Standing Desks Are No Replacement For a Workout

Planting your behind in a seat for hours at a time has been squarely linked to an increase in health problems, from shorter lifespans to a slew of diseases, including cancer. Concerned office workers have leapt to standing desks as healthier alternatives. But prolonged sitting may be getting a bum rap, a new study suggests.

Source: Standing desks are no replacement for a workout

The moral of the story is still this: go out and get some exercise.

No gym membership needed. Go out and run. Or walk at first if you can’t run. Or try cycling. Or try rowing. Or swimming. Can’t swim? Even better- you’ll go on a great journey just learning how to swim crawl correctly.

What – winters are bad where you live? Cross country skiing.   Endurance exercise has the power to change your life.

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To Treat Cancer, Doctors Will Grow Miniature Organs from Your Tumors

Organoids are exactly what they sound like: simplified miniature organs. And now geneticists are growing them out of living cancer cells, creating tiny, living cancer tumors for study. It sounds terrifying, but it’s actually one possible way we’ll get personalized medicine to treat many kinds of cancer.

Source: To Treat Cancer, Doctors Will Grow Miniature Organs from Your Tumors

This is very exciting stuff, but may never be used for it intended purpose. There’s the possibility that cancer will be treated differently and more meaningfully without the need for this technology.  For example, organoids can be a key aspect on generating new drugs.

Sushi Parasite Inspires Worm Test for Cancer

Dogs do it. Rats do it. Even some people seem to be able to sniff out cancer and other diseases. Now we can add the humble roundworm to the list of super-smellers.

Japanese researchers have discovered that Caenorhabditis elegans worms can detect cancer in people’s urine. They are working with technology companies Hitachi and Johnan to turn the finding into a diagnostic test that can be used to catch the disease in its early stages.

…The team are now investigating whether different cancer types release different odours, and whether this has an effect on the worms. They hope to have a commercial product ready by 2019. The idea would be that users send a urine sample to the company and get the results back the next day, says Hirotsu.

Source: Sushi parasite inspires worm test for cancer

It was only recently that dogs were trained to sniff out cancer, though dogs have been trained companions for detecting low blood sugar for diabetics in the past.  Much as I like dogs, the worms are a much better idea for a diagnostic test.  Being smaller means less space needed, and likely less resources to keep.  Don’t have to walk the worms 😉

Here’s to a cost-effective, non-invasive, diagnostic test that posted a 96% success rate.  No word about what stage the respective cancer was at, but the ability to test and test often is still pretty good.

I’m interested to see how the commercial aspect turns out for worms that have been used in research since 1963.  I shudder at the thought of repeating the breast cancer testing fiasco, and hope they see that the volume of commercialized test sales could offset upscale pricing.

Math, Not Lifestyle or Genetics: Why You Might Get Cancer

Eat healthy, exercise regularly, die anyways.

Why? That’s the first word on many lips after a cancer diagnosis. “It’s a perfectly reasonable question,” says Bert Vogelstein, a cancer geneticist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who has spent a lifetime trying to answer it. Thanks to his friendship with a recently minted Ph.D. in applied mathematics, the two now propose a framework arguing that most cancer cases are the result of biological bad luck.

In a paper this week in Science, Vogelstein and Cristian Tomasetti, who joined the biostatistics department at Hopkins in 2013, put forth a mathematical formula to explain the genesis of cancer.

…The idea emerged during one of the pair’s weekly brainstorming sessions in Vogelstein’s office. They returned to an age-old question: How much of cancer is driven by environmental factors, and how much by genetics? To solve that, Tomasetti reasoned, “I first need to understand how much is by chance and take that out of the picture.”

Sources:

There is a difference between cancer initiation and cancer promotion. Many environmental factors favor existing tumors but do not create them. Hence initiation can be random, while promotion can be environment-induced.

Recipe: Tahini

Tahini can be convenient to buy at most grocery stores, but expensive.  It’s incredibly simple to make yourself.  Providing you have:

  • coffee/spice grinder
  • food processor
  • frying pan or microwave if toasting the seeds

Then hit the bulk foods section of your grocery store for some sesame seeds!  If there’s vitamin K in sesame seeds, it’s so low there’s no concern.  There’s some real benefit to eating sesame/tahini:

  • The copper in sesame seeds is good for Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Magnesium supports vascular and respiratory health
  • Calcium helps prevent colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS
  • Zinc for bone health
  • Phytosterols lower cholesterol

Additional tips:

  • It’s worth finding a store with a decent bulk foods section for various things – sugar, spices, nuts, oatmeal and such.  You can save a lot.
  • The nice part about tahini is that if the sesame and oil separates – just mix it up again.

When Life gives you tahini, make hummus! 🙂

Men: 6 Symptoms to Be Aware of

More often than not, we’re too macho, too busy, or (shhh!) too scared to man up and face the person who can help us live a longer, more fulfilling life. But when it comes to seemingly minor symptoms, trying to tough it out could set you up for major trouble down the road.

Guys are nearly 25 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor in the past year. So it’s no surprise they’re at a much greater risk of being hospitalized for serious health threats such as congestive heart failure and the long-term complications of diabetes.

Source: 6 Super Subtle Symptoms Guys Should Never, Ever Ignore

Guys over 40, have you done your annual prostate exam?  If you or someone you know is between 20 and 40, a check every couple of years is suggested.  Ounce of prevention, pound of cure…