February 26, 2016

Miscellany 34

Michelangelo's Tuscan Villa for Sale only $8 mil

 Michelangelo Villa

An Oklahoman grocer's great idea: stacked baskets on wheels. How the Shopping Cart Revolutionized the Way We Shop

Wile away some time at The Museum of Endangered Sounds.

David Zinn draws utterly charming Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor.

 Zinn Chalk Drawings

Deere John. "A man and a 22 ton John Deere excavator dance a dance of discovery, fulfillment, and eventually, the loss that any diesel-based relationship must suffer."  Very well done.

The Unbearable Asymmetry of Bullshit

There is a veritable truckload of bullshit in science.¹ When I say bullshit, I mean arguments, data, publications, or even the official policies of scientific organizations that give every impression of being perfectly reasonable — of being well-supported by the highest quality of evidence, and so forth — but which don’t hold up when you scrutinize the details. Bullshit has the veneer of truth-like plausibility. It looks good. It sounds right. But when you get right down to it, it stinks.

When a 7-year-old girl channels her inner Steph Curry:  Unbelievable.  The assignment desk at ESPN is looking for the owner to license rights to show across "all platforms".

The Chemistry of Lighting a Match  I wish I could embed the gif

The process takes merely tenths of a second. But within that tiny amount of time, there's a lot going on. The American Chemical Society used a high-speed camera operating a 4,000 frames a second to illustrate the sequence of chemical reactions that take place when a match is struck against a striker. The simple match is a marvelously complex device.


Murderous cattle How Not to Get Killed by a Cow

Between 1993 and 2015, cattle killed 13 people who were out for walks in the United Kingdom. Dozens more walkers received broken bones or other injuries from the animals.
1. Don't take the pet dog close to cattle
2. Don't approach cows with young calves
3. Don't stroll through a herd of bulls.

The Rape of Europa — The Myth That Became Reality

The Final Days of Bob Hope

Towards the end, when his wife Dolores asked him where he wanted to be buried, the amazing Bob Hope quipped, “Surprise me.”

Lighthouse Libraries

The most precious cargo for lighthouses across America was a traveling library.  By 1885 there were at least 420 libraries circulating for lighthouse workers in the U.S., each one packed in a box that did double-duty as carrying cases and bookshelves.

 Library Case Bookshelves

The Truth About DDT and Silent Spring

While critics of Silent Spring have tended to focus on the one-sidedness of Rachel Carson’s case or on those of her claims that have not held up over time, the fraudulence of Silent Spring goes beyond mere cherry-picking or discredited data: Carson abused, twisted, and distorted many of the studies that she cited, in a brazen act of scientific dishonesty. So the real tragic irony of the millions of deaths to malaria in the past several decades is that the three central anti-DDT claims made by Carson and other activists are all false. We shall examine each in turn. 

From Imgur, "I have some terrible news"  You  have to laugh.

NASA’s Giving Away Brilliant Space Travel Posters For Free  These WPA-style artworks from NASA’s design studio are wonderful.


A few Random Reflections

I didn't make it to the gym today. That makes five years in a row.  I decided to change calling the bathroom the John and renamed it the Jim. I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven't met yet...
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:15 PM | Permalink

February 22, 2016

One of the most important aging discoveries ever and why driving is so important

Clearing the Body's Retired Cells Slows Aging and Extends Life - A series of experiments in mice has led to what some are calling “one of the more important aging discoveries ever."

I'm looking at a picture of two mice. The one on the right looks healthy. The one on the left has graying fur, a hunched back, and an eye that's been whitened by cataracts. “People ask: What the hell did you do to the mouse on the left?” says Nathaniel David. “We didn't do anything.” Time did that. The left mouse is just old. The one on the right was born at the same time and is genetically identical. It looks spry because scientists have been subjecting it to an unusual treatment: For several months, they cleared retired cells from its body.

