Here are some cool news items … enjoy!

Every Cell in Your Body Has the Same DNA. Except It Doesn’, as reported by Carl Zimmer in the Science section of The New York Times, 21 May 2018.  Woooo, this is fascinating!  

Over the course of decades, it has become clear that the genome doesn’t just vary from person to person. It also varies from cell to cell. The condition is not uncommon: We are all mosaics.

Preliminary studies suggest that mosaicism underlies many other diseases. Last year, Christopher Walsh, a geneticist at Harvard University, and his colleagues published evidence that mosaic mutations may raise the risk of autism. But scientists are also finding that mosaicism does not automatically equal disease. In fact, it’s the norm. When a fertilized egg — known as a zygote — starts dividing in the womb, many of its early descendant cells end up with the wrong number of chromosomes. Some are accidentally duplicated, and others lost. Most of these unbalanced cells divide only slowly or die off altogether, while the normal cells multiply far faster. But a surprising number of embryos survive with some variety in their chromosomes.

Read more:  Every Cell in Your Body Has the Same DNA. Except It Doesn’t.

Along these lines, The Thing Inside Your Cells That Might Determine How Long You Live was reported by JoAnna Klein in the Science section of The New York Times, 20 May 2018. 

You may have forgotten this from biology class, but the nucleolus is the cell’s ribosome factory. Ribosomes are like micro-machines that make proteins that cells then use for purposes like building walls, forming hairs, making memories, communicating and starting, stopping and slowing down reactions that help a cell stay functioning. It uses about 80 percent of a cell’s energy for this work. But there’s more to the nucleolus than just making ribosomes.

If building a cell were like building a building, and the DNA contained the blueprint, the nucleolus would be the construction manager or engineer. “It knows the supply chain, coordinates all the jobs of building, does quality control checks and makes sure things continue to work well,” said Dr. Adam Antebi, a cellular biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany. He’s an author of a new review published last week in Trends in Cell Biology that examines all the new ways that researchers have fallen in love with the nucleolus — especially its role in aging.

Read more: The Thing Inside Your Cells That Might Determine How Long You Live

 

American Healthcare Doesn’t Care About Curing Anything, reported by Megan E. Holstein on Medium.com (subscription site), 15 May, 2018.

This is disheartening, but worth being aware. 

Today while cooking breakfast, I saw a magazine on my kitchen island open to this ad. This ad represents everything that is wrong with America. This ad’s message is this:

When you overeat, your body is damaged by heartburn. Heartburn causes pain as a warning message. Nexium allows you to ignore this message and continue damaging yourself by engorging on pizza endlessly.

That’s what healthcare is like in America. When our health deteriorates, we don’t address the causes of our problems (like our sedentary, unhealthy lifestyles). We go to the pharmacy, where doctors prescribe and dispense pills that allow us to ignore it.

The author’s commentary:

This is why homeopathic medicine has a strong and growing following. It isn’t because Americans have suddenly come over with an anti-science fever. It’s because our doctors and our medical system aren’t spending enough energy researching these things. Yes, a lot of homeopathic medicine is complete nonsense. But I’d rather try 50 homeopathic remedies to find the one that reverses my gut damage than spend my entire life on pills attempting to manage the symptoms. It would be great if the healthcare system researched for me, so I didn’t have to, but they aren’t. It’s left up to me.

So, to other chronically ill people: I urge you to look outside the pills which manage your symptoms. Try wacky diets or odd lifestyle interventions. Most of them are going to be crap, but one or two of them aren’t.

To everyone at large: Take care of your bodies. Listen to what they tell you. If you feel yourself getting sick or tired, don’t cram your body full of drugs, listen to it. Give it what it needs.

To the medical establishment: Stop stuffing us full of pills that make our symptoms go away and get us out of your offices. That’s like giving a baby whiskey to make it stop crying. Please, take care of us instead. We depend on you.

 

Do You Know the Best Way to Take At-Home BP? is a great article by Dr. Anthony Pearson, on the specific guidelines for taking your own blood pressure readings at home.  WISE information!

  • Remain still
  • Avoid smoking, caffeinated beverages, or exercise within 30 minutes before BP measurements
  • Ensure ≥5 minutes of quiet rest before BP measurements
  • Sit with the back straight and supported (on a straight-backed dining chair, for example, rather than a sofa)
  • Sit with the feet flat on the floor and legs uncrossed
  • Keep the arm supported on a flat surface (such as a table), with the upper arm at heart level
  • The bottom of the cuff should be placed directly above the antecubital fossa (bend of the elbow)
  • Take at least two readings 1 minute apart in the morning before taking medications and in the evening before supper. Optimally, measure and record BP daily. Ideally, obtain weekly BP readings beginning 2 weeks after a change in the treatment regimen and during the week before a clinic visit
  • Record all readings accurately
  • Monitors with built-in memory should be brought to all clinic appointments
 

And the interesting side issue and discussion:  It turns out there are good studies showing that leg crossing raises your blood pressure.

 

Read more:  Do You Know the Best Way to Take At-Home BP?

 

10 Facts You May Not Know About Hemoglobin A1C, from ASweetLife.org in May 2018,  is a helpful little primer about the hemoglobin A1c lab test that we all know so very well.

A hemoglobin A1C blood test reflects a person’s average blood sugar levels over the course of about three months. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen, and the A1C test measures how much sugar has “stuck” to those cells. The test is used both to diagnose and monitor Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

For example:

  • A1C test goes by many other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c.
  • The A in A1C stands for adult.
  • In 2013, the FDA approved the first A1C test for diagnosing diabetes.

Read more:  10 Facts You May Not Know About Hemoglobin A1C

 

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