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New research finds link between frequency of exercise and stroke risk Here’s yet another reason to get off the couch: new research findings suggest that regularly breaking a sweat may lower the risk of having a stroke. A stroke can occur when a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked. As a result, nearby brain cells will die after not getting enough oxygen and other nutrients. A number of risk factors for stroke have been identified, including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and being inactive. For this study, published in the journal Stroke, Michelle N. McDonnell, Ph.D., from the University of South Australia, Adelaide and her colleagues obtained data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. REGARDS is a large, long-term study funded by the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to look at the reasons behind the higher rates of stroke mortality among African-Americans and other residents living in the Southeastern United States. “Epidemiological studies such as REGARDS provide an important opportunity to explore race, genetics, environmental, and lifestyle choices as stroke risk factors,” said Claudia Moy, Ph.D., program director at NINDS. Over 30,000 participants supplied their medical history over the phone. The researchers also visited them to obtain health measures such as body mass index and blood pressure. At the beginning of the study, the researchers asked participants how many times per week they exercised vigorously enough to work up a sweat. The researchers contacted participants every six months to see if they had experienced a stroke or a mini-stroke known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). To confirm their responses, the researchers reviewed participants’ medical records. The researchers reported data for over 27,000 participants who were stroke-free at the start of the study and followed for an average of 5.7 years. One-third of participants reported exercising less than once a week. Study subjects who were inactive were 20 percent more likely to experience a stroke or TIA than participants who exercised four or more times a week. The findings revealed that regular, moderately vigorous exercise, enough to break a sweat, was linked to reduced risk of stroke. Part of the protective effect was due to lower rates of known stroke risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and smoking. “Our results confirm other research findings but our study has the distinct advantage of including larger numbers, especially larger numbers of women as well as blacks, in a national population sample so these provide somewhat more generalizable results than other studies,” said Virginia Howard, Ph.D., senior author of the study from the School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham.



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新しい研究によると運動の頻度と脳卒中のリスクには関連があるそうです。 ここにはソファーでゴロゴロしているのを止めるべき理由がまだもう一つあります:新しい研究結果は、定期的に汗を流すことが脳卒中になるリスクを低下させることを示しています。 脳卒中は脳内の血管が詰まる時に起こります。結果として、十分な酸素や栄養が得られなくなって、周辺の脳細胞が死滅します。脳卒中のリスク要因には、喫煙、高血圧、糖尿病、運動不足を含めて、特定されているものもあります。 専門誌「脳卒中」に掲載されたこの研究のために、アデレードの南オーストラリア大学のミシェル・N・マクドネル博士と彼女の同僚は、「脳卒中における地理的人種的差異の理由」(REGARDS)と言う研究からデータを取得しました。REGARDSは、アフリカ系アメリカ人や米国南東部に住んでいる他の住民の脳卒中死亡率が高い背景にある理由を調べるために「神経疾患及び脳卒中」のNIH国立研究所(NKNDS)が資金を提供する大規模で長期的な研究です。 「REGARDSの様な疫学的研究は、人種、遺伝学、環境や生活様式の選択を脳卒中のリスク要因として細かく調べる重要な機会を提供してくれます」と、NINDSのプログラムディレクターのクラウディア・モイ博士は述べました。 30,000人以上の参加者が電話で自分の病歴を提供しました。研究者も体格指数や血圧等の健康指標を得るために参加者を訪問しました。研究の開始時に、研究者は参加者に汗をかくほど積極的な運動を一週間に何回するかを尋ねました。研究者は、脳卒中または一過性脳虚血発作(TIA)として知られる軽度の脳卒中を経験したかどうかを確認するために半年ごとに参加者に連絡を取りました。彼らの回答を確認するために、研究者は、参加者の医療記録を再調査しました。 研究者は研究開始時点で脳卒中を起こしたことのない参加者27000人以上のデータを報告し、平均で5.7年間追跡調査しました。参加者の3分の1が、運動をするのは1週間に1回未満であると報告しました。活動的でない被験者は、1週間に4回以上運動をする参加者よりも脳卒中やTIAを経験する可能性が20パーセント高かったです。 調査結果は、規則的で適度で、汗をかくほど積極的な運動が、脳卒中のリスクの低減と関連していることを明らかにしました。予防効果の一部は、高血圧、糖尿病、肥満、喫煙の様な既知の脳卒中リスク要因の割合の低下によるものでした。 「私たちの結果は他の研究結果を追認するものですが、私たちの研究には、国の人口サンプルにおいてはより多くの人数、特に黒人や女性の人数を含んでいると言う明確な長所があります、それ故、これらは、他の研究よりも幾分一般論を導き出しやすい結果を提供します」と、アラバマ大学バーミンガム校の公衆衛生大学院の研究筆頭著者であるバージニア・ハワード博士は言いました。



