Monday, January 26, 2015

Thanks to Epigenetics, the 1998 Canadian Ice Storm Imprinted in Babies' Genes

In January of 1998, a huge ice storm hit a small region of Canada, in eastern Ontario, southern Quebec, and across to Nova Scotia, covering everything in a layer of ice. The weight of that ice toppled power lines and utility poles, crushing the power grid. Three million people in the province of Quebec were without power for as many as 6 weeks. Commuters were stranded in subway cars, temperatures dropped to -20°C, and no one had any power to heat their homes or their water. The storm was responsible for 27 deaths, and cost $3 billion in total losses. As you can imagine, this had a significant impact on the population, including, apparently, the next generation.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Twitter as a Public Health Tool: language-based prediction of heart disease deaths

Twitter is a really great way to let all your followers know what's on your mind and to share cat videos, and has been used to start social movements and launch careers, but did you know it can also predict coronary heart disease? According to a new study published in Psychological Science, Twitter can be used as an indicator of a community's well-being, and may become a powerful public health tool.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

When a Person Loses Weight, Where Does the Fat go?

Most new year's resolutions involve some type of weight loss activity.  But have you ever wondered where the fat goes as you lose it?  A recent study from Australia, published in the British Medical Journal, has found out exactly what it is that the body does when it loses weight.  Take a deep breath... most of the excess fat is converted into CO2 and exhaled!