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Cigarette smoke from clothes can damage brain, liver

Evolution of smoking...

My parents both smoked, and I always complained it was making me sick. My mother accused me of “just wanting attention!” Yeah, I wanted her to pay attention and stop making me sick.

“Medical Daily is pleased to announce it will soon be part of Newsweek. There, you will find the same stories on the latest news about health, fitness, nutrition, and relationships to enhance your life.” Cigarette smoke seeps into everything—clothing, furniture, rugs. Now, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, suggest that even this third-hand smoke (THS)… Continue Reading →



I was just arguing with a friend about this. He thought I would be a lot more productive if I didn’t watch so much teevee.

I said that was how my brain rests, and that it actually made me more productive.

Now there’s a whole book about resting your brain, which I am all for! (It’s on my Amazon wish list and my birthday’s in two weeks. Just saying.) And Ian Welsh has reviewed it:

Too many people today think that working more equals working better. It’s not that that’s never the case; in many jobs and disciplines, the simplest and best way to increase what you get done is to just add more hours.

But that prescription, startlingly popular among many, has always struck me as dubious when it comes to anything creative. Speaking personally, even when perfectly healthy and happy, after more than about four hours of concentrated creative work my brain turns to mush. Work done after that time is not only non-productive, it’s likely to be so filled with mistakes that it’s counterproductive.

If I want to work more than that, the best strategy is to work about three hours and then rest. Best is to take a full sleep cycle nap of about 90 minutes to two hours. Then I can do another two to three hours.

And that’s it.

Further, the best strategy when working on a specific project which requires me to come up with ideas is to completely splurge, learning everything I can about the subject, over however long that takes (in four to five hour daily segments), and then to do something else.

The “something else,” and ideally that involves not work, but rest or play, is necessary, and it is during that time at some point, perhaps in the shower, after a nap, or during a long walk, that the key ideas will occur. They rarely occur during the study period, unless they are fairly obvious.

This is the prescription given by Graham Wallas in The Art of Thought and far more succinctly by ad-man James Webb Young in A Technique For Producing Ideas and it is at the core of Rest:

Prepare by immersing yourself.
Try to solve the problem.
Give up and rest.


Does marijuana affect your sleep?

Medical Marijuana License to Receive Marijuana Treatment

By Deirdre Conroy, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Michigan. Results may vary. Stokkete/ If you speak to someone who has suffered from insomnia at all as an adult, chances are good that person has either tried using marijuana, or cannabis, for sleep or has thought about it. This is reflected in the many variations… Continue Reading →

The FDA says MDMA is a ‘breakthrough’ drug for PTSD patients

MDMA (21)

It’s a big step forward for a controversial treatment. ‘Molly’ tablets often don’t contain much MDMA, because they’re packed with fillers. The purest way to get MDMA is in crystal form. Depositphotos Ecstasy doesn’t sound like something you do in a doctor’s office. But the Food and Drug Administration wants that to change. The FDA just… Continue Reading →

New U.S. study confirms sports-related concussions more common in girls in sports played by both genders


 A new study published in the Journal of Athletic Training claims that girls are 56 percent more likely to sustain concussions in high school sports that are played by both girls and boys, including softball, cross-country, soccer, crew, lacrosse, baseball and basketball.

The concussion rates in girls were four times that of boys in softball and baseball. However, boys are less likely to report occurrences than girls are, which may account for the discrepancy, according to the authors of the study.

The study was conducted by Dr. Zachary Y. Kerr at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill using data from NATION (the National Athletic Treatment, Injury and Outcomes Network). Kerr and his team evaluated concussion rates between 2011 and 2014 in 27 sports played at 147 high schools in 26 states across the U.S.

They found that there were four concussions in all sports per 10,000 athletes playing in both practices and competitions. In addition, per 10,000 athletes, there were:

  • 9.21 concussions in football
  • 6.65 concussions in boys’ lacrosse
  • 6.11 concussions in girls’ soccer

Sixty percent of the boys’ concussions, and 40 percent of the girls’ concussions, were the result of player-to-player contact. The most common cause of concussions in girls was improper contact with their equipment.

The authors suggested that in soccer, there is a larger ratio between the size of the ball and girls’ necks as compared to the size of boys’ necks; this may explain the higher rate of concussions in girls’ soccer than in boys’ soccer.


Repeat injuries were reported in only three percent of the injuries; these were most common in girls’ field hockey, followed closely by football and girls’ lacrosse. No concussions were reported in the following sports: swimming and diving, cross-country, golf and boys’ crew.

Also, concussions were much more common — up to three times — when the athletes were competing, rather than just practicing.

Furthermore, injuries in high school athletes were higher in boys’ soccer and football than in collegiate athletes, suggesting the need for greater preventative measures, player training for safer blocking and tackling, and game rules preventing or limiting risky contact, and awareness among younger athletes.

Symptoms of concussions, which usually disappear in two weeks, include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Dizziness

However, nearly 25 percent of these students required more than 28 days to recover.

Attorney Sean Domnick commented, “With more than eight million high school students playing sports every year, and more than two million of these students competing in high-risk sports, parents, schools and student-athletes need to be more aware of the risks associated with these activities and proactively prevent situations that will lead to injury.”