Throughout our lives, our cells accumulate damage in their DNA, which could potentially turn them into tumors. Some successfully fix the damage, while others self-destruct. The third option is to retire—to stop growing or dividing, and enter a state called senescence. These senescent cells accumulate as we get older, and they have been implicated in the health problems that accompany the aging process.

By clearing these senescent cells from mice, Darren Baker and Jan van Deursen at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine managed to slow the deterioration of kidneys, hearts, and fat tissue. The animals lived healthier and, in some cases, they lived longer.

“The usual caveats apply—it’s got to be reproduced by other people—but if it’s correct, without wanting to be too hyperbolic, it’s one of the more important aging discoveries ever,” says Norman Sharpless from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study.

Driving can keep you healthy as you age: Researchers warn elderly experience 'quick decline in physical health once they stop'

Driving is a way for seniors to have control over their lives, scientists say. But when driving is curbed, they experience a sharp health decline.  Cognition skills deteriorate and risk of depression doubles, study says.  Scientists recommend taking steps to prolong seniors' mobility.

So, apparently can flying a plane.

An 87-year-old pilot crashes plane into trees and emerges unscathed after it was dangling 50ft high for FOUR hours

The elderly pilot crashed the plane into trees near Gettysburg Regional Airport Saturday. He had been attempting a U-turn while en route to Clearview Airpark.  He called emergency services from inside the cockpit.

Before rescuing the pilot, the plane - which was suspended between 50ft trees - was stabilized with ladders and rigging by an advanced technical rescue team.  The elderly man was then hoisted down to safety in a sling. 
Eric Zaney, chief of Adams Emergency Med Services told the Daily Mail: 'The man was in very good spirits after he was rescued. He was conscious and alert. 'He told us he felt fine and didn't have any injuries.'
The cause of the crash is currently unknown, but it is likely the plane had suffered a mechanical issue. Zaney revealed that the man had owned the single engine aircraft since the '70s.

'I'm 90 years old, I'm hitting the road': Widow forgoes cancer treatment for end-of-life road trip with her family.

 Norma From Michigan

Miss Norma from Michigan found out she had uterine cancer just two days after losing her husband Leo.  Instead of treatment, Norma decided to spend her last days on the road with her son and his wife, who are full time RVers.  They set out in August and are documenting their trip on Facebook: Driving Miss Norma. 
Her plan got the full seal of approval from her doctor, who said, according to Ramie: 'Honestly, there is no guarantee she will survive the initial surgery to remove the mass. You are doing exactly what I would want to do in this situation. Have a fantastic trip!'

Norma, her son, her daughter-in-law and their dog named Ringo hit the road in August, heading west from Michigan to see Mt Rushmore before checking out the natural wonders at Yellowstone, the Rocky Mountains and the Grand Canyon.
From there, they headed back east towards Florida where Norma recently went whale watching, visited NASA, sampled key lime pies, and got in touch with her inner child at Walt Disney World....Her favorite adventure so far, according to Ramie, was a hot air balloon ride the couple organized for Norma as a Christmas present.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:45 AM | Permalink

A Few Practical Tips

The Best Way to Enter and Search a Hotel Room for Bed Bugs  Who wants to bring bed bugs home.

Lifehacker has a printable checklist of all the changes of address you must make when you move.

When you choose the extra virgin olive oil, Deep-Frying Vegetables Can Actually Add Nutritional Value

Better motivation for exercise: Think of Calories Burned As Willpower Gained.

Willpower is limited, and earning more gives you more motivation and self-control in the short and long term, ...the more of which gives us the mental strength and energy to work on the things that are important to us, like business, relationships, health, and so on.

Some tips for parents

 Kid Colors Inside Carboard Box
• Make your little toddler color inside a cardboard box
• Glitter spray money from the tooth fairy
• Marshmallows ease a painful sore throat.
• Beach hint: Buy a diaper and insert your valuables, then roll it up so it looks used.  No thief will go near it.

