Monday, May 29, 2017

Science X Newsletter Monday, May 29

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for May 29, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Understanding how slow predators catch faster prey could improve drone tactics

Astronomers discover 'super-Earth' planet orbiting nearby star

Light emitting quantum dots could ease synthesis of novel compounds

Best of Last Week–How antimatter forms, world's first super telescope and why fathers treat toddler daughters different

Test of general relativity could potentially generate new gravitational models

A new spin on electronics: Study discovers a 'miracle material' for field of spintronics

Google's AlphaGo retires on top after humbling world No. 1

NTFS bug allows sites to crash Windows 7, 8.1

Google linking online and offline worlds in new ad challenge

Healing wounds with cell therapy

Great Barrier Reef bleaching worse than first thought

Floating solar power plant in China connected to grid

Harnessing the energy generated when freshwater meets saltwater

Speed of animal evolution enhanced by cooperative behaviour

Red, green, and blue light can be used to control gene expression in engineered E. coli

Astronomy & Space news

Astronomers discover 'super-Earth' planet orbiting nearby star

(Phys.org)—European astronomers report the detection of a new extrasolar world several times more massive than Earth. The newly found exoplanet, classified as a so-called "super-Earth," is circling a nearby star designated GJ 625. The researchers detailed their finding in a paper published May 18 on arXiv.org.

Image: Close-up view of neutron star mission's X-ray concentrator optics

A new NASA mission, the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), is headed for the International Space Station next month to observe one of the strangest observable objects in the universe. Launching aboard SpaceX's CRS-11 commercial resupply mission, NICER will be installed aboard the orbiting laboratory as the first mission dedicated to studying neutron stars, a type of collapsed star that is so dense scientists are unsure how matter behaves deep inside it.

Technology news

Google's AlphaGo retires on top after humbling world No. 1

The Google-owned computer algorithm AlphaGo is retiring from playing humans in the ancient Chinese game of Go after roundly defeating the world's top player this week, its developer said Saturday.

NTFS bug allows sites to crash Windows 7, 8.1

(Tech Xplore)—By Friday numerous tech sites including Ars Technica, delivered the bug discovery news, this time of strange NTFS bug making web pages crash for those still running Windows 7 or 8.1 on their PCs. NTFS refers to the NT file system.

Google linking online and offline worlds in new ad challenge

Google is testing a way to tie online ads to brick-and-mortar store purchases, a move whetting marketing appetites while fueling privacy worries.

Floating solar power plant in China connected to grid

(Tech Xplore)—China is addressing its environmental future. One sign is a floating solar farm power plant built on a former coal-mining area, and the floating power plant has been successfully connected to the grid, in Huainan.

Harnessing the energy generated when freshwater meets saltwater

Penn State researchers have created a new hybrid technology that produces unprecedented amounts of electrical power where seawater and freshwater combine at the coast.

Meet the most nimble-fingered robot ever built

Grabbing the awkwardly shaped items that people pick up in their day-to-day lives is a slippery task for robots. Irregularly shaped items such as shoes, spray bottles, open boxes, even rubber duckies are easy for people to grab and pick up, but robots struggle with knowing where to apply a grip. In a significant step toward overcoming this problem, roboticists at UC Berkeley have a built a robot that can pick up and move unfamiliar, real-world objects with a 99 percent success rate.

Europe's first 'eTree' puts down roots in central France

A solar tree with giant square leaves that convert sunlight into electricity was unveiled in the central French town of Nevers on Monday, allowing passers-by to charge their phones, surf the internet... or just enjoy the shade.

Apple opens first official store in Southeast Asia

Apple opened its first Southeast Asia store in Singapore on Saturday, drawing hundreds of excited fans to the swanky two-storey site in the city's upmarket shopping district.

BA outage creates London travel chaos; power issue blamed

British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

BA aims to restore normal flight service after IT failure

British Airways said Sunday it was still working to restore its computer systems but hoped to resume flights from London airports, a day after a global IT failure crippled its services.

