Artificial sweeteners may exacerbate, rather than prevent, metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, a study suggests.
Calorie-free artificial sweeteners are often chosen by dieters in part because they are thought not to raise blood sugar levels.
In Wednesday’s issue of the journal Nature, researchers report that artificial sweeteners increase the blood sugar levels in both mice and humans by interfering with microbes in the gut.Increased blood sugar levels are an early indicator of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease.
The increase in consumption of artificial sweeteners coincides with the obesity and diabetes epidemics, Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and his co-authors said.
"Our findings suggest that non-caloric artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight."
Link to gut bacteria
The study included a series of experiments.
Mice whose drinking water was supplemented with glucose and a sweetener developed glucose intolerance compared with mice drinking water alone, or water with just sugar in it. The effect occurred both in mice fed normal chow and those on a high-fat diet.
When antibiotics were used to kill off gut bacteria, the artificial sweetener effect on glucose intolerance in mice fed either diet was restored to normal.
Taken together, the data indicate that artificial sweeteners “may contribute to, rather than alleviate, obesity-related metabolic conditions, by altering the composition and function of bacterial populations in the gut,” Cathryn Nagler and Taylor Feehley of the pathology department at the University of Chicago said in a journal commentary.
In the human part of the research, gut bacteria were analyzed from 381 non-diabetics averaging age 43 who were participating in an ongoing nutrition study. They found differences in the gut bacteria among those who consumed artificial sweeteners compared with those who did not.
Artificial sweetener consumers showed “markers” for diabetes, such as raised blood sugar levels and glucose intolerance.
More research needed
In the final portion of the study, seven human volunteers who didn’t normally consume artificial sweeteners added it to their diets for seven days. After four days, blood glucose levels rose and the makeup of their gut bacteria changed in half of the participants, just as in the mice experiment.
Thank you so fucking much.
im in teaaars
This is amazing. I love this man.
Do I really need to say anything about this? For me, this is what life is about. Compassion, care, 2nd chances, putting yourself out there, respecting life - all life, kindness, giving —- it’s all good when a life can be saved.
Thanks for making me cry jossisgod
It is heartbreaking to see animals like this, so sooooo glad this had a happy ending!!!!
A Stirling engine powered by the thermal energy in a hand.
We’ve never called a photo of a spider “adorable” before, so this is a first!
This photo of a jumping spider carrying her baby was taken by Jong Atmosfera.
More than 3,300 years ago, in a newly built city in Egypt, a woman with an incredibly elaborate hairstyle of lengthy hair extensions was laid to rest.
She was not mummified, her body simply being wrapped in a mat. When archaeologists uncovered her remains they found she wore “a very complex coiffure with approximately 70 extensions fastened in different layers and heights on the head,” writes Jolanda Bos, an archaeologist working on the Amarna Project, in an article recently published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.
Researchers don’t know her name, age or occupation, but she is one of hundreds of people, including many others whose hairstyles are still intact, who were buried in a cemetery near an ancient city now called Amarna.
so… uh, I think I found your problem.
patient with a white count of around 140,000/uL. normal range is about 4500-11,000/uL… our cutoff for a critical value is 40,000/uL so this is pretty high.
possibly a case of chronic lymphocytic leukemia since there weren’t any immature cells that I noticed, but 95% lymphocytes and several smudge cells (the purple amorphous blobs without any blue cytoplasm).
Your toothpaste may be full of plastic.
Earlier this year, Phoenix dental hygienist Trish Walraven began noticing tiny blue dots trapped in the spaces between the teeth and gums of her patients.
"I thought it was maybe a cleaning product, or something people were chewing," Walraven told WCYB 5 News in Virginia. "Some weeks I’ll see [it in] five or six patients."
After further investigation and consultation with colleagues, she discovered that the dots were polyethylene, a plastic used in products like garbage containers, grocery bags, bulletproof vests and even knee replacements.
Astronomers using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and ground observation have found an unlikely object in an improbable place — a monster black hole lurking inside one of the tiniest galaxies ever known.
The black hole is five times the mass of the one at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It is inside one of the densest galaxies known to date — the M60-UCD1 dwarf galaxy that crams 140 million stars within a diameter of about 300 light-years, which is only 1/500th of our galaxy’s diameter.
If you lived inside this dwarf galaxy, the night sky would dazzle with at least 1 million stars visible to the naked eye. Our nighttime sky as seen from Earth’s surface shows 4,000 stars.
The finding implies there are many other compact galaxies in the universe that contain supermassive black holes. The observation also suggests dwarf galaxies may actually be the stripped remnants of larger galaxies that were torn apart during collisions with other galaxies rather than small islands of stars born in isolation.
“We don’t know of any other way you could make a black hole so big in an object this small,” said University of Utah astronomer Anil Seth, lead author of an international study of the dwarf galaxy published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.
Seth’s team of astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini North 8-meter optical and infrared telescope on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea to observe M60-UCD1 and measure the black hole’s mass. The sharp Hubble images provide information about the galaxy’s diameter and stellar density. Gemini measures the stellar motions as affected by the black hole’s pull. These data are used to calculate the mass of the black hole.
Black holes are gravitationally collapsed, ultra-compact objects that have a gravitational pull so strong that even light cannot escape. Supermassive black holes — those with the mass of at least one million stars like our sun — are thought to be at the centers of many galaxies.
The black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy has the mass of four million suns. As heavy as that is, it is less than 0.01 percent of the Milky Way’s total mass. By comparison, the supermassive black hole at the center of M60-UCD1, which has the mass of 21 million suns, is a stunning 15 percent of the small galaxy’s total mass.
“That is pretty amazing, given that the Milky Way is 500 times larger and more than 1,000 times heavier than the dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1,” Seth said.
One explanation is that M60-UCD1 was once a large galaxy containing 10 billion stars, but then it passed very close to the center of an even larger galaxy, M60, and in that process all the stars and dark matter in the outer part of the galaxy were torn away and became part of M60.
The team believes that M60-UCD1 may eventually be pulled to fully merge with M60, which has its own monster black hole that weighs a whopping 4.5 billion solar masses, or more than 1,000 times bigger than the black hole in our galaxy. When that happens, the black holes in both galaxies also likely will merge. Both galaxies are 50 million light-years away.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington.
For images and more information about Hubble, visit:
Skulls of Marine Mammals (L to R)
- Bottlenose Dolphin - Tursiops truncatus
- Orca - Orcinus orca
- Dugong - Dugong Dugon
- West Indian Manatee - Trichechus manatus
- Steller’s Sea Cow - Hydromalis gigas
- Dwarf Sperm Whale - Kogia sima
- California Sea Lion - Zalophus californiaus
- Hooker’s Sea Lion- Phocarctos hookeri
- Minke Whale - Balaenoptera acutorostrata
- Crab Eater Seal - Lobodon carinophagus
Neuroscientists identify key role of language gene
Neuroscientists have found that a gene mutation that arose more than half a million years ago may be key to humans’ unique ability to produce and understand speech. Researchers from MIT and several European universities have shown that the human version of a gene called Foxp2 makes it easier to transform new experiences into routine procedures. When they engineered mice to express humanized Foxp2, the mice learned to run a maze much more quickly than normal mice. The findings suggest that Foxp2 may help humans with a key component of learning language — transforming experiences, such as hearing the word “glass” when we are shown a glass of water, into a nearly automatic association of that word with objects that look and function like glasses, says Ann Graybiel, an MIT Institute Professor, member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and a senior author of the study. “This really is an important brick in the wall saying that the form of the gene that allowed us to speak may have something to do with a special kind of learning, which takes us from having to make conscious associations in order to act to a nearly automatic-pilot way of acting based on the cues around us,” Graybiel says. Wolfgang Enard, a professor of anthropology and human genetics at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Germany, is also a senior author of the study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. The paper’s lead authors are Christiane Schreiweis, a former visiting graduate student at MIT, and Ulrich Bornschein of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany. All animal species communicate with each other, but humans have a unique ability to generate and comprehend language. Foxp2 is one of several genes that scientists believe may have contributed to the development of these linguistic skills. The gene was first identified in a group of family members who had severe difficulties in speaking and understanding speech, and who were found to carry a mutated version of the Foxp2 gene. In 2009, Svante Pääbo, director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and his team engineered mice to express the human form of the Foxp2 gene, which encodes a protein that differs from the mouse version by only two amino acids. His team found that these mice had longer dendrites — the slender extensions that neurons use to communicate with each other — in the striatum, a part of the brain implicated in habit formation. They were also better at forming new synapses, or connections between neurons. (via Neuroscientists identify key role of language gene — ScienceDaily)