More evidence suggests that Botox can spread from its injection site

Despite its popularity, Botox – or botulinum toxin – is one of the deadliest substances on Earth, with just 160 nanograms enough, on average, to kill an 80-kg human.

That’s not a problem for people who use it therapeutically in small doses – assuming it stays where it’s meant to. But new research has shown for the first time that the toxin is capable of spreading between nerve cells, and moving from its injection site.

Before you freak out, in the tiny doses doctors currently use on patients, that’s nothing to be worried about – there’s 0.73 nanograms per 100 unit vial, and most people get around 10 units per session.

Research has shown that Botox is safe for the majority of patients, and it also has some pretty important medical benefits.

By causing localised paralysis, the drug is capable of not only smoothing frown lines, but also treating migraines, muscle dysfunction, and even helping with weight loss.

But evidence that Botox can spread along nerve cells is worthy of further investigation, seeing as the drugs only entered the market based on the idea that they couldn’t spread.

“The idea was that they are safe to use, they stay where they are injected, and you don’t have to worry about toxin going to the central nervous system and causing weird effects,” said team leader Edwin Chapman from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Now, Chapman and his team have “shown unambiguously the existence of a second entry pathway that takes some of the toxin molecules to other neurons”,he says.

This isn’t the first time researchers have suspected that Botox can spread.

Back in 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added a warning to the drug information that stated, “Botulinum toxin may spread from the area of injection to produce symptoms consistent with botulism,” – which is the name given to the condition that results from being exposed to too much of the toxin, or the Clostridium botulinum bacteria that produces it.

“Understand that swallowing and breathing difficulties can be life-threatening and there have been reports of deaths related to the effects of spread of botulinum toxin,” the FDA cautioned.

Doctors have also seen some strange results that suggest Botox is capable of affecting other parts of the body.

“In many cases, after an injection for a disabling spasm of neck muscles called cervical dystonia, there is no change in muscle tone but the patient finds relief and is perfectly happy,” said one of the researchers, Ewa Bomba-Warczak. “That result can’t be explained by the local effects.”

But despite this speculation, no one had ever actually caught Botox in the act of spreading between nerve cells – until now.

To figure this out, the researchers grew mouse neurons in the lab, and kept each neuron in a dish connected by small channels that allowed them to communicate via their long ‘tails’ called axons.

The researchers then injected Botox into one of the nerve cells, the way doctors would clinically, and watched on a molecular level where it travelled.

They watched as the botulinum toxin stopped the nerve cells from communicating with muscles and caused local paralysis. But then they also saw the toxin move to nerve cells in neighbouring wells through the axons.

“Every time one fraction of the toxin acts locally (on the first nerve cell it contacts), another fraction acts at a distance,” said Chapman. “It’s unknown how far they travel, which likely depends on the dose of toxin and other factors.”

A lot more research needs to be done to find out exactly how and why this is happening, and to verify that it’s actually happening in humans, and not just in the lab. So don’t give up your Botox injections just yet.

But the good news is that if we can better understand how the toxin works on the molecular level, we might be able to find a way to stop it from spreading, while maintaining its therapeutic effects – something Chapman suggests would make the drug even more appealing to doctors.

“I have a hard time imagining that any physician is going to want to inject something they know can move about when they have an option to use something that stays put,” said Chapman. “It’s an exciting prospect, supplanting a $2 billion drug with a safer drug.”

Sperm quality in dogs is rapidly declining, and it could be a big warning for human fertility

Food packaging chemicals have been implicated.

Scientists have assessed the fertility of male dogs in Britain over the past three decades to find that it’s declined by a whopping 30 percent across five common breeds.

While the researchers aren’t concerned that dogs will lose their ability to reproduce any time soon, they do say the find could have serious implications for human fertility, pointing to the possibility that industrial chemicals in our food packaging could be to blame.

“The dogs who share our homes are exposed to similar contaminants as we are, so the dog is a sentinel for human exposure,” lead researcher Richard G. Lea, from the University of Nottingham in the UK, told The New York Times. 

Back in 1988, Lea and his team decided to monitor changes in dog fertility by analysing a population of service animals at a centre for disabled people in England.

A total of 232 dogs from five different breeds – Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, curly coat retrievers, border collies and German shepherds – were included in the study, and the fertility has been tested every year up to 2014.

As Jan Hoffman explains for The Times, the benefit of working with these dogs in particular is that, not only do they come from an environment where systematic record-keeping is kept for their health and lineage, but they’re also being raised in one location with uniform conditions.

Each year, a selection of 42 to 97 dogs within the group had their fertility tested via sperm samples, and at different intervals throughout the 26 years, dogs with the poorest sperm quality were removed from the test group.

When the researchers looked at the percentage of sperm with healthy motility – the ability to swim in a straight line – they found that it dropped by 2.4 percent every year between 1988 and 1998.

Once the dogs with the worst sperm were removed from the group, the team found that the sperm motility continued to decline by 1.2 percent every year from 2002 to 2014, with an overall decline of 30 percent across the entire study period.

And there were other problems, too.

“Between 1994 and 2014, they also noticed that the mortality rate of the female puppies, although small, showed a threefold increase,” says Hoffman. “And the incidence of undescended testicles [where testes fail to correctly descend into the scrotum] in male puppies, also small, had a 10-fold increase, to 1 percent from 0.1.”

Lea and his team are yet make any definitive conclusions about the cause, but they did confirm the presence of environmental chemicals called PCBs and phthalates in both the dogs’ semen and in testicles removed by vets during routine desexing procedures.

They also found traces of the chemicals in the food given to the dogs.

Once used in the manufacture of plastics and paints, PCBs were widely banned back in the 1970s and ‘80s, and diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) has been noted for its potential health risks. But they have a long half-life, and are virtually impossible for us to avoid completely.

“The scientists cannot determine how the chemicals were introduced into the food supply; these are not additives,” says Hoffman. “But Lea and his colleagues speculate that they could be in the packaging as well as in water that came into contact with any ingredients.”

The most worrying thing here is that more than 60 studies – though controversial – have reported a recent decline in human semen quality, in the 53 years between 1938 and 1991, and, as Tim Radford reports for The Guardian, PCBs and phthalates “are ubiquitous, and have been linked to both fertility issues and birth defects”.

And while the decline in human semen quality is still hotly debated, the recent increases testicular cancer and undescended testicles in human babies are not.

But whether or not harmful environmental chemicals are to blame has yet to be confirmed, and Lea and his colleagues have so far only made a correlation between the two things in dogs – not a causative link.

“If you think about it, we are exposed to a cocktail. Who knows how many chemicals are out there and what they are doing?” Lea told The Guardian.

“What we have been able to do here is just to pull out ones that we know are present, and we have tested those in terms of their effects and it does suggest there is an impact. The next stage – and it is a big next stage – is trying to tease out what else is there and how those chemicals are interacting.”

This new drug could fight 3 of the deadliest infections in developing nations

A single drug has shown potential in fighting three major infections – sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis – that infect 20 million people each year in developing countries.

The drug has so far only been tested on animals, but the results have been so postivite, researchers are ready to start human trials once the current round of safety testing is complete.

“What makes [the drug] special is the fact it is targeting all three parasites. That’s the first time it has been done, so it is quite special,” one of the researchers, Elmarie Myburgh from the University of York in the UK, told James Gallagher from the BBC.

“To me, this is obviously a big deal, I’m in this field to try and make a difference, to get to a cure, and we’re working hard in the hope that it gets to patients,” she added. “There’s been very little incentive to spend a lot of money on these diseases as they affect a very poor, and yet large, population.”

For now, the drug is known as GNF6702.

The team investigating its effects, led by researchers from the Novartis Research Foundation in San Diego, says that it could treat all three of the infections by seeking out and destroying the similar parasites that cause them – all of which are a type of single-celled organism called kinetoplastids.

Sleeping sickness – an infection that can result in a prolonged coma – is caused by the Trypanosoma brucei parasite, and spread via tsetse flies.

Chagas disease, which can enlarge a person’s heart, is caused by the Trypansosoma cruzi parasite, and spread by assassin bugs.

The third disease, leishmaniasis, is caused by the Leishmania parasite, which is spread by sand fly bites. You only need to Google this one to know how devastating it is.

All three diseases are responsible for 50,000 deaths a year in developing nations.

The team designed the drug to seek out and destroy something called the proteasome – a protein complex that recycles waste proteins and is found inside most eukaryote and archaea species, including humans.

In the past, researchers had thought it was impossible to target these proteasomes because it would be too hard to differentiate between the species. But the researchers were able to find a target that was remarkably similar across the three parasites, but distinct enough from the human version.

To find a drug that would attack this target, the team tested some 3 million compounds before finding one that would attack the parasite proteasome, while leaving the human version alone.

They then took this compound and manipulated it to make it more potent,reports Gallagher.

While a single drug for all three diseases would obviously be the best option, because it’d be cheaper and easier to distribute, the researchers are also looking into the possibilty of developing the drug into three specialised, to achieve more efficient results.

“It may be a single drug for all three diseases may not be the best strategy,” one of the team, Richard Glynne from the Novartis Research Foundation, told the BBC.

“The biology of the diseases is different. For example, in sleeping sickness the parasite is in the brain, so you need a drug that gets into the brain, so there are tweaks that may be required.”

The current method of treatment for these infections is to administer toxic chemicals – typically through an IV – to patients.

But since many people in the affected nations don’t have access to IV facilities, many patients aren’t properly treated, so finding a more effective drug – or drugs – would be a huge step forward.

The new parasite-fighting drug will have to undergo human testing before we know for sure if it really is the “new hope” people are branding it, but the researchers are cautiously excited.

“We continually face challenges getting medicines to those people and making affordable medicines is an important first step. This is quite an important piece of research, I’m excited by it, but there’s still a long way to go,” said Wellcome Trust researcher, Stephen Caddick, who was not involved in the research.

8 paraplegics just took their first steps in years, thanks to robots

Eight long-term paraplegics who were fully paralysed from the waist down have experienced a partial recovery after training with virtual reality (VR) and robotic technologies.

The first-of-its-kind rehab program, carried out by researchers in Brazil as part of the Walk Again Project, saw patients who had been paralysed for several years take their first steps post-injury – with one woman recovering movement after 13 years of paralysis.

The patients used what’s called a brain-machine interface – a system that recorded their brain activity to detect thoughts associated with movement.

Those signals were first used to control VR avatars, before the patients progressed to brain-controlled robotics, including using exoskeletons to help them take physical steps.

“We couldn’t have predicted this surprising clinical outcome when we began the project,” said lead neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis from Duke University’s Centre for Neuroengineering.

“What we’re showing in this paper is that patients who used a brain-machine interface for a long period of time experienced improvements in motor behaviour, tactile sensations and visceral functions below the level of the spinal cord injury. Until now, nobody has seen recovery of these functions in a patient so many years after being diagnosed with complete paralysis.”

