Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Top 7 Ways Carrot & Carrot Juice Benefit Your Body

Carrots are one of the most popular, versatile vegetables in the world! Whether they are eaten raw, cooked or juiced, people from nearly every culture have consumed carrots — in their many forms — throughout history.

While carrots are known for their signature orange color, they actually come in a variety of colors. They can be found in shades of purple, yellow, white and red; however, you will most often see these in the U.S. when you shop at your local farmer’s market.

Carrots get their color from antioxidants called carotenoids. One of these carotenoids is beta carotene, a precursor to active vitamin A that is responsible for many of the carrot and carrot juice benefits that we know about today. Many studies have shown that beta carotene is crucial for improving immunity in the body, protecting skin and eye health, and fighting free radical damage that can cause various forms of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. (1)

Carrots have a wealth of valuable nutrition and when you juice them, you can get a concentrated dose of their healing power. From balancing blood sugar, improving blood health, relieving congestion, fighting inflammation and cleansing the kidneys to protecting eyesight, brain function and fighting Leukemia, carrot juice benefits can help nearly every part of your body!


Carrot & Carrot Juice Nutrition

Carrots are one of the highest contributors of vitamin A — the powerhouse vitamin for so much of our body — in the American diet. Carrots also provide ample amounts of vitamins C, D, E and K, as well as many minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. Carrots are also highly nutritious and cleansing due to their high fiber content.

Top 7 Proven Carrot Juice Benefits

Regularly consuming carrots or carrot juice benefits the body in so many amazing ways. Here are some great reasons to include this superfood vegetable in your diet:

Human eye looking at you1. Protects Eye Health

Three crucial nutrients — beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin — within carrots considerably boost eye health. For example, without beta carotene (a form of vitamin A), various forms of eye disorders can occur — including macular degeneration and even blindness. Lutein and zeaxanthin, meanwhile, both work to reduce the risk of age-related vision loss.

Just one cup of chopped carrots provides 400% of your vitamin A needs! Carrots contain vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Vitamin A is one of the most crucial nutrients necessary for protecting eye health and vision, especially as someone ages.

Vitamin A deficiency can lead first to night blindness, then permanent blindness. Vitamin A deficiency is actually the number one cause of preventable blindness world-wide. Carrots can also reduce your risk of cataracts and macular-degeneration, a common cause of age-related vision loss. (2)

Eating carrots carrot juice regularly will help you maintain healthy eyes and vision throughout your life. If consuming carrots in raw form does not appeal to you, bear in mind that drinking carrot juice carries over the same eye health benefits.

fresh bunch of carrots

2. High Source of Antioxidants (Especially Beta Carotene)

Carotenoids, found in carrots and other orange vegetables, are potent antioxidants that can help reduce your risk of various forms of temporary illnesses and serious chronic diseases. Carrots and carrot juice benefit the immune system by helping to defend the body from free radical damage, harmful bacteria, viruses and inflammation.

The antioxidants that are responsible for carrot and carrot juice benefits include: vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin. Carrots are one of the highest natural sources of carotenoid phytochemicals and antioxidant beta carotene,both of which fight cancer by stopping DNA damage, levels of inflammation and cell mutation. (3)

human heart with cardiogram

3. Decreases Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke

Eating more deeply colored orange vegetables like carrots decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in adult women. Regardless of other cardiovascular risks, current research indicates that drinking carrot juice benefits heart health by lowering oxidative stress and improves the body’s defense against various forms of cardiovascular disease. (4)

This effect is likely due to the high antioxidant content that carrots contain. Carrots also work to lower cholesterol, and boost bile production, which increases the body’s ability to digest fat. This not only helps your digestive system to properly absorb nutrition from your food, but also directly impacts the good cholesterol levels in your body — which protects your heart. (5)

Orange Leukemia Ribbon

4. Helps Protect Against Cancer

Evidence suggests that consuming high levels of carotenoids from fruits and vegetables can be protective in relation to cancer recurrence. Studies show that these antioxidants in carrots may be able to fight leukemia cells and may play a role in reducing your risk of some of the most widespread types of cancers, including ovarian and breast cancer. (6, 7)

One study observed the effects of women with a history of breast cancer consuming eight ounces of fresh orange juice and carrot juice daily for a three-week period.

