Here’s to hoping that resveratrol, which mimics the life-extending benefits of severe caloric restriction, might do the same. — MB
Tufts scientists recently deprived a group of chubby men, for six months, of about one-third of their daily caloric intake.
The result: The subjects’ white blood cells, central to the body’s immune response systems, performed better:
“Scientists funded by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) found that volunteers who followed a low-calorie diet or a very low-calorie diet not only lost weight, but also significantly enhanced their immune response. The study may be the first to demonstrate the interaction between calorie restriction and immune markers among humans.”
The study might also help scientists determine whether resveratrol, which is found in red wine and other foods, mimics the immune regulating effects of caloric restriction — an impractical lifestyle change for millions of Americans.
Silk-based implants that stretch, and stick to the brain’s contours and folds like shrink wrap, will monitor patient’s brains and other organs, without damaging sensitive tissues.
Tufts University biomedical engineering professors David Kaplan and Fiorenzo Omenetto created the silk substrate, which causes less inflammation than one with sharp edges.
“The implants contain metal electrodes that are 500 microns thick, or about five times the thickness of a human hair. The absence of sharp electrodes and rigid surfaces should improve safety, with less damage to brain tissue. Also, the implants’ ability to mold to the brain's surface could provide better stability; the brain sometimes shifts in the skull and the implant could move with it. Finally, by spreading across the brain, the implants have the potential to capture the activity of large networks of brain cells, Dr. Litt said.”
Full text of the MPS superintendent’s letter to parents, today:
April 16th, 2010
Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s) and Staff:
We are writing to inform you that the Milton Police Department has positively identified the suspect in Tuesday’s incident involving the placing of ammunition in Milton High School. The suspect is a 14-year-old freshman and will be charged as a juvenile in Quincy District Court.
Administrative action from the Milton Public Schools has been initiated. This has been a costly and highly publicized situation. The Milton Police Department and the school administration have conducted numerous interviews and pursued many leads. As a result of last night’s parent forum, two parents came forward this morning with key information which proved to be vital to the identification of the suspect.
We want to thank all of those who have been of assistance especially the Milton Police Department.
The investigation into Thursday’s incident is still active and ongoing. Police feel strongly that it is not related to Tuesday’s incident. As parents it is vital that you maintain open communication with your children. Any information involving the ongoing investigation is of great importance to us and the Milton Police Department. If you have any information call the Milton Police Department at 617-698-3800 or the anonymous tip line at 617-698-COPS.
From my Boston Globe column this week, Northeastern’s latest robotic-mechatronic assistive aid (a breathtaking amount of GNR –genetics, nanotechnology and robotics — research, here):
“Given America’s growing ranks of aging boomers and wounded vets, it looks like the folks at Biomedical Mechatronics Laboratory (www.robots.neu.edu) at Northeastern University have a moneymaker on their hands.
Last week, the lab reported progress on its smart-gloves technology, the ATLAS Bimanual Rehabilitation System, which stroke patients can use to retrain their arms, hands, and fingers.”
Lab might do for video games, what USC did for film:
GAMBIT’s researchers, a collaboration of artists, historians, writing instructors, and educators, are mostly interested in breaking away from gaming conventions: the princess who needs rescuing, the shady merchant with the weapon you must get to survive the next chapter, the mushroom power-up.
They are also focused on teaching courses with heady titles like “Making Deep Games’’ and publishing papers such as “Bioshock: A Critical Historical Perspective.’’
“Everything done in the lab is based on some sort of research interest,’’ said Eitan Glinert, who was GAMBIT’s first graduate student, in 2007.
Emmanuel College journo MacKenzie Peltier (a psychology major) filed a post from the SXSW of scholarly conferences, recently.
The conference, SWTX (for the the Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association) was chockablock with analyses of spooky fiction:
“…panels, papers and lectures on everything vampire, especially Twilight-themed vampires. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Area extensively examined books, television shows and movies for themes of power, sex and violence, while the implications of such pop-culture trends on society were endless explored.”
Peltier is a genius-level undergrad, majoring in psychology. She was at the conference in February, actually, to present a paper of her own.
The topic for Peltier’s paper is a timely one: “Beautiful on the Inside? Thematic Analysis of Pseudo-Fat Acceptance on
Given the conference’s “alien” (i.e., “otherness”) theme, I wish I could been there.
Peltier had me sold on the conference, too, from the moment she showed me its program cover (above).
You can find a PDF link to the SWTX program, here.
Every writer could use a muse, sometimes. Photo: Ygor Oliveira/Flickr CC
You might think a roomful of monkeys could generate most of the blog posts you read.
But IBM Research has got it all down to a single program. Called Blog Muse, it generates topics for you to write about, based upon what audiences are asking for.
Blog muse isn’t an artificial brain. Rather than tapping that roomful of monkeys for raw material, however, it crowd-sources requests for stories from the naked apes in your community. (Read the paper about Blog Muse, which is being presented at computer conferences this winter and spring, below.)