Dentist’s warning after ‘healthy and active’ dad dies at aged 37

A healthy dad of seven who died after being diagnosed with an aggressive type of mouth cancer has led to warnings from dentists.

Alan Birch was just 35 when he had 90% of his tongue removed as a result of the disease in 2018. His cancer diagnosis came as a shock, as he lived a healthy, active lifestyle and did not drink or smoke.

Alan, from Moreton in Merseyside underwent both radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but despite the treatment, the cancer returned each time – and even more aggressively.

His devastated family were then faced with the news that there was nothing more that could be done for him, giving him just months to live.

Alan died in April, just weeks after marrying his partner of 12 years, Debbie McDonough.

His wife Debbie told the ECHO at the time: “I would urge people to always keep on top of their dentist appointments as they are the ones who notice the warning signs for mouth and tongue cancer.

“Always be careful of ulcers especially if you have them longer than two weeks, and never think you are wasting an appointment if you are worried about anything. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

His tragic case has now prompted concerns that thousands of cases are going undiagnosed.

While figures from the British Dental Association show that 19 million treatments have been missed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.

Dentists are now concerned that large numbers of cases of mouth cancer could have potentially gone undetected this year as a result.

Mouth cancer claims more lives annually than cervical cancer and testicular cancer combined, with 8,722 new cases reported in the UK last year. This is a 58% increase compared to a decade ago and a 97% rise since 2000.

But research states there is still a chronic lack of awareness and knowledge surrounding this type of cancer – and dentists are keen to rectify this.

New research revealed that 52% of people living in the north west are unaware their dentist will screen them for mouth cancer during a routine check-up. This figure was highest with those aged between 25-35, increasing to 61%.

a man and a woman sitting at a table: Alan Birch, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the mouth, signs the marriage register with his long-term partner - now wife - Debbie McDonough

© Joe Hague Photography
Alan Birch, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the mouth, signs the marriage register with his long-term partner – now wife – Debbie McDonough

Dr Catherine Tannahill, dentist and director of clinical dentistry at Portman Dental Care, which carried out the research, said: “As dentists we see first-hand the impact this disease can have, and that’s why we want to ensure people are aware of what the signs and symptoms are, what to do if they spot an issue and what steps they can take to reduce the risk of developing mouth cancer.

“This is now more important than ever before, as thousands of diagnoses may have potentially been missed this year due to dental practices having to close in initial lockdown, and the subsequent backlog of appointments since.

“While this

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TeamUp Fitness App Introduces ‘Fitness HookUps’, a New Way to Meet an Active Companion

Press release content from Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

PHILADELPHIA – November 19, 2020 – ( )

TeamUp Fitness is a community-driven mobile application that’s geared toward fitness enthusiasts and professionals.

Explore Fitness Hookup possibilities.

What is a Fitness Hookup? It’s a dynamic way to connect with people on TeamUp who have a passion for fitness or live an active lifestyle. Get to know someone through TeamUp Fitness; hookup for a hot yoga class, a hike at your favorite park, or even a virtual workout.

The power of this mobile app lies in its ability to connect people who share the same activities and fitness goals; meet people in your area, even worldwide.

These passions are the driving force behind the app’s mission to create a place where like-minded, fitness-focused individuals can go to find, connect, and engage with others.

“Now more than ever, because of the pandemic, people crave connection,” said Tony Trombetta, CEO of TeamUp Fitness. “We wanted to create a functionality within our app to bring people together based on their shared passions and love of fitness, and that’s how ‘Fitness HookUps’ was born.”

TeamUp Fitness app users can:

• Post unlimited photos and videos

• Get motivated by viewing other users’ feeds

• Read and reply to comments with unlimited messaging

• Filter searches by fitness activities, goals, distance and more

• View matches and check out “Who’s New”

In addition to the sense of connection the app has created, it’s also providing fitness professionals with opportunities to monetize their influence.

Building on the ideology that powers subscription-based platforms like “Patreon” and “OnlyFans”, TeamUp Fitness has set the stage for fitness influencers to start earning money with their “Fit Fans”, an in-app subscription model using a platform that’s dedicated to fitness.

“The trend of locking content has increased in popularity, and that’s why we created the function to accommodate this growing need,” said Frank Peperno, Chief Marketing Officer, “Now, our fitness professionals can lock and monetize content such as exclusive workouts, tutorials, behind-the-scenes photo shoots, or any other fitness activity right on TeamUp Fitness”

The TeamUp Fitness app is now available for Apple and Google. Head to to learn what the buzz is about.

