Sunday, February 01, 2015
We live in a culture of dividedness and fragmentation of the self. When we contemplate what it takes to live a full life, we extol mindfulness and wholeheartedness. But being wholehearted is only sufficient if your heart is your whole self; being mindful is only sufficient if your mind is all you are. We are, of course, so much more expansive than our hearts and our minds and our perfect abs, or whatever fragment we choose to fixate on. But we compartmentalize our experience in this way, divide it into fragments, as if to divide and conquer it. I've written before about our resistance to speaking of the soul, of which those of us who uphold secular ideals of rationalism are especially culpable. And yet I find, over and over, that the fullest people – the people most whole and most alive – are those unafraid and unashamed of the soul.
The soul has had no greater champion in this age of fragments thanAnne Lamott – a writer of exceptional lucidity and enchantment, with a rare way of becalming our modern anxieties and ancient anguishes, from grief and gratitude to the perils of perfectionism to how we keep ourselves small with people-pleasing. In Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair (public library), Lamott lays bare the deepest, most worn yet most resilient threads of the soul and laces out of the loose ends an extraordinary lattice of assurance and grace – assurance that there is hope for awakening in ourselves "a deeper sense of immediacy or spirit or playfulness" amid the slumber of ordinary life, and for those moments when we feel like all such hope is lost, the grace of trusting "that we do endure, and that out of the wreckage something surprising will rise."/.../
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Selecionado pela AMICOR Maria Inês Reinert Azambuja
AGING The downside of living a longer life
SCIENCE sciencemag.org 30 JANUARY 2015 • VOL 347 ISSUE 6221 517
Over the years, scientists have identified many factors that increase longevity in animal models. But do these interventions also let animals stay healthy longer, giving them an extended “healthspan”? To find out, Bansal et al. measured a range of physiological parameters over the lifetime of worms with mutations that extended their lifespans. The effect of these mutations on healthspan was variable. In fact, control worms had the greatest healthspan when calculated as a percentage of total lifespan. Extending the period of ill health of an increasingly aged human population could be devastating, suggesting that researchers should focus on optimizing healthspan rather than lifespan. — LBR Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/ pnas.1412192112 (2015)
A new Princeton University study has identified more than 750 genes involved in long-term memory in the worm — part of research aimed at finding ways to retain cognitive abilities during aging, including compounds.
The study takes a different approach than the recentENIGMA study, which identified genetic mutations in humans related to brain aging.
The new study, published in the journal Neuron, included many genes that had not been found previously and that could serve as targets for future research, said senior author Coleen Murphy, an associate professor of molecular biology at Princeton and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics./.../
A modified RNA that encodes a telomere-extending protein to cultured human cell yielded large numbers of cells for study
January 26, 2015
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a new procedure that uses modified messenger RNA to quickly and efficiently increase the length of human telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that are associated with aging and disease.
Treated cells behave as if they are much younger than untreated cells, multiplying with abandon in the laboratory dish rather than stagnating or dying. Skin cells with telomeres lengthened by the procedure were able to divide up to 40 more times than untreated cells.
The procedure will improve the ability of researchers to generate large numbers of cells for study or drug development and may lead to preventing or treating diseases of aging, the scientists say.
Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, which house our genomes. In young humans, telomeres are about 8,000–10,000 nucleotides long. They shorten with each cell division, however, and when they reach a critical length, the cell stops dividing or dies. This internal “clock” makes it difficult to keep most cells growing in a laboratory for more than a few cell doublings.
January 26, 2015
Scientists in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Trinity College Dublin, have discovered that using carbon nanotubes as biomaterials that come into contact with blood generates blood clots.
The reason: When blood comes into contact with foreign surfaces, the blood’s protective platelets are activated, creating blood clots.
This can be catastrophic in clinical settings where extracorporeal circulation technologies are used, such as during heart-lung bypass, in which the blood is circulated in PVC tubing outside the body.
Their findings are reported in an open-access paper published in the January issue of the journal Nanomedicine./.../
A drug that targets those receptors could improve memory in Alzheimer's disease
January 27, 2015
Gladstone Institutes researchers have uncovered a new memory regulator in the brain that may offer a potential treatment to improve memory in Alzheimer’s disease using a drug that targets those receptors.
They found in their research* that decreasing the number of A2A adenosine receptors in astrocyte brain cells improved memory in healthy mice. It also prevented memory impairments in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
The findings were published Monday (Jan. 26) in Nature Neuroscience./.../
January 27, 2015
A large study links a significantly increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, to taking commonly used medications with anticholinergiceffects at higher doses or for a longer time.
Many older people take these medications, which include nonprescription diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and related drugs.
JAMA Internal Medicine published the report, called “Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergic Medications and Incident Dementia.”
It’s been known for some time that memory or concentration problems in the elderly might be caused by common medications used to treat insomnia, anxiety, itching or allergies, according to a 2012 study reported by KurzweilAI.
Lowers glucose levels by 30 percent; could be delivered as pill instead of injections
January 29, 2015
Imagine a pill that helps people control diabetes with the body’s own insulin to lower blood glucose levels.
Cornell researchers have achieved this feat in rats by engineering human lactobacilli, a common gut bacteria, to secrete a protein that modifies intestinal cells to produce insulin..
More precise mapping of how individual neurons interact in the brain
January 30, 2015
Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have used new deep-brain imaging techniques to link the activity of individual, genetically similar neurons to particular behaviors of freely moving mice.
For the first time ever, scientists watched as one neuron was activated when a mouse searched for food while a nearly identical neuron next to it remained inactive; instead, the second neuron only became activated when the mouse began eating./.../
Friday, January 30, 2015
Referência da Dra. Ana Lúcia Robinson Achutti
SEX, 30/01/2015 - 08:11
Por Danilo Mekari do, Portal Aprendiz
Há pelo menos 15 anos a portuguesa Rita Maldonado Branco convive com o Alzheimer. Desde quando seu avô paterno deu sinais de que os problemas de esquecimento não eram apenas pontuais – mais tarde a mesma coisa aconteceria com a avó materna –, Rita sente falta de se comunicar com eles como antigamente. A falta é tanta que usou seu conhecimento em design de comunicação para reativar os canais de troca com os avós./.../
Thursday, January 29, 2015
A gigantic mushroom cloud billowed over Nagasaki, Japan, when an atomic bomb was dropped on the city in 1945.
Credit: U.S. National Archives
Credit: U.S. National Archives
The world is "3 minutes" from doomsday.
That's the grim outlook from board members of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Frustrated with a lack of international action to address climate change and shrink nuclear arsenals, they decided today (Jan. 22) to push the minute hand of their iconic "Doomsday Clock" to 11:57 p.m.
It's the first time the clock hands have moved in three years; since 2012, the clock had been fixed at 5 minutes to symbolic doom, midnight. [End of the World? Top Doomsday Fears]/.../