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What Is Perimenopause And How Young Can It Start? : Shots – Health News – NPR

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Sarah Edrie says she was about 33 when she started to occasionally get a sudden, hot, prickly feeling that radiated into her neck and face, leaving her flushed and breathless. "Sometimes I would sweat. And my heart would race," she says. The sensations subsided in a few moments and seemed to meet the criteria for a panic attack. But Edrie, who has no personal or family history of anxiety, was baffled.

She told her doctor and her gynecologist about the episodes, along with a few other health concerns she was starting to notice: Her menstrual cycle was becoming irregular, she had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and she was getting night sweats. Their response: a shrug.

It wasn't until Edrie went to a fertility clinic at age 39 because she and her partner were having trouble conceiving that she got answers. "They were like, 'Oh, those are hot flashes. It's because you're in perimenopause,' " she says.

If you haven't heard the term "perimenopause," you're not alone. Often when women talk about going through menopause, what they're really talking about is perimenopause, a transitional stage during which the body is preparing to stop ovulating, says Dr. Jennifer Payne, who directs the Women's Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins University.

"Technically, menopause is only one day in a woman's life, which is exactly when she has not had a period for 12 months," she says. "It's the period of time leading up to menopause that causes all the trouble."

And it can start earlier than you might think. Many listeners wrote to us in response to our call-out for individual experiences with menopause to say that they struggled to get medical support for perimenopause in their mid-30s and early 40s.

When Edrie went back to her OB/GYN with the fertility clinic's conclusion, she says the doctor shrugged again and told her that menopause is a normal part of life. She wasn't satisfied with that answer. "Yeah, it's a normal part of life, but it would be great if we could talk about it and figure out strategies."

With that spirit in mind, we reached out to endocrinologists, gynecologists and psychiatrists for advice about navigating this major life transition.

How early can perimenopause start?

It's quite possible for women to start to notice things changing in their mid-30s. Most women arrive at menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but perimenopause can start as much as a decade beforehand. And about 1% of women in the U.S. reach menopause at age 40 or younger.

How do you know if you're starting perimenopause?

The most telling symptom is changes in your menstrual cycle, says psychiatrist Hadine Joffe, the executive director of the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"It's the menstrual cycle pattern that really defines this lead-up to menopause," she says. During perimenopause, periods "might be shorter, then a long one, or then a skipped one, or then the flow might be different," says Joffe.

There's no blood or hormone test that can "diagnose" perimenopause. Joffe says a hormone test isn't helpful because hormonal cycles become erratic and unpredictable during this stage.

"There's not really one point in time when a hormone test is done that can be definitive," she says. Even if you took several tests over time, "you might get a very different readout."

Surprisingly, sometimes doctors aren't prepared to help women recognize the start of this life phase. Edrie was upset at her doctors' responses or lack thereof. "I felt so disappointed in the medical industry. How many women has my OB/GYN seen and not recognized the symptoms of perimenopause?"

What symptoms to expect

Be prepared for your PMS symptoms to possibly shift, becoming either more or less extreme, says Dr. Cynthia Stuenkel, a founding member of the North American Menopause Society and a professor and endocrinologist at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. "Women might not get the same kind of breast tenderness or mood shifts that they may have noted in the past," she says.

Mood problems like depression can spike during perimenopause, especially among women who have previously experienced them. Many of our listeners wrote in to say that during perimenopause, they felt incredibly irritable and quick to anger in a way that they had never experienced before.

And of course, many but not all women experience hot flashes, though they may not recognize them. "It's hard, because no one sits us down and teaches us, 'Here's what a hot flash feels like,' " Stuenkel says. "I've seen women who think they're having panic attacks, or heart palpitations. That can be frightening."

Other common symptoms include more frequent urinary tract infections, difficulty sleeping through the night, vaginal dryness that can make sex painful, night sweats and a decrease in libido.

What treatments are there for symptoms?

Some symptoms, like heavy or irregular periods, can be managed with an oral contraceptive, which can "shut down the body's own erratic hormonal fluctuations," says Stuenkel.

"This can kind of be a lifesaver," she says. Such medication may help with hot flashes, too.

In some cases, doctors may prescribe menopausal hormone therapy, or very low doses of hormones to supplement estrogen levels. Stuenkel says it's not a fit for everyone, but it doesn't deserve the bad reputation it has in some circles. She says there was an "exodus" from the use of hormone replacement therapy after the Women's Health Initiative trial halted a study over safety concerns in 2002. But many clinicians now feel much more comfortable using hormone therapy again and usually recommend low doses, selectively, for shorter periods of time.

For people who cannot take estrogen therapy, or choose not to, Stuenkel says some drugs in the antidepressant family, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, can help with hot flashes. Stuenkel says, "While they're not perfect, they can take the edge off and help enough so that women can get a better night's sleep."

There are an abundance of nonhormonal, nondrug treatment options for managing symptoms, some of which have significantly more evidence backing them than others. In 2015, a North American Menopause Society panel found that cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis were significantly effective in treating hot flashes. The same panel also found that popular herbal remedies (like black cohosh, dong quai and evening primrose) are "unlikely to help," although some NPR listeners who wrote in said they got relief from some of those treatments.

For depressive and anxiety symptoms, women may want to seek out professional counseling or a psychiatrist.

When do I need to see a doctor?

You might not need to at all. Some people sail right through menopause with little trouble. But if you are experiencing symptoms that are interfering with your life, it's worth making an appointment. Some of these symptoms could indicate other problems that need treatment, such as fibroids or even cancer.

Ways to cope with symptoms

For people approaching this stage of life or who are already going through it, here are four steps for making this transition more manageable.

1. Get educated

"Information is key," says Joffe. She suggests that people approaching perimenopause age empower themselves with knowledge.

The Massachusetts General Hospital Blum Center has a curated list of suggested books. The National Women's Health Information Center has a section on menopause and perimenopause. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also has a perimenopause FAQ.

2. Monitor your health

Joffe encourages people to track symptoms: "menstrual patterns, hot flash patterns, mood issues, major life triggers." Using a paper calendar or an app to monitor symptoms can make it easier to give your doctor details that can be otherwise hard to remember.

"Knowing that information, somebody can say, 'Well, over the last six months, I only had two periods or I had hot flashes almost every day,' " Joffe says, "or, 'My mood was as bad as it gets for only two days or for a third of the time.' "

And if you bring a thorough health history to your physician and they still give you a shrug, consider a specialist. "There are OB/GYNs that specialize in perimenopause and menopause," Joffe says.

3. Practice smart self-care

Joffe encourages women to protect themselves from things that might worsen their mood or well-being. This includes reducing stress when they can and making sure they get enough sleep.

"Sleep is critical," she says. "Getting a good night's sleep, and making sure it's not broken in the middle of the night."

There are lots of online tools and apps to help with sleep, she adds.

And familiar health advice like getting enough exercise, eating well and moderating alcohol consumption apply to perimenopause too, says Dr. Steven Goldstein who is the co-author of Could It Be ... Perimenopause? and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the New York University School of Medicine.

At her doctor's suggestion, Edrie developed a mindfulness practice. She says, "I thought it sounded a little 'woo-woo' at first, but being able to pay attention to what my body is doing and why helps me separate those symptoms from what I need to get through my day. So I'm not overwhelmed by what my body is putting me through."

4. Cultivate community

Most of the women who wrote to NPR about their experiences going through perimenopause said that they felt alone and isolated during this transition.

Having a community to talk to can make it easier to cope with the changes, says Payne, who's going through perimenopause herself. She says she has found support from a few close friends from college.

"To be able to reach out to a group of women who are our same age and say, 'Did you go through this? And, you know, it does provide support. I think that's another version of a coping skill," she says.

Edrie says she joined a few Facebook groups dedicated to perimenopause and found one in particular where she got tips on coping with one of her most troublesome symptoms: brain fog. The conversations made her feel understood and validated.

"I can post about it in this group, and, you know, 10 women will be like, 'Oh, last week, that totally happened to me,' or like, 'I forgot my kid's computer on the top of my car and drove away,' " she says.

She says that being able to commiserate helps her get through symptoms "that maybe don't have a magic pill." Some of her online friendships have even taken shape offline. Edrie has met up with some of the Facebook group members while touring the country with her band.

Now she's a big proponent of finding community and speaking out. "As we get older, we get more and more quiet about what's going on with our bodies and ourselves and our lives. We kind of just, buck up and deal with it."

"And I feel like if we talked more about the things that are happening to our bodies even if we can't actually do anything about some of these things it would just be better for society in general if we were more vocal about it."

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What Is Perimenopause And How Young Can It Start? : Shots - Health News - NPR

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‘I Am Jazz’: Jazz Shows Off Her ‘Battle Scars’ in Bathing Suit Photos – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Jazz Jennings of TLCs I Am Jazz has had a long road to self-confidence. The trans rights advocate began hormone blockers under a physicians supervision when she was just a child, and the trans teen has been open with followers and viewers ever since about her journey to gender confirmation surgery.

Along the way, the 19-year-old activist has struggled with her mental and physical health, as well as three complicated surgeries. But recently, the I Am Jazz star showed off her scars from bottom surgery in a poignant Instagram post about her transition and body positivity.

On Jan. 3, Jennings posted two photos of herself in a bathing suit on the beach with visible scars on her legs. She added the snapshots to both Instagram and Twitter.

These are my scars on full display in #2019, the I Am Jazz star and LGBT rights activist wrote in her caption. Im proud of my scars and love my body just the way it is. I call them my battle wounds because they signify the strength and perseverance it took to finally complete my transition.

Her family, who has always strongly supported her throughout her journey to personal and public acceptance, immediately jumped in to offer their support. Your strength is changing the world and makes me so proud to be your brother, wrote Jennings older brother, Sander Jennings, on Twitter. Thank you for inspiring me everyday.

No one has been more supportive and protective of Jennings than her mom, Jeanette Jennings, who commented under the post on Instagram: My sweet girl, you are the strongest and bravest of all the souls Ive even known and Im blessed to be your mom. Your scars are just as beautiful as the rest of you. I love you with all that I am. You make me proud everyday.

Of course, Jennings family members and loved ones werent the only ones to praise the advocate for bravely sharing her story. Instagram commenters flooded her post with gratitude and support.

Proud of you, Jazz! Scars are a sign of courage and strength, wrote one Instagram user. Youve earned them twice over.

Another supporter added, Youre really really strong Jazz, stronger than I ever will be.

One parent thanked Jennings for being so open about her struggles and triumphs alike. I know we are all strong in our own ways, but I hope my little girl is strong and brave as you when she grows up, she wrote. Wear those scars with pride, we all have some scars to deal with.

Although it looks like Jennings gender confirmation surgery might now be behind her, the upcoming season of I Am Jazz will feature her third harrowing surgery after complications from the two previous ones required her to get yet another intense procedure.

I Am Jazz Season 6 premieres on TLC on Jan. 23. In addition to deciding on a future college, planning a drag show fundraiser to support her friends gender confirmation surgery, and wrestling with the aftermath of her breakup from ex-boyfriend Ahmir, viewers will watch Jennings return to the hospital herself. It looks like the long road of Jennings transition may finally be coming to an endbut not with difficulties and challenges along the way.

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'I Am Jazz': Jazz Shows Off Her 'Battle Scars' in Bathing Suit Photos - Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

7 Signs You Might Have a Thyroid Problem – YouBeauty

The thyroid plays a huge role in the body. Its a part of the endocrine system whose core function is to help your bodys metabolic hormone stay in line at all times. Problems associated with the thyroid are very common, especially in women. According to a survey by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, one in every eight women is likely to develop a thyroid problem in her lifetime.

Since there are so many factors that may contribute to a thyroid problem, here are nine signs that may indicate that someone has a thyroid problem.

Constant fatigueA core function of your thyroid is to help metabolism. When theres an issue with metabolism control, the body is bound to feel sluggish. A constant state of tiredness and diminishing energy can be one of the most apparent indicators of a problem with the thyroid.

Weight loss or weight gainRapid weight loss when you are not actively trying to lose weight or rapid weight gain without any change in activity or diet may be a tell. The absence of a functioning thyroid slows down the bodys metabolism, and consequently, a reduction in the rate the body expends energy.

Night sweatsIf youre waking up at night with chills and soaked sheets, its time to see the doctor.

A rapid change in appetiteSince there is a problem with the thyroid, you may feel less enthusiastic about eating as each day passes. This often comes with rapid weight loss or, in some cases, weight gain.

Your cycle changesIf you start experiencing irregular periods in conjunction with other symptoms, it might be a function of your thyroid malfunctioning.

Changes in bowel movementsConstant constipation or, in some cases, severe diarrhea can result from thyroid issues.

Constant Mood ShiftsA general hormone imbalance could occasionally change moods. The same can be said where there is a thyroid problem.

While this list is not exhaustive, some of these symptoms may be common indicators for other health problems along with thyroid issues. You must consult your physician if you have any of these symptoms in conjunction with each other for a prolonged period of time.

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7 Signs You Might Have a Thyroid Problem - YouBeauty

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Religious initiatives have no place in the UC health care system – The Aggie

UC partnerships with faith-based health systems such as Dignity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives undermines the quality of patient care in our hospitals.

It is not news to anyone that our current healthcare system struggles to meet the needs of millions of patients in California and across the country. This care gap is especially wide for brown, black, poor and queer communities that have been consistently excluded from accessing the same resources that others are given freely.

It is because of these inequities that I find it especially alarming that the UC currently has existing contracts with Dignity Health, despite the massive outpouring of opposition to affiliations with Dignity by students, physicians and Californians across the state earlier this year. UC contracts with faith-based health systems represent a blatant disregard for the UCs own stated mission of public service and undermines patient autonomy in healthcare decision making.

UC affiliation with faith-based health systems such as Dignity and CHI will severely restrict the scope and quality of health care that providers can offer, even when a patients life is threatened. According to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs), physicians in Catholic hospitals are barred from providing basic reproductive health care services such as contraception, abortion and in vitro fertilization. It also prohibits the provision of gender-affirming services such as hormone therapy, hysterectomies and mastectomies. These types of sweeping and biased care restrictions are immoral in any scenario and unacceptable in the setting of a publicly-funded institution.

In particular, limiting access to reproductive and gender-affirming health care can be life-threatening. Research consistently indicates that nearly every restriction on abortion access yields a corresponding rise in injury and death as a result of people attempting to self-abort. When folks are not allowed to access gender-affirming care, it undermines their right to self-determination, exacerbates mental health conditions and increases their risk of experiencing violence.

As a life-long resident of California and a future physician, I am ashamed that the UC system, an institution intended to represent the strength and future of our state, is taking a step back from its progressive vision by allowing religious institutions to restrict the quality of medical care that patients receive in our hospitals. As a student, I am outraged that the UC would detract from the quality of my medical training by agreeing to offer fewer services when it has the resources to provide more.

Patients deserve nothing less than wholly inclusive, evidence-based care that addresses every aspect of their health.I urge UC leadership to reject the influence of religious institutions on our healthcare system and instead consider the many opportunities available to increase patient access to high-quality, comprehensive health care services.

Written by: Caitlin Esparza

Caitlin Esparza is a second-year medical student and co-president of Medical Students for Choice at UC Davis.

To submit a guest opinion, please email

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Religious initiatives have no place in the UC health care system - The Aggie

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How fertile are you? ‘Ovarian reserve’ DTC tests that count your eggs offer mixture of control and misinformation – Genetic Literacy Project

The direct to consumer testing market comes in many flavors these days, with companies like 23andMe dominating headlines with their genetic/ancestry tests targeting folks eager to learn more about themselves. Also joining the fray are tests designed to help women in theory, at least assess fertility by counting the number of eggs left in their ovaries.

Sounds like a great idea. Just one problem: egg counts may not be such a great indicator of fertility, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Still, that doesnt mean these tests have no value. A new study suggests they can empower women. And thats especially true for those who do not fit into the binary gender categories that health insurers may require for covering clinical versions of the test that cost ten times as much.

At-home tests for reproductive health for women have been around since the first home pregnancy kits hit the market in 1978. In 1989 came the first DIY ovulation predictor kits.

Tests to measure ovarian reserve how many eggs are left dont have the track record of these older tests. And they may not even be accurate for women who havent had difficulty conceiving or are taking birth control pills.

But do they still have value?

Moira A. Kyweluk, a fellow in the department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, decided to find out. She interviewed 21 women, of diverse backgrounds and circumstances, to tap their thoughts about direct-to-consumer (DTC) testing of ovarian reserve.

The women were recruited from social media, community center notice boards, and listservs, in Chicago during the first half of 2018. The findings appear in Social Science & Medicine.

Egg counters sold to consumers are part of the FemTech market. I view DTC testing as an entry point into what I term the new (in)fertility pipeline for women today. Because it is low cost and widely available, its reaching a larger demographic, people of diverse identities and backgrounds, and raising awareness of more advanced procedures and technologies like egg freezing, Dr. Kyweluk said in a news release.

But she questions the accuracy of these tests. Consumers continue to desire these tests, and theyre attractive, but they dont deliver on their promise.

The number of immature eggs in the two ovaries dwindles as a female ages.

Seven to eight million tiny undeveloped eggs are already present in a 20-week female fetus. That means, curiously, that a pregnant woman houses the cells that, when fertilized, will become her grandchild.

By birth, about a million oocytes remain, and that number is halved by puberty. Then by the start of menopause, around age 51, only 1,000 or so eggs remain. Over her lifetime, a woman ovulates 300 to 400 eggs.

Each egg occupies a chamber called a follicle. Each month between puberty and menopause, the largest egg pops out in response to a crescendo of luteinizing hormone thats ovulation. Meanwhile, anti-Mllerian hormone (AMH) suppresses release of the other, smaller eggs.

Its seemingly simple: The more AMH, the more eggs are left.

Measuring AMH is the basis of clinical tests used to predict ovulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) or egg freezing, presumably because theyve been unable to conceive. But the accuracy of AMH level to predict ovarian reserve among women who are fertile isnt known.

And so in 2019, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a statementthat consumer kits to measure AMH arent ready for prime time. The products are too variable and not standardized.

Serum anti-Mllerian hormone level assessment generally should not be ordered or used to counsel women who are not infertile about their reproductive status and future fertility potential, according to the statement. It includes a hypothetical case that illustrates misinformation about AMH testing:

A 26-year-old woman comes in for a wellness exam and the provider mentions the effects of aging on fertility. Im not ready to become pregnant now, but I would in the future. My friend recently took a blood test to check her egg count, so she knows how much longer she can wait to have a baby. Can I have that test?

If she meets criteria for infertility, her insurance might fork over a large part of the $1,500 cost for such a test. Thats why a DTC test kit that requires a pinprick of blood and costs $79 to $199, without requiring evidence of anything or an uncomfortable meeting with a health care provider, is an attractive alternative if it provides useful information.

The website for an ovarian reserve test kit from Modern Fertilitydoes comport with the ACOG statement.

Want kids one day? the opening page announces, like asking if you want to order a pizza. Women are invited to join a weekly egginar for information before they dive into the science that helps you do you.

Clicking ahead shows clear warnings that the test wont reveal infertility, but will indicate if a womans egg count is more or less than is average for her age. It sounds like peering into an egg carton to count whether it has all 12 expected eggs.

The test measures AMH, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), and E2 (estradiol). Thats important to know, because a search for ovarian reserve testing on Amazon yielded first theEverlyWell ovarian reserve test egg quantity indicator, which measures only FSH not the important and telltale AMH.

The Modern Fertility test is also quite clear about what it can and cant do. A woman can discuss the results with her physician and ask about further testing and possibly pursuing IVF or egg freezing. Or, if she only has half a dozen in the egg carton analogy, she might expect to experience menopause sooner than shed thought.

Countering the ACOG statement is the LetsGetChecked product. The Ovarian Reserve Test is for anyone who is curious about their fertility status, according to the website. It costs $139.

The website for LetsGetChecked has a helpful list of conditions that can accelerate the whittling down of egg number, which a consumer can bring to a physician to explore further. These include polycystic ovary syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities such as Turners (XO) syndrome and fragile X, endometriosis, ovarian tumors, autoimmune disorders, and pelvic injuries. The woman would already know if shed had chemotherapy or radiation, which can damage eggs.

Dr. Kyweluk designed a study that would take a real-world view of the issues that might prompt a woman to take a DTC ovarian reserve test. Her paper is a series of vignettes.

The research differs from standard medical studies in that it is ethnographic, taking into account race and ethnicity, relationship status, insurance, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic group, because the reasons for seeking ovarian reserve testing go beyond biology. Dr. Kyweluk interviewed the women as they were deciding whether or not to take a test. She had a grant that paid for those who wanted to go ahead, using one company that provided access to a nurse practitioner to interpret findings.

Of the 21 participants, aged 21 to 45, 14 were white, 14 heterosexual, and 7 bisexual or queer. Three different scenarios of women seeking the DTC test indicate the variability of need.

Yvette was a 37-year-old African-American who had been trying with her husband to conceive for a decade. Their health insurance was quick to cover birth control, but assessing fertility, not so much.

When Yvettes ovarian reserve results were normal, the nurse suggested an ovulation predictor to better time intercourse and have her husband have a semen analysis.

Naomi was typical of a high-income, highly-educated white woman, who was stressing over whether she really wanted to have a baby. Would an ovarian reserve test indicate that it wasnt in the cards? Then she could stop thinking about it, or freeze eggs, which she could afford to do. Many women cant.

Josephine was 35 and African-American. A devout Catholic, she had just ended a long-term relationship. Her faith prompted her to ask, was I meant to be a parent? and she felt that the ovarian reserve test, if she had too few eggs, might reveal no.

Several women reported that taking the ovarian reserve test empowered them. Caroline, for example, was a 30-year-old queer white woman with a female partner. Medicaid had denied them coverage of any elective tests, and they didnt meet the diagnostic criteria for infertility because they were not a heterosexual couple.

The DTC test made me feel Im in control, like I can want some information, pay for it, and then get it. I didnt have to rely on a doctor to decide it was necessary for me to know this information. This is information that Ive wanted forever, Caroline told the researcher.

In one confusing case, the cisgender female partner (Breanne) of a transgender man (Tal) discovered, using a DTC test, that her ovarian reserve was quite low, something shed suspected from her age and irregular menstrual periods. The couple had planned to use a sperm donor and Breanne would carry the pregnancy. But if Breanne didnt have enough eggs, what would they do?

They had an idea. Did Tal still make eggs?

Hed been receiving testosterone injections for a decade as part of gender-affirming treatment and sported a full beard. But the DTC ovarian reserve test revealed he was still making the normal number of eggs for a cisgender woman his age. Hed carry the pregnancy!

But when Tal went to a clinical lab to repeat the ovarian reserve testing, the medical staff continually misunderstood their situation. Ultimately, Tal felt that inexpensive ovarian reserve testing was simply a foot in the door to other, more costly procedures, Dr. Kyweluk writes.

The bottom line: A DTC ovarian reserve test can give a woman a sense of control, but at the expense of an incomplete, confusing, or even meaningless clinical picture.

From a broader perspective, is egg counting an example of the medicalization of the range that is normal reproductive biology? Will it create the patients-in-waiting scenario that describes newborn screening that identifies genetic diseases well before they cause symptoms?

Steve Jobs is famous for inventing things that we didnt know we needed the iPod and then the iPhone. To paraphrase and take him a bit out of context, A lot of times, people dont know what they want until you show it to them.

Just as it took years for so many of us to realize that we couldnt live without smartphones, it will take time for data to accrue that improve the accuracy of DTC ovarian reserve tests in predicting infertility. Until then, it might be just one more thing to worry about.

Ricki Lewis is the GLPs senior contributing writer focusing on gene therapy and gene editing. She has a PhD in genetics and is a genetic counselor, science writer and author of The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It, the only popular book about gene therapy. BIO. Follow her at her website or Twitter @rickilewis

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How fertile are you? 'Ovarian reserve' DTC tests that count your eggs offer mixture of control and misinformation - Genetic Literacy Project

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Intermittent Fasting? Here’s The Right Way To Break Your Fast –

By far, the most popular forms of intermittent fasting are the 18:6, 16:8, and 14:10 time-restricted eatingplans, in which you abstain from food for 18, 16, and 14 hours per day, respectively. While breaking these types of fasts doesn't require quite as much planning as breaking an extended fast, there are still some general recommendations.

First and foremost, stick to whole foods and opt for a mix of macronutrients when you break a fastyou don't want a straight shot of carbohydrates (especially refined carbs) on an empty stomach.

"Definitely avoid carb-loaded meals and sugary drinks as they will cause a blood sugar roller coaster, raising your insulin levels and making you feel even more hungry," says Amy Shah, M.D., who uses intermittent fasting in her practice. "Additionally, having lots of sugar will make fasting for the next day even harder because your hunger hormones [like ghrelin] will be raised."

So what should you eat?"For a standard 16:8 plan, one could break a fast with a low-glycemic meal of choice," says Ali Miller R.D., L.D., CDE, registered dietitian and functional medicine practitioner. "If you're going to have carbs, ensure that they're balanced with protein and fat. A salad with protein, eggs with avocado and vegetables, a homemade protein shake, or a leftover protein and roasted veggies could all work as meal number one."

Portion size matters a bitparticularly when you get into the more intense time-restricted eating plans like 18:6 or 20:4. Even though you may be quite hungry when breaking your fast, particularly if you're new to IF, avoid eating a huge meal or you might overload your digestive system and experience symptoms like bloating. Typically, "hefty snack or small meal is best," says Miller.

Some specific foods you can mix and match to incorporate into your first post-fast meal include:

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Intermittent Fasting? Here's The Right Way To Break Your Fast -

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

10 Nutrition Myths That Need to Die (With Jordan Syatt) – BarBend

About half of all Americans are trying to lose weight, and with the weight loss service industry being worth billions of dollars some estimates put it at over seventybillion dollars there are a lot of hucksters and well-intentioned-yet-misinformed people trying to cash in.

There are a lot, a lot, a lot of myths out there about the best way to lose weight and about nutrition in general: which macronutrients are worse (is it fat this year, or carbs?) and whether you can supercharge your liver with a detox tea. Trainer and big-time-Instagram-guy Jordan Syattsat down with us to run over the worst myths in nutrition that need to die. Lets get started.

Editors note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldnt take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns.

You dont need to count your calories if you want to lose weight, says Syatt. But regardless of whether or not youre counting calories, your calories always count.

No matter what, your body obeys the laws of thermodynamics and it runs on energy. Energy comes into the body by way of food and is often stored in the form of fat or carbohydrates (glycogen).

There are a lot of ways to control your calorie intake: maybe increase your fiber, increase your protein, lower your fat intake, all of these can work without an individual counting their calories. But they work because they (can) lead you to consumer fewer calories, which is what controls your waistline.

It doesnt matter if you dont look at your bank account, says Syatt. If youre spending all the money, its gonna drain.If youre putting a bunch of money in, youre going to save it up, regardless of whether or not youre tracking it. This is whats really important to remember about calories.

The composition of calories changes, of course. If youre comparing a 500-calorie salad with a 500-calorie cheeseburger, the salad probably has more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, its probably more filling, and all of this can contribute to better health and weight management. Just remember that even healthy foods contain calories.

[Related: Check out our podcast with Jordan Syatt]

Yes, your body weight is a matter of energy balance. If you are in a calorie deficit you will lose weight, in a calorie surplus youll gain weight.

But quality and quantity matter here.As mentioned above, different foods have different effects on your appetite, but its also important to note that your balance of protein, carbs, and fat will affect what kind of weight you lose or gain.

If youre doing a smart workout program, youll lose more fat and retain more muscle in a deficit and gain more muscle and less fat in a surplus if youre making sure that enough of your calories come from protein usually 0.6 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is recommended.(1)

Furthermore even if you hit the precise macro balanceyoure aiming for to but youre eating most of your calories from junk food and youre not eating fruits and vegetables, youll run low on important nutrients like magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins, and plenty of others. If youre low on these nutrients (or others) then performance in the gym can suffer, sleep can suffer, inflammation can increase, recovery can be impeded, focus takes a dive, immunity is compromised the list goes on. (And on.) All of these can negatively impact your physique.

Quality and quantity matter when it comes to nutrition, dont let anyone tell you otherwise. You can find room for junk food in your calories and still lose fat or gain muscle, but be mindful of your nutrients, macro and micro.

[Related: The Right Macros for Fat Loss vs Muscle Gain]

When people do keto they tend to lose weight faster, especially initially, because nearly eliminating carbohydrates causes the body to lose a lot of water weight, says Syatt. So they see very radical weight loss at the beginning, but then thats why they have a plateau almost equally as quickly a few weeks later. Because theyre not just losing water weight, they have to lose fat now.

The reality is that if youre not in a calorie deficit, you wont lose fat. Many keto proponents claim that keto causes the body to burn more fat for fuel, and while this may be true, this doesnt seem to promote more weight loss when calories are controlled, according to ameta-analysis of thirty-two trials that compared carbohydrate intake.(2)

The reality is you can do keto and see great progress, or you can not do keto and see great progress, says Syatt. As long as your calories are in check, youre going to lose fat over time.

For those who arent controlling calories, there is some evidence that keto can potentially be useful for managing hunger, which would result in weight loss. But again, thats because there are fewer calories being consumed, not because keto is anything magical in that regard. And importantly, whether or not keto works or feels good or results in fewer calories being consumed really depends on the individual.

This is a little related to keto, but irrespective of fat intake, many try to limit carbohydrates in general (bunless burgers, riceless burritos, etc.) because of a fear that carbs lead to fat gain.

Now, if youre cutting carbs and not replacing them with anything else, then youll be consuming fewer calories and thatll lead to weight loss, all else being equal. But for many people, dropping carbs means dropping fiber (perhaps the best natural appetite suppressant there is) and they can wind up eating more calories as a result.

Plus, carbs are often great sources of nutrients! Fiber, again, is great, with links not only to weight loss but also to lower risks of bowel cancer, Alzheimers disease, and more.(3)(4) But legumes, whole grains, and fruit are also jam packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants that may lower the risk of practically every disease there is. So there are plenty of reasons to limit refinedcarbs like sugar and white flour theyre not filling and very low in fiber and nutrients butits really important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to carbohydrates.

This idea that fat makes you fat is bullshit, says Syatt. And we know it because there are many people eating very high fat diets, like the ketogenic diet, and losing fat. If fat made you fat then anyone doing keto would immediately be obese. Im not against keto, Im just forwhatever works for you.

Keto isnt inherently bad for you. Carbs arent inherently bad for you. Fat doesnt make you fat. Eating too many calories makes you fat, end of story.

There is a little caveat here: fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbs, with nine calories per gram versus four calories per gram. So ten grams of fat will make you fatter than ten grams of chicken breast, if youre already eating over your daily calorie burn.

But that doesnt mean you should eliminate fat: it serves really essential functions like maintaining hormonal health and improving your absorption of important nutrients, like Vitamin D. If you have a diet without any fat at all, you wont last long, and if you have a diet thats deliberately, extremely low in fat, then important hormones like testosterone will take a hit.

[Related: The Best Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone]

Youre looking for a shortcut? You got it! Just grab a fat burner and your six pack will be waiting for you at the end of the bottle.

Were kidding. Thats not how they work.

Its not that fat burners are ineffective, exactly. There are some studies that have found that cayenne pepper, for instance, which is in just about every fat loss product out there, does increase the amount of calories you burn. But a lot of studies put it in the area of 5 to 10 calories, and some research shows no effect at all.(5)(6)(7)(8)

Some studies put it higher, at 50 calories, but thats still just half a tablespoon of peanut butter not actually that much in the grand scheme of things.(9)

Now for some people, that still matters a lot. Lets say youre a bodybuilder, you need to have 1,900 calories, but you just cannot have less than 2,000 calories without feeling extremely deprived. Popping a fat burner might be useful in that instance, as there are plenty of fat burners that probably burn around one to two hundred calories.

But you have to remember:

The reality is if your training isnt in check and your nutrition isnt in check and your sleep isnt in check, you have no reason to buy fat burners, says Syatt.

Do detoxes cleanse your system and wash out all the dirty toxins you have?

The reality is this: detoxes and cleanses dont do anything for you, says Syatt. Theres zero research to support it whatsoever.A very simple question to ask people trying to sell you detoxes and cleanses is which toxins are these cleaning out, specifically? Theyre always at a loss for words.

When people claim detoxes are scientifically backed, its usually because

Some studies have found that people who are hospitalized with liver issues might experience a slight improvement in some symptoms in conjunction with other treatment methods when theyre supplementing with a little milk thistle.(10) Marketers will see studies like that, conclude that milk thistle helps your liver work, your liver helps you filter waste, therefore milk thistle detoxes you. Theres no evidence for this for people with a healthy liver.

If your liver isnt functioning properly, you should see a fucking doctor! says Syatt. Not a fake a detox tea from someone selling diarrhea nonsense on Instagram. Dont trust the influencer, go to a doctor if your liver isnt working properly.

Theres no good evidence for this. Some older studies from the 1980s found that eating more protein resulted in more waste filtration from the kidneys, so they thought the kidneys were undergoing unnecessary stress.(11) But later studies found that wasnt the case for healthy kidneys, and some research has even looked specifically atathletes consuming well over a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and didnt find signs of kidney issues.(12)(13)(14)(15)

Sometimes, people with kidney problems are often advised to go on low protein diets, yes.(16) But people with broken legs are also advised not to run marathons. If youre healthy then evidence suggests high protein diets are fine.

[Related: Our full article on protein intake and kidney function]

Fortunately, this isnt true.

I love eating before bed, I eat a lot of food at night, and one of the easiest ways to dispel this myth is to look at all the research surrounding intermittent fasting, says Syatt. People basically save the vast majority of their calories before they go to bed, and what weve consistently found and it sounds boring and obnoxious, but its true as long as youre in a calorie deficit, youll lose fat.

Thats the reality.A calorie is a calorie at 8am and 8pm, it doesnt matter what time youre eating, it matters how much youre eating. Thats it.

If you read muscle mags in the 90s, theres a good chance you heard that eating six small meals a day boosts your metabolism and makes you burn more fat. Or conversely, that not eating frequently say, skipping breakfast causes you to gain fat.

Not true. Skipping a meal or two isnt going to slow down your metabolism or cause you to burn less fat.

A lot of people will tell you that because fasting increases the amount of growth hormone in the body, fasting helps you to build muscle. Its true that fasting has been seen to up your growth hormone, but this hormone really is more about preserving muscle it means that if you skip a meal or two, your body wont start eating all its muscle in some kind of starvation mode.(17)(18)(19) You can eat when you want. If youprefersix meals a day, thats fine. If youd rather save your calories for the end of the day, it doesnt look like itll make much of a difference.

OK, maybe if youre trying to win the Mr. Olympia competition, youd rather have ten meals to keep muscle protein synthesis as consistent as possible. But for the average person, even the one with a six pack, meal timing has no real, practical benefit. A 2016 study had a great example:when comparing people trying to lose weight over a period of eight weeks, people eating every day lost as much weight as people eating everyotherday when the calories were the same.(20)

If fasting helps you control your calories better, or ifnotfasting helps you control your calories better, then do what works for you! Neither is really that superior; it comes down to individual preference.

I think its a really important thing for people to take home, says Syatt. Were not saying that fasting is better for you or worse for you, were saying that whatever you choose to do fasting, keto, Paleo, Weight Watchers, whatever it is do what you enjoy and what you can do consistently.And if someones trying to sell you something and shove one method down your throat and say everything else doesnt work, dont listen to them.Because what were trying to say is that everything works, as long as you can do it consistently and your calories are in check.

1.Rodriguez NR, et al. Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Mar;109(3):509-27.2.Hall KD, et al. Obesity Energetics: Body Weight Regulation and the Effects of Diet Composition. Gastroenterology. 2017 May;152(7):1718-1727.e3.3.Aune D, et al. Dietary fibre, whole grains, and risk of colorectal cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMJ. 2011 Nov 10;343:d6617.4.Cremonini AL, et al. Nutrients in the Prevention of Alzheimers Disease. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019 Sep 4;2019:9874159.5.Chaiyata P, et al. Effect of chili pepper (Capsicum frutescens) ingestion on plasma glucose response and metabolic rate in Thai women. J Med Assoc Thai. 2003 Sep;86(9):854-60.6.Snitker S, et al. Effects of novel capsinoid treatment on fatness and energy metabolism in humans: possible pharmacogenetic implications. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):45-50.7.Smeets AJ, et al. The acute effects of a lunch containing capsaicin on energy and substrate utilisation, hormones, and satiety. Eur J Nutr. 2009 Jun;48(4):229-34.8.Galgani JE, et al. Effect of capsinoids on energy metabolism in human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2010 Jan;103(1):38-42.9.Galgani JE, et al. Effect of dihydrocapsiate on resting metabolic rate in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1089-93.10.Saller R, et al. An updated systematic review with meta-analysis for the clinical evidence of silymarin. Forsch Komplementmed. 2008 Feb;15(1):9-20.11. von Herrath D, et al. Glomerular filtration rate in response to an acute protein load. Blood Purif. 1988;6(4):264-8.12. Knight EL, et al. The impact of protein intake on renal function decline in women with normal renal function or mild renal insufficiency. Ann Intern Med. 2003 Mar 18;138(6):460-7.13. Beasley JM, et al. Higher biomarker-calibrated protein intake is not associated with impaired renal function in postmenopausal women. J Nutr. 2011 Aug;141(8):1502-7.14. Antonio J, et al. A High Protein Diet Has No Harmful Effects: A One-Year Crossover Study in Resistance-Trained Males. J Nutr Metab. 2016;2016:9104792.15. Poortmans JR, et al. Do regular high protein diets have potential health risks on kidney function in athletes? Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Mar;10(1):28-38.16. Levey AS, et al. Effects of dietary protein restriction on the progression of advanced renal disease in the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study. Am J Kidney Dis. 1996 May;27(5):652-63.17.Moller L, et al. Impact of fasting on growth hormone signaling and action in muscle and fat. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Mar;94(3):965-72.18.Vendelbo MH, et al. Exercise and fasting activate growth hormone-dependent myocellular signal transducer and activator of transcription-5b phosphorylation and insulin-like growth factor-I messenger ribonucleic acid expression in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Sep;95(9):E64-8.19.Lanzi R, et al. Elevated insulin levels contribute to the reduced growth hormone (GH) response to GH-releasing hormone in obese subjects. Metabolism. 1999 Sep;48(9):1152-6.20.Catenacci VA, et al. A randomized pilot study comparing zero-calorie alternate-day fasting to daily caloric restriction in adults with obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Sep;24(9):1874-83.

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10 Nutrition Myths That Need to Die (With Jordan Syatt) - BarBend

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At US$ 3300 Mn Reached Male Hypogonadism Market With 3.7% CAGR Value In The Year of 2026 – Fusion Science Academy

Tert-butanol Market Outlook provides thoughtful analysis of current issues facing the industry, along with current facts and statistics about the production and application in Tert-butanol Market.. The Tert-butanol market accounted for $XX million in 2018, and is expected to reach $XX million by 2024, registering a CAGR of YY% from 2019 to 2024.

The moderately consolidated market for tert-butanol has its hopes pinned on the emerging economies of Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. These regions rake in the most revenue owing to the growing use of tert-butanol in the food and beverages, automotive, personal care products, and construction sectors and as a result, most players both established and new have turned their focus to developing countries.Read Report Details at

List of key players profiled in the Tert-butanol market research report:

Merck KGaA, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., Evonik Industries AG, Kuraray Co., Ltd, Tokyo Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., Tiande Chemical Holdings Limited, Struchem Co., Ltd., Sisco Research Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., AppliChem GmbH, Alfa Aesar, TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K., Lotte Chemical Titan Corporation, Capot Chemical Co., Ltd., Zibo Qixiang Petrochemical Industry Group, Maruzen Petrochemical, Avantor Performance Materials, Finar Limited,

By End-userPaints & Coatings, Flavors & Fragrance, Pharmaceuticals, Others,

By Product TypePharmaceutical Grade, Chemical Grade,

Request for Sample Report at

The global Tert-butanol market is segmented based on product, end user, and region.

Region wise, it is analyzed across North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico), Europe (Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, France, and rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, Australia, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and, rest of Asia-Pacific) and EMEA (Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UAE, rest of EMEA).

Ask more details or request custom reports to our experts at

Moreover, other factors that contribute toward the growth of the Tert-butanol market include favorable government initiatives related to the use of Tert-butanol. On the contrary, high growth potential in emerging economies is expected to create lucrative opportunities for the market during the forecast period.

Key Benefits for Stakeholders from Tert-butanol Market Report:

This report entails a detailed quantitative analysis along with the current global Tert-butanol market trends from 2019 to 2026 to identify the prevailing opportunities along with the strategic assessment.The Tert-butanol market size and estimations are based on a comprehensive analysis of key developments in the industry.A qualitative analysis based on innovative products facilitates strategic business planning.The development strategies adopted by the key market players are enlisted to understand the competitive scenario of the Tert-butanol industry.

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At US$ 3300 Mn Reached Male Hypogonadism Market With 3.7% CAGR Value In The Year of 2026 - Fusion Science Academy

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Emerging Clinical Tool Predicts Risk of Persistent Use of Opioids After Treatment in Patients With Cancer – Renal and Urology News

The opioidepidemic imposes scrutiny on clinicians and patients alike; with particularemphasis on cancer survivors who require the drugs to manage their pain. Howdoes the clinician determine who is at risk for persistent opioid use andabuse? A group of radiation oncologists and pain specialists from theUniversity of California San Diego (UCSD) conducted a study to answer thisvital question, and presented their findings at the 2019 American Society forRadiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting, held in Chicago.1

More than 50% of oncology patients who receive curative treatmentsuffer from moderate to severe pain that can be relieved by opioids, according toWHO pain guidelines.2 Although these medications are accepted forrelief of such acute pain, their use in situations where patients have chronicpain (lasting for more than 3 to 6 months) is not so well defined. There arerisks of such long-term administration, such as medication tolerance and lossof efficacy over time. The potential of toxicity can lead to conditions such asdepression, difficulty concentrating, and sedation, and the patient may alsodevelop hyperalgesia or hypogonadism. There are also the well-known risks ofdependence, misuse and abuse, and accidental overdose. The authors of thisstudy support adopting the clinical practice guideline of the American Societyof Clinical Oncology (ASCO) when using opioids to achieve optimal pain management,using risk mitigation strategies such as judicious opioid use, drug screening,adherence monitoring, and strategies for alternative pain management.1,3

Creating a Risk Score

The radiation oncologists sought to identify clinical risk factorsand create a risk score, utilizing an evidence-based risk stratificationapproach to identify patients who might benefit from a proactive approach bythe oncology nurse or other clinician. Their efforts resulted in the Cancer OpioidRisk Tool, a validated prediction tool forassessing the risk of persistent opioid use 1 to 2 years after treatment, estimatingrisk aslow (less than 5%), intermediate (5% to 25%) and high (greaterthan 25%).

The researchers usedthe Veterans Affairs (VA) Informatics and Computing Infrastructure (VINCI)database, which contains detailed electronic health record information on allveterans within the VA health care system. This database provided data on106,732 veteran cancer survivors whose cancer had been diagnosed between 2000and 2015.1

Common diagnosesamong the VA patients were 1 of 12 noncutaneous, nonhematologic malignancies,including cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, esophagus, head and neck,kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate, rectum, or stomach. The study groupincluded patients who were treated with surgery, radiation therapy (RT), orboth and who were alive without disease recurrence 2 years after treatment hadbegun.1

Two models of the Cancer Opioid Risk Tool are available on thewebsite: Full and Lite. Using an automated algorithm, the risk for persistentopioid use is calculated based on data entered by the clinician. The lite modeluses 5 variables: age, presence of depression, alcohol abuse, prior opioid use,and whether treatment included chemotherapy. The more complex, full, model usesthese 5 variables plus employment status, psychiatric diagnoses, race, tobaccouse, body mass index (BMI) category, type of cancer, disease stage, and localtreatment. (Note, although improvements to the tool are ongoing, it istotally functional.) The full version is recommended if providers have time andaccess to all of the relevant information.

Risk Factors for Persistent Opioid Use

The radiationoncologists determined that the rates of persistent posttreatment opioid useamong the VA cohort varied by type of cancer and prior opioid use. Significantfindings included:

Risk factors firstreported in the San Diego study were younger age, white race, BMI, unemploymentat the time of cancer diagnosis, lower median income, use of chemotherapy,increased comorbidity, and tobacco use. Substantially increased odds ofpersistent opioid use were associated with patients who had a history of prioralcohol abuse, nonopioid drug abuse, chronic or intermittent opioid abuse, anddepression.1

Study limitations included whetherresearch on mostly male military veterans would translate to a civilianpopulation of both sexes. Also, veterans who saw combat were exposed to mentaland physical trauma at higher rates than the general population, and this couldincrease their risk for opioid dependence or abuse. Furthermore, thispopulation is more likely to have health insurance and are therefore lesslikely to be financially insecure than the general population.1

Managing patients at risk

The authors notethat the absolute rate of persistent opioid use, abuse, and dependence wasrelatively low among the cohort of VA cancer survivors, especially among thosewho were opioid-nave. They believe that improved risk stratification willallow for personalized risk assessment and improve the safety of painmanagement in cancer survivors. The lite model of the CancerOpioid Risk Tool was validated in an independent test cohort. A more robustvalidation of the newer full tool will require a prospective study.

Strategies thatcan help clinicians better manage patients at risk of persistent opioid use includeestablish a signed treatment agreement, utilize periodic urine drug testing,educate patients and their caregivers on the risks of abuse and/or misuse, offerreferrals to pain and palliative medicine specialists, and avoid high riskformulations while minimizing lower total daily medication doses.


1. Vitzthum LK, Riviere P, Sheridan P, et al. Predicting persistent opioid use, abuse and toxicity among cancer survivors [published online November 22, 2019]. J Natl Cancer Inst. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djz200

2. World Health Organization. Cancer Pain Relief : With a Guide to Opioid Availability. 2nd ed. Geneva, Switzerland; 1996. Accessed January 13, 2020.

3. Paice JA, Portenoy R, Lacchetti C, et al. Management of chronic pain in survivors of adult cancers: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Oncol. 2016;34(27):3325-3345.

This article originally appeared on Oncology Nurse Advisor

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Emerging Clinical Tool Predicts Risk of Persistent Use of Opioids After Treatment in Patients With Cancer - Renal and Urology News

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Ncardia and BlueRock Therapeutics Announce Collaboration Agreement and Licensing of Process Development Technologies for the Manufacture of…

Ncardia and BlueRock Therapeutics today announced an agreement covering process development technologies for the manufacture of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes. Under the terms of the agreement, Bluerock gains access to Ncardias large-scale production processes and intellectual property for the production of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes for therapeutic use.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

"BlueRock is a leader in the field of cell therapy and our collaboration is a perfect match of mission and capabilities. This relationship allows us to utilize our experience in iPSC process development to help advance potential cell therapies for cardiac diseases," said Stefan Braam, CEO of Ncardia.

"There are hundreds of millions of people worldwide that suffer from degenerative cardiovascular disease where the root cause is the loss of healthy heart muscle cells, and where medical treatment options are limited. BlueRocks authentic cellular therapy is a novel approach that has the potential to transform the lives of patients, but will require the manufacture of our cell therapies at unprecedented scale. The Ncardia team has developed key technologies related to this scale-up challenge, and we are pleased to work with them as we advance BlueRocks novel CELL+GENE platform towards the clinic and those patients in need," said Emile Nuwaysir, President and CEO, BlueRock Therapeutics.

About BlueRock Therapeutics

BlueRock Therapeutics, a wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of Bayer AG, is a leading engineered cell therapy company with a mission to develop regenerative medicines for intractable diseases. BlueRock Therapeutics CELL+GENE platform harnesses the power of cells for new medicines across neurology, cardiology and immunology indications. BlueRock Therapeutics cell differentiation technology recapitulates the cells developmental biology to produce authentic cell therapies, which are further engineered for additional function. Utilizing these cell therapies to replace damaged or degenerated tissue brings the potential to restore or regenerate lost function. BlueRocks culture is defined by scientific innovation, highest ethical standards and an urgency to bring transformative treatments to all who would benefit. For more information, visit

About Ncardia

Ncardia believes that stem cell technology can deliver better therapies to patients faster. We bring cell manufacturing and process development expertise to cell therapy by designing and delivering human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) solutions to specification. Our offerings extend from concept development to pre-clinical studies, including custom manufacturing of a range of cell types, as well as discovery services such as disease modelling, screening, and safety assays. For more information, visit

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The Living Robots Made With Frog Cells Could Boost Our Health – Dual Dove

Theres a team of scientists who basically discovered live robots. You read that right. They found a new purpose for living cells, which they took from frog embryos, and they constructed new life forms. These life forms were named Xenobots, and they can move in small places and carry stuff, too. They also want to try to see if they are useful in medicine.

Apparently, they can heal themselves after theyre cut, which gives them a longer life span. They are not a species of animals, and they are not robots in a real way. As Joshua Bongard states, Its a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism. He is a computer scientist at the University of Vermont.

A supercomputer developed these live robots at UVM. The idea behind this creation is not a new one. But it is the first time they actually improved it from scratch. The team was led by doctoral student Sam Kriegman, who used an evolutionary algorithm to develop thousands of designs for these new life forms.

They gave the program the basic rules about biophysics about the frog skin and the cardiac cells. They tested about a hundred algorithms to find the best design. Then, the team worked with microsurgeons to transfer the silicon designs into life. They took the stem cells from Xenopus lavevis, an African frog. Then the embryos were assembled in body forms, so the cells began to work.

Almost everything we see today is made out of steel, silicon, or plastic. While its true that the material is durable, it also creates human health problems. Bongard stated that the living tissues degrade quickly. Also, these living robots made with frog cells could help us live a healthier life. More research will be conducted.

Tanya is an expert in reddit and health subjects. She finds good stories where no one ever thinks to look.

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The Living Robots Made With Frog Cells Could Boost Our Health - Dual Dove

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Cell Separation Technology Market Statistics, Demand and Forecasts to 2027 Examined in New Research Report – Dagoretti News

Transparency Market Research (TMR)has published a new report on the globalcell separation technology marketfor the forecast period of 20192027. According to the report, the global cell separation technology market was valued at ~US$ 5 Bnin 2018, and is projected to expand at a double-digit CAGR during the forecast period.


Cell separation, also known as cell sorting or cell isolation, is the process of removing cells from biological samples such as tissue or whole blood. Cell separation is a powerful technology that assists biological research. Rising incidences of chronic illnesses across the globe are likely to boost the development of regenerative medicines or tissue engineering, which further boosts the adoption of cell separation technologies by researchers.

Expansion of the global cell separation technology market is attributed to an increase in technological advancements and surge in investments in research & development, such asstem cellresearch and cancer research. The rising geriatric population is another factor boosting the need for cell separation technologies Moreover, the geriatric population, globally, is more prone to long-term neurological and other chronic illnesses, which, in turn, is driving research to develop treatment for chronic illnesses. Furthermore, increase in the awareness about innovative technologies, such as microfluidics, fluorescent-activated cells sorting, and magnetic activated cells sorting is expected to propel the global cell separation technology market.

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North America dominated the global cell separation technology market in 2018, and the trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. This is attributed to technological advancements in offering cell separation solutions, presence of key players, and increased initiatives by governments for advancing the cell separation process. However, insufficient funding for the development of cell separation technologies is likely to hamper the global cell separation technology market during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is expected to be a highly lucrative market for cell separation technology during the forecast period, owing to improving healthcare infrastructure along with rising investments in research & development in the region.

Rising Incidences of Chronic Diseases, Worldwide, Boosting the Demand for Cell Therapy

Incidences of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, arthritis, cardiac diseases, and cancer are increasing due to sedentary lifestyles, aging population, and increased alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2020, the mortality rate from chronic diseases is expected to reach73%, and in developing counties,70%deaths are estimated to be caused by chronic diseases.

Southeast Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, and Africa are expected to be greatly affected by chronic diseases. Thus, the increasing burden of chronic diseases around the world is fuelling the demand for cellular therapies to treat chronic diseases. This, in turn, is driving focus and investments on research to develop effective treatments. Thus, increase in cellular research activities is boosting the global cell separation technology market.

Increase in Geriatric Population Boosting the Demand for Surgeries

The geriatric population is likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders more than the younger population. Moreover, the geriatric population is increasing at a rapid pace as compared to that of the younger population. Increase in the geriatric population aged above 65 years is projected to drive the incidences of Alzheimers, dementia, cancer, and immune diseases, which, in turn, is anticipated to boost the need for corrective treatment of these disorders. This is estimated to further drive the demand for clinical trials and research that require cell separation products. These factors are likely to boost the global cell separation technology market.

According to the United Nations, the geriatric population aged above 60 is expected to double by 2050 and triple by 2100, an increase from962 millionin 2017 to2.1 billionin 2050 and3.1 billionby 2100.

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Productive Partnerships in Microfluidics Likely to Boost the Cell Separation Technology Market

Technological advancements are prompting companies to innovate in microfluidics cell separation technology. Strategic partnerships and collaborations is an ongoing trend, which is boosting the innovation and development of microfluidics-based products. Governments and stakeholders look upon the potential in single cell separation technology and its analysis, which drives them to invest in the development ofmicrofluidics. Companies are striving to build a platform by utilizing their expertise and experience to further offer enhanced solutions to end users.

Stem Cell Research to Account for a Prominent Share

Stem cell is a prominent cell therapy utilized in the development of regenerative medicine, which is employed in the replacement of tissues or organs, rather than treating them. Thus, stem cell accounted for a prominent share of the global market. The geriatric population is likely to increase at a rapid pace as compared to the adult population, by 2030, which is likely to attract the use of stem cell therapy for treatment. Stem cells require considerably higher number of clinical trials, which is likely to drive the demand for cell separation technology, globally. Rising stem cell research is likely to attract government and private funding, which, in turn, is estimated to offer significant opportunity for stem cell therapies.

Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Companies to Dominate the Market

The number of biotechnology companies operating across the globe is rising, especially in developing countries. Pharmaceutical companies are likely to use cells separation techniques to develop drugs and continue contributing through innovation. Growing research in stem cell has prompted companies to own large separate units to boost the same. Thus, advancements in developing drugs and treatments, such as CAR-T through cell separation technologies, are likely to drive the segment.

As per research, 449 public biotech companies operate in the U.S., which is expected to boost the biotechnology & pharmaceutical companies segment. In developing countries such as China, China Food and Drug Administration(CFDA) reforms pave the way for innovation to further boost biotechnology & pharmaceutical companies in the country.

Global Cell Separation Technology Market: Prominent Regions

North America to Dominate Global Market, While Asia Pacific to Offer Significant Opportunity

In terms of region, the global cell separation technology market has been segmented into five major regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. North America dominated the global market in 2018, followed by Europe. North America accounted for a major share of the global cell separation technology market in 2018, owing to the development of cell separation advanced technologies, well-defined regulatory framework, and initiatives by governments in the region to further encourage the research industry. The U.S. is a major investor in stem cell research, which accelerates the development of regenerative medicines for the treatment of various long-term illnesses.

The cell separation technology market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand at a high CAGR from 2019 to 2027. This can be attributed to an increase in healthcare expenditure and large patient population, especially in countries such as India and China. Rising medical tourism in the region and technological advancements are likely to drive the cell separation technology market in the region.

Launching Innovative Products, and Acquisitions & Collaborations by Key Players Driving Global Cell Separation Technology Market

The global cell separation technology market is highly competitive in terms of number of players. Key players operating in the global cell separation technology market include Akadeum Life Sciences, STEMCELL Technologies, Inc., BD, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., Miltenyi Biotech, 10X Genomics, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., Zeiss, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, PerkinElmer, Inc., and QIAGEN.

These players have adopted various strategies such as expanding their product portfolios by launching new cell separation kits and devices, and participation in acquisitions, establishing strong distribution networks. Companies are expanding their geographic presence in order sustain in the global cell separation technology market. For instance, in May 2019, Akadeum Life Sciences launched seven new microbubble-based products at a conference. In July 2017, BD received the U.S. FDAs clearance for its BD FACS Lyric flow cytometer system, which is used in the diagnosis of immunological disorders.

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Cell Separation Technology Market Statistics, Demand and Forecasts to 2027 Examined in New Research Report - Dagoretti News

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

National Research (NASDAQ:NRC) versus US Stem Cell (NASDAQ:USRM) Head-To-Head Review – Riverton Roll

US Stem Cell (OTCMKTS:USRM) and National Research (NASDAQ:NRC) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, valuation, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

39.7% of National Research shares are owned by institutional investors. 16.7% of US Stem Cell shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.5% of National Research shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for US Stem Cell and National Research, as provided by

Volatility & Risk

US Stem Cell has a beta of 4.87, meaning that its stock price is 387% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, National Research has a beta of 0.78, meaning that its stock price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares US Stem Cell and National Researchs gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

National Research has higher revenue and earnings than US Stem Cell.


This table compares US Stem Cell and National Researchs net margins, return on equity and return on assets.


National Research beats US Stem Cell on 7 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

US Stem Cell Company Profile

U.S. Stem Cell, Inc., a biotechnology company, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of autologous cellular therapies for the treatment of chronic and acute heart damage, and vascular and autoimmune diseases in the United States and internationally. Its lead product candidates include MyoCell, a clinical therapy designed to populate regions of scar tissue within a patient's heart with autologous muscle cells or cells from a patient's body for enhancing cardiac function in chronic heart failure patients; and AdipoCell, a patient-derived cell therapy for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction, chronic heart ischemia, and lower limb ischemia. The company's product development pipeline includes MyoCell SDF-1, an autologous muscle-derived cellular therapy for improving cardiac function in chronic heart failure patients. It is also developing MyoCath, a deflecting tip needle injection catheter that is used to inject cells into cardiac tissue in therapeutic procedures to treat chronic heart ischemia and congestive heart failure. In addition, the company provides physician and patient based regenerative medicine/cell therapy training, cell collection, and cell storage services; and cell collection and treatment kits for humans and animals, as well operates a cell therapy clinic. The company was formerly known as Bioheart, Inc. and changed its name to U.S. Stem Cell, Inc. in October 2015. U.S. Stem Cell, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Sunrise, Florida.

National Research Company Profile

National Research Corporation (NRC) is a provider of analytics and insights that facilitate revenue growth, patient, employee and customer retention and patient engagement for healthcare providers, payers and other healthcare organizations. The Companys portfolio of subscription-based solutions provides information and analysis to healthcare organizations and payers across a range of mission-critical, constituent-related elements, including patient experience and satisfaction, community population health risks, workforce engagement, community perceptions, and physician engagement. The Companys clients range from acute care hospitals and post-acute providers, such as home health, long term care and hospice, to numerous payer organizations. The Company derives its revenue from its annually renewable services, which include performance measurement and improvement services, healthcare analytics and governance education services.

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National Research (NASDAQ:NRC) versus US Stem Cell (NASDAQ:USRM) Head-To-Head Review - Riverton Roll

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Stress Really Does Make Hair Go Gray Faster – The New York Times

There is some truth to the longstanding anecdote that your locks can lose color when youre stressed.

A team of researchers has found that in mice, stressful events trigger damage the stem cells that are responsible for producing pigment in hair. These stem cells, found near the base of each hair follicle, differentiate to form more specialized cells called melanocytes, which generate the brown, black, red and yellow hues in hair and skin. Stress makes the stem cells differentiate faster, exhausting their number and resulting in strands that are more likely to be transparent gray.

The study, published Wednesday in Nature, also found that the sympathetic nervous system, which prepares the body to respond to threats, plays an important role in the graying process.

Normally, the sympathetic nervous system is an emergency system for fight or flight, and it is supposed to be very beneficial or, at the very least, its effects are supposed to be transient and reversible, said Ya-Chieh Hsu, a stem cell biologist at Harvard University who led the study.

The sympathetic nervous system helps mobilize many biological responses, including increasing the flow of blood to muscles and sharpening mental focus. But the researchers found that in some cases the same system of nerves permanently depleted the stem cell population in hair follicles.

The findings provide the first scientific link between stress and hair graying, Dr. Hsu said.

Stress affects the whole body, so the researchers had to do some sleuthing to figure out which physiological system was conveying its effects to hair follicles.

At first, the team hypothesized that stress might cause an immune attack on melanocyte stem cells. They exposed mice to acute stress by injecting the animals with an analogue of capsaicin, the chemical in chili peppers that causes irritation. But even mice that lacked immune cells ended up with gray hair.

Next, the scientists looked at the effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Mice that had their adrenal glands removed so they couldnt produce cortisol still had hair that turned gray under stress.

The system responsible for the appearance of silvery strands turns out to be the sympathetic nerves that branch out into each hair follicle in the skin.

The researchers found that the sympathetic nerve cells released a neurotransmitter called noradrenaline that was taken up by nearby melanocyte stem cells. Then a series of events unfolded in quick succession: The melanocyte stem cells proliferated and turned into specialized pigment-producing cells, which abandoned their niche near the base of the follicle and left the hair without a source of pigmentation.

In Dr. Hsus study, acute stress depleted the entire melanocyte stem cell population in mice in just five days. The researchers also found that, in petri dishes, noradrenaline prompted human melanocyte stem cells to proliferate, suggesting that the same acceleration of hair graying occurs in people, too.

I was amazed by how dramatic this change is, said Mayumi Ito, a biologist at the New York University School of Medicine who was not involved in the study. In her own research on aging mice, the graying process was gradual: The depletion of melanocyte stem cells led first to a few salt and pepper strands and then to gray or white fur, much as humans begin to see more white hair as they get older.

Dr. Itos team also found that the graying process in mice could be halted with drugs known as CDK inhibitors, which stop the proliferation of stem cells, or by blocking the release of noradrenaline.

The findings underscore the consequences of triggering a survival mechanism when the situation isnt life-threatening.

Stress is a normal part of life, but there are situations where stress is helpful and situations where it is detrimental, said Subroto Chatterjee, a biologist at Johns Hopkins University who studies the effects of stress on the cells in blood vessels.

Other studies have shown that stress is just one factor affecting how quickly hair goes gray, Dr. Chatterjee said. Genes and diet play a big role as well.

In a 2018 study, Dr. Chatterjee and his colleagues found that mice placed on the equivalent of a Western diet high in fat and cholesterol not only developed inflamed arteries, they also started going gray and experiencing hair loss. (The team also found a way to halt the process.)

But the new study is an important step toward understanding the role of stress on various tissues.

If we can know more about how our tissues and stem cells change under stress, we can eventually create treatments that can halt or reverse its detrimental impact, Dr. Hsu said.

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Stress Really Does Make Hair Go Gray Faster - The New York Times

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

The only anti-aging skin care guide you’ll ever need – Yahoo Lifestyle

Point blank: Aging is a part of life. With each passing second, minute, and day, we age a little bit more. While you may not notice the signs of aging right away, there will come a day when you look in the mirror only to notice 11s and crows feet staring back at you. Of course, if you implement a quality anti-aging skincare routine before then, it may be years before you notice such things.

Intrigued? We thought you might be. Thats why we tapped some of the industrys top dermatologists to share their top 10 anti-aging skincare ingredients. By committing these ingredients to memory and adding them into your routine, youll be able to pause the clock of visible aging while making way for your bounciest, most beautiful skin yet. You can thank us later.

While there are many anti-aging ingredients on the market, dermatologists share that the following 10 are the most effective for fast-acting results.

Alpha- and beta-defensins are natural immune proteins that have been shown in in vitro studies to activate stem cells in the hair follicle, which typically helps with wound healing of the skin, says Yunyoung Claire Chang, M.D., a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist. These defensins have been shown to be effective in a new skincare product, called DefenAge. One multi-center, blinded controlled trial published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology in 2018 evaluated 44 patients using this new skincare product, demonstrating that this product improves brown spots and skin evenness, improves the appearance of wrinkles, and reduces visible pores. She continues, noting that the product has retinol-like effects without the inflammation associated with retinol.

As you may have read in our recent deep dive into bakuchiol, the ingredient is well-known for being a gentle (yet effective) retinol alternative. These findings were confirmed in a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, where researchers found that bakuchiol was able to stimulate collagen production in vivo, which 12-week application improved texture, tone, photo-damage, and more. While it has many of the same benefits of retinol, Dr. Chang says the most notable quality is that bakuchiol has less of the drying and irritating side effects of retinol, while still being just as effective.

Youve likely seen ceramides called out on many of the labels on the skincare products already in your routine. Thats because ceramides are intensely hydrating and incredibly notable for anti-aging.

Ceramides are a natural lipid that helps protect our skin barrier and seal in moisture. As we mature, the ceramide levels in our skin decrease, leading to drier, more sensitive skin, Dr. Chang explains. Dry skin also worsens the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin texture. Replacing ceramides using topical skincare is important to keep it hydrated, protected, and smooth.

Ginseng might be considered a Korean delicacy for consumption, but were here to let you in on a little secret: It works wonders topically for your complexion, as well. Panax ginseng and ginsenosides are promising in preventing skin aging, Dr. Chang explains. Ginseng extract has been found in studies to protect against UVB-induced skin aging, reduce wrinkles, and increase moisture in the skin. Though, its worth noting that most ginseng skincare studies have been small and need to be corroborated with larger clinical trials.

