Princeton Longevity Center, by Karen McPartland, RD

Do you want to protect your prostate and your heart with one little seed? Then don’t throw out the seeds after your kids carve their pumpkins this Halloween!

Pumpkin seeds are flat, green seeds that contain a phytochemical which is thought to prevent and possibly control an enlarged prostate. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals that have disease preventive properties. The phytochemical in pumpkin seeds is called cucurbitacin. Studies have shown that this substance along with other pumpkin seed components may act on the prostate to reduce inflammation, thereby potentially relieving the urinary difficulties that develop when an enlarged prostate obstructs the bladder.

Phytosterols are another component found in pumpkin seeds. Phytosterols are found in plants and they have a chemical structure that is similar to cholesterol. When phytosterols are eaten in sufficient amounts, blood levels of harmful cholesterol may be reduced. A recent analysis showed that the phytosterol, beta-sisterol is the most prevalent plant sterol found in pumpkin seeds when compared to other seeds, grains, and legumes. So, pop in those pumpkin seeds for cholesterol lowering power!

Other healthy components of pumpkin seeds include monounsaturated fat, magnesium, zinc, iron, and protein. Roasted pumpkin seeds can be eaten as a snack, added to salads or cereals, and can be used to make a tasty sauce that complements chicken or fish as in this issue’s Live Well Recipe.

There are many nutritional approaches to protecting your prostate and lowering your cholesterol, so it’s important to work with a team of medical professionals who can determine what might work best for you. Every small step toward a healthier lifestyle is important and will ultimately contribute to your efforts in preventing or fighting disease.

CNN.com, HOUSTON, Texas (AP) — Spacewalking astronauts bolted a solar power tower to the international space station on Tuesday, completing an ambitious three-day moving process that ended with elation when the beam’s giant solar panels began to unfurl.

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A rip can be seen in one of the giant new solar panels unfurled on Tuesday on the international space station.

Their joy turned to concern, however, when a rip was spotted in the second solar panel.

NASA needs to get the tower up and running to prevent malfunctioning station equipment from delaying the addition of a much-anticipated European research lab.

A massive rotary joint is supposed to make sure the solar panel wings on the right side of the space station are facing the sun. But the gear, which was installed in June, has been experiencing electrical current spikes for nearly two months.

The solar panels on the 17½-ton girder that was installed at its new location Tuesday were folded up like an accordion for the move, and the first one slowly was unfurled as the seven-hour spacewalk wrapped up, gleaming like gold in the sun.

The crew kept spacewalker Scott Parazynski and Douglas Wheelock apprised of the first solar wing’s unfurling as they floated back inside. Their reaction: “Wow, that’s great,” and “Awesome!”

“It’s a good day’s work right there,” Parazynski said. The astronauts abruptly stopped the unfurling of the second panel, however, as soon as they saw the rip on the edge of the panel. The panel was almost completely unfurled when the rip was spotted. The astronauts beamed down photos of the torn and crumpled section so NASA can analyze them and determine the extent of the damage.

At Mission Control’s request, the astronauts retracted the wing just a bit to ease the tension on it.

A spacewalking astronaut found black dust resembling metal shavings inside the motorized joint on Sunday. NASA has limited the joint’s motion to prevent the debris from causing permanent damage, but that also limits the system’s ability to generate power for the station.

Parazynski spent part of Tuesday inspecting the matching rotary joint that turns the space station’s left set of solar wings toward the sun. NASA will examine images he gathered of the perfectly running unit to compare it to the malfunctioning one.

There were no shavings inside the joint, and Parazynski said everything looked pristine.

“It’s right out of the shop, no debris whatsoever,” he said.

Parazynski and Wheelock guided astronauts inside the station as they used a robotic arm to hook up the beam to the orbiting outpost’s backbone. The spacewalkers then began installing bolts to hold the beam in place and connecting wires to provide power.

“Oh I love this job,” Parazynski said as they worked 220 miles above southeast Asia. “Beautiful view.”

Given the problems with the right rotary joint, NASA needs the power generated by the newly installed solar panels to proceed with the planned December launch of the European Space Agency’s science lab, named Columbus.

That lab and a Japanese lab set to be delivered early next year will latch onto the new Harmony module that Discovery delivered last week.

The space agency added a day to Discovery’s mission so spacewalking astronauts could conduct a detailed inspection of the troublesome joint. That work is scheduled for Thursday.

To make room for that inspection, managers canceled a shuttle thermal tile repair demonstration that was scheduled for that spacewalk. The test was added to the mission after a piece of fuel-tank foam gouged Endeavour’s belly on the last shuttle flight in August.

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Astronaut Daniel Tani works on the internationa space station during a Sunday

Any repairs to the malfunctioning gear would be put off until after Discovery departs.

Discovery is now scheduled to undock from the space station on Monday and return to Earth on November

Medical geology, is the science that studies the link between normal environmental factors and geographical distribution of 1) ___ problems. Medical geologists work to determine proper exposure levels for humans in regard to essential 2) ___. It is the right dosage that differentiates between a poison and a 3) ___. One example of this is fluoride. In the US, fluoride is added to public water systems in low concentrations to promote 4) ___ health. In other areas, children in tropical regions, such as Sri Lanka, may be exposed to fluoride concentrations in drinking water in excess of 1.5 mg/L. The result is dental 5) ___, a dark brown coloration and mottling of the teeth. On the other hand, too little of an essential mineral can be harmful. About 30% of the world’s population is at risk of iodine deficiency disorder (IDD), the most common cause of 6) ___ damage and mental retardation. As with dental fluorosis, tropical populations are the most at risk, in part due to their distance from the sea and the iodide it contains. Among the many other issues medical geologists are looking to unravel are: 1) 7) ___, the deliberate widespread consumption of earthy materials such as clay and minerals; 2) new compounds being identified in the extract of soil bacteria 8) ___ in the search for new anti-inflammatory drugs; and 3) the fate of tetracyclines being administered to livestock not to fight 9) ___, but rather to promote animal growth. Since tetracyclines are poorly absorbed, the majority of the dosage is excreted, and can accumulate in soil, which can negatively impact beneficial microorganisms in soil and water; 4) the potential for hard water to serve protective roles against cardiovascular disease; and 5) the apparent paradox that people living in regions marked by high levels of natural radioactivity do not seem to suffer 10) ___ health effects from their exposure. One hundred years ago, Julius Stumpf, a German physician and scientist, used white clay from Germany to treat a deadly form of Asian cholera, diphtheria, gangrene, ulcers of the tibia, eczema. Because people must interact with their geological surroundings, discoveries made by medical geologists can have enormous consequences for the well-being of people all over the world.

ANSWERS: 1) health; 2) minerals; 3) remedy; 4) dental; 5) fluorosis; 6) brain; 7) Geophagy; 8) fermentation; 9) infection; 10) adverse

Additional Information on Medical Geology – New medicinal clay research will be presented on Monday, 29 October 2007, at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver.

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News Release, Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, USA – French clay that kills several kinds of disease-causing bacteria is at the forefront of new research into age-old, nearly forgotten, but surprisingly potent cures. Among the malevolent bacteria that a French clay has been shown to fight is a “flesh-eating” bug (M. ulcerans) on the rise in Africa and the germ called MRSA, which was blamed for the recent deaths of two children in Virginia and Mississippi.

“There are very compelling reports of clay treating infections, but that’s anecdotal evidence, not science,” said Lynda Williams, an associate research professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, Tempe. Williams is coordinating three teams of U.S. researchers (at ASU, USGS, and SUNY-Buffalo) studying healing clays under a two-year, $440,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health-National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Her ASU colleague Shelley Haydel is lending her expertise in clinical medicine to perform the microbiological research.

For thousands of years, people have used clay to heal wounds, soothe indigestion, and kill intestinal worms. Though the practice has declined in modern times, the recent rise of drug-resistant germs has scientists looking more closely at these ancient remedies to learn exactly what they can do and how they do it.

“We’re beginning to generate the first scientific evidence of why some minerals might kill bacterial organisms and others might not,” said Williams.

In laboratory tests at ASU’s Biodesign Institute, co-PI Haydel, an assistant professor in the School of Life Sciences, showed that one clay killed bacteria responsible for many human illnesses, including: Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), penicillin-resistant S. aureus (PRSA), and pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli).

It also killed Mycobacterium ulcerans, a germ related to leprosy and tuberculosis that causes the flesh-eating disease Buruli ulcer. This effect was first described in 2002, by Line Brunet de Courssou, a French humanitarian working in the Ivory Coast, Africa, who cured Buruli ulcers with daily applications of French clay she knew from childhood. Currently, advanced cases of Buruli ulcer can only be cured by surgical excision or amputation.

The new medicinal clay research will be presented on Monday, 29 October 2007, at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver.

In the same session there will be a related presentation describing the work 100 years ago of Julius Stumpf, a German physician and scientist who used white clay from Germany to treat a deadly form of Asian cholera; diphtheria; gangrene; ulcers of the tibia (a bone between the knee and foot); and the skin disease eczema.

Army Times, by Rick Maze, October 26, 2007 Two senators pushing for improvements in veterans’ mental health services want a full accounting from the Pentagon of service members suffering psychological injuries in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Sens. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., want to know the total number of cases of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems found in U.S. troops since October 2001.

In an Oct. 23 letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates., Bond and Obama ask for the total number of PTSD cases among active-duty service members and the total number of other reported psychological injuries. In seeking details, the senators want to know not only how many people have been diagnosed with mental problems, but also whether the diagnoses were made while the members were deployed or after they returned.

Bond and Obama also want details on what kind of counseling is available, especially mental health counseling while still in the combat zone, and how much money the services are spending on mental health care.

All those issues will help determine how to best allocate money for diagnosis and treatment of PTSD and other mental health issues, according to congressional aides who have been working on the issue.

The letter asks the Defense Department to supply the report by Nov. 17, which might be in time to influence the 2008 defense budget that is still pending before Congress.

Obama, one of the Democrats running for the 2008 presidential nomination, is a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Bond is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee that allocated funding to federal programs and is cochairman of the Senate National Guard Caucus.

A May 2007 report from the Defense Department said about 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans having been diagnosed with mental health issues, roughly 4 percent of the service members who deployed to one of the combat zones. About 34,000 had PTSD symptoms and 26,000 had traumatic brain injuries, according to the data supplies to the Congressional Research Service by Pentagon health affairs officials.

The report probably understates the numbers, as it covers only diagnoses from fiscal 2003 through May 2007, and cannot account for service members who have not sought treatment.

Amy Belasco, a defense policy and budget specialist for the Congressional Research Service, said that spending on military mental health programs has increased from $18 million in 2003 to $90 million last year, and that Congress included $900 million for mental health programs in the 2007 wartime supplemental spending bill – $600 million for treatment and $300 million for research.

The VA’s top doctor, Michael Kussman, told the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Oct. 17 that about 40 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who have sought treatment from VA facilities have “received at least a preliminary diagnosis of a mental health condition and 18 percent have received a preliminary diagnosis for PTSD.”

Kussman said Iraq and Afghanistan veterans make up about 10 percent of all veterans diagnosed with mental health issues.

MoD begins study amid fears that up to 20,000 soldiers may be affected

Matthew Taylor and Esther Addley
Saturday October 27, 2007
The Guardian

The Ministry of Defence is conducting a major study into brain injury in troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan amid fears that thousands of soldiers may have suffered damage after being exposed to high-velocity explosions.

The US army says as many as 20% of its soldiers and marines have suffered “mild traumatic brain injury” (mTBI) from blows to the head or shockwaves caused by explosions. The condition, which can lead to memory loss, depression and anxiety, has been designated as one of four “signature injuries” of the Iraq conflict by the US department of defence, which is introducing a large-scale screening programme for troops returning from the frontline.

Defence officials were reluctant to extrapolate directly from the US experience, arguing that the science is still inconclusive and that the US and UK experience in Iraq and Afghanistan has been different. But the Guardian has learned that the government has put in place a series of measures – including a comprehensive screening process – to deal with what could be a 20-fold increase in troops with mTBI. If the most alarming US predictions are accurate, as many as 20,000 UK troops could be at risk.

Kit Malia, a cognitive rehabilitation therapist who will oversee the programme to treat TBI at Headley Court military rehabilitation centre in Surrey, said: “I think the issue is that we don’t know whether the Americans are correct. But if the American figures are correct, this is massive. Absolutely massive.”

Surgeon commodore Lionel Jarvis, director of medical policy at the MoD, said the UK is doing all it can to improve diagnosis and treatment of the condition and is “running very, very much in parallel” with the US. He added: “The only significant difference is that there is a much higher political profile on this in the US.”

He said the MoD had drawn up a list of measures to help deal with mTBI that included circulating information to all ranks in the field on what symptoms to look out for; plans to screen all service personnel when they return from combat; a four-stage treatment programme at Headley Court; and research into body armour to improve protection for the brain.

Liam Fox, the Conservative defence spokesman, said: “It is a dereliction of duty, a failure of duty of care. They are already well behind the US in terms of identifying this disease. We have to ask again why should US troops be getting better care than British troops?”

The mTBI injury can occur when a soldier gets a blow on the head or is in close proximity to an explosion. The increased use of improvised explosive devices (IEDS) – roadside bombs – in Iraq and Afghanistan means more troops are at risk than in previous conflicts, and experts say that even the most advanced helmets cannot protect the brain from the shock waves.

A US neurologist and former doctor at the US department of veterans affairs, P Steven Macedo, said: “The enemy combatants are not trying to put missiles or bullets into our troops – they are trying to blow up their vehicles with IEDs. But the vehicles and the men wear heavy armour so what goes through them in many cases is the blast wave and we are beginning to see the impact this is having on the neurological make-up of our troops. This is the first war since the first world war where the major cause of injuries is blasts.”

Advances in brain scanning have revealed that soldiers can sustain bruising and blood clots on the brain, even if there is no visible injury. If the condition is not diagnosed it can lead to long-term problems – from depression and anxiety to violence and relationship break-up.

Dr Macedo said US army doctors are reporting that up to 20% of soldiers coming home from Iraq have “blast injuries”, with 15% of those never recovering. “Someone suffering from this will still be able to use a knife and fork, still be able to talk and walk but they may struggle with bad moods, memory problems or become easily agitated. It is like a computer which is not running programmes properly: you can function but not as quickly or effectively as before.”

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RFID Journal, October 24, 2007 – Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a leading cause of food-borne illness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year. In 2006, a flood on the Hawaiian island of Kauai caused runoff water from a cow pasture to contaminate lettuce growing in a field below. That lettuce, subsequently served in Hawaiian restaurants, sickened a number of people.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture believes that the ability to identify the source of tainted produce quickly may help reduce the number of people affected by such incidents, and assure consumers that foods are safe to eat. That is why the department is launching an RFID-tracking pilot next month to help farmers, distributors and retailers better track produce throughout the supply chain.

During the pilot, three Hawaiian farms will attach EPC Gen 2 RFID tags to cases of tomatoes, strawberries and lettuce. The tags will be read when the produce leaves the farms and is transported to a food distributor, where fixed readers will capture the tag numbers to track how long the products wait before being unloaded and moved into cold storage and shipped to two supermarkets. Employees at the supermarkets will then use interrogators to document the movement of the produce from the loading dock to coolers and the sales floor.

During the pilot, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture plans to run a mock recall. In the simulation, John Ryan, administrator for the department’s quality-assurance division, expects to be able to locate and trace the problem produce to its source, as well as launch a recall of other boxes from that batch—within an hour’s time.

MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND SPEAKER SILVER JOIN STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS AT GROUNDBREAKING FOR ALEXANDRIA CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AT THE EAST RIVER SCIENCE PARK

$700 Million Project Will Create 1,800 Construction Jobs and House More than 2,000 Bioscience Sector Employees

Bioscience Park will Include 1.1 Million Square Feet of Commercial and Lab Space for Bio and Life Science Companies based in New York City Along with 1 Acre Public Open Space

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today broke ground on the Alexandria Center for Science and Technology at the East River Science Park, a $700 million, 1.1 million square foot center for commercial bioscience on Manhattan’s East Side. The 3.7-acre site is between First Avenue and the FDR Drive and bounded on the south by East 28th Street and on the north by East 30th Street. Joining the Mayor and the Speaker were Downstate Chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) Patrick J. Foye; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. (ARE) Chief Executive Officer Joel Marcus; Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff; New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Robert C. Lieber; Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) President Alan D. Aviles; and New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF) President & CEO Maria Gotsch.

“As we look to diversify our economy and expand new sectors, it’s important to note that commercial bioscience is one of New York’s major growth industries, as evidenced by Alexandria’s commitment of $700 million to this innovative project,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “East River Science Park will be a premier research and development center that will enable researchers at our great hospitals and universities to turn their ideas into commercially viable products.”

“My Assembly colleagues and I have been acting on our High Technology Agenda for more than a decade, to ensure that when the work of our universities, our hospitals and our scientists results in innovation, the jobs and the economic gain that follow from that innovation accrue to our cities and our state,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “The research, development and achievements that I know will occur at the East River Science Park will reduce human suffering and save lives – and re-affirm New York’s global standing as a center for bioscience advancement and opportunity.”

The East River Science Park will transform an underutilized parcel of City-owned land on the Bellevue Hospital campus, just north of Bellevue Hospital Center and adjacent to New York University Medical Center, into a world class center for commercial bioscience that will include one acre of public open space. The project is expected to create approximately 2,000 jobs for researchers, technicians and other bioscience professionals, and 1,800 construction jobs. The Center will be built in two phases, the first of which will include two towers of office and laboratory space. The first phase will be completed and allow tenants to begin occupying space in 2009. The site will also include a glass enclosed pavilion between the two towers and contain underground parking facilities, a café, a conference center and ground floor retail space. When completed, East River Science Park will hold up to 1.1 million square feet of research and development space.

“Bioscience is an important and growing sector in New York State’s economy and a vital element of Gov. Spitzer’s vision for the state’s economic future,” said Patrick Foye, Downstate Chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation. “From Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System on Long Island to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University in Manhattan to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University at Buffalo, New York has already established itself as a world leader in the commercialization of bioscience research. The East River Science Park will greatly enhance that status.”

In addition to the $700 million to be invested by Alexandria, the City of New York is providing about $13.4 million in capital funds for the project. The State of New York is providing $27 million to be used for infrastructure work in connection with the project. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is contributing $500,000 to the project. Additionally, the New York City Investment Fund, the economic development arm of the Partnership for New York City, will provide $10 million in funding to be used for ERSP tenant improvements. The project will also receive about $5.6 million through the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA). About $2 million in additional Federal funds have also been secured for the project.

“Biotech is to the 21st Century what industrial grade steel and the internal combustion engine were to the 20th Century,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “New York City must be a major player in this industry, which will be the major avenue for solving today’s pressing health, environmental, and agricultural conundrums. This new facility is a major step in the right direction and I’m proud to be able to support it.”

“This unique science center in the city is an excellent example of the power of a highly niche focused public private partnership,” said Joel Marcus, CEO of Alexandria Real Estate Equities. “Alexandria is honored to be the developer of choice for this development and bring our world class experience and expertise in building a science community that is not just bricks and mortar, but a thriving cluster here in New York City. We will apply our pioneering cluster development model, consisting of proprietary products and services that meet the unique needs of the broad and diverse life science sector, to help New York City take its rightful place among the leading clusters world-wide as a highly recognized and respected global center for science and technology”

“With the Alexandria Center for Science and Technology at East River Science Park, the City is taking a major step towards successfully translating our numerous academic and medical research assets into a vibrant commercial bioscience cluster,” said Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff. “The Center will contribute a great deal to correcting deficiencies in real estate for this type of venture and will allow us to finally meet the growth potential in this industry that we know is possible.”

“On behalf of the business community, the Partnership for New York City and the New York City Investment Fund has worked with public officials over the past seven years to advance New York’s status as a world class center for the bioscience industry,” said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the New York City Investment Fund. “The Investment Fund has committed $10 million to the East River Science Park in order to help attract early and middle stage companies to move here and create a vibrant mix of commercial activity at the East River Science Park and in the city.”

Alexandria Real Estate Equities was selected for this project by the New City Economic Development Corporation and Hospitals and Health Corporation as the result of a competitive Request for Proposals. Alexandria, a leading provider of real estate to the life sciences industry, is focused on the ownership, operation, management and development of properties for the industry.

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