mTOR inhibitors appear to boost the immune system of older adults

A recent clinical trial found that mTOR inhibitors–two experimental anti-aging drugs–both reduced the number of respiratory infections and boosted “people’s responses to the flu vaccine.” The trial involved 264 volunteers aged 65 and over.  Some of the volunteers received low doses of both drugs–which appeared to be the most effective treatment.  All participants were monitored subsequently for one year. mTOR inhibitors “appear to broadly rejuvenate…

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Nighttime temperatures are warming faster

**updated June 2021** More impact from climate change–at one point this month (July 2018), “more than 100 million people” in the United States were under heat warnings or advisories.  While high daytime temperatures and humidity were most noticeable, it was the nighttime temperatures that were having the greatest impact. “Nationwide, summer nights have warmed at nearly twice the rate of days”; overnight low temperatures have…

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A pet medicine may protect humans against disease

Diseases like the Zika virus and malaria are spread by mosquitoes and fleas; it’s a problem worldwide especially in the developing world but also in wealthier countries as well.  To prevent the spread of Zika, malaria, and other diseases, insecticides and bed nets are currently often used.  “Vaccines are also under development … but few are approved for use.” A recent study suggests another possible…

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Discovering new genes behind human intelligence and mental health

Recent studies using “a new statistical method called MAGMA” to analyze the health and genetic records of over 6 million people have identified over 1,000 new genes linked to human intelligence and over 500 new genes “associated with neurotic traits.” The analysis suggests that higher intelligence is linked with a longer life span and less chance of suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, ADHD, or schizophrenia.  In…

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Bees survive better in cities compared to open agricultural land

Bumblebees are vital pollinators for flowers and crops.  But, bee populations have been declining world-wide due to “pesticides, disease, and habitat loss.” A recent study sought to track and explain anecdotal evidence that more bees are being found in urban areas. In the study, more than 100 bee colonies were planted in 38 different locations [in England] ranging “from London’s city center to surrounding villages,…

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Looking to the past for an alternative to cement

“More than 20 billion tons of concrete is produced around the world every year”–to fuel the building boom in cities as more and more people globally move to urban areas. But, all that concrete has a large environmental cost.  “Cement, the main ingredient in concrete, creates 5% of global carbon emissions.” Concrete is “sand and gravel held together with cement.”  The Romans “used a mixture…

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