How to Survive a Fall Through Ice WikiHow

4. Get horizontal and kick your legs. Once you're orientated and decide where you're going to exit the water, quickly swim towards it and grab onto the edge of the ice. Get as much of your upper body as possible out of the water. Grab onto the top of the ice and use your forearms and elbows to prop yourself up. Then position your lower body horizontally and kick your legs as strongly as possible in hopes of propelling yourself out of the water and onto the ice — much like seals in the arctic do.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:04 AM | Permalink

February 20, 2016

Miscellany 33

The sun you've never seen before until you watch Our Sun is a Rolling Ball of Magnetism

Best dog picture in a while: Cornered.

 Dog Cornered Fark

The 38 most amazing vulgar slang terms from colonial times.  Funny and useful.

Technicolor taxis in India with Interiors created by Mumbai-based art collective Taxi Fabric.

 Taxifabric Cabs India

People started shouting Geronimo when they jumped out of planes to demonstrate their bravery.

The Army’s first official parachute unit, the 501st Parachute Infantry Battalion, made “Geronimo” the motto on their unit insignia after their commander tracked down descendants of the real Geronimo to ask for their permission to use his name.

U.S. Army Develops Pizza That Can Last For Three Years

More from Tatsuya Tanaka's miniature photo project.

 Tatsuyatanaka Earth

 Tatsuyatanaka Carrot Firewood

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:54 PM | Permalink

February 18, 2016

Health Roundup: T-cell immunotherapy, liquid biopsy for cancer, statins for the brain, breast cancer, heartburn drugs and sleep

T-cell immunotherapy.  Is this the cure for cancer? Genetically modified blood turned into 'living drug' in stunning new therapy that hunts down and destroys diseased cells and prevents them from returning - possibly FOREVER

The treatment is created from T-cells – white blood cells that normally fight off viruses and bacteria – which are removed from the patient and genetically tweaked to recognize and attack their cancer.  The genetically-modified cells are then grown in their millions in a lab before being infused back into the patient, where they hunt down and destroy the cancer cells.
Two landmark studies have revealed the therapy’s stunning potential. One suggests it will last for at least 14 years in the body, raising the tantalizing prospect of a permanent cure for cancer.  In the other, 94 per cent of terminally ill patients saw the disease vanish completely. Scientists around the world are perfecting the technique, and a series of trials have shown it to have remarkable potential.

Liquid Biopsy: A new 10-minute test for cancer developed by scientists can be taken at home with just a drop of saliva.

David Wong, a professor of oncology at California State University says it is possible to detect tumor DNA when is it circulating in bodily fluids – an approach known as a liquid biopsy.  The saliva test is 100 per cent accurate and is so simple that it could be carried out at a pharmacist, the dentist or even in the privacy of someone's own home.  The test is non-invasive and cheap, costing around just $22.  It is due to enter full clinical trials in lung cancer patients later this year, and is expecting approval within two years from the Food and Drug Administration in America.

Too much diversity New test 'accurately' spots the most deadly forms of breast cancer BEFORE they spread

According to initial trials of the test, developed by the Institute of Cancer Research in London, doctors were able to spot women at the highest risk of dying from their disease. The test could now be used to tailor treatment for women at the highest risk.

Scientists modified methods initially developed by wildlife experts to identify ecological diversity in the natural world. They adapted the ecologists’ computer algorithm to use it on tumor samples.  Tumors with a greater diversity of types of cell tend to be the most aggressive, and most likely to eventually become fatal.  The cancer team found that they could use the naturalists’ approach to give each tumor a ‘diversity score’ - which they showed was an accurate predictor of how dangerous it would become.  In a trial of 1,000 women, they found that those whose tumors had the highest diversity score were three times more likely to die within three five than those with the lowest score.

Common antibiotics may trigger DELIRIUM:  Drugs can cause confusion, hallucinations and agitation for weeks.

