Saturday, December 20, 2014
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According to a recent surprising research study, if you are unable to balance your body on one leg for as much as 20 secs then this may be an indicative of the fact that your risk of having a stroke or dementia is high.

In a research at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in Kyoto, Japan, researchers conducted a brain test on 841 females and 546 males all aged around 67 and analyzed the results. The test involved standing on one leg for about 60 seconds that so with eyes wide open. Participants were told to repeat this exercise one more time and the researchers studied, analyzed and compared the brain health of all participants with the help of MRI.

According to the results, the participants who weren’t able to balance their body on one leg for more than 20 seconds showed micro hemorrhages and lesions in different parts of the brains. About one third of those participants had minor strokes previously. It was also seen that the participants who stood on one leg for longer than 20 seconds scored better in cognitive tests when compared to those who couldn’t.

Dr. Yasuharu Tabara, associate professor and lead study author at the Center for Genomic Medicine at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine said,”Our study found that the ability to balance on one leg is an important test for brain health” He also said that, “Individuals showing poor balance on one leg should receive increased attention, as this may indicate an increased risk for brain disease and cognitive decline.”

Chief of vascular neurology, Dr. Richard Libman, at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y., commended and congratulated the researchers of this research on thinking of such an easy test. He said he agreed to the results of this research although he wasn’t part of it. He said, “The authors of this study have devised a simple test of balance, which seems to be able to reflect ‘small vessel disease’ of the brain.” He added that “This test may be an inexpensive, low-tech method to screen people for small vessel disease who are most likely at risk for further strokes and brain damage.”

This is an excellent achievement in medicine.



Because of a frustrating start, officials almost discontinued this project. But despite its rocky start, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft consistently delivered on what it was made to do: to make stunning discoveries in search of planets far and beyond our own solar system.

The new discovery is a planet two and a half times the size of our own planet, placing it firmly in the super-earth category. It’s habitable and revolves around a star just a little bit smaller than what we have here in our local system. The distance between us and our sun is ninety-two million nine hundred and fifty-five thousand eight hundred seven miles, while the distance between them and their sun is only eight point four million miles. That’s almost a one-tenth difference, which may seem small in terms of percentage, but means a more-or-less million mile difference.

Kepler, the spacecraft that made this recent discovery, was designed to keep an electronic eye at groups of stars for four years while on the lookout for twinkles made by planets that happened to wander in front of its ever watchful gaze. The project hasn’t been all successes though. A malfunction in the early part of 2013 nearly crippled the craft. The reaction wheel, the device responsible for the telescope’s steady peek, was damaged. It was fortunate that NASA engineers were able to stabilize the spacecraft for short periods of time by utilizing something that may not be apparent to your average Joe: the force exerted by sunlight on the solar panels.

It was during the initial nine day run last February that the team detected a star which they christened HIP 116454. The team was led by Andrew Vanderburg of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The presence of the planet was later confirmed with ground-based telescopes and the Canadian MOST satellite.




Keep your medical records updated or else face a gradual pay reduction from Medicare and Medicaid starting December 19. This is what the Obama administration made known today. More than 250M doctors and health care practitioners will be affected by this.

Both Medicare and Medicaid are under the auspices of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or CMS. Delivering health-related services the American patients require is the ultimate purpose of the program.

A spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued this announcement: “CMS is working with physicians and other health care providers to improve health care quality through the use of electronic health records. Since 2011, more than 400,000 eligible professionals have received incentives under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Beginning today, however, CMS will be notifying the minority of eligible professionals who have not successfully participated in the program that they will be subject to payment adjustments in 2015 as required by law.”

This law is not something out of the blue. It was approved in 2009 under the heading of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. This was one of the components of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act which earmarked $20 billion. The purpose of the law is to encourage health care practitioners to use electronic systems as the standard for keeping medical records by giving them bonuses for it.

It is for this reason health care professionals are being penalized. Those who fail to follow the “Meaningful Use” standards of EMR (Electronic Medical Records) will get a one percent deduction in their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in 2015. Those who are affected by this include hospitals and practitioners alike.

The results affect a lot medical associations which make them very sad with the deductions affecting mostly smaller practitioners.

The American Medical Association’s president, Dr. Steven Stack, described the implemented standards for EMR usage as a “strict set of one-size-fits-all requirements” and that it is “failing physicians and their patients”. He added: “The overlapping and often conflicting patchwork of laws and regulations must be fixed and aligned to ensure physicians are able to move to innovative payment and delivery models that could improve the quality of care.”

Hospitals and doctors who make efforts to follow the law will receive additional funding. Consequently, the result will be a decrease in the total of federal 2015 disbursements which will match those of 2012 levels.



An Italian site, Samsung HD Blog, reported that the next edition of the Samsung Galaxy S phone, which is the S6, will be clad with a curved design and will be housed in a chic aluminum chassis. The new look and feel of the S6 will be the first for the Galaxy S series, which has a body form that is made from plastic.

It is speculated that S6 will come with a delicate curve instead of the rough curve that is present on the Galaxy Note Edge. The Edge handset has received complaints from various users that it is difficult to have a grip on.

The Galaxy S6 is also rumored to be available in two flavors: the first one which is peppered with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and the other which is equipped with an Exynos 7 chip.

Samsung has the habit of rolling out two models of the same device in the past. One is designed for the American users while the other is whipped up for the non-American users.

The report also has stated that the S6 will neither have a ‘normal’ nor ‘edge’ version.


The first surplus auction of the United States’ Humvees unfurled last Wednesday and it was a big success. The 25 Humvees were up for grab to the highest bidders at The trucks were offered at opening bids of $10,000 and were sold from $21,500 to $41,000. The US government gets a lion’s share of 75.29% of the revenues.

Restrictions were finally eased out that give rise to the sale of certain types of the Humvees to the public. Back then the Humvees which are also called High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle were dumped after they are no longer fit for use.

The sturdy vehicles were commonly used in the Gulf War and also served as troop and cargo carriers from 1987 to 1995. Some are still in fine condition while other requires repairs. The vehicles, however, were put up for sale since they failed to meet the federal safety and emissions regulations and they are intended for off road use only, although they can be modified to make them permissible to travel in streets.

The fetched prices of the vehicles jive with the current rate of the same vehicles that landed into the hands of private entities few years ago, but soon the market will accommodate more units in the near future.

The US Defense Logistics Agency is presently assessing the release of more than 4,000 Humvees for auction and another bunch will be offered for sale on January 27, 2015.



Ancient man ate to survive, not to keep their body fit and trim. They would eat anything that they could lay their hands on or their mouths could bite at every opportunity. That made them opportunists rather than diet experts according to anthropologists.

The popularity of the Paleo diet has captured a lot of people’s imagination. The Paleo diet is supposed to be what humans ate during the Paleolithic Age, which was from 12.6 million to 12,000 years ago. What they allegedly ate are meat, fish, and vegetables. A more protein based diet, which was excellent in its own way. However, whether the cavemen were at their top physical condition during those times is another story.

It’s difficult to think that people who existed during the Paleolithic age had the ability to discern which food would give them the nutritional requirements for their bodies. This is the stand of researchers of the latest scientific publication of   Georgia State University which you can read at Quarterly Review of Biology. They are not questioning, however, the nutritional value of the foods.

“Based on evidence that’s been gathered over many decades, there’s very little evidence that any early hominids had very specialized diets or there were specific food categories that seemed particularly important, with only a few possible exceptions,” anthropologist Ken Sayers said in a press release.

Ancient men ate what they could get their hands on. Their protein supply differed based where they lived, Sayers and the other members of the team explained. The fruits and vegetables we are consuming now are totally diverse from what they gathered along the way several thousand years past. Majority of scientists don’t think that people who lived during the Paleolithic were in a better condition than modern man. For one thing, they had shorter life spans.

“Throughout the vast majority of our evolutionary history, balancing the diet was not a big issue,” Sayers said. “They were simply acquiring enough calories to survive and reproduce. Everyone would agree that ancestral diets didn’t include Twinkies, but I’m sure our ancestors would have eaten them if they grew on trees.”