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Archive for September 1, 2013

Getodo

getodo

Getodo – Easy to-do lists and tasks (4 stars with 105 User Ratings) 
iPhone App 
$0.99 → Free 

Getodo is an iPhone task management app that connects you and other users and allows you to create tasks to complete for one another. Did your husband forget the milk? Send him a reminder via Getodo and it will pop up on his iPhone. You do have to create an account, but once you’ve done that, you’ll find that the incredibly easy and intuitive gesture based controls (similar to Clear, another popular to-do app) will have you acting like a “get things done” pro in no time. Grab it today for yourself and your friends/family and get things done.

via Best Free Apps of the Day on 8/31. AvgNite Cam, HT Recorder for iPad, Lens Lab, & More! | App Chronicles.

Chicken Tikka Masala

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INGREDIENTS

6 garlic cloves, finely grated

4 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger

4 teaspoons ground turmeric

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 cups whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise

3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup tomato paste

6 cardamom pods, crushed

2 dried chiles de árbol or 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish

Steamed basmati rice (for serving)

PREPARATION

 

  • Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl. Whisk yogurt, salt, and half of spice mixture in a medium bowl; add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and chill 4-6 hours. Cover and chill remaining spice mixture.
  • Heat ghee in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, tomato paste, cardamom, and chiles and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining half of spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes with juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.
  • Add cream and chopped cilantro. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack inside sheet. Arrange chicken on rack in a single layer. Broil until chicken starts to blacken in spots (it will not be cooked through), about 10 minutes.
  • Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, add to sauce, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Serve with rice and cilantro sprigs. DO AHEAD: Chicken can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Reheat before serving.

via Chicken Tikka Masala – Bon Appétit.

‘Molecular basis’ for jet lag found

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Scientists believe they have figured out why it takes us so long to adapt when we travel to new time zones.

Researchers at Oxford University say they have found the “molecular brakes” that prevent light resetting the body clock when we fly – causing jet lag.

Experiments, reported in the journal Cell, showed “uncoupling” these brakes in mice allowed them to rapidly adapt.

Researchers hope the discovery will help find new drugs for jet lag and mental health treatments.

The body clock keeps us in tune with the pattern of day and night. It means we sleep at night, but also affects hunger, mood and blood pressure.

Light acts like a reset button to keep the clock to time, but when we fly around the world it takes time for our body clocks to adjust. The resulting fatigue, which can last for days, is known as jet lag

Master clock

The research team, funded by The Wellcome Trust, was trying to figure out why people do not instantly adapt. They looked in mice as all mammals have the same core body clock mechanisms.

They focused on the “master clock” in a part of the brain, which keeps the rest of the body in sync, called the suprachiasmatic nuclei

They were looking for sections of DNA that changed their activity levels in response to light.


This provides a molecular basis for jet lag and as a result new targets for potentially developing new drugs”

Prof Russell FosterOxford University

They found a huge numbers of genes were activated, but then a protein called SIK1 went round turning them all off again. It was acting as a brake by limiting the effect of light.

Experiments to reduce the function of SIK1 meant the mice could rapidly adjust their body clock when it was shifted six hours – the equivalent of a flight from the UK to India.

Reset

Prof Russell Foster told the BBC: “We reduced levels by 50-60%, which is big enough to get a very, very big effect. What we saw was the mice would actually advance their clock six hours within a day [rather than taking six days for untreated mice].

“We’ve know there’s been a brake on the clock for some time, but we had absolutely no idea what it is, this provides a molecular basis for jet lag and as a result new targets for potentially developing new drugs.”

He said some mental health disorders including schizophrenia were linked to an out-of-tune body clock, so these findings may open up new areas for research.

The brakes are likely to be in place to prevent the body clock from becoming erratic and being reset by artificial or moon light.

Dr Akhilesh Reddy, a specialist in the body clock, at the University of Cambridge, was very confident that treatments would follow as “it is a very drugable target and I would suspect there are lots of potential drugs already developed”.

He told the BBC: “We have known a lot about the basis of jet lag and why it occurs.

“This shows how you can get into the brain and manipulated the clock, which is why this study is important.

“We have drugs which can make the clock shorter or longer, what we need is to shift it to a new time zone and that is what they have done.”

via BBC News – ‘Molecular basis’ for jet lag found.

Blueberries, not fruit juice, cut type-2 diabetes risk

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Blueberries and apples contain high levels of anthocyanins

Eating more fruit, particularly blueberries, apples and grapes, is linked to a reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes, suggests a study in the British Medical Journal.

Blueberries cut the risk by 26% compared with 2% for three servings of any whole fruit – but fruit juice did not appear to have the same effect.

The research looked at the diets of more than 187,000 people in the US.

But Diabetes UK said the results of the study should be treated with caution.

Researchers from the UK, US and Singapore used data from three large studies of nurses and health professionals in the US to examine the link between fruit consumption and the risk of contracting type-2 diabetes.


