Archive for January, 2015

Clinical depression is associated with a 30% increase of inflammation in the brain, according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

illustration depicting brain of depressed person

The new study is the first to find definitive evidence of inflammation in the brain of depressed patients.

Inflammation is the immune system’s natural response to infection or disease. The body often uses inflammation to protect itself, such as when an ankle is sprained and becomes inflamed, and the same principle also applies to the brain. However, too much inflammation is unhelpful and can be damaging.

Increasingly, evidence is suggesting that inflammation may drive some depressive symptoms, such as low mood, loss of appetite and reduced ability to sleep.

What the new study set out to investigate was whether inflammation is a driver of clinical depression independent of other physical illness.

Researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute in Toronto, Canada, used positron emission tomography (PET) to scan the brains of 20 patients with depression and 20 healthy control participants.

In particular, the team closely measured the activation of microglia – immune cells that play a key role in the brain’s inflammatory response

The PET scans showed significant inflammation in the brains of the people with depression, and the inflammation was most severe among the participants with the most severe depression. The brains of people who were experiencing clinical depression exhibited an inflammatory increase of 30%.

Previous studies have examined markers of inflammation in the blood of depressed people, in an attempt to solve the “chicken or egg” debate of whether inflammation is a consequence of or contributor to major depression.

For instance, in 2012, a study conducted by Duke University Medical Center researchers and published in Biological Psychiatry found an association between the number of cumulative depressive episodes experienced by study participants and increased levels of an inflammation marker in their blood called C-reactive protein (CRP).

“Our results support a pathway from childhood depression to increased levels of CRP, even after accounting for other health-related behaviors that are known to influence inflammation. We found no support for the pathway from CRP to increased risk for depression,” said Duke study leader Dr. William Copeland.

The Duke team concluded that depression, therefore, is more likely to contribute to inflammation in the body as opposed to arising as a consequence of inflammation.

Medical News Today did not have access to data on whether the patients in the CAMH study exhibited brain inflammation prior to developing depression or after symptom onset. However, the CAMH researchers claim that their study is the first to find definitive evidence of inflammation in the brains of depressed patients.

Should future depression therapies target inflammation?

“This finding provides the most compelling evidence to date of brain inflammation during a major depressive episode,” says senior author Dr. Jeffrey Meyer, who holds a Canada Research Chair in the neurochemistry of major depression. He adds:

“This discovery has important implications for developing new treatments for a significant group of people who suffer from depression. It provides a potential new target to either reverse the brain inflammation or shift to a more positive repair role, with the idea that it would alleviate symptoms.”

Severe depression affects 4% of the general population. However, more than half of people with major depression do not respond to antidepressants. Dr. Meyer suggests that future studies should investigate the possible impact of anti-inflammatory drugs on depression symptoms.

“Depression is a complex illness and we know that it takes more than one biological change to tip someone into an episode,” says Dr. Meyer. “But we now believe that inflammation in the brain is one of these changes and that’s an important step forward.”

via Severe depression linked with inflammation in the brain – Medical News Today.

‘Expensive’ placebos work better than ‘cheap’ ones, study finds – LA Times.

Nearly 1 in 10 Adults Skips Meds Due to Cost, CDC Says.

Remember; not one scientist on earth can tell you what Light is,  how Gravity works, or how magnetism works.

Scientists have declared that if a human body moves faster than 20 mph that human will DIE! Thus any human on a steam locomotive will DIE!

Very recently scientists declared that by cooking meat you will make it safe to eat. Then prions were “discovered”.

A survey of opinion is just that, opinion .  In god I trust everyone else is required to provide DATA!

A SURVEY shows a significant opinion gap between professional scientists and the wider American public on issues in science ranging from climate change to genetically modified foods. But the results match up on at least one score: Each side has a slightly more negative view of the other.

“There is a disconnect between the way in which the public perceives the state of science and science’s position on a variety of issues, and the way in which the scientific community … looks at the state of science,” Alan Leshner, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, told reporters in advance of the survey’s release on Thursday. “That’s a cause of concern.”

The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the AAAS last year — and draws upon a telephone survey of 2,002 American adults as well as an online survey of 3,748 U.S.-based members of the science association. It’s part of a years-long series of Pew reports on attitudes toward scientific issues.

Our Year of Extremes: Did Climate Change Just Hit Home? Part 1

Ann Curry Reports

The biggest disconnect had to do with genetically modified foods, where there was a gap of 51 percentage points. Eighty-eight percent of the scientists said it’s safe to eat such foods, compared with 37 percent of the wider-ranging sample.

