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Archive for November 14, 2013

QuickPlan Pro

QuickPlan Pro – Project Plan for iPhone (4.5 stars with 18 Ratings) 
iPhone App
$4.99 Free


We have introduced QuickPlan for iPad before. Today you can pick up its iPhone version too.

QuickPlan is a powerful project management tool that allows you to input a number of tasks and keep track of progress. Catch your planning ideas with gesture based controls that allow you to set a timeline for the project. Record new ideas, schedule action decisions, track progress, add summaries to each level of plans and project guidelines, and even invite other people into the project with the sharing functionality. This is one of the more powerful project management apps I’ve seen, but don’t just take my word for it. Grab QuickPlan and see for yourself.

– See more at:

via Best Free Apps of the Day on 11/12. Voodo, QuickPlan, Face Juggler PLUS, & More! | AppSaga.

Soba and Maitake Mushrooms in Soy Broth



2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

1 1” piece peeled ginger, thinly sliced

½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

¼ cup dried wakame (optional)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ pound maitake mushrooms, torn into large pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces soba (Japanese-style noodles)

4 baby turnips or radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced

4 large egg yolks

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


Bring garlic, ginger, and 4 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add soy sauce and wakame, if using. Set broth aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

Meanwhile, cook soba in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain. Return reserved broth to a simmer.

Divide soba and broth among bowls; top with mushrooms, turnips, and egg yolks. Add scallions and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

via Soba and Maitake Mushrooms in Soy Broth – Bon Appétit.

Eye cells could help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease

Patients with Alzheimer’s show shrunken brain sizes (L) compared with healthy individuals (R)


Changes to specific cells in the retina could help diagnose and track the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists say.

A team found genetically engineered mice with Alzheimer’s lost thickness in this layer of eye cells.

As the retina is a direct extension of the brain, they say the loss of retinal neurons could be related to the loss of brain cells in Alzheimer’s.

The findings were revealed at the US Society for Neuroscience conference.

The team believes this work could one day lead to opticians being able to detect Alzheimer’s in a regular eye check, if they had the right tools.

[This] could lead to new ways to diagnose or predict Alzheimer’s that could be as simple as looking into the eyes”

Dr Scott TurnerGeorgetown University Medical Center

Alterations in the same retinal cells could also help detect glaucoma – which causes blindness – and is now also viewed as a neurodegenerative disease similar to Alzheimer’s, the researchers report.

Scott Turner, director of the memory disorders programme at Georgetown University Medical Center, said: “The retina is an extension of the brain so it makes sense to see if the same pathologic processes found in an Alzheimer’s brain are also found in the eye.”

Dr Turner and colleagues looked at the thickness of the retina in an area that had not previously been investigated. This included the inner nuclear layer and the retinal ganglion cell layer.

They found that a loss of thickness occurred only in mice with Alzheimer’s. The retinal ganglion cell layer had almost halved in size and the inner nuclear layer had decreased by more than a third.

“This suggests a new path forward in understanding the disease process in humans and could lead to new ways to diagnose or predict Alzheimer’s that could be as simple as looking into the eyes,” said Dr Turner.


Alzheimer’s disease

A coloured CT scan image of a human brain
  • Symptoms include loss of memory, mood changes, and problems with communication and reasoning
  • No one single factor has been identified as a cause for Alzheimer’s disease – a combination of factors, including age, genes, environment, lifestyle and general health are implicated
  • One of the leading theories involves the formation of clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid, which damage and kill brain cells

The dementia timebomb

Treatments developed for Alzheimer’s could therefore also be useful for treating glaucoma, he added.

But he also said that so far it was still speculation to say that retinal thinning may predict impending Alzheimer’s disease.

“We’re hoping that this translates to human patients and we suspect that retinal thinning, just like cortical thinning, happens long before anyone gets dementia,” Dr Scott told BBC News.

“Human studies are needed to test this idea as a diagnostic [test]. Current leading biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease are either very costly or invasive. A retinal thickness scan – as measured by optical coherence tomography – would be both inexpensive and non-invasive.”

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease and is the most common type of dementia. The cause is still unknown and there is currently no cure. It often goes undetected for years until so many cells die that symptoms become increasingly prevalent.

But treating the disease early is believed to be vital to prevent memory loss.

Laura Phipps, at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said there was increasing evidence linking retinal cell loss to Alzheimer’s disease, and that it was “positive to see this line of research being followed up”.

“This early-stage study, which is yet to be published in full, was carried out in mice, and further research will be necessary to determine whether changes in the retina found here are also found in people with Alzheimer’s.

“Diagnosing Alzheimer’s with accuracy can be a difficult task, which is why it’s vital to continue investing in research to improve diagnosis methods,” Dr Phipps added.

via BBC News – Eye cells could help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

US healthcare enrolment figures lower than expected

Residents of Kentucky, one of the unhealthiest states in America, share their hopes and fears on Obamacare


The Obama administration has said barely 27,000 Americans enrolled for health insurance through its troubled federal website in the first month.

About 106,000 people were insured in total, most of them through the state-run websites.

The administration originally estimated nearly half a million people would sign up in the first month.

Democrats reportedly expressed frustration about the botched rollout in a White House meeting on Wednesday.

The federal website, used in 36 US states, has been bedeviled by glitches since its 1 October launch.

The administration has pledged that the portal will be “running smoothly” for a “vast majority” of users by the end of November.

Website ‘improving’

Wednesday’s figures from the US health department also showed nearly 400,000 Americans had qualified for Medicaid, a government medical programme for the poor that was expanded by the healthcare law.

About 40% of people in this category were said to have come through the federal website.

Nearly one million people, meanwhile, had managed to check via the website if they were eligible for government subsidies towards the insurance, but had not selected a plan, according to the administration.

The White House’s chief technology officer, Todd Park, told a congressional oversight hearing on Wednesday that the system’s response times have improved.

But there is a long way to go – health insurance enrolment thus far is a tiny fraction of the seven million people the Obama administration has projected will sign up by the end of March.

The difficult launch of the website has provided Republicans with plenty of ammunition against the law, which they tried to delay or defund through a partial government shutdown last month.

The White House is also facing harsh criticism over insurance companies’ mass cancellation of policies that do not meet the law’s strict requirements, even though Democratic President Barack Obama had pledged otherwise.

Obama distrusted

Adding to his political headache, six Senate Democrats are sponsoring a bill that would allow Americans to hold on to their existing coverage. The proposal is entitled Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise.

It is along the lines of a House Republican-sponsored bill, to be voted on on Friday, which Democratic leaders have rejected as just another conservative attempt to repeal the law.

Democrats in the House of Representatives met White House officials on Wednesday, reportedly to express their concern that the issue could lead to a backlash in next year’s midterm elections.

An unnamed senior House Democratic aide told US media that legislators had pressed Mr Obama to announce a fix for the cancelled policies.

The White House is expected to host a visit from Democratic senators on Thursday.

Former President Bill Clinton, a fellow Democrat, on Tuesday urged Mr Obama to find a way to let Americans keep their coverage under the law. Republicans seized on his comments.

Last week, Mr Obama apologised to those whose policies had been cancelled, saying “we didn’t do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law”.

A recent US poll suggested that for the first time more than half of Americans do not trust the president.

via BBC News – US healthcare enrolment figures lower than expected.

PIP implant scandal: German firm ordered to pay damages

Some 400,000 women across the world were fitted with faulty PIP implants

A French court has ordered a German company to pay compensation to hundreds of women who were fitted with defective breast implants.

TUV Rheinland, which awarded EU safety certificates to the French implant manufacturer, “neglected its duties of vigilance”, the court said.

PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) was shut down in March 2010 amidst a worldwide health scare.

The company used sub-standard silicone gel, causing many implants to rupture.

PIP implants scandal in numbers

  • More than 300,000 women affected in 65 countries
  • 4,000 reported ruptures
  • PIP exported 80% of its implants, with half going to Latin America
  • 42,000 British, 25,000 Brazilian, 15,000 Colombian, 30,000 French, 16,000 Venezuelan women received PIP implants
  • 15,000 French women have had their PIP implants removed under instruction from the government
  • 5,000 women registered as plaintiffs in the PIP trial
  • 1,700 women registered in the TUV Rheinland trial

Q&A: Breast implants health scare

Six implant distributors and 1,700 women had sued TUV Rheinland for 50m euros (£42m), arguing anything but a cursory inspection would have found problems.

The plaintiffs in the civil case will be given an initial payment of 3,000 euros per victim for surgery to have the implants removed.

One victim said it was a “major step forward for 400,000 women worldwide” who have been seeking compensation.

It could open the door to many more compensation claims, says the BBC’s Christian Fraser in Paris.

TUV Rheinland had won two previous cases in Germany. This was the first such case in France.

The German firm has said it will appeal against the verdict.

Hidden from view

TUV Rheinland awarded PIP – formerly one of the world’s leading suppliers of implants – its European safety certificate for 17 years.

The founder of PIP, Jean Claude Mas, is still on trial for aggravated fraud in Marseilles, along with four of his executives.

He revealed during police interviews that he had ordered employees to hide the unauthorised silicone when inspectors visited his factory.

It has since emerged the substandard gel was used in 75% of the implants.

The court heard an employee in charge of quality control had only a cooking diploma – another in charge of the lab had previously trained as a pastry chef, our correspondent says.

A ruling is expected in Jean Claude Mas’ case on 10 December.

via BBC News – PIP implant scandal: German firm ordered to pay damages.

‘Unpredictable pandemics’ warning

The world needs to be prepared for “unpredictable pandemics” from viruses making the leap from animals to people, scientists in Taiwan say.

Their warning follows the first reported case of a common bird flu, H6N1, being detected in a woman, earlier this year.

The patient recovered and no other cases have been detected.

But the Lancet Respiratory Medicine report said “intensive” monitoring of bird flu was needed.

In May 2013, the first human case of an H6N1 bird flu was detected in a woman in Taiwan. One of her neighbours bred ducks, geese and chickens – although the precise source of the infection has not been detected.

Many sub-types of influenza, such as those that cause seasonal flu or the swine flu pandemic, are known to infect people, but H6N1 is not one of them.

The report, by the Centres for Disease Control in Taiwan, said: “The occurrence of a human case of H6N1 infection shows the unpredictability of influenza viruses.

“Our report highlights the need for influenza pandemic preparedness , including intensive surveillance for ever evolving avian influenza viruses.”

Prof Wendy Barclay, from Imperial College London, said these infections may have happened in the past but improved technology had meant this one had been discovered.

She said: ” Is this a truly new thing or are we now just better at seeing it?”

She told the BBC she expected far more of these cases to be reported in the next few years as more hospitals were geared up to look for novel bird flus.

Prof Barclay added: “This is a single case with no evidence of human transmission, but as always we should keep an eye on it and do studies to see how close it is to being able to spread between humans.”

via BBC News – ‘Unpredictable pandemics’ warning.

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via 防猛爆型齲齒 飲食後把握黃金潔牙 | 20131113 | 華人健康網.

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