Video: Home-made Sichuan Chili Bean Paste (豆瓣酱)

Watch video at You Tube (5:00 minutes) . . . . .

A Classic Hors D’oeuvre with Crabmeat


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon water, if needed
1 cup heavy (double) cream
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped jarred pimiento (sweet pepper)
salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 lb lump crabmeat
1-1/4 cups fine dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lemon
12-14 thin baguette slices (optional)


  1. In a small saute pan over low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the celery and onion, cover, and cook very gently until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the water if the vegetables begin to brown.
  2. Add the cream, raise the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from boiling over, until reduced and quite thick, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, pour into a heatproof bowl, and let cool.
  4. Add the mustard, pimiento, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper to the cooled cream mixture and mix well.
  5. Whisk in the egg, then add the crabmeat, breaking it up a little but leaving some lumps intact. Toss gently until evenly mixed.
  6. Pour the bread crumbs onto a plate, spreading them in an even layer. Scoop up a golf ball–sized portion of the crab mixture and gently squeeze out any excess liquid. Shape into a small patty. The mixture will be quite wet and loose.
  7. Place the crab cake on the crumbs, then scoop more crumbs over the top. Using a spatula, carefully turn the cake over onto your palm, letting the excess crumbs fall back onto the plate. Turn the cake back over onto the spatula and slide it gently onto a platter. Repeat to make the remaining crab cakes, 12-14 in all. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, or up to 3 hours.
  8. In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the foam subsides, gently slide half of the crab cakes into the pan. Cook the first sides until golden brown, 5-6 minutes.
  9. Turn and brown on the second sides, 4-5 minutes longer. Keep the first batch of cakes warm in a low oven.
  10. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and repeat to make the second batch of crab cakes.
  11. Squeeze the lemon half over all the crab cakes and, if desired, serve each on a slice of baguette.

Makes 12 to 14 warm bites.

Source: Hors D’oeuvre

Video: What’s an MRI? And why do I need one?

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It’s a noninvasive way for your health care provider to examine your organs, tissues and skeletal system. While an X-ray is great for looking at bone, an MRI also can examine soft tissue and organs. Dr. Phillip Young, a radiologist at Mayo Clinic, says this technology can diagnose many problems. Plus there’s no radiation.

Watch video at You Tube (1:00 minutes) . . . . .

Scientists Create First 3D-Printed Corneas

These days, medical advances seem to be happening in the blink of an eye. Now, British scientists report they have created human corneas using 3D-printing technology.

The researchers said they hope this breakthrough will one day ensure an unlimited supply of corneas. Human corneas are now in short supply. Yet, there are 10 million people around the world who need them to prevent blindness.

These millions need surgery to prevent corneal blindness caused by diseases such as trachoma, an infectious eye disorder.

Another 5 million people already suffer total blindness from corneal scarring caused by burns, lacerations, abrasion or disease, the researchers added.

The cornea, the outermost layer of the eye, plays a vital role in focusing, the study authors explained.

The new process uses a simple, low-cost 3D bio-printer to form the shape of a human cornea. It takes less than 10 minutes to print. The researchers then showed that stem cells on the printed cornea grew, creating a human cornea.

“Many teams across the world have been chasing the ideal bio-ink to make this process feasible,” said lead researcher Che Connon, a professor of tissue engineering at Newcastle University in England.

“Our unique gel — a combination of alginate and collagen — keeps the stem cells alive whilst producing a material which is stiff enough to hold its shape, but soft enough to be squeezed out the nozzle of a 3D printer,” he explained in a university news release.

The researchers are now ready to use bio-ink containing stem cells, which will allow printing tissues without having to worry about growing the cells separately, Connon said.

Connon’s team also showed it could create a cornea that matches a patient’s unique specifications.

The dimensions of the printed cornea were taken from an actual cornea. Scanning a patient’s eye, the researchers were able to use the data to print a cornea that matched it in size and shape.

“Our 3D-printed corneas will now have to undergo further testing, and it will be several years before we could be in the position where we are using them for transplants,” Connon added.

The report was published in the journal Experimental Eye Research.

Source: HealthDay

The Link Between Handgrip Strength and Healthy Lungs in Older Women

As we age, we may become weaker as our muscles tend to lose their mass and strength. This condition of losing muscle mass is called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia can lead to problems performing your daily activities, such as shopping, socializing, and taking care of yourself and your home. Having sarcopenia can lessen your quality of life—and your independence.

A simple, fast way to test your overall muscle strength is by measuring the strength of your handgrip. In the test, you grip a small device as hard as you can, and it measures the strength of your grip. Studies have shown that handgrip strength is closely linked to muscle mass and other signs of your general health, including nutrition and walking ability. What’s more, handgrip strength is considered an important test for diagnosing sarcopenia. Weak handgrip strength can predict low muscle mass and poor physical performance.

Research has linked handgrip strength to other health problems in older adults. Losing muscle strength as you age also means losing muscle strength in your respiratory system. (The respiratory system is the part of your body responsible for breathing.) This can lead to poor lung function. When your lungs don’t function properly, you are at higher risk for respiratory issues like bronchitis and pneumonia, as well as heart disease and even death.

However, little is known about the link between handgrip strength and lung function in older adults. A team of researchers recently decided to learn whether testing handgrip strength could help identify lung function in older Korean women. Their study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers used information from the 2014-2015 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), which was conducted by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). KNHANES is a nationwide survey that looks at health and nutrition for Koreans.

The survey consists of three sections: a health interview, a nutrition survey, and a health examination. The health examination consisted of blood pressure measurements, eye and mouth exams, laboratory tests, and several other tests (including ones for strength). The researchers looked at a smaller group of survey participants: 1,773 healthy women between the ages of 65 to 79.

The researchers learned that among the 1,773 women they studied, handgrip strength was linked to lung capacity—a measure of how well your respiratory system functions. The researchers concluded that testing older adults’ handgrip strength could be a good way to test their potential for impaired lung health.

Source: The AGS Foundation for Health in Aging

Today’s Comic