Other opinion gaps focused on these hot-button issues:

  • Should animals be used in research? 89 percent of the scientists said yes, as opposed to 47 percent of the public.
  • Is it safe to eat foods grown with pesticides? 68 percent of the scientists agreed, compared with 28 percent of the public.
  • Is climate change caused mostly by human activity? 87 percent yes from the scientists, 50 percent yes from the public.
  • Have humans evolved over time? 98 percent yes from the scientists, 65 percent yes from the public.
  • Should more offshore oil drilling be allowed? 32 percent yes from the scientists, 52 percent yes from the public.
  • Should more nuclear power plants be built? 65 percent yes from the scientists, 45 percent yes from the public.
  • Should parents be allowed to decide not to have their children vaccinated? 13 percent yes from the scientists, 30 percent yes from the public.

The gaps haven’t changed dramatically since 2009, the last time a similar survey was conducted, said Cary Funk, the lead author of this week’s report and associate director of science research at Pew Research Center. What has changed is how scientists as well as the wider sampling of Americans think about those gaps, and about the future outlook for science in society.

Public vs. Scientists: What Polling Shows About the Divide

Slightly more negative

Funk noted “a slightly more negative take of the American public about scientific achievements, as well as a slight rise in negative views, but still a majority saying positive things about the contribution of science to society.”

Seventy-nine percent of the public sampling said science has made life easier for most people, but that figure is down four points from what it was in 2009. There were similar downturns in the assessment of science’s effect on the quality of food, health care and the environment.

When it came to science, technology, engineering and math education — also known as STEM — U.S. elementary and secondary schools received an above-average rating from 29 percent of the public and only 16 percent of the scientists. Fifty-four percent of the public survey respondents said U.S. scientific achievements were the best in the world, which is down from the 65 percent rating in 2009.

On average, the scientists were a bit gloomier as well: In 2009, 76 percent of the scientists surveyed said it was a good time for science, but that figure dropped to 52 percent in the latest survey. The way the scientists saw it, one of the biggest problems is that the public doesn’t know very much about science — closely followed by media misrepresentations of scientific findings.

What to do, and why

So what’s to be done? The scientists who were sampled said there should be more STEM education built into elementary and secondary school curricula, but Leshner said scientists themselves had a responsibility as well.

“What’s necessary is for the scientific community to go out to the American public and have a genuine dialogue about these issues, so that the public can understand that science is not unable to see their point of view, first of all,” he told reporters. “And secondly, that scientists will in fact work toward finding some kind of common ground.”

Lee Rainie, the Pew Research Center’s director of Internet, science and technology research, said the disconnect over science policy issues isn’t merely an academic concern.

“Science issues are increasingly civic issues, and they’re not distinct. They’re not off to the side,” he said. “They’re at the center of what defines the culture and the society and how people live their lives.”

Image: Opinion gaps Pew Research Center
The opinion gaps between a sample of scientists and a sample of the wider American public varied, depending on the issue.

Pew’s survey of the general public was conducted using a probability-based sample of the U.S. adult population by land-line and cellular telephone Aug. 15-25, 2014, with a representative sample of 2,002 adults nationwide. Margin of sampling error for results based on all adults is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The survey of scientists was based on a representative sample of 3,748 U.S. based members of AAAS. That survey was conducted online Sept. 11-Oct. 13, 2014. Margin of sampling error for results based on all AAAS respondents is plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.

via Survey Shows Scientists and Public at Odds Over Climate, GMOs and More – NBC News.com.

Townes, a longtime member of the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, often emphasized the importance of faith in his life. “My own view is that, while science and religion may seem different, they have many similarities, and should interact and enlighten each other,” Townes wrote in a statement upon accepting the 2005 Templeton Prize. “Science tries to understand what our universe is like and how it works, including us humans,” he wrote. “Religion is aimed at understanding the purpose and meaning of our universe, including our own lives. If the universe has a purpose or meaning, this must be reflected in its structure and functioning, and hence in science.”

Clockwise from top: Charles & Frances Townes at the Amazing Light Symposium in 2005; Townes early in his career; discussing physics with Reinhard Genzel; ‘The Bench’ where he sat as his thoughts on how the laser could work became clear; his 99th birthday on the UC Berkeley campus; at work in mid-career. (Collage by Sarah Wittmer, physics department)

Charles Hard Townes, one of the giants of modern physics and inventor of the laser, died early Tuesday, January 27. A professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, he was 99 and in failing health. He shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the laser and subsequently pioneered the use of lasers in astronomy. Until last year, Townes visited the Berkeley campus daily, working either in his office in the physics department or at the Space Sciences Laboratory.

Related: 50 YEARS OF LASERS: How laser output spread across the spectrum

Townes was born on July 28, 1915, in Greenville, SC, attended Furman University, and graduated summa cum laude in 1935 at the age of 19 with a BS in physics and a BA in modern languages. He was a member of the swim team, the football band, and the college paper. He completed an MA in physics at Duke University in 1936 and moved to Caltech, from which he obtained his Ph.D. in 1939. His thesis involved isotope separation and nuclear spins.

He immediately joined the technical staff at Bell Labs in New Jersey, where he stayed through the war designing radar bombing systems. He then began applying his expertise in microwaves to spectroscopy, which he foresaw as providing powerful new tools for probing the structure of atoms and molecules and for controlling light. Bell Labs eventually terminated the program, however, seeing little application for it.

At age 35, in the spring of 1951, Townes was seated on a park bench among blooming azaleas in Washington, D.C., when he was struck by the solution to a longstanding problem: how to create a pure beam of short-wavelength, high-frequency light. That revelation eventually led to the first laser.

Then a professor at Columbia University and a consultant for Bell Telephone Laboratories, Townes had transitioned from working on radar during World War II to using shorter wavelengths of light to study the energy states of molecules, a field called spectroscopy. The problem bedeviling him was how to create an intense beam of microwave energy to use as a probe. Albert Einstein proposed in 1917 that the right wavelength of light can stimulate an excited atom to emit light of the same wavelength, essentially amplifying it, but Townes was stymied by how to corral a gas of excited atoms without them flying apart.

His revelatory solution allowed him to separate excited from non-excited molecules and store them in a resonant cavity, so that when a microwave traveled through the gas, the molecules were stimulated to emit microwaves in step with one another: a coherent burst. He and his students built such a device using ammonia gas in 1954 and dubbed it a maser, for microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.

Four years later, in 1958, he and his brother-in-law and future Nobelist Arthur Schawlow conceived the idea of doing the same thing with optical light, but using mirrors at the ends of a gas tube to amplify the light to get an “optical maser.” Bell Labs patented the laser, while Townes retained the patent on the maser, which he turned over to a nonprofit. Townes’ appointment as director of research for the U.S. government’s Institute of Defense Analysis in 1959 slowed his efforts to build an optical device, opening the door for Theodore Maiman to demonstrate the first laser in 1960.

Related: Scientist’s life traces laser’s history

Townes shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics with two Russians, Aleksandr M. Prokhorov and Nicolai G. Basov, who independently came up with the idea for a maser.

Beyond lasers

Townes himself went on to use masers for radio astronomy, and lasers for infrared astronomy and interferometry, and promoted their use in areas as diverse as the atomic clock and extraterrestrial communication. With the help of lasers, he and colleagues detected the first complex molecules in interstellar space and first measured the mass of the black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

He also served on numerous government panels. From 1966 to 1970, at a time when many scientists questioned the value of a manned space program, Townes accepted an appointment as chairman of an ad hoc science advisory committee to NASA’s manned space program, to secure support for the Apollo moon flights from the larger scientific community and ensure that they would yield maximum benefits in scientific research. In 1981 he chaired a panel reviewing President Ronald Reagan’s planned deployment of MX missiles, and he actively advocated controls on nuclear weapons, including a test ban treaty to regulate underground weapons testing.

via Inventor of the laser, Charles Townes, dies at 99 – Laser Focus World.

Monday’s pass is considered the closest that an asteroid this large will get to Earth until the year 2027, when the space rock known as 1999 AN10 whips by our planet within the moon’s orbit.

That’s a pretty close call. So should we be paying more attention to the potential threat of an asteroid hitting our planet? Here are a few basic questions and answers.

What are scientists hoping to learn from Monday’s close encounter?

NASA scientists are using the radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off the asteroid’s surface so they can map it out in detail. They want to get a much clearer idea of its shape and size and how it is tumbling through space.

The information will be critical for the future asteroid retrieval mission that NASA has planned in the next decade, when scientists will get their hands on their first samples from these ancient cosmic rocks.

