New James Bond movie, Spectre, is officially announced


  • Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear all reprising their former roles in the action movie
  • Cast newcomers include Monica Belluci, Christoph Waltz, David Bautista and Léa Seydoux
  • Belluci, 50, will make history when she becomes the oldest Bond girl to grace screens
  • Sleek new Aston Martin DB10 also unveiled as the car of choice for the suave spy 
  • No actor has yet been cast in the role of evil genius Blofeld 
  • Spectre will follow Bond going on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation after receiving a cryptic message from his past
  • Movie to be shot on location in London, Mexico City, Rome and Tangier and Erfoud in Morocco. Also included are such Austrian towns as Obertilliach, Lake Altaussee and Sölden 
  • Spectre is scheduled to be released on November 6, 2015 
  • Craig to reprise role as Bond for a fourth time 

The shroud of secrecy surrounding the 24th instalment in the James Bond franchise has finally been lifted.

On Thursday, it was officially announced at Buckinghamshire’s Pinewood Studios that Daniel Craig would be reprising his role as super-spy 007 in Spectre, the latest film in the saga, to be directed by Sam Mendes.

On the set of the movie – scheduled to begin shooting over seven months from Monday – he will be joined by a star-studded returning cast that includes Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Miss Moneypenny), Ben Whishaw (Q) and Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner).

Bond 24: (L-R) Andrew Scott, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Sam Mendes, Léa Seydoux, Daniel Craig, Monica Bellucci, Christoph Waltz and Ben Whishaw gathered at Buckinghamshire's Pinewood Studios on Thursday to announce the new Bond movie Spectre

Bond 24: (L-R) Andrew Scott, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Sam Mendes, Léa Seydoux, Daniel Craig, Monica Bellucci, Christoph Waltz and Ben Whishaw gathered at Buckinghamshire’s Pinewood Studios on Thursday to announce the new Bond movie Spectre

He's back! British actor Daniel Craig was officially confirmed for the 24th instalment in the James Bond franchise, entitled Spectre, at a press conference at Buckinghamshire's Pinewood Studios on Thursday

He’s back! British actor Daniel Craig was officially confirmed for the 24th instalment in the James Bond franchise, entitled Spectre, at a press conference at Buckinghamshire’s Pinewood Studios on Thursday

Smooth ride: The sleek new Aston Martin DB10 was also unveiled at the official photocall and will be the car of choice for the super suave spy 

Smooth ride: The sleek new Aston Martin DB10 was also unveiled at the official photocall and will be the car of choice for the super suave spy

There is also an impressive list of newcomers to the James Bond franchise on the list, including Monica Belluci (Lucia Sciarra), Christoph Waltz (Oberhauser), David Bautista (Mr. Hinx) and Léa Seydoux (Madeleine Swann).

Speaking of the film’s name, Sam explained at the conference, live-streamed on 007.com: ‘Those of you who have some knowledge of the Bond franchise and of the legend of Bond will probably have some idea what that refers to, but I couldn’t possibly comment.’

SPECTRE – which stands for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion – is led by iconic evil genius Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Returning: Naomie Harris, who played Eve Moneypenny in Skyfall, is set to return for the latest film as the secretary to the now deceased M

Returning: Naomie Harris, who played Eve Moneypenny in Skyfall, is set to return for the latest film as the secretary to the now deceased M

Returning: Naomie Harris, who played Eve Moneypenny in Skyfall, is set to return for the latest film as the secretary to M, played by Ralph Fiennes after Judi Dench’s M died in Skyfall

Breaking boundaries: Naomie was the first black actress to ever portray the intelligence worker on the big screen and was widely praised for her portrayal 

Breaking boundaries: Naomie was the first black actress to ever portray the intelligence worker on the big screen and was widely praised for her portrayal

Not just a secretary: Naomie was stunning in a monochrome dress as she attended the photocall for 24th Bond film Spectre at Pinewood Studios on Thursday

Not just a secretary: Naomie was stunning in a monochrome dress as she attended the photocall for 24th Bond film Spectre at Pinewood Studios on Thursday

The infamous cat-loving, scarred super-villain and his organisation played a prominent part in You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever, while making appearances in a number of other films in the series.

So far no actor has been cast as Blofeld in the film but rumours are rife as to who will be announced as Bond’s nemesis, who is expected to feature heavily in the film.

Previous actors to bring the character to life on the big screen include Telly Savalas, Max Von Sydow, Charles Gray and Donald Pleasence.

Bond girls: Monica Bellucci, left and Léa Seydoux, right, were announced as newcomers to the cast, with Monica, 50,  making history as the oldest ever Bond girl 

Bond girls: Monica Bellucci, left and Léa Seydoux, right, were announced as newcomers to the cast, with Monica, 50,  making history as the oldest ever Bond girl

We are so excited for the new James Bond movie.

Daniel Craig, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Andrew Scott! It’s all too much and when we saw that bombshell Monica Belluci is on board, we just swooned. This Italian beauty is perfect for a role in the 007 franchise and we’re not sure why she hasn’t appeared before.

Monica may be 50 but she is smoking hot and has a voluptuous figure to die for. And as one of the faces of Dolce & Gabbana it was no surprise to see her in a dress by the design duo at the James Bond press conference today.

This knee length look is gorgeous on the curvy star with the clever ruching drawing attention to her nipped in waist while the sheer sleeves are great for disguising any upper arm issues. Not that Monica has any of those to worry about.

