Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Scientists find way to make old muscles young again - Reverse aging? -

Scientists find way to make old muscles young again - Reverse aging? - 

It is a dream for everyone as they grow older to turn back the clock and live in a younger body once again.  While many have developed ways to make the body look younger cosmetically, there have been very few effective methods to combat the aging process within the body – until now.
For the first time ever, researchers have identified a crucial protein responsible for the decline of muscle repair and agility as the body ages.  Upon this discovery, the scientists were able to effectively halt muscle decline in mice, giving hope to similar treatments for humans in the future.
According to the study’s authors, loss of muscle strength and repair is one of the major concerns facing elderly citizens.
“A great advantage of medicine is that people are not dying as early as they used to, but the body hasn’t figured out how to maintain its muscle repair,” Andrew Brack, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine and corresponding study author, told FoxNews.com.  “The average loss of muscle mass for the 80-year-old male is 40 percent.  Elderly people will fall over and break bones, they go to the hospital where they lose more muscle strength, and then don’t recover.”
Brack noted that muscle strength is also one of the main factors that keeps elderly individuals out of the hospital and allows them to be productive members of the workforce.  In order to combat this muscle decline, Brack and Albert Basson, who met at King’s College London, teamed up to see if they could put the process in reverse.
The key revolves around stem cells found within muscles.  During exercise or injury, these stem cells become activated and work fervently by dividing and multiplying into new muscle fibers that help to repair the muscle.  When they are no longer need, they retreat into a reservoir within the muscle and lay dormant until they are needed again.
The problem with aging muscles is that these ‘fixer’ stem cells don’t remain dormant when they’re not needed.  Instead, they become activated more and more and unnecessarily divide and multiply – causing them to die at a faster rate.  Since muscles only have a finite amount of these stem cells, the quicker the cells die, the less effective muscles become at repairing themselves.
Wondering exactly why the stem cells became more activated with age, Brack and Basson screened older muscles, finding higher levels of a protein called FGF2 – a protein that stimulates cell division.  The scientists figured these levels could explain the unnecessary cell activation.
“As your muscle gets old, you start making more of this FGF2 protein,” Basson, senior lecturer at King’s College London Dental Institute, told FoxNews.com.  “…When there’s more, the FGF2 starts waking up these stem cells and they start dividing.  The stem cells have a limited number of times they can divide before they die or differentiate into other cells.”
Basson figured that if they were able to boost a gene called SPRY2, which inhibits FGF2, then the stem cells would lay dormant until they were absolutely needed.  To test this theory, the researchers administered a common drug containing SPRY2 to suppress FGF2 levels in elderly mice.  Sure enough, the drugs halted the decline of muscle stem cells in the mice.
“We think of this as the first study where we’ve identified something that goes wrong in the aging muscle,” Basson said.  “There are a number of these FGF inhibitor drugs used in clinics for cancer, so they certainly can be given to patients.  But we’re still quite a ways off before we can think about using this drug.”


Businessman Offers $65Million To Any Man To Break Up Lesbian Daughter's Relationship... -

Businessman Offers $65Million To Any Man To Break Up Lesbian Daughter's Relationship... - 
Photo of Gigi Chao (r) and her long-term girlfriend, Sean B. Eav (l).  (credit: Facebook)

A wealthy businessman in Hong Kong has reportedly offered $65 million for a man to woo away his lesbian daughter from her long-term girlfriend.

Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, 76, made the offer after he heard reports that his daughter, Gigi Chao, entered into a civil partnership with her girlfriend Sean B. Eav.

He told the South China Morning Post that those reports are false.

“I don’t mind whether he is rich or poor. The important thing is that he is generous and kind-hearted,” Mr. Chao told The Daily Telegraph about the man he is seeking for his daughter.

Chao is one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest businessmen and said the money he is offering can be used for someone to start their own business.

“Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks. She is devoted to her parents, is generous, and does volunteer work,” he told the Telegraph.

In 2007, Gigi gave an interview to HK Magazine and mentioned her upbringing which differs from her father’s side of the story.

“My father took a hands-off approach in parenting. I see him as a friend more than a father,” she told the magazine.

Currently, Gigi has over 6,000 subscribers on her Facebook page but is currently no longer accepting any more friend requests.

