September 1, 2010

Survival of Fittest

1 Age of Puberty Linked to Relationship with Mom

New research says that girls’ early puberty makes sense from an evolutionary perspective and is due to an unstable infantile relationship with their mothers. Says Jay Belsky, Birkbeck U, London, girls who mature earlier tend to have sex earlier and with more partners which puts them at risk for STDs. They are also more likely to have a baby while still in their teens, which makes evolutionary sense if one recognizes that when survival is precarious “I should mature earlier so I can mate earlier before that precarious future might get me." Belsky’s research analyzed data to assess the infant-mother attachment bond. While other factors, such as genetics and nutrition, can’t be ignored, Belsky says that his research is evidence that early insecurity leads to early puberty.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: Puberty, Sexual Behavior, Early Puberty, Jay Belsky, Birkbeck University, Infant Attachment to Mother, Sexually Transmitted Disease

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

Loaded with Antioxidants

2 Black Rice Is a Healthy Alternative to Blueberries

Looking for a way to increase antioxidants in your diet but balk at the price of blueberries or blackberries? Researchers at a meeting of the American Chemical Society report that black rice is an economical and perhaps even more healthful alternative. "Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants," said Zhimin Xu, Associate Professor at the Department of Food Science, Louisiana State Univ. Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, who reported on the research. Antioxidants have been shown to fight cancer and heart disease and Xu suggests adding black rice bran to cereals and baked goods to increase their disease fighting potential.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Boosting Antioxidants in Potatoes

Tags: American Chemical Society, Antioxidants, Vitamin E, Black Rice, Blueberries, Blackberries, Zhimin Xu, Louisiana State University, Fiber

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (55%) / No! (45%)

Woman Wanted to Get Inside

3 Doctor Found Dead in Chimney

A doctor who graduated with honors from medical school has been found dead inside her boyfriend's chimney in Bakersfield, California. It may not be what you think. Police say there's no evidence of foul play. In fact, CNN reports that police believe the internist, Jacquelyn Kotarac, climbed up a permanent ladder attached to the house and went down the chimney because she wanted to get inside. The doctor, last seen Wednesday night, was reported missing after she didn't show up for work. When Kotarac's car and belongings were found at the house, the property was searched, but no one thought to look inside the chimney. The boyfriend left for a trip to Europe. On Friday, a pet sitter noticed a foul smell and found the decomposed body two feet above the fireplace interior opening.

More at CNN | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Dead Plants Fire Hazard

Tags: Bakersfield, Decomposed Body, Jacquelyn Kotarac, Permanent Ladder, Pet Sitter, Doctor Dies in Chimney, Chimney Dangers, Pet Sitter Finds Body, Weird Doctor Death, Woman Found in Chimney

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (63%) / No! (38%)

Changing the Face of Gossip

4 Gossip Reduces Anxiety

Despite what management at work may say, gossip can actually be a good thing, relieving worker stress and uncertainty and providing a path for flow of information. Harvard Business Review reports on the gossip study which analyzed social networks among 30 employees of a U.S. company. The study found that workers' understanding of their social environment improved the more they gossiped. Plus, frequent gossipers had more influence among their peers at work. While gossip may cause needless fear, it often has the reverse effect, allowing workers to make connections and receive emotional support. Gossip may also spread "valuable information" like who's a free rider or difficult to work with. Good or not, it seems gossip can't be stopped: 96 percent of people in the study engaged in gossip.

More at Harvard Business Review | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Mind Body Connection

Tags: Harvard Business Review, Gossip at Work, Benefits of Gossip, Why We Gossip, Advantages of Gossiping at Work, Is Gossip Bad, Gossip Study, Social Networks Inside Office

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

Brazil Nuts Are Best Source

5 Selenium Linked to Lower Bladder Cancer Risk

Increasing selenium intake may help to decrease bladder cancer risk by 39 percent, according to new research conducted at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid and published in the online edition of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention journal. Researchers used data published in seven epidemiological studies to examine the association between selenium and bladder cancer. Selenium status was measured from samples of blood and toenails. Those with the lowest levels of body stores of selenium were found to be at a greater risk of developing the cancer. Selenium offered more protection in females than males in the preliminary findings. Plant foods such as nuts, wheat and rice are the major dietary sources of selenium which obtain the mineral from the soil.

More at Modern Medicine | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Overcooked Meats Increase Risk of Bladder Cancer

Tags: Bladder Cancer, Cancer, Cancer Risks, Nutrition, Selenium

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (52%) / No! (48%)

Mental Activity Delays Symptoms

6 Cognitive Decline Faster with Mental Activity

An observational study looking at cognitive decline in1,157 older adults who were initially dementia-free found that those who engaged in brain exercises such as reading, crossword puzzles, and games declined faster once diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. One theory is that the more mentally active are more advanced stage when symptoms become apparent, and as a result are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s later compared to less mentally active seniors. And a previous study showed that more mentally active adults were diagnosed more than year later compared to those who were not as mentally active. This study supports the theory of “cognitive reserve” in which people with more mental activity handle the loss of neurons better but that symptoms show after a certain threshold of damage holds.

More at Yahoo! Reuters | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Biomarker in Spinal Fluid Diagnoses Alzheimer’s

Tags: Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Diagnosing Dementia, Diagnosing Alzheimer’s, Cognitive Reserve Hypothesis of Dementia

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Protective Maintenance Theory

7 Less Active Thyroid Linked to Longevity

A study in Holland suggests that low thyroid activity may increase one’s lifespan. Eight hundred and fifty-nine siblings from 421 long-lived families had their thyroid levels analyzed. The idea that low thyroid activity was inherited was confirmed and its link to longevity was also demonstrated. The hormones secreted affect metabolism and researchers hypothesize that low activity promotes “protective maintenance” of the body over growth and proliferation, which keeps the body healthier longer. There may be unknown factors that affect both thyroid activity and lifespan, which means the two may not be directly linked. The biggest concern with low thyroid level is an increases risk of cardiovascular disease, so treating elderly individuals who are hypothyroid is still recommended.

More at Yahoo! Reuters | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Experimental Thyroid Drug Reduces Cholesterol

Tags: Thyroid, Thyroid Gland, Thyroid Levels, Thyroid Activity and Lifespan

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Can Quickly Contain and Treat TB

8 New Tuberculosis Test Gets Results in Two Hours

A two hour test that has been developed not only tells if a person has TB, but will also be able to tell if the strain is resistant to the primary drug used to treat it. The results will get to people while in the office and those with a drug-resistant strain can find that out right away and get prompt treatment. The most accurate test involves growing the bacteria from a mucus sample in a lab, which takes at least a week and then examining it under a microscope. Over half the cases are missed using this method and does not give any information about drug resistance and the patient is not in the office during this time. The test takes only 15 minutes to mix the mucus sample with some chemicals and placing it in a cartridge that goes into a machine which checks for bacterial genes.

More at Yahoo! AP | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Tuberculosis Now More Prevalent Than Ever

Tags: Tuberculosis, TB, Two Hour TB Test, TB Testing, Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

Fewer Smoke-Related Tumors

9 Smokers on Metformin Decrease Lung Cancer Risk

Diabetics who smoke and take metformin may be lowering their risk of developing lung cancer, according to a study in mice. Mice were exposed to NNK, a carcinogen found in tobacco and then were either injected with or given metformin orally. Those who received the drug orally had 40 to 50 percent fewer tumors and those who got an injection had 72 percent fewer tumors. Previous studies have demonstrated the metformin decreases the risk of pancreatic and breast tumors. Because of the results in this study and previous studies, Dr. Michael Pollak said, “metformin may be useful in cancer prevention and treatment." Because of these results, the researchers who conducted this study want to test metformin in smokers to determine if it will prevent them from developing tumors related to smoking.

More at Yahoo! Reuters | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: New Drug Kills Cancer Cells

Tags: Lung Cancer, Metformin, Metformin in Smokers, Metformin and Cancer

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

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