Annals of Family Medicine: The Cost of My Mother’s Cardiac Care in the US and India.
New Scientist: Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain.
“Problems in the cerebellum can lead to severe mental impairment, movement disorders, epilepsy or a potentially fatal build-up of fluid in the brain. However, in this woman, the missing cerebellum resulted in only mild to moderate motor deficiency, and mild speech problems such as slightly slurred pronunciation. Her doctors describe these effects as ‘less than would be expected’, and say her case highlights the remarkable plasticity of the brain.”
SciAm: Testing Males and Females in Every Medical Experiment Is a Bad Idea. [Men ONLY?!!!]
“In their Nature commentary, the nih officials argue that scientists exclude females by ‘convention’ or to avoid variability caused by hormonal cycles in females.” Um ... ladies, what do you think about this? This sounds as bad as taking an adult dose and reducing it by weight proportion for children, rather than separate studies (children are *not* ‘small adults’).
Time: Salt Doesn’t Cause High Blood Pressure? Here’s What a New Study Says.
“We’ve reported before that the science surrounding salt is crazy confusing, and conflicting studies come out with some frequency. In keeping with the frustrating reality of so many nutrient groups, no one side has definitively won the debate.” Yes, no. Yes, no. No, yes. Listen to your body. Having a BP cuff at home isn’t a bad thing to have anyway. I’ve been surprised how many times I’ve used mine (inherited when my grandmother passed away). Fun to check BP before/after working out, cycling, etc.
Forbes: Early Intervention In Babies May Eliminate Autism Symptoms By Toddlerhood.
“The study was extremely small, and will need to be replicated in a randomized trial of a larger sample of infants. But if the results stand up to more testing, it would suggest that screening in infancy might not only be beneficial, but it might need to be standard.”
SciAm: We Now Have the Cure for Hepatitis C, but Can We Afford It?
SciAm: Sunscreen Floods Oceans as Warmer Waters Boost Tourism.
Now here’s something I haven’t ever thought about before ... the millions of gallons of Sea & Ski [et al] that have gotten dissolved in the oceans over the last 50 or so years ...
DesignByHumans: Human Nutrition Facts T Shirt.
Perfect. Needs an option for “gluten free”, methinks. Don’t want to make any celiac grizzlies ill.
The Atlantic: The Urban Oil Fields of Los Angeles.
One of the lesser-known details of L.A. I was quite surprised when I found out about this a couple of decades ago.
Past Horizons: Roman wooden toilet seat found at Vindolanda.
“Now we need to find the toilet that went with it as Roman loos are fascinating places to excavate – their drains often contain astonishing artefacts. Let’s face it, if you drop something down a Roman latrine you are unlikely to attempt to fish it out unless you are pretty brave or foolhardy.” I have to ask, who’s the poor sod who has to fish it out of the very-well-ripened bog? I mean, look at that photo. Eeee-yuck. I’d wear noseplugs.
Dazed: Grimes turns down her Ice Bucket Challenge nomination.
“Last Friday, Pamela Anderson declined her Ice Bucket Challenge nomination on the grounds that the ALS Association has a poor record of testing on animals. Over the weekend, Grimes has followed suit and turned down Canadian DJ Richie Hawtin’s nom, announcing that she’d be happy to give the money to a charity – just not the ALS organisation that kickstarted the charity challenge.”
Vox: Five fascinating charts on the plummeting teen birth rate.
I’d just heard about the dropping rates via radio on the way home, and here’s extra info. Saves me having to go dig.
NY Times: Real-Life Illness in a Virtual World.
(Raises hand.) I’m one of those folks. The 90’s fave, ‘shaky cam’ technique makes me puke. Plain and simple. Remember the movie, “Breaking the Waves”? I made five minutes before bailing out and sitting in my car, listening to music and hoping my head and stomach would stop roiling, waiting for everyone else to finish the movie. I just can’t do VR until this effect is fixed.
FastCo: Coffee Alternatives That Are Better For Productivity.
I beg to differ. A little cold, fingerless gloves work a treat. Too hot? No A/C? Miserable. Cold’s relatively easier to deal with.
ProPublica, Report: Drillers Illegally Using Diesel Fuel to Frack.
“For many years fracking industry groups insisted their member companies never used diesel fuels in their operations. Then, in 2011, a congressional investigation found that in fact between 2005 and 2009, 12 companies had injected 32 million gallons of diesel fuel or fracking fluids containing diesel fuel in wells in 19 states.” This has been known, and ignored and/or buried, for at least a half-dozen years. Companies rely on semantics to dodge legal bullets.
NY Times: Caffeine May Reduce Tinnitus Risk.
Musicians, slug down that coffee.
SciAm: BPA-Free Plastic Containers May Be Just as Hazardous.
“... recent research reveals that a common BPA replacement, bisphenol S (BPS), may be just as harmful.” I switched to stainless steel bike bottles. They get hot way, way too fast, so they’re not really a good working replacement. But I use ‘em anyway.
DiscoverMag: Annals of Bone-Headed Science Communication.
Archaeology News Network: Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not new ‘hobbit’ human.
“LB1’s short thighbones not only match the height reduction seen in Down syndrome, Eckhardt said, but when corrected statistically for normal growth, they would yield a stature of about 1.26 meters, or just over four feet, a figure matched by some humans now living on Flores and in surrounding regions.” Sorry, Frodo. Not a relative.
Guardian.UK: Aspirin could dramatically cut cancer risk, according to biggest study yet.
“Concluding that the benefits outweighed the risks, Cuzick’s team, writing in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, said that by taking low-dose aspirin every day for 10 years, bowel cancer cases could be cut by about 35% and deaths by 40%. Aspirin could reduce rates of oesophageal and stomach cancers by 30% and deaths from them by 35% to 50%.” Didn’t the FDA just judge aspirin a waste of time for heart patients? [Rummaging in archives] Yep. Close a door, open a window ...
TG’s Political Wire: GOP Lawmaker Says Migrant Children May Carry Ebola.
Seriously? Again, this kind of idiocy should trigger an ejection seat from the US Capitol.
Usually, you only see the perfect performances on video. So much painful.
BBC: Fruit and veg: More than five-a-day ‘no effect’.
SciAm: Farmers Say GMO Corn No Longer Resistant to Pests.
“Seed companies say they warned Brazilian farmers to plant part of their corn fields with conventional seeds to prevent bugs from mutating and developing resistance to GMO seeds.” That’s a short-term solution at best.
DiscoverMag: First Impressions Are Mostly Based on Your Face.
“For example, mouth shape and area were linked to approachability (for which a smile is a big plus), whereas eye shape and area were linked to attractiveness. Reversing this process, the authors were then able to generate simulated cartoon faces that produced specific, predictable first impressions in observers.” My emphasis. Keeps dentists and plastic surgeons in Ferraris, certainly.