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@WalmartLabs’ Shopycat seeks to bridge gap between social media, shopping

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Walmart is looking to help holiday shoppers find the perfect gift this season with the launch of a new social shopping application.

Shopycat, developed by @WalmartLabs, is a social platform that’s available on Facebook and is designed to offer gift ideas for friends based on their social media activity (i.e., a post, a "like," or a profile update). Those who use the app not only can find and buy gifts for friends — which can be purchased via Walmart stores, Walmart.com and other such sites as RedEnvelope, Barnes & Noble and ThinkGeek — as well as help users purchase items based on friends’ general interests, it also provides recommendations to users’ friends for what they want as holiday gifts (via a "My Info" tab).

"As human beings, we are inherently social and shopping is one of the most social activities we engage in," Walmart SVP global e-commerce and @WalmartLabs co-founder Venky Harinarayan said. "Our vision is to delight consumers and Shopycat is a first step in that direction with social and shopping coming together on the scale of Walmart. At Walmart, we see social commerce fueling the next generation of e-commerce where online and retail stores bring a continuous shopping experience to millions of users.  We plan to continue experimenting with products as we build new social apps over the coming year."

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‘The Help’ debuts at retail

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — A film based on a bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett will make its debut in Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, digital download and on-demand formats on Dec. 6.

"The Help," starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard, tells the story of women in the the 1960s South who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project.

"The Help" has been packaged as follows:

  • 3-disc Blu-ray combo pack (Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy) for $44.99;

  • 2-disc Blu-ray combo pack (Blu-ray and DVD) for $39.99;

  • Single-disc DVD for $29.99;

  • High-definition digital download for $39.99; and

  • Standard-definition digital download for $29.99.

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Study: Elevated glucose levels may be linked to colorectal cancer

BY Allison Cerra

BRONX, N.Y. — A new study conducted by researchers at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that high blood-sugar levels may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Researchers examined the fasting blood sugar and insulin levels of nearly 5,000 postmenopausal women — all of whom were enrolled in the National Institutes of Health’s landmark Women’s Health Initiative study — several times over a 12-year period.

By the end of the 12-year period, 81 of the women had developed colorectal cancer. The researchers found that elevated baseline glucose levels were associated with increased colorectal cancer risk, with women that were part of the highest third of baseline glucose levels were nearly twice as likely to have developed colorectal cancer, compared with women categorized in the lowest third of blood-glucose levels. Results were similar when the scientists looked at repeated glucose measurements over time, the researchers said. No association was found, however, between insulin levels and risk for colorectal cancer.

"The next challenge is to find the mechanism by which chronically elevated blood glucose levels may lead to colorectal cancer," said Geoffrey Kabat, a senior epidemiologist at Einstein and lead author of the paper. "It’s possible that elevated glucose levels are linked to increased blood levels of growth factors and inflammatory factors that spur the growth of intestinal polyps, some of which later develop into cancer."

The findings appeared online in the Nov. 29 edition of the British Journal of Cancer.


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