https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/enough-sleep-mental-health-circadian/2021/04/29/b9a2a396-a91e-11eb-bca5-048b2759a489_story.html

Good sleep means more than getting enough hours. A consistent schedule matters, too.

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By Pam MooreApril 30, 2021 at 5:00 a.m. PDT

It’s a familiar question from your health-care provider: Are you getting enough sleep? Studies have shown that adequate sleep, between 7 and 9 hours for adults, can improve cognition, mood, and immune functioning. But new research reveals that it’s not just hours of sleep that count toward mental health benefits, it’s whether that sleep occurs on a regular or irregular schedule.

An NPJ Digital Medicine study published in February looked at the sleep habits of more than 2,000 first-year medical residents. The researchers found that variability in sleep habits significantly affected their mood and depression — no matter how many total hours they slept.

Yu Fang, the lead study author and researcher at the University of Michigan’s Neuroscience Institute, summarized the findings in an email: “Keeping a regular sleep schedule is as important as, if not more important than, having enough sleep time for one’s mental health.”

Though few of us work the same long, unpredictable hours as medical interns, the study’s findings are still relevant, the experts said, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, which hasn’t been kind to our mental health or our sleep schedules. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of depressive disorder in June last year was 24.3 percent, roughly four times higher than the prior year. Meanwhile, many at-home employees are working into the evening hours, and many Americans are suffering from “coronasomnia” due to chronic stress.

The pandemic is ruining our sleep. Experts say ‘coronasomnia’ could imperil public health.

Suzie Bertisch, associate physician and clinical director of behavioral sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, calls the Michigan study a “springboard” for discussing the emerging science supporting the importance of a consistent sleep schedule. Other recent research, including  a 2018 Lancet Psychiatry study, and  2017 and 2015 studies in the journal Sleep, has found that disrupting circadian rhythms is related to mental health issues and that depression has a stronger association with interrupted sleep than with sleep deprivation

Importance of good sleep

According to Seth Davis, a Denver-based adult sleep coach, sleep is vital to our physical and mental well-being. While we’re in dreamland, our brains are processing the new information we’ve learned that day, activating our immune systems and producing growth hormones to help our bodies repair and recover.

“If you’re getting a good night’s sleep, you should be able to fall asleep within about 20 minutes, and pretty much sleep through the night,” said Kelly Murray, a Chicago-based adult sleep coach. You should also feel refreshed when you rise and maintain steady energy throughout the day.

When your sleep suffers, your mood does, too, said Davis. Situations that would normally be annoying can feel catastrophic as your patience evaporates more quickly than usual.  “You might feel more moody and emotional,” he said.

Fatigue affects our mood because of our biology, according to Murray. “It’s really unnatural for humans to not get enough sleep.” She said when we’re sleep-deprived, our body reacts as if we’re in danger and activates the fight or flight system, which explains why we tend to overreact. This is consistent with research showing a relationship between elevated cortisol, a stress hormone, and sleep loss.

Circadian rhythm and sleep

While quantity of sleep matters, Bertisch said, “the timing of sleep is critical.” And the timing of sleep hinges on our circadian rhythm. The 24-hour circadian cycle determines the timing of hormonal fluctuations and variations in alertness and body temperature that prepare your body for wakefulness or sleep.

When you wake up, light exposure triggers the release of cortisol, “the alert hormone,” said Murray. As the day goes on, your cortisol levels decrease. Meanwhile, your body releases melatonin (the sleep hormone), about 12 to 14 hours after that initial cortisol surge.

It’s not just the pandemic. The moon may be messing with your sleep, too.

Because of circadian rhythms, “you can’t sleep on demand,” explains Bertisch. So if you need eight hours of sleep and you normally go to sleep at 11 p.m., you’ll rise around 7 a.m. But say one day you need to get up at 5 a.m. to make an early morning meeting. You probably won’t be able to fall asleep two hours earlier than usual the night before, because your body won’t be ready to sleep; therefore, you won’t get your usual eight hours.

Just like we generally can’t fall asleep on demand, we struggle to wake before the circadian rhythm has prepared our body to do so. According to physician Brian Gotkin, a pulmonary and sleep specialist at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., rising body temperature and cortisol levels signal your body to wake up; this process can be helped by light exposure. Then “the longer you’re awake, the more sleepy you get.”

