Posts Tagged ‘genes’

Genetic Test Improves Weight Loss Success With Diets

This is an interesting press release from Interleukin Genetics (ILI) about a genetic test that may allow people to better match their diet to their genetics.  I admit to a bit of skepticism, but here goes: first background information about the test from Interleukin Genetics’s website, and second, the press release. – Ilene 

Weight Management Test 

Human obesity arises from the interactions of multiple genes, environmental factors and behaviors, rendering management and prevention of obesity very challenging.  According to WHO, lack in physical activity and easy availability of palatable foods are the principle modified characteristic of our modern lifestyle that has contributed a lot to the observed obesity worldwide. Despite the fact that we are all exposed to the same environment, not everyone becomes obese.  This could be attributed to individual genetic differences.  Genetics determines an individual’s susceptibility to obesity when exposed to an unfavorable environment as well as the way he/she can respond to diet and exercise. There have been multiple reports that describe the heritability of obesity and also utilize genetic association studies to identify the gene-gene, gene environment and gene-diet interactions involved in the development of obesity. These studies have identified a certain number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that respond to diet and/or exercise.  For example, some SNPs make some people more sensitive to the amount of fat in the diet, while others make some people more resistant to exercise-induced weight loss.

Interleukin Genetics has developed a genetic test panel in the area of Weight Management (WM), which includes the genes that have been validated as significant modifiers of body weight and responsiveness to diet and exercise.  The genes were selected from the Obesity Gene Map Database based on a comprehensive review of the existing scientific literature using very stringent selection criteria by a team of experts from genetics, nutrition, obesity and weight management areas. 

The following process was used to develop the Weight Management genetic test panel:

  1. Dr. Louis Perusse, one of the authors of the Obesity Gene Map review (4), provided a list of all genetic variations that were associated with body weight, body mass index, or body fat and had been replicated in at least three clinical studies. Out of hundreds of genes reported in the scientific literature relative to obesity, only 16 met this first criterion.
  2. A team of experts then reviewed all evidence on the 16 gene variations


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Scientists Move Closer to Understanding Why We Age

Scientists Move Closer to Understanding Why We Age

By Eben Harrell / London, courtesy of TIME 

Time waits for no man, the old truism goes, but in recent years scientists have shown that it does seem to move more slowly for some. Molecular biologists have observed that people’s cells often age at different rates, leading them to make a distinction between "chronological" and "biological age."

But the reason for the difference remains only vaguely understood. Environmental factors such as smoking, stress and regular exercise all seem to influence the rate at which our cells age. Now, for the first time, researchers have found a genetic link to cellular aging — a finding that suggests new treatments for a variety of age-related diseases and cancers. 

The field of "biological aging" has in recent years focused on the long molecules of DNA contained in human cells called chromosomes. All chromosomes have protective caps at either end called telomeres. Each time a cell replicates itself (as it does before it dies), the telomeres shorten, like plastic tips fraying on the end of shoelace. Shortened telomeres have been linked to a host of age-related illnesses such as heart disease and certain cancers. (Scientists have yet to study whether telomeres influence a person’s appearance). Last year’s Nobel prize in medicine was awarded to three American scientists for their work in the field, and many scientists now believe telomeres are the closest we may come to identifying a biological clock — and our best bet for one day learning how to stop or turn back that clock. 

To better understand the aging discrepancy, a team of researchers in Britain and The Netherlands scanned more than 500,000 genetic variations across the human genome. Using a population of nearly 12,000, they then attempted to pinpoint a genetic link to telomere length. (See how to prevent illness at any age.) 

In a significant breakthrough, the team successfully identified that a particular gene sequence was associated with differences in telomere length between individuals. What’s more, the sequence was clustered near a gene called TERC, which is already known to play a role in the production of an enzyme called telomerase. Telomerase repairs telomeres when they shorten. "That was very exciting for us," says Professor Nilesh Samani, a cardiologist at the University of Leicester who co-led the research, published last week in Nature Genetics. "It gave us great…
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Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs

Interesting list on medical breakthoughs – with my comments in red. – Ilene

TIME’s Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs

By Alice Park at TIME

stem cell created mouse - TIME And the top ten are:

  1. New Mammography Guidelines
  2. AIDS Vaccine
  3. Funding Ban Lifted on Stem-Cell Research
  4. H1N1 Vaccine
  5. Stem-Cell-Created Mice
  6. Prostate-Cancer Screening
  7. New Research on Autism
  8. New Drug for Osteoporosis
  9. New Alzheimer’s Genes
  10. Brown Fat in Adults 
*****

New Mammography Guidelines

It usually takes a Washington scandal to put the discussion of women’s breasts on political agendas, but in November it was a routine update of breast-cancer-screening guidelines by a government panel of medical advisers that stirred up a furor. Based on new calculations weighing the risks and benefits of routine screening, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s new recommendations advised women to begin routine mammograms at age 50 instead of 40 and to switch from yearly to biennial screenings; it also advised women to eliminate breast self-exams altogether… 

That might be a bit of a relief to those of us who have been less than perfect in following the previous requirements, these new ones may be easier and less guilt-generating.  And we all know stress is unhealthy.  

AIDS Vaccine

In a field that has seen more failure than success, experts received the news of an effective new AIDS vaccine with a fair share of skepticism…

31% effective – but that’s about as good as it gets so far.  

Funding Ban Lifted on Stem-Cell Research

It was eight years in coming — which felt like eons to some researchers — but on March 9, President Obama rescinded his predecessor’s Executive Order prohibiting the use of federal money to fund research on stem cells. A congressional law still prevents scientists from using government funds to create new lines of embryonic stem cells,..

The less politics is involved with science the better, maybe now we can move on? 

H1N1 Vaccine

…In many places around the country, there was not enough vaccine even to cover members of priority groups targeted by the government, including young children, pregnant women, health care workers, parents of infants younger than 6 months and those with underlying conditions such as asthma or diabetes. And yet according to the latest polls, 55% of Americans said they would not get the new vaccine — which was created and tested in record time after H1N1 first appeared last


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Why Genes Aren’t Destiny

Your genes may not be your destiny, but when your grandmother over-ate that one long summer, that was a killer… Fascinating article on epigenetics. – Ilene

Why Genes Aren’t Destiny

TIME photoBy John Cloud, courtesy of TIME

The remote, snow-swept expanses of northern Sweden are an unlikely place to begin a story about cutting-edge genetic science. The kingdom’s northernmost county, Norrbotten, is nearly free of human life; an average of just six people live in each square mile. And yet this tiny population can reveal a lot about how genes work in our everyday lives.

Norrbotten is so isolated that in the 19th century, if the harvest was bad, people starved. The starving years were all the crueler for their unpredictability. For instance, 1800, 1812, 1821, 1836 and 1856 were years of total crop failure and extreme suffering. But in 1801, 1822, 1828, 1844 and 1863, the land spilled forth such abundance that the same people who had gone hungry in previous winters were able to gorge themselves for months.

In the 1980s, Dr. Lars Olov Bygren, a preventive-health specialist who is now at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, began to wonder what long-term effects the feast and famine years might have had on children growing up in Norrbotten in the 19th century — and not just on them but on their kids and grandkids as well. So he drew a random sample of 99 individuals born in the Overkalix parish of Norrbotten in 1905 and used historical records to trace their parents and grandparents back to birth. By analyzing meticulous agricultural records, Bygren and two colleagues determined how much food had been available to the parents and grandparents when they were young.

Around the time he started collecting the data, Bygren had become fascinated with research showing that conditions in the womb could affect your health not only when you were a fetus but well into adulthood. In 1986, for example, the Lancet published the first of two groundbreaking papers showing that if a pregnant woman ate poorly, her child would be at significantly higher than average risk for cardiovascular disease as an adult. Bygren wondered whether that effect could start even before pregnancy: Could parents’ experiences early in their lives somehow change the traits they passed to their offspring?

It was a heretical idea. After all, we have had a long-standing deal with biology:…
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Evolution’s third replicator: Genes, memes, and now what?

Here’s an interesting article by Susan Blackmore. While there are parts of Susan’s article I might disagree with, the general idea opens up a whole new set of memes, for me – the third replicators. So, the first replicators are our genes. The second replicators are memes – ideas, the basis of cultural evolution. Using the machinery of the second replicators (human minds), we have have built the third replicators. 

Evolution’s third replicator: Genes, memes, and now what?

By Susan Blackmore, writing in New Scientist

WE HUMANS have let loose something extraordinary on our planet – a third replicator – the consequences of which are unpredictable and possibly dangerous.

What do I mean by "third replicator"? …

About 4 billion years after the appearance of the first replicator, something extraordinary happened. Members of one species of lumbering robot began to imitate one another. Imitation is a kind of copying, and so a new evolutionary process was born. Instead of cellular chemistry copying the order of bases on DNA, a sociable species of bipedal ape began to use its big brain to copy gestures, sounds and other behaviours. This copying might not have been very accurate, but it was enough to start a new evolutionary process. Dawkins called the new replicators "memes". A living creature, once just a vehicle of the first replicator, was now the copying machinery for the next…

Memes are a new kind of information – behaviours rather than DNA – copied by a new kind of machinery – brains rather than chemicals inside cells. This is a new evolutionary process because all of the three critical stages – copying, varying and selection – are done by those brains. So does the same apply to new technology?

There is a new kind of information: electronically processed binary information rather than memes. There is also a new kind of copying machinery: computers and servers rather than brains. But are all three critical stages carried out by that machinery?

Machines now copy information to other machines without human intervention…

Read the entire article here. >>

 


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Phil's Favorites

Why governments are so bad at implementing public projects

 

Why governments are so bad at implementing public projects

Around the world, government officials fail often at implementing policy and public sector projects. Here’s why. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Andrew Graham, Queen's University, Ontario

As Canada’s federal government starts looking for a replacement for its failed payroll system and the Ontario provincial government launches yet another major shake-up of its health-care system, it’s ...



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Zero Hedge

IMF Discreetly Preps Massive Aid Package For "Day After" Maduro's Fall

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The International Monetary Fund is reportedly making plans for the "day after" embattled President Nicolas Maduro's fall, according to Bloomberg. Though there's been little momentum in military defections following US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido's offer of amnesty to any army officer that switches loyalties, Washington sanctions have effectively strangled state-owned PDVSA's access to global markets. News of IMF maneuvering also comes amidst fresh reports the US is amassing aircraft, troops and armored vehicles on the Venezuelan border under the pretext ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gasoline bullish breakout could fuel higher prices, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Are we about to pay much higher prices at the gas pump? Possible!

This chart looks at Gasoline futures over the past 4-years. Gasoline has become much cheaper at the pump, as it fell nearly 50% from the May 2018 highs. The decline took it down to test 2016 & 2017 lows at (1). While testing these lows, Gasoline could be forming a bullish inverse head & shoulders pattern over the past few months.

Joe Friday Just The Facts- If Gasoline breaks out at (2), we could all see higher prices at the gas pump. If a breakout does...



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Insider Scoop

10 Stocks To Watch For February 15, 2019

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Some of the stocks that may grab investor focus today are:

  • Wall Street expects PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP) to report quarterly earnings at $1.49 per share on revenue of $19.52 billion before the opening bell. PepsiCo shares rose 0.2 percent to $112.82 in after-hours trading.
  • NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) reported upbe...


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ValueWalk

Global Quality Edge Fund: Tail-Risk Hedging Strategy

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Global Quality Edge Fund presentation titled, “Tail-Risk Hedging Strategy.” How to leverage the end of the business cycle without exposing our fund to permanent capital loss?

Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

Objective:

  • Understand the current convergence between business cycle and the long term debt cycle.
  • Empathize the benefits of Tail Hedging as a means to shield from capital loss. We began implementing this strategy in Q4-2018 to protect the fund from significant market downturns, similar in sca...


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Biotech

Cancer: new DNA sequencing technique analyses tumours cell by cell to fight disease

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Cancer: new DNA sequencing technique analyses tumours cell by cell to fight disease

Illustration of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, showing lymphoblasts in blood. Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Alba Rodriguez-Meira, University of Oxford and Adam Mead, University of Oxford

...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Feb 10, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

A good week for the bulls once again as a very overbought market essentially went sideways to help work off some of those near term extreme conditions.  The S&P 500 stalled exactly at the 200 day moving average after a frantic rally the past month and a half.  It was generally a quiet week with lowered volatility as the word “patience” continues to have the investor class in a happy daze.

In economic news, ISM Services fell from 58.0 in December to 56.7 last month, below economists’ expectations of a 57.4 reading. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity.

For the week the S&P 500 gained 0.1% and the NASDAQ 0.5%.  That is 7 up weeks in a row.

Here is the 5 day weekly “intraday” chart of the S&P 500 … ...



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Digital Currencies

People don't trust blockchain systems - is regulation a way to help?

 

People don't trust blockchain systems – is regulation a way to help?

Using blockchain technology can feel like falling and hoping someone will catch you. Nicoleta Raftu/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Kevin Werbach, University of Pennsylvania

Blockchain technology isn’t as widely used as it could be, largely because blockchain users don’t trust each other, as research shows. Business lea...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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