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Researchers have suggested that smokers should follow a New Year's quit with a weekly recommitment to quit that takes advantage of natural weekly cycles.

In a 2013 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from San Diego State University, the Santa Fe Institute, The Monday Campaigns and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health monitored global Google search query logs from 2008 to 2012 in English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish for searches related to quitting, such as "help quit smoking," to examine weekly patterns in smoking cessation contemplation for the first time.


The study found that people search about quitting smoking more often early in the week, with the highest query volumes on Mondays.

Besides catching smokers' attention on Mondays, weekly cues can help people stay on track with their quit attempts. Since it takes an average of seven to 10 quit attempts to succeed, encouraging people to re-quit or recommit to their quit attempt once a week can reduce the overall time it takes to quit for good.

Joanna Cohen, a co-author of the Google study and director of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Institute for Global Tobacco Control, believes "campaigns for people to quit may benefit from shifting to weekly cues to increase the number of quit attempts participants make each year." In other words, quitters can use Monday as a weekly re-set to make another quit attempt if they slip up.

Morgan Johnson, director of programs and research at the Monday Campaigns and another co-author of the Google paper, said that the surge in quitting contemplation on Monday can be used to provide social support for quitters, an important factor in long-term success.


The study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
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Mom-to-be’s snoring may affect baby

November 2nd 2013 02:50
Moms-to-be, please note! Pregnant women who snore have a higher risk of poor delivery outcomes, including Caesarean births and delivering smaller babies , a research has warned.

Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System found that snoring at least three nights a week may influence delivery and a baby's health. Chronic snorers are two-thirds more likely to have a baby that is born below the tenth percentile for babies of the same gestational age (smaller than 90% of other babies the same gestation) compared to non-snorers. The study included 1,673 pregnant women. Pregnant women can be treated for obstructive sleep apnea using CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure).
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7 reasons you MUST eat olives

October 20th 2013 02:13
Cardiovascular benefits

When free radicals oxidize cholesterol, blood vessels are damaged and fat builds up in arteries, possibly leading to a heart attack. The antioxidant nutrients in black olives impede this oxidation of cholesterol, thereby helping to prevent heart disease. Olives do contain fat, but it's the healthy monounsaturated kind, which has been found to shrink the risk of atherosclerosis and increase good cholesterol.

Cancer prevention

Black olives are a great source of vitamin E, which has the brilliant ability to neutralize free radicals in body fat. Especially when working with the stable monounsaturated fats found in olives, vitamin E can make cellular processes safer. When such processes such as mitochondrial energy production are not well protected, the free radicals produced can cause oxidation, damaging a cell's mitochondria, and preventing the cell from producing enough energy to supply its needs. If the DNA of a cell is damaged, it may well mutate and become cancerous. Studies have shown that a diet supplemented with olive oil leads to a lower risk of colon cancer, almost as low a risk as a diet rich in fish oil.

Skin and hair health

Black olives are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants that nourish, hydrate and protect. Chief among those is vitamin E. Whether applied topically or ingested, vitamin E has been shown to protect skin from ultraviolet radiation, thus guarding against skin cancer and premature aging. You can gain a healthy, glowing complexion by washing your face in warm water, applying a few drops of olive oil to vulnerable spots, and letting it work its magic for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. In fact, you can moisturize with olive oil before any bath, and even condition your hair with it by mixing it with an egg yolk and leaving it before rinsing and washing.

Bone and connective tissue

The anti-inflammatory abilities of the monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and polyphenols in black olives may also help dull the asperity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Most of the suffering in having one of these three bone maladies is brought about by high levels of free radicals. Olive oil also contains a chemical called oleocanthal, which acts as a painkiller. Research has found that oleocanthal inhibits inflammation by the same means that drugs like Ibuprofen do.

