Monthly Archives: November 2016

Best friends after rescue

After animal control officers rescued two neglected dogs in Georgia, the pair are now inseparable.

One dog was tethered to a tree with no food or water and unable to reach his crate, which was filled with water and mud, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

Another dog was also tethered to the tree. Officers charged the dogs’ owner, Elaina Greene, with two counts of neglect, no restraint and a tether violation, Fox 5 reported.

The dogs, both males, are a black lab and a pit bull, and are now being treated for injuries and heartworm in the Gwinett County Animal Shelter. Shelter volunteers say the pair play side-by-side all day long. Due to their ongoing medical needs, they’ll be adopted out to a rescue group and will not be placed for adoption through the county.

Every day, a slew of previously healthy people experience chest pains and go to the emergency room. But a whole range of events can then follow; some of these people may be having a heart attack and may die later that day, while others will be sent home with medications and live decades longer.

Now, a new blood test could quickly give doctors a sense of a patient’s risk for serious heart problems , such as a heart attack or even death, a new study finds.

The test measures the blood levels of a molecule called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), according to the study, published Jan. 10 in the European Heart Journal.

TMAO is produced when gut bacteria break down foods, including red meat, eggs and dairy, the researchers wrote.

Skin and metabolism

A blast of chilly water may do the body good—but are the shivers worth it? Of all the beauty trends out there right now, this one might take the cake: searches for “cold showers” are up 75% on Pinterest, according to the social platform. Proponents claim the brrr-inducing temps help increase metabolism, boost mood, and even lead to healthier skin and hair.

But showers aren’t just about getting clean (hello, relaxation!), so a cold one better offer real perks. But does it?

Well… maybe. First, let’s talk beauty benefits. In terms of your hair, “the cold will flatten the ruffled cuticles and lock in moisture to prevent breakage,” says Jessie Cheung, MD, a dermatologist in the Chicago area. Cold water will initially help constrict blood vessels in your skin to temporarily tighten pores and decrease redness and puffiness, she adds. What’s more, cold temperatures boost circulation (it’s your body’s way of keeping warm). For your face, that might mean a healthy glow.

RELATED: How to Make Your Daily Shower More Luxurious

A cold shower is also said to help boost mood, but the evidence for this is slim. One study from the International Journal of Circumpolar Health looked at the practice of “winter swimming,” which is popular in Finland. Their findings suggest that regularly taking a dip in cold water (the participants swam four times a week) might improve energy and overall well-being. And a 2007 study published in Medical Hypotheses found that short 2-3 minute cold showers may help relieve depressive symptoms—but the researchers noted more widespread studies on this are needed.

There has been some emerging research suggesting cold temperatures may stimulate brown fat, a type of fat that burns extra calories. In a small 2014 study, men exposed to a cold environment had an increase in brown fat volume as well as corresponding fat metabolic activity. But again, there’s not enough research to suggest that taking cold showers can lead to weight loss.

The real benefits may come from avoiding super-hot showers in the first place. Hot water might feel good, but it does a number on your skin and hair, explains New York City-based dermatologist Lance Brown, MD. “Hot water will strip away some of the natural, protective oils that your skin makes,” he says, which can leave skin feeling dry and itchy and possibly exacerbate skin conditions like eczema. This is especially problematic during the winter months, when cold air outside and dry heat inside naturally make skin more parched.

How predict for the age

As we get older, our brain cells show changes, and now a new study finds that certain changes happen so reliably that by themselves they can reveal a person’s age.

In the study, researchers analyzed brain tissue samples from 480 people who died between the ages 16 and 106. None of these individuals had experienced a brain disease before their death.

The researchers then examined whether they could find differences between the older brains and the younger ones by looking at the level of their expression of certain genes, meaning which genes were “turned on” and “turned off.”

They found that, with age, certain types of brain cells called glial cells showed a shift in their gene expression patterns in certain regions of the brain. In contrast, no such change was seen in the brain’s neurons, which are the “signaling cells” of the brain. Glial cells provide support for neurons.

What’s more, when the researchers looked at whether the gene expression pattern inside the different types of cells could be used to predict a person’s age, they found that the gene expression levels of glial cells were most strongly linked with a person’s age.

“These findings reinforce a growing body of evidence implicating [glial cells] in aging,” the researchers, from the University College London, wrote in the Jan. 10 issue of the journal Cell Reports.

Some of the biggest shifts in glial-cell gene expression were seen in the hippocampus (which is involved in memory) and the substantia nigra (which is involved in movement).

Because these two brain areas are also affected in people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, the study may provide insights into the roles that glial cells may play in these age-related diseases, the researchers said.

“We believe that our data, and computational approaches, provide a powerful resource for further study of the cellular and molecular changes taking place during human brain aging, and provide insights into the pre-clinical cellular phase of dementia,” the researchers said.

Holding you back in your career

Banish these behav.iors to make 2017 the year you finally move up the ladder

1. YOUR EMAIL ETIQUETTE SUCKS.

Think an emoticon-filled message is the only email mistake you can make? A terse message can be just as bad, says career expert J.T. O’Donnell, founder and CEO of Work It Daily.

Emails that get right to the point—say, without a salutation like “hi” or “hello”— and jump right to a demand can rub your coworkers the wrong way.  Even though you may have just been trying to be concise, you actually come off as an a-hole—or, at the very least, apathetic. “It comes across as a lack of trying or effort,” O’Donnell says.

Plus, it might show that you don’t feel a connection to your employer, in which case, why should that employer invest in you? So make sure to add just enough pleasantries in your exchange to make it seem like you care about the person. Always include a greeting, and remember your “pleases” and “thank yous,” she says.

2. YOU SKIP HAPPY HOUR.

Very few people actually enjoy those happy hour meet-and-greets, but forming connections within your industry are crucial to your career. That way, not only do you stay on top of your industry’s curve, but you also can take note of what other people in your industry are doing so you don’t get passed by.

“People forget that they need to continue networking when they have a job,” says career expert Abby Kohut, president of career site Absolutely Abby.

If you’re not networking while employed, when you quit—or lose—your current role, you’ll have to start over from scratch. So keep up your networking by joining at least one professional association and going to an event once a month. And if your current company offers training opportunities or internal happy hours, hit them up, too.