practised in hospitalised patients would make a difference. 

‘Doctors are already testing sugar levels in such patients so this is not new either but whether these levels help determine outcomes when more clinical data are factored in, is also not certain.’ 

Based on their findings, the researchers say there is a link between increased risk of dying from coronavirus and high blood sugar even without a diabetes diagnosis

Based on their findings, the researchers say there is a link between increased risk of dying from coronavirus and high blood sugar even without a diabetes diagnosis

The authors suggest that possible mechanisms for this increased mortality include changes to the way blood clots form and the function of the walls of blood vessels. 

The other major suggestion is the overproduction of inflammatory cytokines (small proteins important in cell signaling) produced by the immune system – the so-called cytokine storm. 

‘In conclusion, a fasting blood glucose level of 7.0 mmol/l or higher at admission is an independent predictor for 28-day mortality in patients with Covid-19 without previous diagnosis of diabetes,’ the team wrote.

‘Blood sugar testing and control should be recommended to all Covid-19 patients even if they do not have pre-existing diabetes, as most Covid-19 patients are prone to glucose metabolic disorders. 

‘During a pandemic of Covid-19, measuring fasting blood glucose can facilitate the assessment of prognosis and early intervention of hyperglycaemia to help improve the overall outcomes in treatment of Covid-19.’

The findings have been published in the journal Diabetologia

In the UK about 90 per cent of diabetic adults have Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

There are two main types of diabetes: 

Type 1, where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. 

Type 2, where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin. 

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type 1. 

In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have Type 2. 

Reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes can be achieved through healthy eating, regular exercise and achieving a healthy body weight. 

The main symptoms of diabetes include: feeling very thirsty, urinating more frequently (particularly at night), feeling very tired, weight loss, and loss of muscle bulk.

Source: NHS 

NASA updates policies to protect the moon and Mars from human germs that may hitchhike on astronauts

NASA updates policies to protect the moon and Mars from human germs that may hitchhike on astronauts in a bid to not contaminate samples returning to Earth

  • NASA is set to send crewed missions to the moon in 2024 and Mars in the 2030s
  • The agency is updating its policies that protect outer space from human germs 
  • The moon has been classified in two categories to help astronauts prepare
  • One part does not hold life and does not have any requirements
  • The other is filled with craters that have water ice and may hold life
  • Human microbes are not allowed on Mars and NASA will work on solutions
  • The idea is to not contaminate the surfaces where samples may be pulled from 

As NASA gears up to send humans to the moon and Mars it is also working on new advances to protect the space terrains from human germs.

The American space agency released updates to its Planetary Protection Policies that provide new requirements for both astronaut and robotic missions.

The added policies note that no biological matter is to be left on or around the moon and h humans are to not contaminate any part of Mars or return to Earth with germs from the Red Planet.

The first woman and next man are set to head to the moon in 2024 and the first crewed mission to Mars is planned for the 2030s – and as early as 2035.

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The added policies note that no biological matter is left on or around the moon. However, the moon is now seperated into two categories – one where life may exist and the other where it will not. This allows astronauts to better prepare for the Artemis mission

NASA’s Planetary Protection Policies is designed to prevent biological contamination of both Martian worlds and our Earth in the event germs from another planet find their back with a mission.

And it has been a guiding principle for astronomers for over 50 years.

A major focus of the policies has been to protect the Solar System from human germs, along with keeping humans on Earth safe – NASA does not want astronauts brining back Martian microbes.

However, as the space agency gears up for future missions to the moon and Mars, it is now rethinking the guidelines and has released ‘interm directives.’

The update also states humans are to not contaminate any part of Mars with biological materials or return to Earth with germs from the Red Planet

The update also states humans are to not contaminate any part of Mars with biological materials or return to Earth with germs from the Red Planet

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a webinar announcing the new proposed changes: ‘We need to relook at these policies because we can’t go to Mars with humans if the principle that we’re living by is that we can’t have any microbial substances with us.’

‘Because that’s just not possible.’

The first directive focuses on the moon, as there is a ‘rare risk that pollution carried by a spacecraft could jeopardize future missions.’

The document breaks the lunar orb into two different categories – the ‘vast majority’ and ‘the very tips of the North and South Pole.’

The first category does not have requirements, as NASA determined life will not be found in these areas.

However, the second contains craters with water ice that are targets for the moon mission, Artemis.

‘We need to make sure that when we go to the Moon, we’re protecting those very important scientific sites where there is a risk of… harmfully contaminating the Moon from a biological perspective,’ Bridenstine said.

‘Under Category II, you can go there, but we just have to be really careful to inventory all of the biology that we may be taking with us.’

For Mars, the space agency is not only concerned about contaminating the Martian surface, but also it contaminating robots and astronauts for when they return to Earth.

The Artemis mission will send the first woman and next man to the moon around 2024. Humans are set to fly to Mars in the 2030s

The Artemis mission will send the first woman and next man to the moon around 2024. Humans are set to fly to Mars in the 2030s

This directive establishes a path from knowledge gained from the International Space Station, Gateway, lunar surface operations, as well as robotic missions to Mars will be leveraged to prevent harmful forward and backward harmful biological contamination.

‘It’s vital that NASA’s regulations remain synchronized with our capabilities and plans,’ said Bridenstine.

‘This NID will enable the human exploration of Mars, creating new opportunities for awe inspiring science and innovative commercial activities. I believe science and human exploration are complimentary endeavors and I’m excited to see these policy reforms open up a new era of discovery.’

NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis mission

Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology. 

NASA has chosen her to personify its path back to the Moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2024 –  including the first woman and the next man.

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. 

Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond. 

During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.

It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a three-week mission. 

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before. 

With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars. 

The will take crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans aboard.

The SLS rocket will from an initial configuration capable of sending more than 26 metric tons to the Moon, to a final configuration that can send at least 45 metric tons. 

Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet the most challenging crew and cargo mission needs in deep space.

Eventually NASA seeks to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.

The space agency hopes this colony will uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advancements and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy.