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Archive for March 1, 2013

Parmesan Chicken Cutlets

Parmesan Chicken Cutlets


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 small skinless, boneless chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds total), pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon, halved


  • Place flour in a shallow bowl. Beat eggs in a second shallow bowl. Combine panko, Parmesan, and mustard powder in a third shallow bowl and season mixture with salt and pepper.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking off any excess. Transfer to bowl with beaten egg and turn to coat. Lift from bowl, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Coat with panko mixture, pressing to adhere. DO AHEAD: Chicken can be breaded 3 months in advance. Place between pieces of freezer paper or waxed paper and freeze in resealable freezer bags. Thaw before continuing.
  • Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet or a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook cutlets, adding remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan between batches, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Serve with lemon.

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New App Turns Your iPhone Into a Mobile Urine Lab

Uchek turns a smartphone into a inexpensive medical device for analyzing urine. Image: Uchek


LONG BEACH, California – For entrepreneur Myshkin Ingawale the logic was unassailable. Everybody pees. And everyone has a cellphone. “There has to be something going on there,” Ingawale told a chuckling crowd at the TED conference.


For the 29-year-old Mumbai-based Ingawale, that something is using the increasingly powerful camera and processing muscle packed in smartphones to run cheap, accurate urinalysis tests. Don’t worry, it doesn’t involved soaking your precious handset, though it does involve peeing in a cup.

Dubbed Uchek, what Ingawale has created is a seemingly simple app that analyzes chemical strips by first taking photos with your phone at predetermined times and comparing the results that appear on the pee-soaked strip to a color-coded map.

With the color comparisons as a guide, the app analyzes the results, and comes back in seconds with a breakdown of the levels of glucose, bilirubin, proteins, specific gravity, ketones, leukocytes, nitrites, urobilinogen and hematuria present in the urine. The parameters the app measures are especially helpful for those people managing diabetes, and kidney, bladder and liver problems, or ferreting out the presence of a urinary tract infection.

In use, the app delivers information that everyone can understand, returning either positive or negative results, numbers, or descriptors like “trace” or “large.” If you don’t know that the presence of leukocytes might indicate a urinary tract infection, you simply tap on the leukocytes tab for more information. “The idea is to get people closer to their own information,” Ingawale, 29, says. “I want people to better understand what is going on with their bodies.”

While it’s being tested in a Mumbai hospital, the app is wending its way through the Apple approval process. Ingawale is optimistic it will be made available to iOS users soon. An Android version is also in the works, though because of all the different cameras in use on all the different Android-flavored phones it will take a bit more time to roll out, he says.

As far as accuracy, Ingawale says after testing the app with 1,200 samples it did a better job than humans simply reading the color-coded strips. More sophisticated machines may do a better job, but they also cost $1,000 to $10,000 a pop and only read a specific type of test-strip. (There’s that recurring revenue model.) For $20, Ingawale will give you a packet of strips and the color-coded map to conduct your own tests. Add another 99 cents for the app and your own smartphone and your are ready to go. Ingawale stresses it is for informational purposes; this isn’t meant to diagnose disease, but make you, your doctor, even your family members better aware of health issues.

Myshkin Ingawale, founder of Biosense Technologies, holds a test strip before analyzing it with his phone. Photo: TED


Ingawale’s own father-in-law, who is diabetic, has been an early tester of the Uchek app and system. “My wife is the one who wants the information,” Ingawale says. “She wants to make sure he’s taking care of himself. He just takes the test and e-mails her the results.”

Uchek is the second inexpensive test Ingawale, an MIT graduate, has devised. The first, in pilot programs now in India, checks hemoglobin levels without using a needle. Called TouchHb, the device uses LEDs and a photodiodes to analyze the absorption pattern of hemoglobin and thus determine volume. The point of all the smart tech is to help diagnose anemia, a treatable but potentially fatal condition if left untreated – especially in pregnant women.

Obviously there is a pattern to what Ingawale is creating and bringing to market through his startup Biosense Technologies. “The medical device industry operates on proprietary, closed hardware and a recurring revenue business model,” Ingawale says. “I am trying to democratize healthcare.”

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Fukushima: ‘Small increased cancer risk’

In this April 7, 2011 file photo, Japanese police, wearing suits to protect them from radiation, search for victims inside the deserted evacuation zone around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactors.


In this April 7, 2011 file photo, Japanese police, wearing suits to protect them from radiation, search for victims inside the deserted evacuation zone around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactors.


People living near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan have an increased risk of developing some cancers, the World Health Organization says.

The increased risk is limited to communities and some emergency workers exposed to radiation after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, analysis shows.

For those living in the rest of Japan there is no health risk, it said.

Experts stressed the increased lifetime risk of cancer remained small.

The report is part of an ongoing assessment by international experts on the fallout from severe damage to the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

In March 2011, a powerful tsunami generated by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake out at sea slammed into the nuclear power plant in north-eastern Japan, damaging four of six reactors at the site.

Around 16,000 people were killed by the impact of the earthquake.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

The radiation doses received by the surrounding population are small, even for the most exposed communities”

Prof Richard WakefordDalton Nuclear Institute

A substantial amount of radiation was released into the environment and a 20km (12 miles) evacuation zone was set up.

The latest analysis has found that those living in the most contaminated areas around Fukushima are expected to have a small but higher than expected risk of cancer.

The biggest lifetime risks were seen in those exposed as infants, compared with children or adults.

For girls exposed to radiation from the accident as infants, the report found a 4% increase above the lifetime expected risk of solid tumours and a 6% increase above that expected for breast cancer.