We’ve heard of amazing recoveries or partial recoveries in people with paralysis before, but most of these involve surgical procedures that implant devices likecomputer chips or bionic spines that help them regain movement with their thoughts.

By contrast, Nicolelis’s approach is totally non-invasive, and suggests that long-term training with external devices can in fact wake up nerves that have become inactive after accidents that cause paralysis.

“[A] large percentage of patients who are diagnosed as having complete paraplegia may still have some spinal nerves left intact,” said Nicolelis. “These nerves may go quiet for many years because there is no signal from the cortex to the muscles. Over time, training with the brain-machine interface could have rekindled these nerves.”

The patients in the study wore fitted caps lined with non-invasive electrodes that recorded brain activity through electroencephalography (EEG), which monitors electrical activity in the brain.

While wearing VR visors, the participants were asked to imagine walking through the virtual environment. At first, the EEG showed no activity in relation to such prompts.

“[T]he brain had almost completely erased the representation of their lower limbs,” Nicolelis explains.

But after months of training, the leg movement signals started to show. “Basically, the training reinserted the representation of lower limbs into the patients’ brains,” he said.

After using the VR setups, the patients progressed to more challenging assisted-walking devices, including overhead harnesses and exoskeletons.

At the beginning of the training, five of the patients had been paralysed for at least five years, and two had been paralysed for more than a decade. After a year in the program, in which participants trained for at least 2 hours a week with the brain-machine interfaces, four of the patients had regained enough movement and sensation that doctors upgraded their diagnoses from complete to partial paralysis.

In addition to recovering movement, the participants experienced other health benefits due to the rehabilitation, including improvements in bladder control and bowel function, which lower risk of infection – a leading cause of death in patients with chronic paralysis, says Nicolelis.

Men in the group experienced improved sexual performance, and one of the women even decided to have a baby after recovering partial sensations in the lower part of her body, which resulted in her feeling the contractions during delivery.

The findings have been published in Scientific Reports, but the researchers aren’t finished yet. They intend to conduct follow-up studies on the eight patients – who have now exceeded two years of training – to see how they progress with further treatment.

They also want to see whether training with paraplegics who haven’t been paralysed for as long could lead to faster or better results.

But already this research will have given new hope to many people around the world who experience paralysis, and we can’t wait to find out what the scientists discover next.

Watch the video. URL:

Scientists might have figured out how to use a phone in bed without your affecting sleep

We all know that using phones and tablets in bed can mess with our bodies in a whole bunch of ways, but researchers have found a possible solution: expose yourself to more light during the day.

The team found that young adults who got a lot of daytime bright light exposure were less likely to experience disrupted sleep patterns after using their gadgets at night.

“Our main finding was that following daytime bright light exposure, evening use of a self-luminous tablet for 2 hours did not affect sleep in young healthy students,” said neuroscientist Frida Rångtell from Uppsala University in Sweden.

For the study, 14 participants were exposed to bright light – approximately 569lux, which is slightly less bright than an overcast day – over a period of 6.5 hours. Afterwards, half of the participants were asked to read a book on a tablet before sleeping, while the others were given a physical paperback.

A week later, the volunteers carried on reading, but swapped over from tablet to paperback, or vice versa. Each time, sleepiness, sleep quality, and melatonin levels were measured.

The team found that the bright light exposure appeared to counter any wakefulness brought on by the evening gadget use.

There are some limitations to the study to bear in mind: it was only carried out on an extremely small sample, and the researchers note that because the participants were reading books rather than browsing the internet, their experiment doesn’t take into account the “emotional arousal” associated with checking emails or Facebook – something that could still affect your sleep quality irrespective of light exposure.

That said, the findings do point to the possibility of us mitigating the damaging effects of blue light on our sleep patterns by simply making sure we get outside more.

Blue light is emitted by smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets, and effectively tells the brain to stop producing the hormone melatonin – the chemical signal that lets our bodies know when it’s time for some shut-eye.

It’s because of this effect that Apple recently introduced a Night Shift mode on the iPhone, which cuts down on the blue light given off.

“Our results could suggest that light exposure during the day, e.g. by means of outdoor activities or light interventions in offices, may help combat sleep disturbances associated with evening blue light stimulation,” said one of the team, Christian Benedict.

Scientists are still exploring the ways in which blue light can affect our bodies and our sleep patterns. Mobile phones have only been around for 20 years or so – and newer devices like smartphones and tablets with big bright screens only in the past few years – so at this point, long-term conclusions are difficult to make.

But there’s already some evidence that blue light could cause problems with attention span and memory function, as well as disrupting sleep, and considering that most of us go to bed with our smartphones in reach, we’re talking about issues that could affect millions.

The researchers plan on carrying out further investigations with a greater sample of participants, but until we know more, you should probably limit your bedtime Netflix watching if you want a good night’s sleep. And if you must, at least make sure you’ve spent some time outdoors first.

// <![CDATA[
(function(){var k,l=this,m=function(a,b){var c=a.split("."),d=l;c[0]in d||!d.execScript||d.execScript("var "+c[0]);for(var e;c.length&&(e=c.shift());)c.length||void 0===b?d=d[e]?d[e]:d[e]={}:d[e]=b},n=function(a){var b=typeof a;if("object"==b)if(a){if(a instanceof Array)return"array";if(a instanceof Object)return b;var;if("[object Window]"==c)return"object";if("[object Array]"==c||"number"==typeof a.length&&"undefined"!=typeof a.splice&&"undefined"!=typeof a.propertyIsEnumerable&&!a.propertyIsEnumerable("splice"))return"array";if("[object Function]"==c||"undefined"!=typeof"undefined"!=typeof a.propertyIsEnumerable&&!a.propertyIsEnumerable("call"))return"function"}else return"null";else if("function"==b&&"undefined"==typeof"object";return b},aa=function(a){var b=n(a);return"array"==b||"object"==b&&"number"==typeof a.length},p=function(a){return"string"==typeof a},q=function(a){var b=typeof a;return"object"==b&&null!=a||"function"==b},ba=function(a,b,c){return,arguments)},ca=function(a,b,c){if(!a)throw Error();if(2<arguments.length){var,2);return function(){var;Array.prototype.unshift.apply(c,d);return a.apply(b,c)}}return function(){return a.apply(b,arguments)}},r=function(a,b,c){r=Function.prototype.bind&&-1!=Function.prototype.bind.toString().indexOf("native code")?ba:ca;return r.apply(null,arguments)};var t=function(a,b){var c=parseInt(a,10);return isNaN(c)?b:c};var u;var v=String.prototype.trim?function(a){return a.trim()}:function(a){return a.replace(/^[\s\xa0]+|[\s\xa0]+$/g,"")},w=function(a,b){return ab?1:0};var da=Array.prototype.indexOf?function(a,b,c){return,b,c)}:function(a,b,c){c=null==c?0:0>c?Math.max(0,a.length+c):c;if(p(a))return p(b)&&1==b.length?a.indexOf(b,c):-1;for(;c<a.length;c++)if(c in a&&a[c]===b)return c;return-1},ea=Array.prototype.forEach?function(a,b,c){,b,c)}:function(a,b,c){for(var d=a.length,e=p(a)?a.split(""):a,f=0;f<d;f++)f in e&&,e[f],f,a)},fa=function(a){var b=a.length;if(0<b){for(var c=Array(b),d=0;dparseFloat(G)){E=String(I);break a}}E=G}var J=E,ga={},K=function(a){return ha(a,function(){for(var b=0,c=v(String(J)).split("."),d=v(String(a)).split("."),e=Math.max(c.length,d.length),f=0;0==b&&f<e;f++){var g=c[f]||"",h=d[f]||"";do{g=/(\d*)(\D*)(.*)/.exec(g)||["","","",""];h=/(\d*)(\D*)(.*)/.exec(h)||["","","",""];if(0==g[0].length&&0==h[0].length)break;b=w(0==g[1].length?0:parseInt(g[1],10),0==h[1].length?0:parseInt(h[1],10))||w(0==g[2].length,0==h[2].length)||w(g[2],h[2]);g=g[3];h=h[3]}while(0==b)}return 0<=b})},L=l.document,ma=L&&B?D()||("CSS1Compat"==L.compatMode?parseInt(J,10):5):void 0;var M;if(!(M=!C&&!B)){var N;if(N=B)N=9<=Number(ma);M=N}M||C&&K("1.9.1");var O=B&&!K("9");var P=function(a){var b=document;return p(a)?b.getElementById(a):a},Q=function(a,b){var c=b||document;return c.querySelectorAll&&c.querySelector?c.querySelectorAll("."+a):na(a,b)},na=function(a,b){var c,d,e,f;c=document;c=b||c;if(c.querySelectorAll&&c.querySelector&&a)return c.querySelectorAll(""+(a?"."+a:""));if(a&&c.getElementsByClassName){var g=c.getElementsByClassName(a);return g}g=c.getElementsByTagName("*");if(a){f={};for(d=e=0;c=g[d];d++){var h=c.className,F;if(F="function"==typeof h.split)F=0<=da(h.split(/\s+/),a);F&&(f[e++]=c)}f.length=e;return f}return g},pa=function(a,b,c){function d(c){c&&b.appendChild(p(c)?a.createTextNode(c):c)}for(var e=1;e<c.length;e++){var f=c[e];!aa(f)||q(f)&&0<f.nodeType?d(f):ea(oa(f)?fa(f):f,d)}},qa={SCRIPT:1,STYLE:1,HEAD:1,IFRAME:1,OBJECT:1},R={IMG:" ",BR:"\n"},sa=function(){var a=document.getElementById("feedback-closing-template");if(O&&null!==a&&"innerText"in a)a=a.innerText.replace(/(\r\n|\r|\n)/g,"\n");else{var b=[];ra(a,b,!0);a=b.join("")}a=a.replace(/ \xAD /g," ").replace(/\xAD/g,"");a=a.replace(/\u200B/g,"");O||(a=a.replace(/ +/g," "));" "!=a&&(a=a.replace(/^\s*/,""));return a},ra=function(a,b,c){if(!(a.nodeName in qa))if(3==a.nodeType)c?b.push(String(a.nodeValue).replace(/(\r\n|\r|\n)/g,"")):b.push(a.nodeValue);else if(a.nodeName in R)b.push(R[a.nodeName]);else for(a=a.firstChild;a;)ra(a,b,c),a=a.nextSibling},oa=function(a){if(a&&"number"==typeof a.length){if(q(a))return"function"==typeof a.item||"string"==typeof a.item;if("function"==n(a))return"function"==typeof a.item}return!1},S=function(a){this.l=a||l.document||document};S.prototype.getElementsByTagName=function(a,b){return(b||this.l).getElementsByTagName(a)};var ta=function(a,b){return Q("feedback_description",b||a.l)};k=S.prototype;k.createElement=function(a){return this.l.createElement(String(a))};k.createTextNode=function(a){return this.l.createTextNode(String(a))};k.appendChild=function(a,b){a.appendChild(b)};k.append=function(a,b){pa(9==a.nodeType?a:a.ownerDocument||a.document,a,arguments)};k.canHaveChildren=function(a){if(1!=a.nodeType)return!1;switch(a.tagName){case "APPLET":case "AREA":case "BASE":case "BR":case "COL":case "COMMAND":case "EMBED":case "FRAME":case "HR":case "IMG":case "INPUT":case "IFRAME":case "ISINDEX":case "KEYGEN":case "LINK":case "NOFRAMES":case "NOSCRIPT":case "META":case "OBJECT":case "PARAM":case "SCRIPT":case "SOURCE":case "STYLE":case "TRACK":case "WBR":return!1}return!0};k.removeNode=function(a){return a&&a.parentNode?a.parentNode.removeChild(a):null};k.contains=function(a,b){if(!a||!b)return!1;if(a.contains&&1==b.nodeType)return a==b||a.contains(b);if("undefined"!=typeof a.compareDocumentPosition)return a==b||!!(a.compareDocumentPosition(b)&16);for(;b&&a!=b;)b=b.parentNode;return b==a};var ua=function(a){var b=window;return b.getComputedStyle?b.getComputedStyle(a,null):a.currentStyle};var T=function(a,b){a.addEventListener?a.addEventListener("click",b,!1):a.attachEvent&&a.attachEvent("onclick",b)};var va=function(a){var b=window;b.google_image_requests||(b.google_image_requests=[]);var c=b.document.createElement("img");c.src=a;b.google_image_requests.push(c)};var wa=function(a){a=String(a);if(/^\s*$/.test(a)?0:/^[\],:{}\s\u2028\u2029]*$/.test(a.replace(/\\["\\\/bfnrtu]/g,"@").replace(/(?:"[^"\\\n\r\u2028\u2029\x00-\x08\x0a-\x1f]*"|true|false|null|-?\d+(?:\.\d*)?(?:[eE][+\-]?\d+)?)[\s\u2028\u2029]*(?=:|,|]|}|$)/g,"]").replace(/(?:^|:|,)(?:[\s\u2028\u2029]*\[)+/g,"")))try{return eval("("+a+")")}catch(b){}throw Error("Invalid JSON string: "+a);},ya=function(a){var b=[];U(new xa,a,b);return b.join("")},xa=function(){this.o=void 0},U=function(a,b,c){if(null==b)c.push("null");else{if("object"==typeof b){if("array"==n(b)){var d=b;b=d.length;c.push("[");for(var e="",f=0;f<b;f++)c.push(e),e=d[f],U(a,a.o?,String(f),e):e,c),e=",";c.push("]");return}if(b instanceof String||b instanceof Number||b instanceof Boolean)b=b.valueOf();else{c.push("{");f="";for(d in b),d)&&(e=b[d],"function"!=typeof e&&(c.push(f),za(d,c),c.push(":"),U(a,a.o?,d,e):e,c),f=","));c.push("}");return}}switch(typeof b){case "string":za(b,c);break;case "number":c.push(isFinite(b)&&!isNaN(b)?String(b):"null");break;case "boolean":c.push(String(b));break;case "function":c.push("null");break;default:throw Error("Unknown type: "+typeof b);}}},Aa={'"':'\\"',"\\":"\\\\","/":"\\/","\b":"\\b","\f":"\\f","\n":"\\n","\r":"\\r","\t":"\\t","\x0B":"\\u000b"},Ba=/\uffff/.test("\uffff")?/[\\\"\x00-\x1f\x7f-\uffff]/g:/[\\\"\x00-\x1f\x7f-\xff]/g,za=function(a,b){b.push('"',a.replace(Ba,function(a){var b=Aa[a];b||(b="\\u"+(a.charCodeAt(0)|65536).toString(16).substr(1),Aa[a]=b);return b}),'"')};var Ca=function(a){var b={};if(a&&a.key_value){a=a.key_value;for(var c=0;c=this.boundingClientRect.bottom&&this.boundingClientRect.left>=this.boundingClientRect.right)},Ea=function(){var a=new Da;return a.N&&(!a.Y||a.O>=a.X)};var V=function(a,b){this.F=a;this.m=0;this.j=document.getElementById("mtadmas");this.L=document.getElementById("mtadmaundo");this.B=document.getElementById("mtadmac");this.C=document.getElementById("mtadmback");this.I=document.getElementById("mtadmpc");this.M=document.getElementById("mtadmpundo");this.w=document.getElementById("mtadmpunclose");this.K=this.u=this.G=this.D=null;this.v=0;this.h=null;this.i=!1;this.s=null;this.T=b?b.getAdsLength():1;(this.g=b)&&this.g.registerWidget(this,0);this.H=0},Fa=function(a,b){for(var c=[],d=b;d&&"BODY"!=d.tagName;d=d.parentNode)"block"!{el:d,}),"block");for(var d=a(b),e;e=c.pop();)void 0!==e.W&&(;return d},Ga=function(a){for(var b=document.getElementsByName("surveyOptions"),c=0;c<b.length;c++)T(b[c],r(a.U,a,b[c].value));a.L&&T(a.L,r(a.A,a,"1"));a.M&&T(a.M,r(a.A,a,"3"));a.w&&T(a.w,r(a.V,a));a.C&&T(a.C,r(a.back,a));a.g&&(a.g.listenOnObject("mute_option_selected",r(a.J,a)),a.g.forEachAd(r(function(a){a.listenOnObject("multislot_mute_collapse",r(this.S,this));a.listenOnObject("multislot_mute_collapse_undo",r(this.R,this))},a)))};V.prototype.J=function(a){this.D=a.close_button_token;this.G=a.creative_conversion_url;this.u=a.ablation_config;this.K=a.undo_callback;this.v=a.creative_index||0;this.g&&(this.s=this.g.getAd(this.v));if(1===a.type){a=Q("survey");for(var b="survey_"+this.v,c=0;c<a.length;c++)a[c].style.display=a[c].id==b?"block":"none";a=document.getElementsByName("surveyOptions");for(b=0;b<a.length;b++)a[b].checked=!1;"block";W(this);X(this)}else 0===a.type&&("block","none",W(this),Ha(this,document.getElementById("pub-feedback-closing"),this.u))};var Y=function(a){a.h&&(window.clearInterval(a.h),a.h=null,a.i=!1);P("pub-feedback-closing").style.display="none";P("ad-feedback-closing").style.display="none"};V.prototype.A=function(a){this.i||(Y(this),va(Z(this,"user_feedback_undo",a)),this.K())};V.prototype.V=function(){var a={msg_type:"resize-me"};a.key_value=[{key:"r_nh",value:String(this.H)},{key:"r_str",value:"animate"}];a=ya(a);,"*");this.i=!1;this.A("3")};V.prototype.back=function(){this.i||(Y(this),"block",W(this),X(this))};V.prototype.U=function(a){"block";"none";X(this);va(Z(this,"mute_survey_option",a));a=document.getElementById("ad-feedback-closing");||e>g||a.h)){var h=sa();c=r(function(){var a="";g<=d&&0=g&&Y(this);g–},a);c();0<=g&&(a.h=window.setInterval(c,1E3))}},Ha=function(a,b,c){if(c&&{var d=wa(c),e=Ca(d),f="resize-me"==d.msg_type&&"animate"==e.r_str;if("ablate-me"==d.msg_type&&e["collapse-after-close"]||f&&!Ea())a.w&&(a.H=window.innerHeight,f=document.getElementById("cbtf"),f=ta(u||(u=new S),f)[1],f=Fa(a.P,f),c=Ka(d,f)),Ja(a,b,t(e["secs-to-countdown"],1),t(e.countdown,0),t(e["message-tick"],1),function(){,"*")})}},Ka=function(a,b){if(!isNaN(b)&&isFinite(b)){var c=!1;if(a.key_value){for(var d=a.key_value,e=0;e<d.length;e++){var f=d[e];if("key"in f&&"value"in f&&"r_nh"==f.key){c=!0;f.value=b.toString();break}}c||d.push({key:"r_nh",value:b.toString()})}}return ya(a)};V.prototype.P=function(a){var b=ua(a);a=ua(a.parentNode.parentNode);return parseInt(b.height,10)+parseInt(b.marginTop,10)+parseInt(a.marginTop,10)};var Ia=function(a,b){Ja(a,b,1,0,0,r(function(){var a={creative_index:this.s.getIndex(),undo_pingback_url:Z(this,"user_feedback_undo","1")};this.s.fireOnObject("multislot_mute_collapse",a)},a))};k=V.prototype;k.S=function(){this.m++;this.g.resetAll()};k.R=function(){0

Scientists just found the part of our brain that actually gets physics

Not all of your brain is confused by physics.

Many science students might dread the more complex aspects of physics, but far removed from the mathematical equations that define how our physical world behaves, we each have an inner intuitive sense for how things will bounce, wobble, or fall.

Now, researchers say they’ve identified the brain region responsible for making these instinctive, immediate calculations for the movement of physical objects, dubbing it the brain’s “physics engine”.

“We run physics simulations all the time to prepare us for when we need to act in the world,” says cognitive scientist Jason Fischer from Johns Hopkins University. “It is among the most important aspects of cognition for survival. But there has been almost no work done to identify and study the brain regions involved in this capability.”

Interestingly, while we might think of these kinds of physical calculations as largely visual in nature – for example, trying to predict where a basketball might bounce after it hits the rim or backboard – the cerebral region that handles the actual work isn’t in the brain’s vision centre, but in our action planning areas: thepremotor cortex and supplementary motor area.

“Our findings suggest that physical intuition and action planning are intimately linked in the brain,” says Fischer. “We believe this might be because infants learn physics models of the world as they hone their motor skills, handling objects to learn how they behave. Also, to reach out and grab something in the right place with the right amount of force, we need real-time physical understanding.”

To identify the region in our brain that makes physics-based calculations, Fischer and a team of researchers from MIT had 12 participants look at video of Jenga-style blocks assembled in a tower.

While scanning their brain activity via functional magnetic resonance imaging(fMRI), the researchers asked the participants to predict where they thought the blocks might land if the tower were to collapse.

The fMRI results showed that the premotor cortex and the supplementary motor area were the most responsive areas – whereas a simple visual test, in which the participants only had to identify whether the static tower contained more blue or yellow blocks, didn’t stimulate activity in their physics engine.

Regardless of whether you guess the correct responses based on each tower (there are three separate collapses in the video), the parts of the brain you’re using when you try to figure it out are the premotor cortex and the supplementary motor area, according to the researchers.

The team found evidence of the same brain activity in two separate physics-based experiments. In one, the participants watched a video of two dots bouncing, and had to try to predict where the dots would bounce next.

In a final test, the participants simply watched short movie clips featuring lots of physics content while having their brain activity monitored.

Even without being asked to respond to the clips in any way – they only had to watch the video – the results showed that the brain’s physics engine was stimulated, with the more physical content shown, the more the premotor cortex and supplementary motor area were activated.

“The brain activity reflected the amount of physical content in a movie, even if people weren’t consciously paying attention to it,” says Fischer. “This suggests that we are making physical inferences all the time, even when we’re not even thinking about it.”

It’s worth pointing out that this was a very small study with only a small group taking part, so the findings will need to be replicated in larger research involving more people being tested.

But if the findings check out, the researchers say it could help lead to better designs for robots, built with physics engines that resemble our own. The research could also help us understand more about motor disorders like apraxia– where people have difficulty planning and carrying out physical movements.

It’s not the first time researchers have found evidence of physics-based thinking in the brain. Earlier in the year, a team of Japanese scientists discovered even cats have a very basic grasp of physics, based on experiments involving containers that either rattled or were silent when shaken – which gave the animals a clue that something was contained inside them (or not).

We’re finding out more and more out about the human brain all the time – withscientists identifying almost 100 brand-new brain regions just last month.

It’s an exciting time for neuroscience, and we can’t wait to find out just what else our heads have in store for us.

Watch the video. URL:

How to Use Tea Tree Oil to Rid Your Home of Germs, Ants, and Toxic Bacteria

Experts say that there are at least five to ten pounds of chemicals found in cleaning products per household. If that estimate is true, it is important to try to find cleaners that will actually clean your home without using chemicals to do so. One option is to use Tea Tree oil while cleaning.


Tea Tree oil has antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal properties. (Tea Tree oil should not be ingested.) Recently, however, Tea Tree oil has been touted for more than just medicinal uses. Following are five non-medicinal uses for Tea Tree oil.

Top 5 Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil


1. Disinfectant

Since Tea Tree oil does have antiseptic properties, it is a great addition to your warm mist vaporizer to help disinfect the air after someone has been ill in your family. Adding six to eight drops to the laundry when washing the linens following an illness is another good idea.

2. All-purpose Cleaner

You can make a homemade all-purpose cleaner that will rival any store-bought, chemical cleaner. One such recipe is to combine three or four drops of Tea Tree oil with two tablespoons of vinegar and one tablespoon of borax. Add this mixture to a 12 ounce spray bottle and fill it up with warm water. Shake to combine and use as you would a store-bought cleaner.

3. Disinfect Your Dishes

Adding a drop or two of Tea Tree oil to your soap dispenser in your dishwasher prior to adding soap will help to disinfect your dishes, as well as getting them clean.

4. Kill Germs on Your Clothes

To kill germs in your laundry, add a few drops of Tea Tree oil to each load of laundry. Not only will it disinfect your clothing, it will leave them clean and fresh smelling, as well.

5. Repel Ants

Do you have household pests such as ants? When you find a line of ants, follow the line back to the point of entry. Place a few drops of Tea Tree oil where the ants are entering the house. This will deter the ants from returning through that same point of entry. Wiping down cupboards with a solution of Tea Tree oil and water will also deter roaches, should you ever find them.

These five ways for using Tea Tree oil around your home are just a few available. Yes, Tea Tree oil is natural, but like any other natural substance, just because its natural does not mean that its safe. Research has shown, however, that Tea Tree oil, if used properly, will help make your home the cleanest it possibly can be.

Pesticides Found in Your Food Linked to Diabetes, Liver, Kidney and Brain Disease

Pesticides Found in Your Food Linked to Diabetes, Liver, Kidney and Brain Disease

 Long-term exposure to pesticides has been linked to infertility, birth defects, endocrine disruption, neurological disorders and cancer, so it’s a common-sense conclusion that fewer pesticides in our food supply would result in improved health among the general population.

In fact, one of the strongest selling points for eating organic food is that it can significantly lower your exposure to pesticides and other harmful chemicals used in conventional agriculture, and this measure in and of itself may help protect your long-term health and/or improve any health conditions you may have.

Since organic standards prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides, organic foods are, as a rule, less contaminated, and studies have confirmed that those who eat a primarily organic diet have fewer toxins in their system.

Sadly, the chemical technology industry wields great power — so great that our government has largely turned a blind eye to the obvious, which is that too many toxic chemicals, in too great amounts, are being allowed in the growing of food. As noted in the featured film, “From DDT to Glyphosate:”

“Just as was the case in the 1950s with DDT and tobacco, we are on the brink of disastrous damage to health worldwide. This short film begins to explain why, and what we can do.”

Help Educate Those You Love

“From DDT to Glyphosate” is just half an hour long, yet it’s an excellent introduction to the dangers of pesticides.

The ‘Silent Spring’ Continues

In 1962, American biologist Rachel Carson wrote the groundbreaking book “Silent Spring,” in which she warned of the devastating environmental impacts of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane), suggesting the chemical may also have harmful effects on human health.

She rightfully questioned the logic and sanity of using such vast amounts of a chemical without knowing much about its ecological and human health impact.

Her book triggered a revolution in thinking that gave birth to the modern environmental movement, and the public outcry that resulted from her book eventually led to DDT being banned for agricultural use in the U.S. in 1972.

Unfortunately, DDT was simply replaced with other equally unsafe and untested chemicals. Today, we’re also exposed to even vaster amounts of pesticides, and a wider variety of them, which is why it’s so important to share the above film with as many people as possible.

Consider this: the very same companies that developed chemical warfare weapons during World War II simply transitioned into agriculture after the war, and many of the same warfare chemicals are now sprayed on our food.

The notion that these chemicals are good for humans, the environment and the business of agriculture is a fabricated one.

Genetic Engineering Fuels the Chemical Agriculture Engine

As noted in the film, 80 percent of genetically engineered (GE) crops are designed to withstand herbicide application; most often glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Monsanto’s Roundup. As a result, we’re ingesting far greater quantities of pesticides than ever before.

The question is, where’s the breaking point? There’s reason to believe we may have crossed the threshold already. Health statistics suggest the average toxic burden has become too great for children and adults alike, and toxins in our food appear to play a primary role.

According to Dr. Joseph E. Pizzorno, founding president of Bastyr University, the first fully accredited multidisciplinary university of natural medicine and the first National Institutes of Health-funded center for alternative medicine research, toxins in the modern food supply are now “a major contributor to, and in some cases the cause of, virtually all chronic diseases.”

Watch the video. URL:

The Scary Effect Weight Has on Your Brain’s Age

Obesity is popularly linked to health issues like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, but now its effect on the brain is taking center stage.

A new study conducted by the University of Cambridge found that the composition of white matter in the brains of overweight and obese middle-age adults was similar to that of older adults. In short, the younger obese adults brains appeared far more aged.

Being overweight could be aging your brain.

White matter is tissue that transmits signals in the brain, allowing for communication throughout the body. Loss of white matter, however, corresponds with neurodegeneration, or the loss of neurons in the brain, which leads to the development of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. And that means being overweight could literally damage your brain.

“We’re living in an aging population with increasing levels of obesity, so it’s essential that we establish how these two factors might interact, since the consequences for health are potentially serious,” Paul Fletcher, a professor in the University of Cambridge Department of Psychiatry, said in the study.

As part of the study, researchers collected data from 473 cognitively healthy subjects and split them into lean and obese groups. After gathering images of the white matter in their brains, they discovered that overweight individuals had far less white matter than their leaner counterparts. In fact, the reduced amount of white matter in their brains was in line with that of lean subjects 10 years older.

Researchers only saw the differences in white matter in middle-aged and older participants, which led to another revelation about the mind being vulnerable starting at an older age. However, the researchers stressed that obesity was not found to have an effect on intelligence or cognition, rather just the aging of the brain.

Whether these these changes in white matter could be reversible with weight loss remains in question, but the authors say it’s a starting point for a more in-depth exploration of the effects of weight.

But what we do know is that exercise has many positive impacts on the brain, including longevity.

Canola Oil Is Not a Healthy Oil

Just because Whole Foods uses it on their in-house prepared foods doesn’t mean it is actually a healthy oil. If you’ve been keeping up, you should know by now Whole Foods is a business cashing in on health trends without any regard for promoting and preserving what’s actually healthy.


Whole Foods was involved with promoting the current soon to be signed GMO “Dark Act, a measure dressed up as a compromise and hidden in another bill. This soon-to-be law overrides states rights to label, even retroactively.

After all the trouble Vermonters went through to create their GMO labeling law that only just went into effect this July, it will now be revoked by this federal law.

Instead, a very toothless labeling law that doesn’t even enforce its barcode system, which requires being read by smartphones only, and is so full of loopholes of what a GMO is that it’s likely to allow most genetically engineered foods to pass through.

But over time with hybrid breeding, versions of rapeseed plant seeds eliminated most of the erucic acid, making that toxin a non-issue today. So even if a crop of rapeseed  (canola oil) is among the ten percent or so of “Canola” seeds that are not genetically modified to be Roundup Ready, the processing of this oil makes it a health hazard.

 When you purchase foods made with Canola oils, which is a very cheap processed oil, it is very likely to be GMO because 80-90% of Canola comes from Roundup Ready rapeseed seeds to allow heavy glyphosate spraying.

So how come it’s called Canola Oil instead of rapeseed oil now? Well, Canada had a lot of rapeseed plants growing and wanted to encourage and support farmers growing it, so the renamed rapeseed oil Canola. Can stands for Canada and ola represents factors involving oil and its low erucic acid content. Canola oil means Canadian oil.

This oil is heavily processed with high heat and partially hydrogenated to create longer shelf life. Partially hydrogenated oils are trans-fats. How come the Canola labels say no trans-fats? The FDA allows processed food manufacturers to round down so that anything less than .5 grams per serving can be listed as zero grams.

Chemically deodorizing Canola oil with hexane and bleaching it as well as the high heating processes make Canola oil very unhealthy. Despite terrible results from animal testing resulting in all sorts of diseases from Canola oil, the Canadian government and Canola industry paid the FDA $50 milllion to obtain GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status.

 Thanks for the non-GMO help Whole Foods. After all, the cheap Canola oil used in your in-house made foods is probably GMO.

Canola Oil: What It Is Really

First of all there is no canola seed or plant. Canola oil comes from rapeseed plant seeds, which despite its ugly name yields a high amount of oil. Originally, that oil wasn’t fit for human consumption. So it was used industrially, similar to motor oil’s machinery protection. What made it unfit for humans was erucic acid, which can lead to fatty deposits in the heart muscles of animals and humans.

If you see Canola oil as one of two or three possibilities on a food label, realize it’s probably Canola oil that’s used because it’s the cheapest. As you know, cheap is best when it comes to healthy food. The processed food industry, FDA, and Whole Foods says it’s so (sarcasm intended).

All highly processed plant food oils are very inflammatory. Cold pressed oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, flax seed, and others that are not heated but cold pressed are the oils that should be used for good health.

Watch the video. URL: