Sleep Is Important to Weight Loss, Research Suggests (Yahoo! News)


From Yahoo! News: Sleep Is Important to Weight Loss, Research Suggests

In common weight-loss advice, "get more sleep," should figure just as prominently as "eat less" and "move more," two researchers in Canada argue.

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The researchers pointed to a 2010 study in which participants were randomly assigned to sleep either 5.5 hours or 8.5 hours every night for 14 days. They all cut their daily calorie intake by 680 calories, and slept in a lab. Participants who slept for 5.5 hours lost 55 percent less body fat, and 60 percent more of their lean body mass than those who slept for longer.

In other words, the sleep-deprived people held onto their fat tissue, and instead lost muscle.

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Microbes Benefit More Than Just The Gut : NPR (NPR.org)


From NPR's Science Friday, a report on research suggesting that some sinus problems might be treatable via probiotics. Microbes Benefit More Than Just The Gut : NPR (NPR.org)

Reporting in Science Translational Medicine, researchers write that healthy sinuses are populated by a diverse population of bacteria, including Lactobacillus species. Study author Susan Lynch discusses whether a microbial spray might be a good cure for the sniffles.

The abstract for the paper is available for free; the full text is behind a paywall.

The Farm Bill Should Help the Planet, Not Just Crops (New York Times)

In a New York Times op-ed, Mark Hertsgaard points out the climate disaster lurking in the pending farm bill: The Farm Bill Should Help the Planet, Not Just Crops

The proposed farm bill — Senate- or House-style, take your pick — would make American agriculture’s climate problem worse, in two ways. Not only would the bill accelerate global warming by encouraging more greenhouse gas emissions, it would make the nation’s farms more vulnerable to the impacts of those emissions.

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Both of the farm bill proposals would maintain agriculture’s large climate footprint, mainly by continuing to skew subsidies toward a mere handful of commodity crops....

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Farmers can best boost resilience to climate change, scientists say, by improving their soil’s fertility and capacity to retain moisture. That means cutting back on chemical fertilizers, which kill many of the microorganisms that ventilate soil, and shifting to compost and manure fertilizers and crop rotations.

Instead, leading lobbyists for agribusiness want to retain the current production system but shift the mounting climate risks to the taxpayer....

Relief for Severe Asthma, at a High Price (Well)


The Well reports on a fascinating treatment for severe asthma -- and the obstacles that insurers put in front of it. Relief for Severe Asthma, at a High Price

A new procedure provides relief to severe asthmatics when little else works, but it's expensive and insurers are reluctant to pay for it.

Low-Calorie Diet Doesn’t Prolong Life, Study of Monkeys Finds

The idea of caloric restriction as a life-extension strategy has been around for a while, but the evidence has never been good. Here's another blow against it.

Low-Calorie Diet Doesn’t Prolong Life, Study of Monkeys Finds

In a long-running study, rhesus monkeys whose caloric intake was restricted by 30 percent didn’t live any longer than their normal-weight peers.

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Prominent scientists sign declaration that animals have conscious awareness, just like us (io9)

Anthropocentrism -- the idea that humans are the center of the universe -- has been banished from cosmology and biology. Much of our knowledge of psychology and neurology is based on animal studies. Yet most people still have the idea that only humans have conscious awareness, and anthropocentrism remains entrenched in ethics. Perhaps the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness will help change that.

Prominent scientists sign declaration that animals have conscious awareness, just like us (io9)

An international group of prominent scientists has signed The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in which they are proclaiming their support for the idea that animals are conscious and aware to the degree that humans are — a list of animals that includes all mammals, birds, and even the octopus. But will this make us stop treating these animals in totally inhumane ways?

The full text of the declaration is at http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf.

New AIDS-like disease in Asians, not contagious (Yahoo! News)


From today's "OMG we're all going to die!" department, Yahoo! News reports on a mysterious new immune deficiency disease.

New AIDS-like disease in Asians, not contagious (Yahoo! News)

Researchers have identified a mysterious new disease that has left scores of people in Asia and some in the United States with AIDS-like symptoms even though they are not infected with HIV.

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The disease develops around age 50 on average but does not run in families, which makes it unlikely that a single gene is responsible, Browne said. Some patients have died of overwhelming infections, including some Asians now living in the U.S., although Browne could not estimate how many.

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The fact that nearly all the patients so far have been Asian or Asian-born people living elsewhere suggests that genetic factors and something in the environment such as an infection may trigger the disease, researchers conclude.

"Green Blade" recyclable wiper blades


Here's an interesting thing on the sustainability front: recyclable windshield wiper blades. (No idea if they're any good, though I'm going to buy a pair and I'll comment later. This is link to the manufacturer, not a retailer.)

Jamak Fabrication, one of the largest manufacturers of wiper blades, has created the Tripledge® GREEN Wiper Blade ‐ the first ever 100% fully recyclable wiper blade. The Tripledge® GREEN Wiper Blade is a high‐quality, durable, silicone blade produced so that all components can be recycled. Silicone is not a petroleum‐based product; therefore it is easily recyclable, unlike organic rubber squeegees. Jamak has created a unique technology which can repolymerize the silicone blade 100% back into a raw polymer product and make new silicone products immediately. No landfill. No partial recycling.

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JAMAK wants to encourage customers to recycle their Tripledge® GREEN Blades once they need to be replaced (The National Highway Transportation Board recommends that drivers change their wiper blades every year). When customers send in their old Tripledge blades to Jamak, the company will recycle them 100%!

Giving babies antibiotics could lead to obesity: study (Yahoo! News)

Giving babies antibiotics could lead to obesity: study (Yahoo! News)

Giving babies antibiotics before the age of six months could cause them to be chubby children, according to a study published Tuesday.

"We typically consider obesity an epidemic grounded in unhealthy diet and exercise, yet increasingly studies suggest it's more complicated," said co-author Leonardo Trasande of the New York University School of Medicine.

"Microbes in our intestines may play critical roles in how we absorb calories, and exposure to antibiotics, especially early in life, may kill off healthy bacteria that influence how we absorb nutrients into our bodies, and would otherwise keep us lean."

Lawyers of Big Tobacco Lawsuits Take Aim at Food Industry


This could get interesting. From the New York Times: Lawyers of Big Tobacco Lawsuits Take Aim at Food Industry

More than a dozen lawyers who took on the tobacco companies have filed 25 cases against industry players like ConAgra Foods, PepsiCo, Heinz, General Mills and Chobani that stock pantry shelves and refrigerators across America.

The suits, filed over the last four months, assert that food makers are misleading consumers and violating federal regulations by wrongly labeling products and ingredients.

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