What is type-2 diabetes?

Diabetes is an incurable condition in which the body cannot control blood sugar levels, because of problems with the hormone insulin.

In type-2 diabetes, either the pancreas cells do not make enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react properly to it. This is known as insulin resistance.

What is diabetes?

In these studies, 6.5% of participants (12,198 out of 187,382) developed type-2 diabetes.

The studies used food frequency questionnaires to follow up the participants every four years, asking how often, on average, they ate a standard portion of each fruit.

The fruits used in the study were grapes or raisins, peaches, plums or apricots, prunes, bananas, cantaloupe, apples or pears, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and blueberries.

The researchers’ analysis of the data showed that three servings per week of blueberries, grapes and raisins, and apples and pears significantly reduced the risk of type-2 diabetes.

While all fruit was shown to reduce the risk, these fruits appeared to be particularly effective.

The researchers said this could be due to the fact these fruits contain high levels of anthocyanins, which have been shown to enhance glucose uptake in mice. The same fruits contain naturally-occurring polyphenols which are known to have beneficial effects.


The juicing process gets rid of the fruit, just leaving fluids which are absorbed more quickly.”

Prof Qi SunHarvard Medical School

In the study paper, they wrote: “Fruits have highly variable contents of fibre, antioxidants, other nutrients, and phytochemicals that jointly may influence the risk.”

But the glycaemic load of different types of fruit – the quality and quantity of carbohydrate they contain – did not fully explain the results, the study said.

Juice effect

When they looked at the effects of fruit juice consumption, the researchers found a slightly increased risk of type-2 diabetes.

The study calculated that replacing weekly fruit juice consumption with whole fruits could bring health benefits.

For example, replacing fruit juice with blueberries could reduce the risk of contracting type-2 diabetes by 33%, with grapes and raisins by 19%, apples and pears by 13% – and with any combination of whole fruit by 7%.

Replacing fruit juice with oranges, peaches, plums and apricots had a similar effect.

Qi Sun, study author and assistant professor at Harvard School of Public Health, said, in general, fruit juices contained less of the beneficial compounds found in whole fruits.

Pouring orange juice
Whole fruits are preferable to fruit juice, the study says

“The juicing process gets rid of the fruit, just leaving fluids which are absorbed more quickly, causing blood sugars and insulin levels to rise if they contain sugars.

“To try to minimise the risk of type-2 diabetes as much as possible it is reasonable to reduce fruit juice consumption and increase consumption of whole fruits.”

Experts say the best way to reduce your risk of developing type-2 diabetes is to eat a balanced, healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables and to be as physically active as possible.

‘Unreliable’

Dr Matthew Hobbs, head of research for Diabetes UK, said the study provided further evidence that eating plenty of whole fruit was a key part of the balanced diet that will minimise the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

However, he said the links between type-2 diabetes and specific types of fruit or fruit drinks should be treated with caution.

“Some of the findings are based on a number of assumptions and models which may have distorted the results significantly.

“For example, the researchers used surveys to ask participants how often they ate certain foods. This type of survey can often be unreliable as people are more likely to remember certain types of food.”

Kamlesh Khunti, professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine at the University of Leicester, said the large study showed that eating any fruit is good.

“Eating all kinds of fruit works and there is still a reduction in risk.

“The government recommends eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.”

via BBC News – Blueberries, not fruit juice, cut type-2 diabetes risk.

Insomniacs’ brains lose focus, scans suggest

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Brain scans of people who say they have insomnia have shown differences in brain function compared with people who get a full night’s sleep.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, said the poor sleepers struggled to focus part of their brain in memory tests.

Other experts said that the brain’s wiring may actually be affecting perceptions of sleep quality.

The findings were published in the journal Sleep.

People with insomnia struggle to sleep at night, but it also has consequences during the day such as delayed reaction times and memory.

The study compared 25 people who said they had insomnia with 25 who described themselves as good sleepers. MRI brain scans were carried out while they performed increasingly challenging memory tests.

One of the researchers, Prof Sean Drummond, said: “We found that insomnia subjects did not properly turn on brain regions critical to a working memory task and did not turn off ‘mind-wandering’ brain regions irrelevant to the task.

“This data helps us understand that people with insomnia not only have trouble sleeping at night, but their brains are not functioning as efficiently during the day.”

A sleep researcher in the UK, Dr Neil Stanley, said that the quality of the sleep each group was having was very similar, even though one set was reporting insomnia.

He said: “What’s the chicken and what’s the egg? Is the brain different and causing them to report worse sleep?

“Maybe they’re perceiving what happened in the night differently; maybe what is affecting their working memory and ability to focus on the task at hand is also causing insomnia.”

via BBC News – Insomniacs’ brains lose focus, scans suggest.

Addenbrooke’s Hospital ‘shackled’ to fast food contract

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The hospital’s food court includes a hamburger chain and a pizza chain

 

The boss of a Cambridge hospital has told the BBC he would like to ban fast food from the site, but is “contractually shackled” to provide it.

Dr Keith McNeil, chief executive of Addenbrooke’s, already plans to ban smoking at the site from January.

He was asked if he also planned to ban fast food, and remove certain outlets from the hospital’s food court.

Dr McNeil said: “If we could we would, but at the moment we’re contractually shackled… but that’s next, yes.”

The hospital has a number of cafes and restaurants, including a burger chain and a pizza chain.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Addenbrooke’s, did not want to comment further on Dr McNeil’s statement.

But a spokesman said the hospital offered a number of healthy food options to staff, visitors and patients using the food court.

He added: “We continue to work with our retail partners to ensure there are balanced food choices available… and are implementing further healthy options in the very near future.”

The hospital’s contract with Gentian, a company which owns and manages retail facilities within NHS hospitals, runs until 2024.

via BBC News – Addenbrooke’s Hospital ‘shackled’ to fast food contract.

伊比力斯兒發作 別在嘴巴塞東西

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台灣約有14萬名伊比力斯患者需要社會關懷,藥廠致贈紫色頭巾支持公益活動。(圖片提供/台灣兒童伊比力斯協會)

 

三五好友找個籃球場軋籃球「鬥牛」,或是到運動中心健身游泳,都是輕鬆自在的事情,可是有一群弱勢的族群卻往往被排除在外,不能自由自在的在運動場所盡情奔跑、舒展筋骨,他們是「伊比力斯兒」。根據一項調查顯示,有約3成的民眾認為伊比力斯兒不適合從事運動,可見觀念偏差必需改善。

根據2002~2003年健保局統計,台灣約有14萬名伊比力斯患者。為了多關懷這一些兒童,台灣兒童伊比力斯協會針對444位民眾進行問卷調查,結果發現,有約3成的民眾認為伊比力斯兒不適合從事運動,有超過4成的民眾認為運動會使伊比力斯兒病情加重。這些錯誤的刻板印象,使得伊比力斯兒在運動上受到很大的限制,也剝奪了他們快樂運動的機會。

伊比力斯兒發作 逾7成民眾感害怕

此外,問卷調查也發現,介意與伊比力斯兒一起運動的民眾中,有7成5的民眾害怕伊比力斯兒會忽然發作,認為發作很可怕,甚至有2成5的民眾認為伊比力斯兒會傳染。這些錯誤的觀念導致伊比力斯兒因遭受到排擠,到戶外參加各項運動的機會愈來愈低。

伊比力斯兒可運動 適合田徑游泳球類

醫師們建議,只要發作在合理的控制下,而且體力可以負荷,不要過度運動,伊比力斯兒不妨多參加戶外活動,例如:田徑、游泳、球類活動均可,較不建議參加攀岩或騎馬。參與一般戶外活動的時間和運動量可以慢慢逐步增加,同時兼顧孩子的體能狀況。

當碰到「伊比力斯兒」真正發作時,應該如何正確處置呢?調查發現有超過5成的民眾認為伊比力斯兒發作時,應該塞東西進入伊比力斯兒童嘴巴,或應該強行約束或壓制伊比力斯兒,這些都是錯誤的觀念,這樣容易在伊比力斯兒發作時造成受傷。

 

台灣兒童伊比力斯協會特別挑選今年最夯的棒球運動,在青少年育樂中心舉辦伊比力斯兒童樂樂棒球營。(圖片提供/台灣兒童伊比力斯協會)

台灣兒童伊比力斯協會特別挑選今年最夯的棒球運動,在青少年育樂中心舉辦伊比力斯兒童樂樂棒球營。(圖片提供/台灣兒童伊比力斯協會)

 

【伊比力斯兒發作 協助2口訣】:

★口訣一: 不要慌張叫叫他

1.保持鎮定、不要慌張。

2.確認小朋友的意識是否清醒。

★口訣二:輕輕側放保護他

1.協助小朋友躺下側臥,移開旁邊的障礙物及鬆開衣物,製造一個安全的環境,讓小朋友安全地發作結束。

2.不可拿手指頭或塞任何東西進小朋友的口中。

3.不需要大聲叫喊、用力搖晃或按壓小朋友,只要在一旁陪伴小朋友完全清醒後才可以離開。

台灣兒童伊比力斯協會特別挑選今年最夯的棒球運動,青少年育樂中心舉辦伊比力斯兒童樂樂棒球營,讓伊比力斯兒可以體驗打棒球的樂趣,此外,人氣氣象主播王淑麗也特別到現場化身啦啦隊,為伊比力斯兒加油。藥廠獻愛心贊助具有特殊意義的紫色頭巾,並由公司的棒球隊擔任一日志工,帶領伊比力斯兒共同快樂的打棒球。

via 伊比力斯兒發作 別在嘴巴塞東西 | 20130831 | 華人健康網.

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