September 29, 2017

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.”

The Real Reason We Need to Stop Trying to Protect Everyone’s Feelings by Ryan Holiday who discusses Roy Bradbury's famous Fahrenheit 451.

How did it come to be that firemen burned books instead of putting out fires as they always had? The firemen have been doing it for so long they have no idea. Most of them have never even read a book. Except one fireman—Captain Beatty—who has been around long enough to remember what life was like before. As Montag begins to doubt his profession—going as far as to hide a book in his house—he is subjected to a speech from Beatty. In it Beatty explains that it wasn’t the government that decided that books were a threat. It was his fellow citizens.

“It didn’t come from the government down,” he tells him. “There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no!”  In fact, it was something rather simple—something that should sound very familiar. It was a desire not to offend—of an earnest notion to literally have “everyone made equal.” ....

In the 50th anniversary edition, Bradbury includes a short afterword where he gives his thoughts on current culture. Almost as if he is speaking directly about the events above, he wrote: “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.”

There’s that saying: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. When it comes to censorship, one might say that the road to thought and speech control is paved by people trying to protect other people’s feelings.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:30 PM | Permalink

September 28, 2017

Virtue is its own reward

6 Ways virtue is its own reward, according to science

Doing the right thing really can be it’s own reward — and it can be a huge help to our mental health. A series of studies recently released reveal that being virtuous, helping others, and expressing gratitude produce positive outcomes not only in the lives of those around us, but also in our own lives, too. Granted, we shouldn’t just be kind for our own health benefit, but there is a beauty in the fact that helping others also can have good side affects in our own lives.

1.  Better sleep habits
....A recent study found that participants who had a purpose for their life experienced fewer sleep disorders and problems and also experienced better quality of rest.

2. Increased general happiness
.....Previous studies have shown that when you spend money on others, you’re happier than when you spent the same amount of money on yourself. In fact, brain scans reveal that small acts of generosity and virtue cause the brain to produce a”warm glow” as a response to boosted happiness levels.

3. A boost in positive emotions
.....Not only does gratitude boost your happiness levels, but it also raises your happiness set-point (the “default” level of happiness you feel independent of circumstances), according to psychologist Robert A. Emmons. Other positive emotions that are increased by living virtuously include joy, optimism, pleasure and enthusiasm. Virtue also suppresses feelings of depression, envy and resentment.

4. A lowered rate of depression
Giving your time, talent, and treasures can lower your chances of depression.....

5. “Helper’s high”
.... some research shows that those who help may actually gain more in terms of mental health than those on the receiving end of their kindness and generosity. Helping others also leaves you with a greater appreciation for what you’ve been blessed with, as well as a sanctification that comes from giving of yourself.

6. Increased self-esteem
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:11 PM | Permalink

Health Roundup: Food Edition

Eat SALMON for good gut health:

Omega-3 boosts the diversity of the microbiome to ward off diabetes, obesity and Crohn's disease. For years, scientists have touted the fish as a potential way to boost gut health. The largest study to date, by British experts, has now confirmed their suspicions. Salmon can boost the diversity of bacteria in the stomach.

Type 2 diabetes IS reversible

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed by going on a low calorie diet, new research shows. Consuming just 600 calories a day for eight weeks can save the lives of millions of sufferers of the preventable condition.  Newcastle University scientists said that excess calories lead to a fatty liver, which causes the liver to produce too much glucose. The excess fat is then passed to the pancreas, which causes the insulin-producing cells to fail and thus causing diabetes. Losing less than one gram of fat from the pancreas can re-start insulin production, reversing type 2 diabetes, the researchers found.  This reversal of diabetes remains possible for at least ten years after the onset of the condition, lead author Professor Roy Taylor said.

Sirloin steak, chicken, mackerel and avocados make people feel fuller and could help dieting.

Scientists at the University of Warwick have identified cells in the brain - called tanycytes - which detect nutrients in food and help trigger feelings of satiety. ..Crucially some foods contain types of amino acids which stimulate the tanycytes more than others.  Pork shoulder, beef sirloin steak, chicken, mackerel, plums, apricots, avocados, lentils and almonds were all found to contain amino acids that activate tanycytes and therefore make people feel fuller quicker.

Proof that red wine IS good for you?

One expert says red wine can improve memory, decrease your chance of stroke and reduce risk of heart disease.Creina Stockley, from the Australian Wine Research Institute, has shared that drinking wine with a meal could decrease your chance of having a stroke, heart attack and could increase brain longevity."People that drink a moderate amount of wine regularly, particularly with food, have a 30 percent reduced risk of heart diseases," she said. "Red wine is good for you in moderation – with one to two glasses a day there is a reduced risk of heart disease."

Red wine can also reduce the risk of a multitude of cancers. "Alcohol is a risk factor for certain cancers, but we also know wine reduces the risk of other cancers like bowel and lung cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma."  She also said that studies have revealed that red wine can also reduce the risk of aero-digestive tract, lung cancers and non-Hodgkin's

Porridge or Oatmeal is Better than Statins say experts

 Oatmeal

Eating a simple bowl of porridge every day could transform the health of the nation, in one single step, says Chris Seal, professor of food and human nutrition at Newcastle University....A bowl provides more fibre than a slice of wholemeal bread, is low in fat, virtually sugar-free and provides a wealth of minerals such as manganese, copper and iron, as well as the B vitamins.

However, the real benefit of porridge comes from the soluble fibre in the oats. The fibre, a form known as beta glucan, is present in other grains such as barley and rye, but is found in highest quantities in oats. It forms a thick gel in the gut, which is what gives you that full, satisfied feeling. But as well as helping switch off appetite, it has many other specific health benefits, including feeding the healthy bacteria in your gut, so helping your immune system, lowering cholesterol, and even potentially protecting against cancer....

‘That’s similar to the results you might get from taking a statin,’ says Dr George Grimble, principal research fellow in the division of medicine at University College London. Yet unlike a statin it has no potential side-effects. ‘Beta glucan forms acids, including butyric acid which works on the DNA of cells in the colon and has an anti-cancer effect.’

