Is being overweight ALWAYS unhealthy? Scientists discover the answer depends on to how efficiently the body breaks down and stores fat

A recent study proves that your weight doesn’t indicate your health. This is not — and we need to emphasize this — an excuse to overeat or snack on junk food. However, scientists are concluding that what is more important to overall health is how efficiently the body breaks down and stores fat rather than actual weight. 

Despite the paradoxical nature of the concept, in the study of obesity, it’s often the overweight people who can break down fat at a high rate. These obese individuals are considered less healthy than other who can store their body fat more effectively. When fat breaks down, a lot of the fatty acids released from the adipose tissue, or body fat, goes elsewhere in the body.

When this happens more than is necessary, the fat can accumulate to harmful levels in other tissues and organs. This excess fat will fuel insulin resistance, which is a hallmark of type-2 diabetes and heart disease. (Related: Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss: What Every Dieter Needs to Know.)

Two studies from the University of Michigan helped isolated key characteristics in fat tissue that can help obese adults store their body fat via a healthier way. Jeffrey Horowitz, principal investigator and professor of movement science at the U-M School of Kinesiology, shared that the studies also prove that aerobic exercise can contribute to healthier fat storage.

A lot of obese individuals often develop insulin resistance, and this can lead to type-2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. But Horowitz et al. determined that at least one-third of the 30 obese adults in their study didn’t develop insulin resistance.

The study looked at adipose tissue samples from the participants, which showed that the healthier group broke down fat at slower rates. The healthier participants also had fewer proteins used in fat breakdown and were more involved in fat-storing, whereas obese individuals had fewer fibrotic cells in the adipose tissue. These cells allows tissue to be more flexible, and they helped lower the activation of certain inflammatory pathways.

Horowitz explained that while the findings seem “counterintuitive,” further study can help the researchers learn more about how people can store fat more effectively. The findings can also be used to study “why some people are better at this than others.” He added that the results can be used to “design therapies and preventions that will improve some of these obesity-related metabolic conditions.”

For the second study, the researchers collected fat tissue after two groups of overweight people underwent a session of aerobic exercise. One group exercised regularly while the other group didn’t. In both groups, even a single session of exercise set off signals that caused the growth of new blood vessels in fat tissue.

The scientists also took note of indications that those who exercised regularly had more blood vessels in their fat tissue compared to the non-exercisers. This is significant since the health of most tissues are often connected to blood flow and nutrients, stated Horowitz.

As we gain weight, our fat cells expand. But if blood flow to fat tissue doesn’t increase at the same time, it might become unhealthy or, eventually, necrotic. Horowitz cautioned that the two studies are relevant because the data can be used to help obese people who are at risk for metabolic disease.

Horowitz advised that with regular exercise, people can foster a “healthier fat-storing environment” even if they occasionally overeat and gain weight. He added that both studies also championed the notion that clinicians can benefit from redefining their ingrained perception of fat.

Horowitz elaborated, “Adipose tissue is scorned because most people see it as causing disease and obesity, but in general adipose tissue doesn’t cause people to gain weight and become obese, it’s just where we store our extra energy when we do overeat… Our studies aren’t suggesting it is healthy to be obese or to overeat — but when we do overeat, it is important to have a safe place to store that extra energy.” He concluded, “When people gain the same amount of body fat, those with adaptations to their fat tissue that can more healthfully accommodate the extra fat may be protected from developing insulin resistance and obesity-related diseases. We have identified some of these adaptations.”

If you want to stay in shape to maintain a healthy fat-storing environment in your body, try out these low-impact exercises:

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What are you smoking? Study shows 70% of cannabidiol extracts are mislabeled

Cannabidiol (CBD) extract is growing in popularity thanks to the benefits it offers to people with certain health conditions. In fact, the market for CBD products is expected to exceed $2 billion in sales to consumers in the next three years alone. Unfortunately, any time there’s a hot product on the market, unscrupulous businesspeople will take advantage of the situation and try to sell people inferior or downright fraudulent products. Even those who want to provide an honest product are sometimes hampered by incorrect lab results.

Naturally occurring in the cannabis plant, CBD is gaining a lot of attention because of its therapeutic effects for a range of illnesses, including chronic pain, epilepsy, inflammation, depression and rare seizure disorders in children. It has the added benefit of not giving people that “high” feeling that comes from smoking marijuana and is not habit-forming.

Inadequate regulation is a big problem with CBD given the fact that it is currently considered a Schedule 1 controlled dangerous substance at the federal level even though it has been legalized for medicinal purposes in several states. This has created a big online market for CBD products that don’t live up to their promises.

A new study carried out by Penn Medicine and published in JAMA discovered that an incredible seven out of every ten CBD products sold online are over-labeled or under-labeled, both of which have the potential to cause serious harm to those who use them.

The study’s lead author, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry Dr. Marcel Bonn-Miller, points out that the fact that the product is not legal at the federal level means FDA quality oversight isn’t possible. Consumers therefore have no way of knowing just what is in the bottle when they buy these oils – a particularly risky situation when the product is being given to sick children.

Over the course of a month, Bonn-Miller and his research team bought and analyzed 84 CBD products from 31 companies. They found that over 42 percent of the products were actually under-labeled, which means they contained more CBD than the packaging indicated. Meanwhile, more than a quarter of them were over-labeled, which means they had a lower CBD concentration than their label stated.

Just 30 percent of the CBD products studied had a CBD content that was within ten percent of the amount stated on the label of the product.

Some product types were more prone to accuracy errors than others. For example, while just half of the CBD oils were labeled incorrectly overall, nearly 90 percent of vaporization liquids bore incorrect labels. Tinctures had an equal likelihood of being under-labeled, over-labeled or accurate.

This inaccurate information could affect a person’s treatment, and it also makes it difficult for consumers who buy different products to get reliable results. Not getting enough for it to be effective means people with problems like pain, anxiety and epilepsy could be suffering needlessly. On top of that, the researchers found that 18 of the products had significant amounts of THC, which many people who turn to CBD are hoping to avoid as it is associated with the “high” of cannabis and could create a positive result on a drug test.

Bonn-Miller has found similar discrepancies in the labeling accuracy of edible medical cannabis products in the past, and he is hoping that something will be done about this problem.

This finding, while disturbing, is nothing new. Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, found a similarly troubling trend when testing CBD products in his ISO 17025-accredited CWC Labs. In one case, he found a prominent hemp extract manufacturer claiming a product had a CBD content that was 500 percent higher than it actually was. Adams routinely tests and certifies the CBD content of a CBD product brand called Native Hemp Solutions.

Unfortunately, until more brands use reliable testing methods like mass spec time-of-flight analysis and more regulations are put in place to encourage more honest labeling, this problem seems unlikely to go away.

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Americans don’t dream anymore: Expert claims lack of sleep is affecting our physical and mental health

It’s not just kids who need a decent amount of sleep each night. To be able to function well at school or work, adults need to sleep deep enough to dream, according to an article from the Daily Mail.

Each night, we go through the fours stages of sleep. This occurs several times, and the bulk of our dreaming occurs during the “rapid-eye movement” (REM) phase. REM is the fourth stage, and missing out on enough sleep could spell the difference between getting enough rest and being tired and cranky the next day. (Related: Effects of Sleep Deprivation.)

Studies show that the physical and mental health of the average American is suffering due to a lack of sleep and dreams. The results of the study from the University of Arizona have identified several concerns that often go unnoticed since dreaming-sleep is nestled between psychology and sleep-science.

The REM cycle, which is the stage of sleep when our most active dream lives occur, was initially believed to be “the most deeply restful phase of sleep.” However, findings from contemporary research say that non-REM sleep, the stage before REM sleep, is the most restful phase.

Dr. Rubin Naiman, a sleep and dream psychologist from the university, claims that we need both. Since sleep and dreaming are analogous to our basic needs, it’s no use asking which is more important because, like food and water, we need both REM and non-REM sleep.

Dr. Naiman said, “We can actually go without food for weeks and weeks, but without water for only a few days. The brain prioritizes deep sleep over REM sleep, and if someone is sleep deprived they will dive into deep sleep to catch up.” He added that we need both to stay healthy.

It’s not just the lack of sleep that can cause health concerns like “greater risks of inflammation, pain sensitivity, obesity and memory problems” such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Without REM sleep, one’s physical and mental health can suffer greatly. Studies have revealed the link between Alzheimer’s and REM sleep, which can be seen in individuals who have difficulty entering the dreaming phase of sleep. This means that they have a bigger chance of developing Alzheimer’s.

If sleep is regularly interrupted, the chemical called soluble beta-amyloid might build up. This chemical can interfere with cognition and worse, kill brain cells. Soluble beta-amyloid in the brain is one of the first warning signs for the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Naiman is concerned because his colleagues don’t believe that dreams are important. He also shared that REM sleep is where memory consolidation takes place and that dreams could be a part of this process. For years, there has been a strong correlation between damaged dreaming and memory loss, shared Dr. Naiman. He stated, “when we don’t dream well, we don’t remember well.”

The link between depression and dreamless sleep has also been documented. In REM sleep, the brain’s paralimbic system, which deals with emotional information processing and other functions, is more active and suppresses the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that deals with executive functions. The pattern only occurs in REM sleep, and research proves that the brain also processes the consolidation of negative emotional memories.

Drinking alcohol and taking marijuana and sleeping pills also disrupt sleep and dreams. Dr. Naiman advises that one glass of wine after dinner is preferable to binge-drinking at night.

He adds that while some people take marijuana to sleep better, the drug can even cause a “disruptive rush.” To combat interrupted sleep and dreams, Dr. Naiman suggests “effective combinations of exercise, morning light and nutrients with vitamin D” to eliminate the need for sleep disruptions like alcohol, alarm clocks, and drugs.

But what do you do if Dr. Naiman’s suggestions don’t work for you? Here are additional healthy sleep habits you can practice to ensure that you get enough Zs at night:

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How you deal with your mistakes may determine the difference between making excuses and learning a lesson

“That was a colossal mistake, but I meant well and tried my best, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.” Sound familiar? We all do it. After all, excusing our mistakes makes us feel better and helps us to cope with the failure. However, an interesting new study conducted by a collaboration of scientists from Kansas, Stanford and Ohio State Universities, has found that while making us feel better temporarily, excusing our mistakes does not have the best long-term outcome. The study was published online in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

The U.K.’s Daily Mail recently reported:

We’re often told [to] avoid dwelling on past mistakes if we want to move forward. But one group of scientists say the opposite may be true. They claim feeling the pain of failure leads to more effort to correct your mistake and perform better in the future. Researchers found that people who just thought about a failure tended to make excuses for why they were unsuccessful. This meant they didn’t try harder when faced with a similar situation.

The research team reached their conclusions after conducting several experiments, one of which involved asking 98 college students to search online for the price of a blender with specific technical specifications. The student who discovered the cheapest blender would win a cash prize.

While they were waiting to find out who had won, the students were divided into two groups. One group was asked to focus on their emotional response to winning or losing, while the other group was told to focus on thinking about how they had done. Each person was told that they would need to write about their responses after the competition.

The experiment was rigged, of course, so that nobody found the lowest priced item – essentially, everybody failed.

The goal of the experiment was to determine how the two groups would handle another task in the future, so the participants were then given an additional task. Some were asked to search for a low-priced book as a gift for a friend (a similar task to the previous one), while the rest were asked to search for a gift book that was simply the best choice for a friend (a non-similar task).

The Times explained the results of the experiments:

Emotionally motivated participants spent nearly 25 percent more time searching for a low-priced book than did participants who had only thought about —rather than dwelled on the pain of — their earlier failure.

There was no significant difference in effort made by participants when the second task wasn’t like the first.

Essentially, the researchers found that people who made mistakes and then allowed themselves to focus on how bad those mistakes made them feel, were more likely to try harder the next time they dealt with a similar situation to avoid experiencing those emotions again. (Related: To learn more about human emotions and how to cope with them visit

“All the advice tells you not to dwell on your mistakes, to not feel bad,” said Selin Malkoc, co-author of the study. “But we found the opposite. When faced with a failure, it is better to focus on one’s emotions — when people concentrate on how bad they feel and how they don’t want to experience these feelings again, they are more likely to try harder the next time.”

