Navigational ability visible in brain

Navigational ability visible in brain The brains of people who immediately know their way after traveling along as a passenger are different from the brains of people who always need a GPS system or a map to get from one place to another. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 25, 2013 — The brains of people who immediately know their way after traveling along as a passenger are different from the brains of people who always need a GPS system or a map to get from one place to another. This was demonstrated by Joost Wegman, who will defend his thesis at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands on the 27th of November.Share This:Wegman demonstrates that good navigators store relevant landmarks automatically on their way. Bad navigators on the other hand, often follow a fixed procedure or route (such as: turn left twice, then turn right at the statue).Anatomical differencesWegman also found that there are detectable structural differences between the brains of good and bad navigators. ‘These anatomical differences are not huge, but we found them significant enough, because we had a lot of data’, the researcher explains. ‘The difference is in the hippocampus. We saw that good navigators had more so-called gray matter. In the brain’s gray matter information is processed. Bad navigators, on the other hand, have more white matter ­- which connects gray matter areas with each other ­- in a brain area called the caudate nucleus. This area stores spatial actions with respect to oneself. … For more info: Navigational ability visible in brain ScienceDaily: Living Well News Navigational ability visible in brain L’articolo Navigational ability visible in brain sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Video game play may provide learning, health, social benefits

Video game play may provide learning, health, social benefits Playing video games, including violent shooter games, may boost children’s learning, health and social skills, according to a review of research on the positive effects of video game play. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 25, 2013 — Playing video games, including violent shooter games, may boost children’s learning, health and social skills, according to a review of research on the positive effects of video game play to be published by the American Psychological Association.The study comes out as debate continues among psychologists and other health professionals regarding the effects of violent media on youth. An APA task force is conducting a comprehensive review of research on violence in video games and interactive media and will release its findings in 2014.”Important research has already been conducted for decades on the negative effects of gaming, including addiction, depression and aggression, and we are certainly not suggesting that this should be ignored,” said lead author Isabela Granic, PhD, of Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands. “However, to understand the impact of video games on children’s and adolescents’ development, a more balanced perspective is needed.”The article will be published in APA’s flagship journal, American Psychologist.While one widely held view maintains playing video games is intellectually lazy, such play actually may strengthen a range of cognitive skills such as spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception, according to several studies reviewed in the article. This is particularly true for shooter video games that are often violent, the authors said. A 2013 meta-analysis found that playing shooter video games improved a player’s capacity to think about objects in three dimensions, just as well as academic courses to enhance these same skills, according to the study. “This has critical implications for education and career development, as previous research has established the power of spatial skills for achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Granic said. This enhanced thinking was not found with playing other types of video games, such as puzzles or role-playing games.Playing video games may also help children develop problem-solving skills, the authors said. The more adolescents reported playing strategic video games, such as role-playing games, the more they improved in problem solving and school grades the following year, according to a long-term study published in 2013. Children’s creativity was also enhanced by playing any kind of video game, including violent games, but not when the children used other forms of technology, such as a computer or cell phone, other research revealed.Simple games that are easy to access and can be played quickly, such as “Angry Birds,” can improve players’ moods, promote relaxation and ward off anxiety, the study said. … For more info: Video game play may provide learning, health, social benefits ScienceDaily: Living Well News Video game play may provide learning, health, social benefits L’articolo Video game play may provide learning, health, social benefits sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Junk food, poor oral health increase risk of premature heart disease

Junk food, poor oral health increase risk of premature heart disease The association between poor oral health and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should make the reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks, an important health policy target, say experts. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Dec. 2, 2013 — The association between poor oral health and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should make the reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks, an important health policy target, say experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.Share This:Poor oral hygiene and excess sugar consumption can lead to periodontal disease where the supporting bone around the teeth is destroyed. It is thought that chronic infection from gum disease can trigger an inflammatory response that leads to heart disease through a process called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Despite convincing evidence linking poor oral health to premature heart disease, the most recent UK national guidance on the prevention of CVD at population level mentions the reduction of sugar only indirectly.Dr Ahmed Rashid, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, who co-wrote the paper, said: “As well as having high levels of fats and salt, junk foods often contain a great deal of sugar and the effect this has on oral health may be an important additional mechanism by which junk food elevates risk of CVD.” He added: “Among different types of junk food, soft drinks have raised particular concerns and are the main source of free sugar for many individuals.”The authors refer to the well-publicized New York ‘soda ban’ controversy which has brought the issue to the attention of many. Yet, they point out, in the UK fizzy drinks remain commonly available in public areas ranging from hospitals to schools. Dr Rashid said: “The UK population should be encouraged to reduce fizzy drink intake and improve oral hygiene. Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life.”Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, and Google:Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:|Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above. Journal Reference:A. … For more info: Junk food, poor oral health increase risk of premature heart disease ScienceDaily: Top Health News Junk food, poor oral health increase risk of premature heart disease L’articolo Junk food, poor oral health increase risk of premature heart disease sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Scientists design, test new approach for corneal stem cell treatments

Scientists design, test new approach for corneal stem cell treatments Researchers have designed and tested a novel, minute-long procedure to prepare human amniotic membrane for use as a scaffold for specialized stem cells that may be used to treat some corneal diseases. This membrane serves as a foundation that supports the growth of stem cells in order to graft them onto the cornea. This new method may accelerate research and clinical applications for stem cell corneal transplantation. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 27, 2013 — Researchers in the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute have designed and tested a novel, minute-long procedure to prepare human amniotic membrane for use as a scaffold for specialized stem cells that may be used to treat some corneal diseases. This membrane serves as a foundation that supports the growth of stem cells in order to graft them onto the cornea.This new method, explained in a paper published this month in the journal PLOS ONE, may accelerate research and clinical applications for stem cell corneal transplantation.Corneal blindness affects more than 8 million people worldwide. Among other causes, corneal blindness can be the outcome of corneal stem cell deficiency, a disease usually resulting from genetic defects or injury to the eye — such as burns, infection or chronic inflammation — that can lead to vision loss. A feasible treatment to rectify vision loss for such patients is corneal stem cell transplantation, either as a biopsy from another eye or by transplanting cultured stem cells, although this promising approach is not yet fully standardized.An approved biological foundation for cultured stem cells is the human amniotic membrane, a thin but sturdy film that separates the fetus from the placenta. For the best growth of stem cells, amniotic cells need to be removed by chemical agents. The existing methods for removing these cells from this membrane are not standardized, leave behind amniotic cells and may cause unwanted loss of some of the membrane components.The amniotic cell removal method created at Cedars-Sinai takes less than one minute and ensures virtually complete amniotic cell removal and preservation of amniotic membrane components, and also supports the overall growth of various stem and tissue cells.”We believe that this straightforward and relatively fast procedure would allow easier standardization of amniotic membrane as a valuable stem cell support and improve the current standard of care in corneal stem cell transplantation,” said lead author Alexander Ljubimov, PhD, director of the Eye Program at the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute. “This new method may provide a better method for researchers, transplant corneal surgeons and manufacturing companies alike.”Mehrnoosh Saghizadeh Ghiam, PhD, a research scientist in the Regenerative Medicine Institute’s Eye Program, assistant professor in the department of Biomedical Sciences and first author of the study, commented on the potential of the new method.”The amniotic membrane has many beneficial properties and provides an attractive framework to grow tissue and stem cells for regenerative medicine transplantations, especially in replacing missing stem cells in the cornea,” said Saghizadeh. “Our method for preparing this scaffold for cell expansion is and may streamline clinical applications of cell therapies.” For more info: Scientists design, test new approach for corneal stem cell treatments ScienceDaily: Top Health News Scientists design, test new approach for corneal stem cell treatments L’articolo Scientists design, test new approach for corneal stem cell treatments sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Results of my PET/CT scan

Results of my PET/CT scan Last week we went to see my oncologist for results of the recent PET/CT scan. With a smile on his face, my oncologist Allan Zimet said ‘Left hand side chest TUMOUR SHRINKAGE, Right hand side NO CHANGE/STABLE, Diaphragm – growing slightly ONLY! No further treatment at this stage, come back early Jan 2014!’ Both Keith and myself could not believe this news! This time with chemotherapy I was fighting for my life and for the moment I have won! I have my life back again! For how long who knows – I am happy with this! I can plan Christmas …. .Having said that lol we are hosting the Bernie Banton Foundation Christmas luncheon at our place tomorrow. Xmas tree and decorations are up and everything is ready for 11am tomorrow – I am so excited to be able to do this and feel slightly tired however WELL!1st December today – I hope this month goes slowly until Xmas day as I love this time of the year.The annual asbestos commemoration service was held last Friday 29 November, I remember last year returning from Nice, France the night before and attending the service. As Keith had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer and my cancer had come back …. we both looked at each other there, squeezed our hands and said to each other – will we be here in 12 mths! Keith said ‘if you look after me and vice versa we will be’! Guess what – Keith has his health and I now have my health back!Life has its ups and downs and if you can deal with what presents itself at the time, and let the universe take care of the big picture you will get through it. For us, life is good – we have our health and each other. via Asbestos – Living with Mesothelioma in Australia Louise (Lou) Williams: Last week we went to see my oncologist for results of the recent PET/CT scan. With a smile on his face, my oncologist Allan Zimet said ‘Left hand side chest TUMOUR SHRINKAGE, Right hand side NO CHANGE/STABLE, Diaphragm – growing slightly ONLY!No further treatment at this stage, come back early Jan 2014!’Both Keith and myself could not believe this news! This time with chemotherapy I was fighting for my life and for the moment I have won! I have my life back again! For how long who knows – I am happy with this! I can plan Christmas …. . Having said that lol we are hosting the Bernie Banton Foundation Christmas luncheon at our place tomorrow. Xmas tree and decorations are up and everything is ready for 11… For more info: Results of my PET/CT scan Asbestos – Living with Mesothelioma in Australia Louise (Lou) Williams Results of my PET/CT scan L’articolo Results of my PET/CT scan sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Are you carrying adrenal Cushing’s syndrome without knowing it?

Are you carrying adrenal Cushing’s syndrome without knowing it? Genetic research suggests that clinicians’ understanding and treatment of a form of Cushing’s syndrome affecting both adrenal glands will be fundamentally changed, and that moreover, it might be appropriate to begin screening for the genetic mutations that cause this form of the disease. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 27, 2013 — Genetic research that will be published tomorrow in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests to Dr. André Lacroix, professor at the University of Montreal, that clinicians’ understanding and treatment of a form of Cushing’s syndrome affecting both adrenal glands will be fundamentally changed, and that moreover, it might be appropriate to begin screening for the genetic mutations that cause this form of the disease.Share This:“Screening family members of bilateral adrenal Cushing’s syndrome patients with genetic mutations may identify affected silent carriers,” Lacroix said in an editorial in this Journal. “The development of drugs that interrupt the defective genetic chemical link that causes the syndrome could, if confirmed to be effective in people, provide individualized specific therapies for hypercortisolism, eliminate the current practice of removing both adrenal glands, and possibly prevent disease progression in genetically affected family members.” Adrenal glands sit above the kidneys are mainly responsible for releasing cortisol, a stress hormone. Hypercortiolism means a high level of the adrenal hormone cortisol, which causes many symptoms including weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, concentration deficit and increased cardiovascular deaths.Cushing’s syndrome can be caused by corticosteroid use (such as for asthma or arthritis), a tumor on the adrenal glands, or a pituitary gland that releases too much ACTH. The pituitary gland sits under the brain and releases various hormones that regulate our bodies’ mechanisms.Jérôme Bertherat is a researcher at Cochin Hospital in Paris. In the study he published today, he showed that 55% of Cushing’s Syndrome patients with bilaterally very enlarged adrenal glands have mutations in a gene that predisposes to the development of adrenal tumours. This means that bilateral adrenal Cushing’s is much more hereditary than previously thought. The new knowledge will also enable clinicians to undertake genetic screening. Hervé Lefebvre is a researcher at the University Hospital in Rouen, France. … For more info: Are you carrying adrenal Cushing’s syndrome without knowing it? ScienceDaily: Top Health News Are you carrying adrenal Cushing’s syndrome without knowing it? L’articolo Are you carrying adrenal Cushing’s syndrome without knowing it? sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy increases risk of fetal, infant death

Pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy increases risk of fetal, infant death New research shows that pre-existing diabetes in pregnant women greatly increases the risk of death of their unborn fetus by around 4.5 times compared with pregnant women without diabetes, and also almost doubles the risk of death of infants after birth. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 27, 2013 — New research shows that pre-existing diabetes in pregnant women greatly increases the risk of death of their unborn fetus by around four-and-a-half times compared with pregnant women without diabetes, and also almost doubles the risk of death of infants after birth. The research, published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes), is by Dr Ruth Bell and Peter Tennant, Newcastle University, UK, and colleagues from Newcastle University, and the South Tees NHS Trust, UK and Public Health England.While previous research has investigated links between pre-existing diabetes in mothers and deaths of unborn fetuses and young children, it has not previously excluded congenital anomalies1 from causes of death. In this new research, the authors used unique sources of data from several long-standing population-based registers in the north of England to investigate the association between pre-existing diabetes and the risks of fetal and infant death in offspring without congenital anomalies.All normally formed singleton offspring of women with pre-existing diabetes (1,206 with type 1 diabetes and 342 with type 2 diabetes) in the North of England during 1996� were identified from the Northern Diabetes in Pregnancy Survey. The relative risk of fetal death (i.e. death of a fetus at or after 20 weeks’ gestation 2) and infant death (i.e. death during the first year of life) were estimated by comparison with population data from the Northern Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality Survey. Predictors of fetal and infant death in women with pre-existing diabetes were examined.The researchers found that women with pre-existing diabetes were 4.56 times more likely to have their unborn fetus die compared with women without diabetes, while their infants were 1.86 times more likely to die. There was no difference in the risk of fetal and/or infant death in women with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2. Women with glycated haemoglobin (a standard measure of blood sugar control) above 6.6%, those with pre-pregnancy retinopathy (a complication of diabetes) and a lack of folic acid supplementation were all found to be at higher risk of experiencing a fetal or infant death.The prevalence of fetal death was 3% in women with pre-existing diabetes, and the prevalence of infant death was 0.7%, compared with 0.7% and 0.4% in women without the condition. … For more info: Pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy increases risk of fetal, infant death ScienceDaily: Top Health News Pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy increases risk of fetal, infant death L’articolo Pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy increases risk of fetal, infant death sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Mother-to-child HIV transmission in Gipuzkoa reduced significantly over last 25 years

Mother-to-child HIV transmission in Gipuzkoa reduced significantly over last 25 years The evolution that took place between 1984 and 2011 in paediatric HIV infection in Gipuzkoa has been studied. The development of methods to diagnose the disease coupled with increasingly more effective treatments have made it possible to reduce mother-to-child transmission (vertical transmission) from 23.9% to 2.4%, thus virtually eradicating infection in children. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 29, 2013 — Miren Apilánez, researcher in the Department of pediatrics of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, has studied the evolution that took place between 1984 and 2011 in pediatric HIV infection in Gipuzkoa. The development of methods to diagnose the disease coupled with increasingly more effective treatments have made it possible to reduce mother-to-child transmission (vertical transmission) from 23.9% to 2.4%, thus virtually eradicating infection in children.Vertical transmission occurs between mothers infected with HIV and their offspring. This infection can take place at three different moments or phases: during pregnancy, during birth or during breastfeeding, “but in actual fact, the most critical moment is the birth because the child comes into contact with the mother’s blood or vaginal secretions,” explains the researcher. “Infection is also possible during pregnancy, but it is less likely because the placenta acts as a barrier.” As regards breastfeeding, “the moment it became known that it was a way of transmitting the infection, it was contraindicated in developed countries,” explains Apilánez.In the course of the research, Apilánez studied 239 children of HIV-infected mothers and born between 1984 and 2010 in Gipuzkoa, and their mothers. 30 children were infected by the virus, and 209 seroreverted during the first months of life.Four periods, four scenariosThroughout this time there is proof of an evolution in various aspects relating to the infection in Gipuzkoa: the transmission rate itself, the implementing of diagnostic and therapeutic methods in mothers and children, or the channel through which mothers acquire the HIV infection.So Apilánez has established four periods in the course of time, defined mainly by the implementing of diagnostic measures and therapies. The first period was the one between 1984, when the first child was diagnosed, until March 1994, and Apilánez defines it as “the period of few resources, characterized by the absence of effective therapies.”In March 1994 the results of the ACTG076 protocol were published worldwide showing that the administering of the first antiretroviral drug known as AZT during pregnancy and birth reduced vertical transmission considerably. The protocol stated that it had to be administered during pregnancy in order to improve the immunovirological situation of the mother, who would reach birth with an undetectable viral load and, therefore, with a minimal risk of passing the infection onto the child. The treatment is completed with intrapartum therapy as well as therapy for the newborn during the first 45 days. After starting this treatment in pregnant women infected with HIV in Gipuzkoa (second period), it was seen that within three years transmission fell from 25% to 8%. … For more info: Mother-to-child HIV transmission in Gipuzkoa reduced significantly over last 25 years ScienceDaily: Top Health News Mother-to-child HIV transmission in Gipuzkoa reduced significantly over last 25 years L’articolo Mother-to-child HIV transmission in Gipuzkoa reduced significantly over last 25 years sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Mobility explains association between social activity, mortality risk in older people

Mobility explains association between social activity, mortality risk in older people Social activity and health correlate in old age, but less is known about what explains this association. The results of a study showed that part of the association between social activity and mortality was mediated by mobility among older men and women. Of other potential mediators, having less depressive symptoms and better cognitive functioning are merely prerequisites for social activity. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 28, 2013 — Social activity and health correlate in old age, but less is known about what explains this association. The results of a study carried out in the Gerontology Research Center showed that part of the association between social activity and mortality was mediated by mobility among older men and women. Of other potential mediators, having less depressive symptoms and better cognitive functioning are merely prerequisites for social activity.”The health-enhancing influences of social activity may be partly explained by better mobility among persons who are socially active. Moreover, social activity may maintain mobility and thus decrease mortality risk, as many social activities also include physical activity,” says Katja Pynnönen, a PhD student from the University of Jyväskylä, Department of Health Sciences.Collective social activity researched in this study included, for example cultural activities, acting in organizations, traveling, physical activity in groups, and dancing. When participating in these kinds of activities, a person acts together with other people and may experience a sense of belonging to a group and a feeling of being liked and accepted.Helping others in various daily tasks is an example of productive social activity which may give feelings of doing good and being useful.”Good cognitive functioning and having less depressive symptoms seemed to be prerequisites for social activity. Thus, it is important to recognize and take into account those older people who have memory problems and are melancholy, and may need extra support to participate in social activities,” says Pynnönen.The study is part of the Evergreen project carried out in the University of Jyväskylä. In 1988, 406 men and 775 women aged 65-84 years took part in face-to-face interviews. Data on mortality were drawn from the population register. For more info: Mobility explains association between social activity, mortality risk in older people ScienceDaily: Living Well News Mobility explains association between social activity, mortality risk in older people L’articolo Mobility explains association between social activity, mortality risk in older people sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

High cholesterol fuels growth, spread of breast cancer

High cholesterol fuels growth, spread of breast cancer A byproduct of cholesterol functions like the hormone estrogen to fuel the growth and spread of the most common types of breast cancers, researchers report. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 28, 2013 — A byproduct of cholesterol functions like the hormone estrogen to fuel the growth and spread of the most common types of breast cancers, researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute report.The researchers also found that anti-cholesterol drugs such as statins appear to diminish the effect of this estrogen-like molecule.Published in the Nov. 29, 2013, edition of the journal Science, the findings are early, using mouse models and tumor cells. But the research for the first time explains the link between high cholesterol and breast cancer, especially in post-menopausal women, and suggests that dietary changes or therapies to reduce cholesterol may also offer a simple, accessible way to reduce breast cancer risk.”A lot of studies have shown a connection between obesity and breast cancer, and specifically that elevated cholesterol is associated with breast cancer risk, but no mechanism has been identified,” said senior author Donald McDonnell, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke. “What we have now found is a molecule — not cholesterol itself, but an abundant metabolite of cholesterol — called 27HC that mimics the hormone estrogen and can independently drive the growth of breast cancer.”The hormone estrogen feeds an estimated 75 percent of all breast cancers. In a key earlier finding from McDonnell’s lab, researchers determined that 27-hydroxycholesterol — or 27HC — behaved similarly to estrogen in animals.For their current work, the researchers set out to determine whether this estrogen activity was sufficient on its own to promote breast cancer growth and metastasis, and whether controlling it would have a converse effect.Using mouse models that are highly predictive of what occurs in humans, McDonnell and colleagues demonstrated the direct involvement of 27HC in breast tumor growth, as well as the aggressiveness of the cancer to spread to other organs. They also noted that the activity of this cholesterol metabolite was inhibited when the animals were treated with antiestrogens or when supplementation of 27HC was stopped.The studies were substantiated using human breast cancer tissue. An additional finding in the human tissue showed a direct correlation between the aggressiveness of the tumor and an abundance of the enzyme that makes the 27HC molecule. They also noted that 27HC could be made in other places in the body and transported to the tumor.”The worse the tumors, the more they have of the enzyme,” said lead author Erik Nelson, Ph.D., a post-doctoral associate at Duke. Nelson said gene expression studies revealed a potential association between 27HC exposure and the development of resistance to the antiestrogen tamoxifen. … For more info: High cholesterol fuels growth, spread of breast cancer ScienceDaily: Top Health News High cholesterol fuels growth, spread of breast cancer L’articolo High cholesterol fuels growth, spread of breast cancer sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Goodnight Little Me: I See Me (giveaway)

Goodnight Little Me: I See Me (giveaway) <!– Start Shareaholic LikeButtonSetTop Automatic –> <!– End Shareaholic LikeButtonSetTop Automatic –> I’m a total sucker for two things: anything personalized with my kids’ names and good books. I love reading to the kids and they love story time. So shops like I See Me, full of personalized goodies, are my favorite! I was sent their newest title for review, “Goodnight Little Me,” and I got it personalized for our little girl, Rebecca. Goodnight Little Me is an adorable bedtime story book for your little one with an entire “goodnight” parade. Bedtimes can be tough, right? We try all kinds of tricks and songs and routines to get our kids to bed… and this book has become a part of our night! Rebecca follows along saying “nigh, nigh!” and we show her her name throughout the book–I know it’s helping her learn! It’s written in the story and in the pictures. The pages are bright and colorful and story is fun and rhyming. Goodnight Little Me was written by their very own Jennifer Dewing and illustrated by Mary GrandPre’, the award-winning illustrator of the magical Harry Potter® series! Rebecca loves animals so we point out all of them in this book and make animal sounds I See Me has a great selection of personalized books and gifts, including puzzles, coloring books, placemats, stickers, lunch boxes, and more. Their books are always favorites in this house and we have personalized placemats, too! They make wonderful holiday gifts and fun stocking stuffers! You can get this book, Goodnight Little Me, at I See Me for $34.95. GIVEAWAY: one lucky reader will win their own personalized copy of Goodnight Little Me from I See Me! Please use the form below to enter–good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway <!– Start Shareaholic LikeButtonSetBottom Automatic –> <!– End Shareaholic LikeButtonSetBottom Automatic –> The post Goodnight Little Me: I See Me (giveaway) appeared first on Baby Dickey | Chicago, IL Mom Blogger. via Baby Dickey | Chicago, IL Mom Blogger: Goodnight Little Me: I See Me (giveaway) Emily Dickey posted this in GiveawaysI’m a total sucker for two things: anything personalized with my kids’ names and good books. I love reading to the kids and they love story time. So shops like I See Me, full of personalized goodies, are my favorite! I was sent their newest title for review, “Goodnight Little Me,” and I got it personalized for our little girl, Rebecca.Goodnight Little Me is an adorable bedtime story book for your little one with an entire “goodnight” parade. Bedtimes can be tough, right? We try all kinds of tricks and songs and routines to get our kids to bed… and this book has become a part of our night! Rebecca follows along saying… For more info: Goodnight Little Me: I See Me (giveaway) Baby Dickey | Chicago, IL Mom Blogger Goodnight Little Me: I See Me (giveaway) L’articolo Goodnight Little Me: I See Me (giveaway) sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Figure eights and peanut shells: How stars move at the center of the galaxy

Figure eights and peanut shells: How stars move at the center of the galaxy Two months ago astronomers created a new 3-D map of stars at the center of our Galaxy (the Milky Way), showing more clearly than ever the bulge at its core. Previous explanations suggested that the stars that form the bulge are in banana-like orbits, but a new article suggests that the stars probably move in peanut-shell or figure of eight-shaped orbits instead. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 27, 2013 — Two months ago astronomers created a new 3D map of stars at the centre of our Galaxy (the Milky Way), showing more clearly than ever the bulge at its core. Previous explanations suggested that the stars that form the bulge are in banana-like orbits, but a paper published this week in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society suggests that the stars probably move in peanut-shell or figure of eight-shaped orbits instead.The difference is important; astronomers develop theories of star motions to not only understand how the stars in our galaxy are moving today but also how our galaxy formed and evolves. The Milky Way is shaped like a spiral, with a region of stars at the centre known as the “bar,” because of its shape. In the middle of this region, there is a “bulge” that expands out vertically.In the new work Alice Quillen, professor of astronomy at the University of Rochester, and her collaborators created a mathematical model of what might be happening at the centre of the Milky Way. Unlike the Solar System where most of the gravitational pull comes from the Sun and is simple to model, it is much harder to describe the gravitational field near the centre of the Galaxy, where millions of stars, vast clouds of dust, and even dark matter swirl about. In this case, Quillen and her colleagues considered the forces acting on the stars in or near the bulge.As the stars go round in their orbits, they also move above or below the plane of the bar. When stars cross the plane they get a little push, like a child on a swing. At the resonance point, which is a point a certain distance from the centre of the bar, the timing of the pushes on the stars is such that this effect is strong enough to make the stars at this point move up higher above the plane. (It is like when a child on the swing has been pushed a little every time and eventually is swinging higher.) These stars are pushed out from the edge of the bulge.The resonance at this point means that stars undergo two vertical oscillations for every orbital period. … For more info: Figure eights and peanut shells: How stars move at the center of the galaxy ScienceDaily: Top Science News Figure eights and peanut shells: How stars move at the center of the galaxy L’articolo Figure eights and peanut shells: How stars move at the center of the galaxy sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Memo to big box retailers: Goodwill has a shelf life

Memo to big box retailers: Goodwill has a shelf life Big box retailers may have had the secret to combating online retailers all along: instant gratification. A new study warns that the positive feelings consumers experience when receiving a discounted price fades dramatically if the consumer is then forced to wait for the product. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 26, 2013 — Big box retailers may have had the secret to combating online retailers all along: instant gratification. A new study from Columbia Business School that is published in the Journal of Consumer Research warns that the positive feelings consumers experience when receiving a discounted price fades dramatically if the consumer is then forced to wait for the product.”This might spell trouble for online retailers like Amazon that offer discounted items and then force consumers to wait for the product,” said Columbia Business School’s Associate Professor of Marketing Leonard Lee, who performed the research with Rotman School of Management’s Associate Professor of Marketing Claire Tsai. “Our research shows that even if the wait is relatively short — as little as 15 minutes — the consumer’s enjoyment of the product decreases dramatically.”Lee continued: “Keeping in mind that instant gratification has become a hallmark of society, brick and mortar businesses can add value to their bottom lines by offering in-store promotions on the products they know people want to experience immediately rather than waiting for delivery. This is a key competitive advantage they could have over online retailers and one that might secure their long-term survival in an expanding online marketplace,” said Lee.The research titled, “How Price Promotions Influence Post-Purchase Consumption Experience Over Time,” defies long-standing conventional wisdom that discounts cause consumers to enjoy products even more.Experiments Prove the TheoryLee and Tsai conducted four experiments across a variety of hedonic products to explore the consumer’s relationship between consumption and enjoyment. Lee and his research partner found that the shopping nirvana one feels for a product after they have received a discount only happens when the product is consumed immediately after it is paid for.One experiment asked participants to purchase orange juice. All of the participants were told that the juice had the same retail price, but half of the participants received a 50 percent discount while the other half paid the full retail price. Then, half of the participants — regardless of whether they received a discount or not — drank the juice as soon as it was paid for, while the other half waited 15 minutes to consume the juice. The researchers found that when participants who had received a discount consumed the juice immediately, the experience was significantly amplified. However, when participants who had received a discount were forced to wait 15 minutes or longer, reviews of the juice were far less favorable than by those who were allowed to consume it immediately. … For more info: Memo to big box retailers: Goodwill has a shelf life ScienceDaily: Living Well News Memo to big box retailers: Goodwill has a shelf life L’articolo Memo to big box retailers: Goodwill has a shelf life sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Pills of the future: Nanoparticles

Pills of the future: Nanoparticles Researchers design drug-carrying nanoparticles that can be taken orally instead of being injected. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 27, 2013 — Drugs delivered by nanoparticles hold promise for targeted treatment of many diseases, including cancer. However, the particles have to be injected into patients, which has limited their usefulness so far.Now, researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have developed a new type of nanoparticle that can be delivered orally and absorbed through the digestive tract, allowing patients to simply take a pill instead of receiving injections.In a paper appearing in the Nov. 27 online edition of Science Translational Medicine, the researchers used the particles to demonstrate oral delivery of insulin in mice, but they say the particles could be used to carry any kind of drug that can be encapsulated in a nanoparticle. The new nanoparticles are coated with antibodies that act as a key to unlock receptors found on the surfaces of cells that line the intestine, allowing the nanoparticles to break through the intestinal walls and enter the bloodstream.This type of drug delivery could be especially useful in developing new treatments for conditions such as high cholesterol or arthritis. Patients with those diseases would be much more likely to take pills regularly than to make frequent visits to a doctor’s office to receive nanoparticle injections, say the researchers.”If you were a patient and you had a choice, there’s just no question: Patients would always prefer drugs they can take orally,” says Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and an author of the Science Translational Medicine paper.Lead authors of the paper are former MIT grad student Eric Pridgen and former BWH postdoc Frank Alexis, and the senior author is Omid Farokhzad, director of the Laboratory of Nanomedicine and Biomaterials at BWH. Other authors are Timothy Kuo, a gastroenterologist at BWH; Etgar Levy-Nissenbaum, a former BWH postdoc; Rohit Karnik, an MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Richard Blumberg, co-director of BWH’s Biomedical Research Institute.No more injectionsSeveral types of nanoparticles carrying chemotherapy drugs or short interfering RNA, which can turn off selected genes, are now in clinical trials to treat cancer and other diseases. These particles exploit the fact that tumors and other diseased tissues are surrounded by leaky blood vessels. After the particles are intravenously injected into patients, they seep through those leaky vessels and release their payload at the tumor site.For nanoparticles to be taken orally, they need to be able to get through the intestinal lining, which is made of a layer of epithelial cells that join together to form impenetrable barriers called tight junctions.”The key challenge is how to make a nanoparticle get through this barrier of cells. … For more info: Pills of the future: Nanoparticles ScienceDaily: Top Health News Pills of the future: Nanoparticles L’articolo Pills of the future: Nanoparticles sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

New agent against cancer cells

New agent against cancer cells Scientists have discovered a new active substance that inhibits cell division in leukemia cells and could play an important role in the fight against cancer. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 26, 2013 — Freiburg scientists have discovered a substance that suppresses unchecked cell division in leukemia cells Scientists of the University of Freiburg and the Freiburg University Medical Center from the collaborative research center Medical Epigenetics (SFB 992) have discovered a new active substance that inhibits cell division in leukemia cells and could play an important role in the fight against cancer.Junior professor Dr. Stefan Günther was in charge of the research project, which also included research groups participating in SFB 992 Medical Epigenetics led by Prof. Dr. Manfred Jung from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle from the Institute of Biochemistry, and Prof. Dr. Roland Schüle from the Freiburg University Medical Center. The team published their findings in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.The substance XD14 suppresses the function of several proteins from the BET family also known as epigenetic reader proteins: They identify epigenetic changes in so-called histones and pass on this signal, for instance in order to trigger cell division. … For more info: New agent against cancer cells ScienceDaily: Top Health News New agent against cancer cells L’articolo New agent against cancer cells sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Scientists identify potential target for malaria drugs

Scientists identify potential target for malaria drugs Researchers have identified the protein in malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites that is inhibited by a newly discovered class of anti-malarial compounds known as imidazopyrazines. The protein, phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase, is the first potential malaria drug target shown to be essential to all stages of the Plasmodium life cycle; imidazopyrazines impede its activity throughout this process. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 27, 2013 — Researchers have identified the protein in malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites that is inhibited by a newly discovered class of anti-malarial compounds known as imidazopyrazines. The protein, phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase (PI4K), is the firstShare This:potential malaria drug target shown to be essential to all stages of the Plasmodium life cycle; imidazopyrazines impede its activity throughout this process. Led by Elizabeth Winzeler, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Diego and Novartis Research Foundation, the research was published online today in Nature. The work was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and other organizations.When a Plasmodium-carrying mosquito bites a human, it transmits infectious parasites that travel to the liver, where they multiply and mature, and then spread throughout the bloodstream, causing malaria symptoms to develop. Dr. Winzeler and her colleagues administered imidazopyrazines to mice and nonhuman primates infected with Plasmodium and found that the compounds blocked the parasites’ development both in the liver and in the bloodstream stages of infection. They also exposed Plasmodium parasites directly to imidazopyrazines and searched for genetic differences between parasites susceptible to the compounds and those that were resistant. They found that the imidazopyrazine-resistant parasites had mutated versions of the gene that codes for PI4K.Currently, only one drug, primaquine, has been approved for elimination of liver-stage parasites for the treatment of relapsing malaria. Knowing that PI4K makes Plasmodium parasites susceptible to imidazopyrazines during the liver and bloodstream stages should help researchers optimize these compounds for future clinical testing in humans, the study authors write.Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, and Google:Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:|Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. … For more info: Scientists identify potential target for malaria drugs ScienceDaily: Top Health News Scientists identify potential target for malaria drugs L’articolo Scientists identify potential target for malaria drugs sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Circadian timing may give edge to West Coast NFL teams in night games

Circadian timing may give edge to West Coast NFL teams in night games A new analysis of National Football League results suggests that the body’s natural circadian timing gives a performance advantage to West Coast teams when they play East Coast teams at night. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 27, 2013 — A new analysis of National Football League results suggests that the body’s natural circadian timing gives a performance advantage to West Coast teams when they play East Coast teams at night.”Over the past 40 years, even after accounting for the quality of the teams, West Coast NFL teams have had a significant athletic performance advantage over East Coast teams when playing games starting after 8 p.m. Eastern time,” said lead author and board-certified sleep medicine physician Dr. Roger S. Smith. “Both the power and the persistent nature of this sleep-related athletic advantage were surprising.”The study by Harvard and Stanford researchers analyzed all NFL games from 1970 to 2011 that started after 8 p.m. EST and involved East Coast versus West Coast teams. There were 106 games that met inclusion criteria. An additional 293 daytime games involving the same match-ups were analyzed as a control group.Data analysis showed a strong advantage for West Coast teams even after adjusting for the Las Vegas point spread, which takes into account factors such as the quality of the teams, injuries, and home-field advantage. During night games the West Coast teams beat the point spread in 66 percent of the games, and did so by an average of 5.26 points. … For more info: Circadian timing may give edge to West Coast NFL teams in night games ScienceDaily: Living Well News Circadian timing may give edge to West Coast NFL teams in night games L’articolo Circadian timing may give edge to West Coast NFL teams in night games sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Alcohol use disorders linked to death and disability

Alcohol use disorders linked to death and disability Disorders related to the abuse of alcohol contribute significantly to the burden of disease in the U.S., finds a new study. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 26, 2013 — Disorders related to the abuse of alcohol contribute significantly to the burden of disease in the U.S., finds a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Researchers estimated that in 2005, about 53,000 men and 12,000 women died from issues related to alcohol use disorders (AUD).The results of the meta-analysis were surprising, said lead author Jürgen Rehm, Ph.D., director of social and epidemiological research at the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health at the University of Toronto in Canada. “We had done meta-analyses on AUD before and knew it would be higher than previous literature, but we did not expect the burden for disease to be so high.”Previous research has shown that heavy drinking is a risk factor for more than 200 diseases or injuries. To quantify the influence of alcohol use on the burden of disease, researchers analyzed information from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and the burden of disease study of the National Institutes of Health and found that AUD was linked to three percent of all deaths in adults 18 and older in the U.S.Alcohol use disorders contributed even more significantly to a measure of disease burden known as years lived with disability (YLD), with 1,785,000 YLD for men and 658,000 YLD for women in 2005.Stuart Gitlow, M.D., psychiatrist and president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine agreed that alcohol is definitely linked to burden of disease in the United States. “But the problem is everyone in the field defines AUD, a fairly new term, differently. For example, alcohol can lead to morbidity such as in traffic accidents, but this may have nothing to do with addiction, abuse and dependence.”Reducing burden of AUD on society needs to have a multi-pronged approach, said Rehm, and prevention can’t be regulated by health care policy makers. “There needs to be restrictions on the availability of alcohol. Increases in taxation or bans of advertisements are not part of health care, and this is part of the problem.”Rehm explained it will take the same long-term perspective as used with tobacco to implement more effective measures in curbing alcohol use. “The most realistic short-term goal is probably an increase in brief intervention and treatment rates.”Gitlow added that alcohol is a public health issue and its cost to society is huge. … For more info: Alcohol use disorders linked to death and disability ScienceDaily: Top Health News Alcohol use disorders linked to death and disability L’articolo Alcohol use disorders linked to death and disability sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Polymer gel, heal thyself: Engineering team proposes new composites that can regenerate when damaged

Polymer gel, heal thyself: Engineering team proposes new composites that can regenerate when damaged Researchers have developed models to design a new polymer gel that would enable complex materials to regenerate themselves. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 26, 2013 — When a chair leg breaks or a cell phone shatters, either must be repaired or replaced. But what if these materials could be programmed to regenerate-themselves, replenishing the damaged or missing components, and thereby extend their lifetime and reduce the need for costly repairs?That potential is now possible according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, who have developed computational models to design a new polymer gel that would enable complex materials to regenerate themselves.Principal investigator is Anna C. Balazs, PhD, the Swanson School’s Distinguished Robert v. d. Luft Professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, and co-authors are Xin Yong, PhD, postdoctoral associate, who is the article’s lead author; Olga Kuksenok, PhD, research associate professor; and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, PhD, J.C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences, department of chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University.”This is one of the holy grails of materials science,” noted Dr. Balazs. “While others have developed materials that can mend small defects, there is no published research regarding systems that can regenerate bulk sections of a severed material. This has a tremendous impact on sustainability because you could potentially extend the lifetime of a material by giving it the ability to regrow when damaged.”The research team was inspired by biological processes in species such as amphibians, which can regenerate severed limbs. … For more info: Polymer gel, heal thyself: Engineering team proposes new composites that can regenerate when damaged ScienceDaily: Top Science News Polymer gel, heal thyself: Engineering team proposes new composites that can regenerate when damaged L’articolo Polymer gel, heal thyself: Engineering team proposes new composites that can regenerate when damaged sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Unhappy meals? Majority of very young children in California eat fast food at least once per week