My life in hospitals

Front desk

I didn’t get any sleep at all Tuesday night, because I had this throbbing pain in my calf and I began to worry it was a blood clot.

But I had to work Wednesday morning, and then I was supposed to drive to a friend’s house for a few days off. Instead, I spent several hours in Penn’s emergency room. They finally said they couldn’t find anything on the ultrasound, but my blood test came back positive. So I’m supposed to have a followup.

I’m not all that worried, because I quickly came across research showing a high false-positive test in people over 60.

The guy who took my blood told me he voted for Gary Johnson. “I really wanted Bernie, and I hate Hillary. No way was I voting for her,” he said.

“You’re voting as if we have a parliamentary system. You handed your vote to Trump,” I said, testy.

“That’s what we need: a third party,” he said.

“And how do we do that without a constitutional convention, which is exactly what the Kochs and the Mercers want?” I said. “Most states are controlled by Republicans. You have no fucking idea what harm that could do.” I could feel my blood boil.

That why I’m off to a friend’s house today, and I am going to try to unplug for a few days. Boohunney and Ron will be filling in, so be good and don’t wreck the place while I’m gone. No keggers!

Drug treatments didn’t work. Can a simple diet help change these children’s lives?

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In a first, scientists rid human embryos of a potentially fatal gene mutation by editing their DNA


Using a powerful gene-editing technique, scientists have rid human embryos of a mutation that causes an inherited form of heart disease often deadly to healthy young athletes and adults in their prime. The experiment marks the first time that scientists have altered the human genome to ensure a disease-causing mutation would disappear not only from the… Continue Reading →

Oh, look

You really weren’t making it all up!

Imagine feeling horribly sick, day after day, yet doctors repeatedly tell you they can’t find anything wrong. That typically happens to people with the mysterious illness commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Research findings from Stanford University released Monday could point the way to a long-sought diagnostic laboratory test for the condition, and possibly a first-ever treatment.

Believed to affect at least a million people in the U.S., the condition is now increasingly termed myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME/CFS for short.

Many patients see the name “chronic fatigue syndrome” as trivializing and misleading, giving the impression that they’re simply tired or depressed. In fact, they’re experiencing profound exhaustion that isn’t relieved with sleep, flu-like symptoms, muscle pain, “brain fog” and various other physical symptoms, all of which characteristically worsen with even minor exertion. (A 2015 Institute of Medicine report proposed the name “systemic exertion intolerance disease,” but it hasn’t really stuck.)

The symptoms can range from mild to extremely severe, with about a quarter of patients so ill they’re mostly or completely confined to bed. Now, the Stanford researchers have linked ME/CFS to variations in certain cytokines, immune-signaling proteins, that track with illness severity. The study results were published online Monday in the the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Huge drop in men’s sperm levels confirmed by new study – here are the facts

Sperm count declining in the West: study

File 20170726 7205 1f8ybd5


Chris Barratt, University of Dundee

Sperm count in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand declined by 50-60% between 1973 and 2011, according to a new study from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Surprisingly, the study, which analysed data on the sperm counts of 42,935 men, found no decline in sperm counts in men from Asia, Africa and South America, although there was limited data from these areas.

Overall, this is a very disturbing report. There has been a longstanding debate among scientists as to whether sperm counts have decreased or not. But what’s different about this study is the quality of the analysis. It was done in a systematic manner, accounting for several of the problems that had affected previous studies, such as the method used to count sperm and comparing studies performed sometimes decades apart. As such, most experts agree that the data presented is of a high quality and that the conclusions, although alarming, are reliable.

So what is going on? There has been concern for a number of years about an increase in abnormalities in male reproductive health, such as testicular cancer. The decline in sperm counts is consistent with these increases and this adds weight to the concept that male reproductive health is under attack and is declining rapidly.

In fact, if the data on sperm counts is extrapolated to its logical conclusion, men will have little or no reproductive capacity from 2060 onwards. The most rational explanation for the decline in male reproductive health is the changes in the environment. Current research suggests that the male foetus is particularly susceptible to exposure to pollutants and so changes that occur early in foetal life can have a very significant effect on the adult.

Could environmental pollutants be to blame?

What can be done?

The simple answer is that we need much more research to find out why this decline in sperm count is happening. We cannot be complacent about the potential negative effect on fertility and must now urgently rally to substantially increase the research effort into male reproductive health.

Also, although the prevailing evidence shows a decline in reproductive health, not all studies show this; there are some geographical differences. It will be critical to determine what the key differences between geographical regions are – such as genetic differences and exposure to specific pollutants – so we can then examine treatment strategies to limit these negative effects.

The ConversationIf it’s the foetus that is mainly affected, what can the adult man do? Even in adults, exposure to chemicals, such as bisphenol A, which are thought to affect fertility, can have a negative effect, so men should limit their exposure to toxic chemicals. This includes stopping cigarette smoking. Also, a healthy lifestyle is very important as there is a known link between obesity and reduced sperm count.

Chris Barratt, Professor of Reproductive Medicine, University of Dundee

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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