Unfortunately, most of us try to protect ourselves from the effects of our mistakes, and protecting our egos often comes first. This emotional distancing makes us less likely to learn from those mistakes and avoid them in the future. (Related: Finnish researchers map how emotions are expressed physically in human bodies.)

So, next time you really mess something up – as all of us do from time to time – try to focus on how bad you feel about it, rather than excusing the error. If the results of the experiment are to be believed, this will set you up for a greater chance of success the next time you deal with a similar situation.

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What Alcohol Consumption Does to Your Brain

Alcohol is such a ubiquitous part of our culture that it’s easier to brush off any news of its harm than it is to even consider abandoning it in favor of better health, mental clarity, and spiritual awareness. And while there is no doubt that drinking can be fun, and no doubt that it is here to stay, it is still fascinating to see how a substance as harmful as alcohol can be legal and so well-accepted while other mind-altering substances are punished so severely.

We’ve known for sometime that even casual drinkers are susceptible to the downside of alcohol, and some research has even linked it to the development of cancer. The latest research into the harm of alcohol looks at how it affects the brain.

In a study published in July of 2017 in the medical journal The BMJ, researchers presented evidence supporting the enduring hypothesis that alcohol is very bad for the certain areas of the brain.

“The study followed 550 men and women for 30 years, measuring their brain structure and function to determine how alcohol use affects the mind over time. What they found is that the more people drank, the more atrophy occurred in the brain’s hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure in your brain that plays a role in storing memories. The highest risk was for people who drank 17 standard drinks or more of alcohol per week. But even people who drank moderately saw an elevated risk for cognitive changes.” [Source]

The hippocampus plays a major role in regulating the body’s limbic system and memory, which explains why drunk people are well-known to have slurred speech, lethargic movement, poor memory and suffer from blackouts.

This study points out, though, that regular drinkers may be experiencing continued atrophy of the hippocampus, meaning that as the years go by, the effects compound, creating serious health issues as we age.

As research methods improve we are learning more about cognitive changes in the brain in people who drink on a regular basis. The significance of these developments is best understood by looking at the cultural exaltation of alcohol as something that is harmless in moderation, and something that supposedly provides a bevy of positive benefits.

“As methods of investigating the association between alcohol and health are refined, however, the size of the apparent benefits reduces substantially.” 

There are a number of long-ranging, subtle, deteriorative aspects of alcohol consumption which run counter to the wisdom of it be legal and so prevalent in our society, unless you consider that chronically poor health is a business model in today’s world. The medical establishment benefits financially from people whose health is in continuous decline, and natural substances which actually improve health while providing enjoyable recreational experiences continue to be persecuted.


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How this couple earns a six figure annual income with 1.5 acres of land

Can small-scale farming in the modern age really generate enough income for the average family to make an honest living? For Jean-Martin Fortier and his wife, Maude-Hélène Desroches, it does. The Canadian couple grows beets, broccoli, salad greens, carrots, and various other types of produce on their modest 1.5 acres of land, from which they generate an average of at least $140,000 per year in sales – not too shabby!

They tell all in their new book The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming, sharing many of the secrets they’ve uncovered about the local nature of food production. There’s no need for large agricultural organizations to “feed the world,” as goes the mantra, when everyday people are feeding themselves and their communities, they explain. And those who do it right have the potential to reap a financial windfall as well.

While the general perception is that farming, and especially the “backyard” variety, is more of a hobby for most people than it is a source of income, Fortier and his wife believe otherwise. Their own successful farm serves as living proof that it’s more than possible for people to get into the agricultural business and do well if they possess the drive and wherewithal to make it happen.

Born and raised in Quebec, Fortier started farming with his wife when he was still an intern at WWOOFers, a worldwide organic farming movement that promotes cultural and educational experiences to help people form communities around locally-grown food. They started out by renting some land to grow food, and gradually worked their way up to owning their own land and launching a full-scale business out of it.

