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Thu, 12 Dec 2019
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Nobel Prize Winners Live Longer

Winners live longer, at least when it comes to the Nobel Prize, new research shows.

An analysis of 524 nominees for the Nobels in physics and in chemistry between 1901 and 1950 showed that the group's 135 winners lived about two years longer than the also-rans. The finding points to the health benefits of social status and suggests that status benefits the bodies of the cerebrally normal too.

Health

Study: Folic Acid Can Improve Brain Function

A new study suggests that folic acid can improve brain function in the elderly.

Researchers found that men and women between 50 and 70 showed better brain function while taking folic acid when compared to someone 5 years younger.

Cell Phone

Cell phone Cancer Link Study Ordered

A mass study of the long-term impact of mobile phones is to be undertaken amid fears that people who have used them for more than ten years are at greater risk from brain cancer.

More than 200,000 volunteers, including long-term users, are to be monitored for at least five years to plot mobile phone use against any serious diseases they develop, including cancer and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

Clock

Army officer warns of mental health woes

"If an individual checks nothing, I have no mental health issues, they're not necessarily being sent to mental health counseling..."

Comment: One would think, in a civilized nation, that mental health care would be provided as freely as food and water to those individuals who are having to leave their 'normal' lives and go to a foreign land to kill other human beings (often civilians and women and children). One would think, in a civilized nation, that the whole health of those who spend their lives in service to their country would be a top priority...


Bad Guys

The EPA Closes Its Libraries, Destroys Documents

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun closing its nationwide network of scientific libraries, effectively preventing EPA scientists and the public from accessing vast amounts of data and information on issues from toxicology to pollution. Several libraries have already been dismantled, with their contents either destroyed or shipped to repositories where they are uncataloged and inaccessible.

Comment:
nktulloch: I guess they realized that their data, while sometimes informative, was increasingly skewed towards the corporate interests anyway. They knew which side the bread was buttered on. I guess there are well-meaning people in the EPA but many just 'do time' there before making contacts and moving on to industry. Now they are blatantly moving on without leaving the EPA. That is what this is about. It should be called CPA- corporate protection agency.

An example of the ineffectiveness of the EPA is that non EPA research labs are discovering the more damaging effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). I know from controlled studies that the effect of doses much lower than what the EPA has said was ok for years now, is absolutely not ok. They are often very neurotoxic. Chronic low dose EDCs alter cognitive and behavioral processes in humans. Lab studies with rodents show that these changes continue in the offspring of those exposed. That is in addition to what was already known about physical effects like immune system dysfunctions and cancer.

We are chronically exposed just by eating, drinking and using common household products.

I had a long and strange conversation with an EPA rep at an endocrine society conference last year. I believe these people are either completely stupid or are deliberately evil. EDC exposed subjects show more cognitive deficits and aggressive behavior compared to non-exposed subjects (conduct disorder and ADHD comes to mind). I think people at the EPA ingested more than average amounts of the stuff over the years.
You can be exposed to all kinds of horrible things in your food, water and household products, but for goodness sake, don't smoke! If anybody still believes that the anti-smoking campaign is anything more than a smokescreen to cover the fact that the illnesses and deaths are really being caused by industrial chemicals and pollutants, they they have already ingested way too much EDC.


Health

Medical mystery solved

SIKESTON, Mo. - He spent months in a wheelchair, and countless doctors couldn't explain why. 16 year old Adam Tinnin of Sikeston went from an active teenager to paralyzed in just a matter of days. Today, we're happy to report, he's back on his feet. It's all thanks to the work of one doctor who solved this medical mystery.

Chess

Scientists study mystery stories

Columbus, Ohio -- A U.S.-German study suggests people with lower levels of self-esteem prefer mystery crime stories that confirm their suspicions in the end.

However, Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick of Ohio State University, the study's co-author, says people with higher self-esteem enjoy a story that goes against their expectations, thereby providing a surprise ending.

Cut

Milan bans ultra-skinny models from catwalk

MILAN - The Italian fashion capital Milan has formally barred ultra-skinny and under-age models ahead of its February catwalk shows, as the fashion world comes under pressure to promote a healthier image.

The agreement signed on Monday between the city and its powerful fashion industry bans models under 16 and those with a body mass index of less than 18.5 from Milan's shows.

The accord also includes courses on healthy eating and exercise and calls for a variety of clothing sizes in shows.

Monkey Wrench

Microbots To Swim Through Human Arteries

An international team of scientists is developing what they say will be the world's first microrobot -- as wide as two human hairs -- that can swim through the arteries and digestive system.

The scientists are designing the 250-micron device to transmit images and deliver microscopic payloads to parts of the body outside the reach of existing catheter technology.

It will also perform minimally invasive microsurgeries, said James Friend of the Micro/Nanophysics Research Laboratory at Australia's Monash University, who leads the team. The researchers hope the device will reduce the risks normally associated with delicate surgical procedures.

Family

Daydreamers: Scientists Find Our Bored Baseline

Bored out of your skull is a reality. A new study of mind wandering shows that the mundane moments of life allow brains to shift into a default resting state that invites daydreaming.

Some psychologists had suggested that mind wandering could be the brain's baseline, a place of flitting thoughts from which a person must wrench away for challenging work.

The new study agrees and looks deeply into the neural mechanics behind this common and sometimes happy affliction.