Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Eat Less by Altering Your Food Memories

Hunger is affected by how much you think you ate

Why do we eat bad stuff, and too much of it?
Naturally, “because we’re hungry and it tastes good” is an answer, but this just begs the deeper question of what call, exactly, we’re answering when we relent to hunger. Is hunger just the stomach’s empty light, pinging the brain with motivation to refill the tank?  Maybe hunger works more like a balance sheet, telling us how many calories we should seek out, relative to how many we have in the bank. Or perhaps hunger is opportunism, indulged in any case where the expected ‘taste-payoff’ is high enough.


The Doctor's Office as Union Shop

As new health-care laws turn physicians into service workers, why wouldn't they organize?

A Crash Course in Playing the Numbers

Staying well is all about probability and risk. So is the interpretation of medical tests, and so are all treatments for all illnesses, dire and trivial alike. Health has nothing in common with the laws of physics and everything in common with lottery cards, mutual funds and tomorrow’s weather forecast.
Thus, no matter how many vitamin-based, colon-cleansing, fat-busting diet and exercise books show up in 2013, the most important health book of the year is likely to remain Charles Wheelan’s sparkling and intensely readable “Naked Statistics,” even though it’s not primarily about health.

Monday, January 28, 2013

With mutated gene, eye tumors less deadly

WASHINGTON U.-ST. LOUIS (US) —Melanomas that develop in the eye often are fatal, but tumors with a specific mutated gene are less likely to spread and turn deadly.

The Magic Number For Making Virtual Reality Feel Like Reality


Fiber-optic implants stop seizures

Neuroscientists have developed a way to stop epileptic seizures in mice with fiber-optic light signals.

The new approach could potentially lead to better epilepsy treatment options, particularly for people who have the most severe symptoms.
Using a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy, Ivan Soltesz, professor and chair of anatomy and neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues created an EEG-based computer system that activates hair-thin optical strands implanted in the brain when it detects a real-time seizure.

These fibers subsequently “turn on” specially expressed, light-sensitive proteins called opsins, which can either stimulate or inhibit specific neurons in select brain regions during seizures, depending on the type of opsin.

Friday, January 25, 2013

AR goggles restore depth perception to people blind in one eye

People who’ve lost sight in one eye can still see with the other, but they lack binocular depth perception.
A pair of augmented reality glasses being built at the University of Yamanashi in Japan artificially introduces a feeling of depth in a person’s healthy eye, MIT Technology Review reports.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Put a Stop to 'Do I Look Fat?'

When One Partner Is Overweight, Resolving Conflict in the Relationship Takes Two

Outwit the Leading Weight-Loss Traps for Guys

After interviewing thousands of people, a team of Dartmouth brain researchers led by Putnam Keller, Ph.D., determined that women use anxiety and fear to help them reach goals. So they count calories and stick with gym schedules. Men, on the other hand, rely more on hope, which makes it harder for them to stick with diets. "Hope seduces men into mentally enjoying a desired future in the here and now before attaining it," says Keller. This keeps us from sacrificing.

How to avoid it: Take a picture. Two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight, yet only 40 percent believe themselves to be too fat. "When people think of obesity, they think of the extremely obese, like 400 pounds or so," says Kimberly Truesdale, Ph.D., lead author of a University of North Carolina study that found that only 15 percent of obese adults recognize how heavy they are. "Your reflection in a mirror won't always register in your brain, but a picture will," says Berkowitz. 

Bonus Tip: More than three-quarters of successful dieters cite a single emotional or physical incident that prompted them to get healthy, according to the National Weight Control Registry. Recognize yours when it comes.

Read more:

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Busy Trap

If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”
Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work. They schedule in time with friends the way students with 4.0 G.P.A.’s  make sure to sign up for community service because it looks good on their college applications.
The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it. Not long ago I  Skyped with a friend who was driven out of the city by high rent and now has an artist’s residency in a small town in the south of France. She described herself as happy and relaxed for the first time in years. She still gets her work done, but it doesn’t consume her entire day and brain.
Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

I am not busy. I am the laziest ambitious person I know. Like most writers, I feel like a reprobate who does not deserve to live on any day that I do not write, but I also feel that four or five hours is enough to earn my stay on the planet for one more day. On the best ordinary days of my life, I write in the morning, go for a long bike ride and run errands in the afternoon, and in the evening I see friends, read or watch a movie. This, it seems to me, is a sane and pleasant pace for a day. And if you call me up and ask whether I won’t maybe blow off work and check out the new American Wing at the Met or ogle girls in Central Park or just drink chilled pink minty cocktails all day long, I will say, what time?
But just in the last few months, I’ve insidiously started, because of professional obligations, to become busy..

Study Finds How Genes That Cause Illness Work

It has been one of the toughest problems in genetics. How do investigators figure out not just what genes are involved in causing a disease, but what turns those genes on or off? What makes one person with the genes get the disease and another not?
Drew Angerer/The New York Times
Dr. Andrew Feinberg
Now, in a pathbreaking paper, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden report a way to evaluate one gene-regulation system: chemical tags that tell genes to be active or not. Their test case was of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a crippling autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million Americans.

In Second Look, Few Savings From Digital Health Records

The conversion to electronic health records has failed so far to produce the hoped-for savings in health care costs and has had mixed results, at best, in improving efficiency and patient care, according toa new analysis by the influential RAND Corporation.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Dr. Alvin Rajkomar tracks patient data on a Samsung Galaxy Note. A new report questions whether electronic records reduce health care costs.
Optimistic predictions by RAND in 2005 helped drive explosive growth in the electronic records industry and encouraged the federal government to give billions of dollars in financial incentives to hospitals and doctors that put the systems in place.
“We’ve not achieved the productivity and quality benefits that are unquestionably there for the taking,” said Dr. Arthur L. Kellermann, one of the authors of a reassessment by RAND that was published in this month’s edition of Health Affairs, an academic journal.

Secret Ingredient for Success

WHAT does self-awareness have to do with a restaurant empire? A tennis championship? Or a rock star’s dream?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Diane Von Furstenberg Donates Eye Care for Pinterest Repins

Diane von Furstenberg and VSP, the largest non-profit vision benefits company, are working together to give free eye care using a Pinterest campaign.
VSP will donate up to 1,000 certificates for eye exams and glasses — one per repin from its#PinToGiveAndGet board — to youth in need through the New York City Mission Society, a charity chosen by DVF. Each giveaway is valued at $385, which will total up to a $385,000 donation.

Fasting to lose weight

Stop eating for 36 hours once a week—and yes, you'll drop a few pounds. You may also protect yourself against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. To top it off, you'll enjoy the food you do eat that much more. Maybe it's time to start fasting


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Training Insights From Star Athletes

Of course elite athletes are naturally gifted. And of course they train hard and may have a phalanx of support staff — coaches, nutritionists, psychologists.
But they often have something else that gives them an edge: an insight, or even an epiphany, that vaults them from the middle of the pack to the podium.
I asked several star athletes about the single realization that made the difference for them. While every athlete’s tale is intensely personal, it turns out there are some common themes.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Uganda rainfall linked to infant brain swelling

In Uganda, the number of infant infections that lead to hydrocephalus rises significantly before and after the country’s twice-a-year rainy seasons.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Physicians and Economics

Two interesting posts from the Kevin MD blog here:

Should Physicians be Treated as Purely Economic Animals: Link
Don't Devalue Physicians to Mere Employees: Link

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

To be happiest, 7 fruits and veggies a day

U. WARWICK (UK) —Happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day, a new report shows.
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