Summary of “Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for You? A Doctor Weighs In”

Some people love apple cider vinegar and believe it to be an aid to weight loss.
Our friends and colleagues will regale us with stories of the healing power of apple cider vinegar for whatever problem we may have just mentioned.
As a practicing physician and professor of medicine, people ask me about the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar all the time.
A few examples are that of the famous Greek physician Hippocrates, who recommended vinegar for the treatment of cough and colds, and that of the Italian physician Tommaso Del Garbo, who, during an outbreak of plague in 1348, washed his hands, face and mouth with vinegar in the hopes of preventing infection.
The most reliable evidence for the health benefits of vinegar come from a few humans studies involving apple cider vinegar.
One study demonstrated that apple cider vinegar can improve after-meal blood glucose levels in insulin-resistant subjects.
In 11 people who were “Pre-diabetic,” drinking 20 milliliters, a little more than one tablespoon, of apple cider vinegar lowered their blood sugar levels 30-60 minutes after eating more than a placebo did.
Unless you are drinking excessive amounts of it, or drinking a high acetic acid concentration vinegar such as distilled white vinegar used for cleaning, or rubbing it in your eyes, or heating it in a lead vat as the Romans did to make it sweet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The hidden links between mental disorders”

In 2018, psychiatrist Oleguer Plana-Ripoll was wrestling with a puzzling fact about mental disorders.
Every single mental disorder predisposed the patient to every other mental disorder – no matter how distinct the symptoms1.
Perhaps there are several dimensions of mental illness – so, depending on how a person scores on each dimension, they might be more prone to some disorders than to others.
The details are still fuzzy, but most psychiatrists agree that one thing is clear: the old system of categorizing mental disorders into neat boxes does not work.
Someone might be prone to mood disorders such as anxiety, but not to thought disorders such as schizophrenia.
A team led by geneticist Benjamin Neale at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and psychiatrist Aiden Corvin at Trinity College Dublin found in 2018 that neurological disorders such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis are genetically distinct from psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression8.
Some recent studies focused instead on extremely rare variants, which do suggest genetic differences between disorders.
If disorders share symptoms, or co-occur, and if many genes are implicated in multiple disorders, then maybe there is a single factor that predisposes people to psychopathology.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Dynasties Still Run the World”

Our study defined “Political family” as having either a blood or marital tie to someone already involved in politics, whether as a judge, party official, bureaucrat, lawmaker, president or activist.
Family Connections Matter Worldwide Family political connections mattered in all the regions we studied, in monarchies and democracies, and in rich countries and poor ones.
Even in democracies – where citizens may choose their leaders in free and fair elections – belonging to a political family is a meaningful advantage.
With North America excluded, Europe topped the list of leaders from political families.
Of the 29 African executives with family ties to politics, 18 – including Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta – were related to former presidents or prime ministers.
Women who do attain highest office are much more likely to belong to political families than their male counterparts.
Political Family Ties Start With Men The female presidents and prime ministers who came from political families were, without exception, the first woman in their family to hold office.
Consider this: 71 percent of all the female world leaders in our study attained highest office without any family connections to politics.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Antibody Studies Can Tell You”

These studies all were based on antibody tests, which are diagnostics that can look in a person’s blood and see if there is evidence of prior infection.
We’re all going to be hearing far more about antibody tests and surveys – and maybe even participating in them – in the coming months.
“The problem is there are people who will think, ‘Oh, yeah, I had this nasty flu, or cough, or whatever, and I think I had it.’ And if you said to them, ‘Would you like to get tested?’ They would say, ‘Abso-frickin-lutely!'” said Marm Kilpatrick, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz who studies infectious diseases.
Tons of antibody tests have hit the market over the past few weeks, and their accuracy is still being scrutinized.
A columnist wrote that antibody testing “Proves we’ve been had!” adding: “We’ve been told that the true death rate is 7.4% in New York. We were told that this was worse than the flu. But none of these ‘truths’ turns out to be so. The death rate in New York State isn’t 7.4%, it is actually 0.75%.”.
Antibody tests aren’t ready to be used to issue “Immunity passports.”
As antibody tests become more widely available, there’ll naturally be a temptation to start using the tests for ourselves on an individual basis, to determine if we’re immune and can go about our lives, free of the paranoia and fear that have been plaguing us for the past two months.
The antibody tests are best used in these population-wide surveys, to better understand the spread of the disease, how it’s being transmitted and regional infection fatality rates.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Benefits of Playing Music Help Your Brain More Than Any Other Activity”