Unhappy meals? Majority of very young children in California eat fast food at least once per week A surprisingly large percentage of very young children in California, including 70 percent of Latino children, eat fast food regularly, according to a new policy brief. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 26, 2013 — A surprisingly large percentage of very young children in California, including 70 percent of Latino children, eat fast food regularly, according to a new policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.The study found that 60 percent of all children between the ages of 2 and 5 had eaten fast food at least once in the previous week.The majority of the state’s young children also do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, with only 57 percent of parents reporting that their child ate at least five fruit and vegetable servings the previous day.”A weekly happy meal is an unhappy solution, especially for toddlers,” said Susan Holtby, the study’s lead author and a senior researcher at the Public Health Institute. “Hard-working, busy parents need support to make healthy food selections for their kids.”The new study used data from several cycles of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to examine dietary behaviors of very young children, including their consumption of fast food, sugar-sweetened beverages, fruits and vegetables, and to gauge how much influence parents have over what their children eat.The study’s authors found that in both 2007 and 2009, about two-thirds of children between the ages of 2 and 5 ate at least one fast food meal during the previous week, and 29 percent ate two or more. About 10 percent of children in this age group ate three or more fast food meals the previous week.Although this and previous studies by the center have noted a general decline in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among children in California, that positive trend is reversed when linked to fast food. Specifically, the study’s authors found that children who ate two to three fast-food meals a week were much more likely to drink soda than those who ate less fast food.”Fast food combined with drinking soda at such a young age can set these kids up for obesity-related health problems,” Holtby said.Other key findings from the study:Asian children eat the fewest fruits and vegetables — Defying the stereotype of the vegetable-rich Asian diet, Asian children were found to eat the fewest fruits and vegetables of any group — only 40 percent ate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, compared with 56 percent of all the state’s children.Poverty and influence — Parents living in the poorest households — those below 100 percent of the federal poverty level — were less likely than parents in all other income groups to say they have “a lot” of influence over what their children eat.Simple solutions – The authors noted that the data can help identify communities that may benefit from targeted messages about healthy eating and could help promote programs and policies that support parents in offering healthier options to their very young children. For example, an educational campaign to encourage parents to swap fruit juice for actual fruit would go far in reducing unnecessary sugar and increasing fiber and other nutrients, the authors noted.”Simple messages and programs can reinforce what every parent wants — the good health of their children,” said Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California, which funded the study. “This shows there is more work to be done to reach families with the critical education and support they need.”Read the policy brief, “Majority of Young Children in California Eat Fast Food Regularly but Drink Less Soda” here: http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/publications/search/pages/detail.aspx?PubID=1236 For more info: Unhappy meals? Majority of very young children in California eat fast food at least once per week ScienceDaily: Living Well News Unhappy meals? Majority of very young children in California eat fast food at least once per week L’articolo Unhappy meals? Majority of very young children in California eat fast food at least once per week sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Delaying resistance to Bt corn in western corn rootworm

Delaying resistance to Bt corn in western corn rootworm While Bt corn has been highly effective against the European corn borer, it has been less so against the western corn rootworm. A new article explains why and recommends an integrated pest management approach to address it. via ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News: Nov. 26, 2013 — Corn that contains proteins that protect it from insect damage has been grown in the U.S. since the mid-1990s. Known as Bt corn, because the proteins are derived from a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis, these plants have been widely grown by farmers.While Bt corn has been highly effective against the European corn borer, it has been less so against the western corn rootworm, which has been documented to show resistance to the Bt proteins. In a new article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management — an open-access, peer-reviewed, extension journal — the authors explain why this has occurred, and they recommend an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to address it.In “Resistance to Bt Corn by Western Corn Rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in the U.S. Corn Belt,” Drs. Aaron Gassmann (Iowa State University), Michael Gray (University of Illinois), Eileen Cullen (University of Wisconsin), and Bruce Hibbard (University of Missouri) examine why Bt corn has been more effective against the European corn borer, which tunnels in the stem of the plant, and less so against the rootworm, which attacks the roots.First, Bt proteins intended for the European corn borer are produced at a higher dose than the ones intended for rootworms; this ensures that fewer corn borers are likely to survive, which lowers the chances of them producing offspring that may be resistant. Second, corn borer moths travel farther before mating, which increases the chances of potentially resistant insects mating with non-resistant ones that have not been exposed to Bt proteins; this lowers the chances of them producing resistant offspring. Finally, fitness costs — or negative effects — of resistance in rootworms appear to be low.”One approach to IRM is not necessarily optimal for all insect pests,” according to the authors, who recommend that growers use the following IPM approaches to delay further rootworm resistance to Bt corn:- Rotate to soybean or other crops to break the corn rootworm life cycle between growing seasons.- Occasionally rotate to a non-Bt corn hybrid and consider use of a rootworm soil insecticide during planting.- Consider using corn that contains different Bt proteins than ones that may have performed poorly in the past.- Consider using pyramided Bt hybrids, which is defined as corn that contains multiple Bt proteins targeting corn rootworm .- If crop rotation is not an option and corn containing multiple Bt proteins is not available, suppression of rootworm adults by using insecticides for one or two growing seasons may be an appropriate remediation step.- Most importantly, implement a long-term integrated approach to corn rootworm management, based on scouting information and knowledge of corn rootworm densities, that uses multiple tactics such as rotation with other crops, rotation of Bt proteins, and the use of soil insecticides at planting with a non-Bt hybrid. Integration of tactics across seasons is fundamental to prolonging the usefulness of any effective management strategy. For more info: Delaying resistance to Bt corn in western corn rootworm ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News Delaying resistance to Bt corn in western corn rootworm L’articolo Delaying resistance to Bt corn in western corn rootworm sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Cancer patients at increased risk for severe flu complications

Cancer patients at increased risk for severe flu complications Weakened immune systems due to diseases like cancer cause increased risk of severe complications from the flu virus — experts advise vaccine shot, not mist. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 25, 2013 — It is often noted that very young people and the elderly are most at-risk for experiencing flu-related complications, and one expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham says people with weakened immune systems due to diseases like cancer are also at an increased risk of severe complications from the virus.”The flu shot is recommended annually for cancer patients, as it is the most effective way to prevent influenza and its complications,” said Mollie deShazo, M.D., associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology and medical director of UAB Inpatient Oncology. “The flu vaccine significantly lowers the risk of acquiring the flu; it is not 100 percent effective, but it is the best tool we have.”Flu activity in the United States is low, even after increasing slightly in recent weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, more activity is expected, and people who have not had a flu vaccine this year are advised to do so.”It takes up to two weeks to build immunity after a flu shot, but you can benefit even if you get the vaccine after the flu has arrived in your community,” deShazo said.The flu shot — not the mist — is safe and is recommended for people with cancer.”Patients with cancer or who are undergoing chemotherapy should not get the flu mist because it contains live flu virus and could lead to complications in immunocompromised patients,” deShazo said, adding:• Cancer patients should avoid contact with anyone suspected of having the flu• It is prudent to wash hands often and thoroughly with soap and water and avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible• It is recommended that all caregivers and family members of cancer patients also get the flu vaccine to protect their loved onesOnce one is cancer-free, his or her risk lessens.”The longer patients are cancer-free, the lower their influenza complication risk, until it is no more than the risk of those who’ve never had the disease,” deShazo said. For more info: Cancer patients at increased risk for severe flu complications ScienceDaily: Living Well News Cancer patients at increased risk for severe flu complications L’articolo Cancer patients at increased risk for severe flu complications sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Guard dogs reduce killing of threatened species

Guard dogs reduce killing of threatened species Research has revealed that guarding dogs can significantly reduce conflict between livestock and large carnivores, such as cheetahs or leopards, helping to reduce unwarranted killing of endangered species in South Africa. via ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News: Nov. 26, 2013 — Research from the University of Kent has revealed that guarding dogs can significantly reduce conflict between livestock and large carnivores, such as cheetahs or leopards, helping to reduce unwarranted killing of endangered species in South Africa.In a paper published in Wildlife Society Bulletin, entitled “Perceived Efficacy of Livestock-Guarding Dogs in South Africa: Implications for Cheetah Conservation,” researchers from the University’s School of Anthropology and Conservation studied the effect guarding dogs have on the protection of farm animals across South Africa.The research revealed that livestock guarding dogs eliminated livestock losses from predators on 91% of the farms studied, with each farmer saving over $3,000 per year due to the reduction in killed livestock.The team also investigated the tolerance farmers have towards cheetahs roaming their land when they have a guarding dog present. They found that farmers were noticeably more tolerant of predators, resulting in a greater prevalence of cheetahs and other predators on their land compared to farmers that did not have livestock guarding dogs.Nikki Rust, of the University’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), said: ‘This research has shown for the first time that livestock guarding dogs can successfully be used in South Africa to protect livestock from attack by predators as large as leopards or small as jackals.’This is a true win-win solution to reduce conflict between livestock and predators, because it almost eliminates livestock losses to predators, saving the farmer a lot of money, whilst increasing the tolerance of predators from the farmers, thereby reducing the chance of using lethal control on threatened carnivores.’Professor Douglas Macmillan of DICE added: ‘Retaliatory killing by farmers is a major threat to the survival of many large carnivore species. This study shows that livestock deaths can be avoided through the deployment of highly trained dogs, and I am sure that there are many similar situations around the world where such dogs could make quite a difference to the survival chances of large carnivores.’ For more info: Guard dogs reduce killing of threatened species ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News Guard dogs reduce killing of threatened species L’articolo Guard dogs reduce killing of threatened species sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Researchers create compounds that boost antibiotics’ effectiveness

Researchers create compounds that boost antibiotics’ effectiveness Inhibitor compounds developed by biologists and chemists have been shown to bolster the ability of antibiotics to treat deadly bacterial diseases such as MRSA and anthrax. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 25, 2013 — Inhibitor compounds developed by UC Irvine structural biologists and Northwestern University chemists have been shown to bolster the ability of antibiotics to treat deadly bacterial diseases such as MRSA and anthrax.The discovery by UC Irvine’s Thomas Poulos and Northwestern’s Richard Silverman builds on previous work in which they created compounds that inhibit an enzyme called neuronal nitric oxide synthase. These have demonstrated the potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases by blocking overproduction of cell-killing nitric oxide within neurons.Now the researchers are learning that the compounds may have another important function. After Poulos and Silverman read a study suggesting that nitric oxide synthase helped pathogenic bacteria resist antibiotics, their laboratory teams paired the inhibitor compounds with currently used antibiotics to see if they could suppress NOS — and increase the antibiotics’ effectiveness.”We found that NOS inhibitors were extremely successful at inhibiting neurodegeneration in an animal model, and if they could be successful combating other diseases, we wanted to identify that as quickly as possible to help other people,” said Poulos, Chancellor’s Professor of biochemistry, chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences at UC Irvine.The researchers tested their compounds on Bacillus subtilis, nonpathogenic bacteria very similar to Staphylococcus aureus (known as MRSA), and Bacillus anthracis, which causes anthrax. Bacteria treated with the NOS inhibitors and an antibiotic were killed off more efficiently and completely than bacteria treated with only an antibiotic. The scientists then compared the three-dimensional structure of the inhibitors bound to the bacterial NOS with those bound to the neuronal NOS and determined that they bonded quite differently.”Now that we know which region of the NOS to target, we should to be able to develop compounds that selectively bind to bacterial NOS,” Poulos said, adding that his team will also need to try out those compounds in animal models. For more info: Researchers create compounds that boost antibiotics’ effectiveness ScienceDaily: Top Health News Researchers create compounds that boost antibiotics’ effectiveness L’articolo Researchers create compounds that boost antibiotics’ effectiveness sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

A touch of garlic helps kill contaminants in baby formula

A touch of garlic helps kill contaminants in baby formula Garlic may be bad for your breath, but it’s good for your baby, according to a new study. This study is the first to identify two compounds derived from garlic — diallyl sulfide and ajoene — that significantly reduce the contamination risk of Cronobacter sakazakii in the production of dry infant formula powder. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 25, 2013 — Garlic may be bad for your breath, but it’s good for your baby, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.The study, recently published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, is the first to identify two compounds derived from garlic — diallyl sulfide and ajoene — that significantly reduce the contamination risk of Cronobacter sakazakii in the production of dry infant formula powder.The discovery could make the product safer to consume, easing the minds of new mothers who can’t or opt not to breastfeed.”A trace dose of these two compounds is extremely effective in killing C. sakazakii in the food manufacturing process,” says Xiaonan Lu, corresponding author and assistant professor of food safety engineering in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. “They have the potential to eliminate the pathogen before it ever reaches the consumer.”C. sakazakii is a foodborne pathogen that is sometimes present in dry infant formula powder and other fortified foods. C. sakazakii infection is rare, but often fatal for infants. It can poison a baby’s bloodstream and lead to life-threatening cases of meningitis. Outbreaks of C. sakazakii have occurred worldwide.According to Lu, the garlic compounds could be used to prevent C. … For more info: A touch of garlic helps kill contaminants in baby formula ScienceDaily: Top Health News A touch of garlic helps kill contaminants in baby formula L’articolo A touch of garlic helps kill contaminants in baby formula sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Extrovert, introvert children not equally influenced by plate size

Extrovert, introvert children not equally influenced by plate size New research indicates that extroverted and introverted children respond differently to environmental cues, such as plate size, when it comes to portion control. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 25, 2013 — As dish size increases, so do portion size and the amount of food actually eaten — but could personality traits play a role in how susceptible people are to this plate-size bias? New research by the Cornell Food and Brand Lab indicates that extraverted and introverted children respond differently to environmental cues, such as plate size, when it comes to portion control.Share This:Researchers examined the breakfast behaviors of kids, ages 6 to 10, in a within-subject study. First, adults served breakfast: after being given a large bowl kids indicated how much milk and cereal they wanted for breakfast, and the adults served them accordingly. Next, on a different day, the children were in charge: they were given a large or a small bowl, but they then served themselves as much as they wanted.To determine each child’s personality type, four teachers and counselors rated each child’s degree of introversion and extraversion on a scale of 1 to 9. Researchers used the average of these scores to classify each child as an introvert or an extravert. To measure the amount of food children asked for or served themselves, researchers weighed each student’s serving through scales hidden in the table. The serving sizes were then compared for introverts and extraverts.When serving themselves, extraverted kids were far more likely to be impacted by the size of the bowl; they served a heaping 33.1% more breakfast in the large bowl, compared to introverted kids who only served themselves 5.6% more when bowl size increased. This indicates that the extraverted kids were more influenced by the external cue of bowl-size than introverted kids were. This benefit for introverted kids, however, is only present when serving themselves; when served by adults, all kids requested more cereal to fill up the the large bowl than the small bowl.Extraverted children appear to be highly influenced by environmental cues when serving themselves, filling their big bowls to the brim when left in charge of their own portions. … For more info: Extrovert, introvert children not equally influenced by plate size ScienceDaily: Living Well News Extrovert, introvert children not equally influenced by plate size L’articolo Extrovert, introvert children not equally influenced by plate size sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Battle against bee blood eating Acari

