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July 10, 2015

Study Finds Muscle Strength Fades After Just Two Weeks of Inactivity

It takes just two weeks of physical inactivity for those who are physically fit to lose a significant amount of their muscle strength, new research indicates.
In that relatively short period of time, young people lose about 30 percent of their muscle strength, leaving them as strong as someone decades older. Meanwhile, active older people who become sedentary for a couple weeks lose about 25 percent of their strength.
The more muscle a person has, the more they will lose if they are sidelined by an injury, illness or vacation, the Danish study found.
"Our experiments reveal that inactivity affects the muscular strength in young and older men equally. Having had one leg immobilized for two weeks, young people lose up to a third of their muscular strength, while older people lose approximately one-fourth. A young man who is immobilized for two weeks loses muscular strength in his leg equivalent to aging by 40 or 50 years," researcher Andreas Vigelsoe, from the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, said in a university news release.
Total muscle mass normally declines with age. Young men have about two pounds more muscle mass in each leg than older men do. But, after two weeks of not moving at all the young men involved in the study lost 17 ounces of muscle, on average.
Older men, on the other hand, lost about nine ounces. However, all of the men lost physical fitness while their leg was immobilized, the study published recently in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicinefound.
"The more muscle mass you have, the more you'll lose. Which means that if you're fit and become injured, you'll most likely lose more muscle mass than someone who is unfit, over the same period of time," said Martin Gram, another researcher at the center, said in the news release.
"But even though older people lose less muscle mass and their level of fitness is reduced slightly less than in young people, the loss of muscle mass is presumably more critical for older people, because it is likely to have a greater impact on their general health and quality of life," Gram said.
After being immobilized for two weeks, the men who participated in the study trained on a bike. They worked out three to four times a week for six weeks. Although this exercise helped the men regain physical fitness, the researchers found their muscle strength didn't fully recover in that period of time.
"Unfortunately, bicycle-training is not enough for the participants to regain their original muscular strength," said Vigelsoe. "Cycling is, however, sufficient to help people regain lost muscle mass and reach their former fitness level. If you want to regain your muscular strength following a period of inactivity; you need to include weight training."
Gram said it was interesting how much muscle was lost due to inactivity, and pointed out that it takes about three times the amount of time you were inactive to get your muscle mass back.
SOURCE: University of Copenhagen, news release, June 26, 2015

June 29, 2015

New Research Finds Americans Lack Diversity Of Gut Bacteria

Americans Lack Gut Bacteria Diversity
This new research lends even more support to taking daily probiotics.
Americans have fewer types of intestinal bacteria than people in less-developed countries, according to a new study. The likely cause? Bacteria are less likely to be passed from person to person due to better sanitation and cleaner drinking water in the United States, the researchers reported in the journal Cell Reports.

"These findings suggest that lifestyle practices that reduce bacterial dispersal -- specifically sanitation and drinking-water treatment -- might be an important cause of microbiome alterations," senior author Jens Walter, from the department of agricultural, food and nutritional science at the University of Alberta in Canada, said in a journal news release.
Bacteria naturally reside in the intestines and play an important role in health, but recent research has shown that a modern -- or western -- lifestyle reduces the diversity of these bacteria.
The reasons for this are unclear, so the authors of this new study set out to find answers. They compared the intestinal bacteria populations (gut microbiomes) of adults in rural areas of Papua New Guinea and adults in the United States.
Papua New Guinea is one of the least urbanized nations in the world, the researchers explained. People from that country who were included in the study have a traditional, agriculture-based lifestyle.
The gut microbiomes of the people in Papua New Guinea were much more diverse than those of the Americans. People from the United States lacked about 50 types of bacteria found in the Papua New Guineans, the study revealed.
The main reason for the greater variety of gut bacteria in the Papua New Guineans is the ability of these bacteria to move between people, something not seen among Americans, according to the study.
The results may help improve understanding about diseases linked with western lifestyles, the study authors suggested.
"The findings from this study provide information that could be used to develop strategies to prevent and redress the impact of westernization and potentially support the dispersal and transmission of microbes that have been eradicated," study co-author Andrew Greenhill, a senior lecturer in microbiology at Federation University Australia, said in the news release.

October 6, 2014

The Corruption & Immorality In Cancer Drugs

If you watch this video and it doesn't make your blood boil then you might be a zombie. From pharmaceutical companies setting prices on drugs based upon the desperation of cancer patients, to doctors getting commissions, to the law the makes Medicare pay whatever price the drug company's all sickening. Americans are being charged 2-3 times what other countries are paying for the same exact cancer drugs! Credit must go to 60 Minutes for shedding light on this atrocity, but when will Americans open their eyes? Our most vulnerable people are being taken advantage of. Is that the country we want to be?

