Anti-aging tricks from dietary supplement seen in mice

In human cells, shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, are both a sign of aging and contribute to it. Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have found that the dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can stimulate telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, with positive effects in a mouse model of atherosclerosis.

The discovery highlights a potential avenue for the treatment for chronic diseases.

The results were published Thursday, August 20 in Cell Reports.

read more

Passion for your job? If not, it's attainable

Job

Contrary to popular wisdom, a love-at first-sight experience is not necessary when evaluating a potential job, according to a new University of Michigan study.

“The good news is that we can choose to change our beliefs or strategies to cultivate passion gradually or seek compatibility from the outset, and be just as effective in the long run at achieving this coveted experience,” said Patricia Chen, a doctoral psychology student and study’s lead author.

The dominant mentality in America is the belief that passion is attained through finding a fit with the right line of work, or “following one’s passion.” An alternative mindset is that passion can be cultivated over time as one gains competence in a line of work.

read more

Some single people are happy on their own, research finds

single man walkPeople who fear relationship conflicts are just as happy when they are single or in a relationship, according to new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

“It’s a well-documented finding that single people tend to be less happy compared to those in a relationship, but that may not be true for everyone. Single people also can have satisfying lives,” said lead researcher Yuthika Girme, a psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

read more

Chestnut leaves yield extract that disarms deadly staph bacteria

Emory University's Cassandra Quave researches the interactions of people and plants -- a specialty known as ethnobotany. CREDIT Photo by Marco Caputo

Emory University’s Cassandra Quave researches the interactions of people and plants — a specialty known as ethnobotany.
CREDIT
Photo by Marco Caputo

Leaves of the European chestnut tree contain ingredients with the power to disarm dangerous staph bacteria without boosting its drug resistance, scientists have found.

PLOS ONE is publishing the study of a chestnut leaf extract, rich in ursene and oleanene derivatives, that blocks Staphlococcus aureus virulence and pathogenesis without detectable resistance.

The use of chestnut leaves in traditional folk remedies inspired the research, led by Cassandra Quave, an ethnobotanist at Emory University.

“We’ve identified a family of compounds from this plant that have an interesting medicinal mechanism,” Quave says. “Rather than killing staph, this botanical extract works by taking away staph’s weapons, essentially shutting off the ability of the bacteria to create toxins that cause tissue damage. In other words, it takes the teeth out of the bacteria’s bite.”

read more

Study documents extent of unexpected sexual consequences for young women who drink alcohol

underage teens drinking alcohol

underage teens drinking alcohol

In-depth interviews conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine of 20 young women attending an urban sexually transmitted disease clinic have documented a variety of unexpected, unintended sexual encounters linked to their alcohol use before sex occurs.

Links between alcohol use and risky or deleterious sexual encounters are not necessarily new, say investigators, but this small study identifies very specifically the disconnect between what young women have in mind when they drink and have sex and what really happens.

read more

The stomach is the way to a woman's heart, too

"In this case, they were more responsive when fed," she said. "This data suggests that eating may prime or sensitize young women to rewards beyond food. It also supports a shared neurocircuitry for food and sex."

Is hospice use alone a good indicator of quality of end-of-life care?

Hospice use is commonly accepted as an indicator of quality of end-of-life care, however, when researchers in the U.S. studied variations in patterns of hospice use between states, they found troubling trends.

They discuss the variations in the timing and duration of hospice enrollment and their implications in an article published in Journal of Palliative Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Palliative Medicine website until September 20, 2015.

read more