Video: How Milk Becomes Cheese

Ever wonder how milk becomes cheese? We asked about the science and the microbes that go into this tasty food. This video explains all the chemistry of your favorite dairy product.

Watch video at You Tube (6:58 minutes) . . . . .

An Elegant and Delicious First Course with Bread, Mushrooms and Cheese


2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound wild mushrooms (such as porcini, cremini, shiitake) with stems removed, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
24 small (1/2-inch-thick) slices country-style bread (preferably ciabatta), toasted
1 pound fresh salted buffalo mozzarella, cut into 24 slices
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 3750.
  2. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chopped mushrooms and saute 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Pour in wine. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  5. Mix in salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange bread on a large country-style bread baking sheet. Top each piece with a slice of mozzarella. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  7. Top crostini with mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The Oprah Magazine Cookbook

Video: How Alzheimer’s Changes the Brain

This video shows how Alzheimer’s affects the human brain and looks at promising ideas to treat and prevent the disease.

Watch video at You Tube (3:59 minutes) . . . . .

Some Great 50-Calorie Food Choices

Len Canter wrote . . . . . . . .

Tired of munching on carrot and celery sticks to stay on the diet track when your stomach starts growling?

There are many options for nutritious and filling foods that contain just 50 calories. And yes, you’ll get the most bang for your calorie buck with vegetables, but there are other choices to satisfy your hunger.

Fresh or frozen, one cup of raspberries makes a sweet treat and has 8 grams of fiber. If blueberries are more your thing, scoop up two-thirds of a cup.

You can eat two cups of cherry tomatoes for 50 calories and get half your vitamin A requirement for the day. Try new varieties in shades from yellow and orange to red and green stripes — so tasty you won’t miss a dip.

You probably think of popcorn as a tasty snack, but it’s actually a filling whole grain, so indulging can help you reach that daily requirement. The trick is to make it fresh with an air popper — no oil or additives. You can have one and three-quarter cups for 50 calories.

A medium bell pepper has just 25 calories and nearly twice your daily vitamin C needs, leaving you another 25 calories for a tablespoon of a yogurt-based dip. Try red, yellow and orange varieties, which are sweeter than green.

All types of squash are healthy, but spaghetti squash is especially low in calories plus gives you the mouthfeel of eating pasta. One cup is just 30 calories — 50 when topped with 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce. Bake it on the weekend, scrape out the strands, and store in the fridge so it’s ready to eat when you’re ready.

Put these flavorful foods on the menu and you’ll hardly know you’re eating low-calorie.

Source: HealthDay

Biologist Advocates Ecological Approach to Improving Human Health

Chronic diseases like cancer, autoimmune disorders and obesity may ultimately vanquish the efforts of medical intervention unless people change their diet, an Oregon State University biologist argues in a paper published this week.

Matt Orr, assistant professor in the College of Science at OSU-Cascades, describes a “restoration ecology” approach toward patient health – every person is like an ecosystem, he says, and effectively fighting chronic disease requires fostering the communities of symbiotic gut microbes that people need for their health.

That means drawing on techniques, which have been developed by scientists over the last half-century, that have restored species diversity and ecosystem function of natural habitats.

“Western doctors generally ignore diet in chronic disease, even diseases of the gut,” Orr said. “They do not overly encourage or support their patients to change their diet away from high fat and high sugar. Industry and policy have created a platform for people to eat terribly in this country, and many Americans do eat terribly.”

The paperfl, published in the Quarterly Review of Biology, notes that throughout history humans have harmed beneficial species, often inadvertently, through advances of culture and technology. Affected species include those inside of people as well as around them.

The highest known cell density of any microbial habitat on the planet is found in the human gut – there can be more than 1,000 species of bacteria containing more than a half-million genes.

But applying techniques of ecological restoration – assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that’s been degraded, damaged or destroyed – to the field of medicine has been a largely unexplored option, Orr and his collaborators found.

Restoration techniques fall into one of two categories: passive and active. Passive means removing whatever disturbances have harmed an ecosystem – such as an unhealthy diet – and then letting the ecosystem heal itself.

If that doesn’t work, the next step is active restoration. In nature that could mean physical manipulation of a landscape, exterminating unwanted species and introducing desired ones. In the gut, it might involve probiotics, antibiotics or fecal microbiota transplants.

One tenet of restoration ecology that is ignored by western medicine is that active interventions will not succeed if a passive platform is not established – the disturbance has to be removed.

Part of what compelled Orr to look at the human microbiota from an ecological perspective was the chronic gut irritation he developed from years of doing research in the tropics and taking antibiotics “for bugs picked up at unsanitary field stations.”

“I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and put on a monoclonal antibody inhibitor for life,” he said. “Except that I cleaned up my diet, stopped getting the gut irritation, cut out the monoclonal antibody inhibitor, and my symptoms are gone. Two doctors overturned the Crohn’s diagnosis in writing.

“All of that inspired me to think about ways that my knowledge of restoration ecology might help to guide physicians away from treating and misdiagnosing other people the way that they had treated and misdiagnosed me.”

Gut microbes perform a wide range of beneficial functions. Among other things, they produce nutrients in the form of short-chain fatty acids and vitamins, control blood sugar and weight, reduce inflammation and even improve mental health and psychological well-being.

And as with natural habitats, where successful restoration techniques will vary from year to year and place to place depending on individual circumstances, gut restoration requires a similar approach – one toward personalized medicine given that no two gut sets of gut microbiota are identical.

Except for that they’re all essential to the person’s health and all subject to disturbances, including the food people eat and the medicine they take.

“Nineteenth-century research identified microbes as agents of disease and set the stage for 20th-century breakthroughs in antibiotic therapies,” Orr said. “But antibiotic resistance is now a global crisis, and we’re also now aware that antimicrobials can harm beneficial species too.”

Source: Oregon State University

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