Eikonal Blog

2014.03.19

Antivaccination movement

News


Concequences

Autism vs MMR vaccination – a nonexisting link


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2013.11.24

Poverty

Filed under: education, health, mind & brain, society — Tags: , , , — sandokan65 @ 09:26
  • Poverty @WikiPedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty
    • Poverty is general scarcity or dearth, or the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money.
  • “Your Brain on Poverty: Why Poor People Seem to Make Bad Decisions (And why their “bad” decisions might be more rational than you’d think.)” by Derek Thompson (The Atlantic; 2013.11.22) – http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/11/your-brain-on-poverty-why-poor-people-seem-to-make-bad-decisions/281780/
  • “This Is Why Poor People’s Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense” by Linda Tirado (The Huffington Post; 2013.11.22) – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-tirado/why-poor-peoples-bad-decisions-make-perfect-sense_b_4326233.html
  • “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, poverty thoughts” by Killermar (2013.11.22) – http://killermartinis.kinja.com/why-i-make-terrible-decisions-or-poverty-thoughts-1450123558
  • “The High Cost of Not Having Enough” by Emily Badger (The Atlantic > Cities; 2013.09.04) – http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/09/high-cost-not-having-enough/6759/
  • “How Poverty Taxes the Brain” by Emily Badger (The Atlantic > Cities; 2013.08.29) – http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/08/how-poverty-taxes-brain/6716/
  • “Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function” by Anandi Mani1, Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir and Jiaying Zhao (Science; 2013.08.30; Vol. 341 no. 6149 pp. 976-980) – http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6149/976.abstract
    • Burden of Poverty: Lacking money or time can lead one to make poorer decisions, possibly because poverty imposes a cognitive load that saps attention and reduces effort. Mani et al. (p. 976; see the Perspective by Vohs) gathered evidence from shoppers in a New Jersey mall and from farmers in Tamil Nadu, India. They found that considering a projected financial decision, such as how to pay for a car repair, affects people’s performance on unrelated spatial and reasoning tasks. Lower-income individuals performed poorly if the repairs were expensive but did fine if the cost was low, whereas higher-income individuals performed well in both conditions, as if the projected financial burden imposed no cognitive pressure. Similarly, the sugarcane farmers from Tamil Nadu performed these tasks better after harvest than before.
    • Abstract: The poor often behave in less capable ways, which can further perpetuate poverty. We hypothesize that poverty directly impedes cognitive function and present two studies that test this hypothesis. First, we experimentally induced thoughts about finances and found that this reduces cognitive performance among poor but not in well-off participants. Second, we examined the cognitive function of farmers over the planting cycle. We found that the same farmer shows diminished cognitive performance before harvest, when poor, as compared with after harvest, when rich. This cannot be explained by differences in time available, nutrition, or work effort. Nor can it be explained with stress: Although farmers do show more stress before harvest, that does not account for diminished cognitive performance. Instead, it appears that poverty itself reduces cognitive capacity. We suggest that this is because poverty-related concerns consume mental resources, leaving less for other tasks. These data provide a previously unexamined perspective and help explain a spectrum of behaviors among the poor. We discuss some implications for poverty policy.

2011.11.03

Aging

Filed under: health — Tags: , , — sandokan65 @ 10:30

2011.06.26

Lyme disease

Filed under: health — Tags: , — sandokan65 @ 21:47

Movie: Under our skin

A RI PBS is just airing a documentary from 2008 on the Lyme disease. I just never knew how scary the long term consequences of untreated disease are. It is essentially a bacteria related to syphilis bacteria, and has about the same comprehensive effect on all parts of the body/brain, with indications that in very long time scale causes ALS, MS, Parkisons, and Alzhaymers.

In the same time the movie shows to what degree the medical profession is corrupted by conflicts of interests, where the most influential doctors on IDSA are on payroll of insurance companies and/or own patents in research on Lyme.

2011.05.12

Memetic diseases

Mass hysteria

  • “The Dark Side of the Placebo Effect: When Intense Belief Kills” by Alexis Madrigal (the Atlantic; 2011.09.14) – http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/09/the-dark-side-of-the-placebo-effect-when-intense-belief-kills/245065/
      While people of all cultures experience sleep paralysis in similar ways, the specific form and intensity it takes varies from one group to the next …
      They died in their sleep one by one, thousands of miles from home. Their median age was 33. All but one — 116 of the 117 — were healthy men. Immigrants from southeast Asia, you could count the time most had spent on American soil in just months. At the peak of the deaths in the early 1980s, the death rate from this mysterious problem among the Hmong ethnic group was equivalent to the top five natural causes of death for other American men in their age group.

      Something was killing Hmong men in their sleep, and no one could figure out what it was. There was no obvious cause of death. None of them had been sick, physically. The men weren’t clustered all that tightly, geographically speaking. They were united by dislocation from Laos and a shared culture, but little else. Even House would have been stumped.

      Doctors gave the problem a name, the kind that reeks of defeat, a dragon label on the edge of the known medical world: Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome. SUNDS. It didn’t do much in terms of diagnosis or treatment, but it was easier to track the periodic conferences dedicated to understanding the problem.

  • “What’s Causing ‘Mass Faintings’ at Cambodian Factories?” by Andrew Marshall (Time > World; 2011.09.20) – http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2093516,00.html
      … In the past three months, at least 1,200 workers at seven garment and shoe factories have reported feeling dizzy, nauseated, exhausted or short of breath, and hundreds have been briefly hospitalized. No definitive explanation has yet been given for these so-called mass faintings. One baffled reporter described them as “unique to Cambodia.” (Read how companies are abandoning Chinese factories in search of cheaper options.)
      Hardly. It’s been almost 50 years since girls at a boarding school in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) were struck by an illness whose symptoms — fainting, nausea and helpless laughter — soon spread to other communities. Or consider the Pokémon contagion in 1997, when 12,000 Japanese children experienced fits, nausea and shortness of breath after watching a television cartoon. Sufferers of World Trade Center syndrome, meanwhile, blamed proximity to Ground Zero for coughs and other respiratory problems long after airborne contaminants posed any health threat.
      All these are examples of mass hysteria, a bizarre yet surprisingly common phenomenon that is increasingly recognized as a significant health and social problem. For centuries it has crossed cultures and religions, taking on different forms to keep pace with popular obsessions and fears. In our post-9/11 world, it thrives on the anxiety caused by terrorist attacks, nuclear radiation and environmental gloom. “At any one time there are probably hundreds of episodes happening all around the world,” says Simon Wessely, a psychology professor at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London. “They just don’t normally get reported.”

Morgellons


More: Memetics – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/memetics/

2011.05.04

Health foolies

Filed under: health — Tags: , — sandokan65 @ 11:03

Low sodium diet is not universally good

Liposuction does not work (in long term)

  • “With Liposuction, the Belly Finds What the Thighs Lose” by Gina Kolata GINA (NYTimes; 2011.04.30) – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/weekinreview/01kolata.html
    • The fat removed by liposuction form lower regions of the body comes back after about one year being deposited at other parts of body, typically in its upper part. It appears that the body is trying to maintain the number of fat cells constant.

2011.04.21

Gut bacteria, second brain, etc

Filed under: health, mind & brain — Tags: , , , — sandokan65 @ 13:37
  • “Your Gut, Your Brain, and Economics – Should Economists Considers Gut-Brain Communication?” by Daniel R. Hawes (Psychology Today; 2011.08.02) – http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/quilted-science/201108/your-gut-your-brain-and-economics
  • “Gut flora: You are what your bacteria eat” by Neil Katz (CBS News; 2011.04.21) – http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20056028-10391704.html
  • “Scientist Find Gut Bacteria Divides People Into Three Types” (FOX News; 2011.04.21) – http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpps/health/scientist-find-gut-bacteria-divides-people-into-three-types-dpgoha-20110421-fc_12862614
    Three enterotypes
  • “Bacteria Divide People Into 3 Types, Scientists Say” by Carl Zimmer (NYTimes; 2011.04.20) – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/science/21gut.html
    • Enterotype 1:
      • produces more enzymes for making vitamin B7 (also known as biotin).
      • high levels of bacteria called Bacteroides
    • Enterotype 2:
      • produces more enzymes for vitamin B1 (thiamine).
      • Bacteroides were relatively rare, while the genus Prevotella was unusually common.
    • Enterotype 3
  • “Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome” (Nature; 2011.04.20?) – http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature09944.html
      Abstract: Our knowledge of species and functional composition of the human gut microbiome is rapidly increasing, but it is still based on very few cohorts and little is known about variation across the world. By combining 22 newly sequenced faecal metagenomes of individuals from four countries with previously published data sets, here we identify three robust clusters (referred to as enterotypes hereafter) that are not nation or continent specific. We also confirmed the enterotypes in two published, larger cohorts, indicating that intestinal microbiota variation is generally stratified, not continuous. This indicates further the existence of a limited number of well-balanced host–microbial symbiotic states that might respond differently to diet and drug intake. The enterotypes are mostly driven by species composition, but abundant molecular functions are not necessarily provided by abundant species, highlighting the importance of a functional analysis to understand microbial communities. Although individual host properties such as body mass index, age, or gender cannot explain the observed enterotypes, data-driven marker genes or functional modules can be identified for each of these host properties. For example, twelve genes significantly correlate with age and three functional modules with the body mass index, hinting at a diagnostic potential of microbial markers.
  • “How Microbes Defend and Define Us” by Carl Zimmer (NYTimes; 2010.07.12) – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/science/13micro.html
    How Microbes Defend and Define Us
  • “A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing” (Nature; 2010.03.04) – http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7285/full/nature08821.html

2011.01.07

Cancer

Filed under: health — Tags: , , , — sandokan65 @ 19:58

“Cancer” is a group name for numerous (types) of diseases. It is not clear how many classes exist, how many source mechanisms are there (some of them appear to be caused by viruses, like HPV, some appear to be generated by environmental chemistry, and some appear to be completely endogeneuous), how many cancers are the same disease (e.g. can cancer of one specific organ “infect” some other organ?), etc.

2014

  • “Cancer Genes Help HIV Persist, Complicating Cure Efforts” by Jon Cohen (Science; 2014.03.14; Science 14 March 2014: Vol. 343 no. 6176 p. 1188; DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6176.1188) – http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6176/1188.summary
    • Reservoirs of cells that harbor HIV DNA woven into human chromosomes have become the bane of researchers trying to cure infections. New research reveals that many of the infected cells in reservoirs are clones that have gained an evolutionary leg up by HIV weaving into cancer genes.
  • “The Dangers of Hunting for Cancer” by Marty Makary (Time; 2014.02.21) – http://ideas.time.com/2014/02/21/the-dangers-of-hunting-for-cancer/?iid=op-article-mostpop1
    • Why more screening is not always better
  • “New evidence on how weight, diet and exercise can help reduce cancer risk” (Teh Washington Post; 2014.02.18) – http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/new-evidence-on-how-weight-diet-and-exercise-can-help-reduce-cancer-risk/2014/02/18/87bbc62a-8cdc-11e3-95dd-36ff657a4dae_story.html
    • 1. Maintain a healthy weight throughout life.
      • Being as lean as possible and maintaining a healthy weight are key components of cancer prevention. People should aim for body mass index (BMI) score of 18.5 to 24.9. Extra body weight is associated with greater risk of cancers of the breast, colon and rectum, endometrium, esophagus, kidney and pancreas. Added weight also probably raises the risk of such cancers as gallbladder, liver, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, cervix, ovary and prostate.
      • Increased body weight associated with increased death rates for all cancers. The same association applied to deaths from many specific cancers including esophagus, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas and kidney, as well as non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Poor BMI scores were associated with cancer deaths of the stomach and prostate for men and of the breast, uterus, cervix and ovaries in women. Large body size in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood predicted increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in a 2013 study in Cancer Prevention Research.
    • 2. Get active.
      • Your level of physical activity may affect your risk of several kinds of cancers: breast, colon, endometrium and prostate.
      • A sedentary lifestyle, coupled with overeating, can create an energy imbalance that causes abnormalities in the body. If you are in the habit of taking in too many calories compared with what you burn, this imbalance can spur metabolic and hormonal changes and inflammation that may fuel many diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. She said people who develop cancers such as colon, breast, lung and prostate often have other diseases as well, because some of the same mechanisms affect all these diseases. That is why controlling activity, weight and diet is so crucial to disease prevention and overall health.
      • Post-menopausal women who walked seven hours a week had a 14 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer compared with those who walked fewer than three hours a week.
      • The ACS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking or 75 minutes of jogging weekly. A similar recommendation comes from the American Institute for Cancer Research, which calls for being physically active at least 30 minutes a day, with maximum health benefits coming from 60 minutes or more of moderate activity or 30 minutes or more of vigorous activity daily.
    • 3. Eat healthfully.
      • Over the past 50 years there have been many studies on the health effects of individual nutrients and foods. One week researchers report on the benefits of coffee; the next, it”s the benefits of nuts or the negatives of sugary beverages.
      • For preventing disease, the current trend is to think about the entire diet or dietary patterns, rather than the particulars of dozens of foods or nutrients.
      • ”We don”t know of a diet that definitely will prevent cancer,” … ”we have very strong evidence that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of certain cancers and [that] unhealthy diet and obesity are associated with increased risk.”
      • The ACS recommends a diet rich in plants and whole-grain foods, especially one that controls calories consumed. The timing of your meals may jump-start your metabolism and help you balance your energy and burn calories efficiently. … Studies seem to suggest that by simply eating your evening meal earlier and redistributing calories throughout the day, as opposed to eating later in the evening, may help reduce how many calories you eat and how well your body burns those calories.
      • others recommend a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with little red meat and more fish, whole grains and nuts. … suggests that half your dinner plate consist of plant-based foods.
    • Cancer prevention experts also advise avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol, knowing your family history, being careful about sun exposure and getting age-appropriate screening. They also suggest getting vaccinated against two major cancer-causing viruses: hepatitis B virus (HBV), linked to liver cancer, and human papillomavirus (HPV), which is linked to cervical and throat cancers.
  • “Is there a way to exploit the metabolic quirk of cancer?” by Peter Attia, M.D (The Eating Academy; 2013.02.04) – http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/way-exploit-metabolic-quirk-cancerhttp://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/way-exploit-metabolic-quirk-cancer
    • Cancer – a collection of cells in our bodies that grow at roughly normal speeds, but that do not respond appropriately to cell signaling. In other words, while a collection of ”normal” cells will grow and stop growing in response to appropriate messages from hormones and signals, cancer cells have lost this property. Contrary to popular misconception, cancers cells do not grow especially fast relative to non-cancer cells. The problem is they don”t ”know” when to stop growing.
    • Metabolism – the process of converting the stored energy in food (chemical energy contained mostly within the bonds of carbon and hydrogen atoms) into usable energy for the body to carry out essential and non-essential work (e.g., ion transport, muscle contraction).
    • ATP – adenosine triphosphate, the ”currency” of energy used by the body. As its name suggests, this molecule has three (tri) phosphates. Energy is liberated for use when the body converts ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate), by cutting off one of the phosphate ions in exchange for energy.
    • Glucose – a very simple sugar which many carbohydrates ultimately get broken down into via digestion; glucose is a ring of 6-carbon molecules and has the potential to deliver a lot, or a little, ATP, depending on how it is metabolized.
    • Fatty acid – the breakdown product of fats (either those stored in the body or those ingested directly) which can be of various lengths (number of joined carbon atoms) and structures (doubled bonds between the carbon atoms or single bonds).
    • Aerobic metabolism – the process of extracting ATP from glucose or fatty acids when the demand for ATP is not too great, which permits the process to take place with sufficient oxygen in the cell. This process is highly efficient and generates a lot of ATP (about 36 units, for example, from one molecule of glucose) and easy to manage waste products (oxygen and carbon dioxide).
    • The process of turning glucose and fatty acid into lots of ATP using oxygen is called ”oxidative phosphorylation.”
    • Anaerobic metabolism – the process of extracting ATP from glucose (but not fatty acids) when the demand for ATP is so great that the body cannot deliver oxygen to cells quickly enough to accommodate the more efficient aerobic pathway. The good news is that we can do this (otherwise a brief sprint, or very difficult exertion would be impossible). The bad news is this process generates much less ATP per carbon molecule (about 4 units of ATP per molecule of glucose), and it generates lactate, which is accompanied by hydrogen ions. (Contrary to popular belief, it”s the latter that causes the burning in your muscles when you ask your body to do something very demanding, not the former).
    • Mitochondria – the part of the cell where aerobic metabolism takes place. Think of a cell as a town and the mitochondria as the factory that converts the stored energy into usable energy. If food is natural gas, and usable energy is electricity, the mitochondria are the power plants. But remember, mitochondria can only work when they have enough oxygen to process glucose or fatty acids. If they don”t, the folks outside of the factory have to make due with suboptimally broken down glucose and suboptimal byproducts.
    • DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid, to be exact, is the so-called ”building block” of life. DNA is a collection of 4 subunits (called nucleotides) that, when strung together, create a code. Think of nucleotides like letters of the alphabet. The letters can be rearranged to form words, and words can be strung together to make sentences.
    • Gene – if nucleotides are the letters of the alphabet, and DNA is the words and sentences, genes are the books – a collection of words strung together to tell a story. Genes tell our body what to build and how to build it, among other things. In recent years, scientists have come to identify all human genes, though we still have very little idea what most genes ”code” for. It”s sort of like saying we”ve read all of War and Peace, but we don”t yet understand most of it.
    • FDG-PET – a type of ”functional” radiographic study, often called a ”pet scan” for short, used to detect cancer in patients with a suspected tumor burden (this test can”t effectively detect small amounts of cancer and only works for ”established” cancers). F18 is substituted for -OH on glucose molecules, making something called 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG), an analog of glucose. This molecule is detectable by PET scanners (because of the F18) and shows which parts of the body are most preferentially using glucose.
    • Phosphoinositide 3-kinase – commonly called PI3K (pronounced ”pee-eye-three-kay”), is an enzyme (technically, a family of enzymes) involved in cell growth and proliferation. Not surprisingly, these enzymes play an important role in cancer growth and survival, and cancer cells often have mutations in the gene encoding PI3K, which render PI3K even more active. PI3Ks are very important in insulin signaling, which may in part explain their role in cancer growth, as you”ll see below.
    • Whichever of these is more accurate, the end result appears the same – cancer cells almost exclusively utilize glucose to make ATP without the use of their mitochondria.
    • This may also explain why most animal models show that caloric restriction improves cancer outcomes. Though historically, this observation has been interpreted through the lens of less ”food” for cancer. A more likely explanation is that caloric restriction is often synonymous with glucose reduction, and it may be the glucose restriction per se that is keeping the cancer at bay.
  • “Smoking linked with increased risk of common type of breast cancer” (Fox News; 2014.02.09) – http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/02/10/smoking-linked-with-increased-risk-common-type-breast-cancer/
  • “Vitamin C ‘gives chemotherapy a boost'” by Helen Briggs (BBC News; 2014.02.08) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26038460
    • It is now known that the human body quickly excretes vitamin C when it is taken by mouth.
    • However, scientists at the University of Kansas say that when given by injection vitamin C is absorbed into the body, and can kill cancer cells without harming normal ones.
    • The researchers injected vitamin C into human ovarian cancer cells in the lab, into mice, and into patients with advanced ovarian cancer. They found ovarian cancer cells were sensitive to vitamin C treatment, but normal cells were unharmed. The treatment worked in tandem with standard chemotherapy drugs to slow tumour growth in mouse studies. Meanwhile, a small group of patients reported fewer side-effects when given vitamin C alongside chemotherapy.
  • “Treatment Alone Will Not Win War On Cancer – Prevention Is Crucial, UN Reports” (Individual.com; 2014.02.04) – http://www.individual.com/storyrss.php?story=187515794&hash=3817ccca71667481a14a5b1d9afdf5e9
  • “World facing global ‘cancer crisis’, WHO warns” – http://www.channel4.com/news/cancer-world-health-organisation-crisis-treatment
    • Worldwide cancer cases are growing at an alarming rate, the World Health Organisation warns, and “urgent” action is need to prevent a crisis.
  • “World Cancer Report 2014 Warns Of A “tidal Wave” Of Cancer” (RTT News; 2014.02.04) – http://www.rttnews.com/2262790/world-cancer-report-2014-warns-of-a-tidal-wave-of-cancer.aspx
  • “WHO study shows cancer cases rising at alarming pace, says ”can’t beat cancer with drugs alone”” (The Times of India; 2014.02.04) – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/WHO-study-shows-cancer-cases-rising-at-alarming-pace-says-cant-beat-cancer-with-drugs-alone/articleshow/29862902.cms
  • “Cancer: A global threat” (BBC News; 2014.02.04) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26031748
    • The World Health Organization is warning of a global “tidal wave” of cancer and says that by 2035, around 24 million people will have the disease.
    • Globally, one in five men and one in six women will develop cancer before the age of 75. And one in eight men, and one in twelve women, will die from the disease.
  • “Cancer ‘tidal wave’ on horizon, warns WHO” (BBC News; 2014.02.04) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26014693
    • The globe is facing a “tidal wave” of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered, say World Health Organization scientists.
    • It predicts the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035, but half could be prevented. The World Cancer Research Fund said there was an “alarming” level of naivety about diet’s role in cancer.
    • Fourteen million people a year are diagnosed with cancer, but that is predicted to increase to 19 million by 2025, 22 million by 2030 and 24 million by 2035.
    • The WHO’s World Cancer Report 2014 said the major sources of preventable cancer included:
      • 1) Smoking
      • 2) Infections
      • 3) Alcohol
      • 4) Obesity and inactivity
      • 5) Radiation, both from the sun and medical scans
      • 6) Air pollution and other environmental factors
      • 7) Delayed parenthood, having fewer children and not breastfeeding
    • For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, cervical cancer dominates in large parts of Africa. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause. It is thought wider use of the HPV and other vaccines could prevent hundreds of thousands of cancers.
    • a survey of 2,046 people in the UK suggested 49% do not know that diet increases the risk of developing cancer. A third of people said cancer was mainly due to family history, but the charity said no more than 10% of cancers were down to inherited genes. … “It’s very alarming to see that such a large number of people don’t know that there’s a lot they can do to significantly reduce their risk of getting cancer.” … “In the UK, about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through being a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and being regularly physically active.”
    • “These results show that many people still seem to mistakenly accept their chances of getting cancer as a throw of the dice, but by making lifestyle changes today, we can help prevent cancer tomorrow.” It advises a diet packed with vegetables, fruit, and wholegrains; cutting down on alcohol and red meat; and junking processed meat completely.
  • “Global cancer surge fuelled by alcohol, smoking and obesity predicted by WHO” by Sarah Boseley (BBC News; 2014.02.03) – http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/03/alcohol-sugar-smoking-fuel-cancer-surge
    • World Health Organisation experts issue timebomb warning and say key is prevention, possibly including tax on sugared drinks
  • “The Global Economic Cost of Cancer” (PDF) – http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@internationalaffairs/documents/document/acspc-026203.pdf
  • “World Cancer Report 2014” – http://www.iarc.fr/en/publications/books/wcr/wcr-order.php
  • “Potential Tactics for Defeating Cancer – A Toolkit in 1,000 Words” by Tim Ferris (2014.01.28) – http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2014/01/28/cancer-treatment/