These results showed that daily intake of fresh carrot juice benefited the body’s defenses against cancer and was an effective approach to increasing levels of protective antioxidant carotenoids in the blood. This, in turn, reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which protect against cancer growth. (8)

closeup of smile

5. Important for Maintaining Oral Health

The nutrients found in carrots help improve immunity, including the body’s ability to fight bacteria and toxins that enter through the mouth and live within the gums and teeth. Certain minerals in carrots can be antibacterial and help prevent cavities and tooth decay. (9) Carrots can also help remove plaque and stains from teeth if eaten after meals. Once eaten, the fiber in carrots also boosts immunity by acting as a natural digestive system brush, scrubbing away unwanted bacteria in the gut and promoting better digestion of immune-boosting nutrients.

6. Boosts Skin Health and Wound Healing

Beta carotene is critical for healing any type of wound. Carrots have even been used as a poultice to help heal wounds for centuries due to their high beta carotene content. (10) If you have any type of skin infection, cuts, or other wounds, you’ll find that carrots and carrot juice benefits your skin health by increasing your ability to heal faster and to fight infection and noticeable signs of skin inflammation.

Mri Image7. Protects Brain Health & Cognitive Function

Carrots and carrot juice benefits brain health by helping to prevent against Alzheimer’s disease, improving memory, and defending against other types of cognitive decline. This is due to carrot’s ability to lower oxidative stress in the brain that can weaken nerve signaling capacity.

 

Source:

https://draxe.com/carrot-juice/

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French Instagram fitness star killed by exploding whipped cream canister

Rebecca Burger, a French fitness blogger, has died after a whipped cream dispenser exploded into her chest.

Burger, who had 160,000 Instagram followers and more than 55,000 Facebook fans, died over the weekend.

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Citing local reports in France, the BBC reported that she died of cardiac arrest after the accident, despite being attended to by medics.

Her family announced her death on Facebook, calling it a “domestic accident.” A warning about what her family described as a faulty dispenser involved in her death has also been posted on her Instagram. The message said the canister “exploded and struck Rebecca’s chest, causing her death”.

 

The dispensers shoot gas into a metal capsule, which keeps the pressure high. The BBC said a French consumer group had warned readers for years about faulty connectors that could break, allowing the gas capsules to be expelled at high speed.

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The BBC said such dispensers were involved in enough accidents that the government office for consumers issued a warning, saying the accidents stretched back as far as 2010 and could occur even after years of use.

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Source:

http://www.businessinsider.com/french-instagram-fitness-star-rebecca-burger-killed-by-exploding-whipped-cream-canister-2017-6

The future of healthcare: AI, augmented reality and drug-delivering drones

Imagine being paralyzed and having an implanted microchip that could action a message from your brain to move your prosthetic arm. Or a diagnostic system that could pick up Alzheimer’s a decade before you develop any symptoms. Or a 3D printing machine that could print a pill with a combination of drugs tailored just for you.

Sound far-fetched? Then meet Dr Daniel Kraft, a Harvard-trained oncologist-cum-entrepreneur-cum-healthcare futurologist. The faculty chair for medicine and founder of Exponential Medicine at the Silicon Valley-based Singularity University, no one could be more serious – or ambitious – about the revolutionary impact that technology will have on the future of healthcare.

The internet of things, constant connectivity, ever cheaper hardware, big data, machine learning: Kraft’s list of converging “meta-trends” goes on. “This set of technologies, especially when meshed together, offers a real opportunity to reshape and reinvent healthcare around the planet,” he says.

Kraft’s vision is of a patient-centred, tech-led healthcare system (as opposed to “sickcare”, as he defines the current system) that promises to turn the medical world on its head. But what implications does it hold for future business of healthcare?

Big pharma is one of the first in line for a shake-up, Kraft warns. Today drug firms’ profits are based on blockbuster drugs for pervasive diseases. But what if medical science reveals (as it is doing) that there are really hundreds of sub-types of diabetes, say, or lung cancer? And what if a patient’s full genome sequence can show the likelihood of a blockbuster treatment not working?

“There’s a spectrum of diseases with different molecular pathways and pharma is going to have to adapt to smaller markets in terms of individual drugs,” Kraft says.

