I find it sad that people have to keep discovering wisdom through their own tragedies. I am saying this in the hope that you will take the time to read on, learn from the wisdom of others, and not require a disaster to become your teacher.
Have you ever wondered how freshly baked bread gets its a golden brown crust and why it smells so good? Or how nondescript green berries turn into beautiful brown coffee beans with a rich alluring aroma?
A golden era of antibiotics shifted the leading causes of death away from infection to cancer and cardiovascular disease. At the moment, we can still treat most infections as only a few are resistant to what is currently the last line of antibiotics – the colistins.
Everyone knows that Britain’s conclusive victory over Napoleon was at Waterloo. The story of that day – the squares of infantry repulsing cavalry charges, the Imperial Guard retreating under murderous musket fire delivered by a red line of soliders, the just-in-time arrival of Field Marshal Blücher’s Prussian army – is one of excitement, horror and heroism.
We know so much about the genes that cause disease, so why are we not approaching an age of Star-Trek-like medicine in which a doctor can wave a handheld device over a patient, claim to have sequenced the genes of the offending pathogen, then move rapidly to a cure?
The near panic caused by the rapid spread of the Zika virus has brought new urgency to the question of how best to control mosquitoes that transmit human diseases. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bite people across the globe, spreading three viral diseases: dengue, chikungunya and Zika.
Last week, the National Obesity Forum caused a furore by claiming that eating fat, including saturated fat, will help cut rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Public Health England hit back, calling NOF’s advice “irresponsible”.
Marisa Fisher's research suggests people with Williams syndrome can learn to say no to strangers, refuting past studies that indicated sociability may be hard-wired in individuals with Williams syndrome.
Alcohol: why do we drink it? People have been consuming alcohol for at least 10,000 years. And when drinking water was rather risky, alcohol seemed a much safer bet. Amaldus of Villanova, a 14th-century monk, even wrote that alcohol “prolongs life, clears away ill humors, revives the heart and maintains youth”.
"As doctors, we throw things like antihistamines, ointments, and lotions at patients who suffer chronic itching, but if there is something profoundly abnormal about the immune system—as it appears there is—then we can't solve the itching until we address those underlying causes," says Brian S. Kim.
In the past week you’ve probably eaten crops that wouldn’t exist in nature, or that have evolved extra genes to reach freakish sizes. You’ve probably eaten “cloned” food and you may have even eaten plants whose ancestors were once deliberately blasted with radiation. And you could have bought all this without leaving the “organic” section of your local supermarket.
Despite massive government, medical and individual efforts to win the war on obesity, 71 percent of Americans are overweight. The average adult is 24 pounds heavier today than in 1960. Our growing girth adds some US$200 billion per year to our health care expenditure, amounting to a severe health crisis.
"Conflict happens in every marriage, but people deal with it in different ways. Some of us explode with anger; some of us shut down," says Claudia Haase. "Our study shows that these different emotional behaviors can predict the development of different health problems in the long run."
Many people believe eating healthily is expensive – and more costly than buying junk food. But our new research, published in the journal BMC Public Health, shows this isn’t the case.
“I have something to say. I want to share it with you.” By tapping a few keys in a specific sequence, I have made a code emerge on the screen. When you see these words, the language area of your brain (usually the left side) converts the sequence into meaning. If I have selected well, this meaning will match the message I wanted to convey.
Traditionally, someone who suffered from hypertension – or high blood pressure – would only receive treatment when his or her blood pressure was measured and the reading was found be higher than normal. But this meant that the condition was often picked up only when the person had a stroke or a heart attack – and in many instances this was too late.
It only takes a single fly to alight on your picnic lunch to make you uneasy about what germs may have landed with it. But what harm can come from a fly landing on your food? Should you throw it away?
Consuming too much energy – whether from fat or carbohydrates, including sugar – will make you gain weight. If left unchecked, this excess weight increases your risk of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
"It's a little bit like some kind of Halloween stuff happening," says Omer Inan. "You're listening to your bones rubbing on each other, or maybe cartilage."
Have you ever wondered why you have so many different types of flour in your pantry? You might have cornflour and arrowroot, self-raising, and plain flour. And if you like to bake bread, possibly strong bakers’ flour.
The study shows that blue-enriched light exposure acutely altered metabolic function in both the morning and the evening compared to dim light
Osteoarthritis affects about eight million people in the UK, and rheumatoid arthritis a further half a million. Unfortunately, there is no cure. The most advanced treatments available today offer only limited relief from joint pain and swelling.
"A shift of attention is needed from disease-focused management, such as medications for hypertension or high cholesterol, to overall well-being across many areas," says William Dale.
