July 11, 2015: Human health, wine and weather

So far on Sciengist we have discussed several aspects of human health, in particular heart disease and the importance of our microbiome. We have navigated the science behind a cosmetic wonder-balm, and talked about genitals, moths and weather.

We also thought it was quite fitting to cover white wine, red wine and especially sparkling wine, considering we at Sciengist are chilling the Champagne as we speak, in preparation for our official public launch tomorrow!

Here is Sciengist so far:

Peyer’s Patches in our small intestine, are like the ‘bouncers’ checking IDs before anything we consume reaches our colon ‘nightclub’

Swiss anatomist, Johann Peyer (Image: http://img.zvab.com)

Swiss anatomist, Johann Peyer (Image: http://img.zvab.com)

There are more bacterial cells in your colon than your own cells in the rest of your body.

A healthy microbiome ecosystem in the colon may have far reaching health effects.

Read more!

A high fibre diet during pregnancy may reduce the chances of the unborn child developing asthma

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables. https://runthreeseven.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/organic-fruit-and-vegetables-whats-the-difference/

Fresh fruit and vegetables feed the microbiome
(Image: https://runthreeseven.wordpress.com)

 

 

A diet high in fibre is not only beneficial to a pregnant woman, but also her unborn offspring.

A healthy microbiome, fed by fibre (both soluble, non-soluble and resistant starches) is known for its many benefits in varied body systems.

There is now new evidence to support the positive impacts passed on to the unborn child!

Read more!

An expensive gamble, but apricot kernel oil has the potential to be a wonder-balm

Apricot kernel oil is sold as a luxurious cosmetic wonder-balm ©Sciengist

Apricot kernel oil is sold as a luxurious cosmetic wonder-balm ©Sciengist

Apricot kernel extracts may help fight bacterial and yeast infections and contain some interesting nutrients but it is not completely known whether our bodies can access them through our skin.

Regardless, apricot kernel oil is a very effective carrier ointment.

Interestingly, it apricot kernels contain very powerful fatty acids, some of which help reduce bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol and are thought to effectively reduce blood pressure.

Read more!

Hibernating mimics the human body’s reaction during cardiac arrest – without the long-term organ damage

Tulasi Ram's research on hibernation gained world-wide recognition, a truly inspiring story © Sciengist

Tulasi Ram's research on hibernation gained world-wide recognition, a truly inspiring story ©
Sciengist

Novel research published in 2011 by Dr Jinka, involved successful induction of hibernation in squirrels.

The state of hibernation is similar to what the human body experiences during cardiac arrest however, the rodents come out of hibernation without any damage to their heart, brain or other vital organs.

Dr Jinka’s research has opened up the potential for therapeutic hypothermia in cardiac arrest patients, applying the principals governing hibernation to humans, with an eventual goal of improving survival and neurological recovery after cardiac arrest.

Read more!

Despite consuming a diet relatively high in fat, the French suffer less heart disease, known as the French Paradox

Red wine, the French Paradox and Resveratrol

Red wine, the French Paradox and Resveratrol ©Sciengist

 

Research into the French Paradox began in the 1990s and proposed that the regular consumption of red wine (in moderation) may explain why France has very low rates of overweight and obese individuals, and low rates of heart disease.

Alcohol can increase the quantity of good and healthy fats which act by removing cholesterol from tissues.

But red wine also contains Resveratrol, high in antioxidants and antiplatelet activities which prevent clogging of blood vessels and maintain healthy blood flow to the heart.

Read more!

Women, particularly below the age of 50, have significantly lower alcohol enzyme activity than young men

Young men and their alcohol. Do not try this at home.

Young men and their alcohol. Do not try this at home (Image: www.alpabrpad.com)

A stomach enzyme (ADH) is responsible for breaking down alcohol and allowing the body to metabolise it.

Women and elderly men have significantly lower activity of this enzyme than young men.

Thus, less alcohol can be broken down and more is available to enter the bloodstream. This also makes women and elderly men more vulnerable to the negative effects, diseases and complications of alcohol.

Read more!

Sparkling wine undergoes a secondary fermentation within an incredibly strong, sealed, bottle, producing and trapping carbon dioxide

Champagne is well known for its characteristic bubbles  Sciengist

Champagne is well known for its characteristic bubbles  Sciengist

When wine ferments, yeast converts sugars into cellular energy, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide.

When the carbon dioxide is trapped in the bottle by a cork, the characteristic bubbles are produced but the bottle is required to withstand 6kg/cm2 of pressure from the build-up.

Hence, homemade sparkling wine using a nice Riesling and your Sodastream is not the best idea!

Read more!

Australian winegrowers have harvested Riesling in February of this year, for the very first time

Riesling was harvested in February for the first time

Riesling was harvested in February for the first time (Image: www.azureazure.com)

Wine grape harvests have shifted 20 days in the last 25 years due to climate change but also due to wine science.

Research has shown wine grape harvests have been moving forward by 0.8 days per year.

Partially due to climate change but also due to more effective and efficient viticulture methods.

Read more!

A simple home experiment can demonstrate how raindrops are formed through evaporation, condensation and precipitation

A simple, home-made experiment showing rain drop formation ©Sciengist

A simple, home-made experiment showing rain drop formation ©Sciengist

 

Evaporation occurs after water vapour is heated and caused to rise.

When the vapour cools again in the atmosphere, it condenses before the droplets come together, become heavier and fall, as rain (precipitation).

Read more!

If humans were magpies, they would have balls the size of their head right now!

Flying around with large testes is an evolutionary no-no (Image: http://www.amazingaustralia.com.au)

Flying around with large testes is an evolutionary no-no (Image: www.amazingaustralia.com.au)

Soon after the Winter Solstice, the testes of the Eurasian magpie increase from around 10mm3 to a whopping 200m3.

That would be the equivalent to a human male's testes growing to the size of his head when he is ready to mate!

Men would have to have gigantic underwear and sport would be called off!

Read more!

Moths, mouths and genitals all have frenula

A frenulum is a connective or coupling mechanism (Image: www.nature.berkeley.edu)

A frenulum is a connective or coupling mechanism (Image: www.nature.berkeley.edu)

A single frenulum may be a skin fold, a ridge of tissue or a bristle or row of bristles.

A frenulum acts as a connective membrane in support or restraint of an adjacent 'part' or tissue.

Moths hold their fore- and hind wings together with frenula, our mouths are full of frenula and both male and female genitals have frenula!

Read more!

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