Battle against bee blood eating Acari Mexico is one of the top five bee producing countries worldwide and the second in exportation. However, the beekeepers can see their production affected by the attack of a parasite, the Varroa acari, which feeds on hemolymph of the bees. via ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News: Nov. 25, 2013 — Mexico is one of the top five bee producing countries worldwide and the second in exportation. However, the beekeepers can see their production affected by the attack of a parasite, the Varroa acari, which feeds on hemolymph of the bees.Currently, the control methods employed are of synthetic origin, but face the main problem of generating resistance by the acari, which reduces its effectiveness; besides, is not rare to find traces of it in the bee wax and honey.According to research by the National Institute of Forest, Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIFAP), not treating the colonies infested by Varroa can lead to a 65 per cent less production in comparison to colonies where the acari is controlled.Seeing this disjunctive, researchers from the INIFAP talked to the beekeepers about the organic control of the pest employing powdered thymol, which is easy to employ and cheaper, the acari doesn’t develop resistance to it nor it generates residue on honey or bee wax if generating appropriately.Miguel Arechavaleta Velasco, head of research at INIFAP, explains that Varroa is an acari that feed on bee hemolymph; like a tick, it produces a disease in the colony called varroasis that can kill entire hives, being the main problem that beekeepers face worldwide.”Among the organic product that we have studied, thymol has given encouraging results; it’s an essential oil obtain from thyme. There are commercial thymol based products for Varroa control, but we developed a different application form, resulting easier and cheaper for the beekeeper”:The proposed method consists in using powdered thymol mixed with powdered sugar. The mixture is spread in tin foil and placed in hives 90 days before bloom begins, “The most part of the honey produced in Mexico is exported, mostly to Europe, where health standards are very high, mainly concerning chemical residues. Hence the importance of Varroa being controled organically,” says Arechavaleta Velasco.Is feasible to apply in any beekeeping region in Mexico, and is directed not only to the production of honey, pollen and royal jelly, but also to those dedicated to crop pollination and queen bee breeding.The researcher specialized in bee genetics points out that the developed technology was recently published on INIFAP, “we are in process of validation using field tests with beekeepers, and based on the results obtained we will distribute it massively.” For more info: Battle against bee blood eating Acari ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News Battle against bee blood eating Acari L’articolo Battle against bee blood eating Acari sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Bad proteins branch out: Misfolded proteins are capable of forming tree-like aggregates

Bad proteins branch out: Misfolded proteins are capable of forming tree-like aggregates Researchers find that misfolded proteins form branched structures, which may have implications for Alzheimer’s and other aggregation diseases. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 25, 2013 — A method by Rice University researchers to model the way proteins fold — and sometimes misfold — has revealed branching behavior that may have implications for Alzheimer’s and other aggregation diseases.Results from the research will appear online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.In an earlier study of the muscle protein titin, Rice chemist Peter Wolynes and his colleagues analyzed the likelihood of misfolding in proteins, in which domains — discrete sections of a protein with independent folding characteristics — become entangled with like sequences on nearby chains. They found the resulting molecular complexes called “dimers” were often unable to perform their functions and could become part of amyloid fibers.This time, Wolynes and his co-authors, Rice postdoctoral researcher Weihua Zheng and graduate student Nicholas Schafer, modeled constructs containing two, three or four identical titin domains. They discovered that rather than creating the linear connections others had studied in detail, these proteins aggregated by branching; the proteins created structures that cross-linked with neighboring proteins and formed gel-like networks that resemble those that imbue spider silk with its remarkable flexibility and strength.”We’re asking with this investigation, What happens after that first sticky contact forms?” Wolynes said. “What happens if we add more sticky molecules? Does it continue to build up further structure out of that first contact?”It turned out this protein we’ve been investigating has two amyloidogenic segments that allow for branch structures. That was a surprise,” he said.The researchers used their AWSEM (Associative memory, Water-mediated Structure and Energy Model) program to analyze how computer models of muscle proteins interact with each other, particularly in various temperatures that determine when a protein is likely to fold or unfold.The program relies on Wolynes’ groundbreaking principle of minimal frustration to determine how the energy associated with amino acids, bead-like elements in a monomer chain, determines their interactions with their neighbors as the chain folds into a useful protein.Proteins usually fold and unfold many times as they carry out their tasks, and each cycle is an opportunity for it to misfold. When that happens, the body generally destroys and discards the useless protein. But when that process fails, misfolded proteins can form the gummy amyloid plaques often found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.The titin proteins the Rice team chose to study are not implicated in disease but have been well-characterized by experimentalists; this gives the researchers a solid basis for comparison.”In the real muscle protein, each domain is identical in structure but different in sequence to avoid this misfolding phenomenon,” Wolynes said. So experimentalists studying two-domain constructs made the domains identical in every way to look for the misfolding behavior that was confirmed by Rice’s earlier calculations. … For more info: Bad proteins branch out: Misfolded proteins are capable of forming tree-like aggregates ScienceDaily: Top Health News Bad proteins branch out: Misfolded proteins are capable of forming tree-like aggregates L’articolo Bad proteins branch out: Misfolded proteins are capable of forming tree-like aggregates sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Imagine How Much Better Open Enrollment Would Have Been Without The Exchanges

Imagine How Much Better Open Enrollment Would Have Been Without The Exchanges We’ve all heard Secretary Sebelius talk about how amazing it is that “for the first time” Americans who buy their own health insurance have a place where they can see all of their options in one place, compare plans, and enroll in coverage.  Anyone who has taken more than a cursory glance at the individual health […] Related posts: Few Carriers Offering Child Only Policies During Open Enrollment Open Enrollment For Individual Health Insurance Plans Starting in 2014 Open Enrollment Period For Children via Colorado Health Insurance Insider: For more info: Imagine How Much Better Open Enrollment Would Have Been Without The Exchanges Colorado Health Insurance Insider Imagine How Much Better Open Enrollment Would Have Been Without The Exchanges L’articolo Imagine How Much Better Open Enrollment Would Have Been Without The Exchanges sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Unexpected properties of methane-producing microbe

Unexpected properties of methane-producing microbe Methanosaeta species are so active in some wetlands, they are considered the most prodigious methane producers on Earth. This is a concern because atmospheric methane is 20 times more effective at retaining heat than CO2, and as tundra soils warm due to climate change, greater methane releases are expected. Also, methane produced in anaerobic biomass digesters is economically important as “one of the few proven, economical, large-scale bioenergy strategies” in use today, the authors say. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 18, 2013 — For 40 years, scientists thought they understood how certain bacteria work together to anaerobically digest biomass to produce methane gas, important in bioenergy and the major source of greenhouse gas. But now microbiologists in Derek Lovley’s lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst show for the first time that one of the most abundant methane-producing microorganisms on earth makes direct electrical connections with another species to produce the gas in a completely unexpected way.Lovley and colleagues, including former postdoctoral researcher and first author Amelia-Elena Rotaru, describe the newly discovered properties of the methane-producing bacterium Methanosaeta in the current issue of the British Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Energy and Environmental Science.”We discovered that Methanosaeta have the ability to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) to methane,” Lovley explains. “They do this by a remarkable mechanism in which they make electrical connections with other microorganisms, something methanogens have never been known to do before.”Methanosaeta species are important for a couple of reasons, Lovley and his co-authors point out. They are so active in methanogenic wetlands that they are considered the most prodigious methane producers on the planet. This is a concern because atmospheric methane is 20 times more effective at retaining heat than CO2, and as tundra soils warm due to climate change even greater methane releases are expected. Also, methane produced in anaerobic biomass digesters is economically important as “one of the few proven, economical, large-scale bioenergy strategies” in use today, they say.Methane-producing microbial communities have been studied for decades, Lovley notes, “but all this time we were missing a major pathway of methane production.” His group’s study of Methanosaeta started when they found that digesters converting brewery wastes to methane contained large quantities of the microorganism Geobacter. Geobacter cannot produce methane, but it does break down more complex substrates to compounds that methane-producing bacteria can use.The UMass Amherst teams knew from previous studies that Geobacter grow electrically conductive filaments known as microbial nanowires, which can transport electrons outside the cell to make electrical connections with minerals, electrodes or other cells. Methanosaeta were the dominant methane-producing microorganisms in the digesters and known to convert acetate to methane, but analysis of the gene expression in the digester revealed that Methanosaeta were also highly expressing genes for converting carbon dioxide to methane. The researchers speculated that Geobacter were feeding Methanosaeta electrons through their nanowires to promote Methanosaeta’s methane production from CO2.Further studies in which individual Geobacter and a Methanosaeta species were cultured together confirmed these suspicions, Lovley says. … For more info: Unexpected properties of methane-producing microbe ScienceDaily: Top Science News Unexpected properties of methane-producing microbe L’articolo Unexpected properties of methane-producing microbe sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Fun at work promotes employee retention but may hurt productivity

Fun at work promotes employee retention but may hurt productivity Within the hospitality industry, manager support for fun is instrumental in reducing employee turnover, particularly for younger employees, according to a team of researchers. However, manager support for fun also reduces employee productivity, which can negatively impact sales performance. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 21, 2013 — Within the hospitality industry, manager support for fun is instrumental in reducing employee turnover, particularly for younger employees, according to a team of researchers. However, manager support for fun also reduces employee productivity, which can negatively impact sales performance.”In the hospitality industry, employee turnover is notoriously high because restaurant jobs are highly substitutable — if you don’t like your job at Chili’s you can go to TGI Friday’s down the street,” said Michael J. Tews, assistant professor of hospitality management, Penn State. “High employee turnover is consistently quoted as being one of the problems that keeps managers up at night because if you’re involved with recruiting and training constantly, then you can’t focus on effectively managing your existing staff and providing a high-quality service experience.”The team — which included researchers at Penn State, Loyola University of Maryland and Ohio State University — surveyed 195 restaurant servers from a casual-theme restaurant chain in the United States. The survey included items related to different aspects of fun at work, including “fun activities” and “manager support for fun.” The researchers then compared the survey responses to sales performance and turnover data.In the survey, questions related to “fun activities” focused on social events, such as holiday parties and picnics; teambuilding activities, such as company-sponsored athletic teams; competitions, such as sales contests; public celebrations of work achievements; and recognition of personal milestones, such as birthdays and weddings.Examples of survey items related to “manager support for fun” included asking participants to rate the extent to which they agreed to statements, such as “My managers care about employees having fun on the job” and “My managers try to make working here fun.”According to Tews, “manager support for fun” does not necessarily align with “fun activities.” For example, “fun activities” may be created by upper-level managers or even by staff members and may or may not be supported by local managers.The research yielded three key findings. First, manager support for fun lowers turnover, particularly among younger employees. Second, fun activities increase sales performance, particularly among older employees. Third, manager support for fun lowers sales performance irrespective of age. The results appear in the November 2013 issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.”The question becomes, is the productivity loss associated with manager support for fun worth the significant reduction in employee turnover?” Tews said. … For more info: Fun at work promotes employee retention but may hurt productivity ScienceDaily: Living Well News Fun at work promotes employee retention but may hurt productivity L’articolo Fun at work promotes employee retention but may hurt productivity sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Unusual greenhouse gases may have raised ancient Martian temperature

Unusual greenhouse gases may have raised ancient Martian temperature Much like the Grand Canyon, Nanedi Valles snakes across the Martian surface suggesting that liquid water once crossed the landscape, according to a team of researchers who believe that molecular hydrogen made it warm enough for water to flow. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 24, 2013 — Much like the Grand Canyon, Nanedi Valles snakes across the Martian surface suggesting that liquid water once crossed the landscape, according to a team of researchers who believe that molecular hydrogen made it warm enough for water to flow.The presence of molecular hydrogen, in addition to carbon dioxide and water, could have created a greenhouse effect on Mars 3.8 billion years ago that pushed temperatures high enough to allow for liquid water, the researchers state in the current issue of Nature Geoscience.The team includes Ramses M. Ramirez, a doctoral student working with James Kasting, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, Penn State.Previous efforts to produce temperatures warm enough to allow for liquid water used climate models that include only carbon dioxide and water and were unsuccessful. The researchers used a model to show that an atmosphere with sufficient carbon dioxide, water and hydrogen could have made the surface temperatures of Mars warm to above freezing. Those above-freezing temperatures would allow liquid water to flow across the Martian surface over 3.8 billion years ago and form the ancient valley networks, such as Nanedi Valles, much the way sections of the Grand Canyon snake across the western United States today.”This is exciting because explaining how early Mars could have been warm and wet enough to form the ancient valleys had scientists scratching their heads for the past 30 years,” said Ramirez. “We think we may have a credible solution to this great mystery.”The researchers note that one alternative theory is that the Martian valleys formed after large meteorites bombarded the planet, generating steam atmospheres that then rained out. But this mechanism cannot produce the large volumes of water thought necessary to carve the valleys.”We think that there is no way to form the ancient valleys with any of the alternate cold early Mars models,” said Ramirez. “However, the problem with selling a warm early Mars is that nobody had been able to put forth a feasible mechanism in the past three decades. So, we hope that our results will get people to reconsider their positions.”Ramirez and post-doctoral researcher Ravi Kopparapu co-developed a one-dimensional climate model to demonstrate the possibility that the gas levels from volcanic activity could have created enough hydrogen and carbon dioxide to form a greenhouse and raise temperatures sufficiently to allow for liquid water. Once they developed the model, Ramirez ran the model using new hydrogen absorption data and used it to recreate the conditions on early Mars, a time when the sun was about 30 percent less bright than it is today.”It’s kind of surprising to think that Mars could have been warm and wet because at the time the sun was much dimmer,” Ramirez said.Mars’ mantle appears to be more reduced than Earth’s, based on evidence from Shergotty, Nahkla, and Chassigny meteorites, Martian meteorites named for the towns near which they were found. … For more info: Unusual greenhouse gases may have raised ancient Martian temperature ScienceDaily: Top Science News Unusual greenhouse gases may have raised ancient Martian temperature L’articolo Unusual greenhouse gases may have raised ancient Martian temperature sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Participants needed for alternative breastfeeding study

