Blog archives



This Giant Treadmill Holds 10 Runners at Once

Oxford Fit­ness(NEW YORK) — With all 50 states inch­ing below the freez­ing mark this week, run­ners are hit­ting the tread­mill in droves. Now, 10 indoor ath­letes can hop on the same tread­mill all at once, thanks to this extra-large mill designed by Chilean com­pany, Oxford Fitness.

The gar­gan­tuan tread­mill is built on a scale four times larger than a “run of the mill” machine. It is 5 meters high, 3 meters wide and 6 meters long. Speed increases in incre­ments of just over half a mile per hour all the way up to roughly 10 miles per hour, or a 6-minute per mile pace.

Scott Dou­glas, the senior con­tent edi­tor for Runner’s World mag­a­zine, said it was not entirely clear how users reach the con­trol but­tons. The com­pany could not imme­di­ately be reached for com­ment, but a video shows some­one on a lad­der hit­ting the controls.

Over the week­end, Oxford plans to host a pair of two-hour races on the machine in San­ti­ago, Chile, accord­ing to Douglas.

For the first of two races, the treadmill’s speed will be set at a steady 6 miles per hour to test sta­mina. Dur­ing the sec­ond race things get a lit­tle more inter­est­ing: Dou­glas said that orga­niz­ers will grad­u­ally edge up the pace so that run­ners who can’t keep up get ejected off the back. The last run­ner remain­ing upright and on board will be declared the winner.

Dou­glas, a 60 mile a week run­ner who owns a tread­mill he hardly ever uses, said he didn’t think the XL tread­mill was the worst idea.

When you run out­doors with a friend, you nat­u­rally lock into a pace so I don’t see why it would be a big deal to do the same on a tread­mill,” he said.

Oxford Fit­ness and its cre­ative part­ner, 10:10, plan a national tour with the machine and hope to lure Erwin Valdeben­ito, the Chilean holder of a Guin­ness World Record for run­ning 24 hours non-stop on a reg­u­lar tread­mill, to super-size his efforts on their mill.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


How Zero Gravity Affects Men and Women Differently

NASA(NEW YORK) — With an upcom­ing mis­sion to Mars, NASA is study­ing the ways that liv­ing in space affects both men and women.

In a study pub­lished this month in Jour­nal of Women’s Health, researchers from NASA and National Space Bio­med­ical Research Insti­tute (NSBRI) went through decades of data to under­stand how liv­ing in zero grav­ity takes a toll on both men and women.

The team reviewed data on the 534 peo­ple to have flown in space at the time of the study, includ­ing 57 women, and stud­ied car­dio­vas­cu­lar, repro­duc­tive, mus­cu­loskele­tal, immuno­log­i­cal and behav­ioral health.

Changes in zero grav­ity included worse vision prob­lems among some men, cal­cium loss for both sexes, and for some female astro­nauts an inabil­ity to stand for long peri­ods with­out faint­ing after land­ing back on Earth, accord­ing to the study.

Dr. Sar­a­lyn Mark, a lead author on the study and a senior med­ical adviser at NASA, told ABC News that one ongo­ing prob­lem for those fly­ing in space is that the eye and even eye­ball can be affected by zero gravity.

While only a small por­tion of astro­nauts were stud­ied, 82 per­cent of male astro­nauts, or 14 out of 17, were found to have suf­fered from changes to their vision that researchers called visual impair­ment intracra­nial pres­sure, or VIIP.

They called the impair­ment “one of the most seri­ous spaceflight-related health risks.”

While a large major­ity of the male astro­nauts had a prob­lem, sta­tis­ti­cally fewer women were struck with the same symp­toms. Only 62 per­cent, or five out of eight female astro­nauts, reported the same symp­toms and none had as severe symp­toms as some of the male astro­nauts. Researchers were exam­in­ing if the women’s age, hor­mones or vas­cu­lar health helped them fare bet­ter in space.

While male astro­nauts bat­tled to keep their eye­sight, female astro­nauts have faced other dif­fi­cul­ties back on terra firma. Female astro­nauts were more likely to faint while stand­ing when they ini­tially come back to Earth, the study found.

Causes for these faint­ing inci­dents could range from a loss of plasma vol­ume in space to the dif­fer­ent ways men and women’s car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tems react to stress, Mark said.

Some have fainted, some feel like they’re going to faint,” Mark said of the female astro­nauts. “If you’re going to Mars, you need to be able to leave your space vehi­cle and per­form your duties.”

In other cases, both men and women have faced sim­i­lar prob­lems, includ­ing “space motion sick­ness.” Women in space tend to report more motion sick­ness as they leave Earth and enter the space sta­tion, whereas men report feel­ing queasy more often as they return to Earth, the study found.

By review­ing the find­ings, NASA sci­en­tists are hop­ing to develop devices or med­ica­tion for spe­cific prob­lems faced by both men and women as they travel into space or even to Mars, Mark said.

It’s not a ques­tion of who is bet­ter equipped but really design­ing spe­cific mea­sures to pro­tect men and women,” Mark said.

Dr. Bette Sigel, exec­u­tive sec­re­tary for NASA’s Human Explo­ration and Oper­a­tions Com­mit­tee and a co-author of the study, said it’s impor­tant to rec­og­nize dif­fer­ences between female and male astro­nauts to ensure that appro­pri­ate and tai­lored steps are taken to pro­tect the health of every­one in space.

The real point is if we are plan­ning to fly both men and women on long dura­tion [space­flights] we want to make sure that the coun­ter­mea­sures work for both men and women,” Sigel said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


How to Shovel Snow Without Having a Heart Attack

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Fluffy, white snow may be the stuff of hol­i­day greet­ing cards but, to car­di­ol­o­gists, it’s a heart attack wait­ing to happen.

That’s why they call it “heart attack snow,” said Dr. Clyde Yancy, chief of car­di­ol­ogy at North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity Fein­berg School of Med­i­cine. It’s heavy and peo­ple try to clear it too quickly for their own good.

Already, the season’s first big snow­storm in Buf­falo, New York, has led to sev­eral deaths, includ­ing at least three peo­ple who had heart attacks while shoveling.

Blood ves­sels are tighter in the cold weather, mak­ing it harder for blood to pass through them. Com­bine that with the stress of phys­i­cal activ­ity, and it can mean dis­as­ter for some unsus­pect­ing shov­el­ers, Yancy said.

Yancy, a spokesman for the Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion, advises shov­el­ers not to rush, to do the work in chunks and to avoid alco­holic bev­er­ages on the job.

It’s a mis­nomer that peo­ple believe hav­ing an alco­holic bev­er­age will warm them up,” he said. “It puts the heart at more risk.”

Accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion, peo­ple also shouldn’t eat a big meal before­hand, and, if pos­si­ble, they should use a smaller shovel to avoid lift­ing heavy weight.

Yancy sug­gested cer­tain peo­ple skip shov­el­ing altogether.

If you know you already have heart dis­ease, maybe a lit­tle bit of snow in dri­ve­way is not so bad,” he said.

Shov­el­ing may be asso­ci­ated with heart attacks every year, but it’s not the only win­ter heart attack haz­ard, Yancy said.

A num­ber of things are really dif­fer­ent in the win­ter sea­son that can have direct bear­ing on your heart health,” he said. “Win­ter, itself, is a risk factor.”

Stress from the hol­i­days and changes in day­light con­tribute to heart attacks in the win­ter — even for peo­ple who travel south for the cold months, he said.

And peo­ple are most at-risk for heart attacks when they wake up in the morn­ing because their hor­mone lev­els are dif­fer­ent and their blood is “stick­ier,” Yancy said.

The flu and hypother­mia also can con­tribute to heart attacks.

We should all real­ize that, over the win­ter sea­son, we’re just more vul­ner­a­ble,” Yancy said. “Take it easy.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Why Your Mom Was Wrong About Cold Weather and the Flu

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Your mom or dad prob­a­bly told you to bun­dle up against frigid tem­per­a­tures like the ones hit­ting much of the United States right now. That’s good advice if you want to stay warm and avoid frost­bite or hypother­mia — but they were wrong if they thought they were pro­tect­ing you against colds and the flu.

