A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Merry Christmas!

From the South Loop of Chicago

Male/female holiday shopping styles evolutionary

(UPI) The differences in holiday shopping styles between men and women may be traced to hunter/gatherers of the past, U.S. researchers suggest.
Daniel Kruger of the University of Michigan … says gathering edible plants and fungi -- mushrooms -- was traditionally done by women by selecting one item at a time and returning to the same patches that had yielded previous successful harvests, often bringing children along…
Conversely, as hunters, men focused on one thing, and since hunting could be dangerous children were most often kept home, Kruger said.
Today, the same characteristics are demonstrated by men and women at the mall.
Understanding the shopping behavior of a partner can help relieve stress at the stores, Kruger says.
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Memo to Men: To Live Longer, Take Better Care of Your Body

(HealthDay News) As a general rule, men take lousy care of their health. They shrug off injuries. They hate going to the doctor for anything. They pay little heed to warning signs for major health issues. And the results of all that manliness are evident in the statistics…
The main way men can improve the length and quality of their lives, [said Scott Williams, vice president of the Men's Health Network,] said, is to start taking a personal interest in their health…
The first step is to schedule an appointment with a doctor for a full physical examination…
Beyond that, try to create and then follow a healthy lifestyle that includes:
Eating right. By cutting back on saturated fats, trans fats and simple carbohydrates, you can reduce your chances of developing chronic health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Healthy foods -- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products -- give the body the tools it needs to repair and replenish. "Look at the food pyramid and try to pay attention to it," Brott said.
Exercising. Exercise has been proven to help improve heart health and better control blood sugar levels. It also acts as a natural antidepressant. "If you're not a person who can work out every day, park your car farther away or take the stairs," Brott said. "Do something to get some exercise whenever you can. It's a very important thing for your cardiovascular health, as well as your mental health."
Getting more in touch with your family. Fathers can start by spending more time with their kids. The children will benefit from dad's attention, and so will dad. "From a purely self-centered point of view, men tend to take better care of themselves because they have an idea that they need to set a good example and be there for their kids," Brott said.
Think of it this way: Men ought to start taking care of their bodies as well as they take care of their cars. "If we're going to bend this curve, that's where we need to start," Williams said.
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You Are What Your Father Ate, Too

(Science Daily) We aren't just what we eat; we are what our parents ate too. That's an emerging idea that is bolstered by a new study showing that mice sired by fathers fed on a low-protein diet show distinct and reproducible changes in the activity of key metabolic genes in their livers. Those changes occurred despite the fact that the fathers never saw their offspring and spent minimal time with their mothers, the researchers say, suggesting that the nutritional information is passed on to the next generation via the sperm not through some sort of social influence.
The new findings … add to evidence that epigenetic reprogramming of genes may be an important mechanism for passing information about the environment, and in this case the nutritional environment, from one generation to the next.
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Eating Healthier Means Living Longer

(Science Daily) The leading causes of death have shifted from infectious diseases to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. These illnesses may be affected by diet. In a [recent] study…, researchers … found that diets favoring certain foods were associated with reduced mortality…
According to lead author Amy L. Anderson, Ph.D…., the "results of this study suggest that older adults who follow a dietary pattern consistent with current guidelines to consume relatively high amounts of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish, may have a lower risk of mortality… [A]dherence to such a diet appears a feasible and realistic recommendation for potentially improved survival and quality of life in the growing older adult population."
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Too Much Fried Fish Might Help Make South the 'Stroke Belt'

(HealthDay News) Southerners living in the area of the United States known as the "stroke belt" eat twice as much fried fish as people living in other parts of the country do, according to a new study looking at regional and ethnic eating habits for clues about the region's high stroke rate.
The stroke belt, with more deaths from stroke than the rest of the country, includes North and South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana.
Consuming a lot of fried foods, especially when cooked in animal or trans fats, is a risk factor for poor cardiovascular health, according to health experts.
Community: If you want to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of stroke, here are some ways to do it.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Warm Winter Ciders and Brews
Come in from the cold to enjoy warm holiday ciders and mulled wine with a touch of spice.
EatingWell:
Oyster Stew
This oyster stew can be transformed from a comforting one-pot meal to an elegant dish for guests when you top it with Caviar Toasts… Serve with a salad of butter lettuce, orange segments and red onion tossed with vinaigrette.
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Designer Probiotics Could Reduce Obesity