HIV patients who drink 3 cups of coffee a day DOUBLED their survival chances

Patients living with both HIV and hepatitis C who drank three or more daily cups of coffee were twice as likely to survive than those that drank less coffee, a new study found. About one quarter of HIV patients also have hepatitis C (HCV), which attacks the liver. Coffee is known to help protect the liver, and to act as an anti-inflammatory.  The French National Institute of Health and National Agency for AIDS and Hepatitis Research studied 1028 patients.

How soya and almond milk may put health at risk

Trendy dairy alternatives such as soya and almond milk may be putting people’s health at risk, researchers say. Consumption of milk-alternative drinks is soaring as part of a ‘clean-eating’ fad. But scientists at the University of Surrey warn that these products do not contain nearly enough iodine – a crucial mineral. Dairy milk is the main source of iodine in our diet, providing 40 per cent of the average daily intake, so switching to plant-based alternatives may impact health...

An estimated 70 per cent of teenage girls in Britain are iodine-deficient, and doctors are also concerned that pregnant women are not consuming enough of it. Iodine is required to make thyroid hormones, which help keep cells and the metabolic rate healthy. It is especially important for the brain development of babies, particularly while they are in the womb.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:53 PM | Permalink

September 22, 2017

Miscellany #84

Inventor Stephen Davies is creating prosthetic arms for children in his garden shed

Hidden within the most ordinary of garden sheds is a state- of-the-art workshop where a brilliant designer makes prosthetic arms to help scores of children.  Inventor Stephen Davies was himself born without a left lower arm and never forgot the stigma of the NHS-issue prosthetic he wore as a child....Having learned how far lighter limbs could be created on a 3D printer, he began to experiment in his garden shed. He has now set up Team UnLimbited, which creates customized ‘cool’ limbs for children, featuring their choice of color and pattern.  The father of three said: ‘We’ve done Iron Man designs, Harry Potter, Lego and Spider-Man. The key is making something the child actually wants to wear and feels is cool enough to show their friends. The limbs work for children born without a lower arm. When the wearer moves their elbow, the fist closes, enabling objects to be grasped. Each arm costs about £30 to make, and takes a few days to print and assemble. All are made in the shed which is insulated with solar-powered air-conditioning to keep it within the very narrow temperature range needed for the 3D printer to work. 

 Inventor Stephen Davies+Garden Shed
Video interview at his shed.

People who came Face to Face with themselves in a museum

 Museum-Lookalikes #1

The world's favorite color is a rich teal

U.K. Papermakers GF Smith conducted an online global survey of over 30,000 people from 100 countries to determine which color people loved the most. An explosion of paper helicopters in Hull revealed the results. They named the shade Marrs Green in honor of survey participant Annie Marrs from Dundee, who chose the shade closest to the winning hue who said, 'The color was inspired by the landscape that surrounds me at home in Scotland and that deep green hue with a tinge of blue has always been a favorite of mine.'

 Revealed Marrs Green-1

 Marrs-Green Favorite Color
Marrs Green
Hex triplet #008C8C
sRGBB  (r, g, b) (0, 140, 140)

Incredible Coincidences - This Bird Landed On The Page About Itself

 Bird On Page

Photographer Niaz Uddin and his Aerial Lanscape Images

 Niazuddin Yellowstone
The Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park

Octlantis - the underwater "octopus city" discovered off the coast of Australia.  Short video at link.

This discovery of octopuses interacting in a high-density den challenges scientists' previously held belief that octopuses are solitary and antisocial creatures.

This 500 year old machine makes enchanting music.

A carillon is a large musical instrument typically housed in a bell tower. It spins a large wheel with spokes set at deliberate intervals, which strike pegs connected to bells. You can listen to Martin Molin and the 500 year old machine in the Speelklok museum, the Netherlands, at the link.

The Hobbit Churches.  Only six of the Icelandic 'Turf Churches' still stand.

 Hobbit Churches

Very funny video - The  Ultimate Dog Tease

 Dog Tease Funny Video

Beauty most of us will never see

Photographer, vlogger and a sailor, that’s how you can describe JeffHK, the author of this incredible 30-days timelapse which he took on a cargo ship en route from the Red Sea to Hong Kong.  Stitched together from 80,000 photos and 1500GB of project files, this journey takes viewers across the Indian Ocean and major ports around it. Showing not only the intricacies of a cargo ship operation but also the incredible natural shows like lightning storms or the incredible stars displays along the way.

 4K Timelapse Cargo
YouTube link

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:35 PM | Permalink

The Afterlife of Our Words

Marilynne Robinson on Finding the Right Word

In almost every major literature there are works that make you love being human, and make you love and revere the humanity of other people. That is the great potential of any art.

Viewed this way, our language — and especially literature, that special, potent case — has incredible power. I was very struck by something that I came across in my reading of Jonathan Edwards. I recall him quoting a writer who talks about how whatever we say lives on after us, that we continue to exist so long as any word we say exists in a living mind. And that there should be two judgments: one when we die, and one when the full impact of our lives has played itself out. That is, when every word that we’ve said, for good or ill, basically ceases to be active.

We’re not in the habit of thinking of ourselves as people of influence in this way. We don’t think that if we say something cruel and destructive now, it can go down generations in terms of its consequences. But it strikes me that this is true — and the thought makes me experience a certain fear and trembling about our political life at the moment. When we speak, we should ask ourselves: How will this ultimately play out? What will be the moral consequence of the fact that so many people have resorted to such crude, cruel language? We know it won’t be neutral. We know it won’t evaporate. It’ll be in people’s minds for generations.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:37 PM | Permalink

September 19, 2017

Love Hacks

John Tierney suggests you Try These ‘Love Hacks’ to Fix Your Marriage

Many people are looking to their partners to replace the companionship and emotional support once provided by extended families and local institutions like churches, bowling leagues, bridge groups, fraternal lodges and garden clubs. Meanwhile, though, many couples are so busy with their jobs and parenting that they’re actually spending less time together by themselves.

Psychologist Eli Finkel, After studying thousands of couples, suggests these love hacks. “It’s a quick-and-dirty option that can take just a few minutes a month,” he says. “It’s not going to give you a great marriage, but it can certainly improve things. After all, simply allowing the relationship to slip off the priority list will probably yield stagnation, or worse.”

