Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sugar vs. Fat

I watched this great BBC documentary called "Sugar vs. Fat.".  

I found a version on youtube, but it the youtube version looks too dark:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nT-vACI-jg

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fwd: Japan

'More Japanese school pupils commit suicide on September 1 each year than on any other date, according to figures collated by Japan's suicide prevention office over a period of more than 40 years.

The grim spike in the statistics is linked to the typical start date of the new school term after the summer holiday has ended.

"The long break from school enables you to stay at home, so it's heaven for those who are bullied," Nanae said. "When summer ends, you have to go back. And once you start worrying about getting bullied, committing suicide might be possible."..

Nanae thinks the Japanese education system's focus on collective thinking is at the root cause of the problem.

"In Japan, you have to fall in line with other people. And if you cannot do that, you're either ignored or bullied," she said. "You are required to have a unified opinion, and it crushes the uniqueness every person has. But that uniqueness is not something to destroy."

Some experts agree. Child psychiatrist Dr. Ken Takaoka said the suicide rate increases when school restarts because schools "prioritize collective (action). Children who do not get along in a group will suffer."'

 

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/01/asia/japan-teen-suicides/


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fwd: Food


'Based on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's recent recommendations, this Viewpoint urges the US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services to remove limits on total fat consumption in their 2015 Dietary Guideline to promote consumption of healthful fat.'

 

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2338262

 




Nearly instantaneous, finger-prick test for Ebola could be game changer

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fwd: Cancer

'Anti-cancer strategies generally involve killing off tumor cells. However, cancer cells may instead be coaxed to turn back into normal tissue simply by reactivating a single gene, according to a study published June 18th in the journal Cell. Researchers found that restoring normal levels of a human colorectal cancer gene in mice stopped tumor growth and re-established normal intestinal function within only 4 days. Remarkably, tumors were eliminated within 2 weeks, and signs of cancer were prevented months later. The findings provide proof of principle that restoring the function of a single tumor suppressor gene can cause tumor regression and suggest future avenues for developing effective cancer treatments.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fwd: rate increase

'So the proposed 2016 Obamacare rates have been filed in many states, and in many states, the numbers are eye-popping. Market leaders are requesting double-digit increases in a lot of places. Some of the biggest are really double-digit: 51 percent in New Mexico, 36 percent in Tennessee, 30 percent in Maryland, 25 percent in Oregon. The reason? They say that with a full year of claims data under their belt for the first time since Obamacare went into effect, they're finding the insurance pool was considerably older and sicker than expected…

And in the three cases where I could see supporting data about premium revenue and losses, those losses appear to be large. Moda of Oregon says that its claims were 139 percent of revenue, making for a margin of -61 percent. If I am reading their somewhat confusing table right, Health Service Corporation of New Mexico says it lost $23 million on revenue of $121 million. CareFirst of Maryland says that claims were 120 percent of revenue, which if we add in some money to pay for overhead, amounts to ... less than or equal to what they're asking from regulators. I can't find claims experience data for Tennessee, but that state told the Wall Street Journal that it lost $141 million on exchange plans last year.

Now, this is not the whole story. These are only the biggest insurers in some states…'

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-05-25/sticker-shock-for-some-obamacare-customers


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fwd: Food

'Being dangerously overweight is all down to bad diet rather than a lack of exercise, according to a trio of doctors who have reopened the debate about whether food, sedentary lifestyles or both are responsible for the obesity epidemic.

In an article for a leading health journal the authors – who include British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, an outspoken critic of the food industry – accuse food and drink firms such as Coca-Cola of having wrongly emphasised how physical activity and sport can help prevent people becoming very overweight.

The truth, they say, is that while physical activity is useful in reducing the risk of developing heart disease, dementia and other conditions, it "does not promote weight loss".

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"In the past 30 years, as obesity has rocketed, there has been little change in physical activity levels in the western population. This places the blame for our expanding waistlines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed."

The authors add: "Members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a 'healthy weight' through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise." '

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/22/obesity-owes-more-to-bad-diet-than-lack-of-exercise-say-doctors



 


Monday, April 20, 2015

Fwd: Liquid biopsy


'liquid biopsy and through recent and very expensive techniques the doctors might only need a blood sample in order to test for cancer DNA in the body. The test is able to find tiny traces of such DNA material in the patient's blood.

The thing with the blood draw is that it bears benefits for both the patient and the doctor; the patient goes to less trouble than undergoing a traditional biopsy or even a CT scan; and the oncologist can be sure about the efficiency of a treatment and it offers a more stable monitoring tool. If the treatment appears to be failing, oncologists will know to abandon it quicker, sparing the patient of unnecessary side effects and offering the possibility of trying out better alternatives...