This week’s flyby offers a unique opportunity for space agency scientists and engineers to better design these future missions.

Do we have a sense of the probabilities for getting hit by destructive meteors?

It turns out that really massive objects, like the six-mile-wide (ten-kilometer) asteroid that might have wiped out the dinosaurs, are quite rare. Astronomers estimate they have already found least 94 percent of them, which they are tracking.

Those that are a few hundred meters across, like 2004 BL86, may impact our planet every half million years or so. They would cause regional devastation, enough to wipe out entire countries.

The more immediate concern appears to come from rocks that are between a few dozen meters wide to a couple of hundred meters wide. Asteroids of this size could easily flatten an entire city.

And there is precedence for such impacts in recent human history, including the Tunguska event in 1908, which leveled a 770-square-mile (2,000-square-kilometer) swath of forest in Siberia.

Coincidentally, the same region of the globe got hit again in February 2013, when a 60-foot-wide (18-meter) rock exploded in the atmosphere above the Russian town of Chelyabinsk, causing over a thousand injuries. There could be upwards of a million of these smaller objects buzzing around Earth’s orbit, making them the most likely to hit our planet. And we know the locations for less than one percent of them.

Are we prepared for the threat of such impacts in highly populated areas?

While there are no definite figures, astronomers believe that bus- or house-size asteroids like the one that hit Russia occur once or twice a century and mostly fall over the ocean or unpopulated areas.

But the ongoing threat has some scientists arguing that the mission of discovering and tracking all near-Earth objects, as well as setting up contingency plans for deflecting them on short notice, should get more resources.

We continue to discover these potentially hazardous asteroids, sometimes only days before they make their close approaches to Earth.

A non-profit organization called B612, led by former NASA astronaut and engineer Edward Lu, has been working to put an infrared-based telescope into space that can see small, faint asteroids. The group wants to launch the telescope by 2018.

Follow Andrew Fazekas, the Night Sky Guy, on Twitter, Facebook, and his website.

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via Giant Asteroid Sails Past Earth, Raising Safety Questions on Terra Firma.

Highlights

•KLOTHO variant elevates klotho levels and is associated with enhanced human cognition

•Elevation of klotho in mice enhances normal cognition, independent of age

•Klotho elevation leads to greater synaptic GluN2B (NMDAR subunit) levels and plasticity

•GluN2B blockade abolishes klotho-mediated effects on NMDAR functions and cognition

Summary

Aging is the primary risk factor for cognitive decline, an emerging health threat to aging societies worldwide. Whether anti-aging factors such as klotho can counteract cognitive decline is unknown. We show that a lifespan-extending variant of the human KLOTHO gene, KL-VS, is associated with enhanced cognition in heterozygous carriers. Because this allele increased klotho levels in serum, we analyzed transgenic mice with systemic overexpression of klotho. They performed better than controls in multiple tests of learning and memory. Elevating klotho in mice also enhanced long-term potentiation, a form of synaptic plasticity, and enriched synaptic GluN2B, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunit with key functions in learning and memory. Blockade of GluN2B abolished klotho-mediated effects. Surprisingly, klotho effects were evident also in young mice and did not correlate with age in humans, suggesting independence from the aging process. Augmenting klotho or its effects may enhance cognition and counteract cognitive deficits at different life stages.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

via Life Extension Factor Klotho Enhances Cognition: Cell Reports.

Finding a cure for baldness has become the holy grail for scientists the world over.

Now researchers in Orlando have come a step closer to a natural treatment after successfully growing new hair using human stem cells.

The breakthrough was achieved after coaxing stem cells to become dermal papilla cells – a special type of cell which is vital to follicle formation

Dermal papilla cells make up the top two layers of skin and they cause surrounding cells to form hair follicles. Hair loss occurs when papillae stop working.

Scientists have previously attempted isolating healthy dermal papillae from a hair follicle, putting them into a culture to increase their number, and placing the new papillae into the skin.

By using human stem cells, researchers were able to overcome the barrier, allowing hair to grow on the foot of an adult rat.

‘Our stem cell method provides an unlimited source of cells from the patient for transplantation and isn’t limited by the availability of existing hair follicles,’ said Professor Terskikh.

‘Our next step is to transplant human dermal papilla cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells back into human subjects,’ he added.

In the US, more than 40 million men and 21 million women are affected by hair loss.

Worldwide, that figure comes to 1.5 billion. 

