They’re made of carbon – but there’s something almost supernatural about diamonds. Just the word diamond invokes luxury, desirability and toughness. Yet when we think of the element carbon we are more likely to think of charcoal; soft, black, opaque, earthy, light-weight.
We’ve known for a long time that certain patients in the intensive care unit recover faster and have better clinical outcomes if they receive enough nutrition.
I don’t have children, but I have thought a lot about how growing up in my situation shaped me as an adult. The greatest way that it shaped me is it made me more independent, and strong-willed. I grew up very much on my own. This formed the basis for my creativity and adventurous spirit, because being on my own allowed my mind to go places it wouldn’t have if I was always surrounded by people.
Schizophrenia is one of the world’s top ten causes of disability. It develops between the ages of 16 and 30 and often persists for life. It affects between 100,000 and 200,000 Australians. Symptoms include delusions and hallucinations (“psychotic” symptoms), diminished emotional expression, poverty of speech and lack of purposeful action (known as “negative” symptoms), and incoherent speech and disorganised behaviour (“disorganised” symptoms).
It is well known that eating a balanced diet is of vital importance for maintaining good health and well-being. It is also one of the great social pleasures of life. Yet, far too many young people in prisons are consuming a poor diet, lacking in nutrition.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably heard that crash dieting isn’t the best way to go about it. Although you may lose lots of weight initially, you won’t be able to keep the weight off and may even end up being heavier than you were before. But our latest research suggests that this isn’t always the case.
But it’s much harder to estimate how many are within a healthy weight range but have poor diets or sedentary lifestyles. These can cause significant health problems that will often be missed because the person appears to look “healthy”.
Being depressed can negatively affect your appetite and what you eat, but can bad eating habits bring your mood down? Our latest study, a systematic review of the best available evidence, found a clear link between the quality of a person’s diet and their risk of depression. And it goes beyond the effect of diet on body size or other aspects of health that can affect mental health.
It can often be tempting to jump on a bus for a short journey through the city, especially when it’s raining or you’re running behind schedule. Where there are dedicated bus lanes in place, it can feel as though you speed past gridlocked traffic. But as city authorities begin new initiatives to get people walking or cycling, that could all change – and so could you.
The Fountain of Youth may still be a myth, but a longer life expectancy is now a reality. In fact, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. has risen by more than 30 years in barely more than a century to a current 78.6 years.
Narcissism is defined as excessive self-love or self-centredness. In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love when he saw his reflection in water: he gazed so long, he eventually died. Today, the quintessential image is not someone staring at his reflection but into his mobile phone. While we pine away for that perfect Snapchat filter or track our likes on Instagram, the mobile phone has become a vortex of social media that sucks us in and feeds our narcissistic tendencies. Or so it would seem.
If you have ever broken an arm and had to wear a cast or splint for a few weeks, you will be familiar with the alarming loss of muscle and uneasy feeling of weakness experienced after removing your cast. Most people do not do much exercise while a broken arm is healing and can struggle with this loss of muscle for many weeks after the injury.
Green growing things heal us in surprising ways. Communities are trying to bring plant life to areas that lack it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, exposure to nature can significantly reduce stress. People’s mental health is markedly better in urban areas with more green space.
The ultimate purpose of visionary business if to transform the world, by doing what we love to do, into an ecologically sustainable environment, with peace and plenty for all God's creatures.
Many highly intelligent motivated professionals let their habitual emotional reactions get in the way of learning. Even some of us who say we relish constructive criticism can have strong emotional reactions when we receive negative feedback about our attitudes and behavior.
It can be difficult to find reliable information online on timing and how to introduce foods – and how to balance that with breastfeeding. Here’s what the recommendations say, and the science behind them.
As a boy in late-1940s Memphis, my dad got a nickel every Friday evening to come by the home of a Russian Jewish immigrant named Harry Levenson and turn on his lights, since the Torah forbids lighting a fire in your home on the Sabbath. My father would wonder, however, if he were somehow sinning.
Baby boomers, who once viewed themselves as the coolest generation in history, are now turning their thoughts away from such things as partying and touring alongside rock bands to how to they can stay healthy as they age. And, one of the most important parts of healthy aging is avoiding a fall, the number one cause of accidental death among people 65 and older.
If you plan to try and quit eating junk food, expect to suffer similar withdrawal-type symptoms—at least during the initial week—that addicts experience when they attempt to quit using drugs, according to new research.
New research with mice may upend our understanding of the connection between the gut and the brain, as well as appetite. If you’ve ever felt nauseous before an important presentation, or foggy after a big meal, then you know the power of the gut-brain connection.
Tonight ABC’s Four Corners will air the first of a two-part investigation into the often shocking treatment of the elderly in aged care homes around Australia.
Sometimes the opportunity we have been waiting for is trying to crawl into our lap. If, however, we have a preconceived notion about how it should be, or if our attention is elsewhere, or if we are in fear, we may not recognize it. Sometimes our good is rushing to us from all angles, and we do not know it.
Ancel and Margaret Keys, an American husband-and-wife team, first reported on the Mediterranean diet’s health benefits in 1975. Since then, the diet has become particularly well known for its effect on cardiovascular health. What is less well known is whether the diet has different benefits for men and women. Our latest study sheds some light on the matter.
Over the last ten years, it’s estimated there has been a 360% rise in veganism in Britain – around 542,000 people have “gone vegan”. As a nation of animal lovers, with around 44% of homes owning a pet – and somewhere in the region of 8.5m dogs in the UK – it’s only natural this phenomenon should start to spill over into the pet food world.
Could disc golf become more popular than ball golf by 2028? Ask disc golfers and they’ll say, “You bet – our sport is growing like crazy.” But for most Americans, the answer is, “What’s disc golf?” And the typical ball golfer will likely respond, “No – and stop calling my sport ball golf.”
In our survey of yogurts sold in the UK, we found that less than 10% were low sugar – almost none of which were children’s yogurts. We also found that organic products, often viewed as healthier options, contained some of the highest levels of sugar.
Carbon monoxide (CO), like many gases, cannot be detected by our human senses. We cannot see it, smell it or taste it. But unlike many gases, small amounts are extremely harmful to us.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, medicines shouldn’t be your first option. Exercise regularly, cut back on coffee (and other caffeinated drinks) after midday, eat less in the evening, ease up on “screen time” before, and in, bed, practise meditation and try to have a quiet, dark bedroom dedicated mostly to sleep.
Con artists, fraudsters and their hapless victims are a staple of the news cycle and hardly a week seems to pass without a story about an e-mail lottery scam or a telephone fraud. Many reading these stories perhaps just raise their eyebrows and shake their heads, wondering how people can be so gullible.
Cooperation can be found across the animal kingdom, in behaviors such as group hunting, raising of young, and driving away predators. But are these cooperating animals actively coordinating their behaviur, or are they simply acting individually to accomplish the same task at the same time?
Obesity changes how airway muscles function, which increases the risk of developing asthma, a new study suggests. The prevalence of asthma and obesity—as both separate and coexisting conditions—has grown considerably in the United States in recent years.
Legalized cannabis is just a month away, but Ontario won’t have any cannabis stores until April. That’s due to the province’s recent decision to have cannabis outlets run by businesses rather than a government agency, although the agency will still open a retail web site Oct. 17.
Keeping household surfaces clean is a daily chore for most families, but there may be unseen consequences for children’s health. Overusing cleaning products can increase the risk of childhood obesity, according to new research, as exposure causes changes in the bacteria which live in children’s guts.
Our Western habitats present us with a very different scenario than that of the original Feng Shui practitioners. Many structures are located on land that the ancient practitioners would never have chosen, and often the structure’s shape and detailing break every classic Feng Shui rule.
When my brother and I were kids back in the ‘80s, we loved going to Long John Silver’s. But it wasn’t just for the fish. It was for the vinegar – malt vinegar. We would uncap a bottle at the table and swig that tangy, delicious nectar of the gods straight.
For almost two years now, Americans have been confronted daily by ominous tidings. We are living through stressful times. Reading the news feels awful; ignoring it doesn’t feel right either.
Researchers have developed a way to reliably predict which chronic pain patients will respond to a sugar placebo pill based on brain anatomy and psychological characteristics. Doctors may one day prescribe placebos that work as effectively as any painkiller for certain patients, the researchers’ new study suggests
Hundreds of thousands of people with severe hearing loss depend on surgically implanted electronic devices to recover some of their hearing. These devices, known as auditory or cochlear implants, aren’t perfect. In particular, implant users find it difficult to understand speech when there is background noise. We have a new approach to solve this problem that involves playing sound through the skin.
Taking low-dose aspirin daily doesn’t preserve good health or delay the onset of disability or dementia in healthy older people. This was one finding from our seven-year study that included more than 19,000 older people from Australia and the US.
While the ageing of society has become one of the givens in today’s world, less is made of the lived experience of the very elderly in society.
Researchers have discovered evidence of the earliest brewmasters to date, a finding that might stir an old debate: What came first, beer or bread? In a cave in what is now Israel, scientists found beer-brewing innovations that they believe predate the early appearance of cultivated cereals in the Near East by several millennia.
Two of every three US consumers surveyed report eating less of at least one type of meat, according to new research. “Many Americans continue to have strong preferences for meat,” says Roni Neff, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Race-based discrimination is common in the hiring process. For example, racial minorities are less likely than whites to receive a callback when they apply for a job. There are also wide earning gaps, with African-Americans and Latinos earning a fraction of what whites and Asians do. Yet despite laws that aim to reduce employment discrimination and improve attitudes toward diversity, these patterns have not changed for decades.
Imagine you tell your 55 year-old mom you’re going to get married and she’s too disorganized to help you with the wedding preparations. Or you put your kids on the bus to elementary school and the 57 year-old driver forgets the route. These are real scenarios, drawn from my clinical work with patients who have young-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Your tongue is a salt detector – it dissolves the solid salt crystals sprinkled on your chips to create an intense flavour sensation. But salt is way more important than just being a food additive. Salt water is literally the most common substance on the surface of Earth, and it’s really important – for life and for the planet.
It isn’t surprising that people are confused about nutrition when the media presents different findings as gladiatorial battles: vegetarian versus carnivore, high-fat versus low-fat diets and, more recently, low-carb diets versus high-carb. But, when you dig down into the data, many of these studies are reporting surprisingly similar things – and this is the case with the latest studies reporting on carbohydrates and health.
Night has always been a difficult realm for humans: we’ve had to learn to cope with the cold and the dark to thrive in it. Since the industrial revolution we’ve found ways to adapt our homes and cities to operate during the night. But as our conquest of the dark continues, the border between night and day is becoming increasingly blurry.
Going to university for the first time can be a daunting experience for anyone. The biggest fear many have is leaving their old friends behind and having to meet lots of new people from all walks of life. The prospect of living with complete strangers is enough to make anyone nervous – especially if their culture is alien to you.
The credibility of scientific findings hinges on their reproducibility. As a scientist, it is therefore disastrous when you are unable to replicate your own findings. Our laboratory has found itself in just this situation several times; in each instance, unintended environmental exposure distorted our data. Our first accidental foray into toxicology 20 years ago convinced us of the need to understand the reproductive effects of environmental chemical contaminants. The latest twist in our journey down that road adds a new dimension to an old concern, BPA.
The link between gut microbes and health is now well established. As a result, researchers have been investigating the effects of probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics on various diseases.
India has a reputation as a vegetarian nation, and Indians certainly consume far less meat than the global average. But the view of India as a predominantly vegetarian nation may not be quite accurate.
The ways in which we currently age have been programmed into us, and we have accepted this idea as a reality. We believe that we all will get old, sick, senile, frail, and die -- in that order. This does not have to be the truth for us any longer.
Walking significantly lowers the risk of heart failure in older women, a new study shows. The study of more than 137,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 is the largest and most comprehensive to date that has evaluated physical activity within the context of heart failure prevention.
