Quantum Experiment Shows How Time ‘Emerges’ from Entanglement.

By collecting heat energy from the environment and transforming it into electrical power, thermoelectric energy harvesters have the potential to provide energy for a variety of small electronic devices. Currently, the biggest challenge in developing thermoelectric energy harvesters is to make systems that are both powerful and efficient at the same time.


One material that scientists have experimented with for making thermoelectric energy harvesters is quantum dots, nano-sized crystals with semiconducting properties. Due to their sharp, discrete energy levels, quantum dots are good energy filters, which is an important property for thermoelectric devices.

In a new study published in the New Journal of Physics, a team of researchers from Switzerland, Spain, and the US has investigated a thermoelectric energy harvester design based on quantum wells. Although quantum wells are also made of semiconducting materials, they have different structures and energy-filtering properties than quantum dots.

“We have shown that quantum wells can be used as powerful and efficient energy harvesters,” said coauthor Björn Sothmann, a physicist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. “Compared to our previous proposal based on quantum dots, quantum wells are easier to fabricate and offer the potential to be operated at room temperature.”

The energy harvester design that the researchers investigated here consists of a central cavity connected via quantum wells to two electronic reservoirs. The central cavity is kept at a hotter temperature than the two electronic reservoirs, and the quantum wells act as filters that allow electrons of certain energies to pass through. In general, the greater the temperature difference between the central cavity and the reservoirs, the greater the electron flow and output power.

In their analysis, the researchers found that the quantum well energy harvester delivers an output power of about 0.18 W/cm2 for a temperature difference of 1 K, which is nearly double the power of a quantum dot energy harvester. This increased power is due to the ability of quantum wells to deliver larger currents compared to quantum dots as a result of their extra degrees of freedom.

Although the quantum well energy harvester has a good efficiency, the efficiency is slightly lower than that of energy harvesters based on quantum dots. The researchers explain that this difference occurs because of the difference in energy filtering: quantum wells transmit electrons of any energy above a certain level, while quantum dots are more selective and let only electrons of a specific energy pass through. As a result, quantum wells are less efficient energy filters.

Quantum well energy harvesters appear promising for applications. For one thing, they may be easier to fabricate than energy harvesters that use quantum dots, since quantum dots are required to have similar properties in order to achieve good performance, and there is no such requirement for quantum wells. In addition, the fact that they can operate at room temperature may make quantum well energy harvesters suitable for a variety of applications, such as electric circuits.

“The energy harvester can be used to convert waste heat from electric circuits, e.g. in computer chips, back into electricity,” Sothmann said. “This way, one can reduce both the consumed power as well as the need for cooling the chip.”

Blood sugar levels could be linked to memory loss in people without diabetes – Mirror.co.uk

Journal study finds with with lower blood sugar levels achieved highest scores in memory tests – those with high levels could suffer memory loss

People who have even slightly raised blood sugar levels may suffer memory loss, a study shows.

Researchers performed tests on 141 healthy people with an average age of 63.

None had diabetes or pre-diabetic symptoms.

But the study published in journal Neurology found those with with lower blood sugar levels achieved better scores in memory tests.

In a test to recall 15 words 30 minutes after hearing them, higher blood sugar levels were linked with poorer memory.

Lead researcher Dr Agnes Floel, of the Charite University Medicine in Berlin, Germany, said: “These results suggest that even for people within the normal range of blood sugar, lowering their blood sugar levels could be a promising strategy for preventing memory problems and cognitive decline as they age.

“Strategies such as lowering calorie intake and increasing physical activity should be tested.”

Dr Clare Walton, of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We already know that Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease but this new study suggests that higher blood sugar levels may also be linked to poor memory in people without diabetes.

“The research suggests that regulating blood sugar levels might be a way to improve people’s memory, even if they don’t have diabetes.”

Dr Simon Ridley, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, added: “While we do not know whether the people in this study would have gone on to develop dementia, the findings serve as a warning that we should be conscious of the impact that subtle changes in our health could have on our brain.

“Current evidence suggests the best way to keep the brain healthy is to eat a balanced diet, take regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, not smoke and keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check.”

Discovered: the galaxy that’s so far away we’re seeing it as it was 13 billion years ago

Scientists detected z8-GND-5296 with help of Hubble Space Telescope and Keck Telescope in Hawaii.

Astronomers have detected the furthest known galaxy in the Universe which is more than 13 billion light years away on the very edge of space.

Because of the time it takes for its light to reach Earth, the galaxy is seen today as it was just 700 million years after the Big Bang – the primordial event that created the Universe some 13.8 billion years ago.

Scientists detected the galaxy – known as z8-GND-5296 – with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope parked in geostationary orbit and the Keck Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

They searched a library of about 100,000 of the most distant galaxies before finding that one of them could be accurately positioned in space by analysing the infrared light it had emitted.

A spectroscopic analysis of the galaxy’s wavelength showed how much it has shifted to the red end of the spectrum. This “redshift”, and the known expansion velocity of the Universe, was used to measure the galaxy’s precise distance from Earth.

“What makes this galaxy unique, compare to other such discoveries, is the spectroscopic confirmation of its distance,” said Bahran Mobasher of the University of California, Riverside and a member of the research team.

“By observing a galaxy that far back in time, we can study the earliest formation of galaxies. By comparing properties of galaxies at different distances, we can explore the evolution of galaxies throughout the age of the Universe,” Dr Mobasher said.

At this particular point in its early history,  the z8-GND-5296 galaxy was producing new stars at a rate of about 300 a year, which is about 100 times faster than our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

There is only one other known object to be further away in space – a massive star that had exploded some 70 million years earlier. The period before this is known as the “cosmic dark ages” because so little is known about it.

Astronomers believe they are close to finding the first galaxies that were probably responsible for the transition from an opaque Universe, when much of its hydrogen was neutral, to a translucent Universe, when the hydrogen became ionised – called the Era of Re-ionisation.

Steven Finkelstein of the University of Texas at Austin, who led the project, said the new galaxy is in the same region of the sky as the previous record holder.

“So we’re learning something about the distant universe. There are way more regions of very high star formation than we previously thought. There must be a decent number of them if we happen to find two in the same area of the sky,” Dr Finkelstein said.

Saturated fat heart disease ‘myth’

The risk from saturated fat in foods such as butter, cakes and fatty meat is being overstated and demonised, according to a cardiologist.

Dr Aseem Malhotra said there was too much focus on the fat with other factors such as sugar often overlooked.

It is time to “bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease“, he writes in an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal.

But the British Heart Foundation said there was conflicting evidence.

It added reducing cholesterol through drugs or other means does lower heart risk.

Studies on the link between diet and disease have led to dietary advice and guidelines on how much saturated fat, particularly cholesterol, it is healthy to eat.

Millions of people in the UK have been prescribed statins to reduce cholesterol levels.

Dr Malhotra, a cardiology registrar at Croydon University Hospital, London, says the “mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades”.

Saturated fat

  • Saturated fat is the kind of fat found in butter and lard, pies, cakes and biscuits, fatty cuts of meat, sausages and bacon, and cheese and cream
  • Eating a diet that is high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in the blood, which increases the risk of heart disease, according to NHS Choices.
  • Most of us eat too much saturated fat – about 20% more than the recommended maximum amount.
  • The average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day.
  • The average woman should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.

He says saturated fat has been “demonised” and any link with heart disease is not fully supported by scientific evidence.

The food industry has compensated for lowering saturated fat levels in food by replacing it with sugar, he says, which also contributes to heart disease.

Adopting a Mediterranean diet – olive oil, nuts, oily fish, plenty of fruit and vegetables and a moderate amount of red wine – after a heart attack is almost three times as powerful in reducing mortality as taking a statin, writes Dr Malhotra.

However, Prof Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, says studies on the link between diet and disease frequently produce conflicting results.

Unlike drug trials, it is difficult to carry out a controlled, randomised study, he says.

“However, people with highest cholesterol levels are at highest risk of a heart attack and it’s also clear that lowering cholesterol, by whatever means, lowers risk.”

Cholesterol levels can be influenced by many factors including diet, exercise and drugs, in particular statins, he adds.

“There is clear evidence that patients who have had a heart attack, or who are at high risk of having one, can benefit from taking a statin.

“But this needs to be combined with other essential measures, such as eating a balanced diet, not smoking and taking regular exercise.”

Statins are a group of medicines that can help lower rates of cholesterol in the blood.

Cholesterol can also be reduced by eating a healthy, balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and doing regular physical activity.

TB challenge over ‘missing’ millions

About three million people who developed tuberculosis in 2012 have been “missed” by health systems, the World Health Organization has said.

Finding these missed cases is one of the biggest challenges in TB care and control, the WHO’s report says.

Twelve countries including India, South Africa and Bangladesh account for the majority of undiagnosed individuals.

But the WHO says the target to halve the number of TB deaths by 2015 is still within reach.

Global TB programme director Dr Mario Raviglione said 56 million people had been cured and 22 million lives had been saved in the past 15 years and half of the highest-burden countries were on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals targets, but there remained a number of major challenges.

“The two major challenges we identified are that of detecting in the system what we call the missed cases,” he told the BBC.

” There are about three million people that we estimate had TB and that are not officially in the system, that are not reported.

“Some of them may actually be never detected, some of them are in fact hidden in the private sector, in the non-state sector, that does not notify the cases.

“So that is I think one of the biggest challenges we have to face and there are opportunities there because we know where these cases may be.”

Drug-resistant TB challenge

The WHO says TB testing services need to be urgently improved in many countries, with help from non-governmental organisations NGOs and volunteers.

And in others, particularly Asian countries, more needs to be done to ensure figures on TB are compiled and reported centrally.

“Start Quote

Unless we take urgent action, we will continue to see an increase in harder-to-treat drug resistant strains of TB”

Dr Philipp du Cros Medecins Sans Frontieres

The other major challenge highlighted is drug-resistant TB.

The WHO estimates that 450,000 people became ill with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in 2012. China, India and Russia have the highest rates.

But the report adds that by 2012, deaths from TB had been reduced by 45% since 1990, meaning the target of a 50% reduction by 2015 is within reach.


Charity Medecins Sans Frontieres’ (MSF) infectious disease specialist Dr Philipp du Cros said: “Three in four people with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis are still not diagnosed, and 17,000 of those diagnosed in 2012 did not even start treatment.”

He said: “These shocking figures are an indictment of the global failure to tackle drug-resistant tuberculosis head on. People are paying for this failure with their lives.”

Dr Du Cros added: “Unless we take urgent action, we will continue to see an increase in harder-to-treat drug resistant strains of TB.”

He said more research was needed to make treatments for TB shorter, more effective and less damaging for patients.

“An extra $2bn was needed to plug a funding gap in the treatment of TB, he added.

Meteorite may solve Martian mystery

A meteorite reveals clues to how Mars lost its thick, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere and became a cold, rocky desert, researchers say.

They say the Lafayette meteorite shows signs of carbonation – where minerals absorb CO2 in a reaction with water.

Mars lost its protective blanket about 4 billion years ago, perhaps because of the loss of its magnetic field, space impacts, or chemical processes.

Carbonation may be the key factor, they write in Nature Communications.

Carbonation could be the main force that turned Mars to stone”

Dr Tim Tomkinson Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre

The process occurs naturally on Earth – and has been proposed as a technique for mitigating climate change, by capturing CO2 from the atmosphere.

The 4.5cm Lafayette meteorite was discovered in Indiana, US in 1931, having plummeted to Earth about 3,000 years ago.

It formed in the Red Planet‘s crust about 1.3 billion years ago, and was ejected from the surface by a massive impact.

A team from the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) performed microscopic analysis on a section of the rock – borrowed from the Natural History Museum in London.