ON another front:

A researcher’s accidental discovery could pave the way for another baldness cure by harnessing the power of white blood cells.

The cancer expert was testing anti-inflammatory drugs on mice when she was surprised to discover they were growing extra fur, so investigated what was causing the phenomenon.

She discovered it was due to macrophages, which are derived from white blood cells called monocytes and are produced by the immune system to fight infections and clear up dead tissue.

According to Dr Mirna Perez-Moreno, who made the find at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid, the macrophages activated nearby stem cells which are responsible for hair growth.

That means follicles could be encouraged to grow without the need for a hair transplant, which can cost upwards of $7,600 (£5,000).

via A cure for hair loss? Scientists grow hair on rats using stem cells – and they say the treatment could work on humans too | Daily Mail Online.

  • One in five people carry a single copy of the variant, known as KL-VS
  • Associated with longer lifespan and improved heart and kidney function
  • 3% of the population has two copies, which is linked to a shorter lifespan
  • Discovery could help develop new treatments for dementia

One in five people carry a ‘smart gene’ variant linked to long lifespan, bigger forebrains and enhanced mental ability, researchers have found.

Scientists found people who carry the gene have larger volumes in a front part of the brain involved in planning and decision-making.

They say the find could have major implications for sufferers of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. 

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Scientists found that people who carry the gene have larger volumes in a front part of the brain involved in planning and decision-making.

Scientists found that people who carry the gene have larger volumes in a front part of the brain involved in planning and decision-making.

THE SMART GENE 

The KLOTHO gene codes for a protein found in the kidney and brain that regulates many different body processes.

About one in five people carry a single copy of the variant, known as KL-VS, that boosts levels of the protein and is associated with longer lifespan and improved heart and kidney function.

A small minority, 3% of the population, has two copies, which is linked to a shorter lifespan.

It follows the previous discovery that middle-aged and older people who have a single copy of the gene variant performed better in a wide range of mental tests. 

‘We’ve known for a long time that people lose cognitive abilities as they age, but now we’re beginning to understand that factors like klotho can give people a boost and confer resilience in aging,’ said senior author Dena Dubal of  UCSF.

‘Genetic variation in KLOTHO could help us predict brain health and find ways to protect people from the devastating diseases that happen to us as we grow old, like Alzheimer’s and other dementias.’

The KLOTHO gene codes for a protein found in the kidney and brain that regulates many different body processes.

About one in five people carry a single copy of the variant, known as KL-VS, that boosts levels of the protein and is associated with longer lifespan and improved heart and kidney function.

A small minority, 3% of the population, has two copies, which is linked to a shorter lifespan.

In the new study scientists scanned the brains of 422 men and women aged 53 and over who were also tested for the KLOTHO gene.

They found that participants with a single copy of the gene variant also had a larger brain region known as the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (rDLPFC), which is especially susceptible to shrinkage with age.

Loss of neurons in this area may be one reason why older people are sometimes easily distracted and find it difficult to multitask.

The size of the rDLPFC predicted how well the study volunteers performed in tests such as working memory – the ability to hold onto newly acquired information – and processing speed.

The results appear in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

US researcher Dr Jennifer Yokoyama, from the University of California at San Francisco, said: ‘The brain region enhanced by genetic variation in KLOTHO is vulnerable in ageing and several psychiatric and neurologic diseases including schizophrenia, depression, substance abuse, and frontotemporal dementia.

‘In this case, bigger size means better function. 

‘It will be important to determine whether the structural boost associated with carrying one copy of KL-VS can offset the cognitive deficits caused by disease.’

A previous study, funded by the U.S.-based National Institutes of Health, found the protein boosts brain skills such as thinking, learning and memory.

It is believed it could increase the strength of connections between nerve cells in the brain. 

‘Our results suggest klotho may increase the brain’s capacity to perform everyday intellectual tasks,’ said coauthor Lennart Mucke, professor of neuroscience at the University of California San Francisco.

People who have one copy of a variant, or form, of the kloto gene, called KL-VS, tend to live longer and have lower chances of suffering a stroke whereas people who have two copies may live shorter lives and have a higher risk of stroke.

n the study, researchers found that people who had one copy of the KL-VS variant performed better on a battery of cognitive tests than subjects who did not have it, regardless of age, sex or the presence of the apolipoprotein 4 gene, the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers also genetically engineered mice to overproduce klotho protein. The klotho-enhanced mice lived longer and had higher levels of klotho in the blood and in a brain area known as the hippocampus, which controls some types of learning and memory.

