SciAm: Protective Gene Staves Off Dementia.
Lithium apparently activates the protein.
BBC: Older sperm donors ‘just as good’.
“We know that as men go above the age of 40 and go into their fifties, their chances of getting a woman pregnant does reduce as a consequence of age. ‘I don’t think you can take this data and apply it uncritically to the general population, the advice would still be you should be trying to have a child before the age of 40 or 45.’” Interesting. In America, there is heavy pressure from the medical establishment to have children before 35, a full decade earlier. Anyone over 35 is treated as a ‘risky’ pregnancy, with attendant elevated costs. Yet, if you look through photos from the past, you see middle-aged mothers everywhere. Granted, earlier is better (less genetic mutations). But older is not an impossibility, as some seem to believe.
ContactMusic: Jeff Beck Opens Up About Hospital Visit On Brian Wilson Tour.
“During a stop in Chicago, Illinois, Beck attended a hospital and underwent an endoscopy - an internal examination with a flexible camera - but he was determined to continue with the concerts.” Two months ago. I’ve been trying to find any explanation of Jeff’s recent hospital visit and withdrawal from touring. Worrisome.
Powered by Osteons: Lead Poisoning in Rome - The Skeletal Evidence.
“Did lead poisoning cause the fall of the Roman Empire? Probably not.” You know what’s funny? Look up “Roman lead pots” on Google. You won’t find many - at least, I didn’t. Lead-glazed ceramics, yes. Lead-riveted and lead-stapled metals yes. But no pure “lead pots”. I think historians need to be a bit more specific when writing about the circumstance. The amount of infusion from a lead glaze is not the same as a pure ‘lead pot’.
Personal: Eye update, standing desk update.
The right eye, ongoing PVD: Gross. Oh, I can see clearly out of it most of the time. But. I have a C-shaped floater just to the right of my central vision, which flips in and out of center depending on how I move the eye. Like having a marionette worm in my vision. Moving my eye side to side, it’s like trying to look through a clear jelly danish. Lots of out-of-focus stuff going by. The light sensitivity has subsided, along with the headaches (thank goodness). Eye appointment next Tuesday, new verdict then. I see no signs of retinal detachment, but the risk continues for three months.
Standing desk experiment: A Keurig packaging box, laid on its side, is almost perfect to stick a board on to hold my keyboard and mouse [temporary rig]. I find myself more focused, definitely. Standing constantly (of course I’d go whole hog and not mix standing and sitting), I find my leg strength has been challenged a bit. Nighttime is the worst. The hamstrings just plain old HURT. Stretches don’t do enough to salve the soreness. Totally new appreciation for cashiers, hairdressers and others who stand all day. I remembered a physician’s recommend of Omega 3 supplementation for ‘restless leg’, and decided to try it (going to two or three softgels a day), and that seems to have stopped the nighttime pain as I adjust. “Vitamin I” (Ibuprofen) had no effect.
Assessment: Painful in early stages, but very much worth the experiment.
One thing I can tell you for sure: going through RSS feeds at a standing desk, I’m much more deft at tossing questionable material away. If I have to stand for it, I want real value for my post. Dubious writing? Don’t waste my time. Out you go. READ.
Archaeology News Network: Study provides first direct evidence of plants in Neanderthal diet.
Guitar World: Jeff Beck Cancels Second Leg of European Tour Due to Medical Concerns.
Oh no! Best wishes for a quick and complete recovery, Jeff.
ArtsJournal: Aging, as in Fine Wine.
Guardian.UK: Controversial Seralini study linking GM to cancer in rats is republished.
“Republishing data that was faulty in the first place in study design and analysis does not provide redemption. Furthermore, it is now possible to publish almost anything in open access journals” Oh, lordy. I still maintain, a site that requotes this study sans caveats will not be linked from *my* blog.
PS Mag: A Lifetime of Intellectual Stimulation Staves Off Dementia.
“The onset of cognitive impairment was delayed, on average, by more than eight and one-half years for people who ranked in the top 25 percent in terms of lifetime intellectual enrichment, compared to those in the bottom 25 percent.”
Guardian.UK: Exercise or bust? Breasts and physical activity.
From my discussions with friends who have undergone reduction surgery, it was a) unwelcome male behavior and b) exercise issues that prompted their elective surgery. Not a one has regretted the choice.
Archaeology News Network: Mystery of the blinking child mummy solved,
Modern Farmer: The Abstinence Method.
“Large-scale agriculture proponents reject any link between farms and human health problems. In publications and testimony, spokespeople for conventional meat production have said that taking away antibiotics would cut productivity and raise costs. But the Netherlands’ success demonstrates this isn’t true.”
OpenCulture: The Oldest Known Illustration of Circumcision (2400 B.C.E.).
NPR: Eccentric Heiress’s Untouched Treasures Head For The Auction Block.
“She had three apartments on New York’s Fifth Avenue, all filled with treasures worth millions, not to mention a mansion in Connecticut and a house in California. But the enigmatic heiress Huguette Clark lived her last 20 years in a plainly decorated hospital room — even though she wasn’t sick.”
LiveScience: Remains of ‘End of the World’ Epidemic Found in Ancient Egypt.
“The researchers also found three kilns where the lime was produced, as well as a giant bonfire containing human remains, where many of the plague victims were incinerated.” The epidemiology section on Wikipedia is of interest here.
PLOS ONE: The Estrogen Hypothesis of Obesity.
“Aside from a simple matter of caloric intake, there appears to be other characters in the story of weight gain. The influence of soy on contributing to weight gain has been recently established.” More studies are needed, of course.
Later: Lest you think ‘good old’ copper piping is a panacea, compared to PVC. Mildly high copper levels were, once upon a time, linked to schizophrenia … in double-checking against current medical research, that may no longer be the case.
National Geographic: Our Skulls Didn’t Evolve to be Punched.
Yeah, it didn’t make sense to me either, so I didn’t link it.
PLOS Biology: Moving beyond the GM Debate.
Whether you are pro- or con-, this is a powerful piece.
BoingBoing: Vermeer’s paintings might be 350 year-old color photographs.
Or eye impairments. We habitually look for the exotic excuse. No doubt we were as innovative in the past as we are today in looking for better ways to do things, but we shouldn’t be so quick to discount that which we today take for granted. Along these lines, you can purchase a ‘Neolucida’, and play around with a modern take on the Instagram of the 1800’s.
Eye update [ongoing PVD].
Flashing increasing, floaters increasing. I keep checking my eyesight with this handy chart [bless you folks]. If I notice any untoward visual elements, I’ll call the doc again.
I think the biggest bummer about this is the headaches. Noone really tells you about the grittiness of the eye, and the resultant headaches of … what I best-guess is … extra strain trying to encourage sharp sight.
So, the prognosis is … progressing, but not through yet.
In the meantime, I’m re-reading Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” in classic book (paper) form, and finding my initial reading was done way, way too quickly. I can spend an entire day on a page … or almost.
SciAm: Wikipedia Dicey As Medical Info Source.
“Researchers who compared peer-reviewed articles to the Wikipedia pages for the 10 most costly medical conditions in the U.S. — including heart disease, back pain and osteoarthritis — discovered incorrect information on 9 out of 10 pages.”
BBC: Scrap plan to extend statin use, say doctors.
The Atlantic: How Americans Got Red Meat Wrong.
“In other words, meat eating went down just before coronary disease took off. Fat intake did rise during those years, from 1909 to 1961, when heart attacks surged, but this 12 percent increase in fat consumption was not due to a rise in animal fat. It was instead owing to an increase in the supply of vegetable oils, which had recently been invented.”
Valet: Do Some Pushups.
I don’t recommend pushups as a sole exercise; overstresses the shoulder joint, esp. in out-of-shape people. You’re only exercising the front of the deltoid, creating an imbalance in the joint. You need to strengthen the other portions of the shoulder (kickbacks, lateral raises) to avoid soreness — and if that soreness is ignored long term, injury.