If you fancy investing in a high end look that will see you through the next few seasons then this is the one for you. Polka dots never go out of style so click the link (right) to buy it now at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Then wear with black skyscraper heels to nail that Bond girl look.

Stepping out in style: Monica, who showed off her curvaceous figure in a fitted black and red dress, may be the oldest Bond girl ever but she is also one of the most glamorous, while Lea put on her best sartorial displays for the big announcement

Stepping out in style: Monica, who showed off her curvaceous figure in a fitted black and red dress, may be the oldest Bond girl ever but she is also one of the most glamorous, while Lea put on her best sartorial displays for the big announcement

Stepping out in style: Monica, who showed off her curvaceous figure in a fitted black and red dress, may be the oldest Bond girl ever but she is also one of the most glamorous, while Lea put on her best sartorial displays for the big announcement

Ladies first: Bond's trio of stunning ladies added a glamorous touch to the proceedings as they took to the stage for the official cast announcement 

Ladies first: Bond’s trio of stunning ladies added a glamorous touch to the proceedings as they took to the stage for the official cast announcement

      NEWCOMERS TO THE BOND                                FRANCHISE

Monica Belluci – playing Lucia Sciarra

(Dracula, The Matrix Reloaded)

The Italian siren has made history – at 50 years old she has officially become the oldest Bond girl to grace the screen. She takes over from Honor Blackman, who was 39 when she played iconic character Pussy Galore in 1964’s Goldfinger. The role is especially poignant for the actress – she almost played Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997, only to lose out to Teri Hatcher.

Christoph Waltz – playing Oberhauser

(Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) 

Waltz will play Oberhauser—a character who shares the name of Bond’s former ski instructor. It has been rumored that Waltz will really play Bond’s old nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, although director Sam Mendes says fans will have to ‘wait and see’.

David Bautista – playing Mr. Hinx

(Guardians Of The Galaxy, WWF Raw)  

Bautista would be playing Hinx, a heavy handed villain of 6ft 2 who will go up against Bond.

Léa Seydoux – playing Madeleine Swann 

(The Grand Budapest Hotel, Blue Is The Warmest Colour) 

Playing one of Bond’s leading ladies, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson were originally planning to cast a Scandinavian star in the film but changed their minds in favour of Lea.

Andrew Scott – plays Denbigh

(Sherlock, Saving Private Ryan)  

Will play MI6 Whitehall based agent who is set to be Bond’s nemesis.

Meanwhile, leading man Daniel thinks the script for Spectre is ‘better than we had last time’.

The 46-year-old actor expects the  movie to be superior to the 2012 hit Skyfall, which made more than $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office.

He said: ‘We’ve got an amazing cast and, I think, a better script than we had last time.’

The title of the new Sam Mendes-directed film relates to the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion (SPECTRE), which is led by iconic evil genius Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the scarred super-villain whose organisation played a prominent part in the Dr. No and Thunderball movies.

However, Daniel has refused to confirm or deny rumours that Christoph Waltz – who is playing a character called Oberhauser – will really be playing Bond’s old adversary Blofeld, saying people would have to ‘wait and see’.

Daniel told the BBC: ‘We started something in Skyfall, it felt like a beginning of something. This feels like a continuation of that. We’re going to put all of those elements in, and much more.’

Plot details of the new movie – which sees Ralph Fiennes replace Dame Judi Dench as M, the head of the MI6 intelligence service – read: ‘A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation.

‘While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind Spectre.

And the suave secret agent’s signature car has also been given a stylish makeover, with film-maker Sam unveiling the sleek new Aston Martin, the DB10, created exclusively for the film.

Sam announced: ‘The first castmember that I will introduce to you is a non-human cast member. Over to my right here, I am really excited and thrilled to be able to say that we have continued our 50-year relationship with Aston Martin, which began right at the very beginning of this franchise.

‘Together, we have worked on designing a new car – and so, I can reveal, the new Aston Martin D10. A thing of beauty and you can see what it can do when you come and see the movie.’

The film will follow Bond going on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation after receiving a cryptic message from his past.

While the production will be based at Pinewood Studios, the film will be shot on location in London, Mexico City, Rome and Tangier and Erfoud in Morocco. Also included are such Austrian towns as Obertilliach, Lake Altaussee and Sölden.

Returning director Sam said of Christoph’s casting: ‘The most important member [of the visiting cast], I think – an extraordinary actor – I could not be happier than to be having in this cast and joining us on this journey, Mr Christoph Waltz.’

Sherlock star Andrew Scott, who was previously revealed in an unconfirmed report to be playing the Bond villain, was also on hand for the press conference.

It was announced that he will portray a Whitehall-based character called Denbigh, believed to be a baddie.

Monica Bellucci – who will play Lucia Sciarra – said: ‘James Bond is our fantasy – the ideal man. The man is a protector, he is dangerous, mysterious and sexy, and a perfect English gentleman.’

Asked what makes a good Bond girl, she said: ‘A good director.’

Diversity in action: While Bond has been criticised in the past for sexism, the addition of three women varying in age, ethnicity and looks will be welcomed by fans  

Diversity in action: While Bond has been criticised in the past for sexism, the addition of three women varying in age, ethnicity and looks will be welcomed by fans

Fantasy man: Bellucci - who will play Lucia Sciarra - said: 'James Bond is our fantasy - the ideal man. The man is a protector, he is dangerous, mysterious and sexy, and a perfect English gentleman'

Fantasy man: Bellucci – who will play Lucia Sciarra – said: ‘James Bond is our fantasy – the ideal man. The man is a protector, he is dangerous, mysterious and sexy, and a perfect English gentleman’

What pressure? Seydoux, who joked around with her new co-star Daniel,  insisted she won't let the pressure of being a Bond girl get to her, explaining, 'You have to get rid of the pressure, you just have to invent something new'

What pressure? Seydoux, who joked around with her new co-star Daniel,  insisted she won’t let the pressure of being a Bond girl get to her, explaining, ‘You have to get rid of the pressure, you just have to invent something new’

Dream team: Leading man Daniel was joined by producer Barbara Broccoli and director Sam Mendes, who after initial doubts signed up to direct the new movie 

Dream team: Leading man Daniel was joined by producer Barbara Broccoli and director Sam Mendes, who after initial doubts signed up to direct the new movie

The pressure is on! Sam admitted he was feeling pressure not to let the audience down but also insisted he will be staying away from the internet for the next year as he doesn't want people's opinions to affect how he makes the movie

The pressure is on! Sam admitted he was feeling pressure not to let the audience down but also insisted he will be staying away from the internet for the next year as he doesn’t want people’s opinions to affect how he makes the movie

Big promises: Sam said the new film would have 'everything you would expect from a Bond movie but, in terms of the last movie, maybe a little more variety, global, maybe a little more mischief, and hopefully we can tell a story that is fit to stand alongside the others'

Big promises: Sam said the new film would have ‘everything you would expect from a Bond movie but, in terms of the last movie, maybe a little more variety, global, maybe a little more mischief, and hopefully we can tell a story that is fit to stand alongside the others’

New look: Sam also took centre-stage in front of the new graphics for the upcoming film, Spectre, as he introduced both the stars and Bond's new car 

New look: Sam also took centre-stage in front of the new graphics for the upcoming film, Spectre, as he introduced both the stars and Bond’s new car

At the helm: Spectre will be Sam's second turn on a James Bond movie, after helming Skyfall, although there was a time when his involvement was in doubt due to scheduling 

At the helm: Spectre will be Sam’s second turn on a James Bond movie, after helming Skyfall, although there was a time when his involvement was in doubt due to scheduling

And there's more... David Bautista, second right, a former WWE wrestler who was in the recent Guardians Of The Galaxy film, will play henchman Mr Hinx and while Rory Kinnear, far right, said he would miss working with Dame Judi, whose M died in the 2012 film Skyfall

And there’s more… David Bautista, second right, a former WWE wrestler who was in the recent Guardians Of The Galaxy film, will play henchman Mr Hinx and while Rory Kinnear, far right, said he would miss working with Dame Judi, whose M died in the 2012 film Skyfall

Back again: Spectre will be Daniel's fourth turn as legendary secret agent James Bond, having first taken on the role in 2006's Casino Royale 

Back again: Spectre will be Daniel’s fourth turn as legendary secret agent James Bond, having first taken on the role in 2006’s Casino Royale

Pucker up! Monica appeared to be playfully leaning in for a kiss from her new co-star Daniel and no doubt she will get a chance to smooch his alter-ego on the big screen 

Pucker up! Monica appeared to be playfully leaning in for a kiss from her new co-star Daniel and no doubt she will get a chance to smooch his alter-ego on the big screen

Man of the moment: Daniel was applauded by his new co-stars as he took to the stage for the official announcement at Pinewood Studios 

Man of the moment: Daniel was applauded by his new co-stars as he took to the stage for the official announcement at Pinewood Studios

Seydoux said she was still unsure what sort of character her role as Madeleine Swann would have: ‘I’ve read the script but it only becomes real when you start. For now it’s kind of abstract.’

Speaking about the weight of expectation for a Bond girl, she said: ‘You have to get rid of the pressure, you just have to invent something new.’

Scott was giving little away about the character he will play.

‘He’s a human being. I play a human man, he’s got black hair and brown eyes,’ he teased.

Whishaw is returning to the role of technology whizz-kid Q for a second time, and said it was ‘slightly less nerve-wracking’ this time round.

Dave Bautista, a former WWE wrestler who was in the recent Guardians Of The Galaxy film, will play henchman Mr Hinx. He said at the launch: ‘When I first met Sam I didn’t have access to the script at the time and I said, ‘Is Mr Hinx a bad-ass?’, and he said ‘absolutely’.’

Talent: Christoph has won acclaim for his roles in such movies as Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained and while his character in Bond has not been named, it has been speculated that he will play Blofeld: one of the biggest Bond villains

Talent: Christoph has won acclaim for his roles in such movies as Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained and while his character in Bond has not been named, it has been speculated that he will play Blofeld: one of the biggest Bond villains

Welcome on board: Daniel gave Oscar winner Christoph a warm embrace at the photocall but it is doubtful they will be so pally onscreen if predictions that Christoph is playing a super-baddie are true 

Welcome on board: Daniel gave Oscar winner Christoph a warm embrace at the photocall but it is doubtful they will be so pally onscreen if predictions that Christoph is playing a super-baddie are true

 Illustrious line-up: Daniel follows in the footsteps of such Bond stars as Sean Connery, Roger Moore and his predecessor Pierce Brosnan

 Illustrious line-up: Daniel follows in the footsteps of such Bond stars as Sean Connery, Roger Moore and his predecessor Pierce Brosnan

Always the villain:  Irish actor Andrew Scott, right, who plays Moriarty in Sherlock, was reportedly handpicked to play the villain in the new movie 

Always the villain:  Irish actor Andrew Scott, right, who plays Moriarty in Sherlock, was reportedly handpicked to play the villain in the new movie

Dream team: Sam and Daniel's previous effort received widespread acclaim and they will be hoping to continue it with the new movie  

Dream team: Sam and Daniel’s previous effort received widespread acclaim and they will be hoping to continue it with the new movie

Baddie!  Before the press conference, it had been speculated that Andrew would take on the role of a villian and that was confirmed as he made an appearance at the press conference

Baddie!  Before the press conference, it had been speculated that Andrew would take on the role of a villian and that was confirmed as he made an appearance at the press conference

Baddie!  Before the press conference, it had been speculated that Andrew would take on the role of a villain and on Tuesday it was revealed that he would play a Whitehall based character called Denbigh

Give us a kiss, miss! Monica, cast as Lucia Sciarra, stood tall in a stunning pair of black heels at the event as she cosied up to her new director Sam Mendes 

Give us a kiss, miss! Monica, cast as Lucia Sciarra, stood tall in a stunning pair of black heels at the event as she cosied up to her new director Sam Mendes

Returning cast: Daniel is joined by a star-studded returning cast that includes Ben Whishaw (Q), Naomie Harris (Miss Moneypenny) and Ralph Fiennes (M)

Returning cast: Daniel is joined by a star-studded returning cast that includes Ben Whishaw (Q), Naomie Harris (Miss Moneypenny) and Ralph Fiennes (M)

Youthful: Brunette Italian beauty Monica celebrated her 50th birthday in September and is making history as the oldest Bond girl ever

Youthful: Brunette Italian beauty Monica celebrated her 50th birthday in September and is making history as the oldest Bond girl ever

Youthful: Brunette Italian beauty Monica celebrated her 50th birthday in September and is making history as the oldest Bond girl ever

She's got the credentials: Sultry Monica will have no trouble playing a Bond girl in the upcoming movie, which will begin filming on Monday  

She’s got the credentials: Sultry Monica will have no trouble playing a Bond girl in the upcoming movie, which will begin filming on Monday

He said he auditioned with a scene from Casino Royale.

‘Growing up, Sean Connery was my ideal Bond and I think that’s what I like about Daniel so much, he brought back a lot of toughness to Bond,’ Bautista added.

Kinnear said he would miss working with Dame Judi, whose M died in the 2012 film Skyfall.

‘It will be very sad particularly off set because we spent an awful lot of time playing games together, so I think I’m going to have to teach Ralph to play Scrabble,’ he joked.

‘We never got the full board out but we did have a letters game which we used to play together and we were evenly matched at that, but then she would always wheel out her Shakespeare game where she would start a line and I would have to finish it, which is obviously impossible unless you’re Dame Judi Dench.’

Cover-up: The new James Bond vehicle was initially kept under wraps at the photcall as fans waited with baited breath to see what awaited them 

Cover-up: The new James Bond vehicle was initially kept under wraps at the photcall as fans waited with baited breath to see what awaited them

Announcement: Sam did the honours and said: 'The first castmember that I will introduce to you is a non-human cast member. Over to my right here, I am really excited and thrilled to be able to say that we have continued our 50-year relationship with Aston Martin'

Announcement: Sam did the honours and said: ‘The first castmember that I will introduce to you is a non-human cast member. Over to my right here, I am really excited and thrilled to be able to say that we have continued our 50-year relationship with Aston Martin’

Hauling: The big reveal took some time, thanks to Sam's careful handling of the protective sheet covering the magnificent DB10

Hauling: The big reveal took some time, thanks to Sam’s careful handling of the protective sheet covering the magnificent DB10

Mendes said he was going to keep his head down and not read the speculation around the film as it gets under way.

He said: ‘The pressure is to not let down the audience. The mark of success of a movie is if the audience loves it they’ll go and see it and tell their friends.

‘My only real job from now on is to not read the internet for a year and just get on with making the movie, because otherwise you get caught up in the white noise.’

He said the new film would have ‘everything you would expect from a Bond movie but, in terms of the last movie, maybe a little more variety, global, maybe a little more mischief, and hopefully we can tell a story that is fit to stand alongside the others’.

Sam, who was in charge of the previous film Skyfall, was announced last year as director of the next instalment after producers agreed to fit around his other commitments.

The team will have their work cut out to match the success of Skyfall, which was the highest grossing film of all time in the UK.

The newly announced Spectre is scheduled to be released on November 6, 2015.

It will be unveiled during a busy few weeks at the box office, with the final Hunger Games film and the eagerly awaited Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens due out in subsequent weeks.

Are we there yet? Bit by bit, the new Aston Martin was uncovered by the acclaimed film-maker as the audience waited with baited breath 

Are we there yet? Bit by bit, the new Aston Martin was uncovered by the acclaimed film-maker as the audience waited with baited breath

The man with the golden... car: Another of the cars was also shown at the press conference before cast announcements got underway 

The man with the golden… car: Another of the cars was also shown at the press conference before cast announcements got underway

 

16 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water in Morning Empty Stomach


Lemon is rich in Vitamin C that helps in enhancing our body by rejuvenating our body skin from within bringing a glow to our face. One of the health benefits of drinking lemon water is that it helps in losing the weight more quicker over a certain period of time. For more information on how to lose weight read the blog here.
Benefits of Vitamin C

image

A few benefits of vitamin C includes protection against immune system deficiencies, prenatal health problems, cardiovascular disease, skin wrinkling, eye disease and etc. A researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan says that “Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health,”

Health tips and benefits of drinking lemon water in early morning in empty stomach

1. Lemon helps in protecting our body against the immune system deficiencies, as it is rich in vitamin C.

2. Drinking lemon water helps in maintaining the pH levels in the body.

3. Lemons acts as a powerful antibacterial as it contains pectin fibers which is beneficial for colon.

4. Drinking lemon water in morning empty stomach will helps in flush out of toxins.

5. Helps in digestion.

6. Lemon contains great source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, citric acid, phosphorus and etc.

7. Drinking lemon water helps in preventing the multiplication and growth of pathogenic bacteria that causes disease and infections.

