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Archive for February 16, 2014

Weathercube: Get your weather information with this gesture based, minimalist app

Weathercube – Gestural Weather (4.5 stars with 3621 Ratings) 
Universal App
$0.99 Free

There are a lot of weather apps out there in the App Store, but they are mostly the same iteration over and over again. Weathercube, however, is a much different offering.

This iPhone app take the weather experience to a different level by making the entire thing gestural-based. Think of the popular TODO app Clear, and then you have something similar to how Weathercube operates. It boasts a highly interactive experience, with plenty of weather views to choose from, gorgeous themes, and a lot more. Grab Weathercube today.

App Screenshots

via Weathercube: Get your weather information with this gesture based, minimalist app | App Saga.

Indian-Spiced Chicken with Tomato and Cream

indian-spiced-chicken-with-tomato-and-cream-940x6005500220
INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil

6 chicken legs (drumsticks with thighs; about 3 lb.)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic finely grated

2 tablespoons finely grated peeled ginger

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon ground cardamom

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

¾ cup canned tomato purée

½ cup heavy cream

1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced ¼” thick

Plain yogurt, torn fresh mint, and naan, flatbread, or cooked rice (for serving)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Calories (kcal) 510 Fat (g) 24 Saturated Fat (g) 8 Cholesterol (mg) 215 Carbohydrates (g) 22 Dietary Fiber (g) 3 Total Sugars (g) 5 Protein (g) 52 Sodium (mg) 1260

PREPARATION

View Step-by-Step Directions

Heat ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until golden brown (do not turn), 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add onion, garlic, and ginger to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Add tomato paste, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, and cardamom and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste is beginning to darken, about 4 minutes.

Add chicken, broth, tomato purée, and cream to pot; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, skimming occasionally, until chicken is almost falling off the bone and liquid is slightly thickened, 1½–2 hours.

Add potatoes to pot and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are fork-tender, chicken is falling off the bone, and liquid is thick enough to coat a spoon, 30–45 minutes. Remove skin and bones from chicken, if desired, and return meat to pot; season stew with salt and pepper.

Divide stew among bowls, top with yogurt and mint, and serve with naan, flatbread, or rice.

DO AHEAD: Stew can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

via Indian-Spiced Chicken with Tomato and Cream – Bon Appétit.

Virus injection could kill brain tumour cells

brain

Injecting brain tumours with a virus could kill cancer cells but leave healthy cells unharmed, researchers suggest.

Scientists at the University of Leeds have been given a £3 million grant to research the method over five years.

Because the treatment is non-toxic, they hope it could be used on elderly patients and children.

Neuro-oncologist Susan Short, who is leading the project, told BBC Radio 5 live’s Breakfast: “We’re hoping that before the end of the year we can offer the treatment within clinical studies.”

via BBC News – Virus injection could kill brain tumour cells.

Adults ‘unaware of NHS data plans’

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Data collection has moved on from paper files in GP surgeries

 

Fewer than a third of adults recall getting a leaflet about changes to the handling of medical records, a poll for BBC Radio 4’s PM programme suggests.

The NHS in England is set to collect data on patient care by GPs for the first time, uploading some of the information to a database.

Leaflets explaining the scheme, and how to opt out, should have been sent to 26.5 million households in January

But only 29% of 860 adults polled by ICM Research recalled getting one.

According to the poll, about 45% of people remain unaware of the plan to share some data from GP medical records.

Data sharing fears

Hospital data is already collected but NHS England says extending the initiative to general practice means it will be possible to get a fuller picture.

It says it will help plan services and improve patient care, and there will be strong safeguards to protect people’s privacy, but critics worry that under the changes in some cases data shared with approved organisations outside the NHS could be identifiable.

NHS England told the BBC the leaflet campaign was only one way it was informing people of the change, but it would look into why so few people reported receiving leaflets.

Dr Geraint Lewis, NHS England’s chief data officer, told the BBC: “We are hearing that certain patients have not received the leaflets, so we’re working very closely with the Royal Mail.”

But he did add that he was pleased that more than half of those polled did know about the changes.

Prof Nigel Mather, of the Royal College of GPs, which supports the scheme, said it reinforced its view that “more effort” was required to increase awareness.