About TeamUp Fitness

TeamUp Fitness has created a community-based platform that’s specifically designed for fitness enthusiasts and Fitness Professionals. Members from all over the world can log in and get inspired and see in real-time who’s working out and where. The teamUp fitness app is motivating people everywhere to look good, feel great, and get active!

PR Contact:

Tiffany Kayar

[email protected]

Press Release Service by

Original Source: TeamUp Fitness App Introduces ‘Fitness HookUps’, a New Way to Meet an Active Companion

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Pro Active Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Opens a New Clinic in Brighton

CARLSBAD, Calif., Nov. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Physical Rehabilitation Network (PRN) of Carlsbad, Calif., a leading physical therapy provider and practice management organization, today announced the grand opening of its affiliated Pro Active Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine (Pro Active) clinic in Brighton, Colo., located at 1321 South. 4th Ave. The Pro Active Brighton clinic elevates the brand’s presence in the state to 13.

Pro Active’s new outpatient clinic will support all ages and is proud to offer the Brighton community and surrounding areas a full range of pain management and injury prevention services including: physical therapy, functional integrative therapy, work injury rehabilitation, blood flow restriction therapy and sports medicine for a combined approach to pain resolution and injury recovery.

“The opening of our Brighton clinic is another critical step toward our commitment to expand access to quality physical therapy care across the state of Colorado,” said Ajay Gupta, CEO, PRN. Led by Kate Farner, we have assembled an extremely talented, experienced and passionate team at the Brighton location, who are proud to not only offer high-quality care but provide a safe and rewarding experience for patients seeking care.”

Clinic partner, [Kate] Farner, PT, DPT, ATC, will oversee the new Brighton location. A native of the California desert, Farner moved to northern Colorado in 2003 after receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science (Athletic Training) from the University of Northern Colorado in 2006. Farner also has a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Regis University.

Farner is a Licensed Physical Therapist and Certified Athletic Trainer specializing in the treatment of orthopedic injuries, sports injuries, cumulative trauma disorders, occupational injuries, concussions and vestibular disorders. Farner is also full body certified in both Active Release Techniques, Trigger Point Dry Needling and is a Certified Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist. 

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to lead the PT programs at the Brighton clinic,” said Farner, Clinic Partner & Director. “By expanding care to the Brighton community, we close a significant gap between those needing quality pain management support and the resources available to them. If you are in need of physical therapy care, no doctor or healthcare practitioner referral is needed, so come visit our Brighton clinic today and you’ll see why our patients love coming to us.”

Pro Active accepts most insurance plans and will work with patients to help them better understand benefits and what services will be covered by insurance. To learn more about Pro Active, please visit

For more information on PRN locations or partnership opportunities, visit You can also follow us @PRNPhysicalTherapy on Facebook, @PRN_therapy on Twitter or on LinkedIn. 

COVID-19 Safety Statement

With safety as a top priority, Pro Active is actively taking the necessary steps to ensure patient care is completed with strict infection control measures. Pro Active will continue to act with an abundance of caution in alignment with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the Occupational Safety

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Active surveillance may be safe for Black men with prostate cancer, study finds

Nov. 3 (UPI) — African-American men on active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer are more likely than their White counterparts to experience disease progression and ultimately require treatment, a study published Tuesday by JAMA found.

However, men of both races included in the study were at the same risk for metastatic cancer — cancer that has spread to other organs — and death from the disease.

The findings, researchers said, suggest that active surveillance is just as safe for African-American men as it is for White men.

In active surveillance, a person’s cancer is monitored closely, with prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, blood tests taken every six months as well as annual digital rectal exam and prostate biopsies, according to the American Cancer Society.

Based on the results of these more frequent assessments, more aggressive treatment may be recommended, the society said.

“Our research provides evidence that active surveillance is safe for African-American men,” study co-author Dr. Brent Rose said in a press release.

“This means more African-American men can avoid definitive treatment and the associated side effects of urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and bowel problems,” said Rose, assistant professor of radiation medicine and applied sciences at University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer among men, after skin cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One in nine men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, but African-American men are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease and more than twice as likely to die from it than men in other ethnic groups, the agency estimates.

The cancer is typically slow growing, and low-risk disease may not need to be treated immediately after diagnosis, if ever, and can instead be monitored under an active surveillance approach, Rose and his colleagues said.

However, because of the increased risk for prostate cancer and death from the disease among African-American men, active surveillance is used less frequently in this population, according to their researchers.

For this study, Rose and colleagues reviewed data on 8,726 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2001 and 2015.

About one in four of these study participants were African-American, the researchers said.

Just under 60% of African-American men included in the analysis experienced disease progression, compared to 48% of White men, the data showed.

