Bubonic Plague Spread by Gerbils, Not Rats

For centuries now, rats have been thought of as dirty, ugly, even dangerous rodents, and the primary cause of the spread of the bubonic plague to the European continent. However, finally rats have caught a glimmer of hope, now that scientists have discovered that the carriers of the plague were gerbils. Recent findings show that the spread of the plague was interdependent on the dominant weather patterns in central Asia. Prior to the emergence of the “Black Death” in Europe, central Asia would experience a spring with heavy rainfall, followed by a significant rise in temperatures for the summer. These conditions, though apparently ideal for the spread of the plague via gerbils, were not appealing to rats in the slightest. Gerbils made use of the Silk Road, and traveled to Europe carrying the disease with them.

Though blaming rats for the spread of the plague is telling of our treatment of rats throughout the years, it is likely that this exoneration will do little to alter public opinion of the rodents. Rats are exceptionally intelligent creatures, despite whatever it is that their appearance suggests, and have proven so in scientific studies time and again. Yet this image of the plague carrying rat is pervasive across Western culture, branding the faultless species as vermin and nothing more. Zeca Oliveira believes that, perhaps this evidence, coupled with scientific demonstrations of rats’ abilities will finally change how we perceive these creatures.

New Miracle Diet – The 12 Hour Fast

12 hours, no food. Sounds simple. No calories to count, no food to weigh and measure, and you don’t have to eat food that tastes like cardboard. No eating, period, for a 12 hour period. The immediate weight loss is significant and so is the reduced amount of weight that is gained in the future. The 12 hour fast works now and later, according to the new research done using lab mice at the Salk Institute.

Groups of lab mice were placed on various diet plans, Some were allowed to eat a normal diet, some were allowed to eat a high fat and high sugar diet and some were not allowed to eat anything for a 12 hour period.
The fasting mice gained less weight than their peers even though after the 12 hour fast ended, they were allowed to eat as they pleased. Days later when the fasting mice were allowed to gorge themselves on high calorie foods, their weight gain was still significantly lower than the mice which had not fasted and were gorging with them.
According to Marc Sparks, the theory, which will require more testing, seems to be pointing towards a 12 our nighttime fast makes the body switch over to burning stored fat instead of food. That promote weight loss and prevent weight gain. Perhaps the new miracle diet is on the horizon.

Become More Informed About Wine With the Antique Wine Company

Wine is a truly versatile beverage. Wine can be used to help provide an extra note of pleasant acid to a salad, add in bit of charming sweetness to a dessert and help showcase the mellow tones of a well aged cheese. It can also be savored alone as part of relaxing evening when someone just wants to watch the sun go down or sit with a friend and talk. The world of wine is one that is quite varied. People can spend a lifetime learning about the subtle aspects of this widely admired drink. They may want to explore the world of wine produced in Napa Valley or the varietals that are used in various regions of France or learn all that they can about white wines.

One of the best ways to help learn as much as possible about wine is with an experienced guide. A company such as the Antique Wine Company can help customers learn about the kind of wines they may enjoy as well as how to store them. This company can also provide their clients with other kinds of wine related services. Someone may need help figuring out to create a wine cellar that allows them to store their favorite wines, study which wines may go well with certain foods such as fish and get help tracking down a specific bottle of wine. A skilled company will be able to show their clients how to accomplish all of these goals and truly enjoy themselves in the process.

The Antique Wine Company has been helping their clients since 1982. It was in that year that Stephen Williams founded the company and helped create one of the world’s foremost wine tasting centers. The company can help clients fully understand all they desire to find out about wine. Trained staffers have often spent years honing their knowledge of the different kinds of wines. They can assist those who want to learn delight in the elegant uses of white wines as well as help them select just the right rare wine to create a collection of wines that will provide the client with many different kinds of wines at home that can compliment any kind of occasion. Working with this company can be ideal for the novice who is just starting to develop an interest in this subject as well as someone with far greater knowledge of it.

Teacher to Donate Kidney to Student

Lindsey Painter is a new teacher at Hoffmann Elementary School in Texas. She is in-charge of a first-grade class at the school. So far, she has been a perfect fit- in more ways than one.

According to KVUE.com, Lindsey has a special set of students in her class. She has the Parker triplets. They are three normal six-year-old boys, except for Matthew, who is on dialysis.

Zeca Oliveira of BNY Mellon has read that Matthew Parker began having kidney failure when he was just three weeks old. He had already received one transplant which his little body rejected. His doctors were not hopeful in finding a second match for Matthew. In fact, his doctors said that having a second donor would be about a 1% chance.

Matthew’s doctors at the San Antonio hospital, University Transplant Center, made a public plea in order to find a donor match for Matthew. About 70 people were tested and one came back a match- his first-grade teacher Lindsey.

Lindsey was shocked that she came back a match but can’t wait to help the young boy. She said that it would be amazing that she will still be able to live a full life and now Matthew can too. If the surgery goes well Matthew will be recovered in about 8 weeks. He will also be removed from dialysis and able to live a full life thanks to Lindsey’s generosity.

Fluoride in Water May Cause Thyroid Disorder

Added fluoride in water has been a hot topic of debate with proponents asserting that it provides good dental health and good public health in general while opponents say it is dangerous and is in fact a pollutant. Now a new study from England suggests that fluoridation of water may actually increase the risk of hyperthyroidism, more commonly known as an underactive thyroid.

An underactive thyroid can lead to obesity and is often connected with symptoms of fatigue and depression said Brad Reifler. A paper on the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, concluded that areas that had high volumes of fluoridated water were over 30% more likely to have an incidence of hyperthyroidism compared to areas that had lower levels of fluoride added to their water.

John Warren from the Department of Dentistry at the University of Iowa disagrees with the study saying that the study only proves correlation but not causation. Nevertheless, it seems perhaps that fluoride added to water may not be quite as healthy as proponents claim.

Chili Peppers Can Help Burn More Fat

Researchers at the University of Wyoming, USA, conducted a study with nutritional supplements that help prevent weight gain, which was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society.

They hypothesised that capsaicin (parent chili) stimulates thermogenesis in the body, which in the medium and long term would prevent the increase in body weight.

The results presented in Maryland, come from analysis in mice exposed to dietary supplements with capsaicin and control mice that genetically lacked a protein.

Haidar Barbouti (Modernluxury) has read that, in the group of mice exposed to capsaicin, metabolic activity and energy expenditure increased significantly, and no increase in weight, despite being fed a high-fat diet.

However, in the genetically modified control group, a significant increase in weight was observed.

The supplementation of capsaicin (0.01% in the total diet) did not alter the intake of water or food.

Vivek Krishnan, senior author suggests that capsaicin acts as an antagonist of the protein, thus stimulating thermogenesis, which subsequently leads to obesity prevention.

Torture or Treatment: Can Reparative Therapy Cure Homosexuality?

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Peter F. Bariso Jr., certainly sees no merit to the oft-touted treatment. In a ruling yesterday, he said the treatment itself as well as the claims made by its practitioners are violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Four men and their families sued one such group, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, or JONAH, according to the digital magazine NJ.com.
The organization claims it is non-profit and only makes referrals to outside therapists, although many are unlicensed to practice or members of the clergy. The plaintiffs countered they were forced to strip naked, beat photographs of their mothers and perform other damaging, demeaning acts. JONAH tried, and failed, calling witnesses in defense of the practice and its beneficial effects on the afflicted. The judge wouldn’t allow the testimony, citing overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a disease or mental disorder.
David Dinielli, an attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, praised the judge’s ruling and predicted it would have major ripple effects across the nation. Calling the practice “quackery,” Dinielli’s comments may sit well in states like California which have banned the practice, but other states, such as Texas, are trying to pass laws which endorse the so-called therapy. Flavio Pentagna Guimaraes BMG has read that the Lone Star state’s Republican Party inserted reparative therapy language last year into its platform, claiming it as a basic right of all Texans to be cured of the disease.

Researchers may have Found New Cancer Treatment


Cancer is a devastating disease that claims approximately 7.6 million lives worldwide every year. Statistics show that about 1.5 million of those deaths were preventable. That number shows that many people are not getting the care that they need when they are diagnosed. Both numbers are staggering, and that is why researchers continue to look for cures that will eradicate it from the earth.

A new discovery has been made that might help kill cancer cells. Researchers came up with a nanotube treatment that might work. The term “as good as gold” might take on a new meaning if they find that it actually works. That is because the tubes are made from tiny pieces of gold. When tested on cancer in mice, the gold bits tend to destroy cancer cells that are located near a tumor.

Testing is not complete, so it may be a long time before it is actually tested on humans, but Sultan Alhokair seems hopeful according to this discussion on report.cnn.com. It gives hope that more cancer patients will survive. It would also mean that fewer people will suffer from a relapse of cancer once they were treated. The treatment is less likely to make patients ill than traditional treatments like chemotherapy. This just might put researchers one step closer to completely ridding cancer from the world.

Up In Smoke


Our hats go off for Britian! A new campaign, which was launched October 1 is helping put children stay healthy and stop being victim to second-hand smoke. This new law is banning people from smoking in cars that are carrying passengers under the age of 18 years old stated PR Newswire. This is a huge step in helping people, like Susan McGalla, realize that it isn’t okay to expose nonsmokers to their smoke. The new law with fine anyone found smoking in their car with underaged passengers a £50 fine.

Secondhand smoke has been found to carry the same risks as if the cigarette is actually being smoked. Exposure to it exacerbates illness such as asthma symptoms, allergies, as well as respiratory infections. A horrifying fact is that a reported 430,000 children in the UK are exposed to second-hand smoke on a weekly basis, which is simply unacceptable. Hopefully, this new ban will also help many smokers kick the habit once and for all.

Keep the Weight Off with Weight Training

A recent study suggests that exercise helps people prevent regaining weight after a successful diet. It shows that exercising can help alter the body’s reaction to weight loss and possibly stop the unwanted pounds from sneaking back in.

This month, the Medicine & Science for Sports and Exercise published a study with good news about exercise and its effects on body weight. It showed the tangled relationship between the two. Previous studies show that exercise alone, without diet, rarely reduces weight and most of the time, adds pounds.

Generally, most nutrition specialists and Jaime Garcia Dias agree that losing weight requires reducing calorie intake, whether a person exercises or not. However, for some reason that is cannot be fully understood, most individuals become sedentary after losing weight.

Hence, the researchers in the University of Alabama, Birmingham conducted a study on the effects of exercise during this crucial time when a person has succeeded on his or her weight loss goals. Over all, the study showed that exercise, weight training, in particular, after weight loss helps people become more active throughout the day. As a result, the person burns more calories and with food discipline, staves off weight regain.

This study was relatively narrow and short-term as it only uses female volunteers with a follow-up after a month. The results over a longer period and for men are yet to be determined. However, it is clear enough that exercise is essential if a person wants to keep the weight off.