Last Wednesday, Emily Main of Rodale Press sent me this question: “Have you ever heard of this new ‘sweetness enhancer’ that just got approved by the FDA? It’s called Sweetmyx and is made by a company called Senomyx, and is apparently licensed by Pepsi for exclusive use. All I can really find out about it is that it enhances... Continue Reading
The Breast Cancer Racial Gap -
A troubling racial divide in breast cancer mortality continues to widen in most major cities around the country, suggesting that advances in diagnosis and treatment continue to bypass African-American women, according to new research. An analysis of breast cancer mortality trends in 41 of the largest cities in the United States shows that the chance of surviving breast cancer correlates strongly with the color of a woman’s skin. Black women with breast cancer — whether they hail from Phoenix or Denver, Boston or Wichita, Kan. — are on average about 40 percent more likely to die of the disease than white women with breast cancer. Continue Reading
Take Blood Pressure in Both Arms
It may be a good idea to get a blood pressure reading in both arms rather than just one. A difference in those readings, a new study suggests, is an independent risk factor for heart disease. The study, in the March issue of The American Journal of Medicine, found that a difference of 10 or more between the two readings increased the risk for a cardiac event by about 38 percent. The increase was independent of age, cholesterol, body mass index, hypertension and other known cardiovascular risk factors.Continue Reading
Stanford Bioengineer Develops a 50-Cent Paper Microscope
When Manu Prakash, PhD, wants to impress lab visitors with the durability of his Origami-based paper microscope, he throws it off a three-story balcony, stomps on it with his foot and dunks it into a water-filled beaker. Miraculously, it still works. Even more amazing is that this microscope — a bookmark-sized piece of layered cardstock with a micro-lens — only costs about 50 cents in materials to make. In the video, you can see his “Foldscope” being built in just a few minutes, then used to project giant images of plant tissue on the wall of a dark room.
Prakash’s dream is that this ultra-low-cost microscope will someday be distributed widely to detect dangerous blood-borne diseases like malaria, African sleeping sickness, schistosomiasis and Chagas..Continue Reading