The research suggests antibiotics may be more strongly linked to delirium than was previously believed
....Dr Shamik Bhattacharyya, of Harvard Medical School, and the study's author reviewed all available scientific literature on delirium and found case studies on 391 patients, over seven decades, who were given antibiotics and later developed the condition as well as other brain problems....A total of 54 different antibiotics were involved.  Some 47 per cent of people taking the drugs had delusions or hallucinations, 14 per cent had seizures, 15 per cent had involuntary muscle twitching and 5 per cent had loss of control of body movements.  Data from electroencephalograms (EEG) - a test that detects electrical activity in the brain - was also abnormal in 70 per cent of the cases. Additionally, 25 per cent of people who developed delirium

Heartburn Drugs Tied to Dementia Risk

The popular heartburn drugs known as proton pump inhibitors have been linked to a range of ills: bone fractures, kidney problems, infections and more. Now a large new study has found that they are associated with an increased risk for dementia as well.  Proton pump inhibitors, or P.P.I.s, are widely available both by prescription and over the counter under various brand names, including Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium.

German researchers found that regular use of P.P.I.s increased the risk for dementia in men by 52 percent and in women by 42 percent, compared with nonusers....“Our study does not prove that P.P.I.s cause dementia,” said the senior author, Britta Haenisch of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases. “It can only provide a statistical association. This is just a small part of the puzzle.

'Statins for the brain' may prevent the proteins that cause Alzheimer’s from ever forming

Cambridge University scientists have discovered drugs that could stop the cruel disease ever developing.
After searching the medical literature for a drug that interfered with the very first stage of the process, they tested this drug, bexarotene, in a test-tube and it stopped the clumps from forming.

Good as bexarotene was, Professor Vendruscolo has since found several that are even more powerful.  Much more research is needed before their Alzheimer’s prevention powers are tested on people but the professor is optimistic that it will one day be possible to stop the amyloid-beta protein from poisoning the brain.

One per cent. Reversing the symptoms of schizophrenia for some (about 1%) who carry a genetic mutation known as the 22q11.2 microdeletion.

Scientists have found people with schizophrenia carry key mutations in DNA.  These, in turn, disrupted genes involved in the transmission of chemical messengers across the brain.

The balance of the messengers plays a crucial role in ensuring the brain develops healthily and functions normally.
Some chemical messengers, known as neurotransmitters, 'excite' brain cells into an action, whereas other 'inhibit' the activity of cells.  Disruptions to neurotransmitters can therefore change whether cells function, and researchers believe this may be what causes schizophrenia.

Using a drug candidate designed to block the activity of Gsk3β in mice, researchers found it prompted neurons in the animals' brains to branch out and form new connections. Test showed the communication between brain regions was restored. Although the findings have yet to be replicated in human patients, the scientists behind the study said the compound could eventually lead to new treatments for schizophrenia.

One per cent. Reversing autism 'at the flick of a switch': 'Turning on' a single gene in mice has been found to reduce autistic behaviors

Autism is a complex spectrum of disorders caused by numerous underlying factors. But around one per cent of cases are caused by a missing gene called Shank3. Neuroscientists report that by switching on this single gene they were able to reverse changes to the brain in animals with the condition.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that in mice lacking the gene, switching it back on later in life could reverse some of the autism-like behaviors in the animals.  According to the team, the findings show that the brain may be capable of adapting to genetic changes even after it is fully developed and can make and break connections.

Too much sleep 'is a bigger stroke risk than too little': More than eight hours a night can increase risk by 146%

A study of nearly 290,000 people found seven to eight hours’ sleep a night may protect against the chance of a stroke.
But the US researchers, from the New York University School of Medicine, found that those who sleep for longer than this increase their risk of having a stroke by 146 per cent. And less than seven hours of sleep also increases the risk, by 22 per cent.

Sleeping seven to eight hours a night and taking 30 to 60 minutes of exercise three to six times a week gave the maximum benefits for stroke prevention.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:00 PM | Permalink

February 5, 2016

Our open borders

Border agent: 'We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether'

In a shocking reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being told to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings, essentially a license to stay in the United States, a key agent testified Thursday.

What's more, the stand down order includes a requirement that the whereabouts of illegals released are not to be tracked. "We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether," suggested agent Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Testifying on the two-year border surge of immigrant youths, Judd said the policy shift was prompted by Obama administration "embarrassment" that just over half of illegals ordered to appear in court actually do.

Report: MS-13 foot soldiers use 'surge' to cross border, 'colonize new criminal territory'

Criminal networks with Latin American roots, such as MS-13 and the 18th Street gang, are using the administration's open-door policy at the border to slip in recruits that are causing a huge spike in murder and violence throughout the nation, according to an immigration expert.

Testifying Thursday at a House hearing on the border surge of young Latinos, the expert said, "Established gangs have been able to transfer an unknown number of experienced foot soldiers from Central America to help colonize new criminal territory in the United States."

Tropical diseases surge in America while Obama leaves borders open to illegal immigrants

A resurgence of tropical diseases is occurring in America’s Southwest, presenting troublesome risks for its citizens, as well as physicians unfamiliar with treating them. Several factors contribute to this new phenomenon, including hot and humid climates, an increase in the number of insects carrying tropical diseases, poverty, and the influx of illegal immigrants crossing into the U.S. from parts of Latin America, such as Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Some of the so-called “tropical” diseases being observed by the medical community include Chagas disease, neurocysticercosis (a parasitic disease that infects the brain), dengue virus, chikungunya virus, river blindness and cutaneous leishmaniasis.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:25 AM | Permalink

The Yale Problem

A fascinating and important interview with Jonathan Haidt, "Most people are Horrified by What's Going on in the Universities

We had no idea that the universities were about to commit suicide...  [W]e get the Missouri fiasco, the Yale fiasco, the Amherst fiasco, the Brown fiasco. You get place after place where protesters are making demands of college presidents, and college presidents roll over and give in. 
Look, I graduated from Yale in ’85.  Yale is very devoted to social justice. It’s very devoted to affirmative action.  Now no place is perfect. But it’s probably among the best places in the country. And to have protesters saying it’s such a thoroughly racist place that it needs a total reformation – they call the protest group ”Next Yale”– they demand “Next Yale”!......, I’ve begun calling it, “the Yale problem,” referring to the way that left-leaning institutions are now cut off from any moral vocabulary that they could use to resist the forces of illiberalism. As far as I’m concerned, “Next Yale” can go find its own “Next Alumni.” I don’t plan to give to Yale ever again, unless it reverses course.

Victim groups dominate

For many years now, there have been six sacred groups. You know, the big three are African-Americans, women and LGBT. ...Latinos, Native Americans, and people with disabilities. So those are the six that have been there for a while. But now we have a seventh–Muslims. Something like 70 or 75 percent of America is now in a protected group.

We're raising our children to be fragile

The big thing that really worries me – the reason why I think things are going to get much, much worse – is that one of the causal factors here is the change in child-rearing that happened in America in the 1980s. With the rise in crime, amplified by the rise of cable TV, we saw much more protective, fearful parenting. Children since the 1980s have been raised very differently–protected as fragile.... children are anti-fragile. Bone is anti-fragile. If you treat it gently, it will get brittle and break. Bone actually needs to get banged around to toughen up. And so do children. I’m not saying they need to be spanked or beaten, but they need to have a lot of unsupervised time, to get in over their heads and get themselves out. And that greatly decreased in the 1980s.  Anxiety, fragility and psychological weakness have skyrocketed in the last 15-20 years. So, I think millennials come to college with much thinner skins. And therefore, until that changes, I think we’re going to keep seeing these demands to never hear anything offensive.
...We know from various things we’ve read and posted on our site, that liberal arts colleges – especially the women’s schools – are by far the worst. Nobody should send their child to a women’s school any more.  And that’s especially true if you’re progressive. The last thing you want is for your progressive daughter to be raised in this bullying monoculture, and to become a self-righteous bully herself.

