Don’t let your chronological age get you down–let your biological age determine when to have your midlife crisis!
In five to ten years medical researchers believe that a $650 test which measures the length of your telomeres will be available to the public. What are telomeres? They are “structures” located at the tips of your chromosomes and by measuring the length of them you can figure out how long you have left to live!
Via: The Independent
When your telomeres get contrasted to the normal length of a telomere found in the human body, scientists are able to deduce whether you are more susceptible to desises, such as heart disease and pulmonary fibrosis, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer; as well as if your just inherently going to die early.
While this crystal ball process is still in the works, it brings up ethical and personal issues. Should man ever really know how long he has to live? Would you change your financial and sexual habits? Would you actually stop smoking? My personal fear: what if my life insurance company gets a hold of the results…
Attention, all you hip-holsterin’ cell phone users: Your must-have wireless gadget is chewing away at your bones.
Docs in Argentina have found that the electromagnetic radiation from cell phones reduce bone density in the parts of the body on which they are carried.
And given the ubiquity of the devices, that “could have a substantial effect on the osteoporosis rate in the population,” according to the authors of the report.
From a recent announcement:
Although small, the new study raises the possibility that long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones could adversely affect bone mineralization. Larger follow-up studies will be needed to confirm or disprove this hypothesis, according to Dr Sravi. He suggests that studies may be warranted in women, who have higher rates of osteoporosis; and children, who would have longer expected lifetime exposure to cell phones.
The news is the bar codes that will be added to embryos (no RFID, here) are “biologically inert”:
The bar codes, which carry unique binary identification numbers, are biologically inert: they do not affect the rate of embryo development and are shed before the embryos implant into the wall of the uterus. The technique aims to simplify individual embryo identification, streamlining in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer procedures.
via Short Sharp Science: Fertilised eggs get microscopic bar codes.
Photo: Steve Ryan/Flickr CC
Scientists don’t want us to get bogged down in the details — the ups-and-downs of global temperatures. The mercury is still rising, they say…
That is, except in large parts of the globe, and during certain decades:
“The suddenness of the drop in Northern Hemisphere ocean temperatures relative to the Southern Hemisphere is difficult to reconcile with the relatively slow buildup of tropospheric aerosols,” Thompson said.“We don’t know why the Northern Hemisphere ocean areas cooled so rapidly around 1970. But the cooling appears to be largest in a climatically important region of the ocean,” Wallace said.
via Sudden Ocean Cooling Likely Aided Mid-20th Century Global Warming Hiatus in Northern Hemisphere.
Diviner. Illustration: NASA/UCLA
Good news for Moon setters: Scientists seeking mineral wealth on the Moon have struck upon minerals that can be used to make nuke fuel and fertilizer.
Among the mineral wealth detected by NASA’s Moon recon orbiter vessel, Diviner, is the element thorium, which might be used to power nuclear energy plants on the Moon.
More from a recent announcement:
Most impressively, in several locations around the Moon, Diviner has detected the presence of highly silicic minerals such as quartz, potassium-rich, and sodium-rich feldspar – minerals that are only ever found in association with highly evolved lithologies (rocks that have undergone extensive magmatic processing).
via New Types Of Rock Found On Moon By Researchers At Stony Brook University And NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Photo: zeevveez/Flickr CC
Hebrew University researchers in Israel have created Star of David-shaped, hexagonal “nano-cages,” which help make chemical sensors more sensitive than other materials have:
The researchers generated a three-dimensional image of the tiny nanoparticles using a powerful electron microscope and found that the Stars of David are, remarkably, “nano-cages.” The particles are nano-sized, hexagonal crystals, each with a tiny metal frame wrapping around and encasing them just like a bird’s cage, but 100 million times smaller. Because the nano-cage is hexagonal, when looking at pictures of them from above, they appear as Stars of David. No one had ever seen hybrid nanoparticles form with such a cage structure before.
via New nanomaterial, shaped like Stars of David, discovered at Hebrew University.
Photo: Eric Lewis/Flickr CC
It might be time to throw out your Tylenol. Consider: filthy manufacturing facilities, mounting evidence of disease and overdose risk from the drug, and viable alternatives for pain reduction… MB
Asthma and other diseases are far more likely to occur in kids who get even a single dose of acetaminophen per month, a study finds:
There was a significant association between acetaminophen use and risk of asthma and eczema. For medium users the risk of asthma 43 percent higher than non-users; high users had 2.51 times the risk of non-users. Similarly, the risk of rhinoconjunctivitis allergic nasal congestion was 38 percent higher for medium users and 2.39 times as great for high users compared to non-users. For eczema, the relative risks were 31 percent and 99 percent respectively.
It’s not a causal link, the authors note. But it is a strong association.
via Acetaminophen Use in Adolescents Linked to Doubled Risk of Asthma.
Another week brings fresh evidence that for some THC will prove to be “God’s own medicine”:
Our results show that both Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the most abundant and potent cannabinoid in marijuana, and JWH-133, a non-psychotropic CB2 receptor-selective agonist, reduce tumor growth, tumor number, and the amount/severity of lung metastases in MMTV-neu mice. Histological analyses of the tumors revealed that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell apoptosis, and impair tumor angiogenesis. Cannabinoid antitumoral action relies, at least partially, on the inhibition of the pro-tumorigenic Akt pathway. We also found that 91% of ErbB2-positive tumors express the non-psychotropic cannabinoid receptor CB2.
via Abstract | Cannabinoids reduce ErbB2-driven breast cancer progression through Akt inhibition.
Photo: Giselle Giardino/Flickr CC
Here’s one for all of us who find religion every time we’re worried about our health:
As it turns out, for improving health, prayer might work, after all.
The key, according to Indiana researchers, is PIP — proximate intercessory prayer (PIP). That means the persona praying, and the “target” of those prayers, must be near to one another.
I’d like to see a followup on prayers made via live audio and video connections…
Rural Mozambican subjects exhibited improved audition and/or visual acuity subsequent to PIP. The magnitude of measured effects exceeds that reported in previous suggestion and hypnosis studies. Future study seems warranted to assess whether PIP may be a useful adjunct to standard medical care for certain patients with auditory and/or visual impairments, especially in contexts where access to conventional treatment is limited.
via Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Proximal Intercessory Pr… : Southern Medical Journal.
Photo: Mauro Monti/Flickr CC
You might think that each time you inhabit your World of Warcraft character, or Second Life avatar, you are escaping reality and being creative.
Truth is, you are doing neither.
By looking at an avatar’s physical characteristics, researchers now say, marketers “can form accurate personality impressions about targets.”
(“Targets,” in case you were wondering, are those individuals being targeted to receive advertising messages.)
From an announcement:
The findings support the premise that real-life companies that intend to expand to virtual worlds can use member avatars as a proxy for member personality and lifestyles. As a future research direction, avatars and other consumer-generated media could be used as the basis for targeting and segmentation of online consumers.
via Avatars as information: Perception of consumers based on their avatars in virtual worlds. Jean-François Bélisle. 2010; Psychology and Marketing – Wiley InterScience.