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What a pain: The iPad neck plagues women more

“iPad neck,” sometimes called “tablet neck,” is usually associated with sitting without back support, such as on a bench or on the ground, or slumping over the tablet while it rests in the user’s lap. Other postures significantly associated with pain included using tablets while lying on the side or back.

  • The condition is more prevalent among young adults than older adults.
  • Women were 2.059 times more likely to experience musculoskeletal symptoms during iPad use than men.
  • Those with a history of neck and shoulder pain reported experiencing more neck and shoulder symptoms during tablet computer use.

UNLV physical therapy professor Szu-Ping Lee, lead author of the study, said the results concern him, especially given the growing popularity of tablet computers, e-book readers, and other connected devices for personal, school, and business purposes.

“Such high prevalence of neck and shoulder symptoms, especially among the younger populations, presents a substantial burden to society,” he said.

“We were able to quantify exactly how frequent those problems are and what common factors contribute to them,” Lee said. The top risk factor was surprising. “Theoretically, the more hours you spend bent over an iPad, the more neck and shoulder pain you experience — but what we found is that time is not the most important risk factor. Rather, it’s gender and specific postures.”

UNLV — in conjunction with researchers from hospitals and physical therapy centers across Southern Nevada — conducted a survey of 412 public university students, staff, faculty, and alumni (135 men and 275 women) who are touchscreen tablet computer users about their device usage habits and neck/shoulder complaints. (No word on how many of those surveyed completed the questionnaire on an iPad.)

The most frequently reported symptoms were stiffness, soreness, or aching pain in the neck, upper back/shoulder, arms/hands, or head. Most (55 percent) reported moderate discomfort, but 10 percent said their symptoms were severe and 15 percent said it affected their sleep.

Postures that led to pain included those that cause the tablet user to “slump” over and gaze downward:

  • Sitting without back support (This increased odds of pain by over two times)
  • Sitting with the device in the lap
  • Sitting in a chair with the tablet placed on a flat desk surface

Flexing the neck forward for long periods of time can put pressure on the spine, causing neck and shoulder muscle strain and pain.

Researchers found that the group of university students, staff, and alumni they studied reported a higher prevalence of neck and shoulder pain than the general population — likely attributed to posture and sedentary behavior commonly observed among people in a university setting. Researchers noted that students especially are less likely to have a dedicated work space while on the go so might sit in uncomfortable postures such as slouched cross-legged on the floor when studying on their tablet computers.

Still, only 46 percent of respondents said they’d stop using the device when experiencing discomfort.

Regarding gender differences, 70 percent of female respondents reported experiencing symptoms compared to just under 30 percent of men. Interestingly, women were also more likely (77 percent) to use their tablets while sitting on the floor than men (23 percent).

The pain disparity among genders might be explained by size and movement differences. According to the researchers, women’s tendency to have lower muscle strength and smaller stature (for example: shorter arms and narrow shoulders) might lead them to assume extreme neck and shoulder postures while typing.

Preventing iPad Neck

Lee offered these tips:

  • Sit with in a chair with back support. “And perhaps that’s something for building planners to think about: Installing benches or other chairs without back support invites people to crunch down with iPads in their laps, contributing to posture-related pain problems,” Lee said.
  • Use a posture reminder device. Also known as “posture trainers” or “posture coaches,” these small, wearable devices adhere directly to the skin or clip on to clothing and beep to let you know when you’re slouching.
  • Take a stand. Place your iPad on a stand (rather than a flat surface) and attach a keyboard in order to achieve a more upright posture when using your tablet.
  • Exercise to strengthen neck and shoulder muscles. This is particularly important for women who experience neck and shoulder pain.

    “Using these electronic devices is becoming a part of our modern lives,” Lee said. “In order to reduce the risk of developing long-term neck and shoulder problems, we need to think about how technology like tablet computer affects human ergonomics and posture.”

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Lyme disease cases among children are on the rise in western Pennsylvania

Lyme disease cases among children are on the rise in western Pennsylvania, according to researchers from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. The findings are published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne infection in the United States and the geographic expansion of Lyme disease has been identified by state and local health departments and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies, but until now, western Pennsylvania was not considered a Lyme endemic area.