Participants needed for alternative breastfeeding study I just received notice that a researcher is looking for women to interview about their “alternative” breastfeeding experiences. Details below! Alternative Breastfeeding Study I’m seeking to interview all kinds of folks breastfeeding in “alternative” ways: co-feeding milk donors and recipients adoptive parents breastfeeding lesbian couples breastfeeding re-lactators (e.g., older aunts, grandmothers breastfeeding) trans breastfeeding I am interested in interviewing folks who are currently nursing or who did so in the past or who are considering it right now (because a pregnancy or adoption is in process) or considered it seriously in the past. The interviews are confidential, take about an hour and a half, and the results are completely anonymous. I have ethics board approval and research ethic certifications. If interested in volunteering, please email or text krwilson@cabrillo.edu, 831-334-2258. Kristin J. Wilson, Ph.D.Program Chair, AnthropologyAuthor of “Not Trying: Infertility, Childlessness, and Ambivalence,” forthcoming from Vanderbilt University Press, Fall 2013 via Stand and Deliver: I just received notice that a researcher is looking for women to interview about their “alternative” breastfeeding experiences. Details below!Alternative Breastfeeding StudyI’m seeking to interview all kinds of folks breastfeeding in “alternative” ways:co-feeding milk donors and recipients adoptive parents breastfeeding lesbian couples breastfeeding re-lactators (e.g., older aunts, grandmothers breastfeeding) trans breastfeeding I am interested in interviewing folks who are currently nursing or who did so in the past or who are considering it right now (because a pregnancy or adoption is in process) or considered it seriously in the past. The interviews are confidential, take about an hour and a half, and the results are completely anonymous. I have ethics board approval and research ethic certifications. If interested in volunteering, please email … For more info: Participants needed for alternative breastfeeding study Stand and Deliver Participants needed for alternative breastfeeding study L’articolo Participants needed for alternative breastfeeding study sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Playing computer games together makes brains feel and think alike

Playing computer games together makes brains feel and think alike Scientists have discovered that playing computer games can bring players’ emotional responses and brain activity into unison. By measuring the activity of facial muscles and imaging the brain while gaming, the group found out that people go through similar emotions and display matching brainwaves. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 21, 2013 — Scientists have discovered that playing computer games can bring players’ emotional responses and brain activity into unison. By measuring the activity of facial muscles and imaging the brain while gaming, the group found out that people go through similar emotions and display matching brainwaves. The study of Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT researchers is now published in PLOS ONE.”It’s well known that people who communicate face-to-face will start to imitate each other. People adopt each other’s poses and gestures, much like infectious yawning. What is less known is that the very physiology of interacting people shows a type of mimicry — which we call synchrony or linkage,” explains Michiel Sovijärvi-Spapé.In the study, test participants play a computer game called Hedgewars, in which they manage their own team of animated hedgehogs and in turns shoot the opposing team with ballistic artillery. The goal is to destroy the opposing team’s hedgehogs. The research team varied the amount of competitiveness in the gaming situation: players teamed up against the computer and they were also pinned directly against each other.The players were measured for facial muscle reactions with facial electromyography, or fEMG, and their brainwaves were measured with electroencephalography, EEG.”Replicating previous studies, we found linkage in the fEMG: two players showed both similar emotions and similar brainwaves at similar times. We further observed a linkage also in the brainwaves with EEG,” tells Sovijärvi-Spapé.A striking discovery indicates further that the more competitive the gaming gets, the more in sync are the emotional responses of the players. The test subjects were to report emotions themselves, and negative emotions were associated with the linkage effect.”Although counterintuitive, the discovered effect increases as a game becomes more competitive. … For more info: Playing computer games together makes brains feel and think alike ScienceDaily: Top Science News Playing computer games together makes brains feel and think alike L’articolo Playing computer games together makes brains feel and think alike sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Pancreatic Cancer; What You Need To Know

Pancreatic Cancer; What You Need To Know via Cancer Treatment Mexico: November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 45,000 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. Read on to find out what you need to know about how your pancreas works and the types of pancreatic cancer. Types of Pancreatic Cancer There are two primary types of pancreatic cancer, exocrine pancreatic cancer and endocrine pancreatic cancer. Exocrine pancreatic cancer is the most common type of cancer, starting in the ducts of the pancreas that carry pancreatic juices. In rare cases, the cancer can begin in the cells that produce hormones. This type of pancreatic cancer is known as endocrine pancreatic cancer, or islet cell cancer. About The Pancreas The pancreas is an organ located deep in your abdomen, between your stomach and backbone. Surrounded by the liver, intestine and other organs, the pancreas is about 6 inches long. The pancreas is shaped like a long teardrop; the large, rounded end, which is closest to the small intestine is known as the head, the middle the body, and the thin end is known as the tail. The job of the pancreas is to make pancreatic juices, which contain enzymes that help us to break down food. These juices flow through a system of ducts that lead to the main pancreatic duct. From the pancreatic duct, the juices flow to the duodenum, the start of the small intestine. As well as producing pancreatic fluid to help digestion, the pancreas is a gland, which makes hormones, including insulin. The hormones produced by the pancreas flow into the bloodstream and are distributed throughout the body, helping the body to store the energy we get from food. Pancreatic Cancer Cancer arises when the normal lifecycle of cells is disrupted, or goes wrong. Sometimes, our bodies create new cells when they are not needed, whilst damaged or old cells don’t die off when they are supposed to. This results in a mass of excess cells that form a tumor.  Tumors within the pancreas can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are not usually life threatening as they don’t tend to spread to other tissues and other parts of the body and can usually be easily surgically removed. Malignant tumors are more challenging as they can grow back once they have been removed, can spread to other areas in the body and can invade and damage the tissues and organs that surround the pancreas. For more information about pancreatic cancer, read Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors And Causes. Or, to find out about treating pancreatic cancer with Functional Oncology at Alternative Cancer Treatment Mexico, contact us.  For more info: Pancreatic Cancer; What You Need To Know Cancer Treatment Mexico Pancreatic Cancer; What You Need To Know L’articolo Pancreatic Cancer; What You Need To Know sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

My CLL clinical trial: The end of the beginning

My CLL clinical trial: The end of the beginning via Cancerwise | Cancer blog from MD Anderson Cancer Center: By Harley Hudson Eight weeks. That’s how long my wife and I have been in Houston, where I entered a Phase 1 drug trial for ABT-199, a new experimental drug that may provide at least a long-term solution, if not a cure, for my chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We came not knowing what would happen or what to expect. We were amateurs, neophytes, newbies, 76-year-old children going to the doctor for the first time, figuratively speaking. Beginning a Phase 1 clinical trial for CLL treatment We had read the protocol and knew a bit about what we were facing. We were willing to sign the documents to allow both the drug company and MD Anderson to use this drug on me for my CLL treatment. But what would happen? Would I have serious adverse reactions to the drug? I was in a high-risk category because of the size of a mass of lymph nodes in my abdomen. As such, the risk of Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS), a metabolic complication that can occur after cancer treatment, was pretty high, but the trial protocol was designed to reduce the risks. We knew I would be hospitalized for every drug dosage increase so that if something happened, I would be ready for immediate treatment. We knew a lot. We knew nothing. We were excited. We were leery. We entered the trial. Nothing adverse happened. No TLS. No side effects. The eight weeks became rather boring. Living in a hotel roomGoing home was not an economical option, so my wife Melanie and I stayed in a hotel suite. This is the longest we have ever been away from home. We’ve spent almost every night in a 20×30-foot room, with the exception of the four two-night stays in the hospital. After 47 years of marriage, you would think we would know each other well. We do, but we still learned more about each other. We don’t fight. I could probably count on two hands or less the number of true fights we have had, but we did get on each other’s nerves, mostly since we realize we will be home in a few days. Preparing to go home after CLL treatmentThe tight weeks are coming to an end. We are no longer amateurs. We know where to go. We have encouraged others who walk in the doors of MD Anderson with the doe-in-the-headlights look in their eyes. We have visited with them, encouraged them, prayed for them. We are the welcome wagon, the greeters, the encouragers, the guides, the helpers. We are experienced. I have one more visit with my clinic doctors this week, and then it’s back home for a month. We will continue to come to MD Anderson each month for a while for labs, drug refills and doctor’s visits, but that is in the next step to a total healing. I must remind myself that this is not the end, but the end of the beginning. We still have much to consider. While I’m looking forward to seeing family and friends, sleeping in my own bed and seeing our dogs, there are some things I’m nervous about. I’m concerned about the unknown. How long will this drug work? We entered the trial expecting to move on to a stem cell transplant. Now we have to consider whether this drug is a long-term solution and put off the transplant, or to continue to move in that direction. In either case, we have just begun a new era in my life, a new phase in life. And I’m excited to let life begin again. Read more posts by Harley Hudson Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is one of the cancers MD Anderson is focusing on as part of our Moon Shots Program to dramatically reduce cancer deaths. Learn more about our CLL Moon Shot. For more info: My CLL clinical trial: The end of the beginning Cancerwise | Cancer blog from MD Anderson Cancer Center My CLL clinical trial: The end of the beginning L’articolo My CLL clinical trial: The end of the beginning sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Sudden steep drop in blood pressure may predict atrial fibrillation years later

Sudden steep drop in blood pressure may predict atrial fibrillation years later Results of a study have identified a possible link between a history of sudden drops in blood pressure and the most common form of irregular heartbeat. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 20, 2013 — Results of a Johns Hopkins-led study have identified a possible link between a history of sudden drops in blood pressure and the most common form of irregular heartbeat.The study suggests that a bout of orthostatic hypotension — a steep blood pressure drop that occurs when a person stands up after a period of lying down — appears to be associated with an overall 40 percent increase in the risk of developing atrial fibrillation over the following two decades.While a simple, inexpensive doctor’s office test can check for orthostatic hypotension, the researchers caution that the condition itself does not generally need treatment, nor have they demonstrated that it is a cause of atrial fibrillation.They further note that because atrial fibrillation is often present without causing noticeable symptoms, some people may already have the rhythm disturbance before an episode of orthostatic hypotension, though they tried to exclude those subjects from the study.But the researchers say their findings do suggest the need for further study and that clinicians who diagnose orthostatic hypotension in their patients need to be more vigilant than they otherwise might be in watching out for atrial fibrillation. The arrhythmia is an underdiagnosed condition that increases the risk of stroke fivefold, as well as risks of heart failure and dementia. People with atrial fibrillation are often treated with blood thinners to reduce the risk of stroke, and with other medications that regulate the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. The findings were published last week in the journal PLOS ONE.“We hope our research will sensitize physicians to a possible link between orthostatic hypotension and atrial fibrillation, and that they will go the extra step to see if something more serious is going on when patients experience rapid blood pressure fluctuations,” says study leader Sunil K. Agarwal, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., a fellow in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “We want this on their radar screens.”For the study, the researchers followed 12,071 African-American and white men and women ages 45 to 64 years who were enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risks in Communities (ARIC) study. From 1987 to 1989, each subject had a baseline visit during which information on socioeconomic indicators, medical history, family history, cardiovascular disease risk factors, serum chemistries, electrocardiograms (ECGs), medication use and anthropometrics was collected. Three follow-up visits were conducted, as well as annual telephone interviews and active surveillance of hospitalizations and death.Five percent of the subjects (603 of them) were diagnosed with a rapid drop in blood pressure when going from lying down to standing up. The authors defined orthostatic hypotension as a 20 mmHg or greater drop in systolic blood pressure or a dip of at least 10 mmHg in diastolic pressure. … For more info: Sudden steep drop in blood pressure may predict atrial fibrillation years later ScienceDaily: Living Well News Sudden steep drop in blood pressure may predict atrial fibrillation years later L’articolo Sudden steep drop in blood pressure may predict atrial fibrillation years later sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Researchers map brain areas vital to understanding language

