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Comment A single factor does not a guideline make.. (Score 1) 234

I guess the most interesting point in this article is what is written towards the top: "we believe these results do provide some reassurance that coffee drinking does not adversely affect health.". If it was poison, this study would show. I remember learning about cafestol at some point (by a researcher), and how recommendations should be given to make sure to only drink filtered coffee. It's, according to our teacher, the most "cholesterologenic" substance know. So I guess a single factor does not a guideline make.

On a funny personal note, this news came exactly on the day I decided to cut down my own consumption :p

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 330

Depends on wether CD47 is enough on it's own to have the macropahges dispose of the cell it's attached to. Antibodies (IgG types at least) also trigger destruction of the cells they strike and it will be more efficient at this if they attach to multiple targets in close proximity (opsonisation). If CD47 is overexpressed on cancer cells, perhaps it could trigger an immun response on the cancer cells, but not regular cells.

If the antibodies mentioned here do not trigger an immune response, but rather inhibits CD47 function to prevent the cells from being disposed if, that might also be enough given other signals from the cell to macrophages that it is someyhing wrong with it.

In both cases, normals cells would be largely spared, but cancer suffer. Much like chemo, really, but perhaps more targeted.

Comment Re:Eh, Type 2 (Score 3, Interesting) 137

Sorry if I offended you somehow or made my post seem redundant, that was never my intention /: I was trying to add to the discussion by saying that I think the overeating and lack of physical activity is more fair to see as the primary causes of type 2 diabetes rather than genetics, and that by blaming the genes we're ignoring the point that our bodies might not be build for our current way of life (: I would rather say that modern life has revealed that some people are not as well adapted as others to that lifestyle.

Comment Re:Eh, Type 2 (Score 1) 137

I think you have it for life if you have aquired it, but for type 2 diabetes, loosing weight (and exercising) is the primary treatment, and according to the widely used Norwegian Electronic Doctor's Manual (NEL) almost all cases can be prevented by preventing obesity (: They reference an article here, amongst others, for this claim. The goals of therapy is stated to be to reduce the condition to a non-symptomatic one if possible, and this is what weight loss and exercise seems to achieve (but medicines might also help, and acute cases needs medical intervention).

Regarding weight loss as treatment, I'm not sure if this resource is available for free everywhere, but it's also clearly stated here and here. Wikipedia also references an article on this.

That's of course not to mention all those other things that a healthy diet and working out does for your body. Seems like an attractive package for just about everyone (:

Comment Re:Eh, Type 2 (Score 2) 137

Diabetics with type 2 first goes through a fase where insulin fails to control blood glucose levels (if you have allot of glucose in your blood, this is sensed by you pacreas and it secretes insulin - a stubstance that signal to the other cells of your body to start absorbing the glucose, and thus reduce how much is circulating). After enough time in this state, your pacreas gives up and stops producing insulin, much like in type 1. So it has two stages.

Autoimunity might be a hypothesis (does type 2 diabetes respond to immunosupressants? Do you have states where antibodies conversly increase uptake of glucose from the blood w/o insulin?), but I think the prevailing idea is that fat accumulation in muscle cells interferes with a signaling pathway that originates in cell membrane fats (the IP3/DAG pathway), making it less efficient. Think of it like wire that is loose and only occationally gets contact. The signal is supposed to convey the fact that insulin is present from the surface of the cell into the cell, where glucose transporter (GLUT4) is to be mobilized to the surface of the cell and start taking insulin out of ciculation and into the cell for storeage and burning. If the signaling pathway thus breaks, this manifests as less effect by insulin, and the body compencates with increased levels over time, and eventually burnout of the pacreas.

If accumulating fats are to blame, it might also explain why a negative energy balance (starvation) would help. Fat is the main energy store of the body, and it might get burned off, restoring normal insulin sensitivity.

Comment Re:Eh, Type 2 (Score 4, Insightful) 137

Causality is tricky, but not without answers. If avoiding cheeseburgers and twinkies causes you *not* to get T2D even if you are predisposed, I would say that both are causal factors and are right to blame. However, the *type* of environmental factor also plays in. If you feed a cat paracetamol, it will die. Does this simply "reveal" a underlying condition? Is the cat sick to start with? Feeding the cat the substance is what killed it, but the reason it died from it is biological and exposure to a substance it would not encounter in nature. If you happened uppon a cat that survived, THAT would be the oddity.

If you are born with relevant genes, you are, and need to look out. You carry one of many polymophisms in the gene pool, but you are not sick or nessearily abnormal. It just means that under a heavy diet with little exercise - an unnatural lifestyle - you might get sick faster than others. It's *multifactoral*, like most conditions we can get. If you are not very good at skydiving, you should not skydive even if everyone you know does. Cheeseburgers and sedentary lifestyle need to take the blame more than genetics.

Power

Could the US Phase Out Nuclear Power? 657

mdsolar writes "In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, [German Chancellor] Merkel announced that her country would close all of its 17 existing reactors by 2022. Other nations, including Japan, Italy, and Switzerland, have announced plans to pare back nuclear power, but none have gone as far as Germany, the world's fourth-largest economy. Merkel vows to replace nuclear power with alternatives that do not increase greenhouse gases or shackle the economic growth. Could the US do the same? An increasing number of reports suggest it is not beyond the realm of possibility, and Germany could provide a road map."

Comment Re:What about people with inherent susceptibility? (Score 5, Interesting) 354

As far as I understand the mechanisms though, the reason cancer develops over time is that a certain number of mutations have to occur (5-7) for the cells to show hyperplasia, mutator phenotype etc. and eventually metastasize. But in people who lack one or more DNA repair mechanisms, cancer will arise sooner, since the risk (and thus rate) of the mutation is greater (they are not supposed to ever get an X-ray, e.g., or develop breast cancer at a young age. People with xerodema pigmentosum is a example, and they get all sorts of skin cancers eve as children - but you might not want to google that). So I'm asking if there should not be vanguard of sorts, a group of people in which we could detect this. If they have an already identified condition, it might be possible to see that they are getting allot of cancers since cellphones became commonplace.

Comment Re:The summary is, of course, wrong. (Score 1) 354

I'm not sure that is the question studies have asked. There is difference between asking "have you ever owned a cellphone" and "how much did you use it?". If you can confirm that heavy users get more gliablastomas, you have an interesting correlation - a dose-response relationship. Its perfectly valid to look at people's past in retrospect to see if there has been an exposure that might relate to the condition.

Comment Re:Ragnarok! (Score 1) 191

As a Norwegian I found the movie Thor quite interesting (: It was sort of neat how they refurbished the old cosmology of the norse mythology with modern day elements. Apart from the annoying pronunciation of scandinavian words ("We're going to Jotunheim!" which is an actual place quite close to where I grew up) it was fun.

Those who like the movie might enjoy taking a peek at the actual mythology (:

The Almighty Buck

How Do You Prove Software Testing Saves Money? 312

cdman52 writes "I work at a small software development company. We have one app that is used by a few hundred clients and was initially developed by a few undergrads about 10 years ago. The app is collection of about 25 developers preferences and ideas. Testing wasn't an initial concern since it was created as an internal application, I guess. Anyway, the app is now large and used frequently. Part of my duties are to fix bugs users find, I'm on a team with a few other people and at least once every 2-3 months I see some bug I fixed come back, and I can only assume it's because we don't have a formal test suite. The owner doesn't want to invest time or money in getting one set up, but I'm sure that in the long run it would save time and money. Can anyone offer suggestions for how to convince the owner that setting up a test suite is in his own best interest?"
Science

The Proton Just Got Smaller 289

inflame writes "A new paper published in Nature has said that the proton may be smaller than we previously thought. The article states 'The difference is so infinitesimal that it might defy belief that anyone, even physicists, would care. But the new measurements could mean that there is a gap in existing theories of quantum mechanics. "It's a very serious discrepancy," says Ingo Sick, a physicist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who has tried to reconcile the finding with four decades of previous measurements. "There is really something seriously wrong someplace."' Would this indicate new physics if proven?"

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