It's Time To Get The Facts Straight About Stem Cell Therapy
Type “stem cell treatments” into Google and you’ll find yourself inundated with invitations to fancy clinics in faraway places. Apparently, these “miracle cures” can help with everything from incontinence to autism. But dig a little deeper, and what you find may surprise you.
In the future, stem cells may hold the key to treating some of mankind’s most challenging diseases. Unfortunately, the future is not now. And stem cell scammers know this all too well, preying on desperate people in desperate situations.
In an effort to separate fact from fiction, I reached out to Dr. David Scadden, co-founder and co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Watch the video linked below and/or click the link below to learn more. And don’t forget to sound off by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page. Talk nerdy to me!
Ethan Zuckerman offers an innovative idea to quantify attention paid to various things on the internet. The unit of measure? The amount of attention Kim Kardashian gets in one day. As he explains:
The Kardashian mentions how much attention is paid, not how much attention is deserved, so naming the unit after someone who is famous for being famous seems appropriate. Should the unit be adopted, I would hope that future scholars will calculate Kardashians using whatever public figure is appropriate at the time for being inappropriately famous.
So how do things size up in Kardashians? Angelina Jolie gets about 0.35 Kardashians, The Kony 2012 campaign peaked at 7.7 Kardashians, but now sits at a paltry 5 centiKardashians.
As for me? Searches for this blog are registering no higher than the nanoKardashian range. And searches for my name are mostly people misspelling “Scarlett Johansson”. You gotta start somewhere!
Electrons rule our world, but not so long ago they were only an idea. This month marks the 120th anniversary of a profound and influential creation, the electron theory of Dutch physicist Hendrik Antoon Lorentz. His electron was not merely a hypothesized elementary particle; it was the linchpin of an ambitious theory of nature. Today physicists are accustomed to the notion that a complete description of nature can rise out of simple, beautiful equations, yet prior to Lorentz that was a mystic vision.
Giovanni Aldini may not be a household name, but his contributions to science cannot be ignored. Neither can his macabre demonstrations of the power of electricity on the human body. Aldini was a real-life “mad scientist,” and it’s rumored that Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” was based on his life.
The adage that children exposed to violence grow up faster has some fresh genetic evidence to support it. Examining data from a study that tracked 1,100 British families through the 1990s, researchers at Duke University have found that children exposed to two or more kinds of violence exhibited shorter telomeres, parts of our DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes and prevent them from unraveling. “They also get shorter as cells divide, meaning that the gradual loss of telomeres over time is a decent proxy for a person’s actual age.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Children who grow up in stressful home environments age faster than children reared by well-adjusted families. That means they are put at earlier risk for developing age-related diseases like heart disease, diabetes and dementia. The link between violence, telomere loss and age-related disease led Duke psychology professor Terrie Moffitt to conclude that early action is the key to preventing serious disease. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said Moffitt. “Some of the billions of dollars spent on diseases of aging…might be better invested in protecting children from harm.”
“Imagining living in a universe without purpose may prepare us to better face reality head on. I cannot see that this is such a bad thing. Living in a strange and remarkable universe that is the way it is, independent of our desires and hopes, is far more satisfying for me than living in a fairy-tale universe invented to justify our existence.”—Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe Without Purpose (http://huff.to/JFmvFd)
A seemingly trivial task – playing a particular video game – may lessen flashbacks and other psychological symptoms following a traumatic event, according to research presented here at the British Psychology Society Annual Conference.
“I know that the molecules in my body are traceable to phenomena in the cosmos. That makes me want to grab people on the street and say: ‘Have you HEARD THIS?”—Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Happy National Physics Day!)