If these brain games don’t work, then what will keep your brain sharp? The answer? Learning to play a musical instrument.
Science has shown that musical training can change brain structure and function for the better.
Unlike brain games, playing an instrument is a rich and complex experience.
Brain scans have been able to identify the difference in brain structure between musicians and non-musicians.
Ultimately, longitudinal studies showed that children who do 14 months of musical training displayed more powerful structural and functional brain changes.
These studies prove that learning a musical instrument increases gray matter volume in various brain regions, It also strengthens the long-range connections between them.
“It’s a strong cognitive stimulus that grows the brain in a way that nothing else does, and the evidence that musical training enhances things like working memory and language is very robust.”
Studies have found that short bursts of musical training increase the blood flow to the left hemisphere of the brain.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Solar Power’s Benefits Don’t Shine Equally on Everyone”

Plummeting costs have helped solar power rapidly expand in the past decade, with U.S. residential installation growing by more than 50 percent each year between 2010 and 2016.
Reasons for the disparity remain unclear, but the latest findings suggest programs aimed at boosting solar power in disadvantaged communities need to consider more than just income levels.
The civil rights group NAACP-inspired partly by local activists who formed a group called Soulardarity, which helped bring Highland Park its solar street lamps-launched a year-long 2018 Solar Equity Initiative aimed at improving solar energy access to marginalized communities, including racial and ethnic minorities.
Solar Disparities Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley saw a golden opportunity to study imbalances in solar power deployment through their access to data from Google’s Project Sunroof-an initiative that maps solar rooftop panels seen in satellite images-and demographic data from the U.S. Census.
The findings mesh with reports from industry and nongovernmental organizations, which have previously shown that a lack of diversity in the environmental and solar-power fields has hindered efforts to spread solar power’s benefits.
“This paper does highlight an energy injustice,” says Deborah Sunter, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. and co-author of the rooftop solar study, “Because there are certain communities that are missing out on the financial benefits that come with having rooftop solar: the tax incentives, the rebates, the profit from net metering.”
Officials also need to be aware of how small changes in policy can have indirect but significant impacts on programs aimed at bolstering solar power in disadvantaged communities.
Davis sees solar power as just one small piece of a bigger holistic approach to building sustainable neighborhoods, but she wants to make sure black communities are not left out of the economic transition to clean energy in the U.S. “Step back and create partnerships where money flows directly to frontline environmental justice community-based organizations,” Davis says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Hot Bath Has Benefits Similar to Exercise”

At Loughborough University we investigated the effect of a hot bath on blood sugar control and on energy expended.
The overall blood sugar response to both conditions was similar, but peak blood sugar after eating was about 10 percent lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised.
As type 2 diabetes is associated with reductions in nitric oxide availability, passive heating may help re-establish a healthier nitric oxide level and reduce blood pressure.
As well as the cardiovascular effects of passive heating, there is evidence to suggest that there may be beneficial metabolic effects as well – such as better control of blood sugar.
Hooper thought these effects may result from changes to blood flow as a result of passive heating, but he was unable to identify a specific mechanism by which their intervention led to these benefits.
With our study, we have tried to reignite interest in the health benefits that may be linked to passive heating.
Heat Shock Proteins Studies using animals may have identified how heating affects health.
Their levels rise following exercise and passive heating.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ostrich Beads Show 30,000-Year-Old Social Network”

“It’s a really good adaptation to a desert environment like the Kalahari, which has huge spatial and temporal variability in resource distribution,” says Brian Stewart, an archaeologist at the University of Michigan.
“It can be very rainy in one season and in the next absolutely dry, or it can be very rainy in your area and then 10 kilometers away, it’s just nothing.” According to new archaeological research led by Stewart, this kind of partnership-which acts as a kind of insurance against one side of the partnership having a down year-has been happening for at least 30,000 years old.
Stewart and his colleagues examined ostrich eggshell beads found during archaeological excavations at two high elevation rock-shelters in Lesotho, a country enclaved within South Africa.
Since the 1970s and 1980s, archaeologists have been finding finished beads made from ostrich eggshells at prehistoric campsites in the area, Stewart says, even though ostriches are notably absent from the region.
To figure out where the beads from Lesotho were created, Stewart and his colleagues examined their strontium isotope levels.
“Now with globalization and our food moving all over the place-we can eat avocados in December in Boston, for instance-our strontium signatures are all messed up,” Stewart says.
“The really surprising thing was just how far they were coming in from, and how long that long distance behavior was going on,” Stewart says.
“Often at the edge of risk-sharing systems, feeder routes extend to bring in goods from other areas by trade or barter and so the recipient does not know people at the source,” says Wiessner, who wasn’t involved in Stewart’s study but reviewed it for the journal.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Scientists Explain Why You Can’t Stop Going Back to the Same Places”

According to a 2018 study in Nature Human Behavior, the idea that a gang of pals would stick to just a small number of places isn’t just a sitcom trope – it’s the way we live in real life as well.
That’s not to say that the places we visit don’t ever change: More specifically, it’s that the number of places don’t change.
In the study, a team of mathematicians explains why, even if there are always new bars or restaurants you and your pals want to check out, you’ll always return to a maximum of 25 places at any given time.
The researchers found that this pattern – which they say is driven by a combination of human laziness and curiosity – holds true even when they open up the data set and include the places people visit on vacation.
“Our study shows that, while these places may change as our needs and circumstances evolve, their number does not,” co-author and City, University of London researcher Laura Alessandretti, Ph.D. explains to Inverse.
“When a place makes it to the set of one’s ‘favorite locations’ another place is abandoned – this result does not depend on how we define what is a ‘favorite location.'”.
Analyzing the locations that the participants consistently visited over two years, the researchers discovered that on average people stuck to 25 places.
“Our results show that there are universalities in the way that we balance the trade-off between the exploitation of familiar places and the exploration of new opportunities.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Cat Tracker’ study shows where pet cats go when they’re outside”

The goal of the massive international Cat Tracker project was simple: find out where pet cats go when they’re outside.
Researchers have tried to tackle this question in the past, either by following cats on foot or by putting radio-transmitters on collars around cats’ necks, but Cat Tracker was singular in its scale-nearly a thousand cats across four countries wore GPS trackers for a week to shed light on how far they range and where they go.
“Most of them spent all their time within 100 meters [330 feet] of their yard.” While it’s good news that most cats aren’t wandering into natural areas, the study reveals that pet cats nonetheless can cause ecological mayhem and put themselves in danger.
Michael Cove, a cat expert at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute who studied the effects of feral and free-roaming cats on endangered small mammals in the Florida Keys, lauded the study as “Quite an accomplishment.”
These intrepid explorers notwithstanding, the majority of pet cats have home ranges vastly smaller than feral cats or wild species like ocelots, the study finds.
Other findings from the study include that males travel more widely than females, intact cats more than neutered and spayed cats, younger cats more than senior cats, and country cats more than city slickers.
While the Cat Tracker study has increased our knowledge of the outside lives of housecats, the researchers say there is much more to be learned.
Knowing where cats go is an important advance, but to really understand their impact on the environment and vulnerability to threats, we need to know what they are actually doing.

The orginal article.