Dr Neil Bhatia, a GP who is critical of the project and has worked to raise awareness, said: “The low numbers receiving a leaflet confirm the suspicions of very many GPs, including myself, that NHS England’s public information programme has been a absolute shambles.”

Patients group Healthwatch has called for a pause to the programme while patient concerns are addressed.

via BBC News – Adults ‘unaware of NHS data plans’.

Computers select personal medicine

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Peter Coveney holds up a model of the HIV protease and a blocking drug molecule

UK scientists have given one glimpse of the future of personalised medicine.

Using supercomputers, they simulated the shape of a key protein involved in HIV infection in an individual patient and then ranked the drug molecules most likely to block the activity.

The research was reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

In the future, it is expected that patient-specific drug selection will become routine.

Researchers now recognise that pharmaceutical products do not have the same effects in all people. Subtle genetic differences between individuals will lead to a range of outcomes.

Prof Peter Coveney and colleagues from University College London have demonstrated how you might tackle this problem using the latest genetic sequencing techniques and big computation.

They took as their target the HIV protease molecule, which is critical in helping to build the viral particle, or virion, in a cell that will eventually break out to infect the next cell.

The protease has a slightly different shape in each individual, in particular in the protein’s active zone where it slices the components that will form the next virion.

This is a consequence of the very specific genetic sequence of the virus in that person, but unless that shape is known, there is uncertainty as to which particular drug will bind to the protease and stop it in its tracks.

The UCL team showed how one could take the specific viral sequence, infer the shape and then work out the most appropriate drug.

HIV treatments
Pharmaceutical products do not have the same effects in all people

“We show that it’s possible to take a genomic sequence from a patient; use that to build the accurate, patient-specific, three-dimensional structure of the patient’s protein; and then match that protein to the best drug available from a set. In other words, to rank those drugs – to be able to say to a doctor ‘this drug is the one that’s going to bind most efficiently to that site. The other ones, less so’.”

There are currently nine US Federal Drug Administration-approved HIV-protease inhibitors on the market. The UCL project ranked seven of them in its proof of principle experiment.

Although the idea sounds simple, working out how each drug molecule would fit into the patient’s shape-specific protease protein required enormous computing capability.

“We’re having to run upwards of 50 simulations of these models, each one of which needs a hundred cores on a computer. So that’s a machine with 5,000 cores, and then you run the calculations for about 12 to 18 hours,” explained the director of the Centre for Computational Science at UCL.

“You get a huge amount of output data, and then do post-processing and analysis to get the ranking.

“A doctor need not know about any of this complexity; all they’d be interested in would be the list of best-to-worst drugs for that patient.”

Although the required computing power might make this approach look somewhat impractical today, Prof Coveney’s point is that the relentless improvement in processor capability means these types of simulations will become much more reasonable in the future.

“Today’s supercomputer is on your desktop in 10 years, right?”

What it is more, in principle, it is possible to turn the calculations around in two to three days, which is very relevant to the timescales required by doctors to make treatment decisions for their patients.

As well as reporting this work at the AAAS meeting, Prof Coveney’s UCL team has also written up the research in the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.

Graphic
This graphic depicts how one gets from the patient’s particular viral sequence for the HIV protease to a ranked list of treatments, after going through multiple simulations to find the drug molecule most likely to bind to the protease and block its activity

via BBC News – Computers select personal medicine.

More healing sleep for newborns

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Sleeping like a baby is an oft-used cliche. But while sleep is crucial for sick and premature babies to grow and recover, it can be difficult in a bright, noisy hospital.

However those in a specially-designed ward in Bath can be confident of getting plenty of rest.

When we try to soothe a baby at home we keep the bedroom dark and quiet. Yet many sick babies are cared for in hospital wards that are neither particularly restful, dark nor quiet.

“There’s not usually any controllable light in a hospital, it’s very brightly lit and noisy – a technical environment,” says Bernie Marden, a consultant neonatologist at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

The new neonatal ward he runs has been designed with the needs of the families, babies and clinicians in mind – resulting in a fifth more sleep for the infants.