On the flipside, the prospect of people being able to take part in clinical trials on their smartphones promises to drastically speed up the time drugs can get to market. Prescribing an app along with a pill will also become commonplace, he suggests, enabling patients to keep on track with their medicine and adjust their dosage if required. Both potentially promise big returns for the pharmaceutical industry.

Drug distribution is set for a radical overhaul too. Digital device manufacturers are already experimenting with so-called “implantables” that use bioelectric sensors to track patients’ vital signs and release a drug dose as and when required. At the other end of the spectrum, drones are now being used to deliver drugs to remote areas or disaster zones. Matternet, one of 50 or so start-up firms to have spun out of Singularity University, has been doing exactly that in Haiti recently.

Kraft warns that radical change is afoot for healthcare providers as well. Imagine a scenario where patients can compare the results of different hospitals or even individual doctors? Or where patients don’t need to come to a clinic once a month for an electrocardiogram but instead wear a smart Band-Aid “patch” that sends the same information 24/7 to their doctor’s surgery? Patient power, in other words.

Source:

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/nov/01/the-future-of-healthcare-ai-augmented-reality-and-drug-delivering-drones

Soulmates and Unconditional Love

Are you searching for a soulmate or unconditional love? Your quest can set you on an impossible journey to find an ideal partner. The problem is twofold: People and relationships can never achieve perfection. Often unconditional and conditional love are confused.

Usually, we yearn for unconditional love because we didn’t receive it in childhood and fail to give it to ourselves. Of all relationships, parental love, particularly maternal love, is the most enduring form of unconditional love. (In prior generations, paternal love was thought of as conditional.) But in fact, most parents withdraw their love when they’re overstressed or when their children misbehave. To a child, even timeouts can feel like emotional abandonment. Thus, rightly or wrongly, most parents at times only love their children conditionally.

Is Unconditional Love Possible?

 

Unlike romantic love, unconditional love does not seek pleasure or gratification. Unconditional love is more a state of receptivity and allowing, which arises from our own “basic goodness,” says Trungpa Rimpoche. It’s the total acceptance of someone — a powerful energy emanating from the heart.

Love that is unconditional transcends time, place, behavior, and worldly concerns. We don’t decide whom we love, and sometimes don’t know why. The motives and reasons of the heart are unfathomable, writes Carson McCullers:

The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. . . The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. ~ The Ballad of the Sad Café (2005), p. 26

McCullers explains that most of us prefer to love than be loved:

. . . the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself. It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. ~ ibid

Ideally, the giving and receiving of unconditional love is a unitary experience. Couples experience this most frequently when falling in love. It also happens when someone fearlessly opens up to us in an intimate setting. It’s a being-to-being recognition of that which is unconditional in each of us, our humanity, as if to lovingly say, “Namaste,” meaning: “The God (or divine consciousness) within me salutes the God within you.” When we delight in another’s being-ness, boundaries may dissolve in what feels like spiritual experience. This allows energy to flow into places of resistance that surround our heart and can be deeply healing. It can happen during moments of vulnerability during therapy.

 

Yet, inevitably, these occurrences don’t last, and we return to our ordinary ego state — our conditioned self. We all have our preferences, idiosyncrasies, and particular tastes and needs, which have been conditioned by our upbringing, religion, society, and experiences. We also have limits about what we will and won’t accept in a relationship. When we love conditionally, it’s because we approve of our partner’s beliefs, needs, desires, and lifestyle. They match up with ours and give us comfort, companionship, and pleasure.

We’re fortunate to meet someone we can love conditionally and, at times, unconditionally. The combination of both forms of love in one relationship makes our attraction intense. It’s the closest we come to finding a soulmate.

Confusing Conditional and Unconditional Love

It causes stress and conflict when conditional and unconditional love don’t coexist. Frequently, people tend to confuse the two. I’ve met spouses who were great companions and best friends, but divorced because their relationship marriage lacked the intimate connection of unconditional love. This can be helped in marriage counseling when individuals learn empathy and the language of intimacy. (See my blog, “Your Intimacy Index.”) But it can lead to frustration and unhappiness if we try to force our heart to love unconditionally when other aspects of the relationship are unacceptable or important needs go unmet.

