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For many years, the conventional medical wisdom was that if something hurt, you took a pain reliever. But time has allowed science to evolve beyond that point and has made a transition from masking pain to removing pain. New technology has helped in aiding this transition, a recent innovation being pain medication monitoring that helps practitioners and patients make smarter decisions about dosages.

Pain serves a biological purpose: It is your body’s way of informing you that something isn’t right. Imagine if you took a fall, breaking several ribs, but experienced no pain. You might not seek medical attention, and in time those fractures could lead to deadly complications like punctured lungs or a ruptured aorta.

Had there been pain to alert you to the seriousness of the situation, you would have sought care.

Throwing pills at pain has other complications as well. Daily use of pain medication can cause interactions with other medications that could trigger complications with diabetes, hypertension, and many other chronic conditions.

And that’s to say nothing of the potential for addiction to pain medication. Many patients slip into abusive dosage levels of prescribed pain medicine, and still others are victimized by addicts who learn of their conditions and perpetrate crimes against them to steal the medication. Pharmaceutical retailers and law enforcement also wage an ongoing war against prescription abusers.

But many people still require the long-term pain relief that could only come from opioids and other strong formulations. They have permanent damage or other chronic conditions that require some form of help in order to get through daily life. Fortunately for them, there are new technologies for acquiring the relief they need without the side effects of opioid painkillers.

Spinal cord stimulators are perhaps the most promising option. Pain is detected by nerves, which report it to the brain by way of the spinal cord. Spinal cord stimulators send a message to the spinal cord that interferes with the one being sent by the nerves, essentially shouting down the pain report.

The advantage of this system is that doctors can pinpoint which areas are to be muted, ensuring proper function of nerves in areas where new, unrelated pain may arise. It is not a simple or unobtrusive intervention, of course. The patient must be thoroughly reviewed and tested to ensure the procedure and the device will help.

During that research time, the patient may continue to suffer significant pain that could require oral pain relievers, injections, or other therapeutic steps to manage conditions until a definitive action can be taken.

The procedure may not be ideal for some patients who suffer even more severe pain. For example, terminal cancer patients may not be able to tolerate the needed surgery, and their pain may invade new areas as the cancer spreads.

For those who have suffered injuries in everything from sports to motor vehicle accidents to combat, the stimulators can drastically improve their quality of life and return them to work and family activities.


If you have heart disease, then you probably already know that a healthy lifestyle”one rich in disease-fighting superfoods”can greatly improve your health.

However, even with these positive lifestyle changes, having heart disease still puts you at greater risk for having a heart attack.

When it comes to heart attacks, quick action is key. Having someone on hand with CPR knowledge can mean the difference between life and death. Having an automatic electronic defibrillator (AED) on hand can increase your chances of survival even more.

You can find AEDs in many public places, such as malls and gyms, and paramedics also carry them in the ambulance. But you can also have your own personal AED in your home.

Finding an AED for Your Home

There was a time where the best place to find an AED was at a medical supply house, or straight from the manufacturer’s website. Now, due to their increased popularity, find them easily at Amazon and other retailers.

But before you whip out your credit card, here are some things to consider when buying an AED:

  • Ease of use: Some AEDs are fully automatic, meaning that once you attach the pads, the machine takes care of everything else. Others are only semi-automatic, meaning that you may have to follow several on-screen prompts and push the button manually to deliver the shock.
  • Device Flexibility: Some AEDs only work on adults, some only work on children, and some work on both. If you have children in your household, you might want to consider getting a device that you can use on everyone. After all, an AED isn’t just for people with heart disease.
  • Cost of use: AEDs are generally inexpensive to use because, if all goes well, you’ll never need to use them at all. However, if you do use the defibrillator, you will need to replace the pads. You will also, eventually, need to replace the battery, the electrodes and other parts. The frequency with which you have to replace these items should figure into your budget.

Regular Maintenance

After you buy your AED, you also need to perform regular maintenance to keep it in good working condition.

Monthly Self-Checks

You should turn on the unit at least once a month, and run the self-maintenance program, to make sure everything is in good working order. During an emergency is not the time to discover that the electrodes are corroded, or that something else is wrong. “Every minute counts during a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) emergency,” reminds AED Brands.

Pads and Electrodes

Pads can also expire. You might also need to use them as part of the self-check process. Be sure to check the dates on the packaging and make a note to order new pads at least one month before the old ones are set to expire. You should also have a spare set of electrodes on hand as a backup.


The AED unit uses a rechargeable battery. The average lifespan of the battery is several years, but it depends on how often you need to use it. These batteries can also expire and lose their ability to hold a charge. You should order a backup battery for extra security.


The AED is controlled by software that sets how much of a charge to deliver, and how often. That software is programmed based on the most recent guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA). If the AHA puts out new guidelines, then the AED software needs to be changed to reflect that. Some retailers might notify you of software updates, and how to obtain them; but it’s always best to be proactive and periodically check the manufacturer’s website to see if there are software upgrades for your AED unit.



A disturbing trend in public health is the growth of diabetic retinopathy. Data from a Research and Markets study shows the number of prevalent cases in the seven major markets (7MM)– the U.S., U.K., Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Spain– is expected to grow from 4.9 million in 2012 to 7.2 million in 2022. Japan and the U.S. are the top two 7MM countries in number of cases, each having over 2 million. In 2022, Japan is predicted to have nearly half of all diabetic retinopathy cases in the 7MM with a total of 3.55 million.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy and how is it Treated?

One of the best ways to prevent diabetic retinopathy is through education and awareness. As the name suggests, this disease causes damage to the retina as a result of diabetes. There are often no symptoms in the initial stages. At worst, the patient may experience mild blurring or spots in the visual field that go away. Blood vessels in the eye rupture and cause blood and fluid to leak out leading to spots or blurring. The growth of new blood vessels in the area can also aggravate the problem.

According to the National Eye Institute, treatment of diabetic retinopathy depends on which of four stages the disease has reached. In the first three stages the retinopathy is considered non-proliferative or less severe. Patients can improve conditions by controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels in their diet as long as a macular edema has not occurred.

Once the retinopathy becomes proliferative, or severe, scatter laser treatment is applied to newly formed vessels to shrink them. Macular edemas are also treated with laser surgery known as focal laser surgery, which stops fluid leakage in the macula. When those treatments fail, a viteroctomy, which removes blood from the center of the eye may be needed.

Technology Plays a Major Role in Early Detection

Since symptoms of diabetic retinopathy often do not show up until after much of the damage has been done to the retina, any procedure that could provide early detection would be a blessing. One tool that makes early diagnosis possible is electronic medical records software (EMR). Patient history stored electronically can be retrieved faster than with paper-based filing systems and is a much less error-prone process. When doctors refer patients to specialists, EMR makes it easier for the specialist to get up to speed with patient history, especially critical if a diabetic patient gets referred to an ophthalmologist to address blurred vision problems.

A scanning system developed by Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) uses a combination of computer and human analysis to check for problems. The patient sits in front of a camera that takes images of the eye before uploading them to a cloud-based system. Automated processes examine and evaluate the images before sending the images to a screening specialist for further analysis. If there are any issues, the patient is notified within a few days. The process usually takes about five minutes and usually does not require pupil dilation beforehand.

Since diabetic retinopathy cases are expected to increase by the millions in the U.S. and Japan in the next decade, the potential for millions of additional cases of blindness is great. Technology has advanced to where early detection is possible. The only things left to do are for diabetic patients to get their screenings and for everyone else to avoid the risk factors that lead to diabetes.

Herbal Tea

Soothing Herbal Tea

When it comes to filling your body with more and more nutrients, it can get as easy as a few sips of healthy tea every day. Not only is tea a refreshing beverage, but is also a rich source of micronutrients that will help build your health, keeping your body strong and less prone to disease. It is simple to make and enjoyable to partake, so why not learn of the health benefits of different types of teas, invest in them and indulge! Teas have been highly regarded as healthy from the days of old. Over time many research studies have been done and confirmed this to be true. We look at the various types of must-have teas for your home, putting into focus why they promote health and wellness.
Derived from the chamomile plant which grows in various parts of the world, chamomile tea can be found packaged in stores or even grown at home. It provides relief for people with the cold, enhances sleep thus treating insomnia and also eases the pain of menstrual cramps. It does not contain caffeine but has soothing properties which is good when you want to ease mind stress. It is also rich in antioxidants which helps prevent various types of cancer and manage complications of diabetes such as diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy. Chamomile is a good source of the mineral magnesium.
This is one of the most loved teas after chamomile and falls in the category of mint teas. It has been recommended during first trimester pregnancy and during illness. This is because of its ability to relieve nausea and heartburn. It also has a soothing effect on the digestive tract helping to manage flatulence and by leaving a minty scent on your breath, helps to deal with halitosis (bad breath).
Green Tea
With all the health benefits green tea has to offer, it is almost a crime not to have it in your home. Both tea mongers and health specialists consider it a wonder plant. Being rich in antioxidants, mostly polyphenols, it destroys free radicals which are cancer promoting agents. Studies have shown that it is a potent anti-cancer agent for stomach, colon, lung and breast cancer. It promotes cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and other lipid levels in the body. Patients with hypertension would benefit greatly from the blood pressure lowering effects of green tea. Green tea reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and other neurological conditions.
Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea can be taken singly or incorporated into other teas like Sorrel tea. It is enriched with vitamin C which builds up a robust immune system. Like the other popular teas, it also contains antioxidants. It provides a remedy for high cholesterol levels and is therefore good for people suffering from obesity. One study has revealed that sipping about 3 cupfuls of hibiscus tea daily helps to lower blood pressure in hypertensive people.
Echinacea Tea
In many health and herbal circles, this tea has been known as the great fighter of common cold. Although research findings on its effects have been inconclusive, its contribution to good health is mentioned much. It bolsters the immune system improving its function to fight off infections. It provides antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Rose Hip Tea
One of the very rich sources of vitamin C, Rose hip is actually a fruit derived from the rose flower. The importance of vitamin C in the body cannot be ignored as it is necessary for proper blood clotting, for maintaining integrity of the skin and body tissues and for boosting the immune system. It also has positive effects on the endocrine system where it improves the functioning of the adrenal gland. Rose hip tea is great for quickening recovery from illness and boosting your energy levels.
Oolong Tea
This tea is beneficial for lowering levels of bad cholesterol in the body. It therefore protects the heart against cardiac diseases and is also beneficial for managing diabetes. It is believed to promote weight loss although this has not been scientifically proven.
Cardamon Tea
An aromatic herb, it can be used to make herbal tea that is disease-fighting and health promoting. Its effects include alleviating lung and upper airway disease by encouraging proper expectoration. It thus relieves pulmonary congestion due to increased production of phlegm. It is great for managing pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) in women because it improves mood swings. The gastrointestinal system also benefits from cardamom tea as it relieves indigestion and flatulence.


Lymph Nodes Present Prognostic Role for Mesothelioma Patients

The 15th World Conference on Lung Cancer was held recently and one significant finding that was shared in the meeting was related to mesothelioma. Researchers from University of Pennsylvania (School of Medicine) have been able to show that lymph nodes, previously overlooked, have important role in terms of predicting the stage and a route of therapeutic intervention against Mesothelioma.

The lymph nodes reported in the study are of a special kind and are categorized as posterior intercostal lymph nodes. Now how do these lymph nodes appear in cancer detection?

Lymph nodes and mesothelioma

In previous oncology related work, lymph nodes have been an important site for finding metastatic cells. By looking at cancer cells found within the nodes, physicians and researchers can find the stage of the cancer and design an optimal treatment mode accordingly.