8. Helps in curing common cold

9. Helps in nourish brain and nerve cells.

10. Helps in reducing pains in knees and joints as it dissolves uric acids.

11. Helps in replenish body salts after you do exercise.

12. Helps in strengthening liver by supplying energy to liver enzymes.

13. Helps in protecting eye and thus fights again eye problems. Read more about Health Tips for a Healthy Eyes.
14. Lemon water helps in protecting skin from skin problems like wrinkles, rashes, acne and etc. Read more about Skin Care Health Tips – Tips for a Healthy and Good Skin Care
15. Drinking lemon water, helps in maintaining the oxygen and calcium levels in the liver.

16. Drinking lemon water will helps in reducing the body weight over all. Here are few tips on how to lose weight.
Hope the article on Health benefits of drinking lemon water in morning empty stomach will be useful for everyone.
Reference from:

http://healthy-tips-for-a-healthy-lifestyle.blogspot.com

Diversity in Your Gut Influences Your Health


Before reaching for that daily antacid, you might consider what it’s doing to the trillions of bugs living in your gut. A new Mayo Clinic study in the open access journal Microbiome shows that people who regularly take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have less diversity among their gut bacteria, putting them at increased risk for infections like clostridium difficile and pneumonia, in addition to vitamin deficiencies and bone fractures.

 

“Evidence has been mounting for years that long-term use of proton pump inhibitors poses increased risks for a variety of associated complications, but we have never really understood why,” says John DiBaise, M.D., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and senior author on the study. “What this study does for the first time is demonstrate a plausible explanation for these associated conditions.”

 

The gut microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria. Rather than causing disease, most of these bacteria are friendly and aid in everything from digestion and vitamin synthesis to immune system regulation and possibly, mood stabilization.

Diet, genetics and environmental exposure all play a role in maintaining a healthy microbiome, which is critical to overall wellness, says Dr. DiBaise. Significant changes to the microbiome, like those caused by proton pump inhibitors, can put people at risk for over-colonization by such undesirable species as clostridium difficile, he says.

Proton pump inhibitors are primarily used to treat ulcers and acid reflux, and include the generic names omeprazole, pantoprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole and dexlansoprazole.
Many epidemiological studies have linked PPIs to nutritional, metabolic and infectious disorders, despite the class of drugs’ long history of safety and efficacy. Specifically, their prolonged use has been associated with iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies, hypomagnesemia, osteoporosis-related fractures, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and community-acquired pneumonia. The Food and Drug Administration has issued several safety communications about use of high-dose PPIs (available through prescription) and long-term use at any dose, including over-the-counter medications.

Safety implications of the study have yet to be determined, and patients should consult a qualified medical professional before changing any drug regimen, says Dr. DiBaise.

“We’re not saying people should stop taking their regular antacids; despite the many health risks associated with PPI use, they have an extensive track record of safety when used as directed,” Dr. DiBaise says. “What we are saying is that the medical and research communities should consider these medications in the context of the patient’s microbiome. This is an area that needs further study.”

In patients with mild reflux symptoms, lifestyle changes may be sufficient to curb discomfort, Dr. DiBaise says. Non-pharmacological methods to control acid reflux include:

  • Eat smaller portions at meals
  • Consume less fat
  • Avoid laying down for at least 2 hours after eating (avoid late-night snacks)
  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • Elevate the head of the bed about 6 inches (this is best done by placing a block under the headboard, rather than stacking pillows)
  • Lose weight (as little as 5 to 10 pounds may help)
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco and foods that trigger symptoms

Daily medications become necessary in those whose reflux symptoms persist and impair their quality of life despite these lifestyle modifications, says Dr. DiBaise. Whether less potent acid inhibitors like histamine H2 antagonists, cause similar changes to the microbiome is unknown.

El Nino’s ‘remote control’ on hurricanes in the Northeastern Pacific


El Niño, the abnormal warming of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, is a well-studied tropical climate phenomenon that occurs every few years. It has major impacts on society and Earth’s climate – inducing intense droughts and floods in multiple regions of the globe. Further, scientists have observed that El Niño greatly influences the yearly variations of tropical cyclones (a general term which includes hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones) in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

However, there is a mismatch in both timing and location between this climate disturbance and the Northern Hemisphere hurricane season: El Niño peaks in winter and its surface ocean warming occurs mostly along the equator, i.e. a season and region without tropical cyclone (TC) activity. This prompted scientists to investigate El Niño’s influence on hurricanes via its remote ability to alter atmospheric conditions such as stability and vertical wind shear rather than the local oceanic environment.

Fei-Fei Jin and Julien Boucharel at the University of Hawai’i School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) and I-I Lin at the National Taiwan University published a paper today in Naturethat uncovers what’s behind this “remote control.”

Jin and colleagues uncovered an oceanic pathway that brings El Niño’s heat into the Northeastern Pacific basin two or three seasons after its winter peak – right in time to directly fuel intense hurricanes in that region.

El Niño develops as the equatorial Pacific Ocean builds up a huge amount of heat underneath the surface and it turns into La Niña when this heat is discharged out of the equatorial region.

“This recharge/discharge of heat makes El Niño/La Niña evolve somewhat like a swing,” said lead author of the study Jin.

Prior to Jin and colleagues’ recent work, researchers had largely ignored the huge accumulation of heat occurring underneath the during every El Niño event as a potential culprit for fueling hurricane activity.

“We did not connect the discharged heat of El Niño to the fueling of hurricanes until recently, when we noticed another line of active research in the tropical cyclone community that clearly demonstrated that a strong hurricane is able to get its energy not only from the warm surface water, but also by causing warm, deep water – up to 100 meters deep – to upwell to the surface,” Jin continued.

Co-author Lin had been studying how heat beneath the ocean surface adds energy to intensify typhoons ( that occur in the western Pacific).

“The super Typhoon Hainan last year, for instance, reached strength way beyond normal category 5,” said Lin. “This led to a proposed consideration to extend the scale to category 6, to be able to grasp more properly its intensity. The heat stored underneath the ocean surface can provide additional energy to fuel such extraordinarily intense tropical cyclones.”

“The North-Eastern Pacific is a region normally without abundant subsurface heat,” said Boucharel, a post-doctoral researcher at UH SOEST. “El Niño’s heat discharged into this region provides conditions to generate abnormal amount of intense hurricanes that may threaten Mexico, the southwest of the US and the Hawaiian islands.”

Furthermore, caution the authors, most climate models predict a slow down of the tropical atmospheric circulation as the mean global climate warms up. This will result in extra stored underneath the North-eastern Pacific and thus greatly increase the probability for this region to experience more frequent intense hurricanes.

Viewed more optimistically, the authors point out that their findings may provide a skillful method to anticipate the activeness of the coming hurricane season by monitoring the El Niño conditions two to three seasons ahead of potentially powerful hurricane that may result.

Blood pressure build-up from white blood cells may cause cerebral malaria death.


Intracranial hypertension—increased blood pressure inside the head—can predict a child’s risk of death from malaria. A study published on December 4th in PLOS Pathogens reports that accumulation of white blood cells impairs the blood flow out of the brain and causes blood pressure increases in mice with experimentally induced cerebral malaria.

Ute Frevert, from New York University School of Medicine, USA, and colleagues compared the blood vessel architecture in the brain between two different mouse models. Mice infected with one particular species of the malaria parasite called Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA) develop experimental (ECM, similar to the most deadly form of malaria in humans) whereas those infected with another species called Plasmodium yoelii XL (PyXL) die from severe anemia without neurological symptoms.

The researchers used high-resolution microscopy to examine the blood vessels in the brain of uninfected mice, of PbA mice with ECM, and of PyXL mice without overt neurological symptoms. Venous (outflowing) vessels from mice with ECM show serious abnormalities. Instead of the smooth inner wall along which were moving easily that was seen in uninfected mice, vessels from mice with ECM have large numbers of attached to or crawling along their inner vessel wall. Mice infected with PyXL also accumulated some white in their venous vessels, though many fewer than the mice with ECM. In the latter, the accumulation of white blood cells results in a substantial reduction of blood flow through these vessels, though they were not completely blocked.

Analyzing the white blood cells in more detail, the researchers found that macrophages, neutrophils, and CD8+ T cells are the primary white blood cells that were increased in the vessels of mice with ECM. When mice were infected with PbA and also treated with FTY720, a drug that is known to prevent ECM, they had not only fewer, but also a different kind of white blood cells in their venous vessels. The blood flow was much less impaired and the mice showed no neurological signs.

Most cases of human malaria are caused by Plasmodium falciparum. This parasite, the deadliest of all Plasmodium species, causes infected red blood cells to become “sticky” by coating their surface with parasite proteins. These altered red blood cells then stick to venous blood vessels similar to the white blood cells in the ECM mice in this study and are also thought to impair the venous blood flow. The researchers conclude that “despite fundamental differences in parasite biology, the rodent parasite PbA could be used as a model to better understand how changes in blood flow might lead to death from human P. falciparum cerebral malaria.”

In addition, a related , Plasmodium vivax, is also responsible for a large fraction of human disease. Neither P. vivax nor PbA (the species used in this study to induce experimental cerebral malaria) cause the infected red blood cells to become sticky. However, restrictions in the venous caused by white blood cell accumulation could also explain the cerebral complications that are increasingly reported for P. vivax infections. Therefore, the authors suggest that the PbA-infected are also a good model to study severe P. vivax disease.

Geophysicists challenge traditional theory underlying the origin of mid-plate volcanoes


A long-held assumption about the Earth is discussed in today’s edition of Science, as Don L. Anderson, an emeritus professor with the Seismological Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology, and Scott King, a professor of geophysics in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, look at how a layer beneath the Earth’s crust may be responsible for volcanic eruptions.

The discovery challenges conventional thought that volcanoes are caused when plates that make up the planet’s crust shift and release heat.

Instead of coming from deep within the interior of the planet, the responsibility is closer to the surface, about 80 kilometers to 200 kilometers deep—a layer above the Earth’s mantle, known as the as the asthenosphere.

“For nearly 40 years there has been a debate over a theory that volcanic island chains, such as Hawaii, have been formed by the interaction between plates at the surface and plumes of hot material that rise from the core-mantle boundary nearly 1,800 miles below the Earth’s surface,” King said. “Our paper shows that a hot layer beneath the plates may explain the origin of mid-plate volcanoes without resorting to deep conduits from halfway to the center of the Earth.”

Traditionally, the asthenosphere has been viewed as a passive structure that separates the moving from the mantle.

As tectonic plates move several inches every year, the boundaries between the plates spawn most of the planet’s volcanoes and earthquakes.

“As the Earth cools, the tectonic plates sink and displace warmer material deep within the interior of the Earth,” explained King. “This material rises as two broad, passive updrafts that seismologists have long recognized in their imaging of the interior of the Earth.”

The asthenosphere (yellow) is a layer that lays below the cold mobile plates (blue) and the upper mantle (green). Beneath spreading plates mantle material upwells over a broad region and is well mixed (heavy stippling) while beneath large ocean plates there is significant shearing but less efficient mixing (light stippling). Oceanic hotspots are concentrated beneath slow-wavespeed regions (red) that may be associated with the asthenosphere. Credit: Scott King

The work of Anderson and King, however, shows that the hot, weak region beneath the plates acts as a lubricating layer, preventing the plates from dragging the material below along with them as they move.

The researchers show this lubricating layer is also the hottest part of the mantle, so there is no need for heat to be carried up to explain mid-plate volcanoes.

“We’re taking the position that plate tectonics and mid-plate volcanoes are the natural results of processes in the plates and the layer beneath them,” King said.

Smoking erases Y chromosomes


If cancer, heart disease, and emphysema weren’t bad enough, male smokers may have another thing to worry about: losing their Y chromosomes. Researchers have found that smokers are up to four times more likely to have blood cells with no Y chromosome than nonsmokers. That’s worrisome, they say, because a recent study found an association between Y chromosome loss and a shorter life span, as well as a higher risk of multiple cancers.

There is, however, no direct proof that loss of Y sex chromosomes actually causes disease, cautions Stephen Chanock, a cancer geneticist at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved with the work.

To conduct the study, molecular oncologist Jan Dumanski and statistician Lars Forsberg of Uppsala University in Sweden took advantage of data collected from three ongoing Swedish trials. The long-term studies are looking for associations between behavioral, lifestyle, or other traits and disease. As part of the studies, data and blood are collected periodically. Dumanski and Forsberg compared the DNA in blood cells of smokers to nonsmokers in more than 6000 men. The only factors that correlated with high Y chromosome loss were age and smoking, the team reports online today in Science, with smokers 2.4 to 4.3 times more likely to be missing Y chromosomes in their blood cells than nonsmokers.

Smoking appears to remove Y chromosomes (pictured) from blood cells.

“It’s a fascinating observation,” says Charles Swanton, head of translational cancer therapeutics at the London Research Institute. The findings, he says, may explain why men have a slightly increased risk of death from the majority of cancers that, unlike breast or prostate cancer, are not specific to either sex. But the number of cells with abnormal chromosomes increases with age anyway, he notes, so the loss of Y may not be directly contributing to cancer. “It would be important to know the mechanism.”

Chanock agrees. “While the findings are intriguing,” he says, “the associations between Y chromosome loss and shortened life span and disease risk do need to be confirmed in other large [long-term] studies.”

That hasn’t stopped the team from founding a startup, CRAY Innovation (Cancer Risk Assessment from loss of chromosome Y Innovation), to develop a diagnostic test that could assess a man’s risk of cancer based on loss of chromosome Y in blood cells.

Dumanski and his colleagues are also planning follow-up studies to better understand how cellular Y chromosome deficiency might cause poor health. The researchers hypothesize that the Y chromosome loss may be skewed toward a specific population of blood cells that become immune cells known to fight cancer. Unable to function normally, the crippled cells may allow disease and cancer to take hold.

Meanwhile, there is some reassuring news for smokers, Forsberg says. Y chromosome damage caused by smoking appears to be reversible and dose-dependent. Previous smokers were no more likely to have Y chromosome loss than those who have never smoked, he notes, so it’s never too late to quit.

Trouble Breathing? How Doctors Can Uncover Hidden Disease in Your Lungs


If you have been short of breath or having a hard time breathing, tell your doctor if you have a history of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. This can help uncover a condition that isn’t identifiable through routine tests.

The condition is called chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and it can be difficult to diagnose, says pulmonologist Gustavo Heresi, MD.

“CTEPH won’t show up on routine chest x-rays or breathing tests,” he says. “So if you don’t tell your doctor you have a history of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, your doctor won’t know to look for CTEPH.”

When one or more blood clots get stuck in the arteries in your lungs, this can lead to increased pressure in your lungs and cause CTEPH. The good news is, in most instances, CTEPH is completely curable with early diagnosis and surgery.

How doctors identify and treat CTEPH

Even if you don’t have a history of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, Dr. Heresi, says you still should be tested for CTEPH if you have unexplained shortness of breath or unexplained pulmonary embolism.

The most common screening test is a pulmonary ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) scan. A normal result on a V/Q scan will rule out the possibility of CTEPH.

“If your doctor suspects you have CTEPH after your V/Q scan, additional tests will be done to confirm the diagnosis,” says Dr. Heresi.

Most likely, a surgery called a pulmonary thromboendarterectomy can cure your CTEPH. This surgery clears the clots from the arteries. Although this is a cure for the vast majority of people with CTEPH, some people are not good candidates.

“It’s important to visit a clinic that has specialty expertise in diagnosing and treating CTEPH before you determine whether or not you should have surgery,” Dr. Heresi says.

What happens if you’re not eligible for surgery?

If your medical team determines that you are not a good candidate for surgery, you can take medications as an alternate treatment method.

“There are new medications that can be effective for patients with CTEPH who are not eligible for surgery,” says Dr. Heresi.

However, while medications are successful in managing the disease, they will not cure it.

Potential new treatment on the horizon

Researchers are in the process of testing whether or not a procedure called balloon pulmonary angioplasty is an effective treatment for patients with CTEPH who are not good candidates for surgery. However, it may be several years before the new treatment is approved and available.

“The research is still in its very early stages and requires additional study,” Dr. Heresi says.

Astronomers detect atomic hydrogen emission in galaxies at record breaking distances


Using the world’s largest radio telescope, astronomers have detected the faint signal emitted by atomic hydrogen gas in galaxies three billion light years from Earth, breaking the previous record distance by 500 million light years.


Images of four distant galaxies observed with the Arecibo radio telescope, which have been found to host huge reservoirs of atomic hydrogen gas.
Using the world’s largest radio telescope, two astronomers from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia have detected the faint signal emitted by atomic hydrogen gas in galaxies three billion light years from Earth, breaking the previous record distance by 500 million light years. Their results appear in a paper published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Using the 305-m diameter Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, Dr Barbara Catinella and Dr Luca Cortese measured the hydrogen gas content of nearly 40 galaxies at distances of up to three billion light years. By doing so, the two scientists found a unique population of galaxies hosting huge reservoirs of hydrogen gas, the fuel for forming new stars like our Sun.

These very gas-rich systems each contain between 20 and 80 billion times the mass of the Sun in atomic gas. Such galaxies are rare, but astronomers believe that they were more common in the past, when the Universe was younger.

“Atomic hydrogen gas is the fuel out of which new stars are formed, hence it is a crucial component to study if we are to understand how galaxies form and evolve,” study leader Dr Catinella said.

“Because of the limitations of current instruments, astronomers still know very little about the gas content of galaxies beyond our local neighbourhood.”

Co-author Dr Luca Cortese said detecting atomic hydrogen emission from distant galaxies is very challenging.

“The signals are not only weak, but they appear at radio frequencies that are used by communication devices and radars, which generate signals billions of times stronger than the cosmic ones that we are trying to detect.”

Measuring the atomic hydrogen signal emitted by distant galaxies is one of the main scientific drivers behind the billion dollar Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, for which technology demonstrators like the Australian SKA Pathfinder are under construction. The Arecibo observations give astronomers a glimpse into the population of gas-rich galaxies that will be routinely discovered by these instruments in coming decades.

This project started as an experiment to see at what distances astronomers were able to detect the signal from atomic hydrogen in galaxies.

“The outcome vastly exceeded our initial expectations,” Dr Catinella said.

“Not only did we detect radio signals emitted by distant galaxies when the Universe was three billion years younger, but their gas reservoirs turned out to be unexpectedly large, about 10 times larger than the mass of hydrogen in our Milky Way. Such a huge amount of fuel will be able to feed star formation in these galaxies for several billion years in the future.”

Further studies will seek to understand why these galaxies have not yet converted a great part of their gas into stars. The SKA and its pathfinders will be the key to solving this mystery.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Catinella & L. Cortese. HIGHz: A Survey of the Most HI-Massive Galaxies at z~0.2′. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2014 DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu2241

Middle-Age Women Have Highest Rate of Depression


One in eight middle-age women in the United States has depression, a new report finds.
This means that women ages 40 to 59 have the highest rate of depression (12.3 percent) of any group based on age and gender in the U.S., according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In all other age groups as well, women had higher rates of depression than men did. Among Americans ages 12 and older, 9.5 percent of females and 5.6 percent of males had moderate or severe depression during the previous two-week period, according to the report, which is based on data gathered from 2009 through 2012.

Depression is a serious medical condition that can affect not only people’s mood, but also their cognitive functions, such as concentration and decision-making abilities, and even their physical well-being. The symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Although there are various approaches for treating depression, studies have shown that a combination of medication and psychological therapy may work best to treat severe depression. However, many people with depression do not get any treatment, studies have shown. Only 35 percent of people who had severe depression reported having seen a mental health professional in the past year, the researchers said in the new report.
In the study, the researchers evaluated whether the participants had depression by conducting in-person interviews and questioning about symptoms of depression.
Depression can affect both the personal and professional areas of a person’s life. In the study, nearly 90 percent of people with severe depressive symptoms reported having difficulty at home, with work or in their social activities. Almost half of the people who had mild depression reported having such difficulties.
The report also found that 15 percent of people who live in poverty had depression, meaning that they were more than twice as likely to have depression as people living above the federal poverty level, who have a depression rate of 6.2 percent.
The rate of depression generally increased with age, with 5.7 percent of youth ages 12 to 17 reporting having the condition, but 9.8 percent of adults ages 40 to 59 saying the same. However, people ages 60 and over had a lower rate of depression (5.4 percent) than people in other age groups.
These estimated depression rates may even be lower than the actual rates. That’s because people with depression might be slightly more likely to decline to participate in the surveys used for the report, the researchers said. Moreover, people who live in mental health facilities, who may have higher rates of depression, were not included in the study, and people who are being successfully treated for depression were not identified as depressed