Boys exposed as infants are expected to have a 7% increased risk of leukaemia above that expected in the normal population.

The biggest risk was seen in thyroid cancer, which for infant girls could be up to 70% higher than expected over their lifetime.

Demographic factors

But the WHO was keen to stress that these risks were relative and remained small.

For example, the lifetime risk of developing thyroid cancer over a lifetime for women is 0.75% and the additional risk for those exposed as infants in the most affected area is 0.50%.

The report also found that a third of emergency workers working in the plant after the disaster are at an increased risk of cancer.

Radiation doses from the damaged nuclear power plant are not expected to cause an increase in the incidence of miscarriages, stillbirths or congenital disorders.

Dr Maria Neira, WHO director for public health and environment, said: “The primary concern identified in this report is related to specific cancer risks linked to particular locations and demographic factors.”

She added that the report underlined the need for long-term health monitoring of those who were at high risk, along with medical follow-up and support.

“This will remain an important element in the public health response to the disaster for decades.”

Prof Richard Wakeford, visiting professor at Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Manchester and contributor to the WHO report, said: “The release of radioactive materials into the environment during the Fukushima nuclear accident was substantial but based on measurement data, the radiation doses received by the surrounding population are small, even for the most exposed communities.

“These doses produce an extra risk of cancer over a lifetime of about 1% at most, in addition to background lifetime cancer risks from all other causes of, on average, 40% for men and 29% for women.”

He added: “Radiation exposure from the Fukushima accident has had only a small impact on the overall health of the nearby population, and much less outside the most affected areas.”


Five psychiatric disorders ‘linked’

An unhappy young woman

Experts are trying to understand what is happening in the brains of people with psychiatric disorders


Autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia all share several genetic risk factors, according to a major study.

Versions of four genes increased the odds of all five disorders.

Researchers hope to move the psychiatry away from describing symptoms towards fundamentally understanding what is going wrong in the brain.

The findings were reported in the Lancet medical journal.

The international study compared the genetic codes of 33,000 people with a psychiatric disorder with 28,000 people without a psychiatric disorder.

Four genetic variants appeared to increase the risk of all five disorders studied. Two genes were involved in the balance of calcium in the brain.

Hundreds of genes and the environment are likely to affect the odds of developing such conditions.

However, the rapidly advancing field of psychiatric genetics is trying to describe these disorders on the basis of what is causing them, rather simply by symptoms.

One of the researchers Nick Craddock, a professor of psychiatry at Cardiff University, said: “It signals the opening of a potential new era for psychiatry and mental illness.

“This is a scientific method that helps understand what is going wrong in the brain, the chemicals, the brains systems, that are important in illness.”

He said that ultimately it could help devise treatments and better ways of diagnosing patients.

Dr Gerome Breen, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said: “It points out fairly clearly that there is a common genetic effect between these disorders.

‘Breakthrough elusive’

“These studies give a window into the biology of these disorders, that’s really valuable.”

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity Sane, said the findings “highlight the need to understand the genetic and biological factors of these life-changing conditions, in order that more effective treatments and therapies may be found”.

She added: “While it may take a decade for research studies like this to translate into new drugs and other treatments, we may yet be working towards a breakthrough which has so long eluded scientists working in this field.”


Thriving cancer’s ‘chaos’ explained

Bowel cancer cell

The way cancers make a chaotic mess of their genetic code in order to thrive has been explained by UK researchers.

Cancer cells can differ hugely within a tumour – it helps them develop ways to resist drugs and spread round the body.

A study in the journal Nature showed cells that used up their raw materials became “stressed” and made mistakes copying their genetic code.

Scientists said supplying the cancer with more fuel to grow may actually make it less dangerous.

Most normal cells in the human body contain 46 chromosomes, or bundles of genetic code. However, some cancerous cells can have more than 100 chromosomes.

And the pattern is inconsistent – pick a bunch of neighbouring cells and they could each have different chromosome counts.

This diversity helps tumours adapt to become untreatable and colonise new parts of the body. Devising ways of preventing a cancer from becoming diverse is a growing field of research.

Chaos from order

Scientists at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute and the University College London Cancer Institute have been trying to crack how cancers become so diverse in the first place.

It had been thought that when a cancer cell split to create two new cells, the chromosomes were not split evenly between the two.

However, lead researcher Prof Charles Swanton’s tests on bowel cancer showed “very little evidence” that was the case.

Instead the study showed the problem came from making copies of the cancer’s genetic code.

Cancers are driven to make copies of themselves, however, if cancerous cells run out of the building blocks of their DNA they develop “DNA replication stress”.

The study showed the stress led to errors and tumour diversity.

Prof Swanton told the BBC: “It is like constructing a building without enough bricks or cement for the foundations.

“However, if you can provide the building blocks of DNA you can reduce the replication stress to limit the diversity in tumours, which could be therapeutic.”

He admitted that it “just seems wrong” that providing the fuel for a cancer to grow could be therapeutic.

However, he said this proved that replication stress was the problem and that new tools could be developed to tackle it.

Future studies will investigate whether the same stress causes diversity in other types of tumour.

The research team identified three genes often lost in diverse bowel cancer cells, which were critical for the cancer suffering from DNA replication stress. All were located on one region of chromosome 18.

Prof Nic Jones, Cancer Research UK’s chief scientist, said: “This region of chromosome 18 is lost in many cancers, suggesting this process is not just seen in bowel cancers.

“Scientists can now start looking for ways to prevent this happening in the first place or turning this instability against cancers.”














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