Interrupting the cycle

If you stay up late to work or socialize and simply sleep longer the next morning to get your eight hours, you might think that’s okay. But any time you interrupt your natural schedule, said Gotkin, “you’re trying to do something your body doesn’t want to do.” People who sleep in over the weekend often feel out of sorts when they must get up earlier on Monday morning. Murray said this “social jet lag” occurs because your cortisol and melatonin levels are out of sync with your weekend schedule.

The specific mechanism by which sleep timing affects overall mental health is still not completely understood, said Fang, the researcher who studied the medical residents. But the link between inconsistent sleep schedules and mental health outcomes may have to do with sleep quality, said David T. Plante, a psychiatrist and medical director of the Wisconsin Institute for Sleep and Consciousness at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  “If you change the timing of when you’re sleeping, you can really affect the quality of your sleep,” he explained. Over time, “it can have a downstream effect on your overall well-being and mental health as well.”

Tips for maintaining the cycle

To maintain a consistent sleep schedule, it’s important to stay as “in sync” as possible with your natural circadian rhythm. Here are tips.

Wake at the same time every day
According to Davis, rising at the same time every day (or as close to it as possible), including weekends, is “one of the most powerful anchors to keep our circadian rhythm functioning regularly.” Bertisch suggests using an alarm to ensure a consistent wake time.

Eat and exercise at the same time
Try to eat and exercise at roughly the same times every day. Davis said this is particularly important if your schedule doesn’t permit you to get a sufficient amount of sleep. Keeping your other routines consistent offer “a cue for your circadian rhythm to stay on track.”

Also, avoid elevating your heart rate within three hours of your desired bedtime. According to Murray, a workout causes spikes in your cortisol levels and your body temperature, both of which should be decreasing in order to prepare your body for sleep.

Stick to a regular bedtime routine
Even if you can’t go to sleep at the same time every night, it’s important to prepare your body to wind down the same way every night. Murray suggests setting an alarm about 30 to 60 minutes before the time you plan to get into bed and avoiding light exposure and stimulation during this time. Dim the lights, unplug from work and avoid screens.

That said, if you have no problem falling asleep after watching a “Friends” rerun, there’s no reason to stop doing this, said Davis. He said the content itself, rather than the blue light exposure, is the biggest threat to good sleep. In other words, don’t doom-scroll before bed.

Keep your naps short
“Naps can be kind of tricky,” said Davis. Longer naps in particular can disrupt your circadian rhythm by pushing your bedtime later than usual. If you really need a midday fade, he suggests sticking to “power naps” of up to 30 minutes.

Nap time is the new coffee break. Here’s how to make the most of it.

Go outdoors
Murray suggests spending time outside (without sunglasses) as early in the day as possible. Even two minutes outdoors before 10 a.m. will help you perk up, she said: Our eyes have neurons that “take data points from the sunlight” to signal our brains to release cortisol. While some of us can get by with indoor light, Bertisch said, others need the brightness of natural light to improve their mood and alertness.

Going outdoors in the late afternoon can have the opposite effect, according to Murray. The distinct quality of late-day light (including the angle at which it hits your eyes and the ratio of the different colors of light), tells your body evening is approaching and boosts melatonin production.

“We are animals living on a spinning planet. One of the main drivers of when we sleep is what our circadian rhythm is and what our biological night is and that is largely determined by sunlight and timing of light exposure,” said Bertisch. “The best way to sleep is actually having better routines.”

https://www.zmescience.com/science/news-science/daytime-sleepiness-may-be-slowly-killing-you/


Daytime sleepiness may be slowly killing you

Scientists have found a link between shortened telomeres and excessive sleepiness.

Tibi Puiu by Tibi PuiuApril 29, 2021 in Health & MedicineNews

Sleep isn’t an option — it’s a biological necessity. Research is increasingly showing that forgoing the recommended bare minimum of seven hours of sleep at night can have dire consequences for your body’s health and mental wellbeing. Now, new research is casting new light on the link between sleep and longevity from a genetic perspective, showing excessive daytime sleepiness is negatively associated with a DNA marker for longevity.

Credit: Pixabay.

Healthy sleep, healthy chromosomes

Every day, every hour, every second one of the most important events in life is going on in your body—cells are dividing. Right now as you’re reading this sentence, somewhere cells are dividing, but each replication comes at a cost.

Due to the way DNA replication is performed in eukaryotic cells (that’s us!), the protective ends of our chromosomes, known as telomeres, shorten during these cellular replication cycles.ADVERTISEMENT

Telomeres have been likened to shoelace caps that protect the end of chromosomes from degradation. But just like a shoelace without a cap will unravel and eventually break its fabric, so will severely shortened telomeres trigger the malfunction of cellular division, a biological process known as senescence.

Over time, the accumulation of senescent cells is one of the leading factors contributing to aging. Research has linked shortened telomeres to cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, even bone loss. On the flip side, longer telomeres are tied to a longer lifespan and generally higher capacity for physical activity. For these reasons, telomere length can be used to gauge a person’s true biological age, which can be higher or lower than the actual chronological age, depending on the person.

In 2017, Joshua Bock, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, along with colleagues were interested in finding potential DNA markers associated with sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s supply of oxygen. Around 25 million Americans are believed to have some form of sleep apnea.ADVERTISEMENT

The study in question found that people with sleep apnea had longer than expected telomeres for their chronological age. This was peculiar since longer telomeres are associated with a longer lifespan. Yet previous research showed that sleepiness is associated with both cardiovascular risk and shorter telomeres.

In order to clear up with apparent contradiction, the researchers performed a new study using the same 170 blood samples from the original 2017 study. Back then, each participant also completed a questionnaire, including questions on whether or not they were experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness.

The participants were divided into four distinct groups: those with daytime sleepiness and sleep apnea, daytime sleepiness and no sleep apnea, no daytime sleepiness but with sleep apnea, and finally neither daytime sleepiness nor sleep apnea.

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This time, when the telomere lengths were measured the results made sense. When looking solely at those with excessive daytime sleepiness and those with both daytime sleepiness and sleep apnea, these participants had shorter than expected telomeres.

Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia) is a condition where people fall asleep repeatedly during the day; sometimes in the middle of eating a meal or during a conversation. The most common causes of excessive daytime sleepiness are sleep deprivation, obstructive sleep apnea, and sedating medications.

In light of these most recent findings, daytime sleepiness can also be connected to your chromosomes. Unfortunately, this means that daytime sleepiness may be a lot more concerning than previously believed since it is associated with a shorter lifespan.

“Sleep isn’t a luxury,” Bock told Inverse. “It’s something that you should do every day, like eating healthy and exercising. Sleep needs to be in that conversation.”

Before anyone freaks out about their napping routine, the researchers add the caveat that sleepiness is subjective. This is why Bock and colleagues plan on performing a new study in which the participants’ sleep patterns and overall sleepiness are more thoroughly assessed than by a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questionnaire. It’s also worth noting that it is still unclear how telomere length relates to lifespan quantitatively, in the sense that research has yet to uncover a formula that relates the number of missing base pairs in telomere length with the number of months or years crossed off your lifespan. But we’re getting there. 

https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2021/04/29/aanam-deep-brain-stimulation-benefits-sustained-parkinsons-study/

#AANAM – Deep Brain Stimulation Benefits Sustained for Years

BY PATRICIA INACIO PHD

IN NEWS.

#AANAM – Deep Brain Stimulation Benefits Sustained for Years

Click here to subscribe to the Parkinson’s News Today Newsletter! 4.2 (6)

Editor’s note: The Parkinson’s News Today team is providing in-depth coverage of the 2021 Virtual AAN Annual Meeting, held April 17–22. Go here to read stories from the conference.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) can lessen motor function impairments and reduce the need for medication for up to 10 years in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a new study shows.

Moreover, the effectiveness of DBS was maintained and independent of the brain region stimulated — either the subthalamic nucleus or the globus pallidus interna, both involved in motor control.

The results were presented in the poster “10 Year Clinical Outcomes of Subthalamic Nucleus versus Pallidal Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease: VA/NINDS CSP #468F” at the 2021 Virtual American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, which ran through April 22.

DBS is a well-established surgical treatment for Parkinson’s disease that involves implanting a device in the brain to stimulate with electrical impulses the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or the globus pallidus interna (GPi).

Previous studies have reported the effectiveness of DBS in improving motor function of people with Parkinson’s disease after three years, but longer-term follow-up studies were lacking, especially comparing the effectiveness of stimulating STN versus GPi.

“This is the longest follow up describing DBS outcomes comparing the two targets in a randomized cohort,” the researchers wrote.

