Remote Control Submarine Turns A GoPro Into An Aquanaut .

Every swimming pool needs an underwater navy. The Seawolf remotely operated submarine, made by TTRobotix, is about to get an upgrade, with a new model capable of carrying GoPro cameras inside its submersible head. There will be two models, one for freshwater and one for seawater, and they’re expected to retail for about $1,000. The Seawolf fits Hero 3 and Hero 4 cameras, so hopefully users can avoid frustrating moments like this.

Seawolf Version 1

If it works as stated, this sea drone will be more than just a pool toy. The 16 pound, two-foot-long sub can dive down to 26 feet beneath the surface of the water, and can travel at speeds of about 2 mph for about 50 minutes. Because radio signals have a harder time traveling through salty water, the seawater version uses a different signal frequency than the freshwater one, and can also be controlled through a tether cable instead of remotely.

Metastatic Disease to Bone .

Watch the video. URL:


7 metastatic disease of boneJ

NeuroBreak: Thought Controls Prosthetic, Loss of a Beautiful Mind

A paralyzed patient was able to control a robotic arm with the help of a neural implant that tapped into regions of the brain associated with intention rather than motor skills.

John Nash, the Princeton mathematician whose struggle with schizophrenia was depicted in the movie “A Beautiful Mind,” and his wife, Alicia, died in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike on Memorial Day weekend.

U.S. appeals court won’t let Actavis take the Alzheimer’s drug Namenda off the market when generics hit, foiling its plans to switch all patients over to an extended-release version of the drug.

NFL players who lose consciousness when they get a concussion may be at greater risk of cognitive impairment, according to a JAMA Neurology study.

Two studies in JAMA confirm that beta amyloid levels can help predict development of Alzheimer’s disease, and that plaque buildup can occur 20 to 30 years before symptoms of dementia appear.

Depression may be an early sign of Parkinson’s, according to a study in Neurology.

The Mediterranean Diet: Can It Help Memory?

Unless you’ve been living without print or electronic media for the past several years, you’ve heard of the Mediterranean Diet. It focuses on the use of olive oil for cooking and in salads, lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, some cheese and yogurt, and plenty of fatty fish, with less red meat and butter.

Full disclosure: I pretty much grew up on this diet, but it wasn’t “Mediterranean” then. It was just how we ate, strongly influenced by my mother’s family – the Greek side – and especially her father. He caught his own salmon as often as possible, used olive oil by the gallon, and cracked nuts in the shell after dinner to eat with dried fruit. His family came from Crete, where the diet is said to have originated. He felt it was healthy to eat this way, but it was also his culture.

Fast forward to a few years in the past and the PREDIMED project, a huge multicenter trial that basically divides people into three groups: two groups counseled to follow the Med Diet supplemented with either olive oil or nuts (a combination of almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts), and a control group advised to follow a general low-fat diet. The diet was so successful at reducing heart disease risk that it was stopped early so the control group could partake of the Med Diet benefits.

Beyond Healthy Hearts

The researchers also looked into the effects of the diet on memory. A just-published study, a subset of the PREDIMED trials, used the same diet but then tested global cognitive function, memory performance, and a composite of frontal functions, both at the beginning of the study and after the end of the 5-year period.

Here’s the boil-down: compared with the control group, those on the Med diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil performed better on both frontal and global composite scores, and subjects on the Med diet supplemented with nuts did better on memory composite tests.

What Do I Like About the PREDIMED Research?

The dietary intervention was simple and easy for anyone to implement. The extra-virgin olive oil subjects replaced about two tablespoons of butter and other oils for a similar amount of olive oil or an ounce of nuts. It’s about as easy as any dietary change is going to get. This study didn’t give specific calorie advice per se or put people on weight-loss diets. Even chocolate was allowed as long as it’s the dark stuff.

The Med Diet does get a thumbs up from the recent Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report. This group also endorsed the DASH diet – Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension – that centers on lots of fruits and vegetables and three servings a day of low-fat dairy (although you also get about four ounces of cheese a week). Dairy foods aren’t a huge part of the Med Diet, and the diet can be low in calcium and vitamin D. Culturally it wasn’t a part of my grandparents’ diets, but maybe it should have been – both had osteoporosis.

