HEADLINES / TRENDS l STATS l RESEARCH l MEDIA l PEOPLE

January 2014

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Multis May Lower Cataract Risk

jude

Older men who take a daily multivitamin may reduce their chances of developing cataracts, according to a study in the journal Ophthalmology.

A study led by researchers from the Harvard Medical School analyzed data from the Physicians Health Study II, in which 11,497 male doctors took either a multivitamin or a placebo each day. None
of the volunteers had cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens, when the investigation started.

Study participants were followed for more than 11 years; those in the multi group saw their cataract risk drop by 9%.

Cataracts become more prevalent with age. According to the National Eye Institute, more than 68% of all Americans have some degree of cataracts development by age 80.

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ResveTranscendental Meditation

May Ease Anxiety

wine

In our interview with David Lynch (October 2013), the filmmaker talked about his promotion of Transcendental Meditation (TM) as a way to ease suffering and encourage calm, saying, “All sorts of negativity and stress starts lifting.”

Now a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine supports Lynch’s claims. Researchers at Georgia Regents University’s Institute of Public and Preventive Health analyzed
14 controlled trials, involving 1,295 participants, in which TM was used in the treatment of anxiety (including post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans).

The researchers concluded, “TM practice is more effective than treatment as usual and most alternative treatments, with the greatest effects observed in individuals with
high anxiety.”

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NUMBERS

Boomers Not As Healthy

As Parents

think

32%

Baby boomer parents who described their health as “excellent” when they were 46 to 64 years old

13%

Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) who did so at those ages

52%

Boomers who reported no physical activity

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine

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Drawing Back the Curtains

on Life’s ‘Invisible Worlds’

eye

Invisible Worlds: Exploring Microcosms
By Julie Coquart
h.f. ullman publishing
208 pages

Coffee tables provide relatively little space to accommodate many of the best coffee table books, but this large-format book is one for which room should be made available front and center. It comprises 99 photos of objects in nature, biology, chemistry, medicine, mineralogy and textiles, and represents the best of microphotography. Most have been taken by scientific researchers.

Invisible Worlds is at once a breathtaking scientific journey, a work of art and the basis for a spiritual awakening. Even more than that, by showing how beautiful these objects are in their most basic forms, these photographs make science and our potential to understand life less daunting.

Magnified up to thousands of times, the objects have little or, in most cases, no resemblance to their larger reality and are magnificent without the viewer knowing what they are. What look like rows of neatly lined up rose petals are in fact part of the surface of a cat’s tongue. What might be an underwater cave is a sweat pore.

Indeed, author Julie Coquart suggests that readers flip through the book in any order they want, but to engage in a similar guessing game by avoiding reading the explanations right away.

Coquart’s enticing introduction provides a fascinating glimpse into the history and techniques of optical microscopy, also known as light microscopy. Though it is difficult to pinpoint the exact date of the invention of optical microscopy, Coquart traces to 1667 the first microscope equipped with three lenses. That’s when its inventor, Robert Hooke, used it to observe “evenly spaced, air-filled
pockets” in cork, and these structures that resembled monks’ cells earned the name “cells.”

There is plenty here to please the naturalist and health enthusiast. For instance, what resembles milky globules from the mind of a science-fiction film’s set director is actually a section of sage leaf. As Coquart explains, sage was seen as a universal remedy during the Middle Ages, and today is mainly cultivated for its essential oil, used in making vermouths, liqueurs and perfumes.

Page after page, this book puts on display the building blocks of life in all their inspirational glory, making a journey to these invisible worlds well worth the trip.

Invisible Worlds is among our picks of notable books of 2013. For a look, visit energytimes.com. —A.R.


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