Archive for June 27th, 2008
It’s been fairly well established that calorie restriction can extend one’s lifespan. (Here’s an account of one guy’s eventually abandoned effort, and here’s a site that promotes the practice.) Indeed, fasting one day a week or a month is often seen as providing benefits, possibly through promoting apoptosis that removes iffy cells. Now we may be seeing the mechanism responsible:
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined that starvation blocks the effects of growth hormone via a mechanism that may have implications in treating diabetes and extending life span. “It’s been well-established that growth is blunted during starvation. But our work shows that this is not just from running out of energy. It’s much more sophisticated than that,” said Dr. Steven Kliewer, professor of molecular biology and senior author of a study available online and appearing in today’s issue of the journal Cell Metabolism.
Using genetically altered mice, the researchers found that during fasting, the actions of growth hormone are blocked by a fat-burning hormone called FGF21.
“It’s something that we hadn’t anticipated,” said Dr. Kliewer.
Growth hormone has many functions in the growth and reproduction of cells, such as controlling the length of developing arm and leg bones in children.
Growth hormone has several other functions, however, even in adults. It promotes the breakdown of fats, stimulates creation of protein and increases levels of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1), a hormone that promotes growth. Too much growth hormone can cause insulin resistance, resulting in diabetes, and lead to other disorders.
The Telegraph offers a list of the best summer reading for 2008.
Via Notebookism (and do read the post at the link), this little video:
Very good comment, worthy of promotion:
Author : Brian Barker
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
If the England soccer manager does not speak the international language of English, how can it be so easy to learn?
Total nonsense? That it why, I think, Esperanto deserves a look in.
Can I ask you to consider http://www.lernu.net
What’s amazing is that, if you started studying Esperanto today, you would be able to carry on a conversation by the end of August, assuming you studied daily. AND it’s an interesting language, to boot, with an original literature as well as many texts in translation.
From Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake.com (and that entire post is worth reading):
… It’s also interesting to note that the tools created to help organize Obama supporters against his opponents are now being used to organize themselves to communicate with him. There’s a new group on “MyBarackObama.com” called “Senator Obama — Please Vote Against FISA.”
Stop by and tell the Senator that you’ll be voting for him in November and hoping that in the meantime, he does the right thing.
According to a recent Public Health Services Report entitled “FoodNet estimate of the burden of illness caused by nontyphoidal Salmonella infections in the United States“, for every confirmed case of Salmonella, there are 38.6 (on average) … that went undocumented.
After estimating the number of culture-confirmed infections in the United States, we extrapolated, using “multipliers” of surveillance artifacts …to estimate the total number of Salmonella infections. Using this method, we estimated that there were 38.6 cases of Salmonella infection for each culture-confirmed case. Using a similar method, Chalker and Blaser  calculated a multiplier of 39 to estimate the total number of cases of salmonellosis in the United States, including asymptomatic infections. Mead et al.  used a multiplier of 38 that was based on preliminary FoodNet data.
To put this into context of the latest outbreak, Reuters is stating that there are currently 756 confirmed cases of salmonella. If the above report is to be believed, then the true number of cases is over 29,000.
Ever wonder how politicians got stereotyped as disingenuous preachers who can’t live up to the standards they create for others? Take this little example:
A group of Senate Republicans proposed a constitutional amendment this week — called the Marriage Protection Amendment — that would define marriage as consisting “only of the union of a man and a woman.”
And whose name sticks out like a sore thumb among the sponsors of this crucial piece of policymaking? That would be Idaho Sen. Larry Craig — he who was arrested last summer in a public airport bathroom on disorderly conduct charges after he was found allegedly trolling for gay sex.
(Actually, there are two sore thumbs in the bunch. Another sponsor is Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, who was entangled in a prostitution scandal last year. Vitter was never charged with any wrongdoing, but admitted to “a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible.”)
If this amendment had been in place, of course, neither episode would have happened.