Touch Your Partner.....
Don’t Jump to Bad Conclusions....
Picture a Fight From the Outside....
Make a Gratitude List....
Accept a Compliment....
Celebrate Small Victories....
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:46 PM | Permalink

September 14, 2017

Roundup: Medical Research and Technology

A 25-year-old student has come up with a way to fight drug-resistant superbugs without antibiotics.

The new approach has so far only been tested in the lab and on mice, but it could offer a potential solution to antibiotic resistance, which is now getting so bad that the United Nations recently declared it a "fundamental threat" to global health.  Antibiotic-resistant bacteria already kill around 700,000 people each year, but a recent study suggests that number could rise to around 10 million by 2050.

But Shu Lam, a 25-year-old PhD student at the University of Melbourne in Australia, has developed a star-shaped polymer that can kill six different superbug strains without antibiotics, simply by ripping apart their cell walls.  Before we get too carried away, it's still very early days. So far, Lam has only tested her star-shaped polymers on six strains of drug-resistant bacteria in the lab, and on one superbug in live mice. But in all experiments, they've been able to kill their targeted bacteria - and generation after generation don't seem to develop resistance to the polymers.  The polymers - which they call SNAPPs, or structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers - work by directly attacking, penetrating, and then destabilizing the cell membrane of bacteria.

Scientists honor Chad Carr, 5, who died of incurable brain tumor as tests on his donated tissue lead to major cancer research breakthrough

Chad died in 2015 aged 5, just 14 months after he was diagnosed with DIPG. Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a lethal and untreatable brain tumor which predominantly affects children under the age of nine.  An analysis of his brain has led to a major breakthrough in understanding the genetic mutations that drive DIPG. Experts say the unprecedented finding is the first concrete result of any study into the little-understood disease. 

Zika virus used to treat aggressive brain cancer

Using viruses to fight cancer is not a new idea, but using Zika as the weapon of choice is. But the latest research shows the virus can selectively infect and kill hard-to-treat cancerous cells in adult brains. Zika injections shrank aggressive tumors in fully grown mice, yet left other brain cells unscathed.  While human trials are still a way off, experts believe Zika virus could potentially be injected into the brain at the same time as surgery to remove life-threatening tumors.  The Zika treatment appears to work on human cell samples in the lab.

New device accurately identifies cancer in seconds

A team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has invented a powerful tool that rapidly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds— more than 150 times as fast as existing technology. The MasSpec Pen is an innovative handheld instrument that gives surgeons precise diagnostic information about what tissue to cut or preserve, helping improve treatment and reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.

New class of drugs targets aging to help keep you healthy

The researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, are calling for senolytic drugs to make the leap from animal research to human clinical trials.  As we age, we accumulate senescent cells, which are damaged cells that resist dying off but stay in our bodies. They can affect other cells in our various organs and tissues. Senolytic drugs are agents capable of killing problem-causing senescent cells in your body without harming your normal, healthy cells. Senescent cells play a role in many age-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, most cancers, dementia, arthritis, osteoporosis and blindness.

Gut germs play role in multiple sclerosis, studies show

Two teams of scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that intestinal bacteria play a role in multiple sclerosis, an incurable disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the myelin coating on neurons, causing tremors, fatigue, cognitive problems, and more.

Gut germs that were unusually abundant in people with MS changed white blood cells in a way that made them more likely to attack the body’s own cells, including neurons, one study reported on Monday; the other experiment found that gut germs from people with MS made mice more likely to develop the disease than did gut germs from their identical but healthy twins.
--
Together, the two studies advance the idea that gut microbes play a role in turning the immune system against nerve cells, causing MS. It will take a lot more work to develop cures or preventive strategies based on that, but the research raises the intriguing possibility of treating an often-devastating disease with something as low-tech as fecal transplants or probiotics.

How infection can trigger autoimmune disease

Australian scientists have confirmed a ‘weak link’ in the immune system – identifying the exact conditions under which an infection can trigger an autoantibody response, a process not clearly understood until now.

We May Have Finally Discovered The Trigger That Starts Autoimmune Diseases

The chain reaction, discovered after four years of research in mice, has been described as a "runaway train" where one error leads the body to develop a very efficient way of attacking itself.  The study focused on B cells gone rogue. Ordinarily these cells produce antibodies and program the immune cells to attack unwanted antigens (or foreign substances), but scientists found an 'override switch' in mouse B cells that distorted this behavior and caused autoimmune attacks.

"Once your body's tolerance for its own tissues is lost, the chain reaction is like a runaway train," says one of the team, Michael Carroll from Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School (HMS). "The immune response against your own body's proteins, or antigens, looks exactly like it's responding to a foreign pathogen."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:47 PM | Permalink

Health Roundup: Alzheimer's Edition

A healthy lifestyle builds brain resilience and really WILL keep dementia at bay

Alzheimer's disease really can be avoided by following a healthy lifestyle - even if you're predisposed to get it, the largest study of its kind has revealed. Exercising, monitoring blood pressure and watching less TV are the three key factors that will help build brain resilience and keep the disease at bay.  

Researchers at the University of California in Irvine began the '90+ Study' in 2003. Tests were carried out on the 1,700 participants every six months to monitor their cognitive ability. Post-mortems were conducted upon their death. Astonishingly half of the dementia-free patients had the hallmark brain plaques - which lead to memory loss and dementia - when they died.  Meanwhile half of the dementia patients did develop symptoms of memory loss - even without having these build-ups in their brain.

Professor Claudia Kawas, lead researcher, suggested the reason for such 'cognitive resilience' in those who should have developed dementia but remained free of it was down to a healthy lifestyle. It follows Cambridge University research three years ago which found just one hour's exercise a week cuts the chance of Alzheimer's by almost half.  And earlier this year a study suggested more than a third of dementia cases could be avoided by exercising more and controlling blood pressure.

Those with a higher level of education were found to have greater protection even if OET scans revealed plaque in the brain typical of Alzheimer's. People with a low level of education had quadruple the risk of contracting dementia, the researchers said. But among those without plaque in the brain, the educational difference was irrelevant....There's currently no evidence of the efficacy of commercial computer-based brain training exercises.