The largest study so far used the test on 126 lymphoma patients – a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute. The results were published in The Lancet Oncology. Apparently, the test was so accurate that it could predict the reappearance of cancer with up to 3 months before CT scans could finally detect them.'

 

http://www.wallstreetotc.com/liquid-biopsies-offer-new-promises-in-cancer-detection-and-monitoring/217450/

 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Support Shiloh's Wish To Be Called "John"

Fwd: Health

'An international team of more than 18 research groups has demonstrated that the compounds they developed can safely prevent harmful protein aggregation in preliminary tests using animals. The findings raise hope that a new class of drugs may be on the horizon for the more than 30 diseases and conditions that involve protein aggregation, including diabetes, cancer, spinal cord injury, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).'

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fwd: infections

'The superbug Clostridium difficile has been linked to the deaths of 29,000 Americans a year, according to a new report.

The study found there were nearly twice as many deaths associated with the bacteria than had previously been recorded…

In total c.difficle infects 450,000 Americans each year the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, according to NBC News.

The bacteria causes an inflammation of the colon and causes deadly diarrhea. 

The research found the deadly microbe was 'directly attributed' to 15,000 deaths and linked to 29,000 deaths in 2011. 

More than 80 percent of the deaths associated with the infection occurred among Americans aged 65 years or older.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2969283/Study-Nasty-stomach-bug-common-thought-US.html


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Baby Born Pregnant with Her Own Twins

http://news.yahoo.com/baby-born-pregnant-her-own-twins-004424350.html

A baby born in Hong Kong was pregnant with her own siblings at the time of her birth, according to a new report of the infant's case. "Weird things happen early, early in the pregnancy that we just don't understand," said Dr. Draion Burch, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Pittsburgh, who goes by Dr. Drai.

Fwd: cholesterol

'The nation's top nutrition advisory panel will drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings.
​​
The group's finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a ''nutrient of concern'' stands in contrast to its findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed ''excess dietary cholesterol'' a public health concern…

But the finding follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now say that, for a healthy adult, cholesterol intake may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease.'

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/02/11/poised-withdraw-longstanding-warnings-about-cholesterol/AdDWztSEXxDeM2waVH5ifP/story.html

... there are many caveats in the article.  Seems to me that caution and a reasonably healthy diet are still wise.  The article complains about trans fat and ​saturated fat.   As far as I know, both come from animal products.  Funny how a different study said that effect of saturated fat wasn't statistically significant and still yet another study said that a low fat diet is not a good idea.  Confused yet?  I have been eating a diet heavy in unsaturated fats and low in sugar.  I have been eating more veggies too.  According to my doctor, my blood test showed a low risk for heart disease.  

However, blood tests aren't a perfect predictor either.  I have seen articles claiming that inflammation is a risk factor for heart disease.


Fwd: Ebola

'The U.N. Ebola chief says...more than 10,000 American civilians working in West Africa are still essential to combating the deadly disease.

Dr. David Nabarro warned in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press that the battle against Ebola is far from over, pointing to a disappointing rise in new cases last week in hardest-hit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.'

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/us/article/UN-Ebola-chief-10-000-US-civilians-needed-to-6075421.php

'The number of deaths from Ebola has risen to 9,152, a sharp increase following weeks in which the outbreak appeared to be weakening.

The death toll reported Tuesday by the World Health Organization represents a jump of nearly 150 deaths since the agency's last update three days earlier.

The WHO said the number of new cases climbed by 303, with 136 new cases in Liberia, 113 in Sierra Leone, and 54 in Guinea.

Dr. David Nabarro, the U.N. special envoy on Ebola, told reporters in Geneva that the new numbers showed the outbreak was not yet under control.  He said the goal is to reduce the number of new cases to zero.

"Good progress is being made, but the outbreak still represents a grave threat," Nabarro said, "and we really hope that there will be no complacency in anybody involved in the response.  We have to really work hard to get zero cases, zero transmissions."

Health experts have cautioned West Africans against becoming complacent about the disease. The WHO recently said a single unsafe burial in Guinea last month caused 11 confirmed Ebola cases.

Those killed by the virus remain contagious and must be buried by workers in protective equipment.'

http://www.voanews.com/content/who-says-ebola-deaths-infections-on-the-rise/2636459.html

 

 


Fwd: Measles

'Before the introduction of a live measles vaccine in 1963, the average yearly number of measles cases was 549,000. (Nearly 500 deaths per year were attributed to measles).

Once the measles vaccine was introduced (it was a one-dose shot), there was a huge drop in measles cases.

Then, between 1989 and 1991, there was a resurgence in measles cases. There were 55,000 cases and 123 deaths reported during that period.

