what's the buzz.

what's the buzz.

Statins may help cut depression risk

Taking cholesterol-lowering statins may reduce the risk of developing depression in patients with heart disease, researchers suggest.

Mary Whooley, MD, a physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and her research team evaluated 965 heart disease patients for depression, and found that the patients who were on statins were significantly less likely to be clinically depressed than those who were not.

They then followed the 776 patients who were not depressed – 520 who were using statins and 256 who were not – for an additional six years. Of those taking statins, 18.5 percent developed depression, compared with 28 percent of those not on the drugs.  Put another way, the patients who took statins were 38 percent less likely to develop depression than patients who did not.

How do GPS satellites know where they are?

Our Global Positioning System (GPS) tells us exactly where we are, down to a few metres, but how do satellites that make up the GPS themselves know where they are?

They have to rely on a network of sites that serve as “You Are Here” signs planted throughout the planet. The catch is, the sites don’t sit still because the planet is moving all the time, yet modern measurements require more and more accuracy in pinpointing where “here” is.

Accordingly, NASA is helping to lead an international effort to upgrade the four systems that supply this crucial location information. NASA’s initiative is run by Goddard Space Flight Centre, Greenbelt, US, where the next generation of two of these systems is being developed and built.

“In practical terms, we can’t determine a location today and expect it to be good enough tomorrow-and especially not next year,” says Herbert Frey, who heads the Planetary Geodynamics Lab at Goddard.

And Goddard, in partnership with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calif., is bringing all four systems together in a state-of-the-art ground station, according to a NASA statement.

Previous weight loss guidelines ‘flawed’

Battling obesity is not as simple as eating less and exercising more, and for those who struggle to meet their weight loss targets, a new equation may offer some help.
Scientists are now using mathematics to better understand the physiology of weight loss, and more accurately predict just how much weight someone will lose on a specific diet and exercise regime.

In the past, physicians assumed that eating 500 fewer calories per day would lead to about a pound of weight loss per week, said Kevin Hall, a researcher. But it turns out, this rule of thumb is wrong.

The new rule says you need to cut 10 calories per day from your diet for every pound you want to lose over a three-year period.