High levels of BPA associated with prostate cancer: study

The human body’s endocrine system and DNA are under constant attack from pollutants like bisphenol-A.

Consumers take for granted what they eat from and what they drink out of. Bisphenol-A (BPA) can still be found in the lining of canned food and in plastic water bottles. For that reason, it’s typically found in urine samples of 90 percent of the US population. Once consumed, inhaled or absorbed, the chemical goes to work, unseen by the human eye, offsetting hormone levels. Inside the body, it becomes a disrupter, a divider, manipulating DNA. In fact, a new study from the Cincinnati Cancer Center found that BPA disrupts cellular division, which can beckon the development of cancer.


High BPA levels associated with prostate cancer

The study, published in PLOS ONE, linked high levels of BPA in men to their prostate cancer. Previously, BPA has been studied for its devastating neurological effects and its contribution to diabetes and obesity. Disrupting important glands and hormone levels, BPA is a threat to the body’s harmonic, balanced state of being.

While modern cancer treatments rely on burning and radiating the body, both its good cells and cancer cells, there remains little research on how to prevent cancer by cleansing the body of pollutant chemicals like BPA. Understanding the mechanisms of cellular disruption by chemicals like BPA may be a more constructive approach to treating cancer. In fact, this study may open the eyes of medical professionals, prompting them to betray prostate cancer drugs and instead seek to help patients remove and avoid the very chemical that is perpetuating the prostate cancer.

BPA levels generally 2-4 times greater in cancer patients

Lead author of the study, director of the Cincinnati Cancer Center, Shuk-mei Ho, recognizes this correlation first hand. In an interview, he stated, “The BPA level found in cancer patients is about two- to four-fold higher than the median level found in larger population studies in America.”

In the study, a team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center analyzed urine samples from 60 men at the center’s urology clinic. Direct connections were made between higher levels of BPA and prostate cancer. The researchers mentioned that the study only measured one-time exposure, since BPA is excreted from the body within one day. They did, however, mention that daily exposure to BPA can cause higher levels in the body.

“If a person has high levels [of BPA] in his urine, it suggests they’re pretty consistently exposed to it,” Ho said.

The widespread use of BPA took off about 50 years ago; it is derived from polycarbonate manufacturing. Working in a polycarbonate manufacturing plant typically increases BPA levels to 10 to 20 times greater than normal exposure levels. The lifestyle habit of drinking from plastic water bottles also welcomes higher levels of BPA.

Professor Ho, who calls for earlier prostate cancer readings for adults, can detect the cancer early. Looking at BPA levels in the urine, professionals like Ho can help patients understand the need to remove chemicals like BPA from their lifestyle before further action should be taken. In the end, though, the responsibility is up to the adult. It’s easy for some to drink from BPA plastic bottles on a daily basis and not give the habit a second thought.

BPA causes abnormal distribution of DNA during cell division

BPA is one of the chemicals involved in disrupting a person’s DNA over time. When the researchers went a step further, they noticed that cell division is disrupted when BPA is introduced. In a cell model study, they compared normal and cancerous prostate cells and the biomarkers involved in cancer development. In normal cell division, two “daughter cells” are formed as DNA chromosomes divide equally between the new cells. When the researchers placed BPA into the midst, the DNA was abnormally distributed.

“It seems that BPA, even at very low doses, can disrupt the way DNA is partitioned between two daughter cells — the potential basis for cancer promotion or initiation,” Ho said.

“These are very early studies, but I think [their] importance is as a warning sign,” Ho said. “Because other studies have shown that lifestyle changes can change BPA levels, this really offers… a positive hope of potential ways of diminishing exposure.”

In this study of chemical exposure, professionals investigated the devastating role that environmental toxin splay on normal, healthy genes. When women are told to cut off their breasts or cut out their ovaries because they have a predisposition to cancer, when men are told to cut out their prostate, they should question their doctor and despise the idea, seeking to rule out environmental factors such as BPA exposure first.

DNA modifications measured in blood signal related changes in the brain.

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have confirmed suspicions that DNA modifications found in the blood of mice exposed to high levels of stress hormone — and showing signs of anxiety — are directly related to changes found in their brain tissues.

The proof-of-concept study, reported online ahead of print in the June issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology, offers what the research team calls the first evidence that epigenetic changes that alter the way genes function without changing their underlying DNA sequence — and are detectable in blood — mirror alterations in brain tissue linked to underlying psychiatric diseases.

The new study reports only on so-called epigenetic changes to a single stress response gene called FKBP5, which has been implicated in depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. But the researchers say they have discovered the same blood and brain matches in dozens more genes, which regulate many important processes in the brain.

“Many human studies rely on the assumption that disease-relevant epigenetic changes that occur in the brain — which is largely inaccessible and difficult to test — also occur in the blood, which is easily accessible,” says study leader Richard S. Lee, Ph.D., an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “This research on mice suggests that the blood can legitimately tell us what is going on in the brain, which is something we were just assuming before, and could lead us to better detection and treatment of mental disorders and for a more empirical way to test whether medications are working.”

For the study, the Johns Hopkins team worked with mice with a rodent version of Cushing’s disease, which is marked by the overproduction and release of cortisol, the primary stress hormone also called glucocorticoid. For four weeks, the mice were given different doses of stress hormones in their drinking water to assess epigenetic changes to FKBP5. The researchers took blood samples weekly to measure the changes and then dissected the brains at the end of the month to study what changes were occurring in the hippocampus as a result of glucocorticoid exposure. The hippocampus, in both mice and humans, is vital to memory formation, information storage and organizational abilities.

The measurements showed that the more stress hormones the mice got, the greater the epigenetic changes in the blood and brain tissue, although the scientists say the brain changes occurred in a different part of the gene than expected. This was what made finding the blood-brain connection very challenging, Lee says.

Also, the more stress hormone, the more RNA from the FKBP5 gene was expressed in the blood and brain, and the greater the association with depression. However, it was the underlying epigenetic changes that proved to be more robust. This is important, because while RNA levels may return to normal after stress hormone levels decrease or change due to small fluctuations in hormone levels, epigenetic changes persist, reflect overall stress hormone exposure and predict how much RNA will be made when stress hormone levels increase.

The team of researchers used an epigenetic assay previously developed in their laboratory that requires just one drop of blood to accurately assess overall exposure to stress hormone over 30 days. Elevated levels of stress hormone exposure are considered a risk factor for mental illness in humans and other mammals.

Other Johns Hopkins researchers involved in the study include Erin R. Ewald; Gary S. Wand, M.D.; Fayaz Seifuddin, M.S.; Xiaoju Yang, M.D.; Kellie L. Tamashiro, Ph.D.; and Peter Zandi, Ph.D. James B. Potash, M.D., M.P.H., formerly of Johns Hopkins, also contributed to this research.

The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (UO1 AA020890) and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD055030), the Kenneth A. Lattman Foundation, a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, the Margaret Ann Price Investigator Fund and the James Wah Fund for Mood Disorders via the Charles T. Bauer Foundation.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Erin R. Ewald, Gary S. Wand, Fayaz Seifuddin, Xiaoju Yang, Kellie L. Tamashiro, James B. Potash, Peter Zandi, Richard S. Lee. Alterations in DNA methylation of Fkbp5 as a determinant of blood–brain correlation of glucocorticoid exposure. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2014; 44: 112 DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.03.003

A new twist makes for better steel

In steelmaking, two desirable qualities—strength and ductility—vary indirectly: Stronger steel is less ductile, and more ductile steel is not as strong. Engineers at Brown University, three Chinese universities, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have shown that when cylinders of steel are twisted, the steel becomes stronger at the surface with ductility preserved at the core.

Researchers from Brown University and universities in China have found a simple technique that can strengthen steel without sacrificing ductility. The new technique, described in Nature Communications, could produce steel that performs better in a number of structural applications. 

Strength and ductility are both crucial material properties, especially in materials used in structural applications. Strength is a measure of how much force is required to cause a material to bend or deform. Ductility is a measure of how much a material can stretch without breaking. A material that lacks strength will tend to fatigue, failing slowly over time. A material that lacks ductility can shatter, causing a sudden and catastrophic failure. 

Steel is one of the rare materials that is both strong and ductile, which is why it’s ubiquitous as a structural material. As good as steel is, however, engineers are constantly working to make it better. The problem is that methods of making steel stronger tend to sacrifice ductility and vice versa. 

“We call it the strength-ductility tradeoff,” said Huajian Gao, professor of engineering at Brown and senior author on this new research. He and his colleagues have found a way around that tradeoff in cylinders made with a particular kind of steel called twinning-induced plasticity (TWIP) steel. 

TWIP steel can be made stronger through what’s called work hardening. Work hardening is the process of strengthening steel by deforming it—bending it, flattening it, or hammering it on a forge. When TWIP steel is deformed, nanoscale structures called deformation twins form in its atomic lattice. Deformation twins are linear boundaries with identical crystalline structures on either side, forming a mirror image across the boundary. Twin structures are known to make TWIP steel much stronger, but just like other ways of hardening steel, there’s a ductility tradeoff. 

To evade that tradeoff, Gao and his colleagues introduced a new twist—literally—on the deformation process. Instead of deforming the steel by hammering it or bending it, Gao and his colleagues took small cylinders of TWIP steel and twisted them. The twisting motion causes molecules in the outer parts of the cylinder to deform to a much greater degree than molecules toward the core. The idea is a little like runners on a track. Those running in the outside lanes have more ground to cover than runners on the inside. 

Because the twisting motion deforms the outside more than the inside, deformation twins form only toward the surface of the cylinder. The core remains essentially untouched. 

The result is a steel cylinder with the best of both worlds—the surface of the cylinder becomes stronger and more resistant to cracking, while the inside retains its original ductility. 

“Essentially we partitioned the material into a hardened part near the surface and a softer part near the core,” Gao said. “This allowed us to double the strength without sacrificing ductility.” 

The work in the lab was done with very small cylinders—on the order of centimeters long. However, nothing indicates that the process can’t be scaled up to larger cylinders, Gao said. 

Eventually, Gao and his colleague hope their technique could be used to pre-treat steel that requires a cylindrical shape—axles or drive shafts on cars for example. In particular, Gao sees torsioned as a good option for axles on high-speed trains. 

“It’s critical to have high strength and high ductility for such an axle component,” Gao said. “So it’s critical in this kind of system to push this strength-ductility limit as far as possible.”

Quantum Dots Can Charge Your Smartphone In 30 Seconds .

On average, it usually takes about 2-3 hours to charge a smartphone from completely drained to 100%. Because so many of us are constantly on the go and rely so heavily on our phones throughout the day, battery life becomes increasingly important. A new device by an Israeli startup called StoreDot could revolutionize battery charges by bringing a phone from dead to full in about 30 seconds.

The secret to StoreDot’s technology is quantum dots, which are about 60 times smaller than a single HIV virion. The “dots” are actually peptides that have been altered to have certain properties, like optical or the ability to generate charge when strained. Only two peptides are connected and they have a crystalline structure that aids in their stability and ability to hold a charge, which should last through thousands of charge cycles.

Traditional batteries use an electrolyte to generate electrons, but StoreDot has made a battery that uses a quantum dot nanocrystal solution instead. The resulting battery is about five times more powerful. It could also be used to make a batter equal in power, though considerably smaller.

Currently, StoreDot’s charger is about the size of the phone, though a couple inches thicker, but the company is working on scaling it down for a commercial release in late 2016. The charger is expected to cost about $30. The prototype was built for the Samsung Galaxy 4, though they plan to make chargers for other brands as well.


The Secret You Need To Know About Feeling Loved In A Relationship

I know you really want to know this secret — how to feel loved by another person, and have his or her love sustain you. It’s simple actually, and probably not what you think.

Love yourself.

Yes, that’s the secret to getting love from others. Love yourself, first.

When you don’t feel enough love on the inside — when you don’t feel good enough, lovable enough, smart enough, anythingenough — your default is to move into trying to get someone else to make you feel this way.

You figure, If he or she loves me, then I’ll feel loved.” Unfortunately it doesn’t work this way.

Trying to secure love on the outside causes us to chase after people and demand their love. But this just leaves us, well, chasing. It will never get you the love you want. (Take a moment to think about it: how many times has chasing after love worked for you? My point, exactly.)

That’s because the secret to feeling loved by someone else is loving yourself. When you love yourself first, then everything else will fall into place.

What we experience from others is a reflection of what we experience inside ourselves. If you feel desperate for another person’s love, it’s a sign that you’re desperately in need of loving yourself. There’s a hole you’re trying to fill, but the reality is it can only be filled by you. As you fill this need within — as you love yourself more and more — then you’ll feel more love from others, too.

What do I mean when I talk about “self-love”? It’s everything from how you talk to yourself when you make a mistake, to giving yourself enough time to sleep, to eating foods that make you feel nourished rather than deprived. Self-love is the simple but profound act of treating yourself the way you’d treat someone else you care about deeply.

I’ve experienced this concept profoundly in my own life. In the past, at times when I did not feel good enough, I desperately wanted to feel loved by someone else, in particular by a romantic partner. As much as I tried not to, I would grasp and cling for a man’s love, in hope that I could feel a sense of being loved. I thought his love was the answer, and if I could just get it, everything would fall into place. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Finally, after a ton of soul searching and internal work, I realized the real truth, and I started to focus on loving myself.

What happened next? As the love within me grew, so did the love I felt from others. In fact, it was directly correlated.

All this time I had been trying to get love on the outside, and it never worked. But once I started to cherish myself, the experience of being cherished by others came so naturally. I no longer had to chase after others for love; I just had to do the necessary work to feel love within myself, and the rest took care of itself.

As I began to feel full, beautiful, and magnificent internally, I experienced others feeling these things for me in a greater way than ever before. As I accepted my feelings and was kind to myself when I struggled, I encountered others who did the same for me.