“This study details the shift of western Pennsylvania from a Lyme-naïve to a Lyme endemic area, highlighting the change in symptoms seen clinically and the types of doctors caring for these patients,” said Brian Campfield, M.D., pediatric infectious diseases specialist, Division of Infectious Diseases, Children’s Hospital. “Our experience may serve as a model for other areas of the United States that are at risk for a Lyme epidemic.”

Lyme disease, caused by the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted through the bite of a tick commonly known as the deer tick or black-legged tick. The infection can be treated with an antibiotic, but if it is not treated it can lead to many problems, including muscle and joint aches, facial paralysis, arthritis and brain inflammation.

The researchers found that cases of pediatric Lyme disease increased exponentially over a 10-year period from 2003 to 2013 in western Pennsylvania, with the highest burden of infection shifting from rural to non-rural areas. Additionally, children from different areas seek health care for Lyme disease in different locations at different stages of infection: Children from cities and suburbs were more likely to first be seen in a hospital emergency department with symptoms of early Lyme disease, such as a rash; whereas children from rural areas were more likely to first be seen by their primary care provider with symptoms of late Lyme disease, such as arthritis.

From 2003 through 2005, in total, there were five cases of Lyme disease confirmed in children in western Pennsylvania. In 2013, the last year with complete data in the study, there were 285 children diagnosed with Lyme disease.

“Western Pennsylvania is now endemic for Lyme disease and we can expect that this burden of pediatric Lyme disease will persist for the foreseeable future,” said Andrew Nowalk, M.D., Ph.D., pediatric infectious diseases specialist, Division of Infectious Diseases, Children’s Hospital. “Being a geographically distinct area that is west of the Appalachians and south of the Great Lakes, it is concerning that few natural geographic barriers exist to limit the spread of the tick or the infection that causes Lyme disease. It is very possible that other areas throughout the Midwest, Ohio River Valley and Southeast will experience a similar change in Lyme disease burden. Perhaps, our clinical experience can inform public health initiatives and health care utilization needs.”

Additional authors on the study are Taylor Eddens, M.D., Ph.D., and Alyce Anderson, Ph.D., both from the University of Pittsburgh-Carnegie Mellon University Medical Scientist Training Program; and Daniel Kaplan, M.D., from New York University Langone Health.

This work was supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grant K08HL128809 and National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases grant F30AI114146.

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How to use Android Messages for web to text from your computer

Android Messages for Web on computer

Android Messages for web is here. Much like WhatsApp for web, Messages for web lets you pair your computer to your phone, so you can send and receive SMS from either device. The pairing process is simple, as is the interface. To get you started, here’s a quick guide on how to use Android Messages for web on your computer.

Note: If you don’t see Messages for Web in step three below, Messages for Web is not yet available for your device. You can force enable it with root access, otherwise, you’ll just have to wait a little longer as it is made available to all.

How to use Android Messages for web

  1. Open the Messages app on your smartphone
  2. Tap the overflow menu (three dots in the top right-hand corner)
  3. Tap “Messages for Web”
  4. On your computer, open https://messages.android.com/ in your browser of choice
  5. On your phone, tap “Scan QR code” and scan the code on the webpage you just opened on your computer
  6. You’ve now linked Messages on your phone to Messages for Web on your computer. You should now see the Messages interface in your browser window
  7. You will be prompted to “Remember this computer” which means your phone will remain paired with the browser interface even if you close the tab in which it appearsAndroid Messages for Web interface
  8. Your message history will appear in the left-hand window with your expanded conversations on the right
  9. Tap the overflow menu to access settings, archived messages, send feedback, get help or sign out
  10. In the settings area, you can enable a dark theme, as I have done, change your notification and message preview settings, pair and unpair your phone and computer, set an alert for when your phone is using data instead of Wi-Fi, and enable accessibility options like keyboard shortcuts and high contrast modeAndroid Messages for Web dark theme
  11. To reply to an existing message, simply click the message in the history list window to open that conversation
  12. To start a new conversation, click the “+ New conversation” button at the top of your message history list, then just type the name, number or email address of the contact you wish to send a message to
  13. Type your message in the text entry field at the bottom of the right-hand window. You can add emoji, stickers, and attachments as you normally would on your phone, and then click the arrow button to send.
  14. If you have a dual-SIM phone, you’ll be able to select which SIM card to send the message from on the left-hand side of the text entry field by clicking the down arrow
  15. You can mute a conversation by clicking the bell icon at the top right of the expanded view, or open the overflow menu for further options
  16. You can access additional notification and messaging settings on your smartphone

