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Short update

Hello! Hey there! It’s been a while. Looks like I have some clean-up to do here.

While I was busy elsewhere, I had a “grace illustrious” contact me twice about removing their name and content from this blog (‘CLITORIS, VAGINA, MAJORA, MINORA | The Ellipses Project’, 7.26.13). Done. I’m very sorry it took so long. May you live long and prosper!

It’s almost autumn! Last night was a full moon, something I try to capture every so often. No pic this time though–got distracted by other things–but I must say, it was a beautiful sight indeed.

Have you ever tasted snow on a warm summer breeze? Felt the sensation of crunching through half-frozen grass? The end of the year is getting close, and I can feel it now despite the lingering summer heat. It feels good!

Bring on Halloween! Sorry about the hyper, got a nice sugar buzz going.

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No link between prenatal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors found

No Link Between Prenatal Mercury Exposure and Autism-Like Behaviors Found

The potential impact of exposure to low levels of mercury on the developing brain — specifically by women consuming fish during pregnancy — has long been the source of concern and some have argued that the chemical may be responsible for behavioral disorders such as autism. However, a new study that draws upon more than 30 years of research in the Republic of Seychelles reports that there is no association between pre-natal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors. (Credit: © Yoram Astrakhan / Fotolia)

“This study shows no evidence of a correlation between low level mercury exposure and autism spectrum-like behaviors among children whose mothers ate, on average, up to 12 meals of fish each week during pregnancy,” said Edwin van Wijngaarden, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center‘s (URMC) Department of Public Health Sciences and lead author of the study which appears online today in the journal Epidemiology. “These findings contribute to the growing body of literature that suggest that exposure to the chemical does not play an important role in the onset of these behaviors.”

The debate over fish consumption has long created a dilemma for expecting mothers and physicians. Fish are high in beneficial nutrients such as, selenium, vitamin E, lean protein, and omega-3 fatty acids; the latter are essential to brain development. At the same time, exposure to high levels of mercury has been shown to lead to developmental problems, leading to the claim that mothers are exposing their unborn children to serious neurological impairment by eating fish during pregnancy. Despite the fact that the developmental consequences of low level exposure remain unknown, some organizations, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have recommended that pregnant women limit their consumption of fish.

“The Seychelles study was designed to follow a population over a very long period of time and focus on relevant mercury exposure,” said Philip Davidson, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Seychelles Child Development Study and professor emeritus in Pediatrics at URMC. “While the amount of fish consumed in the Seychelles is significantly higher than other countries in the industrialized world, it is still considered low level exposure.”

… lends further evidence to an emerging belief that the “good” may outweigh the possible “bad” when it comes to fish consumption during pregnancy. Specifically, if mercury does adversely influence child development at these levels of exposure then the benefits of the nutrients found in the fish may counteract or perhaps even supersede the potential negative effects of the mercury.

“This study shows no consistent association in children with mothers with mercury level that were six to ten times higher than those found in the U.S. and Europe,” said Davidson. “This is a sentinel population and if it does not exist here than it probably does not exist.”

Read entire article at ScienceDaily.

tick tock

I feel tired and old. The years are pressing on me. All l thirty-three of them are weighing heavily on me, all the twists and turns of a life spent merely existing, hiding. I have regrets. Fear drowns hope with exaggerated faults. Could have, would have… should have… didn’t. I know I’m still young, but I can’t deny I am also old. My prime child-bearing years have passed; that damn clock mimics my heartbeat, and with every passing month, mocks me when I bleed. The wheel turns once more, and I am still here, distracting myself from that clock as best I can.

Nanoparticles Made From Bee Venom Can Kill HIV

"For the experiment, Wickline's team prepared free melittin and melittin-loaded nanoparticles and set them against various strains of HIV..."

“For the experiment, Wickline’s team prepared free melittin and melittin-loaded nanoparticles and set them against various strains of HIV…”

“… researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that nanoparticles infused with a toxic bee venom can kill HIV. The researchers hope to take this new compound and develop a vaginal gel that can prevent the further spread of the disease.

The key to this discovery, which was made by Samuel A. Wickline and his team at Washington University, involves cytolyic melittin peptides. Melittin is found in bee venom, and it has the fortuitous trait of being able to degrade the protective envelope that surrounds HIV.”

via Nanoparticles Made From Bee Venom Can Kill HIV.

