Showing posts from December 5, 2010

Very Rare Black and White Twins Celebrate 4th Birthday - AOL Health

The Richardson family recently celebrated the 4th birthdays of their twins , but the boys are anything but identical, the Daily Mail reports. In 2006, mother Kerry Richardson, who is of English and Nigerian descent, gave birth to a white, or Caucasian-looking, boy named Layton a few minutes before delivering a black son named Kaydon. The boys have a white father, but doctors told the family the chances of Richardson giving birth to a white baby, let alone simultaneously with a black child, were about a one in a million. Richardson later welcomed another addition to the family, her baby girl, Tiyannah, whose skin is also white. "Before the twins, I would have expected that any child of mine would have my color in them," she told the Daily Mail. "But after Layton, I wasn't sure what she was going to look like." The boys' mother said she is worried how their appearances will affect them as they get older. "It's never been an issue up to

8 Types Of Friendships To Help You Grow As A Person | The Frisky

When it comes to major life transitions and decisions about careers, romantic entanglements, sexual dilemmas, health, and possibly marriage or motherhood, who’s got your back, ladies? That’s right, your girlfriends. In our lives we can’t cast the perfect variety pack of girlfriends, as the creators of “Sex and The City” did – nor would we want to, as gradually getting to know each other is the best part of a relationship – though, if we’re lucky, we do have different kinds of friendships we’ve accumulated over the years to suit the very different aspects of our complex lives. There are eight types of friendships I’ve cultivated that have been essential to my growth as a person. Too bad all these ladies don’t live locally (because a posse would be so nice!), so that I could get them together at the Sunday brunch table, but I can keep them on speed dial. A Playmate-Turned-Lifemate: If we’re lucky, we have a best friend who’s known us since forever—yes

U.S. Soldiers Turn to Diet Pills, Liposuction to Meet Weight Standards

Body & Mind U.S. Soldiers Turn to Diet Pills, Liposuction to Meet Weight Standards Published December 08, 2010 | NewsCore   Print   Email   Share   Comments (12)   Text Size   U.S. soldiers are going to extremes — taking diet pills and laxatives, even starving themselves and getting liposuction — in order to meet the military’s weight standards, the Army Times reported Monday. “Liposuction saved my career — laxatives and starvation before an [Army Physical Fitness Test] sustains my career,” an anonymous soldier told the weekly paper. “I for one can attest that soldiers are using liposuction, laxatives and starvation to meet height and weight standards. I did, do and still do.” More than a third of uniformed men and women do not meet the Army’s weight standards, according to a 2009 military fitness report, and those officers are subjected to dreaded tape measurem

Websites: Buy nothing for holidays -

By Katherine Dorsett , CNN December 10, 2010 1:12 p.m. EST Some anti-consumer followers are making their own holiday gifts, like food. STORY HIGHLIGHTS Anti-consumerism movements have inspired people to avoid buying holiday gifts Websites challenge people to de-commercialize Christmas and connect in "simpler" ways Retailers remind potential consumers that their dollars are needed to support jobs (CNN) -- While millions may be running to the malls this holiday season, there are some people running away from the buying frenzy. Several online movements have inspired thousands of people to attempt to spend little or no cash on holiday presents. Followers are avoiding shopping malls and opting to save their money, make their own presents or provide free services like baby-sitting or massages as gifts. "The holiday season is about sharing time with loved ones, not going into debt," said Cat Ellis, a Facebook "Buy Nothing Christmas"

New Hope for Repairing Multiple Sclerosis Damage - AOL Health

Researchers at Cambridge and Edinburgh have discovered a way for stem cells in the brain to regenerate myelin sheath, which is needed to protect nerve fibers , reports BBC News . The studies, performed on rats, are exciting because they offer new hope that in the future, the damage done by multiple sclerosis could be repaired and physical function lost by patients could be restored. MS is a defect in the body's immune system that attacks the fatty myelin sheath. Flare-ups are caused by the disease, and physical function is often lost. Myelin sheaths act as insulation to fibers that send important messages to the brain, and scientists have been in search of a way to help MS suffers -- some of whom experience some natural myelin repair, and others who do not. The study showed that the patient's own brain could be stimulated to regenerate myelin. Professor Charles ffrench-Constant, one of the lead researchers, was hopeful that the discoveries made could lead to th

Some Frogs Pee Out Junk from Bodies | Amphibians & Amazing Animal Abilities, Tree Frogs | LiveScience

The Australian green tree frog (Litoria caerulea). It can apparently pee out surgical implants, shunting devices embedded in its their bladder, researchers find. Credit: Chris Tracy. Full Size 1 of 1 The Australian green tree frog (Litoria caerulea). It can apparently pee out surgical implants, shunting devices embedded in its their bladder, researchers find. Credit: Chris Tracy. Imagine some buckshot from a shotgun got stuck in your chest or you had a radio transmitter stuck in your side. If you were a frog, your body might be pristine a few weeks afterward   — they apparently have the remarkable ability to pee out foreign objects, with their bladders engulfing the intrusions to help get rid of such junk, scientists now find. No other animal until now has ever been seen using their bladder eliminating foreign objects embedded in their bodies. Scientists originally implanted temperature-sensitive radio

Mouse Babies: 'I Have Two Daddies!' | Genetics & Reproduction, Stem Cell Research | LiveScience

In a first for stem-cell technology , researchers have produced mice with two fathers. The mice, developed at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, contain no maternal DNA. Instead, their genomes are made up of contributions from two male mice. The technology could eventually be used to breed prize livestock or endangered species in which few or no females remain, according to the researchers. Any practical application in humans is a long way off. Related cell-engineering methods have produced monkeys from two mothers . Researchers from the U.K. have created human embryos with DNA from three parents, though those embryos were sustained only in a lab and never meant for reproduction. Producing the motherless mice took some fancy lab work. First, researchers engineered cells from a male mouse fetus  — Father No. 1 — to turn the cells into pluripotent stem cells. Pluripotent stem cells can become any cell in the body. Male cells normally have one X and one Y c

Making Disability Work

I will begin a new job for Citigroup in January, so this is my last article as a contributing columnist for The Times. I hope to see you again from time to time on the Op-Ed page. One of the gravest dangers posed by the weak economy is that the unemployed will become discouraged and give up looking for work, perhaps permanently as their skills atrophy. This would be harmful not only to the workers and their families, but also to the economy as a whole, as those people would no longer contribute to economic growth. The longer the labor market remains sluggish, the more pronounced this risk becomes. Unfortunately, at this point more than six million people have been unemployed for six months or longer. More than one million have already given up looking for work because they believe no job is available. And a drastic rise in applications for disability insurance suggests we may be headed for more long-lasting trouble. The number of disability applications has reached mor

- December's Geminid Meteor Shower Mystifies Scientists

The upcoming Geminid meteor shower next week may promise to be the best sky show of the year, but for many scientists it's a space light show shrouded in mystery. Skywatchers should catch a nice view of the beguiling phenomenon between local midnight and sunrise on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Most meteor showers come from comets, which spew ample meteoroids for a night of shooting stars. The Geminids are different. Their source is not a comet but a strange rocky object named 3200 Phaethon that sheds very little dusty debris — not nearly enough to explain the Geminids. "The Geminids are my favorite, because they defy explanation," said NASA astronomer Bill Cooke, a meteor expert at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. This sky map shows where to look to see the Geminid meteor shower when the peak on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14. Geminids meteor mystery Meteor showers are created when the Earth passes through a stream

Are depressed people too clean? | Science Blog

Are depressed people too clean? December 7, 2010 In an effort to pinpoint potential triggers leading to inflammatory responses that eventually contribute to depression, researchers are taking a close look at the immune system of people living in today’s cleaner modern society. Rates of depression in younger people have steadily grown to outnumber rates of depression in the older populations and researchers think it may be because of a loss of healthy bacteria. In an article published in the December issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, Emory neuroscientist Charles Raison, MD, and colleagues say there is mounting evidence that disruptions in ancient relationships with microorganisms in soil, food and the gut may contribute to the increasing rates of depression. According to the authors, the modern world has become so clean, we are deprived of the bacteria our immune systems came to rely on over long ages to keep inflammation at bay. To view a video with Dr. Raison:

The Windsor Knot - Royal romance written in the stars?

Ho / Reuters Was Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding written in the stars? It was according to one British almanac. Old Moore’s Almanack, a venerable astrological guide published in Britain since 1697, suggested in its 2011 edition published last June that a royal wedding was more than likely. “His progressed chart shows that 2011 or 2012 are the most likely years for him to announce his forthcoming marriage,” writes the almanac of Prince William. More interesting are its predictions for Kate and William’s future: According to the almanac, little princes or princesses are in the cards – uh, stars -- for the royal couple. Prince William “will be keen to start a family and may have several children,” it predicts. Wills and Kate each have a page of their own in the publication. And though William’s page makes no mention of Kate, on Kate’s page Old Moore “sees that she almost certainly will be William’s wife and one day, also a beloved British queen.” And if the almanac

Rediscovered Books joins Google e-book effort | Reading and Books | Idaho Statesman

BOISE — Google Inc. is penning the next chapter in the story of electronic books. At least one Treasure Valley bookstore already has joined the effort. Rediscovered Books is now selling “Google eBooks” online at . Google launched its e-book program Monday. “One of the goals of Rediscovered Books is to offer our customers a choice of where to shop and what to buy,” said Laura DeLaney, one of the owners of Rediscovered Books. “Google eBooks now allows us to offer this choice in a digital format." The Google platform contains 3 million volumes, most of which are free public domain works. But hundreds of thousands will be paid titles. Google is pitting itself squarely against established digital booksellers, including the market leader Google will sell the books directly, through its eBookStore, and through online bookstores, which will split their proceeds with Google. The books can be read online through a new Google reading interface that also l

Boise library adds e-books to collection | Reading and Books | Idaho Statesman

The Boise Public Library added 850 books to its collection in November that you won’t find on the shelves. These are the library’s first downloadable digital books, or e-books. Library card holders can now access these e-books by computer from the library’s website, then transfer them to a variety of devices for easier reading, including the Nook, Literati Reader, Kobo eReader, Pandigital Novel and Sony Reader. But you can’t read them on the Kindle, Amazon’s very popular e-reader. The bookseller prefers readers to buy its e-books. Experts say e-readers have reached a tipping point, as prices for the devices have dropped (Nook selling for $149 at Barnes & Noble; Kobo as low as $119 at Borders). They are expected to be big sellers this holiday season. If you’re wondering if you can download the Boise library’s e-books on your new iPad, the short answer is not yet. Boise library officials say applications that will allow folks with these and other Apple devices like the iPhon

Moments of Awareness/Pt. 5 of 5

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Moments of Awareness/Pt. 4 of 5

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Moments of Awareness/Pt. 3 of 5

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Moments of Awareness/Pt. 2 of 5

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Moments of Awareness/Pt. 1 of 5

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Iron deficiency in soil threatens soybean production | Science Blog

Madison, WI December 6 2010 — An expansion of soybean production into areas where soybean has seldom, if ever, been grown can be problematic for some farmers. Soils having high pH values and large amounts of calcium and/or magnesium carbonate are notoriously iron deficient. Iron deficient soils in the North Central United States are estimated to reduce soy bean production by 12.5 million bushels every year. John Wiersma, a researcher at the University of Minnesota Northwest Research and Outreach Center at Crookston, concluded a study examining the effect of nitrogen based fertilizers on soybean crops grown in iron deficient soil. Because soybeans require more nitrogen than most commercial crops, Wiersma hypothesized that adding nitrogen fertilizer could help increase yields in nutrient poor soil. Several soybean varieties along with nitrogen fertilizer were tested from 2003-2005 on soils where soybean has historically exhibited mild to severe iron deficiency. Seed was inoculated at t

Bacteria seek to topple the egg as top flu vaccine tool | Science Blog

Only the fragile chicken egg stands between Americans and a flu pandemic that would claim tens of thousands more lives than are usually lost to the flu each year. Vaccine production hinges on the availability of hundreds of millions of eggs — and even with the vaccine, flu still claims somewhere around 36,000 lives in the United States during a typical year. Now scientists have taken an important step toward ending the dominance of the oval. In a paper published in the Dec. 6 issue of the journal Vaccine , scientists showed that an experimental flu vaccine grown entirely in bacteria — a process that bypasses the egg completely — works well in people, triggering an immune response that would protect them against the flu. The study of 128 healthy people ages 18 to 49 at the University of Rochester Medical Center was led by John Treanor, M.D., an expert on flu vaccines who has helped lead efforts to create and test new ways to make flu vaccine more quickly and less expensively. The va

Personalized vaccine for lymphoma patients extends disease-free survival by nearly 2 years | Science Blog

(ORLANDO, Fla.) — A personalized vaccine is a powerful therapy to prevent recurrence among certain follicular lymphoma patients, according to the latest results of ongoing research led by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The new findings show that when these patients — whose tumors are marked by a specific protein that may be present in up to half of people with this type of cancer — receive a vaccine made from their own tumor cells, disease-free survival is improved by nearly two years, compared with patients who receive a placebo. Based on the new analysis, the team thinks they can explain why the results of previous trials of similar therapeutic cancer vaccines were not as strong as expected. “The treatment effect of the personalized vaccine is stunning in our trial,” says Stephen J. Schuster, MD, an associate professor in the division of Hematology-Oncology and director of the Lymphoma Program at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. Schuster will present data from a