There you have it — how to use Android Messages for web to text via SMS right from your computer. Questions? Let us know.

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Facebook Fundraiser To Reunite Families Separated At Border Brings In Millions

A fundraiser organized on Facebook to help immigrant families separated at the border has raised millions of dollars in three days.

By Tuesday morning, more than 100,000 people, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, had donated more than $4 million to the “Reunite an immigrant parent with their child” fundraiser, started by Bay Area couple Dave and Charlotte Willner over the weekend with an initial goal of raising $1,500. 

The recipient of the funds, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), was overwhelmed by the support, tweeting that they’re experiencing more donations than ever before, even causing their website to crash.

RAICES is a Texas immigration legal services provider that plans to use the proceeds to directly fund the bond payments that allow parents to be removed from detention while they wait for court proceedings as well as legal representation for children in Texan immigration courts.

“We are collectively revulsed at what’s happening to immigrant families on our southern border,” the fundraiser page said, referencing the news that almost 2,000 immigrant children have been separated from their parents since the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy kicked off last month.

“These children don’t know where their parents are. Their parents aren’t allowed to communicate with them while in custody. The government hasn’t set up a system to reunite separated parents and children if one or both are ultimately released. In many cases, parents have been deported without their children ― sometimes, young children are deported without their parents.”

“It’s clearly resonating with a lot of people, and we’re just glad we could help,” Charlotte Willner told USA TODAY.

A chorus of voices nationwide, including those of many Republicans, are rising up in opposition to the policy. Launched last month, it seeks to prosecute more immigrants entering the country illegally, even if it means separating children from their parents. 

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When it comes to weight loss in overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis, more is better

Researchers previously showed that overweight and obese individuals with knee osteoarthritis can reduce pain by 50% and significantly improve function and mobility with a 10% or more weight loss over an 18-month period. The investigators’ latest findings, which are published in Arthritis Care & Research, reveal that a 20% or more weight loss has the added benefit of continued improvement in physical health-related quality of life along with an additional 25% reduction in pain and improvement in function.

The results come from a secondary analysis of diet-only and diet plus exercise groups in the Intensive Diet and Exercise for Arthritis (IDEA) randomized controlled trial. A total of 240 overweight and obese older community-dwelling adults with pain and knee osteoarthritis were divided into four groups according to weight loss achieved over an 18-month period: less than 5% (<5% group), between 5 and 9.9% (?5% group), between 10 and 19.9% (? 10% group), and 20% and greater (?20% group).

The researchers found that the greater the weight loss, the better participants fared in terms of pain, function, 6-minute walk distance, physical and mental health-related quality of life, knee joint compression force, and IL-6 (a marker of inflammation). Also, when comparing the two highest groups, the ?20% group had 25% less pain and better function than the ? 10% group, and significantly better health-related quality of life.

Obesity is a health issue worldwide and a major and modifiable risk factor for many of the more than 250 million adults with knee osteoarthritis. “Currently, there is no treatment that slows the progression or prevents this debilitating disease; hence, research has focused on improving clinical outcomes important to the patient,” said lead author Stephen Messier, PhD, of Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, NC. “A 10% weight loss is the established target recommended by the National Institutes of Health as an initial weight loss for overweight and obese adults. The importance of our study is that a weight loss of 20% or greater — double the previous standard — results in better clinical outcomes, and is achievable without surgical or pharmacologic intervention.”

