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Diet: For every 1% increase in omega-3 intake, HDL levels rose by 2.5 mg/dL

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

HDL levels lower than 40 mg/dL are considered a risk factor for heart disease, while levels of 60 mg/dL or higher are thought to be optimal.

Omega-3 fats, for instance, have been linked to lower risks of age-related vision loss and dementia among older adults.

Fish Oil Comes from “The Most Important Fish in the Sea”: Menhaden
Nearly every fish a fish eater likes to eat eats menhaden (shown here). Bluefin tuna, striped bass, redfish and bluefish are just a few of the diners at the menhaden buffet. All of these fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids but are unable themselves to synthesize them. The omega-3s they have come from menhaden.

References:

Diet changes improve older adults' cholesterol too | Reuters.
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61I49N20100219
Image source: Menhaden B. tyrannus from the Chesapeake Bay. Wikipedia, Brian.gratwicke, Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook.


Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

How do you keep up with health news?

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

Steve Rubel asks How do you keep up with industry news - RSS, email newsletters, Twitter, Facebook or other (elaborate)? He now primarily uses newsletters, Twitter and Facebook to follow several dozen sources. He uses his RSS reader as an archive:

http://www.facebook.com/steverubelstream

This does not work very well for me. Google Reader is still one of my primary sources for health information - I channel Twitter feeds, YouTube subscriptions, Flickr and podcasts through it as well.

The RSS reader collects all rich media in one place - a true "inbox for the web". The disjointed approach described by Steve Rubel above can be confusing to many and a time-waster to even more. Everybody has their own preferences, of course.

For example, Steve abandoned his popular blog MicroPersuation to move to life-stream, then Facebook. Alternatively, I decided to stay with my blogs and send their updates to Twitter and Facebook. My blog is still my home on the web. You can build a professional profile on LinkedIn, Google and (may be) on Facebook but I decided to keep a separate website just for profile information. You can build it for free on Blogger.com by Google, control every aspect of it, and the only expense is the fee for domain registration ($10).

Comments from Google Buzz:
Tim Sturgill - I've started to use GR as you are for Twitter. I wish Twitter had RSS for direct messages as well.
Vamsi Balakrishnan - I use Google Reader for my news sites (both tech and health). And, for the individual people I follow, like you, I'd use my Buzz. Every few days I log on to Twitter to check messages / replies / etc.
Lakshman Swamy - GR and buzz!

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook.


Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Industrial Strength Lungs

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

Anatomical lung necklace by missyindustry at Etsy

Anatomical lung necklace by missyindustry at Etsy

Handmade from sterling silver.
1.5 inches long.
Curb chain is 20 inches long.
Oxidized finish

Industrial style lungs by missyindustry over at Etsy for $62.  Found this after a friend asked me to find a lung-themed gift for her boyfriend who recently quit smoking. Great idea!

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

The Taxidermy of Mr. Walter Potter and his Museum of Curiosities, Melissa Milgrom

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am



Melissa Milgrom--author of Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy and panelist at the recent Congress for Curious People--has just published a nice article about that undisputed king of Victorian anthropomorhic taxidermy, animal artist and museologoist Walter Potter; following is a brief excerpt:

Athletic toads? Rats gambling in a dollhouse of decadence? How about bespectacled gentlemen lobsters?

No, this isn’t Wes Anderson’s sequel to Fantastic Mr. Fox, but the work of English Victorian taxidermist Mr. Walter Potter. Potter was famous for his over-the-top anthropomorphic scenes—kittens at the tea table; guinea pigs playing cricket—which were displayed in his Museum of Curiosities from 1861 until 2003 when his wondrous collection was sold in a contentious auction, which I attended in Cornwall.

One of England’s oldest private museums, Potter’s belonged to the era of the amateur nature lover when museums were spirited jumbles, not the sober typologies they would become post-Darwin. Potter’s verged on the freakish: random, cluttered, crammed to the rafters with curios and oddities, weird accumulations and creatures that were stuffed, pickled, dissected, and deformed. And I was lucky, though it filled me with sadness, to wander through Potter’s crooked corridors on its very last day...

