Artificial Muscle Stronger Than the Real Thing
Scientists have created tiny artificial muscles, known as nanofibers, which are 200 times stronger than the real thing. Ray Baughman, a nanotechnology researcher at the University of Texas at Dallas, led the team that made the new muscle, which he sometimes calls a yarn because of the way it's woven. The muscles would work well in small medical devices, he said. In the farther future, artificial muscles could give robots more natural-looking facial expressions, Baughman said.
Scientists Discover Protein that Stimulates Bone Growth in Humans
U.S. scientists have discovered that a protein called Jagged-1 stimulates stem cells to differentiate into bone-producing cells. The findings, accepted for publication in the journal Stem Cells, suggest Jagged-1 could help both human and animal patients heal from bone fractures faster and may form the basis of treatments for a rare metabolic condition called Alagille syndrome. “It was remarkable to find that just putting the cells onto the Jagged-1 ligand seemed sufficient for driving the formation of bone-producing cells.” The practical medical applications of Jagged-1 are amazing in their own right, but isn’t it more fun to speculate about who’s going to be the first athlete to get his hands on this stuff and cause the Twitter servers to break?
Combination of High and Low Intensity Exercise Sessions Achieve Better Results than Moderate Exercises
For anyone who hasn’t heard the latest episode of Muscle College Radio where Dr. Layne Norton and Dr. Jake Wilson separate the facts from fiction when it comes to cardio, it’s a must listen. As it turns out, a recent study suggests that the main stream begin to embrace high intensity cardio over the traditional moderate or steady state variety. "Quantity and quality of training has provided a quandary for coaches and athletes for many years, but this study is the first of its kind to provide an answer to the problem," lead study Dr. Stuart Galloway said, according to a Medical Xpress report. "It is a case of training smarter," Dr. Galloway said. "We found in these cyclists that if you can make the hard sessions harder and the easy sessions easier then you will likely see better progress. Amateur athletes tend to spend a lot of their training in a moderate intensity bracket which in our study showed much smaller improvements.
Acupuncture May Improve Exercise Performance and Post Exercise Recovery
A recent article published in The Journal Alternative and Complimentary Medicine reviewed four studies designed to test whether a person receiving acupuncture while exercising would have enhanced exercise performance and/or recover more quickly from an exercise session. Researchers from The University of Sidney and The University of Sidney Western suggest that based on these four published studies, acupuncture may have a positive effect. They caution, however, that additional trials, with larger numbers of participants and randomized, controlled study designs, as well as standardized reporting of research methods and results, are needed to confirm and more thoroughly explore the effects of acupuncture on exercise performance and recovery. Is squatting with acupuncture needles sticking out of your ass the most practical thing to do? Probably not. Do I think that somewhere there’s someone who’s going to read that study and convince themselves that anything’s worth a shot if it’ll help them grow? Absolutely.
Does Exercise Improve Cognitive Performance?
A recent study was conducted to determine if exercise had any effect on cognitive performance. Researchers were able to determine that participants' physical fitness level has been shown to influence their cognitive performance and their HRV. In effect, regular physical activity (which results in an increased physical fitness level) produces an enhanced vagal tone, which may contribute in part to the lower resting heart rate and, consequently, to higher values of HRV as a result of physiological adaptations induced by training . On the other hand, regular exercise has been shown to elicit beneficial changes in brain structures and consequently, in cognitive performance –.