Grandma was being good-hearted to tell us to put on mit­tens,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infec­tious dis­ease expert at Van­der­bilt Uni­ver­sity School of Med­i­cine, but a per­son is not more likely to catch a cold or flu because they’re freez­ing, accord­ing to health experts.

That’s because get­ting sick has much more to do with how peo­ple are exposed to cold and flu viruses.

In fact, there are two main the­o­ries for why cold and flu sea­son peaks in win­ter and nei­ther of them revolves around peo­ple being cold.

When a per­son with a res­pi­ra­tory virus coughs or sneezes, the virus escapes the host via a small droplet. In colder months, the virus can more eas­ily remain in the air to infect another per­son, Schaffner said.

When that mois­ture evap­o­rates, that virus in its lit­tle core can be in the air for longer…and then inhaled by party [two], which causes the infec­tion,” he said.

It’s also likely that the more peo­ple stay indoors or in school, in close con­tact, the more chances viruses get to spread, Schaffner said.

It may be a com­bi­na­tion of those things,” he added. “[Influenza is] pick­ing up right about now. It will usu­ally peak in February.”

Dr. Stephen Morse, an infec­tious dis­ease expert at the Colum­bia Mail­man School of Pub­lic Health, said school rooms, in par­tic­u­lar, can lead to out­breaks of the flu because chil­dren are packed together and haven’t built up an immune response to com­bat dif­fer­ent flu strains.

Cer­tainly, den­sity, hav­ing peo­ple close together,” can help spread dis­ease, said Morse. “Kids always have runny noses and are play­ing together.”

Schaffner added that that there is no truth to the myth that tem­per­a­ture changes will make peo­ple sick.

Because cold and flu sea­son occurs dur­ing the win­ter and we see the change in the temperature…we attribute our infec­tion to the change in tem­per­a­ture,” Schaffner said. “But they’re not causally related.”

Most med­ical experts believe flu is spread mainly by droplets released when an infected per­son coughs or sneezes, accord­ing to the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention.

About 5 to 20 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion is infected with the flu every year, accord­ing to the CDC. Deaths asso­ci­ated with the flu have ranged between 3,000 to 49,000 annu­ally accord­ing to the CDC.

Schaffner said the best advice for peo­ple want­ing to avoid get­ting sick this year is wash their hands often and be sure to get a flu shot.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Chemical in Antibacterial Soap Promoted Tumor Growth in Mice

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — A chem­i­cal in antibac­te­r­ial soap pro­moted liver tumor growth in mice, researchers found.

Researchers at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Diego School of Med­i­cine stud­ied the effects of tri­closan — an antimi­cro­bial found in antibac­te­r­ial soaps, tooth­paste, body wash and other com­mon house­hold items — on mice, and said the results shocked them.

It’s not a direct car­cino­gen,” said study author Robert Tukey, a pro­fes­sor of chem­istry, bio­chem­istry and phar­ma­col­ogy at UCSD. “It’s a tumor promoter.”

In other words, expo­sure to tri­closan encour­aged exist­ing liver tumors to grow. The mice who were exposed to tri­closan had more tumors, big­ger tumors and more fre­quent tumors than mice who weren’t exposed to it, accord­ing to the study. The mice also devel­oped liver prob­lems, includ­ing scarring.

But experts not involved in the study cau­tioned that the mice were eat­ing and drink­ing the tri­closan in their food and water at “super high con­cen­tra­tions” for six months, which isn’t com­pa­ra­ble to using it for hand or hair washing.

There is a lit­tle bit of dis­tor­tion,” said Dr. Frank Esper, an infec­tious dis­eases spe­cial­ist at UH Rain­bow Babies & Children’s Hos­pi­tal in Cleve­land. “It’s 100 times or 1,000 times more than in things we nor­mally see in things like tooth­paste or soaps.”

Tukey said he and his col­leagues fed the chem­i­cal to the mice to make sure they got an equal, stan­dard dose for their exper­i­ment. He said it’s more tri­closan than a human is nor­mally exposed to, but it’s not yet clear whether low doses of the chem­i­cal would have the same tumor-promoting effect.

