EurekAlert: Muscular heart failure patients may have a better chance at survival: U of A study.
“The study also discovered that testing just the body mass index (BMI) of heart failure patients doesn’t accurately measure their body fat status. Oreopoulos found 41 per cent of the participants were inaccurately classified by BMI. Many who had a high body weight but not high body fat were mislabelled as obese and others who did not weigh a lot but had a high amount of body fat were mislabelled as normal by BMI.” This is why I’ve never gotten along with BMI measures. Sounds like medicine is wising up.
Science Daily: Of bugs and brains: Gut bacteria affect multiple sclerosis.
“‘As we live cleaner, we’re not just changing our exposure to infectious agents, but we’re changing our relationship with the entire microbial world, both around and inside us, and we may be altering the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory bacteria,’ leading to diseases like MS, Mazmanian says. ‘Perhaps treatments for diseases such as multiple sclerosis may someday include probiotic bacteria that can restore normal immune function in the gut ... and the brain.’” Gut bugs. I’m telling you, intestinal flora surfaces in more and more medical studies these days.
New Scientist: Stingy aliens may call us on cheap rates only.
Theoretical alien economics hits SETI.
Geeks Are Sexy: Largest Star Records Demolished.
“The British astronomers who found it said this week that though it’s currently 265 times larger than our Sun, it may well have been as much as 320 times larger when it was first born. That’s twice the size of any star previously found.”
New Scientist: Skull tells tale of the lost primates of the Caribbean.
“... although the skull is only a few thousand years old — too young to be called a fossil — the rear of its braincase is unlike that of any modern monkey. Instead, it most resembles a monkey that lived 16 million years ago in modern-day Argentina.” Oooh, call Professor Challenger [The Lost World, Conan Doyle.]
Boston University School of Public Health: BUSPH Researchers Link Widely Used Chemicals to ADHD in C
More reasons to avoid Teflon, Scotchguard, etc. etc.
kottke: Original Apollo 11 CBS News broadcast.
New Scientist: How a changing diet rules a growing baby’s guts.
“Ley says early childhood could be a good time to manipulate gut bacteria to influence future health, since the bacteria appear to respond readily to changes in diet at this age.” There are new theories out that introducing gluten foods too early will set up acne, gluten intolerance, and other maladies later in life. Theories. Worth watching, to see where they lead.
NPR: NASA Waits For Spirit Rover To Send Signal From Mars.
“Even if it does wake up, its roving days are likely over. Two of its 6 motorized wheels have stopped working, and mission managers are not optimistic about getting it rolling again. But Callas says if Spirit does wake up, it still makes a great weather station, and can help with experiments designed to understand the planet’s core.”
Flickr, Smithsonian: George A. Van Biesbroeck (1880-1974).
Now THAT’S steampunk. Before steampunk ever existed. Hell, I want to use that telescope.
Miller-McCune: The Lure of Tradition: Longevity Bias Proves Persistent.
“Telling people something has stood the test of time makes them more likely to judge it favorably, whether they are assessing art or acupuncture.” I’m sure if the same test were done with “latest genomic testing”, they could elicit this same result. It’s all in the framing.
Discover Magazine: Yes, We Should Clone Neanderthals.
”When the technology is safe and the ability to nurture and care for her in place, we owe it to humanity as a whole to clone a Neanderthal and see what wonders she might teach us about ourselves.” The ethical and moral complications are nothing to sneeze at. Dolly, the cloned sheep, had a poor end-of-life experience. Cancer, possible premature aging. Should/could we experiment as blithely with a human?
Science Daily: Anti-cancer effects of broccoli ingredient explained.
“Researchers writing in BioMed Central’s open access journal Molecular Cancer have found that sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli, interacts with cells lacking a gene called PTEN to reduce the chances of prostate cancer developing.”
New Scientist: Geoengineering fix won’t suit everyone.
“The team found that introducing a sunshade reduced both heat and precipitation. But no matter how thick they made it, the team could not get both factors back to their starting levels.”
Discovery News: ‘Ouchless’ Microneedles Deliver Pain-Free Vaccines.
“The new patch might actually be more effective than shots at generating an immune response, the researchers say. Standard vaccines are injected into muscles, but ‘there really are no immune cells in there,’ Sullivan says. [snip] With the microneedle patch, the vaccine is delivered into the immune-cell–rich skin.”
New Scientist: Navy laser roasts incoming drones in mid-air.
I’d like to see the same demonstration on a drone using reasonable avoidance maneuvres. As in, jigging all over the sky.
Wired: SpaceShipTwo Makes First Flight With Crew Aboard.
Science Daily: Insight into why low calorie diet can extend lifespan - even if adopted later in life
“By looking at mice fed a restricted diet the team found that they had a reduced accumulation of senescent cells in their livers and intestines. Both organs are known to accumulate large numbers of these cells as animals age.” The more you run through the system, the faster you wear it out ... with attendant downstream effects.
SPACE.com: Record Collapse of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere Puzzles Scientists.
“Something is going on that we do not understand.” Now that’s a breath of fresh air. A simple “we don’t know” once in a while sure helps science be more approachable.
New Scientist: Single star count ups odds of ET.
“Previous surveys had suggested that most systems containing a star the same mass as our sun have two or more stars orbiting each other, in contrast to our solar system. Now that has been thrown into doubt. When Deepak Raghavan of Georgia State University in Atlanta and colleagues looked at 454 sun-like stars, they found that 56 per cent were single like our sun and just 44 per cent had a stellar companion.” So, those little grey dudes who knocked on my door the other night, asking for Roswell, were legit?
Guardian.UK: Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks restored to original purity.
“Conservation work on old masters is a contentious subject, irreparable damage having been done in the past using now discredited methods. However the curator, Luke Syson, and director of conservation, Larry Keith, argued it was essential to tackle the Leonardo because the varnish applied in 1948 was unstable and yellowing, and was trapping dirt in fine surface cracking, meaning that Leonardo’s subtle modelling and sense of space were being lost.”
Discovery News: Medici Family Cold Case Finally Solved.
A score for science ... finding two Medicis who weren’t poisoned.
BBC News: Mona Lisa painting gives up more secrets to science.
“It is clear from the analysis that Da Vinci was able to apply glazes in layers just a couple micrometres (thousandths of a millimetre) thick, building up to a total thickness of no more than 30 to 40 micrometres.”
NPR: Why High Heels Hurt Even After You Take Them Off.
Um, hasn’t this been known for decades already?