An Alzheimer’s Diagnosis—Before Any Symptoms in the WSJ

An effort is under way that could redefine the way Alzheimer’s is diagnosed, putting the focus on biological changes in the brain rather than on symptoms such as confusion and forgetfulness. Supporters say if their plan moves forward, it could help ensure that experimental therapies are tested on the correct population, accelerating research. Earlier detection also one day could make it easier to target people with more effective therapies.

The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has long hinged on a doctor’s assessment of a person’s cognitive skills and symptoms. But in a recent report, a committee convened by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association recommended that researchers instead use tests of the biological markers of disease, such as brain imaging and the measurement of substances in cerebrospinal fluid, when seeking to study participants.

A Case of Rapidly Progressive Dementia--and the Surprisingly Easy Fix

The daughter went into the hall closet and brought out this bag of medicines. There were 21 different bottles of 14 different medications, including multiple antipsychotics and anticholinergics, as can be seen in the handwritten list shown above. I had been unaware that she had been taking any of these. For reference, in the right-hand column, I have included the list that was in her electronic medical record the day I last saw her in clinic. I performed a full medication reconciliation and left her with only three medications, plus insulin, at her home. I took all of the others back to the hospital, called her pharmacy, and stopped those prescriptions.

Three months later, Ms R followed up with me in clinic and reported that she was feeling great. Her daughter said that she is doing wonderfully at home and has returned to her baseline. Both of them felt that she was back to her normal self. We repeated the MoCA, which was a 17 out of 30. She had increased from a 6 to a 17 over the course of 3 months, with the only intervention being a home visit with the removal of medications from her house.

The cost of this? The base Medicare reimbursement for her multiple hospital admissions was more than $30,000. The cost of the home visits, including billing for the visit, gas to and from, and a couple of lattes for my mentor and me: $127. Patient-centered care? Priceless.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:34 AM | Permalink

Miscellany #83

The Strange History of the Sunflower

Sunflowers originate from North America but would travel to the Old World and back – and back again - in their centuries old journey to become the plant we know today. They were probably one of the first crops to be grown in the Americas. Before this they were picked by hunter gatherers as a natural source of fat. The seeds could be ground up and mixed with flour to make bread much like the pita variety we eat today.

 Sunflower

Balmy 77-Degree Oasis Found In Antarctica

....in a web of hidden ice caves beneath Ross Island’s Mount Erebus where the air temperature hovers around 77 degrees Fahrenheit.  “You could wear a T-shirt in there and be pretty comfortable,” said lead researcher Ceridwen Fraser.

Has the mystery of the 600-year-old Voynich manuscript been solved?

For more than a century, researchers have been trying to decipher ancient texts found in the Voynich manuscript, discovered in an Italian monastery in 1912 and preserved at the Beinecke Library at Yale University.  The 600-year-old document, described as 'the world's most mysterious medieval text,' is full of illustrations of exotic plants, stars, and mysterious human figures, as well as many pages written in an unknown text.  Now, one British academic, Nicholas Gibbs, an expert on medieval medical manuscripts, claims the document is in fact a health manual for a 'well-to-do' lady looking to treat gynecological conditions.

 Voynich Manuscript

Ancient Ruins Older Than The Pyramids Discovered In Canada

When researchers were searching Triquet Island, an island located about 300 miles north of Victoria, British Columbia, they found ancient fish hooks and spears, as well as tools for make fires as well as an ancient cooking hearth, from which they were able to obtain flakes of charcoal burnt by prehistoric Canadians. Using carbon dating on the charcoal flakes, the researchers were able to determine that the settlement dates back 14,000 years ago, making it significantly older than the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, which were built about 4,700 years ago....

To understand how old that truly is, one has to consider that the ancient ruler of Egypt, Cleopatra lived closer in time to you than she did to the creation of the pyramids. This newly discovered settlement dates back more than three times older than the pyramids.

Bird Photographer of the Year 2017 awards

 Flamingos Photy
Alejandro Prieto Rojas for Feeding Flamingos
Best Portrait 2017
 Bird Photy
Bret Charman for Australian Pelican landing on water
Gold Category Birds in Flight 2017

Watch this mesmerizing GIF to see what happens to pills after they enter your body

The Hidden Memories of Plants

Biologists have shown that certain plants in certain situations can store information about their experiences and use that information to guide how they grow, develop, or behave. Functionally, at least, they appear to be creating memories....  scientists have found that certain plants can remember experiences of drought and dehydration, cold and heat, excess light, acidic soil, exposure to short-wave radiation, and a simulation of insects eating their leaves. Faced with the same stress again, the plants modify their responses.

The Menorah Panel of The Arch of Titus in Color

One of the most famous monuments in ancient Rome is the Arch of Titus, constructed by Roman emperor Domitian around 81 C.E. after the death of his brother and predecessor, emperor Titus. The arch celebrates Titus’s military victories during the First Jewish-Roman War (66–74 C.E.)—when the Romans infamously burned the Temple in Jerusalem. One of the arch’s panels depicts Roman soldiers carrying captured treasures from Jerusalem’s Temple, including a large menorah, through the streets of Rome.  Once brightly colored, today, all the colors have faded, so that it looks colorless.

This digital reconstruction shows the Arch of Titus’s menorah panel after it has been restored and colored by the Arch of Titus Project and the Institute for the Visualization of History. A glimpse of what ancient Rome looked like.

 Colorized Arch-Of-Titus-Restoration

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:55 AM | Permalink

September 13, 2017

"Emotional intelligence starts with emotional granularity"

I've long been fascinated by certain words that can't be translated into English because they describe with precision an emotional state that we all can recognize but never had a word for.  That's why I have a whole category for new words for emotions.  Little did I know that these words can increase my emotional intelligence until now.

New Neuroscience Reveals 3 Secrets That Will Make You Emotionally Intelligent

Emotional Intelligence. It’s everywhere. They won’t shut up about it. And yet nobody seems to be able to explain what it really means or how you develop it.  The latest research shows that the little we know about emotions is actually all wrong. And I mean really wrong. ....[For example, the idea that} emotions are hardwired and universal. And research pretty convincingly shows they’re not. There is no set crayon box. Emotions aren’t hardwired or universal. They’re concepts that we learn. And so they can differ from culture to culture.
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In sum: Here’s how to be more emotionally intelligent:
Emotions are concepts: They’re not hardwired or universal. They’re learned.
Emotional intelligence starts with emotional granularity: If your doctor came back with a diagnosis of “you’re sick”, you’d sue the quack for malpractice. Doctors need to be able to distinguish between “chancre” and “cancer.” And you need to know the difference between “sad” and “lonely.”
Emotional intelligence is in the dictionary: You can’t feel Fremdschämen* if you don’t know what it is. So learn new emotion words so you can feel new emotions and increase your emotional granularity.
Create new emotions: We could all use a little more “passion-o-rama” in our lives. Name those unnamed feelings you have and share them with others to make them real.