Call upon alumni

“The Yale Problem,” is a much more existential threat to the whole system. ...Most people are horrified by what’s going on.  ...If we can find an easy way to organize alumni and get them to put their donations in escrow, or otherwise stop giving to schools that don’t commit to free speech and free inquiry, we may begin to see schools move away from illiberalism and return to their traditional role as institutions organized to pursue truth.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:10 AM | Permalink

February 4, 2016

Health roundup: Fats and garlic for your heart, Statins, new uses for old drugs and more

How eating fat could SAVE one million lives: Adding nuts, seeds and tofu to diets 'prevents early death from heart disease'

Study author Dr Dariush Mozaffarian, of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, said: ‘Worldwide, policymakers are focused on reducing saturated fats. ‘Yet, we found there would be a much bigger impact on heart disease deaths if the priority was to increase the consumption of polyunsaturated fats as a replacement for saturated fats and refined carbohydrates, as well as to reduce trans fats.’
Polyunsaturated fats help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood. That, in turn, can lower the risks of heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, oils that are rich in polyunsaturated fats provide essential fats that the body needs – including long chain fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fats can be found in foods including soybeans, corn and sunflower oils, tofu, nuts and seeds. They are also contained it fatty fishes, such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout.

The study sought to estimate the number of annual deaths related to various patterns of fat consumption.
The team of scientists used 2010 data from 186 countries....eating too little healthy omega-6 polyunsaturated fats  accounted for 10.3 per cent of total global heart disease deaths.... excess consumption of trans fats accounted for 7.7 per cent of global heart disease deaths.

Garlic REALLY is good for you: Extract 'reverses build-up of deadly plaque that clogs arteries and triggers heart attacks'

Aged garlic extract reduces dangerous plaque buildup in arteries, according to the study from Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.  That helps prevent the progression of heart disease – which is the leading cause of death worldwide. 

The study involved 55 patients between the ages of 40 and 75, each of whom were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.  The participants were screened at the beginning of the study to measure their total coronary plaque volume as was their dense calcium, non-calcified plaque and low-attenuation plaque using cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA), an imaging technology that measures deposits and build up in arteries.

One year later, a follow-up screening was conducted. The study determined those who had taken aged garlic extract had slowed the total plaque accumulation by 80 per cent. Furthermore, they reduced soft plaque and demonstrated regression for low-attenuation plaque.
The findings fall in line with a study last year from the University of Missouri. That study revealed garlic offers the brain protection against aging and disease.It also suggested garlic could even prevent age-related neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Antidepressants can raise the risk of suicide, biggest ever review finds

Antidepressant use doubles the risk of suicide in under 18s and the risks to adults may have been seriously underestimated, researchers find after an analysis of 70 trials of the most common antidepressants - involving more than 18,000 people.

Like mother, like daughter: 'Emotional' brain circuit is passed down through the female line and may be a factor in depression

It has been long suspected that mothers can 'pass on' depression to their daughters. Researchers believe the wiring in the brain structure, known as the corticolimbic system, may be an inherited factor contributing to risk, or resistance to depression being passed on.

Teenagers who use sunbeds are up to SIX times more likely get lethal skin cancer by the age of 40

132,000 cases of the often-fatal melanoma occur globally every year.  Those under diagnosed with melanoma began using sunbeds at about 16 and used them more frequently than older women.  All but 2 of 63 diagnosed with melanoma under 30 reported tanning indoors

Two energy drinks a day 'increases the risk of heart palpitations, fast heart rate and chest pain in healthy people'

70% of patients at emergency department with heart palpitations had consumed an energy drink - 36% in the last 24 hours.

Statins DOUBLE the risk of diabetes according to 'alarming' 10-year study

Healthy patients taking the heart drug statins have a significantly higher risk of new diabetes and a very high risk of serious diabetic complications, a study has found.
The research, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine in May 2015, tracked individuals in a database for almost ten years. It discovered statin users had a higher incidence of diabetes and also weight gain.
Patients using the drugs were also more likely than the others to develop diabetes with complications including eye, nerve and kidney damage.

