Astronomers detect signs of life on Venus

An international team of researchers found evidence of a gas on Venus that could indicate the planet may harbor life. Continue reading

Popular Televangelist Claims Four Blood Moons Are Sign of ‘World-Shaking Event’

Four complete lunar eclipses will appear in the sky starting on April 15. Pastor John Hagee, of Texas’ Cornerstone Church, believes God is trying to communicate with humans through these celestial signs. Continue reading

Sitting Kills, Moving Heals

Story at-a-glance

Sitting for extended periods of time is an independent risk factor for poor health and premature death. Even if you are very fit, if you uninterruptedly sit Continue reading

Color Toning Heals 400 Diagnosed Disorders

Did You Know…

… that colored light therapy (a treatment called color “toning”) has been shown to cause a physiologic effect inside the human body, and has been used by many health practitioners to heal 400 diagnosed disorders, including most known health conditions? Continue reading

Why NASA Is Recommending These Five Foods

When NASA sends its first manned mission to Mars, it’s going to have to be careful about the foods it chooses for the astronauts to eat on their long journey. Space aboard the ship will be at a premium and there will be no food waiting for the astronauts once they land on Mars. So, which healthy foods will be part of the astronauts’ daily diet? NASA officials have narrowed it down to Continue reading

Body Temperature and Weight

Did You Know…

… that a NASA Scientist may have discovered a powerful and overlooked secret to shedding pounds?

Shedding pounds can seem as challenging as rocket science… and in truth, the formula for melting excess fat may be closer to rocket science than we could have imagined!  The secret is body temperature. Continue reading

New Ultrasound Medical Tools for Space Research

The remoteness and resource limitations of spaceflight pose a serious challenge to astronaut health care. One solution is ultrasound.

Scientists with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) have developed tools that expand the use of ultrasound during spaceflight and on Earth, especially in rural and underserved locations. These tools include techniques that streamline training and help remote experts guide non-physician astronauts to perform ultrasound exams. Ultrasound can be used to assess numerous conditions – fractured bones, collapsed lungs, kidney stones, organ damage and other ailments – in space and on Earth. With an NSBRI grant, they also created a catalog, or atlas, of “space-normal” imagery of the human body, setting the stage for astronauts to provide care without consulting a physician on Earth. This atlas was handed over to NASA earlier this year.

Dr. Scott A. Dulchavsky, the Roy D. McClure Chairman of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, is the principal investigator of these projects and is a member of the NSBRI Smart Medical Systems and Technology Team. “The ultrasound imagery techniques came from space program constraints of not having a trained radiologist on orbit or having a CAT scan or an MRI available, forcing us to use ultrasound for things in which we would not normally use it,” Continue reading

Use Plants to Eliminate Deadly Toxins in Your Home

Chemicals that pose dangers to your health exist in everyday products. These VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, such as benzene and formaldehyde, are found in cleaners, pesticides, building supplies, paint, aerosol sprays, and hundreds of other products.

Many homes are now built airtight and have insufficient ventilation. This can result in a buildup of toxins from building materials, pesticides, cleaning products, and a host of other products many people use every day in their homes, such as air fresheners. With a mixture of such toxins accumulating in homes, synergistic toxicity can occur even though the actual individual levels are quite low.

Symptoms from VOCs are often mistaken for other forms of illnesses, but generally they include headaches, dizziness, nausea, eye irritation, coughing, shortness of breath, nasal irritation, and multiple chemical sensitivity.

A number of VOCs, especially chlorinated organic compounds (pesticides, herbicides, organic solvents, etc.), are associated with an increased risk of cancers of the blood and bone marrow as well as breast cancer. Fortunately, nature has a way of rejuvenating — and when it comes to improving the air quality in your home, you can rely on nature. A study by NASA shows that plants can actually remove harmful toxins, such as benzene and formaldehyde, from the air.

The following plants are the most effective for removing dangerous chemicals from the air you breathe, according to this important study:

• Philodendron scandens “oxycardium,” heartleaf philodendron

• Philodendrowdomesticum, elephant ear philodendron

• Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana,” cornstalk dracaena

• Hedera helix, English ivy

• Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant

• Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig,” Janet Craig dracaena

• Dracaena deremensis “Warneckii,” Warneck dracaena

• Ficus benjamina, weeping fig

• Epipiremnum aureum, golden pothos

• Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa,” peace lily

• Philodendron selloum, selloum philodendron

• Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen

• Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo or reed palm

• Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant

• Dracaena marginata, red-edged dracaena

Space-Industry Technology May Help Treat Breast Cancer

WASHINGTON – A collaborative study is being conducted to determine if an imaging technique used by NASA to inspect the space shuttle can be used to predict tissue damage often experienced by breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center and Argonne National Laboratory are examining the utility of three-dimensional thermal tomography in radiation oncology.

Approximately 80 percent of breast cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment develop acute skin reactions that range in severity. The more severe reactions cause discomfort and distress to the patient, and sometimes result in treatment interruptions. The severity is quite variable among patients and difficult to predict.

“Because reactions usually occur from 10 to 14 days after the beginning of therapy, if we could predict skin reactions sooner we may be able to offer preventative treatment to maximize effectiveness and minimize interruption of radiation treatment,” said Dr. Katherine Griem, professor of radiation oncology at Rush.

The researchers are studying if three-dimensional thermal tomography (3DTT) can detect the earliest changes that may trigger a skin reaction.

3DTT is a relatively new thermal imaging process that is currently being used as a non-invasive away to detect defects in composite materials.

The basic idea of thermal imaging is to apply heat or cold to a material and observing the resulting temperature change with an infrared camera to learn about its composition.

Unlike most thermal imaging studies, which have quantitative limitations, 3DTT measures the thermal effusivity of skin tissue. Thermal effusivity is a measure of a material’s ability to exchange heat with its surroundings.

In this study, a flash of light is used to heat up the skin. An infrared camera captures a series of images over time that display the temperature of the skin, represented by colors. An algorithm developed by Argonne is used to calculate the temperature change and determine the thermal effusivity of different areas of the skin.

James Chu, PhD, chairperson of the section of medical physics at Rush said: “How quickly the skin cools is related to the structure underneath. Damaged skin cells have different effusivity values compared to that of healthy skin. By identifying the earliest changes in damaged tissue, we may be able to predict acute skin toxicities.”

Preliminary data from the study show that marked decreases in thermal effusivity of irradiated skin occur well in advance of the development of high-grade skin reactions.

Dr. Alan Coon, chief resident of radiation oncology at Rush and primary author on the study, said: “Our initial data with radiation induced skin changes are quite encouraging,” said

“In addition to finding decreases in effusivity of the treated areas many days before the development of skin reactions, we have also seen that the magnitude of these decreases varies with the grade of the reactions. This exciting result bodes well for the clinical utility of this technique in predicting the severity of a skin reaction before it occurs,” Coon added.

The preliminary results from the study are being displayed during the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)