The sensation of sound occurs when the vibrations from sounds enter our ear and cause little hairlike structures – called hair cells – within our inner ear to move back and forth. The hair cells transform this movement into an electrical signal that the brain can use.
Suicide rates in the United States have increased by 25-30 percent since 1999. This is particularly true for youth ages 12-24, with increases of approximately 30 percent over the same period. In Alachua County, Florida, where I teach and practice at the University of Florida, the base rate for suicides among youth ages 12-17 had been about five per 100,000 for many years, below the base national rate of 13 per 100,000. However, in the year 2017 that rate of completed suicides increased to 27 per 100,000, and for 2018 we are at a pace that will likely equal 2017.
Ever been in a situation where passing wind is going to be hugely embarrassing and you’ve had to hold in a fart? Let’s face it – we all have. Trying to hold it in leads to a build up of pressure and major discomfort. A build up of intestinal gas can trigger abdominal distension, with some gas reabsorbed into the circulation and exhaled in your breath. Holding on too long means the build up of intestinal gas will eventually escape via an uncontrollable fart.
The idea that healthy food costs more than junk food is something I hear a lot. Students tell me they’d like to eat better but can’t afford to. There is a strong belief that cooking from scratch costs a fortune, and with takeaway meals priced as low as £1, they have little incentive to change their behaviour.
Your body’s internal clock – the circadian rhythm – regulates an enormous variety of processes: when you sleep and wake, when you’re hungry, when you’re most productive. Given its palpable effect on so much of our lives, it’s not surprising that it has an enormous impact on our health as well. Researchers have linked circadian health to the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration. It’s also known that the timing of meals and medicines can influence how they’re metabolized.
What is prosperity? Many of you automatically think of prosperity as something primarily financial. However, this is simply not so. It is success by your standards: it could mean lying in the sun for an hour a day without having to feel you should be...
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
There are seven species of Apis honey bee in the world, all of them native to Asia, Europe and Africa. Apis mellifera, the western honey bee, is the species recognised globally as “the honey bee”. But it’s not the only insect that makes honey. Many other bee, ant and wasp species make and store honey. Many of these insects have been used as a natural sugar source for centuries by indigenous cultures around the world.
How you feel about yourself may actually affect the way your body defends itself against the various stresses and infective organisms that surround it. A high level of self-esteem, or a stronger sense of self, can lead to more vigorous immune response.
Your Mind tells the body -- even down to the tiniest cell -- what to do. Thoughts held long and intensely enough are actualized in flesh! What thoughts, you wonder? Endless possibilities! but you would do well to ask Self what beliefs have been most creative in your own life...
No matter how much we try to minimise our exposure to respiratory viruses, it’s far more difficult in winter when we spend so much time in close proximity to other people.
Leftovers may be throwing off your sense of how much you’ve actually eaten and how much you need to exercise, particularly as portion sizes—and therefore leftover portions—increase, according to a new study.
The brain has no nociceptors – the nerves that detect damage or threat of damage to our body and signal this to the spinal cord and brain. This has led to the belief that the brain feels no pain. A belief that has entered popular culture.
In the 2001 movie Hannibal, there is a gut-twisting scene in which the eponymous Hannibal Lecter cuts out part of the brain of an FBI agent who is fully awake, though drugged, and seated at a dinner table.
Worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975, with 1.9 billion adults considered overweight. The condition now kills more people across the globe than underweight and malnutrition.
One of the NHS’s biggest cost burdens, a staggering 70% of UK adults are expected to have overweight or obesity by 2034. Obesity is a problem of energy balance.
Nine in ten young women experience the cramping or stabbing of period pain just before their monthly bleed or as it starts.
Period pain (also called dysmenorrhoea) can be divided into two main types – primary or secondary dysmenorrhoea – depending on whether there’s an underlying problem.
Last week I had a shocking cold. Blocked nose, sore throat, and feeling poorly. This made me think about the countless vitamins and supplements on the market that promise to ease symptoms of a cold, help you recover faster, and reduce your chance of getting another cold. When it comes to the common cold (also called upper respiratory tract infections) there is no magic cure (I wish) but some supplements may deliver very minor improvements. Here is what the latest research evidence says.
