Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Short links

Cost of Singleness: The report that being single is more expensive than being married, partly due to tax law and partly a host of other things, is all over the news today. bs-king at Bad Data, Bad takes on the mechanics of the study, and finds it seriously defective. In addition, I gather the study ignores the extra contributions families make; kids don't seem to enter a lot of economic calculus.

From the BBC: "Where vegetarianism is an exotic illness" (Bologna and the surrounding lands).

"Gabriella," I smiled, "I do not eat meat, remember?" She looked at me genuinely nonplussed: "But it is not meat, it is prosciutto cotto."

A drug that reduces 80% of "senile plaques" in mice sounds interesting. 80% is a lot, but Alzheimer's isn't obviously the same thing as mouse brain plaques.

The team led by Dr. Serge Rivest, professor at UniversitĂ© Laval's Faculty of Medicine and researcher at the CHU de QuĂ©bec research center, identified a molecule that stimulates the activity of the brain’s immune cells. The molecule, known as MPL (monophosphoryl lipid A), has been used extensively as a vaccine adjuvant by GSK for many years, and its safety is well established.

In mice with Alzheimer’s symptoms, weekly injections of MPL over a twelve-week period eliminated up to 80% of senile plaques. In addition, tests measuring the mice's ability to learn new tasks showed significant improvement in cognitive function over the same period.

Surprise! "Whole grain" on the label doesn't always make it better for you. I'm shocked! Shocked!

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