Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Are viruses alive? Perhaps we’re asking the wrong question

This June 8, 2020 article from The Conversation goes into some depth on how we define life alters how we categorize living versus non-living things.

Viruses have some characteristics of living things as DNA, the ability to change animal and plant DNA, and the ability to evolve. However they do not have a cell structure or a stable internal environment.

The complexity of this question is furthered by posing questions of forms that seem to be life outside of earth. What would be the qualifiers? or the select indicators that life is present?

The article concludes life is a human construct. Nature, evolution, and life exist without human categories. So some theorize that viruses are just on an evolutionary continuum regardless if we call them living or not.

July 13, 2020 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment

Running shoes may cause injuries – but is going barefoot the fix?

From the April 23, 2020 article in The Conversation

About 100 years ago fashionable shoes started actually changing the shape of the foot! And a recent review concludes “wearing shoes changes the way we run and weakens the foot in a way that can contribute to many common sports injuries.” With ” between 35 and 50% of runners were injured at any one time. ” Most injuries were connected to muscles involved in movement.

Minimalist shoes may reduce injuries along with balance activities. And running barefoot will not guard against all injuries. Age, BMI, previous injuries, and a sedentary lifestyle are all injury factors no matter the shoe.

The article concludes stating “It’s likely that these factors might also make humans less conditioned to move how they did millions of years ago. This suggests a combination of getting more active, walking or running barefoot more often, and other conditioning exercises may help prevent further injuries in the future.”

So, don’t wholly blame the shoe or think a proper shoe alone is the answer!

July 13, 2020 Posted by | Consumer Safety, exercise | Leave a comment

Taking time to commune with nature increases feelings of connection to it, study shows

Feeling cooped up during this pandemic? Especially if you do not live near a natural area as a park or gardens? Communing with nature, even just by looking out a window with some wildlife, plants, or trees may help. As even growing something from seed inside one’s house may help.

On a related note, some Asian cultures take “nature baths”. That is they go out and walk in woods (clothed!) and just be one with their surroundings, letting go best they can of their everyday concerns.

The link here is to an article describing a study about undergraduate students and how they felt more connected with nature with their studies “in the field”. Many of the results also apply to “the rest of us!”.

Here’s the link–>

July 13, 2020 Posted by | Psychology | , | Leave a comment


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