‘Smart gene’ associated with better aging and cognitive function in 1 in 5 people | Daily Mail Online.

Girls who consume a lot of sugary drinks may enter puberty earlier than girls who don’t, Harvard researchers report.

Among nearly 5,600 girls aged 9 to 14 who were followed between 1996 and 2001, the researchers found that those who drank more than 1.5 servings of sugary drinks a day had their first period 2.7 months earlier than those who drank two or fewer of these drinks a week.

This finding was independent of the girls’ body mass index (a height-weight ratio that measures body fat), how much food they ate, or whether they exercised or not, the researchers noted.

“Starting periods early is a risk factor for depression during adolescence and breast cancer during adulthood. Thus, our findings have implications beyond just starting menstruation early,” said study first author Jenny Carwile, a postdoctoral associate at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston.

The researchers found that the average age at the first period among girls who consumed the most sugary drinks was 12.8 years, compared with 13 years for those drinking the least.

The reasons why sugary drinks might bring on menstruation early are not clear, she said. “We think it may have to do with the effects of consuming a highly sugared food,” Carwile said.

Carwile explained that the girls filled out a detailed questionnaire each year about what they ate. From this data, researchers were able to isolate how much sugar girls got from drinks apart from the sugar they consumed in other foods.

Sugary drinks containing sucrose, glucose or corn syrup have already been linked to weight gain, and this new study shows another negative side effect of these drinks, Carwile said.

“This is one more nail in soda’s coffin,” she said.

The report was published online Jan. 28 in the journal Human Reproduction.

Senior study author Karin Michels, an associate professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School, called the study “another reason to cut down on these beverages that have sugar added to them.”

Such beverages include sodas, sweetened fruit drinks and sweetened teas.

Carwile noted that diet sodas and fruit juices were not associated with any difference in the age at which girls started their periods.

Michels cautioned that this study cannot prove directly that sugar-sweetened drinks are the cause of earlier menstruation. “We are showing an association,” she said. “We can only do some guesswork on the mechanisms.”

She said that drinks with added sugar have a higher glycemic index than naturally sweetened drinks such as fruit juices. High-glycemic foods cause a rapid increase in insulin concentrations in the body. This can cause higher concentrations of sex hormones, which have been linked to starting periods earlier.

That lack of a cause-and-effect finding was among several concerns with the study cited by the American Beverage Association.

“Neither this study nor the body of science shows that sugar-sweetened beverage consumption causes early onset of menarche [first period]. What the body of science supports is that adolescent girls are reaching puberty earlier than prior generations; however, there is no scientific consensus concerning the cause of this trend,” the association said in a statement.

Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, said, “Sugar-sweetened drinks, such as sodas, have no nutritional value. One may wonder what nutrients — such as vitamins, minerals and protein — are being replaced by these drinks that can lead to this metabolic problem,” she added.

“Whatever the reasons for the earlier start of periods, there is no good reason for anyone to be drinking sugar-sweetened drinks or sodas regularly, at any age,” Heller said.

Soda Habit May Prompt Early Puberty in Girls, Study Suggests – US News.

 

Parents with students at one California high school recently learned that two Planned Parenthood employees who taught their impressionable children sex education also held down some controversial side jobs.

One of the sex-ed instructors at Acalanes Union High School in Lafayette also taught a class on sex toys at a nearby shop while the other identified herself as a ‘pleasure activist’ on her now-deleted Twitter profile.

The job history of the two teachers was revealed after parents learned about the school’s partnership with Planned Parenthood and demanded the curriculum be changed.

Some of the parents felt that Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides complimentary reproductive and women’s health services, was actually encouraging their children to start having sex. 

Planned Parenthood is a business. It’s a business that sells sex. It’s a way to get clientele and to sexualize young people and turn them into lifelong clients,’ parent Camille Giglio told CBS San Francisco in November.

The unhappy parents then partnered with conservative legal group the Pacific Justice Institute to petition for a new sex-ed curriculum. 

In the course of their fight with the school, the career histories of the Planned Parenthood instructors were revealed and two of the teachers raised even more concerns to parents. 

One of the instructors teaches a ‘pleasure’ workshop at a store called Good Vibrations in nearby Berkeley, which sells sex toys. 

Meanwhile, one of the other instructors had described herself as a ‘pleasure activist’ on Twitter, and mentioned attending CatalystCon, a sexuality conference. 

