The Newest Food Emojis

The new emojis include: round waffles, a stick of butter, yerba mate in a gourd with a straw, an onion, bulb of garlic, a juice box, large ice cube and probably the most anticipated, falafel.

Orange Truffles


1/4 cup butter, chopped
1/3 cup (2-1/2 fl oz) whipping cream
7 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed citrus peel
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. In a small saucepan, combine butter and cream. Cook on low heat until butter melts and cream bubbles around edge.
  2. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Cover and let stand until chocolate melts. Stir until smooth.
  3. Stir in egg yolk. Mix in orange peel, citrus peel, and Grand Marnier. Chill until firm.
  4. Form into 40 balls. Roll in cocoa. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
  5. To serve, place in small paper or foil cases.

Makes 40 truffles.

Source: Chocolates & Petits Fours

What Is a Renal Mass and What Is a Localized Renal Tumor?

One in four renal masses are benign. Smaller masses are more likely to be benign. Larger masses are more likely to be cancerous. Some tumors can be slow to grow while some can be aggressive. Aggressive tumors form, grow and spread very quickly.

Most diagnosed kidney growths are small and localized masses. Localized means that the tumor has not spread out from where it first started. Around 40% of kidney cancers are localized renal masses. Masses may be solid or cystic (having fluid). Most cystic masses are benign.

Where are the Kidneys and What are they for?

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs near the middle of the back. There is one kidney below the rib cage on each side of the spine. Each kidney is about the size of a fist.Our kidneys’ main job is to filter the blood. The kidneys remove water and waste from our blood in the form of urine. Urine then leaves our body by way of the bladder and the urethra. As a filter, the kidneys:

  • Detoxify (clean) our blood
  • Balance fluids
  • Maintain electrolyte levels (e.g., sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, acid)
  • Remove waste (as urine)

The kidneys also make hormones that help to:

  • Keep blood pressure stable
  • Make red blood cells
  • Make bones stay strong

What do we Know about Kidney Cancers?

Kidney and renal pelvis cancers are the 12th leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Kidney cancer is 9th on the list of the 10 most common types of cancer. Almost all of the kidney cancers in the U.S. are renal cell carcinomas (RCC). These cancers form in the lining of the small tubes in the kidney.

Doctors are able to diagnose kidney cancer earlier because of better testing. Kidney cancer is more common in men than women. More men than women die from the disease. Kidney cancer is more common in African Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Native people. You can get kidney cancer at any age. But, it is more common in older people (those greater than 75 years old).

There will be more than 73,000 new cases of kidney cancer in the U.S. in 2019. Of those cases, nearly 15,000 people will likely die from the disease. The earlier the cancer is diagnosed-the better the chances of survival. The five-year survival rate for all kidney cancers is about 74%. If the cancer spreads over the body, then this rate falls to about 12%. The five-year survival for localized kidney and renal pelvis cancer is 92.5%.

Around the world, over 300,000 people get kidney cancer each year. Half of those people will die from the disease. But, less people are dying each year from the disease.

Types of Renal Tumors

Renal tumors are grouped by where they start growing and by their structure. The main classes of tumors are:

  • Renal Cell Carcinomas (RCC). These are the most common malignant kidney tumors. They are found in the lining of the small tubes in the kidney. RCC may form as a single tumor within a kidney. It can also form two or more tumors in one kidney.
  • Benign renal tumors. There are about 9 different types of tumors in this class. Some can grow quite large. But most are non-cancerous and do not spread to other organs.
  • Wilms tumor. Wilms tumors almost always are found in children and are rarely found in adults.


Over half of renal tumors are found by chance and may have no symptoms. They often are found when your doctor is doing a test for other health problems. Tumors found in this way are more likely localized to the kidney. These types of tumors have good outcomes. Most renal masses have no symptoms in the early stages. But, if there are symptoms, they will most likely be:

  • Hematuria (blood in urine)
  • Flank pain between the ribs and hips
  • Low back pain on one side (not caused by injury) and that does not go away
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss not caused by dieting
  • Fever not caused by an infection and that does not go away
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)


Doctors do not know what causes kidney cancer. But, they do know there are certain risk factors that increase your chance of getting kidney cancer. They are:

  • Smoking (male smokers have a higher risk than female smokers)
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol
  • Obesity, poor diet
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Being on kidney dialysis
  • Workplace exposure to chlorinated chemicals
  • Heredity (some kidney cancers are found in multiple family members)

How can you lessen the risk for kidney cancer?

Some actions may help to reduce the risk of kidney tumors:

  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Eat fruits and vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, collard greens and kale
  • Add fatty fish into your diet such as salmon, tuna and sardines
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly, it will help prevent obesity and hypertension


There are no routine lab tests to find kidney cancer. Often tumors are found during genetic screening or when you see a doctor about another problem. If your doctor thinks you have a kidney tumor, he/she might send you to see a urologist. A urologist is a doctor who specializes in the genitourinary system. When you see your urologist, they will ask you questions about your symptoms and health. They will give you a physical exam, order lab tests and may take pictures of your body.

Some common tests and procedures for renal tumors

Your doctor may use many tests and procedures to make a diagnosis. Here are some that you might expect:

  • Physical exam and history is when your healthcare provider checks your body and asks you questions about your health and family. He/she will check for lumps or any other unusual signs. Your health habits, past illnesses and treatments will also be discussed.
  • Basic or complete metabolic panel (CMP), also called a blood chemistry, is used to evaluate organ function and check for certain conditions.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) checks for certain substances. If amounts are higher or lower than normal, that may be a sign of disease.
  • Urinalysis checks for infection, blood and protein in your urine.
  • Kidney function tests check how well the kidneys are working. They show if the kidneys are getting rid of waste the right way.
  • Ultrasounds take pictures of your kidneys and organs.

Imaging Tests:

  • CT scan (CAT scan or computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) are useful for diagnosing and staging renal masses. They can show which kidney is affected, whether the cancer has spread and if other glands or organs are involved.
  • Chest x-rays help to find out what stage your cancer is. A mass in your chest usually suggests your tumor has spread.
  • Bone scans may be done if you have bone pain or neurologic (nerve) symptoms.
  • Renal mass biopsy may be done to find out what type of tumor you may have. A biopsy is when cells or tiny parts of an organ are removed and studied. A pathologist views the sample under a microscope. The biopsy will show if the tumor started in another part of your body or if it started in the kidney. A biopsy may also tell if there is an infection, such as an abscess. It can help find cancer and make better treatment choices.

Source : Urology Care Foundation

China Gives Conditional OK to Its First Self-developed Alzheimer’s Drug

China has granted conditional approval to its first self-developed treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, a move that may point to revived opportunities in a therapeutic area where drugmakers have burned billions of dollars without yielding a validated new drug.

Oligomannate, which uses extract from marine brown algae as raw material, received a conditional green light to treat mild-to-moderate level AD, the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) said in a statement on its website late on Saturday.

An effective treatment for Alzheimer’s, which is estimated in 60%-70% of around 50 million dementia cases worldwide, could become one of the best-selling drugs globally.

“Trial results demonstrated that Oligomannate statistically improved cognitive function in mild-to-moderate AD patients as early as week 4 and the benefit was sustained at each follow-up assessment visit,” Shanghai Green Valley Pharmaceuticals, which developed the drug along with two academic institutions in China, said in a statement.

The outlook for a cure is clouded with theoretical uncertainties and high-profile failures. Pharmaceutical giants including Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer have ditched their projects on unsatisfactory data.

Biogen last month revived its plans to seek U.S. approval for its aducanumab treatment after announcing in March that it would terminate two large clinical trials for the drug. But some analysts believed FDA approval is highly unlikely.

China is fast-tracking approval for innovative drugs at home in a bid to offer more and cheaper options to patients, as many in the rapidly aging country struggle to find alternatives to costly treatments sold by multinational pharmaceutical firms for chronic diseases.

In an August overhaul to its drug administration law, Beijing said conditional approval could be granted to some still-under-research medicines of “predictable” clinical value for life-threatening diseases for which effective treatment is not immediately available.

Further research on Oligomannate’s pharmacological mechanism and long-term safety and effectiveness is required, according to the NMPA statement.

Green Valley said it would launch the drug “very soon” in China. The company also aims to roll out a phase-3 clinical trial with sites in the United States, Europe and Asia in early 2020 to facilitate global regulatory approval of the drug.

Source : Reuters

Read also at BBC:

First drug that can slow Alzheimer’s dementia . . . . .

Fish Oil Supplements Have No Effect on Anxiety and Depression

Omega-3 fats have little or no effect on anxiety and depression according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Increased consumption of omega 3 fats is widely promoted globally because of a common belief that it will protect against, or even reverse, conditions such as anxiety and depression.

But a systematic review published today in the British Journal of Psychiatry, finds that omega 3 supplements offer no benefit.

Omega 3 is a type of fat. Small amounts are essential for good health and can be found in the food that we eat including nuts and seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon.

Omega 3 fats are also readily available as over-the-counter supplements and they are widely bought and used.

The research team looked at 31 trials of adults with and without depression or anxiety. More than 41,470 participants were randomised to consume more long-chain omega-3 fats (fish oils), or maintain their usual intake, for at least six months

They found that the supplements had little or no effect in preventing depression or anxiety symptoms.

Lead author Dr Lee Hooper, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Our previous research has shown that long-chain omega 3 supplements, including fish oils, do not protect against conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes or death.

“This large systematic review included information from many thousands of people over long periods. Despite all this information, we don’t see protective effects.

“The most trustworthy studies consistently showed little or no effect of long-chain omega 3 fats on depression or anxiety, and they should not be encouraged as a treatment.”

Dr Katherine Deane, from UEA’s School of Health Sciences, said “Oily fish can be a very nutritious food as part of a balanced diet.

“But we found that there is no demonstrable value in people taking omega 3 oil supplements for the prevention or treatment of depression and anxiety.

“Considering the environmental concerns about industrial fishing and the impact it is having on fish stocks and plastic pollution in the oceans, it seems unhelpful to continue to swallow fish oil tablets that give no benefit.”

Source: University of East Anglia

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