2013

  • “Global cancer cases reach 14 million, World Health Organization says” by James Gallagher (BBC News; 2013.12.12) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25346639
    • The number of people being diagnosed with cancer in the world each year has leaped to more than 14 million, the World Health Organization says.
  • “HPV: Sex, cancer and a virus” by Megan Scudellari1 (Nature; 2013.11.20) – http://www.nature.com/news/hpv-sex-cancer-and-a-virus-1.14194
    • Human papillomavirus is causing a new form of head and neck cancer – leaving researchers scrambling to understand risk factors, tests and treatments.
  • “Cancer diversity has ‘huge implications'” by James Gallagher (BBC News; 2013.11.15) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24957089
    • A single tumour can be made up of many separate cancers needing different treatments, say researchers.
  • “Air pollution causes cancer – WHO” (BBC News; 2013.10.17) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24564446
    • Pollutants in the air we breathe have been classed as a leading environmental cause of cancer by the World Health Organization.
  • “Anti-cancer vaccine for Laos” by Fergus Walsh (BBC News; 2013.10.14) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24520974
    • A programme to vaccinate girls against the virus that causes cervical cancer has begun in Laos, South East Asia.
  • “Cancer costing European Union countries ‘billions'” (BBC News; 2013.10.13) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24493862
    • Cancer costs countries in the European Union 126bn euro (.107bn) a year, according to the first EU-wide analysis of the economic impact of the disease.
  • “Economic burden of cancer across the European Union: a population-based cost analysis” by Ramon Luengo-Fernandez, Dr Jose Leal, Prof Alastair Gray, Prof Richard Sullivan (The Lancet > Oncology; 2013.10.14) – http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045%2813%2970442-X/abstract
    • The Lancet Oncology, Volume 14, Issue 12, Pages 1165 – 1174, November 2013; doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70442-X
    • Background: In 2008, 2.45 million people were diagnosed with cancer and 1.23 million died because of cancer in the 27 countries of the European Union (EU). We aimed to estimate the economic burden of cancer in the EU.
    • Methods: In a population-based cost analysis, we evaluated the cost of all cancers and also those associated with breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers. We obtained country-specific aggregate data for morbidity, mortality, and health-care resource use from international and national sources. We estimated health-care costs from expenditure on care in the primary, outpatient, emergency, and inpatient settings, and also drugs. Additionally, we estimated the costs of unpaid care provided by relatives or friends of patients (ie, informal care), lost earnings after premature death, and costs associated with individuals who temporarily or permanently left employment because of illness.
    • Findings: Cancer cost the EU 126 billion in 2009, with health care accounting for 51.0 billion (40%). Across the EU, the health-care costs of cancer were equivalent to .102 per citizen, but varied substantially from .16 per person in Bulgaria to .184 per person in Luxembourg. Productivity losses because of early death cost .42.6 billion and lost working days .9.43 billion. Informal care cost .23.2 billion. Lung cancer had the highest economic cost (.18.8 billion, 15% of overall cancer costs), followed by breast cancer (.15.0 billion, 12%), colorectal cancer (.13.1 billion, 10%), and prostate cancer (.8.43 billion, 7%).
    • Interpretation: Our results show wide differences between countries, the reasons for which need further investigation. These data contribute to public health and policy intelligence, which is required to deliver affordable cancer care systems and inform effective public research funds allocation.
  • “Why is cancer so common?” (BBC Science; 2013.04.22) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/22028516
    • Hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK. It is not one disease; there are over 200 different types, each with its own symptoms, methods of diagnosis and treatment.
  • “Do drugs really have to be so expensive?” by Michelle Childs (BBC News; 2013.03.28) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21834442
    • A liver cancer treatment is off-limits in the NHS due to its unjustifiably high price tag, but in India the same treatment is available for less than .100 a month.
    • In this week’s Scrubbing Up, Michelle Childs, of Medecins Sans Frontieres, questions why wealthy nations are not doing more to drive down medicine costs.
  • “Thriving cancer’s ‘chaos’ explained” by James Gallagher (BBC Science; 2013.02.27) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21603235
    • The way cancers make a chaotic mess of their genetic code in order to thrive has been explained by UK researchers.
  • “13,000 cancer deaths ‘can be prevented'” (BBC Science; 2013.02.03) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21299550