(Science Daily) Specially designed probiotics can modulate the physiology of host fat cells say scientists writing in Microbiology. The findings could lead to specialised probiotics that have a role in the prevention or treatment of conditions such as obesity.
Scientists … engineered a strain of Lactobacillus to produce a version of a molecule called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). When this engineered bacterial strain was fed to mice, the researchers found that the composition of the mice's fat tissue was significantly altered…
Dr Catherine Stanton … who led the study explained the significance of the results. "CLA has already been shown to alleviate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that often accompanies obesity. Therefore, increasing levels of CLA in the liver by ingestion of a probiotic strain is of therapeutic relevance," she said. "Furthermore, fat is not an inert layer around our bodies, it is active and proinflammatory and is a risk factor for many diseases, including cancers. The work shows that there is potential to influence this through diet-microbe-host interactions in the gut."
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Bacteria trigger production of key immune cells

(Reuters) Allergies and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis could one day be prevented by consuming a type of bacteria, like probiotics taken in yoghurt, according to a study published on Friday.
The researchers fed mice with a family of bacteria and found that it triggered the production of certain white blood cells, called regulatory T cells.
"By increasing regulatory T cells, they will help suppress many of our allergies and autoimmune diseases," said one of the scientists.
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Blue-Green Algae Tested for Treating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

(Science Daily) Nutritional supplementation with Spirulina, a nutrient-rich, blue-green algae, appeared to provide neuroprotective support for dying motor neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, University of South Florida neuroscientists have found. Although more research is needed, they suggest that a spirulina-supplemented diet may provide clinical benefits for ALS patients.
A spirulina dietary supplement was shown to delay the onset of motor symptoms and disease progression, reducing inflammatory markers and motor neuron death in a G93A mouse model of ALS. Spirulina, an ancient food source used by the Aztecs, may have a dual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on motor neurons, the researchers said.
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Breakthrough in Melanoma Research: Protein Suppresses Progression of Melanoma

(Science Daily) In a breakthrough that could lead to new treatments for patients with malignant melanoma, researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have discovered that a particular protein suppresses the progression of melanoma through regulation of an oncogene, or gene responsible for cancer growth…
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and accounts for about 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths. Though the most preventable cause of melanoma is exposure to the sun's UV rays, other factors include genetics and immune system deficiencies. When detected early, melanoma is highly curable.
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Invention Could Improve Cancer Drug Delivery, Lessen Harmful Effects of Chemotherapy

(Science Daily) University of Arizona researchers may have found a way to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs to cancer tissues in controlled doses without harming healthy body cells.
If successful, the invention of gold-coated liposomes could make chemotherapy more effective to destroy cancer cells and alleviate the harmful side effects that can result from the treatment…
The secret to non-invasively controlling the release of chemotherapeutic drugs lies in nano-scale capsules made of lipids and coated with a fine layer of gold.
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Less invasive robotic head/neck surgery

(UPI) U.S. researchers say less-invasive robotic surgery for upper airway and digestive tract malignant tumors has been shown to be effective…
"The overall two-year survival rate for these patients was 86.3 percent, which is comparable to the standard treatment," study leader Dr. J. Scott Magnuson says in a statement. "Of note, all of the patients in the study had regained full swallowing ability at the time of the last follow up visit and none remained feeding-tube dependent."
This was significant since some of the patients had been feeding tube-dependent prior to surgery.
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Arsenic Agent Shuts Down Two Hard-to-Treat Cancers in Animal Experiments

(Science Daily) Researchers at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of Georgetown University Medical Center, have found that an arsenic-based agent already FDA-approved for a type of leukemia may be helpful in another hard-to-treat cancer, Ewing's Sarcoma (ES). The research, based on animal studies, also suggests the drug might be beneficial in treating medulloblastoma, a highly malignant pediatric brain cancer…
"The significance of our finding is that this FDA approved agent can be tested immediately in other cancer types. It is a perfect translational research project," [says the study's lead investigator, associate professor Aykut Üren, M.D.].
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Emerging Drug Class May Enhance Red Blood Cell Production in Anemic Patients

(Science Daily) By determining how corticosteroids act to promote red blood cell progenitor formation, Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a class of drugs that may be beneficial in anemias, including those resulting from trauma, sepsis, malaria, kidney dialysis, and chemotherapy…
[Researcher Johan] Flygare hopes this research eventually leads to improved treatment for DBA patients who currently suffer from a host of corticosteroid-induced side effects, including decreased bone density, immunosuppression, stunted growth, and cataracts.
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Nine out of 10 Swedes say they're happy

