Hungry to learn more about the latest medical news?
Then, join me as I tuck into some of the most recent juicy details.
A plant-based diet may help you fight against gingivitis.
Ever wanted to keep your teeth nice and healthy? Well, recent
research indicates that you might be able to do just that by changing your
This research comes directly from a randomized trial
published by the Journal of Clinical
Periodontology. During the four-week trial, researchers took 30
participants and split them into two groups. One group kept their original
diet. And the other group changed their diet to one low in processed
carbohydrates and animal proteins, but rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C,
vitamin D, antioxidants, plant nitrates (i.e., plant chemicals), and fibres.
Both groups were subjected to interdental cleaning, and at the end of the
trial, researchers discovered that the group with the changed diet were able to
significantly reduce gingivitis.
So, consider taking on a similar diet! Your teeth might thank
For more information about the studied plant-based diet, click here.
Breast milk could impact how childhood obesity is handled.
If you’re a mother to a newborn baby, you’re probably more
interested in protecting the weight and diet of your child.
Well, science has something for you too. From The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
a study was recently published on breastfeeding children. The study focused on
differences between mothers under 25 kg/m2 who were breastfeeding
and mothers who were breastfeeding while over 25 kg/m2. And
researchers soon discovered mothers with obesity who breastfed their children
were providing those children with different metabolism substances that may
make the children more prone to childhood obesity.
While this study only shows the possibility of a connection
between breastfeeding and childhood obesity, it could be an important one to be
aware of as you care for your baby. But before you take any extreme measures,
talk with your doctor. They’ll have a better idea if there is a great risk to
you and your baby.
You can also take the time to learn a bit more about breastfeeding and childhood obesity by clicking here to read directly from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’s study.
Eggs are the breakfast of champions for diabetics.
Another study from The
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that eggs might actually
benefit people who have type 2 diabetes. More specifically, research from the
study shows that if type 2 diabetics eat a breakfast high in fat and low in
carbohydrates, they seem to have better control over their blood sugar levels
for the rest of the day.
Luckily, eggs fit the bill for a high-fat, low-carb meal. So,
if you happen to have type 2 diabetes, consider making your morning meal more
To learn more about the impact of such a meal, take a look at the study’s summary here.
Seasoning your food with salt may be unhealthy, but you might still be able to keep the taste.
If you’re looking for a way to season your breakfast, afternoon, or dinner meals, salt might be one item you think about. More specifically, you probably think of the most common blend of salt: sodium chloride. While it certainly can create a savory flavor, consuming too much sodium chloride can be problematic. If enough excess sodium chloride is consumed, you can end up stiffening your blood vessels, which can eventually lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.
But science is here to offer a solution!
As part of a study in the Journal
of Food Science, researchers looked at different salt blends to see how
they could keep the salty flavor while lowering the amount of sodium chloride.
So far, the most optimal blend of salt that they found consisted of 96.4%
sodium chloride, 1.6% potassium chloride, and 2% calcium chloride. But they may
very well find an even better blend at some point in the future.
So, look forward to new and improved salt with the same
flavor, but with less of a negative impact on your health!
Each day, you’ll end up spending time dealing with a number of worries, and they don’t even have to relate to one another. They can range from an excessive focus on keeping up with financial needs to constantly planning schedules around any and all what-if scenarios.
But you might feel like you should hold on to that anxiety. And you’re not the only person with GAD to think that! Many with GAD believe that their worrying helps them avoid negative consequences, so they don’t actually want to get rid of their condition. After all, doesn’t anxiety push you to plan and do things as effectively as possible?
While it can, GAD does have its own dark side: irritation. This
feeling is not a healthy one, often leading to intense anger. So here’s why you
might want to consider at least minimizing the hold that GAD has on you.
Irritability is a main diagnostic factor for GAD.
When professionals look to diagnose people with GAD, one of the main factors they look for is irritation. And as many know, this feeling can be considered a mild form of anger or frustration.
While most anxiety disorders are likely to cause irritability, GAD is the only one that lists it as a defining part of its criteria.
To find out why, let’s learn a little bit more about GAD and
how it connects to anger.
What is GAD?
GAD is an anxiety disorder characterized by a tenaciously exorbitant worry over any number of issues. As the word generalized in the name of this disorder shows, people with GAD don’t have a specific set of worries. Instead, they just remain worried about almost anything and everything throughout the day.
What connects it to anger?
The worry-induced anxiety that comes from GAD often feels impossible to control, and it can lead to feeling trapped and frustrated. The worry never truly seems to go away, but that natural, anxious fight-or-flight response demands you do something to get rid of it all. And if you can’t seem to flee, your brain will feel the need to fight.
In fact, according to the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy journal, this fight response is particularly strong in those who have GAD. Looking more into the details of the study, the website ScienceDaily notes that among 381 participants, 131 of those with GAD expressed high levels of trait anger and internalized anger. The study’s revelation seems to indicate that heightened levels of anger — and in particular, internalized anger expression — might be a strong predictor for those who will have or who already have GAD.
But that factor needs more research.
Sadly, one of the main researchers reported to ScienceDaily
that more research is needed to determine what connects GAD to anger. For now,
the exact connection between GAD and anger remains unknown.
What can you do about anger and GAD?
Feeling constant worry, irritation, and anger isn’t good for your well-being. It creates a mentally miserable environment that leads you to thinking and feeling the worst. It can disrupt your life, give you chronic physical pain, and lead to other poor health conditions.
So, while GAD might help you schedule plans and avoid potential disasters, the negative emotions surrounding the condition, when left unchecked, can cause a number of problems.
But you can manage
GAD. You just need the right tools.
One of the best tools to help you manage GAD is therapy. With therapy, you can learn techniques to help you change how you think about things and how you adapt to situations. It can offer you effective ways of coping with anxiety and all the stress that it brings.
There are a number of effective therapies for you to try:
Mindfulness meditation teaches you to sit comfortably, relax on your own, and think in the present instead of worrying about future problems.
Biofeedback allows you to see how your body responds to certain stimuli and what you can do about it.
information on GAD-related therapy, talk to your doctor. They’ll have a better
idea of what treatments are available near you and what might help you best.
Consider pharmaceutical assistance.
In addition to therapy, your doctor may also suggest you take prescription drugs. For instance, they might offer you sertraline. Taking medication like sertraline alongside therapy is a common treatment, and it could help you further reduce your GAD symptoms.
You might think it’s a bit costly, though, and you’d be right. In America, prescription drugs are quite expensive. Adding therapy into the mix only makes that cost higher.
But there is a way to reduce how much you pay for prescription drugs! Simply look for an authentic international or Canada pharmacy referral service like Canada Med Pharmacy, and order your medication from there. You’ll be able to order from licensed pharmacies outside of the United States where prescription prices are regulated more strictly, allowing you to purchase your medication at a more affordable rate.
Most importantly, don’t bottle up your feelings.
You might think it’s easier to minimize GAD’s impact on your life just by bottling up how you feel. But you’d be wrong. While hiding how you feel will prevent people from noticing your GAD symptoms right away, it can actually exacerbate your feelings. Feelings do need to be expressed eventually, and hiding yours will only make it easier for negative emotions to get the better of you when you least want them to, causing potentially ugly outbursts. And it can even lead to other negative consequences, such as poor social support, reduced closeness with others, and social dissatisfaction.
You’re better off acknowledging that you do, in fact, have
these feelings and that you need to do something about them. So give therapy,
medication, or both treatments a try, and stay in touch with those closest to
you. It will remind you that you’re not alone in trying to deal with GAD and
that there are people out there who care about how you feel.
From Skrillex ruining the days and nights for mosquitoes to birth control you can wear on your ears, plenty of exciting stuff has been happening in the medical world lately. Let’s check out some stories.
Electronic music repels mosquitoes.
Remember this one for your summer camping trip!
According to one study, it turns out that blasting electronic music — in this particular study, Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice
Sprites” — reduced feeding behavior in
the female Aedes aegypti mosquito.
The study also noted that adult mosquitoes kept in an environment with music copulated
Why does music like that of Skrillex affect
mosquitoes? Well, it appears that sound disrupts the low-frequency vibrations
insects use to communicate with each other. This is an exciting finding, given
how most of us vehemently hate getting bit by mosquitoes. It’s also exciting
that the particular species studied, Aedes
aegypti, carries the dengue virus. This virus can cause dengue fever in humans, a flu-like
illness with no known treatment. So playing Skrillex could be a literal
For more information, take a look at the original
Midnight toilet trips are linked to hypertension.
Do you frequently get up in the middle of the night to
visit the bathroom? If so, you might want to get your blood pressure checked
Scientists in Japan, a country with a relatively high
salt intake, have found a link between nocturia
— the need to urinate at night — and high blood pressure. However, the researchers did note
that although getting up to urinate at night meant subjects had a 40% higher
chance of having hypertension, it didn’t mean there was a causal effect between
the two. But it’s good to know that previous studies have associated high salt
intake with nocturia. So if you have been dealing with frequent midnight toilet
trips, you may want to consider cutting down on the ramen noodles.
You can check out the original press release for this
High-tech pajamas could help you sleep better.
When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep?
Like most people in the helter-skelter modern world, you probably don’t get
enough quality sleep. Well, a new technology aims to help you change that.
The Phyjama contains textile patches of sensors that can
monitor a sleeper’s heartbeat, breathing, and sleep position. This data can
give both ordinary sleepy Joes and medical professionals valuable, unobtrusive
insight into sleeping habits. The team of inventors estimates that the Phyjama
can be available to buy within two years. And it’s not super expensive either;
it could cost between $100 and $200.
See the original press release about this exciting new
product here. This research will be
presented at the American Chemical Society meeting.
The future could soon include fashionable, wearable birth control.
You may soon be able to go out stylish and safe thanks
to wearable birth control. Scientists are testing a transdermal patch that can
be attached to earrings and worn by women. This patch can be attached to the
backs of jewelry pieces like earrings where it will then release the
contraceptive through the skin.
Transdermal patches for other medical purposes have
been around for some time, but they have never been incorporated into jewelry.
Scientists are hoping that by doing so, contraception would be more appealing
and discreet for women. This technology may also be useful in areas where
long-term birth control devices like implants and IUDs are harder to access.
The future might also even let you grow babies from outside your body!
If you’re wondering if we can grow babies outside our
bodies and save on some labor pains, we’re not there just yet. But scientists are
a step closer now. As a result, we are better able to support extremely
premature babies on the border of viability (i.e., 21–24 weeks). Scientists
have even been able to create an artificial womb that has successfully
maintained preterm lamb fetuses at an age equivalent to 24 weeks of human
This technology is being hailed as a four-minute mile
break in the field, and you can learn more about it here.
Pets are family members — even when you have allergies.
As a pet owner, you know all about the benefits of owning a pet. Whether it’s your companion’s unconditional love or the stress relief they bring, your pet has brought you joy over the years.
So, why do you suddenly feel
itchy and irritated around your animal companion?
Sadly, it sounds like you’ve
developed a pet allergy. Yes, allergies can develop in adulthood. But don’t
fret! Take the time today to learn all about your newfound allergy and how you
can keep it from coming between your animal companion and you.
Why would you develop an allergy now?
While you might not have had one before, allergies can develop at any point in life. This typically happens once your body starts to view certain allergens (i.e., substances that can cause allergic reactions) as a threat to your immune system. For pet allergies, this might mean your body ends up viewing substances like your pet’s dander, saliva, or skin flakes as a threat.
To defend your health, your body will produce large numbers of cells to fight off the substances. This defense will then cause a certain physical reaction, depending on the number of allergens encountered and how your body reacts to them. So, you could end up with the following symptoms or more:
An allergy can be serious, but it doesn’t mean you need to let your pet go.
Your pet is like another
family member. You’ve spent time caring for and playing with them, and in turn,
they have given you their trust.
Don’t abandon that trust by
letting your pet go just because you have mild or moderate allergies. There are
ways to reduce your symptoms.
However, it is understandable and heartbreaking if your reaction is much more severe. If you’ve been dealing with anaphylaxis from your pet allergy, which is not one of the common anaphylactic triggers, you may actually have to think about rehoming your pet. One way to make this act less traumatic is to consider getting a close friend or family member to adopt.
For those with non-life-threatening allergic reactions, try to think of what’s best for you and your animal companion. You’re family members, and presumably, you’ve loved each other’s company, so do your best to reduce your allergic reactions so you two can stay together.
Give these allergen reduction methods a try.
If you are determined to stay with your pet, know that there’ll be a tough road ahead for you two. It’ll take time and testing to determine what reduces your allergic reactions. But for a start, consider following these suggestions.
Turn your bedroom into an allergen-free space.
You might have enjoyed having
your bedroom as a space for both you and your pet to relax. But this lifestyle
may have to change.
To avoid this dilemma
entirely, turn your bedroom into an allergen-free zone. It can be difficult
training your pet to accept that they cannot enter your bedroom anymore, but training
is a lot less painful compared to rehoming your pet.
Once you’ve gotten your pet
accustomed to not entering your bedroom, you’ll have a space that will be
almost completely free from pet allergens. But you’ll also need to get into a regular
Clean your home regularly.
Cleaning might feel like a chore, but it’s one of the best ways you can reduce the number of allergens your body encounters. After all, cleaning will help you remove any allergens or dirt particles that might be hanging around your home. So get better acquainted with vacuuming and doing the laundry regularly.
Purify the air in your home.
Part of your routine cleaning
might include directly purifying the air of your home.
To do this, look into getting
an air purifier. It’s a cleaning machine designed to remove pollutants from the
air. And for extra filtering, make sure the machine you choose is one that has
a high efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filter attached. This filter
will help your purifier catch common allergens that like to collect around your
Sanitize your pet.
Don’t forget to clean your pet
The ASPCA suggests you bathe your pet at least once weekly. Giving your pet a frequent wash will not only keep them clean, but it will also wash away any allergens that might bother your allergies. You can also wipe your pet with products that are designed to prevent dander. And remember: brush or comb your pet regularly.
All this grooming should give
you a simple, effective way of reducing both your pet’s allergens and your
If you still have harsh enough allergic reactions, consider immunotherapy.
So, you’ve tried out all those
suggestions before, and they didn’t work. You don’t feel like you’re having an
anaphylactic reaction, but your allergies are still way too frustrating for
you. Now, what?
It may be time to consider talking to your doctor about immunotherapy. This method involves injecting the pet allergen directly into your blood stream. While there are risks, this method is generally safe and ensures that your body gets used to being around the allergen. After enough time, your body will stop reacting so harshly whenever it encounters the allergen. And you should be able to enjoy spending time with your pet again without worry!
In short, you and your pet do
not need to part ways because of your allergies. Just take the time and effort
needed to see what you can do to reduce your symptoms.
Let’s dive into the wonderful world of medical science once again.
It’s that time! Join me as I take a look at the latest medical news.
A study shows how electrical bandages can heal chronic wounds faster.
Paving the way for better chronic wound care, electrical bandages have come to be known for their great healing properties. But what about them makes them so great? To find out, we need to dive a little deeper into what defines this type of bandage and what defines a chronic wound.
What is an electrical bandage?
Belonging to a particular type of therapy called electroceuticals, electrical bandages are meant to treat chronic wounds.
They do so with the help of a device that’s attached to them. When the bandage is applied to a chronic wound, this device emits electrical impulses. These impulses then eliminate the bacteria found in the chronic wound.
What is a chronic wound?
So, electrical bandages are great
at cleansing chronic wounds from infection. But what exactly are chronic wounds?
These types of wounds are
typically non-healing ones. The reason for this is that they usually have skin
infections coupled with biofilms. And these biofilms form from small groups of
microorganisms, which can also include bacteria. These groups are usually held
together by fat and protein substances. And both these groups and substances
can end up creating a protective barrier for the bacteria.
This protective barrier makes it difficult for traditional treatments like antibiotics to heal chronic wounds. But that isn’t the case for electrical bandages.
No one’s sure. But researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered new clues that may explain why these bandages have better luck at healing chronic wounds.
When using an electrical device with silk, the university researchers found that the two items created the antimicrobial chemical hypochlorous acid. This chemical was shown to penetrate the biofilm barrier and kill the bacteria inside without harming the healthy skin nearby.
To learn more, you can take a look at a plain English summary here and read through the original study here.
Pregnant women at risk for late preterm delivery may have a new cost-effective treatment.
For years, it has been standard to treat women with prenatal steroids if they were at risk of giving birth before their 34 weeks of pregnancy. After all, this treatment helps fetal lungs mature quickly enough to survive the birth.
Despite the benefit this treatment offers babies, researchers did not initially consider it necessary for women who were going to give birth to their babies during the later part of their preterm stage. But the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network conducted a 2016 randomized trial that proved that there might be a benefit to doing otherwise.
After analyzing this past trial, the journal JAMA Pediatrics has found even more evidence to support that study’s findings. The journal’s analysis showed that late preterm babies from mothers who had been given the prenatal steroid betamethasone had fewer complications with their lungs. And they also had less of a need for respiratory treatments.
With such benefits, women who give birth to late preterm babies could see their medical costs go down.
For more specific information on the benefits of betamethasone, see the original study here. You can also see a plain English version here.
UC Berkeley neurobiologists develop a therapy that could improve sight and delay vision loss.
Over 3.4 million Americans at the age of 40-years-old or older have to deal with vision difficulties. It’s a tough situation to be in that could lead to minor instances of needing to hold reading materials at a farther distance or more severe cases of losing vision entirely.
Sadly, there’s no cure for vision difficulties. But, luckily, neurobiologists at UC Berkeley believe they have discovered a therapy that can at least help.
Conducting a study on mice, the neurobiologists have found that the mice’s eyes, and presumably human eyes as well, have an issue with noise similar to how our ears deal with tinnitus. This noise reduces how well the mice with the genetic condition retinitis pigmentosa can see.
The neurobiologists believe that there may be a drug candidate that could reduce this visual noise to clarify the remaining vision so that people with age-related macular degeneration and other related poor vision conditions can prolong their useful vision and even delay total blindness.
The neurobiologists’ study summary can be seen here.
People unable to take typical cholesterol-lowering drugs may finally have an alternative.
It’s well-known that typical cholesterol-lowering drugs, also known as statins, have side effects that not everyone can tolerate. More specifically, side effects like muscle pain or bad interactions with other medications can pose too great a problem for some. So cholesterol-lowering medications like rosuvastatin aren’t always ideal.
To counter this issue, the New England Journal of Medicine has tested the effectiveness and efficiency of bempedoic acid — a new oral medication that has yet to be approved in Europe. According to the journal’s findings, this medication works like typical statin medications. So, like those medications, bempedoic acid can block an enzyme key to the body’s cholesterol production. And it does so effectively. But unlike your average statin, this medication was shown to be tolerated by most patients.
The medication isn’t out just yet, but when it does come out, if your well-being depends upon it and you live in the United States, you might want to consider checking to see if it’s available at an online international and Canadian pharmacy referral service like Canada Med Pharmacy. This service helps Americans connect with licensed pharmacies from outside the United States, where prescriptions are often offered at more affordable rates.
To find out more about bempedoic acid and its findings, read the New England Journal of Medicine’s research summary here.
An experimental blood test makes it easier to diagnose fibromyalgia.
For a long time, there was no specific way to diagnose fibromyalgia. But now, researchers from The Ohio State University have given us a reasonable way to identify the condition.
According to their study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers have proven that they can detect fibromyalgia reliably within blood samples. Using the technique vibrational spectroscopy, the researchers measured the level of molecules within each sample and came to discern a clear pattern that set fibromyalgia apart from other conditions.
It’s not a cure, but at the very least, those suffering from fibromyalgia will soon be able to avoid undergoing a number of general tests just to find out what condition they have.
You can see the abstract for the fibromyalgia study here.
nature geeks to retired folks, everyone young and old can reap heaps of health
benefits from this accessible activity. All you need is an area where birds
congregate — which can be anywhere from city parks to untouched wilderness — a
little patience, and some knowledge.
are found on every single continent on Earth (even Antarctica!) which makes it
possible to chase this hobby anywhere in the world. Plus, it’s free!
Still skeptical? Then, let’s dive into the specific benefits that bird-watching has to offer.
gets you out in nature.
Numerous studies have purported that nature is good for you.
The Japanese even have a practice devoted to it called forest bathing, which
offers a number of health benefits, such as a boosted immune system, reduced
stress, and increased energy.
Many of these benefits are due to the relatively quiet, peaceful, and reflective space that the outdoors offers, unlike the hustle-bustle of urban life. Relaxing in heavily wooded areas where trees breathe out oxygen can also give your lungs a much-needed break from the exhaust-polluted air of the city.
you consider retirement to be a relatively stress-free time of your life.
However, consider your family obligations. Whether you help babysit the
grandkids or assist your adult children with their new mortgages, these
obligations can still be stressful. And when these duties feel overwhelming,
know that you can always go out in nature to observe the birds and enjoy the
natural healing benefits that the outdoors can provide.
Bird-watching gets you moving.
you struggle to exercise for exercise’s sake, bird-watching, a goal-oriented activity,
can be your way of getting off the couch. Bird-watching requires you to do lots
of walking, which may count towards your 150 minutes
of recommended weekly exercise.
more, when bird-watching, you might find yourself motivated to move faster. Walk
briskly, and you’ll not only burn more calories but also see more birds. To
catch sight of a particularly speedy flier, you might even fit in a jog here
and there. Plus, the added rugged terrain of forests and mountains forces you
to use balancing muscles you may otherwise never get to exercise walking on
this exercise for bird-watching might actually seem a bit overly exhausting,
but the great thing about this hobby is that you can tailor all the required
exercise to your needs. If you have arthritis, for example, and struggle with
painful joints, you can take lots of breaks. Sometimes staying still may even
make it easier for you to spot certain birds!
the more adventurous birders among us, retirement is the perfect time to
explore new places, whether it be a local trail you’ve always wanted to visit
or the uncharted wilderness where rare birds fly.
Exercise from bird-watching is a natural antidepressant. And it’s free!
has been shown to significantly improve mood. Unfortunately, clinical depression is something that doesn’t discriminate
against age, and seniors can develop it too. The abrupt change from working
full-time to retiring, the death of a spouse, or another traumatic event can
trigger this illness. If you notice fatigue, difficulty sleeping, irritability,
and even confusion, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor, as you may be
dealing with clinical depression.
a side effect from bird-watching is that you’ll be doing some form of exercise
in the hopes of catching sight of a bird or two. Don’t expect to get too far in
the hobby if you think it’s just a matter of sitting on a park bench all day!
Bird-watching can be social.
many people enjoy bird-watching as a reflective, solo activity, others find
community in bird-watching. Retirement may be the best years of your life, but
you can’t deny that as we get older, it gets harder and harder to make friends.
Finding a community of nature lovers may just be the social refreshment you
up with other bird lovers in the community to learn a few birdsong recognition
skills or borrow a pair of high-power binoculars for the weekend.
is also a highly accessible activity for families, friends, and couples. You
don’t have to pay an expensive entrance fee to most natural places. You can simply
chat and bond over finding rare birds, and you can even round off the day with
a tasty picnic!
Bird-watching may be good for your brain.
intellectually engaged may benefit the brain[,]” says the National Institutes of Health, citing academic studies. “People who engage
in meaningful activities, like volunteering or hobbies, say they feel happier
and healthier. Learning new skills may improve your thinking ability, too.”
bird-watching is a relaxed hobby compared to many others, it does require some
mental exercise. Serious bird-watchers will read plenty of books about bird behavior
and biology. Just identifying birds requires you to remember what many species
look like, their behavior, their habitat, and perhaps even songs and calls.
Since many birds look alike, knowing other information such as geographical
range and preferred habitat (e.g., marsh, open plain, forest) is important to
identifying birds correctly.
Bird-watching fosters an appreciation for nature.
more than health benefits, this last benefit is probably the most valuable
result that comes from bird-watching.
one can deny that the natural world is in grave danger at this time in history.
Climate change, pollution, and environmental degradation are causing at least 10,000 species to go extinct each year.
humans, we often forget that we, too, are animals that originally came from
nature. Too often are we preoccupied with getting better, stronger, faster
gadgets that make us superior to nature. And it makes us forget that nature can
be just as — if not more — beautiful as our high-tech lives.
an appreciation for the natural world is humbling. And hopefully, it’ll inspire
you to care for it a little more.
Bird-watching is a great activity for seniors, but it’s a hobby for all ages.
bird-watching is frequently associated with retired folks and seniors, there’s
no rule saying young people can’t join. In fact, once you’ve fallen in love
with birds yourself, why not bring the whole family along?
you have young grandchildren, teaching kids about the natural world can be an
enriching and rewarding process. Your grandkids may find it inspiring if their
grandparent can identify birds by ear or eye, and they might even end up
striving to do the same.
if you’re wondering what to do this weekend, what are you waiting for? Put on
your hiking shoes, perhaps borrow a local birding guidebook from the library,
and head outside.
binoculars can certainly help you find birds that don’t like being too close to
humans, they’re not required.
worry if you don’t know many birds in the beginning; bird-watching is a
constant learning process. Once you’re familiar with the usual suspects in your
area, branch out further to meet other birds and enjoy the benefits this
We live in a time of incredible scientific breakthroughs.
In this post, let’s take a look at the most interesting recent health findings.
Eli Lilly releases cheaper insulin.
A victory to diabetes patients everywhere, pharmaceutical company Eli
Lilly announced that it will release a lower-cost version of its insulin product
Humalog®. The lower-cost version of insulin will sell at 50% of the cost of
This news should come as a great boon for Americans. It’s well-known how
expensive pharmaceutical drugs are in the United States. Due to the expense, some
Americans are even looking abroad to find affordable versions of their
medication, such as through licensed international and Canadian pharmacies online.
To fill the need for cheaper medication, Eli Lilly will release Insulin
Lispro (the lower-cost version of Humalog®) in vial and pen form. A single vial
will cost $137.35 while a five-pack of KwikPens will cost $265.20.
Second patient in history is tested free of HIV thanks to stem cell treatment.
In an exciting new breakthrough, an HIV-positive patient has been tested
free of the virus for 16 months following a bone marrow transplant. The
transplanted tissue was from a donor with two copies of a CCR5 gene mutation.
This mutation, possessed by about 1% of people of European descent, gives those
who have two copies of it resistance to HIV.
However, it’s too soon to say that this patient has been “cured.”
Additionally, bone marrow transplants aren’t a practical way to treat HIV in
most patients. This particular patient was also suffering from
chemotherapy-resistant blood cancer, so they required the transplant anyway.
For most people, such a procedure would be too invasive to warrant the risk of
a transplant. Instead, most patients respond well to antiretroviral drugs, a
far less risky treatment.
Still, this is the second time such a procedure has proved successful.
It may prove promising to future medical research into treating HIV, the virus
responsible for AIDS.
This study was published in the journal Nature and summarized on the journal’s website.
We get less emotionally sensitive as we get older.
Ever wonder why your teenager is so moody all the time while your baby boomer-aged
grandparent seems infinitely relaxed? Science may have just unearthed a clue.
A study published in Journal of
Experimental Psychology: General found that during adolescence, our ability
to sense anger and fear in others’ faces increases dramatically. As we become
older adults, this sensitivity to negative facial expressions decreases.
However, our sensitivity to happiness in others’ faces remains the same.
In other words, we get less sensitive to other people’s disapproval.
Maybe this is why people have reported feeling the most life satisfaction at age 23 and 69.
You can find the abstract to the original study here.
More muscle mass may mean higher cancer treatment success.
A recent study conducted at Osaka University and published in Scientific Reports found a strong
association between sarcopenia and the effectiveness of programmed death inhibitors
(PD-1), an anti-cancer drug.
Sarcopenia is the degradation of muscle mass, a condition that can
happen to cancer patients. The scientists researched the impact sarcopenia had
on patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, and they found that those
with sarcopenia had significantly less successful reactions to PD-1 inhibitor
Click here for a plain English summary of the article and here for the original research paper.
Brain region of young adults at risk of drug addiction is markedly different from that of young adults with lower risk.
This study, conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge and
Aarhus University, further supports the progressive claim that drug addiction
is not merely a case of weak character. Rather, addiction is strongly
associated with innate biological factors.
Impulsivity in young adulthood is strongly associated with the risk of
drug addiction. In this study, researchers found another strong association:
increased impulsivity in young adults and low levels of myelin in a brain
region called the putamen.
Myelin is a sheath that protects a nerve cell’s axis, maximizing nerve
conduction efficiency much like the plastic coating of an electrical wire. The
putamen is a part of the brain that is a key component of addiction, as it
sends dopamine signals that impact impulsivity.
Further research is needed to see if decreased myelination is a reliable
predictor of addiction risk. Find a link to the original study here.