Had Potter attended the Great Expo (very likely) he would have seen among the taxidermy displays a comic depiction of Goethe’s fable Reinecke the Fox reenacted with semi-human foxes. Sounds childlike—and it was in the best, most passionate way—but in the days before irony anthropomorphism was a form of endearment (imagine Beatrix Potter, no relation). More so, the facial expressions were expertly manipulated, raising the taxidermic bar and inspiring followers.

Known as the Grotesque School, “mirth-provoking” characters were the equivalent of a blockbuster movie. Queen Victoria herself stopped to linger and laugh at a frog shaving another frog. And taxidermists began transforming all sorts of animals into tiny humans: crows playing violin, frogs doing the cancan, squirrels as Romeo. None were as ambitious as Mr. Walker Potter...

You can read the full article on the Wonders and Marvels blog by clicking here. You can find out more about Milgrom's Still Life--which contains a nice discussion of Potter and his work--by clicking here. If the life and work of Walter Potter is of interest, I also highly highly recommend that you check out the wonderful, lavishly-illustrated Walter Potter and his Museum of Curious Taxidermy, written by Congress for Curious People lecturer Pat Morris; you can do so by clicking here or by visiting Observatory (more on that here).

All images are of Walter Potter's work and are drawn from the wonderful Ravishing Beasts blog; you can see them in context by clicking here.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

"An Atlas of Topographical Anatomy after Plane Sections of Frozen Bodies," Christian Wilhelm Braune, 1877

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am



Christian Wilhelm Braune (July 17, 1831 Leipzig – April 29, 1892) was a German anatomist and professor of topographical anatomy at the University of Leipzig. He is known for his excellent lithographs regarding cross-sections of the human body, and his pioneer work in biomechanics. Braune was son-in-law to German physician Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795–1878).

Braune was inspired by the photographic work of French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey (1830–1904) regarding anatomical movement. Marey believed that movement was the most important of all human functions, which he described graphically for biological research in Du Mouvement Dans Les Functiorls Da La Vie (1892) and Le Mouvement (1894). This led the way for Braune's experimental, anatomical studies of the human gait, being published in the book Der Gang des Menschen. This study of the biomechanics of gait covered two transits of free walking and one transit of walking with a load. The methodology of gait analysis used by Braune is essentially the same used today.

Braune and his student, Otto Fischer (1861–1917) did research involving the position of the center of gravity in the human body and its various segments. By first determining the planes of the centers of gravity of the longitudinal, sagittal and frontal axes of a frozen human cadaver in a given position, and then dissecting the cadaver with a saw, they were able to establish the center of gravity of the body and its component parts. Braune and Fischer also did extensive work regarding the fundamentals of resistive forces that the muscles need to overcome during movement.

In unrelated investigative work, Braune had a decisive role in the publication of the musical pieces composed by Frederick the Great of Prussia.

Text via Wikipedia; image via Ars Anatomica.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

"The Saddest Object in the World," An Illustrated Meditation, Observatory, Friday, May 7th

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am


This Friday, Observatory and Morbid Anatomy will host Morbid Anatomy Library Scholar in residence and Obscura co-proprietor Evan Michelson as she leads us on an illustrated meditation on what she has termed "The Saddest Object in the World." This event is a reprise of Michelson’s popular Congress for Curious People presentation which took place at the Coney Island Museum earlier this month; if you missed Michelson's beloved presentation the first time around, I cannot encourage you enough to come out tonight and find out all about The Saddest Object in the World.

Full details follow; hope to see you there!

The Saddest Object in the World
An Illustrated Meditation by Evan Michelson, Obscura Antiques and Oddities, Morbid Anatomy Library Scholar in residence
Date: Friday, May 7th
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Location: Observatory

“The Saddest Object in the World” is a meditation on one particular artifact; an exercise in Proustian involuntary memory, aesthetic critique, and philosophical bargaining.

Sometimes objects have consequences.

Evan Michelson is an antiques dealer, lecturer, accumulator and aesthete; she tirelessly indulges a lifelong pursuit of all things obscure and melancholy. She currently lives in another place and time.

You can find out more about this presentation here. You can get directions to Observatory--which is next door to the Morbid Anatomy Library (more on that here)--by clicking here. You can find out more about Observatory here, join our mailing list by clicking here, and join us on Facebook by clicking here.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith


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