There’s another study out saying that if you’re exposed to a low level of oxidative stress, it turns on a protective mechanism in your body and you end up living longer. This is what happens when you exercise – you burn a lot of energy – and that creates free radicals – by products of metabolism – and that turns on protective mechanisms. The studies say that a gene known as Mga2 is turned on and that really facilitates this pathway. It’s another piece of the aging puzzle. Sources (1,2).


Just read an article on the benefits of Astaxanthin, an anti-oxidant. It’s purported to do everything from curing and preventing cancer to giving you more energy and making you feel good.

Wikipedia says it’s present at about 5ppm in salmon, which is 5 mg/kg so you’d have to eat over a pound of salmon per day to get what some people recommend (4mg per day).  But that’s for farmed salmon. In wild sockeye salmon, it can be 10 times as much as that, so you can get astaxanthin pretty easily.

It’s kind of surprising that Odwalla hasn’t added this to their drinks yet. All they have to do is add this one type of microalgae, Haematococcus, to their drinks, just like they add spirulina to their green superfood drink and voila – a new or improved product.

Also we don’t know a lot about the stereochemistry of astaxanthin. Most of the studies have only been done on one enantiomer, while natural astaxanthin comes in 3 main enantiomers.

If you’re gonna panic over swine flu, at least do it correctly. Wear a surgical mask and you’ll get the virus anyway. Why settle for 62% effective when N95 respirators are 98% effective ? Unfortunately all the best fashion choices are surgical masks.

The New York Times would like you to know that putting a child in a bath with bleach can ease its eczema. They neglect to mention that it might cause cancer for the child down the road as well, but oh well. Unfortunately we just don’t know enough about this. As an example, here’s a link to one study on bleach and cancer.

You know lifestyles in America are unhealthy when red meat only increases mortality 30%.

I’m going to stop using the word genius and start saying “capable and well practiced.” As this article says, “The key factor separating geniuses from the merely accomplished is not a divine spark. It’s not I.Q., a generally bad predictor of success, even in realms like chess. Instead, it’s deliberate practice. Top performers spend more hours (many more hours) rigorously practicing their craft.”

The environmental destruction caused by palm oil is shockingly bad. And how do you put a price on that? With a huge tax, that’s how. Or you could just ban palm oil whose origin is uncertified. That’d probably be smarter.

Obama is a stud for spending more money on science & research. We don’t really understand cancer, aging, the brain, etc., and if we can lure more smart people to study those things with federal money, then the pace of discovery increases. It’s not profitable for business to do it because it’s too long term and payoffs are unexpected and businesses don’t like the unexpected. So that’s why Obama is a friend of businesses – helping them in the ways that they can’t help themselves.

Also the fruits of any breakthrough might be shared by multiple businesses, none of whom could have born the discovery cost on their own. Who knew that when researchers discovered the photovoltaic effect, it would spawn the worldwide solar industry? Who knew that angiogenesis research would spawn billion dollar drugs like Avastin? The list goes on. Research is good. And we don’t do enough of it.

I’m usually decidedly to the right when it comes to economic stuff – an ardent believer in free markets, so that’s why this special exception is so necessary to flesh out, because this is one of those rare times when capitalism needs a little help.

Here are 30+ links I liked from the last few weeks. I found them to be interesting, funny, touching, or otherwise worthwhile. This blog entry is a cut and paste from Google Reader, which has this lovely but addictive share button that I always click on when I find good articles.

Gaze for too long at these rock formations, and you begin to drift off and forget whether you’re looking at a geological phenomenon or a vast, abstract oil painting. The swirls seem to envelop you, and in Antelope Canyon they actually do. Let’s take a ramble down this most gorgeous of gorges and lose ourselves in the wonderful play of light and patterns that captivate its many visitors each year. Here lies one of the planet’s greatest natural art galleries.

via on 4/21/09

We already know what government-run health care looks like.

the adult videogame market was born. Not surprisingly, a company called Mystique decided to release a game based on one of the most famous sexual figures of all time: General George Custer. Waitaminute… Custer?

via Twitter / StephenAtHome on 4/20/09

StephenAtHome: twitter’s right – every little thought that pops into my head is worth sharing

via on 4/20/09

Rita Levi Montalcini, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, said Saturday that even though she is about to turn 100, her mind is sharper than it was she when she was 20.

via on 4/20/09

The conventional wisdom about breast cancer screening is coming under sharp attack in Britain.

via on 4/20/09

topiramate (Topamax) — already used to treat epilepsy and migraines — reduced the number of days on which alcoholics drank heavily, by 25 percent more than among alcoholics who got just therapy.

• A federally funded study known as COMBINE compared cognitive-behavioral therapy alone with therapy along with naltrexone. Patients receiving both were more likely to stay abstinent and drank less if they did relapse.

These findings highlight what’s become increasingly clear: Addiction is a brain disease, not just a failure of willpower. Naltrexone and topiramate have slightly different mechanisms, but both seem to block the release of brain chemicals that are linked to pleasure and excitement.

via on 4/20/09

Famous people known not only for their accomplishments but also for their disastrous hygiene.

This is a list of 6 famous historic figures that became celibate at some point in their life.

via on 4/20/09

U.S. manufacturers, including major drugmakers, have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide drinking water

via on 4/20/09

“Does treating chairs as masculine and beds as feminine in the grammar make Russian speakers think of chairs as being more like men and beds as more like women in some way?” she asks in a recent essay. “It turns out that it does.

via on 4/20/09

Can painful, unwanted memories be altered or even eradicated? That’s the provocative question being raised by the emerging science of forgetting.

via BuzzFeed – Latest on 4/1/09

Link:…Difficult crossword puzzles, in-grown hairs, and declining stock portfolios — it’s hard out here for a Caucasian!Contribute: Add an image, link, video or comment »

via BuzzFeed – Latest on 4/1/09

Turtle attacks a pigeon and drags him under water.

via on 4/18/09

I was not allowed to indulge in any sanitary practices developed before the Age of Enlightenment, and I had to wear the same set of clothes for all 14 days.

via on 4/18/09

Doctors from local hospitals in Kingston, Jamaica, report that they’ve been seeing a record number of broken dicks in the past few months. They attribute this to the increased popularity of “daggering.”

Viewed by many as the most dangerous bird alive, cassowary attacks are very common. Incidents happen every year in northern Queensland & that’s not the only place.

via on 4/17/09

Richard Posner, esteemed federal judge of the 7 th Circuit, is one of the most respected and prolific conservative intellectuals. As a founder of the ” Chicago School,” he is both a creator and defender of the free-market theory that has guided deregulation.

via on 4/16/09

Lead: a highly toxic metal found in small amounts in the earth’s crust…and in many common brands of lipstick. Huh? Chronic exposure to this metal

via Viral Nerd by Viral Nerd on 4/14/09

…but it kind of looks like a urinal.

via on 4/14/09

When government ‘competes,’ guess who always wins?

A defense of the large family by a ‘six-time breeder.’

via on 4/12/09

What happens when you hold a mirror up to seven comedians? PT sat down with some well-known wits to explore the droll—and the weighty—elements of their craft.

via on 4/12/09

A new study suggests that an aggressive, take-charge kind of personality may facilitate baby-making.

via on 4/12/09

studies have shown that subjects find comedy routines significantly funnier when they hold a pen between their teeth the way a dog holds a bone, a pose that stimulates the muscles used for smiling. Similarly, subjects laugh less when holding a pen between their lips, a pose that mimics frowning.

via on 4/11/09

amazing shot of a California gray whale calf both above and below the surface

via on 4/11/09

CP Kelco’s Ted Russin in San Diego straddles the divide between food science and culinary arts, bringing the cutting edge to the dining table.

via on 4/10/09

Is it time for schools to try to boost kids’ emotional intelligence?

via on 4/9/09

Aquarium staff have unearthed a ‘giant sea’ worm that was attacking coral reef and prize fish.

mcsp4.jpg …. birds on a branch….

via on 4/9/09

Open Letter to Starbucks: An eloquent and moving letter to Starbucks about the feng shui in their bathrooms…

Surely everyone agrees. Electricity pylons or transmission towers are terribly unsightly constructions at the best of times. Maybe the Australians say it best, calling them Iron Men, but that gives each cloned metallic colossus a rather too human aspect. All the same, architects Arphenotype are looking to change such preconceptions with their newly envisaged design for a power transmission network in Iceland.

Bubbling and belching away like witches’ cauldrons, mud volcanoes are one of nature’s more murky oddities. They’re found spattered throughout the world, but astonishingly around 300 of the earth’s estimated 700 mud volcanoes lie in Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea. Capable of ejecting millions of cubic metres of hydrocarbon gasses plus mountains of mud, these geological marvels – some of them over 200 metres high – are a sight to behold.

I think every school should consider having a program like this