On the other hand, some couples fight all the time, but stay together because they share a deep, unconditional love for each other. In couples counseling, they can learn to communicate in healthier, non-defensive ways that allow their love to flow. I’ve seen couples married over 40 years experience a second honeymoon that’s better than their first!

Other times, the problems in the relationship concern basic values or needs, and the couple, or one partner, decides to separate despite their love. It’s a mistake to believe that unconditional love means we should accept abuse, infidelity, addiction, or other problems we can’t tolerate. The saying, “Love is not enough” is accurate. The relationship ends, but the individuals often go on loving each other — even despite prior violence — which mystifies onlookers, but it’s okay. Closing our heart in self-protection only hurts us. It limits our joy and aliveness.

Dating

Dating stirs up unrealistic hopes of finding constant, unconditional love. We’re liable to go from one lover to the next looking for our ideal soulmate. We may find someone who meets all of our conditions, yet doesn’t open our heart.

Or, unconditional love may naturally arise early on, but then we wonder if we can live with the other person day in and day out. Our conditional concerns and our struggles to accommodate each other’s needs and personal habits can eclipse the short-lived bliss of unconditional love.

The reverse can happen, too. Sometimes, during the romantic phase of love, people commit to marriage, not knowing their partner well. They don’t realize he or she lacks the necessary ingredients that are required to make a marriage work, such as cooperation, self-esteem, and communication and mutual problem-solving skills.

I don’t believe there is only one soulmate destined for each of us. It might seem so, because the conditional and unconditional rarely overlap. According to researcher and psychologist Robert Firestone, “It is difficult to find individuals who are mature enough emotionally to manifest love on a consistent basis. It is even more problematic to accept love when one does receive it.” Firestone theorizes that couples try to maintain an ersatz version of their initial love through a “fantasy bond,” replaying romantic words and gestures that lack authenticity and vulnerability. Partners feel lonely and disconnected from each other, even if the marriage looks good to others.

Opening the Heart

Unconditional love isn’t a high ideal we need to achieve. Actually, striving after it removes us from the experience. It’s always present as the unconditioned part of us — our “pure, primordial presence,” writes Buddhist psychologist John Welwood. He believes that we can glimpse it through mindfulness meditation. By observing our breath, we become more present and can appreciate our basic goodness. In mediation and in therapy, we find those places we choose to hide from ourselves and others.

In trying to reform ourselves, we necessarily create inner conflict, which alienates us from our true self and self-acceptance. (See Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You.) It reflects the belief that we can love ourselves provided we change. That is conditional love. It motivates us to seek unconditional love from others, when we need to give it to ourselves. The more we fight against ourselves, the more we constrict our hearts. Yet, it’s these disowned and unwanted parts of ourselves, which often give us the most problems, that are in the greatest need of our love and attention. Instead of self-judgment, exploration and empathy are necessary. People often enter therapy to change themselves, but hopefully come to accept themselves. Trying to change stems from shame and the premise that we’re inadequate and unlovable.

Source:

https://psychcentral.com/lib/soulmates-and-unconditional-love/

Apple Watch to include game-changing health features

There’s no doubt about it — the Apple Watch is a hit. While Apple has not disclosed sales numbers, smart money has the device, now in its second generation, at over 25 million units sold. That not only means the watch is a scorcher that is now beating the initial trajectory of the iPhone, but recent estimates also crown it the world’s top-selling fitness device, outpacing dedicated fitness trackers from the likes of Fitbit in regards to market share. The Apple Watch has generated more revenue since its debut than the entire Swiss watch industry during that period of time, which is an incredible achievement.

The fitness aspect of the watch has always been a huge focus, and we have been told by a source familiar with Apple’s plans that the company is looking to introduce a game-changing feature in an upcoming new version of the Apple Watch.

While there are countless uses for this new category of device that places a smartphone on your wrist, one of the most popular is fitness monitoring and tracking, an intense area of focus for Apple. There is most likely not a single consumer fitness product in the world that has had more internal testing, validation and investment than the Apple Watch, and this doesn’t seem to be slowing. Our source indicates that Apple has hired 200 PhDs in the past year as part of the company’s laser lock on improving and innovating in the health space with Apple Watch.

apple-watch-health

It has been rumored that Apple is interested in glucose monitoring, and it appears that the time may now be right. Previous rumors have stated that Apple might only be able to achieve this through a separate device that might complement the watch, however BGR has learned that this might not be accurate.