In addition, 55% of African-American men in the study required treatment compared to just over 41% percent of White men.

Despite these differences, African-American and White men were diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer at about the same rate — 1% versus 1.4% — and faced the same risk for death — about 1% — as one another.

“Physicians and patients should discuss active surveillance for African-American men with low-risk prostate cancer,” Rose said.

“However, due to the increased risk of progression, African-American men need to be carefully followed and promptly treated if their cancer progresses,” he said.

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Prostate Cancer: Comparing Active Surveillance for Blacks vs Whites

Black men with low-risk prostate cancer undergoing active surveillance had a significantly increased incidence of disease progression and a higher likelihood of needing definitive treatment compared with white men, but did not have an increased incidence of metastasis or prostate-cancer specific mortality, according to a study of men in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system.

The retrospective study of 8,726 men in the VHA, including 2,280 Black men, followed for a median 7.6 years showed similar rates of prostate cancer-specific mortality (1.1% vs 1.0%) for Black vs white men despite a more than 10% difference in 10-year cumulative incidence of disease progression (59.9% vs 48.3%; P<0.001) and receipt of definitive treatment (54.8% vs 41.4%; P<0.001), reported Brent S. Rose, MD, of University of California San Diego Health, Moores Cancer Cancer, and colleagues.

In their study, published online in JAMA, active surveillance was defined as no definitive treatment within the first year of diagnosis and undergoing at least one additional surveillance biopsy. The team noted that previous research looking at active surveillance included very few Black men, meaning that the results may not have been generalizable to this patient population.

In the new study, multivariable analysis showed that Black men with prostate cancer were about 30% more likely to have disease progression (subdistribution hazard ratio [SHR] 1.3, 95% CI 1.2-1.4, P<0.001) and receive definitive treatment (SHR 1.3, 95% CI 1.2-1.4, P<0.001) compared with white men.

Despite this increased risk, however, the rates of metastatic disease were similar between the two groups: cumulative incidence at 10 years of 1.5% for Black men and 1.4% for white men.

Additionally, prostate-cancer specific and all-cause mortality rates were similar between the two patient populations, with Black men having no increased risk on multivariable competing risk regression analyses, the researchers reported.

They cautioned, though, that longer-term follow-up is needed to better assess the mortality risk.

“Hopefully, these results encourage African American men with low-risk prostate cancer to consider active surveillance,” Rose told MedPage Today. “Additionally, these findings may support higher rates of PSA screening and early detection if men know that they may not need treatment if they find a low-risk cancer. This will help us to identify the aggressive cancers that do need to be treated in order to reduce the disparity in prostate cancer outcomes for African American men.”

Writing in an accompanying editorial, Xinglei Shen, MD, MS, of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, and colleagues acknowledged the dearth of data about whether active surveillance — the use of which is increasing, they note — is as safe for Black prostate cancer patients as it is for white men with the disease.

“This is because prior studies have shown that among Black patients, compared with White patients, the onset of prostate cancer is earlier and tumor volumes are greater even among men with low-risk disease,” the editorialists wrote. “Further, existing data show that Black patients with low-risk prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy were

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Work out with these active exercise titles

a woman sitting at a beach: The best fitness games for 2020 Work out with these active exercise titles image 1

© Provided by Pocket-lint
The best fitness games for 2020 Work out with these active exercise titles image 1

(Pocket-lint) – Videogames have long since moved past worries about inactivity and sedentary behaviour – while it’s true that many games will suck players into playing for hours at a time without much benefit to their physical wellbeing, the relaxation and enjoyment they offer is almost peerless.

  • Best dieting apps: 8 apps to help you lose weight at home

That said, there is still a range of games on the market that could scratch both itches, giving you fun gameplay and systems to interact with, while also getting your pulse pounding and helping you to keep active. Right now, given how many of us are spending large amounts of time at home, that could be the perfect combination.

So, to that end, we’ve gathered together some of the very best active videogames for you, so that you can get a burst of exercise without leaving your home, all with the help of your games console. 

Our pick of the best exercise games to buy or try today

Ring Fit Adventure

Nintendo’s latest fitness game, after the success of Wii Fit so many years ago, is an absolute sensation. It’s flown off the shelves, making it really difficult to find at the moment, but if you can spot it in stock anywhere it’s the perfect fitness title for the stay-at-home age. 

With the aid of flexible Ring-con controller and a leg strap, you’ll squat, stretch and flex your way through workouts masquerading as a quasi-RPG, and have a great time doing it. It’s beautifully designed and will help you get a bit fitter while monitoring your progress and encouraging you along the way.