Those getting sick were mostly unvaccinated children. But there were also people who had the vaccine and were getting the disease anyway.

In 1989, the medical community's recommendation was updated to recommend a two-dose vaccination regimen.

The use of two doses was effective. In 2000, endemic measles was declared "eliminated" from the United States. '

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/02/health/measles-how-bad-can-it-be/

 


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fwd: Vaccination

'President Barack Obama called the science behind vaccinations "indisputable" on Monday, but he once appeared to call a purported link between autism and vaccines "inconclusive."

In 2008, as a senator and presidential candidate, Obama discussed the possible link between vaccines and autism.

"We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate," Obama said in April 2008 at a rally in Pennsylvania. "Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included."..

 

By April 2008, when Obama was claiming research was inconclusive, scientists had already overwhelmingly rejected any causal relationship between vaccinations and autism.

In 2001, thimerosal was "removed or reduced to trace amounts" in all childhood vaccines except for one type that treats the flu. In May 2004 — almost four years before Obama claimed that the science was "inconclusive" — the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, released a report rejecting any "causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism." The CDC strongly supported the results…'

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/obama-vaccines-views-suspicious-114837.html

 

 


Fwd: Cancer

'One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, analysis suggests.

Cancer Research UK said this estimate, using a new calculation method, replaced a forecast of more than one in three people developing the disease.

It said longer life expectancies meant more people would be affected.

But it was not inevitable and improving lifestyle, such as losing weight and quitting smoking, could have a major impact, the charity added.

The good news is cancer survival figures are also rising.

The seemingly sudden jump in diagnosis estimates is down to researchers developing a more sophisticated and accurate method for analysing the risk of cancer.

However, both the new and old methods show the same long-term trend - a rise in the lifetime risk of developing cancer.

Nearly 54% of men will develop cancer, compared with just under 48% of women, the figures indicate.


Food pipe tumours

Fewer deaths from heart disease and infections mean more people are living long enough to develop cancer.

But lead researcher Professor Peter Sasieni, from Queen Mary University of London, said: "It isn't inevitable.

"There is quite a lot we can do to prevent cancer and hopefully in many years' time I'll have been proven completely wrong."

He is referring to lifestyle factors including obesity, red meat consumption and smoking that increase the odds of a tumour developing.

Lung cancer cases are still increasing in women

Breast cancer is likely to remain the most common cancer among women

He told the BBC that a healthy lifestyle could lower the lifetime risk from 50% to 30%.

Breast and prostate cancers are likely to remain the most common cancers in women and men respectively.

However, some cancers are rapidly becoming more common.

Tumours in the food pipe, caused by acid reflux in obesity, are being seen more often in clinics.


Head and neck cancers caused by the human papillomavirus are increasing and oral sex is thought to be behind the rise.

'Milestone'

Dr Harpal Kumar, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "We have reached what many would regard as an important milestone.

"We need to plan ahead to make sure the NHS is fit to cope, if the NHS doesn't act and invest now, we will face a crisis in the future - with outcomes from cancer going backwards."'

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-31096218


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fwd: Muscle

'Researchers have grown human skeletal muscle in the laboratory that, for the first time, contracts and responds just like native tissue to external stimuli such as electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals. The development should soon allow researchers to test new drugs and study diseases in functioning human muscle outside of the human body.'

Fwd: Muscle

'Scientists have discovered that ordinary fishing line and sewing thread can be cheaply converted to powerful artificial muscles. The new muscles can lift a hundred times more weight and generate a hundred times higher mechanical power than the same length and weight of human muscle. Per weight, they can generate 7.1 horsepower per kilogram, about the same mechanical power as a jet engine.'

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fwd: longer telomeres

'A new procedure can quickly and efficiently increase the length of human telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that are linked to aging and disease, according to scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Treated cells behave as if they are much younger than untreated cells, multiplying with abandon in the laboratory dish rather than stagnating or dying.

The procedure, which involves the use of a modified type of RNA, will improve the ability of researchers to generate large numbers of cells for study or drug development, the scientists say. Skin cells with telomeres lengthened by the procedure were able to divide up to 40 more times than untreated cells. The research may point to new ways to treat diseases caused by shortened telomeres.

Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of the strands of DNA called chromosomes, which house our genomes. In young humans, telomeres are about 8,000-10,000 nucleotides long. They shorten with each cell division, however, and when they reach a critical length the cell stops dividing or dies. This internal "clock" makes it difficult to keep most cells growing in a laboratory for more than a few cell doublings.