The “MediterDASHean Diet”

No connection to Kim here. This is my idea of combining the best of both diets. My grandparents might have done better with this diet – they both lived to an old age but had severe osteoporosis, one with hip fractures and all – because it combines the strengths of both endorsed diets. My grandfather would probably approve – he spent many years as a dairy farmer just south of San Francisco.

He wouldn’t approve of swapping out nuts for nut milk alternatives, though. An almond glass doesn’t actually contain many almonds. Crushed almonds, at an ounce a day, would be better.

As for olive oil, it could probably be replaced by canola oil, which is also loaded with monounsaturated fats — but the flavor isn’t there. Better to save it for foods and dishes where the olive oil flavors are less useful (this is just a personal opinion, so no emails on that, please).

Bottom line: this latest research underscores that there may be benefits beyond heart health of a diet that includes a modest amount of olive oil and/or nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts on a daily basis. I can hear my grandparents yelling that they didn’t need researchers to tell them about how good it was.

Stroke Rounds: Novel Clot Buster Flops Again

Desmoteplase didn’t help late-presenting strokes, the DIAS-3 trial shows.

The investigational thrombolytic desmoteplase didn’t improve reperfusion or outcomes compared with placebo in ischemic strokes treated 3 to 9 hours after onset, the DIAS-3 trial showed.

A good functionally independent outcome, marked by a modified Rankin Scale score of 0 to 2, at 90 days occurred in 51% of desmoteplase-treated patients compared with 50% given placebo (P=0.40), Gregory W. Albers, MD, of the Stanford School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., and colleagues found.

Recanalization at 24 hours, monitored with noninvasive imaging, likewise came out similar between treatment groups (49% and 42%, respectively), they reported in the June issue ofLancet Neurology.

“This factor is key in the neutral results and raises questions about the thrombolytic efficiency of desmoteplase in late time windows,” Michael D. Hill, MD, and Bijoy K. Menon, MD, both of the University of Calgary Stroke Program in Alberta, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

The prior phase III DIAS-2 trial with the drug, which is based on the saliva of the vampire bat, had also turned out negative using a different imaging-based selection scheme for enrollment.

DIAS-3 used a “simpler imaging selection paradigm: small core (less than a third of the middle cerebral artery [MCA] or less than a half of the anterior cerebral artery [ACA] or posterior cerebral artery [PCA] territories), plus evidence of a target intracranial arterial occlusion,” Hill and Menon noted.

However, imaging protocol violations were common in the trial, with imaging discrepancies in 21% of the 292 acute ischemic stroke patients with occlusion or high-grade stenosis in major cerebral arteries treated at a median 7 hours after onset.

Although serious adverse events, including intracerebral hemorrhage and symptomatic cerebral edema, were similar between groups, another phase III trial, DIAS-4, was stopped based on early indications of futility in DIAS-3.

The researchers pointed to a possible benefit of desmoteplase in small ischemic lesions selected by MRI that might be worth further study.

While that group might have been less prone to imaging measurement error, “this finding would have been more meaningful if increased recanalization early after administration of the thrombolytic agent was also shown in the small core group,” the editorialists cautioned.

It may be that late-presenting, small core strokes are just not a good population to target, they suggested.

“We speculate that patients who arrive late without having a large, established core of infarction shown in imaging are more likely to have preserved penumbral tissue because of good intracranial collateral circulation,” Hill and Menon wrote. “Such patients could stand to benefit less from thrombolysis, even with reperfusion.

“Further, with time, thrombi mature and fibrin cross-links, resulting in resistance to thrombolysis. Patients who present in later time windows might simply be less amenable to chemical thrombolysis.”

Video Games and Alzheimer’s: That’s Improbable


  • by Marc Abrahams
    Improbable Research

This Very-Complicated-Chain-of-Logic Press Release says that video-game playing mightcause Alzheimer’s disease: “It is important for future research to confirm that gaming does not have a negative effect on the hippocampus.”

How to think about poo: A 7-minute talk about the anus and its functions by PhD student Giulia Enders has attracted a lot of attention.

“The more we learn, the less we understand,” says a geneticist about weighing the promises of big genomics.

“Despite the highly hazardous life-style led by comic book characters such as Tintin, we are unaware of any previous systematic description of the challenges and health impairments faced by Tintin in the course of his adventures,” says a study on the cartoon character’s health.

The World Health Organization has shifted its attention from physical diseases to linguistic ones.

How To Stop Snoring With Your Diet: 6 Foods To Help You Snore No More

Cup of tea, honey, wax and pollen granule

We all snore on occasion, but for some of us it happens frequently, leading to late-night jabs, pillows over the ears, and a poor night’s sleep. Whether you’re the snorer or the bed partner of a snorer, it’s a nuisance that not only disrupts the quantity and quality of sleep, but can also cause daytime fatigue, irritability, and increased health problems. Rather than sleep in separate rooms from your bed partner, make these changes to your diet to snooze without snoring.

In the U.S., noisy breathing during sleep is a common problem among people of all ages and genders, affecting approximately 90 million American adults and 37 million on a regular basis, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Snoring occurs when the muscles of the throat relax, the tongue falls backward, and the throat becomes narrow and floppy. This causes the walls of the throat to vibrate, specifically when you breathe in and occasionally when you breathe out, which is what produces the snoring sound.

Snoring can be triggered by several factors, including diet. A diet that lowers or restricts foods high in prostaglandin 2 (Pg 2) — lipid compounds that can create swelling or enlargement of the tissues in the throat and sinuses — can potentially decrease the incidence of both sleep apnea and snoring. Kevin Meehan, a holistic practitioner and founder of Meehan Formulations in Jackson, Wyo., believes “any process which increases the obstruction or reduction in the space of the air passageway will usually initiate the vibration of the respiratory structures, resulting in snoring. … Keeping the obstruction of the throat and nasal passageways down is imperative,” he told Medical Daily in an email.

Mind Over Matter: Why Your Imagination Is More Important Than Practice


A new study shows that imagining something instead of practicing it leads to more success. mindfulness .

New research published in Psychological Science shows your imagination may be more important than practice. In fact, for the study, those who imagined a target before having to actually pick out the target from a group of items were quicker at finding it. Everybody who follows sports remembers the famous free-throws that Michael Jordan took with his eyes closed. He was a person who practiced imagery, or visualization. Maybe he had it right.

Visualization is something constantly used in sports. Sports uniquely have to do with muscle memory and hand-eye coordination. But what this research shows is that it is an attribute of success for people of all stripes. This is because visualization is not meant to just improve motor performance, which might be used in an athletic endeavor, but it is also used to promote focus and visual processing.

The participants in the study were asked to look at a computer screen while their brain activity was recorded. As they sat, they were asked to look at images containing a bunch of letter Cs. The order and arrangements varied and were meant to trick. Then, the participants were asked to, as quickly and accurately as they could, determine whether a target was on the screen or not (the target being a red or green C).

“We ended up running a fairly large number of experiments because it was so surprising that imagery beat actual practice,” Geoffrey Woodman, study author and psychological scientist from Vanderbilt University, said in a press release.

The conclusion of these experiments showed that the distracting stimuli left traces in memory that interfered with performance. Thus, the performance suffered as a result. When the subject imagined the search, then performance was much better. The efficiency that the data showed was also confirmed by the EEG data, which was recording the subject’s brain activity. This study indicates that the success one gets due to visualization was due to “how well our sensory systems process inputs,” Woodman said.

This means that success begins in the brain, with all its processing and imaginings, before it actually manifests itself in performance. One can be successful by repetition and other material ways, but ultimate success (that is, success that is faster and more accurate) begins when a person imagines the act first, according to the study.

In a culture where pragmatism rules the day, this can be hard advice to heed. But the results of this experiment show that imagination is what is superior to practice because there isn’t as much visual interference.

Source: Woodman GF, Reinhart RMG, McClenahan LJ. Visualizing Trumps Vision in Training Attention. Psychological Science. 2015.

Double Embryo Transfer & Two Single Embryo Transfers

Fertility treatment in the U.S. has always been different from most of the rest of the world. Although the first IVF pregnancy was conceived in England, thef irst IVF pregnancy involving ovarian stimulation to produce more eggs occurred in Norfolk, Virginia in 1981. Thus began the modern trend of producing multiple embryos in order to boost the chance for a pregnancy. We’ve achieved that goal. As I wrote about several months ago, fertility treatments have become both safer and more successful. Yet pregnancy following IVF still has higher risks than naturally conceived pregnancies. New data now support the belief that lowering the number of embryos transferred per cycle may be the key to both higher pregnancy rates and lower risks. Here’s what we now know.

Multiple pregnancies — twins in particular — remain fairly common after IVF. In 2013, (the most recent year that we have outcome data available for) most embryo transfers involved two embryos or dual embryo transfer (DET). Not surprisingly, the incidence of twins or higher order multiples reached nearly 30% of those that became pregnant. By comparison, the natural incidence of twins is about 2%. One of the major factors that appear to drive this continued trend for twins over singletons is that most patients don’t have enough information available to them to make a fully informed decision of one versus two embryos. In fact, as one recent editorial stated, “It is not the fear of multiples that drives decisions about the number of embryos to transfer … but rather the fear of not conceiving at all.”

Many of the most successful programs have been urging their patients to consider single embryo transfer based upon their clinic-specific success rates. Some have even demonstrated that imposing a mandatory policy of single embryo transfer (SET) is well supported by patients in these settings. But now we have new data suggesting that patients at the typical center should also be considering SET.

A recently published study using the national database for IVF centers’ information gathered from 2006 to 2012 has provided new insights into live birth rates (LBR) from elective SET vs. DET. They demonstrated that LBR is as good as or better with two SET cycles than with one DET cycle. In fact, in some patients the LBR was up to 20% higher with an incidence of twins of around 1% to 3% (due to a single embryo splitting and forming identical twins). Other studies have also demonstrated that when two or more embryos are transferred, the excess embryos have a negative effect on the one remaining. This impact may manifest as a low birth weight, a higher risk of preterm labor, or an elevated risk of miscarriage. It can even contribute to adverse neurologic effects on the embryo that survives to term, resulting in a child with cognitive or developmental impairment. The study’s authors concluded that “success for modern IVF should be defined as a singleton pregnancy that results in a healthy singleton infant who is born at term.”

The greatest challenge toward achieving that goal remains the cost and availability of fertility services. Currently, only about a quarter of the states require that insurance companies provide any coverage for fertility treatments. According to one database, in states where IVF is covered by insurance, fewer embryos are transferred per cycle and lower multiple gestations occur. This actually lowers the cost to insurance companies since there is universal coverage mandated for pregnancies and singleton pregnancies cost less. Therefore, the burden for the cost of multiple pregnancies tends to fall back upon the insurance companies that often opposed providing the fertility treatment as a covered benefit. Hopefully, as this information becomes more widely available we will see more patients choosing SET as the best outcome, instead of simply making a choice based upon the financial pressures they feel based upon where they live.

‘Viagra for Women’ Wins FDA Panel Support | Medpage Today

Mixed but strong support for so-called ‘Viagra for women’

An FDA advisory committee voted 18-6 Thursday to recommend approval for flibanserin, a drug meant to treat sexual dysfunction and loss of sexual desire in women.

The “yes” vote at the joint meeting of the Bone, Reproductive and Urologic Drugs Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee included a requirement for “certain risk management options beyond labeling,” such as provider certification and postmarketing studies.

Flibanserin, a product of Sprout Pharmaceuticals, is proposed for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. The suggested dose is a 100-mg tablet taken in the evening before bed.

Sprout Pharmaceuticals describes HSDD on its website as “a persistent or recurrent deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.” It clarifies that diagnosis is not related to “a medical, substance-related, psychiatric (e.g., depression), or other sexual condition.”

Walid Gellad MD, MPH, of the University of Pittsburgh, voted to recommend approval of the drug, but tempered his support saying he saw its benefits as “modest” or “less than modest.” “But I think that puts it in good company with other approved drugs.”

Gellad supported a risk evaluation and management strategy (REMS) and also supported provider certification.

Michele Orza, ScD, the panel’s acting consumer representative and a senior adviser at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, in Washington, voted against approving the drug. Orza called the treatment effect “minimal” or “marginal at best” and said she worried that as the FDA considers future products it will find that the standard is “too low and problematic.”

If You Drink, Don’t

The majority of the committee recommended a REMS strategy as well as other postmarketing studies specifically focused on use of the drug with alcohol, long-term studies to assess the drugs effects on fertility, harm to a fetus, cancer risks, and accidental injury.

In his opening statement, Hylton Joffe, MD, director of the Division of Bone, Reproductive and Urologic Products (DBRUP) acknowledged that there is an unmet need for a drug to treat HSDD. He agreed that the sponsor had met its primary endpoints in three phase III clinical trials.

Missing the Endpoint

All three trials showed “statistically significant improvement” in the number of orgasms and other satisfying sexual events (SSE) and a reduction in sex-related distress in participants taking flibanserin compared with control participants, according to FDA reviewers. The sponsor drug showed a median placebo-corrected increase of approximately 0.5-1.0 SSEs per month, from the median baseline of two to three events per month.

Neither of the first two trials demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in the secondary endpoint of sexual desire, when rated in a daily electronic diary. However, both showed a statistically significant improvement when such desire was rated using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). A third trial, which used the FSFI as a co-primary endpoint for sexual desire, found the endpoint statistically significant:

“From a mean baseline of about 1.8-1.9 on the FSFI desire score, flibanserin resulted in a placebo-corrected mean increase of 0.3-0.4 (the FSFI desire score range is 1.2-6.0).”

“From a mean baseline of 3.2-3.4 on the distress score, flibanserin resulted in a placebo-corrected mean improvement of 0.3-0.4 (on a scale of 0-4).”

But the sponsor and FDA are “not in full agreement that the FSFI is optimized for assessing sexual desire,” the staff review noted. At the meeting, Ashley Slagle, MS, PhD, endpoints reviewer for FDA, said the FSFI “specifically includes multi-barrel instruction, making it unclear what components might be driving any score change, so … if one component [like fantasizing] improves but other components might not improve; it’s unclear whether a change in one single element represents meaningful change.”

Safety Concerns

Joffe also highlighted the drug’s major safety concerns: hypotension, syncope, and central nervous depression and its “sizable placebo effect.”

Some of the panel’s safety concerns centered on alcohol use while on flibanserin. The committee noted the data on alcohol use was particularly unhelpful as Sprout’s pivotal alcohol study included only two women.

Speakers for the meeting’s public hearing portion were divided on the drugs’ approval.

Lisa Larkin, MD, a women’s health internist who practices in Cincinnati, told the committee “day after day” she sees patients distressed by their sexual health concerns.

“I take real issue with those who suggest that low libido in women is always the result of relationship or situational issues, anxiety, depression, something that can always be addressed in psychotherapy or that pharma has somehow created this disorder as a niche for a drug.” She urged those who ascribe to those view to spend a day in her practice.

Sidney Wolfe, MD, founder of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, in Washington, D.C., questioned whether there was any new information on the drug now compared with 5 years ago, “when an FDA advisory committee voted 11-0 that the benefits did not outweigh the risks … I have concerns about exclusions in the trials and [the drug’s] minimal level of effectiveness.”

Wolfe noted that hypotension and syncope are not trivial and can result in serious, irreversible, or life-threatening injuries. “If there were clear evidence of a clinically meaningful benefit, accompanied by manageable risk, approval might be appropriate, but neither of these two is the case. I would urge the FDA to reject the drug; it isn’t ready for prime time.”

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