To check that the new unit provided a better environment for the babies a special movement monitor was created to record the babies’ behaviour.

The man behind the device is Professor Mark Tooley, head of medical physics at the hospital.

It is about the same size and shape as a domino and even though it is a relatively simple device, there were challenges in its design.

“We had to make sure it couldn’t get hot or interfere with the baby’s wellbeing in any way. The hospital’s ethics committee were rightly very strict about this,” he said.

It contains three accelerometers, to detect movement in three different planes and this information is fed wirelessly to a computer. The device’s battery can last up to five weeks.

Calming

Putting it under the babies’ armpit was the initial idea but the ethics committee said no.

“Putting it onto the nappy seemed the ideal solution.. but we did lose a few when nappies were changed because they were white and became almost invisible. We have now put a colourful sticker on them.”

Baby Laila and her twin sister Aicha were born nearly three months early and will stay in the neonatal unit until around their original due date.

Their mother Samantha Rhodes relaxes in a comfortable reclining chair, with Aisha cradled on her chest.

Both girls are now both feeding well and growing in the peaceful, dimly-lit neonatal unit.

Samantha and her daughters will be here for quite a while – probably until close to their original due date – so it is just as well they feel at home here: “It’s not like a hospital, it’s really relaxing.”

It’s not just premature babies who need extra help and support.

One in 10 of all babies born at this hospital will spend some time in the neonatal unit for a variety of reasons – usually because they are premature or the stress of birth.

Bernie Marden says: “In the new unit we have noticed that materials like wood have encouraged a calming environment – the families tend to tone down their voices.

“In the babies we studied we found that they had 20% more sleep here in the new unit – and while they’re resting they’re growing, and recovering.

“There is a slightly noisier time during the morning but after then it quietens down again. The overall noise level dipped by eight decibels, compared with the old unit. And the parents are more involved in their care.”

Flatpack ward

The architects behind the new unit – Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios – had never built a healthcare facility before.

The calm atmosphere in the unit was created by consulting with everyone from the lead doctors to the cleaners.

Jo Wright, who was in charge of the project, said: “In the old unit space was very tight, everyone was on top of each other. We didn’t want to go the tried-and-tested route.

“The use of natural materials like wood came out of a desire to be sustainable. We obviously had to verify it was OK with the infection control team.

“Much of it came as a flatpack and minimised disruption as we were building close to the delivery suite.”

The impact of the new neonatal unit was evaluated by Mike Osborn – a clinical psychologist at the hospital who specialises in supporting patients affected by chronic pain and cancer.

“The old unit had no natural light – it was like being inside a hot, dusty submarine, you couldn’t tell if it was day or night.

‘Less anxious and tense’

“And because babies are small there was a feeling that the department could be small, but it was difficult for the mums to get to their babies it was so cramped.”

The parents appear to benefit also from the light and space in the new unit – the bar stools they used to sit on have been replaced with reclining comfortable chairs.

“I used to get called down to parents in a panic – as if they’d had 17 espresso coffees. Now they’re less anxious and tense and I sometimes have to wake them up to talk to them.”

Breastfeeding rates have gone up – in the new unit 90% of the babies go home breastfeeding, compared with 64% in the old unit.

Mike Osborn says the positive experience in the neonatal unit has provided a blueprint for the rest of his hospital: “We are hoping to rebuild our cancer department and now we have a benchmark for building compassionate environments here and elsewhere.

“Treatments can be horrible but we can do something to soothe our patients.”

The nappy sensor
The nappy sensor

Laila and Aicha in the new unit with their mother Samantha
Laila and Aicha in the new unit with their mother Samantha

Hospital room
Natural light streams into the new neonatal unit at the Royal United Hospital in Bath

via BBC News – More healing sleep for newborns.

