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.

Micronutrient supplements reduce risk of HIV disease progression, illness

Micronutrient supplements reduce risk of HIV disease progression, illness Long-term (24-month) supplementation with multivitamins plus selenium for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients in Botswana in the early stages of disease who had not received antiretroviral therapy delayed time to HIV disease progression, was safe and reduced the risk of immune decline and illness, according to a study. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 26, 2013 — Long-term (24-month) supplementation with multivitamins plus selenium for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients in Botswana in the early stages of disease who had not received antiretroviral therapy delayed time to HIV disease progression, was safe and reduced the risk of immune decline and illness, according to a study appearing in the November 27 issue of JAMA.“Micronutrient deficiencies, known to influence immune function, are prevalent even before the development of symptoms of HIV disease and are associated with accelerated HIV disease progression. Micronutrient supplementation has improved markers of HIV disease progression (CD4 cell count, HIV viral load) and mortality in clinical trials; however, these studies were conducted either in the late stages of HIV disease or in pregnant women,” according to background information in the article.Marianna K. Baum, Ph.D., of Florida International University, Miami, and colleagues examined whether specific supplemental micronutrients enhance the immune system and slow HIV disease progression during the early stages of the disease in antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naive adults. They randomized 878 HIV patients to supplementation with daily multivitamins (B vitamins and vitamins C and E), selenium alone, multivitamins with selenium, or placebo for 24 months. The vitamins (vitamins B, C and E, and the trace element selenium) are nutrients essential for maintaining a responsive immune system. Selenium may also have an important role in preventing HIV replication.Participants receiving the combined supplement of multivitamins plus selenium had a lower risk compared to placebo of reaching a CD4 cell count 250/µL or less (a measure that is consistent with the standard of care in Botswana for initiation of ART at the time of the study). This supplement also reduced the risk of a combination of measures of disease progression (CD4 cell count ≤ 250/µL, AIDS-defining conditions, or AIDS-related death, whichever occurred earlier).“This evidence supports the use of specific micronutrient supplementation as an effective intervention in HIV-infected adults in early stages of HIV disease, significantly reducing the risk for disease progression in asymptomatic, ART-naive, HIV-infected adults. This reduced risk may translate into delay in the time when the HIV-infected patients experience immune dysfunction and into broader access to HIV treatment in developing countries,” the authors conclude.The researchers add that their “findings are generalizable to other HIV subtype C-infected cohorts in resource-limited settings where the provision of ART is being scaled up, rolled out, or not yet available to all in conditions similar to those in Botswana at the time of this study.” For more info: Micronutrient supplements reduce risk of HIV disease progression, illness ScienceDaily: Top Health News Micronutrient supplements reduce risk of HIV disease progression, illness L’articolo Micronutrient supplements reduce risk of HIV disease progression, illness sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Messy children make better learners: Toddlers learn words for nonsolids better when getting messy in a highchair

Messy children make better learners: Toddlers learn words for nonsolids better when getting messy in a highchair Parents, let your children get messy in the high chair: They learn better that way. That’s according to a new study which concludes that a 16-month-old’s setting and degree of interaction enhances his or her ability to identify nonsolid objects and name them. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Dec. 2, 2013 — Attention, parents: The messier your child gets while playing with food in the high chair, the more he or she is learning.Researchers at the University of Iowa studied how 16-month-old children learn words for nonsolid objects, from oatmeal to glue. Previous research has shown that toddlers learn more readily about solid objects because they can easily identify them due to their unchanging size and shape. But oozy, gooey, runny stuff? Not so much.New research shows that changes if you put toddlers in a setting they know well, such as shoving stuff in their mouths. In those instances, word learning increases, because children at that age are “used to seeing nonsolid things in this context, when they’re eating,” says Larissa Samuelson, associate professor in psychology at the UI who has worked for years on how children learn to associate words with objects. “And, if you expose them to these things when they’re in a highchair, they do better. They’re familiar with the setting and that helps them remember and use what they already know about nonsolids.”In a paper published in the journal Developmental Science, Samuelson and her team at the UI tested their idea by exposing 16-month-olds to 14 nonsolid objects, mostly food and drinks such as applesauce, pudding, juice, and soup. They presented the items and gave them made-up words, such as “dax” or “kiv.” A minute later, they asked the children to identify the same food in different sizes or shapes. The task required the youngsters to go beyond relying simply on shape and size and to explore what the substances were made of to make the correct identification and word choice.Not surprisingly, many children gleefully dove into this task by poking, prodding, touching, feeling, eating — and yes, throwing — the nonsolids in order to understand what they were and make the correct association with the hypothetical names. … For more info: Messy children make better learners: Toddlers learn words for nonsolids better when getting messy in a highchair ScienceDaily: Top Health News Messy children make better learners: Toddlers learn words for nonsolids better when getting messy in a highchair L’articolo Messy children make better learners: Toddlers learn words for nonsolids better when getting messy in a highchair sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

I Was Not Alone: How LBBC Helped Me Live Beyond Breast Cancer

I Was Not Alone: How LBBC Helped Me Live Beyond Breast Cancer via LBBC’s Blog: Last week, Amy Lessack wrote about why she’s giving back to LBBC on #GivingTuesday. Today, we are proud to present this blog post by Debby Freedman, an LBBC volunteer who credits our organization with helpling her through her diagnosis, treatment and beyond. With one day left until the start of our #GivingTuesday activities, we hope Debby’s story will inspire you to support LBBC tomorrow and help us reach more women like her. I was diagnosed with breast cancer about 5 years ago and I had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. I first connected with LBBC when I was in chemo.  I was still fairly newly diagnosed and I was really scared.  I needed someone to talk to who could understand what I was going through and who wouldn’t be alarmed by my fear. I called LBBC’s Breast Cancer Helpline and spoke to a fellow survivor.  The call was a huge relief to me. The LBBC Helpline volunteer reassured me and helped me feel that I was not alone in facing the fear that comes with cancer. After calling the Helpline, I began to rely on LBBC for information about treatment, side effects and prevention.  I participated in calls with experts on particular aspects of breast cancer, read brochures and attended LBBC’s annual conference.  Throughout all of these, I loved LBBC’s mission of living BEYOND cancer and the fact that I could trust the information I got from them. About a year and a half after my diagnosis, I wanted to do something to help other survivors and, after a lot of training, I began to volunteer on the LBBC Helpline. Volunteering for the Helpline has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life because in the course of one phone call, you can hear that you are making a big difference in a survivor’s life. LBBC has made a big difference in my life and has helped me to really feel that I am a survivor.  Please support LBBC! Learn about LBBC’s programs and services that help all those affected by breast cancer. Support LBBC on #GivingTuesday. Follow LBBC on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about our #GivingTuesday activities. For more info: I Was Not Alone: How LBBC Helped Me Live Beyond Breast Cancer LBBC’s Blog I Was Not Alone: How LBBC Helped Me Live Beyond Breast Cancer L’articolo I Was Not Alone: How LBBC Helped Me Live Beyond Breast Cancer sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Modafinil reduces depression’s severity when taken with antidepressants

Modafinil reduces depression’s severity when taken with antidepressants A new study has concluded that taking the drug modafinil, typically used to treat sleep disorders, in combination with antidepressants reduces the severity of depression more effectively than taking antidepressants alone. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 27, 2013 — A new study has concluded that taking the drug modafinil, typically used to treat sleep disorders, in combination with antidepressants reduces the severity of depression more effectively than taking antidepressants alone. The study, a collaboration between the Universities of Cambridge and East London and King’s College London, was published online in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.Approximately a third of depressed patients receive little or no benefit from taking antidepressants even when used in combination with psychological counseling. Furthermore, of those who respond to treatment, residual symptoms such as fatigue and trouble sleeping pose risk factors for relapse. The authors of the study believe that these individuals in particular would benefit the most from supplementing their antidepressants with modafinil.Professor Barbara Sahakian from the University of Cambridge said, “Modafinil has actions on a number of neurotransmitter systems. This may explain why adding it to traditional anti-depressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, has beneficial effects on the symptoms experienced by depressed patients.””This is good news for individuals struggling to fight depression,” said Professor Cynthia Fu from University of East London, who undertook the research whilst at King’s College London. “Depression affects all aspects of life, leading to occupational and social disability at varying levels. It is particularly important that people receive effective treatment as the residual symptoms — e.g. fatigue, lack of concentration etc. — can persist and have a negative impact in people’s lives.”For the research, the scientists reviewed various studies which had examined the use of modafinil as an add-on treatment for depression. … For more info: Modafinil reduces depression’s severity when taken with antidepressants ScienceDaily: Top Health News Modafinil reduces depression’s severity when taken with antidepressants L’articolo Modafinil reduces depression’s severity when taken with antidepressants sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

New aggressive HIV strain leads to faster AIDS development

New aggressive HIV strain leads to faster AIDS development A recently discovered HIV strain leads to significantly faster development of AIDS than currently prevalent forms, according to new research. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 27, 2013 — A recently discovered HIV strain leads to significantly faster development of AIDS than currently prevalent forms, according to new research from Lund University in Sweden.The period from infection to development of AIDS was the shortest reported among HIV-1 types, at around five years.There are over 60 different epidemic strains of HIV-1 in the world, and geographic regions are often dominated by one or two of these. If a person becomes infected with two different strains, they can fuse and a recombined form can occur.”Recombinants seem to be more vigorous and more aggressive than the strains from which they developed,” explained Angelica Palm, a doctoral student at Lund University.The recombinant studied is called A3/02 and is a cross between the two most common strains in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa — 02AG and A3. It has previously been described by Joakim Esbjörnsson, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford, who is a co-author of the study.So far, the new strain has only been identified in West Africa, but other studies have shown that the global spread of different recombinants is increasing. In countries and regions with high levels of immigration, such as the US and Europe, the trend is towards an increasingly mixed and complex HIV flora, unlike in the beginning of the epidemic when a small number of non-recombinant variants of the virus dominated. There is therefore reason to be wary of HIV recombinants in general.”HIV is an extremely dynamic and variable virus. New subtypes and recombinant forms of HIV-1 have been introduced to our part of the world, and it is highly likely that there are a large number of circulating recombinants of which we know little or nothing. We therefore need to be aware of how the HIV-1 epidemic changes over time,” said Patrik Medstrand, Professor of Clinical Virology at Lund University.The research is based on a unique long-term follow-up of HIV-infected individuals in Guinea-Bissau, a project run by Lund University. In future research, Angelica Palm and her colleagues hope to be able to continue researching the characteristics of recombinant viruses and the presence of these among HIV carriers in Europe.For health services, the new research results mean a need to be aware that certain HIV-1 types can be more aggressive than others, according to the research team. For more info: New aggressive HIV strain leads to faster AIDS development ScienceDaily: Top Health News New aggressive HIV strain leads to faster AIDS development L’articolo New aggressive HIV strain leads to faster AIDS development sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Oxytocin leads to monogamy

