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Remember to Exercise, and You’ll Remember More

Old dogs can remember old tricks and learn new ones, say researchers from the National Institutes of Health.  According to an article on EurekAlert, the secret is a program of diet, exercise and stimulating environments.     Scientists got snoopy about old beagles, and found their brains could remain in tip-top shape with lifestyle adjustments.  […]

For Better Workouts, Head for the Hills

Science News1 reported on a study by the American Heart Association that shows hiking in the mountains is good for you.  Experiments on people hiking in the Austrian Alps showed that going uphill, the body improves the processing of fats called triglycerides, and walking downhill improves the processing of glucose sugar.  45 volunteers who were […]

Adult Stem Cells Continue to Work Miracle Cures

Chalk up two more amazing successes for adult stem cells (not derived from human embryos, like the controversial ES stem cells): 1. Blindness:  The BBC News reported that stem cells from the back of the eyeball might be able to restore sight to those afflicted with macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. 2. Parkinson’s […]

Ghost of Hitler Still Haunts Western Medicine

“During the 1930s, the German medical establishment was admired as a world leader in innovative public health and medical research.  The question we want to examine is: ‘How could science be co-opted in such a way that doctors as healers evolved into killers and medical research became torture?’”  The question was posed by Dr. Alan […]

Another Thing to Worry About: Synthetic Biology

Philip Ball is no alarmist, but as consultant editor of Nature,1 he had sobering words last week about things that could go wrong in the new field of synthetic biology, where scientists are tinkering with cells to create artificial life forms: The expanding toolbox of ways to re-engineer microbes – and even construct new ones […]

New Treatment for Hyperactivity: Nature Walks

Hiking in the woods seems to alleviate ADHD, say two researchers from University of Illinois, in two studies mentioned briefly in Science News.1  The article begins, “Does spending more playtime amid greenery improve behavior in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder?” (emphasis added).  Apparently, yes.  The setting, not just the activity, is part of the equation, […]

Bless Your Heart: Exercise for Senior Vitality

A study from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas confirms what we all should know but need to be reminded of frequently: that prolonged, sustained exercise can build up the heart at any age, and provide insurance against heart failure.  The summary on EurekAlert warns, “a sedentary lifestyle, in addition to aging, puts older people […]

Germs and Venoms Can Heal

Three recent stories indicate that “nasty” things can be good, under the right circumstances: Germs and Aging:  Science Now reported that germs may prolong life.  A study on fruit flies showed that flies whose embryos were exposed to bacteria lived longer than those grown under sterile conditions.  Apparently the germs provide services in regulating genes […]

Parasitic Worms Regulate Immune System

Most people will not be ready to stomach a suggestion from the July 9 issue of Science1: parasitic worms can be good for you.  Yikes: what’s next– worm therapy?     According to Joel Weinstock of the University of Iowa, evidence is increasing that worms help regulate the immune system, and show promising results for […]

MRI Overtaking X-Rays

The British Medical Journal 12 June cover story1 says that recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging may soon make MRI supersede X-ray as the preferred technology for whole body imaging.  MRI avoids the damage caused by X-rays and provides more contrast and detail, especially in the detection of cancer.  MRI is also replacing traditional autopsy […]

Weeds to Your Health

Why traverse the rain forests for miracle drugs, EurekAlert asks, when the weeds we yank out of our gardens may hold promise for curing a host of common health woes.  John Richard Stepp (University of Florida) claims that fast-growing, herbaceous field plants are more likely to hold useful substances than those deep in jungles.  Indigenous […]

Exercise Your Nerves

A team of neurologists from UCLA and duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware found that voluntary exercise improves regeneration of neurons, both for those who work out, and for those recuperating after injury.  The abstract in PNAS1 states: Recent advances in understanding the role of neurotrophins on activity-dependent plasticity have provided insight into how behavior […]

Stem Cell Cover-Up?

Stem cells, most have heard, hold promise for many life-saving cures.  Michael Fumento in Insight Magazine claims that while adult stem cells have shown many positive results, the media and science establishments tend to hype the benefits of embryonic stem cells while glossing over the ethical and moral problems they present.     Recently, Nature1 […]

Male Imparts More to Embryo than Just DNA

A team of biologists have confirmed that male sperm RNAs are delivered to the oocyte along with the DNA.  Specifically, paternal messenger RNAs are delivered to the egg.  These might influence development and put the male’s imprint on the developing zygote.  Writing in Nature,1 the researchers speculate what the finding means: Why should spermatozoa messenger […]

Is It Possible to Be Too Clean?

Mr. Clean may have a bad immune system.  A story in EurekAlert says kids without enough exposure to infectious agents are at greater risk of autoimmune diseases.  “The cleaner everyone is, the less stimulation their immune system gets,” says [Nora] Sarvetnick [of Scripps Research Institute]. “Their immune system tends to be incomplete.”  Stimulation increases the […]
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