* Fremdschämen:  to feel ashamed about something someone else has done; to be embarrassed because someone else has embarrassed himself (and doesn't notice)

A fascinating article by Daniel Tammet about how differently he is depending on the language he is speaking. Languages revealing worlds and selves

I have multiple lives: my life in French, in Icelandic, in Spanish, in German, in Esperanto. English, the language in which I was raised and schooled, and today write, is also the one that makes me feel most foreign. I am most fluent in English, and yet least myself. In my mind, I am forever slipping in and out of it, thriving on other words, in other worlds.

I was not born a polyglot; I was born autistic, high-functioning.....Whenever I sat reading an English book, however, its words would glow and shimmer on the page, and if I closed its covers and my eyes, the words would stay with me, as shapes and textures and colored letters (a neurological phenomenon called synesthesia)...

I feel myself to be a better reader in French, more attentive and more scrupulous. Its grammar has made me more patient, has taught me the virtue of diligence...My Icelandic has continued to grow.... I have become more confident, outgoing, even chatty, than I ever was growing up in English....every time I speak with my friend Leandro, an Argentinian expat, I can see Latin America’s vivid colors with my tongue....I blush more frequently in German. I’m told I smile more broadly and nod more too. And nothing, in my experience, becomes my voice so much as saying aloud, Gemütlichkeit*, cosiness.

* Gemütlichkeit a German-language word used to convey the idea of a state or feeling of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer. Other qualities encompassed by the term include coziness, peace of mind, and a sense of belonging and well-being springing from social acceptance.  There is no English synonym for Gemütlichkeit. Cosy captures an element of it but crucially lacks those of friendliness and belonging.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:14 PM | Permalink

More useful tips

Why you should use natural products for cleaning.

Using bleach and household cleaning products can increase your chances of fatal lung disease by a third. A study led by Dr Orianne Dumas from the French National Institute of Health found that cleaning chemicals increase the risk of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)  which includes bronchitis and emphysema.  Breathing in bleach ups the chances of smoking-related conditions by a third.

Some years ago after a friend complained about the harsh smell of a counter cleaner I was using, I happened upon a product review of cleaners in Cook's Illustrated.  The best and the one they highly recommended was a natural product called Method.  I immediately switched and couldn't be more pleased.  All the Method Cleaning products work very well and smell delicious.

Stay in shape simply by doing your own housework

Why two hours of cleaning is better than a 5km run  The Good Housekeeping Institute tested how many calories are burned doing chores.  Participants burned roughly 600 calories by doing just two hours of housework which is nearly twice as much as the 374 lost during a 5km run.  Research reveals that the most intense activity was window cleaning with 115 calories burned in 20 minutes

Trouble sleeping?

Listen to a story 'Insomnia is a modern epidemic and tens of millions of prescriptions for sleeping pills are written every year,' said Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of Calm. 'Mixing scent with storytelling is a powerful and natural new way to help racing minds drift off to sleep.' Calm.com is a popular meditation app that has launched a bedtime story read by Stephen Fry they say it will have you sleeping soundly in minutes.  They also sell a lavender spritz.

I've found that listening to an audiobook in a dark room with eyes closed is the very best way to fall asleep or fall back asleep if you wake in the middle of the night.  I just have to be careful not to choose a thriller with cliff hangers at the every chapter end or I'll be up all night to find out what's happened next.

Feeling stuck on a problem? 

Having a beer might help get your creative juices flowing. This study suggests that having a drink might help! Here, scientists gave one group of volunteers beer, and another group non-alcoholic beer. They then tested the creative thinking ability of each group. Turns out that very light drinking (about one beer) improved creative thinking, but made other cognitive abilities worse or unchanged. So the next time you find yourself really stuck, consider having a small drink.

If you're considering getting a tattoo,

Investigate the chemicals in the ink  Toxins in inkings stay in your bloodstream for LIFE and accumulate in lymph nodes which may become swollen and therefore less able to fight off infections.  Titanium dioxide is added to ink to create colors but also dyes lymph nodes and the controversial chemical is linked to cancer, itching and delayed healing.

Grow a beard if you are a man with a high risk of skin cancer.

Facial hair blocks up to 95% of harmful UV rays that cause skin cancer, Australian researchers found.

Stop smoking marijuana to avoid fertility problems

Canadian scientists reveal that cannabis leaves sperm 'mellow' causing it to 'lazily swim in circles' . Regular use of the drug cuts sperm counts.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:03 PM | Permalink

The cognitive differences between men and women

From Stanford Medicine Two minds,  The cognitive differences between men and women

Over the past 15 years or so, there’s been a sea change as new technologies have generated a growing pile of evidence that there are inherent differences in how men’s and women’s brains are wired and how they work.....Not how well they work

There was too much data pointing to the biological basis of sex-based cognitive differences to ignore.  For one thing, the animal-research findings resonated with sex-based differences ascribed to people. These findings continue to accrue. In a study of 34 rhesus monkeys, for example, males strongly preferred toys with wheels over plush toys, whereas females found plush toys likable......

Women excel in several measures of verbal ability — pretty much all of them, except for verbal analogies. Women’s reading comprehension and writing ability consistently exceed that of men, on average. They out­perform men in tests of fine-motor coordination and perceptual speed. They’re more adept at retrieving information from long-term memory.

Men, on average, can more easily juggle items in working memory. They have superior visuospatial skills: They’re better at visualizing what happens when a complicated two- or three-dimensional shape is rotated in space, at correctly determining angles from the horizontal, at tracking moving objects and at aiming projectiles.

Navigation studies in both humans and rats show that females of both species tend to rely on landmarks, while males more typically rely on “dead reckoning”: calculating one’s position by estimating the direction and distance traveled rather than using landmarks. Many of these cognitive differences appear quite early in life.

Why our brains differ

1. The sex-steroid hormones. In female mammals, ...estrogens, along with ... progesterone; and in males, testosterone and ...androgens. Importantly, males developing normally in utero get hit with a big mid-gestation surge of testosterone...
2. The sex chromosomes, which form one of the 23 pairs of human chromosomes in each cell. Generally, females have two X chromosomes in their pair, while males have one X and one Y chromosome.  Every cell in a man’s body (including his brain) has a slightly different set of functioning ​sex-​chromosome genes from those operating in a woman’s.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:45 AM | Permalink

September 12, 2017

Health Roundup: Vaccines, heart disease, stroke victims, melanoma, hormone therapy, osteoarthritis, COPD, Suramin + autism

Vaccines Have Saved Nearly 20 Million Children's Lives in Poor Countries Since 2001

Researchers investigated the impact of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance - a global organization whose explicit goal is to improve access to vaccination in world's poorest countries. By 2020, vaccines for just 10 diseases will have saved 20 million lives, prevented 500 million cases of illness, and 9 million cases of long-term disability.  The researchers even put a dollar figure on that value  - for all the countries in the study, by 2020 vaccination will have brought a benefit that can be equated to US $820 billion.

Rivaroxaban, when taken with aspirin slashes the risk of death from heart disease by 22%

The 'ground-breaking' trial, based on 27,000 patients from 33 countries, has since been halted - 12 months ahead of schedule....In clinical experiments, the tablet, which is already used for other cardiovascular problems, also reduced strokes by 42 per cent.

Stroke survivors are at DOUBLE the risk of cancer:

Doctors say patients should be closely monitored for 18 months after having a blood clot.

Immune-focused drug may be new weapon against advanced melanoma

New research suggests that Opdivo -- a drug that works with the immune system to fight melanoma -- is more effective than the current standard of care for patients who've had surgery to remove advanced tumors.  The international study was funded by Opdivo's maker, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and included more than 900 patients with stage III and stage IV melanoma.

Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City,  said any advance in the care of aggressive melanomas is welcome news for patients."It is amazing that there is now an alternative that is superior to conventional chemotherapy for advanced metastatic disease," Green said after reviewing the new study findings. "With these advanced melanomas -- that have high risks of recurrences and have poor outcomes -- it is vital to look at alternative treatments. The future in cancer treatments lies in immunotherapy and other targeted options."

Hormone therapy does NOT increase risk of cancer, heart disease or premature death in menopausal women

A study in the 90s showed women having an increase in diseases after taking hormonal therapy drugs for five to seven years.  Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston analyzed mortality rates for more than 27,000 women aged 50 to 79 in the United States who were part of the original research in the 1990s.  That research showed that women are at equal risk to develop these disease as those who don't take the hormones -  close to 27 percent died in the group that took the dummy pills and those who took the hormones.  Experts say hormones are safe to take to relieve symptoms of menopause.

Australian scientists discover new drug to help cure osteoarthritis

The medication, called Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium, is being hailed as a breakthrough to those suffering from the degenerative disorder of osteoarthritis, an illness that causes a person pain when the cartilage in bones begins to wear thin and the leading cause of hip and knee replacement surgery.  A new study, to be published in the BioMed Central's Journal of Musculoskeletal Disorders shows a 70 per cent reduction in pain using the new medication. Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium has been prescribed by doctors for years, however it is usually used to treat blood clots and urinary tract infections.  Australian scientist Dr Jegan Krishnan helped discover the new use for the drug and said it could work by looking at the cause of osteoarthritis. "'It may have anti-inflammatory activities, it seems addressing the bone marrow lesions gives symptomatic relief."

Relief for victims of lung disease is found in a ketchup bottle

Breathlessness caused by long-term lung disease can be crippling, leaving patients housebound and unable to take even a few steps without gasping for air.  But now those blighted by the distressing condition could see their lives transformed – thanks to a tiny valve implant which works in a similar way to easy-squeeze ketchup bottle tops. The alloy and silicone device is being offered to NHS patients with emphysema and other incurable respiratory problems, collectively known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.  In these patients, deformity and loss of elasticity in lung tissue means that air enters the lung but cannot be pushed back out.

The valve, placed deep in the tiny branches within the lungs known as bronchioles, allows air to flow but in one direction only. The concept is similar to the way rubber tops of ketchup bottles work.  This effectively cuts off the diseased areas of the lungs. Despite the volume of the lungs being smaller, the valve actually improves breathing because air flows through the healthy areas of the organ only.  The new procedure allows surgeons to close off damaged sections of lung without removing or causing further harm to tissue.

The Zephyr valves consist of a collapsible nickel and titanium alloy wire outer 'basket' – not unlike a stent used in heart surgery – which surrounds the silicone inner valve.  The flexible material is constructed in such a way as to form a one-way valve. The implantation takes about 45 minutes and the procedure may be done under sedation or general anesthetic.

A 100-Year-Old Drug Shows Extremely Promising Results For Treating Autism Symptoms

Suramin has been around since 1916, and is used in the treatment of the parasitic disease African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness).  The first promising results came in pre-clinical mouse studies, when the researchers successfully reversed autism-like symptoms with a single dose of the drug. These studies paved the way to the first human trial, and the results are now in.

This pilot study was double-blinded and placebo-controlled, and involved 10 boys with diagnosed ASD aged 5-14 years, each of whom received a single dose of either suramin or a placebo.  All five boys who received the drug showed a steady improvement of symptoms within just seven days, while the placebo group showed no change at all.  "The 6- and 14-year-old who received suramin said their first sentence of their lives about one week after the single suramin infusion," says Naviaux. "This did not happen in any of the children given placebo."

"We have plans for five additional studies over the next five years to collect all the data the FDA will need to decide about the approval of suramin for autism," says Naviaux. Unfortunately, these improvements were only temporary - as the drug gradually left their systems over the course of six weeks, the severity of the symptoms returned, which the participating families had been warned about. But apart from the dramatic improvement of symptoms, what's most important to the researchers is that the positive results further bolster the hypothesis that metabolic dysfunction contributes to autism, and that this dysfunction is treatable.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:54 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 9, 2017

"Never shake a man’s hand sitting down"

Rules For My Son by Aaron Conrad

1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.

