Worm world | Research indicates that disabling the SET-26 gene in worms increases longevity, bringing hope that a similar effect might be seen in humans.

Gene in Worms Could Be Key to Longer Human Lifespan

Popular legend claims that drinking from the fountain of youth will keep one’s body vigorous and vivacious for years to come. Prof. Sylvia Lee, molecular biology and genetics, may have discovered such an elixir in the soils of Ithaca. Her research indicates the secret of immortality may be hidden in the genome of a worm. Lee found that Caenorhabditis elegans, a common species of soil worm, has a very similar lifespan and reproductive pattern to humans, importantly sharing hallmark features of human aging. These similarities make C. elegans a premier experimental model to reveal the mysterious mechanisms of mortality in humans.

Two men vape in a store in Philadelphia. Research is inconclusive on the health effects of e-cigarettes.­

E-Cigarettes: A Shiny Alternative To Smoking?

Smoking is cool again. Who would have thought? Just when many thought smoking was on the decline, with stomach-churning advertisements of charred lungs on public television and the preeminence of smoke-free environments, an alternative form of nicotine delivery is gaining popularity: high-tech e-cigarettes. One of the most popular of these is the JUUL, which accounts for 32 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market share. The JUUL is about one-fifth the size of an iPhone and uses patented nicotine juice cartridges, called JUULpods.

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EDITORIAL | Despite Shortages, Get Vaccinated

In the midst of the most intense flu season since 2009, it remains vitally important that all members of the Cornell community remember to get vaccinated. The failure of both Cornell Health and the Tompkins County Health Department to prepare adequately for this season’s demand is disappointing, but Cornellians and Ithacans alike should not let this inconvenience prevent them seeking out the vaccine where it is still in supply. Universities like Cornell are prime breeding grounds for communicable diseases like flu. The close quarters of dormitories, lectures, dining halls and dance floors bring us into contact with hundreds of people every day, each of them potential flu-carriers. Vaccination is the healthy and the smart choice.

The Spring Break Health Initiative

No matter what, getting ready for Spring Break is all about being healthy and feeling good in your own skin. Any time you choose an apple over a donut is progress even if you don’t see an immediate change when you look in the mirror.

Photo Courtesy of iTriage

READ MY MIND | Deep

No matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to explain to you the intricacy of a razor. I don’t really want to, either. I figured out myself one night how to take it apart, how to free the blades, and it’s my secret. Its marks on my skin are also my secrets: the deep, linear slices from days I was just angry, a little lopsided from days I couldn’t stop shaking. Those were the beginning days, though.

Gannett Warns Students About Swine Flu Outbreak

Although there has been no reported case of swine flu at Cornell or in Tompkins County, members of the Cornell community should “be alert and cautious but not panic,” according to Sharon Dittman, associated director of community relations at Gannett Health Services.
As of yesterday, 45 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in at least five states in the United States, including New York. Because it is a new strain of influenza, people are unlikely to have natural immunity against the flu, which is passed from human to human, according to Gannett’s website.
Dittman said that symptoms of the swine flu are “basically identical” to those of seasonal flu, which include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Cornell Holds First Summit on International Women’s Health

Cornell Global Development Club hosted the University’s first Summit on International Women’s Issues in Global Health and Development this past Saturday in Goldwin Smith Hall. Approximately 200 graduate and undergraduate students, professors, health professionals, civic leaders and women’s rights advocates gathered to discuss the challenges that women presently face around the world.
Last spring, Vanessa Coleman ’10, former president of the club, came up with the idea of holding a conference that would just focus on women’s issues. Current Club President Carrie Bronsther ’10 explained that the goals of the conference were to shed light on the international crimes against women that had often gone unheard, promote the sharing of ideas and get people motivated to take action.

Prof Lectures on Role of Diaspora in Health Care in Africa

Prof. Chinua Akukwe, global health and prevention and community health, at George Washington University, lectured yesterday at Uris Hall on the African Diaspora Health Initiative launched by the African Union in September 2008. 
Yesterday’s talk, “The Potential Role of Africans in the Diaspora in Improved Healthcare Delivery in Africa” was the first lecture of the “Issues in African Development Special Topic Seminar Series.” The series is designed “to foster awareness of African issues in the University,” according to Evangeline Ray, assistant program coordinator in C.U.’s Institute for African Development. which is sponsoring the lecture series.