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3 Out of 5 Doctors – Leaves 2

Every once in awhile it’s good to be reminded that yesterday’s nutritional advice can be wrong.  We need to beware of simplistic approaches to health.  For instance, the cliches “If a little is good, more is better” or “it worked for me” can be deadly.  TV commercials are filled with glowing promises for this or […]

Music Out of Range of Darwin’s Instrument

In Science this week,1 Michael Balter reported on a Montreal meeting of the Brain, Music and Sound Research Center (BRAMS).  The center is gaining attention for its renewed interest in the biology of music, and why human beings are so good at this skill with its dubious survival value.  The topic came up about how […]

The Space Race: Just Staying Alive

“Ad astra!” the sci-fi slogan announces with eternal optimism: “To the stars!”  Medical doctors and astrobiologists are not sure you would want to stay there long, though.  Some recent findings give a dismal picture of the prospects for life – human or bacterial – at least in our solar system, if that can be assumed […]

Muscles Use Gears, Automatic Transmission

Analogies may not be perfect representations of reality, but it must pique the interest of all of us the way Elisabeth Pennisi in Science1 compared muscle to cars and bicycles: One look at a ballerina as she pirouettes and poses drives home the remarkable ability of our muscles to adapt to diverse biomechanical demands.  Manny […]

Your Body Knows Its Allies at Gut Level

How come your body doesn’t fight its good bacteria?  It sounds like a question only a scientist or a kid would ask, but think about it.  Your body jumps to arms to fight off pathogens, but lets millions of bacteria live in the intestines.  These bacteria help you digest your food, but are not “you.”  […]

Human Endurance: Is It Evolutionary?

Some people are gluttons for punishment.  Many a couch potato is probably content to watch an Ironman or Ultramarathon on HDTV from a recliner, but the ones who take part in the grueling endurance contests gaining popularity illustrate some human capabilities scientists are only beginning to understand.  Nature1 described one called the Primal Quest adventure […]

How Your Brain Conducts Itself at Attention

The conductor taps the stand.  All the musicians, who had been warming up or conversing with neighbors, suddenly hush and rivet their attention on the conductor.  The downbeat comes, and a marvel of coordination comes to life, each skilled player contributing to a unified yet diverse exhibition of harmonious sound.     Something like that […]

Are Embryonic Stem Cells a Stepping Stone to Eugenics?

In Paris, according to Science Dec. 8, “One cherished French institution has attacked another in a bruising battle over embryonic stem cell research.”  The cause of the “Jeremiad” as Science dubbed it, was a Catholic Archbishop’s statement to a French health institute that any research “instrumentalizes the embryo or borders on eugenics.”  The “News of […]

Experiment: Take a Darwinist to Church

“Go to church and breathe easier,” announced an unusual entry on EurekAlert.  A study at Temple University found a positive correlation between religious activity and lung function.  They said that “religious activity is emerging as a potential health promoting factor, especially among the elderly.”  In addition, “going to church provides social contact and emotional support, […]

How Your Joints Auto-Lubricate Themselves

Motion sets up an automated process that produces more lubricant for the joints, scientists at UC San Diego found.  EurekAlert explains how shear forces on cartilage stimulated it to produce proteoglycan 4, which secretes joint fluid where it coats and lubricates cartilage surfaces.  This way, the fluid is produced according to the need of the […]

How Stem Cell Reporting Can Blur Ethics

“The potential of stem-cell technologies to revolutionize medical care is causing great excitement among biologists and the general public,” Nature reported Nov 30.1  “ Recent studies on embryonic and adult stem cells, coupled with advances in our understanding of how they can be coaxed into forming particular cell types and tissues, have improved the prospects […]

Male Nipples: Two Views

Is there a beachgoer who has not wondered why men have nipples?  Since Live Science brought it up, let’s use this as a case study on how evolutionists and creationists explain things. The Evolutionist View:  Live Science claims we all start out as females in the womb, and only after about 60 days the testosterone […]

Take Your Flu Pill: Vitamin D

Vitamin D may be a multi-purpose germ fighter.  An article by Janet Roloff in Science News1 gathered evidence from several research labs that strongly suggests this molecule triggers the formation of one of the body’s effective antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal agents: cathelicidin.  In its activated form, vitamin D binds to a short section of DNA called […]

It’s Hard to Break a Bone

People wearing a cast right now may not feel comfortable, but should be thankful it’s hard to break a bone.  Scientists at Max Planck Institute discovered “a novel construction principle at the nanoscale which prevents bones from breaking at excessive force,” making them “nearly unbreakable.”  Because of the way the rigid components of bone tissue […]

Brain Compensates for Eye Movements

Your eyes are continually jumping in little movements called saccades, yet your brain interprets the view as a steady image.  How can that be?  Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh are on the track of finding out “why our shifty eyes don’t drive us crazy.”  They’ve discovered that the signal that sends a command to […]
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