(UPI) Nine out of 10 people in Sweden say they are both content and happy, with good health the most important factor for personal well being, researchers say.
Bengt Brulde of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Asa Nilsson of the SOM Institute found most Swedes say, after good health, the most important factors for well being are family, good friends, having a good and safe place to live and healthy personal finances.
The factors at the bottom of the list include religious faith, political commitment, looking good, an exciting life and wearing nice clothes.
Community: In contrast, only about 55% of Americans describe themselves as happy.
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Festive eating without losing control

(UPI) A U.S. psychologist advises people who want to avoid gaining weight this holiday season to "know their triggers."
Weight loss expert Dr. Jeffrey Gersten … recommends identifying triggers -- those foods that are hard eat in a moderate portion -- and then avoiding them.
Another idea is to provide some healthy options to fattening food, Gersten says. Bring tasty but low-fat snacks to get-togethers, he advises.
"Don't starve yourself either. Your blood sugar level will drop, creating a hunger that is unstoppable, which will lead to overeating usually high-calorie foods," Gersten says in a statement. "You can enjoy the holidays without losing control."
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Foods to Beat Holiday Stress

(EatingWell) In a recent study…, those who reported eating a diet rich in whole foods in the previous year were less likely to report feeling depressed than those who ate lots of desserts, fried foods, processed meats, refined grains and high-fat dairy products.
Previous studies have shown that antioxidants in fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids in fish are associated with lower risk of depression. Folate, a B vitamin found in beans, citrus and dark green vegetables like spinach, affects neurotransmitters that impact mood. It’s possible that the protectiveness of the whole-food diet comes from a cumulative effect of these nutrients.
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Holidays drinks: More calories than burger

(UPI) A regular hamburger at McDonald's has fewer calories than some holiday drinks, a registered dietitian at Loyola University Health System warns.
Brooke Schantz … says 8 ounces of eggnog has 343 calories and 19 grams of fat; 12 ounces of hot chocolate made with whole milk and whipped cream has 310 calories and 16 grams of fat; and a 16-ounce peppermint mocha made with 2 percent milk and whipped cream has 400 calories and 15 grams of fat. A regular hamburger at McDonald's has 250 calories.
Schantz says holiday pounds can be avoided by drinking some lower calories alternatives.
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Warm Up With Hot Chocolate

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Are you nostalgic for the taste and comfort of hot chocolate on a chilly winter day?...
Most traditional hot cocoas contain a lot of added sugar, so be sure to choose a mix that is made with an artificial sweetener instead. Also, opt for a hot chocolate mix that is trans-fat-free; be sure to check the label before purchasing…
If hot cocoa is not your thing, but you're looking for a warm drink with a little more pizzazz than regular tea or coffee, try a cup of chai tea. Remember to choose a brand without added sugar or honey (those packaged in tea bags are usually best), and enjoy the chai with a touch of fat-free or low-fat milk, or low-fat plain or artificially sweetened soymilk.
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Recipes

Cooking Light:
Christmas Recipes
Fine tune your menu with these must-have holiday recipes. From Christmas morning breakfast to the starring main dish for your Christmas dinner.
Store-Bought Entertaining Shortcuts
Round out your holiday party menu with these healthy store-bought grocery items.
MyRecipes.com:
Brunch Recipes Under 300 Calories
Formal sit-down or casual buffet, we've got the perfect brunch recipes for any gathering.
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Exercise, vitamin D tied to fewer falls

(Reuters Health) Vitamin D supplementation and exercise may help prevent older men and women from falling, suggests a new review of 54 studies by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF).
Falls are the leading cause of death, disability and loss of independence for people 65 years and older. About one in every three adults in this age group who are not institutionalized will fall in a given year. More than $20 billion in annual health care costs may be associated with those events…
"Understanding how to prevent falls is crucial," [said lead researcher Dr. Yvonne] Michael.
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Placebos Work -- Even if Patients Are in on the Secret

(HealthDay News) Confronting the "ethically questionable" practice of prescribing placebos to patients who are unaware they are taking dummy pills, researchers found that a group that was told their medication was fake still reported significant symptom relief.
In a study of 80 patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a control group received no treatment while the other group was informed their twice-daily pill regimen were placebos. After three weeks, nearly double the number of those treated with dummy pills reported adequate symptom relief compared to the control group.
Those taking the placebos also doubled their rates of improvement to an almost equivalent level of the effects of the most powerful IBS medications, said lead researcher Dr. Ted Kaptchuk.
Community: The placebo effect is VERY POWERFUL. We need to figure out how to channel it. Check out this NPR story on this topic.
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Primate Immune Systems Offer Clues to Combating Disease

(MyHealthNewsDaily) Humans may be smarter than our primate cousins, but research has shown their immune systems may trump ours, in some ways. We tend to be more susceptible to HIV, cancer, hepatitis and other infectious diseases than some of our closest relatives.
"There are a few differences in medical traits between human and non-human primates, one is [humans' greater susceptibility to] HIV, a second one is humans tend to develop cancer at a much higher rate than other primates," [co-author Luis] Barreiro said.
Narrowing down the genes related to these immune response differences may lead to new research targets among people infected with these diseases, he told MyHealthNewsDaily.
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Universal Screening for HIV Can Be Cost Effective

(MyHealthNewsDaily) Expanding screening for HIV in the United States and implementing broader use of treatmentcould reduce the number of new infections while still being cost effective, according to a new study…
If nothing is done to augment either HIV screening or treatment over the next two decades, about 1.23 million people in the U.S. will be infected with HIV, the researchers said.
The new study shows a program that screens high-risk individuals once a year, and everyone else, between the ages of 15 to 64, once during their lifetime, could prevent nearly 82,000 infections over the next 20 years. People at high risk for contracting HIV include men who have sex with men and injection drug users.
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Doctors Still Fear Malpractice Lawsuits, U.S. Study Finds

(HealthDay News) A new study finds that while doctors are fearful of being sued for malpractice, their worries are greater than their actual risk of landing in court…
The investigators also found that legislation designed to get a handle on malpractice costs hasn't made physicians any less worried about being sued. And such reforms may not convince doctors to change their approach to so-called defensive medicine: being ultra-cautious in order to prevent litigation, perhaps by doing things like ordering unnecessary tests.
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Health insurers face new rules over price hikes

(Reuters) U.S. health insurance companies that want to increase premiums by 10 percent or more next year would face tougher government scrutiny under new rules proposed on Tuesday…
The rules put further pressure on health insurers such as Aetna Inc, UnitedHealth Group Inc and WellPoint Inc, which suffered bad press and drew closer scrutiny by the U.S. Congress and regulators this year when prices for some individual plans in certain areas rose more than 30 percent.
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Give Yourself the Gift of a Stress-Free Holiday

(HealthDay News) While it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the shopping, planning and other tasks associated with the season, you need to take steps to keep your stress under control in order to protect your health, said Dr. Gary Kaplan…
Kaplan offered the following tips to relieve holiday stress:
Share the workload. Learn how to say "no" to requests for your time and delegate tasks to others when possible.
Keep it simple. Skip the shopping, make homemade gifts and spend quality time with family and friends.
Maintain your regular schedule as much as possible. Humans are creatures of habit and feel out of sorts when routines are disrupted.
Find ways to burn off physical and emotional tension. Vent to a friend, write about your feelings in a journal, go for a walk or take a bubble bath.
Look after your body. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise and do things that restore your energy, such as meditating or getting a massage.
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Pen to Measure and Reduce Stress

(Science Daily) In the future, more and more products will be able to interpret what users are feeling and use that information in a smart way. To illustrate the power of this theory, researcher Miguel Bruns Alonso has developed a pen which can measure the stress levels of the person using it, and can actually help to reduce that stress. In experiments, the heart rate of people who used the anti-stress pen fell by an average of five percent…
[PhD student Miguel Bruns Alonso:] "I have developed a pen which can detect 'nervous' movements and determine whether the user is stressed. The pen also provides a counterweight to these movements using built-in electronics and electromagnets. When it detects the quicker movements associated with stress, the pen gradually becomes more difficult to move around. This encourages users to move in a more relaxed way, which in turn makes the pen yield more easily again."…
The anti-stress pen is at present a prototype and not (yet) available for purchase.
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Most People Regain Happiness After Job Loss

(HealthDay News) As million of workers have discovered in recent years, losing a job is upsetting and unsettling and can reduce even the most stoic to tears.
But buck up. About a year later, the majority of people have shaken off the unemployment blues and have returned to their previous levels of happiness, a new study reveals.
That runs counter to earlier studies that have suggested job loss is so devastating that most people never fully recovery emotionally, said Isaac Galatzer-Levy, a postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry.
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A reversal on carbs

(Los Angeles Times) [A] growing number of top nutritional scientists blame excessive carbohydrates — not fat — for America's ills. They say cutting carbohydrates is the key to reversing obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
"Fat is not the problem," says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases."…
Americans, on average, eat 250 to 300 grams of carbs a day, accounting for about 55% of their caloric intake. The most conservative recommendations say they should eat half that amount.
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Cleaning up your carb act: Where to begin

(Los Angeles Times) Whether you're ready for a whole new way of eating or just want to cut back on carbs, here are some ways to do so:
Substitute sugar-free beverages for sugary soft drinks, sports drinks and juice.
Look for low-carb and sugar-free products in stores. Low-carb tortillas, bread, pasta and ice cream are in many grocery stores.
Instead of a starchy vegetable, such as potatoes, corn or rice, serve two green vegetables and a nonstarchy soup or salad.
Skip the bread basket at restaurants.
Have olives or cheese on high-fiber wafers as an appetizer.
Boost your intake of most green vegetables, nuts and berries.
At lunch, order an entree salad instead of a sandwich. Ask for your burger bunless, served on top of extra lettuce and tomato, with cheese.
Order your burrito naked and your tostada without the tortilla but with guacamole.
Add portions of fish, poultry, cheese, meat and eggs to your diet: These are virtually carb-free. Add peanut butter (the kind without added sugar), which is relatively low in carbs.
Get a low-carb cookbook or search for low-carb recipes online.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Last-Minute Appetizers
Choose one of these super-easy appetizer recipes when you've got unexpected guests or if you forgot to make a dish to take to the party.
EatingWell:
Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers From Your Kitchen
When it comes to giving this holiday season, be creative and make a truly personal gift for your friends and family. These homemade gifts from your kitchen are sweet and savory, so you’ll find something for everyone on your list.
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Novel Weight-Loss Therapies?

(Science Daily) In some adults, the white fat cells that we all stockpile so readily are supplemented by a very different form of fat -- brown fat cells, which can offer the neat trick of burning energy rather than storing it. Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center, which last year led the way in demonstrating an active role for brown fat in adults, now have identified progenitor cells in mouse white fat tissue and skeletal muscle that can be transformed into brown fat cells.
"This finding opens up a whole new avenue for researchers interested in designing molecules that induce endogenous progenitor cells to differentiate into mature brown fat cells," says Yu-Hua Tseng, Ph.D., Joslin Investigator and senior author on a paper describing the work…
"It's particularly exciting because we found that some of these cells are located in subcutaneous white fat, which could be a very accessible source for them," says Tseng.
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Free Radicals Good for You? Banned Herbicide Makes Worms Live Longer

(Science Daily) It sounds like science fiction – Dr. Siegfried Hekimi and his student Dr Wen Yang, researchers at McGill’s Department of Biology, tested the current “free radical theory of aging” by creating mutant worms that had increased production of free radicals, predicting they would be short-lived. But they lived even longer than regular worms! Moreover, their enhanced longevity was abolished when they were treated with antioxidants such as vitamin C.
The researchers then sought to mimic the apparent beneficial effect of the free radicals by treating regular, wild worms with Paraquat, an herbicide that works by increasing the production of free radicals. Paraquat is so toxic to humans and animals that it is banned in the European Union and its use restricted in many other places. Much to his delight, Hekimi discovered that the worms actually lived longer after being exposed to the chemical. “Don’t try this at home!” Dr Hekimi feels he should remind everyone…
“Further experimentation is required to explore exactly how this data might change our theory of aging,” Hekimi explained. “Free radicals are clearly involved, but maybe in a very different way than in the way people used to think”.
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Genetic Basis of Brain Diseases: Set of Proteins Account for Over 130 Brain Diseases

(Science Daily) Scientists have isolated a set of proteins that accounts for over 130 brain diseases, including diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsies and forms of autism and learning disability. The team showed that the protein machinery has changed relatively little during evolution, suggesting that the behaviors governed by and the diseases associated with these proteins have not changed significantly over many millions of years. The findings open several new paths toward tackling these diseases…
Brain diseases are the leading cause of medical disability in the developed world according to the World Health Organisation and the economic costs in the USA exceeds $300 billion.
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Link Between Depression and Inflammatory Response Found in Mice

(Science Daily) Vanderbilt University researchers may have found a clue to the blues that can come with the flu -- depression may be triggered by the same mechanisms that enable the immune system to respond to infection.
In a study…, Chong-Bin Zhu, M.D., Ph.D. … and colleagues activated the immune system in mice to produce "despair-like" behavior that has similarities to depression in humans…
More study is needed. Identifying genetic variations in the SERT activation pathway, for example, might suggest additional sources of genetic risk for depression. "Our work suggests that novel therapies targeting inflammation-linked pathways may be of use in the treatment of mood disorders," he said.
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Listeners feel the musician's passion

(UPI) Researchers at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton found listeners' brains react to musicians' passion.
The researchers tested listener responses to two recordings of the same piece of music played on the same piano. One version was "synthesized" and the other contained the same melody, rhythm, average tempo and loudness with added "human performance nuances" -- expressive, dynamic changes in tempo and loudness added by the performer.
The study … identified the nuanced changes in tempo and loudness that resulted in emotion-related brain activity.
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What to ask about medical tests

(UPI) Every time a doctor orders a test, the patient should ask what the test will show, why the test is ordered and when results are expected, a doctor advises.
Dr. Dennis Novak, a general internist…, says if a patient doesn't understand the answers, he shouldn't be afraid to ask again…
It is also appropriate to ask about the cost of the test. Ask if your insurance covers the test, and even if it does, ask if there are any out-of-pocket costs, Novak says.
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Holiday lights can mean more than meets the eye

(AP) Lights on a cold, dark night can be a welcome, even heartwarming sight. And in gloomy economic times, or other trying circumstances, they can mean even more.
One study found that outdoor holiday displays can tell a lot about a neighborhood. Whether found in wealthy or working-class areas, they represent a community's spirit or "social capital," even indicating how well neighbors care for one another, says David Sloan Wilson, a professor in Binghamton University's departments of biology and anthropology.
"One way that neighborhoods express their feelings of neighborliness is to decorate the house, not the inside but the outside," Wilson says. "It is an expression of goodwill, basically."
A simple gesture, yes — but one that touches and comforts people, and brings them together.
Community: You can even enjoy your Christmas lights online:

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Study: Fruits and vegetables save lives

(UPI) Researchers say if Britons adhered to current British dietary recommendations, 33,000 lives could be saved yearly…
They calculated the number of lives saved if current British dietary recommendations were being met including eating at least 440 grams of fruits and vegetables and 18 grams of fiber a day with less than … one-third of total calories coming from fats.
In 2007, none of the countries in the United Kingdom met any of these recommendations, with Scotland and Northern Ireland the furthest away from achieving them, the study says.
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Whole-Fat Dairy Products May Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Study

(HealthDay News) New research suggests that whole-fat dairy products -- generally shunned by health experts -- contain a fatty acid that may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The fatty acid is called trans-palmitoleic acid, according to the study in the Dec. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, and people with the highest blood levels of this fatty acid reduce their odds of diabetes by 62 percent compared to those with the lowest blood levels of it.
In addition, "people who had higher levels of this fatty acid had better cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lower insulin resistance and lower levels of inflammatory markers," said study author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian.
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3 Ways to Eat Fresh During the Winter

(SouthBeachDiet.com) During the winter months, it may seem a little more challenging to find fresh produce. And oftentimes, some of your favorite, out-of-season fruits and vegetables are more expensive. Fortunately, there are cost-effective ways for you to still reap the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter. Here’s how:
Buy seasonal produce. Citrus fruits, like oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines, are at their peak during the winter months, as are winter squashes and dark leafy greens, such as collards, kale, and brussels sprouts.
Get to know your local farmers markets and grocery stores. Take a good look around your local farmers markets if they are still open, small local grocers, and supermarkets for good deals on produce. Your supermarket will likely run weekly promotions on selected produce. Check the weekly circular for coupons or bargains before heading to the store.
Shop the frozen-food aisle. Believe it or not, some nutrients are better retained in frozen produce than fresh. The frozen-food aisle is also an especially great place to find berries, peas, and other off-season fruits and veggies. Plus, frozen produce is a real time-saver because it requires less preparation. By stocking your freezer, you’ll always have fruits and vegetables on hand — no matter what season it is.
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