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    Pig study sheds new light on sugar’s addictive impacts on the brain – New Atlas - January 19, 2020 by admin

    Much research has helped paint a picture of the relationship between sugar and our brain's reward system, though there remains many blanks to be filled. Scientists in Denmark have now offered further insights into how the sweet stuff reshapes our brain chemistry, by performing experiments on pigs and taking note of how the reward circuitry lights up after consumption.

    The research was carried out by scientists at Denmark's Aarhus University, who say the use of pigs rather than more conventional animal models was key to advancing their understanding of sugar and the brain. It was also useful in avoiding a range of other factors that can activate the brain's reward systems and cause wild fluctuations in data, such as playing video games, sex, romance or other things we eat.

    "The pig is a good alternative because its brain is more complex than a rodent and gyrated like human and large enough for imaging deep brain structures using human brain scanners," says study author Michael Winterdahl. "The current study in mini-pigs introduced a well-controlled set-up with the only variable being the absence or presence of sugar in the diet."

    Experiments were carried out on seven pigs, which were fed two liters (0.5 gal) of sugar water a day over a 12-day period. The scientists imaged their brains beforehand, after the first day, and then after the 12th day to observe any changes.

    "After just 12 days of sugar intake, we could see major changes in the brain's dopamine and opioid systems," says Winterdahl. "In fact, the opioid system, which is that part of the brain's chemistry that is associated with well-being and pleasure, was already activated after the very first intake,"

    This echoes findings from previous studies on sugar intake and neurotransmitters like dopamine, which the brain releases in response to rewarding experiences or consumption of addictive drugs like cocaine. The influence sugar appears to have on this kind of brain circuitry has long been likened to the effects of addictive drugs, and the scientists new analysis on pig brains has led them to a similar conclusion.

    "If sugar can change the brain's reward system after only 12 days, as we saw in the case of the pigs, you can imagine that natural stimuli such as learning or social interaction are pushed into the background and replaced by sugar and/or other 'artificial' stimuli," says Winterdahl. "We're all looking for the rush from dopamine, and if something gives us a better or bigger kick, then that's what we choose."

    The team's research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

    Source: Aarhus University via EurekAlert

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    Pig study sheds new light on sugar's addictive impacts on the brain - New Atlas

    Netflixs Cheer Docuseries Sheds Light on the Sports Harsh Realities – Texas Monthly - January 19, 2020 by admin

    In film and television shows alike, cheerleaders are rarely taken seriously as complex characters and competitive athletes. But the new Netflix show Cheer, set in Texas, finally shows cheerleaders to be exactly that. (Disclaimer: Texas Monthly associate editor Leif Reigstad was interviewed for the documentary.)

    The six-part docuseries follows the cheer team at Navarro College, a junior college of about 10,000 students in Corsicana, in the months leading up to the 2019 NCAA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships in Daytona Beach. For years, cheerleaders from all over the country have traveled to Corsicana for a chance to compete on the Navarro cheer team, known for consistently earning top spots at the NCAA National and Grand National Championships since 2000. The way we prepare, you keep going until you get it right, and then you keep going until you cant get it wrong, Monica Aldama, who heads Navarros team, says in the documentary. A Corsicana native, previous cheerleader, and now coach, Aldama had, up to 2019, brought home thirteen national championship titles to Navarro in the past two decadesher feats are so widely recognized within the cheer community that shes nicknamed The Queen.

    Part gymnastics, part dance routine, and part Cirque du Soleil, competitive cheer belongs in its own category of sports. They are the toughest athletes Ive ever filmed, Greg Whiteley, Cheers director, said in a recent interview. I dont think that was something I would have thought would be true before I started exploring this world. Anyone in the cheer world is familiar with the intensity thats required to excel in this excruciating sport, yet Cheer shows that it can be a fairly insular worldeven Corsicana residents interviewed for the documentary are unaware of Navarros cheer prestige.

    Cheer offers a corrective to that. As the Navarro team works to develop their two and a half minute routine throughout the docuseries, they flex their tumbling skills and impressive stunts, such as a pyramid formation that involves multiple cheerleaders flying through the air and landing on other members shoulders. But the documentary also places their falls and misstepsas well as the injuries stemming from themon full display. As a viewer, its brutal to watch as squad members get tossed into the air, and you find yourself crossing your fingers in hopes that theyre caught. Boys groan as their backs give out while holding up teammates, girls wince from bruised ribs; trips to the ER arent uncommon. But the Navarro College cheerleaders are willing to endure long hours and risky routines for the chance to keep training. If Monica believes in me enough to put me in, then I should be able to trust myself, Morgan Simianer, a flyer, says in Cheer. Id do anything for that woman.

    Throughout its six episodes, Cheer follows five main characters (Simianer included) and the struggles they face amidst training. The stories include that of Gabi Butler, a cheerfluencer whos gained an impressive following on social media and faces an overwhelming pressure from herself, her parents, and the cheer community to be perfect; Simianer, who was abandoned by her parents as a teenager and who was left to live with her brother in a trailer; and LaDarius Marshall, an openly gay male cheerleader who felt rejected by his family in Florida. Each squad member sees Aldama as their champion, sometimes even as a second mother. Although they are bound by cheerleading, their ties typically extend outside of the sport, toofor instance, after one squad member has old nude photos of her leaked by someone she fought with in the past, Aldama helps her go to the police and report it.

    While Aldama seems to have their best interests at heart, shes also tough about disciplining her cheerleaders on the mat and off. Students have a team tutor, and Aldama enforces punishments in practice for tardies and absences in classes outside of cheer. Whenever someone isnt caught or a move isnt completed, Aldama makes the entire team do push-ups. And in one instance, Aldama chastises a cheerleader who gets injured while competing outside of Navarro (some cheerleaders take on extra cheerleading outside of their extracurricular at school) by making him run through a routine while limpingand toward the end of it, hes on his knees crying from the pain. While a regimen is certainly needed to groom national champions, her methods are sometimes questionable.

    At its core, Cheer homes in on the idea of trust, as much as the trust that squad members have in each other, in themselves, and what it takes to develop it. While dealing with their own personal traumas, the characters tackle both the physical extremities and emotional barriers of the sportwhich, in turn, is a critical part of cheerleading. If one person is off either physically or mentally, it could affect the whole team or send a pyramid tumbling down. Although the characters challenges are personal, theyre often solved with the help of their teammates: one character, Lexi Brumback, comes off as a loner in the beginning of the series (when shes instead trying to avoid drama, because of her past of getting into violent fights). As she begins to open up to her teammates, and sees that they accept her, she gains confidence in herself as both an athlete and a young woman.

    Instead of capitalizing on tired cheerleading stereotypes, Cheer presents the sports harsh realities, from the physical brutality involved to the fact that theres no professional career to follow. (Unlike football, basketball, or soccer, college cheerleading is the end of the line for competitive cheer athletes.) By the time the team finally reaches Daytona, viewers find themselves not just rooting for Navarro athletes to win a national championship. Theyre also cheering on people who are trying their best to lift one another up.

    Netflixs Cheer Docuseries Sheds Light on the Sports Harsh Realities - Texas Monthly

    A Navy scandal sheds light on the nature of bribery and the limits of free speech – AlterNet - January 19, 2020 by admin

    It seems like everyones talking about bribery these days but I, and anyone else who works for the federal government, have to limit what we can say about what does or does not constitute an ethical or illegal lapse.

    I am an ethicist who teaches leadership, ethics and law, and I believe a recent bribery case in the U.S. military offers an interesting and distinctive perspective through which to consider these issues. Unfortunately, due to current restrictions on what federal employees can and cant say about political matters, I cant discuss all the ways that case might apply to a broader debate.

    Nonetheless, there is one thing I can say without caveat or equivocation. Bribery laws for government officials have a powerful ethical principle at their core: If you work for the government, your actions in office are meant to serve the public interest not your own.

    The so-called Fat Leonard scandal is the largest bribery and corruption case in U.S. Navy history.

    The key player is Leonard Glenn Francis, a Malaysian-born businessman based in Singapore who was commonly referred to as Fat Leonard because of his 350-pound weight. He ran a company called Glenn Defense Marine Asia that had U.S. government contracts to provide various services to Navy ships in Asian ports docking, refueling, sewage removal and shore transportation for both cargo and personnel.

    In 2015, Francis pleaded guilty to plying Navy officers with cash and favors in exchange for their efforts to steer the Navys Pacific fleet to ports where his company could provide services. Then, the company would fabricate bids by nonexistent companies to make its own charges look competitive, overbill the Navy for services and even draw up fake invoices to collect money for goods and services it never provided to the ships and crews.

    The case is perhaps best known for the fact that one of the most common favors Francis provided were paid sexual partners: He even kept meticulous notes about the peccadilloes of different officers.

    More significant for U.S. taxpayers is the fact that the decade-long scam ultimately bilked the Navy out of more than US$35 million.

    In some ways the Fat Leonard scandal is a textbook bribery scheme, with clandestine meetings, envelopes full of cash, and explicit arrangements to perform clearly illegal acts. In fact, one of the biggest questions raised when Leonard was finally arrested in 2013 was how his company had been able to get away with the scheme for almost a decade.

    There were, in fact, several whistleblowers along the way, but as is often the case when corruption is widespread, those in on the scheme were notified of the complaints before word got to those who would hold them responsible. So rather than being lauded, whistleblowers were instead widely vilified.

    Nonetheless, the truth was eventually brought to light. To date, more than 20 people have pleaded guilty to federal crimes, including the first-ever conviction of an admiral for a felony.

    Significantly, however, the scope of the scandal is even more far-reaching. Dozens of officers, including several admirals, have been reprimanded and removed from office for more minor related violations, without going to jail.

    These last cases are particularly interesting, because they help demonstrate not only the high standards of military, but also the ways that bribery schemes often dont conform to common, stereotypical, preconceived notions.

    Many of the officers charged didnt accept cash payments, but rather the kind of favors that they couldnt or wouldnt be able to obtain for themselves: travel, champagne, scotch, luxury hotel rooms, ornamental swords, handmade ship models, spa treatments, Cuban cigars, Kobe beef, Spanish suckling pigs, concert tickets and even a culinary internship.

    Ultimately, it shouldnt be surprising that bribery often begins with small favors rather than thick envelopes of cash. Human beings are social creatures; favors strengthen peoples social bonds and make them more likely to reciprocate in turn.

    Thats why federal ethics rules regarding favors are generally so strict, prohibiting government employees from accepting all but the most minimal gifts (even modest meals) from contractors and foreign agents.

    Those prohibitions have obvious exceptions, but the principle behind the general rules is all the more important in their exceptions: Official actions are meant to serve public, rather than private, interests. In the Fat Leonard cases, the evidence is clear: Even in the cases in which leaders have been merely reprimanded and removed from office, the kinds of favors the officers accepted demonstrate they were acting for their own benefits not those of the nation.

    There may well be lessons the Fat Leonard saga has for other cases in which the alleged exchange of official acts for something of personal value is a key element of the crime. Those considerations might seem even more relevant given that in 1998, Mississippi Republican lawmaker Roger Wicker took to the House floor and declared the rule of law means that the commander-in-chief of our armed forces could not be held to a lower standard than are his subordinates. More than two decades later Wicker, now a senator, has recently reaffirmed that standard.

    However, I am a federal employee, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel has issued unusually broad guidance about the Hatch Acts limits on federal workers partisan political activities. The law generally bars federal employees from advocating in favor of or against the election of a particular candidate, as well from participating in other partisan political activities in an election. Yet the current guidance which itself has been criticized for taking sides on a political divide has been taken by some to apply to any analysis of any aspects of the presidents impeachment and trial.

    This is a free-speech problem, but its more than that. When federal and state governments hire experts and researchers as, in effect, public servants, I believe that expertise should be welcome in the public sphere, helping to inform the people we work for.

    I work at a federally run university, which is why I come under these particular government rules. There are relatively few institutions like mine, so it might seem a minor issue. However, numerous states have laws similar to the Hatch Act, at least some of which apply to employees of those states public universities. If the current federal rules stand, public state university employees may well find themselves facing similar, or even more problematic, limits in the future, especially if analysis is taken to be a form of advocacy.

    Regardless of those concerns, the Office of Special Counsels current guidance remains, for better or worse, the rule for federal employees. Given that fact, there very may well be another reason to follow it: Doing so can help further differentiate those who attempt to respect the significant distinction between campaigning and governing from those who seek to minimize, or even eliminate altogether, the difference between the two.

    As a result, I leave any lessons of how the Fat Leonard scandal might apply to any other case as an exercise for the reader.

    Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Marcus Hedahl, Associate Professor of Philosophy, United States Naval Academy.

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    A Navy scandal sheds light on the nature of bribery and the limits of free speech - AlterNet

    Director moves on as Mountain Humane sheds costs – Idaho Mountain Express and Guide - January 19, 2020 by admin

    Jo-Anne Dixon, longtime leader of Mountain Humane, has stepped down from her role as executive director and medical director of the Blaine County animal shelter amid cost-cutting efforts by its board of trustees.

    Dixon formally resigned on Jan. 3, she told the Idaho Mountain Express late last week.

    Its been a labor of love, and years of work, she said. The organization has grownand grown to be a great organization.

    A veterinarian by trade, Dixon joined what was then the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley in 2006, serving as the organizations first medical director. A year later, the board added executive director to her title.

    Under Dixon, the shelter launched a $16 million capital campaign, moving from a patchwork building nearly four decades old to a state-of the art, 30,000-square-foot facility on a 20-acre campus west of Hailey. It changed its name to Mountain Humane in the process, and widened its mission to serve animal welfare statewide. For her work, Dixon was voted the valleys 2018 Woman of the Year by readers of the Idaho Mountain Express.

    After 10 months in the new complex, Mountain Humane hands the keys over to new Executive Director Annie McCauley, who joined the nonprofit as director of development in 2019.

    McCauley took over the day after Dixon left.

    We wouldnt be where we are without Jo-Anne, McCauley said Monday. For the past 13 years, shes worked tirelessly to get us to this point for the animals. As you get into a building of this size, though, you need a different set of skillsand my skills are completely different.

    McCauley has run nonprofits for the past 25 years.

    Jo-Anne told us that this building was so much more than she envisioned 13 years ago, said Sally Onetto, president of Mountain Humanes board. She decided to move on, and it became obvious that [Annie] had the experience to help us streamline our operations.

    So, the board handed McCauley the promotion, and a clear mandate: Trim the budget.

    That need was the main takeaway from a board retreat in October, according to Onetto. The facility doubled in sizeand, in the 10 months since operations moved in, expenses grew with it.

    Our budget was extremely high, to the point where it wasnt sustainable, Onetto said. We realized that we needed to do something. Everyone is on top of this. Were going to make it. We just needed a complete overhaul.

    Today, Mountain Humane has 13 fewer employees than it did when the board met three months ago. Seven people were laid off and another six jobs were phased out by attrition. In all, it still employs between 30 and 40 full- and part-time staff. But those end-of-the-year cuts helped cull some $400,000 off the expense line. In 2019, the shelter spent $3.2 million on salaries and operations. It budgeted $2.8 million for salaries and operations in 2020, and is looking for more to take off.

    Most of the savings comes from shedding its three highest salaries. Dixon earned about $221,000 in salary, bonuses and benefits during 2018, according to Mountain Humanes most recent tax filings. Former Associate Director Brooke Bonner, who left over the summer, made just over $131,000. Former Director of Business Operations Kyle Bassinger was the third, leaving earlier in 2019. His compensation was not required to be reported on the 2018 filing.

    Those three positions have been consolidated into one job, McCauley saidhers.

    Prior to moving into this beautiful new building, we staffed up, McCauley said. We had projections of what it would take to run it. Seeing the actual expenses, we realized there were places we could streamline. We were running pretty lofty expenses for the first year. It took some time to see what we realistically needed.

    It will also take some time to replenish the donor pool. The nonprofit makes some money through grants and operational revenueservices, facility rentals, The Barkin thrift store, etc.but its almost entirely dependent on donations, McCauley said. The exhaustive capital campaign that paid for the new building left supporters fatigued.

    Meanwhile, Mountain Humane had 71 four-legged wards on Monday afternoon.

    With Dixonthe shelters in-house vetout, Gooding veterinarian Jack Amen will head the medical clinic, working in concert with Director of Animal Care Operations Katie Millonzi. Last year, the facility performed 1,359 surgeries on in-house and outside pets.

    In all, Mountain Humane took in 1,040 animals during 2019, adopting out 754. It hopes to do more in 2020, with a stated goal of 855 adoptions.

    Its gotten to be a lot, Dixon said of her former job. With the capital campaign completed, its a good time for the next leader to take over.

    Mountain Humanes move to its new Croy Canyon campus kicked off a massive year for the Blaine County shelter. Heres a look at the statistics that defined the nonprofits 2019:

    * The benchmark for a no-kill status is a 90 percent save-rate, according to Mountain Humanes website.

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    Director moves on as Mountain Humane sheds costs - Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

    LSU’s Joe Burrow sheds light on pregame ritual ahead of national championship – Home – WSFX - January 19, 2020 by admin

    LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is hours away from playing the biggest game of his collegiate career when he and the Tigers take on Clemson in the national championship game Monday night.

    Burrow shed somelight on at least one of his pregame rituals he has before kickoff, according to The Advocate. He told reporters that he takes a nap before games just to maintain focus.


    You do have to do that. Before every game I kind of close my eyes for the 15 minutes before we go out and just kind of take a nap a little bit just to calm myself down, Burrow said, adding that it might not be considered a nap in its truest form because he doesnt always fall asleep.

    I wouldnt say Im fully conscious. Yeah, I put the towel around my neck, close my eyes. Whatever happens happens. If I fall asleep, then I fall asleep.

    There might be something to it.


    Burrow has put on an incredible season in his final year at LSU. He had 5,208 passing yards and 55 touchdown passes on his way to a Heisman Trophy.

    Burrow and LSU have already beaten the likes of Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia this season but now face their toughest challenge to date in Clemson the defending national champions and Trevor Lawrence. He told The Advocate he expected that it would come down to the national championship for him and the Tigers.

    I mean, its all on the line, he said. This is the national championship. This is what we thought we would do at the beginning of the year. This is what we expected. We just got to finish it off.


    The title game is expected to kickoff at 8 p.m. It will air on ESPN and take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

    LSU's Joe Burrow sheds light on pregame ritual ahead of national championship - Home - WSFX

    Trails darkness sheds light on upcoming project – The Durango Herald - January 19, 2020 by admin

    Like many Durangotangs, I enjoy using the river trail to bike, run, walk the dog and even for yoga. But theres a problem at night. There are no working lights between the Powerhouse Science Center and the Ninth Street Bridge. Yet all the lights in vastly underutilized sections of the trail are functioning properly. Why isnt the most heavily used portion of the trail illuminated? Sign me, In The Dark (aka Steve)

    If anyone asks if theres a dark side to living in Durango, you can now say the downtown section of the Animas River Trail.

    Action Line checked it out. No lights were working.

    Naturally, this sort of thing will flip the switch for every dim-bulb conspiracy junkie out there.

    Its a sure sign the citys progressive Dark Skies Police are coming to confiscate your incandescent lamps.

    Probably teams in ninja outfits rappelling from black helicopters. Agenda 21 and all that.

    Or the city didnt pay the electric bill covering this portion of the trail, a result of its ongoing massive budget debacle and the crisis at embattled power-supplier Tri-State.

    Or maybe the shady characters hanging around Schneider Park dont want any lights at night.

    But in order to have shade, you have to have some sort light. So forget that idea.

    Still, there are a number of lumen questions loomin.

    Rather than take shots in the dark, Action Line sought enlightenment about the unlit trail.

    Action Line caught up with our good friend Cathy Metz, director of Durangos Parks and Recreation Department, which oversees the Animas River Trail.

    Cathy said a contractor cut into the underground electrical supply line located beneath the Veterans Way road by River City Hall.

    We couldnt find the person responsible, so we had to move on, she said. Besides, there were a number of issues with this trail section.

    Cathy said the power line was really old. We werent able to fix it, she said. And for years weve been having problems with electricity there.

    That section of the trail is one of the oldest. Over the years, the trail crews have wrestled with difficulties, including uneven surfaces and crumbling pavement.

    So having the electricity cut off was pretty much going to happen anyway, as the now-dark portion was already scheduled for a complete makeover.

    So thats good news.

    Now for the bad news: The timing of the power cutoff was not what anyone wanted.

    Work cant start until spring. March probably, Cathy said. It all depends on weather.

    So theres not going to be lighting until the trail makeover is complete.

    As they say, its always darkest before the dawn.

    In the meantime, Action Line suggests using flashlights, headlamps or other personal illumination devices.

    Torches, however, should be avoided, despite the fact that the fire department is right there.

    Citizens carrying torches make city officials very nervous, especially if the mob is also carrying pitchforks.

    Besides, our city code prohibits torches along the trail:

    It shall be unlawful to kindle, use or maintain any open fire in or upon any park, playground or recreational facility other than at locations and in receptacles specifically designed for such purpose.

    Thus, the city doesnt take torches lightly.

    Email questions to or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you give dark trails less than a glowing review.

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    Trails darkness sheds light on upcoming project - The Durango Herald

    Sarri sheds his stubborn style at Juventus and finds success – - January 19, 2020 by admin

    ROME (AP) Maurizio Sarri must have learned something from those awful losses midway through last season at Chelsea, when he was getting ridiculed for stubbornly sticking with his highly technical passing system.

    Or from those near misses at Napoli, when his teams twice were on top at the leagues midpoint only to miss out on the title on both occasions.

    Half a season into his tenure at Juventus, its often been difficult to discern traces of Sarri-ball, the style of mesmerizing short, vertical passes that boosted Sarri to prominence first at Empoli then at Napoli.

    Yes, there were the now-famous 24 touches before Gonzalo Higuains winner against Inter Milan in October; but there was also a gritty 2-1 win at Roma on Sunday when Juventus stormed out to an early 2-0 lead then almost fell apart near the hour-mark before holding on for a potentially decisive victory that sent the Bianconeri two points clear at the top of Serie A.

    After the game in Rome, Sarri was asked if he felt his current side plays like his previous teams.

    Well, according to the numbers, which are completely different from Juventus numbers last season, my answer is yes, Sarri said. But youve also got to respect your players characteristics. Either I coach by myself and I simply dont care about my players characteristics or I (adapt) to them.

    This is a team which is not particularly brilliant from a physical point of view. They dont have the characteristics that Napoli had in regard to the ability of moving the ball in close spaces. This is an incredibly strong team from other points of view.

    With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo in attack plus Leonardo Bonucci and Matthijs de Ligt in defense, Juventus possesses more talent than any other squad that Sarri has coached.

    If with my Napoli we had defended in the last 25 meters for the last 25 minutes as we did tonight, we would have lost, thats for sure, Sarri said. So, this team has different qualities and if I tried to re-do what I already did in other teams, I would be coaching myself, not the team.

    Another key difference from his previous teams is that Sarri now appears much more willing to rotate his players from game to game unlike when he relied on the same starting 11 and same two or three substitutions for nearly every match with Napoli.

    At Napoli it was important to provide continuity, Sarri said last week. At Juve its totally different from my past experiences. Considering the quality of the players, when you change two or three of them it might change something in terms of individual characteristics but not much in terms of the playing philosophy.


    Roma midfielder Nicol Zaniolo cried on the pitch after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the loss to Juventus.

    The 20-year-old Zaniolo is considered Italys most talented young player and the injury will almost certainly rule him out of the Azzurri squad for this years European Championship.

    Fortunately for Italy coach Roberto Mancini, midfield is the position where Italy is strongest. Marco Verratti and Jorginho have been consistent starters for the national team while other options include Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nicol Barella, Stefano Sensi and Sandro Tonali.


    Riding a club-record 10-match winning streak, Lazios ability to transform matches in the final minutes has been decisive.

    Including Ciro Immobiles 82nd-minute strike in Saturdays 1-0 win over Napoli, Lazio has scored 13 of its 41 goals in the last quarter-hour of its matches translating to six games won with late goals.

    Aiming for its first Serie A title in two decades, Lazio is in third place, six points behind Juventus and four behind Inter Milan with a game in hand.

    The Roman squad also recently won the Italian Super Cup with its second victory over Juventus this season.

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    Sarri sheds his stubborn style at Juventus and finds success -

    Study Sheds Light on How Fat Loss Can Put Type 2 Diabetes in Remission – Everyday Health - January 19, 2020 by admin

    A new study helps illuminate how weight loss can contribute to the remission of type 2 diabetes and how putting pounds back on can cause the disease to return.

    The findings, published in December 2019 in Cell Metabolism, suggest that individuals with type 2 diabetes who achieve remission after weight loss may relapse if they regain weight in part because this leads to an accumulation of fat in the liver.

    Researchers examined data on 57 overweight and obese people with type 2 diabetes who participated in a prior study, which was published in March 2019 inThe Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Those study authors goal was to see if following a low-calorie diet for three to six months would help participants lose at least 15 kilograms (about 33 pounds) and lower their blood sugar levels enough to achieve remission of diabetes. Researchers checked participants weight, blood sugar, and fat levels in the liver and pancreas after 5, 12, and 24 months.

    After five months, 28 people achieved the targeted weight loss and diabetes remission. By the end of two years, however, 13 of them had relapsed. People who achieved lasting remission lost more weight initially, kept more weight off than those who relapsed, and had less fat in the liver and pancreas by the end of the study.

    Excess calorie intake over many years will initiate vicious cycles of fat accumulation within both the liver and the pancreas that eventually causes diabetes, says lead study author Ahmad Al-Mrabeh, PhD, of Newcastle University in the England.

    Decreasing liver fat can lead to remission of diabetes, Dr. Al-Mrabeh says. When you do, he adds, the liver stops sending out excess fat to the rest of the body, and therefore pancreas fat levels decrease.

    RELATED: Study Suggests How Much Weight Loss Is Needed to Put Diabetes in Remission

    Type 2 diabetes is a multifactorial disease, with genetics and lifestyle both contributing to risk. The disease is also associated with obesity and inactivity, and develops when the body cant effectively use the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar, according to the World Health Organization. The pancreas produces insulin, and must increase production when the body doesnt use this hormone efficiently. Yet theres a limit to how much insulin the pancreas can make, and diabetes results when the pancreas can no longer keep up with the bodys insulin demands to keep blood sugar levels in check.

    Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, blindness, lower limb amputations, and other potentially life-threatening complications.

    Regular exercise, eating well, and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent type 2 diabetes. These lifestyle habits can also help lower blood sugar and minimize complications when people do develop diabetes, according to the World Health Organization.

    While weight loss has long been linked to diabetes remission, the current study offers fresh insight into how the two are related, says senior study author Roy Taylor, MD, also of Newcastle University.

    When people cut calories, the body will get the energy it needs by burning up fat thats stored under the skin, Dr. Taylor says. By contrast, when people consume too much food, these fat stores fill up and then excess fat starts accumulating in the liver.

    Excess liver fat will lead to higher supply of fat to all tissues, including the pancreas, Taylor says.

    When fat builds up in the pancreas, this interferes with insulin production, making it harder for the body to regulate blood sugar and contributing to diabetes. When people achieve diabetes remission through weight loss, regaining weight can restart the process of fat accumulation in the liver, and then the pancreas, and lead to relapse, according to the study.

    RELATED: Which Types of Diabetes Can Be Put in Remission?

    At the start of the study, all of the participants tended to have higher A1Cs. A1C is a blood test used to diagnose diabetes and determine how well blood sugar is being controlled. It shows the percentage of hemoglobin (a molecule on red blood cells) that is coated with sugar, and reflects average blood sugar levels over two to three months. Readings above 6.5 signal diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    People who never achieved remission in the study started out with more severe diabetes, with average A1C readings of 7.9, compared with average A1C readings of 7.4 among people who did experience remission.