‘These are two representatives (who) happen to have a truly questionable background,’ Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute, which made the initial inquiry with concerned parents, told FoxNews.com. ‘There has been outcry from the parents. This school district doesn’t seem to get it when it comes to the

Dacus says the two instructors are no longer teaching at the high school, but it’s unclear who will replace them. 

‘They announced that they would not be continuing, but they haven’t said who would be teaching the students in the future,’ he said. ‘This school has continually displayed a lack of accountability.

‘The two other schools in the district have chosen not to use Planned Parenthood and they are not having any problems.’

The school previously released a statement defending their use of Planned Parenthood, a group they have worked with for more than a decade. 

‘The instruction is age-appropriate using objective and medically accurate information. The value of abstinence is emphasized as it is identified as the only certain way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection. We believe the instruction builds student skills for making and implementing responsible decisions about sexuality…Parents are given prior notification of the presentation, the topics to be covered, and informed that a Planned Parenthood educator will be presenting to the students. Parents are able to opt their students out from the instruction.’   

 

Sex toy instructor and ‘pleasure activist’ taught high school sex-ed | Daily Mail Online.

 

jero flat pack yurt designed for nomadic lifestyle.

 

 

hedonist hotel by nuno pimenta constructed on €250 budget.

 

Global warming could make blizzards worse – The Washington Post.

And Porn turns men into fags………

What a piece of lying trash.

It’s all about programming simple minds with repetitive lies to justify taxing them into fiefdom.

Like this little troll.

The Orthodox Sex Guru – NYTimes.com

The Orthodox Sex Guru – NYTimes.com.

The Scientific Case for Pouring Yourself a Drink After Work – Mic.

New UFO Seen In NASA Space Station Video, 2nd UFO Image In 4 Weeks — What’s Going On Up There?.

Startling UFO In NASA 1968 Apollo 7 Photo Found — But Was Close-Up Censored With Black Tape?.

 

Proof Of Alien UFO Cover-up? NASA Accused Of Deleting Earth Orbiting UFO From Apollo Mission Space Photo.

 

We are all going to die if we listen to the Eco-nazis.  Lets put more effort into getting off this rock….

Asteroid to pass close to Earth next week – Yahoo News.

 

Genomic sequencing’s value challenged in Stanford study

Updated 3:32 pm, Thursday, January 15, 2015

The environment may be a much bigger driver of human health than genetics, which raises questions about the value of genomic sequencing and the push toward personalized medicine, says a team of Stanford scientists studying the immune system.

“Genomics technology has advanced so much that we’re seeing an explosion in sequencing and analyzing this and that. Everything starts to look like genetics. And yet, it isn’t, really,” said Mark Davis, lead author of the study and director of Stanford’s Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection. “The big message is the environment matters a lot.”

While Davis’ study was specific to the immune system, it’s likely, he said, that the same environmental influence applies to other body systems and overall health. And while there’s no doubt that genetics plays a huge role in certain diseases and health outcomes, the importance of DNA may be overstated.

Genomic sequencing, which involves reading the genetic makeup of an organism, has become widespread in both research and consumer markets. Scientists are hunting for genetic clues to hundreds of human diseases, from Alzheimer’s and cancer to the flu, and increasingly researchers are promoting the idea of personalized medicine, or targeting treatment to a patient’s DNA.

That’s all incredibly valuable work, Davis said. But he’s wary of overselling the potential of genomic sleuthing.

His team recruited 78 identical and 27 fraternal twins who were part of a twin registry built at SRI International in Menlo Park. The siblings, who were between ages 8 and 82, donated blood and other samples, which were tested for 204 different immune system markers, including, for example, the number and variety of certain cells each person has.

Based on the study results, nearly 60 percent of the immune markers were almost totally defined by non-genetic factors — in other words, the environment. And some of the markers became increasingly defined by non-genetic factors with age. Their study was published Thursday in the journal Cell.

One obvious example of environment-over-genetics was in a measurement of the twins’ reactions to a flu vaccine. Siblings had very different immune responses to a vaccine when their blood was analyzed three or four weeks after they were immunized. If their DNA was the dominating driver, scientists would expect twins to have similar, or even identical immune responses.

But in fact the twins’ responses were as dissimilar as any two unrelated people, the researchers found. That means that instead of genetics, environmental factors like a person’s previous exposure to certain flu strains are driving the immune response.