Just Dance 2021

Another staple on the active gaming scene is the Just Dance series, which is available on the Switch, Xbox One and PS4. It’s a full-body rhythm action game, challenging you to dance along to a soundtrack full of popping tracks, matching your movements to the directions on-screen.

It’s a colourful, glorious bit of fun, and while it doesn’t have to be massively exerting if you play it concertedly and make sure to keep up the regularity of your sessions, it can be a great way of staying active without necessarily feeling like you’re flogging yourself with workouts. 

Fitness Boxing

Another great game for the Switch, Fitness Boxing takes maximum advantage of the Joy-Con controllers to let you take virtual boxing lessons and punch your way to getting fit.

It’s more explicitly about fitness than some of the others on this list, which brings with it a different tone and a bit more potential intensity to make sure that even if you get properly in shape it’ll still offer up solid workouts. It might not have the lustre of more mainstream efforts, but it’s still a great option. 

Beat Saber

Moving into the world of VR, Beat Saber is a really fun VR game that’s pretty taxing

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Staying Active as You Age Not a Guarantee Against Dementia | Health News

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter


THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Experts in healthy aging often cite the importance of leisure activities — hanging out with friends, playing games, taking classes — in maintaining your brain health as you grow older.

But a new study calls into question whether those enjoyable pursuits actually protect you against dementia.

Researchers found no link between middle-aged folks taking part in leisure activities and their risk of dementia over the next two decades, according to findings published online Oct. 28 in the journal Neurology.

However, they did discover that some people later diagnosed with dementia will stop participating in leisure activities years before they are diagnosed.

“We found a link between low level of activity in late life and dementia risk, but that this is probably due to people giving up activities as they are beginning to develop dementia,” said lead researcher Andrew Sommerlad, a principal research fellow in psychology at University College London. “Dementia appeared to be the cause, rather than consequence, of low levels of leisure activities.”

These results appear to run counter to the “use it or lose it” theory of brain health, in which numerous prior studies have linked continued engagement in social activities, mental stimulation and physical exercise to a lower risk of dementia.

“Previous studies have tended to look at leisure activities in late life and find an association, but because dementia develops slowly over many years, these studies may not be able to identify the true nature of the relationship,” he said.

Sommerlad said that other factors more directly related to physical health might wind up being more important to protecting the aging brain.

“We do not question the wider benefits of taking part in leisure activities, for promoting enjoyment, quality of life, and general physical and mental health, but other measures have better evidence specifically for dementia prevention,” Sommerlad said. “These are treating health problems like diabetes and hypertension, reducing smoking and alcohol intake, physical activity, treating hearing problems, and having social contact with others.”

For the new study, Sommerlad and his colleagues analyzed data gathered as part of a long-term health study of London-based civil servants that began in 1985.

The researchers looked at data from 8,280 people (average age 56) whose health was tracked for an average of 18 years. Their participation in leisure activities was assessed at the study’s start, five years later and again 10 years later.

Leisure activities included reading, listening to music, using a home computer for fun, taking evening classes, participating in clubs, attending live events or movies, gardening, and playing card or board games. Do-it-yourself home improvements, artistic endeavors, religious activities, going down to the pub, and visiting friends and relatives were also examined.

The researchers found no relationship between a person’s participation in more leisure activities at the start of the study and their dementia risk nearly 20 years later.

They only found a relationship when leisure activities in late life were assessed.


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Active COVID-19 Cases In New Hampshire The Most Since June: Data

CONCORD, NH — Another 92 New Hampshire residents tested positive for COVID-19 after more than 7,000 polymerase chain reaction specimens were collected on Saturday.

Prior test counts were upgraded and nearly 900 tests are pending bringing the daily positivity rate to 0.8 percent. Most of the positive tests were found via PCR testing with a little less than a third by antigen tests.

There are currently 1,032 active COVID-19 cases diagnosed in New Hampshire — the most since mid-June.

Hospitalizations in New Hampshire are still low — 23 and only 7 percent of cases required more care since the pandemic started in early March.

Of the new cases, 12 were children, cases were split nearly evenly between women and men, and some cases are still under investigation by the state, including determining the residency of five new cases. Of the rest, 23 reside in Rockingham County, 20 live in Hillsborough County outside of Manchester and Nashua, 10 live in Merrimack, and nine live in Nashua. The increase in cases today as well as extensive numbers during the past few weeks in Rockingham County, including outbreaks at Portsmouth restaurants, have pushed the county into the substantial community transmission category on the school data dashboard.

“Five of the new cases had no identified risk factors,” the State Joint Information Center said. “Community-based transmission continues to occur in the State and has been identified in all counties. Of those with complete risk information, most of the cases have either had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, are associated with an outbreak setting, or have recently traveled.”