    Weight loss initially brought about similar reductions in the percentage of fat in the liver and pancreas for people who achieved diabetes remission, as well as for those who didnt.

    After five months, people in remission had 3.4 percent liver fat compared with 2.6 percent in people who didnt achieve remission but this difference wasnt statistically meaningful.

    Participants also experienced similar decreases in fat levels in the pancreas after five months: a decline of 0.91 percentage points among people who went into remission and 0.17 points for those who didnt. This difference also wasnt statistically meaningful.

    By the end of the two-year follow up period, though, pancreatic fat levels had dropped by 1.65 percentage points among people with sustained remission and only 0.51 percentage points among those who didnt.

    One limitation of the study is that it was small, and researchers based their two-year analysis on only 20 people who sustained remission and 13 people who relapsed.

    Its also not clear from the study whether people took medication for diabetes, what they ate, or how much they exercised factors that can influence whether people achieve remission.

    It would have been helpful if the study included more information about how weight loss was accomplished, says Sheri R. Colberg, PhD, professor emerita of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

    RELATED: 6 Great Exercises for People With Diabetes

    The most important message is that people have to do whatever they can with their lifestyle to improve their insulin sensitivity, says Dr. Colberg, who wasnt involved in the study. Insulin sensitivity refers to how efficiently the body can use the hormone to convert sugars into energy.

    Dietary restriction can help with this and insulin resistance decreases even before significant weight loss but weight regain is very common, Colberg adds. Both a low-carb diet and consistent workouts can help people with diabetes lose weight and lower blood sugar, she says.

    But many people who rely on diet alone to maintain weight loss regain many of the pounds they lose, Colberg says. Exercisers, on the other hand, can keep weight off when they continue to be active.

    Physical activity is likely the most important way to keep muscles insulin sensitive and to avoid excess carbs being converted into fat and stored in the liver and pancreas, Colberg says.

    RELATED: 7 Exercise Motivation Tips for People With Type 2 Diabetes

    Continued here:
    Study Sheds Light on How Fat Loss Can Put Type 2 Diabetes in Remission - Everyday Health

    Origins of the Solar Systems Great Divide Sheds New Light on How Life Originated on Earth – SciTechDaily - January 19, 2020 by admin

    The Protoplanetary Disk of HL Tauri from ALMA. A so-called ALMA disk as seen in infrared light around distant stars. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NSF

    Scientists, including those from the University of Colorado Boulder, have finally scaled the solar systems equivalent of the Rocky Mountain range.

    In a study published today in Nature Astronomy, researchers from the United States and Japan unveil the possible origins of our cosmic neighborhoods Great Divide. This well-known schism may have separated the solar system just after the sun first formed.

    The phenomenon is a bit like how the Rocky Mountains divide North America into east and west. On the one side are terrestrial planets like Earth and Mars. They are made up of fundamentally different types of materials than the more distant jovians, such as Jupiter and Saturn.

    The question is: How do you create this compositional dichotomy? said lead author Ramon Brasser, a researcher at the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. How do you ensure that material from the inner and outer solar system didnt mix from very early on in its history?

    Brasser and coauthor Stephen Mojzsis, a professor in CU Boulders Department of Geological Sciences, think they have the answer, and it may just shed new light on how life originated on Earth.

    The duo suggests that the early solar system was partitioned into at least two regions by a ring-like structure that formed a disk around the young sun. This disk might have held major implications for the evolution of planets and asteroids, and even the history of life on Earth.

    The most likely explanation for that compositional difference is that it emerged from an intrinsic structure of this disk of gas and dust, Mojzsis said.

    Mojzsis noted that the Great Divide, a term that he and Brasser coined, does not look like much today. It is a relatively empty stretch of space that sits near Jupiter, just beyond what astronomers call the asteroid belt.

    But you can still detect its presence throughout the solar system. Move sunward from that line, and most planets and asteroids tend to carry relatively low abundances of organic molecules. Go the other direction toward Jupiter and beyond, however, and a different picture emerges: Almost everything in this distant part of the solar system is made up of materials that are rich in carbon.

    This dichotomy was really a surprise when it was first found, Mojzsis said.

    ALMA image of the protoplanetary disk surrounding the young star HD 163296 as seen in dust. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); A. Isella; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

    Many scientists assumed that Jupiter was the agent responsible for that surprise. The thinking went that the planet is so massive that it may have acted as a gravitational barrier, preventing pebbles and dust from the outer solar system from spiraling toward the sun.

    But Mojzsis and Brasser were not convinced. The scientists used a series of computer simulations to explore Jupiters role in the evolving solar system. They found that while Jupiter is big, it was probably never big enough early in its formation to entirely block the flow of rocky material from moving sunward.

    We banged our head against the wall, Brasser said. If Jupiter wasnt the agent responsible for creating and maintaining that compositional dichotomy, what else could be?

    For years, scientists operating an observatory in Chile called the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) had noticed something unusual around distant stars: Young stellar systems were often surrounded by disks of gas and dust that, in infrared light, look a bit like a tigers eye.

    If a similar ring existed in our own solar system billions of years ago, Brasser and Mojzsis reasoned, it could theoretically be responsible for the Great Divide.

    Thats because such a ring would create alternating bands of high- and low-pressure gas and dust. Those bands, in turn, might pull the solar systems earliest building blocks into several distinct sinksone that would have given rise to Jupiter and Saturn, and another Earth and Mars.

    In the mountains, the Great Divide causes water to drain one way or another, Mojzsis said. Its similar to how this pressure bump would have divided material in the solar system.

    But, he added, theres a caveat: That barrier in space likely was not perfect. Some outer solar system material may still have climbed across the divide. And those fugitives could have been important for the evolution of our own world.

    Those materials that might go to the Earth would be those volatile, carbon-rich materials, Mojzsis said. And that gives you water. It gives you organics.

    The rest is Earth history.

    Reference: The partitioning of the inner and outer Solar System by a structured protoplanetary disk by R. Brasser and S. J. Mojzsis, 13 January 2020, Nature Astronomy.DOI: 10.1038/s41550-019-0978-6

    Origins of the Solar Systems Great Divide Sheds New Light on How Life Originated on Earth - SciTechDaily

    Eat The Shed finds second home in West Sayville Ask and you shall receive. That’s how – Northforker - January 19, 2020 by admin

    Pancakes are a favorite at The Shed, now open in West Sayville as well as Huntington. (Credit: Beth Ann Mayer)

    Ask and you shall receive.

    Thats how The Shed found a second home in West Sayville. Guests of the Huntington location, which opened about two years ago, had been asking owner John Tunney to open another. West Sayville was a popular suggestion, so Tunney spent a few days there perusing the shops and restaurants and talking to the locals.

    The people, the town itself, it was really just a familiar kind of place for me when I got there, he said.

    A lot of people like ordering things they cant really produce at home.

    For Tunney, its always been about the people at his restaurants, which also includes Besito, the Mexican restaurant with Long Island locations in Roslyn, West Islip and Huntington. Hes a self-proclaimed observation nut, something he called a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, hes not kidding when he says he notices a crooked photo. On the other, it helps him anticipate a customers needs.

    I see people responding to things, he said.

    The Shed has a welcoming feel from the moment guests walk into the restaurant and meet the hosts. Set inside a refurbished mansion, its stylish without being snobby. The white-brick interior has a slightly worn look. The blue-trimmed napkins and tablecloths are also white, and colorful artwork hangs (perfectly aligned) on the walls. But the staff doesnt rest on appearances. Tunney, a father of two, remembers being treated like a second-class diner when he brought his sons out to eat. At his restaurants, families with small children get an instant high chair and rapid snack. The staff is warm, ready to refill guests coffee or water cups before they notice theyre getting low.

    Everyone has something they need or want. We try to capture that for people every day, he said. Thats the job, not just serving food. Its giving people what they want before they ask for it.

    Tunneys children helped inspire him to open The Shed in Huntington.

    They love pancakes, cheeseburgers and grilled cheeses, he said. That discovery and my understanding of what the market was doing, which is heading towards the breakfast/lunch market and becoming a much different market than it was a few years ago, [made way] for The Shed.

    The West Sayville restaurant seats 96 indoors more than in Huntington which allows for shorter wait times during cooler months. Even with the parking lot full on a Saturday morning, there was a table for two available (The Shed does not take reservations). The menus are the same, and poached eggs remain a favorite.

    A lot of people like ordering things they cant really produce at home, Tunney said. That makes it a tickle-the-senses experience. Its special.

    The farmers breakfast (grilled filet mignon tips, two eggs any style, home fries and greens) is hearty and can easily take a diner from brunch to dinner. Lighter fare includes the green scramble (broccoli, spinach, zucchini, scallion, kale pesto, Gouda and dressed greens). The Shed is experimenting with specials, like red velvet pancakes.

    And Tunney is mulling expansion. He said two more locations are in the works, potentially for this year, but is mum on where they are as he works to finalize the real estate.

    There are definitely a few more coming and soon, he said. There are a lot of people who would like a Shed in their neighborhood. We get so much fan mail.

    Continue reading here:
    Eat The Shed finds second home in West Sayville Ask and you shall receive. That's how - Northforker

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