By alexlane

Alex takes a keen interest in current events and issues in science/technology. This enthusiasm has been fueled partly by his contributions at Government, Academic and Biotech institutions. He hopes that the articles presented here highlight his interest in the unusual, and also point out that science is as easily defined as we would like.

JOURNAL CLUB FIND: I CHOOSE BURGER ‘B’

REFERENCE: Potential Effects of the Next 100 Billion Hamburgers Sold by McDonald’s. (2005) American Journal of Preventive Medicine 28(4) :379-381 ABSTRACT: Background: McDonald’s has sold more than 100 billion beef-based hamburgers worldwide with a potentially considerable health impact. This paper explores whether there would be any advantages if the next 100 billion burgers were instead plant-based burgers. Methods: Nutrient composition of the beef hamburger patty and the McVeggie burger patty were obtained from the McDonald’s website; sales data were obtained from the McDonald’s customer service. Results: Consuming 100 billion McDonald’s beef burgers versus the same company’s McVeggie burgers would provide,…

JOURNAL CLUB FIND: YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT?

REFERENCE: In Vitro-Cultured Meat Production. (2005) P.D. Edelman, D.C. McFarland, V.A. Mironov, and J.G. Matheny. Tissue Engineering 11: p659 ABSTRACT: Although meat has enjoyed sustained popularity as a foodstuff, consumers have expressed growing concern over some consequences of meat consumption and production. These include nutrition-related diseases, foodborne illnesses, resource use and pollution, and use of farm animals. Here we review the possibility of producing edible animal muscle (i.e., meat) in vitro, using tissue-engineering techniques. Such “cultured meat” could enjoy some health and environmental advantages over conventional meat, and the techniques required to produce it are not beyond imagination. To tissue…

JOURNAL CLUB FIND: HMMMM… BEER… GOOD….

Xanthohumol REFERENCE: Xanthohumol and related prenylflavonoids from hops and beer: to your good health! (2004) Jan F. Stevens and Jonathan E. Page. Phytochemistry 65 (2004) 1317–1330 ABSTRACT: Xanthohumol (3’ -[3,3-dimethyl allyl]-2’ ,4’ ,4-trihydroxy-6’ -methoxychalcone) is the principal prenylated flavonoid of the female inflorescences of the hop plant (‘hops’), an ingredient of beer. Human exposure to xanthohumol and related prenylflavonoids, such as 8-prenylnaringenin and isoxanthohumol, is primarily through beer consumption. Xanthohumol has been characterized a ‘broad-spectrum’ cancer chemopreventive agent in in vitro studies, while 8-prenylnaringenin enjoys fame as the most potent phytoestrogen known to date. These biological activities suggest that prenylflavonoids…

JOURNAL CLUB FIND: SCIENCE AND ARACHNOPHOBIA

REFERENCE: Fear of Spiders Questionnaire. (1995) Jeff Szymanski and William O’Donohue. J. Behav. Ther. & Exp. Psychiat. 26(1):31–34. ABSTRACT: The Fear of Spiders Questionnaire (FSQ), an 18-item self-report questionnaire assessing spider phobia, was developed in an attempt to complement the information provided by the Spider Phobia Questionnaire (SPQ). Data obtained from 338 undergraduates revealed that the FSQ was able to discriminate phobics from nonphobics, and indicated decrements in phobic responding from pretest to posttest following cognitive therapy. Test-retest data, obtained from no-treatment control groups, indicated that scores on the FSQ are stable over a one month period. The FSQ also…

JOURNAL CLUB FIND: SCIENCE AND ARACHNOPHOBIA

REFERENCE: Fear of Spiders Questionnaire. (1995) Jeff Szymanski and William O’Donohue. J. Behav. Ther. & Exp. Psychiat. 26(1):31–34. ABSTRACT: The Fear of Spiders Questionnaire (FSQ), an 18-item self-report questionnaire assessing spider phobia, was developed in an attempt to complement the information provided by the Spider Phobia Questionnaire (SPQ). Data obtained from 338 undergraduates revealed that the FSQ was able to discriminate phobics from nonphobics, and indicated decrements in phobic responding from pretest to posttest following cognitive therapy. Test-retest data, obtained from no-treatment control groups, indicated that scores on the FSQ are stable over a one month period. The FSQ also…

JOURNAL CLUB FIND: HATHA YOGA IS NOT CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE

“The 30 minute non-workout” REFERENCE: The metabolic cost of hatha yoga. (2005) Clay, C.C., L.K. Lloyd, J.L. Walker, K.R. Sharp, and R.B. Pankey. J. Strength Cond. Res. 19(3):604–610. ABSTRACT: To determine the metabolic and heart rate (HR) responses of hatha yoga, 26 women (19–40 years old) performed a 30-minute hatha yoga routine of supine lying, sitting, and standing asanas (i.e., postures). Subjects followed identical videotaped sequences of hatha yoga asanas. Mean physiological responses were compared to the physiological responses of resting in a chair and walking on a treadmill at 93.86 m·min-1 [3.5 miles per hour (mph)]. During the 30-minute…

JOURNAL CLUB FIND: HATHA YOGA IS NOT CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE

“The 30 minute non-workout” REFERENCE: The metabolic cost of hatha yoga. (2005) Clay, C.C., L.K. Lloyd, J.L. Walker, K.R. Sharp, and R.B. Pankey. J. Strength Cond. Res. 19(3):604–610. ABSTRACT: To determine the metabolic and heart rate (HR) responses of hatha yoga, 26 women (19–40 years old) performed a 30-minute hatha yoga routine of supine lying, sitting, and standing asanas (i.e., postures). Subjects followed identical videotaped sequences of hatha yoga asanas. Mean physiological responses were compared to the physiological responses of resting in a chair and walking on a treadmill at 93.86 m·min-1 [3.5 miles per hour (mph)]. During the 30-minute…

JOURNAL CLUB FIND: NAPOLEON’S PANTS

“Check out the pictures of the dude measuring Napoleon’s pants!” REFERENCE: Napoleon’s autopsy: New perspectives. (2005) A. Lugli MD, A. Kopp Lugli, M. Horcic. Human Pathology (2005) 36, 320-324 ABSTRACT: In 1821 Napoleon died in exile on the Island of St. Helena. Although the autopsy had suggested stomach cancer as the cause of death, in 1961 an elevated arsenic concentration was found in Napoleon’s hair. This finding elicited numerous theories of conspiracy, treachery, and poisoning. Most recent reports even suggested inappropriate medical treatment may have contributed to the exiled Emperor’s death. Napoleon’s apparent obesity at the time of his demise…