Woman’s Nose Evolved Into Skin Swab Test for Parkinson’s

When Joy Milne‘s husband started to smell bad, she thought something was wrong. Her concern was met with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, which is a neurological condition impacting hundreds of thousands around the world. The causes of Parkinson’s are still being investigated and diagnosing it is also a challenge; this is where Milne’s nose coms in. A team of researchers worked with Milne to develop a new at to test for Parkinson’s.

Now a team in the University of Manchester, working with Joy, has developed a simple skin-swab test which they claim is 95% accurate under laboratory conditions when it comes to telling whether people have Parkinson’s.

The researchers analysed sebum – the oily substance on skin – which was collected by using a cotton swab on patients’ backs, an area where it is less often washed away.

Using mass spectrometry, they compared 79 people with Parkinson’s with a healthy control group of 71 people. 

The research found more than 4,000 unique compounds in the samples, of which 500 were different between people with Parkinson’s and the control group.

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Move Up Stream To Lose Weight


It’s been established that our modern diets make it harder to lose weight, and keep that weight off. Yet, people who eat all natural foods tend to have the same problem as those with modern processed food diets, why? Thanks to a growing field of research we’re uncovering multiple theories, and perhaps the most promising is that chemicals in the water are the cause behind our dieting struggles.

People who live at higher altitudes have lower rates of obesity. This is the case in the US, and also seems to be the case in other countries, for example Spain and Tibet. When US Army and Air Force service members are assigned to different geographic areas, they are more at risk of developing obesity in low-altitude areas than in high-altitude ones. Colorado is the highest-altitude US state and also has the lowest incidence of obesity.

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BC Decriminalizes Hard Drugs

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British Columbia has learned that punishing drug users doesn’t stop drug use or the negative impact drugs have on our society. The province decided to shift from a punishment approach to drug control to a health focussed approach, as in they will help people get off of drugs instead of incarcerating them. The first step in that process is to decriminalize the drugs in question, note this is not legalization (like alcohol and marijuana).

The goal of decriminalization is to reduce the harms of arrest and drug seizure on individual users, officials said, and to reduce the stigma around substance use that prevents people from seeking health care or accessing adequate housing and employment.

“In the short term, decriminalization will stop seizures and arrests and connect people with services and supports,” said Malcolmson, noting that reducing stigma will be a long-term goal.

Fear of arrest and of losing employment, housing or custody of children often prevents people who use drugs from accessing harm reduction and health supports, or from telling family and friends about their substance use.

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Canada Implements Handgun Ban

Mass shootings in the USA have tripled in the last few decades with mass shootings becoming an almost daily occurrence. Canadians are no strangers to mass shoutings either, with too many happening within the country. Obviously, that’s not good. The Canadian government has responded to this dangerous increase in firearm usage by banning certain guns, limiting others, eliminating toy guns that look like real ones, and to try and reduce the inflow of guns smuggled into the country from the States.

It’s good to see Canada acting to enforce existing laws while increasing limits on who can legally use a gun. In this case it’s a clear example of policy before police.

Canada’s government introduced legislation Monday to implement a “national freeze” on the sale and purchase of handguns as part of a gun control package that would also limit magazine capacities and ban some toys that look like guns.

Authorities do not expect a run on handguns in anticipation of the freeze, in part because they are so heavily regulated already, an official said in a briefing.

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions of American Diet Almost Halved

A simple diet change reduced diet-related greenhouse gas emissions of American adults between 2003 and 2018. The carobon footprint of their diets fell from 4 kilograms of CO2 equivalent to 2.45 kg CO2e over the 15 year study period. All it took was a slight reduction in meat consumption.

As an individual one of the biggest things you can do in the face of climate change is to change your diet. It’s easy and saves you money!

The main reason for this decline emerged clearly in the data: over this same period, daily beef consumption plummeted by an average 40% per person, which accounted for nearly half of the diet-related dip in emissions. But it wasn’t just beef: the data showed a slow shift away from all animal-based foods, including dairy, eggs, chicken, and pork—all of which US citizens gradually consumed less of in 2018 than 2003. 

This overall shift away from meat occurred slowly but steadily: on average, the food-related carbon footprint of US consumers declined by 127 grams each year of the study period.

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