The study, led by led by Jill Ostrem, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, assessed the outcomes — after years of follow-up — of 155 patients who enrolled the Phase 3 trial (NCT00056563), during which they were assigned randomly to undergo either STN-DBS or GPi-DBS.

Patients were evaluated after two years (70 patients in the STN-DBS group and 85 patients in GPi-DBS group), seven years (49 patients STN-DBS and 68 patients GPi-DBS), or 10 years (28 patients STN-DBS and 49 patients GPi-DBS).

The main goal was to assess changes in the motor score of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) in the off medication/on stimulation state. The UPDRS is a four-part scale that assesses signs and symptoms of the disease, in which higher scores indicate more severe impairments. At the start of the trial (baseline) the scores were 43.2 in both groups.

Additional parameters included tremor and bradykinesia (slowness or difficulty in movement) scores, as well as behavior and mood (UPDRS-I), activities of daily living (UPDRS-II) and complications linked with therapy (UPDRS-IV).

In both groups, the motor scores in UPDRS declined significantly across all times analyzed. In the group of STN-DBS, the scores declined from 43.2 to 27.7 after two years, to 34.4 after seven years, and to 28.3 after 10 years. In the group of GPi-DBS, the scores declined to 25.8 after two years, to 35.4 after seven years, and to 34 after 10 years.

While improvements were similar between both groups, researchers observed a trend favoring STN-DBS.

During the years of follow-up, tremor scores showed the greatest reduction, followed by rigidit. Improvements in bradykinesia were significantly greater after seven and 10-years of follow-up, specifically with STN-DBS.

Significant long-term improvements also were seen for mood and behavior (UPDRS-I), activities of daily living (UPDRS-II), as well as fewer complications linked with therapy (UPDRS-IV), regardless of the type of DBS.

Patients’ reported outcomes on quality of life, measured using the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39), stopped showing improvement after seven years in both groups.

The use of medication was reduced significantly over time in both STN-DBS and GPi-DBS, with no differences between both types of DBS stimulation.

Overall, these findings show that “DBS therapy had a significant and stable effect on motor function regardless of target over 10 years,” the researchers wrote.

“This is remarkable, given that [Parkinson’s disease] is a progressive neurodegenerative disease,” they added.Patricia Inacio PhDPatricia holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from University Nova de Lisboa, and has served as an author on several research projects and fellowships, as well as major grant applications for European Agencies. She has also served as a PhD student research assistant at the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Columbia University, New York.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2021/04/29/night-modes-smartphones-dont-help-you-sleep-better-says-study/4888385001/

Nighttime modes on smartphones don’t help with sleep, new research suggests

Brett MolinaUSA TODAY0:231:19https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.453.0_en.html#goog_938017638

Nighttime modes added to smartphones that use warmer colors to make displays easier to view don’t appear to help us fall asleep faster, new research suggests.

According to a study from Brigham Young University published in the journal Sleep Health, researchers found no difference between users with nighttime features turned on and those who didn’t use it at all.

The study is focused on the iOS feature Night Shift, introduced to iPhones in 2016. When turned on, it replaces bluer lights from your smartphone display with warmer colors at night, and then returns to normal during the day. The goal is to make the display easier on your eyes and decrease the use of blue light, which experts say can impact sleep.

For the study, researchers split participating adults ages 18 to 24 into three groups: users with Night Shift turned on, users who turned off Night Shift, and users who did not use their smartphone at all before bed. Participants were asked to spend at least eight hours in bed and wear accelerometers to record their sleep habits.

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The study found no differences in sleep outcomes such as quality of sleep or how long participants snoozed. Researchers then split participants into two groups: those who averaged seven hours of sleep and those who got less than six hours of sleep.

Results showed participants in the seven-hour group who didn’t use a phone at all experienced better quality sleep compared to smartphone users. No differences in sleep were shown in the six-hour sleep group, the study found.

“While there is a lot of evidence suggesting that blue light increases alertness and makes it more difficult to fall asleep, it is important to think about what portion of that stimulation is light emission versus other cognitive and psychological stimulations,” said Chad Jensen, a psychology professor at BYU and co-author on the study, in a statement.Get the Talking Tech newsletter in your inbox.