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    The researchers also looked at the data according to gender. After the researchers accounted for age, race, socioeconomic factors (education and income) and stroke risk factors, the results revealed that men who exercised at least four times a week still had a lower risk of stroke than men who exercised one to three times per week. In contrast, there was no association between frequency of exercise and stroke risk among women in the study. However, there was a trend towards a similar reduction in stroke risk for those who exercised one to three times a week and four or more times a week compared to those who were inactive. “This could be related to differences in the type, duration, and intensity of physical activity between men and women,” said Dr. Howard. “This could also be due to differences in the perception of what is intense physical activity enough to work up a sweat.” The results should encourage doctors to stress the importance of exercise when speaking with their patients, Dr. Howard said. “Physical inactivity is a major modifiable risk factor for stroke. This should be emphasized in routine physician check-ups along with general education about the benefits of exercise on stroke risk factors including high blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight or obese,” she said. The study suggests that men should consider exercising at least four times a week. REGARDS will continue to assess stroke risk factors to look for long-term patterns in the study population. “Findings from this study, including the current physical activity results, will ultimately help us to identify potential targets for immediate intervention as well as for future clinical trials aimed at preventing stroke and its consequences,” said Dr. Moy.

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    “Unlike previous investigations, we were able to assess association of consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, and we identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee,” said lead researcher Michel Lucas, research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH. The authors reviewed data from three large U.S. studies and found that the risk of suicide for adults who drank two to four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was about half that of those who drank decaffeinated coffee or very little or no coffee. Caffeine not only stimulates the central nervous system but may act as a mild antidepressant by boosting production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. This could explain the lower risk of depression among coffee drinkers that had been found in past epidemiological studies, the researchers reported. In the new study, researchers examined data on 43,599 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) (1988–2008), 73,820 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) (1992–2008), and 91,005 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII) (1993–2007). Caffeine, coffee, and decaffeinated coffee intake was assessed every four years by questionnaires. Caffeine consumption was calculated from coffee and other sources, including tea, caffeinated soft drinks, and chocolate. However, coffee was the major caffeine source — 80 percent for NHS, 71 percent for NHS II, and 79 percent for HPFS. Among the participants in the three studies, there were 277 deaths from suicide. In spite of the findings, the authors do not recommend that depressed adults increase caffeine consumption, because most individuals adjust their caffeine intake to an optimal level for them and an increase could result in unpleasant side effects. “Overall, our results suggest that there is little further benefit for consumption above two to three cups/day or 400 mg of caffeine/day,” the authors wrote. The researchers did not observe any major difference in risk between those who drank two to three cups of coffee per day and those who had four or more cups a day, most likely due to the small number of suicide cases in these categories. However, in a previous HSPH coffee-depression study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the investigators observed a maximal effect among those who drank four or more cups per day. One large Finnish study showed a higher risk of suicide among people drinking eight or nine cups per day. Few participants in the two HSPH studies drank such large amounts of coffee, so the studies did not address the impact of six or more cups of coffee per day.

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    There was one large difference between the animal study and the human research projects mentioned in the article: the researchers controlled what the animals in the earlier studies ate, while the humans reported their eating behavior. Thus, as Dr. Bartke mentions, there is a question about the quality of the data. As long as the researchers kept careful records on what was fed to the animal subjects and prevented the animals from getting food from other sources, they could be confident of the food intake measurement. Humans, however, are not lab rats. It is not ethical, or generally possible, to completely control the environment that a human experiences. In this case, it was likely not economically feasible to control the diet for the subjects in the “diet group.” As a result, the researchers relied on self-reported data from these subjects. It is very unlikely that all of the members who reported that they cut their caloric intake by 30% actually did so. If the control their diet and observe their action, then we might be able to accept that the members of the group actually reduced their calories by 30%. However, one would then worry that a group of people who could take three months to go to a lab environment might not be representative of the general population.

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    By some estimates, we're sleeping as much as an hour and a half less per night than we did at the turn of the century. But sleep researchers point to ills ranging from heart problems to depression. お願いします(>_<)

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    日本語訳(翻訳)をよろしくお願いいたします。 6月3日の昼過ぎまでによろしくお願いいたします。 (翻訳サイトなどを使用した訳はご遠慮願います) ↓↓ IN SCIENCE NEWS: A recent study has given strong evidence that all humans have a common African ancestor. The study says a common ancestor first appeared in Africa about 170,000 years ago. The study also says that humans left Africa to populate other parts of the world about 50,000 years ago. The study was done at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. Researchers looked at the DNA of 53 people from all over the world. The chief researcher of the study said looking at the DNA of each person permitted researchers to find their genetic ancestry.

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    Are e-cigarettes the lesser of two evils, or just another method of nicotine exposure? It’s a question public health experts are debating. Some question the benefits of steering smokers towards less harmful products on the nicotine product spectrum. And a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests what medical experts dread: that people who use e-cigarettes are also likely to be regular cigarette users. Adolescents who use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke other tobacco products and regular cigarettes. The researchers surveyed 17,353 middle and high school students in 2011, and 22,529 young people in 2012 as part of the National Youth Tobacco Survey. Youth who reported ever using e-cigarettes or currently using them had a greater likelihood of experimenting with regular cigarettes, smoking on a regular basis, or being a current cigarette smoker. Among young people who had used tobacco cigarettes, trying an e-cigarette was linked to being an established smoker. The researchers also found that teens who used e-cigarettes were more likely to want to quit smoking the next year, but they were also less likely to abstain from cigarettes all together. The study didn’t look at whether young people are initiating smoking with regular cigarettes and then switching to e-cigarettes, or the other way around. However, e-cigarettes aren’t “discouraging use of conventional cigarettes,” the researchers say. In September, numbers from the CDC showed that the percentage of middle school and high school students who have tried e-cigarettes doubled from 3.3% in 2011 to 6.8% in 2012. “While much remains to be learned about the public health benefits and /or consequences of [electronic nicotine delivery systems] use, their exponential growth in recent years, including their rapid uptake among youths, makes it clear that policy makers need to act quickly,” Frank J. Chaloupka of the University of Illinois at Chicago wrote in a corresponding editorial. Most recently, Los Angeles extended its city-wide smoking ban to include e-cigarettes.

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    In this study, the researchers used "a powerful mathematical algorithm" to find the SNPs that would be most useful for them. It is increasingly common for biologists and other scientists to use algorithms, or step-by-step procedures, in analyzing date. An algorithm is often shown as a flowchart with decision points. At each decision point, the process will go in one direction or another. For example, after you read an email message you may make a simple decision: "Should I reply to this message?" If the answer is "Yes, reply" then the next decision point is "Should I reply immediately?" On the other hand, if the answer is "No, do not reply" then the next decision point is "Should I archive this message or throw it away?" That is, each alternative leads to its own path. At the end of the process, you will have either 1) read, replied to, and archived the message, 2) read, replied to, and deleted the message, 3) read and archived the message, or 4) read and deleted the message. Obviously, if such a simple decision can be charted out with so many alternatives and consequent final decisions, the complicated environment in which scientists work will require highly sophisticated algorithms. Without the use of computer-driven algorithms, there would not be enough time to explore all of the potential decision paths. Thus, new disciplines such as computational biology have arisen in order to support researchers in their quest for knowledge.

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    Field work, or the collection of data, can be a very exciting part of a researcher’s career. At the same time, field work can be very tedious because doing it properly requires a lot of patience. A sociologist may go to a workplace and spend all day observing how the people there act, or may interview hundreds of people as part of a survey. In marine biology, field work may consist of going out on the ocean to capture, tag, and release animals. An archaeologist might supervise a dig, where ancient objects are unearthed, classified, and archived. As the above suggests, field work takes a lot of planning and organization. Also, it is important to follow routine procedures to make sure that the data are collected properly. Sometimes, however, a great discovery is made, and the atmosphere at the site becomes electric. For example, it must have been incredibly exciting for Gen Suwa to find the first specimen of A. ramidus, but then two years of painstaking work was needed to find enough fossils to construct the skeleton. Both sides of field work are necessary. The exciting discoveries show the researchers that they are on the right track, and the routine procedures support the validity of the newly-made discoveries.

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    Dr. Frank Guenther is a cognitive neuroscientist who studies speech production, speech perception, and sensory-motor control. He and his team helped a completely paralyzed but conscious patient communicate with the use of brain sensors. First, the researchers watched the patient’s brain activity by using functional MRI (fMRI) as he tried to say certain vowels. Next, they implanted an electrode into the part of the man’s brain that deals with speech production. The electrode can sense brain activity very quickly and transmit it instantaneously to a machine that can show which vowels the patient is thinking about. After more vowels and consonants are added to the list of understood letters, it is hoped that the patient will be able to communicate whole words to the researchers. Other projects have used electrodes to allow a paralyzed person to move a robotic arm, but this is the first project to have a specifically designed brain-computer interface for speech. A future patient may have additional electrodes implanted so that more information can be transmitted from the speech-production area of the brain to the researchers, leading to deeper communication. よろしくお願いします^^;

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    「海洋酸性化」に関する記事の中の一文なのですが、ご教授願います。 (http://science.time.com/2013/08/26/ocean-acidification-will-make-climate-change-worse/) The first study, by the German researchers Astrid Wittmann and Hans-O. Portner, is a meta-analysis looking at the specific effects rising acid levels are likely to have on specific categories of ocean life: corals, echinoderms, molluscs, crustaceans and fishes. わからないのは、上記の構文です。~are likely to have ... というところがどこにかかっているのか、どうしてbe動詞がここに来るのかが理解出来ません。 どなたかお詳しい方いらっしゃいましたら是非教えて頂けないでしょうか? 宜しくお願い致します。