Some of us are more ticklish than others, but nearly everyone is unable to tickle themselves. The answer is tied to how we see and how we perceive movement.
BBP is not used in food preparation, but it is used in the conveyor belts and plastic fittings on machines used to process many prepared foods. Food becomes contaminated when BBP leeches into it from the plastic.
"These findings provide us with a much better understanding of how this class of drugs may act upon the brain in ways that might raise the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia," says Shannon Risacher. "Physicians might want to consider alternatives to anticholinergic medications if available when working with their older patients."
Sitting quietly in the corner, we watch a daily family ritual: in the living room awash with soft afternoon light, a six-year-old boy is sitting on the floor, controller in hand, eyes firmly on the television screen. His fingers expertly guide the colorful character in Skylanders, from time to time glancing over his shoulder and grinning at the figure on the sofa, his 68-year-old grandmother.
"People who live in rural areas and who use private wells need to have their well water tested, particularly if they are thinking about becoming pregnant," Jean Brender says.
I taught myself about orphanages 12 years ago, not actually because of my work as a human biologist but because of my daughter. She was born in 2004 and her first 14 months of life were spent in an orphanage in China.
Hospital infections affect almost two million people in the United States every year, 100,000 of whom die. Up to 70 percent of these infections could be prevented if health care workers follow recommended protocols, which include hand hygiene.
Anyone who regularly uses social media will have had the experience of feeling envious of the fun their friends all seem to be having. This might especially be the case if you’re are sitting at home on a cold wet evening, feeling bored while everyone else is partying or having a glamorous holidays in the sun.
Even though most people don’t know much about chemicals in general or poisons in particular, virtually everyone knows that arsenic is bad. In the first century, arsenic was already known to be a deadly poison .
Regular participation in muscle strengthening activity such as weight or resistance training has many health benefits. However, this mode of exercise has been largely overlooked in health promotion.
"Prevention is key for fighting obesity, but until now, we didn't have any concrete evidence for guiding patients on how to prevent that weight gain," says Deborah Tate. "Now, for the first time, we do."
The opioid abuse epidemic is a full-fledged item in the 2016 campaign, and with it questions about how to combat the problem and treat people who are addicted.
Eating fast foods like hamburgers, sausages, and pizza, as well as commercial baked goods such as muffins, doughnuts, and croissants has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of depression.
"If older adults are more likely to have these pain messages sent through the spinal cord to the brain, and the nervous system is being adapted to go through these changes, they may become more pain prone," says Joseph Riley.
Children in Canada, their parents, health professionals and government ministers will welcome the news that there has been a decline in overweight and obese children over the past ten years. The reduction in the proportion of children in Canada who are overweight or obese is a rare achievement.
Chicken noodle soup is regarded as a therapeutic dish in several cultures, including Jewish-American and Chinese communities where traditional medicine is practised.
Almost every product we purchase, use in our homes or give to our children contains tens, if not hundreds, of chemicals. The United States chemical industry alone produced US$769.4 billion worth of chemicals in 2012.
Current guidelines suggest adults should accrue at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. However, 60% of us fail to meet this recommendation, and around one in six aren’t doing any regular exercise at all.
The drugs are sold under the brand names Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, and Protonix, among others. More than 15 million Americans have prescriptions for PPIs, although the number of people taking PPIs is likely higher because the figure does not include PPIs bought over-the-counter without prescriptions.
“I’m vegetarian.” “I’m vegan.” These statements typically will be met with a range of reactions, varying from bafflement to praise. But what makes people adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet?
Drinking cherry concentrate can lower systolic blood pressure for up to three hours, our latest study found. If tart Montmorency cherry concentrate was a drug, it would probably get FDA approval.
Whether it’s your head, tooth or back, when you’re in pain, it’s hard to think about anything else. If it’s not too strong, some can ride it out. But in many cases, the pain just gets worse and won’t go away until you take something.
Anybody suffering from a food allergy will know what a huge cause of anxiety it can be. From forensically examining information on food packaging to having to repeatedly ask restaurant staff detailed questions about their ingredients, it can take up a lot of time and energy. And, even then, there are still uncertainties to deal with.
Historically called the disease of kings, gout was common among wealthy gents who could afford to eat and drink to excess. These days it doesn’t just affect the rich: rates of gout have been increasing globally since the 1960s. It now affects around 70,000 Australians a year and is more common in men aged over 70.
Most women will have been made aware they have a “biological clock” and that it’s ticking. Most know the older women become the harder it is for them to conceive. But most probably don’t know it’s because women are born with a limited supply of eggs, and eventually they will run out.
From believing that clouds are alien spaceships to thinking that MI6 agents are following you in unmarked cars, delusions are the hallmark of severe mental illness.
People who ate 100 grams of chocolate a day—basically one bar—had reduced insulin resistance and improved liver enzymes. Insulin sensitivity is a well-established risk factor to cardiovascular disease.
Conversation about how often you have to get up at night for a piddle is probably not the most scintillating discourse. But there’s a much bigger reason men don’t like to talk about prostate conditions.
Children who had vitamin D stores above the threshold recommended by the Canadian Pediatric Society averaged around 450 grams (or about one pound) less body fat at 3 years of age.
Although breast cancer is usually seen as a woman’s disease, around 145 Australian men were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and around 25 died from it. A little under 1% of all breast cancers occur in men, so it is more common than most people think.
The calls and e-mails arrive as often as several times a week from people with concerns about drinking water. Some of the callers — who include homeowners, architects and builders — want to know why their water smells like gasoline.
How long you live depends in part on the genes you inherit. For example, those suffering from Werner’s syndrome have inherited two defective copies of a gene coding for an enzyme that is involved in DNA replication and repair.
In case you’ve forgotten the section on the food web from high school biology, here’s a quick refresher. Plants make up the base of every food chain of the food web (also called the food cycle).
Whether a drug is prescribed by the doctor, bought over the counter or obtained illegally, we mostly take their mechanism of action for granted and trust they will do what they’re supposed to.
"There's long been evidence suggesting that light and circadian rhythms profoundly influence our biology, and specifically the physiological response to stress," says Matthew R. Rosengart.
"The principal interest of this piece of work is that it provides direct evidence for early dairying at high altitude in the Alps," says Kevin Walsh.
Older adults who strength trained at least twice a week had 46 percent lower odds of death for any reason, 41 percent lower odds of cardiac death, and 19 percent lower odds of dying from cancer.
Even after taking into account residents' wealth, age, sex, and other neighborhood factors, the study found that having a view of the ocean was associated with improved mental health.
Beginning in infancy, people who have autism spectrum disorder observe and interpret images and social cues differently than others do. Researchers now have new insight into just how this occurs, which eventually may help doctors diagnose, and more effectively treat, the various forms of the disorder.
For some people, waking up every day means the start of persistent pain that affects their mood, thinking and relationships. This experience is more difficult when the pain doesn’t seem to have a cause; at least not a visible one.
The mice in the enriched environment, where they exercised more, lived anywhere from 16 to 22 percent longer than those in a deprived environment, depending on the level of gene expression.
A good night’s sleep is a crucial aspect to overall health and well-being, yet so many Americans are lacking in that department. A 2013 Gallup poll found that 40% of American adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep.
Scientists have warned for decades that the overuse of antibiotics leads to the development of drug-resistant bacteria, making it harder to fight infectious disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drug resistant bacteria cause 23,000 deaths and two million illnesses each year.
The food and drink young children are consuming could be putting their health at risk. In a new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, we report that toddlers are consuming too much protein and too many calories for their age, putting them at risk of obesity in later life. We also found that
"The idea that increased glucose uptake is a metabolic hallmark of cancer cells is deeply embedded in our thinking. It's the basis for how we diagnose cancer and manage its treatment in the clinic," says Gary Patti. Above: HeLa cells in culture.
One British title chose to focus on a rather different story. “Walnuts prevent heart disease,” declared the Daily Express in a huge, front-page headline. It might have had retirees rushing to buy them by the sackful.
The researchers believe depression, metabolic symptoms, and the risk of developing diabetes interact in a number of ways. In some cases, a vicious cycle may emerge with depression and metabolic risk factors aggravating one another.
"It looks like acetaminophen makes it harder to recognize an error, which may have implications for cognitive control in daily life," says Dan Randles.
Can Long Lost Data Put Heart Healthy Oils To Rest?Randomized controlled trials—considered the gold standard for medical research—have never shown that linoleic acid-based dietary interventions reduce the risk of heart attacks or deaths.
"This is a global issue rather than one that's simply isolated in China; multidrug resistance is just a plane ride away," says James Tiedje.
"If an overweight person is able to maintain an initial weight loss—in this case for a year—the body will eventually 'accept' this new weight and thus not fight against it, as is otherwise normally the case when you are in a calorie-deficit state," says Signe Sørensen Torekov.
Just because a person is afraid to take on a complicated new diet or unable to stick to a daily exercise regime, it doesn’t mean that she is inherently disorganized or lacking in self-discipline. It means that something is getting in the way.
Lynch syndrome is a common, inherited condition that affects thousands of Australians and greatly increases the risk of developing cancer. Yet 95% of those who have it don’t know about it.
Serious illness is a great calamity. It is unwelcome, violent, frightening and painful. If it is life threatening, it requires the ill person and their loved ones to confront death. Illness causes pain, anxiety, incapacitation; it limits what the ill person can do. It can cut a life short, stop plans in their tracks, and detach people from life,
Restless leg syndrome is a common affliction characterised by uncomfortable feelings in the legs accompanied by an irresistible urge to move the legs to relieve the sensations. People with restless leg syndrome often keep their legs moving by pacing or constantly moving their legs while sitting. The sensations commonly occur at
People in developed countries turn on the tap and safe drinking water flows, a dramatic health benefit they tend to take for granted. That complacency was dramatically disrupted last year when children in Flint, Michigan, started testing positive for lead poisoning and the source was traced to tap water.
Our study is the first to connect an insertion allele with vegetarian diets, and the deletion allele with a marine diet,. A genetic variation has evolved in populations that have eaten a plant-based diet over hundreds of generations, such as in India, Africa, and parts of East Asia.
For decades, medicine has recognised the powerful way grief can influence the heart. It’s been called Broken Heart syndrome or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and evidence that severely stressful life events increase the risk of acute cardiovascular incidence, like a heart attack,
A large portion of the seafood consumed in North America is farmed. But the food those fish eat increasingly includes more crop-based ingredients, like corn, soy, and wheat.
A new TV show would have us believe a powerful hypnotist can make us do whatever he says while we are powerless to resist or even realise. Channel Nine’s new game show You’re Back in the Room debuted to high ratings on Sunday night.
As a young child I recall my grandmother giving me the largest spoonfuls of cod liver oil, coaxing me with the promise of an equally large spoonful of golden syrup. It was probably a throwback to her own childhood when the post-war government sought to provide infants with a cod liver oil supplement.
Poor sleep can make us feel down, worried and stressed. So it’s no surprise that how well we sleep has a direct impact on our physical and mental health. Sleep problems such as insomnia are a common symptom of many mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
If you ask someone to name famous people (fictional or non-fictional) who are known for having autism or being “on the spectrum”, Rain Man is often the top favourite, possibly followed by Sherlock Holmes (especially in his recent incarnation by Benedict Cumberbatch). Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory is another.
Nutritional guidelines and recommendations are constantly changing in the light of new research. It can be difficult to keep up with which foods are healthy and which aren’t. Here we look at five foods that have gone through the cycle of being the villains of nutritional science but are now, based on some old and some new science, apparently okay to eat again.
So much for the decades in which fats and oils were public enemy number one on our dinner plates. There is more and more evidence that sugar – or more precisely, carbohydrate – is behind our increasing rates of obesity and heart disease.
Cyclists are facing tougher penalties in New South Wales as part of new rules introduced in March 2016. While there are many changes, some of the more vague are increased fines for riding a bicycle “furiously, recklessly,
The Dutch famine of 1944 was a terrible time for many in the Netherlands – with around 4.5m people affected and reliant on soup kitchens after food supplies were stopped from getting into the area by German blockades. As many as 22,000 people were thought to have died, and those who survived would find...
More cities than previously assumed could soon be grappling with Zika virus if two species of mosquitos are found to be equally effective carriers of the disease. A new interactive map shows the relative risk for 100 cities worldwide, including many US locations.
The main aim of the UK’s new tax on sugary soft drinks is to reduce obesity in children. But, apart from causing child – and adult – obesity, too much sugar also increases the risk of many serious diseases, from cancer to heart disease. And sugar’s calories provide only part of the explanation.
To squeeze or not to squeeze? I’ll admit that I’m no skin saint. I have stood in front of the mirror on a number of occasions as a teenager with a big pimple staring right back at me. And yes, despite being advised not to, I have squeezed, picked and popped.
Last month, the UK health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, called childhood obesity “a national emergency”, but the government has once again delayed publishing its strategy aimed at combating it. Obesity is much more common in people with less money and education and this socioeconomic gap is getting larger.
Good news. Taking a break from your diet every so often will help you lose weight in the long term.How many times have you attempted to lose weight only to fall short and fail? For many people it is extremely challenging to stick to a strict dietary and exercise program for more than a few weeks.
Are you a short man or an overweight woman? If so, you may have a slight disadvantage in life compared with taller men and thinner women. Our latest study has found evidence that men who are shorter due to their genes have lower incomes, lower levels of education, and lowlier occupations than their taller counterparts.
The industrial chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) is an ingredient in dozens of everyday products – baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental filling sealants, CDs and DVDs, household electronics, eyeglass lenses, foundry castings and the lining of water pipes. Manufacturers worldwide use at least 3.6 billion kilograms (8