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This is not the first study to dispute the need for a smartphone mode to limit blue light. In 2019, a study from the University of Manchester suggested night modes on smartphones could send the brain mixed signals because blue colors are associated more with nighttime and sleep.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/nasa-mars-helicopter-ingenuity-latest-b1840366.html

NASA’S MARS HELICOPTER INGENUITY ‘PASSES’ ITS INITIAL TEST AND WILL NOW BE USED TO HELP WITH SCIENCE, SPACE AGENCY SAYS

Andrew Griffin@_andrew_griffin4 hours ago 1 comments

Nasa’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity has “graduated” out of its initial testing and will now be used to try and aid with scientific research, the space agency said.https://buy.tinypass.com/checkout/template/cacheableShow?aid=SEz5CAOYyJ&templateId=OT5OZRMVSXLJ&templateVariantId=OTV33PIX57HWG&offerId=fakeOfferId&experienceId=EXG6HYYM2MAQ&iframeId=offer_c23f79026872ee1a1bdf-0&displayMode=inline&widget=template

Instead of being abandoned at the end of the “30 days of Ingenuity” it was planned to last, the mission will now change into an “oeprations demonstration”, to see how it might help do science work.

Project manager MiMi Aung said the change of plan was like “Ingenuity is graduating” as it goes on to conduct more ambitious missions.Top ArticlesCoronavirus vaccine news – live: Jabs ‘work after first dose’ and UK infection levels continue to fallWhat should pro-Europeans do now? It is a difficult question – especially for Keir Starmer and LabourREAD MORELewis Hamilton tops second practice after early struggles at PortimaoITV cancels tonight’s Viewpoint finale in light of Noel Clarke allegationsMarilyn Manson sued for sexual assault, sex trafficking by Game of Thrones actorIsrael stampede: Dozens crushed to death at major religious festivalWhat should pro‑Europeans do now? It is a difficultquestion – especially for Labour | Andrew Gricehttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.453.0_en.html#goog_2128122867https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.453.0_en.html#goog_1732894686https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.453.0_en.html#goog_1432455573SKIP ADWhat should pro-Europeans do now? It is a difficult question – especially for Keir Starmer and Labour

That will help show how a rotorcraft like Ingenuity can be used to support science missions. It will be able to gather detailed data from above about the way the land is shaped, for instance.

It will do so in collaboration with Perseverance, the rover it travelled to the Martian surface with and which is currently surveying the red planet from the ground.

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Its next flight, its fourth in total, will see it fly 130 meters away from its current spot, and then back to the area known as “Wright Brothers Field”, the first airfield on another planet. During that long flight, it will gather mapping information that will be sent back to Earth and used to find Ingenuity another new home – and then it will use its fifth flight to travel to that airfield.

Nasa had initially suggested that the helicopter would go through its initial 30-day phase and then be abandoned, having hopefully proven its technical use. But the space agency has a habit of extending its mission beyond their initial expectations: the Hubble Space Telescope’s observations were planned to last 15 years, for instance, but it is now more than 30 years old and could last for decades more.

It also said that the initial flights would only constitute a technical demonstration, intended to prove the use of its technology in future missions. But it will now attempt to do science work with Ingenuity itself, exploring how it might be able to help its accompanying rover, Perseverance.about:blankhttps://788d6141e763defcacd99e6b70705e4d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmljavascript:void(0)✕

In all, the mission could last two months, since the technological demo will be added to the operations one.

Engineers did however caution that initial work had been done with an expected mission time of 30 Earth days, so that any extra time is a bonus and the helicopter could run into issues.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mood-microbe/202104/your-immune-system-is-aging-here-s-how-rejuvenate-it


Your Immune System Is Aging. Here’s How to Rejuvenate It.

An aging immune system leaves you vulnerable to disease and autoimmunity.

Posted Apr 28, 2021 |  Reviewed by Kaja Perina

THE BASICS

KEY POINTS

  • An aging immune system can malfunction, paradoxically becoming both too complacent and too reactive.
  • Inflammaging describes an improper increase in the innate immune system that promotes inflammation, mood disorders, and disease with age.
  • Immunosenescence describes an aging immune system populated by old, poorly functioning immune cells that may not protect against disease.
  • Immunity is closely linked to your gut microbes, providing you with a chance to rejuvenate your immune system.

Aging brings some rewards. Our acne clears up and we have a small chance of becoming wise. But most of the effects of aging are not so great. Wrinkles, stiff joints and forgetfulness are just a few of the things youngsters have to look forward to. But the worst insult may be the aging of our immune system.

AaronAmat/iStock

You can fix an aging immune system.Source: AaronAmat/iStock

It starts to behave badly as the years go by, with the built-in innate immune system ramping up inappropriately and your adaptive immune system declining in vigor. The thymus gland, located in the chest and the source of T-cells, shrinks to a fraction of its younger glory. The flow of fresh T-cells that have been pumped out for a lifetime is suddenly stifled around age 65. It’s almost as if the body has decided that it has learned enough about life’s novel pathogens.

That’s wrong for two reasons: one is that there are always plenty of new pathogens, including the latest killer coronavirus variants. The second reason is that old immune cells can forget. That is why, years after recovery from chicken pox, you can get shingles caused by the same virus. There’s a name for this: immunesenescence.

Like most of your cells, your immune cells also get old and they may fail to respond properly to both old and new pathogens. Perhaps worse yet, old degenerate immune receptors can get triggered by benign microbes and even self-molecules, leading to autoimmune diseases. Without a proper response to infection, the body can tip into a constant state of inflammation, especially with an improperly amped up innate system. There’s a name for this, too: inflammaging.

Side effects may include depression

Although aging itself may not contribute to mood problems like depression and anxiety, inflammation can. The connection between inflammation and the brain is well established, and is likely related to the increasingly fragile blood-brain barrier due to pathogens and the consequent counterattack by the immune system. Depression and anxiety can also alter the composition of gut microbes, creating a vicious cycle that can be hard to exit.article continues after advertisement

Along with the loss of fresh immune cells, there is an accumulation of senescent cells – those that have lost their utility but still hang around. The upshot is a gradual degradation of immunity, with a major loss of resistance to disease.

Inflammation by stealth

This all happens quietly, under the radar. It doesn’t take a major illness or even a cold to trigger inflammaging. Some of these changes make sense. For instance, we have less and less of immune-suppressing bifidobacteria as we age. Milk consumption requires bacteria like bifidobacteria to break down the complex milk sugars, which are otherwise indigestible. Mother’s milk actually contains beneficial bifidobacteria, along with the milk sugars, just to kick start the gut microbiota. But after weaning, there is less need for bifidobacteria, and so as you get older, you have fewer and fewer of these immune-calming microbes.

But other old microbial friends are lost because our diets are sometimes laughably bad. The best microbiota is a diverse microbiota, and as different bacterial species die out, that diversity diminishes. That can allow bully microbes to dominate which may cause grave problems. An unbalanced microbiota is called dysbiotic, and it can lead to a so-called “leaky gut”.

The gut is a delicate membrane that needs to allow nutrients to pass through while keeping bacteria out. If it gets leaky, it can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, stimulating an immune response. If it stays leaky, it can lead to chronic inflammation, the basis of dozens of diseases, from heart disease and diabetes to dementia. Your resilience to disease becomes compromised. In essence, inflammaging accelerates aging by boosting diseases of the elderly.

Self-owns

Another factor chipping away at microbial diversity is antibiotics. Each time you take oral antibiotics, you kill billions of healthy gut microbes along with the bad ones. Most of them bounce back, but some get permanently wiped out.

Another factor is reduced dietary choice. Sometimes we get stuck in our ways, which is fine if you have a Mediterranean diet, but not if you favor fast food. The more you limit your menu, the more entire species of microbes disappear from your gut. Sometimes it’s out of your hands: if you end up in assisted care, your gut health may boil down to the microbiotic awareness of the institution’s chef.article continues after advertisement

It sounds sadly inevitable, but there’s an out: we can adjust our odds by adjusting our gut microbes. A new study from the University of Birmingham in the UK by Jessica Conway and Niharika Duggal suggests that altering our gut microbiota has the potential to stop and even reverse immunesenescence.

Here’s what to do

First, since a healthy gut is a diverse gut, you need to cater to that diversity. A broad diet includes foods with a wide range of amino acids (from protein) and fiber (from vegetables). A Mediterranean diet is pretty close to ideal, with plenty of veggies and occasional meat, especially fish. But the real beauty of an established cuisine like Mediterranean is the sheer diversity of edibles.

Second, get some exercise. For reasons not entirely clear, exercise improves the diversity of gut microbes. Exercise improves your immune system as well and muscle is a good reservoir of amino acids should you need to fight off an infection. It doesn’t matter how old you are; you can generally build muscle at any age. It can be harder to do as you get older, but not impossible. Sadly for the seasoned couch sitter, exercise is good for many aspects of health.

Finally, there is some evidence that low calorie diets can expunge senescent cells. There are studies demonstrating the loss of these useless cells with fasting. Honest fasting for a day or so is serious business, so you want to talk to your doctor first. But short of all-day fasting is something called intermittent fasting where you try to get all your eating done in a 4-8 hour window. That seems to help kill old cells with a lot less trauma. Still, your doctor should be consulted for these fairly radical lifestyle changes.article continues after advertisement

Here’s what NOT to do

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Sure, you can have your favorite foods, but pace yourself. A burger should be a treat, not a lifestyle. Fries are not what dietitians mean by vegetables.

Also, try to eat less sugar. It’s not actually poison, but it tends to feed the less beneficial bacteria.

Lastly, watch the liquor. Alcohol has an unfortunate tendency to make the gut leaky. If you need a tipple, red wine might have an edge over other quaffs, but still in moderation.

Getting old may bring some gray hair, but it doesn’t have to make you sick. Your microbes are rooting for you to keep them healthy, and remarkably, they can return the favor.

References

Lauretani, Fulvio, Yari Longobucco, and Marcello Maggio. “Gut Microbiota and Motoric-Cognitive Frailty in Hospitalized Older Persons.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care 24, no. 3 (May 2021): 209–15.

Franceschi, Claudio, Paolo Garagnani, Paolo Parini, Cristina Giuliani, and Aurelia Santoro. “Inflammaging: A New Immune–Metabolic Viewpoint for Age-Related Diseases.” Nature Reviews Endocrinology 14, no. 10 (October 2018): 576–90.

Conway, Jessica, and Niharika A Duggal. “Ageing of the Gut Microbiome: Potential Influences on Immune Senescence and Inflammageing.” Ageing Research Reviews 68 (July 1, 2021): 101323.

https://mobilesyrup.com/2021/04/28/google-assistant-better-understanding-natural-human-language/

Google Assistant is getting better at understanding natural human language You can teach it your friends names now By Brad Bennett@thebradfadAPR 28, 2021 4:12 PM EDT0 COMMENTS Google announced a slate of new behind-the-scenes improvements coming to Google Assistant today to help it better understand natural human language. While smart speakers are undeniably helpful, a lot of the time, it seems like users need to speak to them in very specific ways to make sure their requests are properly understood. This takes some time to get used to and, for some people, makes them aggravating to use. Google has taken steps to address this issue by rolling out three new Assistant features to help remedy this. Teach Google your friends names The first feature allows users to tell Google how to enunciate the names of their contacts in case the virtual assistant doesn’t pronounce them properly. This makes it easier for you to speak to Google naturally when you ask it to call or text that contact. This is going to be available in the edit section of the contacts app, and it’s only available in English. Understanding context Since timers are such a popular feature to use Google Assistant devices for, Google is making it more natural. This means if you stumble your words or set multiple timers at a time, the Assitant should get better at recognizing them. To make this happen, the team rebuilt parts of Assitant with the BERT model that it used to make Search better in 2018. The real key with BERT is that it allows the system to process words in relation to one another instead of in a one-by-one order. So far, this is only going to apply to alarms and timers, but Google says it’s working to bring the functionality to more aspects of the virtual assistant. More natural conversations with Google on mobile The final addition to Assistant resides on your phone. Using the BERT model, Google Assistant can see what’s on your phone and reply naturally to that. The Google example shows someone asking about Miami, then asking about nice beaches. Since Assistant is using BERT, it knows that the previous question referenced Miami, so it expects the follow-up to be related to the same location. Source: Google 

Read more at MobileSyrup.comGoogle Assistant is getting better at understanding natural human language

https://insideevs.com/news/504461/cybertruck-cyberlandr-camper-50million-preorders/

Cybertruck Cyberlandr Camper Passed $50 Million In Pre-orders

The Cybertruck Cyberlandr Camper Passed $50 Million In Pre-orders

Apr 29, 2021 at 9:56pm ET3+

Michael Cantu

By: Michael Cantu

…and over 1,100 reservations so far.

Things for the CyberLandr are off to a great start even though the vehicle it’s designed for, the Tesla Cybertruck, is still in production. 

If you aren’t familiar with the CyberLandr, it’s a pop-out camper/overlander that completely folds into the Cybertruck’s vault (bed). The CyberLandr offers a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, and office all in one camper. Since it disappears in the vault, owners can basically take it anywhere the Cybertruck can go. It’s unlike anything else in the market. 

Many future Cybertruck owners love it because there have been over 1,000 preorders totaling over $50 million in future revenue. Co-founder Bill French said:

“We believe the enthusiasm is a direct result of people envisioning how this new adventure vehicle can improve their lives. People are telling us of many new uses for both wilderness and urban adventures. For example, parents at athletic matches, or the ability to boondock and overland to places previously inaccessible to a traditional RV. We estimate CyberLandr™ will be used 2-3 times more than traditional RVs because it is so easy to take with you.”

Lance King, CEO of Stream It, Inc., the company behind the CyberLandr said: 

“We conservatively estimate demand for CyberLandr™ at more than 10,000 units in 2022. This is why we are working with renowned lean manufacturing consultants Munro & Associates to help ensure high quality while we scale manufacturing to meet demand.”

Munro & Associates is a long-running engineering and manufacturing consulting firm started and led by Sandy Munro. We cover many of Sandy’s EV videos, including the time he interviewed Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Besides the preorder news, there is more good news for the CyberLandr. According to an email sent by the company:

  • We’ve received more than 1,100 CyberLandr™ reservations to date.
  • More than 8,000 CyberLandr™ enthusiasts have registered for the FREE Giveaway Contest!
  • $5k, $4k, and $3k reservation discounts are sold out.
  • Almost 300 media outlets have written stories and articles about CyberLandr™ and you can find a number of great Youtube videos about us and CyberLandr™.
  • Almost 200,000 views of our own CyberLandr™ YouTube videos, and an estimated 2 million YouTube views for all videos.

For more information on the CyberLandr click here for our complete review or here for the Cyberlandr’s website

More On The CyberLander And EV Campers Finally! A Camper Designed For EVs Just Hit The Market

Sources: Newswire, CyberLandr

https://electrek.co/2021/04/27/tesla-becoming-more-artificial-intelligence-robotic-company-elon-musk/

Tesla is becoming more of an artificial intelligence and robotic company, says Elon Musk

Fred Lambert

– Apr. 27th 2021 9:56 am ET

@FredericLambert

213 Comments

Elon Musk made the argument that Tesla is going to be known more as an artificial intelligence and robotic company.

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For a while now, Musk has been pushing this idea that investors shouldn’t just see Tesla as an automaker and energy company, but as a group of startups.

He argues that Tesla’s service centers are a startup, Tesla’s insurance company is a startup, Tesla’s automation group is a startup, etc.

In that vein, Musk now claims that artificial intelligence and robotics are going to be just as synonymous with Tesla as cars and energy.

The CEO commented during a conference call discussing Tesla’s Q1 2021 financial results:

Although right now people think of Tesla as a car company or as an energy company. I think long term, people will think of Tesla as much as an AI robotics company as we are a car company or an energy company. I think we are developing one of the strongest hardware and software AI teams in the world.

 Many people see self-driving cars as one of the first real-world applications of artificial intelligence and if they can solve it, Tesla’s cars will become robots with a form of AI in them.

Musk argued:

I think [self-driving] is one of the hardest technical problems that exists, that’s maybe ever existed. And really, in order to solve it, we basically need to solve a pretty significant part of artificial intelligence, specifically real-world artificial intelligence. And that sort of AI, the neural net needs to be compressed into a fairly small computer, a very efficient computer that was designed, but nonetheless, a small computer that’s using on the order of 70 or 80 watts. So this is a much harder problem than if you were you, say, 10,000 computers in a server room or something like that.

To give examples of Tesla becoming more of an AI company, Musk said that Tesla is developing a lot of tools from scratch when it comes to things like video labeling and neural net training.

Tesla is also still working on Dojo, a supercomputer to train Tesla’s self-driving AI. Musk has previously claimed that Tesla’s Dojo supercomputer will be capable of an exaFLOP, one quintillion (1018) floating-point operations per second, or 1,000 petaFLOPS – making it one of the most powerful computers in the world.

It will be optimized to train neural nets, and Musk said that they will make it available to other companies.

But what Tesla really needs to do to become an AI company is delivered on their promise of Full Self-Driving.

Yesterday, Musk again reiterated that he thinks it’s going to be solved this year: “I am highly confident that we will get this done.”