Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Recent Profile Visitors

629 profile views
  1. Researchers discover molecular link between diet and risk of cancer An international team of researchers has identified a direct molecular link between meat and dairy diets and the development of antibodies in the blood that increase the chances of developing cancer. Neu5Gc is a sugar molecule found in the tissues of mammals but not in poultry or fish. Humans develop antibodies to Neu5Gc in infancy, when they are first exposed to dairy and meat products. team members measured the amount of Neu5Gc sugar in a variety of dairy and meat foods common in the French diet and calculated the daily Neu5Gc intake of 19,621 adults "We found a significant correlation between high consumption of Neu5Gc from red meat and cheeses and increased development of those antibodies that heighten the risk of cancer," Dr. Padler-Karavani says. this combination of methods allowed the researchers to predict that those who eat a lot of red meat and cheese will develop high levels and a different variety of the antibodies, and therefore may be at higher risk for cancer—especially colorectal cancer, but other cancers as well.
  2. COVID-19 vaccine trials cannot tell us if they will save lives Many may assume that successful phase 3 studies will mean we have a proven way of keeping people from getting very sick and dying from COVID-19. And a robust way to interrupt viral transmission. None of the trials currently underway are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospitalisations, intensive care use, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus all ongoing phase 3 trials for which details have been released are evaluating mild, not severe, disease—and they will be able to report final results once around 150 participants develop symptoms. vaccine manufacturers have done little to dispel the notion that severe COVID-19 was what was being assessed. Moderna, for example, called hospitalisations a "key secondary endpoint" [but] their trial lacks adequate statistical power to assess that endpoint. Part of the reason may be numbers, says Doshi. Because most people with symptomatic COVID-19 infections experience only mild symptoms, even trials involving 30,000 or more patients would turn up relatively few cases of severe disease. Moderna's trial is designed to find out if the vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease … a relative risk reduction of at least 30% in participants developing lab-confirmed COVID-19 The article ends with concerns about groups not tested, e.g., elderly, frail, children, immunocompromised.
  3. Vitamin A boosts fat burning in cold conditions cold ambient temperatures increase vitamin A levels in humans and mice. This helps convert "bad" white adipose tissue into "good" brown adipose tissue, which stimulates fat burning and heat generation. More than 90% of the body fat depots in humans are white, which are typically located at the abdomen, bottom and upper thighs. vitamin A reserves are stored in the liver and cold exposure seems to stimulate the redistribution of vitamin A toward the adipose tissue. The cold-induced increase in vitamin A led to a conversion of white fat into brown fat ("browning"), with a higher rate of fat burning. When Kiefer and his team blocked the vitamin A transporter retinol-binding protein in mice by genetic manipulation, both the cold-mediated rise in vitamin A and the browning of the white fat were blunted: "As a consequence, fat oxidation and heat production were perturbed so that the mice were no longer able to protect themselves against the cold," explains Kiefer. In contrast, the addition of vitamin A to human white fat cells led to the expression of brown fat cell characteristics, with increased metabolic activity and energy consumption. this is not an argument for consuming large amounts of vitamin A supplements if not prescribed, because it is critical that vitamin A is transported to the right cells at the right time
  4. corybroo

    News consumption

    When too much news is bad news: Is the way we consume news detrimental to our health? When news was delivered via traditional one-way outlets such as television and radio, we were passive receivers. But on social media platforms, we're active consumers. We sculpt and cultivate our news through immediate feedback, such as reacts or shares. this might not be especially good for us. In early months of COVID-19, researchers found news consumed online and via social media was associated with increased depression, anxiety and stress. The effects weren't as bad when news was consumed via traditional media such as television and newspapers. After the September 11 attacks, young people who consumed news via online sources experienced more PTSD symptoms than those using traditional media. This effect was attributed to more graphic images online, and the possibility for extra exposure as people could watch the footage repeatedly. Multiple studies have found the more we consume news during or after a tragedy, crisis or natural disaster, the more likely we are to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Journalists are said to capitalize on our negative bias to capture our attention. Some news sources have learned this lesson the hard way. When a city reporter from an online Russian news website decided only to report good news for a day, they lost two-thirds of their readers. Those who use social media largely for news, instead of social networking, show increased anxiety and depression. These results highlight the importance of being strategic about how you use social media, particularly during times of crisis. be aware your news consumption via different sources can look very different. Traditional media tends to focus on the facts, whereas stories, rumors, and human interest pieces are prioritized on social media.
  5. Pinpointing the 'silent' mutations that gave the coronavirus an evolutionary edge the researchers used statistical methods they developed to identify adaptive changes that arose in the SARS-CoV-2 genome in humans, but not in closely related coronaviruses found in bats and pangolins. The new study likewise flagged mutations that altered the spike proteins, suggesting that viral strains carrying these mutations were more likely to thrive. The researchers report that so-called silent mutations in two other regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, dubbed Nsp4 and Nsp16, appear to have given the virus a biological edge over previous strains without altering the proteins they encode. these changes in RNA structure . . . may have contributed to the virus's ability to spread before people even know they have it -- a crucial difference that made the current situation so much more difficult to control than the SARS coronavirus outbreak of 2003. “Nsp4 and Nsp16 are among the first RNA molecules that are produced when the virus infects a new person," Berrio said. "The spike protein doesn't get expressed until later. So they could make a better therapeutic target because they appear earlier in the viral life cycle.”
  6. corybroo

    US COVID politics

    We have been warned: Trump: Biden will 'listen to the scientists' if elected
  7. Maybe “cold exposure” is good for you. Previous infection with other types of coronaviruses may lessen severity of COVID-19 Being previously infected with a coronaviruses that cause the "common cold" may decrease the severity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections the study also demonstrates that the immunity built up from previous non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections does not prevent individuals from getting COVID-19 After adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, and diabetes mellitus diagnosis, COVID-19 hospitalized patients who had a previous positive CRP-PCR test result for a coronoavirus had significantly lower odds of being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), and lower trending odds of requiring mechanical ventilation during COVID. Another interesting finding, the authors note, is that immunity may prevent disease (COVID-19) in ways that are different from preventing infection by SARS-CoV-2. This is demonstrated by the fact that the patient groups had similar likelihoods of infection but differing likelihoods of ending up in the ICU or dying. People are routinely infected with coronaviruses that are different from SARS-CoV-2, and these study results could help identify patients at lower and greater risk of developing complications after being infected with SARS-CoV-2, We hope that this study can be the springboard for identifying the types of immune responses for not necessarily preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection but rather limiting the damage from COVID-19. An alternative view about exposure was expressed here. What COVID-19 Reinfection Means for Vaccines
  8. High fructose intake may drive aggressive behaviors, ADHD, bipolar conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome (ADHD), bipolar disorder, and even aggressive behaviors may be linked with sugar intake research … presents a hypothesis supporting a role for fructose, a component of sugar and high fructose corn syrup, and uric acid (a fructose metabolite), in increasing the risk for these behavioral disorders. fructose, by lowering energy in cells, triggers a foraging response similar to what occurs in starvation a foraging response stimulates risk taking, impulsivity, novelty seeking, rapid decision making, and aggressiveness to aid the securing of food as a survival response. Overactivation of this process from excess sugar intake may cause impulsive behavior that could range from ADHD, to bipolar disorder or even aggression. Johnson notes, "We do not blame aggressive behavior on sugar, but rather note that it may be one contributor." CB: I would have thought that fructose, being a sugar, would raise energy levels, but found this article which seems to confirm it Increased fructose consumption may deplete cellular energy in patients with obesity and diabetes which states Unlike other simple sugars, fructose requires ATP for its metabolism.
  9. MedXpress has an article that seeks to explain why some people still downplay the seriousness of the current pandemic. (Personal note: My daughter is a nurse at a major hospital. The tragedies within young families she described certainly made me realize this isn’t your grandfather’s flu.) I realize that we should not be making decisions based on anecdotes, but if I see an avalanche of anecdotes hurtling down towards me, I’m going to try to step aside. Don't know any COVID-19 patients who've died or been in the hospital? That may explain a lot Seven months into the pandemic, it's no secret that plenty of people still downplay the risks of COVID-19, scoffing at mask-wearing and social distancing. Politics clearly feeds that mind-set, as suggested by a new Pew Research Center survey in which Republicans were more likely to say the crisis was overblown. Others may resist restrictions - capacity limits in restaurants, say - because their livelihoods are at stake. Despite more than 200,000 deaths and 400,000 hospitalizations in the United States, an Inquirer analysis suggests that in much of the country, the typical person knows no one in either of those categories. do we really need to know someone who is gravely ill in order to practice safe behavior? - but psychologists say it makes sense. Human beings are notoriously poor at evaluating risk, particularly when the threat in question is more abstract, or when numbers are involved. research suggests that a failure to embrace COVID-19 restrictions may be fueled by a lack of empathy, in the same way that someone in rural Pennsylvania may not view urban gun violence as an urgent problem, or that those without military family members may give less thought to the ongoing toll of combat. So far in the United States, one in roughly 800 people has been hospitalized, meaning the chance that a given person has not been hospitalized is 799 out of 800 (99.9%) … the average American knows about 600 people … there is about a 50-50 chance that the "average" person does not know someone who was hospitalized with COVID-19. Same goes for deaths. One in about 1,600 Americans has died of COVID-19, leaving 1,599 of 1,600 that have not. Take 1,599/1,600 raised to the 600th power, and you find the typical person has greater than a two-thirds chance of not knowing someone who died of the disease. a Pew survey in August, in which four in 10 Americans said they knew someone who had been hospitalized or died as a result of having COVID-19. In a reminder that the disease has hit harder in communities of color, 57% of Black Americans said they knew someone who h
