Thursday, August 31, 2006

Orange juice for health

Sometimes people chuckle over the simplicity of a study the federal government supports, but when you think about this finding it really supports empowering individuals to manage their health.

Researchers, using a grant from the National Institutes of Health [does not look like the orange juice industry was behind this from what I can tell], found that a daily glass of orange juice can help prevent the recurrence of kidney stones better than other citrus fruit juices such as lemonade.

The findings indicate that although many people assume that all citrus fruit juices help prevent the formation of kidney stones, not all have the same effect. The study can be found in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Press materials say that medically managing recurrent kidney stones requires dietary and lifestyle changes as well as treatment such as the addition of potassium citrate, which has been shown to lower the rate of new stone formation in patients with kidney stones.

Because some patients cannot tolerate potassium citrate because of gastrointestinal side effects, and in those cases, dietary sources of citrate, such as orange juice, may be considered as an alternative to pharmacological drugs.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Earth keeps balanced as weight changes

This captured my imagination, so I am sharing it with you!

Imagine a shift in the Earth so profound that it could force our entire planet to spin on its side after a few million years, tilting it so far that Alaska would sit at the equator. Princeton scientists have now provided the first compelling evidence that this kind of major shift may have happened in our world's distant past.

By analyzing the magnetic composition of ancient sediments found in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Princeton has lent credence to a 140-year-old theory regarding the way the Earth might restore its own balance if an unequal distribution of weight ever developed in its interior or on its surface. Read more.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Marker signals whether chemo helps or not

Back to blogging about medical discovery... today researchers are gaining more information on specific cancers, and with this breast cancer finding doctors can better determine how to effectively treat women with chemotherapy.

According to a press release for a study reported in Cancer Research, about half of women whose breast cancer is treated with standard chemotherapy have their cancer return within five years. Most chemotherapeutic drugs have undesirable side effects, but there has been no way to predict who would benefit and who wouldn't. Fortunately, new research findings at the University of Southern California could change that. Researchers at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a new biological marker in tumors that can help indicate whether a woman's breast cancer will respond to the most commonly prescribed chemotherapy drugs.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

One more to take your breath away


Maybe it is because I want to float...

Here you go - still pointing to some intriguing photography - I keep coming back to antimethod.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Open-source science - can you dig it?

According to a story from Chemical and Engineering News, "Scientists from Sydney to San Francisco have created an online research collaboration to develop cures for tropical diseases, using the 'open source' programming model that produced freeware like Linux and Firefox, the award-winning Web browser.

The motivation is straightforward: Tropical diseases are low priority for big pharma because the return on drug development is so small. Patients in developing nations just don't have the financial ability to pay for patented drugs.

The structure is radical: Online discussions will prioritize a list of experiments that anyone can take on. Raw data will be posted online and discussed. Members of the consortium will solicit further ideas and expertise, hoping the greater research community steps up to the plate.

The group, which operates under an umbrella website called Synaptic Leap, hopes that volunteered time, computer power, and reagents will eventually result in a portfolio of drug leads that will be made freely available for development. Currently, members of Synaptic Leap are describing projects online and asking others for help and advice.

Participants in open-source collaborations give up their ability to patent discoveries by definition, because their data are public as soon as they are posted. But some argue that when it comes to neglected diseases, there's nothing to lose, because there was never any income to gain."