Observer: Nootropic Brain Drugs Rise in Popularity for Today’s Cutthroat Corporate Climbers.
Reminds me of salespersons popping Prozac for its ‘mood brightening’ capabilities in the ‘90’s. There was a belief system that grew around it; if you didn’t pop ‘Prozac-Pez’, you couldn’t compete effectively with those who did.
Guardian.UK: Alzheimer’s disease study - caveats aside, the findings are encouraging.
“The latest study suggests that in Alzheimer’s, immune cells that normally protect the brain instead begin to consume a vital nutrient called arginine. By blocking this process with a drug, the team from Duke University in North Carolina were able to prevent the formation of plaques and also halt memory loss in mice.”
SF New Mexican: New Mexico duck tests positive for bird flu.
Guardian.UK: Robot reveals inside Fukushima nuclear reactor – video.
Doesn’t look particularly auspicious; I have no way to judge.
Guardian.UK: Plucking hair out can stimulate growth, study finds.
“It would be a bit of a leap of faith to expect this to work in bald men without doing more experiments.” Uh-huh. Works damned well for ear hair, nose hair and those hairs between your eyebrows, I can tell you THAT.
SciAm: When Peanut Allergy Comes from a Blood Transfusion.
Never realized this was an issue.
SciAm: Statins May Affect Memory.
“... recently a small number of users have voiced concerns that the drugs elicit unexpected cognitive side effects, such as memory loss, fuzzy thinking and learning difficulties. Hundreds of people have registered complaints with MedWatch, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s adverse drug reaction database, but few studies have been done and the results are inconclusive.” Keep a weather eye on your parents and other older family members.
SciAm: Mothers Who Eat a Newborn’s Placenta May or May Not Benefit.
A lot of ‘I don’t knows’, but: “Some people talk about actually putting the placenta in recipes, cooking and eating it that way. If that’s done, you probably are destroying any of the potential benefits that you might be getting, because a lot of the proteins and hormones and blood products are broken down by cooking. It’s not like meat. Meat is really muscle, and the placenta is not.”
Guardian.UK: Drinking too much iced tea caused man’s kidney failure, doctors say.
Doesn’t this mean the entire nation of Great Britain is about to drop dead (tea-drinkers)?
BBC: Ratchet boots make walking 7% easier.
Guardian.UK: New studies link pollution to a variety of health risks.
Specifically, for us in the West: “Peterson said that in less urban areas, exposure to pollutants from wildfires, agricultural burning and hazardous waste sites might be more relevant, and that women and children should remain indoors and use air conditioners as much as possible to avoid the airborne products of these fires.” My italics.
DiscoverMag: Simple Facial Scans Reveal How Fast a Person Is Aging.
“Four measurements — mouth width, nose width, mouth-nose distance and eye droop — were key indicators, shared by both sexes, of the aging process at work.” I’ll never look in the mirror the same way again.
Pacific Standard: Clues That the Immune System Is Behind Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
You know, it wasn’t so long ago that CFS was considered a mythical hypochondriac disease. Just remembering how meanspirited many were to sufferers.
NY Times: Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research.
For heart disease specifically, in this article’s scope. For its anti inflammatory effect, there is good research available.
In These Times: Is There Anything Wrong with GMOs?
“Everybody thinks patenting plant materials happened with GMOs, but it didn’t. It goes back to the 1930s. Farmers in the developed world have been buying seeds from companies for many, many years.” And, indeed, it is true. Other interesting tidbits within.
TG’s Political Wire: Reagan’s Speeches Analyzed for Dementia.
“The findings [snip] do not prove that Mr. Reagan exhibited signs of dementia that would have adversely affected his judgment and ability to make decisions in office.” Um ... if you lived through the era, you’d know that’s not exactly true. We knew he was impaired in 1980; no media sources wanted to touch it at the time. If you remember the veritable ‘cuckoo klatches’ he called press conferences, you’ll know what I mean [how many clarifications they had to make, every time he began to ‘wing it’]. Only when Mondale ran up against him in ‘84, did the wall of silence begin to crack.
I had a dream the other day: A prominent Democrat comes out with Reagan’s exact 1980 platform. The Right vilifies her/him as a “liberal”. The candidate reveals who authored the platform, and then offers to switch parties if folks will vote for her/him, appealing directly to the people. Kinda entertaining.
Josh Mitteldorf: Fertility is Kaput, but Life Goes On.
“An infertile, older population acts as a kind of buffer during times when the population might otherwise be expanding too fast. When there is plenty of food, the post-reproductive segment eats some of it, but they do not add to population growth in the next generation. Then, when times become more difficult and food is scarce, the older, weaker segment of the population is the first to die off, and this is no real loss to the population’s reproductive potential.” Quite interesting; do add it to this week’s reading list.
Star Telegram: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found downwind from feedlots.
“For years, scientists have known that people can contract antibiotic-resistant bacteria by consuming contaminated meat or water. Smith and Mayer’s findings indicate that humans could also be exposed to ‘super bugs’ or ‘super bacteria’ traveling through the air.” Close your windows, turn on that A/C, when you drive by feedlots.
c|net: Driver follows GPS off disused bridge, and wife dies, police say.
I assume self-driving cars will have failsafes for bad GPS coordinates ...
PopSci: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Are No Match For Medieval Potion.
Gross, but “... the combined liquid killed almost all the cells; only about one in 1,000 bacteria survived.” No word on what it does to the host ...
Mashable: Belle Gibson built a career on curing cancer — but did she have it?
How many people do we read, every day, who are also obscuring the truth?
Archaeology News Network: Ear bone of Neanderthal child points to anatomical differences.
“... we do not yet know the relation between these morphological differences and hearing in the Neanderthals. This would constitute a new challenge for the future.” Now there’s something mindbending. More or less sensitive hearing?
Reddit/Sci: Folic acid lowers stroke risk in people with high blood pressure - large clinical trial.
Read the comments before slamming folic acid tabs.
SciAm: Memories May Not Live in Neurons’ Synapses.
“The idea that synapses store memories has dominated neuroscience for more than a century, but a new study by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, may fundamentally upend it: instead memories may reside inside brain cells.” Hmmm. Bad for PTSD sufferers, but potentially good for Alzheimer’s patients.
In These Times: Obamacare and Its Discontents.
“In an era when the insured are facing rising out-of-pocket health expenses—up to $13,200 a year after premiums for family plans bought on the ACA exchange — I worry far more about all of the families who sacrifice needed care because of the crushing financial burden of high deductibles and copayments.” In recent casual discussions on Facebook, I see significant dissatisfaction in Democratic ranks over health care costs. It seems we have two kinds of Dems these days ... vocal ‘true believers’ and ‘silent sufferers.’ The sufferers need to be heard, in order to avoid a rout in 2016. And the ‘true believers’ need to unstop their ears, stop singing praises at the top of their lungs, and hear what’s being said by those who are having a difficult time with the quasi-religious health ‘miracle’.
My answer, so far, to dissatisfied Dems: The Republicans so far only offer to repeal the ACA. If so, does anyone actually believe rates might drop? What of pre-existing conditions, now revealed to governmental databases? Taking it back, I can’t see insurers making any other move than keeping current high deductibles and charging *more*. Who in the US doesn’t have a pre-existing condition, that the insurers can skyrocket rates for?
We need single-payer. The person who could simply explain the benefits (now that the complexities of the ACA are generally understood) and get it passed, gets a free pass to the Presidency. I feel enough people see the benefits now, and might cross party lines to go ‘all the way’.
Turn the tables on the situation, in other words. Republicans would simply rebrand it, and push it via their channels, hard. Dems just can’t get over the need to explain everything in detail. They need James Carville to be point man.