Sunday Brain Indigestion


A study in mice and humans suggests that bacteria in the gut can influence the structure of the brain’s blood vessels, and may be responsible for producing malformations that can lead to stroke or epilepsy. The research, published in Nature, adds to an emerging picture that connects intestinal microbes and disorders of the nervous system. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are clusters of dilated, thin-walled blood vessels that can lead to seizures or stroke when blood leaks into the surrounding brain tissue. A team of scientists at the University of Pennsylvania investigated the mechanisms that cause CCM lesions to form in genetically engineered mice and discovered an unexpected link to bacteria in the gut. When bacteria were eliminated the number of lesions was greatly diminished.



About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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11 Responses to Sunday Brain Indigestion

  1. Micki says:

    From the magazine, THE WEEK, May 26, 2017 issue:

    Ransomware attack roils the globe

    Britain’s National Health Service was hit.

    “You know how people always talk about the Big One?” asked Lily Hay Newman Well, “this looks a whole lot like it.” Last Friday, a global cyberattack began freezing more than 300,000 computers in some 150 countries, wreaking havoc on businesses, governments, and universities. Hospitals in Britain were forced to cancel surgeries and divert ambulances; companies like FedEx, Renault, and Spanish telecom Telefonica had to suspend some operations; and in China, more than 20,000 gas stations owned by the state-run oil company had their payment systems taken offline.

    The culprit was a strain of malicious software known as ransomware; spread by email, it locks users out of their computers and threatens to destroy their data unless a ransom is paid. In this case, a virus dubbed “WannaCry” exploited a bug in outdated versions of Microsoft Windows and demanded $300 in the cryptocurrency bitcoin. The exploit appears to come from a stolen cache of cyberweapons developed by the National Security Agency and leaked online by hackers last month. Digital clues, security experts say, point to North Korea as a possible source of the attacks.

    The attacks would have been far worse if it hadn’t been for a 22-year-old security researcher in Britain who spotted a “kill switch” embedded in WannaCry’s code, said Tim Bradshaw in theFinancial Times. That, along with an emergency software fix released by Microsoft, slowed the virus’ spread. But that victory “could be short-lived.” Ransomware attacks have increased 50 percent in the past year alone, costing businesses upward of $1 billion. Experts say the best way to protect yourself is to never click on attachments from an unfamiliar email, and “to back up your data frequently so that you can go back to a recent archive in the event of an attack.”

    We dodged a bullet with this one—the next major cyberattack “may not have a convenient kill switch,” said Zeynep Tufekci in The New York Times. Microsoft deserves part of the blame, because it decided in recent years to stop issuing security patches for outdated Windows versions unless customers paid for pricey “custom” support. It was the NSA that laid the groundwork for this cyberweapon, said Leonid Bershidsky in, by creating a Windows exploit that wound up in the hands of criminals. That hacking tool was clearly designed to target antiquated civilian computer systems that run utilities like railroads and power plants. But while it may be tempting for the NSA to have the power to “shut down an adversary’s power grid or hospital system,” that’s “as unethical as shooting or torturing the civilians in war.” Governments need to be more responsible about the digital weapons they create. Last week’s attack shows that “if they have a piece of malware, it’s highly likely that even small-time criminals will have it, too.”

    May 26, 2017


  2. David B. Benson says:

    Overdressed for the 77 °F weather.


  3. David B. Benson says:

    TVD bridge route in 51 minutes again. No wildlife observed.


  4. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    David B. Benson says:
    May 20, 2017 at 7:00 PM

    As I understand the matter, Microsoft agreed to provide free security upgrades for XP.

    That’s what I read, too, but I couldn’t find the patch out there. Maybe I’m just getting dumber every day, but I gave up looking. Too aggravating.


  5. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    jimhitchcock says:
    May 20, 2017 at 5:37 PM

    I chased 2 mice out of my Sleep Number pump today, the 2nd skedaddled when I activated the pump. NOW I know why it no longer works.

    Damn mice, while they’re busily settling in they alleviated their boredom by chewing on important things, like our wiring.


  6. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    Jill and I bought our outdoor plants this morning. Hers are all planted already, including all the seeds for the vegetable garden. Mine are still sitting out there waiting for me to weed the gardens where they go. Will try to get to it this week sometime.

    Bob’s brother and his wife are driving up from Ohio to visit Saturday. I have to cook, dammit. I think I figured out what to do that won’t take too much effort except EVERYthing takes time and planning.


    • Den says:

      BBQ ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, beans, corn-on-the-cob, macaroni salad, potato salad, all of which can be purchased at a good grocery store saving tons of work.


  7. Den says:

    Quick! Hide!


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