October 2, 2014

Could Oxygen Be The Future Of Cancer Treatment?

Oxygen Cancer TreatmentA physics-based, “atavistic” model posits that cancer is a “safe mode” for stressed cells and suggests that oxygen and immunotherapy are the best ways to beat the disease

Could cancer be our cells’ way of running in “safe mode,” like a damaged computer operating system trying to preserve itself, when faced with an external threat? That’s the conclusion reached by cosmologist Paul Davies at Arizona State University in Tempe (A.S.U.) and his colleagues, who have devised a controversial new theory for cancer’s origins, based on its evolutionary roots. If correct, their model suggests that a number of alternative therapies, including treatment with oxygen and infection with viral or bacterial agents, could be particularly effective.
At first glance, Davies, who is trained in physics rather than biomedical science, seems an unlikely soldier in the “war on cancer.” But about seven years ago he was invited to set up a new institute at A.S.U.—one of 12 funded by the National Cancer Institute—to bring together physical scientists and oncologists to find a new perspective on the disease. “We were asked to rethink cancer from the bottom up,” Davies says.
Davies teamed up with Charley Lineweaver, an astrobiologist at The Australian National University in Canberra, and Mark Vincent, an oncologist at the London Health Sciences Center in Ontario. Together they have come up with an “atavistic” model positing cancer is the reexpression of an ancient “preprogrammed” trait that has been lying dormant. In a new paper, which appeared in BioEssays in September, they argue that because cancer appears in many animals and plants, as well as humans, then it must have evolved hundreds of millions of years ago when we shared a common single-celled ancestor. At that time, cells benefited from immortality, or the ability to proliferate unchecked, as cancer does. When complex multicellular organisms developed, however, “immortality was outsourced to the eggs and sperm,” Davies says, and somatic cells (those not involved in reproduction) no longer needed this function.
The team’s hypothesis is that when faced with an environmental threat to the health of a cell—radiation, say, or a lifestyle factor—cells can revert to a “preprogrammed safe mode.” In so doing, the cells jettison higher functionality and switch their dormant ability to proliferate back on in a misguided attempt to survive. “Cancer is a fail-safe,” Davies remarks. “Once the subroutine is triggered, it implements its program ruthlessly.”
Speaking at a medical engineering conference held at Imperial College London, on September 11, Davies outlined a set of therapies for cancer based on this atavistic model. Rather than simply attacking cancer’s ability to reproduce, or “cancer’s strength,” as Davies terms it, the model exposes “cancer’s Achilles’ heel.” For instance, if the theory is correct, then cancer evolved at a time when Earth’s environment was more acidic and contained less oxygen. So the team predicts that treating patients with high levels of oxygen and reducing sugar in their diet, to lower acidity, will strain the cancer and cause tumors to shrink.
The effects of oxygen level on cancer have been independently investigated for many years and appear to support Davies’s ideas, says Costantino Balestra, a physiologist at Paul Henri Spaak School and the Free University of Brussels, both in Belgium. In unpublished work that has been submitted for peer review, for instance, Balestra and his colleagues have recently demonstrated that slightly elevated oxygen levels can begin to induce leukemia cell death without harming healthy cells. “It almost looks too easy,” Balestra says. “Our preliminary results seem to show that supplying a little extra oxygen for one or two hours a day, in combination with other traditional cancer therapies, would benefit patients without any harsh side effects.” Balestra emphasizes, however, that this work was not carried out to test Davies’s hypothesis and cannot be taken as proof that the atavistic model is correct.
Davies and his colleagues also advocate immunotherapy—specifically, selectively infecting patients with bacterial or viral agents. Medical researchers are already investigating the promising effects of such an approach for artificially boosting patients’ immune systems to aid in their recovery. Immunotherapy has already performed well in treating melanomas, for instance, and its effects on other cancers are being studied. According to the atavistic model, however, in addition to invigorating the immune system, cancer cells should also be more vulnerable than healthy cells to being killed by infectious agents because they lose higher protective functionality when they “reboot into safe mode,” Davies says. Recent studies injectingclostridium spores in rats, dogs and a human patient also appear to support this interpretation, he says.
Some scientists, such as David Gorski, a surgical oncologist at Wayne State University, remain skeptical. “The ‘predictions’ of atavism are nothing that scientists haven’t come to by other paths,” he says.
Davies and his colleagues have already begun a more direct test of their theory, in answer to such criticisms. “The key to our theory is looking at the ages of the genes responsible for cancer,” Davies explains. The atavistic model claims that with the onset of cancer, cells revert to a more primitive mode and more recently evolved functions are switched off. The team therefore predicts that as cancer progresses, more recently evolved genes should lose function, whereas ancient genes become active.
To check if this hypothesis is correct, Davies and his colleagues are currently cross-referencing data from the cancer genome atlas, which identifies the genes that are involved in cancer, with various databases that classify the genes that we have in common with other species. The latter data set enables biologists to trace back genes’ ages. Any correlation that exists between the gene age and cancer will be a boost to the atavistic model. “Combining the two data sets hasn’t been done before,” Davies says. “But it’s essentially a data-mining exercise that doesn’t take much money and it’s something we’re working on now.”
Brendon Coventry, a surgical oncologist and immunotherapist at the University of Adelaide in Australia, sees value in physicists working with oncologists to piece together existing medical evidence to try to understand cancer’s origins. “Enormous amounts of money and the brightest minds in biological and medical science have failed to make a big impact in the war on cancer, so maybe it’s time for a new paradigm,” Coventry says, adding: “A cosmologist can look at the cell as an ‘internal universe’ to be explored in a new way.”