Now, as per previous research, malignant pleural mesothelioma has been a tricky disease in terms of prognosis. It has been reported that the diseases have a poor prognosis rate and a majority of patients are diagnosed at late stage. As a result of this, effective remedies cannot be established and the survival time is largely reduced.

This study also uses posterior intercostal lymph nodes, located near the spine, in cancer staging. 


While being an important disease in the domain of oncology, malignant mesothelioma has been a topic of discussion in connection with asbestos exposure. And for a great amount of time, mesothelioma has been stated as an occupational cancer.

This study would serve as a good piece of evidence in a lawsuit for mesothelioma. In the past, it has sometimes proven difficult for legal counsel to establish the link between the disease and the source of exposure. With an effective staging methodology, the plaintiff can pursue an effective case.

Secondly, prognostic markers are a heavily advancing field especially with the insight given to physicians by molecular markers. Now that the nodes have been found to have these cells, protein expression profiles can be used for generating commercial scale biomarkers like we have currently for breast cancer (BRCA 1 and 2 gene marker).

Model of the study

The model of the study used by the researchers at University of Pennsylvania is a retrospective one. The patients used in the study were undergoing a pleurectomy as a treatment for mesothelioma.

The pleural membrane lining the lungs was found to have metastatic cancer cells in the lymph nodes. An important inference was made during the study: patients who don’t have metastatic cells in lymph nodes were reported to have a higher survival rate.

This means that the posterior intercostal lymph nodes are specifically metastasized in the case of malignant mesothelioma. As a treatment model, physicians can biopsy the nodes and become part of surgery based therapeutic intervention.

Patients who suffer from cancers such as malignant mesothelioma are at a legal disadvantage because their initial symptoms are nonspecific complaints. This has a negative impact on the compensation they can receive from responsible parties, if exposure had been proven. This detection model provides hope in such cases.



You might only suffer from depression on a seasonal basis. Maybe you've noticed that lately your moods and your energy levels are all over the place. It's easy to assume that these changes are psychological, but sometimes they can be physical! Many people who are diagnosed with diabetes say that their first clue that something was wrong wasn't the chronic thirst or frequent restroom trips; it was that they seemed to have very little control over their moods anymore.

Whatever the case”whether you're diabetic, hypoglycemic or suffering from a psychological problem, experts agree: what you eat can have a direct effect on your mood and your brain chemistry. This is why it is important, especially when you are suffering from depression, not to skip meals or try to subsist on a diet consisting solely of junky or comfort foods.

If you've never really studied nutrition before, figuring out what to eat and when can be a huge hassle. It's especially problematic for diabetics, some of whom have to follow very strict nutritional schedules to stay healthy”and even then, it's confusing! You're supposed to eat some things when your blood sugar is high and some things when your blood sugar is low. You have to make sure to get X amount of this vitamin, Y amount of that and you're only supposed to get it from natural sources, not supplements. It's confusing enough to potentially make your depression worse and, if you're diabetic”it could wreak havoc with your physical health.

So here are a few basic things that you should know before you try to map out your daily diet:

1. Blood Sugar

First of all, people who suffer from diabetes aren't the only people whose blood sugar needs to be regulated. When you're dealing with mood issues, paying attention to your blood sugar is really important.

When your blood sugar is too high you'll typically feel headachy, tired, and overly thirsty. You might feel the need to visit the restroom more than usual and your vision could get blurry. To bring your blood sugar down, try drinking some water and eating a couple tablespoons of peanut butter (either by itself or on apple slices–don't put it on bread).

When your blood sugar is too low, you'll probably start to feel confused or anxious, you might feel shaky or sweaty (or both) and your mouth might feel tingly. To raise your blood sugar, eat some fruit or cereal or, if you're desperate, a couple pieces of candy.

If you notice that your mood swings a lot during the day, your blood sugar could be the culprit. It's possible you might be hypoglycemic or even diabetic. Diabetics have found that working with continuous glucose monitoring systems helps them anticipate and ward off problems a lot easier than periodic testing alone.