Oxytocin leads to monogamy How is the bond between people in love maintained? Scientists have discovered a biological mechanism that could explain the attraction between loving couples: If oxytocin is administered to men and if they are shown pictures of their partner, the bonding hormone stimulates the reward center in the brain, increasing the attractiveness of the partner, and strengthening monogamy. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 25, 2013 — How is the bond between people in love maintained? Scientists at the Bonn University Medical Center have discovered a biological mechanism that could explain the attraction between loving couples: If oxytocin is administered to men and if they are shown pictures of their partner, the bonding hormone stimulates the reward center in the brain, increasing the attractiveness of the partner, and strengthening monogamy. The results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Monogamy is not very widespread among mammals; human beings represent an exception. Comparatively many couples of the species Homo sapiens have no other partners in a love relationship. For a long time, science has therefore been trying to discover the unknown forces that cause loving couples to be faithful. “An important role in partner bonding is played by the hormone oxytocin, which is secreted in the brain,” says Prof. Dr. René Hurlemann, Executive Senior Physician at the Inpatient and Outpatient Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Bonn University Medical Center. A team of scientists at the University of Bonn under the direction of Prof. … For more info: Oxytocin leads to monogamy ScienceDaily: Living Well News Oxytocin leads to monogamy L’articolo Oxytocin leads to monogamy 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.

Are teens under pressure to be sexting?

Are teens under pressure to be sexting? New research studying the pressures of sexting on adolescents has found that friends and romantic partners are the main source of social pressure, outweighing adolescents’ own attitudes. This research examines the principal drivers of sexting, and suggests areas for educators to focus upon in order to highlight the potential risks involved in sexting. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 27, 2013 — New research studying the pressures of sexting on adolescents has found that friends and romantic partners are the main source of social pressure, outweighing adolescents’ own attitudes. This research examines the principal drivers of sexting, and suggests areas for educators to focus upon in order to highlight the potential risks involved in sexting.The paper ‘Under pressure to sext? Applying the theory of planned behavior to adolescent sexting’, by Michel Walrave, Wannes Heirman & Lara Hallam, published in Behavior & Information Technology, studied the beliefs, social pressures, and predictors of sexting in adolescents.Sexting is defined as the sharing of sexually explicit text messages or naked/semi-naked self-pictures using mobile phones. 26% of the teens surveyed had engaged in sexting in the two months preceding the survey.Adolescents revealed that they sext for attention, to lower the chances of catching STDs, and to find a romantic partner. The concepts of receiving a bad reputation, or of being blackmailed, did not appear to influence their motivations. The authors note that “Remarkably, only the behavioral beliefs that expected positive outcomes of sexting were significant in predicting adolescents’ willingness to engage in it.”Friends and romantic partners were found to be the only significant social pressures that affect an individual’s motivation to sext: “The more positive the perceived social pressure that originates from these two categories of referents — who mostly belong to the peer group — the more adolescents will be inclined to engage in sexting.” Negative pressures from parents and teachers did not affect motivations.Adolescents were most likely to sext if they had complete trust in the recipient. Likewise, a lack of trust would have a significantly adverse effect. In addition, the more positive social pressure they had from romantic partners, the more they were inclined to sext. The belief that parents would monitor their mobile phones was not significant to the study group.The researchers’ findings confirm that: “Rather than adapting their motivations to sext to their own subjective evaluations, adolescents are influenced relatively more by the social pressure that they anticipate receiving from significant others.” Girls had a more negative attitude towards sexting than boys, and experience more negative social pressure to sext than boys do.The research concludes: “Our results suggest that in order to reduce sexting among adolescents, preventive initiatives should allude to what significant others in teenagers’ lives think about them engaging in sexting.”The researchers offer more specific ideas for targets and intervention for policy makers and educators:Awareness-raising initiatives focusing on peer pressure and the acceptability of sexting Integrating the topic of sexting in adolescents’ sexual education Opportunities for young people to engage in discussions Teaching adolescents how to cope with the pressure The study surveyed 498 adolescents aged between 15 and 18 years. … For more info: Are teens under pressure to be sexting? ScienceDaily: Living Well News Are teens under pressure to be sexting? L’articolo Are teens under pressure to be sexting? 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.

Food fight or exercise attack?

Food fight or exercise attack? Experts offer two ways to battle the holiday bulge. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 29, 2013 — Though the Thanksgiving feast and leftovers are behind you, the holiday eating season has just begun. On average, Americans gain one or two pounds this time of year. Though that might not sound like much, the annual weight gain adds up from year to year and can lead to significant gains as time goes by.If the zipper on your favorite holiday outfit is threatening to burst and you’re despairing at the incoming tide of buffets, cookie exchanges, family meals, toasts and eggnog, pick one of the following approaches to maintain your current weight and still enjoy the season.FOOD FIGHTThis time of year, you are bombarded with food. High calorie treats appear everywhere you look. Tables are filled with home-made cookies, gingerbread, hot apple cider, Swedish meatballs and savory appetizers that are irresistible. But resist you must, says Amy Moore, Ph.D., assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University, who shares strategies to control your holiday eating.Be picky about your splurges. You can eat crackers and cheese any time, but the holidays are a time to sample special seasonal treats that people have spent a lot of energy preparing. So, if you’re at a holiday buffet, browse before you graze to size up your best options, Moore says. If Aunt Helen’s delectable Christmas Buche de Noel chocolate dessert beckons, enjoy a slice but pass on the brownies or soda. … For more info: Food fight or exercise attack? ScienceDaily: Living Well News Food fight or exercise attack? L’articolo Food fight or exercise attack? sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Scientists achieve most detailed picture ever of key part of hepatitis C virus

Scientists achieve most detailed picture ever of key part of hepatitis C virus Scientists have determined the most detailed picture yet of a crucial part of the hepatitis C virus, which the virus uses to infect liver cells. The new data reveal unexpected structural features of this protein. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 28, 2013 — Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have determined the most detailed picture yet of a crucial part of the hepatitis C virus, which the virus uses to infect liver cells. The new data reveal unexpected structural features of this protein and should greatly speed efforts to make an effective hepatitis C vaccine.The findings, which appear in the November 29, 2013 issue of the journal Science, focus on a protein known as E2 envelope glycoprotein.”We’re excited by this development,” said Ian A. Wilson, the Hansen Professor of Structural Biology at TSRI and a senior author of the new research with TSRI Assistant Professors Mansun Law and Andrew B. Ward. “It has been very hard to get a high resolution structure of E2 and it took years of painstaking work to finally accomplish that.”Any successful hepatitis C vaccine is likely to target the E2 protein. Scientists already have isolated rare antibodies from patients that can bind E2 in ways that neutralize a broad range of viral strains.”It took our team six years to crack this very difficult scientific problem, but we didn’t give up,” said Law. “Now that we can visualize the structural details of these binding sites, we can design vaccine molecules that mimic them.”A Silent KillerThere has long been an urgent need for an effective vaccine against hepatitis C virus. Once confined to isolated geographical regions, the virus spread globally during the 20th century, chiefly via blood transfusions, unsterilized medical instruments and re-used hypodermic needles. Although hospitals have screened blood products for hepatitis C virus (HCV) since the early 1990s, as many as 200 million people currently are thought to harbor the virus. … For more info: Scientists achieve most detailed picture ever of key part of hepatitis C virus ScienceDaily: Top Health News Scientists achieve most detailed picture ever of key part of hepatitis C virus L’articolo Scientists achieve most detailed picture ever of key part of hepatitis C virus sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Mutations in mantled howler provoked by disturbances in habitat

Mutations in mantled howler provoked by disturbances in habitat The disturbances of the habitat could be affecting the populations of the mantled howler, or golden-mantled howling monkey, (Alouatta palliate Mexicana) who in an extreme case could be developing mutations that make them less resistant to diseases and climate events. via ScienceDaily: Ecology News: Nov. 28, 2013 — The disturbances of the habitat could be affecting the populations of the mantled howler, or golden-mantled howling monkey, (Alouatta palliate Mexicana) who in an extreme case could be developing mutations that make them less resistant to diseases and climate events, reveled by a study of the Ecology Institute.Juan Carlos Serio Silva, head of the project, of which the objective was to know the structure and genetic diversity of this monkey’s populations and see in which way their habitat fragmentation is affecting them genetically.The mantled howler is one of the three species of primates distributed in the jungles of the southeast of the country and is, without a doubt, the one that present the biggest reduction and isolation of its populations.This phenomenon has carried the monkeys to the point of near extinction. Joined to this fact, very little genetic studies have been carried out in Mexico regarding this specie.To carry out the project the researchers collected hair from the bodies of the mantled howlers in four different regions, using a noninvasive technique with sticky darts.Each one of this regions was divided in two zones: disturbed and the ones without human impact. In total, 300 samples of hair were collected and analysed for DNA extraction.One of the principal findings was that the fragmentation of the jungle has induced in the primates the development of different behavioral patterns like in family breeding.The authors of this study suggest that if this situation becomes more extreme could cause mutations that would make them less resistant to disease and climate events.Another trascendental result is that apparently the mantled howlers in the state of Veracruz (south east of the country) come from two different maternal lineages, which is believed to have happened because of different colonization events in this region.The researcher also highlighted that a way to help conserve this primates would be to stop disturbing their habitat avoiding the negative effects of in family breeding and resulting in a better ecological, behavioral and health quality of life.Finally, he added that a deeper research of the genetic variability in the next generations of mantled howler is important to know the evolution of the fragmentation process and it biological print. (Agencia ID) For more info: Mutations in mantled howler provoked by disturbances in habitat ScienceDaily: Ecology News Mutations in mantled howler provoked by disturbances in habitat L’articolo Mutations in mantled howler provoked by disturbances in habitat sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Gene found responsible for susceptibility to panic disorder