Increasing the amount of exercise is one way to use the energy stored in fat cells, or to ‘burn’ fat. Many of us may be considering “burning some fat” so we feel better in our bathing suits out on the beach or at the pool. What does that actually mean, though?
The number of studies that have found a link between a disease and a specific gut microbiome composition seems to be ever increasing. Until recently, though, almost all these studies have looked at single diseases in isolation. But most people tend to have more than one health complaint at a time – “comorbidities”, in medical parlance.
Alcohol producers and retailers have long argued that their goal is a world where everyone drinks responsibly and heavy drinking is a thing of the past. As a result, the alcohol industry claims to be part of the solution to the UK’s drink problem rather than part of the problem. In our latest research, published in Addiction, we examine the credibility of this claim.
Members of a small women’s rights group, Liverpool ReSisters, have declared that “women don’t have penises”. They seem to be very confident of this point, having gone as far as to paste stickers claiming as much onto the genital areas of some of the statues that make up Anthony Gormley’s artwork Another Place on Crosby Beach near Liverpool. It’s an attention-grabbing stunt. But are they right? Well, it depends on what they mean by “women”.
It is highly unlikely that a butterfly or moth remembers being a caterpillar. However, it may well remember some experiences it learned as a caterpillar.
That fact in itself is especially amazing because inside the pupa (or chrysalis), the caterpillar actually turns to liquid as it transforms into a butterfly or moth (the adult stage).
A new form of misinformation is poised to spread through online communities as the 2018 midterm election campaigns heat up. Called “deepfakes” after the pseudonymous online account that popularized the technique – which may have chosen its name because the process uses a technical method called “deep learning” – these fake videos look very realistic.
Timing our meals can fend off diseases caused by bad genes or bad diet. Everything in our body is programmed to run on a 24-hour or circadian time table that repeats every day. Nearly a dozen different genes work together to produce this 24-hour circadian cycle. These clocks are present in all of our organs, tissues and even in every cell. These internal clocks tell us when to sleep, eat, be physically active and fight diseases. As long as this internal timing system work well and we obey them, we stay healthy.
We are still in love with vitamins a century after they were discovered, with half the US and UK population taking a supplement. Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin – is the favourite and is believed to have the most proven benefits. Governments, including the UK government, have said that the evidence for vitamin D’s health benefits is so overwhelming that every adult should take it as a supplement for at least six months of the year.
A solid white mass found in a broken jar in an Ancient Egyptian tomb has turned out to be the world’s oldest example of solid cheese. Probably made mostly from sheep or goats milk, the cheese was found several years ago by archaeologists in the ancient tomb of Ptahmes, who was a high-ranking Egyptian official. The substance was identified after the archaeology team carried out biomolecular identification of its proteins.
Many parts of the country have seen episodic crises due to synthetic marijuana, the largest occurring in Mississippi, where 721 adverse events were logged between April 2-3, 2015. Even with outbreaks aside, synthetic cannabinoids are 30 times more likely to harm you than regular marijuana.
Being lower on the pecking order at work is associated with having serious psychiatric problems, our latest research shows. We found that abusive managers negatively affect the emotional and psychological well-being of those beneath them, and that they make workers feel more paranoid and hyper-vigilant at work.
People with low muscle strength don’t typically live as long as their stronger peers, according to a new study. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, chronic health conditions, and smoking history, researchers found that people with low muscle strength are 50 percent more likely to die earlier.
In general, women have greater absolute body fat percentages than men. Typically, women carry more fat around the legs, hip and buttocks, as well as the chest and upper arms. Women have more subcutaneous fat – the fat you can pinch under your skin – while men typically have more visceral fat, which is stored in and around the abdominal organs.
When those first fat drops of summer rain fall to the hot, dry ground, have you ever noticed a distinctive odor? I have childhood memories of family members who were farmers describing how they could always “smell rain” right before a storm. Of course rain itself...
Most of us spend much more time with digital media than we did a decade ago. But today’s teens have come of age with smartphones in their pockets. Compared to teens a couple of decades ago, the way they interact with traditional media like books and movies is fundamentally different.
Can you imagine a future where the question “Did you bring a copy of your test results?” becomes entirely unnecessary? That could happen, but the methods that most health care providers use to exchange health care information are little different than they were 5,000 years ago, when physicians caring for the same patient exchanged scrolls of papyrus and clay tablets.
Now that school is back in session, many high schoolers have new phones, new computers and new privileges for using their devices – and new responsibilities too. High schoolers today are more technology-savvy than average adults. While many people think that young people use their devices primarily for video games and social networking, the reality today is that high schoolers use technology for learning as much as for entertainment.
Time-restricted eating (also called time-restricted feeding) is a new dietary concept that involves reducing the time between the first and last calorie consumed each day. There is strong evidence to support the health benefits of time-restricted eating (TRE) in animals, and recent small studies by our research group and others suggest possible benefits for humans, too.
Australia’s first commercial installation of printed solar cells, made using specialised semiconducting inks and printed using a conventional reel-to-reel printer, has been installed on a factory roof in Newcastle. The 200 square meter array was installed in just one day by a team of five people. No other energy solution is as lightweight, as quick to manufacture, or as easy to install on this scale.
Many older people find they’re not able to move as freely as they did when they were younger. They describe their movements as feeling stiff or restricted. In particular, feeling stiff when getting out of bed first thing in the morning or after sitting for a long period. The feeling does eventually ease with movement as the muscles “warm up”, but it can be troublesome. There are a few reasons this happens.
It may be possible in the future to screen patients for Alzheimer’s disease using a simple eye exam, according to new research. Using technology similar to what is found in eye doctors’ offices, researchers have detected evidence indicating Alzheimer’s disease in older patients who had no symptoms.
Unfortunately, almost every individual in the world will experience at least one traumatic event, such as a car crash, assault, exposure to war combat or a natural disaster during their lifetime. Many will endure more than one. Although the majority of individuals recover from a traumatic incident, a substantial proportion will develop chronic problems, including post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression and chronic pain.
Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric illness that primarily effects young people during their adolescence. While anorexia is relatively uncommon, affecting about 1 percent of the population, it can be lethal. Indeed, despite its relatively early onset, anorexia can last for several decades for more than half of those afflicted. It can lead to many associated psychiatric and medical risk factors, which in part explains why anorexia has the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric disorder.
The news that, after 106 years, Captain Scott’s fruitcake was found by the Antarctic Heritage Trust and “smelled edible”, raises the question: are there other foods that have similar staying power? The answer is, yes, several.
We’ve all been there, you’re desperate for the loo, and frantically hunting for a toilet, only to find when you get there, that the seat is covered with “droplets” from the previous user.
When I give talks, I am often approached by people who are worried about their memory. Maybe they are studying for an exam and don’t feel that they learn as well as their peers. Maybe they keep forgetting to close the window when they leave the house. Or maybe they struggle to remember an event that happened a few weeks ago but which everyone else can describe in vivid detail.
Everyone has had the unpleasant experience of a rash on the skin – pink, red or purple, flat or bumpy, itchy, scaly, pus-filled, or just plain unsightly. This variety isn’t surprising, because the skin is a complicated organ.
Insect repellents can be safe and effective but many people are reluctant to rub what they perceive to be smelly or sticky on their skin.
Everybody knows that to lose weight you should eat less and move more. But, of course, it’s not that simple; the combination of today’s environment and human biology can make it really, really hard to shed pounds. To reduce diseases caused by being overweight or obese, society needs to change, but those changes will be slow to come. We need effective weight-loss strategies now.
Asked what they know about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, many people will likely tell you that it mostly affects children, and mostly boys. However, recent research has shown that neither of these perceptions is entirely true.
When you think of sugar, you probably think of the sweet, white, crystalline table sugar that you use to make cookies or sweeten your coffee. But did you know that within our body, simple sugar molecules can be connected together to create powerful structures that have recently been found to be linked to health problems, including cancer, aging and autoimmune diseases.