4 days 16 hours ago
DO NOT Try This At Home - unless you choose the right board!
1 week 4 days ago
WORKING HUMAN MINI-MUSCLES GROWN FROM SKIN CELLS
Scientists have created tiny artificial human muscles that contract and respond to neural and electrical stimuli just like real muscles do, a new study reports.
THERE'S JUST ONE TWIST: The functioning muscle fibres were made from Skin cells, not Muscle cells.
The successful experiment, detailed in an article published yesterday (Jan. 9) in the journal Nature Communications, could help researchers better study genetic muscular dystrophies, and test new treatments.
In the study, the researchers began by taking cells from skin samples from humans. They used a known technique to turn these cells into so-called induced pluripotent stem cells — cells that can transform into any type of human cell.
Then, using a new method they developed, the scientists were able to turn these pluripotent stem cells into muscle stem cells, which are called myogenic progenitors.
Nenad Bursac, a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University in North Carolina said "It takes about three weeks until they become reprogrammed."
Using just one pluripotent stem cell taken from a donor, the researchers can create thousands of muscle stem cells. This is because once turned into muscle stem cells, these cells can multiply further.
Then, the muscle cells were placed in a 3D culture that contained various nutrients and growth factors that stimulate the cells to organise into muscle fibres.
After another three weeks, pieces of muscle tissue up to 2 centimeters (0.8 inches) long, almost 1 millimeter (0.004 inches) in diameter, formed in the solution.
WHO NEEDS NEW MUSCLES?
The development could significantly improve study of genetic muscular diseases, such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which affects 1in 3,600 male infants worldwide.
People with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy start having muscle weakness at about age 4. The condition quickly progresses and by age 12, the patients lose their ability to walk. Most die by age 26.
Since the fibers that the scientists created in the study are fully functioning, the researchers can now study how they respond to various treatments, Bursac said.
He hopes the technique could be used in the future to re-engineer a patient's damaged cells into healthy cells and use the resulting muscle fibers to improve the patient's quality of life.
2 weeks 8 hours ago
Facial Exercises help Middle-Aged Women Appear More Youthful
20 Weeks of Facial Exercises Yielded Firmer Skin, Fuller Upper and Lower Cheeks
This is the first scientific study to test the premise of facial exercise improving appearance.
The exercises enlarged facial muscles so the face had more volume.
Women looked an average of three years younger after 20 weeks of exercises, as rated by Dermatologists.
The study was published January 3rd in the journal JAMA Dermatology.
A 30-minute daily or alternate-day facial exercise program sustained over 20 weeks.
Dr. Murad Alam, vice chair and professor of Dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine said "The exercises enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles, so the face becomes firmer and more toned and shaped like a younger face.
"...individuals now have a low-cost, non-toxic way for looking younger or to augment other cosmetic or anti-aging treatments they may be seeking,"Alam said.
As the face ages, skin loses elasticity and fat pads between the muscle and skin become thinner. The fat pads, which fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, give the face much of its shape. As skin becomes saggy, the thinning fat pads atrophy and slide, causing the face to "fall down."
"But if muscle underneath becomes bigger, the skin has more stuffing underneath it and the firmer muscle appears to make the shape of the face more full," said senior study author Emily Poon, an assistant research professor in dermatology at Feinberg. "Muscle growth is increasing the facial volume and counteracting the effects of age-related fat thinning and skin loosening."
"Facial exercises that may be beneficial include those that entail puckering and squeezing the cheeks," Alam said. "There are many muscles that collectively allow movement of the cheeks, and our study showed that building these up makes the upper and lower cheeks look fuller."
Participants learned and performed 32 distinct facial exercises, each one for about a minute. One is The Cheek Lifter: Open mouth and form O, position upper lip over teeth, smile to lift cheek muscles up, put fingers lightly on top part of cheek, release check muscles to lower them, and lift back up. Repeat by lowering and lifting the cheeks.
Another exercise is The Happy Cheeks Sculpting: Smile without showing teeth, purse lips together, smile forcing cheek muscles up, place fingers on corners of the mouth and slide them up to the top of the cheeks, hold for 20 seconds.
Participants reported being highly satisfied with the results and noticed improvement on nearly all the facial areas that were rated.
Murad Alam, Anne J. Walter, Amelia Geisler, Wanjarus Roongpisuthipong, Gary Sikorski, Rebecca Tung, Emily Poon. Association of Facial Exercise With the Appearance of Aging. JAMA Dermatology, 2018; DOI: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.5142, and https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180103160142.htm
3 weeks 17 hours ago
Don't be Surprised if Your GP Prescribes Exercise rather than Medication.
A new guideline for GP's says they should recommend twice-weekly exercise to people with mild cognitive impairment to improve memory and thinking.
The recommendation is part of an updated guideline published in the Dec. 27 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
"Regular physical exercise has long been shown to have heart health benefits, and now we can say exercise also may help improve memory for people with mild cognitive impairment," says Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., lead author, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Mayo Clinic, and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging.
Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediate stage between the normal ageing process and the more serious decline of dementia.
Symptoms can involve problems with memory, language, thinking and judgement.
The guideline authors developed the updated recommendations on mild cognitive impairment after reviewing all available studies.
Dr. Petersen encourages people to do aerobic exercise: Walk briskly, jog, whatever you like to do, for 150 minutes a week -- 30 minutes, five times or 50 minutes, three times.
The level of exertion should be enough to work up a bit of a sweat but doesn't need to be so rigorous that you can't hold a conversation.
"We need not look at ageing as a passive process; we can do something about the course of our ageing," he says.
Ronald C. Petersen, Oscar Lopez, Melissa J. Armstrong, Thomas S.D. Getchius, Mary Ganguli, David Gloss, Gary S. Gronseth, Daniel Marson, Tamara Pringsheim, Gregory S. Day, Mark Sager, James Stevens, Alexander Rae-Grant. Practice guideline update summary: Mild cognitive impairment. Neurology, 2017; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004826, and
3 weeks 2 days ago
GIVE SMOKING THE FLICK
New Research has shown How Exercise Helps Smokers Finally Kick the Habit.
Experts at St George's University of London, have examined the mechanism underlining exercise's way of protecting the body against nicotine dependence and withdrawal.
The study reveals that even moderate intensity exercise markedly reduces the severity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
This is due to an increased activation of a type of receptor in the brain called α7 nicotinic acetylcholine, which is a target of nicotine.
The findings support the protective effect of exercise preceding smoking cessation against the development of physical dependence, which may aid smoking cessation by reducing the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Dr Alexis Bailey, Senior Lecturer in Neuropharmacology, at St George's, University of London, said: "Our research has shed light on how the protective effect of exercise against nicotine dependence actually works."
In the study, nicotine-treated mice that were undertaking two or 24 hours a day of wheel running exercise displayed a significant reduction of withdrawal symptom severity compared with the sedentary group.
Helen Keyworth, Polymnia Georgiou, Panos Zanos, Andre Veloso Rueda, Ying Chen, Ian Kitchen, Rosana Camarini, Mark Cropley, Alexis Bailey. Wheel running during chronic nicotine exposure is protective against mecamylamine-precipitated withdrawal and upregulates hippocampal α7 nACh receptors in mice. British Journal of Pharmacology, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/bph.14068, and https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171219220355.htm
3 weeks 4 days ago
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