Today, they grow an extensive mix of produce that requires them to work the land for nine months out of the year. From their bounty, the feed 200 families a week that subscribe to their community-supported agriculture program, also known as a CSA. Members of a CSA typically receive a fresh box of produce weekly or bi-weekly as part of their subscription.

“I felt that there was a need for [a book] like this,” Fortier says, referencing these and other concepts as he covers them in his book. “I have been involved with growing the food movement. My response was to tell people that they can grow and here is how.”

But what about organic growing methods? Foregoing the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides oftentimes comes with added costs and labor, not to mention the possibility of lower yields. Does growing organic food specifically still bode well in the profit department? According to Fortier and his wife, absolutely.

When they first started out, the couple adopted unique methods of growing food that Fortier describes as being “biologically intensive.” Many of these natural methods of permaculture they still use today, including conservation tillage, permanent growing beds, and crop rotation, all of which have proven to be a huge success.

Fortier and his wife also do much of the work on their farm by hand rather than use expensive equipment – and yet still generate impressive sales numbers. They apply organic fertilizer, save seeds, manage weeds, insects, pests, and disease, and even harvest their crops using simple, traditional methods of old that still allow them to remain competitive in the agricultural marketplace.

“We could have followed a route similar to that taken by all other growers we knew: invest in a tractor and move towards a more mechanized growing system,” Fortier says. “Instead, we opted to stay small-scale and continue relying on our hands and light power tools.”

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Sleep better tonight AND reduce inflammation with cherry juice

Are you having a hard time getting a good night’s rest or have been wanting to extend your sleeping hours? We have good news for you. A new study reveals that drinking cherry juice, particularly Montmorency tart cherry juice one hour before you sleep will give you 84 minutes of extra sleep, as reported by The Daily Mail.

In the study by researchers from Louisiana State University, eight participants who were 50-years-old and older with chronic insomnia were examined. All of the participants reported sleeping around 9 p.m. to midnight. Each participant was asked to fast for 10 hours, except water, before they had their blood tested. After that, they were asked to answer a survey regarding their insomnia. They were randomly given either 240 ml or eight oz. of cherry juice or a placebo that looked and tasted similarly to the cherry juice. Participants consumed their assigned drink twice a day, one in the morning and another an hour before their bedtime, for 14 days. Two weeks after, they were asked to answer the survey again and the groups switched over.

Results showed that insomniacs who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice had 84 minutes longer sleep time compared to the placebo group. Moreover, cherry juice-drinkers had more efficient sleep. The researchers, after examining the blood samples, found that cherry juice decreased the levels of kynurenine, which is a factor in sleep disturbances and raised the amount of tryptophan in the blood — an amino acid that assists in causing sleepiness. Furthermore, they discovered that cherry juice stopped the production of indoleanmine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), which can delay the release of tryptophan. It can also reduce inflammation as it is known to stop the development of PGE2, a biomarker of inflammation.

Jack Losso, lead author of the study, explained that many people do not want to depend on medications to help them sleep, so natural sleep remedies are “increasingly of interest and in demand.” (Related: Beating insomnia: Eight surprisingly simple tips.)

The study was published in the American Journal of Therapeutics and was partly funded by the Cherry Marketing Institute.

Doctors recommend sleeping for at least seven or more hours a night. However, there are 50 to 70 million people in the United States who suffer from sleep disorders, with insomnia being the most common.

“Insomnia is quite common among older adults and it can lead to a range of health issues if left untreated,” Losso said.

People with insomnia have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. They feel discontented with their rest. Moreover, they typically experience symptoms such as fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and bad performance in work or at school. There are two types of insomnia based on their duration — acute and chronic insomnia. Acute insomnia is disrupted sleep that is short and usually occurs because of life situations such as a breakup. On the other hand, chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that happens at least three nights a week and lasts for at least three months. Insomnia has been linked to varies diseases such as cancer, diabetes, dementia, heart disease, and depression.

