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Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

Han et al. | Oct 03, 2019

Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

In this article, the authors look into what is already known about the factor affecting longevity and determine the importance of behavioral factors including alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity on longevity. The authors quantify data from over 150 countries and, interestingly, find that the impact each factor has on longevity is at least in part dependent on the country's economic development status. Overall, they conclude that an average person’s life expectancy can increase by more than 3 years if smoking and alcohol consumption is reduced by a half and weight is decreased by 10%.

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Correlates of Sugar Consumption Among High School Students and Faculty

McBurnett et al. | Mar 07, 2019

Correlates of Sugar Consumption Among High School Students and Faculty

The availability, portion sizes, and consumption of highly palatable food has been linked adverse health outcomes. McBurnett and O’Donnell sought to assess the relationship between reward-based eating drive, consumption, cravings, and knowledge of the effects of sugary foods. In this study population, reward-based eating drive was related to both consumption and cravings. Further, for females, the knowledge of sugar’s effects was significantly and inversely associated with its consumption.

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The Impact of Age on Post-Concussive Symptoms: A Comparative Study of Symptoms Related and Not Related to the Default Mode Network

Wurscher et al. | Mar 05, 2017

The Impact of Age on Post-Concussive Symptoms: A Comparative Study of Symptoms Related and Not Related to the Default Mode Network

The Default Mode Network (DMN) is a network of connected brain regions that are active when the brain is not focused on external tasks. Minor brain injuries, such as concussions, can affect this network and manifest symptoms. In this study, the authors examined correlations between DMN age and post-concussion symptoms in previously concussed individuals and healthy controls.

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Mapping the Electromagnetic Field in Front of a Microwave Oven

Xiang et al. | Sep 21, 2019

Mapping the Electromagnetic Field in Front of a Microwave Oven

There is limited evidence that extended exposure to an electromagnetic field (EMF) has negative health effects on humans. The authors measured the power density and strength of EMF at different distances and directions in front of a microwave oven, and they discuss the safety of different distances.

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Effect of Collagen Gel Structure on Fibroblast Phenotype

Grace et al. | Nov 28, 2012

Effect of Collagen Gel Structure on Fibroblast Phenotype

Environment affects the progression of life, especially at the cellular level. This study investigates multiple 3-dimensional growth environments, also known as scaffolds or hydrogels, and their effect on the growth of a type of cells called fibroblasts. These results suggest that a scaffold made of collagen and polyethylene glycol are favorable for cell growth. This research is useful for developing implantable devices to aid wound healing.

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Trajectories between Cigarette Smoking and Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Use among Adults in the U.S.

Primack et al. | Apr 30, 2020

Trajectories between Cigarette Smoking and Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Use among Adults in the U.S.

In this study, the authors characterized the trends of cigarette use amongst people who do and don't use electronic nicotine delivery systems (or ENDS). This was done to help determine if the use of ENDS is aiding in helping smokers quit, as the data on this has been controversial. They found that use of ENDS among people either with or without previous cigarette usage were more likely to continue using cigarettes in the future. This is important information contributing to our understanding of ways to effectively (and not effectively) reduce cigarette use.

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QuitPuff: A Simple Method Using Saliva to Assess the Risk of Oral Pre-Cancerous Lesions and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Chronic Smokers

Shamsher et al. | Mar 27, 2019

QuitPuff: A Simple Method Using Saliva to Assess the Risk of Oral Pre-Cancerous Lesions and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Chronic Smokers

Smoking generates free radicals and reactive oxygen species which induce cell damage and lipid peroxidation. This is linked to the development of oral cancer in chronic smokers. The authors of this study developed Quitpuff, simple colorimetric test to measure the extent of lipid peroxidation in saliva samples. This test detected salivary lipid peroxidation with 96% accuracy in test subjects and could serve as an inexpensive, non-invasive test for smokers to measure degree of salivary lipid peroxidation and potential risk of oral cancer.

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Nitric Oxide Synthesis/Pathway Inhibitors in Daphnia magna Reverse Alcohol-Induced Heart Rate Decrease

Gunturi et al. | Sep 17, 2019

Nitric Oxide Synthesis/Pathway Inhibitors in Daphnia magna Reverse Alcohol-Induced Heart Rate Decrease

Chronic alcohol consumption can cause cardiac myopathy, which afflicts about 500,000 Americans annually. Gunturi et al. wanted to understand the effects of alcohol on heart rate and confirm the role of nitric oxide (NO) signaling in heart rate regulation. Using the model organism Daphnia magna, a water crustacean with a large, transparent heart, they found that the heart rate of Daphnia magna was reduced after treatment with alcohol. This depression could be reversed after treatment with inhibitors of NO synthesis and signaling. Their work has important implications for how we understand alcohol-induced effects on heart rate and potential treatments to reverse heart rate depression as a result of alcohol consumption.

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