Why nuclear could become the next 'fossil' fuel

A gray dinosaur statue outside south Florida's largest power plant is meant to symbolize two decommissioned fossil fuel reactors, but it also could be seen to represent a nuclear industry crumpling under mounting costs.

US official mulling greatly expanded airplane laptop ban (Update)

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he's considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States.

More Heathrow chaos as BA scrambles to recover from IT crash (Update)

Thousands of travellers faced further chaos on Sunday as British Airways cancelled more than a hundred flights from London's Heathrow Airport following an IT system failure.

Ford's changes at the top aimed at faster decision-making

Earlier this week, Ford Motor Co. replaced company veteran Mark Fields as CEO with Jim Hackett, a relative newcomer to the auto industry. Ford said it needed the change to speed up decision-making and reorient toward the future.

New Russian jet takes to air in bid to rival Airbus and Boeing

Russia on Sunday held a successful test flight of its new MC-21 medium-haul passenger jet that it hopes will revive its troubled civil aviation industry and challenge giants Airbus and Boeing.

BA says most flights running; angry passengers face delays

British Airways said many of its IT systems were back up and running Sunday, but some travelers will likely face cancellations and delays for a third straight day after a global computer failure grounded hundreds of flights.

India's ethical hackers rewarded abroad, ignored at home

Kanishk Sajnani did not receive so much as a thank you from a major Indian airline when he contacted them with alarming news—he had hacked their website and could book flights anywhere in the world for free.

How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts

Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie—at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all post-production visual effects, and after a decade of refining the process since Brad Pitt ran the gamut of time in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," it's becoming commonplace in major Hollywood movies.

BA flights disrupted for third day after IT crash (Update)

Passengers faced a third day of disruption at Heathrow on Monday as British Airways cancelled short-haul flights after a global computer crash that unions blamed on the outsourcing of IT services to India.

NASA drone traffic management tests take off in Reno

NASA and its partners are in the midst of testing the next, more complex version of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) technologies with live, remotely-operated aircraft, or drones, at six different sites around the nation.

How would engineers build the Golden Gate Bridge today?

Ever since the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 27, 1937, it's been an iconic symbol on the American landscape.

Explaining hostility to renewables

Studying the catastrophe that has been Australian climate and energy policy these past 30 years is a thoroughly depressing business. When you read great work by Guy Pearse, Clive Hamilton, Maria Taylor and Phillip Chubb, among others, you find yourself asking "why"?

Beyond X-rays — the new inspection tools to thwart smugglers

Criminals who want to smuggle dangerous or illegal substances into Europe could soon find themselves foiled by a new set of high-tech anti-smuggling tools including an electronic sniffer dog and a machine that fires part of an atom at shipping containers.

Amazon and Alphabet could join '$1,000 Stock Club' but is that a sign of trouble?

Wall Street's exclusive "$1,000 Stock Club" could soon be welcoming two new members.

Lawmakers seek to restore internet privacy after repealing it

House and Senate lawmakers are hoping to push legislation to replace recently repealed Obama-era internet privacy regulations, a move by the Federal Communications Commission that has led to a tide of consumer complaints.

Medicine & Health news

Healing wounds with cell therapy

Diabetic patients frequently have lesions on their feet that are very difficult to heal due to poor blood circulation. In cases of serious non-healing infections, a decision to amputate could be made. A new therapeutic approach, presented recently in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology by Canadian researchers affiliated with the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM), could prevent these complications by promoting wound healing.

Neurons can learn temporal patterns

Individual neurons can learn not only single responses to a particular signal, but also a series of reactions at precisely timed intervals. This is what emerges from a study at Lund University in Sweden.

Drinking more coffee could reduce liver cancer risk, suggests study

Drinking more coffee could reduce the risk of developing the most common form of primary liver cancer, according to a study led by the University of Southampton.

Wearing a 'heart' on your sleeve can reduce stress

New research published in Scientific Reports shows that a heartbeat-like vibration delivered onto the inside of the wrist can make the wearer feel significantly less stressed.

