Tag Archives: council

People with Alzheimer’s disease may have lower risk of cancer and vice versa

"Since the number of cases of both Alzheimer’s disease and cancer increase exponentially as people age, understanding the mechanisms behind this relationship may help us better develop new treatments for both diseases," said study author Massimo Musicco, MD, of the National Research Council of Italy in Milan. The study involved 204,468 people age 60 and older in northern Italy during a six-year period…

Thinking differently: Autism patients in demand by employers

Some call it neurological diversity, others see it as autism's fight back. People diagnosed as “on the spectrum” are suddenly in demand by employers seeking a competitive advantage from autistic workers more used to being considered disabled than special. Expressing a belief that “innovation comes from the edges”, German computer software giant SAP last month launched a recruitment drive to attract people with autism to join it as software testers. A week later, U.S. home financing firm Freddie Mac advertised a second round of paid internships aimed specifically at autistic students or new graduates. The multinationals both say they hope to harness the unique talents of autistic people as well as giving people previously marginalized in the workforce a chance to flourish in a job. “Only by employing people who think differently and spark innovation will SAP be prepared to handle the challenges of the 21st Century,” SAP's board member for human resources, Luisa Delgado, said as she announced the plan. For Ari Ne'eman, president of the Washington DC-based Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and a member of the U.S. National Council on Disability, the moves are welcome and well overdue. It's high time autism fought back, he told Reuters in a telephone interview. “We need to see neurological diversity in much the same way as we've seen workplace diversity efforts in the past on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation,” he said. “We're now seeing a growing level of interest in this.” Autistic spectrum disorders, including Asperger's syndrome or high-functioning autism, are thought to affect around 1 percent of the population worldwide. The disorders are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and can range from severe mental retardation with a profound inability to communicate, to relatively mild symptoms combined with some high levels of function such as those seen in people with Asperger's. Among the core features of autism are poor communication skills and social difficulties. In high-functioning autism, features such as intense or obsessive focus and unwavering attention to detail are also common. These latter qualities, experts say, as well an ability to approach an issue in a different way - often a creative or counterintuitive one - make autistic people potentially attractive as employees in large corporations. “Historically, there seemed to be a certain perception of this population as being incapable of performing corporate level work,” Freddie' Mac's diversity manager Stephanie Roemer told Reuters. “In reality people on the spectrum offer so much to an organization ... willing to think outside of the box and view this cadre of talent as a 'value add'.” Obsession and success Joshua Kendall, author of “America's Obsessives”, which argues that some of history's greatest American business and political leaders became successful partly because of obsessive personality traits, says the firms that get in first on this trend are likely to reap rewards. “These big companies aren't doing it out of the kindness of their heart; they are doing it because they now realize they've been missing something,” he said in a telephone interview. He said the crucial question if such recruitment drives are to prove successful and sustainable is how much society will seek to accommodate people who think differently, or how much it would seek to “cure” them of their disorder. “These are people who have traditionally been labeled as disabled. So do we want to treat them, or do we want to allow them to be as they are and adapt to them?” SAP says its global autism recruitment drive, which aims to employ 650 autistic people - around 1 percent of its workforce - by 2020, comes after successful pilot projects in India and Ireland. It is a collaborative project with Specialisterne, a Danish consultancy that gets people with autism into jobs where they can shine. Ne'eman says so far most of the firms expressing interest in autistic workers tend to be in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. In future, he says he hopes their success will encourage others to take notice. “Many of us can and do succeed in a wide variety of professions,” he said. “I, for instance, am an autistic person working in politics and public policy, which is certainly not a stereotypical field.” In Britain, only 15 percent of adults with autism are in full-time employment, says Carol Povey, a director at the UK's National Autistic Society - a fraction, she adds, of those who could contribute to the world of work. In the United States, according to Ne'eman, studies of the working lives of autistic people have not been done, so no comparable data is available. “It's great to see organizations not just doing from corporate social responsibility, but actually recognizing there is a good business case behind having more people with autism in the workforce,” Povey said. “These people will contribute to the effectiveness and growth of the business.” Yet autism campaigners, and the firms seeking to recruit people on the spectrum, know there will be problems, too. Povey notes that “the social aspects of being in a workplace or office may pose particular challenges” for autistic recruits. “They may be great at doing the task in hand, but really struggle when it comes to 'water cooler moments' or lunchtime. “In fact they may even make other colleagues feel inadequate or awkward. They are unlikely to get involved in the banter of the workplace, and more likely to just get on with the job.”source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/04/thinking-differently-autism-patients-in-demand-by-employers/

Small molecule could have big impact on cancer

In a study published online May 28 in the journal Nature Communications, Ahn and his colleagues at UT Southwestern Medical Center describe the rational design of the molecule, as well as laboratory tests that show its effectiveness at blocking the cancer-promoting function of proteins called androgen receptors. Androgen receptors are found inside cells and have complex surfaces with multiple "docking points" where various proteins can bind to the receptor. …

Are you working out the wrong way? Common fitness myths debunked

We only have the best intentions when we work out, but sometimes it can be hard to know what exactly is best for our fitness. Luckily the American Council on Exercise debunked eight common workout myths for us so the next time you hit the pavement (or treadmill) you can start to see results. Related: 12 Reasons To Lose Weight Now Myth #1: Stretching before exercise reduces the risk of injury. False: The scientific literature of the past decade fails to support stretching before exercise as a successful strategy for injury prevention. However, research does support stretching at other times, including post-exercise, to reduce injury risk. Myth #2: Walking a mile burns as many calories as running a mile. In our dreams: While walking is a great physical activity, it does not require as much energy as running. Research has shown that running has a 40 percent greater energy cost compared to walking . That means you burn more calories when you run. Related: 15 Delicious Diet Breakfast Ideas Myth #3: Lactic acid causes acidosis and muscle fatigue during exercise.  False: The old myth linking lactate or lactic acid to fatigue is the result of a scientific misinterpretation that has prevailed through the years.  Lactate does not cause metabolic acidosis. Furthermore, it is useful in the performance of exercise at high intensities. Myth #4: Lower-intensity exercise puts you in the fat-burning zone, so it’s preferable to higher-intensity exercise.   Wrong: The “fat burning zone” at low intensities of exercise doesn’t even exist. To burn maximum calories in support of ongoing weight loss, progress to a moderate-intensity/higher-volume exercise program and include interval training. Related: Low-Calorie Desserts to Try Right Now Myth #5: Morning workouts increase metabolism better than workouts performed later in the day. Wishful thinking: The decision to exercise in the morning should be driven by personal preference rather than any false hopes that greater weight loss will be achieved by exercising before breakfast. Myth #6: Muscle weighs more than fat. Not true: Muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. The difference is their density. As we lose fat and gain muscle, weight may change very little, while body volume decreases as we become leaner. Related: Cheap, Healthy Meals Your Family Will Love Myth #7: Women who want to avoid looking bulky should avoid resistance training. False: Resistance training does not cause women to get bulky. In fact, it is virtually impossible for women to get as big (i.e., bulky) as men due to physiological differences, such as lower levels of testosterone. Myth #8: Spot reduction really works, especially if you want six-pack abs. In our dreams: Research shows that if a vigorous, high-volume, core-training program is performed, fat will be reduced in the abdominal area, but not selectively. A lean midsection requires a program of core, resistance and aerobic exercise—not just a focus on the abs.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/16/are-working-out-wrong-way-8-common-fitness-myths-debunked/

Epigenomics of stem cells that mimic early human development charted

Now, in the first comprehensive analysis of epigenetic changes that occur during development, a multi-institutional group of scientists, including several from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, has discovered how modifications in key epigenetic markers influence human embryonic stem cells as they differentiate into specialized cells in the body. The findings were published May 9 in Cell…