Digestive tract health

Frequent consumption of both vitamin E and the monounsaturated fats in black olives is associated with lower rates of colon cancer. These nutrients help prevent colon cancer by neutralizing free radicals. Olive oil's protective function also has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs, thereby lowering the incidence of gallstone formation. A cup of black olives also contains 17% of the daily allowance of fiber, which promotes digestive tract health by helping to move food through the system at a healthier pace. This keeps any one part of the digestive tract from having to work too hard and supports the ideal balance of chemicals and populations of microorganisms required for a healthy digestive system.

Good source of iron

Black olives are very high in iron. The ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body is due to the presence of iron in the blood. If we suffer from a lack of iron, our tissues don't get enough oxygen, and we may feel cold or weak. Iron also plays a vital role in the production of energy. It is a necessary part of a number of enzymes, including iron catalase, iron peroxidase, and the cytochrome enzymes. It also helps produce carnitine, a nonessential amino acid important for the utilization of fat. To top it all off, the proper function of the immune system is dependent on sufficient iron.

Eye health

One cup of black olives contains ten percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin A which, when converted into the retinal form, is crucial for healthy eyes. It enables the eye to better distinguish between light and dark, thereby improving night vision. Furthermore, Vitamin A is believed effective against cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and other age-related ocular diseases.
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Cells of the stomach

September 26th 2013 02:04
Parietal cells (also called oxyntic cells) are the stomach epithelium cells which secrete gastric acid.

Parietal cells produce gastric acid (hydrochloric acid) in response to histamine (via H2 receptors), acetylcholine (M3 receptors) and gastrin (gastrin receptors).

Parietal cells contain an extensive secretory network (called canaliculi) from which the HCl is secreted by active transport into the stomach.
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A protein capable of halting the spread of breast cancer cells could lead to a therapy for preventing or limiting the spread of the disease.
he regulatory protein identified inhibits the spread of cancer cells by removing and breaking down an invasive enzyme on the surface of cancer cells. If it remains unchecked, this enzyme degrades and modifies surrounding tissues, facilitating the spread of cancer through the body.
Traditional therapies that have been used to counteract the invasive nature of this particular enzyme also destroy other enzymes that are important for the body's normal physiological function.

The researchers examined a network of proteins that are responsible for controlling the shape of cancer cells. They focused specifically on parts of the cell that protrude into surrounding body tissues, allowing the cancer cell to degrade surrounding tissue barriers.

Normal cells also produce similar protrusions as part of a healthy physiological process that allows cells to move through body tissues during an immune response.

During the spread of cancer these normally healthy mechanisms are coopted by cancer cells, allowing the cancer to break through tissue boundaries and colonize distant tissues. This process of cancer spread is known as metastasis and is frequently the cause of cancer-related deaths.
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A combination of the myxoma virus and the immune suppressant rapamycin can kill glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and deadliest malignant brain tumor. The finding means that barriers to treating the disease, such as resistance to the drug temozolomide, may be overcome.Oncolytic viruses have the potential to provoke a multipronged attack on a tumor, with the potential to kill cancer cells directly through viral infection and possibly through inducing the immune system to attack the tumor. The multipronged approach might get around some of the classical resistance mechanisms that have plagued both targeted therapies and conventional chemotherapies. everal oncolytic viruses, both alone or in combination with small molecule inhibitors, have been tested and show promise for malignant gliomas. However, most have not been effective in killing cancer cells. Two likely obstacles may be the patient's own anti-viral immune response and limited virus distribution.The researchers found that brain cancer stem cells were susceptible to myxoma virus in the laboratory cultures (in vitro) and in animal models (in vivo), including in temozolomide-resistant cell lines.