Support for this study was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health: R01 AR052528-01 from NIAMS, P30 AG21332 from NIA, M01-RR00211 from NCRR, and General Nutrition Centers, Inc.

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Deal: $130 gaming headset available for $19.99! (Limited stock)

Plantronics gaming headsetHey you! Yes YOU! Are you getting smack talk during your Fortnite sessions? Are you looking for an affordable gaming headset in order to respond in kind? Dailysteals has got your back.

The Plantronics Rig Flex LX Gaming Headset has everything a discerning gamer needs. It’s well-cushioned, lightweight, and comfortable, with excellent sound and hefty bass to ensure you feel like you’re right among the action.

The noise-cancelling mic on this headset means that your carefully chosen retorts to opponents are clearly communicated. If you can’t choose your words so carefully, you can always instantly mute your mic with the advanced audio adaptor. This handy addition gives you precise, fingertip control over every aspect of voice and game audio.

Flex LX Gaming Headset At a glance:

  • Compatible with PC/Mac, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, smartphones, and tablets.
  • Interchangeable gaming boom mic as well as inline microphone.
  • Pure, Intensify and Seismic EQ options.
  • 40mm speaker drivers deliver excellent sound.
  • Advanced Audio Adaptor controls mobile phone audio and game audio.

These headsets are refurbished, which is why they’re such great value. They might have a few superficial scuffs, but they should work as new. They come with a 90-day warranty if you’ve got any qualms.

Here’s the upside: The $129.99 retail value plummets to just $19.99 for both headset and audio adaptor. We know it’s a cliche, but at that price you can’t really go wrong. Incidentally, ‘Tom’s Guide’ review site rated this headset 8 out of 10, and described the original price tag as ‘totally worth it’.

Stock will be limited on these headsets, and when they’re gone they’re gone. Grab a pair while you can via the button below.

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.


Looking for a new phone or plan? Start here with the Android Authority Plan Tool:

This smart tool lets you filter plans by phone, price, data tiers, and regional availability. Stop overpaying for cell service you hate and a phone that you’re tired of. Use our Compare Phones & Plans tool to fully customize your mobile experience and painlessly transition from one carrier to another!
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Tdap vaccine given during pregnancy reduces occurrence of infant pertussis

A study published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows the effectiveness of the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) vaccine for infants whose mothers receive the vaccine during pregnancy. The “Effectiveness of Prenatal Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis Vaccination in the Prevention of Infant Pertussis in the U.S.” study led by Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD, MPH, associate professor in the departments of family medicine in the UNC School of Medicine and epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is the first to look at clinical outcomes of the vaccine in infants over the first 18 months of life.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a severe respiratory infection that is especially dangerous for infants and can result in hospitalization or death. It has been increasing in occurrence in the U.S. since 2000. The CDC has long-recommended that children under the age of seven receive doses of the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis) vaccination through a series of shots. The current series of shots are given at the ages of two, four and six months, followed by two booster doses later in childhood. In 2013, the CDC started recommending that all women receive the Tdap vaccine during every pregnancy in order to pass immunity on to the fetus. That recommendation was based on immunological data showing that maternal anti-pertussis antibodies are transferred to the fetus through the placenta, but not on true clinical outcomes, such as pertussis cases.

Becker-Dreps’ study reviewed more than 675,000 pregnancies in the U.S. from 2010-2014 and analyzed insurance claims data to identify the receipt of Tdap during pregnancy. Researchers also looked at hospitalizations and outpatient visits for pertussis in the infants through 18 months of age. The clinical outcomes show that the immunity passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy protected the infant during the first six months of life, before the infant completes the full course of the pertussis vaccine themselves.

The study found that in the first six months of life for infants whose mothers were immunized during pregnancy, there was a 75 percent reduction of pertussis hospitalizations and a 46 percent reduction of any pertussis cases. Further, the study did not find that infants whose mothers received the vaccine had a less effective response to their own pertussis vaccine series, as has been suggested by some immunological studies.

“This just adds more fuel to the fire for encouraging women to get Tdap during pregnancy,” said Becker-Dreps. “A lot of women are concerned about vaccines in general, but you really might be harming your baby by not getting this vaccine.”