But Statins found to clear away deposits that cause blindness in the elderly

An estimated 20 million people worldwide suffer with dry age-related macular degeneration - known as dry AMD - a disease which causes blurred vision and eventually blindness.  Known as the ‘Alzheimer’s of the eye’ because of the way it robs elderly people of their sight, the condition affects a quarter of British over-60s.  Until now there have been very few treatments for the condition, but experts have discovered that statins - a cheap cholesterol drug already taken by millions - may provide a solution....

Scientists at Harvard Medical School in the US found that high-dose treatment with the statin Lipitor cleared away fatty deposits behind the retina, leading to visual improvement in ten patients with dry AMD.  They hope that future larger trials will show that the drug has the potential to halt progression and even reverse the disease in some cases.

A pound-a-day pill that has revolutionized the treatment of malaria – and is based on a Chinese herbal remedy – could be the latest weapon against bowel cancer.

Scientists say artesunate could be effective for the estimated 40,000 Britons who are diagnosed with the disease every year. ..Artesunate is derived from the leaves of sweet wormwood, an aromatic herb used to treat fever for more than 2,000 years. Chinese scientist Tu Youyou was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine for her discovery that the herb could be used to treat malaria.

Early trials show that bowel-cancer patients who took the drug for two weeks before surgery were six times less likely to have a recurrence of the disease compared to those who took a placebo.  Patients taking the drug did not suffer any side effects, giving hope that the pill could provide a safe, affordable treatment....Only one patient taking artesunate had a recurrence of cancer after three-and- a-half years, compared to six in the placebo group.  Now the treatment is being rolled out in a larger UK trial involving 140 patients.

Could a pill help people with autism chat more easily? Drugs used to treat high blood pressure 'improve social skills'

One of the most commonly recognized symptoms of autism is problems with social interaction and communication including difficulty understanding and being aware of other people's emotions and feelings as well as problems taking part in, or starting, conversations

But a new study used a common drug taken for high blood pressure pill helped to improve the both verbal and non verbal conversational skills.  Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia gave 20 volunteers either a 40-milligram dose of propranolol or a placebo pill....It found the total communication scores were significantly greater when the individual took propranolol compared to the placebo.

'Though more research is needed to study its effects after more than one dose, these preliminary results show a potential benefit of propranolol to improve the conversational and nonverbal skills of individuals with autism,' associate professor Dr David Beversdorf.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:39 PM | Permalink

February 3, 2016

Miscellany 32

Here's what fruits and vegetables looked like before we domesticated them

-Modern Domesticated Vegs

Hair Dyeing Interpretations of Famous Works of Art

 Hair Dyeing-Vangogh

The 'electric road' that never freezes over: Researchers reveal smart concrete that can conduct small amounts of power

By changing less than one-quarter of the makeup of standard concrete, a researcher from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has developed a way to melt ice and snow from the ground up.The seemingly ordinary concrete can conduct enough electricity to clear pathways and even create shields against industrial espionage, but is safe to the touch.

How the Dutch defeated the Spanish invasion in the Eighty Years' War …with ice skates!

The first test of that theory came shortly afterward when the ragtag Dutch fleet was frozen into the Amsterdam harbor, making the Dutch unable to confront the Spanish ships head-on. Taking that advantage, Spanish troops began marching across the ice to attack the ships first, and then they planned to head to the coastline on foot.

But as they marched gingerly across the frozen ice, they were confronted by a horrifying apparition. Wave after wave of Dutch soldiers flew across the surface of the ice with incredible speed, flitting into range just long enough to fire a musket before retreating again behind walls of ice and frozen snow. The Spanish soldiers had never seen anything like it: “It was a thing never heard of before today,” the Spanish Duke of Alva recounted with grudging admiration, “to see a body of musketeers fighting like that on a frozen sea.

23 Delicious Mad Men Era Dishes America Shouldn’t Have Given Up On.  Beef Wellington for sure. Chicken Kiev, Waldorf Salad, Apple Cake, Chicken a la King

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:55 AM | Permalink