Researchers map brain areas vital to understanding language In a new study, researchers uncovered the brain mechanisms that underlie discourse comprehension, or the ability to understand written or spoken language through the construction of rich mental models. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 21, 2013 — When reading text or listening to someone speak, we construct rich mental models that allow us to draw conclusions about other people, objects, actions, events, mental states and contexts. This ability to understand written or spoken language, called “discourse comprehension,” is a hallmark of the human mind and central to everyday social life. In a new study, researchers uncovered the brain mechanisms that underlie discourse comprehension.The study appears in Brain: A Journal of Neurology.With his team, study leader Aron Barbey, a professor of neuroscience, of psychology, and of speech and hearing science at the University of Illinois, previously had mapped general intelligence, emotional intelligence and a host of other high-level cognitive functions. Barbey is the director of the Decision Neuroscience Laboratory at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois.To investigate the brain regions that underlie discourse comprehension, the researchers studied a group of 145 American male Vietnam War veterans who sustained penetrating head injuries during combat. Barbey said these shrapnel-induced injuries typically produced focal brain damage, unlike injuries caused by stroke or other neurological disorders that affect multiple regions. These focal injuries allowed the researchers to pinpoint the structures that are critically important to discourse comprehension.”Neuropsychological patients with focal brain lesions provide a valuable opportunity to study how different brain structures contribute to discourse comprehension,” Barbey said.A technique called voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping allowed the team to pool data from the veterans’ CT scans to create a collective, three-dimensional map of the cerebral cortex. They divided this composite brain into units called voxels (the three-dimensional counterparts of two-dimensional pixels). This allowed them to compare the discourse comprehension abilities of patients with damage to a particular voxel or cluster of voxels with those of patients without injuries to those brain regions.The researchers identified a network of brain areas in the frontal and parietal cortex that are essential to discourse comprehension.”Rather than engaging brain regions that are classically involved in language processing, our results indicate that discourse comprehension depends on an executive control network that helps integrate incoming language with prior knowledge and experience,” Barbey said. Executive control, also known as executive function, refers to the ability to plan, organize and regulate one’s behavior.”The findings help us understand the neural foundations of discourse comprehension, and suggest that core elements of discourse processing emerge from a network of brain regions that support language processing and executive functions. … For more info: Researchers map brain areas vital to understanding language ScienceDaily: Top Health News Researchers map brain areas vital to understanding language L’articolo Researchers map brain areas vital to understanding language sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Box office success linked to blogging, study finds

Box office success linked to blogging, study finds Though it would seem that studios have little control over public reaction to their movies, a new study reveals some factors that studios can control to boost how their movies perform at the box office, particularly in local markets. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 20, 2013 — Movie attendance peaks during the holiday season, and studios capitalize on this by releasing dozens of new titles between the end of November and the new year, with much of a movie’s box office success predicted by opening weekend.Though it would seem that studios have little control over public reaction to their movies, a new study by Pradeep K. Chintagunta of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business reveals some factors that studios can control to boost how their movies perform at the box office, particularly in local markets.The study appeared in a recent issue of Management Science.Chintagunta, together with Shyam Gopinath of the University of Utah, and Sriram Venkataraman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, examined the pre- and post-release performance of 75 movies released in 2004 in 208 geographic markets in the United States across three measures: nationwide consumer- generated blog volume; blog “valence” — a positive or negative sentiment written by a blogger — and studio advertising.The study revealed that gender, income, race and age of the local population are the biggest indicators of how a movie will perform in individual markets.Among the study’s most notable demographic findings:Blog readers tend to be young, so the local readership will likely mimic the area’s demographics. If the population skews older, blogs will have less impact on moviegoers’ behavior. The biggest impact on box office performance is gender. A higher proportion of women in a population lowers box office performance with respect to blog valence and advertising much more than any other demographic feature. Having more women in a market makes it less sensitive to blog sentiments and less sensitive to advertising; having more young consumers in market enhances the impact of blog volume but lowers the effect of blog valence; and high income markets are less responsive to blog sentiments and advertising. Taken together, these findings suggest that studios engaging in spot advertising may want to reduce their advertising in markets with higher income, as well as those with more women and more young consumers. Furthermore, markets with larger white populations are more sensitive to advertising — studios might want to direct more advertising in these markets. At the same time, markets with large white populations are less sensitive to blog valence.Notable findings on specific geographic preferences include:The markets highly responsive to advertising seem to be concentrated in the Midwest, and the markets less responsive to both blogs and advertising seem to be in the East Coast. … For more info: Box office success linked to blogging, study finds ScienceDaily: Living Well News Box office success linked to blogging, study finds L’articolo Box office success linked to blogging, study finds sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

High tunnel, open-field production systems compared for lettuce, tomato

High tunnel, open-field production systems compared for lettuce, tomato Researchers used crop enterprise budgets to provide baseline information and contrast the economic potential of growing lettuce and tomato under high tunnel and open-field production systems. Results showed it was 43% more profitable to grow lettuce in the open field than in the high tunnel, while growing tomato in high tunnels was three times more profitable than open-field production. via ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News: Nov. 19, 2013 — In the mild coastal climate of western Washington, agricultural growers are learning more about the advantages of growing popular fresh-market vegetables in high tunnel production systems. High tunnels can offer many benefits for delicate vegetable crops, including protection from environmental stresses such as hail, frost, excessive rainfall, and high wind. Despite these obvious benefits, the use of high tunnels for growing both lettuce and tomato is currently limited in the region–estimated to be only 50 acres for tomato and less than 20 acres for lettuce.Share This:According to Washington State University researchers Suzette Galinato and Carol Miles, the adoption rate for using high tunnels is low in the region due to a lack of in-depth knowledge about specific high tunnel production practices for tomato and lettuce, the high tunnel structures best suited to each crop, potential returns, and the capital investment needed to initiate and maintain high tunnel production.Results of the scenarios showed that, for lettuce, the labor cost per square foot of growing area was found to be six times greater in a high tunnel than in the open field. For tomato, labor costs were ten times greater in a high tunnel than in the open field. Total labor cost comprised more than 50% of the total production costs of lettuce and tomato in both the high tunnel and open-field systems. Given the base crop yield and average price, economic analysis showed that growing lettuce in the open field is 43% more profitable than in the high tunnel, while in contrast, high tunnel-grown tomato was three times more profitable than open-field tomato production.Galinato and Miles’ new study published in HortTechnology contains specific information about effective regional production practices for tomato and lettuce, variable and fixed costs of production, and potential returns based on defined assumptions about high tunnel or open-field production of each crop.The researchers convened focus groups of three to four growers in western Washington between April and November 2011. The groups were then tasked with developing crop enterprise budgets. Each focus group addressed one crop (lettuce or tomato) and one production system (open field or high tunnel). “We selected the focus group participants based on their experience in growing lettuce or tomato in open field or high tunnel, and their management practices,” Galinato said. … For more info: High tunnel, open-field production systems compared for lettuce, tomato ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News High tunnel, open-field production systems compared for lettuce, tomato L’articolo High tunnel, open-field production systems compared for lettuce, tomato sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Global warming in the Canadian arctic

Global warming in the Canadian arctic Researchers have been studying methane emissions produced by thawing permafrost in the Canadian Arctic. These emissions are greatly underestimated in current climate models. via ScienceDaily: Ecology News: Nov. 18, 2013 — Ph.D. student Karita Negandhi and professor Isabelle Laurion from INRS’Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre, in collaboration with other Canadian, U.S., and French researchers, have been studying methane emissions produced by thawing permafrost in the Canadian Arctic. These emissions are greatly underestimated in current climate models. Their findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, illustrate the importance of taking into account greenhouse gases emitted by small thaw ponds, as they could have a significant impact on climate.Share This:”We discovered that although the small shallow ponds we studied represent only 44% of the water-covered surface in a Bylot Island valley, they generate 83% of its methane emissions,” notes water sciences doctoral student Karita Negandhi.The researchers compared ponds of different shapes and sizes, and studied their physicochemical properties and microbial ecology. To analyze the samples taken on Bylot Island in Nunavut’s Sirmilik National Park, they used various methods, including radiocarbon dating, as well as new-generation molecular tools to study the sediment and water microbial communities involved in carbon transformation processes.The isotopic signatures of the methane emitted by these small ponds indicate that this greenhouse gas comes partly from old carbon reserves that have been sequestered in the permafrost for millennia. As the permafrost thaws, organic matter is becoming more abundant, promoting the proliferation of aquatic microbes such as methanogenic Archaea, which use various sources of carbon, then release it into the atmosphere in the form of methane and CO2. Consequently, longer summers could lead to an increase in these emissions.These small thaw ponds have been studied very little up until now, primarily because of their remote location and the attendant logistical constraints. However in the context of global warming, they are worth examining more closely, as they could have an increasingly significant incidence on the transfer of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in the future.Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, and Google:Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:|Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by INRS, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. … For more info: Global warming in the Canadian arctic ScienceDaily: Ecology News Global warming in the Canadian arctic L’articolo Global warming in the Canadian arctic sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Women prescribed hormone therapy should use caution when taking apigenin supplement

Women prescribed hormone therapy should use caution when taking apigenin supplement In 2011, studies conducted found that a natural compound called apigenin, which is found in celery, parsley, and apples, could reduce the incidence of tumor growth in women receiving hormone replacement therapy. Now, based on subsequent studies, they are recommending that women not ingest pure apigenin as a supplement. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 20, 2013 — Hormone replacement therapies, or medications containing female hormones that substitute those no longer produced by the body, are often prescribed to reduce the effects of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms in women. Research and clinical trials on hormone replacement therapies have indicated a higher incidence of tumors, especially breast cancer, in post-menopausal women who take synthetic hormones; therefore, doctors have become more reluctant to prescribe the treatment. In 2011, studies conducted by University of Missouri researchers found that a natural compound called apigenin, which is found in celery, parsley, and apples, could reduce the incidence of tumor growth in women receiving hormone replacement therapy. Now, based on subsequent studies conducted by MU researchers, they are recommending that women not ingest pure apigenin as a supplement.Share This:A new study shows that when the supplement apigenin is ingested in a diet at the same concentration as subjects received during IV injections in previous studies — the benefits were reversed leading to a higher incidence of cancerous tumors in subjects receiving progestin.”Typically, hormone replacement therapies improve the lives of menopausal women and achieve very good results,” said Salman Hyder, the Zalk Endowed Professor in Tumor Angiogenesis and professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. “However, research has proven that in women receiving therapies that involve a combination of the natural component estrogen and the synthetic progestin, a higher incidence of breast cancer tumors can occur.”Hyder explains that many women normally have benign lesions in breast tissue. These lesions don’t typically form tumors until they receive the “trigger” that attracts blood vessels to cells essentially feeding the lesions causing them to form and expand — in this case, progestin is the trigger. Hyder’s previous research focused on identifying natural supplements containing compounds that lessen the likelihood of tumor development and growth.During the study, laboratory rats were divided into four groups. Two groups were placed on a controlled diet; the other two were given apigenin through a diet supplemented with apigenin. Researchers found that the mice that ingested apigenin through their diets were found to have a higher incidence of tumor growth.”We know that apigenin is effective when injected directly into the bloodstream, so intravenous supplements may still be a possibility,” Hyder said. … For more info: Women prescribed hormone therapy should use caution when taking apigenin supplement ScienceDaily: Living Well News Women prescribed hormone therapy should use caution when taking apigenin supplement L’articolo Women prescribed hormone therapy should use caution when taking apigenin supplement sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Two Y genes can replace the entire Y chromosome for assisted reproduction in mice

Two Y genes can replace the entire Y chromosome for assisted reproduction in mice Live mouse offspring can be generated with assisted reproduction using germ cells from males with the Y chromosome contribution limited to only two genes: the testis determinant factor Sry and the spermatogonial proliferation factor Eif2s3y. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 21, 2013 — The Y chromosome is a symbol of maleness, present only in males and encoding genes important for male reproduction. But live mouse offspring can be generated with assisted reproduction using germ cells from males with the Y chromosome contribution limited to only two genes: the testis determinant factor Sry and the spermatogonial proliferation factor Eif2s3y.”Does this mean that the Y chromosome (or most of it) is no longer needed? Yes, given our current technological advances in assisted reproductive technologies,” said Monika A. Ward, Associate Professor at the Institute for Biogenesis Research, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai’i. At the same time, however, she also emphasized the importance of the Y chromosome for normal, unassisted fertilization and other aspects of male reproduction.In a new manuscript scheduled for online publication in the journal Science on November 21, 2013, Ward and her UH colleagues describe their effort to identify the minimum Y chromosome contribution required to generate a healthy first generation mouse, capable of reproducing a second generation on its own without further technological intervention.For this study, Ward and her colleagues used transgenic male mice with only two Y genes, Sry and Eif2s3y. The mice were considered infertile because they had meiotic and postmeiotic arrests — that is, the germ cells that should have normally developed into sperm did not fully mature in these mice — but researchers were able to find few usable cells. Yasuhiro Yamauchi, a post-doctoral scholar on Ward’s team, harvested these immature spermatids and used a technique called round spermatid injection (ROSI) to successfully fertilize oocytes in the laboratory. When the developed embryos were transferred to female mouse surrogate mothers, live offspring were obtained.Because the overall efficiency of ROSI with two Y genes was lower than with regular, fertile mice, the researchers then looked to see whether the addition of other Y genes could improve it. … For more info: Two Y genes can replace the entire Y chromosome for assisted reproduction in mice ScienceDaily: Top Health News Two Y genes can replace the entire Y chromosome for assisted reproduction in mice L’articolo Two Y genes can replace the entire Y chromosome for assisted reproduction in mice sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Monster gamma-ray burst in our cosmic neighborhood

Monster gamma-ray burst in our cosmic neighborhood Gamma-ray bursts are violent bursts of gamma radiation associated with exploding massive stars. For the first time ever, researchers have observed an unusually powerful gamma-ray burst in the relatively nearby universe — a monster gamma-ray burst. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 21, 2013 — Gamma-ray bursts are violent bursts of gamma radiation associated with exploding massive stars. For the first time ever, researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, have observed an unusually powerful gamma-ray burst in the relatively nearby universe — a monster gamma-ray burst. The results are published in the scientific journal, Science.When astronomers observe gamma-ray bursts, they never see the original star itself. It is far too dim to be seen from their distance in the universe. But when the star dies, they can see the exploding star as a supernova.When the star explodes as a supernova, there might be a violent burst of gamma radiation. The burst is very short and is called a gamma-ray burst. Gamma-ray bursts are extremely bright and can be seen across the entire universe, but they cannot be seen from telescopes from Earth, because Earth’s atmosphere absorbs the gamma radiation. So in order to see gamma-ray bursts, astronomers use telescopes in space.The Swift satellite, which was launched in 2004, monitors space and discovers about 100 gamma-ray bursts each year. Gamma-ray bursts are thus quite common occurrences, but in April they spotted something quite unusual.”We suddenly saw a gamma-ray burst that was extremely bright — a monster gamma-ray burst. … For more info: Monster gamma-ray burst in our cosmic neighborhood ScienceDaily: Top Science News Monster gamma-ray burst in our cosmic neighborhood L’articolo Monster gamma-ray burst in our cosmic neighborhood sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Involving patients in nurses’ shift change reduces medical errors, satisfies patients

Involving patients in nurses’ shift change reduces medical errors, satisfies patients At shift change, incoming and outgoing nurses transfer accountability by exchanging information about the patients under their charge. Called bedside handover, this process empowers patients and allows them to become active partners in their own care. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 20, 2013 — At shift change, incoming and outgoing nurses transfer accountability by exchanging information about the patients under their charge. Called bedside handover, this process empowers patients and allows them to become active partners in their own care.New research published today shows that performing this transfer at the patient’s bedside can also reduce potential errors.”The start and end of a nurse’s shift are critical moments,” said Dr. Lianne Jeffs, St. Michael’s Hospital’s Volunteer Association Chair in Nursing Research and lead author of the study. “Having handover take place at the bedside with patients is better for everyone, but especially for our patients. It means they have a voice, better understand their treatment and are engaged in their care.”Traditionally, nurses exchanged patient information between shifts through tape recordings or verbal briefings at nursing stations. Bedside handover requires nurses to exchange pertinent patient information such as clinical conditions, allergies and care plans with the patient in his or her room. By taking the handover to the patient, nurses and patients see each other sooner. Bedside handover also allows patients to ask questions and clarify information with both nurses — which is shown to relieve anxiety and improve patient satisfaction.”Most patients felt safer, more satisfied and better informed of their care plan,” said Dr. … For more info: Involving patients in nurses’ shift change reduces medical errors, satisfies patients ScienceDaily: Top Health News Involving patients in nurses’ shift change reduces medical errors, satisfies patients L’articolo Involving patients in nurses’ shift change reduces medical errors, satisfies patients sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Asbestosis man receives compensation

Asbestosis man receives compensation via Claims Direct News Feed: Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 11 » Asbestosis man receives compensationAsbestosis man receives compensationA man who was diagnosed with asbestosis after being exposed to asbestos during his career as a ship-breaker in Newport has received a compensation settlement.Ken Benney, 85, was told by doctors that he had the condition in 2011 after suffering from back pain and breathlessness that left him needing daily care.But now, lawyers have negotiated a settlement that will allow him to more easily cover the costs of any future health provision, reports the South Wales Argus.While the man’s former employers Joseph Gillott and Sons, which was previously known as John Cashmore Limited, did not admit liability, Mr Benney has been handed a £50,000 insurance payment.Commenting on his success, Mr Benney said: “The settlement will be a big help and will help support my family to look after me. It does feel like justice has been done.”According to the Health and Safety Executive, asbestos remains the single greatest cause of workplace deaths in the UK, but the nature of the illness it causes means they are difficult to diagnose, as dust particles can lie dormant in the lungs for decades.By Francesca WitneyOr call us on freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS For more info: Asbestosis man receives compensation Claims Direct News Feed Asbestosis man receives compensation L’articolo Asbestosis man receives compensation sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Medulloblastoma patient: I don’t see my disease as something terrible

Medulloblastoma patient: I don’t see my disease as something terrible via Cancerwise | Cancer blog from MD Anderson Cancer Center: By Sabrina Dominguez “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As I grazed through elementary school, the answer was never an Olympic gymnast or an astronaut. I never wanted to be the president or a princess. I wanted to save lives. But little did I know that years later, doctors would save my life after I received a diagnosis of medulloblastoma, a common type of brain tumor in children, just a few days before my 16th birthday. Today, four months after my medulloblastoma diagnosis, I do not see my disease as something terrible. I don’t accept pity, nor do I feel sorry for myself. I see this as a learning opportunity and a story to tell to my peers when I’m allowed to go back to school.My medulloblastoma symptoms, diagnosis and treatmentI had been having bad headaches in the back of my head. Occasionally, I would even black out and collapse. We knew something was wrong. On Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, I received my medulloblastoma diagnosis. I underwent surgery, but the doctors in El Paso could only remove 20 percent of the tumor. That’s when my family traveled to MD Anderson. At MD Anderson, Nicholas B. Levine, M.D., assistant professor in Neurosurgery, removed 100% of the tumor. With the surgery complete, we went back home. Less than a month later, my mom and I returned to MD Anderson for my 30 proton therapy treatments (13 to the brain and spine, and 17 to the tumor site) and weekly chemotherapy, as well as appointments with Anita Mahajan, M.D., director of the Proton Therapy Center, and Michael Rytting, M.D., associate professor in Pediatric Patient Care. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll complete my medulloblastoma treatment and go home on Friday, Nov. 22 — just in time for Thanksgiving. I’m more than ecstatic to be going home. I cannot wait to play school with my little sister, argue with my newly teenaged brother, visit my old basketball teammates at practice and just spend time with my family. Learning about oncology firsthandThanksgiving used to be just another holiday where I had to eat food I didn’t like, deal with my little brother and see family from out of town. This year, Thanksgiving has a whole new meaning. It’s a time to thank my caregivers and health team. I’m grateful my they not only cared for me, but also gave me opportunities to learn more about my diagnosis. From surgeon to dentist, I’ve never been completely sure exactly what career I want. But if you ask me what I want to do, the answer has always been: “Save lives through the medical field.” I want to choose something I will never get bored of. I want to make sure my decision is the right one. I want to make sure I’m going to make an impact, but most importantly, I want to make my mark on the world. As a middle school student, I learned of high schools that specialized in career clusters, and ultimately I met my match in Silva Health Magnet High in El Paso. I didn’t receive my acceptance letter until July 2011, when I learned that 200 students had been chosen to attend and I was one of them. I was overjoyed. Freshman year was one of the best years of my life. I excelled in my health science class, and I was offered opportunities to volunteer at hospitals all over the city, played basketball and served on the student council, all while making good grades. Sophomore year was no different. As a junior at Silva, you are given the chance to go to the nearby hospital and clinics and observe the doctors and nurses to see what it is exactly what they do. But it was during my junior year when everything changed. I have not been going on rotations like my classmates, but I have been learning firsthand about oncology. This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful my cancer journey has given me another opportunity to reach out to people and offer them hope — and, potentially, save lives. I’m thankful to the people who have helped save my life, but I’m also thankful for my brain tumor. I’m thankful to have been given this chance to share who I am and my thoughts on my disease. For more info: Medulloblastoma patient: I don’t see my disease as something terrible Cancerwise | Cancer blog from MD Anderson Cancer Center Medulloblastoma patient: I don’t see my disease as something terrible L’articolo Medulloblastoma patient: I don’t see my disease as something terrible sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

A happy patient is well connected to a doctor

A happy patient is well connected to a doctor The happiest patients are those who have regular contact with their doctors. A study finds that patients who have established “continuity of care” with primary-care physician are most satisfied with their treatment. The study comes as the American health care system moves to a more team-based approach to care, known as patient-centered medical home. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 18, 2013 — A new trend in American health care is the patient-centered medical home. The approach revolves around a team of medical and health professionals who, working together, treat an individual, led by a primary-care physician who orchestrates the whole effort. The goal is the team knows everything about the patient, no matter how disparate the symptoms — from the earache last night to the long history of high cholesterol — and works together to treat the individual in a holistic way.Patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) have gained popularity since the National Committee on Quality Assurance recognized them five years ago. There are more than 1,500 such practices recognized by the nonprofit health quality association.Yet despite their growing popularity, questions remain about their effectiveness. In a new study, researchers at the University of Iowa evaluated a similar model being tested with military veterans, and conclude that maintaining a direct, regular channel of communication between the patient and the primary doctor is critical to success.”This is a time of intense change in health care, and all of these aspects (with PCMHs) potentially contribute to more fragmentation,” says David Katz, associate professor in internal medicine at the UI and the corresponding author on the study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. “That’s why we can’t lose sight of the doctor-patient relationship, and how we’re communicating with our physicians.”Katz and his colleagues surveyed 4,393 veterans receiving care in medical facilities in the upper Midwest run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to evaluate their thoughts on the VA’s Patient Aligned Care Team initiative, an approach to care much like the PCMH. The veterans needed to have at least three primary-care visits during the survey period, which lasted from 2009 to 2010.In particular, the researchers sought to better understand whether continuity of care — measured by the concentration of visits with a primary-care physician and the duration of care with that physician — led to a patient feeling more satisfied with his or her relationship with the primary doctor.The research team found that it did, mainly because continuity of care seems to yield better communication between the individual and the primary-care doctor and thus a happier patient overall.”I think that’s a very simple implication of this study,” Katz says, “in the sense that it can improve the connectedness of the patient and improve the quality of the doctor-patient communication and the patient’s satisfaction with their care.”The researchers found that the surveyed VA patients reported seeing their assigned care provider 80 percent of the time, higher than anticipated and comparable with rates in the private sector. Yet only half rated as “excellent” their involvement with a primary physician in making a treatment decision in the past year.Katz noted that several factors could influence the rating, such as if a patient had an acute problem that needed immediate treatment, reducing the time available for an involved discussion. … For more info: A happy patient is well connected to a doctor ScienceDaily: Living Well News A happy patient is well connected to a doctor L’articolo A happy patient is well connected to a doctor sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Aging erodes genetic control, but that’s flexible

Aging erodes genetic control, but that’s flexible In yeast at least, the aging process appears to reduce an organism’s ability to silence certain genes that need to be silenced. Now researchers who study the biology of aging have shown that the loss of genetic control occurs in fruit flies as well. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 20, 2013 — Biologists at Brown University have found a way to measure the effects of aging by watching the ebb and flow of chromatin, a structure along strands of DNA that either silences or permits gene expression. In several newly published experiments they show that gene silencing via chromatin in fruit flies declines with age.They also showed that administering life span extending measures to the flies, such as switching them to a lower calorie diet or increasing expression of the protein Sir2, restores the observed loss of gene silencing due to age.”For many years it has been suggested that one of the issues that occurs with age, leading to cellular dysfunction, is that some genes that should be silenced lose that silencing,” said Dr. Stephen Helfand, senior author of the study published online Nov. 15 in the journal Aging. “It hasn’t been very well demonstrated to take place other than in yeast. So what we were trying to do in flies is see whether genes that are normally repressed lose their repression.”The answer they report is that the phenomenon is true in flies too.The variegations of ageTo achieve those findings, Helfand and lead author Nan Jiang exploited a phenomenon called “position effect variegation.” PEV is the variation of a gene’s expression that comes from the gene existing at the border between euchromatin, a loose wrapping of DNA that readily permits gene expression, and heterochromatin, a tight wrapping that keeps it locked down. The scientists hypothesized that as organisms age, heterochromatin might recede, allowing more genes that had once been silenced to become exposed for expression — like a seashell becoming revealed to a passing beachcomber as the tide recedes.To test whether chromatin gene silencing declines with age, the researchers inserted “reporter” genes right at the border between heterochromatin and euchromatin in two specific parts of the flies’ genomes. The reporter genes have the useful property of showing blue when expressed. If they aren’t being silenced, their expression can be verified simply by applying a brief pulse of heat to the fly. … For more info: Aging erodes genetic control, but that’s flexible ScienceDaily: Top Health News Aging erodes genetic control, but that’s flexible L’articolo Aging erodes genetic control, but that’s flexible sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Insomnia linked to mortality risk

Insomnia linked to mortality risk Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, affects up to one-third of the population in the United States. In new findings, researchers have found that some insomnia symptoms are associated with an increased risk of mortality in men. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 20, 2013 — Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, affects up to one-third of the population in the United States. In new findings, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have found that some insomnia symptoms are associated with an increased risk of mortality in men. These findings are published online in Circulation and will appear in an upcoming print issue.”Insomnia is a common health issue, particularly in older adults, but the link between this common sleep disorder and its impact on the risk of death has been unclear,” said Yanping Li, PhD, a research fellow in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH and lead author of the paper. “Our research shows that among men who experience specific symptoms of insomnia, there is a modest increase risk in death from cardiovascular-related issues.”Specifically, researchers report that difficulty falling sleep and non-restorative sleep were both associated with a higher risk of mortality, particularly mortality related to cardiovascular disease.Researchers followed more than 23,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who self-reported insomnia symptoms for a period of six years. Beginning in 2004 through 2010, researchers documented 2025 deaths using information from government and family sources. After adjusting for lifestyle factors, age and other chronic conditions, researchers found that men who reported difficulty initiating sleep and non-restorative sleep had a 55 percent and 32 percent increased risk of CVD-related mortality over the six year follow up, respectively, when compared to men who did not report these insomnia-related symptoms.”We know that sleep is important for cardiovascular health and many studies have linked poor or insufficient sleep with increased risk factors for cardiovascular-related diseases,” said Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, a researcher in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH and Harvard School of Public Health and senior author of this study. “Now we know that not only can poor sleep impact disease risk, but it may also impact our longevity. While further research is necessary to confirm these findings, there is overwhelming evidence that practicing good sleep hygiene and prioritizing sufficient and restful sleep is an often overlooked but important modifiable risk factor in overall health.” For more info: Insomnia linked to mortality risk ScienceDaily: Living Well News Insomnia linked to mortality risk L’articolo Insomnia linked to mortality risk sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.