According to our source, Apple’s sights are now set on the epidemic of diabetes, and the company plans to introduce a game-changing glucose monitoring feature in an upcoming Apple Watch. An estimated 30 million people suffer from diabetes in the US alone, according to the American Diabetes Association, so Apple’s efforts could lead to a historic achievement in the world of health and fitness.

Currently, the only way to properly measure blood sugar levels is by using a blood sample, or by using a device that penetrates the skin. It’s uncomfortable, difficult and painful, and there are not presently any widely available noninvasive methods that are accurate. Apple isn’t stopping at just glucose monitoring, however.

Apple also plans to introduce interchangeable “smart watch bands” that add various functionality to the Apple Watch without added complexity, and without increasing the price of the watch itself. This could also mean that the glucose monitoring feature will be implemented as part of a smart band, rather than being built into the watch hardware.

A camera band that adds a camera to the watch is another possibility, or a band that contains a battery to extend battery life for wearers who want even more longevity, even though the Apple Watch’s battery performance is already class-leading. One can imagine the other types of smart bands that might be possible with this approach. This strategy might also make it easier for Apple to work with the FDA on approval of a medical device that the company could pre-announce, as opposed to letting a new Apple Watch leak months or even years in advance if it was to be submitted to the regulatory administration.

Another interesting quote from our source is that Apple has “identified the right part of the body and there’s so much more they can and intend to do with the watch.” While glucose monitoring would be a huge first step in Apple’s goal of continuing to make the Apple Watch indispensable, it’s not hard to imagine a near future where the watch is the hub of our digital and physical lives. It would monitor multiple aspects of the wearer’s health, but also replace smartphones when combined with some sort of augmented reality glasses or contact lenses, alongside AirPods in our ears.

Source:

Exclusive: Upcoming Apple Watch to include game-changing health features

Jury awards record-setting $110.5M in baby powder lawsuit

More than a year after a Missouri jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer linked to the company’s talcum-based products, another jury in the state awarded a Virginia woman a record-setting $110.5 million in a similar lawsuit. 

Thursday’s jury ruling is the fourth in a string of cases involving allegations that Johnson & Johnson ignored a possible link between cancer and its talcum-based products.

The most recent case, the Associated Press reports, involves 62-year-old Lois Slemp, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012.

According to the lawsuit, the woman claims her illness was caused by more than 40 years of using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products, including baby powder. She alleges that Johnson & Johnson concealed the possibility that its baby powder and other talcum-based products could cause cancer.

The woman’s lawyers cited much of the same research used in previous cases. The studies showed that woman who used the products had a greater risk of being diagnosed with cancer.

Studies going back to 1971 have suggested this link exists. In fact, at least one lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson cites a 1982 study on the issue that found a 92% increased risk in ovarian cancer with women who used talc-based products around their genitals, the researcher behind that study directly advised a J&J doctor to place a warning label on their products.

Johnson & Johnson and other companies have continued to defend the use of talcum powder in feminine hygiene products; however, the condom industry halted the mineral’s use in the mid-1990s amid the growing concerns about its link to ovarian cancer risk.

Johnson & Johnson tells the AP that it will appeal the $110.5 million verdict, noting that it disputed the scientific evidence behind the case.

The company has previously appealed three cases, including the $72 million verdict handed down last year. Those cases remain under appeal.

Thursday’s case is just one of around 1,200 cases currently being pursued against J&J in courts in Missouri and New Jersey.

Source:

Jury Awards Woman $110.5M In Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Lawsuit

The Real Problem With the Health Care Bill

With the American Health Care Act headed to the Senate — and possibly President Trump’s desk — it’s important to step back from the debate over the bill’s details and recognize two essential truths about American health care.

First, health care in the United States costs much more than in other developed countries, and on average the outcomes are worse. Second, any plan that focuses primarily on reducing the cost of insurance will inevitably lead to less access to care. Indeed, whatever Republicans say about high-risk pools and other ways their plan covers vulnerable people, the fact is that millions will lose coverage.

