Video: Do Keto Diets Really Work?

This video tackles the diet fad that never dies–low carb. There’s a lot of science that goes on with the keto diet and cutting out carbohydrates. Low-carb diets were a thing in the late 90s and they’re still a thing now. But why does this fad have staying power? Is it because the touted benefits are real? Or is that greasy, low-carb burger fried in snake oil?

Watch video at You Tube (4:36 minutes) . . . . .


Smooth and Spicy Soup with Onion, Squash and Coconut milk


2 large onions, sliced
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cups prepared squash, such as butternut, diced fine
1 to 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped fine
3 small red chillies, seeded if wished and chopped fine
3 kaffir lime leaves, finely grated or shredded rind of 2 limes
5 cups vegetable broth
salt and black pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp fish sauce
yogurt and chopped cilantro to serve


  1. Cook the onions in the oil in a covered pan for 10 minutes, until softened but not browned.
  2. Add the squash and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lemongrass, chillies, and lime leaves or shredded rind, then add the broth and bring to a boil. Season lightly, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  4. Cool slightly, add the coconut milk and fish sauce, then blend the soup to a smooth puree. Season to taste with salt – if you have left the chili seeds in it is very unlikely you will need pepper!
  5. Serve with a spoonful of plain yogurt and chopped cilantro.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Onions

In Pictures: Home-cooked Pork Belly Dishes

Braised Pork Belly and Cabbage

Stir-fried Pork Belly and Cabbage with Konnyaku Noodle

Pasta with Pork Belly, Cabbage and Kombu

Stir-fried Slated Pork Belly with Cabbage and Snap Peas

Spaghetti with Pork Belly and Cabbage in Garlic Oil

Pasta with Pork Belly and Kimchi

Stir-fried Pork Belly and Cabbage with Hot and Spicy Miso Sauce

Can Mice Really Mirror Humans When It Comes to Cancer?

A new Michigan State University study is helping to answer a pressing question among scientists of just how close mice are to people when it comes to researching cancer.

The findings, now published in PLOS Genetics, reveal how mice can actually mimic human breast cancer tissue and its genes, even more so than previously thought, as well as other cancers including lung, oral and esophagus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, cancer is the second leading cause of death among Americans next to heart disease.

“Just like human breast cancer, there are many subtypes that can be found in mice,” said Eran Andrechek, co-author and physiology professor whose work focuses on the genetic makeup of cancer. “Our work outlines the genetic similarities of the tissue and cells in different types of tumors and shows the strong relationships mice can have to other human cancers too.”

Different tumor subtypes can include glandular, which include the mammary glands, as well as squamous, which are very rare and involve epithelial cells that line the inside of the breast.

Andrechek’s federally funded study looked at mice containing all subtypes and compared the makeup of the rodent tumors and the way the genes acted, known as gene expression, to human tumor data.

He found that not only did the genes act the same in certain breast cancers but the gene similarities were active in other cancers as well.

“Groups of genes were also being expressed similarly in the lung, oral and esophageal tumors,” Andrechek said. “For example, mouse mammary tumors shared a signaling pathway that is found in human lung cancer and controls how cells reproduce and move from one location to another.”

Because tumors have distinct genes, the way they act or send signals can help scientists identify and define the specific kind of cancer they’re dealing with in hopes of finding the right treatment.

“Our work will help scientists understand in part what makes the various tumors so unique and such a challenge to treat,” Andrechek said. “But even more importantly, for patients, our ability to identify the similarities could allow treatments for other cancers like lung to be used for certain breast cancers down the road.”

Source: Michigan State University

New Instrument Lets Doctors View the Entire Eye with Unprecedented Level of Detail

Researchers have developed the first instrument that can provide a detailed image of the entire eye. By incorporating a lens that changes optical parameters in response to an electric current, the innovative technology can produce higher quality images than currently available and could make eye examinations faster and more comfortable for patients by avoiding the need to undergo imaging with multiple instruments to look at different areas of the eye.

“Diseases such as glaucoma affect both the front and back portions of the eye,” said Ireneusz Grulkowski, whose research team at Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland, worked with Pablo Artal’s team at the Universidad de Murcia, Spain to develop the new imaging system. “An instrument that can examine the whole eye will improve the patient’s experience because they won’t have to go through imaging with different devices. It might also one day reduce the number of instruments — which can be quite expensive — needed in an ophthalmology clinic.”

In Optica, The Optical Society’s journal for high impact research, the researchers show that their new optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging system can not only image both the front and the back of the eye, but can also image the interfaces of the eye’s vitreous gel with the retina and lens with unprecedented detail. This new imaging capability could allow scientists to better understand how the vitreous gel that fills the eye interacts with the retina and why it can sometimes become detached with aging.

“We also want to use our instrument to measure opacities in the eye’s crystal lens and the vitreous to better understand how various parts of the eye affect the deterioration of vision,” said Grulkowski. “We believe that the ability to measure these opacities and other properties of the eye that couldn’t be examined before will open up many new ophthalmology applications for OCT.”

Increasing imaging depth

The new system is based on OCT, which is commonly used to acquire very detailed, cross-sectional ophthalmology images. Most clinical instruments are limited to imaging depths of 2 to 3 millimeters, and it is difficult to switch between imaging the front and back portions of the eye because the eye is composed of elements that bend the light to focus it onto the retina.

To overcome these challenges, the researchers used an electrically tunable lens to build an OCT instrument that could focus light in a way that enabled whole-eye imaging. Unlike standard glass or plastic lenses, which have fixed parameters, the optical properties of an electrically tunable lens can be dynamically controlled using an electric current.

The OCT system also incorporated a newly commercialized swept light source — a laser that continuously changes wavelength very rapidly. The wavelength-tunable laser improves the resolution and speed of OCT compared to systems that use other light sources. The researchers integrated high-speed electronics to achieve the imaging depth necessary to enable whole eye imaging.

“We incorporated the electrically tunable lens into a custom-made system that represents the latest generation of OCT technology,” said Grulkowski. “We set out to show that we could image both the front and back of the eye without changing instruments. However, we were also able to show that our instrument enhanced the image quality of the OCT images.”

The researchers used their new system to measure the anatomical characteristics of the eyes of seven healthy people. Measurements calculated using images from the new system correlated well with those obtained with an ocular biometer, the standard clinical device used today.

Next steps

The researchers are now working to optimize the instrument for imaging of the entire vitreous gel, not just where it interfaces with the lens and retina. The vitreous gel has not been studied intensively and is difficult to image because it is highly transparent. The ability to image the entire vitreous could allow OCT to be used to guide procedures that involve the removal of the vitreous gel from the eye, which is sometimes done to repair retinal detachment.

Although the laboratory version of the set-up is ready to use, further steps will be taken to translate the technology to the clinic. The scientists are focused on optimizing the scan areas and developing processing tools for automatic measurement of the dimensions of the eye. These improvements will enable advanced studies of the proposed scan regimes on a group of patients with different types of opacification in the eye.

Source: The Optical Society

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