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Dec 14

Stem cells turned into pancreatic and intestinal cells

Posted by Smthng2Say98 in stem cells , spermatogonial stem cells , pluripotent stem cells , organoids , 


Stem cells really have had an amazing year so far. Researchers have made great strides with what stem cells can do. The other day two more new experiments were reported.

In the first experiment a team from Georgetown University, used spermatogonial stem cells and turned them into pancreatic cells; the spermatogonial stem cells are ones that become sperm in men. The resulting pancreatic cells would not be exclusive to just men, however, because the technology can be used in female oocytes as well.

In the experiment, Ian Gallicano (head of the team), used “germ-derived pluripotent stem cells” (cells that have the ability to become any cells in the body) and in a lab used compounds that helped these cells turn into pancreatic beta cells. When transferred into diabetic mice the cells did indeed produce insulin and acted like the beta cells that the body destroys in patients with Type-1 diabetes. Currently there is no cure for the disease and those suffering from it must take insulin for life. A few people may be eligible for the “Edmonton Protocol” where the pancreatic cells are taken from cadavers, but obviously there are some problems with that method such as compatibility as well as a shortage of cadavers. This new method would certainly be a breakthrough and a life changer.

Nov 30

Britain considers plain packaging for cigarettes

Posted by Smthng2Say98 in World Health Organization , smoking , plain packaging , British policy document , 


A few weeks ago the FDA announced that it would be considering putting up graphic images on American cigarette packages. This week the British government announced in a policy document released today that it will consider doing the opposite and instead go for plain packaging in order to curb the appeal of smoking.

The new packaging would be void of any brands, logos or colors, however, prior to making any changes the government wants to make sure that there is enough evidence to warrant these changes. It will look at the competition and trade implications involved as well as whether or not it would actually be successful in preventing people from starting to smoke. Australia has already implemented the plain packaging and the change will go into effect in July of 2012. While the World Health Organization recommends that this is the best way to discourage smoking, it remains to be seen just how effective this will actually be.

One other consideration mentioned in the document, entitled “Health Lives, Healthy People” is to consider reimplementing the ban that was put in effect by the previous government on the display of tobacco products in stores. The former Labor government forced stores to store their cigarettes under the counter instead of on display shelves. Of course the big tobacco makers will be going to courts to challenge these bans as well as the packaging idea.

Nov 19

Toning shoes—do they really work or are they just a waste of your money?

Posted by Smthng2Say98 in toning shoes , Skechers , Shape-Ups , Reebok , New Balance , American Council


Are the benefits of toning shoes too good to be true?We’ve all heard and seen the advertisements for the slew of fitness shoes that have hit the market recently. The big players are Skechers Shape-Ups, Reebok EasyTone, MBT shoes from Masai Barefoot Technology as well as the new toning– shoes– that– don’t– look –like–they’re– toning– shoes from New Balance. The company claims in regards to their shoes are certainly incredible. But are they true?

The claims

Reebok is a bit more conservative in their claims, saying that their shoes “tone and strengthen key leg muscles with every step,” while Skechers’ claims seem absurdly far-fetched. The company says that their “Shape-ups are designed to help you strengthen your muscles, including your back, abdomen and calves. Shape-ups will help you lose weight and improve your circulation, creating a healthier you!”Other ads will have you believing that Shape-Ups will also “improve posture, reduce stress on your back and legs, firm your buttocks and tone your thighs – even reduce cellulite!” Both companies say that these claims are supported by numerous research studies (aptly titled website can be viewed here) as well as millions of satisfied customers.  

Sep 21

Kick a cold with a trip to the freezer

Posted by Smthng2Say98 in colds


Colds are always annoying and bothersome when you get one. Aside from sleep, taking medication and drinking fluids, what can you do to help your self?

As odd as it may sound, I find some strange relief from sticking my head in the freezer and breathing in very deeply. See the below video to see what I’m talking about:

Jun 01

Stress is a good thing!

Posted by Smthng2Say98 in Stress , Depression


             Although stress is perceived as inherently ‘bad’ in nature by most people, it actually can be a beneficial aspect of a person’s regular routine. Unfortunately, many view relatable worries such as managing a timely schedule, working long hours, and raising children as damaging factors to an individual’s mental health. If a person alters their view on stress, however, it can be used as a motivating factor in life rather than a discouraging one. Otherwise, these rather typical types of stress can transition to chronic unhealthy stress which can ultimately lead to complications such as cardiovascular disease, depression, multiple personality disorder, hypochondriasis, and amnesia. The question is, how can one manage their healthy stress in order to retain its motivating characteristic and prevent it from becoming unhealthy stress? 

Aside from altering the perception of stress, an individual can also take advantage of other stress management alternatives. One method is through the incorporation of a healthy diet and a recommended level of activity into a person’s typical routine. Fueling the body with the proper combination of nutrients will aid in enhancing mental and emotional stamina, which in turn will help an individual ward off typical side effects of stress such as depression and anxiety.  Another technique a stressed individual can utilize is detachment. Although it is not wise to completely detach from a situation for an extended period of time, it sometimes may be beneficial to take a step back and analyze the situation from an alternative point of view. By incorporating practices such as the aforementioned, an individual can take advantage of the productive effects of stress and avoid experiencing the symptoms of unhealthy stress, all while retaining his or her mental and physical health.