'Turning back the internal clock'

"Now we have found a way to lengthen human telomeres by as much as 1,000 nucleotides, turning back the internal clock in these cells by the equivalent of many years of human life," said Helen Blau, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford and director of the university's Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology. 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150123102539.htm

 

Fwd: Measles

'Measles could once again become native in the U.S., disease experts worry, as an outbreak in California linked to Disneyland has put a spotlight on a growing failure to vaccinate that's helping the disease to spread.

While 94 percent of California kindergarteners were fully inoculated against the virus last school year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are clusters where vaccination is much lower. In some pockets of California, as much as a quarter of children are undervaccinated -- putting them at risk of both contracting the disease and becoming a nexus of future spread.

"Children die as a result of this disease," said Greg Poland, professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and director of the Mayo Vaccine Research Group. "In 1990, 3 of every 1,000 children who got measles died from it. That wasn't the dark ages. We don't have an effective treatment for measles. The only thing we have is prevention."

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2015-01-26/measles-threatens-u-dot-s-dot-comeback-years-after-elimination-health


Friday, January 23, 2015

Fwd: Autism

'Among the problems people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) struggle with are difficulties with social behavior and communication. That can translate to an inability to make friends, engage in routine conversations, or pick up on the social cues that are second nature to most people. Similarly, in a mouse model of ASD, the animals, like humans, show little interest in interacting or socializing with other mice.

Now researchers at UCLA have treated ASD mice with a neuropeptide--molecules used by neurons to communicate with each other--called oxytocin, and have found that it restores normal social behavior. In addition, the findings suggest that giving oxytocin as early as possible in the animal's life leads to more lasting effects in adults and adolescents. This suggests there may be critical times for treatment that are better than others.

The study appears in the January 21 online edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine.'

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150122154818.htm


Friday, January 9, 2015

Fwd: Alzheimers

'Researchers around the world keep looking for ways to limit the memory damage caused by Alzheimer's disease.  The latest treatment showing some promise is a nasal spray that uses a form of the insulin hormone.

For 21 days, a team of scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center monitored the effects of manufactured insulin on 60 adults with either mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or moderate Alzheimer's dementia (AD). One group was given 40 units of the nasal insulin detemir, another was given 20 units and a third group was given a placebo.

Of the three groups, short-term ability to process verbal and visual cues increased the most in those who were given 40 units of the spray. That same dosage of the spray was also able to increase memory scores for those carrying the gene that increases a person's risk for dementia the most. Carrying that particular gene usually makes the body resistant to most treatments.'

http://www.healthcentral.com/dailydose/cf/2015/01/9/insulin_nasal_spray_boosts_memory_in_study


I already forgot what the article is about.  

 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fwd: Longevity

'Bowhead whales are most likely the longest-living mammals on the planet. There's evidence (some of it in the form of Victorian-era harpoons embedded in blubber) that they can live as long as 200 years. And there are humans who'd like to get a little slice of that longevity for themselves.

This week, some of them took the first step to stealing the bowhead whale's secrets: They sequenced its genome. Their results were published Tuesday in Cell.

"I think that having the genome sequence of the bowhead whale will allow researchers to study basic molecular processes and identify maintenance mechanisms that help preserve life, avoid entropy and repair molecular damage," said corresponding author Joao Pedro de Magalhaes of the University of Liverpool.'

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/01/06/researchers-hope-this-whales-genes-will-help-reverse-human-aging/

 


Fwd: Antibiotic

'The decades-long drought in antibiotic discovery could be over after a breakthrough by US scientists…

The last new class of antibiotics to make it to clinic was discovered nearly three decades ago.

The study, in the journal Nature, has been described as a "game-changer" and experts believe the antibiotic haul is just the "tip of the iceberg".

The heyday of antibiotic discovery was in the 1950s and 1960s, but nothing found since 1987 has made it into doctor's hands.

Since then microbes have become incredibly resistant. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis ignores nearly everything medicine can throw at it.

Back to soil

The researchers, at the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, turned to the source of nearly all antibiotics - soil.

This is teeming with microbes, but only 1% can be grown in the laboratory.

The team created a "subterranean hotel" for bacteria. One bacterium was placed in each "room" and the whole device was buried in soil.

It allowed the unique chemistry of soil to permeate the room, but kept the bacteria in place for study.

'

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30657486


Fwd: Law

'Striking a blow for the freedom to eat the bloated livers of ducks and geese force-fed grain through tubes, a federal judge invalidated California's 2012 ban of foie gras.

http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/top-stories/federal-judge-jokingly-strikes-down-state-foie-gras-ban-that-runs-afoul-of-us-law-150108?news=855312

So California cannot ban something Federal law allows….Colorado can allow something Federal law bans….and Arizona cannot pass a law identical to federal law to ban the same thing federal law does.