 

The Skin You’re In

BBW Wonder Woman

“To all the girls whose thighs touch, with stretchmarks laid like gold across their backside, with bellies too full for any inadequate hands, thank goddess for your abundance.”

~ Kim Crosby

via Unpacking the “F” Word

Calling All Gynecologists « I Heart Guts

menstrual cycle infographic

Menstrual cycles can be baffling, and that’s why I really wanted to make this special poster explaining this special time of the month, mostly so I can justify to my poor husband exactly why I am feeling totally insane. “It’s not me, honey, it’s the progesterone spiking,” or, “Can you understand now why I’m being a total bee-yatch? I’ve got at least five different hormones coursing through my body right now. I’m on drugs.” Marvel at the leuteinizing hormone! Be amazed as the estrogen takes a nosedive right before ovulation! Check out the egg as it takes its long journey through your reproductive system! Anyway, check it out and give me feedback — calling all OB/GYNs! Editors! Anatomy nuts! Sex educators! — before I send this thing to the printer. I know it’s a little crazy-looking, design-wise, but then again, so’s the menstrual cycle.

via Calling All Gynecologists « I Heart Guts.

You can buy this poster at The Good Ol’ Menstrual Cycle « I Heart Guts.

A Simple Fix for Farming – NYTimes.com

A simple fix for farming - Image Credit: Rosie Gainsborough

Image Credit: Rosie Gainsborough

IT’S becoming clear that we can grow all the food we need, and profitably, with far fewer chemicals. And I’m not talking about imposing some utopian vision of small organic farms on the world. Conventional agriculture can shed much of its chemical use — if it wants to.

This was hammered home once again in what may be the most important agricultural study this year, although it has been largely ignored by the media, two of the leading science journals and even one of the study’s sponsors, the often hapless Department of Agriculture.

The study was done on land owned by Iowa State University called the Marsden Farm. On 22 acres of it, beginning in 2003, researchers set up three plots: one replicated the typical Midwestern cycle of planting corn one year and then soybeans the next, along with its routine mix of chemicals. On another, they planted a three-year cycle that included oats; the third plot added a four-year cycle and alfalfa. The longer rotations also integrated the raising of livestock, whose manure was used as fertilizer.

The results were stunning: The longer rotations produced better yields of both corn and soy, reduced the need for nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides by up to 88 percent, reduced the amounts of toxins in groundwater 200-fold and didn’t reduce profits by a single cent.

In short, there was only upside — and no downside at all — associated with the longer rotations. There was an increase in labor costs, but remember that profits were stable. So this is a matter of paying people for their knowledge and smart work instead of paying chemical companies for poisons.

And though critics of this path can be predictably counted on to say it’s moving backward, the increased yields, markedly decreased input of chemicals, reduced energy costs and stable profits tell another story, one of serious progress.

via A Simple Fix for Farming – NYTimes.com.

Effect of Zero Gravity on Cosmonauts Body | INFOgraphics | RIA Novosti

viEffects of zero gravity on cosmonaut's body infographic

via Effect of Zero Gravity on Cosmonauts Body | INFOgraphics | RIA Novosti

Role Models

 

beauty

“At the age of ten I watched Grandma brush and pin up her long salt-and-pepper hair. “Grandma,” I said, “you could look twenty years younger if you’d just dye your hair.”

“Why would I want to look twenty years younger?” she asked, sounding truly curious.

She didn’t know? Everyone wants to look twenty years younger, I explained. I was sure of this because I’d seen it on TV.

She kindly told me that twenty years early she’d been forty and hadn’t had anywhere near the experiences she’d had now. “Sixty-year-olds have had much more interesting lives than forty-year-olds,” she said. “Why would I want to look like a less interesting person?”

Twenty years later an oddly colored strand of hair appeared near my ear. I tugged it loose and showed my best. “It looks like it’s filled with air!” I said, holding it up to the light.

“Honey, it’s gray,” she told me gently. After waiting a moment to let me absorb the news, she asked how I felt about it.

“Fine,” I said, a little surprised to feel the truth of it. “I’ve been looking forward to this day since I was ten years old.”

~Andrea Matson-deKay, The Sun Magazine , Readers Write: “Role Models

via The Girl God.

 

Wii Tennis

693. -51.

It’s been twenty-two days since I last played. Clearly, I’ve suffered some atrophy. Bad kitty! Lol

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