“No longer accepting Facebook friend requests…sorry. Where do all these people come from? Jerusalm? Ethiopia? Istanbul? ridiculous. It’s also quite scary that my friend requests number keeps jumping up every few seconds.”


Taxpayers spent $1.4 Billion on Obamas last year... - Royal family cost Brits $58 Million... -

Taxpayers spent $1.4 Billion on Obamas last year... - Royal family cost Brits $58 Million... - 

Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.

In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.

Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” that Obama isn’t the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in.

Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the “total cost of the presidency,” factoring the cost of the “biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever,” a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One “running with the frequency of a scheduled air line.”

“The most concerning thing, I think, is the use of taxpayer funds to actually abet his re-election,” Gray, who worked in the Eisenhower administration and for other Republican presidents, said in an interview with TheDC on Wednesday.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/26/taxpayers-spent-1-4-billion-on-obama-family-last-year-perks-questioned-in-new-book/#ixzz27fs4Sgxh

Johns Hopkins doctors Grow New Ear On Woman’s Arm -

Johns Hopkins doctors Grow New Ear On Woman’s Arm - 

Johns Hopkins doctors are once again making history–this time by using a woman’s own tissue to build her a new ear.

Derek Valcourt explains with doctors’ help, her own body has replaced what an aggressive form of cancer took away.

You don’t have to tell Sherrie Walters her story sounds like science fiction.

“No, I feel like an experiment,” Walters said.

The discovery of a rapidly-spreading basal cell cancer in her ear in 2008 required the removal of part of her ear, part of her skull and her left ear canal. But now, in a groundbreaking and complicated set of surgeries, Johns Hopkins doctors have attached a new ear made from Walters’ own tissue.


Arizona man arrested for fake grenade launcher stunt -

Arizona man arrested for fake grenade launcher stunt - 

Police have arrested an Arizona man who filmed his 16-year-old nephew walking city streets dressed in a sheet and carrying a fake grenade launcher in an apparent bid to test police responses after the Denver theater shooting, authorities said on Wednesday.

Michael David Turley, 39, was arrested on Monday over the making of the video, in which an unidentified narrator says he aims to “find out how safe I really am” in Phoenix following the July Denver shooting that killed 12 people and wounded 58.

The video depicts a man with a fake grenade launcher walking around a Phoenix intersection in what appears to be a blue sheet with dark material covering his head and face. The filmmaker said it took 15 minutes for police to respond.

The amateur video, filmed eight days after the Colorado shooting at a screening of a Batman movie, was broadcast on YouTube and titled, “Dark Knight Shooting Response, Rocket Launcher Police Test.”

Turley was charged with knowingly giving a false impression of a terrorist act, endangerment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and misconduct involving a simulated explosive.

He is being held in county jail on a $5,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to 45 months in prison, said Maricopa County Attorney’s Office spokesman Jerry Cobb.

“We take something like this seriously,” Phoenix police spokesman Officer James Holmes said. “It wasn’t fun and games to all the people who were affected by this. We don’t behave like this in this country to prove a point.”

Police said officers reached the scene about three minutes after receiving numerous emergency calls from passers-by who said the person was pointing a weapon as they drove by.

The 16-year-old has not been arrested, Holmes said.

“The video told us what Turley was intentionally trying to do - creating a terrorist hoax for his own personal ideals,” he said.


Software let rent-to-own companies spy on customers - enabled keystroke logs, take screen shots and even take pictures -

Software let rent-to-own companies spy on customers - enabled keystroke logs, take screen shots and even take pictures - 

Be careful of what you do in front of a rent-to-own computer. You never know who may be watching.

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced it had reached a settlement with seven rent-to-own companies that spied on their customers through the very computers they rented to them.

The FTC said that each of the seven companies — including Aspen Way Enterprises, J.A.G. Rents and C.A.L.M. Ventures — installed a piece of software called PC Rental Agent that enabled them to see keystroke logs, take screen shots and even take pictures using the computer's webcam, all without their customers’ knowledge.

PC Rental Agent, designed by the now-bankrupt software firm DesignerWare, was marketed to rent-to-own companies as a way to keep track of a rented computer's physical location and disable it remotely through a kill switch if the renter began skipping payments.

The FTC had no problem with those functions.

But Tracy Thorleifson, an FTC attorney at its office in Seattle, said that while the rent-to-own stores are entitled to be paid for their property … they are not entitled to spy on people.”

Read more -