• Staying Slim More Complex than Previously Thought

    The adage "Eat less, exercise more" generally works, but new research suggests that half the fight to stay slim lies in long-term lifestyle changes and eating the right foods. One study in The New England Journal of Medicine reports that avoiding fattening foods and sugar-heavy beverages reduces weight gain, yet some foods are far better at keeping the pounds off. To better understand the relationships among lifestyles, food and weight, the team approached the problem in reverse. Rather than studying weight loss in overweight or obese individuals, scientists looked at how certain activities and diet affected weight gain over several years. >> Read the Full Article
  • Mammary Development/Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Factors across the woman life cycle, beginning before birth, influence breast cancer risk. This is known from epidemiologic studies of characteristics self-reported by older women or gleaned from medical records. For example, larger babies have a higher breast cancer risk decades later, while preeclampsia (pregnancy hypertension) is associated with a lower risk in daughters. Earlier puberty increases the risk, and women with fewer or no pregnancies have a higher risk later on. These factors span sensitive periods of breast development, prenatally and during puberty and pregnancy. If environmental chemicals have comparable effects during sensitive developmental periods, identifying these risks could lead to prevention. But epidemiologic data to assess the effects of chemicals in early life are rarely attainable. The primary risk factors for breast cancer are sex, age, lack of childbearing or breastfeeding, higher hormone levels, race, economic status and dietary iodine deficiency. If environmental chemicals have comparable effects during sensitive developmental periods, identifying these risks could lead to prevention. But epidemiologic data to assess the effects of chemicals in early life are rarely attainable. Recent studies are attempting to narrow the environmental effect uncertainties with improved test methods and protocols. Some studies are indicating that effects on mammary gland development and cancer risk factors are not limited to estrogenic endocrine disruptors, but are induced by diverse chemicals including perfluorinated compounds and the herbicide atrazine, in addition to the soy phytoestrogen genistein and synthetic estrogens such as bisphenol A. >> Read the Full Article
  • Dangerous Fungi in Most Dishwashers

    Scientists have found a possibly harmful fungus that grows in dishwashers, surviving high temperatures, aggressive doses of detergents and rinsing salts and both acid and alkaline types of water. A black yeast called Exophiala dermatitidis was found with a cousin fungus, E. phaeomuriformis, in samples taken from dishwashers in 189 homes in 101 cities in six continents. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Explosive Truth About Veggie Burgers

    If there is anything to be learned from America's industrial food machine (in case you missed Food Inc. and other seminal critiques), it is this: nothing can be trusted. Until recently, many vegetarians have been all too happy to jump on the veggie burger bandwagon for a yummy protein fix, believing in earnest that theirs was a healthy choice that benefits the environment. Including me. >> Read the Full Article
  • Asbestos: Common Roofing Supply in India

    Asbestos pollution may be a waning issue in Europe and the US but it still remains a big problem in India. Richer nations like the UK and Germany banned asbestos decades ago after it was discovered that it leads to a condition called asbestosis which was first identified in 1906. Asbestos consists of six natural fibers about 1,200 times smaller than a strand of human hair that can be woven like fabric. The material is resistant to fire, heat and chemicals and is therefore well-suited to construction and auto industries. >> Read the Full Article
  • The incredible tree houses of the Korowai: New from BBC Earth

    When encountering persons of the same sex, you often wonder what natural similarities you may find. And it's no different when you meet members of a remote tribe living in the dense vegetation of the jungle. BBC Earth Researcher Rachael Kinley shares her intimate and humorous tale of what happened when the women of the Korowai Tribe in Papua invited her into their tree house. Before filming begins, it's important to spend time with the contributors without big cameras in their faces. It helps to strike up a friendly rapport and make the future weeks more productive and enjoyable for all. So, our first day in Papua with the Korowai is spent in their home, a tree house. >> Read the Full Article
  • Secrets of Lyme Disease Revealed

    Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by several bacteria of the genus Borrelia. It is the most common tick-borne disease in the world, transmitted from deer ticks throughout the northern hemisphere. The disease was named after the town of Lyme, Connecticut where a number of cases were identified in 1975. A new study has now revealed that the deadly bacteria appears to hide within the lymph nodes. This finding may explain why some people suffer from repeat infections of Lyme disease. >> Read the Full Article
  • Incredible Jungle games - Follow the hunter, New from BBC Earth

    "Is it all going to be like this?" Human Planet's Assistant Producer Willow Murton takes us into the thick of the rainforest and shares what it's really like to be confronted by deadly poisoned darts, a broken down boat and fortune in disguise. There are places that you imagine you may return to and people you may meet again and then there are farewells to people and places you assume you will hold as a treasured memories. For me Aurelio village was one of those places; so remote, so distant, one of only two communities where the Matis of Brazil live. Set in the vast indigenous Vale do Javari reserve, it takes several days' boat ride to reach the village, as well as many months of painstaking preparation. I had first come here to make the series "Tribe" and couldn't believe my luck when I was asked to make a return trip for "Human Planet"– a rare privilege. There is good reason to return to this remote corner of the Amazon for Human Planet's Jungles episode. The Matis are true masters of the rainforest. Pete, our endurance fit cameraman, and I are reminded of this on our first filming day. An hour into the hunt we’d come to film, we are up to our knees, even thighs at times in swamp mud, soaked through by the unrelenting rain and all eyes on deadly poisoned darts being fired over our heads! Pete turns to me and asks if it's all going to be like this? >> Read the Full Article
  • Returning to the Caveman Diet

    In today's age of highly processed food, packaged and shaped to look like animals, filled with ingredients we have never heard of, it is tempting to return to a diet from a much simpler time. A new fad that is catching on, known as the Paleolithic or "paleo" diet, aims to return people to a more "natural" way of eating. Before agriculture, people would eat lean meats, fruits, and vegetables, and they would avoid grains and processed foods. Is this what is really best for human consumption? According to a new book, the so-called caveman diet was abandoned for a reason, and the belief that it is superior is pure hokum. >> Read the Full Article
  • Nearly Two Billion People Worldwide Now Overweight

    Washington, D.C.—More than 1.9 billion people worldwide were overweight in 2010, a 25 percent increase since 2002, a new Worldwatch analysis shows. A survey of statistics in 177 countries shows 38 percent of adults – those 15 years or older – are now overweight. The trend is strongly correlated to rising income and to an increase in preventable health problems, writes Richard H. Weil in the latest Vital Signs Online release from the Worldwatch Institute. >> Read the Full Article