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  • December/2012

Top 5 Reasons Why Cancer Prevalence is High Today

by South University
December 28, 2012

Medical studies are showing a massive increase in cancer patients. According to research conducted by the American Cancer Society, cancer costs more lost productivity than many diseases spread person to person, and the World Health Organization has predicted that in the near future, cancer will surpass heart disease as the top cause of death in the world. Here are the top 5 reasons why cancer prevalence is high today, and is expected to be higher in the near future if precautions are not taken.

Unhealthy eating
In these hard economic times, many people have been forced to take more than one job in order to be financially stable. Spending more time working consequently leads to shorter time allocated to performing other activities, including cooking. This has translated to unhealthy eating habits, such as eating junk food and processed meals. Such foods have high concentrations of chemicals that trigger cell oxidation and subsequently, the release of free radicals. This process triggers the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Exposure to carcinogenic substances
In June 2011, the US Department of Health and Human Services compiled an updated list of carcinogens. These included formaldehyde, captafol, glass wool fibers, riddelliine, and styrene. Some of these are found in plastics, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, food additives, resins, and herbal tea that we use on a regular basis.

Unhealthy lifestyle
A recent study, Cancer Facts and Figures 2012, shows that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States in 2012. The study also states that this is the most preventable type of cancer. Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as smoking and drinking alcohol have enhanced prevalence of cancer of the respiratory tract. Most lip, throat, lung, stomach, kidney and esophagus cancer cases are linked to tobacco and alcohol intake. With the number of both female and male smokers increasing, it is evident that we will have more cancer patients in the future.

Climate change
The environment has changed significantly over the years. Climate change and the green house effect means more hostile UV radiation from the sun as well as unfavorable environmental conditions. The increasing short-wave UV radiation has triggered an increase in skin cancer patients. A study by scientists at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute revealed that the UV radiation is the major cause of most melanoma cases. Using new molecular technology, the scientists discovered thousands of gene mutations and damages that lead to cancer were caused by the sun's short-wave radiation.

Genetics
Some types of cancer are passed on from generation to generation within a family. Some families have had several members who have suffered from the same type of cancer.

References:

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/uva-and-uvb/landmark-research-links-melanoma-to-uv-radiation

http://www.medindia.net/news/Experts-Cancer-Cause-in-Unhealthy-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Not-Mere-Genetic-Factors-50232-1.htm

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsroom/releases/2011/june10/

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Social Networks Triggering High Cyber Crime Levels

by South University
December 17, 2012

Cyber criminals are increasing at a distressing rate, courtesy of social networks. This is according to a report filed by the US security company, Imperva. The company has a detailed analysis on how cyber crime has advanced. In reference to the ‘Monitoring Hacker Forums’ report, modern cyber criminals deal with hacking more than ever.

During the case study, Imperva analyzed major hacker forums that included sites with large numbers of subscribers, as many as 250,000. The company was able to determine and undoubtedly decipher the current threats and methods used by the notorious hackers. It was also discovered that DDoS and SQL injections are the most compromised hotspots. There are two main ways through which these crimes are committed.

Black market
Cyber criminals love sites that have a large number of subscribers, such as Facebook. With over 1 billion users, Facebook has become one of the most targeted areas for committing cyber crime. Twitter follows at a close range. The criminals use these platforms for black market purposes, where all illegal activities such as impersonation are done. Malware is also easily spread in fast speeds via the social network. The cyber criminals create fake accounts with illegitimate products, faking ‘likes,’ ’comments,’ and ‘follows.’ Subscribers end up falling prey due to building trust in the alleged large following.

Cyber Personalities
Beginner cyber criminals make easy money selling pornographic material. Cyber criminals impersonate people, attracting a large number of buyers. They end up making money by using disguised personalities, usually females, to sell pornographic content. Men pose as women by creating profiles with female photos. They then ask unsuspecting social network users to click on a link. However, these users end up clicking links and signing up in the advised sites, only blindly and unwillingly helping the criminal make money. There were more than 13,000 threads on this kind of activity in just one forum.

The study also indicates more popular attack methods that unsuspecting Internet and social media users fall for. The following five are the trendiest at the moment.

