Saturday, August 20, 2011


Specific molecular events caused by high-fat diets lead to diabetes.

Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics tend to have one thing in common: obesity. Exactly how diet and obesity trigger diabetes has long been the subject of intense scientific research. A new study led by Jamey D. Marth, Ph.D., director of the Center for Nanomedicine, a collaboration between the University of California, Santa Barbara and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), has revealed a pathway that links high-fat diets to a sequence of molecular events responsible for the onset and severity of diabetes. These findings were published online August 14 in Nature Medicine.

In studies spanning mice and humans, Dr. Marth's team discovered a pathway to disease that is activated in pancreatic beta cells, and then leads to metabolic defects in other organs and tissues, including the liver, muscle and adipose (fat). Together, this adds up to diabetes.

"We were initially surprised to learn how much the pancreatic beta cell contributes to the onset and severity of diabetes," said Dr. Marth."The observation that beta cell malfunction significantly contributes to multiple disease signs, including insulin resistance, was unexpected. We noted, however, that studies from other laboratories published over the past few decades had alluded to this possibility."

In healthy people, pancreatic beta cells monitor the bloodstream for glucose using glucose transporters anchored in their cellular membranes. When blood glucose is high, such as after a meal, beta cells take in this additional glucose and respond by secreting insulin in a timed and measured response. In turn, insulin stimulates other cells in the body to take up glucose, a nutrient they need to produce energy.

In this newly discovered pathway, high levels of fat were found to interfere with two key transcription factors - proteins that switch genes on and off. These transcription factors, FOXA2 and HNF1A, are normally required for the production of an enzyme called GnT-4a glycosyltransferase that modifies proteins with a particular glycan (polysaccharide or sugar) structure. Proper retention of glucose transporters in the cell membrane depends on this modification, but when FOXA2 and HNF1A aren't working properly, GnT-4a's function is greatly diminished. So when the researchers fed otherwise normal mice a high-fat diet, they found that the animals' beta cells could not sense and respond to blood glucose. Preservation of GnT-4a function was able to block the onset of diabetes, even in obese animals. Diminished glucose sensing by beta cells was shown to be an important determinant of disease onset and severity.

"Now that we know more fully how states of over-nutrition can lead to type 2 diabetes, we can see more clearly how to intervene," Dr. Marth said. He and his colleagues are now considering various methods to augment beta cell GnT-4a enzyme activity in humans, as a means to prevent and possibly cure type 2 diabetes.

"The identification of the molecular players in this pathway to diabetes suggests new therapeutic targets and approaches towards developing an effective preventative or perhaps curative treatment," Dr. Marth continued. "This may be accomplished by beta cell gene therapy or by drugs that interfere with this pathway in order to maintain normal beta cell function."

Friday, August 19, 2011


If you want to know what hides behind the beauty of this police station check out what happens in Fullerton CA.


Canadian set free after 3 years in Mexican jail - CTV News

For anyone even remotely considering a nice quiet vacation in Mexico think twice.  Better yet think three or four times and AFTER you read the above experience in the Mexican 'legal' system.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


(CNN) -- Widely circulated photos of Cathay Pacific crew members apparently engaged in a sex act have postponed the launch of an airline ad campaign, according to the New York Times.

The slogan: "meet the team who go the extra mile to make you feel special."

The second installment of the international ad campaign focusing on the company's employees was due to launch next month but will be postponed until October 1, the Times reported.

"The original timing doesn't suit us," an airline spokesman told the newspaper.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Gorbachev calls Putin "a bad copy of the Soviet Communist Party."

MOSCOW (AP) — Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has criticized the government for taking Russia backward and said the nation needs free elections and a fresh leadership.
Gorbachev was speaking Wednesday ahead of the 20th anniversary of Aug. 19, 1991, hardline coup that briefly ousted him and precipitated the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Gorbachev criticized the United Russia party led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, which he described as a bad copy of the Soviet Communist Party.
He said Russia needs to restore direct elections of governors and single-ballot elections to the parliament, which were abolished during Putin's presidency.
Gorbachev also argued that the nation needs a change in leadership. Putin is widely expected to reclaim the presidency next year.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Arjmandi believes this occurred because dried plums suppress the bone re-absorption rate, or bone breakdown - this eventually exceeds new bone growth rates as people get older.

Postmenopausal women who regularly eat dried plums have a considerably lower risk of developing osteoporosis or fractures compared to other women of the same age, researchers from Florida State University reported in the British Journal of Nutrition. The authors describe the regular consumption of dried plums as a "simple, proactive solution to help prevent fractures and osteoporosis."

Professor Bahram H. Arjmandi said:

"Over my career, I have tested numerous fruits, including figs, dates, strawberries and raisins, and none of them come anywhere close to having the effect on bone density that dried plums, or prunes, have. All fruits and vegetables have a positive effect on nutrition, but in terms of bone health, this particular food is exceptional."

Arjmandi and team from Florida State as well as Oklahoma State Universities tested 90 postmenopausal women. They were divided into two groups:
  • Dried plums group - 55 women consumed 100 grams of dried plums, equivalent to about ten prunes per day. They also took 500 milligrams of calcium and 400 international units of vitamin D daily.
  • The control group - 34 women consumed 100 grams of dried apples per day. They also took 500 milligrams of calcium and 400 international units of vitamin D daily.
They did this for 12 months.

Those in the dried plums group had considerably greater bone mineral density in the ulna and spine compared to those in the control group at the end of the 12-month period. The ulna is a long bone in the forearm.

Arjmandi believes this occurred because dried plums suppress the bone re-absorption rate, or bone breakdown - this eventually exceeds new bone growth rates as people get older.

Approximately 8 million American women have osteoporosis because of the abrupt cessation of ovarian hormone production when the menopause starts. A further two million US males are also thought to suffer from osteoporosis.

Monday, August 15, 2011


NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — African governments must make more substantial donations to the international relief effort aiding the more than 12 million people affected by the Horn of Africa drought and famine, an international aid group said Monday.
The British group Oxfam said it has launched an initiative to get Africans and their governments to donate more.
Irungu Houghton, an Oxfam official, said that donations from African governments have been inadequate, with only South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Sudan making contributions.
He noted that citizens in South Africa and Kenya are contributing money and food to the aid efforts in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, but that overall the response from Africa has been too small.
While Namibia has pledged $500,000, South Africa has pledged $1 million, increasing its donation upwards from an earlier pledge of $150,000. Houghton said the pledge by the South African government is not enough taking into account the country's economic status.
The U.N. says that more than $1.4 billion is needed for famine relief efforts.
"African citizens have already rallied to the cause and made significant contributions. But now we need African governments to follow their lead," Houghton said. "Most are yet to make a decent contribution and show the true meaning of African solutions to African problems."
Houghton said his organization expects African governments to raise at least $50 million.
A famine in Somalia has killed tens of thousands of people, and more than 12 million people are in need of food aid in the Horn of Africa.
The Africans Act for Africa initiative by Oxfam to get African countries to donate will include appeals by famous African musicians urging the people of the continent and governments to donate.
The United States has been the biggest international donor to famine relief efforts, with about $580 million in aid this year. Britain is the second-biggest donor at $205 million, followed by Japan and Australia. Saudi Arabia is next at $60 million. It is the biggest donor from the Muslim world.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Today was not a day of joy for me especially in the service sector of our fair city.  It seems that my entire day of expectations went down the tube very early on and it only got worse. I had the expectation of being occupied at a function for only one hour today instead of the usual two this morning and from a usually reliable source.  So one makes further plans accordingly right?  The function ran for two hours.  Okay that's fine so now I can continue my day right?........oops an invite to socialize while having lunch at the Chinese buffet.  I love Chinese food as a rule but lunch is not my big meal of the day so I missed the grand pigout that we all love at a smorg and opted for the salad bar instead.  Despite an intrusive television just above our table we were still quite able to shout at and to our friends over the political rhetoric of American politics and the occasional burst of gun fire from Syria.  As I was enjoying grazing through the vegetation of my salad plate I became aware of the wait staff's uniform of the day or lack of it....two of them were wearing short-shorts.
I'm not sure but there must be a health code violation there somewhere if only the unpleasant view of human flesh flashing before ones eyes in between swallows of red onions, lettuce and cucumber.  When one of them came to the till to take my money there was the added visual insult of a great deal of dust all over her black shorts.
I was only too glad to escape and get on with my now expected short excursion to the grocery store.  I needed about 4 items so I could make my annual Chocolate Zucchini muffins with the generous gift of said vegetable I get once a year.  Yesterday I made my annual Zucchini Parmesan muffins, a wonderful savory delight to enjoy with any soup.
I get to our local Co-op for this quick little in and out adventure only to find that they did not have 1% milk nor did they have the store brand butter and I was not going to pay $5 for what they had.  A GRRRRRR moment to be sure.  This now means I had to go to the 'other' store, the WholeSale which is huge and of course what I wanted was away at the back in a gigantic walk-in freezer that would make a polar bear feel quite at home.  Well my fur is somewhat thinner and the icy gale that emitteth from above does not make for a lovely shopping experience at any time. Before I got to the store I did stopped for gas--another cheerful moment just when I needed it the most--and got a discount of $1.02 on my impending grocery purchase.  The butter was $3.59, the milk $1.95 and minus $1.02 my purchases came to $4.52.  I finally had a reason to smile.
I didn't get home until 1:30 PM from what should have been an hour and a half at best but turned into three and a half hours of mostly vexation.  Tomorrow is another day.