    • At least 13,000 premature deaths from cancer could be prevented each year in the UK, says the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).
  • “Cancer fight ‘hampered in UK by stiff upper lip'” (BBC Science; 2013.01.29) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21242871
    • The UK’s “stiff upper lip” culture may explain why it lags behind other countries when it comes to beating cancer, say experts.
  • “Lifetime risk of prostate cancer ‘has trebled'” (BBC Science; 2013.01.22) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21144676
    • Prostate cancer risk has risen to such a degree that one in every seven boys will develop it, projections suggest.
  • “‘Drug holidays’ beat cancer drug resistance in mice” by James Gallagher (BBC Science; 2013.01.09) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20956179
    • Introducing medication-free spells to some cancer treatments may keep patients alive for longer, studies in mice with skin cancer suggest.
    • The animals had melanoma, which can rapidly become resistant to treatments. However, a study in the journal Nature showed tumours also became dependent on the drug to survive. Withdrawing treatment caused tumours to shrink.

2012

  • “Cancer ‘changes outlook on life'” (BBC Science; 2012.12.31) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-20879212
    • A new study has offered a snapshot of how being diagnosed with cancer led many people to make positive changes to their lives.
  • “One test may ‘find many cancers'” by James Gallagher (BBC Science; 2012.11.06) – http://web.archive.org/web/20121110025818/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20179560
    • Targeting just one chemical inside cancerous cells could one day lead to a single test for a broad range of cancers, researchers say.
  • “Breast cancer rules rewritten in ‘landmark’ study” by James Gallagher (BBC Science; 2012.04.18) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17740690
    • What we currently call breast cancer should be thought of as 10 completely separate diseases, according to an international study which has been described as a “landmark”.
    • “From a cancer prevention point of view it is best not to drink at all. But we have to be realistic and the fact is that many people in the UK enjoy a drink and see it as part of their social life.” – Dr Rachel Thompson (World Cancer Research Fund)

2011


2010


2009

  • “Drink blamed for oral cancer rise” (BBC News; 2009.08.10) – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8193639.stm
    • Alcohol is largely to blame for an “alarming” rise in the rate of oral cancers among men and women in their forties, say experts.
    • Numbers of cancers of the lip, mouth, tongue and throat in this age group have risen by 26% in the past decade.

Causes

  • Liver cancer:
    • Infection with the hepatitis C virus increases the death rate by 1,600%
    • Obesity increases the death rate for liver cancer by 3505

Misc


Related here at this blog: Cell phones radiation – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/cell-phone-radiation/

2010.12.25

Placebo

Filed under: health — Tags: — sandokan65 @ 16:43

2010.11.16

Cell phones radiation

Filed under: health, mobile and wireless — Tags: , , — sandokan65 @ 10:30
  • “World Health Organization Says Mobile Phones May Cause Cancer” (SlashDot; 2011.06.01) – http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/06/01/1219248/World-Health-Organization-Says-Mobile-Phones-May-Cause-Cancer
      A new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) concludes that mobile phone radiation presents a carcinogenic hazard. Are cell phones going to be the new tobacco, then?” This seems to be a new interpretation of a long-tern WHO study of possible cellphone health risks that had “inconclusive results” last May.
  • “WHO report: Cell phone radiation can cause cancer” by Rachel King (ZDNet; 2011.03.31) – http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/who-report-cell-phone-radiation-can-cause-cancer/49638
  • “Cellphone Radiation May Cause Cancer, Advisory Panel Says” by Tara Parker-Pope and Felicity Barringer (The New York Times; 2010.05.31) – http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/cellphone-radiation-may-cause-cancer-advisory-panel-says/
  • “Should You Be Snuggling With Your Cellphone?” by Randall Stross (The New York Times; 2010.11.13) – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/business/14digi.html
    • …. But the legal departments of cellphone manufacturers slip a warning about holding the phone against your head or body into the fine print of the little slip that you toss aside when unpacking your phone. Apple, for example, doesn’t want iPhones to come closer than 5/8 of an inch; Research In Motion, BlackBerry’s manufacturer, is still more cautious: keep a distance of about an inch. …
    • <em.Brain cancer is a concern that Ms. Davis takes up. Over all, there has not been a general increase in its incidence since cellphones arrived. But the average masks an increase in brain cancer in the 20-to-29 age group and a drop for the older population.
    • … subjects who used a cellphone 10 or more years doubled the risk of developing brain gliomas, a type of tumor. …

Related here: Taxonomy of cancers – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/taxonomy-of-cancers/

2010.10.08

Running

Filed under: health, running, workout — Tags: , , — sandokan65 @ 12:56
  • Instructables web site has a a collection of articles on running:
  • Fuel efficiency for marathoners (HarvardScience) – http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/10/fuel-efficiency-for-marathoners/ – New research helps runners set the right pace for 26.2 miles
    • Running Endurance Calculator – http://endurancecalculator.com/ [Java Applet]
    • “Metabolic Factors Limiting Performance in Marathon Runners” by Benjamin I. Rapoport (Harvard Medical School and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Division of Health Sciences and Technology) – http://www.ploscompbiol.org/mirror/article/pcbi.1000960.html
        Abstract: Each year in the past three decades has seen hundreds of thousands of runners register to run a major marathon. Of those who attempt to race over the marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 kilometers), more than two-fifths experience severe and performance-limiting depletion of physiologic carbohydrate reserves (a phenomenon known as ‘hitting the wall’), and thousands drop out before reaching the finish lines (approximately 1–2% of those who start). Analyses of endurance physiology have often either used coarse approximations to suggest that human glycogen reserves are insufficient to fuel a marathon (making ‘hitting the wall’ seem inevitable), or implied that maximal glycogen loading is required in order to complete a marathon without ‘hitting the wall.’ The present computational study demonstrates that the energetic constraints on endurance runners are more subtle, and depend on several physiologic variables including the muscle mass distribution, liver and muscle glycogen densities, and running speed (exercise intensity as a fraction of aerobic capacity) of individual runners, in personalized but nevertheless quantifiable and predictable ways. The analytic approach presented here is used to estimate the distance at which runners will exhaust their glycogen stores as a function of running intensity. In so doing it also provides a basis for guidelines ensuring the safety and optimizing the performance of endurance runners, both by setting personally appropriate paces and by prescribing midrace fueling requirements for avoiding ‘the wall.’ The present analysis also sheds physiologically principled light on important standards in marathon running that until now have remained empirically defined: The qualifying times for the Boston Marathon.

Related local links: Fitness links – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/fitness-links/

2010.09.29

Yoga

Filed under: health, yoga — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — sandokan65 @ 20:19

Yoga Nidra

Books and Magazines


Related local links: Fitness links – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/fitness-links/

2010.09.23

New fad/fraud

Filed under: martial arts — Tags: — sandokan65 @ 15:58

Couple of days ago I got the submission on this blog about something called “Thick Black Theory”. Searching web shows that this is a new fad in the line of “Art of War”. Allegedly the originator of the theory is some chinese politician from 19th century who propagated the idea that in order to succeed you have to be ruthless and cunning.

It is likely a fraud: see following review at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/review/RQ7L19QQEA56J/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#RQ7L19QQEA56J. Also see following message at an discussion forum: http://forum.healingdao.com/general/message/18856%5C.

The WikiPedia page is also shady: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thick_Black_Theory.

Matt Furey’s article on TBT: http://www.mattfurey.com/thickfaceblackheart.html.

2010.09.21

Martial arts sites

General

Self-defense

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and other forms of grappling

Filipino martial arts

Weapons defense

Karate

Aikido

History


Related here: Martial Arts articles – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/martial-arts-articles/ | Martial Arts magazines and other sources – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/martial-arts-magazines-and-other-sources/ | Chuck Norris superman meme – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/chuck-norris-superman-meme.

2010.09.08

Martial Arts – articles

Filed under: martial arts — Tags: — sandokan65 @ 17:12

Related here: Martial arts sites – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/martial-arts-sites/ | Martial Arts magazines and other sources – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/martial-arts-magazines-and-other-sources/ | Chuck Norris superman meme – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/chuck-norris-superman-meme.

2010.08.10

Epigenetics

Filed under: genetics, health, life — Tags: — sandokan65 @ 12:23

2010.07.07

Eradicate cats!

Filed under: health — Tags: , , , , — sandokan65 @ 14:04

Cats are a primary carrier of the Toxoplasma gondii microbial (intracellular parasitic) infection that affects about 1/3 of current human population of the Earth.

2010.05.03

Tae Kwon Do links

Filed under: martial arts, taekwondo — Tags: — sandokan65 @ 08:46

2010.02.18

Danger of low-frequency electromagnetic radiation

Filed under: health — Tags: , — sandokan65 @ 14:02

2010.02.10

Fitness links

Filed under: workout — Tags: , , , , , , , — sandokan65 @ 13:44

Sites:

Pushups

Pull-ups

Various

  • “7 Time-Wasting Mistakes You’re Making at the Gym” by Leta Shy (PopSugar; 2013.06.30) – http://www.fitsugar.com/Gym-Time-Wasters-30637782
  • “8 Essential Strength-Training Exercises to Master” by Leta Shy (PopSugar; 2013.03.09) – http://www.fitsugar.com/Most-Effective-Strength-Training-Exercises-28394198
  • “8 Reasons Why You Should Lift Heavier Weights” by Charlotte Hilton Andersen – http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-reasons-why-you-should-lift-heavier-weights
    • 1 – You’ll Torch Body Fat
    • 2 – You’ll Look More Defined
    • 3 – You’ll Fight Osteoporosis
    • 4 – You’ll Burn More Calories
    • 5 – You’ll Build Strength Faster
    • 6 – You’ll Lose Belly Fat
    • 7 – You’ll Feel Empowered
    • 8 – You’ll Prevent Injury
  • “People who are more fit during middle age have less chronic illness in later years, study shows” By Michelle Castillo (CBS News) – http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57501737-10391704/people-who-are-more-fit-during-middle-age-have-less-chronic-illness-in-later-years-study-shows/
  • “The Scientific 7-Minute Workout” by Gretchen Reynolds (Wll; NYTimes blog; 2013.05.09) – http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/
    • “In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science. … “There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” … The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10, … Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant.”
    • These 12 phases are:
      • 1) Jumping jacks
      • 2) Wall sits
      • 3) Push-ups
      • 4) Abdominal crunch
      • 5) Step-up onto chair
      • 6) Squat
      • 7) Triceps dip on chair
      • 8) Plank
      • 9) High knees running in place
      • 10) Lunge
      • 11) Push-ups and rotation
      • 12) Side plank
  • “Strength vs. Endurance: Why You Are Wasting Your Time in the Gym” by Mark Rippetoe (2014.01.29) – http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/01/29/strength-vs-endurance-why-you-are-wasting-your-time-in-the-gym/
    • Medical professionals still steer older patients towards endurance, to their detriment.
  • “Superset Your Workouts to Save Time, but Add Intensity” by Michele Foley (PopSugar Fitness; June 29, 2011) – http://www.fitsugar.com/Supersets-Add-Intensity-Save-Time-During-Workouts-962125
  • “Warm up, cardio & games” – http://www.7weekstofitness.com/warm-up-cardio-games/
  • “Can Jumping Rope Get You Ripped?” by Nick Bromberg (Yahoo Sports; 2011.05.13) – http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/training-day/201105/double-dutch-treat-can-jumping-rope-get-you-ripped/
  • “What’s the Single Best Exercise?” (New Yourk Times; 2011.04.15) – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17exercise-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
      But when pressed, he suggested one of the foundations of old-fashioned calisthenics: the burpee, in which you drop to the ground, kick your feet out behind you, pull your feet back in and leap up as high as you can. “It builds muscles. It builds endurance.” He paused. “But it’s hard to imagine most people enjoying” an all-burpees program, “or sticking with it for long.”
      And sticking with an exercise is key, even if you don’t spend a lot of time working out. The health benefits of activity follow a breathtakingly steep curve. “The majority of the mortality-related benefits” from exercising are due to the first 30 minutes of exercise, … A recent meta-analysis of studies about exercise and mortality showed that, in general, a sedentary person’s risk of dying prematurely from any cause plummeted by nearly 20 percent if he or she began brisk walking (or the equivalent) for 30 minutes five times a week. If he or she tripled that amount, for instance, to 90 minutes of exercise four or five times a week, his or her risk of premature death dropped by only another 4 percent. So the one indisputable aspect of the single best exercise is that it be sustainable. …
  • “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” by John Cloud (Time online; 2009.08.09) – http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857,00.html
  • “Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?” by Randy Dotinga (Bloomberg Businessweek; 2011.03.23) – http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/651145.html
    • New research finds that people who frequently attend religious services are significantly more likely to become obese by the time they reach middle age. The study doesn’t prove that attending services is fattening, nor does it explain why weight might be related to faith. Even so, the finding is surprising, especially considering that religious people tend to be in better health than others, …
    • Scientists have been studying links between religious behavior and health for years, and have found signs that there’s a positive connection between the two. The studies suggest that religious involvement — whether it’s private or public — is linked to things like better physical health, less depression and more happiness, …
    • After adjusting their statistics to take into account factors such as race, the researchers found that 32 percent of those who attended services the most became obese by middle age … By contrast, only 22 percent of those who attended services the least became obese.
    • What might explain obesity among those who attend services regularly? There are plenty of theories. … one possibility is that those who attend services, along with activities such as Bible study and prayer groups, could be “just sitting around passively instead of being outside engaging in physical activity.” Also, … “a lot of the eating traditions surrounding religion are not particularly healthy; for example, constant feasts or desserts after services or at holidays — fried chicken, traditional kosher foods cooked in schmaltz (chicken fat), and so on.”
    • There’s another question: Why might religious people be obese yet still have good health? The fact that fewer are smokers might help explain that, …

Local: Running – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/running/ | Yoga – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/yoga/ | 100 pushups challenge – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/100-pushups-chalenge/

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