‘Minibrains’ Could Help Drug Discovery For Zika And For Alzheimer’s

Some tiny clusters of brain cells grown in a lab dish are making big news at this week’s Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego.

Known as “minibrains,” these rudimentary networks of cells are small enough to fit on the head of a pin, but already are providing researchers with insights into everything from early brain development to Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s and Zika.

At a Sunday press conference at the neuroscience meeting, researchers said minibrains are helping them figure out how the Zika virus can disrupt human brain formation in the early stages of fetal development.

Minibrains are highly organized structures that actually start out as human skin cells. They are then coaxed in the lab to become neural stem cells, then to differentiate into some of the different types of cells found in a real brain.

What makes these lab-grown structures so useful is that they replicate part of the cell diversity and connectivity of the human brain, said Dr. Thomas Hartung, a researcher and experimental toxicologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

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Source: npr.org

“Walk in Her Shoes” Shines Light on Domestic Violence

Stilettos, sling backs, sandals and platforms were all on the move up and down Market Street in Grand Cayman’s premier shopping center, Camana Bay, for a very important event. It’s known as the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes race and was held in support of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, which provides much needed shelter and loving support to women affected by domestic violence.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a global event, but this was the first time the race was established locally in Grand Cayman. Expectations were high, and the men did not disappoint, raising a whopping $53,000 plus for the crisis center. The men, attired in women’s footwear or man-heels, took off in stride solo or in teams to try and win the race and take a firm stand against domestic, sexual and gender violence.

Hundreds of men displayed glamorous shoes or sandals, all happy and ready to take their mark. Some even put on frilly skirts to match their lovely footwear. The participants secured sponsorships ranging from $1 to $1,000 to take part in the competition which consisted of a 5-lap distance.

It was all in good fun, a great crowd turned out and the male species got to experience firsthand what it was like to “walk a mile in someone’s shoes,” as the old saying goes. In this case, it was supporting women who are often victims of violence and showing compassion in a wonderful tribute that raises a lot of money for a very worthy cause.

Fundraising doesn’t come to a stop for the Cayman Island Crisis Centre following the event. The organization is constantly looking for support, according to Executive Director Ania Milanaowska.

“With an annual budget of over $650,000, we receive a $300,000 grant from the Cayman Islands government,” she stated. “However, to raise the outstanding $350,000 we rely heavily on sponsorship from corporations as well as private donors. Our fantastic fundraising committee is working tirelessly to make sure that the remaining funds are raised during different events throughout the year just to cover our operational costs.”

The Crisis Centre is hoping to make the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes race an annual fundraiser and is just one of the many things to do in Grand Cayman each year. It brings excellent awareness to situations of violence against women and allows men to participate in their own way and deliver a strong message of support.

Helping Your Aging Parent’s Transition Gracefully Into Elderly Health Care

Getting your aging parents into an elderly health care can be very stress stressful, especially, for them. This is because, everything that they are used to is bound to change. Therefore, children should take it upon themselves to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible. This might not be easy, having to act as the parent. Thus, it is advisable that you do the following to ensure that they transition into their elderly health care gracefully.

Get a Comfortable Health Care

When moving your parents into an elderly healthcare, it is important that you get a facility that has similar features with your parent’s home. Adapting to change is not easy. The least you can do is ensure that your loved ones have access to everything that they normally would if they were living in their own homes. JenCare offers parents a family feel that enables them easily adjust to the new environment.

Spend as Much Time with Your Loved One

Transitioning can be pretty traumatic. Therefore, it is important that you spend as much time with your parents on the day of their booking. This will prevent them from feeling that this was only an option to easily get rid of them. If you cannot make it, at least ensure that they are with someone they trust on that day.

Make Follow-ups

After successfully booking your parents into an elderly health care, it is important that you ensure regular follow-ups. Remember, you should be the biggest advocate for your parents in elderly health care. Therefore, call in every now and then and ask on their well-being and how they are progressing. Monitoring their well-being will help your parents adapt to the new environment easily.

Ensure Customized Services

When you get to the elderly health care, it is important that you get the guardians there to customize their services to suit your parent’s need.no one knows your parents better than you do. Make a point of making their likes and dislikes known to employees of the facility.

Bottom Line

Enrolling your parents into an elderly care is never easy. It requires that you are prepared, both financially and psychologically. Only then can you be effective in helping your parents transition.

FDA bans trans-fat in foods

In what officials are calling a highly important step forward, those at the Food and Drug Administration have announced an official ban of substances known as trans fats. These artificially engineered fats have long been in the sights of health officials who believe they are responsible for many serious health problems. Officials today have announced that companies, federal agencies and private spaces have three years in which to finish phasing them out of any foodstuffs. While many food manufacturers have begun to phase them out, others have not. This ruling is intended to help push such companies in the right direction and give them more incentives to do so.

Getting Them Out of the Food Supply

Health officials have become increasingly aware of just how dangerous it can to have such items in the food supply. Such fats have been directly linked to heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Sudden heart attacks have been directly linked to this form of fat. The fats are used to help extend shelf life for baked goods. When the fats are added to many baked goods, it appears to make the item fresh enough to sell to consumers for a lot longer. However, the net result are unhealthy goods that may directly cause serious problems when eaten. Margaret Hamburg, who previously served as FDA Commissioner help spearhead the ban.

The Formation of Trans Fats

Trans fats are formed as part of the process of creating foods for sale. They happen when the liquid oils that are used in baking are inadvertently chemically altered via a process that has been dubbed hydrogenation. As a result, the fats that are used can respond far more like butter. Such fats also have a similar taste when cooked. Unfortunately, the process that is used to crate them ultimately makes the fats even more unhealthy than alternatives such as butter and possibly even far more dangerous.

No Longer Safe

The new FDA ruling will recognize that such trans fats are no longer seen as generally safe for human consumption. Under this ruling, any company will now have to ask for specific permission from the agency should they decide to use them again. It is hoped this will do much to discourage the use of such fats and help Americans buy products such as baked goods and fried items that are hopefully healthier for consumption. Nutrition advocacy groups are applauding the ruling as they hope it will help Americans eat healthier food.

Avocado A Day

Eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet cuts bad cholesterol levels in overweight people, say doctors in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

In the study, 45 overweight patients between 21 and 70 were put on three different cholesterol-lowering diets: a lower fat diet without avocado; moderatefat diet without avocado.

The two moderate-fat diets had 34% of calories as fat. The low-fat diet was 24%. Researchers found:

– Compared to the average diet, low-density lipoprotein (LDLs, the “bad” cholesterol) was 13.5 mg/dL lower after consuming the moderate fat diet that included an avocado, and superior to the other diets.

Read more.

Source: healthylivingmagazine.us

Skin Care Market Booms in Texas

The United States’ skin care market is set to hit $18 billion by 2018 according to the GCI beauty magazine. The growth of the U.S. skin care industry is a result of an increasing number of players and products entering the market. In particular, state of Texas is home to several notable skin care companies such as Mannatech, Gurwich Products, Sozo Skin Care Products and Essencia.

Mannatech (http://allaboutmannatech.com/) is based in Texas, right outside of Dallas. The company manufactures a wide range of products revolving around skin care, health, wellness, weight and fitness. Some of the company’s best-selling products include Generation Uth Skincare system, Essential Oils and Emprizone. These products are manufactured using some of the finest natural ingredients and advanced skin care technologies. Mannatech is driven by the passion to produce high quality and scientifically proven products. The company’s broad based mission is to fight the scourge of global malnutrition by nourishing the world through its Real Food Technology.

Gurwitch Products
The Houston, Texas based Gurwitch Products is a subsidiary of Alticor. The parent cosmetics company produces, markets and manages a host of skin care and cosmetic products. The two main brands of skin care products manufactured by Gurwitch are ReVive Skincare products and Laura Mercier Cosmetics. The skin and beauty products manufactured under the Laura Mercier label include fragrances, cosmetics, body and bath and skincare products. Essencia is a Fort Worth, Texas based cosmetics products company. The company manufactures eyeliners, anti-aging products, makeup and various skin care products.

Essencia (http://www.manta.com/c/mt4lvtj/essencia) believes in bringing out the true essence of beauty by creating products that nourish and improve the skin and face using the scientifically proven ingredients such as Aloe, Vitamin A and peptide. Essencia skin care products cater for people with all types of skins, including dry skin, sensitive skin and oily skin.

Sozo Skin Care Studio
Sozo Skin Care Studio is the other popular skincare products manufacturer in the south. The company is based in the affluent city of Frisco, Texas. The products made by Essencia include chemical peels, lasting hair removers, botanical facials and ultrasonic microdermabrasion products. The facial products incorporate the finest chemical peels, state-of-the-art botanical ingredients, essential oils as well as the best micro-current and ultrasonic technology available in the industry. Sozo Skin Care products are designed to rejuvenate and relax the skin.