Gene found responsible for susceptibility to panic disorder A study published points, for the first time, to the gene trkC as a factor in susceptibility to a panic disorder. The researchers define the specific mechanism for the formation of fear memories which will help in the development of new pharmacological and cognitive treatments. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 28, 2013 — A study published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience points, for the first time, to the gene trkC as a factor in susceptibility to the disease. The researchers define the specific mechanism for the formation of fear memories which will help in the development of new pharmacological and cognitive treatments.Five out of every 100 people in Spain suffer from panic disorder, one of the diseases included within the anxiety disorders, and they experience frequent and sudden attacks of fear that may influence their everyday lives, sometimes even rendering them incapable of things like going to the shops, driving the car or holding down a job.It was known that this disease had a neurobiological and genetic basis and for some time the search had been on to discover which genes were involved in its development, with certain genes being implicated without their physiopathological contribution being understood. Now, for the first time, researchers from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) have revealed that the gene NTRK3, responsible for encoding a protein essential for the formation of the brain, the survival of neurons and establishing connections between them, is a factor in genetic susceptibility to panic disorder.”We have observed that deregulation of NTRK3 produces changes in brain development that lead to malfunctions in the fear-related memory system,” explains Mara Dierssen, head of the Cellular and Systems Neurobiology group at the CRG. “In particular, this system is more efficient at processessing information to do with fear, the thing that makes a person overestimate the risk in a situation and therefore feel more frightened and, also, that stores that information in a more lasting and consistent manner.”Different regions of the human brain are responsible for processing this feeling, although the hippocampus and amygdala play crucial roles. On the one hand, the hippocampus is responsible for forming memories and processing contextual information, which means that the person may be afraid of being in places where they could suffer a panic attack; and on the other, the amygdala is crucial in converting this information into a physiological fear response.Although these circuits are activated in everyone in warning situations, what the CRG researchers have discovered is that “in those people who suffer from panic disorder there is overactivation of the hippocampus and altered activation in the amygdala circuitry, resulting in exaggerated formation of fear memories,” explains Davide D’Amico, a PhD student at the CRG, co-author of the work and the article published in the Journal of Neuosciences, together with Dierssen and the researcher Mónica Santos.They have also found that Tiagabine, a drug that modulates the brain’s fear inhibition system, is able to reverse the formation of panic memories. Although it had already been observed to alleviate certain symptoms in some patients, “we have discovered that it specifically helps restore the fear memory system,” points out Dierssen.Panic disorderPanic attacks are a key symptom of panic disorder. They can last several minutes, be sudden and repeated, and the sufferer has a physical reaction similar to the alarm response to real danger, involving palpitations, cold sweats, dizziness, shortness of breath, tingling in the body, nausea and stomach pain. On top of this, they feel continuously anxious when faced with the prospect of suffering another attack.This study by the CRG researchers reveals that the way in which the memories resulting from a panic attack are stored is what ultimately ends up producing the disorder, which usually appears between 20 and 30 years of age. Although it has a genetic basis, it is also influenced by other environmental factors, such as accumulated stress. … For more info: Gene found responsible for susceptibility to panic disorder ScienceDaily: Top Health News Gene found responsible for susceptibility to panic disorder L’articolo Gene found responsible for susceptibility to panic disorder sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Mediterranean diet without breakfast best choice for diabetics

Mediterranean diet without breakfast best choice for diabetics For patients with diabetes, it is better to eat a single large meal than several smaller meals throughout the day. This is the result of a current dietary study. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 28, 2013 — For patients with diabetes, it is better to eat a single large meal than several smaller meals throughout the day. This is the result of a current dietary study at Linköping University in Sweden.In the study the effect on blood glucose, blood lipids and different hormones after meals were compared using three different macronutrient compositions in patients with type 2 diabetes. The three diets were a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet and a Mediterranean diet. The scientists included 21 patients that tested all three diets in a randomized order. During each test day blood samples were collected at six time points.The low-fat diet had a nutrient composition that has traditionally been recommended in the Nordic countries, with about 55% of the total energy from carbohydrates. The low-carbohydrate diet had a relatively low content of carbohydrate; approximately 20% of the energy was from carbohydrates and about 50% of the total energy came from fat. The Mediterranean diet was composed of only a cup of black coffee for breakfast, and with all the caloric content corresponding to breakfast and lunch during the other two test days accumulated to one large lunch.Furthermore, the total caloric content included energy from 150 ml (women) to 200 ml (men) of French red wine to ingest with the lunch. The food in the Mediterranean diet had an energy content from carbohydrates that was intermediate between the low-fat and the low-carbohydrate meals, and sources of fat were mainly olives and fatty fish.”We found that the low-carbohydrate diet increased blood glucose levels much less than the low-fat diet but that levels of triglycerides tended to be high compared to the low-fat diet,” says Doctor Hans Guldbrand, who together with Professor Fredrik Nystrom was the principal investigator of the study.”It is very interesting that the Mediterranean diet, without breakfast and with a massive lunch with wine, did not induce higher blood glucose levels than the low-fat diet lunch, despite such a large single meal,” says Professor Nyström.”This suggests that it is favorable to have a large meal instead of several smaller meals when you have diabetes, and it is surprising how often one today refers to the usefulness of the so-called Mediterranean diet but forgets that it also traditionally meant the absence of a breakfast. Our results give reason to reconsider both nutritional composition and meal arrangements for patients with diabetes,” says Professor Nystrom. For more info: Mediterranean diet without breakfast best choice for diabetics ScienceDaily: Top Health News Mediterranean diet without breakfast best choice for diabetics L’articolo Mediterranean diet without breakfast best choice for diabetics sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Pushing limits of light microscopy

Pushing limits of light microscopy A team of researchers established a new microscopy technique which greatly enhances resolution in the third dimension. In a simple set-up, the scientists used the translation of position information of fluorescent markers into color information. Overcoming the need for scanning the depth of a sample, they were able to generate the precise 3D information at the same speed as it would take to acquire a 2D image. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 28, 2013 — A team of researchers from the IMP Vienna together with collaborators from the Vienna University of Technology established a new microscopy technique which greatly enhances resolution in the third dimension. In a simple set-up, the scientists used the translation of position information of fluorescent markers into color information. Overcoming the need for scanning the depth of a sample, they were able to generate the precise 3D information at the same speed as it would take to acquire a 2D image. The general principle of this innovative approach can be used for broader applications and is published online in the PNAS Early Edition this week.For many disciplines in the natural sciences it is desirable to get highly enlarged, precise pictures of specimens such as cells. Depending on the purpose of an experiment and the preparation of the sample, different microscopy-techniques are used to analyze small structures or objects. However, a drawback of most current approaches is the need to scan the depth of a sample in order to get a 3D picture. Especially for optically sensitive or highly dynamic (fast moving) samples this often represents a serious problem. Katrin Heinze and Kareem Elsayad, lead authors of the PNAS publication, managed to circumvent this difficulty during their work at the IMP.Precise images of sensitive and dynamic samplesElsayad, who was part of a research team led by Katrin Heinze at the IMP, used fluorescence microscopy for his experimental set-up. The principle of fluorescence microscopy — now a common tool in biomedical research labs — is as follows: Fluorescent dyes, so-called fluorophores, are turned on by light of a certain wavelength and, as a consequence, “spontaneously” emit light of a different wavelength. … For more info: Pushing limits of light microscopy ScienceDaily: Top Science News Pushing limits of light microscopy L’articolo Pushing limits of light microscopy sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Fast, furious, refined: Smaller black holes can eat plenty

Fast, furious, refined: Smaller black holes can eat plenty Gemini observations support an unexpected discovery in the galaxy Messier 101. A relatively small black hole (20-30 times the mass of our sun) can sustain a hugely voracious appetite while consuming material in an efficient and tidy manner — something previously thought impossible. The research also affects the long quest for elusive intermediate-mass black holes. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 27, 2013 — Observations of a black hole powering an energetic X-ray source in a galaxy some 22 million light-years away could change our thinking about how some black holes consume matter. The findings indicate that this particular black hole, thought to be the engine behind the X-ray source’s high-energy light output, is unexpectedly lightweight, and, despite the generous amount of dust and gas being fed to it by a massive stellar companion, it swallows this material in a surprisingly orderly fashion.”It has elegant manners,” says research team member Stephen Justham, of the National Astronomical Observatories of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Such lightweights, he explains, must devour matter at close to their theoretical limits of consumption to sustain the kind of energy output observed. “We thought that when small black holes were pushed to these limits, they would not be able to maintain such refined ways of consuming matter,” Justham explains. “We expected them to display more complicated behavior when eating so quickly. Apparently we were wrong.”A Surprising TwistX-ray sources give off high- and low-energy X-rays, which astronomers call hard and soft X-rays, respectively. In what might seem like a contradiction, larger black holes tend to produce more soft X-rays, while smaller black holes tend to produce relatively more hard X-rays. This source, called M101 ULX-1, is dominated by soft X-rays, so researchers expected to find a larger black hole as its energy source.In a surprising twist, however, the new observations made at the Gemini Observatory, and published in the November 28th issue of the journal Nature, indicate that M101 ULX-1′s black hole is on the small side, and astrophysicists don’t understand why.In theoretical models of how matter falls into black holes and radiates energy, the soft X-rays come primarily from the accretion disk (see illustration), while hard X-rays are typically generated by a high-energy “corona” around the disk. The models show that the corona’s emission strength should increase as the rate of accretion gets closer to the theoretical limit of consumption. … For more info: Fast, furious, refined: Smaller black holes can eat plenty ScienceDaily: Top Science News Fast, furious, refined: Smaller black holes can eat plenty L’articolo Fast, furious, refined: Smaller black holes can eat plenty sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Cancer increasing as babyboomers age