Engineers show key feature for modeling how cells spread in fibrous environments

One area of research within mechanobiology, the study of how physical forces influence biological processes, is on the interplay between cells and their environment and how it impacts their ability to grow and spread.

Toward an HIV cure: Research team develops test to detect hidden virus

The quest to develop a cure for HIV has long been plagued by a seemingly simple question: How do doctors determine if someone is cured? The virus has a knack for lying dormant in immune cells at levels undetectable to all but the most expensive and time-consuming tests.

Vision keeps maturing until mid-life: Brain research recasts timeline for visual cortex development

The visual cortex, the human brain's vision-processing centre that was previously thought to mature and stabilize in the first few years of life, actually continues to develop until sometime in the late 30s or early 40s, a McMaster neuroscientist and her colleagues have found. Kathryn Murphy, a professor in McMaster's department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, led the study using post-mortem brain-tissue samples from 30 people ranging in age from 20 days to 80 years.

How self-regulation can help young people overcome setbacks

Failing an exam at school, getting rejected for a job or being screamed at by your teacher or superior are only a few examples of situations that may cause despair, disappointment or a sense of failure. Unfortunately, such set-backs are part of anyone's life and can start early-on. However, dealing with adversity throughout a lifetime is a reality that some seem to be managing better than others.

Researchers discover new 'GPS' neuron

An international research team led by the University of Amsterdam researchers Jeroen Bos, Martin Vinck and Cyriel Pennartz has identified a new type of neuron which might play a vital role in humans' ability to navigate their environments. The discovery is an important step towards understanding how the brain codes navigation behaviour at larger scales and could potentially open up new treatment strategies for people with impaired topographical orientation like Alzheimer's patients. The team's results are published in the latest edition of Nature Communications.

Open-access genetic screening for hereditary breast cancer is feasible and effective

Ashkenazi Jewish women are known to have a predisposition to the inherited breast cancers BRCA1 and BRCA2, but currently genetic testing in this group is limited to women affected by breast and ovarian cancers and those who are unaffected but have a family history of the disease.

Obesity can cause cardiovascular ill-health, even in the young

Higher than normal body mass index (BMI) is known to lead to cardiovascular ill-health in mid-to-late life, but there has been limited investigation of its effect in young, apparently healthy, adults. Researchers have now shown that having a higher BMI can cause worse cardiovascular health in those aged as young as 17, according to a study to be presented to the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics today (Sunday).

India confirms first Zika virus cases: WHO

The Indian health ministry has confirmed its first cases of the Zika virus, the World Health Organisation has said, the latest nation to be affected by the mosquito-borne virus that sparked global concern.

India reports its first three cases of the Zika virus

India has reported its first three cases of the Zika virus, including two pregnant women who delivered healthy babies.

Fire up the grill safely this holiday weekend

(HealthDay)—Safety should be on the front burner when you fire up the barbecue this Memorial Day, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says.

New bill intends to repeal limits on physician-owned hospitals

(HealthDay)—A new bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would repeal the federal law essentially banning construction of physician-owned hospitals and making it difficult for these facilities to grow, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Legalizing marijuana will harm health of youth in Canada

The federal government's bill C-45 to legalize marijuana in Canada will jeopardize the health of young people and Parliament should vote against it, argues the interim editor-in-chief of CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) in an editorial.

First Nations, Inuit babies hospitalized more often in first year of life

First Nations and Inuit babies were hospitalized much more often in the first year of life compared with non-Indigenous babies, many for preventable illnesses, found a new study of infant hospitalizations in Quebec, Canada, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Paediatric IBD patients not meeting recommended calcium and vitamin D intake

A new study highlights that children suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not meeting the daily recommended intake of calcium and vitamin D. The research, conducted at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, identified that only 26.6% and 21.3% of paediatric IBD patients were achieving the current recommended intake for calcium and vitamin D respectively.

