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Archive for 'Research'

Red wine increases the risks of breast cancer

Last month, research showed that drinking alcohol increases the risks of breast cancer, but researchers, led by Polly Newcomb from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, wanted to analyze red wine specifically because it has been shown to have beneficial effects on prostate cancer and heart disease.

This recent study, published in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, showed no difference between red or white wine when it comes to breast cancer risks; both increase the risk of the disease.

Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV talks about it in the video below:

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Wireless Power: charging your mobile wirelessly

By definition, wireless power is the process where electrical energy is transmitted from a power source to an electrical load without any interconnecting wires. We are not used to see wireless power in our daily life, even most of us are not aware that it could be possible, but surprisingly enough, wireless power dates back to late 1800s. Last year, an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) professor by the name of Marin Soljačić has decided to work towards a world of wireless electricity.

Wireless power has a long history that started in the late 19th century with the inventor Nikola Tesla, who had a grand scheme to beam elec­tricity around the world. he figured that wireless is the way to go, so he started designing and building a 57 meter long tower on Long Island that he claimed would transmit power to points kilometers away. Although he did some tests, funding ran out before the tower was completed. The promise of airborne power faded rapidly as the industrial world adopted wired electricity.

A couple of years ago, Soljačić started searching for ways to transmit power wirelessly. Instead of pursuing a long-distance scheme like Tesla’s, he decided to look for midrange power transmission methods that could charge - or even power - portabl­e devices such as cell phones, PDAs, and laptops.

Soljačić eventually landed on the phenome­non of resonant coupling, in which two objects tuned to the same frequency exchange energy strongly but interact only weakly with other objects. He found magnetic resonance a promising means of electricity transfer because magnetic fields travel freely through air yet have little effect on the environment or, at the appropriate frequencies, on living beings.

Working with MIT physics professors John Joannopoulos and Peter Fisher and three students, Soljačić built two resonant copper coils and hung them from the ceiling, about two meters apart. When they plugged one coil into the wall, alternating current flowed through it, creating a magnetic field. The second coil, tuned to the same frequency and hooked to a light bulb, reso­nated with the magnetic field, generating an electric current that lit up the bulb - even with a thin wall between the coils.

Wireless power technology was regarded by the Technology Review magazine, published by the MIT, as one of the top 10 emerging technologies of 2008. Read more about it on the page of Marin Soljačić at the MIT website.

Wireless Power of Marin Soljačić - Bryan Christie Design

Wireless Power of Marin Soljačić - Bryan Christie Design

Calcium may reduce the risks of digestive cancers

We know that an adequate intake of calcium benefits bone health, but according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, it appears that it may also lower the risks of digestive cancers, and particularly colorectal cancer (colon cancer).

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute analyzed data from half a million men and women over a long period of time who participated in a diet and health study. Those records were then linked to cancer registries. The men who consumed the most calcium had a 16% lower risk of those types of cancer, while women who consumed the most calcium reduced their risk by 23%.

More about this study in the interview below by CTV with Dr. Marla Shapiro:

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Mediterranean diet can help protect your brain

Past research has shown that following a Mediterranean diet can help protect from heart diseases and diabetes, but now there is a new evidence that it could protect your brain as well. The study, performed by doctors from Columbia University, followed 1800 seniors over a five year period. One of the things it found is that people with no memory problem, who followed a Mediterranean diet, reduced their risks of developing cognitive impairment by 28%. Those with some memory problems reduced the risk of developing a full blown Alzheimer’s by half.

Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV explains it more in the following video:

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Frequent Marijuana use could cause testicular cancer

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have just found that frequent or long-term marijuana use can significantly increase a man’s risk of developing the most aggressive type of testicular cancer.

The team interviewed 369 men with testicular cancer, in the Seattle area - mostly in their 20s and 30s - about their history of marijuana use. Even after other “lifestyle” factors such as smoking and drinking as well as risks such as a family history of the disease, cannabis use emerged as a significant possible cause, the study published in the journal Cancer concluded. But they emphasized that their results were not definitive and called for further studies.

Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV explains it more in the video below:

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Staying active throughout the day can help people with Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. It affects three times more men than women. The individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening. Snoring and daily fatigue are the common symptoms of this disorder.

Toronto researchers suggest that people who sit for long periods of time, like working on a computer, accumulate fluids in their legs during the day. And that fluid moves from the legs to the neck when you lie down to sleep, making breathing very difficult. But staying active during the day, such as stretching, exercising, or even a short walk can help with the problem. It is unclear yet how much movement is needed and needs further studies.

More about this in the video below by Monica Matys from CTV Lifetime:

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UltraShape: lose the extra fat without surgery

When I first heard of this a couple of months ago, I did not pay much attention to it since it was brand new and not much testing has been done on it. But now, it is hitting the markets, and a lot of people are willing to pay a few thousand bucks for it.

The Israeli company UltraShape has just introduced a new fat-busting technology that uses ultrasound to target fat cells and literally make them explode. The procedure does not involve surgery, and costs around a thousand dollars a session. Each session takes nearly an inch of fat.

It is mostly intended for the extra fat (that people cannot remove with regular exercise), and not to remove large quantities of fat. It does not work on cellulite, but the company said they are working on it. It is now available in Canada, but is waiting for the FDA approval in the States.

More information in the video below from CNBC:

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Simple solution for the Canadian “winter depression”

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as “winter depression” or “winter blues”, affects one in 10 people. I always believed that the brain neurotransmitters responsible for this are affected by weather conditions, but studies suggest that they are affected by latitude.

All Canadians know that Winter is harsh in Canada, but we can now fortunately prevent a Winter depression. Light therapy can be a quick and simple solution. Two thirds of people with the SAD condition, sitting in front of a light device or light box, for thirty minutes every morning really alleviates most of their symptoms. The good thing is that results can come quickly, usually four to seven days.

Watch Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV explaining this solution:

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Mediterranean diet with added handful of nuts

Spanish researchers have found that people who followed a Mediterranean diet and added a few daily handfuls of nuts were 70% more likely to reduce their metabolic disorder. Specifically the participants ate walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds.

Watch Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV talk about it:

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Happiness is contagious

A recent scientific research done by University of California, San Diego and Harvard Medical School found that if you hang out with someone happy, your chance of happiness increases by 15%. But if you have unhappy friends, they decrease your happiness by 7%. So go and spread happiness to your surroundings.

Watch the news clip from the CBS Healthwatch:

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