Thursday, 29 November 2007

Scanners in the Works?

And first, an advert from Philips.


I spotted this on the BBCi website yesterday.

I found this an interesting read, but if these *animated* images are real and re-producible, this would make this even more interesting.

As the BBCi report says though:- "The cost of the equipment - known as the Brilliance CT - is unclear."

True as laid out here from Philips.

Moreover, this is the only one in (trial) operation of it's kind in the world.


Zip across to England.

Last year, thanks to the inventor of the MRI, we we're given access to data such as this 7T (Tesla) image.

Then there is fEITER which continues to be developed by researchers at the University of Manchester.

Since the latter is portable/hand-held/inexpensive, whilst not a gambling man......

All in all, there is a lot happening out there with regards to these types of technologies !!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Scientists make a number of important breakthroughs 100 years after the discovery of Alzheimer's Disease

I wrote and prepared this in Sept '06. It did not get published and may most probably now be outdated. That said this was the writers review of a review of a 100 years of research, so is this completely out of date?

By Graham K Steel 26th September 2006

21st September '06 marked the 100th anniversary of the *discovery* of Alzheimer’s disease. 100 years on - are we any forward?

One of the most important factors is the preventative measures that can be taken in an attempt to prevent or decrease the likelihood of the onset of an invariably fatal disease that affects millions of individuals globally. The rise in the number of cases is extremely concerning as are the emotional and financial costs of caring for patients. Evidence continues to grow that a healthy balanced diet plus physical and mental exercise can vastly reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Evidence continues to emerge of the link between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s; researchers are focusing on insulin (and other) based therapeutical strategies.

However, unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes where insulin is self administered by injection and in the case of diabetes mellitus, by infusion pump, as Alzheimer's disease is an encephalopathy (brain disorder), matters will not be so straight forward.

There are two types of diabetes mellitus. Type 1 (insulin dependent) is the less common form of the disorder and usually develops in children or adolescence. Type 2 (noninsulin dependant) generally develops gradually mainly in people over the age of 40. Type 2 diabetes which is now treatable used to be a terminal illness.

Researchers in America (Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University) have now coined the expression type 3 diabetes with regards to Alzheimer’s disease.

Onset of Alzheimer’s is uncommon under the age of 60. Early onset Alzheimer’s disease, in which symptoms develop before 60, (commonly referred to) inherited as a dominant disorder.

In a separate development, two German research groups (Munich and Berlin) in collaboration with US and other EU researchers, have published reports supporting the view that amyloid-beta (Aß) appears to be the ‘evil’ molecule. New reports confirm that Aß is what starts Alzheimer’s and this ‘seed’ grows into a continued cycle of protein misfolding leading to fully blown symptoms and over time, invariably, death.

In a separate development, German and American researchers (University of Tübingen and Emory University in Atlanta) have shown that in a laboratory setting, it has been possible to ‘transmit’ the disease to ‘humanised’ transgenic mice using material from diseased human (Alzheimer’s) brain tissue, meaning that theoretically, Alzheimer’s is even more similar to TSE’s (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) sometimes referred to as Prion diseases as was already known. TSE’s are very much like Alzheimer’s but “in fast forward”. However, scientists are not suggesting that humans can ‘catch’ a disease like Alzheimer’s and are overly emphasizing that this finding should not be misinterpreted.

Is has been known for some time that pathologically, there are a number of similarities between Alzheimer’s and other protein misfolding diseases. Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds have been the most recent to publish a Paper in this regard. They have emphasized the great importance of collaborations between TSE and Alzheimer’s researchers in particular. Other conditions such as Motor Neurone disease (ALS), Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease are also protein misfolding disorders.

Collectively, it is hoped that a greater multidisciplinary approach between researchers will induce much better understanding of these conditions and ultimately, aided with ever improving methods of disease diagnosis’s, find truly effective treatments for some, possibly all of them.

Trends in Neuroscience

*Trends in Neuroscience*

At least once a week, I check New Scientist for items of interest. I spotted this item earlier today.

As you can see, only subscribers can access the full article. I ain't a subscriber.

You will note on the r/h/s, there is a link to here. This takes you to the homepage of Professor Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D.

On the site there are many links. There is a link to this video on YouTube prepared by the well regarded BBC's Hoziron programme.

Scientifically, I find this extremely interesting.

Groove around Prof Nicolelis's Lab based webite - loads of great stuff there.

Picking up brain signals that can be used in various formats?

That's what I call well cool.


Saturday, 24 November 2007

Virtual Kebabs via the worldwideweb

As I discussed with my ever so polite and generous (servings wise) Kebab seller here in the South-side of Glasgow, when he's off work, he can do it virtually.

Surely this can't be so?


Check out

the game*Kebab Van* -

The secret me thinks might be in the sauce. Go check......

Best regards,

Aunt Mildred, 23c Broomswept Crescent, Norfolk.

Friday, 16 November 2007

*Jetlag* or *Jetshag* - The Rise of Mid-Air Viagra?

A friend of mine brought the following to my attention earlier today. Thanks DS.

Viagra (aka "sildenafil") may be *a treatment* for Jetlag apparently.

Where did this stem from?

Evidence based medicine?

Of course not - that's not where most *discoveries* are made in reality.

Dr Patricia Agostino discusses her Hamster work here:-


Like any minded regular (geek) flight orientated person, I conducted a small controlled *experiment* when folks were not looking.

5 minutes later, I managed to (quickly) convince my "n" of 1 that "further research is required".

Becky (or was it Vicky?) & I are doing further long haul mid-Atlantic *in-vivo* work next Summer and once "Peer Reviewed", will be publishing our data via the most commonly used *Publisher* these days of such material - YouTube or was it SciVee ?

Carbon Footprint? Dunno, but I will re-trace my mid-air steps for the common good of science - but of course.

It's a hard life.


Friday, 9 November 2007

YouTube Vid's, Nov 07

Here's McDawg's pick from this week.....

(If you are newish to YouTube, click on the bottom right button for full screen mode)

Let's kick off with "Business Time" from Flight of the Conchords - ~ 4 million viewers can't be wrong !!

Very nice....

Then, check out Jim Breuer - "Alcohol"

Things get kinda crazy with *the Annoying Devil* (thanks to Anna K) 7 mins long but stay tuned.

Then I end this week on this fab ditty about *wonder drug" Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin


Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Journal of the California Dental Association (CDA) joins the Open Access Revolution

I loudly applaud the California Dental Association and very proudly hold
them up
as the (very) most recent example of simply one of the vastly growing
number of those
that realized it is much wiser and better to contribute to the mass of
literature to help doctors and the health of the public and significantly,
Open Access

California Dental Association- OA new policy

'Issues from 1998 and later are available online to anyone who wants to
look at them!'

Kudos to the CDA !! - Gotta love folks like them -

Graham Steel