Becker-Dreps says they also looked at the timing of immunization during pregnancy, and whether or not that played a role in the effectiveness of the Tdap vaccine in infants.

“Our results showed that getting it during the third trimester, but at least two weeks before delivery, is best to optimize the benefits of the vaccine,” Becker-Dreps said.

The study found that infants whose mothers received the immunization during the third trimester had a reduction in pertussis, while no benefits of the vaccine were observed when mothers received it earlier in the pregnancy. These findings further reinforce the CDC’s currently recommended “optimal timing” of the Tdap vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.

This is the third and final study in a series by UNC investigators looking at how many women get the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy, its safety and its effectiveness. Becker-Dreps also says that because the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy, it is covered by most insurance policies with a copay.

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Materials provided by University of North Carolina Health Care. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Have a low-end phone or tiny data cap? Uber Lite might be for you

Screenshots of the Uber Lite app. Uber

  • Uber has announced Uber Lite, a lightweight app that’s coming to India.
  • The app makes the map optional and introduces several offline features as well.
  • Uber Lite will be coming to other countries later this year, but no specific markets were mentioned.

Uber has revealed Uber Lite for the Indian market, marking the latest Lite app to hit Android in the past year.

The company says Uber Lite is a native app designed for people with low-end Android phones, limited data plans and/or spotty connectivity. In fact, the new app weighs in at 5MB, which is equivalent to just three selfies, according to the smart cab service.

The core functionality is still here though, such as booking rides (you can still pay in cash if you want) and sharing trips with loved ones. We do see a few tweaks, however. The map is now optional rather than front and center, though you can pull it up with just a tap if you need it. The app will also display a progress bar if you’d prefer to conserve your data by not loading the map.

What else makes it stand out?

Uber says it also caches the top places in your city so you can quickly get suggestions for pickup/drop-off points while offline. The company claims the suggestions will get smarter as you use the app, leading us to wonder whether the app size will balloon after a few months of use. Nevertheless, an Uber representative told Android Authority the plan was to “always keep it under 5MB.”

Editor’s Pick

Upcoming updates will add more languages and the ability to request rides when offline. The latter would presumably work in a similar fashion to Gmail’s offline mode, actually sending the request once you’re online again.

Not in India? Uber says the app is coming to other countries later this year, but refused to name specific markets. However, the company told us it’ll be targeting countries that are similar to India (i.e. similar network conditions and users with low-end Android phones).

You can sign up for the Uber Lite Indian pilot by clicking the button below.

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The OnePlus 6 Silk White edition is available for $579 (Update: Back in stock!)

OnePlus 6 Silk White

Update #2 (06/12/2018): As expected, the OnePlus 6 Silk White edition is available yet again on OnePlus.com for $579. Head to the link below to pick one up for yourself. We don’t know how long they’ll be in stock, so you might want to buy sooner rather than later!


Update #1 (06/07/2018): The OnePlus 6 Silk White edition has sold out after going on sale June 5. We expected that the go out of stock soon after release — special edition OnePlus devices tend to do so — but it will return to oneplus.com on June 12 at 10AM BST.

If you’re interested, you can sign up for an email notification to let you know when it’s back in stock. We’ve no idea how many of these models OnePlus intends to make available, so don’t miss out if you want one; it might not be very many.


Original story (06/04/2018): The OnePlus 6 Silk White model is landing tomorrow, June 5. OnePlus has confirmed the limited-edition device, which features a white rear and gold highlights, for the US, India, Europe and other regions.

The handset will arrive with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM but there are no other storage variations for this color option. It starts at $579 / €569 / £519 — the same as the Midnight Black and Mirror Black models with 128 GB storage and 8GB RAM — and is identical to those versions in all but the design.

Editor’s Pick

The OnePlus 6 Silk White will also go on sale the same day as OnePlus’ new Bullets Wireless headphones, which will cost $69 / €69 / £69. They’re said to offer five hours of playback on a ten-minute charge.

OnePlus smartphones tend to sell out quickly, the 256GB model went out of stock after a week on sale, so if you’re interested, you might want to pick one up as soon as possible. If you’re waiting for the Avengers-themed OnePlus 6 in the US, don’t hold your breath; it might never see an official release there.

The OnePlus 6 Silk White will be available from 10.00 am EDT on oneplus.com. Check out our OnePlus 6 color comparison if you want to see how the models stack up against each other.

Further coverage:

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Deep-freezing of orange juice can increase the absorption of beneficial compounds

Researchers from the Laboratory of Food Colour and Quality at the University of Seville have published a study in which it is shown how certain types of cold treatment that are used by the citrus fruits industry in the preparation of juices have a great impact on the colour of orange juice and on the concentration and bioaccessibility of the carotenoids present in the juice.

The bioaccessibility of a compound is the quantity of that compound that is freed from the food and is capable of being absorbed by the intestinal wall so that it arrives in the blood and is accumulated in the different organs/tissues where they can affect their potential health benefits.

The cold treatments have two opposite effects. On one hand, they cause the carotenoids to degrade (negative effect) and, on the other hand, they generate an increase in the bioaccessibility of the carotenoids (positive effect). Taking these two effects into account, it can be concluded that deep-frozen juices that are defrosted to room temperature or in a microwave are potentially better at increasing the level of carotenoids in the body.

During this project, testing was done on fresh orange juice, on deep-frozen juice that had been defrosted to room temperature, either in a microwave or in the fridge, and on pasteurised juices. The analysis focused on two carotenoids in particular, phytoene and phytofluene, which are both colourless. “These compounds are increasingly acquiring importance among the scientific community as there are ever more studies that indicate their various benefits for health and cosmetics,” explains the University of Seville teacher Paula Mapelli.

Although all the cold treatments analysed generated carotenoid loss, the deep-frozen juices that were defrosted to room temperature or in a microwave were better sources of bioaccessible carotenoids than fresh juice. “That is to say, despite the fact that the concentration of carotenoids in the deep-frozen juices was less than in the fresh juice, the reduction in the size of the particles and the destruction of the cellular material that these treatment produce mean that the amount of carotenoids that can be absorbed by the intestine is higher,” the researcher adds.

According to the results, among the treatments analysed, pasteurisation is the treatment that produces the highest level of carotenoid degradation and the greatest change in the colour of the juice.

To the question as to in which conditions the natural properties of the juice are best preserves, the experts respond that “fresh juice is the juice that has the highest concentration of carotenoids, but this does not mean that it is the one that raises the carotenoid level in the blood and tissue the most, as you have to take into account the amount of carotenoids that are actually absorbed.”

“Consumers tend to think that treated juices are “less healthy” than fresh juices. However, in this study, it has been shown how, at least in relation to the content of carotenoids that reaches the blood and tissue to protect us from disease, this is not always correct,” comments the University of Seville Faculty of Pharmacy teacher Antonio J. Meléndez.

Pinalate Orange and the CITIUS laboratories

This research was carried out using the Pinalate variety of orange. This variety is a spontaneous mutation of the Navelate sweet orange. It is totally “natural,” not transgenic. The most important characteristic of this variety is that it has a high concentration of the colourless carotenoids phytoene and phytofluene.

To carry out the project, use was made of the services of Microscopy, Functional Characterization and Biology situated on the Centres of Research, Technology and Innovation at the University of Seville (CITIUS). In addition, it benefitted from the collaboration of the doctors María Jesús Rodrigo and Lorenzo Zacarías of the Department of Food Biotechnology, Institute of Agricultural Chemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC) in Valencia. The study was possible thanks to funding from the Council of Innovation, Science and Business (Consejería de Innovación, Ciencia y Empresas) of The Andalusian Regional Government (project CAROTINCO-P12-AGR-1287) and from the Ministry of Economy and Competiveness (network of excellence BIO2015-71703-REDT).

“Our next step, which will complete this research, will be to determine the content of colourless carotenoids in the blood after consuming these and other orange juices. That is to say, an in vivo study that corroborates this and other previous in vitro studies with other orange juices,” states the researcher Carla María Stinco, also author of the study.

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