Esper said the study is a good first step, and that it shows that more research into how tri­closan affects humans is needed.

Tri­closan has been used since 1972, but last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion announced that it had no evi­dence to prove prod­ucts con­tain­ing it worked bet­ter than reg­u­lar soap. Indeed, the FDA said some stud­ies showed neg­a­tive effects of using soaps with tri­closan and tri­clo­car­ban, such as “bac­te­r­ial resis­tance and hor­monal effects.”

As a result, com­pa­nies have until next win­ter to prove that soaps con­tain­ing these chem­i­cals are bet­ter than old-fashioned bar soap.

When it comes to the soap aisle, Esper said he rec­om­mends reg­u­lar soap and good hand-washing tech­niques. The deter­gent in nor­mal soap, he said, is enough to kill the germs with­out pay­ing extra for soaps with added tri­closan and other “antibac­te­r­ial” chemicals.

Tukey said he doesn’t want to be alarmist, but he won’t use prod­ucts con­tain­ing triclosan.

We don’t see a lit­tle bit of tumors,” he said. “We see very full blown tumori­ge­n­e­sis. It’s on the extreme end of a tumor pro­moter and it does it very rapidly.”

The Amer­i­can Clean­ing Insti­tute, an indus­try trade group, said in a state­ment that the study does not prove tri­closan pro­motes tumor growth in humans.

The fact is that over­dos­ing mice with tri­closan at lev­els they would never likely come in con­tact with does not rep­re­sent a real­is­tic cir­cum­stance for humans,” said Paul DeLeo, ACI asso­ciate vice pres­i­dent of envi­ron­men­tal safety. “We’ve known for decades that the mouse is not a good model for human risk assess­ment of triclosan.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


The Germy Perils of a French Kiss

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There is per­haps noth­ing more roman­tic than a French kiss. Appar­ently there is also noth­ing more dis­gust­ingly filthy.

A new Dutch study pub­lished in the jour­nal Micro­biome found that swap­ping spit for about 10 sec­onds trans­fers up to 80 mil­lion bac­te­ria between lovers. The shorter part­ner in the smooch may take on even more germs because, as the researchers noted, saliva trav­els downward.

The longer a cou­ple stays together the more sim­i­lar the microbes in their mouth become, the study found. And the more than 700 dif­fer­ent species of bac­te­ria that live and breed in the mouth are mostly healthy and beneficial.

The Dutch study also revealed that cou­ples only exchange about 1,000 germs in a straight­for­ward lip lock. That’s fewer than found in a handshake.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Watch Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Bono in Powerful Ebola PSA

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A quiet hum plays in the back­ground as Matt Damon stares back at the camera.

The theme is wait­ing — and what he and other stars are wait­ing for is action against Ebola.

This is what wait­ing looks like…” flashes across the screen as another icon, Mor­gan Free­man, stares right back.

The pub­lic ser­vice announce­ment is spon­sored by ONE, Bono’s orga­ni­za­tion and fea­tures oth­ers like Ben Affleck, Con­nie Brit­ton and Will Ferrell.

The PSA adds, “We waited too long to react.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


New York Woman's Death Not Related to Ebola, Health Officials Say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A woman in New York City who died while being mon­i­tored for pos­si­ble expo­sure to Ebola has tested neg­a­tive for the virus, offi­cials with the city’s health depart­ment said Wednesday.

The woman died Tues­day. The cause of death was not imme­di­ately released. She had recently arrived from Guinea, one of three coun­tries that have been des­ig­nated for spe­cial atten­tion to trav­el­ers because of out­breaks of the lethal virus. Liberia and Sierra Leone are the other two countries.

The Ebola test was per­formed on the woman’s remains due to her travel his­tory and an abun­dance of cau­tion, a New York City offi­cial briefed on the woman’s death told ABC News. She had not exhib­ited any symp­toms of the virus before her death and since she was being mon­i­tored, she was being checked daily, offi­cials said.

There are about 350 peo­ple being mon­i­tored for Ebola by New York City authorities.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio