Beet juice boosts muscle performance quickly
September 16, 2015 03:16 PM - Julia Evangelou Strait, Washington University School of Medicine

Scientists have evidence that Popeye was right: Spinach makes you stronger. But it’s the high nitrate content in the leafy greens — not the iron — that creates the effect. 

Building on a growing body of work that suggests dietary nitrate improves muscle performance in many elite athletes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that drinking concentrated beet juice — also high in nitrates — increases muscle power in patients with heart failure.

“It’s a small study, but we see robust changes in muscle power about two hours after patients drink the beet juice,” said senior author Linda R. Peterson, MD, associate professor of medicine. “A lot of the activities of daily living are power-based — getting out of a chair, lifting groceries, climbing stairs. And they have a major impact on quality of life. We want to help make people more powerful because power is such an important predictor of how well people do, whether they have heart failure, cancer or other conditions. In general, physically more powerful people live longer.”

Eating Healthy not always as healthy as you might think
September 16, 2015 07:33 AM - Patti Verbanas, Rutgers University

In their quest for healthy eating, many Americans are turning to restrictive diets – from vegan to Paleo to low-carb – that they believe are the most “pure” or beneficial. But when people decide to go beyond these and severely limit the types of foods they consume, they could be putting themselves at risk for nutritional deficiencies.

People who obsessively refine and restrict their diet to conform to their ideal of what is healthy could be suffering from orthorexia nervosa – which translates from Greek as “correct appetite.”

Diesel cars in the EU having trouble meeting emissions standards on the road
September 14, 2015 02:19 PM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Every major car manufacturer is selling diesel cars that fail to meet EU air pollution limits on the road in Europe, according to data obtained by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E). 

All new diesel cars should have met the Euro 6 autoemissions standard from 1 September – but just one in 10 tested complied with the legal limit. 

On average new EU diesel cars produce emissions about five times higher than the allowed limit. The results are compiled in a new report, Don’t Breathe Here, in which T&E analyses the reasons for and solutions to air pollution caused by diesel machines and cars – the worst of which, an Audi, emitted 22 times the allowed EU limit.

Why are some people so negative about electric cars?
September 13, 2015 07:46 AM - MARK BENSON, Electric Forum

Sometimes it is good to take stock, sit back and take a look at the wider picture in relation to the electric car market. Each day seems to bring yet another raft of criticism, concerns and cheap shots at an industry which has come on in leaps and bounds over the last decade. While where we are today is certainly some way from the finish line there is no doubt that amazing progress has been made with the likes of Tesla pushing the industry to new highs.

So, why are people so negative about electric cars and unable or unwilling to appreciate the technology which it has created?

Rutgers Universtiy develops a "lab on a chip"
September 12, 2015 08:12 AM - Rutgers University

Rutgers engineers have developed a breakthrough device that can significantly reduce the cost of sophisticated lab tests for medical disorders and diseases, such as HIV, Lyme disease and syphilis.

The new device uses miniaturized channels and valves to replace “benchtop” assays – tests that require large samples of blood or other fluids and expensive chemicals that lab technicians manually mix in trays of tubes or plastic plates with cup-like depressions.

“The main advantage is cost – these assays are done in labs and clinics everywhere,” said Mehdi Ghodbane, who earned his doctorate in biomedical engineering at Rutgers and now works in biopharmaceutical research and development at GlaxoSmithKline.

Coastal management strategies in the age of climate change
September 4, 2015 05:52 AM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen

Coastal decision-makers must move away from considering physical and economic forces in isolation to fully recognise and explain changes to coastlines, according to new research from Cardiff University.

The coastlines where we live, work and play have long been altered by people, but now researchers have investigated why developed coastlines change over time in ways that are fundamentally different from their undeveloped, natural counterparts.

Food's impact on our brain found to be similar to drugs

An international group of researchers have found that food craving activates different brain networks between obese and normal weight patients. This indicates that the tendency to want food may be 'hard-wired' into the brain of overweight patients, becoming a functional brain biomarker. 

Obesity is one of the most difficult problems facing modern society. Treating obesity is a health priority, but most efforts (aside from bariatric surgery) have met with little success. In part, this is because the mechanisms associated with the desire to eat are poorly understood. Recently, studies are beginning to suggest that the brain mechanisms underlying obesity may be similar to those in substance addiction, and that treatment methodologies may be approached in the same way as other substance addictions, such as alcohol or drug addiction. 

Even safe levels of air pollution found to have health impacts in European study
August 30, 2015 07:40 AM - EUROPEAN SOCIETY OF CARDIOLOGY via EurekAlert

Particulate matter and NO2 air pollution are associated with increased risk of severe heart attacks despite being within European recommended levels, according to research presented at ESC Congress today by Dr Jean-Francois Argacha, a cardiologist at University Hospital Brussels (UZ Brussel-Vrije Universiteit Brussel), in Belgium.1

"Dramatic health consequences of air pollution were first described in Belgium in 1930 after the Meuse Valley fog," said Dr Argacha. "Nowadays, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers air pollution as one of the largest avoidable causes of mortality. Besides the pulmonary and carcinogenic effects of air pollution, exposition to air pollution has been associated with an increased risk in cardiovascular mortality."

NASA's latest satellite data reveals global sea level rise
August 27, 2015 08:49 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Global sea levels have risen nearly 3 inches in less than 25 years, with some locations around the world rising more than 9 inches, according to NASA’s latest satellite data. An intensive research effort now underway, aided by NASA observations and analysis, points to an unavoidable rise of several feet in the future.

The Fingerprints of Sea Level Rise
August 26, 2015 02:49 PM - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

When you fill a sink, the water rises at the same rate to the same height in every corner. That's not the way it works with our rising seas.

According to the 23-year record of satellite data from NASA and its partners, the sea level is rising a few millimeters a year -- a fraction of an inch. If you live on the U.S. East Coast, though, your sea level is rising two or three times faster than average. If you live in Scandinavia, it's falling. Residents of China's Yellow River delta are swamped by sea level rise of more than nine inches (25 centimeters) a year.

These regional differences in sea level change will become even more apparent in the future, as ice sheets melt. For instance, when the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is totally gone, the average global sea level will rise four feet. But the East Coast of the United States will see an additional 14 to 15 inches above that average.

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