Accumulatively, 10,328 have been diagnosed with coronavirus while 8,823 have recovered from the virus — about 85 percent. The state said 331,561 residents have been tested or 22.2 percent via 579,186 PCR tests. Another 32,000 people have been tested with antibody tests.

Approximately 4,450 people are under public health monitoring in New Hampshire.

In K-12 schools in New Hampshire, there are 66 active cases after the state reported a number of new school cases since Friday.

Heron Pond Elementary School in Milford has two active cases; Manchester Central High School has its first case; Milford High School has two new active cases; North Hampton School has a second new active case; the Penacook Elementary School in Concord has a new case; the Riddle Brook Elementary School has its four active case; the South Range Elementary School in Derry has its second active case; and Saint Joseph Regional School in Keene and St. Mary Academy in Dover both have their first cases.

There are also five active cases at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord while there are 18 active cases at UNH in Durham. The university has 187 cases. Plymouth State College and Keene State College have four active cases each while Colby-Sawyer College, Dartmouth College, Franklin Pierce University, and White Mountains Community College have a single case each. Rivier University has five active cases while New England College

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Montgomery County’s active COVID-19 cases pushes past 2,200

Online registration is still available for COVID-19 testing in Montgomery County. To get a voucher, go to or and click on the

Online registration is still available for COVID-19 testing in Montgomery County. To get a voucher, go to or and click on the “need to be tested” link. Fill out the information. A voucher will be emailed. Once you have the voucher, make an appointment at your choice of testing centers and get tested.

Jason Fochtman, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Montgomery County added 66 new active COVID-19 cases Friday, bumping the county’s active total over 2,200.

Overall, the county logged 139 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 13,575 with 2,206 active.

The reason for the difference in the new cases and active cases is the Montgomery County Public Health District is continuing to process cases that were reported to the Department of State Health Services directly by health care providers and entered into the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System.

As for total hospitalizations, both county and noncounty residents, decreased five to 56 with 14 of those patients in critical care beds.

The total number of COVID-19-related deaths remained at 147.

Online registration is still available for COVID-19 testing in Montgomery County.

To request a voucher, go to or and click on the “need to be tested” link and fill out the information. A voucher will be emailed and once you have the voucher, make an appointment at a testing center.

Call the county’s COVID Call Center at 936-523-3916 for more information.

[email protected]

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Artificial Light May Make Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes ‘Abnormally’ Active At Night, Study Shows


  • Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are more active when there is natural light
  • A study found that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bite twice as much at night when there is artificial light 
  • The study highlights how increasing levels of light pollution could impact transmission of diseases like dengue

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are carriers of dengue and Zika viruses, are known to be active biters during the daytime, but a team of researchers has found that artificial lights can “abnormally” increase their biting behavior even at night.

Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes transmit various mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika fever. The species mostly bite in the early morning and in the afternoon hours when there is light, but what happens when they are exposed to artificial lights at night?

To find out, a team of researchers conducted an experiment wherein the study’s first author, Samuel S. C. Rund of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Biological Sciences, let mosquitoes bite him under certain conditions including during daytime, at night, and at nighttime while exposed to artificial light. They then measured the mosquitoes’ blood-feeding behavior.

As expected, the mosquitoes fed more during the daytime and less at night. However, mosquitoes that were exposed to artificial light at night were actually twice as likely to bite compared to those not exposed, a news release from the University of Notre Dame said.

This shows that mosquitoes that feed during the daytime tend to bite more at night when there is artificial light.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen at the Laboratory of Entomology and Ecology of the Dengue Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 6, 2016. Photo: Reuters

“This is potentially a very valid problem that shouldn’t be overlooked,” study co-author Giles Duffield, also of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Biological Sciences, said in the news release. “They live and breed in the vicinity of houses, so the chances of Aedes aegypti being exposed to light pollution are very likely.”

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are considered “container-inhabiting” mosquitoes, the University of Florida (UF) explains, because they often breed in items that are commonly seen in or around a house, such as spare tires, drainage ditches, untreated swimming pools and unused flower pots. 

“They thrive in urbanized areas, in close contact with people making them an exceptionally successful vector,” the university in a feature.

The Notre Dame team said their study “highlights the concern that globally increasing levels of light pollution could be impacting arboviral disease transmission, such as dengue fever and Zika, and has implications for application of countermeasures for mosquito vector control.” 

The researchers are studying the relationship between artificial light and Aedes ageypti and trying to understand whether there is a genetic factor to the mosquitoes’ biting behavior since not all of them are willing to bite at night even with the lights, the news release said. 

The study is published in The American Journal of

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