May 9, 2014

Did You Know This About Soda?

Soda Health Study
A 12-ounce can of soda delivers about 10 teaspoons of sugar, more than the American Heart Association's daily recommendation of 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men. 

Normally, you'd gag on such intense sweetness, but the phosphoric acid added mellows the sugary flavor.

Not only does this phosphoric acid "trick" the body into being able to ingest this absurd amount of sugar, but it also binds to calcium, magnesium and zinc in your body. You'll soon be flushing those vital nutrients down the toilet.

By drinking soda you are literally ingesting astronomically high amounts of sugar, that the human body is not meant to handle, while simultaneously stripping your body of crucial elements that it needs to function properly.

And NO, diet sodas are not any better!

Please share and pass this along to help inform people about what they are doing to their bodies!

March 12, 2014

The Most Important Reason To Drink More Water

Drinking Water Improves Brain FunctionSo you're probably sick of hearing how you need to drink more water, but despite all the efforts to get Americans to drink more water, 75% of us are still chronically dehydrated. Many of the benefits of staying hydrated are well known, but here's a lesser known, but crucial reason to drink more H2O. A new report shows that when you drink water, your brain works better.

"Lot's of studies have shown that dehydration is linked to poor performance on memory and attention tasks," says Caroline Edmonds, PhD, University of East London senior psychology lecturer.

Some research has shown, for example, that fluid-filled spaces in the brain become enlarged when someone is dehydrated, which causes brain tissue to shrink and makes it harder to think. Thirst can be maddeningly distracting, too. When it's gone, the brain is free to focus on more important things.

To test water's brain-boosting power, Edmonds asked 34 thirsty men and women to perform a series of mental tasks, measuring their reaction time, memory, and learning capabilities. Half were given water; the other half weren't. The subjects who guzzled about 2 cups of water before completing the tasks increased their reaction time by 14%. In addition, the water drinkers felt happier, less confused, and more relaxed.

March 10, 2014

Studies Show Artemisia annua (Plant) Kills 98% of Cancer Cells in 16 Hours.

Artemisia Annua Kills Cancer
According to a series of studies published in “Life Science”, artemisinin, a “Sweet wormwood” or “Artemisia Annua” derivative, was used in Chinese medicine and it can kill 98% of lung cancer cells in less than 16 hours.
The herb used by itself reduces lung cancer cells up to 28%, but in combination with iron, “Artemisia Annua” successfully and completely “erases” cancer, and in the experiment this herb had no impact on healthy lung cells.
Artemisinin in past was used as a powerful antimalarial remedy, but now it is proven that this cure is also effective in the fight against cancer.
When scientists added iron while conducting the study, which later attached to lung tissue, especially to cancer infected cells, artemisinine selectively attacked “bad” cells, and left “good” cells untouched.
“In general, our results show that artemisinin stops ‘E2F1′ transcription factor and intervenes in destruction of lung cancer cells, meaning it presents a transcription way according to which artemisinin controls reproductive cancer cell growth”, was stated in the conclusion of the researches conducted in the cancer laboratory at the University of California.
The Journal of Life Science reported on a study out of the University of Washington, conducted by Drs Narenda Singh and Henry Lai.  So far, this is the most extensive study done in the US on artemisinin.
The study was conducted in a laboratory in tissue samples (in vitro) as opposed to a study on animals or humans (in vivo). Using a radiation resistant variety of breast cancer cells (that also had a high propensity for accumulating iron) artemisinin proved itself to have a 75% cancer kill rate after just 8 hours; and almost a 100% kill rate in just 24 hours.  The original study can be found here.
Iron deposits in cancer cells with special receptors which help in cell division. Normal cells also have these receptors, but cancer cells have them in larger amounts and according to this, cancer cells can be a target combination of iron and artemisinin.
There are numerous experiments conducted so far and they all prove that in combination with iron, artemisinin can effectively destroy cancer, and this extract was used in China for thousands of years, as a cure for malaria.
Malaria parasite can not survive in the presence of artemisinine, because it is rich in iron, and bio-engineers Henry Lai and Narendra Singh from the University of Washington were the first scientists to discover this.  The original peer reviewed journal article can be found here, where the scientists conclude “ artemisinin and artemisinin-tagged iron-carrying compounds could be developed into powerful anticancer drugs”.
Dr. Len Saputo calls artemisinin a “cancer smart bomb”:

Here is another peer reviewed study for those who wish to read more.