A Scotland-based team of researchers study a meteorite from Mars in the hope of learning how we can deal with climate change here on Earth

They found that silicate minerals, such as olivine and feldspar, had interacted with CO2-rich liquid water to form siderite crystals.

The team says their discovery suggests liquid water was present on Mars more recently than some had thought.

They also say it represents the first direct evidence for carbonation on the Red Planet – and ties in with the discovery of carbonates by Nasa’s Curiosity Mars rover.

“Carbonation could be the main force that turned Mars to stone,” said lead author Dr Tim Tomkinson, of SUERC.

“We can’t say for certain it’s the dominant cause – the loss of Mars’ magnetic field may also have led to the stripping of its atmosphere by the solar wind. And CO2 is also frozen in the poles of Mars.

“But carbonates do seem to be very abundant on the Martian surface.”

False colour microscopic image of Lafayette meteorite showing evidence of carbonation, with siderite (orange) replacing olivine (blue).
Microscopic image shows evidence of carbonation with siderite (orange) replacing olivine (blue)

The loss of its carbon dioxide cloak is likely to have caused Mars to cool. So understanding how the CO2 was removed “could provide vital clues to how we can limit the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and so reduce climate change” said Dr Tomkinson.

Mineral carbonation is widespread on Earth. For example, in Oman’s Samail mountains, weathering of peridotite rocks has been estimated to bind more than 10,000 tons of CO2 per year.

Speeding up this natural process – by fracking rocks and pumping in purified CO2 – has been proposed as a technique for carbon capture and storage.

“From our analysis of the meteorite, it seems that carbonation occurs in certain orientations – we see amazing saw-tooth edges, all lining up,” Dr Tomkinson told BBC News.

“It could be for example that if you wanted to frack rocks and introduce CO2 you should do it from a certain angle.”

Dr Caroline Smith, curator of meteorites at the Natural History Museum, said: “These findings show just how valuable meteorites from collections like those we have here really are.

“There is so much important and useful scientific information locked away in these rare rocks.

“Our study shows that as we learn more about our planetary next door neighbour, we are seeing more and more similarities with geological processes on Earth.”

Images of Lafayette meteorite section
Images of a Lafayette meteorite section, highlighting different minerals

‘Most distant galaxy’ discovered

An international team of astronomers has detected the most distant galaxy yet.

The galaxy is about 30 billion light-years away and is helping scientists shed light on the period that immediately followed the Big Bang.

It was found using the Hubble Space Telescope and its distance was then confirmed with the ground-based Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

Because it takes light so long to travel from the outer edge of the Universe to us, the galaxy appears as it was 13.1 billion years ago (its distance from Earth of 30 billion light-years is because the Universe is expanding).

Lead researcher Steven Finkelstein, from the University of Texas at Austin, US, said: “This is the most distant galaxy we’ve confirmed. We are seeing this galaxy as it was 700 million years after the Big Bang.”

The far-off galaxy goes by the catchy name of z8_GND_5296.

Astronomers were able to measure how far it was from Earth by analysing its colour.

Because the Universe is expanding and everything is moving away from us, light waves are stretched. This makes objects look redder than they actually are.

Astronomers rate this apparent colour-change on a scale that is called redshift.

They found that this galaxy has a redshift of 7.51, beating the previous record-holder, which had a redshift of 7.21.

This makes it the most distant galaxy ever found.

z8_GND_5296 is churning out stars at a remarkable rate, say astronomers

The system is small: about 1-2% the mass of the Milky Way and is rich in heavier elements.

But it has a surprising feature: it is turning gas and dust into new stars at a remarkable rate, churning them out hundreds of times faster than our own galaxy can.

It is the second far-flung galaxy known that has been found to have a high star-production rate.

Astronomer looking at the Milky Way
  • Human eyes can see long distances, but the further away an object gets the harder it is to see in detail
  • Telescopes make a distant object appear larger by collecting its light and focusing it to a point
  • The large reflecting Hubble Telescope creates images from the Universe’s visible light and can also detect infrared and ultraviolet radiation
  • The optical and infrared Keck Telescopes examine young stars and can look into the centre of galaxies

Prof Finkelstein said: “One very interesting way to learn about the Universe is to study these outliers and that tells us something about what sort of physical processes are dominating galaxy formation and galaxy evolution.

“What was great about this galaxy is not only is it so distant, it is also pretty exceptional.”

He added that in the coming years, astronomers are likely to discover even more distant galaxies when Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is launched and other ground-based telescopes come online.

Commenting on the research, Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told BBC News: “This, along with some other evidence, shows that there are already quite surprisingly evolved galaxies in the very early Universe .

“This high star-formation rate maybe is a clue as to why these galaxies can form so quickly.”

Prof Alfonso Aragon-Salamanca, from the University of Nottingham, added: “This is an important step forward, but we need to continue looking for more.

“The further away we go, the closer we will get to discovering the very first stars that ever formed in the Universe. The next generation of telescopes will make this possible.”

But Dr Stephen Serjeant from the Open University said: “Chasing ultra-high redshift galaxies is a very exciting but equally very difficult game, and many claims of extremely distant galaxies have since turned out to be more nearby interlopers.”

Australia bans sunbeds in every state in a bid to slash deaths from skin cancer.

Australia is to ban all commercial sunbeds in a bid to slash skin cancer rates.

Every state has now either banned or is planning to outlaw commercial sunbeds due to the country having some of the highest skin cancer rates in the world.

The condition is responsible for more than 2,000 deaths and 80 per cent of all new cancer diagnoses.

Every Australian state has now either banned or is planning to outlaw commercial sunbeds due to the country having some of the highest skin cancer rates in the worldEvery Australian state has now either banned or is planning to outlaw commercial sunbeds due to the country having some of the highest skin cancer rates in the world

On Sunday, the Queensland government announced a total ban on commercial sunbeds by December 31 next year.

The state’s 44 solarium operators will be paid $1,000 AUD (£600) in compensation for each tanning bed – a total cost of $160,000 (£9,540), Sky News reported.

The move came after other states – New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT all took steps to regulate or ban sunbed use.

Following the Queensland announcement, Dr Kim Hames, health minister of Western Australia – the only remaining state left to act – announced he was also preparing documents to ban sunbeds.

Cases of malignant melanoma - the deadliest skin cancer - have doubled in the last decadeCases of malignant melanoma – the deadliest skin cancer – have doubled in the last decade

He told Fairfax Radio: ‘There is no doubt about the increased risk of cancer – so I think the chances are (a ban in WA) won’t be far away.’

‘I have to take it to cabinet, but if it happens it will happen in the next three months,’ Dr Hames told Fairfax radio.

Research has shown that people who have ever used a sunbed are 20 per cent more likely to  develop melanoma later in life, compared to people who had never used one.

And those who started using sunbeds before the age of 35 were 87 per cent more likely to develop melanoma compared to people who have never used a sunbed.

Cases of malignant melanoma – the deadliest skin cancer – have doubled in the last decade, according to figures from Cancer Research UK.

Around 13,000 Britons are diagnosed with the illness each year and it causes 2,800 deaths.

The Australian crackdown comes after Brazil outlawed tanning beds, along with U.S. states such as Vermont and California. In the UK, people under 18 are banned from using sunbeds.

Tanning beds became increasingly popular among young Australians around 15-20 years ago. But numbers have fallen dramatically since a similar ban for under 18s was introduced.

Sara Osborne, Cancer Research UK’s head of policy, said: ‘It’s encouraging to see the Australian Government tackling this important issue and it will be interesting to see the response in other countries.

The Australian crackdown comes after Brazil outlawed tanning beds, along with U.S. states such as Vermont and California. In the UK, people under 18 are banned from using sunbedsThe Australian crackdown comes after Brazil outlawed tanning beds, along with U.S. states such as Vermont and California. In the UK, people under 18 are banned from using sunbeds

‘The evidence linking sun bed use and skin cancer is very clear. Overexposure to UV rays from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer, including malignant melanoma – the most serious form of the disease – which sadly kills around six people every day in the UK.

‘Cancer Research UK urges people not to use sunbeds for cosmetic reasons. The charity was involved in the successful campaign to introduce a ban on under-18s using them and is now asking the Government to give local authorities the power to license any businesses that provide sunbeds and to inform users of the health risks.

Pushy bacteria could shed light on tumour growth.

Simulations of colonies containing about 100,000 cells showing circular and branched growth

Bacteria can colonize a vast number of surfaces in everyday life, from water pipes to teeth, spreading harmful disease in the process. Scientists had assumed that the growth of such colonies relies on bacteria being able to propel themselves towards sources of food, but a group of physicists in Scotland has now shown that colonies expand using nothing more than the simple mechanical repulsion between bacteria that takes place when they grow and bump into one another. This insight could improve our understanding of antibiotic resistance, say the researchers, and may even help in the fight against cancer.

Scientists use computer models of bacterial colonies to better understand a number of key characteristics of these ubiquitous structures. One parameter of great interest is a colony’s speed of growth because this determines how quickly disease can spread. Another important characteristic is a colony’s shape. Bacteria reproduce rapidly, which increases the possibility that they will mutate and acquire resistance to antibiotics. But reproduction requires nutrition and it is possible that the newly formed bacterium will be beaten by neighbouring cells in the race to reach the nutrients that are more abundant on the edge of the colony. The shape of the colony can dictate the outcome of that race.

According to existing models, which are based on a theory developed by biologist Ronald Fisher and mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov in the 1930s, the growth rate and shape of bacterial colonies depend on both a Brownian-motion-like diffusion of nutrients and a random but active motion on the part of the bacteria. However, these models fail to describe the behaviour of colonies growing on a surface, where bacteria are often unable to propel themselves.

Bacteria as ‘active matter’

In the latest work, Fred Farrell and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, working with Oskar Hallatschek of the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany, set out to establish the importance of mechanical forces in the growth of dense colonies of bacteria on solid substrates. Part of a growing number of physicists investigating “active matter” that exists far from thermal equilibrium, the team was also motivated by recent research showing that mechanical pressure can affect the growth and death rate of cells, including cancer cells.

The researchers model the evolution of non-self-propelling single-celled bacteria, starting with a single cell or a row of cells, which are surrounded by nutrients that they gradually deplete to grow and divide. Each bacterium is considered to be an elastic rod that grows along its length and which splits into two when it reaches a certain size. As it expands, the bacterium pushes against its nearest neighbours, creating movement by virtue of the elastic force between it and them.

The researchers found that this mechanical force pushes the colony outwards, allowing it to overcome surface friction. An increase in the strength of the pushing force leads to a faster growing colony. They also discovered that the shape the colony takes on as it expands depends on the ratio of the cells’ growth rate to the amount of nutrients available. When nutrition levels are low the colony forms branches to find more food, whereas with bountiful supplies the colony becomes circular, as is observed experimentally.

No diffusion needed

Contrary to the Fisher–Kolmogorov models, this behaviour was achieved without the diffusion of the bacteria and it also relied little on diffusion of the nutrients. Farrell’s colleague Bartek Waclaw points out that the results from the new model could be tested experimentally by confining a bacterial colony to 2D inside a microfluidic array and then imaging it to see how quickly it grows. Whereas the older models predict that the growth should be linear, the new one says it should either be slower than linear or exponential.

Having only two dimensions, however, the model’s utility will be limited, according to Waclaw. Although he adds that a basic 3D extension of the model does reproduce the main results. He explains that newly formed bacterial colonies can exist briefly as a single layer of cells, but colonies quickly build up successive layers. In addition, he points out, many bacteria exchange chemicals to communicate with each other and such signals are not incorporated in the current model. He says, however, that the model could mimic what happens at the early stages of the skin-cancer melanoma, which, he explains, starts out as an essentially flat colony of cells.

Looking at mutations

Waclaw adds that the group is now working on an extended version of the model that allows them to investigate directly how the mechanical properties of bacteria affect the rate of production of potentially antibiotic-resistant mutations. To do so the researchers assume that a certain fraction of the bacteria are mutant varieties and that these cells can grow a little faster than the rest. They then calculate the probability that a drug-resistant mutant cell can reach the nutrients ahead of its rivals and form a critical mass of cells.

A long-term aim of this research, says Waclaw, is to develop drugs that can control the mechanical properties of cells to lower the odds of those cells acquiring antibiotic resistance. “This is just a hypothesis,” he cautions, “but the ultimate hope is that it will one day be possible to modify mechanical interactions by applying a drug.”

What – You Still Think Salt Consumption Causes High Blood Pressure?

High sodium intake as a source of high blood pressure has been an unchallenged dogmatic mantra for decades. But a few renegade MDs, several naturopaths, and chiropractors have challenged the unproven hypothesis of salt being the basis of high blood pressure (HBP). Turns out that the link between high sodium intake and elevated blood pressure is a false one.

salt blood pressure 263x164 What – You Still Think Salt Consumption Causes High Blood Pressure?

Pure, unrefined salt is actually a necessary and helpful dietary component. Perhaps the most well known salt promoter is Dr. David Brownstein, MD, author of Salt Your Way to Health. Refined commercial table salt, used excessively in processed foods, is processed with toxic chemicals and stripped of its inherent nutritional value. It’s mostly poison with very little nutrition, though even using table salt often won’t lead to high blood pressure.

Actually, those with high blood pressure (and everyone, really) should just consume more foods rich in potassium. Meta-analysis’ show how low potassium intake has the same impact on blood pressure as high salt consumption – the real problem is an imbalance between sodium and potassium.

It appears the new HBP dietary villain could be high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which has been already linked to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular health issues.

HFCS is more commonly used in processed foods, fruit juices, sweets, and sodas than cane or beet sugar. It’s cheaper than sucrose (table sugar), and satisfies the “sweet tooth” SAD (standard American diet) consumers’ desire.

According to the USDA, HFCS consumption has increased significantly from 1970 to 2005, and it is now the number one source of empty calories in America. In fact, Americans eat approximately 35 lbs on average of high-fructose corn syrup each year.

How HFCS Contributes to Hypertension or High Blood Pressure

Fructose in fruit is tied to several other nutritional compounds that balance out fructose’s negative aspects. But fructose isolated from corn and made into a syrup is too much for the body to metabolize. Even table sugar metabolizes better.

Robert H. Lustig, MD, a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explains how the rise in HFCS use over the past three to four decades is behind the obesity and diabetes epidemic, both of which contribute to high blood pressure.

HFCS or “corn sugar” or “corn syrup” initiates a toxic overload from insufficient metabolism. The liver doesn’t convert isolated, concentrated fructose into energy well and stores it as fat instead. Add this to the dangers of GMO corn with traces of extremely toxic glyphosate herbicides and mercury as a byproduct from the conversion process. This toxic overload leads to obesity, fatty liver, other liver complications, and kidney disease.

Dr. Richard Johnson of the University of Colorado has been a researcher of investigations into HFCS and high blood pressure. His research revealed definite links of high HFCS consumption to high blood pressure.

What’s more, one of the toxic waste products remaining in the body from regular HFCS consumption is uric acid. A test of 17 subjects with high uric acid counts showed all 17 with high blood pressure. Uric acid inhibits nitric oxide (NO) in the blood vessels.

Nitric oxide is a volatile gas that helps maintain blood vessel elasticity. When that elasticity decreases, blood pressure increases. Here are 4 ways to increase nitric oxide naturally.

A safe range of uric acid is from 3 to 5.5 milligrams per deciliter (0.1 liter), with 4 mg/dl ideal for men and 3.5 mg/dl for women. Higher numbers threaten blood pressure increases. You can ask your health professional about a uric acid test or shop the internet by inserting “uric acid blood testing” in your search engine.