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Saturday, August 27, 2011

OBESITY TO WORSEN, WEIGH HEAVILY ON HEALTHCARE RESOURCES

First of all I did not make up the 'punny' headline and secondly I would not make light of a serious situation because I battled obesity at one time in my life.  But has anyone considered that the cause might be found in the water?  That might sound funny but there are two things that all people share globally and that's air and water.  Growth hormones have been used for decades in every country that raises and exports meat and poultry. and it all goes back into the water systems.  That is definitely thinking outside the box but sometimes that's where answers are found. 
    There is a more reasonable explanation though.  A common trait all people have in common no matter what culture they are from is the increased lack of self control that is evident in all aspects of people's lives today.  It's a trait that is fed and watered by popular culture which tells us we are entitled to whatever we want to have and to whatever we want think and to whatever we want to do.  Society tells us there are no boundaries of right or wrong anymore..... just do whatever you want to do when you want to do it.  And why not if there is no higher power to be accountable to?  That's 
a concept that has been slowly but surely dying out in the last 100 years or so and dramatically different from even 30 years ago.
Mankind without moral guidelines will never elevate itself but will only continue to degrade itself. When there is no conscience to guide a person then there is no restraint.  When there is no restraint the result is what we see ever increasingly today and that is a lack of a consciousness of the feelings of others or the concern for the welfare of fellow human beings. 
Self control is not easy but it can be practiced and will result in self respect and happiness which just might go a long way in fighting the battle against obesity not to mention a lot of other battles people find themselves in.

Obesity is most widespread in Britain and the United States among the world's leading economies and if present trends continue, about half of both men and women in the United States will be obese by 2030, health experts warned on Friday.
Obesity is fast replacing tobacco as the single most important preventable cause of chronic non-communicable diseases, and will add an extra 7.8 million cases of diabetes, 6.8 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 539,000 cases of cancer in the United States by 2030.
Some 32 percent of men and 35 percent of women are now obese in the United States, according to a research team led by Claire Wang at the Mailman School of Public Health in Columbia University in New York. They published their findings in a special series of four papers on obesity in The Lancet.
In Britain, obesity rates will balloon to between 41-48 percent for men and 35-43 percent for women by 2030 from what is now 26 percent for both sexes, they warned.
"An extra 668,000 cases of diabetes, 461,000 of heart disease and 130,000 cancer cases would result," they wrote.
Due to overeating and insufficient exercise, obesity is now a growing problem everywhere and experts are warning about its ripple effects on health and healthcare spending.
Obesity raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various cancers, hypertension, high cholesterol, among others.
Because of obesity, the United States can expect to spend an extra 2.6 percent on its overall healthcare bill, or $66 billion per year, while Britain's bill will grow by 2 percent, or 2 billion per year, Wang and colleagues warned.
OBESITY BOMB TICKING EVERYWHERE ELSE TOO
In Japan and China, 1 in 20 women is obese, compared with 1 in 10 in the Netherlands, 1 in 4 in Australia and 7 in 10 in Tonga, according to another paper led by Boyd Swinburn and Gary Sacks of the WHO Collaborating Center for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.
Worldwide, around 1.5 billion adults are overweight and a further 0.5 billion are obese, with 170 million children classified as overweight or obese. Obesity takes up between 2 to 6 percent of healthcare costs in many countries.
"Increased supply of cheap, tasty, energy-dense food, improved food distribution and marketing, and the strong economic forces driving consumption and growth are the key drivers of the obesity epidemic," Swinburn and Sacks wrote.
The health experts urged governments to lead the fight in reversing the obesity epidemic.
"These include taxes on unhealthy food and drink (such as sugar sweetened beverages) and restrictions on food and beverage TV advertising to children," wrote a team led by Steven Gortmaker at the Harvard School of Public Health, which published the fourth paper in the series.

Friday, August 26, 2011

EMBRYONIC CELLS NARROWLY MISS DESTRUCTION

It's amazing anyone of us were born after reading their amazing survival abilities.  It makes our children all the more precious.

Research based at Princeton University has revealed that newly fertilized cells only narrowly avoid degenerating into fatal chaos. At the same time, scientists have discovered that embryos have acquired a mechanism to contain this dangerous instability, a finding that could help biologists unravel other mysteries about the first hours of life.

A team led by Princeton Professor of Molecular Biology Ned Wingreen reported recently in the journal PLoS Computational Biology that contrary to the idea that embryonic cells develop in natural synchrony, they are prone to descend into disarray. Without stabilization, cells develop on different schedules, and many stop developing altogether, which threatens the embryo's survival.

This lurking state of disorder was revealed through computational models the researchers constructed of the embryo cell cycle. The cell cycle is the repeated division and duplication of cells that transforms a single fertilized egg into a full-grown organism. Scientists already knew that embryonic cell cycles are initiated by a swift wave of calcium that emanates from the fertilization site and prompts the embryo's cells to divide and duplicate -- or oscillate, in biological terms.

A natural assumption among scientists had been that once initiated, the impulse to oscillate would ripple across the embryo -- which begins as one big cell that then divides repeatedly -- and set the stage for multiple rounds of cell division to occur in sync. Wingreen and his colleagues found, however, that the natural spread of oscillation is unstable and would result in an erratic patchwork of missed and incomplete cell divisions. They predicted that cell activity instead has to be triggered throughout the embryo at almost exactly the same time.

The researchers' simulation produced the first indication that the fast-moving calcium wave known to spark cell division doubles as a synchronizer that sets cells to the same developmental timetable. The finding revealed a crucial role for the somewhat puzzling existence of the calcium wave, as well as a new level of sophistication in how embryos function.

"We didn't have to go searching for chaos, it just came right out at us," Wingreen said. "When the dust settled, it became clear that cell-cycle oscillation, while remarkably uniform in the end, does not come by that harmony on its own, especially not in anything as big as an embryo, which is much larger than a typical cell. But then the question became, if there's this potential for chaos, how does the system avoid it? It turns out that the system needs the calcium wave to avoid chaos and that wave is activated surprisingly fast."

The embryo's need for stabilization and the dual role of the calcium wave illuminates the intricacy of developing embryos, as well as the impressive ability of embryos to prevent their own destruction, said James Ferrell, a Stanford University professor of chemical and systems biology. The Princeton researchers based their work on formulas that Ferrell developed from experiments on African clawed frog embryos that describe how embryos divide and replicate in timed cycles during early development.

Farmgirl Fare: Thursday Dose of Cute: Farmgirl Fare on Facebook

Farmgirl Fare: Thursday Dose of Cute: Farmgirl Fare on Facebook

Thursday, August 25, 2011

RARE MUTATION--A CRIMINAL'S DREAM

Scientists have identified a mutation that might underlie an extremely rare condition, called "adermatoglyphia," which causes people to be born without any fingerprints. The research, published by Cell Press online in The American Journal of Human Genetics, not only provides valuable insight into the genetic basis of adermatoglyphia and of typical fingerprint formation but also underscores the usefulness of rare genetic mutations as a tool for investigating unknown aspects of our biology.

Human skin has ridges called dermatoglyphs that are present on the fingers, palms, toes and soles. The dermatoglyphs on the finger tips, better known as fingerprints, are often used as a means for establishing identity. In fact, adermatoglyphia was recently named "immigration delay disease" because affected individuals report significant difficulties entering countries that require fingerprint recording. "We know that fingerprints are fully formed by 24 weeks after fertilization and do not undergo any modification throughout life," explains the senior study author, Dr. Eli Sprecher from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel. "However, the factors underlying the formation and pattern of fingerprints during embryonic development are largely unknown."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MORE PARAPROSDOKIANS FOR YOU ENJOYMENT

Just to refresh, a paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation.

  • Do not argue with an idiot.  He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you.  But it's still on my list.
  • Light travels faster than sound.  This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
  • Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
  • A bus station is where a bus stops.  A train station is where a train stops.  On my desk, I have a work station.

Monday, August 22, 2011

THE SHADOW


I don't usually take note of any motorbike not even the gargantuan, hormone-oozing piles of plastic that are larger than Mini Coopers and Smart Cars and now days cost four times the mortgage of our first home.  However I did notice this sweet little ride the other day as I walked in the early morning solitude which would soon be lost as the city awakens.  Perhaps in another time in and in another place I could have been a motorcycle mama had I been tempted by the Shadow.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

FACEBOOK DIS-LIKE

A government official in Germany has ordered websites to stop using Facebook's "like" button, saying they give away personal information.
Thilo Weichert, data protection commissioner in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, issued a statement Friday saying analysis by his office showed that using the popular buttons transfers data to Facebook's servers in the United States.
That would violate German and European Union data-protection laws, he said.
Weichert, of the Independent Center for Privacy Protection, ordered website owners in his north German state to remove "like" buttons or possibly face a fine.
"Whoever visits facebook.com or uses a plug-in must expect that he or she will be tracked by the company for two years," Weichert said in the statement. "Facebook builds a broad individual -- and for members even a personalized -- profile."

Facebook strongly denied Weichert's claims.
"We firmly reject any assertion that Facebook is not compliant with EU data-protection standards," said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes. "The Facebook 'like' button is such a popular feature because people have complete control over how their information is shared through it.
"For more than a year, the plug-in has brought value to many businesses and individuals every day."
He said Facebook will review materials produced by the agency "both on our own behalf and on the behalf of web users throughout Germany."
The "like" button was unveiled last spring at Facebook's F8 developers conference. Appearing on many websites (including CNN.com), the button allows users to quickly share links on Facebook without ever leaving the original site.
The Associated Press on Friday quoted an unnamed Facebook spokesman saying the company can see "information such as the IP address" of users who click a "like" button, but that such information is deleted within 90 days. The spokesman called that standard for the web industry.
In his statement, Weichert urged people not to create Facebook accounts and to "keep their fingers from clicking on social plug-ins" like the "like" button.
Germany, with its strict online privacy policies, has found itself in repeated spats with Facebook and other Web giants in recent years.
The country demanded that Facebook users get more control over their e-mail address books in the site's "Friend Finder" tool. Germany also required Google to let people who want to opt out of its "Street View" tool to blur images of their homes.