Are butterflies in the stomach a real thing, discovering the fountain of youth, the importance of knowing your cancer genome.  

What Causes a ‘Butterflies in the Stomach’ Sensation?

(Discover Magazine, 2/21/17, Bradley Elliott) 

What makes you nervous?  Public speaking, stepping up to take a key penalty shot or meeting a potential love interest?  Well – chances are you have experienced “butterflies in your stomach”.  Rather than actual butterflies bouncing around your large intestine, there is something more scientific going on—and it’s all down to your nervous system.  The human body is capable of looking after itself without too much voluntary thought. It quite happily regulates heart rate, blood flow and the distribution of nutrients around the body without you having to consciously intervene in any way—a process run by the autonomic nervous system (ANS).  So what’s this got to do with butterflies? One of the major roles of the ANS is to prepare you for what it thinks is about to happen. 

The power — and the fear — of knowing your cancer genome

(STAT News, 2/23/2017, Kathy Giusti)

Choosing knowledge can be a scary thing but when it comes to cancer, knowledge is power.  Potentially scary knowledge but knowledge nevertheless.  Knowing as much as you can about cancer lets you and your health care team act decisively in devising your treatment strategy. Even more important, it lets you act specifically in selecting treatments or clinical trials that might be best in treating your disease.

How Blood can be rejuvenated

(Science Daily, 2/23/2017, Lund University)

When we are young, our blood stem cells produce an even and well-balanced number of red and white blood cells according to need. As we age, however, the capacity of the blood stem cells to produce the number of blood cells we need declines.  For the first time, a research team at Lund University in Sweden has succeeded in rejuvenating blood stem cells with established reduced function in aging mice.  Have we finally discovered the fountain of youth?

 

 

 

—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola