Military dermatologists making strides in applying treatments for wounded warriors to injured civilians

For the millions of men and women serving in the U.S. military, injuries are a job hazard that can be nearly impossible to avoid in the line of duty. As a result, many in the military suffer from scars and wounds that, in some cases, last a lifetime and pose considerable challenges by restricting motion in affected limbs when performing common, everyday activities.To aid in the function and appearance of battlefield scars, military dermatologists began experimenting with ablative fractional laser surgery — known to improve the appearance of acne scars. Results over the last seven years have been impressive, and dermatologists now are treating civilians injured from car accidents, fires and job and household accidents with this laser therapy to enhance scar and wound healing.Information was provided by board-certified dermatologist Chad M. Hivnor, MD, LtCol, USAF, MC, FS, staff dermatologist (Chief Research, Chief Lasers) for the San Antonio Military Health System.Dr. Hivnor recently received the Paul W. Myers Award from the Air Force Association for his work using fractional lasers to treat scars and improve range of motion for wounded service members. The Paul W. Myers Award honors the Air Force medical corps officer who has made the largest contribution to the overall health and well-being of men and women in the branch.Physical and Cosmetic Aspects of Scars Improve With LaserAblative fractional lasers work by delivering very tiny columns of heat quickly to the top and deeper layers of skin, which produces a wound that heals with the help of the surrounding healthy skin tissue. When Dr. …

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Children’s Sleep: what is your routine? (Zarbee’s Coupon)

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received product samples and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.With daylight saving time hitting us hard last week (seriously, ugh.), the entire house has had trouble sleeping and getting back on schedule. I actually think our 2-year-old handled it the best. Our 4-year-old just couldn’t get to bed “earlier” and with the time change, that meant he was staying up late and sleeping in. That first Monday? Ryan slept in until 8:20am and we had to leave for school by 8:40, eek! It’s so hard to wake a sleeping babe though!How did your family make it out of the daylight saving drama? Did it take …

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Brief memory test ‘ages’ older adults

Oct. 15, 2013 — You’re only as old as you feel, or so the saying goes. Now, research suggests that a simple memory test can have a noticeable impact on just how old some older adults feel, aging them about five years in the span of five minutes. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.”Previous work shows that how old one feels — one’s subjective age — predicts significant health outcomes, even better than one’s chronological age predicts these outcomes,” says senior researcher Lisa Geraci of Texas A&M University. “These new results are exciting because they suggest that subjective age is malleable, and that we may be able to change subjective age and influence older adults’ cognition and behavior.”Given stereotypes that associate aging with memory problems, Geraci and graduate students Matthew Hughes and Ross DeForrest hypothesized that having to take a memory test would highlight age identity for older adults, making them feel older than they would otherwise feel.In their first study, the researchers recruited 22 older adults ranging in age from 65 to 85 and asked them to indicate how old they felt on a line marked only with endpoints of 0 and 120. The participants were then given a brief test that assessed various aspects of cognitive functioning and a memory recall test. The participants then indicated their subjective age on the line one more time.At the beginning of the study, the participants reported feeling about 58.59 years old, considerably younger than their average chronological age of 75.05.After taking the memory test, however, their subjective age increased to an average of 63.14 years old, almost 5 years older than their initial report.Further studies showed that the effect was specific to older adults and to memory tests — there was no aging effect for younger adults or for older adults who took a vocabulary test instead of a memory test.A final study revealed that the memory test itself isn’t necessary to elicit the effect: Simply reading the instructions for the memory test was enough to induce a subjective aging effect among older participants.”This research shows that simply putting an older adult in a memory testing context affects how they feel about themselves,” says Geraci.Notably, participants didn’t show any actual memory problems, suggesting that it was their perception of their ability — rather than their actual ability — that affected how old they felt.Geraci and her students are currently looking at other sorts of activities that influence subjective age, and they’re also exploring whether there are some tasks that actually make older adults feel younger.

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Hi World! Lou is back home!

Hi everyone – I am HOME again after 3 days/2 nights stay in hospital at John Fawkner hospital, Melbourne.I am so overwhelmed with all the beautiful caring messages, phone calls, cards etc that I am receiving – I love you all and thank you for being there – your healing strengths give me hope, love and lift up my spirit to keep on fighting this dreaded asbestos cancer – mesothelioma.Tuesday 6 August I was admitted to the hospital in the wonderful chemotherapy ward – 2West. It is amazing to think that most of the staff have been there on my journey since my treatment commenced in 2003 at this hospital. I was lol treated like a STAR from the time that Keith and myself checked into the hospital where a lovely lady Theresa …

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Team FAC Does it For Dad, Wins the Gold

Photo courtesy of Lasala Images Racing a bike hard won’t cure cancer. Racing a bike really hard and even winning won’t cure it either. So what’s the point? Why am I so proud and privileged to have won the gold medal with my friend and teammate Michael Johnson in the Masters National Championships tandem time trial last week in Prineville, Oregon?I’ll tell you why.Michael – MJ – and I have a bond. It’s not a bond we wanted, because it came about only through unspeakably sad and wrenching loss. MJ lost his father, John Johnson, in 2012. I lost my father, David “Punch”Worthington, in 2006. Both were taken from us well before their prime. These two strong and swarthy former U.S. Marines were taken by cancers…

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Top 8 Vital Tips for Health Insurance

Choosing private medical insurance can be daunting. There are so many plans and the expenses are extreme. Use the following vital tips to save money and find the right plan. Taking time to do a little research could really ease the budget and provide peace of mind.1. A first stop can be the state insurance website. This is a centralized location that will have a list of insurance providers in the state, ball park figures for individual and family plans, and will give details about any low income options. Each state has some form of plan for low income brackets, even if they only cover children.2. Using a health insurance broker is also a possibility. If a person doesn’t have the time to do a search, the …

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Eating a big breakfast fights obesity and disease

Aug. 5, 2013 — A high-calorie breakfast protects against diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular problems, says TAU researcherWhether you hope to lose weight or just stay healthy, what you eat is a crucial factor. The right nutrients can not only trim your waistline, but also provide energy, improve your mood, and stave off disease. Now a Tel Aviv University researcher has found that it’s not just what you eat — but when.Metabolism is impacted by the body’s circadian rhythm — the biological process that the body follows over a 24 hour cycle. So the time of day we eat can have a big impact on the way our bodies process food, says Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Diabetes Unit at Wolfson Medical Center. In a recent study, she discovered that those who eat their largest daily meal at breakfast are far more likely to lose weight and waist line circumference than those who eat a large dinner.And the benefits went far beyond pounds and inches. Participants who ate a larger breakfast — which included a dessert item such as a piece of chocolate cake or a cookie — also had significantly lower levels of insulin, glucose, and triglycerides throughout the day, translating into a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. These results, published recently in the journal Obesity, indicate that proper meal timing can make an important contribution towards managing obesity and promoting an overall healthy lifestyle.The study was done in collaboration with Dr. Julio Wainstein of TAU and the Wolfson Medical Center and Dr. …

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Magnets make droplets dance: Reversible switching between static and dynamic self-assembly

July 22, 2013 — Researchers from Aalto University and Paris Tech have placed water droplets containing magnetic nanoparticles on strong water repellent surfaces and have made them align in various static and dynamic structures using periodically oscillating magnetic fields. This is the first time researchers have demonstrated reversible switching between static and dynamic self-assembly.’We are conducting this line of research because it opens up a way to create new responsive and intelligent systems and materials,’ said Dr. Robin Ras of Aalto University, Finland.Self-assembly is a process in which multiple components form organized structures or patterns without external direction. The process is very interesting both for scientists and industry, because many natural systems rely on self-assembled structures and they can further inspire technological applications.’The structure formation can either be static, driven by energy minimization, or dynamic, driven by continuous energy feed. Over the years we have managed to create functional materials based on static self-assembled hierarchies. This model system paves the way towards even more versatile dynamic materials, wherein the structures are formed by feeding energy,’ said Academy Professor Olli Ikkala.By using the new model system, the researchers demonstrated that static droplet patterns can transform reversibly into dynamic ones when energy is fed to the system via an oscillating magnetic field. The transition was observed to be complex and the most complicated patterns emerged when the energy feed was just enough to enter the dynamic self-assembly regime.In addition to the hard science behind the self-assembly, the droplet patterns are also visually captivating.’In some patterns, the motion of the droplets resembles that of dancing. We find it simply beautiful,’ said Dr. Jaakko Timonen.This work is part of the newly completed doctoral thesis of Jaakko Timonen at the Aalto University Department of Applied Physics. It is a multidisciplinary research, combining expertize in magnetic nanoparticle synthesis, superhydrophobic surfaces, and in-depth understanding of self-assemblies.’Jaakko Timonen´s broad expertize was instrumental in combining three seemingly unrelated fields: magnetic nanoparticles water repellent coatings, and self-assembly,’ said Dr. …

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Snow in an infant solar system: A frosty landmark for planet and comet formation

July 18, 2013 — A snow line has been imaged in a far-off infant solar system for the very first time. The snow line, located in the disc around the Sun-like star TW Hydrae, promises to tell us more about the formation of planets and comets, the factors that decide their composition, and the history of the Solar System.The results are published today in Science Express.Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array have taken the first ever image of the snow line in an infant solar system. On Earth, snow lines form at high altitudes where falling temperatures turn the moisture in the air into snow. This line is clearly visible on a mountain, where the snow-capped summit ends and the rocky face begins.The snow lines around young stars form in a similar way, in the distant, colder reaches of the dusty discs from which solar systems form. Starting from the star and moving outwards, water (H2O) is the first to freeze, forming the first snow line. Further out from the star, as temperatures drop, more exotic molecules can freeze and turn to snow, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and carbon monoxide (CO). These different snows give the dust grains a sticky outer coating and play an essential role in helping the grains to overcome their usual tendency to break up in collisions, allowing them to become the crucial building blocks of planets and comets. The snow also increases how much solid matter is available and may dramatically speed up the planetary formation process.Each of these different snow lines — for water, carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide — may be linked to the formation of particular kinds of planets [1]. Around a Sun-like star in a solar system like our own, the water snow line would correspond to a distance between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and the carbon monoxide snow line would correspond to the orbit of Neptune.The snow line spotted by ALMA is the first glimpse of the carbon monoxide snow line, around TW Hydrae, a young star 175 light-years away from Earth. Astronomers believe this budding solar system shares many of the same characteristics of the Solar System when it was just a few million years old.”ALMA has given us the first real picture of a snow line around a young star, which is extremely exciting because of what it tells us about the very early period in the history of the Solar System,” said Chunhua “Charlie” Qi (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, USA) one of the two lead authors of the paper. …

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Gene mutations caused by a father’s lifestyle can be inherited by multiple generations

July 1, 2013 — Gene mutations caused by a father’s lifestyle can be inherited by his children, even if those mutations occurred before conception. What’s more, these findings show that mutations in the germ-line are present in all cells of the children, including their own germ cells. This means that a father’s lifestyle has the potential to affect the DNA of multiple generations and not just his immediate offspring. These findings were published in the July 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal.Share This:”Our study should be regarded as a pilot study,” said Roger Godschalk, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Toxicology and the School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. “We hope that our findings support the initiation of new, more elaborate studies that investigate the role of daily life exposures on germ-line mutations transmitted to offspring.”To make this discovery, Godschalk and colleagues looked at two groups of families (father, mother and child) from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. The first group had a low yearly income, whereas the second group had a relatively high yearly income. The investigators chose income as a criterion because it generally correlates to lifestyle choices of the parents. For instance, fathers in the low income group were more often cigarette smokers than fathers in the high income group. Researchers looked for DNA mutations in the children and found that they were more frequent in the group with low income fathers than in the group of high income fathers. These results suggest that the parents living conditions before conception may directly impact the health of their children.”We’ve known for a very long time that preventive care among expectant mothers is critical to the health and well-being of their children,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. …

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Good kidney health begins before birth

May 30, 2013 — Researchers have found that conditions in the womb can affect kidney development and have serious health implications for the child not only immediately after birth, but decades later.

In a paper published today in The Lancet an international team, including Monash University’s Professor John Bertram and the University of Queensland’s Professor Wendy Hoy, reviewed existing, peer-reviewed research on kidney health and developmental programming — the effects of the in utero environment on adult health.

The accumulated evidence linked low birth weight and prematurity — risk factors for high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease later in life — with low numbers of the kidney’s filtration units or nephrons.

In Australia, around 30 per cent of the adult population has high blood pressure and one in nine has at least one clinical symptom of chronic kidney disease. The incidence of both diseases is significantly higher in Indigenous populations.

Professor Bertram, Head of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, has been researching nephrons for two decades.

“The kidney is particularly sensitive to life before birth because we stop making nephrons at 36 weeks gestation. So, for a baby born at term, the process of nephron formation is finished and it cannot be restarted,” Professor Bertram said.

Humans are born with an average of one million nephrons and lose up to 6000 each year. However, Professor Bertram’s research has shown there is a huge variance in nephron number — from just over 200,000 to around two million. Further, nephron number is positively related to birth weight — a low birth weight equates to low nephron number and larger babies have a higher nephron number.

Given that low birth weight occurs in 15 per cent of live births worldwide, the study has implications for maternal health and clinical screening processes.

“In terms of maternal health during pregnancy, things like a high fat diet, alcohol consumption, various antibiotics and stress hormones have been shown to have a negative impact on fetal kidney development, although more research needs to be done,” Professor Bertram said.

“Further, given the strong associations between birth weight, nephron number and disease later in life, and the fact that a baby’s weight is routinely recorded in many countries, we suggest that birth weight should be a parameter that clinicians use to determine how often a patient is screened for kidney function or given a blood pressure test.

“Although a newborn may appear perfect, if their birth weight is low, there may be consequences 40 years down the line. We could be proactive about detecting these diseases in the early stages.”

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