Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ask Well: Squats for Aging Knees

’m looking for exercises to strengthen aging knees. I’m in my late 60s, and I take part in dancing, weightlifting and yoga. All this makes me feel good, gives me plenty of energy and helps me control my weight. But my knees hurt enough to make me wonder how long I can keep up the workouts. Do you have any suggestions?

How Carbs Can Trigger Food Cravings

Are all calories created equal? A new study suggests that in at least one important way, they may not be.
Sugary foods and drinks, white bread and other processed carbohydrates that are known to cause abrupt spikes and falls in blood sugar appear to stimulate parts of the brain involved in hunger, craving and reward, the new research shows. The findings, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that these so-called high-glycemic foods influence the brain in a way that might drive some people to overeat.
Regardless of the diet they choose, most people who lose a great deal of weight have a difficult time keeping it off for good. For many people, despite their best efforts, the weight returns within six months to a year. But a few studies of weight loss maintenance, including a large one in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2010, have reported some success with diets that limit high-glycemic foods like bagels, white rice, juice and soda.
In addition to raising blood sugar, foods that are sugary and highly caloric elicit pronounced responses in distinct areas of the brain involved in reward. Earlier imaging studies have shown, for example, that the main reward and pleasure center, the nucleus accumbens, lights up more intensely for a slice of chocolate cake than for blander foods like vegetables, and the activation tends to be greater in the brains of obese people than it is in those who are lean.

A Popular Myth About Running Injuries

This result confirms those of several earlier experiments showing that when runners choose their shoes based on their foot type — when overpronators wear motion-control shoes, for instance, to reduce how much they pronate — they sustain injuries at the same rate or at higher rates than when they choose shoes at random.
In essence, what these findings suggest, says Rasmus Ostergaard Nielsen, a doctoral researcher at Aarhus University who led the new study, is that supposedly deviant degrees of pronation may not in practice be abnormal and do not contribute to injuries.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Songwriter furious that Pandora played his song more than 1.1MILLION times and only paid him $16.89 in royalties

A songwriter is speaking out against the online music streaming site Pandora after the company played his hit single more than 1.1million times and paid him only $16.89 in royalties. 
David Lowery, who is best known as the lead singer for the 1990s alternative rock ban Cracker, said he is outraged that Pandora is now campaigning to lower royalty payments for songwriters even farther. 
He posted his bank statements to show the payouts from Pandora and other outlets - including YouTube, commercial radio and satellite radio - for his 1993 hit single 'Low' and other songs he has written.
The statement covered all royalties for the fourth quarter of 2012. 
He remarked that he made less money on 1.1million plays of his song that he does by selling a single t-shirt at one of his concerts.
'I urge all songwriters to post their royalty statements and show the world  just how terrible webcasting rates are for songwriters,' he wrote on a post the songwriters' blog the Trichordist.

Read more:

Monday, June 24, 2013

BigBrain: an ultra-high-resolution 3D roadmap of the human brain June 21, 2013

A landmark three-dimensional (3-D) digital reconstruction of a complete human brain, called the BigBrain, shows for the first time the brain anatomy in microscopic detail — at a spatial resolution of 20 microns, smaller than the size of one fine strand of hair — exceeding that of existing reference brains presently in the public domain.

A Fantastic Demonstration of Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s

Here’s an incredible video of Andrew Johnson, a Parkinson’s sufferer living in New Zealand, who demonstrates his Medtronic neurostimulator:
Link to video here

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hey, Fellas, Olive Oil And Nuts Tied To Prostate Cancer Survival

It turns out that men who replaced 10 percent of their total daily calories from carbohydrates (such as rice, bread and sweets) with vegetable fats (such as olive oil and canola) after their cancer diagnosis had a 29 percent lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer and a 26 percent reduced risk of death during a median of eight years of follow-up.
In addition, adding a daily ounce of nuts to their diets was linked to an 18 percent lower risk of developing metastatic prostate cancer.
So what's at play in the body?

Za'atar: A Spice Mix With Biblical Roots And Brain Food Reputation

Za'atar is one of my favorite foods..

Anyway, the roadside serving of za'atar on bread was an astonishingly simple food, simple enough to love it. The za'atar was just spread over the hot bread like butter on toast. That was it. I'd eat it again. While I wait to encounter it again, Salt, here's what I want to know: Where does za'atar come from? How long has it been around? What, besides oregano, is in it?
And is it brain food?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Think Inside the Box

Forget brainstorming: People are at their most innovative when they work within the constraints of what they already know.

Scientists Use New Engineered Virus to Restore Sight

Researchers have engineered a new adeno-associated virus that could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.
Prof Schaffer generated around 100 million variants of adeno-associated virus – each carrying slightly different proteins on its coat – from which he and his colleagues selected five that were effective in penetrating the retina.

They then used the best of these, labeled 7m8, to transport genes to cure two types of hereditary blindness for which there are mouse models: X-linked retinoschisis, which strikes only boys and makes their retinas look like Swiss cheese; and Leber’s congenital amaurosis. In each case, when injected into the vitreous humor, the engineered virus delivered the corrective gene to all areas of the retina and restored retinal cells nearly to normal.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Eyeball Discovery May Mean Safer Surgery

U. NOTTINGHAM (UK) — Scientists have found a previously undetected layer in the cornea, the clear window at the front of the human eye.

Ticks That Spread Red-Meat Allergy

If Lyme disease isn't reason enough to avoid ticks, here's another: the inability to enjoy a burger.
Odd as it seems, researchers say that bites from the voracious lone star tick are making some people allergic to red meat—even if they've never had a problem eating it before.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Is Barefoot-Style Running Best? New Studies Cast Doubt

Barefoot-running enthusiasts long have believed that running without shoes or in minimalist footwear makes running easier, speedier and less injurious. But a surprisingly large number of new studies examining just how the body actually responds when we run in our birthday shoes or skimpy footwear suggest that for many people, those expectations are not being met.
In the end, this data showed that heel-striking was the more physiologically economical running form, by a considerable margin. Heel strikers used less oxygen to run at the same pace as forefoot strikers, and many of the forefoot strikers used less oxygen — meaning they were more economical — when they switched form to land first with their heels.
Most of the runners also burned fewer carbohydrates as a percentage of their energy expenditure when they struck first with their heels. Their bodies turned to fats and other fuel sources, “sparing” the more limited stores of carbohydrates, says Allison Gruber, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who led the study. Because depleting carbohydrates results in “hitting the wall,” or abruptly sagging with fatigue, “these results tell us that people will hit the wall faster if they are running with a forefoot pattern versus a rear-foot pattern,” Dr. Gruber says.

Slathering on Sunscreen Shows Results, Researchers Find

People who diligently use sunscreen every day can slow or even prevent for a time the development of wrinkles and sagging skin, a new study found. Although dermatologists have long told people to use sunscreen to prevent aging, this is the first research to show an actual effect on the appearance of skin, researchers said.
The study involved 900 white people ages 25 to 55 in Australia, where intense sun exposure is a fact of life. Most had fair skin, and nearly all burned in the sun. Most were using sunscreen at least some of the time, and two-thirds wore hats in the sun.

But researchers wanted to find out what would happen to skin if people tried to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen all the time over four and a half years. Half of the study participants were told to continue their usual practices, and the other half to slather on sunscreen daily.
The result, the researchers reported on Monday in The Annals of Internal Medicine, is that those assigned to use sunscreen every day had noticeably more resilient and smoother skin than those assigned to continue their usual practices.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Pinterest Accidentally Built A Better Search Engine Than Google

Nine out of ten times, Pinterest search actually beats Google image search. Pinspiring.

Nodding Syndrome: A Devastating Medical Mystery In Uganda

It starts with the nodding — otherwise normal children begin to nod their heads, pathologically. Then come the seizures. The children stop growing and stop talking. Ultimately, the disease wrecks the children, physically and mentally.
The strange and deadly illness known as nodding syndrome affects only children, and only in a small pocket of East Africa. It has affected more than 3,000 children since the late 1990s, when it first appeared in what was then southern Sudan. And for more than three years, the cause of nodding syndrome has eluded epidemiologists around the globe.

The Advantages Of Intermittent Fasting & Your First Fast

It’s known as intermittent fasting, or IF for short and it’s become pretty popular in the couple of years, but what is it? Just another dieting fad, or a genuinely healthy way of eating? Well the good news is that intermittent fasting may actually be much healthier than the more normal pattern of eating exercised throughout the developed world.

Vinegar cancer test saves lives, India study finds

MUMBAI, India (AP) — A simple vinegar test slashed cervical cancerdeath rates by one-third in a remarkable study of 150,000 women in the slums of India, where the disease is the top cancer killer of women.
Pap smears and tests for HPV, a virus that causes most cervical cancers, have slashed cases and deaths in the United States. But poor countries can't afford those screening tools.
This study tried a test that costs very little and can be done by local people with just two weeks of training and no fancy lab equipment. They swab the cervix with diluted vinegar, which can make abnormal cells briefly change color.
This low-tech visual exam cut the cervical cancer death rate by 31 percent, the study found. It could prevent 22,000 deaths in India and 72,600 worldwide each year, researchers estimate.
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