Baby fat may be cuddly to new parents but pediatricians are increasingly warning families about serious medical problems resulting from baby fat that never goes away. Type 2 diabetes is on the increase in overweight and obese children in America. According to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center pediatric endocrinologist David Geller, M.D., Ph.D., “Childhood obesity is the primary reason we are seeing such a huge increase in type 2 diabetes in kids today. Clearly there is an inexorable increase in body girth and body mass in our children which needs to be taken seriously in order to avoid a lifetime of physical and psychological problems.”
How serious is the problem of overweight children? According to the New England Journal of Medicine, childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions with the number of overweight children more than doubling in the last three decades. In California the numbers are even more frightening: more than 25% of the state’s public school children are currently overweight and nearly 40% are unfit according to a study by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.
Many medical experts agree on the underlying reason for the growing obesity problem among America’s children today, namely the exponential rise in media-related, sedentary activities such as watching television and video tapes/DVDs, surfing the Internet and playing video games. Consider these facts:
Sandy Van | Van Communications
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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