Even if you don't find yourself with a physical diagnosis, using periodic testing (talk to your doctor) could go a long way toward helping you figure out whether or not what you're eating (or skipping as the case may be) is playing an active role in your depression.

2. Your Meals

After a diabetes diagnosis, you know how important it is to eat every meal on time every day, even when you aren't particularly hungry. When you're fighting depression, it is also important that you not to skip meals, even when the last thing you want to do is eat. Remember: if you don't eat, your blood sugar is going to get out of whack and that will make you feel worse. So, make sure you eat at least three meals and a couple of small snacks each day. Eat things that you know are healthy”even in the beginning.

As you learn about nutrition and what your body needs, you can better plot these out. For now, stay away from candy and cookies and stick to foods you know to be good for you.

3. Brain Boosting Foods

Obviously you're going to want to follow the food pyramid in terms of your basic nutrition. If you've been diagnosed with diabetes or hypoglycemia, your doctor probably set you up with some basic menus and guides to help you get on track while you figure out which foods should be eaten and when.

Remember: when you're dealing with depression, protein really matters. Egg yolks, fish, nuts and seeds, all of these have a stabilizing effect on your blood sugar and give your brain enough protein to help it stay focused and alert. If you're vegetarian or vegan, talk to a doctor or nutritionist about healthy ways to increase your protein intake without meat or eggs.

Try not to get frustrated if it takes you a few weeks get your blood sugar and nutritional needs under control. While you're figuring out exact numbers, work with your doctor, try to get enough sleep each night and avoid caffeine. Don't worry, you'll get there!



 Most seniors would like to keep their independence throughout their lives.  With that independence comes some isolation.  Many seniors have lived in their homes for many years and the thought of moving in with family members or assisted living communities is not an attractive idea.  To ensure your ability to remain in your beloved home and keep your independence many seniors will find comfort and security in attaining medical alert devices. These devices are designed to provide a quick and easy way to communicate to the outside world, family members, or emergency medical professionals in the case of a threatening medical emergency, such as a fall, heart attack, or home invasion.  In these times of need it is important that the wearer of the medical alert device get immediate response, and these medical devices can provide that care with a simple touch of a button.  That kind of security is not only provides mental security but can prolong a senior’s independence allowing the senior to remain in the family home.  Most of these medical alert devices are really simplistic, and are devices composed of two major components, a home console and a pendant or small device which can be carried on the wrist or waist with an emergency button. If the wearer falls, become injured, or suffers any type of medical emergency they can press the button on their pendant. The button will send an alert to the home console which then sends a call to a customer services representative who will contact a family member or medical responder.  The user can create a list of emergence contacts and set an order of importance to be contacted in the case a situation where to occur.


Range is one of the most important attributes for any user of a medical alert device to look for when shopping for a medical alert device.  The range is the distance the wearer can travel away from the home console, and still have the device communication.  Many of the best medical alert devices will have ranges up to 1000 feet.  At this distance the wearer can safely travel about the distance of one typical city block.  So the wearer can visit local friends and neighbors and still be in contact with their safety contacts and home console.  Other devices have more limited ranges but most will have at least a150 foot range.  The range of the device should match the mobility and life style of the intended wearer.  If the wearer is still very mobile and enjoys walks and visits with neighbors they may need a longer range, for those who never leave the home or are bed ridden may not need an extended range.  All home medical devices should come with an included base station.  Make sure your medical alert device has this included in the package and the home console is not an additional purchase.  The pendant is what the user will wear and take with them.  All medical alert devices will include this device, though how that device is attached to the wearer may vary.  Find out what is the most comfortable and easy way for the wearer to carry the pendant device.  Some options of attachment are wristband, waistband, or necklace.  Most pendants are waterproof or at least water resistant, but make sure.  Time in the bathroom, shower or any exposure to wet surfaces can be very dangerous, you want to ensure that the device can be worn and will be safe if exposed to wet conditions.  Make sure that the device has a battery backup included.  You never want a situation where you may have loss of power to any part of the home alert device.  Some units will include a wall mounted button.   This option is not standard, so if that is an important aspect is to be sure to check if that is included.  Most home medical alert systems have two way communications, that is the both wearer and the medical response professionals can speak to each other in the case of an emergency.  Be sure this option is included it can be very important for the response team to be able to speak to the wearer to ascertain the problem and be sure to send the proper responders in the right amount of time.  Some units will have included a check-in service; with this service the responders will regularly check-in with the wearer to ensure that they are o.k.  This can be important for patients who may be immobile, or are experiencing mental problems.  Some home medical alerts devices will include lock boxes, these are secured external boxes in which keys, identification, or other important items can be stored and accessed by the responders.   Some units may also include voice extenders and microphones to ensure clear communication.