February 17, 2014

New Study Shows Coffee Improves Memory

Swarms of morning commuters clutch cups of coffee to kick-start the workday. But a new study suggests caffeine might do more for the brain than boost alertness -- it may help memory too.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University looked at caffeine's impact on memory while excluding its other brain-enhancing factors. The study showed that caffeine enhances certain memories for up to 24 hours after it's consumed.
"The finding that caffeine has an effect on this process in humans -- the process of making memories more permanent, less forgettable -- was one of the big novelties," said study author Michael Yassa, an assistant professor of neurobiology and behavior at the University of California, Irvine, who conducted the research while at Johns Hopkins.
The study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the U.S. National Science Foundation, included more than 100 participants who were "caffeine naive," meaning they were not big coffee, tea or cola drinkers, Yassa said.
"We picked people who were getting less than 500 milligrams of caffeine a week," he said. "Most weren't coffee drinkers. Most had a soda once or twice a week."
Coffee's caffeine content varies greatly. Most average-size cups contain about 160 milligrams (mg), Yassa said. But a 16-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee packs 330 mg of caffeine, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
A dose of at least 200 mg of caffeine was needed to enhance memory consolidation, the researchers said.
For the study, which was published online Jan. 12 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the researchers asked the participants to look at hundreds of common, everyday images on a computer screen: shoes, a chair, a rubber duck, etc.
"We asked them to tell us if it was an indoor or an outdoor object, but we didn't really care about what they said," Yassa said. "We just wanted them to attend to the object, to get that object into their brains."
Five minutes after the participants looked at the images, half were given 200 milligrams of caffeine and half received a placebo. They returned 24 hours later, after the caffeine was out of their system, and looked at more images of objects. They were asked to label the pictures as either old, new or similar to the original images they'd seen (for example, a picture of a duck they viewed the day before, but taken from a slightly different angle).
People who had taken the caffeine were better at distinguishing the similar pictures from the original ones, and those who had received the placebo were more likely to incorrectly identify the similar images as the old images, the researchers said.
Yassa said the caffeine-induced ability to recognize similar, but not identical, images did not occur when people were given smaller doses of caffeine or when caffeine was ingested an hour before the picture test.
"On caffeine, the participants were more likely to identify the similar items correctly as similar and not old," he said. "In doing so, this demonstrates that the caffeine enhanced the brain's consolidation process -- the process of making those items more permanent in their memory."
The idea, Yassa said, is that outside the lab, you could have the same benefit from your caffeine habit.
"It might allow you to remember things -- to retain memories -- for a longer period of time and with more precision, even if you eliminate the other benefits of caffeine, like attention, alertness and vigilance," Yassa said.
Dr. David Knopman, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said the results are interesting from a pharmacologic perspective. "Taking it at face value, it's interesting research," Knopman said. "It raises some questions about what's involved in learning and how certain drugs might enhance learning in normal people."
But Knopman said he doesn't think the finding has any practical significance for people with memory loss due to Alzheimer's disease.
Yassa, who also studies aging and Alzheimer's, said more research is needed to figure out why caffeine might enhance memory.
The study didn't actually prove that caffeine improves memory, however. One limitation of the study is that participants knew they were involved in caffeine research, the researchers said.
In the United States, 80 percent of adults consume caffeine every day, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
SOURCES: Michael Yassa, Ph.D., assistant professor, neurobiology and behavior, University of California, Irvine, formerly of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.; David Knopman, M.D., professor, neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Jan. 12, 2014,Nature Neuroscience, online

November 27, 2013

Cool Science - Did You Know?

rains diamonds Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn

Learn more HERE & HERE

Our solar system is one fascinating place!


October 23, 2013

Your Troubles May Seem Trivial After Watching This Video

A beautiful new video from "The Sagan Series" — an open-source project dedicated to spreading scientific literacy — has brought the words of the late astronomer, Carl Sagan, to life.

The video combines audio from Sagan's audiobook with footage of the world's most significant leaders, cultural events and natural beauty, stitching them together to create a complete picture of life on Earth. In its closing moments, Sagan makes a compelling plea for humans to take better care of one another and our planet.