  10. High intensity training best for older people The Generation 100 study is a cause-and-effect study. One group was assigned to do high-intensity training intervals according to the 4×4 method twice a week, while group two was instructed to train at a steady, moderate intensity for 50 minutes two days a week. The participants could choose whether they wanted to train on their own or participate in group training with instructors. The third group—the control group—was advised to exercise according to the Norwegian health authorities' recommendations. "Both physical and mental quality of life were better in the high-intensity group after five years than in the other two groups. High-intensity interval training also had the greatest positive effect on fitness," "In the interval training group, 3% of the participants had died after five years. The percentage was 6% in the moderate group. The difference is not statistically significant, but the trend is so clear that we believe the results give good reason to recommend high-intensity training for the elderly," Among the participants in the control group, 4.5% had died after five years. "One challenge in interpreting our results has been that the participants in the control group trained more than we envisioned in advance. One in five people in this group trained regularly at high intensity and ended up, on average, doing more high-intensity training than the participants in the moderate group," the participants in all three of the Generation 100 study groups managed to maintain their fitness levels throughout the five-year period. That's quite unique for people in this age group, according to physician and Ph.D. candidate Jon Magne Letnes. "Normally we see a drop in fitness of 20% over a ten-year period for people in their 70s. The fact that the participants in Generation 100 have managed to maintain their strong fitness levels from start to finish indicates that all three groups were more physically active than is usual for this age group," [A separate study published two weeks ago] contains information on 1500 healthy men and women who tested their fitness level twice, at ten years apart age has the least effect on fitness level for people who exercise regularly at high intensity. This group had a drop in fitness of 5% over ten years. By comparison, fitness levels dropped by 9% individuals who exercised regularly but not at high intensity. Those who were physically inactive lost as much as 16% of their physical conditioning over ten years The decline in fitness was greater among the elderly than in younger people. Those who maintained their conditioning best also had the healthiest status when it came to risk factors for lifestyle diseases and poor health. "Blood pressure, waist measurement, cholesterol and resting heart rate increased less in people who maintained their conditioning than in those who had a larger drop in fitness figures," She concludes by saying, "By high intensity we mean training that gets you really sweaty and out of breath. Now our hope is that the national recommendations for physical activity will be modified to encourage older people even more strongly to do high intensity training—either as their only form of exercise or to supplement more moderate training."
  11. 2nd wave? Totally Under Control NY Times has this review of the playbook for epidemics. https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000007358968/covid-pandemic-us-response.html?playlistId=video/opinion
  12. I know Sweden has been discussed before. Here is a new bit of research that found an increase to previous levels. Researchers see increasing virus cases via Stockholm wastewater An analysis of Stockholm's wastewater showed an uptick in coronavirus cases in September to a level comparable to May, researchers said Monday, enabling them to conclude the rise was not due to increased testing. taking virus measurements from wastewater meant their findings were not dependent on the level of testing for the novel coronavirus. sewage water testing could help provide important insights into the spread and prevalence of the disease without the need for expensive widespread individual tests.
  13. Ron, Where are you finding the global toll for the 2017-8 flu season? I did a quick search last night and could find only CDC data for US which is why I compared US covid-19 deaths with US 2017-8 flu deaths. Using US data only reduces the issues with data collection varying by locale. After searching some more today, the best I could find was the Lancet showing 145,000 (99,000-200,000) deaths globally for 2017 only https://www.thelancet.com/action/showFullTableHTML?isHtml=true&tableId=tbl1&pii=S2213-2600(18)30496-X Do you have a reference for the 2017-8 toll? Using the top number of the Lancet range (200,000) rather than the most likely number is still less than 1/5 of today’s covid-19 toll of 1,038,797. Your point on the elder-care facilities is well taken. It is true that a sweeping definition of covid-19 deaths could inflate the number, but today I saw this article U.S. COVID deaths may be underestimated by 36% which performed a county level analysis and certainly implies that the number could arguably be higher. Thanks
  14. In the US, the current death toll from covid-19 is over 209,399 so far. That seems to be more than the estimate from CDC Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in the United States — 2017–2018 influenza season The overall burden of influenza for the 2017-2018 season was an estimated 45 million influenza illnesses, 21 million influenza-associated medical visits, 810,000 influenza-related hospitalizations, and 61,000 influenza-associated deaths. This is looking at the US only. I think the official numbers already put the number of covid-19 deaths at over 3 times that of the 17-18 flu season.