Our internal experience is mirrored back to us in our relationships, therefore the best thing you can always do is find love within.When in doubt, love yourself.

Loving yourself is a process. It’s not like you do it once, check it off the list and you’re good to go. It’s a lifestyle.

If you want to change your body, you have to change your diet and exercise routine. Same thing if you want to change your heart: you commit to a plan and you go for it.

You go for it by reading inspirational books and by being in contact with people who lift you up.

You go for it by working with mentors or coaches who can guide you on the path.

You go for it by changing your internal dialogue to nicer, kinder words.

You go for it. You continue. And you persevere.

I know you want to feel completely cherished and loved in relationships, and I am here to tell you that that you can. The change starts within you.

Treat yourself the way you want to be treated by others, and the rest will fall right into place.

Please leave a comment below telling us how you are going to love yourself today. I look forward to hearing from you.

Early Preeclampsia Often Overlooked


From the desk of Zedie.

High vitamin D levels improve symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients


From the desk of Zedie.

Experts Find a Door Ajar in an Internet Security Method Thought Safe – NYTimes.com


From the desk of Zedie.

Critical phase in missing matter hunt

Critical phase in missing matter hunt http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26819792

From the desk of Zedie.

Aggression from video games studied

Feelings of aggression after playing video games are more likely to be linked to gameplay mechanics rather than violent content, a study suggests.

Researchers carried out a range of tests, including making a non-violent version of popular game Half-Life 2.

Games modified to have counter-intuitive, frustrating controls – leading to feelings of incompetence – produced more aggressive reactions.

Gordon Freeman, Half-Life

The team called for more sophisticated research into violent gaming.

“There’s a need for researchers who are interested in these questions not just to pull two video games off the shelf from the high street,” said Dr Andrew Przybylski from the Oxford Internet Institute, who carried out the research along with colleagues from the University of Rochester in the US.

“We need to have a more sophisticated approach so we’re all reading from the same experimental methods.”

The link between violence and video games is a heavily debated topic among psychologists.

One recent study suggested that playing violent video games for long periods of time can hold back the “moral maturity” of teenagers.

Problems arose with teenagers who spent more than three hours every day in front of a screen, continuously playing these violent games without any other real-life interaction.

Evaporating foes

The study from the University of Oxford, however, believed it was the first to look at the impact gameplay mechanics had on aggression.

The findings have been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

“Start Quote

The aggression stems from feeling not in control or incompetent while playing”

Prof Richard RyanUniversity of Rochester

The research sought to establish whether it was violence in games which made players feel more aggressive, or a combination of other factors.

Six separate studies were carried out.

One of them involved modifying Half-Life 2 – a critically-acclaimed, but graphic, shooting title.

The researchers created a modified version in which rather than violently removing enemies, the player would instead “tag” foes who would then evaporate.

This version was tested alongside the normal, violent version.

However, only some of the gamers were given a tutorial before playing the game so they could familiarise themselves with the controls and game mechanics.

The researchers found that it was the players who had not had the tutorial who felt less competent and more aggressive, rather than people who had played the more violent version of the game.


“We focused on the motives of people who play electronic games and found players have a psychological need to come out on top when playing,” said Dr Przybylski.

“If players feel thwarted by the controls or the design of the game, they can wind up feeling aggressive.

“This need to master the game was far more significant than whether the game contained violent material.

Computer gameMore research into long-term effects of video gaming is needed, researchers say

“Players of games without any violent content were still feeling pretty aggressive if they hadn’t been able to master the controls or progress through the levels at the end of the session.”

Further research is needed, Dr Przybylski said, into longer-term effects of video game violence beyond initial feelings of aggression.

Co-author Prof Richard Ryan, from the University of Rochester, said: “The study is not saying that violent content doesn’t affect gamers, but our research suggests that people are not drawn to playing violent games in order to feel aggressive.

“Rather, the aggression stems from feeling not in control or incompetent while playing.

“If the structure of a game or the design of the controls thwarts enjoyment, it is this not the violent content that seems to drive feelings of aggression.”

The chief executive of Tiga, a British video games trade body, said it was encouraging to read a study that took a more nuanced approach to the link between video games and aggression than some previous research into the topic.

“If developers can design more effective game-play processes then it could be possible to minimise a player’s feelings of exasperation and irritation – admittedly something good developers will want to achieve in any case,” said Richard Wilson.

“Indeed, creating a game that is challenging without feeling unfair or frustrating is often the mark of a great developer.

“It’s also important to understand, as part of this debate, that most video games are not violent.

“Previous research published by Tanya Byron in her 2008 independent review ‘Safer Children in a Digital World’, found little evidence to suggest children who play video games become desensitised to violence.”