New genomic analysis promises benefit in female urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence in women is common, with almost 50% of adult women experiencing leakage at least occasionally. Genetic or heritable factors are known to contribute to half of all cases, but until now studies had failed to identify the genetic variants associated with the condition. Speaking at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics today (Monday), Dr Rufus Cartwright, MD, a visiting researcher in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College, London, UK, will say that his team's investigations hold out the promise that drugs already used for the treatment of other conditions can help affected women combat this distressing problem.

World first study reveals increase in premature deaths in Australian nursing homes

The first comprehensive study of deaths in Australian nursing homes has been published today (29 May), revealing a more than 400 per cent increase in the incidence of premature and potentially preventable deaths of nursing home residents over the past decade.

Research taps into teen conflict years

An online program designed to short circuit the conflict cycle between teens and parents is being evaluated by University of Queensland researchers.

Kids' vitamin gummies—unhealthy, poorly regulated and exploitative

There are many brands of kids' "gummies" on the market. They are promoted as deliciously flavoured and a great way for growing bodies (and fussy eaters) to get the nutrients they need.

'Missing DNA' could hold clue to why some get breast cancer young

A University of Otago, Christchurch, discovery of missing DNA in women who develop breast cancer at a young age could hold the key to helping them beat the disease.

Multiple risk factors can predict internet addiction in adolescents

As technology continues to rapidly evolve, the development of internet addiction among adolescents has become as serious public health concern – especially in Asian countries such as China.

National database puts children with medically complex conditions at risk

A proposed national database that would serve as a centralized source of information on children with medically complex conditions puts those children and their families at risk for discrimination by making their health information public, and therefore accessible to employers and health insurers, according to experts at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

People with creative personalities really do see the world differently

What is it about a creative work such as a painting or piece of music that elicits our awe and admiration? Is it the thrill of being shown something new, something different, something the artist saw that we did not?

The immune system promotes spontaneous heart regeneration

In adult mammal hearts, cardiomyoctyes do not proliferate following damage such as that caused by myocardial infarction. However, in some mammals, cardiomyocyte proliferation occurs. "Neonatal cardiomyocytes proliferate, and the cardiomyocytes of zebrafish proliferate through adulthood," says Osaka University Professor Yasushi Fujio.

New strategies for donor kidney preservation

New treatment strategies over the last few decades have meant that nowadays 95 percent of transplanted kidneys function well for at least one year and that the average lifespan of a transplanted organ is between 10 and 15 years. In 1989, one in five kidneys was no longer functional after one year. This is one of the central findings of a review that leading journal The Lancet invited Reiner Oberbauer to undertake on the current status of research in this area. "This also underscores the importance of our publications and the fact that MedUni Vienna occupies a leading position in transplantation, even on the international stage," says the Head of MedUni Vienna's Division of Nephrology and Dialysis.

Six things we learned from that massive new study of intelligence genes

Genes help shape intelligence, period. That's not new news, even though it continues to be a source of dispute for a number of reasons, mostly historical.

Mother's stress affects the baby through amniotic fluid

If the mother is stressed over a longer period of time during pregnancy, the concentration of stress hormones in amniotic fluid rises, as proven by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Zurich. Short-term stress situations, however, do not seem to have an unfavorable effect on the development of the fetus.

Increasing the price of tobacco by 5% reduces consumption by 3.5%

In a 30-year-old study conducted by social medicine expert Michael Kunze into pricing policy and tobacco consumption, it was found that increasing prices by only 1 percent reduces consumption by 0.5 percent. Under the guidance of the MedUni Vienna smoking expert, diploma student Richard Felsinger has completed an analysis of pricing policy for the years 1997 to 2015. The results have now been published to mark World No Smoking Day on 31 May. Today a 1 percent increase in the price of tobacco reduces consumption by as much as 0.69 percent.

Increasing the age limit for Lynch syndrome genetic testing may save lives

Raising the age limit for routine genetic testing in colorectal cancer could identify more cases of families affected by Lynch syndrome, a condition that accounts for around 5% of all colon cancers, according to new research to be presented at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics today (Monday). Professor Nicoline Hoogerbrugge, head of the Radboud university medical centre expert centre on hereditary cancers, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, will tell the conference that there is an urgent need to find families carrying a mutation for Lynch syndrome in order to decrease mortality from the disease.

High-fat diet alters reward system in rats

Exposure to high-fat diet from childhood may increase the sensitivity of the dopamine system later in adulthood, according to a study in male rats published in eNeuro. The research describes potential mechanisms that, if translated to humans, may drive people to seek foods that contribute to obesity.

Some heart attack patients may not benefit from beta blockers

New research challenges established medical practice that all heart attack patients should be on beta blockers.

Stopping drug abuse can reverse related heart damage

Quitting methamphetamine use can reverse the damage the drug causes to the heart and improve heart function in abusers when combined with appropriate medical treatment, potentially preventing future drug-related cases of heart failure or other worse outcomes, according to a study published today in JACC: Heart Failure.

DR Congo authorises trial of experimental Ebola vaccine

The Democratic Republic of Congo has approved using an experimental Ebola vaccine to combat an outbreak of the virus in the northeast, the government said Monday.

Biologics before triple therapy not cost effective for rheumatoid arthritis

Stepping up to biologic therapy when methotrexate monotherapy fails offers minimal incremental benefit over using a combination of drugs known as triple therapy, yet incurs large costs for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Results of a comprehensive cost-effectiveness analysis suggest that patients who have RA and no contraindications to triple therapy should use it prior to a biologic as the next regimen. The study is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Brush up on swim safety for summer

(HealthDay)—Before your family pulls out their swimsuits this Memorial Day, brush up on water safety, for your kids' sake.

Lawn mowers are risky business for kids

(HealthDay)—Though mowing lawns has long been a source of income for young people, experts warn that lawn mowers pose a major safety risk to children.

To lose weight, start with dairy swaps

(HealthDay)—Losing weight comes down to simple arithmetic: Eat fewer calories than you burn off.

Needless medical tests cost $200 billion, and can do harm

It's common knowledge in medicine: Doctors routinely order tests on hospital patients that are unnecessary and wasteful. Sutter Health, a giant hospital chain in Northern California, thought it had found a simple solution.

Study: States with lenient gun laws see more civilians fatally shot by officers

Fatal shootings of civilians by police officers are less common in states with stricter gun laws than they are in states that take a more relaxed approach to regulating the sale, storage and use of firearms, new research says.

HIV: A therapeutic advance for resource-limited settings

ANRS 12286 MOBIDIP, a clinical trial running in parallel in three countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and Senegal), shows that dual therapy with lamivudine and a boosted protease inhibitor is effective as second-line treatment in patients infected by HIV with multiple mutations. Such treatment de-escalation will reduce costs, side effects, and the need for virological monitoring of patients. The results of this study, led by Laura Ciaffi (TransHIVMI; Inserm-IRD-Université de Montpellier) and Sinata Koulla-Shiro (ANRS site -Cameroon), is published in The Lancet HIV on May 28, 2017.

Common drivers and solutions to undernutrition and obesity

This week the World Health Organization in Geneva released two new policy briefs focused on the Double Burden of Malnutrition and Double-duty actions for nutrition.

Connecting the dots between dreams and brain disease

Dr. John Peever at the University of Toronto has been working to answer one of humanity's greatest questions: how do we dream? He has found a certain area of the brain is responsible for this phenomenon and that troubles with normal dreaming may be an early warning sign for ailments such as Parkinson's Disease. His results were presented at the 2017 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, the annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience - Association Canadienne des Neurosciences (CAN-ACN).

Biology news

Speed of animal evolution enhanced by cooperative behaviour

A study by scientists from the University of Cambridge has revealed how cooperative behaviour between insect family members changes how rapidly body size evolves – with the speed of evolution increasing when individual animals help one another.

Big fish in big trouble in Europe

An international team of scientists led by the University of Aberdeen have discovered that large fish, which include many of the sharks, rays and skates of Europe, are the most at threat from extinction.

Newly discovered Siberian soda lake microorganisms convert organic material directly into methane

Researchers from Delft and Moscow have discovered a new class of micro-organisms in Siberian soda lakes. These organisms grow in sodium carbonate brines with a pH 10 and convert methyl group of organic material into methane gas. On Friday May 26th they, together with colleagues from the US, UK, Germany and Spain, report on their findings in Nature Microbiology.

How capuchino seedeaters have such big differences in plumage despite little genetic diversity

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina has found clues that help explain why southern capuchino seedeaters have such wide differences in plumage despite being so closely genetically matched. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes the genetic analysis they conducted on the South American birds and what they found by doing so.

CRISPR gene editing can cause hundreds of unintended mutations

As CRISPR-Cas9 starts to move into clinical trials, a new study published in Nature Methods has found that the gene-editing technology can introduce hundreds of unintended mutations into the genome.

Remembrance of things past—bacterial memory of gut inflammation

The microbiome, or the collections of microorganisms present in the body, is known to affect human health and disease and researchers are thinking about new ways to use them as next-generation diagnostics and therapeutics. Today bacteria from the normal microbiome are already being used in their modified or attenuated form in probiotics and cancer therapy. Scientists exploit the microorganisms' natural ability to sense and respond to environmental- and disease-related stimuli and the ease of engineering new functions into them. This is particularly beneficial in chronic inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that remain difficult to monitor non-invasively. However, there are several challenges associated with developing living diagnostics and therapeutics including generating robust sensors that do not crash and are capable of long-term monitoring of biomolecules.

Researchers test self-destructing moth pest in cabbage patch

Researchers in a New York cabbage patch are planning the first release on American soil of insects genetically engineered to die before they can reproduce.

In Canada, parks thrive but conservationists cry foul

On a highway in Banff National Park in western Canada, tourists hastily park their cars to catch a glimpse of a bear at the edge of the forest.

New species of frog from the Neotropics carries its heart on its skin

In the Neotropics, there is a whole group of so-called glassfrogs that amaze with their transparent skin covering their bellies and showing their organs underneath. A recently discovered new species from Amazonian Ecuador, however, goes a step further to fully expose its heart thanks to the transparent skin stretching all over its chest as well as tummy.

Scientists study under-appreciated fish with special tag

Most people think of salmon jumping upriver to spawn when they consider wild fish in the American Northwest. But another, lesser-known species—the Pacific Lamprey—is also culturally and historically important to the region. Lamprey have been on Earth at least 400 million years, which is significantly longer than salmon and even dinosaurs.

Carcass of 79-foot blue whale washes ashore in California

The body of a 79-foot (24-meter) blue whale has washed ashore in California's Marin County and experts are trying to determine why it died.

Court overturns order to protect elephants at LA Zoo

A court order requiring the Los Angeles Zoo to exercise its elephants on soft ground and barring the use of electric shock was overturned Thursday by the California Supreme Court.


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1 comment:

Pathy Kelly said...

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a year ago at the age of 68. For several months I had noticed tremors in my right hand and the shaking of my right foot when I was sitting. My normally beautiful cursive writing was now small cramped printing. And I tended to lose my balance. Neurologist had me walk down the hall and said I didn't swing my right arm. I had never noticed! I was in denial for a while as there is no history in my family of parents and five older siblings, but now accept I had classic symptoms. I was taking pramipexole (Sifrol), carbidopa/levodopa and Biperiden, 2 mg. and started physical therapy to strengthen muscles. nothing was really working to help my condition.I went off the Siferol (with the doctor’s knowledge) and started on parkinson’s herbal formula i ordered from Health Herbal Clinic, my symptoms totally declined over a 3 weeks use of the Parkinsons disease natural herbal formula. i am now almost 70 and doing very well, the disease is totally reversed!! Visit there website www. healthherbalclinic. weebly. com