  1. Data-flooding DDoS campaigns
  2. Spam
  3. SQL injections
  4. Shell code
  5. Brute-force attacks

The CTO of Imperva, Amichai Shulman, advised organizations to keenly focus on SQL injection security because cyber criminals are taking advantage of the minimal security measures that have been put in place. He warned that should organizations fail to put in place the necessary measures, hackers will definitely place more focus on SQL injection attacks.

From this study, it is noted that as of 2012, cyber crime is more advanced and if proper measures are not installed, then genuine people will lose a lot. Everyone should read case studies especially on hacker forums so as to know what the hackers are looking for and ensuring that security is enhanced. Studying the forums equips us with the necessary knowledge on the hackers’ strategy hence plan an effectual counterattack.

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Six Tips for Balancing Your Studies with Family Time During the Holidays

by South University
December 14, 2012

Everyone feels a certain amount of stress as the holidays approach. As a student, you’re likely to feel it even more. Balancing family time with studies may seem like an impossible task, but there are some things you can do that will help you enjoy the holiday season.

Here are six tips to help you stay on track and feel less stressed during the holidays:

  • Plan out your schedule. Choose a time (or times) each day when you know you won’t have too many distractions and get your studying for the day completed during that time frame. This can also help you to free up time during the day to enjoy unplanned activities. Also, don’t hesitate to give yourself some time off! Planning a full day off can help you to stay motivated.
  • Keep yourself organized. If you are travelling during the holidays, you’ll want to keep your books, papers and notes organized and neat. You don’t want to waste valuable time searching for things. Stay organized and save time.
  • Set your ground rules. Tell your family about the work you need to get done and let them know what you need. Keeping everyone informed about what is going on with your studies will give you enough space to accomplish everything you need to complete during the holidays.
  • Get your family involved. If you have younger children around, have them “quiz” you on things you are learning--adults might like to help with this, too! Getting everyone involved not only helps you learn, but also helps your family be invested in your success.
  • Take plenty of breaks. Even if you have to lock yourself away to complete an important project, you’ll want to take some time off to relax. This will help you not only to interact with your family, but can also make you more productive. Studies have shown taking breaks actually improves productivity.
  • Set time aside to have some fun. Don’t forget that the holidays are about spending time with your loved ones. Even though you need to keep up with your studies, be sure to set enough time aside to enjoy all of the activities that go along with the holidays. Allow yourself the time off without any guilty feelings to have fun and enjoy spending this time with your family and loved ones.

The holidays give everyone a certain amount of stress. By planning ahead, you can avoid many of the headaches that go along with balancing your studies with family time.

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Exploring Your Options with South University

by Admin
December 10, 2012

Choosing a school where you will earn your degree online is one of the most important decisions you will make during your educational career. Much like choosing the right program, the right school can help pave the way for both your educational and professional success once you have graduated.

South University offers 22 online degree programs in Business, Criminal Justice, Nursing and Healthcare, Information Technology, Legal & Paralegal, and Psychology. Programs are available at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree levels.

Not only does South University have many different programs to choose from, it has also been going strong since 1899, with the first online program introduced in 2004. To learn more about what South University has to offer, contact an Admissions Representative today.

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Animal Cruelty and Neglect Exposed

by Jared Newnam
December 7, 2012

They are victims without a voice. Every year, thousands of animals are victims of cruelty.

Animal cruelty encompasses a broad range of behaviors harmful to animals. There are no federal cruelty laws; the Animal Welfare Act is only federal law that governs the humane care, handling, treatment, and transportation of some animals in certain situations. Meanwhile, state definitions of animal cruelty vary.

“There is no simple answer to the question, ‘what is animal cruelty,’ since the definition differs from state to state,” says Bret Hopman, senior manager of Media & Communications for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). “Adding to the confusion, ‘cruelty’ is often used as a catch-all for offenses against animals, including abuse, neglect, animal fighting, abandonment, and practicing veterinary medicine without a license.”

“Animal cruelty is recognized as a crime throughout this country as exemplified in state and federal laws regulating that activity,” explains Roger H. Humber,

We all need to be concerned with the neighbor that takes pet care responsibilities lightly and report them to the appropriate agency.

Criminal Justice program director at South University, Montgomery. “Punishments range from misdemeanor to felony sanctions, depending on the case and the perpetrator’s mental intent regarding such abuse.”

Although many people witness and report acts of cruelty, there are cases that go unreported. Animal cruelty can take on many different forms, so people should know what to look for.

Animal cruelty generally falls into two categories: intentional cruelty and unintentional cruelty or neglect.

Intentional cruelty means someone has purposely inflicted physical harm or injury on an animal. Unintentional cruelty, or neglect, could mean an animal has been denied the basic necessities of care, including food, water, shelter, or veterinary care. It could also mean that the pet parent is unaware they are doing anything wrong and needs to be educated on how to properly care for the animal.

According to the Humane Society, signs of neglect include:

  • Animals without shelter in extreme heat or cold.
  • Clearly emaciated animals. Visible bones and lethargy can be a sign of an untreated, life-threatening medical condition or imminent starvation.
  • Untreated wounds or other medical conditions. This includes limping, multiple patches of missing fur, and open sores.
  • Dogs or cats living inside abandoned homes.
  • Too many animals living in one property might be a sign of animal hoarding.

Animal hoarding is another example of unintentional cruelty, Hopman says. Hoarding is part of an anxiety disorder in which people, for a variety of reasons, feel they are incapable of forming lasting relationships with people, so they substitute them.

“The effects of animal hoarding are far-reaching and encompass mental health, animal welfare, and public safety concerns,” Hopman says. “In April 2010, the ASPCA launched the Cruelty Intervention Advocacy (CIA) program to assist its law enforcement agents who come across investigations in New York City that legally fall short of animal cruelty, but nonetheless place animals in perilous situations.”

The main goals of most programs are to help educate people about their actions. There has been growing awareness and reporting of animal cruelty, but it is still a major problem.

Animal Cruelty and Other Crimes

Research suggests a link between animal abuse and domestic violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence conducted a study and found that women in domestic violence shelters are 11 times more likely to report animal abuse by their partner than women not experiencing violence. Eighty-five percent of domestic violence shelters report that they commonly encounter women who speak about pet abuse incidents.

“Over the past 25 years, researchers and professionals in a variety of human services and animal welfare disciplines have established significant correlations between animal abuse, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, elder abuse, and other forms of violence,” Hopman says.

The ASPCA supports efforts to raise awareness of animal abuse and neglect as significant crimes, and publicize the connection between animal cruelty and other forms of violence.

Humber says people must be vigilant and recognize animal cruelty cases and offenders as areas of concern.

“We all need to be concerned with the neighbor that takes pet care responsibilities lightly and report them to the appropriate agency” he says. “We also need to be aware that animal cruelty could be a predictor or precipitator of violent behavior against people.”

Preventing Animal Abuse

The ASPCA has urged lawmakers to sponsor stronger legislation designed to protect animals, increase the ability to enforce existing laws, and improve funding for animal programs aimed at prevention.

Every municipality is different when it comes to who investigates animal cruelty. In some places it is the police, while in others citizens have to contact local animal control or another municipal agency.

“Many communities have launched animal cruelty task forces,” Hopman says. “One notable example is the city of Baltimore, which teamed up with the ASPCA to establish an anti-animal abuse task force in 2009 in response to the fatal burning of a dog named Phoenix. Many of these task forces aim to prevent and help prosecute animal cruelty in their communities.”

It is critical that law enforcement understand the connection between animal abuse and family violence. When responding to domestic calls it is important to be alert for signs that children and/or pets might be victimized.

Law enforcement academies train recruits to respond to and adequately investigate such activity, Humber says.

“Law enforcement practitioners are made aware of the significance of the animal abuser and possible dynamics of further inappropriate behavior on the part of the offender.”

Humber adds that there is a growing trend toward specialization in the field of animal cruelty response and investigation.

“Additional training is offered by private, local, state, and federal agencies to help first responders become more familiar with investigative techniques of this particular crime,” he says.

It’s up to concerned citizens to let officials know about animal abuse incidents. Without the actions of these citizens, officials would not know about most instances of animal cruelty. When reporting animal cruelty, they should provide as much information as possible. The details can go a long way toward assisting an investigating officer.

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