Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Not Just What, But Where & How

Check out @wiredscience's Tweet:

In Western Tanzania tribes of wandering foragers called Hadza eat a diet of roots, berries, and game. According to a new study, their guts are home to a microbial community unlike anything that’s been seen before in a modern human population — providing, perhaps, a snapshot of what the human gut microbiome looked like before our ancestors figured out how to farm about 12,000 years ago.

Hunter Girl


I don't really 'do' fiction, but mightily enjoyed Conn Iggulden's Conqueror series.  And this is exactly what came to mind when reading about this 13 year old Mongolian Eagle huntress.  The story and photos are stunning:
  • Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill - and he also photographed Ashol-Pan.

    "To see her with the eagle was amazing," he recalls. She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it."
Incredible.


Monday, 14 April 2014

Caffeine - Dual Edge

7 Worrisome Facts About Caffeine

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/14/facts-about-caffeine_n_5124624.html

Plenty of good sides to caffeine,  but taking a weekly break may be advisable.

The Report: Statins

Radio 4's 'The Report' looks at statins:
  • The vast majority of men in their 50s, and more than half of women over 60, could soon be offered statins - cholesterol-lowering drugs - to reduce the risk of heart disease. That would mean that a 59 year old man who doesn't smoke, has no history of heart disease and has healthy weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels could find himself taking a statin a day for life. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence proposes that up to twelve million people - one in four adults - should take the medication.

    Critics argue against such mass medication and claim that there is a high incidence of side effects including muscle aches, sleep problems and diabetes. They also question the drugs' effectiveness in reducing the number of heart attacks.

    But the defenders of statins say that this is scaremongering and risks unnecessary deaths.

    Tom Esslemont investigates how the UK has become the so called 'statins capital' of Europe and explores the arguments for and against.
The debate is very interesting.

Available to listen online.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Songbirds in Decline

From The Guardian: Songbirds in decline – a tragedy for Britain's culture, as well as its environment:

"...intensive farming methods, especially on arable fields, which have drastically reduced their available food supply of weed seeds;"

The Vegetarian Diet - pushing the killing to where it can't be seen.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Time to Pay Attention to Sleep

It’s Time to Pay Attention to Sleep, the New Health Frontier from Time:
  • Your doctor could soon be prescribing crucial shuteye as treatment for everything from obesity to ADHD to mental health as experts say carving out time for sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.
Interesting and something that has long been championed on this site.  Remember, as well as the fact that you are probably not getting enough sleep, you may well need different amounts depending on season.  Furthermore, contrary to modern advice, sleep does not have to be a contiguous event.