AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Author: dwil

The New Way to Diet

The New Way to Diet 

Today, obesity is a global epidemic effecting millions if not billions of people world wide. Whether it be a few pounds or even a couple hundred pounds, there are countless people out there looking for a way to drop excess weight. Some they try dieting and altering what they eat and others revert to more serious methods, such as surgery. Recently a new procedure has been created that can help those suffering from obesity. Called  GECA or (gastric artery chemical embolization), this surgery can change the lives of millions of individuals.

* Click on image for link to flickr page

GECA is a surgery much safer than a liposuction that can literally make you less hungry  This relatively simple surgery is carried out by blocking off an artery that leads to the stomach. Doing this cuts off the blood supply to a certain section of the stomach that can produce the hormone called gherlin. This hormone controls our cravings to eat food and the sensation we call ‘hunger.’ Removing this hormone from our bloodstream would take away the desire to constantly eat. We would still be hungry, but just for less. With the desire to eat dissipating  one’s intake would go down and, with some exercise, the pounds would drop easily.

What do you think of this new procedure?

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Cancer Prevention, at the supermarket

Cancer Prevention, starting at the super market

In a recent Fox News article, an analysis was done on ten different foods and their health benefits. Remarkably, each of these common foods were found to help not only one’s general health, but also can lower the chances of getting many different forms of cancer.

#1) Red Peppers

These spicy vegetables are packed with capsaicin. This amide is what gives the pepper heat and also can be a great pain reliever. Yet, the capsaicin found in the peppers can also have cancer prevention benefits due to their ability to inhibit harmful nitrosamines.

#2) Avocado

A very common ingrediant in many dishes, avacado can have many health benefits. Filled with antioxidants called glutathione, eating some avacado can boost your immune system and its ability to protect against invading pathogens. In fact, glutathione has been called “the mother for all antioxidants” for its ability to help prevent a number of diseases, including cancer.

#3) Carrots

Rich in beta-carotene, carrots can help reduce risk of getting a number of cancers including lung, prostate and breast cancer.

#4) Flax Seeds

Loaded with antioxidants these cheap and good tasting seeds can be found in every super market.They are high in omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce one’s risk of being infected with breast and colon cancer.

#5) Onions

Onions can be power houses of immune system benefits. All onions are made up of allium compounds which can help protect against  many carcinogens associated with cancer. The allium can strength cells ability to keep cancer cells out and can slow down or even prevent the development of tumors.

#6) Green Tea

This easy to buy tea is known to help block almost every cancer there is, ranging from colon to breast cancer. Green tea is especially healthy as it full of polyphenols that have many of the benefits of antioxidants. Polyphenols have amazing traits such as being able to cut off blog supply to tumors and in turn help in their destruction.

#7) Licorice Root

While licorice candy does not have the same benefits, the root itself is filled with glycyrrhizin. This chemical can block many of the negative effects of testosterone and overall can deter the development of cancers affected by the hormone.

#8) Rosemary

This common herb is found in almost every kitchen and food store in the country. Not only can rosemary spice up food, it also has be proven to help prevent both breast and skin cancers when consumed regularly.

#9) Seaweed

Seaweed may not seem like the most appetizing of all these cancer fighting agents, but it is a more common ingredient than you think. In fact, if you have ever eaten sushi, seaweed has been on your plate more times than not. Filled with beta-carotene, protein, vitamin B12, fiber, and chlorophyll, seaweed contains many fatty acids which can prevent breast cancer in both males and females.

#10) Turmeric

Turmeric is a common find in any produce section. It is loaded with many anti-inflamatories which can slow down the production of enzymes in your body connected to colon cancer.


Thanks for reading. The next time you are in the produce section of the supermarket, do forget to pick up a few of these ingredients, it can only help you.

Dreaming in Reality

Everybody has heard of sleep walking, yet, being that it is one of the most common sleep ‘disorders’ out there, it has never been viewed as a problem or even something that is medically related. Because of this, sleeping walking has been kept out of medical research for the last several decades. A recent poll shows that 1 in 3  Americans  have ‘sleep walked,’ but none of these people seek medical attention. While there is nothing harmful about unconsciously standing up in the middle of the night here and there, a new study shows otherwise.

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, or simply a serious case of sleep walking, is something that effects millions of Americans across the country. This form of parasomnia is much more serious than normal ‘sleep walking’ and can be dangerous. Usually when someone sleep walks the brain sends out signals to move but the neurons that enable movement are inactive; so while it may feel like one is moving during a dream, you are still stationary. For the percentage of people that have REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, this ‘blockage’ that prevents actual movement vanishes. While in the Rapid Eye Movement stage of sleep, the neurons can make the required connections, and movement is possible. Not just the simple movement involved in everyday ‘sleep walking,’ but full, brain controlled motor skills. In other words, what ever someone with the REM disorder is doing in their dreams can carry over into actual actions that cannot be controlled.

Picture this: a man is having a normal dream, well then again not many dreams are normal. In dreams we have no control of the “rational” side of our brain, only the emotional. To make matters worse, while in this state one may have full control of the senses, such as sight and touch, but all of the decisions would be being made subconsciously while the we are the deepest kind of sleep there is. While dreaming of doing something stupid may seem like something harmless, it can be everything but if it happened in reality. For instance, a man is dreaming about a missile chasing him. Seems crazy right? Not for a dream. Things that seem like nonsense while awake make perfect sense to the dreaming mind, even a flying missile headed strait for us. In a movie based on real life events based on the REM disorder a man stood up mid REM sleep and actually jumped through a window in his home to avoid this missile that was nothing but a figment of his imagination. Although this was obviously dramatized, nothing about it is impossible or even unlikely. Several doctors have started diagnosing people with the disorder, dubbing it as something that can be very dangerous in certain situations.


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