Epigenetics and DNA methylation: Risk of obesity influenced by changes in our genes

Some changes in DNA, known as epigenetic modifications, control the activity of our genes without changing the actual DNA sequence. One of the main epigenetic modifications is DNA methylation, which plays a key role in embryonic development and the formation of different cell types, regulating when and where genes are switched on. 

Manipulating water using light

A desire to find new ways of separating oil from water, such as to treat the frothy mixture of briny water and crude oil produced from certain oil wells, has led to ways to manipulate the water using only light.

Sympathetic nervous system: Your brain, not your white blood cells, keeps you warm

The common belief is that macrophages, a class of white blood cells, play a major role in thermogenesis, how the body regulates its production of heat, but a new study suggests that the main driver of thermogenesis is the sympathetic nervous system, which is chiefly controlled by the brain.

You can't trust EWG about pesticides on fruits and vegetables

You can't trust EWG about pesticides on fruits and vegetables

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes another growing season. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help lower calorie intake; reduce risks for heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes; and protect against certain cancers.

In reading, kindergarten became the new first grade, thanks to No Child Left Behind

Children entering first grade in 2013 had significantly better reading skills than similar students had in 2001. Researchers say this means that in general, children are better readers at a younger age. While Common Core has been widely derided the Bush administration program the Obama White House supplanted, No Child Left Behind, succeeded well in hindsight. Studies have shown girls achieved parity with boys on math scores due to No Child Left Behind while the gap closed in minorities.

Vitamin D supplements don't prevent cardiovascular disease

Vitamin D supplements don't prevent cardiovascular disease

In the last few years, vitamin D has been part of a health craze, with claims of it improving just about every possible health outcome while a lack of it has even been linked to things like autism.

Is it a miracle supplement? Not so fast, Joe Mercola. Another large randomized trial (JAMA Cardiology, April 5, 2017; doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0175) has deflated its growing mythology. A new paper indicates that, despite popular claims, monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent cardiovascular disease.

Neonicotinoids detected in Iowa drinking water

Neonicotinoids, a targeted (as opposed to broadly sprayed) insecticide common in agriculture, have been detected in drinking water. Since in modern times we can even detect parts per quadrillion in drinking water, is the health of Iowans at risk?

Common pyrethroid pesticide exposure speeds puberty in boys

Environmental exposure to common pesticides may cause boys to reach sexual maturity earlier, according to a study at the Endocrine Society meeting in Orlando. Previous research found that early puberty increases the risk of diseases in adulthood, for example, testicular cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Early puberty also can stunt growth and cause behavioral problems.

Gender Dysphoria, Psychosis And Gender Affirmative Treatment

Gender dysphoria in individuals with psychotic disorders can be adequately diagnosed and safely treated with gender affirming psychological, endocrine, and surgical therapies, finds a new paper using a few case studies in LGBT Health.

We know metabolism plays a role in cancer development, epigenetics is less clear

Epigenetics claims are all the rage. In the fuzzy world of epidemiology and a shocking lack of understanding about p-values and statistical significance, a whole lot of papers can get published using data that have nothing to say. Epigenetics takes that to another level, with claims that what you eat today could impact the chances of your grandchild getting into Harvard, and more.