Health care in the United States is more expensive because, unlike the systems in other countries, ours rests on the idea that profits and quality health care go hand in hand. As a result, government programs working with our existing structure of for-profit insurance companies can expand and improve coverage (like the Affordable Care Act) or offer lower insurance premiums (like the new Republican plan). But they can’t do both.

Supporters of the A.C.A., also known as Obamacare, talked a good game about “bending the cost curve,” but that was never a primary concern. The goal, largely achieved, was to expand access and to mandate coverage for essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions.

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In contrast, the thrust of the Republican bill is to lower the cost of insurance by removing the guarantees of the A.C.A. States would be able to exempt any of the essential health benefits from insurance mandates, and they would also be allowed to exclude patients with pre-existing conditions. Millions are likely to lose their health insurance, but the young and generally healthy would pay much lower premiums.

In short, the two plans are not different takes on the same problem. They are different takes on different problems.

And the two problems are not equal concerns. Yes, the price of insurance is an issue — though a properly designed plan will at least move most of those costs off individuals and small businesses and onto the government’s shoulders.

Source:

Scientists May Have Finally Found A Way To Cure HIV

“This protection would be long term,” said first author Jia Xie.

The researchers, led by senior study author Richard Lerner, plan to collaborate with investigators at City of Hope’s Center for Gene Therapy to evaluate this new therapy in efficacy and safety tests, as required by federal regulations, before testing in patients.

“City of Hope currently has active clinical trials of gene therapy for AIDS using blood stem cell transplantation, and this experience will be applied to the task of bringing this discovery to the clinic,” said researcher John A. Zaia. “The ultimate goal will be the control of HIV in patients with AIDS without the need for other medications.”

“We at TSRI are honored to be able to collaborate with physicians and scientists at City of Hope, whose expertise in transplantation in HIV patients should hopefully allow this therapy to be used in people,” added Lerner.

The new TSRI technique offers a significant advantage over therapies where antibodies float freely in the bloodstream at a relatively low concentration. Instead, antibodies in the new study hang on to a cell’s surface, blocking HIV from accessing a crucial cell receptor and spreading infection.

Xie called it the “neighbor effect.” An antibody stuck nearby is more effective than having many antibodies floating throughout the bloodstream. “You don’t need to have so many molecules in one cell to be effective,” he said.

Before testing their system against HIV, the scientists used rhinovirus (responsible for many cases of the common cold) as a model. They used a vector called lentivirus to deliver a new gene to cultured human cells. This gene instructed cells to synthesise antibodies that bind to the human cell receptor (ICAM-1) that rhinovirus needs. With the antibodies monopolising that site, the virus cannot enter the cell to spread infection.

“This is really a form of cellular vaccination,” said Lerner.

Because the delivery system can’t reach exactly 100 percent of cells, the finished product was a mix of engineered and unengineered cells. The researchers then added rhinovirus to these cell populations and waited to see what would happen.

The vast majority of cells died in about two days. In dishes with only unengineered cells, the population never recovered. There was an initial die-off in the mixed, engineered/unengineered populations, too, but their numbers quickly bounced back. After 125 hours, these cell populations were back up to around the same levels as cells in an undiseased control group.

In essence, the researchers had forced the cells to compete in Darwinian, “survival-of-the-fittest” selection in a lab dish. Cells without antibody protection died off, leaving protected cells to survive and multiply, passing on the protective gene to new cells.

This success led the researchers to test the same technique against HIV

To infect a person, all strains of HIV need to bind with a cell surface receptor called CD4. So the scientists tested antibodies that could potentially protect this receptor on the very immune cells normally killed by HIV. “This research is possible because of the ability to select specialized antibodies from combinatorial antibody libraries,” said Lerner.

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Again, their technique worked. After introducing cells to the virus, the researchers ended up with an HIV- resistant population. The antibodies recognized the CD4 binding site, blocking HIV from getting to the receptor.

The scientists further confirmed that these tethered antibodies blocked HIV more effectively than free-floating, soluble antibodies in experiments led by study co-authors Devin Sok of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and TSRI Professor Dennis R. Burton, who is also scientific director of the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center and of the National Institutes of Health’s Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID) at TSRI.

