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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Longer life?

Selecionado pela AMICOR Maria Inês Reinert Azambuja
AGING The downside of living a longer life 
SCIENCE 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)

Brain-to-brain communication


Miguel Nicolelis: Brain-to-brain communication has arrived. How we did it

18:57 minutes · Filmed Oct 2014 · Posted Jan 2015 · TEDGlobal 2014
You may remember neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis — he built the brain-controlled exoskeleton that allowed a paralyzed man to kick the first ball of the 2014 World Cup. What’s he working on now? Building ways for two minds (rats and monkeys, for now) to send messages brain to brain. Watch to the end for an experiment that, as he says, will go to "the limit of your imagination."

Capão da Canoa


HBP Guidelines

Looser Hypertension Guidelines Could Still Save Lives, $$

Even the less aggressive 2014 targets would be better than
the status quo, study shows.
If new and controversial treatment recommendations for adults with hypertension
were fully implemented, there would be 13,000 fewer deaths annually than if the
status quo was continued, claims a new study that simulated costs over 10 years.

Staff Writer, MedPage Today

If new and controversial treatment recommendations for adults with hypertension were fully implemented, there would be 13,000 fewer deaths annually than if the status quo was continued, claims a new
study that simulated costs over 10 years.
The new recommendations made three major changes, said the study authors:
  • A greater focus on diastolic, rather than systolic blood pressure
    for adults under 60
  • More conservative blood pressure goals for those ages 60 and over
  • More conservative blood pressure goals for patients with diabetes
    or chronic kidney disease

Memory and worm genomics

Genome-wide search reveals >750 worm genes involved in long-term memory

January 25, 2015
Whole-genome expression data reveals new genes involved in long-term memory formation in worms (credit: Murphy lab)
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./.../

Extending telomers

Scientists extend telomeres to slow cell aging

A modified RNA that encodes a telomere-extending protein to cultured human cell yielded large numbers of cells for study
January 26, 2015
Human chromosomes (gray) capped by telomeres (white) (credit: Wikimedia Commons)
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.


Carbon nanotubes found to create blood clots in medical devices

January 26, 2015
Scanning electron micrographs of multiwall-carbon-nanotube-modified PVC prior to (top) and after (bottom) perfusion, showing platelet aggregation (credit: Alan M. Gaffney et al./Nanomedicine)
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./.../

Cafeine: Astrocytes receptors

Targeting specific astrocyte brain-cell receptors found to boost memory in mice

A drug that targets those receptors could improve memory in Alzheimer's disease
January 27, 2015
Astrocytes are stained in red, the A2A receptors in green, the overlap between the two shows as yellow, and the cell nuclei are in blue (credit: Anna Orr/Gladstone Institutes)
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./.../

Anticholinergics and dementia

Higher dementia risk linked to more use of common drugs

January 27, 2015
(Credit: iStock)
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.

diabetes treatment

Probiotic treats diabetes in rats, could lead to human remedy

Lowers glucose levels by 30 percent; could be delivered as pill instead of injections
January 29, 2015
This image shows a rat intestinal epithelial cell reprogrammed to express insulin (green). The cell nucleus is stained blue. (Credit: Franklin F. Duan et al./Diabetes)
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..
A 2003 study led by Atsushi Suzuki of the University of Tsukuba, Japan, first demonstrated that when exposed to a protein called Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), intestinal epithelial cells (which cover the guts) are converted into insulin-producing cells.

Deep-brain imaging

Deep-brain imaging reveals which nearly identical neurons are associated with specific behaviors

More precise mapping of how individual neurons interact in the brain
January 30, 2015
Each image is of the same exact neurons of a genetically defined group of cells. But some (left) fire while mice search for food; others (right) fire while the mice eat food. Scale bars, 100 micrometers. (Credit: Garret Stuber, PhD)
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

Design facilitando comunicação

Referência da Dra. Ana Lúcia Robinson Achutti

Portuguesa usa o design para se comunicar com os avós que têm Alzheimer

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

End of the World

A gigantic mushroom cloud billowing over land in the 1940s

Doomsday Clock Set at 3 Minutes to Midnight

Humanity's failure to reduce global nuclear arsenals as well as climate change prompted the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to advance their warning about our proximity to a potentially civilization-ending catastrophe 

A gigantic mushroom cloud billowed over Nagasaki, Japan, when an atomic bomb was dropped on the city in 1945. 
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]/.../

New Scientist: The Brain

Introduction: The human brain

The brain is the most complex organ in the human body, and perhaps the most remarkable. Start finding out how it works with our beginner's guide

Portable mind-reader gives voice to locked-in people

THIS WEEK:  16:00 29 January 2015
Once only possible in an MRI scanner, vibrating pads and electrode caps could soon help locked-in people communicate on a day-to-day basis/.../

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Analfabetismo Político (B.Brecht)

Encontrei entre meus recortes guardados estes parágrafos do Bertolt Brecht e aproveito para repassar aos amigos.


 Were Cellular Powerhouses Once Parasites?Thomas Fuchs

Mitochondria may have started out stealing energy rather than producing it

Mitochondria, the organelles known to every junior high school student as “the powerhouses of the cell,” go back some two billion years. Although these energy producers were identified in the 1800s, how they became fixtures in cells is still under debate.
Mitochondria's ancestor was a free-living bacterium that another single-celled organism ingested. Most biologists think that the bacterium benefited the host: in one hypothesis, these premitochondria supplied hydrogen to make energy. Other researchers think that when atmospheric oxygen rose sharply in that era, anaerobic cells needed the bacteria to clear out the gas, which is toxic to them. However the match was made, the two lived so harmoniously that they eventually became mutually dependent and formed a long-term relationship./.../

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Robert Frederick Schilling (01/19/1919 - 30/09/2014)

Obituary: Robert Frederick Schilling, haematologist & inventor of Schilling Test

2690 - AMICOR 17

unlikelihood of being

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 17 horas
The incredible unlikelihood of beingJuly 24, 2014 *[+]* (credit: iStock) Hello Ray, The universe existed several billion years before humans were conscious, and will exist several billion years after we are conscious. So, it is statistically improbable for the chronological timeline of the universe to be located at this precise moment, when we are conscious, that is, an 80 year lifespan within some 30 billion years. Are you aware of any theories, besides survivorship bias from statistics, that could address this question? Why humans happened to be alive during precise moments in the dev... mais »

brain’s genetic codes for aging

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 18 horas
Global ENIGMA consortium cracks brain’s genetic codes for aging Finds 8 common gene mutations leading to brain aging in over 30,000 brain scans that may one day unlock mysteries of Alzheimer’s, autism, and other neurological disorders January 23, 2015 (Credit: ENIGMA) In the largest collaborative study of the brain to date, about 300 researchers in a global consortium of 190 institutions identified eight common genetic mutations that appear to age the brain an average of three years. The discovery could lead to targeted therapies and interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and... mais »

Richest 1%and the rest

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há um dia
Richest 1% to own more than rest of world, Oxfam says COMMENTS (1933) Jump media player Media player help The wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world's population, according to a study by anti-poverty charity Oxfam. The charity's research shows that the share of the world's wealth owned by the richest 1% increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% last year. On current trends, Oxfam says it expects the wealthiest 1% to own more than 50% of the world's wealth by 2016. The research coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Out of media player. Press enter... mais »

Elderly Diabetics

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há um dia
Glycemic Control Too Tight in Elderly Diabetics with Dementia Marlene Busko January 22, 2015 - Comment - - - EDITORS' RECOMMENDATIONS - New Research Suggests Diabetes Overtreatment in Older Adults - New IDF Guidelines Target Diabetes Care in the Elderly - Hypoglycemia Common, Rivaling CVD, in Old-Age Diabetes In a large study of older male veterans with type 2 diabetes and dementia, about half had HbA1c levels below 7%, even though guidelines caution against such tight glycemic control in this type of patient population. Moreover, three-quarters of the pat... mais »

National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há um dia
Web version / Version web [image: Forward icon] Forward / Transférer A Year in Review As we begin 2015, I want to share with you some highlights from 2014 and what the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health has planned for 2015. Our focus continues to be to translate useful knowledge to help public health organizations and practitioners advance health equity within their public health practice. Last year, we launched a Health Equity Specialist Network to support knowledge exchange among the growing number of public health staff with a dedicated focus on determinants ... mais »

blood stem cells taking root

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há um dia
Live zebrafish imaging captures how blood stem cells take root in the bodyJanuary 19, 2015 *[+]* This image captures a blood stem cell (green) as it is “cuddled,” en route to taking root in a zebrafish (credit: Boston Children’s Hospital) A see-through zebrafish and enhanced imaging provide the first direct glimpse of how blood stem cells take root in the body to generate blood. Reporting in the journal *Cell*, researchers in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Stem Cell Research Program describe a surprisingly dynamic system that offers several clues for improving bone marrow transplants in ... mais »


Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 2 dias
Memcomputers: Faster, More Energy-Efficient Devices That Work Like a Human Brain New types of electronic components, closer to neurons than to transistors, are leading to tremendously efficient and faster “memcomputing” Jan 20, 2015 |By Massimiliano Di Ventra and Yuriy V. Pershin *Adam Simpson* - [image: memcomputing] When we wrote the words you are now reading, we were typing on the best computers that technology now offers: machines that are terribly wasteful of energy and slow when tackling important scientific calculations. And they are typical of every computer that exi... mais »

Roots of terrorism

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 2 dias
Anthropologist Seeks the Roots of Terrorism In spite of massive challenges, Scott Atran has managed to conduct extensive field interviews with would-be and convicted terrorists January 20, 2015 |By Sara Reardon and Nature magazine Scott Atran during a visit to Damascus to conduct fieldwork. *Credit: Richard Davis/Artis Research* In the wake of terrorist attacks last week on the French satirical magazine *Charlie Hebdo* and a Paris supermarket, the world has struggled to understand the combination of religion, European culture and influence from terrorist organizations that drove the... mais »

Aristocracy: intellectual capital

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 2 dias
America’s new aristocracy As the importance of intellectual capital grows, privilege has become increasingly heritableJan 24th 2015 | From the print edition[image: Timekeeper] WHEN the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination line up on stage for their first debate in August, there may be three contenders whose fathers also ran for president. Whoever wins may face the wife of a former president next year. It is odd that a country founded on the principle of hostility to inherited status should be so tolerant of dynasties. Because America never had kings or lords, it som... mais »

missão social da educação médica

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 3 dias
De: Francisco Arsego de Oliveira 16:41 (Há 16 horas) para saude-urbana Em setembro, participei de uma interessante reunião em Manaus, promovida pela OPAS, sobre a missão social da educação médica em busca da equidade. Saiu recentemente a página desse encontro, com as palestras e outros documentos. As melhores palestras (além da minha, é claro... hahaha) foram do Arthur Kaufman e do Daniel Blumenthal. Recomendo fortemente! O link é o seguinte:

Too much sitting

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 3 dias
*Too Much Sitting Increases Mortality Risk Despite Exercise**Ann Intern Med*. 2015;162:123-132, 146-147.Jenni Laidman. January 20, 2015 Prolonged sitting was associated with higher mortality from all causes, as well as increased incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes, even among people who exercise regularly, according to a meta-analysis published in the January 20 issue of the *Annals of Internal Medicine*. However, the analysis of 47 previously published articles also shows that the association between all-cause mortality and sedentary behavior is greatest... mais »

Rain distinctive smell

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 4 dias
Slow-mo video of raindrops reveals how rain gets its distinctive smell By Rachel Feltman January 16 Petrichor: It's a great word and an even better smell — the one that hangs in the air after a rain storm. By filming raindrops in super-slow-motion, MIT researchers think they've figured out how this smell works.

Screening for Diseases

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 4 dias
[SDOH] John Ioannidis: "Screening for diseases that can lead to death typically does not prolong life substantially; a few screening tests may avert some deaths caused by the disease being screened, but even then it is difficult to document an improvement in overall survival" Entrada x From: Mohammad Zakaria Pezeshki 06:42 (Há 8 horas) *Mohammad Zakaria Pezeshki, M.D.Associate ProfessorDepartment of Community Medicine,Tabriz Medical School, Golgasht Avenue, Tabriz, Iran,Tel: 0098 411 336 4... mais »

Companheiros de JUC

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR EXTENSION - Há uma semana
Nesta semana faleceram dois companheiros de Juventude Universitária Católica da década de 50. Sérgio Pilla Grossi, também médico, formado um ano antes de mim. Também Darcy Dillemburg, físico, era o presidente quando ingressei em 1952. Nas fotos: Reunião de diretoria com nosso dirigente Cônego Alberto Etges, depois Bispo de Santa Cruz. Ao lado aparece Darcy com sua esposa Cecilia e do outro lado Mário Bertoni, psiquiatra falecido tragicamente há muitos anos. Ao meu lado está Valderês. Na outra foto está Sérgio, bem à esquerda, em excursão que fizemos à Florianópolis.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

unlikelihood of being

The incredible unlikelihood of being

July 24, 2014
(credit: iStock)
Hello Ray,
The universe existed several billion years before humans were conscious, and will exist several billion years after we are conscious.
So, it is statistically improbable for the chronological timeline of the universe to be located at this precise moment, when we are conscious, that is, an 80 year lifespan within some 30 billion years.
Are you aware of any theories, besides survivorship bias from statistics, that could address this question?
Why humans happened to be alive during precise moments in the development timeline of the universe?
The universe developed before our birth, and will continue on.
To clarify, by improbable I mean extremely low probability. Empirical probability would say, “I’m alive, therefore the universe coincidentally exists at the moment during which I’m alive. And that is all there is to it.”
However, this coincidence seems so unlikely, in terms of probability, that it makes me to wonder if there are other theories you know of to explain this coincidence, whether from philosophy or physics.