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NASA – NASAS Spitzer Finds Solid Buckyballs in Space

I love buckyballs.  Not the ones that tore up some kid’s intestine – those are magnets and hello?  Yucky parenting.  Where were you when she was eating the twelfth one, much less 37?

No, I’m talking about awe inspiring sixty carbon balls in space.  Microscopic giant soccer balls that probably will be useful for something great.

NASA – NASAS Spitzer Finds Solid Buckyballs in Space.

If you can’t wait for manned spaceflight to see them, just burn a candle.  They exist in the smoke.



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Garlic Does More Than Keep The Ill Away. RCT Lessens Flu.

English: A basket of garlic (allium sativum) o...

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I’m always fascinated by the rejection of garlic for cold and flu symptoms.  For the simple, stinky fact that when you’ve eaten your body weight in garlic even people with colds can smell you.  You get a better cough-to-face radius, and may even send people out of the room.

So garlic is effective for that reason alone.  But it also does really wonderful things to bacteria and viruses in test tubes.  That lovely tangy nastiness is like a mini-flamethrower on the microscopic set.  Perhaps they can smell it too and just curl up and die.

But wait, there’s more!

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial, aged garlic takers had half the number of days lost from colds and flus.  They still caught the bug, but it didn’t stay around very long and didn’t bother them very much.

So let’s stink it up, people.

Here’s the study:

Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention.


Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida, Box 110370, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.



Earlier studies show that dietary bioactive compounds can modify proliferation of γδ-T cells. Garlic contains numerous compounds that have this potential and, in addition, has been shown to influence NK cell function. Our primary aim was to demonstrate that aged garlic extract could modify these immune cells.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel intervention study recruited 120 healthy subjects (60 per group) to determine the effect of aged garlic extract supplementation (2.56 g/d) on immune cell proliferation and cold and flu symptoms.


After 45 d of consuming an encapsulated aged garlic extract, γδ-T cells (p = 0.039, n = 56) and NK cells (p = 0.043, n = 56) were shown to proliferate better compared to placebo. After 90 d of supplementation, illness diary entries showed that the incidence of colds and flu, a secondary outcome, were not statistically different; however, the group consuming the aged garlic extract appeared to have reduced severity as noted by a reduction in the number of symptoms reported (21% fewer, p < 0.001, z-test of proportions), a reduction in the number of days (61% fewer, p < 0.001, z-test) and incidences (58% fewer p < 0.001, z-test) where the subjects functioned sub-optimally and the number of work/school days missed due to illness (58% fewer, p = 0.035, z-test).


These results suggest that supplementation of the diet with aged garlic extract may enhance immune cell function and that this may be responsible, in part, for reduced severity of colds and flu.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.

PMID:  22280901


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We All Make Mistakes.

Asquith's Cabinet Reacts to the Lords' Rejecti...

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Each of us needs to spend less time worrying and more time laughing.  I will be poking fun at myself to help in this process.

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