Joseph Alvarnas, M.D., director of Value-Based Analytics at City of Hope, explained how the TSRI technique could help patients, who, despite treatment with anti-retroviral drugs, still suffer from higher rates of diseases, such as cancers.

“HIV is treatable but not curable; this remains a disease that causes a lot of suffering. That makes the case for why these technologies are so important,” he said.

In addition to potentially collaborating with City of Hope, Xie said the next step in this research is to try engineering antibodies to protect a different receptor on the cell surface.

The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Source:

http://www.indiatimes.com/health/scientists-may-have-finally-found-a-way-to-cure-hiv-275511.html

 

Supercharge healthcare with artificial intelligence

Pattern-recognition algorithms can transform horses into zebras; winter scenes can become summer; artificial intelligence algorithms can generate art; robot radiologists can analyze your X-rays with remarkable precision.

We have reached the point where pattern-recognition algorithms and artificial intelligence (A.I.) are more accurate than humans at the visual diagnosis and observation of X-rays, stained breast cancer slides and other medical signs involving general correlations between normal and abnormal health patterns.

Before we run off and fire all the doctors, let’s better understand the A.I. landscape and the technology’s broad capabilities. A.I. won’t replace doctors — it will help to empower them and extend their reach, improving patient outcomes.

An evolution of machine learning

The challenge with artificial intelligence is that no single and agreed-upon definition exists. Nils Nilsson defined A.I. as “activity devoted to making machines intelligent, and intelligence is that quality that enables an entity to function appropriately and with foresight in its environment.” But that definition isn’t close to describing how A.I. evolved.

Artificial intelligence began with the Turing Test, proposed in 1950 by Alan Turing, the scientist, cryptanalyst and theoretical biologist. Since then, rapid progress has been made over the last 75 years, advancing A.I. capabilities.

Isaac Asimov proposed the Three Laws of Robotics in 1950. The first A.I. program was coded in 1951. In 1959, MIT began research in the field of artificial intelligence. GM introduced the first robot into its production assembly line in 1961. The 1960s were transformative, with the first machine learning program written and the first demonstration of an A.I. program which understood natural language, and the first chatbot emerged. In the 1970s, the first autonomous vehicle was designed at the Stanford A.I. lab. Healthcare applications for A.I. were first introduced in 1974, along with an expert system for medical diagnostics. The LISP language emerged out of the 1980s, with natural networks integrating with autonomous vehicles. IBM’s famous Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov at chess in 1997. And by 1999, the world was experimenting with A.I.-based “domesticated” robots.

Innovation was further inspired in 2004 when DARPA hosted the first design competition for autonomous vehicles in the commercial sector. By 2005, big tech companies, including IBM, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, were actively investing in commercial applications, and the first recommendation engines surfaced. The highlight of 2009 was Google’s first self-driving car, some three decades after the first autonomous vehicle was tested at Stanford.

The fascination of narrative science, for A.I. to write reports, was demonstrated in 2010, and IBM Watson was crowned a Jeopardy champion in 2011. Narrative science quickly evolved into personal assistants with the likes of Siri, Google, Now and Cortana. Elon Musk and others launched OpenAI, to discover and enact the path to safe artificial general intelligence in 2015 — to find a friendly A.I. In early 2016, Google’s DeepMind defeated legendary Go player Lee Se-dol in a historic victory.

Source:

http://www.cio.com/article/3191593/artificial-intelligence/supercharge-healthcare-with-artificial-intelligence.html

Ahead of Elon Musk, this self-made millionaire already launched a company to merge your brain with computers

Silicon Valley titan Elon Musk has announced that he will be launching yet another company, Neuralink, which will focus on connecting the human brain to computers.

With his deep pockets and bold ambitions, Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, attracts attention whatever he tries. But Musk is not the first to experiment with neural prosthetics. In August, self-made millionaire Bryan Johnson launched a company that seeks to connect the brain with computer intelligence.

Johnson’s company, Kernel, a Los Angeles start-up with 20 employees, is working to make “chips” to insert in the human brain. These chips, which are actually neurotechological hardware designed to read and write neural code, will be used at first for individuals with diseases or deficiencies to restore normal brain function.

 

In the future, Johnson expects the technology to progress so that even healthy humans can get chips implanted in their brains — and become, in effect, superhuman.

Implanting computing power in the brain could help humans have near-perfect memory, read books instantaneously and communicate with other implanted humans telepathically, or without speaking, explains Johnson.

 

For the first generation of implantable neural prosthetics, a neurologist will have to surgically implant the computer chip into a person’s brain. The goal for the future, however, is to be able to implant chips into human brains laparoscopically and using other less invasive methods.

Johnson believes that our generation will be defined by the way we wrestle with the prospect of merging humans with machine technology.

“A generation’s time and place is defined by the debates they have. So, for example, we have civil rights and human rights and marriage rights and abortion rights. I think the coming discussion for our society will be evolution rights,” Johnson tells CNBC.

As a society, humans will have to decide whether it is acceptable to opt for genetic or neurological enhancement once the technology becomes available. Also, we will have to debate how those rights are managed and how technology is distributed. What will be legal? Who can access the new technology first?

Johnson expects the conversation to break on national borders. Some countries will allow genetic enhancements and others will not.

“There’s a general reluctance for humans to adopt certain forms of enhancement,” says Johnson. For example, when plastic surgery first became technically possible, it was largely feared and relegated to the fringes. Now, however, cosmetic surgery is commonplace, says Johnson. “I think we will see the same thing happen as we gain more powerful forms of enhancements in genetics and neurological enhancement and physical augmentation.”

HOW JOHNSON MADE HIS FORTUNE

To launch Kernel, Johnson, now 39, contributed $100 million of his own money. That’s not money he was born with. In his early 20s, Johnson struggled.

“I was broke. And I had two kids at home and I couldn’t pay my bills. I was up to my eyeballs in debt and I couldn’t find a job. I applied for 60 jobs. Nobody would hire me. Nobody would even give me an interview,” he says.

At the time, Johnson emailed 50 wealthy individuals introducing himself, saying that he was a hard worker, smart and hungry for a chance. He got no responses.

Finally, Johnson found a job selling credit-card processing door-to-door. He was paid on commission. He pounded the pavement and broke all previous selling records, he says. He also came up with an idea for a business.

“I just found this broken industry in payments and I thought there’s this amazing opportunity to build an exceptional company,” he says. Johnson went on to found and launch Braintree, a credit-card processing company, which he grew and sold to eBay in 2013 for $800 million.

Financially liberated, Johnson was driven by his desire to make an impact on the world. He decided that unlocking the brain was the most noble and challenging goal.

“THERE’S THIS HUGE POTENTIAL TO CO-EVOLVE WITH OUR TECHNOLOGY.”-Bryan Johnson, founder and CEO of Kernel

“I arrived at the conclusion that human intelligence was the most consequential technological advancement ever — that everything we are, everything we seek to become, everything we create is a result of our brain,” says Johnson. And our brains are fundamentally the same as they were a couple thousand years ago, he says. “On the other hand, we have this form of intelligence we have given birth to in artificial intelligence, which is improving very rapidly.

“And there’s this huge potential to co-evolve with our technology.”

TAPPING INTO A MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR MARKET

While it may take people a while to get used to the idea of implanting chips in the brain, Johnson expects that when the idea normalizes, the demand will be enormous.

“The market for implantable neural prosthetics including cognitive enhancement and treatment of neurological dysfunction will likely be one of, if not the largest, industrial sectors in history,” says Johnson, in a Medium post he wrote announcing his own investment in the company. He expects Kernel to raise $1 billion from private and public sources.

And while Kernel is not making any money yet, Johnson says if even one product goes on the market, it could mean billions of dollars in sales.

In the past two decades, Johnson has gone from broke and unable to land an interview to working in the same space as Elon Musk, arguably one of the world’s most influential inventors.

As for competing with Musk, though, Johnson isn’t worried. “I couldn’t be more excited that Neuralink will join Kernel in this extremely challenging and promising pursuit,” says Johnson. “The neurotech industry will be one of the largest to ever emerge. I’m happy others will be pushing the field forward as well.”

Source:

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/12/self-made-millionaire-leads-elon-musk-in-fusing-brains-and-computers.html