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Scientists from the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna have provided insights into how much harm bacteria can cause to the lung of people having the flu. An infection with both the flu and bacteria can be a fatal combination. The results could prompt the development of alternative treatments for flu-related bacterial infections, to improve patient outcome and prevent permanent lung damage.
The flu is caused by an infection with the influenza virus, which mainly attacks the upper respiratory tract -- the nose, throat and bronchi and rarely also the lungs. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around five to 15 percent of the population are affected by upper respiratory tract infections during seasonal flu outbreaks, and between 250 000-500 000 people die of the illness every year. However, a main cause of death in people having the flu is actually a secondary infection with bacteria.
When we are sick with influenza virus, for many reasons our susceptibility to bacterial infection is increased. One type of bacteria that the immune system usually prevents from spreading and becoming harmful for us is called Legionella pneumophila. However in some circumstances, such as when we're infected with influenza virus, Legionella can cause pneumonia, an inflammatory disease of the lung that if left untreated can leave the lung permanently damaged and even cause death.
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Pregnant women should avoid taking vitamin D supplements, new research suggests.Substitution appears to raise the risk of children developing a food allergy after birth.

Vitamin D has always had a good reputation: it strengthens bones, protects against infections particularly during the cold winter months and aids the nervous and muscular systems. Especially in the prevention and treatment of rickets, it has been given to babies and infants around the world for around 50 years. In cases where expectant mothers were found to have a low vitamin D level in the blood, the occurrence of food allergies among their two-year old children was rarer than in cases where expectant mothers had a high vitamin D blood level. In reverse, this means that a high vitamin D level in pregnant women is associated with a higher risk of their children to develop a food allergy during infancy. Furthermore, those children were found to have a high level of the specific immunoglobulin E to food allergens such as egg white, milk protein, wheat flour, peanuts or soya beans.

The interesting result of the current research project: the higher the level of vitamin D found in the blood of mothers and children, the fewer regulatory T-cells could be detected. The correlation could mean that vitamin D suppresses the development of regulatory T-cells and thus increases the risk of allergy.
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Why do bags form below our eyes?

February 18th 2013 13:37
As we age, fat comes out of the space enclosed by the eye socket, called the orbit, and forms a puffy area under the eye. This fatty tissue can fill with water. Thus, it becomes more noticeable when water is retained, which can occur for a variety of reasons including eating too much salt, lying flat in bed, not getting enough sleep, allergies, and monthly hormonal changes.

Dark circles under the eye occur for several reasons: The skin there is much thinner than skin elsewhere on the body and becomes looser under the eyes as we age. This very thin skin also sits on top of underlying purple muscle and blood vessels and thus appears darker. In addition, some people have hereditary pigmentation in this area.

Treating hollow space under the eye is straightforward and can be done by injecting a filler such as Restylane. After this procedure, the so-called tear trough is instantly softened and any pigmentation noticeably lighter as a result of putting something between the skin and the underlying tissue. Blepharoplasty (surgery) can be done to fix the fat pad under the eye or a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser can be used to resurface the skin, which tightens and thickens it as well as lightens the pigmentation.

Simple measures to reduce puffiness and darkness of under-eye circles include avoiding salt, getting enough sleep, treating allergies, sleeping on two pillows, raising the head of the bed and using cool compresses on the eyes. For hereditary pigmentation, CO2 laser resurfacing and bleaching creams are sometimes helpful.

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Lymphoma Gobbles HDL Cholesterol

January 27th 2013 02:31
Recent studies have shown that B-cell lymphoma is dependent on the uptake of natural HDL -- short for high-density lipoprotein -- from which it derives fat content, such as cholesterol.

The nanoparticle -- originally developed by Thaxton as a possible therapy for heart disease -- closely mimics the size, shape and surface chemistry of natural HDL particles. But it has one key difference: a five nanometer gold particle at its core. Thus, when the nanoparticle is incubated with human B-cell lymphoma cells or used to treat a mouse with the human tumor, it socks lymphoma with a double whammy. After it attaches to the lymphoma cell, the gold particle's spongy surface sucks out its cholesterol while the gold core prevents the cell from absorbing more cholesterol typically carried in the core of natural HDL particles.

The lymphoma research showed Thaxton that the HDL nanoparticle had more than one trick up its golden sleeve.
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