Take it from someone with sensitive skin who loves a gentle exfoliation: Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) gorgeous skin dreams are made of. Dr. Chang supports this notion, explaining that glycolic acid exfoliates the top layers of the skin to improve skin texture and tone. Glycolic acid also has additional anti-aging benefits, including fighting UV-induced inflammation, lightening brown spots, and stimulating collagen, she adds. With glycolic acid, the higher the concentration of the product, the stronger its effects (and side effects). As such, its best to leave the higher concentrations of glycolic acid to professional use during in-office facials and treatments.

In some cases, glycolic acid (despite being fairly gentle) can be too irritating for super-sensitive skin. In these cases, you can reach for lactic acid, another AHA thats incredibly effective at resurfacing the skin.

Courtesy of First Aid Beauty

Green tea might be a super popular beverage, but its also a stellar choice for reversing the clock on your complexion. According to Dr. Chang, green tea is an abundant source of polyphenols that can help protect the skin against UV-induced skin aging and skin cancer. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-wrinkle properties, she adds.

Courtesy of Innisfree

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, Dr. Chang explains, noting that it helps calm red, inflamed, or irritated skin. Whats more, the hydrating ingredient helps protect the lipid barrier and keep the moisture barrier intact which helps heal dry skin and prevent seasonal flaking. It has also been shown to increase collagen production as well as inhibit melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes, allowing lightening of dark spots, Dr. Chang adds. In other words, its a multi-tasker that deserves a spot in your anti-aging routine.

Courtesy of The Ordinary

Retinoids are a derivative of vitamin A and are one of the longest-studied anti-aging ingredients. Retinoids have a long track record and clinical studies since the 1980s to back its evidence for preventing and treating skin aging, Dr. Chang explains. Retinoids increase skin cell turnover, diminish brown spots, and stimulate collagen to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

While retinoids are undoubtedly effective, its worth noting that some versions can cause dryness and irritation, especially for those with dry or sensitive skin. Therefore, its best to start with a low percentage retinol (like 0.025 percent) before working yourself up to a stronger dose, prescription retinoid or Retin-A (like 0.5 to 2 percent).

Even when starting off with low percentages, Dr. Chang points out that retinoids tend to be drying and irritating, especially with initial use. It is important to start slow, using a small pea-size amount over the face, she says. I recommend starting two or three times per week at nighttime, and increasing the frequency of use slowly as tolerated.

Additionally, Dr. Chang says that retinoids and glycolic acid, especially when used together, may cause excessive dryness and irritation. That said, its best to choose between the two instead of trying to use them simultaneously.

Courtesy of Neutrogena

Sun protection is the most critical part of your anti-aging skincare routine, Dr. Chang emphasizes. Sun exposure not only causes skin burning and skin cancer but is the main culprit for accelerated skin aging. Whats more, she adds that UV exposure forms free radicals, increases brown spots, and breaks down collagen to form fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity. This process, termed photo-aging, is absolutely preventable with the appropriate use of sun protection and broad-spectrum sunscreen, she explains, noting that she recommends mineral sunscreens with SPF 30 or greater, including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Mineral sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin and act as a barrier to both UVA and UVB rays rather than being absorbed into the skin, she explains. Because it isnt absorbed into the skin, there is a lower risk of allergic reactions and it is safe in pregnant females.

And remember: Regardless of the sun protection you opt for, reapplication every few hours is key.

Vitamin C renowned for its powerful antioxidant properties and the ability to affect so many aspects of aging. For starters, adding vitamin C into your skincare routine can lead to a brighter complexion. Whats more, Dr. Chang points out that the potent ingredient can act as a free radical scavenger to neutralize oxidative damage to the skin and stimulate collagen for fine line prevention.

The biggest thing to remember when adding vitamin C to your anti-aging routine is that the ingredient is very unstable. As a result, its important to look for stabilized formulations found in opaque, air-tight bottles.

Whats more, Dr. Chang notes that some formulations of antioxidant serums containing vitamin C may irritate or cause acne for some people, so it is important to find which products work best for your skin. This may take some trial and error (or, better yet, the advice of a derm), but it will be well worth it in the long run.

Great! So now that you know which skincare ingredients to keep on your radar, heres what else you need to know about how to use them.

The anti-aging skin type debate:

After reading about these anti-aging ingredients, you might be wondering which will be best for your skin type. While some are notedly more tolerated by some specific skin types (as mentioned above), its important to remember that skincare is subjective based on your skin type and the products already in your routine.


At the end of the day, she says its not so much the skin type as what you are trying to address. For example, retinoids help to rejuvenate at the cellular layer, she begins. Glycolic acids helps to increase cell turnover and exfoliation.

When to add anti-aging ingredients into your skincare routine:

As much as wed like to tell you exact dates down to the day as to when to incorporate these ingredients into your routine, its simply not realistic given that skin aging is subjective and varies from person to person. However, considering all of these ingredients are preventative, Dr. Chang says that its best to start noticing them before or shortly after you start to notice signs of skin aging. I recommend starting anti-aging skincare in your 20s or early 30s, she adds. Some of these ingredients can be started even earlier (i.e. retinoids in teenagers with acne).

How to add anti-aging ingredients into your skincare routine:

Now, we know what youre thinking: How hard could it be? Well, if you try to add all 10 of these ingredients into your routine at once, youll seeand it wont be pretty. Since these ingredients are active, its important to ease them into your routine to avoid any sort of adverse effects.

I always recommend starting anti-aging ingredients one by one, to avoid any skin reactions or excessive irritation, Dr. Chang says. Start with a test spot before applying new products over your whole face. If one anti-aging product is tolerated, you can slowly add another one into the regimen. Additionally, she notes that not every person needs to use all of these ingredients, as many of the benefits overlap and using too many products can sometimes do more harm than good. I recommend consulting your board-certified dermatologist to develop a skincare plan tailored to your skin needs, she shares.

Head-to-toe anti-aging treatments:

If you, like us, are a big believer in the beauty of cosmetic anti-aging treatments, like lasers and injectables, you might be wondering if you should supplement your anti-aging skincare routine with these in-office offerings. Considering most topicals can only penetrate the top-most layers of skin (unless, of course, its an epigenetic formulation), opting for treatments geared towards underlying causes of expression can be more effective for more noticeable results. For example, board-certified dermatologistJennifer MacGregor, M.D., says that Botox can smooth crepey texture in addition to lines (on the chest, for example) and can also smooth neck bands (hi, tech neck)something a cream alone may not be able to do.

Chang expands on this, noting that, As we mature, we lose fat and collagen in our face, leading to loose, sagging or hollowed skin. Filler injections can help replace this volume and collagen in areas where topical anti-aging products would have little to no efficacy. Additionally, she points out that brown spots and photo-aging are often due to deeper pigment deposits which topicals cannot reach. Laser treatments can more effectively lighten or eliminate brown spots and signs of photo-aging, she explains. Resurfacing laser treatments, like Fraxel dual, and skin tightening treatments, like Ultherapy, can go deeper than any topical can to stimulate collagen, making these treatments essential in the anti-aging process [from head to toe].

Read more here:
The only anti-aging skin care guide you'll ever need - Yahoo Lifestyle

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Scientists Combine AI With Biology to Create Xenobots, the World’s First ‘Living Robots’ – EcoWatch

By Simon Coghlan and Kobi Leins

A remarkable combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and biology has produced the world's first "living robots."

This week, a research team of roboticists and scientists published their recipe for making a new lifeform called xenobots from stem cells. The term "xeno" comes from the frog cells (Xenopus laevis) used to make them.

One of the researchers described the creation as "neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal," but a "new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism."

Xenobots are less than 1mm long and made of 500-1000 living cells. They have various simple shapes, including some with squat "legs." They can propel themselves in linear or circular directions, join together to act collectively, and move small objects. Using their own cellular energy, they can live up to 10 days.

While these "reconfigurable biomachines" could vastly improve human, animal and environmental health, they raise legal and ethical concerns.

To make xenobots, the research team used a supercomputer to test thousands of random designs of simple living things that could perform certain tasks.

The computer was programmed with an AI "evolutionary algorithm" to predict which organisms would likely display useful tasks, such as moving towards a target.

After the selection of the most promising designs, the scientists attempted to replicate the virtual models with frog skin or heart cells, which were manually joined using microsurgery tools. The heart cells in these bespoke assemblies contract and relax, giving the organisms motion.

The creation of xenobots is groundbreaking.

Despite being described as "programmable living robots," they are actually completely organic and made of living tissue. The term "robot" has been used because xenobots can be configured into different forms and shapes, and "programmed" to target certain objects which they then unwittingly seek.

They can also repair themselves after being damaged.

Xenobots may have great value.

Some speculate they could be used to clean our polluted oceans by collecting microplastics.

Similarly, they may be used to enter confined or dangerous areas to scavenge toxins or radioactive materials.

Xenobots designed with carefully shaped "pouches" might be able to carry drugs into human bodies.

Future versions may be built from a patient's own cells to repair tissue or target cancers. Being biodegradable, xenobots would have an edge on technologies made of plastic or metal.

Further development of biological "robots" could accelerate our understanding of living and robotic systems. Life is incredibly complex, so manipulating living things could reveal some of life's mysteries and improve our use of AI.

Conversely, xenobots raise legal and ethical concerns. In the same way they could help target cancers, they could also be used to hijack life functions for malevolent purposes.

Some argue artificially making living things is unnatural, hubristic or involves "playing God."

A more compelling concern is that of unintended or malicious use, as we have seen with technologies in fields including nuclear physics, chemistry, biology and AI.

For instance, xenobots might be used for hostile biological purposes prohibited under international law.

More advanced future xenobots, especially ones that live longer and reproduce, could potentially "malfunction" and go rogue, and out-compete other species.

For complex tasks, xenobots may need sensory and nervous systems, possibly resulting in their sentience. A sentient programmed organism would raise additional ethical questions. Last year, the revival of a disembodied pig brain elicited concerns about different species' suffering.

The xenobot's creators have rightly acknowledged the need for discussion around the ethics of their creation.

The 2018 scandal over using CRISPR (which allows the introduction of genes into an organism) may provide an instructive lesson here. While the experiment's goal was to reduce the susceptibility of twin baby girls to HIV-AIDS, associated risks caused ethical dismay. The scientist in question is in prison.

When CRISPR became widely available, some experts called for a moratorium on heritable genome editing. Others argued the benefits outweighed the risks.

While each new technology should be considered impartially and based on its merits, giving life to xenobots raises certain significant questions:

Lessons learned in the past from advances in other areas of science could help manage future risks, while reaping the possible benefits.

The creation of xenobots had various biological and robotic precedents. Genetic engineering has created genetically modified mice that become fluorescent in UV light.

Designer microbes can produce drugs and food ingredients that may eventually replace animal agriculture.

In 2012, scientists created an artificial jellyfish called a "medusoid" from rat cells.

Robotics is also flourishing.

Nanobots can monitor people's blood sugar levels and may eventually be able to clear clogged arteries.

Robots can incorporate living matter, which we witnessed when engineers and biologists created a sting-ray robot powered by light-activated cells.

In the coming years, we are sure to see more creations like xenobots that evoke both wonder and due concern. And when we do, it is important we remain both open-minded and critical.

Simon Coghlan is a senior research fellow in digital ethics at the School of Computing and Information Systems, University of Melbourne.Kobi Leins is a senior research fellow in digital ethics at the University of Melbourne.

Disclosure statement: The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Reposted with permission from The Conversation.

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Original post:
Scientists Combine AI With Biology to Create Xenobots, the World's First 'Living Robots' - EcoWatch

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

The Tiny Brain Cells That Connect Our Mental and Physical Health – WIRED

When enlarged under a high-resolution microscope, microglia resemble elegant tree branches with many slender limbs. As they pass by neurons, microglia extend and retract their tiny arm-like protrusions, tapping on each neuron as if to inquire, Are we good here? All okay? Or not okay?as a doctor might palpate a patients abdomen, or check reflexes by tapping on knees and elbows.

Back in 2004, Barres and Stevens were examining how synapses originally come to be pruned to form a healthy brain during early, normal development. Theyd recently discovered that immune molecules known as complement were sending out eat me signals from some brain synapses, and these synapsestagged with a kind of kiss of death signagewere destroyed. Think of the way you click and tag emails that you want deleted from your inbox. Your email servers software recognizes those tags, and when you click on the Trash icon, bing, theyre gone. Thats similar to what Stevens and Barres were seeing happen to brain synapses that were tagged by complement. They disappeared.

What they described happening in the brain, which they reported in the journal Cell in 2007, echoed a similar process that was well-understood to happen in the body. When a cell dies in a bodily organ, or if the bodys immune system senses a threatening pathogen, complement molecules tag those unwanted cells and invaders for removal. Then, a type of white blood cell known as macrophagesGreek for big eatersrecognizes the tag, engulfs the cell or pathogen, and destroys it. In the body, macrophages play a role in inflammation as well as in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Guillain Barre. When activated, they can mistakenly go too far in their effort to engulf and destroy pathogens and spew forth a slew of inflammatory chemicals that begin to do harm to the bodys own tissue.

Stevens and Barres werent sure what was eating away at these tagged synapses, causing them to disappear in the brain, but Stevens had a hunch that it might have something to do with microglia.

We could see that when microglia sensed even the smallest damage or change to a neuron, they headed, spider-like, in that neurons direction, then they drew in their limbs and morphed into small, amoeba-like blobs, Stevens says. Soon after, those same synapses disappeared. Poof.

Could microglia be the culprit at the center of it all, the macrophage corollary in the brain, responding to eat me signals and pruning the brains circuitry during development? And what if this process was not only taking place in utero? Stevens wondered, when she first saw microglia behaving this way. What if it was also being mistakenly turned back on again later in life, during the teen years, or in adulthoodonly now its a bad thing and microglia are sometimes mistakenly engulfing and destroying healthy brain synapses too?

You can imagine how you could have too many synapses, or not enough synapse connectivity, Stevens says, her hands spreading wide with excitement. And you can imagine, given how our brain works, if that connectivity is even slightly off, that could potentially underlie a range of neuropsychiatric and cognitive disorders.

When she landed at Harvard, Stevens and her postdoc, Dori Schafer, tried to get a closer look at what microglia were up to in the brain. Schafer injected dye into the eyes of mice, which she then traced down from the neurons in the eye nerves and into the brain. This made the brains synapses glow bright fluorescent red. Microglia were stained fluorescent green. If they saw structuresthe synapsesglowing like red, fluorescent lit-up dots inside the bellies of the green microglia, they would know that microglia were eating synapses.

Six months into their efforts, Schafer came running into Stevenss office with photo images flapping in her hand. Theyre in there! she told Stevens. The synapses are inside the microglia! We can see it! It was such a high-five moment, Stevens recalls. Microglia were like tiny little Pac-Men in the brainand brain synapses were in the belly of the Pac-Men! We felt we were on to something really wonderful, really novel. This was deeply important in terms of looking ahead to microglias role in disease.

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The Tiny Brain Cells That Connect Our Mental and Physical Health - WIRED

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

1000 Entrepreneurs: Ken Aldrich on 30 Years of Venture Capital and 50 Successful Businesses –

Over the last three decades, Ken Aldrich has successfully invested in over 50 businesses and has personally co-founded almost a dozen himself. He considers himself a jack of all trades, having been involved in everything from biomedicine to real estate. Some of his most successful investments include helping start one of the first wind parks in Palm Springs and Green Dot Corp. (NYSE:GDOT), which has become the worlds largest prepaid debit card company. In May, Aldrich published his book, "Dream Toolbox," which aims to guide readers toward establishing an entrepreneurial mind and gaining control over their financial world.

Before the business

Prior to entrenching himself as an entrepreneur, Aldrich started his career as a wage earner practicing law. He spent a great deal of time and effort to earn his law degree and land a spot in a well-established firm. With a clear career path ahead of him, Aldrich got to work earning his keep and establishing his position in the firm. However, one definitive moment stands out as the time when he became dissatisfied with his work.

This moment would revolve around sandwiches of all things. Working alongside one of the senior partners at the firm, Aldrich was helping to create a registration statement for a public company. At the end of the session that fateful day, the underwriters and the people from the company headed out to get dinner:

At the end of the day the company and the firm that was doing the underwriting turned to us, the lawyers, and said Well that was really good. Can we have a new draft of the work in the morning at nine and we will start again? Off they went to have dinner at Chasens and we ordered sandwiches, Aldrich said.