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The power of thought: New study finds that what depression patients EXPECT is more important than what they actually take

The efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) in the treatment of depression has long been questioned within the scientific community due to varying study results. However, recent research published in the EBioMedicine journal has demonstrated that the drug’s efficacy may also be dependent on a patient’s perceptions about the treatment. As part of the study, a team of health experts at the Uppsala University in Sweden enrolled patients with social anxiety disorder who had been instructed to take similar doses of the SSRI escitalopram for nine weeks.

The researchers categorized the patients into two groups. One group received accurate information about the drug’s profile and efficacy, while the other group has been given incorrect information and were under the impression that they are taking an active placebo pill. The research team has also assessed the participant’s brain activities through an MR neuroimaging test. The results indicated a better drug response when patients are presented with the correct information.

“Our results show that the number of responders was three times higher when correct information was given than when patients thought they were treated with an ineffective active placebo, even though the pharmacological treatment was identical,” study author Vanda Faria told Science Daily online.

Data from brain scans also revealed that the drug had varying effects on both patient groups. According to the research team, the patients exhibited significant differences in the activation of the posterior cingulate cortex and the amygdala, a brain region that plays a key role in the onset of fear and anxiety. Study co-author Malin Gingnell also noted that this effect demonstrates a correlation between cognition and emotion, as brain activities tend to vary depending on a patient’s expectations.

“We don’t think SSRIs are ineffective or lack therapeutic properties for anxiety but our results suggest that the presentation of the treatment may be as important as the treatment itself,” lead investigator Professor Tomas Furmark adds.

A 2014 study published the British Journal of Psychiatry has also demonstrated how patient perception greatly affects treatment efficacy in people with depression. In order to carry out the study, a team of researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles enrolled 88 patients and assigned them into different disease interventions. Twenty patients received supportive care alone, while 29 patients underwent placebo treatment, and 39 patients took antidepressant medications. The patients were also instructed to accomplish the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression during the study’s outset.

The results showed that patients on active antidepressant treatment exhibited an average improvement of 46 percent after eight weeks. The findings also revealed that patients in the placebo group attained an average improvement of 36 percent, compared to only five percent in those who had been assigned to supportive care alone. The experts likewise observed that patients in the supportive care treatment were more likely to discontinue treatment than those who took the oral interventions.

According to the research team, patients in the supportive care group become disappointed, knowing that they do not receive any pill. This may have contributed to their lower expectations and treatment biases, the experts have stated. (Related: Fight depression with these 15 tips you can use today.)

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Don’t get injured at night… Researchers discover cell repair driven by circadian rhythm; wounds heal 60% faster during the day

 Are you scheduled for some kind of surgery in the near future? You might want to request that it take place in the daytime. A recent study by researchers from the U.K.’s Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology, published in the journal Translational Medicine, has found that wounds inflicted during the day heal up to 60 percent faster than those that happen at night.

The researchers found that not only are the skin cells that repair cuts and burns more efficient in the daytime, but more collagen is also deposited at the wound site immediately after and for the following two weeks after a daytime wound takes place – ensuring a more efficient healing process.

The researchers’ findings were based on laboratory tests using skin cells called fibroblasts and keratinocytes, as well as from studies with mice.

The Daily Mail, reporting on the study, noted:

[D]uring the internal body clock’s ‘daytime’, wounds to the skin healed almost twice as efficiently as wounds incurred during the night. …

The researchers said faster healing took place because skin cells carried out faster repairs at the site of the wound to repair it much faster during the body clock’s daytime.

The difference between daytime and nighttime healing is one of the many facets of the human body controlled by the circadian rhythm – also known as the body clock. The body clock controls everything from sleeping to hormone secretion, and even how quickly you metabolize food.

Dr. John O’Neill, the study’s senior author explained, “This is the first time that the circadian clock within individual skin cells has been shown to determine how effectively they respond to injuries. We consistently see about a two-fold difference in wound healing speed between the body clock’s day and night. It may be that our bodies have evolved to heal fastest during the day when injuries are more likely to occur.”

Amazingly, this process was not governed by signals between cells, but by circadian clocks within the cells themselves, since the results were derived from human and mouse skin cells grown in laboratory dishes.