用腦過度!醬燒鮪魚排幫大腦加分

鮭魚和鮪魚都是屬於富含Omega-3的深海魚類,多攝取有助於提升腦力,預防老化。

鮭魚和鮪魚都是屬於富含Omega-3的深海魚類,多攝取有助於提升腦力,預防老化。

 

 上班族用腦過度、老年人健忘,常有腦功能退化的情況發生,普遍認為多吃富含Omega-3脂肪酸的深海魚魚類可活化腦力,變得更聰明,但許多魚類也含有可讓腦袋活性化的Omega-6脂肪酸,偏偏兩者存有平衡的問題,營養師認為,依照國人整體的飲食習慣,建議吃魚時優先選擇深海魚,如鮪魚或鮭魚等。

大腦2大必需脂肪酸 失去平衡恐傷身

Omega-3脂肪酸和Omega-6脂肪酸都是構成大腦組織的「必需脂肪酸」,一比一的等量攝取原則有助於活化腦力,維持大腦清晰運動。不過,現代人飲食多偏好雞豬牛等禽肉性食物,或常吃用大豆油、芝麻油、玉米油製成的加工食品,易導致人體內Omega-6脂肪酸大幅增加,甚至超過Omega-3脂肪酸的20至30倍,攝取量不平衡的情況下,破壞均衡飲食的護腦原則,還可能導致心血管疾病或自體免疫性疾病。

大千醫院營養室營養師黃珮茹表示,Omega-6對人體有保護細胞、調節代謝、促進免疫系統等功能,也是大腦營養所需,但Omega-6經人體消化代謝後會產生發炎物質,過量攝取會使身體長期處於發炎狀態,危害健康,而Omega-3卻能抑制這樣的發炎反應,因此基於現代人的整體飲食習慣,建議國人多攝取Omega-3食物,特別是含量豐富的深海魚類。

多吃Omega-3深海魚 補腦強身好處多

黃珮茹營養師表示,Omega-3脂肪酸不但可降低發炎反應,平衡免疫調節,減緩過敏情形;可幫助調整血脂肪,降低三酸甘油脂及低密度脂肪酸,預防慢性疾病;也有研究發現可增加大腦皮質血液的灌注,可能對阿茲海默症的延緩有幫助,是很好的護腦營養素。而Omega-3脂肪酸含量較高的食物以深海魚為主,例如金槍魚、鮭魚、鮪魚、鯖魚、沙丁魚、三紋魚等。

多攝取深海魚中補充Omega-3,可平衡體內的Omega-6,抑制發炎。

多攝取深海魚中補充Omega-3,可平衡體內的Omega-6,抑制發炎。

 

此外,魚類所含脂肪相較於紅肉低,且魚類的肉質也較紅肉或雞肉軟嫩,較易學童或銀髮族咀嚼及吞嚥,是良好的蛋白質來源,但也須注意魚類的來源及新鮮度,避免不新鮮而造成過敏。

深海魚健康吃 熟食更勝生魚片

黃珮茹營養師表示,魚類生吃或熟食的營養價值差不多,但魚類容易腐敗或受病菌污染,建議熟食比較安全;若怕腥味,簡單地加點薑、青蔥、味增等放入鍋內清蒸、煮湯,都可以品嚐到魚肉的鮮甜,也能達到去腥的效果。

相較於個體較小的養殖魚,大型的深海魚常有遭重金屬污染的疑慮,讓民眾裹足不前,營養師建議,吃魚護腦也要避免長期選擇單一魚種或單一漁場的魚,應選擇各式魚類,增加變化,可降低重金屬的攝取風險。

【護腦食譜:醬燒鮪魚排】

  • 材料:鮪魚排、洋蔥、青蔥、黃甜椒、紅甜椒、蒜。

  • 調味料:醬油、鹽、冰糖、米酒、味霖、黑胡椒粒。

  • 做法:

    1. 將全部材料洗淨。鮪魚切成小排狀,洋蔥、黃甜椒、紅甜椒切成絲,蒜切成末,青蔥切成段,備用。

    2. 將鮪魚排用醬油、味霖、黑胡椒粒醃製半個小時,備用。

    3. 熱鍋,加入1匙的沙拉油,將洋蔥絲、黃甜椒絲和紅甜椒絲炒軟後先盛盤鋪底。

    4. 用小火將鮪魚排煎至金黃色,加入蒜末、醬油、米酒、鹽、冰糖和少許的水,煮滾後,再放入蔥段拌炒即可。

via 用腦過度!醬燒鮪魚排幫大腦加分 | 20140215 | 華人健康網.

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