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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 11 August 2009 at 11:59am

Optimism Appears To Lower Women's Risk Of Death, Heart Disease

ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2009) — Optimistic women have a lower risk of developing heart disease or dying from any cause compared to pessimistic women, according to research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association

Researchers also reported that women with a high degree of cynical hostility — harboring hostile thoughts toward others or having a general mistrust of people — were at higher risk of dying; however, their risk of developing heart disease was not altered.

“As a physician, I’d like to see people try to reduce their negativity in general,” said Hilary A. Tindle, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. “The majority of evidence suggests that sustained, high degrees of negativity are hazardous to health.”

In the largest study to date to prospectively study the health effects of optimism and cynical hostility in post-menopausal women, researchers found that white and black American women’s attitudes are associated with health outcomes.

Optimistic women, compared to pessimistic women, had a 9 percent lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14 percent lower risk of dying from any cause after more than eight years of follow-up. Furthermore, women with a high degree of cynical hostility, compared to those with a low degree, were 16 percent more likely to die during eight years of follow-up. ..........

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810161900.htm

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 12 August 2009 at 1:49pm

Chinese Acupuncture Affects Brain's Ability To Regulate Pain, UM Study Shows

ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2009) — Acupuncture has been used in East-Asian medicine for thousands of years to treat pain, possibly by activating the body's natural painkillers. But how it works at the cellular level is largely unknown.

Using brain imaging, a University of Michigan study provides novel evidence that traditional Chinese acupuncture affects the brain's long-term ability to regulate pain.

The results appear online ahead of print in the September Journal of NeuroImage.

In the study, researchers at the U-M Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center showed acupuncture increased the binding availability of mu-opoid receptors (MOR) in regions of the brain that process and dampen pain signals – specifically the cingulate, insula, caudate, thalamus and amygdala.

Opioid painkillers, such as morphine, codeine and other medications, are thought to work by binding to these opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord.

"The increased binding availability of these receptors was associated with reductions in pain," says Richard E. Harris, Ph.D., researcher at the U-M Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and a research assistant professor of anesthesiology at the U-M Medical School.

One implication of this research is that patients with chronic pain treated with acupuncture might be more responsive to opioid medications since the receptors seem to have more binding availability, Harris says.

These findings could spur a new direction in the field of acupuncture research following recent controversy over large studies showing that sham acupuncture is as effective as real acupuncture in reducing chronic pain.

"Interestingly both acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups had similar reductions in clinical pain," Harris says. "But the mechanisms leading to pain relief are distinctly different." .........

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810104935.htm

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 13 August 2009 at 12:48pm

Human Mind: Sound And Vision Wired Through Same 'Black Box'

ScienceDaily (Aug. 13, 2009) — Sounds and images share a similar neural code in the human brain, according to a new Canadian study. In the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), scientists from the Université de Montréal and the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University explain how the same neural code in the brain allows people to distinguish between different types of sounds, such as speech and music, or different images.

Participants were recruited to undergo functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), a non-invasive form of brain mapping used to determine how the brain recognizes different characteristics in musical instruments, words from conversations or environmental sounds. Subjects underwent an exhaustive three hours of FMRI exams to provide precise information about how the brain reacts when different sounds are played.

"It turns out that the brain uses the same strategy to encode sounds than it uses to encode different images," explains lead author Marc Schönwiesner, a Université de Montréal psychology professor. "This may make it easier for people to combine sounds and images that belong to the same object, such as the dribbling of a basketball." .............

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090812111445.htm


 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 14 August 2009 at 11:39am

White Tea Could Keep You Healthy And Looking Young

ScienceDaily (Aug. 14, 2009) — Next time you’re making a cuppa, new research shows it might be wise to opt for a white tea if you want to reduce your risk of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis or even just age-associated wrinkles. Researchers from Kingston University teamed up with Neal’s Yard Remedies to test the health properties of 21 plant and herb extracts. They discovered all of the plants tested had some potential benefits, but were intrigued to find white tea considerably outperformed all of them

Professor Declan Naughton, from the School of Life Sciences at Kingston University in South West London, said the research showed white tea had anti-ageing potential and high levels of anti-oxidants which could prevent cancer and heart disease. “We’ve carried out tests to identify plant extracts that protected the structural proteins of the skin, specifically elastin and collagen,” he explained. “Elastin supports the body’s natural elasticity which helps lungs, arteries, ligaments and skin to function. It also helps body tissue to repair when you suffer wounds and stops skin from sagging.” Collagen is a protein found in connective tissues in the body and is important for skin, strength and elasticity, he added.

Results showed white tea prevented the activities of the enzymes which breakdown elastin and collagen which can lead to wrinkles that accompany ageing. These enzymes, along with oxidants, are associated with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Professor Naughton said: “These enzymes and oxidants are key components of normal body processes. However, in inflammatory conditions, suppressing the activities of these excess components has been the subject of decades of research. We were surprised to find such high activity for the white tea extracts in all five tests that were conducted.”

The researchers were blown away by exactly how well the white tea had performed. “We were testing very small amounts far less than you would find in a drink,” Professor Naughton, one of the country’s leading specialists on inflammation, said. “The early indicators are that white tea reduces the risk of inflammation which is characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis and some cancers as well as wrinkles.” .................

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810085312.htm

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 15 August 2009 at 11:51am

An Apple A Day Keeps Kidney Stones Away: More Fruits And Veggies, Less Salt Prevents Stones From Forming

ScienceDaily (Aug. 14, 2009) — Researchers have found another reason to eat well: a healthy diet helps prevent kidney stones. Loading up on fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains, while limiting salt, red and processed meats, and sweetened beverages is an effective way to ward off kidney stones, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN).

Because kidney stones are linked to higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, increased body weight, and other risk factors for heart disease, the findings have considerable health implications.

Eric Taylor, MD (Maine Medical Center) and his colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital conducted a large study to determine the effects of healthy eating habits on the formation of kidney stones. The investigators collected information from individuals enrolled in three clinical studies .............

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813170845.htm

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 17 August 2009 at 1:40pm

Solar Power: New SunCatcher Power System Ready For Commercial Production In 2010

ScienceDaily (July 17, 2009) — Stirling Energy Systems (SES) and Tessera Solar recently unveiled four newly designed solar power collection dishes at Sandia National Laboratories’ National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF). Called SunCatchers™, the new dishes have a refined design that will be used in commercial-scale deployments of the units beginning in 2010.

“The four new dishes are the next-generation model of the original SunCatcher system. Six first-generation SunCatchers built over the past several years at the NSTTF have been producing up to 150KW [kilowatts] of grid-ready electrical power during the day,” says Chuck Andraka, the lead Sandia project engineer. “Every part of the new system has been upgraded to allow for a high rate of production and cost reduction.” ............

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090709205950.htm

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 18 August 2009 at 2:39pm

The Mind's Eye Scans Like A Spotlight: New Role Discovered For Brain Waves

ScienceDaily (Aug. 18, 2009) — You're meeting a friend in a crowded cafeteria. Do your eyes scan the room like a roving spotlight, moving from face to face, or do you take in the whole scene, hoping that your friend's face will pop out at you? And what, for that matter, determines how fast you can scan the room?

Researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory say you are more likely to scan the room, jumping from face to face as you search for your friend. In addition, the timing of these jumps appears to be determined by waves of activity in the brain that act as a clock. The study, which appears in the Aug. 13 issue of the journal Neuron, sheds new light on a long-standing debate among neuroscientists over how the visual system picks out an object of interest in a complex scene. ............

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090812143928.htm

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Personality Traits Associated With Stress And Worry Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

ScienceDaily (Aug. 19, 2009) — Personality traits associated with chronic worrying can lead to earlier death, at least in part because these people are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, according to research from Purdue University.

"Research shows that higher levels of neuroticism can lead to earlier mortality, and we wanted to know why," said Daniel K. Mroczek, (pronounced Mro-ZAK) a professor of child development and family studies. "We found that having worrying tendencies or being the kind of person who stresses easily is likely to lead to bad behaviors like smoking and, therefore, raise the mortality rate.

"This work is a reminder that high levels of some personality traits can be hazardous to one's physical health."

Chronic worrying, anxiety and being prone to depression are key aspects of the personality trait of neuroticism. In this study, the researchers looked at how smoking and heavy drinking are associated with the trait. A person with high neuroticism is likely to experience anxiety or depression and may self-medicate with tobacco, alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism.

They found that smoking accounted for about 25 percent to 40 percent of the association between high neuroticism and mortality. The other 60 percent is unexplained, but possibly attributed to biological factors or other environmental issues that neurotic individuals experience, Mroczek said .........

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090818130552.htm

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 20 August 2009 at 4:04pm

Smokers' Tongues Fail Taste Test

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2009)Smokers have fewer and flatter taste buds. A study of the tongues of 62 Greek soldiers, published in the open access journal BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders, has demonstrated how cigarettes deaden the ability to taste.

Pavlidis Pavlos led a team of researchers from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki who used electrical stimulation to test the taste threshold of the soldiers and endoscopes to measure the number and shape of a kind of taste bud called fungiform papillae. He said: "Statistically important differences between the taste thresholds of smokers and non-smokers were detected. Differences concerning the shape and the vascularisation of fungiform papillae were also observed."

By applying electrical current to the tongue, a unique metallic taste can be generated. Measuring how much current is required before a person perceives this sensation allows determination of their taste sensitivity. The 28 smokers in the study group scored worse than the 34 non-smokers. Upon close examination with a contact endoscope, the smoker's tongues had flatter fungiform papillae, with a reduced blood supply.

Pavlos concludes: "Nicotine may cause functional and morphological alterations of papillae, at least in young adults."

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 21 August 2009 at 2:45pm

With Nothing To Guide Their Way, People Really Do Walk In Circles

ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2009)With nothing to guide their way, people attempting to walk a straight course through unfamiliar territory really do end up walking in circles, according to a report published online on August 20th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. Although that belief has pervaded popular culture, there has been no scientific evidence to back it up until now, according to the researchers.

 
The stories about people who end up walking in circles when lost are actually true," said Jan Souman of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany. "People cannot walk in a straight line if they do not have absolute references, such as a tower or a mountain in the distance or the sun or moon, and often end up walking in circles."

Those circular paths are rarely systematic, the researchers show. The same person may sometimes veer to the left, then again to the right, before ending up back where they started from, Souman said. That rules out one potential explanation for the phenomenon: that circle-walking stems from some systematic bias to turn in one direction, such as differences in leg length or strength. It seems that the circles rather emerge naturally through "random drift" in where an individual thinks straight ahead to be, Souman said.

 


Edited by a well wisher - 21 August 2009 at 2:47pm
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Future Angst? Brain Scans Show Uncertainty Fuels Anxiety

Anyone who has spent a sleepless night anguishing over a possible job loss has experienced the central finding of a new brain scan study: Uncertainty makes a bad event feel even worse.

Jack Nitschke, a UW-Madison professor of psychiatry, has found that uncertainty intensifies a person’s perception of a bad experience.

A new study by UW-Madison brain researcher Jack Nitschke shows that the emotional centers in the brain respond much more strongly to disturbing photos if the person didn't know what was coming.

"These results have obvious relevance to our current economic times," says Nitschke, a professor of psychiatry in the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. "Expectations have a dramatic impact on many aspects of our lives, including performance at work and school, interpersonal relationships and health. Expectations can alter perceptions of negative events as well as neural and emotional responses."...

 
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Energy-efficient Water Purification Made Possible

ScienceDaily (Jan. 18, 2009) — Water and energy are two resources on which modern society depends. As demands for these increase, researchers look to alternative technologies that promise both sustainability and reduced environmental impact. Engineered osmosis holds a key to addressing both the global need for affordable clean water and inexpensive sustainable energy according to Yale researchers.

Yale doctoral student Robert McGinnis and his advisor Menachem Elimelech, Chair of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, have designed systems that harness the power of osmosis to harvest freshwater from non-potable sources, including seawater and generate electricity from low-temperature heat sources, such as waste heat from conventional power plants.

Yale University is commercializing their desalination technology through a newly-established company, Oasys. Their approach, which requires only one-tenth the electric energy used with conventional desalination systems, was featured in the December issue of Environmental Science & Technology.

"The ideal solution," says Elimelech, "is a process that effectively utilizes waste heat."

According to the authors, desalination and reuse are the only options for increasing water supply beyond that which is available through the hydrologic cycle — the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth. However, conventional desalination and reuse technologies use substantial energy.

Using a new twist on an old technology, the engineers are employing "forward osmosis," which exploits the natural diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane. Their process "draws" pure water from its contaminants to a solution of concentrated salts, which can easily be removed with low heat treatment — effectively desalinating or removing contaminants from water with little energy input .............

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114172310.htm

 

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Cocaine on Money: Drug Found on 90% of U.S. Bills

Christine Dell'Amore in Washington, D.C.
National Geographic News
August 16, 2009

If you live in the United States or Canada, chances are you have cocaine in your wallet.

Nearly nine out of ten bills circulating in the U.S. and its northern neighbor are tainted with cocaine, according to what's being called the most definitive research to date on the subject.

What's more, researchers were surprised to find hints that more Americans are using the illegal drug, said study leader Yuegang Zuo of the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth.

In a similar study by the same team in 2007, 67 percent of U.S. bills were found to be tainted with cocaine. The new study puts the percentage at 85 to 95—a jump of roughly 20 percent, Zuo said.

The drug gets on paper money during drug transactions and when people roll bills to snort cocaine powder, Zuo said.

Stress spurred by the worldwide financial crisis may be driving people to abuse cocaine, one of the most common illegal drugs in the world, Zuo said in a phone interview.

The new findings could "help raise public awareness about cocaine use and lead to greater emphasis on curbing its abuse," Zuo said in a follow-up email.

Cocaine Country

Part of the reason the new study is so complete, Zuo said, is because the team used new equipment, a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer, which doesn't ruin the money—allowing the scientists to test more bills without breaking the bank.

The team collected banknotes from the Brazil, Canada, the U.S., China, and Japan.

With 5.8 million people having used the drug at least once in 2007, the U.S. is the world's biggest cocaine market, according to the 2009 UN World Drug Report.

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, the U.S.—along with Canada—had the highest percentage of cocaine-permeated bills in the study.

Of the 234 U.S. bills collected in 17 large and small cities, nearly 90 percent had traces of cocaine, especially in larger cities such as Baltimore, Boston, and Detroit. ....

 
Just Shocking ....People are really underestimating the dangers of Cocaine...
 

What Adverse Effects Does Cocaine Have on Health?

Abusing cocaine has a variety of adverse effects on the body. For example, cocaine constricts blood vessels, dilates pupils, and increases body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. It can also cause headaches and gastrointestinal complications such as abdominal pain and nausea. Because cocaine tends to decrease appetite, chronic users can become malnourished as well.

Different methods of taking cocaine can produce different adverse effects. Regular intranasal use (snorting) of cocaine, for example, can lead to loss of the sense of smell; nosebleeds; problems with swallowing; hoarseness; and a chronically runny nose. Ingesting cocaine can cause severe bowel gangrene as a result of reduced blood flow. Injecting cocaine can bring about severe allergic reactions and increased risk for contracting HIV and other blood-borne diseases. Binge-patterned cocaine use may lead to irritability, restlessness, and anxiety. Cocaine abusers can also experience severe paranoia—a temporary state of full-blown paranoid psychosis—in which they lose touch with reality and experience auditory hallucinations.

Regardless of the route or frequency of use, cocaine abusers can experience acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies, such as a heart attack or stroke, which may cause sudden death. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizure followed by respiratory arrest.

 
 
 
 


Edited by a well wisher - 24 August 2009 at 7:08pm
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Lower-cost Solar Cells To Be Printed Like Newspaper, Painted On Rooftops

ScienceDaily (Aug. 25, 2009) — Solar cells could soon be produced more cheaply using nanoparticle “inks” that allow them to be printed like newspaper or painted onto the sides of buildings or rooftops to absorb electricity-producing sunlight

Brian Korgel, a University of Texas at Austin chemical engineer, is hoping to cut costs to one-tenth of their current price by replacing the standard manufacturing process for solar cells – gas-phase deposition in a vacuum chamber, which requires high temperatures and is relatively expensive.

“That’s essentially what’s needed to make solar-cell technology and photovoltaics widely adopted,” Korgel said. “The sun provides a nearly unlimited energy resource, but existing solar energy harvesting technologies are prohibitively expensive and cannot compete with fossil fuels.”

For the past two years, Korgel and his team have been working on this low-cost, nanomaterials solution to photovoltaics – or solar cell – manufacturing. Korgel is collaborating with professors Al Bard and Paul Barbara, both of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Professor Ananth Dodabalapur of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. They recently showed proof-of-concept in a recent issue of Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The inks could be printed on a roll-to-roll printing process on a plastic substrate or stainless steel. And the prospect of being able to paint the “inks” onto a rooftop or building is not far-fetched.

“You’d have to paint the light-absorbing material and a few other layers as well,” Korgel said. “This is one step in the direction towards paintable solar cells.”

Korgel uses the light-absorbing nanomaterials, which are 10,000 times thinner than a strand of hair, because their microscopic size allows for new physical properties that can help enable higher-efficiency devices ...........

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824115907.htm

 

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