IST Saturday News Dump

The weekend starts and as usual IST will bring you the news that failed to impress the MSM….

In 1492

Columbus sailed the ocean blue

We all remember that little ditty from our youth it is all about the discovery of America…..we keep propagating this lie even with the proof that it was visited hundreds of years before Columbus was even born.

Microscopic analysis of wood suggests that Norse people in Greenland were using timber that came from North America over 700 years ago. The research is further evidence that Viking sailors were making contact with the east coast of North America long before Christopher Columbus “discovered the New World” in 1492 CE.

Archaeologist Lísabet Guðmundsdóttir from the University of Iceland examined the wood from five Norse sites across western Greenland that were occupied between 1000 and 1400 CE. Looking at the cellular structure of the wood, Guðmundsdóttir noted how some of the timber came from trees that aren’t native to Greenland or even Northern Europe, such as Jack pine that’s found east of the Rocky Mountains in Canada.

“These findings highlight the fact that Norse Greenlanders had the means, knowledge, and appropriate vessels to cross the Davis Strait to the east coast of North America, at least up until the 14th century. As such, journeys were being made from Greenland to North America throughout the entirety of the period of Norse settlement in Greenland, and resources were being acquired by the Norse from North America for far longer than previously thought,” the study concludes.

After the meteor strike did not diminish the size of the creatures that remained….take a look at what we had after the strike.

Dinosaurs have always seemed larger than life. They lived during a time when almost everything seemed bigger—titanic herbivores stretching more than 80 feet long were not uncommon, and nine-ton carnivores had to feast on hundreds of pounds of flesh each day to survive. This popular view of the Age of Dinosaurs overlooks the innumerable small species that lived alongside Stegosaurus and Triceratops, just as we’re surrounded by insects, birds, rodents and other small animals today. It also falsely frames the end of this era as an end to the heyday of gigantism—but that’s only an illusion.

Life didn’t shrink after the end of the Cretaceous. Long past the Age of Dinosaurs, Earth saw the evolution of impressive birds, snakes, crocodiles, rhinos and more, including the largest animals of all time. While the broader story of life on Earth may best be told through the diminutive and meek creatures that are often overlooked, here are ten animals that underscore the fact that remarkable body size was not just the domain of the dinosaurs.

The global problem that is growing is the rise of Type 2 Diabetes…..and now we know what causes it (I thought we always know what causes this)….

The CDC expects to see a 700% increase in the number of young Americans diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes by 2060. It’s both a national and global problem and, according to new research, poor diet is largely to blame. Researchers from Tufts University created a model based on dietary data from 184 countries and found 70% of Type 2 diabetes diagnoses in 2018, some 14 million cases, could be tied to poor diet—well above the 40% figure previously offered, according to a release. They also found there were 8.6 million more diet-attributable cases in 2018 than in 1990, per CNN. They then looked at 11 dietary factors, ranging from intake of sugary beverages to intake of whole grains. They linked more than 60% of diet-attributable cases to excess intake of unhealthy foods and 39% to inadequate intake of good foods. But three factors stood out overall.

The largest impacts globally, especially for men, younger adults, and urban residents, came from overconsumption of refined rice, wheat, and potatoes, as well as red and processed meat, like bacon, sausage, and salami, per CNN. Insufficient intake of whole grains was another major factor. Consuming too many sugary drinks, including fruit juice, and not enough nuts, seeds, and nonstarchy vegetables were also contributing factors, though not to the same degree as the three foremost ones, per HealthDay News. “These new findings reveal critical areas for national and global focus to improve nutrition and reduce devastating burdens of diabetes,” says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of Tufts’ School of Nutrition Science and Policy, co-author of the study published Monday in Nature Medicine.

The greatest number of diet-attributable cases came from Central Asia and central and Eastern Europe, particularly Poland and Russia, where potatoes and red and processed meats make up a large part of diets. There were also high numbers of cases in Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly Colombia and Mexico, where sugary drinks and processed meat are widely consumed, but whole grains aren’t, researchers said. “Left unchecked and with incidence only projected to rise, Type 2 diabetes will continue to impact population health, economic productivity, [and] health care system capacity, and drive heath inequities worldwide,” says lead study author Meghan O’Hearn, a former PhD student at Tufts, per HealthDay.

One of the first things that points to getting older….the appearance of gray hair…..but could that be a thing of the past?

A groundbreaking study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine has shed new light on the causes of gray hair. It also focuses on the unique properties of melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) found in hair follicles. 

The study reveals that as people age, McSCs lose their ability to move between growth compartments in hair follicles. This ultimately affects hair color. The research improves our understanding of the mechanisms underlying hair pigmentation. It also opens up the possibility of developing treatments to reverse or prevent graying in humans.

Published in the journal Nature on April 19, the study focused on cells present in the skin of mice and humans, known as McSCs. The maturation of these cells determines hair color. They continually multiply but remain nonfunctional unless they receive a signal to transform into mature cells responsible for producing pigments. 

The researchers discovered that McSCs exhibit remarkable plasticity. This means they can transition between different states of maturity as they move through the various compartments of a hair follicle.

As my regulars know I am a dog person….I have always had dogs in my life and we are close so I detest any form of mistreatment but there are other things that contribute to mistreatment besides the extremes we read about everyday….

It’s easy to denounce the mistreatment of animals at the extremes: physical abuse, dog fighting, etc. But as Kenny Torrella writes at Vox, it gets trickier when even self-described animal lovers do things that fall into the realm of “everyday neglect and cruelty” in regard to their pets. He ticks off examples: “punitive training, prolonged captivity and extreme confinement, mutilations (declawing, ear and tail docking), outdoor tethering, lack of autonomy, verbal abuse, monotonous and unhealthy diets. …” Plus, the animals often don’t get enough socialization or exercise—they’re bored to frustration. “We may see ourselves as the best of animal lovers, but we very well could be inflicting suffering on our pets every day.” In his provocative piece, Torrella suggests we should aim for a world with fewer—but happier—pets.

“Before the cat dads and dog moms come for me, know this: I am one of you,” writes Torrella. He adds that his dog Evvie won’t be his last, given the number of dogs in need of homes at animal shelters. But he also argues that too may pet owners think their animals are much happier than they are. “Scientists have set up cameras to see what dogs do when home alone all day, and it turns out there’s a lot of yawning, barking, howling, whining, and sleeping—signs of anxiety and frustration.” Torrella talks to ethologist Marc Bekoff, whose views sum up the piece: “He’d like to see puppy and kitten mills phased out amid a major cultural shift wherein people would only get a dog or cat if they have the time, money, patience, and energy to give them a good life,” writes Torrella. “The motto would be: fewer pets with better lives.” Read the full piece

My canine friends suffer from none of the types listed so I believe they are a happy bunch.

This concludes the round-up of ‘forgotten’ news for this weekend.

Enjoy your Saturday….Be Well….Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


8 thoughts on “IST Saturday News Dump

  1. I am aware of the ‘innocent’ mistreatment of dogs by supposedly caring owners who leave their pets alone all day while they are at work, feed them the same thing every day, and think a 10-minute walk around the block is sufficient exercise. I am sure that because I do none of those, Ollie has outlived his five siblings by over three years already, and is still relatively healthy and active.

    As for grey hair, it never bothered me. I don’t have enough left to worry about what colour it is. 🙂

    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I was worried about MoMo getting enough exercise….we adopted Sara a Jack Russel mix and now no need to worry about exercise….she gets plenty….gray hair I still do not have much of it so it never really bothered me anyway. chuq

  2. (A) Knowing that Vikings were in America before Columbus is just useless information to clutter the brain with … (B) People to can do better but who wilfully try to subsist on a poor diet deserve whatever they get … the people who can afford nothing but a poor diet need to learn to game the system (Like most of the welfare queens do) and obtain healthier fare …(C) I would like to know why the hair on my head is white as snow and all the hair on the rest of my body is as brown as it ever was …(D) People who live “with” animals need to learn to live “like” animals so they will be more sensitive to their pets’ needs. Example: It pleases a dog when the human companion gets down on their “All-Fours” once in awhile and interacts with their doggy on the doggy’s own level. Try it sometime and watch improvements in the dog’s demeanor — instead of inviting the dog to sleep in your bed with you, curl up in a corner of the house somewhere and invite the dog to join you.

    1. I think accomplishment deserves recognition not some BS to make you feel better. People do not gamer the system…they buy what gives them the most for the slim buck. People who live with dogs are the smarter creature people who do not are a miserable lot. chuq

      1. I agree with you about the dogs being the smarter of the two creatures. The dogs, at least, have learned how to manipulate the humans into giving them a sweet and cushy life.

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