Category Archives: good news

Good News Monday: Mammo Mia!

There’s a fascinating article in October Vogue magazine about a new device that could change the way health care workers perform breast exams.

Imagine — something faster and more pleasant than squashing your boobs in a giant panini press!

iBreastExam is a handheld cancer screening tool about the size of a travel-sized clothing steamer.  Using Cloud technology rather than radiation, the padded electronic sensor can detect abnormal lumps as small as five millimeters. And it only takes a few minutes to assess multiple quadrants in each breast and then store the info.

Already in use across developing countries where access to radiology and conventional mammograms is limited at best, iBreast Exam is now becoming available to primary care physicians and gynecologists in the U.S.

Despite some limitations — e.g., it’s unable to detect tiny amounts of calcium that may indicate precancerous cells — the tool’s sensitivity is equivalent to a mammogram. For women showing early warning signs, the standard (and proven) mammo would likely be the next step.  But for women with healthy indicators, this might be all that’s needed.

Good news indeed for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

 

Good News Monday: Flu Fighters

 

Cold and flu season is upon us.  And although experts note that “strengthening your immune system” isn’t a quick fix — after all, it is a system with multiple components — there are common sense things that can help.

  1. Get your flu shot.  It’s never a guarantee, but studies have shown it can lessen the severity of illness if you do get sick.
  2. Wash your hands often, and use antibacterial wipes when you’re out and about.
  3. Regular chiropractic adjustments can relieve compression in nerve pathways.
  4. Reduce your intake of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods.
  5. Eat plenty of colorful fruits and veggies to boost vitamin C and other nutrients.
  6. Get extra sleep.
  7. Identify causes of chronic stress in your life, and try to address them.
  8. Drink plenty of water, more than normal.
  9. Take in more Vitamin D. 15 minutes of daily sun exposure on unprotected skin is all you need; then apply that sunblock!
  10. Apple cider vinegar thins out mucus in the throat, moving it out of your respiratory system. Hate the taste, or worry about direct contact of acid with your teeth? It’s available in capsules (Amazon has a lot of options) and may help with weight loss.
  11. Exercise regularly.
  12. Don’t smoke. (Did you really need another reason?!)
    1. food salad healthy summerPhoto by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Good News Monday: When Bad Food Happens to Good People

I thought this was so clever: a simple way to tell if food has gone off, without having to guess, sniff, or rely on a (frequently unreliable) sell-by date.

Developed by researchers in London, paper-based electrical gas sensors (“PEGS”) can detect spoilage gases like ammonia and trimethylamine in packaged fish and chicken.

Smartphones can read the data, so you simply hold your phone up to the packaging to learn whether a food is safe to eat.

In lab tests, PEGS identified trace amounts of spoilage gases more accurately than existing sensors.  And since they’re much cheaper to manufacture, the hope is that once PEGS are widely used, the savings for retailers might get passed along to the rest of us as lower food costs.

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No More ‘Sniff Tests’: Cheap Biodegradable Sensors Can Tell Smartphones When Food Has Gone Bad

Good News Monday: Trash to Treasure

Remember the Prada nylon backpack everyone carried in the 80’s/90’s? (The Vela was introduced in 1984.) It’s back, with one big sustainable difference.

This time around, the bags are made from a recycled/recyclable plastic created from salvaged waste including used fishing nets and ocean pollutants.

According the yarn’s manufacturer, for every 10,000 tons of ECONYL® raw material, they can save 70,000 barrels of crude oil and avoid 57,100 tonnes* of CO2 eq. emissions.

ECONYL® regenerated nylon also reduces global warming impact by up to 80% compared with nylon made from oil.

Currently, it’s being used by Prada, H&M, Speedo and dozens of other apparel companies, as well as carpet manufacturers such as Milliken.

*BTW, “tonnes” isn’t a different spelling of “tons”. (I had to look this up.) A tonne is equal to 1,000 kg. A ton in US/Canada is just over 907 kg.

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(September Vogue)

Good News Monday: Your Obscure Talent

Are you the only one of your friends who can decipher your doctor’s scrawl? The US Library of Congress has a request.

Their program, By the People, is looking for volunteers to help transcribe and review historic documents, diaries and more that can’t simply be scanned by machine.

Sign me up!

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Good News Monday: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Bones

Despite alarming statistics (during their lifetimes, 50% of women over 50 in the US will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture), there’s a lot we can do.

  1. Lift weights. In addition to your usual strength training regimen, try HiRIT (High Intensity Resistance and Impact Training) twice a week for 30 minutes, lifting heavier weights more slowly in a variety of moves.
  2. Eat Mediterranean. The general rules of this diet: high amounts of fruits, veggies, grains and olive oil; moderate fish and wine; low meat and dairy. In research, postmenopausal women who ate this way were less likely to have lower bone mass.
  3. Go probiotic. Increasing “good” bacteria in your gut reduces intestinal inflammation, which is linked to bone degrading activity.
  4. Say hello to yoga. It improves overall strength, coordination, balance and range of motion. And in a 2016 two-year study of women whose average age was 68 when they started, daily yoga was more effective at improving spinal bone density than medication.
  5. Step to it. In another study, adding 1,415 extra steps a day increased bone density, especially in the hip.  And just a minute or two of daily weight-bearing activity triggers the release of chemicals that rebuild bone. Dance, run, jump rope or climb stairs to boost your heart rate as well as your bone density.
    selective focus photography of skeleton

    Photo by Chris J Mitchell on Pexels.com

    (Adapted from September O magazine article by Karen Asp)

Good News Monday: Ailing Orchids

Admittedly, this is not everyone’s #1 healthcare priority, but I was amused to read about Chadwick’s orchid “hospital”, which restores problematic plants to their former glory.

For a $2.00 per month boarding fee, the Richmond, VA shop will nurture your sick orchid in their greenhouse until it blooms again. Each flower receives a “physical” when it arrives, and is checked for conditions such as excess sun exposure and overhydration. Repotting, if needed, may cost a bit more.

Chadwick’s top tip: Keep plants in indirect light and water them only with warm water. They are tropical, after all.

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com