The scientists also identified one particular virus — a common pathogen called cytomegalovirus — that has profound effects on the immune system. The virus doesn’t cause illness in most people, who can carry cytomegalovirus their entire life and never know it, but it can still influence immune markers. In the study, when one twin had been exposed to the virus and the other hadn’t, more than half of their immune markers were dissimilar.

“That’s one single pathogen that can really change the whole structure of the immune system,” Davis said. “Your immune system is almost certainly being shaped by the microbes you come into contact with over your life time. That creates an influence on your immunologic makeup that is not gong to be so predictable from genetics.”

Davis, along with other experts in immunology and genetics, noted that it’s not surprising the immune system would be so environment-driven.

“The immune system’s entire raison d’être is to sense and react to the environment,” said Mark Seielstad, an associate professor at UCSF’s Institute for Human Genetics, in an e-mail. “Everything that enters our mouth, eyes, ears or bloodstream can and usually does elicit a response, and is ‘remembered’ by the adaptive immune system. Even among twins living in nominally similar environments into adulthood, all of these aspects of the environment will differ in many many ways.”

But Seielstad added that scientists and patients alike should avoid the “temptation” of choosing sides in a genetics vs. environment debate about most matters of health. They’re both clearly important and work so closely together that it can be tough to untangle which is the dominant player.

If someone’s exposed to the flu, for example, her immune response may be driven by environmental factors if she meets a strain of influenza she’s had before and her body has a “remembered” reaction to it. But if it’s a brand new strain, her genetics may be the driver.

David Raulet, chairman of the department of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, said in an e-mail that there is a “large body of evidence that genetic differences affect susceptibility to infections.” He’s also not ready to declare that environment trumps genetics in either the immune system or overall health.

But he noted that there clearly are nongenetic factors at play that are still a mystery to scientists. Even lab animals that are bred to be genetically identical and raised in the same cages can have great variation in immune response, he said.

“Identifying the nongenetic causes of variations in susceptibility to infection is an important problem,” he wrote, “but we have a long way to go.”

 

Genomic sequencing’s value challenged in Stanford study – SFGate.

Next Big Future: Matter creation using lasers experiment designed based upon 80 year old theory with a photon photon collider – actual experiements in about one year.

What bullshit!   This is known as shooting on glass.  Been done for years.

 

Amazon patents technique for seamless white background – NY Daily News.

Fat cells residing underneath skin could aid shield people against a wide variety of infections, a new study from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports.Immune program responses seem to be partly influenced by the presence of fat cells beneath the surface of the skin.Dermal fat cells, known as adipocytes, had been thought to function in the physique just for storing energy, but this new analysis shows they also play a vital role in fighting off infections. The cells were located to generate antimicrobial peptides, capable to fight off bacteria and other invaders.

“It was thought that once the skin barrier was broken, it was completely the duty of circulating (white) blood cells like neutrophils and macrophages to safeguard us from receiving sepsis,” Richard Gallo, professor and chief of dermatology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said.

As soon as an infection enters a wound, it takes time for white blood cells and other immune technique agents to mass in the impacted area. For the duration of this delay, adipocytes guard the body from microbial invaders, by releasing highly-productive anti-microbial agents.

The human immune method is highly complex, relying on numerous forms of cells to fight infections. Amongst the tools made use of by the human physique to remain healthy are neutrophils and monocytes, which attack and consume microbial invaders. Epithelial cells, which line organs, and mast cells, which play a part in allergies, are normally the 1st on the scene at the web page when an infection enters the body.

Mice had been infected with staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria which frequently causes skin and soft tissue infections in humans. Researchers located fat cells improved in each size and number at the web site of the infection, inside hours of exposure. Cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP), a form of antimicrobial peptide (AMP), was developed by the dermal fat cells, partially defending the mice from infection. When researchers studied mice who have been unable to create sufficient quantities of AMPs, especially CAMP, they identified the rodents had been hugely-susceptible to infectious illness.

Obese human subjects examined by researchers had been discovered to have a greater concentration of CAMP in their bloodstream than those close to typical weight.

“The key is that we now know this aspect of the immune response puzzle. It opens excellent new solutions for study. For example, present drugs designed for use in diabetics may be effective to other individuals who have to have to increase this aspect of immunity,” Gallo stated in a press release.

Further tests will be required just before clinical development of new drugs primarily based on this study can begin.

Investigation of the part of subcutaneous fat on the immune method was detailed in the journal Science.

via Fat Cells Beneath Skin May Protect Against Infections.