Cancer increasing as babyboomers age As 10,000 baby boomers reach 65 each day, the incidence of cancer is increasing, estimated to increase by 67% between 2010 and 2030, bringing attention to the nation’s response to cancer care. Cancer is diagnosed at a higher rate, accounts for more survivors, and results in more deaths than in younger patients. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 27, 2013 — As 10,000 baby boomers reach 65 each day, the incidence of cancer is increasing, estimated to increase by 67% between 2010 and 2030, bringing attention to the nation’s response to cancer care. Cancer is diagnosed at a higher rate, accounts for more survivors, and results in more deaths than in younger patients.”The increase in the number of older adults, the association of cancer with aging, the workforce shortage, and the financial stressors across the health care system and family networks all contribute to a crisis in cancer care that is most pronounced in the older population,” wrote three members of the Institute of Medication Committee on Improving the Quality of Cancer Care: Addressing the Challenges of an Aging Population in an editorial published In JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association.”Often caregiving falls to a family member who is also aging,” noted Mary D. Naylor, PhD, FAAN, RN, the Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and the Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health and a member of the committee. As the originator of the Transitional Care Model, Dr. Naylor has addressed the unique needs of older adults and their caregivers, offering evidence-based solutions. “We need to address the physical, psychological, financial and emotional tolls on caregivers by developing more effective ways to prepare and support them.”The authors noted potential improvements to cancer care among older persons, including:•Passing new laws extending the time period for clinical trials (similar to laws passed for pediatric patients) in order to include more older adults, noting that “although the majority of patients with cancer and cancer survivors are older adults, historically they have been and continue to be underrepresented in all types of cancer trials. The result may be that drugs are tested on a younger and fitter population that belies potential health risks to older people who may also have more than one condition;•Letting the patients decide what works. The authors recommended “publicly reported, robust measures of patient reported outcomes meaningful for this population;” and•Establishing a national workforce commission “to plan for the challenges of an aging population and the complexity of care required by older adults with cancer, including a workforce that values multidisciplinary teams and geriatrics principles.More on the IOM Committee on Improving Cancer Care can be found at: http://iom.edu/Reports/2013/Delivering-High-Quality-Cancer-Care-Charting-a-New-Course-for-a-System-in-Crisis.aspx For more info: Cancer increasing as babyboomers age ScienceDaily: Living Well News Cancer increasing as babyboomers age L’articolo Cancer increasing as babyboomers age 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.

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.

Archaeological dig near Stonehenge uncovers sink hole of evidence from Neolithic period

Archaeological dig near Stonehenge uncovers sink hole of evidence from Neolithic period An archaeology team has delved back into a Neolithic site at Damerham, Hampshire, and uncovered a sink hole of material that may hold vital information about the plant species that thrived there 6,000 years ago. Scientists say the find was completely unexpected and had initially confused the team digging on the farmland. via ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News: Nov. 27, 2013 — An archaeology team led by an academic from London’s Kingston University has delved back into a Neolithic site at Damerham, Hampshire, and uncovered a sink hole of material that may hold vital information about the plant species that thrived there 6,000 years ago.Dr Helen Wickstead said the find was completely unexpected and had initially confused the team digging on the farmland. This is the sixth year of the project at Damerham, located about 15 miles from the iconic British monument Stonehenge, with four areas of a temple complex excavated during the summer. The surprise came in the largest of the openings, approximately 40 metres long, where careful extractions revealed a layer of uncharacteristic orange sand and clay. Typically the archaeological survey would involve mapping and cataloguing such finds as bone, pottery and tool-making waste fragments.”The site at Damerham is on chalk land, so we don’t often find materials like this that capture and preserve the plant remains — pollen or phytoliths — from a specific time period,” Dr Wickstead explained. “The sink hole contained orange sand with a yellow and grey clay and we are very hopeful that, within this material, there will be evidence of plant life that will help us continue to piece together the puzzle of human habitation on this significant site.”It was evident that prehistoric people living in the area had also come across the sink hole and excavated the material during their own construction work, Dr Wickstead said. A pile of matching waste material was also seen at one of the other mounds. “We didn’t expect to find this and suspect it would have surprised the original architects of the site too,” she said. “Moments of unexpected discovery could have had cultural significance for prehistoric people. The henge itself was a focus for rituals, life and death, so questions about the impact such a discovery would have had on their activity will be interesting to consider.”The prehistoric temple complex at Damerham is unusual because of the number of structures that are focused in one area, Dr Wickstead added. … For more info: Archaeological dig near Stonehenge uncovers sink hole of evidence from Neolithic period ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News Archaeological dig near Stonehenge uncovers sink hole of evidence from Neolithic period L’articolo Archaeological dig near Stonehenge uncovers sink hole of evidence from Neolithic period sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

New therapeutic target identified for Huntington’s disease

New therapeutic target identified for Huntington’s disease A new study published identifies a new target in the search for therapeutic interventions for Huntington’s disease — a devastating late-onset neurodegenerative disorder. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 26, 2013 — A new study published 26th November in the open access journal PLOS Biology, identifies a new target in the search for therapeutic interventions for Huntington’s disease – a devastating late-onset neurodegenerative disorder.The disease is genetic, affecting up to one person in 10,000, and from the age of about 35 leads to increasingly severe problems with movement, mental function, and behavior. Patients usually die within 20 years of onset, and there is to date no treatment that will modify the disease onset or progression.Huntington’s disease is caused by an unusual type of mutation in a gene that encodes the “huntingtin” protein. These mutations create long stretches of the amino acid glutamine within the protein chain, preventing huntingtin from folding properly and making it more ‘sticky’. This causes huntingtin proteins to self-aggregate in both the nucleus and cytoplasm of cells, disrupting multiple aspects of cellular function and ultimately leading to the progressive death of nerve cells.Nuclear huntingtin aggregates have been found to interfere with the transcription of many genes, and previous work has shown beneficial effects for Huntington’s disease of inhibiting a family of enzymes that are normally thought to regulate transcription – the histone deacetylases, or HDACs. However, humans have eleven different HDAC enzymes, and it’s been uncertain exactly which HDAC needs to be inhibited to see these benefits.The new study from Michal Mielcarek, Gillian Bates and colleagues at King’s College London has pinpointed just one of these enzymes as the target – HDAC4 – but with an intriguing twist; everything is happening in the cytoplasm, not the nucleus, and HDAC4′s classic role in transcription has little to do with it.The researchers noted that the HDAC4 protein naturally contains a region that, like mutant huntingtin, is rich in the amino acid glutamine. They show that HDAC4 can associate directly with huntingtin protein in a manner that depends on the length of the glutamine tracts, but that this association between HDAC4 and huntingtin occurs in the cytoplasm of nerve cells in the mouse brain, and – surprisingly – not in the nucleus, where HDAC4 is known to have its transcriptional role.Bates and colleagues did their work in an aggressive disease mouse model of Huntington’s disease – the gold standard model for this type of study. They find that halving the levels of HDAC4 in the cells of Huntington’s disease mice can delay the aggregation of huntingtin in the cytoplasm, thereby identifying a new route to modulating the toxicity of mutant huntingtin protein. Crucially, reducing HDAC4 levels can also rescue the overall function of nerve cells and their synapses, with corresponding improvements seen in coordination of movement, neurological performance and lifespan of the mice. In agreement with the cytoplasmic association between HDAC4 and huntingtin, this all happens without any obvious improvement in the defective gene transcription in the nucleus.There are currently no disease-modifying therapeutics available for Huntington’s disease. … For more info: New therapeutic target identified for Huntington’s disease ScienceDaily: Top Health News New therapeutic target identified for Huntington’s disease L’articolo New therapeutic target identified for Huntington’s disease sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

ADHD linked to social, economic disadvantage

ADHD linked to social, economic disadvantage A team of researchers has analyzed data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a database of more than 19,500 UK children born between 2000 and 2002, and has resolved that ADHD is linked to social and economic disadvantage. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 26, 2013 — Scientists have found evidence of a link between social and economic status and childhood attention deficit disorder (ADHD) in the UK.A team led by the University of Exeter Medical School analysed data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a database of more than 19,500 UK children born between 2000 and 2002.Scientists have found evidence of a link between social and economic status and childhood attention deficit disorder (ADHD) in the UK.A team led by the University of Exeter Medical School analysed data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a database of more than 19,500 UK children born between 2000 and 2002.The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Secondary Data Analysis Initiative. The team also acknowledge funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for the South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC).Findings showed that more children with ADHD came from families below the poverty line than the UK population as a whole, with average family incomes for households whose study child was affected by ADHD at £324 per week, compared to £391 for those whose child was not. The study found the odds of parents in social housing having a child with ADHD was roughly three times greater than for those who owned their own homes.The team also found that the odds of younger mothers having a child with ADHD were significantly higher than for other mothers. Mothers with no qualifications were more than twice as likely to have a child with ADHD than those with degrees, and lone parents were more likely to have a child with ADHD diagnosis than households with two live-in parents.Information was gathered from surveys when the cohort children were nine months old, and at the ages of three, five, seven and 11.Dr Ginny Russell, of the University of Exeter Medical School, who led the study, said: “There is a genetic element to ADHD, but this study provides strong evidence that ADHD is also associated with a disadvantaged social and economic background.”Some people believe that ADHD in children causes disadvantage to the economic situation of their family, but we found no evidence to support that theory. It’s important to discover more about the causes of this disorder so that we can look towards prevention, and so that we can target treatment and support effectively.”The Millennium Cohort Study has been tracking more than 19,000 children in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland through their early childhood and plans to follow them into adulthood. It covers such diverse topics as parenting; childcare; school choice; child behaviour and cognitive development; child and parental health; parents’ employment and education; income; housing; and neighbourhood. The Millennium Cohort Study was commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council, whose funding has been supplemented by a consortium of government departments. It is managed by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London.The findings support those of studies previously carried out in Northern Europe, the United States and Australia — but the findings show that the link between ADHD and socioeconomic status exists in the UK. For more info: ADHD linked to social, economic disadvantage ScienceDaily: Top Health News ADHD linked to social, economic disadvantage L’articolo ADHD linked to social, economic disadvantage 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.

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.

Tayside firm fined after electrician’s accident

Tayside firm fined after electrician’s accident via Claims Direct News Feed: Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 11 » Tayside firm fined after electrician’s accidentTayside firm fined after electrician’s accidentA Scottish company has been fined after a worker suffered burns to his face, hands and arms while carrying out regular electrical tests.Gordon Roberts, aged 38 at the time of the incident on December 2nd 2010, had to spend more than a week in hospital because of his injuries, but was lucky to survive and returned to work two months later after making a full recovery.Dundee Sheriff Court was told that Mr Roberts, an employee of McGill Electrical, was testing an electricity substation on the premises of a manufacturing company in Dundee when he climbed a stepladder to take off bolted covers, which guarded access against live conductors he was due to test.But as he did this, a corner of the cover appeared to come into contact with electrical currents and this caused an arc flashover, which struck Mr Roberts.While a colleague was in the vicinity, he did not see the incident, but reported that all the lights went out and the room filled with smoke.Luckily, Mr Roberts was able to walk out of the substation unaided and his co-worker used snow surrounding the area to cool down burns before the ambulance arrived, something that aided his long-term recovery chances.When the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was made aware of the incident, it launched an investigation that found a suitable risk assessment had not taken place and McGill Electrical failed to ensure that distribution boards were de-energised during the removal of covers.For its part in the accident, McGill Electrical was fined £2,000 after it pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.After the case finished, HSE inspector Mac Young said: “This incident was wholly preventable. It was foreseeable that a metal plate being manipulated in close proximity to live conductors could inadvertently touch live parts and cause a flashover.”The system of work, which involved removal and replacement of bolted covers while the system was live, and without knowing what was behind the covers, exposed Mr Roberts to unnecessary risk.”By Francesca WitneyOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS For more info: Tayside firm fined after electrician’s accident Claims Direct News Feed Tayside firm fined after electrician’s accident L’articolo Tayside firm fined after electrician’s accident sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Increasing cropping frequency offers opportunity to boost food supply

Increasing cropping frequency offers opportunity to boost food supply Harvesting existing cropland more frequently could substantially increase global food production without clearing more land for agriculture, according to a new study. via ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News: Nov. 25, 2013 — Harvesting existing cropland more frequently could substantially increase global food production without clearing more land for agriculture, according to a new study from the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota.The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, tracked global harvest trends of 177 crops between 1961 and 2011. It found that the total amount of land harvested increased four times faster than the total amount of cropland between 2000 and 2011, suggesting that harvest frequency was on the rise. This led the authors to wonder if there might be additional gains to be had by strategically increasing cropping frequency.”Could existing arable lands get more frequent harvests, and what is the upper limit?” asked Deepak Ray, lead author of the study. To answer that question, he introduced a new concept: harvest gap.Harvest gap is the difference between actual per-year harvest frequency and the maximum potential frequency. Ray and the study’s co-author, IonE director Jonathan Foley, estimated that on average an extra harvest is being missed globally every two years due to the presence of this harvest gap.The researchers found that Africa, Latin America and Asia have the highest concentration of potential harvest gaps. Brazil, for example, which on average harvests its croplands nearly once per year, has a harvest gap of 0.9, suggesting that on its current arable lands a second harvest is possible each year. Closing the gap would boost crop production on existing croplands without resorting to further clearing for agriculture, and so could potentially reduce the pressure to destroy additional rain forest. Increased harvest frequency also holds potential for mitigating risk under a changing climate. Worldwide, the researchers found that closing harvest gaps worldwide could theoretically boost production more than 44 percent.Ray notes the study amounts to “scientific eyeballing,” since only national data were available and only for 177 crops. … For more info: Increasing cropping frequency offers opportunity to boost food supply ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News Increasing cropping frequency offers opportunity to boost food supply L’articolo Increasing cropping frequency offers opportunity to boost food supply sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors And Causes

Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors And Causes via Cancer Treatment Mexico: November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Here we take a look at the risk factors and causes of pancreatic cancer. For many people who are diagnosed with cancer, their first question is “why me?” Often, the development of cancer can’t be explained, as cancer is never caused by just one factor, rather a combination of events that lead to the disease. However, there are some risk factors that make a person more likely to develop pancreatic cancer: Smoking is the biggest risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Smokers are more likely to develop the disease, with heavy smokers at  much greater risk than light smokers or non-smokers. People with type 1 and 2 diabetes have a problem with their insulin production. Either their pancreas is unable to produce sufficient amounts of insulin or their body can’t recognize insulin. People with diabetes are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. Genetics play a part too; people with a parent or sibling with pancreatic cancer are at an increased risk of developing the disease themselves. Being obese or overweight can add extra pressure on the pancreas, as it tries hard to produce enough insulin to combat higher blood sugar levels. This makes overweight people slightly more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. There are many other potential risk factors that are still being studied, such as diets high in animal fat, or heavy drinking. However, many people who have known risk factors will never develop pancreatic cancer, whilst many people with no risk factors will develop the disease. The exact cause of most cancers, including pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer can often never be determined. Focusing on WHY you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer can be exhausting. At Alternative Cancer Treatment Mexico we move away from “why?” and focus on HOW the cancer developed and WHAT we can do to stop it in its tracks. Our unique 5 step cancer treatment program addresses the root of the disease. We detoxify the patient, bring about optimal cellular health and provide immune support and cutting edge cancer suppression. Our Functional Oncology Program helps our patients to fight cancer naturally, without any of the potentially life threatening side effects and complications that can be expected with conventional cancer treatment. At Alternative Cancer Treatment Mexico we treat every single patient as an individual, we focus on their overall health and, in doing so, give patients the best possible chance to beat cancer. Our alternative cancer treatment program continues to evolve and our success rates continue to rise as we help in the fight against cancer. If you would like to know more about our cancer treatment approach, or to see if we can help you or a loved one, contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation. For more info: Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors And Causes Cancer Treatment Mexico Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors And Causes L’articolo Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors And Causes sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Swarming insect provides clues to how the brain processes smells

Swarming insect provides clues to how the brain processes smells Our sense of smell is often the first response to environmental stimuli. Odors trigger neurons in the brain that alert us to take action. However, there is often more than one odor in the environment, such as in coffee shops or grocery stores. How does our brain process multiple odors received simultaneously? via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 25, 2013 — Our sense of smell is often the first response to environmental stimuli. Odors trigger neurons in the brain that alert us to take action. However, there is often more than one odor in the environment, such as in coffee shops or grocery stores. How does our brain process multiple odors received simultaneously?Barani Raman, PhD, of the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, set out to find an answer. Using locusts, which have a relatively simple sensory system ideal for studying brain activity, he found the odors prompted neural activity in the brain that allowed the locust to correctly identify the stimulus, even with other odors present.The results were published in Nature Neuroscience as the cover story of the December 2013 print issue.The team uses a computer-controlled pneumatic pump to administer an odor puff to the locust, which has olfactory receptor neurons in its antennae, similar to sensory neurons in our nose. A few seconds after the odor puff is given, the locust gets a piece of grass as a reward, as a form of Pavlovian conditioning. As with Pavlov’s dog, which salivated when it heard a bell ring, trained locusts anticipate the reward when the odor used for training is delivered. Instead of salivating, they open their palps, or finger-like projections close to the mouthparts, when they predict the reward. … For more info: Swarming insect provides clues to how the brain processes smells ScienceDaily: Top Health News Swarming insect provides clues to how the brain processes smells L’articolo Swarming insect provides clues to how the brain processes smells sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Memorable Death Scenes in Movies

Memorable Death Scenes in Movies Remember These Deaths? If you Watch Movies, you Probably do.  Bambi One of the most memorable death scenes in movies is the one in Bambi. When the doe dies, you can’t help but feel the emotions, even if it is nothing more than a cartoon. This death scene isn’t gory or even scary, but it’s one that a lot of people remember for one reason or another. Below are some other death scenes that you might recall, especially if you consider yourself a film buff. Keep reading if you want to learn more about movies that you will remember in one way or another because of the person (or animal or clone) that dies in the film. Blade Runner While some people would say the deaths of the replicants aren’t important, they’re actually an integral part of the Blade Runner movie – a classic by Ridley Scott. Some of the lines the replicants give before they are extinguished is what’s so memorable about their deaths – more than the way they die at least. Even more memorable is the effect they have on Harrison Ford’s character. Dr. Strangelove Going back in time even further, we have the classic Dr. Strangelove with Peter Sellers.  He’s probably the biggest name you recognize from the cast of characters, but the funny movie is a great showcase of Hollywood talent from that era. The scene of riding the bomb down as it’s dropped out of a plane is memorable to say the least. Learn to stop worrying and love the bomb, the movie’s tagline says. (image captured from movie…) King Kong No matter which version of this movie you’re talking about, the death scene of the great gorilla is memorable on many different levels. While the special effects in the original movies (there was more than one) were not that great, they were leading edge when they were first used. Not many people are able to forget the death of the gorilla known simply as Kong. Raiders of the Lost Ark Lots of geeks and nerds are able to quote many lines from this movie, but the one thing that many people remember the most is the death near the end. Yes, the Nazi with the melting face! Talk about memorable death scenes. This one was also cutting edge when the movie first came out. This wasn’t the only death in the movie, of course, but it’s one of the most memorable movie deaths of all time. (Credit: Image captured from the film.) Bio Sheila Kurdinger has a wonderful monogram necklace that she wears all the time. She really enjoys writing articles about all sorts of topics and sometimes she even puts together infographics for various websites. LifeInsure.com has been providing life insurance online since 2003. Original article: Memorable Death Scenes in Movies ©2013 LifeInsure.com. All Rights Reserved. via LifeInsure.com » Insure your Life Blog: For more info: Memorable Death Scenes in Movies LifeInsure.com » Insure your Life Blog Memorable Death Scenes in Movies L’articolo Memorable Death Scenes in Movies sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

The 10 Most Filling Foods

The 10 Most Filling Foods Eat more and get slimmer (we promise!) by shopping from this list of truly satisfying, cravings-curbing foods. via Diet & Fitness – Health.com: For more info: The 10 Most Filling Foods Diet & Fitness – Health.com The 10 Most Filling Foods L’articolo The 10 Most Filling Foods sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Gene-silencing study finds new targets for Parkinson’s disease

Gene-silencing study finds new targets for Parkinson’s disease Scientists have used RNA interference technology to reveal dozens of genes that may represent new therapeutic targets for treating Parkinson’s disease. The findings also may be relevant to several diseases caused by damage to mitochondria, the biological power plants found in cells throughout the body. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 24, 2013 — Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have used RNA interference (RNAi) technology to reveal dozens of genes which may represent new therapeutic targets for treating Parkinson’s disease. The findings also may be relevant to several diseases caused by damage to mitochondria, the biological power plants found in cells throughout the body.”We discovered a network of genes that may regulate the disposal of dysfunctional mitochondria, opening the door to new drug targets for Parkinson’s disease and other disorders,” said Richard Youle, Ph.D., an investigator at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and a leader of the study. The findings were published online in Nature. Dr. Youle collaborated with researchers from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).Mitochondria are tubular structures with rounded ends that use oxygen to convert many chemical fuels into adenosine triphosphate, the main energy source that powers cells. Multiple neurological disorders are linked to genes that help regulate the health of mitochondria, including Parkinson’s, and movement diseases such as Charcot-Marie Tooth Syndrome and the ataxias.Some cases of Parkinson’s disease have been linked to mutations in the gene that codes for parkin, a protein that normally roams inside cells, and tags damaged mitochondria as waste. The damaged mitochondria are then degraded by cells’ lysosomes, which serve as a biological trash disposal system. Known mutations in parkin prevent tagging, resulting in accumulation of unhealthy mitochondria in the body.RNAi is a natural process occurring in cells that helps regulate genes. Since its discovery in 1998, scientists have used RNAi as a tool to investigate gene function and their involvement in health and disease.Dr. … For more info: Gene-silencing study finds new targets for Parkinson’s disease ScienceDaily: Top Health News Gene-silencing study finds new targets for Parkinson’s disease L’articolo Gene-silencing study finds new targets for Parkinson’s disease sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Study finds gene network associated with alcohol dependence

Study finds gene network associated with alcohol dependence Using a new approach that combines genome-wide association studies with information about which human proteins interact with one another, researchers have identified a group of 39 genes that together are strongly associated with alcoholism. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 21, 2013 — There is good evidence from studies of families and twins that genetics plays an important role in the development of alcoholism. However, hundreds of genes likely are involved in this complex disorder, with each variant contributing only a very small effect. Thus, identifying individual risk genes is difficult.Using a new approach that combines genome-wide association studies ( GWAS) with information about which human proteins interact with one another, researchers from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Yale University Medical School have identified a group of 39 genes that together are strongly associated with alcoholism.”The discovery of these genes may open a new window into the biological mechanisms underlying this alcoholism disorder,” says Shizhong Han, UI assistant professor of psychiatry and corresponding author of the study, published Nov. 21 in the American Journal of Human Genetics. “Eventually, it’s our hope that the findings might help to develop drugs to treat or prevent this disorder.”Han and his colleagues based their approach for identifying risk genes on the idea that genes may be “guilty by association” of contributing to the disease — that although many different genes contribute to alcoholism, these genes, or more precisely, their protein products, are not independent of each other.”The proteins made by these genes could be neighbors, or they could be part of the same functional biological pathway,” Han explains. “We took advantage of their biological relatedness to identify a network of genes that interact and together contribute to the susceptibility to alcoholism.”The team conducted the study by using two large data sets collected for the genetic study of addiction — the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) and the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment (SAGE). These data sets document genome-wide common variants information from several thousand people linked to information about these individuals’ alcohol dependence or other types of addiction.The research team analyzed the merged SAGE and COGA datasets for genetic variants associated with alcoholism. No single variant was strongly associated with the condition, but when the researchers integrated information about protein-protein interactions from the Human Protein Interaction Network, they identified a network of 39 genes that was not only enriched for alcoholism-associated genes, but also was collectively strongly associated with alcoholism. This strong association held for both European Americans and African-Americans.Furthermore, the team was able to replicate the finding in three additional genetic datasets, two of individuals of European ancestry and one of individuals of African ancestry, suggesting that the findings are robust.To minimize the possibility of the result being a false positive, the researchers also analyzed the gene network for associations with other complex human diseases — bipolar disorder, depressions, and diabetes. … For more info: Study finds gene network associated with alcohol dependence ScienceDaily: Living Well News Study finds gene network associated with alcohol dependence L’articolo Study finds gene network associated with alcohol dependence sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Continued increases in adhd diagnoses, treatment with meds among US children

Continued increases in adhd diagnoses, treatment with meds among US children New study reports that half of U.S. children diagnosed with ADHD received that diagnosis by age 6. The study found that an estimated two million more children in the United States (U.S.) have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between 2003-04 and 2011-12. One million more U.S. children were taking medication for ADHD between 2003-04 and 2011-12. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 22, 2013 — A new study led by the CDC reports that half of U.S. children diagnosed with ADHD received that diagnosis by age 6.The study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) found that an estimated two million more children in the United States (U.S.) have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between 2003-04 and 2011-12. One million more U.S. children were taking medication for ADHD between 2003-04 and 2011-12. According to the study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):* 6.4 million children in the U.S. (11 percent of 4-17 year olds) were reported by their parents to have received an ADHD diagnosis from a healthcare provider, a 42 percent increase from 2003-04 to 2011-12.* Over 3.5 million children in the U.S. (6 percent of 4-17 year olds) were reported by their parents to be taking medication for ADHD, a 28 percent increase from 2007-08 to 2011-12.Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. It often persists into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention and/or controlling impulsive behaviors. … For more info: Continued increases in adhd diagnoses, treatment with meds among US children ScienceDaily: Top Health News Continued increases in adhd diagnoses, treatment with meds among US children L’articolo Continued increases in adhd diagnoses, treatment with meds among US children 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.

World’s first known magnetic cellulose loudspeakers: Potential for magnetic cellulose comes in crisp and clear

World’s first known magnetic cellulose loudspeakers: Potential for magnetic cellulose comes in crisp and clear They’re flat, ultra-thin and great-sounding. The world’s first known magnetic cellulose loudspeakers have been demonstrated. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 20, 2013 — They’re flat, ultra-thin and great-sounding. The world’s first known magnetic cellulose loudspeakers have been demonstrated at KTH.Throughout the ages, Swedes have relied on their country’s vast forests as a source of sustenance and economic growth. Now add the world’s first magnetic cellulose membrane loudspeakers to the list of products that can be produced from wood.These flat, sonorous and environmentally-friendly speakers are made with a new material derived from wood pulp — magnetic cellulose gel — which was developed at Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Unlike ordinary speakers, they require no heavy permanent magnets.Richard Olsson, a KTH researcher in chemical sciences who supervised the doctoral research behind the magnetic cellulose gel, says the new material may open the way for innovations in such areas as acoustic applications for automobiles.Olsson and his colleagues at KTH, Lars Berglund, also a researcher in chemical sciences, and Valter Ström, a scientist in engineering physics of materials, recently demonstrated the speakers for the first time. Their paper is published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.”This is, to our knowledge, the first reported magnetic speaker membrane,” Olsson says. He adds that the sound quality is at least as good as in conventional speakers — possibly better because of the even distribution of forces created in the membrane.The idea is to show the potential of natural and environmentally-sustainable materials in everyday products. “We want to use this first prototype to see how the cellulose can be used in new applications,” he says.He and his research colleagues have patented the material, which was created by attaching magnetic nanoparticles to cellulose nanofibrils. The cellulose comes from renewable wood pulp and involves environmentally-friendly water chemistry. The gel is cast into a membrane which is then allowed to dry. … For more info: World’s first known magnetic cellulose loudspeakers: Potential for magnetic cellulose comes in crisp and clear ScienceDaily: Top Science News World’s first known magnetic cellulose loudspeakers: Potential for magnetic cellulose comes in crisp and clear L’articolo World’s first known magnetic cellulose loudspeakers: Potential for magnetic cellulose comes in crisp and clear sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Researchers pioneer first patient-specific 3-D virtual birth simulator

Researchers pioneer first patient-specific 3-D virtual birth simulator Computer scientists are working to create a virtual birthing simulator that will help doctors and midwives prepare for unusual or dangerous births. The new program will take into account factors such as the shape of the mother’s body and the positioning of the baby to provide patient-specific birth predictions. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 22, 2013 — Computer scientists from the University of East Anglia are working to create a virtual birthing simulator that will help doctors and midwives prepare for unusual or dangerous births.Share This:The new program will take into account factors such as the shape of the mother’s body and the positioning of the baby to provide patient-specific birth predictions.The research will be presented at the International Conference on E-Health and Bioengineering in Romania.Dr Rudy Lapeer from UEA’s school of Computing Sciences is leading the project. He said: “We are creating a forward engineered simulation of childbirth using 3D graphics to simulate the sequence of movements as a baby descends through the pelvis during labor”Users will be able to input key anatomical data — such as the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis, and the baby’s head and torso. By doing this you will be able to set different bespoke scenarios for both the mother and baby.”The simulation software will see ultra-sound data used to re-create a geometric model of a baby’s skull and body in 3D graphics as well as the mother’s body and pelvis. Programers are also taking into account the force from the mother pushing during labor and are even modelling a ‘virtual’ midwife’s hands which can interact with the baby’s head.”Because this program is patient-specific, doctors and midwives will be able to see how a birth may take place before it has happened on a case-by-case basis. For example, you would be able to see if a baby’s shoulders will get stuck.”We hope that this could help to avoid complicated births altogether by guiding people in the medical profession to advise on caesarean sections where necessary.”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 University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above. Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats: APA MLA Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead. For more info: Researchers pioneer first patient-specific 3-D virtual birth simulator ScienceDaily: Top Health News Researchers pioneer first patient-specific 3-D virtual birth simulator L’articolo Researchers pioneer first patient-specific 3-D virtual birth simulator 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.

Study shows diet alone can be significant source of arsenic

Study shows diet alone can be significant source of arsenic Diet alone can be a significant source of arsenic exposure regardless of arsenic concentrations in drinking and cooking water, a study finds. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 20, 2013 — Diet alone can be a significant source of arsenic exposure regardless of arsenic concentrations in drinking and cooking water, a Dartmouth College-led study finds.The study also confirms that toenail clippings are a good biomarker of long-term exposure to arsenic from consuming alcohol, Brussels sprouts and dark meat fish. Exposure to arsenic has been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer, vascular diseases and low birth weight.The findings appear in Nutrition Journal. A PDF is available upon request.Previous studies have shown that diet can be an important source of total arsenic exposure, but the new study is the first to account for arsenic in drinking and cooking water before looking at dietary contribution. Household water is thought to be most significant source of arsenic exposure in regions where water arsenic concentrations are elevated.Researchers asked 852 participants about their average consumption over the previous year of 120 different foods, including dairy, fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, breads, beverages and baked goods. They found arsenic in toenail clippings is most strongly linked with consumption of alcohol — especially beer for men and white wine for women — and Brussels sprouts. Those who drank more alcohol and ate more Brussels sprouts had more arsenic in their toenail clippings, which makes sense because alcoholic beverages can have higher arsenic content and are known to interfere with the metabolic pathways that detoxify arsenic. The findings support recent studies that show high concentrations of arsenic in Brussels sprouts and related vegetables because arsenic binds to the sulfur-containing compounds that give them their characteristic odors.Researchers also found increased toenail arsenic in people who eat dark meat fish, which include tuna steaks, mackerel, salmon, sardines, bluefish and swordfish. Fish generally contain a form of arsenic that is thought to safely pass through the human body without being metabolized, but dark meat fish also contain arsenic compounds that can be metabolized. For more info: Study shows diet alone can be significant source of arsenic ScienceDaily: Living Well News Study shows diet alone can be significant source of arsenic L’articolo Study shows diet alone can be significant source of arsenic 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.

How flu evolves to escape immunity

How flu evolves to escape immunity Scientists have identified a potential way to improve future flu vaccines after discovering that seasonal flu typically escapes immunity from vaccines with as little as a single amino acid substitution. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 21, 2013 — Scientists have identified a potential way to improve future flu vaccines after discovering that seasonal flu typically escapes immunity from vaccines with as little as a single amino acid substitution. Additionally, they found these single amino acid changes occur at only seven places on its surface — not the 130 places previously believed. The research was published today, 21 November, in the journal Science.”This work is a major step forward in our understanding of the evolution of flu viruses, and could possibly enable us to predict that evolution. If we can do that, then we can make flu vaccines that would be even more effective than the current vaccine,” said Professor Derek Smith from the University of Cambridge, one of the two leaders of the research, together with Professor Ron Fouchier from Erasmus Medical Center in The Netherlands.The flu vaccine works by exposing the body to parts of inactivated flu from the three major different types of flu that infect humans, prompting the immune system to develop antibodies against these viruses. When exposed to the actual flu, these antibodies can eliminate the flu virus.However, every two or three years the outer coat of seasonal flu (made up of amino acids) evolves, preventing antibodies that would fight the older strains of flu from recognising the new strain. As a result, the new strain of virus escapes the immunity that has been acquired as a result of earlier infections or vaccinations. Because the flu virus is constantly evolving in this way, the World Health Organisation meets twice a year to determine whether the strains of flu included in the vaccine should be changed.For this study, the researchers created viruses which had a variety of amino acid substitutions as well as different combinations of amino acid substitutions. They then tested these viruses to see which substitutions and combinations of substitutions caused new strains to develop.They found that seasonal flu escapes immunity and develops into new strains typically by just a single amino acid substitution. Until now, it was widely believed that in order for seasonal flu to escape the immunity individuals acquire from previous infections or vaccinations, it would take at least four amino acid substitutions.They also found that such single amino acid changes occurred at only seven places on its surface — all located near the receptor binding site (the area where the flu virus binds to and infects host cells). … For more info: How flu evolves to escape immunity ScienceDaily: Top Science News How flu evolves to escape immunity L’articolo How flu evolves to escape immunity sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Rational Thoughts on the Exchange Rollout, and Other Health Wonkery

Rational Thoughts on the Exchange Rollout, and Other Health Wonkery Hank Stern did an excellent job hosting the Health Wonk Review today.  Head over to check it out – you’ll learn all sorts of things about health care policy and reform, and you’ll also learn why this Thanksgiving/Chanukah overlap is truly a once in a lifetime event. My favorite posts in this edition come from […] Related posts: Will The Colorado Health Benefits Exchange Be Integrated With Public Assistance Programs? Colorado Health Benefits Exchange Allowed To Submit Grant Application – But It’s Still Controversial Colorado Health Insurance Exchange Won’t Be A Train Wreck via Colorado Health Insurance Insider: For more info: Rational Thoughts on the Exchange Rollout, and Other Health Wonkery Colorado Health Insurance Insider Rational Thoughts on the Exchange Rollout, and Other Health Wonkery L’articolo Rational Thoughts on the Exchange Rollout, and Other Health Wonkery sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

First Class 1 evidence for cognitive rehabilitation in MS

First Class 1 evidence for cognitive rehabilitation in MS Researchers published the results of the MEMREHAB Trial, providing the first Class I evidence for the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis. via ScienceDaily: Top Health News: Nov. 21, 2013 — Kessler Foundation researchers published the results of the MEMREHAB Trial in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, providing the first Class I evidence for the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis (MS).Share This:Although disabling cognitive problems that affect functional performance and employment are common in persons with MS, there are very few evidence-based protocols for cognitive rehabilitation in MS. This randomized controlled trial (RCT) is the first to include both objective (investigator administered) and subjective measures (patient and family self-report). Investigators looked at the impact of the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT) on learning and memory in 86 participants with MS with documented memory deficits (41 mSMT group, 45 placebo). Not only did objective measures improve, patients and families reported improvements in daily function in everyday life — improvements that had a positive impact on satisfaction with life and everyday contentment.”Our results show that cognitive rehabilitation works,” said Nancy Chiaravalloti, Ph.D., director of Neuroscience & Neuropsychology Research at Kessler Foundation, “and moreover, the effects of the 10-session protocol persisted for six months.” a unique aspect of the protocol is the inclusion of 2 sessions that focus on translating cognitive strategies to daily life. Neuroimaging results that were collected in a subset of patients were published in the Journal of Neurology in 2012.The two studies are being used to support reimbursement for cognitive rehabilitation. “RCTs are essential to demonstrating to third party payers that cognitive rehabilitation should be a reimbursable intervention,” commented John DeLuca, Ph.D., VP of Research & Training at Kessler Foundation. “Behavioral intervention should be available for persons with MS who have memory deficits. Without reimbursement, however, few clinicians will use it and few patients will benefit.”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 Kessler Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. … For more info: First Class 1 evidence for cognitive rehabilitation in MS ScienceDaily: Top Health News First Class 1 evidence for cognitive rehabilitation in MS L’articolo First Class 1 evidence for cognitive rehabilitation in MS sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Nothing Can Make This Stand Up Comedian Sit Down – Not Even Cancer

Nothing Can Make This Stand Up Comedian Sit Down – Not Even Cancer via LBBC’s Blog: LBBC would like to welcome our newest blogger Nikki Black. Nikki was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer 5 months ago at the age of 23.  Five months ago I was sitting on the examination table in the office of my primary physician, waiting as she printed out the order for the next day’s ultrasound. “You don’t seem very concerned about this,” she said. I smiled and shook my head, comfortable under the veil of invulnerability that comes with youth. “That’s good,” she added, “I’m not too concerned either.” I left her office reassured that the lump I had found while showering was most likely nothing, that the ultrasound would confirm this, that student loans would remain my biggest concern for the foreseeable future. I was 23-years-old; I had no family history. There was, at that moment, no cause for concern. Unfortunately, the next day brought ultrasounds which were “suspicious”, which led to the mammograms, labeled “troubling”, and finally a biopsy, which became defining. A week after that doctor’s visit, I looked up at a bright June sky and tried to comprehend that my life would never be the same. I had breast cancer. This story may sound like a dramatic telling of a statistical anomaly, but young women are facing this reality every day. The feeling of your future being ripped out from in front of you, cast into a void where your dreams and current perception of self must be constantly restructured could be the basis of any quarter-life crisis, but there is a terror specific to the word “cancer” that settles deep into your stomach and clings there with a particularly icy grip. With no family history, who was I to look to for guidance? With the limited experience of my age group, how could I expect my friends to understand? To help me cope? Like all journeys, mine began with a small step- a step into the kitchen to prepare my drug of choice, jasmine green tea. I called family and friends, collapsed into my brother’s arms for a good cry, and then, like any good millennial, commenced The Googling. The Googling, however, seemed to further isolate and scare me. It felt like everywhere I clicked I found somebody telling me to make sure not to let my man see me drain the tubes after surgery, because he’d find that disgusting. I read story after story of negative body image, of self doubt and loathing as side effects of cancer, and it terrified me. As a stand up comedian, I decided to start working through my issues on stage and found that when I was able to laugh about my fears, I started to gain more courage. I am here to tell young women there is more than one way to go through this experience, and it does not have to be filled with negativity. I’m not done my journey myself and I’m making it a point to learn as much as I can as I go along, but I want to let you know that I plan on blogging for Living Beyond Breast Cancer for a while and I hope to provide a place of positivity for young women, as well as a sounding board for our issues, which are so often different from those of an older woman with the same diagnosis. The end of a post seems like an awkward place for introductions, but as I said, we’re just getting started. So: Hi! I’m Nikki, a 23-year-old stand up comedian currently undergoing chemotherapy for Stage 1 breast cancer. I can’t wait to speak with you again soon. Nikki Black is a stand up comedian living and writing in Philadelphia. She enjoys tea, anime and anything by Neil Gaiman. To learn more about Nikki or to watch her stand up videos visit her blog.   For more information about young women and breast cancer please visit LBBC’s Young Women’s Initiative page.  For more info: Nothing Can Make This Stand Up Comedian Sit Down – Not Even Cancer LBBC’s Blog Nothing Can Make This Stand Up Comedian Sit Down – Not Even Cancer L’articolo Nothing Can Make This Stand Up Comedian Sit Down – Not Even Cancer sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

What Caused Son of Senator to Attempt a Murder Suicide?

What Caused Son of Senator to Attempt a Murder Suicide? Photo Via the Associated Press Today Virginia senator Creigh Deeds made headlines after his son (pictured with the banjo above) stabbed him several times in the chest and face before shooting and killing himself. This tragic incident comes just one day after Austin Deeds, Creigh Deeds’ son, underwent an evaluation and was released from a psychiatric hospital because they reportedly had no beds available. This attempted murder suicide raises important questions about the downward spiral of Deeds’ son who left college last month after experiencing psychiatric problems prominent enough to cause him or his family to seek a psychiatric evaluation for him yesterday. Many are now questioning the status of Virginia’s mental health system and how someone capable of an attempted murder suicide could’ve been released. Many say that the state needs mental health funding and reform – particularly for the shortage of beds for those in real crisis. And Austin Deeds was in crisis, as Mary Ann Bergeron the Executive Director of the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards confirmed that Rockbridge officials were calling hospitals in the area looking for a bed for Austin; “I can tell you right now, it was multiple hospitals that they called. That is a very rural area. The hospitals are few and far between.” Bergeron added that hospitals have even eliminated psychiatric wards because of limited funding, making it hard for people like Austin who obviously required involuntary detention on Monday. Tonight investigators said they were putting together the sequence of events and motive behind the attempted murder and successful suicide, which began with a fight between Sen. Deeds and his son. Fortunately Sen. Deeds was said to be in fair condition Tuesday night after being airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville and undergoing surgery. Commenting on this story on CNN, Dr. Drew informed viewers that psychiatric illness and substance abuse disorders that lead to psychiatric problems become apparent in men most commonly between the ages of 18-24. Austin Deeds was just 24 years old and it is unclear yet if substance abuse played a role. via Harmony Foundation Blog: Photo Via the Associated Press Today Virginia senator Creigh Deeds made headlines after his son (pictured with the banjo above) stabbed him several times in the chest and face before shooting and killing himself. This tragic incident comes just one day after Austin Deeds, Creigh Deeds’ son, underwent an evaluation and was released from a psychiatric hospital because they reportedly had no beds available.This attempted murder suicide raises important questions about the downward spiral of Deeds’ son who left college last month after experiencing psychiatric problems prominent enough to cause him or his family to seek a psychiatric evaluation for him yesterday.Many are now questioning the status of Virginia’s mental health system and how someone capable of an attempted murder suicide could’ve been released. Many… For more info: What Caused Son of Senator to Attempt a Murder Suicide? Harmony Foundation Blog What Caused Son of Senator to Attempt a Murder Suicide? L’articolo What Caused Son of Senator to Attempt a Murder Suicide? sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Coffee may help perk up your blood vessels

Coffee may help perk up your blood vessels A small study showed that a cup of coffee improved small blood vessel function. The study takes us one step closer to understanding how coffee might benefit cardiovascular health. via ScienceDaily: Living Well News: Nov. 20, 2013 — The caffeine in a cup of coffee might help your small blood vessels work better, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.A study of 27 healthy adults showed — for the first time — that drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee significantly improved blood flow in a finger, which is a measure of how well the inner lining of the body’s smaller blood vessels work. Specifically, participants who drank a cup of caffeinated coffee had a 30 percent increase in blood flow over a 75-minute period compared to those who drank decaffeinated coffee.”This gives us a clue about how coffee may help improve cardiovascular health,” said Masato Tsutsui, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher and a cardiologist and professor in the pharmacology department at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan.The study adds to a growing body of research about coffee, the most widely consumed beverage worldwide. Previous studies showed that drinking coffee is linked to lower risks of dying from heart disease and stroke, and that high doses of caffeine may improve the function of larger arteries.Study participants were people who did not regularly drink coffee, ranging in age from 22 to 30. On one day, each participant drank one five-ounce cup of either regular or decaffeinated coffee. Then researchers measured finger blood flow with laser Doppler flowmetry, a non-invasive technique for gauging blood circulation on a microscopic level. Two days later, the experiment was repeated with the other type of coffee. Neither the researchers nor the participants knew when they were drinking caffeinated coffee.The researchers noted blood pressure, heart rate, and vascular resistance levels. They also took blood samples to analyze levels of caffeine and to rule out the role of hormones on blood vessel function.Compared to decaf, caffeinated coffee slightly raised participants’ blood pressure and improved vessel inner lining function. Heart rate levels were the same between the two groups.It’s still unclear how caffeine actually works to improve small blood vessel function, although Tsutsui suggests that caffeine may help open blood vessels and reduce inflammation.”If we know how the positive effects of coffee work, it could lead to a new treatment strategy for cardiovascular disease in the future,” said Tsutsui. For more info: Coffee may help perk up your blood vessels ScienceDaily: Living Well News Coffee may help perk up your blood vessels L’articolo Coffee may help perk up your blood vessels sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Scientists break a theoretical time barrier on bouncing droplets

Scientists break a theoretical time barrier on bouncing droplets Those who study hydrophobic materials — water-shedding surfaces such as those found in nature and created in the laboratory — are familiar with a theoretical limit on the time it takes for a water droplet to bounce away from such a surface. But researchers have now found a way to burst through that perceived barrier, reducing the contact time by at least 40 percent. via ScienceDaily: Top Science News: Nov. 20, 2013 — Those who study hydrophobic materials — water-shedding surfaces such as those found in nature and created in the laboratory — are familiar with a theoretical limit on the time it takes for a water droplet to bounce away from such a surface. But MIT researchers have now found a way to burst through that perceived barrier, reducing the contact time by at least 40 percent.Their finding is reported in a paper in the journal Nature co-authored by Kripa Varanasi, the Doherty Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, along with James Bird, a former MIT postdoc who is now an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Boston University, former MIT postdoc Rajeev Dhiman, and recent MIT PhD recipient Hyukmin Kwon.”The time that the drop stays in contact with a surface is important because it controls the exchange of mass, momentum, and energy between the drop and the surface,” Varanasi says. “If you can get the drops to bounce faster, that can have many advantages.”For example, in trying to prevent the buildup of ice on an airplane wing, the contact time of raindrops is critical: The longer a droplet stays in contact with a surface before bouncing off, the greater its chances of freezing in place.According to the theoretical limit, the minimum time a bouncing droplet can stay in contact with a surface — first spreading out into a pancake-like shape, then pulling back inward due to surface tension and bouncing away — depends on the time period of oscillations in a vibrating drop, also known as the Rayleigh time. The way to achieve that minimum contact time, the conventional wisdom holds, is to minimize interaction between the water and the surface, such as by creating low-adhesion superhydrophobic surfaces.But Varanasi’s team found that increasing the surface interaction in a particular way can speed the process beyond that previous limit. To facilitate this interaction, they added macroscopic features — such as ridges that break a droplet’s symmetry and can serve to split it, causing it to recoil in highly irregular shapes. These ridged surfaces can have contact times that are 40 percent shorter than control surfaces.”We’ve demonstrated that we can use surface texture to reshape a drop as it recoils, in such a way that the overall contact time is significantly reduced,” says Bird, the paper’s lead author. “The upshot is that the surface stays drier longer if this contact time is reduced, which has the potential to be useful for a variety of applications.”With this reduction in contact time, the researchers were able to show that droplets bounced off before freezing on these symmetry-breaking surfaces; on control surfaces, droplets arrested and solidified on the surface. “We can reduce it further,” Varanasi says, through optimization of the texture. “I hope we can manage to get a 70 to 80 percent reduction.”Varanasi’s team’s findings may also have implications for ecology: The researchers found that some butterfly wings naturally produce the same effect, limiting the likelihood that water will spread out over the wings and curtail their aerodynamic properties — a clear survival advantage. … For more info: Scientists break a theoretical time barrier on bouncing droplets ScienceDaily: Top Science News Scientists break a theoretical time barrier on bouncing droplets L’articolo Scientists break a theoretical time barrier on bouncing droplets sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

Popular Spring Workouts on Pinterest

Popular Spring Workouts on Pinterest Our Pinterest page is full of quick-and-easy workouts to get you slim, sleek, and strong for springtime weather (and wear!). via Diet & Fitness – Health.com: For more info: Popular Spring Workouts on Pinterest Diet & Fitness – Health.com Popular Spring Workouts on Pinterest L’articolo Popular Spring Workouts on Pinterest sembra essere il primo su My Biologica.

9 Foods That Boost Metabolism Naturally

9 Foods That Boost Metabolism Naturally Turn up your body’s fat burn with these healthy foods via Diet & Fitness – Health.com: For more info: 9 Foods That Boost Metabolism Naturally Diet & Fitness – Health.com 9 Foods That Boost Metabolism Naturally L’articolo 9 Foods That Boost Metabolism Naturally 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.