The cell repair was mainly driven by a protein called actin, filaments of which provide movement and structure, acting like muscles within the cell.

This study has huge implications for the future of surgery.

O’Neill noted, “In both cells and mice, we can reset the tissue healing response by tricking the cells into thinking it’s a different time of day – such as by turning the lights on at night and off at different times of day for the mice, or using body clock-altering drugs on cells in the lab.” He added, “It may be that healing time could be improved by resetting the cells’ clocks prior to surgery, perhaps by applying drugs that can reset the biological clock to the time of best healing in the operation site.”

This improved daytime healing is true of burns, too. As part of their study, the researchers examined the healing patterns of 118 burn patients registered in a major burn unit database in England and Wales. They found that burn victims who were burnt at night – between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. – took about 60 percent longer to heal than people who sustained their burns during the day – between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

In fact, those who received their burns in the day were 95 percent healed within just 17 days, while those who were burnt at night took about 28 days to achieve the same level of healing. (Related: New “smart” bandages will dramatically cut healing time for wounds in chronic patients.)

The researchers are eager to engage in further research to determine whether changing surgery times or using drugs to reset patients’ circadian rhythms prior to surgery might result in better and faster healing. (Related: Discover all the latest medical breakthroughs at

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Mobile devices and children: It’s not “smart” to “connect” your child dangers range from hacking to bullying

Recent studies warn that children who own smart watches which their parents can use to keep track of their movements are more prone to the dangers of hacking, according to reports by The Daily Mail.  To reach this conclusion, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) authorized security experts at the company, Mnemonic, to inspect three watches that are sold in the U.K., namely the Gator, Xplora, and SeTracker watches.

“Though these products are marketed at making children safer, parents will be shocked if they actually put them at risk because of shoddy security,” said Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services at Which?, the consumer group that endorsed the study.

The experts revealed that these watches can be accessed remotely by strangers to spy on young children. The devices’ security loopholes include GPS tracking and a mobile phone SIM card. As a consequence, hackers can identify the location of a child wearing the smart watch and see information on all of their previous movements. Some devices can even tune in to what a child is doing by sending a hidden text to the watch, according to the experts. Moreover, hackers can interrupt and alter the geographical location of the watch, which means that the hacker can fake or “spoof” the location of a child. (Related: Hackers begin targeting your home appliances: toilets, ovens, refrigerators and more.)

Additionally, those watches with an emergency button which a child can push to call their parents in an emergency also had loopholes. The emergency button can be remotely deactivated or even reprogrammed to call other people.

The experts also discovered that there is a possibility of acquiring information on the movements of children who use smart watches through the stored data on the watches’ user apps and linked websites.

The NCC submitted their findings to European data regulators, such as the Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K., which in turn contacted the companies involved.

“If [safety and security] can’t be guaranteed, then the products should not be sold,” Neill expressed.

“I take cyber security very seriously. I have learned that issues will come up along the way and we fix them,” said Colleen Wong, developer of Gator watch and founder of Techsixtyfour. “I reported this back to the manufacturer and we are launching a completely new app which will eliminate all the issues that have been found.”

Apparently, smartphones also pose danger to children. A new study found that children who own smartphones are at a higher risk of bullying, according to another report by The Daily Mail.

For the study, researchers at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts conducted a survey on around 4,500 children from third grade to fifth grade between 2014 and 2016. They found that 9.5 percent of children said they had experienced being cyberbullied. Results showed that smartphone owners were at a higher risk of being bullied. Those who were in grades three and four and owned a smartphone were more likely to reveal being a victim of cyberbulling. Meanwhile, more smartphone owners confessed they have been a cyberbully themselves.

Researchers concluded that constant access to social media and texting exposes children to interactions both positive and negative with others. Moreover, it raises the possibility of a child sending a hasty unnecessary response to a schoolmate’s posts and messages.

“At the very least, parents can engage in discussions and education with their child about the responsibilities inherent in owning a mobile device, and the general rules for communication in the social sphere,” psychology professor Elizabeth Englander suggested.

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