Chronic Stress Alters Our Genetic Immune Response (Science Daily)

In a very promising preliminary study, Miller and colleagues found that the pattern of gene expression differed between caregivers of family members with cancer relative to a matched group of individuals who did not have this type of life stress….

Gregory Miller, Ph.D., corresponding author, explains…that, although “caregivers have similar cortisol levels as controls, their cells seem to be ‘hearing’ less of this signal. In other words, something goes awry in caregivers’ white blood cells so they are not able to ‘receive’ the signal from cortisol that tells them to shut down inflammation.”

 

Studies Help Show How Handling Stress Improves Health (Mayo Clinic Stress Blog)

We all know that stress can have a profound impact on our health, well-being, and the quality of our lives. We have each learned that it is not the problems that can kill us but our reaction to those problems. Two exciting developments from recent studies clearly underscore why we need to be in control of our lives and handle stress in a creative way. Please read on.

 

Burning Incense Linked to Respiratory Cancers (Reuters)

In a study of more than 61,000 ethnic Chinese living in Singapore who were followed for up to 12 years, the investigators found a link between heavy incense use and various respiratory cancers.

 

Seeing Through Tooth Decay (Medical News Today)

The researchers at RMK engineering college have now developed an X-ray image analysis technique that reveals the pixel intensities at different X-ray wavelengths, much like the histogram analysis of images by a high-specification digital camera. Siva Kumar explains that the software reveals that the X-ray histogram and spectrum are very different depending on whether the teeth X-rayed are normal or exhibiting the early stages of decay. The researchers found that in the X-ray histogram the pixel intensities are concentrated in different ranges depending on degree of decay.

The technique could be very useful for dental clinicians, the researchers explain, and could be extended using neural networks to automatically identify the different stages of dental caries.

 

Sticks and Stones: A New Study on Social and Physical Pain (PhysOrg)

According to some researchers, words may pack a harder punch that we realize. Psychologists Zhansheng Chen and Kipling D. Williams of Purdue University, Julie Fitness of Macquarie University, and Nicola C. Newton of the University of New South Wales found that the pain of physical events may fade with time, while the pain of social occurrences can be re-instantiated through memory retrievals.

 

Eating Less, Eating Local and Eating Better Could Slash US Energy Use, CU Study Finds (Cornell Chronicle, via Organic Consumers Association)

“We could reduce the fossil energy used in the U.S. food system by about 50 percent with relatively simple changes in how we produce, process, package, transport and consume our food,” said David Pimentel, professor emeritus of ecology and agriculture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell.


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