Titus Blair

Kingdom Work

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Princeton’s Ad-Blocking Superweapon May Put an End to the Ad-Blocking Arms Race

An ad blocker that uses computer vision appears to be the most powerful ever devised and can evade all known anti ad blockers…


The Problem with Time & Timezones – Computerphile

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5wpm-gesOY&w=560&h=315]

State confirms 9 rat lungworm cases in Hawaii; researchers seek funding to combat ‘epidemic’

Researchers are calling it an epidemic: a big spike in the number of people infected with rat lungworm disease in Hawaii.

The Department of Health says so far there are nine confirmed cases of the disease. Four are Maui residents, two are visitors who contracted it on Maui, and three live on Hawaii Island…


How the Instant Pot cooker developed a cult following

Robert Wang was hoping to make it easier for people to make a decent meal, but didn’t expect his new product to attract a cult following. Last summer on Amazon Prime Day, the online retailer’s global 24-hour annual sale event, one of the top-selling products in the US was a multi-function electric cooker. The item in question is called the Instant Pot, and more than 215,000 of them were snapped up in the US on that single day….


The effect on health of alternate day calorie restriction: eating less and more than needed on alternate days prolongs life.

Restricting caloric intake to 60-70% of normal adult weight maintenance requirement prolongs lifespan 30-50% and confers near perfect health across a broad range of species. Every other day feeding produces similar effects in rodents, and profound beneficial physiologic changes have been demonstrated in the absence of weight loss in ob/ob mice. Since May 2003 we have experimented with alternate day calorie restriction, one day consuming 20-50% of estimated daily caloric requirement and the next day ad lib eating, and have observed health benefits starting in as little as two weeks, in insulin resistance, asthma, seasonal allergies, infectious diseases of viral, bacterial and fungal origin (viral URI, recurrent bacterial tonsillitis, chronic sinusitis, periodontal disease), autoimmune disorder (rheumatoid arthritis), osteoarthritis, symptoms due to CNS inflammatory lesions (Tourette’s, Meniere’s) cardiac arrhythmias (PVCs, atrial fibrillation), menopause related hot flashes. We hypothesize that other many conditions would be delayed, prevented or improved, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, brain injury due to thrombotic stroke atherosclerosis, NIDDM, congestive heart failure…


Going grey early increases heart attack risk

Going grey early means you are at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack, a new study shows. Scientists have discovered that hair whitening can indicate an increased risk of damage to arteries supplying the heart with blood. Some of the biological mechanisms driving coronary artery disease are also responsible for greying hair, they believe. These include impaired DNA repair, oxidative stress, inflammation, hormonal changes and the halting of cell growth…


Gut microbial degradation of organophosphate insecticides-induces glucose intolerance via gluconeogenesis

Here we demonstrate a high prevalence of diabetes among people directly exposed to organophosphates in rural India (n = 3080). Correlation and linear regression analysis reveal a strong association between plasma organophosphate residues and HbA1c but no association with acetylcholine esterase was noticed. Chronic treatment of mice with organophosphate for 180 days confirms the induction of glucose intolerance with no significant change in acetylcholine esterase. Further fecal transplantation and culture transplantation experiments confirm the involvement of gut microbiota in organophosphate-induced glucose intolerance. Intestinal metatranscriptomic and host metabolomic analyses reveal that gut microbial organophosphate degradation produces short chain fatty acids like acetic acid, which induces gluconeogenesis and thereby accounts for glucose intolerance. Plasma organophosphate residues are positively correlated with fecal esterase activity and acetate level of human diabetes.


Earth Nutshell

Great photo travel blog.


The presence of microplastics in commercial salts from different countries

The occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in saltwater bodies is relatively well studied, but nothing is known about their presence in most of the commercial salts that are widely consumed by humans across the globe. Here, we extracted MP-like particles larger than 149 μm from 17 salt brands originating from 8 different countries followed by the identification of their polymer composition using micro-Raman spectroscopy. Microplastics were absent in one brand while others contained between 1 to 10 MPs/Kg of salt. Out of the 72 extracted particles, 41.6% were plastic polymers, 23.6% were pigments, 5.50% were amorphous carbon, and 29.1% remained unidentified. The particle size (mean ± SD) was 515 ± 171 μm. The most common plastic polymers were polypropylene (40.0%) and polyethylene (33.3%). Fragments were the primary form of MPs (63.8%) followed by filaments (25.6%) and films (10.6%). According to our results, the low level of anthropogenic particles intake from the salts (maximum 37 particles per individual per annum) warrants negligible health impacts. However, to better understand the health risks associated with salt consumption, further development in extraction protocols are needed to isolate anthropogenic particles smaller than 149 μm…


From heart failure to health: Pump shown to restore organ to fitness

As we face a shortage of donated hearts for transplant, the study authors are calling for the devices to be considered as a tool which can allow patients to restore their health. The research examined the effect of mechanical heart pumps, known as left ventricular assist devices (LVAD). The devices are used to support patients with severe heart failure while they wait for a heart transplant. Surgeons implant the battery operated, mechanical pump which helps the main pumping chamber of the heart- the left ventricle – – to push blood around the body. Fitted at the six specialist NHS centres across the UK, LVADs are used for patients who have reached the end stage of heart failure. Publishing today in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, the team report that LVAD combined with medication can fully restore heart function in patients.


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