To provide context for those who do not know the Los Angeles restaurant history, Chasens was a well-known restaurant that was often frequented by famous celebrities until its closing in 1995. Based upon the prestige of the restaurant's chili, it is easy to conceive a distaste for sandwiches after a long day at work.

While in his 20s Aldrich did not have an issue eating sandwiches, yet he was thinking toward his future. My partner, that I was working for, was in his 30s or 40s. I do not want to be the guy eating sandwiches in his 30s or 40s, and I do not care how much they pay me for it, Aldrich said. It was in this moment that he decided that he would much prefer to be the guy going out for a nice dinner after work.

With clear motivation, Aldrich set out to find himself a new career path. He landed himself a contractual position at an investment banking firm. This provided him with some needed experience and training, alongside a foot in the door with a name behind him. This new venture would come with an inherent risk, one that Aldrich would feel almost immediately.

Working at the law firm, he had earned himself a paycheck and a solidified position. Upon leaving, that paycheck disappeared. To compound the pressure, Aldrich was working on a contract for the investment banking firm, meaning that if he were to no longer be productive in their eyes, he would be cut from their team. In essence, the already large pay cut he had taken could go away in an instant. He went on to say:

Wide World of Sports had a sports program on Saturday and their opening montage was a skier, it might have been a tobogganer, coming down a ski run and losing control and flying head over heels into a snowbank. The tagline was Wide World of Sports, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. I realized that with conventional jobs you are either working for a paycheck or in the case of a lawyer you are measuring your life out in coffee spoons as Eliot once said in a poem. There is never the chance of a real thrill of victory. The expectation is do not screw up and I wanted something more than that.

Finding success

With a drive to succeed and find that thrill of victory, Aldrich set out on his journey to become a successful entrepreneur. By nature of the business, he would find himself in the world of seed stage venture capital, investing and co-founding businesses from the ground up. Through both luck and skill, he was able to grow many of these businesses to success, yet there is seemingly no connection between them. However, Aldrich considers himself a jack of all trades and finds that his curiosity has led him to such diverse portfolio.

While he has found himself invested in many different fields, there is one key factor that ties them all together. If there is technology involved, I want to make sure that if it is successful, often it is not completely developed when we start, but that if it is successful it will make a fundamental change in some business, or industry, or science, Aldrich said. Having this significant change in the way things are done makes either the business or the product stand out in a way that the market cannot deny. For Aldrich, this is key for these types of ventures to be a success.

It is very hard to be successful starting a new business if you are just doing it a little bit better because, you know, everybody is looking for perfect, but perfect is the enemy of the good. If there is an existing process that is serving the market adequately it is usually just a fools errand to try to make something else that is just a little bit better, he continued.

As with many lessons, Aldrich had to learn to make fundamental changes first hand. One of the first businesses he found himself involved in was working to develop a new device for LASIK procedures. This device would allow for the surgeon to be more accurate when applying the procedure. Initially, the company found success in that the device did improve the accuracy of the procedure. However, it was not a big enough difference and nobody cared according to Aldrich.

Going back to the drawing board, the company went about redesigning the product so that it could be an aid to curing amblyopia in children, yet the market there was too small. With the aid of an ocular physician, the company found its true purpose. The new design would allow a surgeon in the process of doing cataract surgery to take an accurate measurement of the eye.

Prior to this new design, the surgeon would attempt to measure the eye through the clouded portion as best as possible before removing the affected area. As the measurement had to be taken through the affected area, it was generally not overly accurate and that is how people ended up with those coke bottle glasses, Aldrich said.

With their newly pioneered technology, the surgeon had a new device that would attach to the microscope that they used during the procedure. This would allow for them to take an accurate measurement of the lens of the eye prior to the surgery. This technology resulted in vision on par with a LASIK procedure as a byproduct of conventional cataract surgery. It was very gratifying for me because I have, over my life, had enough eye problems to realize just how life changing that small procedure can be, Aldrich said. This business would eventually go on to sell for $350 million.

Managing risk

With the prospect of millions, if not billions, on the horizon, there is constant risk involved with starting these businesses. For Aldrich, the key to success comes in managing this risk, although it can never be entirely eliminated. Once he has established that the technology or the business will make a fundamental change in the industry it operates in, he looks toward the people involved. First and foremost, he questions if they have enthusiasm and skin in the game as he calls it. Now that does not necessarily mean that they have written big checks, but they have put some portion of their life on hold to pursue this, he said.

Finding a person who fits these qualities allows for Aldrich to be confident that if things get difficult with the company, nobody is going to give up. In many cases, things do go wrong when starting a business. Very rarely does a business make its way to success without encountering a road bump. At some point everyone has to take some genuine risk. I have never known a startup that did not involve that, Aldrich said.

Over the course of 30 years in business, Aldrich has experienced his fair share of risk and road bumps. One of the most egregious cases that he recalled involved a biotechnology company. The company in question was working to develop new stem cells similar in nature to embryonic stem cells. The winning factor was that the company had found a way to access these cells without needing a fertilized embryo. So we took all, or we thought we took all of them, some people still managed to find objections, but we took basically all the real objections away from those who were concerned, for religious or for other reasons, with whether or not using embryonic stem cells was in effect killing a human being in utero, Aldrich said.

While they had overcome a major roadblock to progress their research, they still had not reached calm seas. The company would go public and found itself in the midst of the economic downturn of 2008. Almost overnight, funding that had been promised had disappeared and the company was left stranded with no backing.

To further compound issues, the CEO of the company died of a heart attack shortly after. Aldrich found himself running the company and as an investor himself. He put forth a check for $500,000, one that would have been very painful to have lost in his own words. In a stroke of luck, he was able to find an investor for the company. However, the man was in Paris, was Russian and spoke no English. Not a man to be stopped, Aldrich flew to Paris, dug up a translator on the eve of a French holiday and made a deal with the new investor.

With the help of this new partner and his own investment, Aldrich would pull the company out of the hole it found itself in. The company would continue to make progress on its stem cell research. Eventually, the majority shareholder of the company would push Aldrich out of a leadership position and he decided it would be best to pull himself out of the company entirely. During his time there, Aldrich would grow the stock from 15 cents per share to over $2 per share.

The biggest perks

While Aldrich has undoubtedly seen rough times working with companies, he has found himself, more often than not, in the position of successfully creating a business. The thrill of just saying, I did that, claimed Aldrich, is one of the best parts of what he does. Continuously, he has had the ability to take the vision that someone brings him and help them turn it into a reality. For him that has been extremely gratifying, yet he has been able to take it one step further.

Many of the companies that he has been involved in have changed people's lives for the better. The first LASIK company aided many people in having better vision, which Aldrich considers life changing. The stem cell company has the potential to change the way stem cells are used, and he believes they ultimately will. Even present day he is working with a company that is working to make chemotherapy drastically more effective to the point that it can cure certain types of cancers.

Without a doubt Aldrich has found the thrill of victory and helped people in the process. Now it is still a whole lot of fun to make money from a deal and see it take off, he said. One of his most ludicrous investments was Green Dot Corp., in which he was an early investor. Since throwing his hat in the ring, the company has not only reached a billion-dollar market cap, it has created an entirely new industry of prepaid debit cards.

Even the wind park in Palm Springs that Aldrich helped start has seen him cashing monthly checks from land rights for the last 20 years. Having both built companies and earned money for decades, it is easy to understand how he has no desire to change anything, yet Aldrich believes that he has no regrets for a different reason.

I think in each case we did the most we could do with what we had available, Aldrich said. In his opinion, there will always be something that could have gone differently or a potential to have found greater success. The reality is I had gone everywhere I could think of and took the option that was available, he continued.

In the end, worrying becomes unproductive. It creates a situation in which you are cautious about your current ventures and begin to question every decision. Aldrich believes this type of fear, the fear of failure, is one that is extremely detrimental to an entrepreneur. Overcoming this fear has been key to his success.

No end in sight

In his most recent ventures, Aldrich has found himself seeking to inspire both youth and entrepreneurs alike. He has spent time working with at-risk teenagers to provide them with financial lessons as well as the skills to develop their dreams into reality. From these lessons, Aldrich developed a podcast series that would eventually become his first book, titled "Dream Toolbox," for anyone frustrated by unfulfilled dreams.

Although Aldrich has had a career outlasting many other entrepreneurs, he does not believe he will ever be able to stop. While he has made a promise to himself to not start any new companies, he will continue to fund and advise them as much as he can:

I can not see stopping because, frankly, it is so darn much fun. I have flunked retirement several times in the sense of really trying to turn it off. What I have discovered is just about the time I am getting all excited to go play a round of golf, or go play tennis or something like that, somebody will call me up with a new idea, or a new concept, and I will cancel the golf or cancel the tennis because nothing is more exciting than dealing with a new idea that has great promise.

Question and answer

GuruFocus: As an entrepreneur, and a serial entrepreneur at that, is there anything in the future coming up or already starting to reach the market that you are really excited about and would love to get your hands on?

Aldrich: My experience has been that the things that are already visible to me, out there in the market, somebody else has already started and is way ahead of me. So what I am looking for are the things that are not yet obvious and those can come in many ways. I recently became an investor in a company. It is not a startup anymore. I invested through some friends, but it is very exciting. They have, I believe, a way to, I will not say cure, but to take any of the existing chemotherapies that are used in cancer and make them way, way more effective, and the reality is, based upon the data we have, in many cases cure cancers that the physicians had given them up as incurable and a death sentence. That is enormously exciting to me and I think that we will see that.

I have also invested, although I am not a principle, in three or four other companies that have varying ways of approaching, particularly cancer, but other disease forms. That to me is an exciting area and I think we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what can be done medically. There are things going on with AI that will affect the medical world. I read in this mornings newspaper about a new AI technique that I think was developed by Google that has greatly improved the accuracy, or looks like it has greatly improved the accuracy of mammograms. That could be life-saving.

GuruFocus: Where do you look for inspiration?

Aldrich: One of the great books and it is overlooked, but I think everybody should read it right after they finish mine, actually before, is "Think and Grow Rich." Which has been around for almost a century, I guess. It is absolutely a brilliant set of ideas and structures for entrepreneurship. There are certainly more modern books. I happen to like Peter Thiels book, which I think he calls "Zero to One." It talks about entrepreneurship and finding a niche that you can fill and expand into making something big. Of course, if you just start looking and get specific, there are tons and tons of books on how to structure a business, how to handle the accounting, finance and so on. Again, I think it starts with changing the belief systems so that you believe you can do it and for that there probably is no better book that I have read than "Think and Grow Rich."

GuruFocus: What are you most grateful for at this point in your life?

Aldrich: Oh wow. I am most grateful that I have had the incredible good fortune to have the love of not one, but two wonderful women in my life. First my wife, who died a few years ago, and second, the woman who is now sharing my life. That has been remarkable. I have also had the good fortune through most of my life of having good health. I have had plenty of health issues that I have had to deal with, but they have all been like the puzzles I talked about. OK, I have a problem. I had a vision problem. I have had other things. How can we solve them? So far, they have all been soluble. I have been very fortunate. As you can see from this ugly photograph on your screen, I am not a young man anymore. I wake up in the morning thinking I am at least 20 or 30 years younger than I am until I look in the mirror. And that is a good thing because age ultimately matters as none of us live forever. In terms of our capacity to do things, it is how we view ourselves, so that is important.

Aldrichs advice for entrepreneurs

Have a vision both personally and in business:

Try to visualize what life would look like if you were to find the success that you have. Once you have this vision, there is something for you to strive for. In Aldrichs opinion, this is one of the most powerful tools an entrepreneur can utilize. Visualize yourself being successful while standing in front of the mirror. It may feel stupid at first, as it did for Aldrich, but you will eventually make that vision a reality by translating it into the present. Use your vision to tell yourself that you are successful now and, before you realize it, you will have reached many of your early milestones.

Put some skin in the game:

It can be simplified to one word: commit. You need to absolutely dedicate yourself to what you are doing if you want to succeed. This will require personal sacrifice. Your life will not continue to exist in the same way that it had previously and you have to be OK with that. Once you have committed your life to achieving your goals and truly put some skin in the game, you will find success. If you do not do this, you are going to give up when things get tough.

Determine if the worst outcome is survivable:

Another of Aldrichs most powerful tools is determining if the worst possible outcome is survivable. Look at the worst thing that could happen in the course of starting this business. Are you looking at bankruptcy? Or could it be something personal that ends life as you know it? Once you have determined what could happen, you need to decide if you have the ability to keep going on after that. If you can survive the worst outcome, than there is nothing that can stop you on your journey. All your problems become puzzles that have a solution. You simply need to find it.

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1000 Entrepreneurs: Ken Aldrich on 30 Years of Venture Capital and 50 Successful Businesses -

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20 Best Lotions That Help Clear Up Acne Scars (And Moisturize Skin) – YourTango

No more feeling self-conscious about your scarring.

But there are other ingredients that aren't as harsh on the skin.

Salicylic acid is a fabulous way to combat acne in all skin types and can be found in a wash or in a lotion. If you tend to get small acne bumps known as comedonal acne, try OTC Differin lotion which is a retinoid. In general, those are strong enough to cause the skin to purge out those small bumps (which means it will be a little worse before getting better), and then prevent them from recurring, adds Dr. Mariwalla.

Contrary to what some people may think, having acne still means you need to moisturize. However, there are some precautions to consider. According to Dr. Mariwalla,Be sure not to use a heavy cream. Try a moisturizing gel or even a serum. A hyaluronic acid serum is ideal for acne=prone skin because it wont typically make you break out.

RELATED:20 Best Home Remedies For Acne Scars

Anti BacAcne Clearing Lotion is clinically proven to target pores to help clear existing acne, minimize excess oil production, and eliminate blackheads. Using an ultra-fine delivery system, benzoyl peroxide is delivered via a microscopic particle to affected areas, without over-drying.

(Sephora, $42)

Vichy Normaderm Beautifying Anti-Acne Treatment is an acne treatment moisturizer for adults with acne-prone skin. Thisnew formula with Air Licium and Phe resorcinoltechnology acts on the appearance of pores and shine. With salicylic acid to treat, blemishes disappear, leaving your skin looking radiant and beautiful.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

Created by Beverly Hills plastic surgeons Dr. John Layke and Dr. Payman Danielpour, Beverly Hills MDAdvanced Scar Therapy contains advanced botanical ingredients that soothe and nourish damaged skinto dramatically diminish the appearance of stubborn scars. It contains an infusion of oxygen and antioxidants, for healthy-looking complexion and fewer visible imperfections.

(Beverly Hills MD, $80)

The Elina Organics Omega Serumcontains wild cod collagen, an antioxidant powerhouse that acts as a filler for scars. The serum promotes collagen regeneration and helps to firm, calm, and rejuvenate. Layer it with your nightly moisturizerfollowing exfoliation, and it helps your skin maintain its elasticity, increases hyaluronic acid production, and enhances skin hydration.

(ElinaOrganics, $52)

A powerful plant-based stem cell formulation decreases the appearance of fine lines, and softens and rejuvenates the skin. Stem cells help to support the longevity of aging skin by encouraging the regeneration of new skin cells, which stimulates the production of collagen in the skin.

(Knockout Beauty, $160)

Mela-Even Cream contains the lipid forms of the antioxidant vitamin C and E, which help to reclaim the appearance of healthy-looking, luminous skin. Not only does it help reduce scars, but it also helps to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone and fine lines, and assists in maintaining a healthy skin appearancewhile supporting its natural sun defence against the harmful effects of UV rays.

(Check prices and reviews onRescue Spa)

This is a powerful skin lightening treatment gel featuring hydroquinone that rapidly reduces post-acne skin discoloration and helps combat breakouts. Willow bark and tea tree leaf extract help treat blemishes and reduce irritation as AHAs exfoliate to restore clarity and tone. This works best with normal, oily and combination skin types.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

This treatment fights the main causes of acne by regulating skin cell turnover and reducing inflammation deep in the skin to clear and prevent pimples, blackheads and clogged pores. Differin contains the first OTC Rx-strength acne-fighting retinoid. Its gentler on your skin, while still effective, giving you the clearskin you want.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Dark Spot Corrector instantly brightens skin, with a high-potency fast absorbing formula that delivers the highest concentration of Vitamin C. With highly concentrated Accelerated Retinol SA, this advanced corrector works to renew the look of skin, brightening tone and helping fade stubborn dark spots and discoloration.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED:How To Get Clear Skin Fast: 15 Tips For A Smooth, Acne-Free Complexion

Formulated with state-of-the-art UV filters, this high protection moisturizing sunscreen helps prevent UV induced collagen breakdown and UV-induced dark spots. It protectsskin from UVA and UVB rays, is easily absorbed into the skin, and comes in a lightweight formula.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

Nia 24 Rapid D Tone Correcting Serum visibly diminishes the appearance of dark spots and discoloration to significantly improve brightness, clarity and tone. Vitamin C normalizes pigment production while increasing collagen and providing antioxidant protection. Willowbark extract exfoliates dull, dead skin cells while betaine smoothes the skin.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

These powerful, easy-to-use pre-soaked pads are formulated with glycolic, lactic, citric, hyaluronic and salicylic acids, plus Pro-Vitamin B5 and Niacinamide that reduce pore size, fine lines, and wrinkles, and improve skin tone, texture and luminosity. Purslane Extract acts as a strong soother, itch reliever and antioxidant, and also promotes collagen production and cell turnover.

(Knockout Beauty, $79)

This pro-level retinol night treatment is formulated with 4.5 percent retinol in the patent-pending SB-100 delivery system, arguably one of the highest concentration in any over-the-counter retinol product. Retinol is the gold standard in treating acne scars by stimulating cell regeneration for brighter, more even skin. Clinical results show that 90 percent of subjects noticed an improvement in skin texture.

(Sephora, $105)

A medicated formula that exfoliates and reduces excess oil that can lead to breakouts. It unclogs pores and controls excess shine. Ingredients salicylic acid and acetyl glucosamine help clear dead skin cells that can contribute to clogged pores.Lamincaria Sacharina extract helps reduce shine and addresses future breakouts.

(Sephora, $17)

A unique and highly effective oil-free, non-comedogenic, lightweight moisturizer for combination to oily skin. Using clay that is mined in Umbria, Italy, it helps regulate sebum production, absorb impurities from blocked pores, calm flare-ups, and neutralize excess acidity on the skin which purifies and brightens the skin. This lightweight lotion gently hydrates, tones, and balances the complexion.

(Sephora, $38)

This is a redness-reducing lotion to help correct and prevent future blemishes. Ithelps to correct and prevent future blemishes, while reducing the appearance of dullness and rough texture. Formulated with acne-clearing salicylic acid and pine bark extract, this lotion calms and soothes redness and evens skin tone for a clearer complexion.

(Sephora, $48)

A gentle, oil-free exfoliating lotion for dry or combination skin. Developed by Clinique's dermatologists, the smoothing formula whisks away flakes and refines pores to reveal a clearer complexion. The cool, refreshing formula removes dead cells from the surface of the skin helping moisturizer and makeup to apply evenly.

(Sephora, $17)

This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer helps reduce shine and refine the appearance of pores for smoother skin texture without causing blemishes. Retinol supports natural cell turnover to help keep pores clear while hyaluronic acid and honey extract hydrate. Allantoin and arnica soothe, smooth, and condition skin.

(Sephora, $42)

This moisturizing treatment helps surround skin in an age-defending protective bubble. Silver tip white tea and revitalizing trehalose serve up an extra helping of hydration. It leaves skin soft and prepared for treatments to follow.

(Sephora, $27)

Fast-acting benzoyl peroxide attacks acne-causing bacteria to treat blackheads, blemishes and clogged pores at the source, and helps to control excess oil that can become trapped in pores and cause new breakouts. Botanical brighteners battle redness from existing and past blemishes, helping to fade the appearance of acne marks and reducing irritation from active breakouts. Antioxidants defend against the effects of free radical damage.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED:21 Best Creams That Help Clear Up Scars

AlyWalanskyisa NY-basedlifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly.Visit her on Twitteroremail her.

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20 Best Lotions That Help Clear Up Acne Scars (And Moisturize Skin) - YourTango

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Former transgender patient will tell court that sex change clinic is putting children on ‘torturous’ path – The Telegraph

At a hearing in London on Wednesday, Mrs A's barrister, Jeremy Hyam QC, formally requested that Ms Bell, 23, be made a claimant in the case, and Mr Justice Supperstone, overseeing the case, agreed.

In a statement after the hearing, Ms Bell said: "I have become a claimant in this case because I do not believe that children and young people can consent to the use of powerful and experimental hormone drugs like I did.

"I believe that the current affirmative system put in place by the Tavistock is inadequate as it does not allow for exploration of these gender dysphoric feelings, nor does it seek to find the underlying causes of this condition.

"Hormone-changing drugs and surgery does not work for everyone and it certainly should not be offered to someone under the age of 18 when they are emotionally and mentally vulnerable.

"The treatment urgently needs to change so that it does not put young people, like me, on a torturous and unnecessary path that is permanent and life-changing."

At a hearing in London, Mrs A's barrister, Jeremy Hyam QC, said:"What is challenged is the current and continuing practice of the defendant ... to prescribe puberty-suppressing hormone blockers and then subsequently cross-sex hormones to children under the age of 18."

Former transgender patient will tell court that sex change clinic is putting children on 'torturous' path - The Telegraph

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

News Spread the love: Today is National Hugging Day! Cleveland Clinic 8:11 AM, Jan 21 – WXYZ

(WXYZ) Everyone needs a good hug every now and then.

And, according to Emily Mudd, Ph.D., of Cleveland Clinic Childrens, when we hug our children, it actually helps them regulate their emotions, and helps their brains develop.

We know that even from the moment were born, that touch, physical touch, attention, and hugs, are so very important for both nervous system regulation, and brain development, she said. From the moment were born we talk about kangaroo care and the importance of skin-to-skin contact and that really continues through childhood.

Dr. Mudd said research has shown that when we receive a hug, our brains release oxytocin which is the feel good brain chemical.

She said receiving a hug can also help children manage stress, by calming the release of cortisol which is the stress hormone.

When a child is having a meltdown or is overly stressed, Dr. Mudd said giving them a hug can help them calm down. When kids receive warmth and affection from their parents at a very young age, research has shown they are more likely to have greater resiliency, get better grades, and have better parent-child relationships into adulthood. But if your child isnt a hugger or gets shy around family members, Dr. Mudd said dont force them to give a hug.

Its okay to keep a very simple message, for whatever the age of the child is, that youre in control of your body, and if you dont want to hug an aunt or an uncle at this gathering, thats okay, but you can find another way to show them affection, she said. Instead, you can share a special memory with them, give them a high-five; spend extra time with them, and be sure to explain this in advance to your relatives too.

Dr. Mudd said, of course, hugs will change as your children get older, because teenagers dont have the same physical attention needs as toddlers.

But regardless of their age, letting your child know that you are there for them, unconditionally, is essential for their development and well-being.

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News Spread the love: Today is National Hugging Day! Cleveland Clinic 8:11 AM, Jan 21 - WXYZ

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Hair VitaminsHow to Choose the Best Hair Vitamins and How Long Do You Have to Take Them? – Parade

Im stepping into 2020 with the healthiest hair Ive ever had, beauty influencer Brittanie Evans recently posted on Instagram, touting her partnership with SugarBearHair supplements. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Vanessa Hudgens and Gwyneth Paltrow have also credited hair vitamins for their luxurious locks.

But, do hair vitamins actually work? It depends, says New Orleans-based dermatologist Mary Lupo.

She compares hair supplements to chicken soupthey cant really hurt and may help. But, if you have a medical condition causing hair loss or other hair issues, hair vitamins likely wont help, and medical treatment may be needed.

What I think is important is that a person kind of go through a little checklist and make sure that before they spend money on vitamins, that theyve ruled out other things that can cause the problem, she says.

You may wish your hair was thicker or shinier or that it would grow longer more quickly. There are several reasons why your hair may not be cooperating.

Stress is a big one: Cortisol is your stress hormone, and a lot of women lose hair or shed hair, or their hair doesnt grow as long because of stress, Lupo says.

Stress can cause a condition called telogen effluvium, a scalp disorder that leads to hair shedding or thinning. It often occurs after instances of stress on the body, like surgery, illness or having a baby, Lupo says.

Other reasons you have issues with your hair:

Some conditions actually damage the hair follicle, Lupo says. Cicatricial alopecia, for example, is caused by scar tissue in the hair follicle, making hair fall out, and its usually irreversible. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, causing quarter-sized chunks of hair to fall out.

Genetics also play a role in hair loss or conditions that cause it.

Hair loss because of chemotherapy could benefit from hair vitamins, Lupo says.

When you have hair loss from chemo, your hair has to cycle back and maybe the hair vitamins can speed it up a little bit, she says. I dont think its going to be anything earth-shattering, but I dont think it would hurt and it might help a little bit.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Hair Extensions

For someone without a medical condition, vitamins could improve hair, but it will take time, six months or more to see a result, Lupo says. Thats because hair follicles grow in cycles.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the anagen, or growing, phase, may last two to eight years, and refers to most of the hair you have. The catagen phase, which takes two to three weeks, refers to the timeframe when hair follicles shrink. The telogen, or resting, phase is when the hair falls out and can take two to four months.

If your hair cycles into the telogen phase too quickly, it may not grow as long as youd like, since once the hair sheds, and the process starts all over again, Lupo says. Seeing results from hair vitamins depends on taking them regularly for several months.

One month isnt going to make any difference at all, she says. Then, once you see the result, what I tell my patients is you can lower the dose of the vitamin. Like if it tells you to take four a day, you could cut it down to two a day or whatever as a maintenance dose after youve taken it for about a year. But, dont discontinue it or youll lose the benefit.

When shopping for hair vitamins, read the list of ingredients to ensure they contain substances that promote healthy hair: B vitamins, especially biotin, and vitamin E promote hair, nail and skin health, Lupo says.

The way vitamins help hair is really more from the antioxidant or anti-inflammatory (standpoint) to make the scalp healthier and the hair follicle healthier, she explains.

Many hair vitamins also contain plant-based ingredients, like ashwagandha and saw palmetto, which encourage hair health.

Ashwagandha has been shown to lower cortisol and also has anti-inflammatory properties, which promotes healthy hair. Saw palmetto is an ingredient in may products for men that helps with hair loss and prostate cancer.

Related: Is Hairprint the Secret to Covering Your Gray Naturally?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) does not review supplements, including hair vitamins, for safety before theyre allowed on the market. Lupo says hair vitamins are generally safe, though.

She suggests reviewing a hair vitamin products list of ingredients and choosing ones without too many additives. Also, look for ones that are Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified, like the Natures Bounty brand.

Finally, be wary of any hair vitamins that make medical or any too-good-to-be-true claims.

I think that theyre safe for anybody, Lupo says. Its just the danger is if you have a medical condition that is undiagnosed and unrecognized that is causing you to lose your hair. If youre just taking vitamins, you might be wasting your time and your money, and youre not getting a proper diagnosis so that you can get appropriate treatment.

Along with hair vitamins, prescription drugs like Propecia and Rogaine can help treat hair loss, Lupo says, but women shouldnt take Propecia unless they are postmenopausal.

Dermatologists may also use platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy injections to trigger hair follicles to grow more hair. Lupo says usually four to six sessions of PRP are needed, and need to be repeated after several months to maintain results.

PRP is pretty much considered the gold standard of a therapeutic option, Lupo says. Its perfectly safe because you take your own blood, its spun down, you extract the platelets, and its injected into the scalp.

Diet also improves hair quality. Eating plenty of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fruits and vegetables, especially dark green veggies, can make your hair thicker and shinier.

If you have hair loss, thinning or other problems, Lupo suggests visiting your dermatologist to rule out any medical problems, even before trying hair vitamins or if youve tried hair vitamins with no results.

I would urge a person if theyve got a real hair loss problem to get the appropriate evaluation by a dermatologist and any recommended blood work that the dermatologist gives you sooner rather than later, she says.

Tempted to try a lash lift? Check out our guide.

Hair VitaminsHow to Choose the Best Hair Vitamins and How Long Do You Have to Take Them? - Parade

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

6 reasons dogs truly are mans best friend – Big Think

Under cover of darkness, a pack of ancient wolves slowly stalk the camps of our nomadic ancestors. But they are not on the prowl. These timid, congenial Canidaes have discovered they can scavenge human kills and midden piles for more reward, and far less risk, than the hunt.

Over successive generations, their offspring grow more docile and more dependent on their human benefactors. In time humans adopt these four-legged moochers, taking them into their service with the tacit agreement of better food and companionship. And so, the human-dog relationship was born.

That's one possibility at least. All that's generally agreed upon is that dogs became man's best friend as early as 15,000 years ago though some fossil evidence suggests domestication as far back as 30,000 years. As science writer James Gorman points out, this means we loved our tail-wagging besties before inventing agriculture, language, or permanent homes and even before we domesticated cows, goats, and, of course, cats.

"As we became friends with them, they became friends with us, and we have a dependency that's charming," Bill Nye, science guy and lover of all good dogs, told us in a 2015 interview. "It's enriched both the dog lives and the human lives."

For humans, the perks of the dog-human relationship run much deeper than games of fetch or a handy excuse to go for a nice, long walk.

Dogs see their people as family, and the feeling seems to be mutual.

(Photo: PxHere)

It's not our imaginations or a poetic attempt to explain behavior through personification. Dogs do view their people as family.

Cognition scientists at Emory University placed dogs in an MRI machine and scanned their brains while presenting them with different odors. Some aromas were of food. Others were from other dogs. And some were from the dogs' human companions. The dogs' brains' reward centers lit up most when presented with the human scents, showing they prioritized human relationships.

These results bolstered other research that shows dogs act similarly to human sounds and that they are the only non-primates to run toward humans for protection and comfort.

A little girl meets Lothair and Molly, two certified therapy dogs, at U.S. Air Force Base Hospital Langley.

(Photo: Brittany Paerschke-O'Brain/U.S. Air Force)

Dogs may be able to curb the risk of some mental diseases. That's the conclusion of research published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, which found a link between dog ownership and a reduced risk of schizophrenia.

The researchers looked at 1,371 men and women across the socioeconomic spectrum. Roughly 400 participants suffered from schizophrenia, another 400 from bipolar disorder, and about 600 were controls. After a survey in which the participants were asked about pets, the researchers compared ownership with rates of mental illness.

They discovered that dog ownership before the age of 13 correlated with a 25 percent reduced risk of schizophrenia. Participants who owned dogs in the first years of life showed the largest protective effect.

"There are several plausible explanations for this possible 'protective' effect from contact with dogs," lead author Robert Yolken said in a statement. "Perhaps something in the canine microbiome that gets passed to humans and bolsters the immune system against or subdues a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia."

Sorry, ailurophiles. Cats did not show a similar link between ownership and a reduced risk of mental diseases.

Regular walks with your dog is great exercise and boosts cardiovascular health.

(Photo: PxHere)

The health benefits aren't just in the mind. Preliminary research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes suggests that pet ownership boosts heart health, especially if that pet is a dog.

Researchers evaluated roughly 1,800 participants using the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7, seven life factors that people can improve to help achieve cardiovascular well-being. They then compared the health of pet owners with those who did not own pets and found a correlation between dog ownership and heart health. The researchers associated this salubrious effect with increased engagement and physical activity.

"In general, people who owned any pet were more likely to report more physical activity, better diet and blood sugar at an ideal level," Andrea Maugeri, a researcher with the International Clinical Research Center at St. Anne's University Hospital in Brno, said in a statement. "The greatest benefits from having a pet were for those who owned a dog, independent of their age, sex and education level."

Follow-up evaluations are scheduled until 2030.

An older gentleman sits with his canine companion.

(Photo: Pxfuel)

Better heart health means a better chance to live longer. That's according to a recent study and meta-analysis published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The research found that dog owners who survived a heart attack were at a 33 percent reduced risk of early death compared to non-dog survivors. The same held true for stroke survivors (27 percent). Better still, dog ownership correlated with a 24 percent reduced risk of all-cause mortality, likely explained by an increase in physical activity and a decrease in depression and loneliness.

A study published in Scientific Reports corroborates a canine's life-giving, heart-healthy impact. The researchers reviewed the national registries for more than 3.4 million Swedes with no cardiovascular disease before 2001. Looking at the association between dog ownership and cardiovascular health, they found that single dog owners had a lowered risk of death, either due to cardiovascular disease (11 percent) or other causes (33 percent).

In a statement, lead junior author Mwenya Mubanga noted, "A very interesting finding in our study was that dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household. Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households."

Put simply, dogs are better at ignoring bad advice than their human peers. Research out of Yale University's Canine Cognition Center tasked dogs with retrieving treats from a puzzle. The researchers presented the steps to solve the puzzle but included many extraneous steps in the demonstration. When it was the dogs' turn, they nimbly skipped the unnecessary steps, thereby showing their ability to filter information effectively.

How did human children perform? Not so great. The children settled on pure imitation, regardless of whether a step proved useful in solving the puzzle.

"This tells us something really important about how humans learn relative to other animals," Big Think author Arpan Bhattacharyya wrote on the study. "We're really trusting of the information that we get from other individuals even more trusting than dogs are.

"And what this means is we have to be really careful about the kinds of information we present ourselves with. We're not going to have the right filter for bad information, so we should stick to looking at information that's going to be positive, information that's going to be good."

Dogs really do resemble their owners.

(Photo: PxHere)

Dogs resemble their owners in more ways than floppy jowls or a perky gait. Dogs mirror their owners' personalities, and owners can use this information to better understand themselves.

Research published in the Journal of Research in Personality surveyed more than 1,600 dog owners, representing about 50 different breeds. They found that dog owners shaped their dogs' personalities. Extroverted owners rated their dogs as more active and playful, while the owners of more fearful dogs tended to exhibit more negative emotions. Similarly, more agreeable owners were guardians of less aggressive pets.

"We expected the dogs' personalities to be fairly stable because they don't have wild lifestyle changes humans do, but they actually change a lot. We uncovered similarities to their owners, the optimal time for training and even a time in their lives that they can get more aggressive toward other animals," lead author William Chopik said in a release.

Another study in Scientific Reports showed similar findings regarding stress. The researchers took hair and fur samples from owners and their dogs to measure both for the stress hormone cortisol. They found a correlation in long-term stress between the two.

These are six ways that science has discovered dogs aid their interspecies partner. As genetic research advances, dogs may prove they are man's best friends in unforeseen ways. Scientists studying the canine genome have found a number of canine disorders that closely resemble those found in humans, including some cancers. Further study may provide a wealth of information that could help us solve our own genetic mysteries.

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Doctors seek couples to test male birth control gel – and they’ll get paid 3,000 – Mirror Online

In news that will come as music to the ears of many women, scientists have developed a male birth control gel - and theyre looking for volunteers to test it out.

Researchers at the University of Kansas have developed the gel, and are seeking willing couples to try it.

The clear gel needs to be applied to the mans shoulders every day for two years, where its absorbed into the skin.

Couples will be paid $4,000 (3,063) in compensation to try it, although they must be willing to have a baby in case the gel fails.

The gel, called NES/T is expected to be more effective than condoms, but can cause a range of side effects, including acne and weight gain, according to the researchers.

It contains two hormones. The first hormone, progestin, naturally blocks the action of testosterone, keeping the testes from producing sperm.

Meanwhile, the second hormone, testosterone, ensures that the mans levels are normal, preventing side effects such as low sex drive, mod changes and erectile dysfunction.

According to the researchers, the gel is 90% effective - roughly 3% more reliable than condoms.

Thankfully, these effects are reversible within three to four months.

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For the trial, men will be paid $2,985 (2,286) to visit the clinic 31 times over two years, while their partner will receive $1,140 (873) for visiting 10 times.

Overall, the researchers are seeking 420 couples, including at centres in Edinburgh, Manchester, Los Angeles, Washington, Italy and Sweden.

Further details about the clinical trial can be found here .

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Doctors seek couples to test male birth control gel - and they'll get paid 3,000 - Mirror Online

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Why Scottsdale, Arizona Is The Best Health & Wellness Destination To Relax And Recharge – Forbes

Sonora desert yoga.

A wellspring of wellness-based experiences await you in Scottsdale, Arizona. Certainly, it remains a mecca for PGA Golf tournaments and a boisterous hive for bachelor parties, but considering that wellness tourism is the fastest growing sector in travel, the region has seen a swift evolution in terms of integrating spiritual spa sanctuaries into overall experiential lifestyle stays that encompass a plethora of holistic modalities.

According to data from the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), wellness is an overall $4.2 trillion dollar industry which has seen 12 percent growth in the past 5 year with wellness tourism itself garnering $639 billion in sales. GWI Senior Researchers Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung note that wellness tourism burst into the consumer consciousness just a few years ago, and its hard to grasp the speed of its growth and evolution. They add that hospitality and travel are converging, which sees the introduction of healthy hotels, wellness destinations, retreats and related tours going mainstream: this concept is transforming almost every facet of travel, and wellness tourism will only grow faster in the years ahead.

Meanwhile in Scottsdale, Dr. Meghana Thanki - proprietor of Second Nature Clinic, explains that the city was an early health and wellness adopter of due to its geography (being one with nature), golf + spa resorts, and overall open-minded sensibilities. What Im observing is that locals and visitors are seeking balance. Instead of attending an intense meditative retreat in a secluded location, people prefer to travel to a destination like Scottsdale - enjoy that decadent meal with wine on one day - then seek us out on another to learn about alternative healing and restorative treatments. I think we appeal to a diverse audience because Scottsdale offers this wonderful flexibility - our varying approaches and levels of holistic healing accomodate everyone from the curious to the critical.

With growing receptivity to Eastern and Western wellness philosophies, there is growing agency and programming initiatives being offered by niche and mainstream companies; and as a result, guests and locals can expect to have opportunities that combine classic vacations stays along with elements that benefit mental and spiritual health.

With that in mind, these are the best wellness-based discoveries in Scottsdale:

Spiritual Adventure

REI Co-op Experiences

REI Co-op offers Scottsdale guides tours that include hiking, kayaking, camping, and more.

The easiest way to recharge, connect with yourself, and get a digital detox is to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert. Through REI Co-op, their guided hikes allow you to appreciate the serenity of the region and the glory of its verdant cacti-riddled landscape. You first meet at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway Trailhead and meander through 3 miles of sandy trails via Browns Ranch to reach the mountain summit. On your journey, your expert guide teaches you about the local flora, fauna, geology and history of the region. Marc Berejka, president of the REI Foundation adds that we aim to shine a light on the symbiotic relationship between health and nature. Nature is good for us, so we must be good to nature, and time outside should be part of every doctors toolkit. At the summit, there is an opportunity to sit, pause and soak up the calming beauty of the area all to yourself.

Rest & Relax

Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort & Spa

Patio with views of Pinnacle Peak at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.

Hugged by Pinnacle Peak and the Tonto National Forest, the hotel is a mountainous retreat located approximately 30 minutes north of downtown Scottsdale. For the last 20 years, its been the heart of the Sonoran Desert offering guests watercolor vistas and saguaro cacti-enriched landscapes. Along with its spacious 210 casita-style rooms and 22 suites, their spa and fitness programming is a leader in the region. Spa Director Lia Rowland encourages the fusion of fitness and mindfulness. This is best exemplified in their integrative programming, with the following highlights:

Zen Hike: Guests are encouraged to stop, breathe and take in the beauty of nature as they enjoy a guided hike that starts on property and meanders up to Pinnacle Peak. With a duration of about 90 minutes, the trail hike incorporates yoga poses at numerous pit stops on your journey to the summit. With an emphasis on being present in the moment, this is a unique way to invigorate body and mind.

Guided Meditation: Ideal for those who are curious about meditation but dont know how to begin. Participants are given direction and guidance via use of mental imagery, breathing exercises and focusing/channelling of energy - with the desired outcome to attain a state of relaxation for both the mind and the body via the learned skills and cultivation of becoming focused and present in ones state.

Aroma Design Experience: An Alchemista provides guidance to the guest who selects and customizes their own personal essential oil blend to enhance their well-being. Everything from birthdate, biological cycle, mood, and intention are taken into consideration. Once the custom oil blend is added to the organic body butter, the experience is followed by a customized massage.

Tai-Chi: A new offering for the spa and an alternative way to incorporate exercise with present mindfulness. The instructor guides participants through a series of methodical, gentle and meditative movements that resemble that of dancing underwater or moving in slow motion.

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

Joya Spa's Relaxation area at Omni Scottsdale Resort Montelucia.

The spanish-styled hotel is set against Camelback Mountain and conveniently located a 13-minute drive from Old Town Scottsdale and Downtown Scottsdale.

Their award-winning Joya Spa is modelled on the old-world traditions of bathhouse rituals and ceremonies inspired by Moroccan deserts and Andalusia in Southern Spain. The lavish 31,000 square-foot space features numerous intention areas, saunas/steam areas, and treatment rooms. Upon entering the spa, youre greeted by the Joy of Purification - which is a 55lb quartz crystal for which guests are asked to place their hands on and breathe in/exhale to expel negative energy and worries. There are also protective amulets called the Hand of Fatima that are hung outside treatments rooms to bless and empower guests.

Services and treatments are extensive and Joya Spa offers everything from massage and facials; wellness and meditation; and naturopathic services. Highlights include the following:

Neuromuscular Massage: Ideal for those who sit for extended periods of time, such as at the office. Targeting specific areas, the massage is designed to release postural contractions and alleviate soft tissue distress.

Cranial Sacral Massage: A holistic practice which targets the central nervous system. Intuitive pressure is used to provide balance and alignment in mind, body and spirit.

Stress Management Meditation: A useful and practical session that allows you to recognize triggers and stressors. From there, skills and tools are provided to help you focus, achieve balance, reduce tension, release stress, and improve overall well-being.

Holistic Healing and Self-Care

Second Nature Clinic

Second Nature Clinic offers a vast range of services and treatments that include Ayurvedic Medicine, ... [+] Vitamin Shots, IV Drip Therapy, Massages and Aesthetics.

Dr. Meghana Thanki, owner of Second Nature Clinic in Old Town Scottsdale offers Naturopathic and Ayurvedic Medical therapies. She is a strong believer of introducing natural health/self-care into our lifestyle regularly until the point where it becomes second nature. Endeavoring to provide an accessible and comfortable environment, her Zen Lounge Experience is an ideal place to integrate these practices into ones life - such as her Healing and Happy Hour event. Every Thursdays between 5-7pm Dr. Thanki offers healing/restorative treatments for mind, body and soul at special prices that include 50% off vitamin shots, $20 off IV infusions, an aromatherapy bar, meditation workshops, and guest vendors.

The Phoenician Scottsdale

Gemstone healing facial is a 100% natural, vegan experience. Crystals and gem stones are placed on ... [+] and around the body for healing energy, bringing peace, clarity, and physical well-being.

After nearly 30 years of service, the new Phoenician Spa (replacing The Centre for Well-Being) completed its last phase of multi-million dollar renovation efforts in 2019. Now the 40,000 square-foot Phoenician Spa features a rooftop pool, 24 treatment rooms, salon services and an aroma design bar. Indulgent experiences are tailored to your level of comfort, from the more familiar facials and body polishes to modern fusions of Eastern Healing Philosophies such as their energy-transfer sessions (with the use of healing crystals); and Harmonic Bowl Healing, which uses sound energy that corresponds to one of the seven chakras to provide restoration, deep relaxation, or energy - all depending on the guests needs.

Movement Restoration

Floatation Therapy.

Opened in 2006 by certified massage therapist Trisha Haws and partner Brynn Martin, their companys philosophy is founded upon a massage therapy concept that emphasizes the restoration of natural movements via massage treatments - for instance, anything from soreness due to sitting at an office or recovery from that round of golf. Moreover, this popular space is where you can see everyone from fitness buffs to olympic competitors book a visit. The minimalist desert studio offers everything from traditional registered massage therapy, fascial stretching, cupping, to scrapping and floatation therapy via their 180 gallon saltwater float tank - which is said to take pressure off of the body for optimal relaxation and circulation. The magnesium in the epsom salts also boosts mental awareness, calmness, reduces inflammation, and alleviates sore joints and muscles.

We Do Men: The Man Spa

Client receives a facial treatment at We Do Men - A Male Concept Spa.

The wellness trend and respective surge in popularity can bring out staunch skeptics who are unsure of its effectiveness. But wellness doesnt necessarily mean you must dabble in astrological soul reading and energy therapy, rather, it also equates with self-care. For males, We Do Men is an ideal spot for wellness rookies to get their proverbial feet wet. Owner Stacey Grondahl, aka boss lady and manhandler - is all about creating a spa for men that addresses surrounding taboos and stereotypes about the industry, everything from skin care to grooming. She takes a humorous yet professionally direct no-B.S. approach to her respective services for guests. Along with educational one-on-one consultations and tailoring to lifestyle needs via what she describes as learning the way your male mind works, she even offers a booze, tunes and taboos menu - which involves using products with boozy elements in them (e.g. sake and blue agave tequila), as well as provide guests with local spirit samples (in a traditional beverage format).

Viticulture and Gastronomy

LDV Winery

LDV Winery is located in Old Town Scottsdale and features varietals grown from their own winery in ... [+] Southeastern Arizona.

Boasting vegan and natural wines, owners Curt Dunham and Peggy Fiandaca have been grape growing and winemaking over a decade. They champion the viticulture of Southeastern Arizona in each of their wine varietals. Due to the Chiricahua Mountains, theyre afforded a micro-climate of hot mornings and cool nights. As a result, the terroir and its temperature variances actually help intensify flavors and create vibrant acidity. Also, the integrity of wines are preserved as best as possible, so theres no tampering or manipulation done (e.g. no fining and filtration agents are used). Due to growing considerations for health and wellness, more people are exercising conscious consumption and LDV is able to appease to such needs of enjoying quality rather than quantity. If youre unfamiliar with their winery, an ideal starting point is to try their trio of award-winning estate grown Petite Sirah via their PS (Petite Sirah) I Love You package, which can be tasted at the wine bar or ordered online.

True Food Kitchen

Food philosophy of the restaurant is built about delicious dining and conscious nutrition. Pictured ... [+] here is their popular Edamame Guacamole dish.

A homegrown brand founded in 2008 that now boasts numerous locations, arguably their Scottsdale Quarter outpost remains one of the most popular spots. One of the founders, Dr. Andrew Weil explains that the restaurants mantra is simply that eating well is always in season. True Food emphasizes conscious nutrition that can be tasted in every one of the creations - without sacrificing flavor, creativity or indulgence. As much as possible, their dishes feature ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, boosts antioxidants, and immunity. Crowd favorites include their edamame guacamole, butternut squash pizza, and their unbeetable burger that uses beets, kuzu, jicama slaw, vegan mayonnaise, and crushed avocado.

Farm & Craft

Colorful, flavorful and healthy dishes whose food philosophy is featuring a "wellness menu".

Based in Scottsdale and founded by Riot Hospitality Group, Farm & Crafts seasonal wellness menu emphasizes four pillars to health in an overall welcoming and community-minded atmosphere: anti-inflammatory diet, increasing probiotic levels, maintaining high levels of antioxidants, and reducing overall stress. This is accomplished by offering guests sustainable, gluten-free, organic, and hormone-free ingredients in their dishes. Best of all, its flexitarian - whereby, you can opt for a strictly vegan and cleansing meal - such as their Chilled Raw Pad Thai; or something indulgent such as their Grass-Fed Steak Wrap. Beverages also cater to your needs and mood - where you can opt for an alcoholic cocktail thats served in a hollowed out watermelon, or something more holistically-minded such as their Carrot Cleanse juice (which is high in antioxidants, supports vision health, and offers anti-inflammatory properties with its mixture of carrot, orange, turmeric, lemon & ginger).

FnB Restaurant

FnB Scottsdale is owned by Pavle Milic and chef Charleen Badman. They feature uncomplicated seasonal ... [+] cooking and highlight an all-Arizona wine list, including their own vineyard creations from Los Milics Winery.

For an elevated dining experience, seek out this charming restaurant located in the historic Craftsman Court in downtown Scottsdale. Helmed by James Beard Foundations 2019 Best Chef: Southwests Charleen Badman, FnB boasts global flavors and seasonally changing menus. While she does offer traditional protein-enriched dishes (beef, poultry, fish, etc that are hormone-free, sustainable, and ethically raised), its actually her cruciferous creations that showcase her culinary prowess. In highlighting Arizona's bounty of local ingredients from nearby farming and agricultural communities, the veggie whisperer breathes life into otherwise humble ingredients - turnips are transformed with chimichurri; butternut squash is bolstered with sage, roasted garlic and pecorino; and spicy grilled broccoli (a crowd favorite) arrives to the table with the vibrancy of meyer lemon aioli and the salty crunch of pistachios.

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Why Scottsdale, Arizona Is The Best Health & Wellness Destination To Relax And Recharge - Forbes

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith