Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Scientific Look at the Dangers of High Heels

How shoes affect human gait is a controversial topic these days. The popularity of barefoot running, for instance, has grown in large part because of the belief, still unproven, that wearing modern, well-cushioned running shoes decreases foot strength and proprioception, the sense of how the body is positioned in space, and contributes to running-related injuries.
Whether high heels might likewise affect the wearer’s biomechanics and injury risk has received scant scientific attention, however, even though millions of women wear heels almost every day. So, in one of the first studies of its kind, the Australian scientists recruited nine young women who had worn high heels for at least 40 hours a week for a minimum of two years. The scientists also recruited 10 young women who rarely, if ever, wore heels to serve as controls. The women were in their late teens, 20s or early 30s.

MIT Student Develops $3 Cutting-Edge Healing Device, Field Tested in Haiti

The new device could radically improve healing times for tens of millions, at a cost of $3.
No one really knows why, but for an open wound, simply applying suction dramatically speeds healing times. (The theory is that the negative pressure draws bacteria out, and encourages circulation.) But for almost everyone, that treatment is out of reach--simply because the systems are expensive--rentals cost at least $100 a day and need to be recharged every six hours.
No more. Danielle Zurovcik, a doctoral student at MIT, has created a hand-powered suction-healing system that costs about $3.

NASA’s New Satellite Captures Amazing Hi-Res Image of Earth

You’ve seen Earth, but you’ve never seen it like this.
Suomi NPP, NASA’s newest Earth-watching satellite, has taken a high resolution image of Earth, one of the most beautiful such images ever created. It’s available in 8000×8000 pixel resolution, and it takes a while to download, but it’s definitely worth it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Advanced Cell Technology: Stem cell retinal implants safe

Early results from the world's first human trial using embryonic stem cells to treat diseases of the eye suggest the method is safe, say researchers.
US firm Advanced Cell Technology told The Lancet how two patients who had received the retinal implants were doing well, four months on.
Trials of the same technique have now started at London's Moorfields Eye Hospital.
But experts say it will be years before these treatments are proven.
The aim of these first human studies is to establish that the treatment is safe to use.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bob Davids and Sea Smoke

Bob Davids is a great guy and he makes my favorite  Pinot on the planet..

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

For Intrigue, Malaria Drug Gets the Prize

Fascinating article on the history of one of the, if not the, strongest anti Malarials available. Who would have known that Mao Zedong, in a bid to help dying North Vietnamese, commissioned top researchers and herbal healers to find a cure for malaria! 

(Ironically.... Even now in Africa, in almost every country I have been the average person still uses the generally ineffective anti-malarial, Chloroquine..)

The Chinese drug artemisinin has been hailed as one of the greatest advances in fighting malaria, the scourge of the tropics, since the discovery of quinine centuries ago.

Artemisinin’s discovery is being talked about as a candidate for a Nobel Prize in Medicine. Millions of American taxpayer dollars are spent on it for Africa every year.
But few people realize that in one of the paradoxes of history, the drug was discovered thanks to Mao Zedong, who was acting to help the North Vietnamese in their jungle war against the Americans. Or that it languished for 30 years thanks to China’s isolation and the indifference of Western donors, health agencies and drug companies.


Friday, January 13, 2012

The Richard Feynman Trilogy: The Physicist Captured in Three Films

This is a great find for all fans of Richard Feynman!

It’s another case of the whole being greater better than the sum of the parts. Between 1981 and 1993, documentary producer Christopher Sykes shot three films and one TV series dedicated to the charismatic, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988). We have presented these documentaries here individually before (some several years ago), but never brought them together. So, prompted by a post on Metafilter, we’re doing just that today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How much Vitamin D is tToo Much?

Too much Vitamin D is associated with lower levels of a marker for cardiovascular inflammation:
C-Reactive Protein

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Fat Trap

For 15 years, Joseph Proietto has been helping people lose weight. When these obese patients arrive at his weight-loss clinic in Australia, they are determined to slim down. And most of the time, he says, they do just that, sticking to the clinic’s program and dropping excess pounds. But then, almost without exception, the weight begins to creep back. In a matter of months or years, the entire effort has come undone, and the patient is fat again. “It has always seemed strange to me,” says Proietto, who is a physician at the University of Melbourne. “These are people who are very motivated to lose weight, who achieve weight loss most of the time without too much trouble and yet, inevitably, gradually, they regain the weight.”
Anyone who has ever dieted knows that lost pounds often return, and most of us assume the reason is a lack of discipline or a failure of willpower. But Proietto suspected that there was more to it, and he decided to take a closer look at the biological state of the body after weight loss.
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