Cuff the Heart

A new cuff can help save heart attack victims by limiting blood flow.

Ischemic preconditioning involves using the device to interrupt blood flow in the arm, off and on over a period of 35 to 40 minutes: the cuff is inflated for five minutes, then deflated for five minutes, with the procedure being repeated consecutively four times.

Once at the hospital, the patient receives routine heart attack treatment, including cardiac angioplasty. Preconditioning using the cuff may still be going on throughout this procedure, which uses a tiny inflatable balloon to open up narrowed or blocked blood vessels to the heart.

Researchers, whose paper appears in Friday’s issue of The Lancet, found that those heart attack patients randomly assigned to have preconditioning had an overall reduction in heart muscle damage of 30 per cent, compared to those not treated with the cuff.

Read more

Hummer Fades Away

Back in 2008 we wrote here that the SUV is dying and now in 2010 the Hummer has met its doom. You ready for this?

General Motors has stopped making Hummers and selling the brand is really hard.

Now that’s good news!

General Motors Co. failed to win approval from Chinese regulators to sell its Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., said two people briefed on the deal.

A government agency indicated that it won’t provide approval for Chengdu, China-based Tengzhong to purchase the Hummer line of sport-utility vehicles from GM in China, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been made public.

Keep reading at Bloomberg.

There is still a chance, albeit quite slim, that the Hummer brand could live on.

Thanks to Dan!

Make a Boring Thing Fun by Adding More Boredom

I use this technique quite a lot, but somebody else wrote about it in a way better than I could. If you can do two boring tasks at the same time you’ll have an enjoyable experience.

I’ve noticed several related things: 1. I could easily study flashcards while walking. This was less mysterious because I coded walking as pleasant. 2. I can’ t bear to watch TV sitting down. Walking on a treadmill makes it bearable. This didn’t puzzle me because I coded TV watching as pleasant and sitting as unpleasant (although I sit by choice while doing many other things). 3. I have Pimsler Chinese lessons (audio). I can painlessly listen to them while walking. While stationary (sitting or standing), it’s hard to listen to them. 4. When writing (during which I sit), it’s very effective to work for 40 minutes and then walk on my treadmill watching something enjoyable for 20 minutes. I can repeat that cycle many times. 5. Allen Neuringer found he was better at memorization while moving than while stationary. 6. There’s some sort of movement/thinking connection — we move our arms when we talk, we may like to walk while we talk, maybe walking makes it easier to think, and so on.

You could say that walking causes a “thirst” for learning or learning causes a “thirst” for walking. Except that the “thirst” is so hidden I discovered it only by accident. Whereas actual thirst is obvious. The usual idea is that what’s pleasant shows what’s good for us — e.g., water is pleasant when we are thirsty. Yet if walking is good for us — a common idea — why isn’t it pleasant all by itself? And if Anki is good for us, why isn’t it pleasant all by itself? The Anki/treadmill symmetry is odd because lots of people think we need exercise to be healthy but I’ve never heard someone say we need to study to be healthy.

Read more at Seth’s blog

Learning something? Better Have a Nap

Having a nap in the afternoon can help your brain function – particularly for remembering things. I do enjoy a good nap every so often and now I think’ll make a habit of it.

Researchers in the U.S. studied 39 young adults who were divided into two groups. At noon, study participants took a memory test that required them to remember faces linked to names.

Of those in the study, 20 took a nap for 100 minutes. All of the volunteers were then retested at 6 p.m.

Those who stayed awake did about 10 per cent worse on the tests compared with those who napped, Matthew Walker of University of California at Berkeley said. He presented the preliminary findings Sunday at the American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting in San Diego.

The more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish the brain becomes, the study suggests.

Normally, the ability to learn declines between noon and 6 p.m., but a nap seemed to fight off the decline.

Keep reading at the CBC

New in Biofuel: Cellulosic Ethanol Plants to Ease Gas Consumption

Cars love inefficiently sucking down dead dinosaur juice, though hopefully for not much longer. In the meantime some companies have figured ways to produce cellulosic ethanol cheaply using more sustainable ways – basically a cheaper way to make biofuel for cars to burn on their way to wherever cars go.

Modern biofuels are better to use than dinosaur-based biofuels (which take millions of years to manufacture and I haven’t seen dinosaurs in years) so until we kick humanity’s gas addiction let’s use biofuels.

Novozymes, the world’s largest industrial enzyme producer, today launched a new line it says will yield ethanol from plant wastes at an enzyme price of about 50 cents a gallon. The latest product of a decade of research, this marks an 80 percent price drop from two years ago, according to Global Marketing Director Poul Ruben Andersen.

The advances, Andersen said, will help bring cellulosic ethanol production prices to under $2 a gallon by 2011, a cost on par with both corn-based ethanol and gasoline at current U.S. market prices.

Yesterday, Novozyme’s competitor, California-based Genencor, a division of enzyme giant Danisco, announced its own new enzyme product, which falls within a similar price range of about 50 cents to make a gallon of fuel, according to Philippe Lavielle, executive vice president of business development.

Keep reading at the New York Times

Scroll To Top
%d bloggers like this: