Summary of “Your Brain Has A Hunger Off Switch, And It May Be Possible To Switch It Off Faster”

A new study has located a set of brain cells that control appetite, and activating them by eating more of certain foods could be a key to losing weight.
The brain cells are called tanycytes and they’re found in a brain region called the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in how our bodies process what we eat into usable or storable energy.
The presence of these brain cells was already known, but this study shows for the first time that it may be possible to activate them by eating higher levels of particular nutrients.
The nutrients that appear to flick the hunger switch are two essential amino acids: lysine and arginine.
“Amino acid levels in blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” says Nicholas Dale, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Warwick and lead study author.
“Finding that tanycytes, located at the center of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
The researchers believe the findings could help stem the obesity epidemic by pointing to new ways of triggering appetite suppression.
Quoting from the study: “A more detailed understanding of how food intake and energy expenditure are determined in the brain may lead to the development of new strategies for overcoming the obesity epidemic and other metabolic disorders.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Your Brain Has A Hunger Off Switch, And It May Be Possible To Switch It Off Faster”

A new study has located a set of brain cells that control appetite, and activating them by eating more of certain foods could be a key to losing weight.
The brain cells are called tanycytes and they’re found in a brain region called the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in how our bodies process what we eat into usable or storable energy.
The presence of these brain cells was already known, but this study shows for the first time that it may be possible to activate them by eating higher levels of particular nutrients.
The nutrients that appear to flick the hunger switch are two essential amino acids: lysine and arginine.
“Amino acid levels in blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” says Nicholas Dale, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Warwick and lead study author.
“Finding that tanycytes, located at the center of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
The researchers believe the findings could help stem the obesity epidemic by pointing to new ways of triggering appetite suppression.
Quoting from the study: “A more detailed understanding of how food intake and energy expenditure are determined in the brain may lead to the development of new strategies for overcoming the obesity epidemic and other metabolic disorders.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Your Brain Has A Hunger Off Switch, And It May Be Possible To Switch It Off Faster”

A new study has located a set of brain cells that control appetite, and activating them by eating more of certain foods could be a key to losing weight.
The brain cells are called tanycytes and they’re found in a brain region called the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in how our bodies process what we eat into usable or storable energy.
The presence of these brain cells was already known, but this study shows for the first time that it may be possible to activate them by eating higher levels of particular nutrients.
The nutrients that appear to flick the hunger switch are two essential amino acids: lysine and arginine.
“Amino acid levels in blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” says Nicholas Dale, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Warwick and lead study author.
“Finding that tanycytes, located at the center of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
The researchers believe the findings could help stem the obesity epidemic by pointing to new ways of triggering appetite suppression.
Quoting from the study: “A more detailed understanding of how food intake and energy expenditure are determined in the brain may lead to the development of new strategies for overcoming the obesity epidemic and other metabolic disorders.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Seven Pillars of Running Wisdom”

As a runner and running journalist, my own biases were obvious, but I tried to evaluate the scientific evidence as clearly as possible-for my own self-interest and longevity, if nothing else.
In many ways, the debate centered on the question of how much is “Too much.” It’s fairly obvious that running, say, eight hours a day isn’t likely to carry any additional health benefits compared to running one hour a day, and may well make you less healthy.
The bottom line? Endless studies show that running helps reduce the risk or severity of conditions ranging from glaucoma to Alzheimer’s-and the more running you do, the better off you are.
I also think running coach Steve Magness had a point when he wrote that running with GPS “Slackens the bond between perception and action.” Instead of speeding up or slowing down based on how you feel, you do it based on the feedback from a device that’s providing an imperfect estimation of how you feel.
One estimate I heard from University of Calgary running guru Benno Nigg was that “Too much, too soon” accounts for 80 percent of running injuries.
Over the course of my own running career, I was lucky enough to train with a series of great coaches, each with different perspectives and approaches.
There was a time, not so many years ago, when any mention of “Ideal” running form or “Proper” running shoes would spark a screaming match in the comments section of the blog.
The truth is that most studies that find gross inefficiencies in running form involve relatively inexperienced runners.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What We Learn When Two Ruthless Killers, Heart Disease and Cancer, Reveal a Common Root”

If inflammation triggers coronary disease, might targeting it directly – beyond simply reducing cholesterol – decrease the risk of heart attacks? Over the course of a decade, Libby and Ridker found themselves focusing on a molecule involved in inflammation called interleukin-1 beta.
In April 2011, Ridker’s team started enrolling 10,000 patients who carried signs of inflammation and were at very high risk for coronary disease in a randomized study to determine the effects of the inhibitor on heart disease and strokes.
Some element of inflammation that drives plaque formation in coronary disease is also driving cancer progression.
Inflammation at the nexus between cancer and heart disease? But of course, some of you must be thinking, with an exasperated nod.
An alternative-medicine industry daily peddles “Anti-inflammatory” diets – but which of these reduce inflammation, or what types of inflammation are affected, remains far from known.
There isn’t one inflammation: Lupus, tuberculosis and influenza all cause “Inflammation,” but each might provoke different or overlapping wings of immune responses.
Is it chronic or acute? Is there a “Right” kind of inflammation that protects us from infections and a “Wrong” kind that precipitates disease? Is it mediated “Adaptive” immunity – the type of immunity involving B and T cells that adapts to infections? Or “Innate” immunity, the more ancient phalanx of immune responses that is preprogrammed to fight certain pathogens?
What are the chances that one molecule, sitting at one corner of the immune response, acts as a switch for two utterly different diseases? It must be a quirk in our design, a barely visible chink in physiology that allows us to target inflammation in a manner that doesn’t kill or maim but acts just so, disabling two terrifying illnesses.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The dystopian vision that Westerners have about China is pretty backward”

I’m part of a group on Wechat called “The China Storytellers.” It is a group made up of 168 young, passionate Chinese journalists, most of whom have studied in the US. Most of us grew up reading English articles about China, usually written by people who are not Chinese themselves.
Did the world really need to hear another story about China’s horrible smog and lack of freedom and democracy? When Shuping’s story broke, we began to debate: Did the world really need to hear another story about China’s horrible smog and lack of freedom and democracy? Aren’t we tired of the rhetoric that dominates Western narratives about China-and couldn’t we, as a community familiar with the realities of both American and Chinese values and educational systems, change the narrative?
Many of the more than 300,000 Chinese students who study in the US feel the same way.
A small 2015 study from University of California at Irvine, published on the Journal of Studies in International Education, analyzed interviews and written surveys from 18 Chinese students and scholars at a public university in Hawaii.
The study found that “Some Chinese international students complain that although host students want to talk with them about China, they often exhibit misinformed, prejudiced and offensive views of Chinese current events.” That can make Chinese students feel defensive.
A larger survey of 960 Chinese students at Purdue University showed that 44% actually saw China more positively after studying abroad. Young Chinese people come to the US to experience life in a different culture, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to disown their own.
What we need are diverse voices, and more stories about ordinary Chinese people.
An earlier version of this piece reported that over 800,000 Chinese students study in the US. That referred to the number of Chinese students studying abroad around the world; in the US, the correct number is more than 300,000.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Crash course in the nature of mind”

We tend to believe, says Griffiths, a tall, skinny man with a mop of wavy white hair, that we are the voice in our heads-the voice that reminds us to floss, that nurses grudges and holds spirited debates on whether to eat the cheesecake: “There’s an ongoing dialogue, and very often we think that that dialogue is the mind. But if you sit with the mind, you realize the voice is saying all kinds of stuff and you may or may not agree with everything that it says.” Beyond that voice lies something else, Griffiths believes.
Ultimately, Griffiths believes, these experiments provide insight into the nature of consciousness.
Participants swallow a capsule of psilocybin and plunge into hours of singular intensity, accompanied by specially trained guides who monitor them and help them feel safe and nurtured, Griffiths says.
Psilocybin offers a sort of “Crash course” in the nature of the mind, Griffiths says.
The heightened sense of altruism and interconnectedness one experiences after taking psilocybin in the right conditions could help our society and the world, Griffiths says.
So how does psilocybin produce these powerful transformations? “We know quite a bit, but there’s a lot we don’t know,” says Griffiths.
Many psilocybin study participants report the classic hallmarks of a mystical experience, including a feeling of sacredness, interconnectedness, and a sense that the drug trip is more real than everyday life, Griffiths says.
Griffiths is hopeful that his work will eventually pave the way for people with life-threatening cancer to receive psilocybin as a treatment for anxiety or depression.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Study of 36,000 students backs Bill Gates’ favorite style of education”

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has said repeatedly that one of his favorite ways of teaching kids is by letting them guide their own education, typically with laptops or tablets, and moving the teacher more into the role of coach.
The style is known as “Personalized learning,” and a study involving 36,000 students just upheld it as a major driver of improvement in reading and math skills.
Conducted by the education consulting company Education Elements, the study spanned five districts across the US for 2-3 years, tracking how students performed on the NWEA MAP test.
Schools often use both hardware and software to help kids learn at their own pace and in the style they prefer most.
The math education tool backed by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that performs a similar function for multiplication and division and is used by 2 million kids nationwide.
DreamBox, in use by 2 million kids, helps kids make bigger improvements in math the longer they use it, a 2016 Harvard study found.
One study from the RAND Corporation found that among 62 schools using personalized learning, the majority of kids scored higher in math and reading comprehension compared to kids with teachers who stood at the head of the class and lectured to students all at once.
The study found personalized learning helped students: 90% of district leaders said students were more engaged with their education.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Massive genetic study shows how humans are evolving”

Ira Block/NGC. A huge genetic study that sought to pinpoint how the human genome is evolving suggests that natural selection is getting rid of harmful genetic mutations that shorten people’s lives.
The work, published in PLoS Biology1, analysed DNA from 215,000 people and is one of the first attempts to probe directly how humans are evolving over one or two generations.
To identify which bits of the human genome might be evolving, researchers scoured large US and UK genetic databases for mutations whose prevalence changed across different age groups.
“If a genetic variant influences survival, its frequency should change with the age of the surviving individuals,” says Hakhamanesh Mostafavi, an evolutionary biologist at Columbia University in New York City who led the study.
People who carry a harmful genetic variant die at a higher rate, so the variant becomes rarer in the older portion of the population.
Why these late-acting mutations might lower a person’s genetic fitness – their ability to reproduce and spread their genes – remains an open question.
Second, it’s possible that genetic variants that are explicitly bad in old age are also harmful – but more subtly – earlier in life.
The latest genetic evidence makes Pritchard think there is an evolutionary trade-off between fertility and longevity, which had previously been studied only in other animals.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Prolonged Sitting And Binge TV-Viewing May Take A Toll On Ability To Walk”

Prolonged Sitting And Binge TV-Viewing May Take A Toll On Ability To Walk : Shots – Health News If you sit too much during middle age – at work and at home – your ability to exercise or even walk in late decades is at risk, a study hints.
In a study of sitting and walking ability that surveyed people ages 50 to 71 across 8 to 10 years, those who tended to sit the most and move the least had more than three times the risk of difficulty walking by the end of the study, when compared to their more active counterparts.
Young bodies may rebound from prolonged sitting with an hour at the gym, she says.
“Before binge watching, at least when a show ended you got up and walked around,” DiPietro says.
Though being sedentary at work is also a risk, office employees tend to at least get up now and then, walk down the hall to the printer or restroom, and go to lunch, she says.
To measure the effect of prolonged sitting on mobility, DiPietro and colleagues took data from the large NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study of men and women ages 50 to 71.
King says she’s joined walking groups – including the national program Walk With A Doc – as a way to build more activity into her day.
“If I’m walking solo I’m probably walking at a more leisurely pace,” she says, “Because I tend to take a picture of the occasional wildflower, or the clouds that are in a wonderful formation.”

The orginal article.