Posts about Yale

How Corn Syrup Might Be Making Us Fat

How Corn Syrup Might Be Making Us Hungry–and Fat by Katherine Harmon

…Glucose lowered the activity of the hypothalamus but fructose actually prompted a small spike to this area. As might be expected from these results, the glucose drink alone increased the feelings of fullness reported by volunteers, which indicates that they would be less likely to consume more calories after having something sweetened with glucose than something sweetened with more fructose.

Fructose and glucose look similar molecularly, but fructose is metabolized differently by the body and prompts the body to secrete less insulin than does glucose (insulin plays a role in telling the body to feel full and in dulling the reward the body gets from food). Fructose also fails to reduce the amount of circulating ghrelin (a hunger-signaling hormone) as much as glucose does. (Animal studies have shown that fructose can, indeed, cross the blood-brain barrier and be metabolized in the hypothalamus.) Previous studies have shown that this effect was pronounced in animal models…

Most of the science indicates calories consumed is by far the dominant factor in weight gain. Different foods with the same calories can affect how hungry you feel. Thus the biggest factor in reducing weight gain seems to be reducing calories and one way to help is to eat food that leaves you feeling full and avoid foods that don’t.

The science is not completely clear though on whether certain diets can have a significant affect above and beyond calorie levels. I am skeptical of such claims, however. There are concerns beyond calories for healthy eating – getting a well balanced diet is important.

Healthy physical activity is also important. Burning off calories with exercise allows more consumption without weight gain. And exercise is important for health not just to avoid gaining weight.

Related: Researchers Find High-Fructose Corn Syrup Results in More Weight GainDoes Drinking Diet Soda Result in Weight Gain?Waste from Gut Bacteria Helps Host Control WeightModeling Weight Loss Over the Long TermHow Caffeine Affects Your Body

Harnessing Light to Drive Nanomachines

A team led by researchers has shown that the force of light indeed can be harnessed to drive machines – when the process is scaled to nano-proportions. Their work opens the door to a new class of semiconductor devices that are operated by the force of light. They envision a future where this process powers quantum information processing and sensing devices, as well as telecommunications that run at ultra-high speed and consume little power.

The energy of light has been harnessed and used in many ways. The “force” of light is different — it is a push or a pull action that causes something to move. “While the force of light is far too weak for us to feel in everyday life, we have found that it can be harnessed and used at the nanoscale,” said team leader Hong Tang, assistant professor at Yale. “Our work demonstrates the advantage of using nano-objects as ‘targets’ for the force of light – using devices that are a billion-billion times smaller than a space sail, and that match the size of today’s typical transistors.”

Full Press release

Related: Nanotube-producing Bacteria Show Manufacturing PromiseSelf-assembling Nanotechnology in Chip ManufacturingSlowing Down Light3 “Moore Generations” of Chips at OnceManipulating Carbon Nanotubesposts on university research

Virus Engineered To Kill Deadly Brain Tumors

Yale Lab Engineers Virus That Can Kill Deadly Brain Tumors

A laboratory-engineered virus that can find its way through the vascular system and kill deadly brain tumors has been developed by Yale School of Medicine researchers, it was reported this week in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Each year 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a brain tumor, and metastatic tumors and glioblastomas make up a large part of these tumors. There currently is no cure for these types of tumors, and they generally result in death within months.

“Three days after inoculation, the tumors were completely or almost completely infected with the virus and the tumor cells were dying or dead,” van den Pol said. “We were able to target different types of cancer cells. Within the same time frame, normal mouse brain cells or normal human brain cells transplanted into mice were spared. This underlines the virus’ potential therapeutic value against multiple types of brain cancers.”

Pretty cool. Too bad these press releases never quite live up to the initial promise. Still this one is very cool, if it can succeed in helping even a small percentage of people it will be a great breakthrough. It is also just cool – using a virus to kill tumors – how cool is that?

Related: What are viruses?Using Bacteria to Carry Nanoparticles Into CellsCancer Cure, Not so FastCancer cell ‘executioner’ foundCancer Deaths not a Declining TrendUsing Viruses to Construct Electrodes and More

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