2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one.

6. Request the late check-out.

7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.

10. Don’t fill up on bread.

12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.

13. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.

14. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.

15. You marry the girl, you marry her whole family.

25. Eat lunch with the new kid.

26. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:28 PM | Permalink

September 6, 2017

Miscellany #82

Politically Incorrect but Hilarious Maps of Europe from the Atlas of Prejudice by Bulgarian artist Yanko Tsvetkov

 Europe Potato Tomato

Horse-Riding Librarians Were the Great Depression’s Bookmobiles

 Horse-Riding Librarian

In 1936, packhorse librarians served 50,000 families, and, by 1937, 155 public schools..."'Bring me a book to read,' is the cry of every child as he runs to meet the librarian with whom he has become acquainted," wrote one Pack Horse Library supervisor. "Not a certain book, but any kind of book. The child has read none of them." ..."The mountain people loved Mark Twain."

Not even an act of God can get Texans to go vegetarian. Jennifer Lopez Fuller, a food writer and foodie based in Houston, photographed the empty shelves at Walmart when she came across ...

 Houston Vegan Shelves

Netherlands is world number two in agricultural exports by using greenhouses and new technology

The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country, with more than 1,300 inhabitants per square mile. It’s bereft of almost every resource long thought to be necessary for large-scale agriculture. Yet it’s the globe’s number two exporter of food as measured by value, second only to the United States, which has 270 times its landmass...

Banks of what appear to be gargantuan mirrors stretch across the countryside, glinting when the sun shines and glowing with eerie interior light when night falls. They are Holland’s extraordinary greenhouse complexes, some of them covering 175 acres.  Each acre in the greenhouse yields as much lettuce as 10 outdoor acres and cuts the need for chemicals by 97 percent.

 Greenhouses Netherlands

Artist Umberto Romano, born in Italy and raised in Springfield Mass, completed in 1937 the installation of six mural panels in the Springfield Main Post Office, a project underwritten by the Federal Arts Project.  One of those murals celebrates the fur trader who founded the city, Mr. Pynchon and the Settling of Springfield  Wait!  Is that a smartphone the Indian in the front is holding?

 1930S Painting Indian+Smartphone

The Polish Doctors Who Used Science to Outwit the Nazis

The Germans knew how dangerous typhus could be. “The immunological resistance of the Germans was lower and mortality was higher in respect to epidemic typhus than was that of Poles and Russians.”....A well-placed typhus epidemic could cripple the Reich.....

To Lazowski, a fake typhus epidemic represented immunity, a way to help his townspeople avoid participating in the war. Every neighbor who came down with the disease would become safe from deportation, slave labor, and harassment from the Gestapo. And if enough people in the region reportedly had the disease, entire villages could be quarantined. He and Matulewicz could build peaceful oases in the heart of German-occupied Poland...

 Dr. Eugene Lazowski+Dr. Stasiek Matulewicz
Dr. Eugene Lazowski and Dr. Stasiek Matulewicz saved more than 8000 people over three years.

Random Acts Of Genius Vandalism

 Tiny Rain Forest

Wonderfully creative barcodes like the shaving cream barcode below.

 Shavingcream Barcode

How the Kindness of Strangers Became a Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry

Portraits Of Random Strangers Before & After Photographer Johanna Siring Kissed Them

 Before&After Photographer's Kiss

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:51 AM | Permalink

September 1, 2017

Life pro tips

The 16 Best Cooking Tricks I Learned In Culinary School

1. If your food tastes bland, it probably just needs salt...The key to flavorful food is to season with salt during every step of the cooking process and at the end.

3. For glossy, restaurant-quality sauces, finish them with a pat of cold butter...4. And always deglaze your pan.

5. Completely dry your meats before cooking them. Whether it's roasted chicken or seared scallops, drying them ensures you'll get a crisp, golden skin that won't stick to the pan. Pat them dry with paper towels or let them air-dry in the cooler for a few hours before cooking them.

11. For perfectly juicy meat, brine it.

Use a light, a straw, an iPhone, and a Big Mac Box to take professional portraits
And follow the advice of Philippe Echaroux, a French photographer who did all the retouching on his iPhone.

 Philippe Echaroux Iphone Photographer-1

They are not awesome, nor will they change your life, but they are Useful life hacks

Leave Recipient Email Field Blank.  When writing an email, leave the recipient email field blank until you're ready to send it. This prevents accidental emails.

Avoid the Bystander Effect During Emergencies.  If you're in a large crowd and you need someone to call 911, point to a person and say, "You wearing the [insert color or style of outfit], call 911."  Yelling "Someone, call 911!" may incur the bystander effect, in which no one does anything because they expect someone else to do it.

Email Amazon For Money Back If the Product's Price Drops. If the price of a product you bought on Amazon drops in the next seven days, you're allowed to get a refund on the price drop.

Become the Airport Hero.  Bring a power strip with you to use at airports, and you'll never have to wait for an outlet to be available again.

Use a Fan to Blow Off Mosquitoes.  If you're sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air but not the mosquitoes, then point a fan at yourself to prevent mosquitoes from coming at you. These insects are weak fliers, so they won't be able to navigate the winds to land on your skin.

Use Floor Mats If You're Stuck in the Snow.  If you accelerate while you're stuck in the snow, then you may dig yourself into an even deeper hold. Take out your floor mat, tuck it in tightly front of the spinning tire, and slowly drive forward.

Clean When You Are Depressed.  It will distract you and make you feel like you've achieved something when you are done.

Babysitting tip

I gave my nephews $5 each. I told them to hold it against the wall with their nose, whoever dropped first would lose with the winner getting to keep both. Kept them busy for 3 hours.

 Babysitting Tip-1

Tall father teaches his 10-month-old baby to walk using a Hula Hoop
Gary Bell and his wife, Katherine, are rather tall, making it painful for them to be hunched over while teaching Cayden to walk.

 Tall Parents Hulahoop Toddlers

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:07 PM | Permalink

Law School Professors Against Common Sense

Paying the price for breakdown of the country's bourgeois culture by Amy Wax & Larry Alexander

The country’s bourgeois culture....laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

These basic cultural precepts reigned from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. They could be followed by people of all backgrounds and abilities, especially when backed up by almost universal endorsement. Adherence was a major contributor to the productivity, educational gains, and social coherence of that period.

Did everyone abide by those precepts? Of course not. There are always rebels — and hypocrites, those who publicly endorse the norms but transgress them. But as the saying goes, hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. Even the deviants rarely disavowed or openly disparaged the prevailing expectations.

Was everything perfect during the period of bourgeois cultural hegemony? Of course not....

All cultures are not equal. Or at least they are not equal in preparing people to be productive in an advanced economy. ....

Would the re-embrace of bourgeois norms by the ordinary Americans who have abandoned them significantly reduce society’s pathologies? There is every reason to believe so. Among those who currently follow the old precepts, regardless of their level of education or affluence, the homicide rate is tiny, opioid addiction is rare, and poverty rates are low. Those who live by the simple rules that most people used to accept may not end up rich or hold elite jobs, but their lives will go far better than they do now. All schools and neighborhoods would be much safer and more pleasant. More students from all walks of life would be educated for constructive employment and democratic participation.

Amy Wax is the Robert Mundheim professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Larry Alexander is the Warren distinguished professor at the University of San Diego School of Law.

For writing this article Penn Law School Professors Sign Open Letter Condemning Amy Wax
Heather MacDonald writes:

Nearly half the professors at the University of Pennsylvania law school have published an open letter condemning their colleague Amy Wax for her by now (in)famous op-ed on bourgeois values. The result? The quality of reasoned debate at the University of Pennsylvania has dramatically worsened, even below the already abysmal standards set by the graduate student and alumni screeds which preceded this latest open letter....

Do the authors rebut these arguments? Do they offer counterevidence? No. Apparently the thesis of Wax’s op-ed is so patently beyond the pale that it is enough for the signatories to assert: “We categorically reject Wax’s claims.” In the absence of any attempt at refutation, that is simply a case of virtue signaling.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:57 AM | Permalink

Roundup of Medical Research and Technology: Restoring nerve cells in Parkinson's, nanomachines, reversing memory loss, AAV2 and Blat

Scientists devise 'promising' new stem cell treatment that has the 'potential to cure Parkinson's disease' and stop tremors

In trials on laboratory monkeys, researchers were able to restore nerve cells. In humans, Parkinson's causes a loss of neurons, which affects movement. Experts hailed the findings of the Japanese study to be 'extremely promising'  It is believed that the team of scientists are just a short step away from testing the stem cell treatment in clinical trials.  Lead author Professor Jun Takahashi said that they are hoping to start looking for suitable patients within the next 15 months.

Dr Tilo Kunath, a Parkinson’s UK-funded researcher at the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine, saying, 'This is extremely promising research demonstrating that a safe and highly effective cell therapy for Parkinson’s can be produced in the lab...Such a therapy has the potential to reverse the symptoms of Parkinson’s in patients by restoring their dopamine-producing neurons."

Nanomachines which drill into cancer cells killing them in just 60 seconds, developed by scientists

The tiny spinning molecules are driven by light, and spin so quickly that they can burrow their way through cell linings when activated. In one test conducted at Durham University the nanomachines took between one and three minutes to break through the outer membrane of prostate cancer cell, killing it instantly.

A daily jab of a bone hormone could reverse age-related memory loss, study finds

Scientists restored a hormone produced by bone cells back to youthful levels. This reversed memory loss in mice, which are biologically similar to humans.  Researchers say injecting osteocalcin has no toxic side effects as it's natural. This finding paves the way for a novel approach to treating age-related cognitive decline in a safe way, say the scientists.

Professor Gerard Karsenty from Columbia University Medical Center in New York said: "In previous studies, we found that osteocalcin plays multiple roles in the body, including a role in memory. We also observed that the hormone declines precipitously in humans during early adulthood. 'That raised an important question: Could memory loss be reversed by restoring this hormone back to youthful levels? The answer, at least in mice, is yes."

Scientists may have stumbled across a cure for cancer

Craig M. Meyers, a distinguished professor of microbiology and immunology at Penn State, has made a career out of studying the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). In 2008, he was conducting an experiment to see the effect another virus, called adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2), would have on HPV. The team introduced AAV2 into the cell lines of a cancerous HPV specimen and left them to incubate for a week.

BYU Magazine reports, the results of this test left the team convinced they had made a mistake. All the cancerous cells had died.  The success of AAV2 against cancerous HPV cells led the team to begin testing on other forms of cancer. They found that AAV2 worked on breast cancer, prostate cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and mesothelioma.

It has been a long road since 2008, but Meyers still has further to go. The research still has more trials to run before the FDA will allow it to go to human testing. It is possible we might see this new treatment in hospitals within the next 5 years.

Cholesterol Crystals Are A Sign Heart Attack Is Imminent according to new study

After examining materials that were blocking the coronary arteries of a number of patients, a team of scientists and medical experts at Michigan State University confirmed that it was cholesterol - in the form of crystals. They found that this particular type of hardened cholesterol was found in over 89 per cent of emergency room cases.

Dr George Abela, professor of medicine at Michigan State University, said “In previous studies, we showed that when cholesterol goes from a liquid to a solid, or crystal state, it expands in volume like ice and water. This expansion inside the wall of the artery can tear it and block blood flow causing a heart attack or stroke.”

Meet Blat: The Barcelona dog that can detect lung cancer from sniffing a person’s breath

 Blat+Owner-1

Blat, a labrador retreiver mixed with an American Staffordshire pit bull, had a success rate of 95 percent in detecting cases of lung cancer and was even able to do so in very early stages – identifying cancer when the tumor was a mere four millimeters in diameter.  His owner and trainer, Ingrid Ramón, runs Barcelona-based Argus Detection Dogs, which trains dogs to specifically identify types of illness.

”Blat's 'spectacular' results indicate that there are molecules that are specific to lung cancers and that some of these molecules are detectable in the exhaled air," explained Laureano Molins, a thoracic surgeon at Hospital Clinic and co-author of trial.  "At the moment the olfactory skills of a dog are superior to any technology we have today," said Molins. "Our goal now is to identify the molecules (detected by Blat) and develop a diagnostic test that acts as an electronic nose."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:33 AM | Permalink