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How We Can Stop Fat Cells From Fueling Cancer.

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Cancer cells constantly grow and divide, which means that they need a consistent energy supply. A new study looks at how cancer derives fuel from fat cells and finds a potential mechanism to starve the tumor of its nutrition.

Cancer is an increasingly complex area of study, with every perceivable angle of attack being plumbed by researchers.

Despite millions of hours of experimentation, however, there are still many questions left unanswered.

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As we learn more about cancer, it becomes more and more clear that it needs to be approached as a whole-body disease.

For cancer to survive and thrive, it needs to draw energy from the body’s cells and tissues, utilize the circulatory system, and avoid the immune system. Tumors need to work intelligently to sustain their growth and become integrated in the body.

Researchers are now focusing on attacking not just the cancerous cells, but also the systems that tumors rely on to sustain them.

Tumor, metabolism, and fat

Researchers from Sanford Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego, CA, are now particularly interested in the way that tumors communicate with fat cells. Co-senior study author Maria Diaz-Meco, Ph.D., explains further.

“We need to consider,” she states, “other aspects of cancer therapeutics beyond the better-known genetics. That is, we need to invest more in the research of cancer metabolism, which deals with the identification of metabolic vulnerabilities that should be common to all types of cancers.”

In the United States, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men. Obesity is known to be a major risk factor and predicts how aggressively the cancer will behave. But exactly how obesity worsens prostate cancer outcomes is not yet known.

To date, many studies exploring obesity and prostate cancer have focused on mice that have been fed a high-fat diet. Co-senior study author Jorge Moscat, Ph.D., explains why this is not ideal.

Although this mimics some of the situations in patients,” he says, “it prevents a real understanding of the signaling pathways that control the bidirectional communication between tumors and adipocytes, or fat cells.”

“This is essential,” adds Moscat, “if we want to identify therapeutic targets that can be harnessed to prevent the pro-tumorigenic signals emanating from the adipose tissue.”

Moscat and Diaz-Meco approached this problem from a new direction: they used a mouse model that lacks a particular protein known as p62 in its fat cells. Mice deficient in this protein become obese even when fed a standard diet.

Tumors use fat cells for fuel.

They found that p62 plays an important role in the communication between fat tissue and tumors. The protein appears to support the “metabolic fitness” of cancer, promoting progression and metastasis. It achieves this by inhibiting a second protein called mTORC1.

When mTORC1 is suppressed, so are the energy-consuming activities of fat cells, such as oxidative phosphorylation and “fatty acid metabolism in white fat tissue.” With these processes halted, there are more fatty acids and other nutrients available for the tumor to use to grow and develop.

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Health & Lifestyle

4 reasons not to mount your TV over your fireplace (and other helpful tips)

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The practice of mounting a TV over a fireplace has somehow become extremely popular in the U.S. If you didn’t do it yourself, chances are very good that you know someone who has. Who it was that thought up this idea and why they found it appealing in the first place are two mysteries that will likely follow us to our graves. But that’s all in the past now. And since science has yet to crank out a functional time machine that would allow me to preemptively ground the idea before it ever took off, the best we can do at this point is try to persuade you, dear reader, from perpetuating this practice.

Please don’t mistake our contempt for TVs over fireplaces as an insult to the sensibilities of those of you who have them set up that way. There is a very good chance you feel you have no other choice. And if you really like it that way? More power to you. At the end of the day, the guilty party is the person(s) who designed your home. They made the fireplace the focal point of your living/entertainment room, and then filled the rest of the joint with windows. Then they made sure power and cable was run to the location directly above your fireplace, virtually placing a big sign that says “install TV here.” How unfortunate.



But hold on a moment. Is putting a TV above your fireplace really that poor an idea? Well, it depends. If you can avoid it, you should, and we explain why below. But if you must, there are a few things you will want to know, and a few tips we can offer to help make it the best possible viewing experience.

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Heat + electronics = bad

Electronics don’t care for heat, and they care for smoke even less. Ever seen the windows inside the car of a cigarette smoker? Unless the smoking driver is an equally habitual window washer, those windows are covered with a hazy film of filth. Exposed to the smoke of burning wood, the same film can build up on the components inside the cabinet of a TV. You may not see the particulate when you have a fire, but it is there (you can smell it). If you burn wood — even with the flue open and fully functional — there will be a small amount of smoke and particulate emitted. And once that particulate builds up, so does the heat generated by the TV.

We have a wood burning stove, and the heat generated by that thing (that’s what it was designed to do) is enough to melt candles placed several feet above on the mantle. For us, mounting over this area is a deathwish for the TV.

Neck headaches become a problem when you start protruding your chin forward with that “looking up” posture.

To make sure we aren’t just blowing smoke (sorry), we spoke to Brian Sevigny, owner of Portland, Oregon-based A/V installation service, Digital Connex. He told us he gets asked to install TV’s over fireplaces frequently. When we asked him if he encouraged or discouraged the practice, he was quick to jump in. “Discourage,” Sevigny said firmly, “primarily because of the heat and the smoke.”

Most electronic devices simply operate best and most reliably at lower temperatures. Beyond that, excessive heat can cause temperature-sensitive materials to degrade quickly, and conductive materials can even sprout little metal whiskers, causing shorts within the TVs circuitry.

However, if you have a more conventional wood burning fireplace — and especially if you have a gas fireplace insert — the fact is you are probably going to be just fine. That TV may die earlier than it had to, but you will probably replace that TV before it dies anyway.

It’s a pain in the neck

This is an issue we experienced many times ourselves as a guest at friends’ houses and various vacation rentals. We’ve also heard complaints from many others. Still, we are informed that, for some of you, neck pain from watching an elevated TV has never been a problem. If you are in the latter camp, please feel free to move right along, and congratulations on your superior spinal support. For the rest of you, please read on.

Placing a TV above a fireplace moves the image you’re trying to watch well above eye level. Think back to the last time you went to the movie theater and had to sit in one of the front three rows. Chances are you walked out of the theater with a stiff neck. Craning your neck into an unnatural position for an extended period of time is going to cause temporary discomfort, but doing so for even short periods of time, day after day, can have lasting effects, like chronic headaches.

We spoke to Brad Simpson, a physical therapist and Clinical Director at Life’s Work Physical Therapy. Simpson’s clinic treats patients with multiple types of musculoskeletal problems and is an expert in ergonomics; he says that repeatedly sitting in an unnatural position will have lasting repercussions.

“It ends up putting your body in a position where your deep-neck stabilizers, muscle-wise — it’s kind of like the core of your lower back, but up in your neck — aren’t able to function. That position where you’re having to push your head forward and up in order to look up at the television compromises those muscles,” Simpson said. “Having your head forward like that causes a shearing force within your mid-cervical spine. That’s where a lot of pain ends up coming from … you lose the ability for your neck to stabilize.”

Woman rubbing sore neck

And muscle pain isn’t the only thing you can suffer from … headaches are a huge problem in our population, and neck headaches become a problem as well when you start protruding your chin forward with that ‘looking up’ posture,” Simpson said. He also indicated this poor posture leads to improper breathing, which causes us to overuse certain muscles which become yet another source of pain. The main takeaway from our interview: It’s not worth the pain.

Six degrees of separation from a beautiful picture

On this issue, there is no debate. We review multitudes of TVs every year, and the viewing angle on LED/LCD TVs remains a big problem, even among top-tier TVs.

An LCD screen (which is what you find on “LED” TVs) is essentially made up of a bunch of tiny, shuttered windows. These windows open and close in order to let the TV’s backlight through, thus creating an image. The problem with these windows is that they have a very limited viewing angle. If you move too far left, right, up, or down you start seeing a fraction of the produced light. The result is a washed out, lifeless picture — hardly what you had in mind when you laid out hard-earned cash for a new TV.

The result is a washed out, lifeless picture — hardly what you had in mind when you laid out hard-earned cash for a new TV.

The good news here is that you do have some options to mitigate this problem. The first is to buy a tilting wall mount with enough down angle to give you a more direct view of the screen. There are even mounts that will drop the TV down closer to your eye level (make sure not to have the fireplace going, though). Either option will improve both color saturation and contrast.

The second option is to purchase an OLED TV, which has a nearly infinite viewing angle and will look amazing no matter how high you place the TV. There are plenty of other reasons why OLED wins in an OLED vs. LED TV battle. If an OLED TV isn’t an option for you, considering an LED TV that uses an IPS LCD panel.

It’s just not cute

To be totally frank, we have the design-sense of a color-blind hippopotamus (no offense intended to hippopotamuses, but they do spend a lot of time in the mud — just saying). Having accepted our utter lack of skills in the decor department long ago, we reached out to Garrison Hullinger, owner of Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, and asked him if he had a TV mounted over his fireplace. “No, I live in a 100-plus-year-old home and would never put a TV in my formal living room over the fireplace,” Hullinger told me. “We also have a beach house with a fireplace in the formal living room, and choose not to hang a TV in that room.”

please dont mount your tv over the fireplace 1

Again, though, most modern homes have rooms built around this idea. Hullinger told us about 25 percent of the homes he has walked into had one location that was wired and ready for a TV over the fireplace. Sevigny echoed that estimation when he told us that almost all of the new construction he has seen “will have electrical and coax connections already installed above the fireplace.”

In the end, this is pure opinion, but one that is shared by many others. Take it as you will.

But I have to (or want to) anyway. What can I do to make the best of it?

In an ideal world — and, granted, we tend to be TV snobs so our viewpoint is slanted — you would place your TV in another room purpose built for enjoying TV, and maybe make music the focus of your main living area. However, most homes just aren’t designed that way, and your priorities are likely vastly different than my own. If you like the idea and look of mounting your TV over your fireplace, or if you simply have no other choice, here are a few suggestions to make the best of it.

  • Sit further back if you can — As you move away from the TV’s location, the severity of the angle to which you must crane your neck is reduced.

  • Lounge it out! — Kick back and relax when you watch TV. You will eliminate the need to crane your neck entirely.

  • Use a tilting or motorized wall mount — Altering the TVs angle to get a more direct view of the TV will improve picture quality.

  • Purchase an OLED TV — In addition to providing an outstanding picture and a super-thin profile, OLED TVs have no viewing-angle problems.

  • Don’t have a fire and watch TV at the same time — The flicker of the fire and added brightness in a darkened room can play with your pupils. and strain your eyes while watching. It’s also a bit of a distraction. If the two are close together, perhaps enjoy just one or the other at a time.

  • Hire a professional installer — Not only will a professional be able to handle cable management for a clean install, they come armed with other helpful suggestions to make the most of your TV installation.

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Zambia express optimism over Malaria eradication by 2021.

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Zambia aims to eradicate malaria, the country’s biggest killer, within three years after deaths from the disease halved last year from 2014, the health minister said on Wednesday.

Health Minister Chitalu Chlufya told reporters the southern African nation had recorded a decline in malaria incidence rates from 407 cases per 1,000 in 2014 to 336 cases per 1,000 last year and would be malaria-free by 2021.



“One of our big goals is to eliminate malaria by 2021. It counters progress in development but it is a preventable and treatable disease,” Chilufya said.

Malaria deaths in Zambia had halved to 1,400 last year compared with 2014, he said.

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Chilufya said the government had also stepped up indoor spraying, surveillance and research.

Officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Zambia could not be reached for comment.

The world has made huge strides against malaria since 2000, with death rates plunging by 60 percent and at least six million lives saved globally, WHO says.

But efforts to end one of the world’s deadliest diseases, which kills about 430,000 people a year, mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa, are under threat as mosquitoes become increasingly resistant to measures such as bed nets and drugs.

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