plastic surgery

When having plastic surgery done it is best to have realistic expectations as it may provide wonderful results but it also comes with various risks and limitations. It is always in your best interest to seek professional counselling before embarking on this path just to be sure it is right for you and you should also be aware that your emotional issues will not be solved on the operation table. This is an expensive, risky procedure and requires a healing period meaning you need to cover all angles before you get a new physical outlook.

The positive effect of plastic surgery is that it builds you up in terms of confidence and self-esteem. Most importantly it changes people’s perception on you who did not really associate with you due to your physical appearance. It also reshapes the contours of your body, which helps the shape and the flow of your body. A health factor may be cured for both men and women. This procedure helps to remove or amend various problematic areas individuals have which otherwise may not be removed without exercising or dieting. The important positive factor that most people tend to like about it is the dramatic results it can produce.

The negative side of having plastic surgery is the emotional factor it has even if a surgeon can give you the best physical appearance which surely cannot cure your emotional scars. At times the results you may want may not be achieved especially if it involves reshaping your body, due to the bruising and swelling caused by the operation. As a result it may end up giving you negative results. At times it can be painful and invasive and results may not be seen until after a year or six months after the procedure. The most serious side effect is that it may damage your nerve system therefore meaning that you are not able to feel or move a certain part of your body which can be nerve racking.

You should ensure that you do some initial research on the procedure you wish to undertake and ensure that your surgeon has a certified license to practice and perform the surgery. As a safety precaution, make sure that you review the past patients testimonials who have gone through the operating table of your hired surgeon in order to know what to expect as the end result. This is a totally different procedure in comparison to medical surgery which is normally judged by whether it will cure your condition. Plastic surgery is majorly judged by the patient and they get to decide whether or not they like their new physical look. Ensure that you are well aware of the pros and cons of the plastic surgery procedure you choose to go for before undertaking it. You should choose a surgeon such as Elanic that you will be comfortable with and also make sure that you consider all your options before embarking on the procedure in order to be on the safe side.


To answer the question “Does smoking kill cells?” many researchers have now proven that smoking, a habitual necessity, is directly linked to the cessation of the normal functioning of brain cells and their production. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 6 million individuals die per year and these numbers will significantly increase “ possibly up to 8 million “ if serious steps are not taken.

Why do people smoke?

Many individuals begin smoking during their teenage years, typically out of curiosity or to experiment. Smokers are generally dependent on smoking for social or work reasons as they claim it helps them concentrate and stress less. For most, it is simply a mean of relaxation. The easy availability is one of the major reasons why many people try out cigarette smoking.

In contrast to a smoker’s theory of how effective cigarette smoking is when it comes to “improving” their lives, cigarette smoking is actually continued because of a drug contained, called nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, due to which, despite knowing the consequences of smoking, smokers still resort to this habit for their welfare.

Effects on smoking on brain cells

Studies show that nicotine, present in tobacco smoke is the most potent stimulant and addictive agent in the world. Nicotine is absorbed within 8 to ten seconds in the bloodstream in the lungs, which is thereby, circulated to all the organs and cells of the body, including those of the brain.

brain cells visualization in a smoker vs. non smoker

Nicotine is a detrimental drug that can increase blood pressure and bring a rapid rise in heart rate, which ultimately increases a person’s risk of stroke and heart attack.

Smoking is the fastest way to affect the brain. Research has proven that nicotine mimics natural chemicals such as endorphins and norepinepherin. Endorphins are referred to as “mood lifters” as they increase your feelings of motivation, pleasure and relaxation, whereas norepinepherin enhances alertness by increasing your heart rate. Nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine as well, which is a neurotransmitter that is linked to pleasure and addiction. These features of smoking explain why people get addicted to smoking in the first place.

The presence of numerous harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke can impair brain functions drastically. Many medical experts and researchers state that smoking can actually increase white matter volume, and substantially decrease the grey matter volume. The grey matter is responsible for memory, alertness and learning. This causes a rapid decline in person’s intelligence level and memory, when taken in the long-term. (Source: http://www.doctortipster.com/15200-heavy-drinking-and-smoking-accelerates-cognitive-decline-study-says.html)

Smoking kills brain cells

How does smoking kill cells? Almost every cell in the human body requires oxygen to function, including the cells of your brain. Unfortunately, the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke can considerably reduce the function of the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs, and therefore, reduce the lung’s capacity and surface area to take in oxygen. An insufficient supply of oxygen carried to the brain can cause brain cells to die prematurely.

This brings us to the conclusion that smoking kills cells and kills you too!

Smoking, however, is not a condition that cannot be prevented. Consult a doctor if you are unable to cope with this habit yourself. To prevent smoking from killing your cells, certain measures and medications can be adapted in order to help you control nicotine addiction.



According to a couple of studies that were published in the journal Current Biology on the 1st of August, researchers have managed to discover the genetic differences that are responsible for the differences in smell perspective and sensitivity among various individuals. Approximately 200 subjects took part in the study, led by a research team from the Plant and Food Research center in New Zealand. Each subject was tested for 10 different chemical compounds that are most commonly found in ever day food. After testing the sensitivity of the subjects for the chemical compounds, the research team investigated their genome in order to discover the genetic differences between subjects who could smell certain chemicals, and subjects who couldn’t smell the chemicals.

The research team, composed of Jeremy McRae, Sara Jaeger, and Richard Newcomb, revealed genetic associations for 4 of the 10 studied chemicals. Their findings suggest that our different genetic make-up determines whether or not a certain individual can sense the smell of certain chemicals. The four odorants found to be genetically associated are those of apple, ionone, malt and blue cheese.

Jeremy McRae, one of the authors, reports that there was a certain surprise for the team when they discovered that so many odors are associated with certain genes. If their future studies reveal other odors to be associated with genes, the results would mean that each individual is sensitive to a certain palette of smells. According to McRae, the results of their current studies show that each individual has a personalized experience with the smell of their food, each time he or she sits down to eat.

McRae and his research colleagues also compared the differences between human subjects found in various parts of the world. However, they found no evidence of regional differentiation. This results means that, for example, an individual who lives in Asia is most likely to be able to smell the same chemical compounds as an individual from Africa, Europe or America. Furthermore, there is no noticeable relationship between the ability to smell different chemical compounds. Basically, if a subject is sensitive to the smell of blue cheese, it doesn’t mean that  he or she has to be sensitive to the smell of malt or apple.

The research team discovered that there are various genetic variants that are linked to the encoding of the human olfactory receptors. These olfactory receptor molecules are found on the surface of each sensory nervous cell from the human nose. When a chemical compound is bound to the olfactory receptor, an electrical impulse is sent from the nervous cell towards the brain. This electrical impulse is responsible for our smell perception.

In the case of ionone, which is the chemical compound that gives the smell of the flowers known as violets, the research team discovered the exact genetic mutation that causes certain individuals to perceive the smell as floral, rather than sour. Their perception is related to the mutation of the OR5A1 gene. According to Richard Newcomb, the current study allows the development of future products aimed for the human population. Companies might use the results of the study to create better smelling foods or beverages, based on the smell sensitivity of their target population.